The National Labor Tribune May 13, 1915


Q' Will you kindly explain Matt. 24:37: "But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be?"

Answer' The Lord is referring to his second coming, and states that only his Father knew at that time the day and hour of his arrival. Then he pointed out that when he did come again, a similar condition would obtain as in Noah's day just previous to the flood. The word "coming" in this verse is translated from the Greek "parousia," which means arrival or presence, not the thought of starting on the journey. We understand, therefore, that our Lord would be present the second time, and yet unseen by human eyes (John 14:19), some time before this age or order of things would come to an end (Dan. 2:44), and that the majority of the people would not discern the changing of the dispensation. Thus the day of his second presence would be as a thief in the night to some, while to others it would not be as a thief, as they would discern the signs of his presence by noting the evidences in the earth (see 1 Thess. 5:1-4; Matt. 24:31-33).

Q' Will you explain Gal. 3:24, "The law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ?"

Answer' The word translated "schoolmaster" really means a confidential slave, i. e., a servant. The law served to lead Israel to Christ in that it set up a standard whereby life might be obtained, and at the same time proved to them their inability to gain life by their own effort. Moses had written that "the man that doeth the righteousness which is of the law shall live thereby" (Rom. 10:5 R V). Jesus, as a perfect man and a Jew, kept the law and earned its prize everlasting life; which he afterwards laid down sacrificially. When God raised him from the dead he had the prize remaining, as it were, to his credit, and at his disposal. He will dispense life to the human race from Adam downwards, as they come into harmony with the law of the New Covenant during the Millennial reign and become "Israelites indeed." Meanwhile, those Jews who appreciated Jesus' sacrifice were freed from the law by accepting Christ, and the Gentiles, who were not under the law, have also been called to share the baptism into Christ. These all constitute the Bride of Christ, sharing his Divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4) and reigning with him for 1,000 years.

Q' Who is the bride referred to in Rev. 19:7, "His wife hath made herself ready?"

Answer' This is a company designated by different names, each representing various features of their relationship to the Lord and his work. They are called the living stones of the temple of God, because God has proposed for the future a great blessing through them for the world. These blessings will be communicated through the antitypical temple glorified. They are called his "little flock," because they follow him as their Shepherd, and he leads them as his sheep. They are called "soldiers," because in the development and demonstration of character they must "fight a good fight" against sin and selfishness in themselves, and against the adversary. In all of this they are following the example of the Redeemer, who is their Leader and Captain. They are called the Bride, because this beautiful symbol so well illustrates the closeness of their relationship to the Redeemer, not only now prospectively, but by and by actually, his joint-heirs in his kingdom. Life would be forever lost to the world were it not that the great Life-giver, joined with his Bride, will have as his children the entire race of Adam, so many as will accept him.

Q' Is it not a generally accepted truth that those who do the best they know how will be saved even if they never become Christians?

Answer' It is true that the majority of Christians of all denominations assent to this view (notwithstanding the creeds of some to the contrary), from a feeling that any other view would be irreconcilable with justice on God's part. But the question we should ask in all such matters is, "Do the Scriptures support this view? Do they teach that ignorance is a ground of salvation?" We will have to answer, "No!" the only ground of salvation mentioned in the Scriptures is faith in Christ as our Redeemer and Lord, "By grace are ye saved, through faith" (Eph. 2:8). Justification by faith is the underlying principle of the whole system of Christianity. When asked, "What must I do to be saved?" the apostles answered, "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ." "There is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12); and "whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Rom. 10:13). St. Paul reasons that a man must hear the gospel before he can believe, saying, "How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard" (Rom. 10:14)? We mistakenly supposed that all who did not get to heaven would be tormented eternally, so we tried to make the terms for getting to heaven just as easy as possible. [HGL714] Q' We see how Jesus at the age of thirty could satisfy justice (life for life) for Adam's sin, which forfeited perfect life for himself, his wife and children, but what did he give for the enjoyment, which Eve forfeited for herself, Adam and children?

Answer' The condemnation of Adam fell not on himself alone but included Mother Eve and all their descendants. If it had not been so, a separate redeemer would have been necessary for each individual not so included. For this reason it is possible for the one man to give himself "a ransom for all" (1 Tim. 2:6). His children were yet unborn and therefore logically included in the curse. He and Eve were one, and the curse which fell on him therefore included her. We read that Jesus "came to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10). While life was the principal thing lost, we should, in thinking of this redemptive work, always include everything that went with that life the Edenic home and all its joys and possibilities. The accomplishing of this purposed redemptive work will mean the "restitution of all things" (Acts 3:19, 23) lost by Adam and Eve.

Q' If this "bride" is the church of the present time, why did God choose this class from among men when he could have found a bride for his Son from among the angels?

Answer' When we learn that Jehovah purposes the selection of a bride for his well beloved Son, our minds naturally go out toward the holy angels. Cherubim and seraphim, glorious beings, perfect and sinless, holy and pure of these surely this selection will be made! But, no, a heavenly calling goes forth to the degraded members of Adam's family, announcing to them the opportunity of their justification from sin and adoption to the family of Jehovah God, and that a selection would be made from such for a change of nature like that experienced by the Bridegroom, from human to Divine; and that they may become the Bride, the Lamb's wife, his joint-heir in the kingdom glory, "heirs of God and joint-heirs of Jesus Christ, if so be that we suffer with him" (Rom. 8:17). Among them are "not many great, not many wise, not many learned, not many rich, not many noble." How strange, how different from what we would have expected! "God has chosen the mean things of this world (the ignoble things), to bring to naught the things that are" (1 Cor. 1:28).

Q' It does not seem to me it makes much difference how much I know about the Bible. It is what I DO that counts. Your answers are interesting, but do you think they are of much value to the Christian?

Answer' An illustration of the value of knowledge is set forth in the Scripture in the words: "By his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many when he shall bear their iniquities" (Isa. 53:11). And this surely illustrates well the principle applied in the Scriptures to all the members of the Church, the body of Christ, who are required to be copies of God's dear Son. Note the following reference to the value of knowledge to the Church, the elect of this present age. The apostle speaks of some who "have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge," and distinctly intimates their disadvantages in the race on this account (Rom. 10:2). The apostle commends those who are "full of goodness, and filled with all knowledge, and able also to admonish one another" (Rom. 15:14). And again he speaks of the advantage secured to those "enriched in Christ with all knowledge" (1 Cor. 1:5). And again he speaks of knowledge coming through the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:8), and reproves some who "have not the knowledge of God" (1 Cor. 15:34). Again he points out that God's grace has shined into our hearts to give the "light of the knowledge of the glory of God" (2 Cor. 4:6). He exhorts to faithfulness "by pureness, by knowledge, by long-suffering" (2 Cor. 6:6); and again in faith and utterance and knowledge; and again he refers to the necessity of casting down all imaginings that would tend to exalt themselves against the knowledge of God (2 Cor. 10:5). In his epistle to the Ephesians he speaks of his own favor from God in respect to the knowledge of Christ, the knowledge of the mystery and of the love of Christ which passeth human knowledge. (Eph. 1:17; 3:4-19). To the Philippians he writes (Philip. 1:9) and urges that they abound more and more in knowledge and speaks of the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus (Philip. 3:8). To the Colo-sians he writes urging that they be filled with the knowledge of God's will and make increase in the knowledge of God (Col. 1:9-10). He refers to the treasures of divine wisdom and knowledge which are hidden in Christ and intended for those who come unto the Father through him. The Apostle Peter also teaches that the Lord's grace comes unto us through the knowledge of God, who hath called us, and he exhorts that we add to our virtue and knowledge that we may not be barren in the knowledge of our Lord and Savoir, Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 1:2-8).

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