HARVEST GLEANINGS I

[HG360]

Number 64, January, 1904 CRITICISMS OF MILLENNIAL HOPES AND PROSPECTS EXAMINED

Miscalculations Corrected What 2000 years more would mean under Present Conditions See note on Old Theology Quarterly, No. 63.

"This Millennial doctrine encounters a very serious difficulty. If the world's population had doubled each century for the past sixty'which seems a very reasonable estimate'the present population of the earth would be two and one third quintillions of people. That would cover over the fifty millions of square miles of land surface on this globe with people as thickly as they could stand, four thousand feet deep. If each were five feet high they would reach up into the sky nearly four miles. No doubt people enough have been born to make that number." The above remarks were addressed by Reverend E. L. Eaton, D. D., to the M. E. ministers of Pittsburg at a meeting held April 27, 1903. The address was favorably received by the learned gentlemen present and thought so highly of that it was printed for circulation.

Six months later, on Oct. 29, 1903, the same Rev. Dr. Eaton, in debate with Pastor C. T. Russell, at Carnegie Music Hall, Allegheny, Pa., repeated so much of the above as applied to his method of calculation, but revised his figures as to the total of humanity for the past six thousand years. As illustrating the large concession, we place his figures side by side:

First statement 2,333,333,333,333,333,333
Second statement 98,098,300,000,000

Shrinkage in six months 2,333,235,235,033,333,333

Let us hope that a man of so liberal a mind and so easy a pencil may yet get to see the question he was discussing in its true and reasonable light. Let us hope that the intelligent, thoughtful, educated clergymen who so innocently swallowed the first exaggeration will be as ready to receive the truth on the subject as they were to accept the error. It is not our thought to speak slightingly of any one's honest endeavor to ascertain truth, however egregiously he may err in his attempts; neither is it our wish to make personal criticisms; but extravagantly erroneous statements have been so freely made by men of large reputation and deficient comprehension, that it is necessary in defence of the truth, and for the assistance of the unlearned and non-professional, that this matter be critically examined. Our statements, therefore, are not to be considered personal, but a general criticism of all the learned men who have talked so foolishly upon this subject. Dr. Eaton and his figures merely come in conveniently at the present time. Our criticisms apply equally to the thousands of other great heads which have similarly misapprehended the truth on this subject.

Before showing the reasonable figures for the total of humanity who have ever lived on this earth, let us give a simple illustration of the inaccuracy of Dr. Eaton's computations that will be proof positive of the grossness of his error, even in his revised figures, to every one possessing a sufficiency of "gray matter" to be able to reason on any subject. Any one can demonstrate this matter, for the Doctor has told us his method of computation, namely, the doubling the population each century. Accordingly, the last century of the sixty would be the one-half of the entire sum. The demonstration follows:

According to Dr. Eaton's largest figures the total population of the world at the present time would be 1,166,666,666,666,666,666
According to his second statement 49,049,150,000,000
According to the census taken the figures should be 1,600,000,000

We cannot suppose that Brother Eaton questions the accuracy of our last census returns, for he surely knows that at the present time the "50,000,000 sq. miles of land surface on this globe" are not covered "with people as thick as they could stand" two thousand deep'reaching up in the sky nearly two miles. Yet, above, he tells us that to him all this "seems a very reasonable estimate" and adds that he has "no doubt" on the subject. Evidently the Brother's desire to make the doctrine of the Millennium "look like thirty cents" as he expressed it'" to strike that doctrine a blow between the eyes from which it would never recover"'blinded him to the antics of his pencil. But, [HG361] alas, Dr. Eaton, and many of those who applauded his ludicrous statements, are as far from the truth in their general understanding of the divine plan as they are in error on this simple mundane proposition. The secret of this unwisdom lies in rejecting the clear testimony of the Bible and opposing it'claiming that the Apostles and early Church in looking for a Millennium were misled by their ignorance of matters now well known (?) by modern theologians of the higher criticism school. Well says the Apostle that to these the teaching of the cross is foolishness'they have no use for the doctrine of the ransom, that we are bought back from destruction by the ransom price, even the precious blood of Christ. The words of the Prophet quoted by the Apostle are still applicable to such, and still explain why it is that worldly wisdom is to liable to err unguided by the letter the spirit of revelation. The quotation is'" I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?" 1 Cor. 1:19,20

A CAREFUL ESTIMATE BASED ON FACTS

We should reason of unknown things from the basis of that which is known. We know that the world's population today is approximately 1,600,000,000. We know that the present rate of increase is eight per cent for the past ten years; this would give an eighty percent increase for a century. However, that the increase has not been so great in the past we are certain. This is easily demonstrated, for if we should reckon backward at this ratio of increase we would get back to the first pair (Adam and Eve) in about three thousand years, and we have Scriptural grounds for believing that it is fully six thousand years since the creation of our first parents.

We believe that every careful, thoughtful calculator, who with us will take Bible history and secular history, will come to close agreement with our conclusions on this subject.

Our figures for the whole number of people who have ever been born on this earth are 28,441,126,838 to date'including the present population. It is our conviction that these figures are probably double the actual number, but we desire to make them so generous that even opponents can find no fault with them. We arrive at these figures as follows: (See also "ANOTHER CALCULATION," in footnote below.)

ANOTHER CALCULATION PROVING OUR FIGURES

Another calculation would be to take the known beginning after the Flood 'eight persons'and the known population in A. D. 1900 '600,000,000 and viewing the whole as a wedge, reckon a gradual percentage of increase from the one number to the other. Reckoning thus, and counting three generations to die each century, the total of humanity that ever lived would count less than (10,000,000,000) ten thousand millions.

We still stick to the figures based upon our preview estimate (28,000,000,000) twenty-eight thousand millions; but we merely give these figures based on the "wedge" as corroborative evidence that our first calculations are in every way liberal.


During the first sixteen hundred and fifty-six years, down to the flood, the Scriptures show us that humanity lived longer and reached development more slowly than now, many of the children not being born until the parents were more than a hundred years old. Thus Seth, the son of Adam, was one hundred and five years old when Enos, his son, was born; Enos was ninety years old at the birth of his first son, Cainan; Cainan was seventy years old then he begat Mahalaleel; the latter was sixty-five when he begat Jered, who was one hundred and sixty-two when he begat Enoch. The latter when sixty-five begat Methuselah, who when one hundred and eighty-seven begat Lamech, the father of Noah. We are inclined to believe that the whole population in that time may not have exceeded one hundred thousand, but to be liberal we have placed it in the foregoing estimate at one million.

After the flood humanity began again with eight persons, and for a time evidently the increase in population was much more rapid than before the flood. In our liberal estimate we reckon the population to have multiplied five times in each century for the first five centuries, which would bring us down to about the time of Abraham, and show a population in Abraham's day of under fifty-eight thousand, although it is our opinion that these figures are double the actual facts.

"Higher critics" are so in the habit of using wild unreason in respect to matters of ancient times, that we make this concession. They will declare, for instance, that Assyria was a great nation at this time, and that evidences have been unearthed mentioning the great King Chedorlaomer, whom they estimate as probably the ruler of millions'taking no thought of the flood and the impossibility of having more than fifty thousand in the world at that time.

The Scripture narrative, however, will save the Lord's people from such errors of judgment, for this great King Chedorlaomer is distinctly mentioned in Gen. 14 in connection with three associated kings, who, joining their combined forces, attacked five other kings in the vale of Siddim. The great Chedorlaomer and his valiants conquered, and carried away the spoil, including Lot, Abraham's nephew, and his goods. The narrative shows that these kings, [HG362] though great for their time, when there were few people in the world, had very small armies, for they did not venture to attack (King) Abraham, who was "very rich" in flocks, herds, etc. On the contrary, when (King) Abraham heard that his nephew Lot was taken prisoner, he armed his three hundred and eighteen servants and pursued after the four great kings and their armies, smote them hip and thigh, and brought back Lot and all his goods. To the Bible student, therefore, the biggest thing about King Chedorlaomer was his name, and such will not be confused by the exaggerated estimates of the higher critics respecting the millions of those days; for their figures are just as reliable as Dr. Eaton's given above.

Continuing our liberal allowances, we have estimated that during the next five centruries the world's population multiplied three times each century. This would give us as the world's population at the time of the exodus 14,241,744.*

ISRAEL'S INCREASE A MIRACLE

*Some may be disposed to question our figures of the Exodus, and cite the fact that at that time Israel had 603,550 men capable of bearing arms and burdens, besides women and children. (Num. 1:45,46) we accept those figures with the statement that there were none infirm amongst the Israelites. Accordingly we would reckon that this included all the males from fifteen years old and upward, that there were as many females and as many young children, and estimate the whole at 2,000,000. The increase of the Israelites was phenomenal, miraculous. In no other way could we possibly understand how Jacob and his twelve sons and their families could in the short space of 198 years increase from seventy persons to 2,000,000; nor did the miracle continue, for we find that forty years later, when entering Canaan, their male forces numbered less than when they left Egypt. (Num. 26) Several centuries later, King Saul numbered the entire army preparatory to a war with the Amalekites, and the total was 210,000 fighting men'little more than one-third of the number that left Egypt. (1 Sam. 15:4) Nor are such decreases of population exceptions.. Where are the former peoples of Palestine and Egypt? In more modern times note the disappearance of the Aztecs and Montezumas of Central America and the rapid fading away of the North American Indian.

Evidently the fertile country and temperate climate in the vicinity of the Mediterranean Sea made that region the cradle of the race after the flood. From thence the people spread abroad. Palestine itself was the home of seven of the great nations of that time, enumerated as greater and mightier than Israel. (Deut. 7:1) But this must mean that combinedly they were greater and mightier, or else it signified that these people were larger-bodied'giants. This latter thought is in accord with the report of the spies, (Num. 15:22,28,33), and agrees with the words of Moses. (Deut. 9:2) Certainly the entire seven great nations of that time cannot have numbered much over a million souls, else how could that little land have supported them? Its entire area is only 6,040 square miles'less than one seventh that of the State of Pennsylvania'less than one-fortieth that of the State of Texas.

We repeat that at that time Israel was a great nation'that "the nations under the whole heaven" feared them. (Deut. 2:25) Unquestionably Egypt was the principal nation of that time, and the King of Egypt freely conceded that the Israelites were "more and [physically] mightier" than the Egyptians. Exo. 1:9; Deut. 1:10; Psa. 105:24,25,37


We now reach the time of wars and must reckon the increase of population more slowly than during the pastoral period. Proceeding, we group the next six centuries together and remember that the Israelites in Canaan were some eighteen times in bondage to their enemies during this period, and that a census taken near the close of David's reign by Joab showed the numbers competent to serve in the army to be 570,000; the entire population of Palestine, therefore, at that time can not have been much, if any, above 2,000,000. The same warfaring spirit affected other nations and similarly hindered rapid propagation; hence our estimate is that the race doubled during those six centuries, which would show a population in Solomon's time of over 37,000,000 throughout the world'again, a very liberal estimate according to all reliable information at our command, probably double the actual number.

We group the next twelve centuries together, concluding that the race doubled during those twelve centuries. To some this may appear too slow a ratio of increase, but we should consider the immense wars of that period, during which Assyria went down and Babylon rose and conquered the whole world, destroying many nations entirely; and that it subsequently fell before the Medes and Persians, who also shed blood in a wholesale manner, and who in turn fell before the Greeks; and that the latter, under Alexander the Great, conquered and dominated the world, but in turn fell before the Romans; and that these, at a cost of thousands upon thousands in the prime of life, did their share also in staying the rapid propagation of the race. These figures would give a world population of 82,000,000 in the time of Nebuchadnezzar, of 100,000,000 in the time of Christ, and of 113,000,000 at the time when the Roman Empire was at its zenith'its boundaries extending over Europe, Africa and a considerable portion of Asia. The historian estimates the population of the Roman world then at 50,000,000 and our estimate shows a surplus therefore of 63,000,000 for the known and unknown portions of the earth at that time'again, evidently, a very liberal reckoning.

We estimate the next four centuries as increasing the population twenty-five per cent each century; for the decrease of war resulting from the firm establishment of the Roman power must have had such an effect. This gives us at the time of Charlemagne, at the opening of the eighth century, a world population of over 227,000,000.

Following came the centuries of the Crusades, etc., [HG363] in which millions of the youth of the world perished. Our reckoning is that the world's population doubled during these six centuries'from the year 800 to 1399, A. D. This gives us as the population of the world for the year 1400 the sum of 455,733,808.

The next four centuries were more favorable to the multiplying of the race, great battles and desolating plagues being fewer. The religious reformation belongs to this period. We reckon the population to have doubled during these four centuries, and this would give us the world population for the year 1700 of 911,467,606.

These figures, so far as we know, are very greatly in excess of any reliable statistics.

We reckon the period from 1700 to 1800, A. D., at a twenty per cent rate of increase, giving the population in the year 1800 at 1,093,759,939.

For the century just closed, from the year 1800 to the year 1900, we have estimated an increase of forty per cent, which shows the population for the year 1900, 1,531,163,915. Although, as already stated, the ratio of increase in population for the ten years of the last census was eight per cent, representing an increase of eighty per cent for the century, it is manifest that the increase during the earlier portion of the nineteenth century was at a much slower rate. Present conditions are increasingly favorable to the propagation of the race, as well as to its longevity; and it would not surprise us if the increase would show much greater in the near future.

The following tables of estimates of the world's population, made during the nineteenth century, show clearly that the estimates we have given are exceedingly liberal; besides, in reckoning the total we have counted the entire century at the figures of its close.

Volney in 1804 estimated the population of the world at 437,000,000
Pinkerton in 1805 estimated the population of the world at 700,000,000
Malte-Brun in 1810 estimated the population of the world at 640,000,000
Morse in 1812 estimated the population of the world at 766,000,000
Graberg v. Hemso in 1813 estimated the population of the world at 686,000,000
Balbi in 1816 estimated the population of the world at 704,000,000
Balbi in 1843 estimated the population of the world at 739,000,000

We believe that the liberality of our figures will be conceded by all careful, thoughtful people, and in our opinion they are as a whole double the truth.

Our next step was to approximate the number that died each century. We have estimated that twice the number of the whole population died every century down to the time of Solomon; and that since then to the present time three times the number of the whole population have died each century. It is on the basis of this calculation that we have already stated the number 28,441,126,838. Be it remembered also that in this calculation we have nearly doubled the actual facts.

Take, for instance, the last century, which began with 1,093,759,939 and closed with 1,531,163,915. In estimating this we did not multiply by three the supposed number living in the middle of the century, 1850, but multiplied by three the total number living at the close of the century.

Now with this large allowance and liberal estimate everywhere of probably double, what can we say respecting the ability of the earth to furnish these habitation and food? Remembering the Lord's promise that in that millennial period "the earth shall yield her increase" and that the desert and wilderness places of the earth shall become as a garden of Eden, we may safely estimate upon all the land'which we find, according to recent estimates, to be 57,000,000 square miles, or over 36,000,000,000,000 acres.

What would this mean as to space for each individual who has ever lived in the world according to this very large, liberal estimate? It means that there would be twelve hundred and seventy-five acres for each little village of two hundred families (one thousand persons). Quite a sufficiency of room, all will agree, under the new conditions promised; but if more space be necessary, let us have a little of the faith which father Abraham exercised when he counted that God, to keep his promise, was able to raise Isaac from the dead. With this faith we will see readily that it will be quite within the divine power to raise vast continents from the depths of the oceans, or indeed to give a literal as well as a symbolical fulfillment to the declaration, "There shall be no more sea."

Our conclusion then must be that those who hold to the teachings of the Lord and the faith of the Apostles and primitive Church have not been put to shame in any degree by the wisdom of this world.

Now let us look on the other side of the question, and see if it be not true respecting the worldly wise as was written nearly three thousand years ago, "The wise are taken in their own craftiness"'" They hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai." Esth. 7:10

The Other Side of the Question OPPOSERS OF THE MILLENNIUM SILENCED AND SHAMED
"Out of Thine Own Mouth Will I Judge Thee."

[HG364] Those who stand loyally in support of the teachings of our Lord and his Apostles in respect to the coming Kingdom "under the whole heavens" have generally been content to be on the defensive. Those who trust fully in the promise of God to Abraham, "In thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed," have too long endured the sneers of the worldly wise and refrained from pricking their bubbles of self-complacency, pride, sarcasm and folly set afloat by those who think themselves to be somebody, and discredit the inspired revelation and those who stick closely to the Book.

The time is come to forever silence these opposers of the divine word, and we shall now proceed to do so. Again we must use Brother Eaton's words, but we again disclaim any personality and recognize that he is merely one of a class'a large class, an influential class, a D. D. class'whose minds and expressions on the subject are the same as Brother Eaton's. We take his words rather than those of some one else because they were uttered recently and in public contention with this very subject of the Millennium, were heard by hundreds and read by thousands. We must have some positive statement to deal with, and his is the nearest and most suitable one; therefore, and not for any personal reasons, his words are criticized. Dr. Eaton's words in his argument against the reasonableness of expecting a Millennium not only were as above quoted, and criticized, but additionally he said that he did not expect the second coming of our Lord until the conversion of the world and the end of this dispensation, which would not be for probably

"FIFTY THOUSAND YEARS YET"

Brother Eaton by this time has gotten used to the treachery of his pencil, and we trust will conclude that while it may be safe to use the pencil ad lib on the subject of astronomy, where a few hundred thousand solar systems will not be noticed by the credulous public, it is nevertheless a very uncertain pencil to use in respect to earthly things.

Now let us weigh carefully this statement, made not only by Rev. E. L. Eaton, D.D., but by hundreds of other equally titled gentlemen, whose position before God's people and before the world as teachers has been trusted too confidingly by their flocks. We hope that on the subject under discussion and on all subjects they will revise their methods of "foolish talking," and remember that those who pose as ministers of the gospel of Christ should, according to the exhortation of the Apostle Paul, "Speak as the oracles of God"-truthfully, accurately-in a manner to be depended upon. Meantime we hope their followers will give them no more credit for accuracy in other features of their religious teaching than in the one under consideration.

Let us do a little figuring; let us do it in a manner that any schoolboy can follow.

We want to inquire how many people will be living on the earth at the end of fifty thousand years-about the time Dr. Eaton estimates that Christ will come. We will take as the basis of our calculation the present population of the world as 1,600,000,000. We will take as the basis of our reckoning for increase the census returns for the last decade, namely, eight percent, which would mean eighty percent increase for the century. If the favorable conditions of the present continue, no doubt the increase will be far in excess of eighty percent, but let us confine ourselves to present conditions. A little figuring shows us that at the end of the first of these fifty thousand years the living population of the world would be over 3,491,000,000,000, and at the same ratio of increase the close of the second thousand years would find a living population on this earth of over 7,249,000,000,000,000.

What do these figures mean? They mean that if God's Word is not true, if the great change of dispensation which we preach is not soon inaugurated, the whole world of mankind will be in great distress, not only for food to eat, but for standing room. We have only counted two of Dr. Eaton's fifty thousand years!

What would the figures be if we were to run them up further?

ANTI-MILLENNIALISTS PUT TO CONFUSION

Those who deny the teaching of a Millennium must of course ignore the promises which declare that "the wilderness will blossom as the rose and the solitary places be glad," and consequently any reckoning from their standpoint must exclude all the at present useless portions of the earth's surface. Approximately estimating the habitable and tillable portion of the earth at 25,000,000 square miles, we find that this would give us 16,000,000,000 acres or 696,960,000,000,000 square feet.

Comparing these figures with the above reckoning as to population we find that at the close of the first thousand years there would be two hundred and eighteen people for each acre of the habitable earth. At the close of the second thousand there would be ten thousand four hundred persons for each square foot of the habitable earth, or in other words they would be standing on each other's heads about twenty thousand persons high; or, if we include the polar regions and waste portions of the earth, they would be about ten thousand persons high on each other's heads; or, if we include the water surface as well as all the land surface, there would be seventeen hundred persons for [HG365] each square foot. Allowing two square feet for each individual, the population would need to stand in piles thirty-four hundred deep, closely packed together all over the surface of land and sea.

What would the figures be at the end of fifty thousand years if each of the succeeding forty-eight were estimated on the reasonable basis of the two already calculated!

THE MILLENNIUM INDISPENSABLE-SOON

Is it not time that those who do not believe in a coming Millennium should begin to pray that God would arrange for one? Is it not evident that if Christ's Kingdom were delayed even three hundred years the world would be in terrible straits. The population at the present rate of increase would then be over 16,000,000,000 with less then two habitable acres apiece, and only by very "intensive farming" could they subsist at all.

Ah! says some one, You are neglecting to count that death will keep things balanced, about as they now are, always. No, we are not over-looking death, but averaging it as at present. We are merely reckoning the Increase of population on the basis of the last census reports.

Very evidently the facts, as we look backward and forward, all indicate that we are just at the right time for the establishment of "the Kingdom of God's dear Son." The declaration of the Lord at the beginning was, that the earth should be filled, and according to our computations we have now reached a place where a sufficient number of people have been born into the world to about reasonably and properly fill it, if they were recovered from the tomb. On the contrary, looking into the future, we see not only an impossibility of long continuance under present conditions, but we see likewise that even three centuries more at the present rate of increase would add to the numbers of the dead 59,000,000,000, or over double the number of our above liberal estimate of all the past dead-making the total number 87,000,000,000. Add to this number of the dead, at the close of three centuries future, the number then living at present rate of increase, viz. 16,000,000,000, the total would be over one hundred and three thousand millions.

There would then be room for an argument on the possibility of God's promise of "restitution of all things spoken." (Acts 3:19-21.) The awakening of such a host would furnish only one acre of at present useable land for six persons. Three centuries are not far ahead either!

The more we investigate this question upon a proper basis, the more strong our faith must become in the promises of the divine Word respecting the "times of restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began," and which are to commence with the second coming of our Lord. (Acts 3:19-21) They are surely nigh at hand: these facts agreeing well with the Bible testimonies. See Millennial Dawn, Vol. II.

In the light of the foregoing we find all of Brother Eaton's figures quite erroneous.

His revised figures are more than three thousand times too large; while those first presented were more than seventy millions of times too large! Let us all the more closely stick to the Book-to God's Word. "The Word of the Lord is sure making wise the simple. "-Psa. 19:7.

A FLESHLY KINGDOM INFERIOR TO A SPIRITUAL ONE

Another objection that is frequently urged in opposing the Millennium is that it would be inconsistent for our Lord to reign on earth as a man in the flesh-to have an earthly court, to sit on a gold or ivory throne at Jerusalem or elsewhere, and to have men pay homage to him as they would to a kaiser or czar.

We agree that such a view of the Millennial Kingdom would be an unreasonable one. But no such objection can be urged against the Scriptural presentation of this matter.

According to the Scriptures our Lord Jesus, the great King, and his glorified Church, his Bride, will be as invisible to men as is the heavenly Father and the holy angels at the present time. The fact that Christ will be King over all the earth in that day does not involve the thought of his being seen by men with the natural eye. Is not Satan the prince of this world, as our dear Redeemer expresses the matter (John 14:30), or the god or ruler of this world, as the Apostle Paul explains? (2 Cor. 4:4) Is not Satan the prince of devils, the fallen angels being his associates in his present usurped dominion of the world? Has not Satan dominated the world in general for now thousands of years? Has he not used as his tools and dupes the majority of the human family, who, because of this relationship to him, are called "children of the devil," because his works they do?-John 8:44.

Seeing that Satan has thus wielded an evil influence, blinding mankind and deceiving the nations (Rev. 20:3), will it be any less possible for the Prince of Peace to rule the world, to open the blind eyes and to cause the knowledge of God to be generally appreciated throughout the world during his reign-without his appearing in the flesh? Let us note the Scriptural declarations, which clearly teach that God's Kingdom will be invisible to mankind though all powerful in its blessed influence. [HG366]

"THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS WITHIN YOU."

When our Master was proclaiming his Kingdom at his first advent the scribes and Pharisees opposed him. Desiring to show that he lacked both the money and the soldiers to establish a kingdom, and wishing further to show what they considered to be the unreasonableness of his pretensions as a king, they demanded of him when the kingdom that he preached would be manifested; -when they could see something tangible of his glory and power, and his disciples associated with him in that kingdom. Mark the Lord's answer! Weigh every word of it! He said:" The Kingdom of God cometh not with observation [earthly show, display]: Neither shall they say, Lo, it is here; or Lo, it is there! for it will be in the midst of you." -Luke 17:20.

The beauty of this statement has been largely lost by a mistranslation, which has caused many to understand the Lord to have meant that the Kingdom of God would be established in the hearts of his questioners. Nor do those who take this view of the matter show creditable discernment, else they would perceive that there must be some mistake, for the Lord had already said, concerning these same opponents, that they were of their father the devil, that they were hypocrites, whited sepulchres, full of all manner of corruption. (Luke 11:44.) A very slight degree of perception is sufficient to show any one that the Lord did not mean that the Kingdom of God would be set up in their hearts in the midst of that corruption. The proper translation makes everything clear: the Kingdom of God will be in the midst of men, good, bad and indifferent. The Kingdom power will be exercised throughout the length and breadth of the world, an invisible but everywhere power, to correct sin and wrong doing and to reward righteousness and well doing, to lay "judgment to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and sweep away the refuge of lies."-Isa. 28:17.

Take another statement by our Lord, speaking respecting the Kingdom class-respecting those who would be joint-heirs with him in the Kingdom. He said, "Ye must be born again"- "flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God."

Further in the same discourse he explained that "except a man be born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God;" "except a man be born again he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God." (John 3:3,5,6) The explanation that our Lord gave to all these was, "that which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit; fleshly beings cannot see spirit beings.

Here again a little confusion of thought interferes with many Bible students, hindering them from getting the scope of our Lord's illustration. The natural birth is preceded by a begetting of the flesh; likewise the spiritual birth is preceded by a begetting of the Spirit; but unfortunately, in the Greek the one word genao stands for both thoughts, begetting and birth, and translators generally fail to make the proper distinction. Begetting of the Spirit should be understood whenever the word is used in connection with the present life, while birth of the Spirit should be understood as relating to the future life entered upon by a resurrection. Thus our Lord Jesus was the first born from the dead, and his Church will have a share with him in his resurrection to spirit conditions in due time.

That will be the birth of the Church to the spirit plane. It is to that time and condition that our Lord refers, saying, "That which is born of the Spirit is spirit," and that only these born-again ones of the spirit-resurrection can go and come like the wind, so that no man can know whence they come or whither they go. These born-again ones of the resurrection alone enter into the Kingdom, alone see the Kindgom. Mankind in general will not see the Kingdom members, the Bridegroom and the Bride, because, as the Apostle shows us, these will all be "changed." He explains that "We [the Church] must all be changed," because "flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God." 1 Cor. 15:50.

We remember our Lord's words again, saying, "Yet a little while and the world seeth me no more-but ye shall see me." (John 14:19) The thought here is the same: That the faithful of the Gospel age as the Bride will be with the Bridegroom, and behold and share his glory, while mankind in general will neither see the Lord nor the Bride.

Again the Apostle says, "It cloth not yet appear what we shall be." Evidently, then, the Church is not to expect that they will be what they now are, men, fleshly beings. The Apostle proceeds to add, "but we know that when he shall appear we shall be like him"-like our Lord Jesus, who is no longer a man, no longer in the flesh, but, as the Apostle says, "he was put to death in the flesh but quickened [made alive] in the Spirit." (1 Pet. 3:18) "Now the Lord is that Spirit." 2 Cor. 3:17 The declaration that we shall be like him signifies that, as he experienced a change of nature, lifting him from the human plane, far above angels, principalities and powers, and making him a partaker of the divine nature-the highest of all spirit planes of being-so the faithful of the Church, the overcomers, are promised not only a share of the dominion of earth, but a share of the Lord's glory, honor and exaltation of nature. The Apostle Peter speaks of this, saying, that God has given to his Church "exceeding great and [HG367] precious promises, that by these we might become partakers of the divine nature." (2 Pet. 1:4.) The "change" from human to divine nature is not only enunciated by the Apostle Paul, but in the text we are now considering it is also clearly stated, for the Apostle continues, "We shall be like him and see him as he is." (1 John 3:2) Most evidently the Apostle's thought is that our future honor and condition and nature will be so different from our present nature and condition that, although our Lord has described it to us, it is impossible for us to comprehend it; but we are sure it will more than meet our grandest expectations when we know that it means that we shall experience such a change as will permit us to see him-not as he was, but as he is; such a change as will make us like him-spirit beings, glorious, powerful and immortal.

Elsewhere we have shown that our Lord experienced his change from human conditions to spirit conditions at his resurrection. There he was born from the dead, born of the Spirit-a spirit being of the highest order, the divine nature. We have shown, too, that our Lord's appearance to the Apostles after his resurrection was in various forms, as a gardener, as a wayfarer, etc., and that on these occasions the disciples did not recognize him either by the print of the nails in his hands and feet nor by the print of thorns in his forehead nor by facial expression nor by the garments he wore-all were different from what they had previously been accustomed to, and different each time from the other. Furthermore, we have shown that the few appearances at that time were brief, lasting but a few moments, when the Master would vanish from their sight as suddenly as he had appeared, remaining invisible for days at a time. We have shown that all these manifestations were intended to be lessons to the early disciples and to us-to teach that a great change took place at the time of our Lord's resurrection: that he was no longer the man Christ Jesus, subject to the conditions of humanity, but was a spirit being, clothed with every power which permitted him to appear. and disappear, as did the holy angels on previous occasions when conveying messages from God to Abraham, to Manoah, to Jacob, to Mary and others. Gen. 18; Jud 13; Gen. 32; Luke 1

True, our Lord did appear in a body bearing the marks of his crucifixion, but this evidently was in order to identify him to the minds of his disciples. They had not yet been begotten of the Spirit, and could not therefore comprehend clearly spiritual things. One such appearance seemed absolutely necessary to convince the Apostles that the Lord was no longer dead; the other, the second appearance in this manner, was particularly to convince the Apostle Thomas, who declared that he would not otherwise believe. But even in these manifestations, in a body like to the one crucified, the circumstances were such as to prove to the disciples that they were not beholding the body that had been crucified; for the doors were shut and securely fastened for fear of the Jews when the Lord appeared to them in the upper room and showed them his hands and his feet. In other words he materialized before their eyes, the body of flesh no less than the clothing being miraculously produced inside the room before their very eyes; and when he left them, instead of going out of the room and going to some place to lodge, the flesh and clothing merely vanished out of their sight as mysteriously and miraculously as they had appeared. This materializing* in a body of flesh, with clothing, was neither more nor less than the Lord and the holy angels previously had done-for instance, at the appearance to Abraham.

* Nothing in this is intended to advocate or encourage belief in so called materializations of deceased friends, purporting to be accomplished through spirit mediums. Some of these are frauds; and the genuine materializations (other than those of our Lord of some of God's messengers on various occasions) we have shown to be the work of evil spirits who personate the dead. -See "What say the Scriptures about Spiritualism? Proofs that it is Demonism."

As a man our Lord could not and did not appear and disappear; but because he had been changed again to a spirit nature in his resurrection, therefore to be seen at all by humanity would involve a miracle-appearance in flesh, in a burning bush or in some miraculous manner. Our Lord chose the method of appearing which would least alarm his disciples, most convince them of his change, and best permit him to give them the needed lessons for their future guidance.

Thus the Scriptures teach us conclusively that the Lord and the glorified Church will be invisible to men but yet present with them, their spiritual rulers, overseers, helpers and guides, who, as God's Kingdom class will so order the affairs of earth as to bring every member of the race into touch with the grace of God, and to assist as many as will to profit by the general uplifting which will then be inaugurated in those times of restitution of all things spoken by all the holy prophets since the world began. Acts 3:19-21

THE KINGDOM OF GOD MERELY HOLY LIVING

This is another objection raised by the opponents of the Millennium. They consider that there is to be no future Kingdom; that every thing in the Scriptures relating to the Kingdom of God's dear Son, etc., refers to the present experiences of those who are fully consecrated to God. A favorite text with these is: [HG368] "The Kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness and peace and joy in the holy Spirit." Rom. 14:17

Our critics should examine this text in its connection and see its true meaning, as shown by the Apostle's entire argument, namely, that the privileges and advantages of belonging to God's Kingdom class consist not merely in our freedom from the restrictions of the Jewish Law in respect to what we may eat and drink and what we may not eat and drink. The Jews under the Law Covenant had no discretion. Christians, under the arrangement of grace during this Gospel age, have all questions left in their own hands with merely the general guidance that they must conscientiously seek to honor God and to do good unto all men in their bodies and spirits which are his. If then this liberty we have respecting our food and drink is not the chief blessing in the present time, what is the chief blessing? We answer, with the Apostle, that the chief blessings which are ours through Christ in the new arrangement are our righteousness, our justification before God, and the peace of God which this brings to our hearts, and the joy of the holy Spirit resulting from the new arrangement.

The Apostle touches the same thought in his letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 8:8), saying, "Meat commendeth us not to God: for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we eat not are we the worse."

The Church in the present time is the prospective royal family, even though by divine arrangement left subject to the trials and difficulties and mutations of this present evil world or dispensation. "I have said ye are gods, all of you sons of the Most High: yet, ye shall die like men, ye shall fall like one of the princes"-like Christ our Head and forerunner. (Psa. 82:6,7) Amongst these sons of God, prospective heirs of the Kingdom, of course the royal law will govern-the law of love. Meantime the trials and difficulties will test and prove the sincerity of the consecration of each, and those found insincere will lose their relationship as members of the body of Christ, members of the Kingdom class. Only the very elect, the "little flock," will inherit the joint-heirship with their Lord in the coming Kingdom.

THE COMING KINGDOM TAUGHT BY OUR LORD AND ALL THE APOSTLES

We have already called attention to many of our Lord's parables illustrating the condition of his Church during this Gospel age and the progress it is to make and its final glory. All will call to mind how many of the parables were respecting the Kingdom of heaven, likened to this, that, and the other thing, and the declaration that the Kingdom now suffers violence and the violent rule it by force, yet not the violent but the meek shall inherit eventually. We have called attention to the prayer which our Lord taught us to pray, "Thy Kingdom come," and to his assurance that at his coming he will call his servants and reckon with them first, and that to the overcomers he will appoint the dominion of the new dispensation, one to have rule over two cities, one over five cities, etc. Let us now notice a few expressions by the Apostles indicating that their hope was still in the future Kingdom, that in no sense of the word did they consider that the Kingdom had been set up at Pentecost in any but its embryo or preparatory form. We quote:

"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not Inherit the. Kingdom of God." 1 Cor. 6:9, 10 "They which do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God." Gal. 5:21 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any Inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and of God. "Eph. 5:5 "Ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father cloth his children, that ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called YOU unto his Kingdom and glory. "2 Thess. 2:12 "That ye may be counted worthy of the Kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer." 2 Thess. 1:5 "The Lord Jesus Christ shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his Kingdom."-2 Tim. 4:1.

"Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith, and heirs a/ the Kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?" Jas. 2:5 "The rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be administered to you abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." 2 Pet. 1:10,11 'To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame and am set down with my Father in his throne."-Rev. 3:21.

"He that overcometh and keepeth my words unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers."-Rev. 2:26,27.

"If ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise"- "In thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." Gal. 3:29 * * * * It is evident, then, that the Kingdom promised is future, that its work of blessing all humanity, "all the families of the earth," is future, and that the royal [HG369] heirs or members of the Kingdom are the elect Church now in process of selection and perfecting for their glorious future service for the race of Adam, purchased with the precious blood of the Redeemer.

Such as are of this class will have hearing ears for more of the Lord's Word on this subject, which is sure to appeal to them. We will be glad to respond to the requests of such for spiritual food whether they are able to pay for its preparation or not. As for others-they probably have more than they can digest in the foregoing. "Light is sown for the righteous, and its joys for the upright in heart." Psa. 97:11.

MISSIONARY SUCCESSES, PRESENT AND FUTURE

Of the world's 1,600,000,000 population less than ten percent are Protestants-really much fewer, for these are merely nominal Protestants, and include all in Christendom not avowed Catholics, Jews and Infidels, and not merely Protestant Church members. For instance, in this estimate 40,000,000 Protestants are counted in the United States, though most of the number are infants, who are Protestant Christians only in parental hopes.

The increase of the world's population-according to the U. S. Govemment's statistician-for the ten years from 1890 to 1900 was eight per cent, which means eight-tenths of one per cent a year.

This means that the natural increase of the world this year alone would be 12,800,000, nearly all of whom are "heathen" or worse. So far from our being able to convert the world, under present conditions, the balance is going rapidly against us.

Thus seen, the heathen natural increase during one year is far in excess of all the conversions to Christianity (Catholic and Protestant) made in heathendom during the entire nineteenth century. And yet no other century approached this one in missionary activity. It is estimated that Protestants are now spending at the rate of $15,000,000 a year on Foreign Missions.

What is the lesson of all this? It teaches that the blessing of all the families of the earth by the Spiritual "Seed of Abraham" while an the flesh is an utter impossibility. It shows clearly that we can not hope to see the world thus blessed, according to God's "Oathbound Covenant" (Heb. 6:17-19; Gal. 3:29), until the Spiritual Seed has been completed, "changed" (1 Cor. 15:51), and associated with her Lord, the Great King, Immanuel, whose Kingdom "under the whole heavens" will then be established "in power and great glory" (Dan. 7:27; Matt. 25:31; Rev. 11:17)-thus to bless all mankind. Then the True Light shall lighten every man that ever came into the world. (John 1:9) Then, in those "times of restitution," all the families of the earth will be evangelized and blessed. Acts 3:19-23 The results thus obtained (Isa. 11:9) will be thorough; whereas the conversion of the entire world to the present condition of Christendom would leave them in need of another conversion, that God's will might be done on earth even as in heaven.

MEANTIME WITNESSING PROGRESSES

Now we come to see the meaning of our Lord's declaration, that his true followers would be but a "little flock," to whom it would be "the Father's good pleasure to give the Kingdom," that will during the Millennium bless "all people." (Luke 12:32) Now we understand his words to the effect that we should let our light shine amid darkness, which would comprehend it not, but oppose it; but thus we would be his representatives and witnesses until the close of this age and its elective work. Now we see the meaning of his words, "When the Son of man cometh shall he find the azth on the earth?" and of the Apostolic declarations that the end of this age would witness a great falling away from the true faith, just before the great time of trouble, which shall prepare for and usher in the glorious Millennial Morning of Christ's reign of righteousness and blessing. Luke 18:8; 1 Tim. 4:1; Jas. 5:1-9; 2 Thess. 2:8-12

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN THESE MATTERS?

If so you cannot afford to waste your time reading "new theologies," "higher criticism," "Evolution" theories, etc., all of which are wisdom of men and foolishness with God. Neither should you go to the God-dishonoring and Scripture-wresting creeds of the "dark ages." Nor to the more modem traditions of men, based on those errors of the "dark ages."

To what then do we commend you? We answer, "To God and to the Word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance (in the Kingdom) among all them which are sanctified." (Acts 20:32) But the time is short, and you have wandered far from the simplicity of the Divine Word, and the path of return is piled full of the rubbish of ignorance, superstition, pride and sectarian ambition, as well as beset by the world, the flesh and the devil.

Therefore our great Shepherd has sent to all such "A Helping Hand," to point out the right path (Jer. 6:16) and to assist you over the rubbish and difficulties, and to bring you back, clear back, to our Master's own words and those of his inspired Apostles and Prophets. This helping hand, "The Divine Plan of the Ages," (360 pages), is sold at cost, or will be sent to youfree if you cannot afford to pay cost, and will send a postal card request for it. It is published by the Society whose [HG370] address is below, and whose greatest pleasure it will be Jerusalem, and to do all in its power to assist them to hear from all Pilgrims bound for the heavenly freely, regardless of sect or party lines.


Number 66, July, 1904 DO YOU KNOW? See Old Theology Quarterly, No. 21.


Number 68, January, 1905 INCREASING INFLUENCE OF SPIRITISM
This article is the same material as No. 75, October, 1906. It can be found in R3490-94 January, 1905, entitled, "Increasing Influence of Spiritualism."


Number 69, April, 1905 Part I STUDY TO SHOW THY SELF APPROVED UNTO GOD
A workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth 2 Tim. 2:15 This article can be found in pages A13 to A21 of Volume 1.


Part 2 CHRISTENDOM IN GRAVE DANGER Time at Hand when Fables of Hell and Purgatory are to be Seriously Questioned

This article can be found in the Overland Monthly, pages OV294-OV297, entitled, "Christendom in Great Danger."


Part 3 REFRAIN THY VOICE FROM WEEPING and shine eyes from tears
This article can be found in the Overland Monthly, pages OV212-OV217, entitled, "Refrain Thy Voice from Weeping and Thine Eyes from Tears."


Part 4 HOPE FOR THE INNUMERABLE NON-ELECT
This article can be found in Reprint R2732-R2733-December, 1900, entitled, "What Hope for the Innumerable Non-Elect?" The article referred to in the first sentence is from Reprint R3585-R3587


Number 70, July, 1905 Part 1 CHEERFUL CHRISTIANS
"Be of Good Cheer; it is I; be not afraid." Mark 6:50

While it is enjoined upon the Lord's followers to be sober and earnest and moderate in all of life's affairs, it is a mistake to suppose that this means they must be morose, gloomy, or have a dejected appearance. Quite to the contrary.

Everything in Scripture agrees with the facts as we know them, that those who are full of faith in the Lord and in His Word, and whose hearts are fully consecrated to His service, are cheerful, happy, even in the midst of unsatisfactory and even painful conditions. It is true also that their faces show this cheerfulness of their hearts. They have less of the worried and anxious look, are less fearful and foreboding. The calm of joy and peace resulting from their relationship to the Lord and their reception of His Holy Spirit shows itself not only in their tone of voice but in the glance of the eye; and gradually, if this be the result of an acute conversion, the wrinkles and other marks of care will begin to fade, although they may not fully pass away.

There is a difference, however. We are not merely describing nominal Christians, but the very special class of Christians who know their Lord and are known of Him, who have pledged themselves to walk in His footsteps in the narrow way, and who are seeking daily to lay aside every weight and every besetting sin that they may run with patience the race set before them. (Heb. 12:1) On the contrary, one may attend divine service in large Church buildings and scan the faces of those whom he meets, and find on them all the various marks that belong to sin and care and sorrow and pain and trouble. Indeed he is sure to find very few of the kind we have just described, whose possession of the peace of God which passeth all understanding ruling their hearts shows itself in their faces.

WHY SO MANY CAREWORN FACES?

The explanation is, first, that many who attend the nominal churches are not even believers in the Scriptural sense of the word, and still fewer are consecrated believers who are daily striving to know and to do the will of God more perfectly.

The great mass of nominal Church attendants could best be described in the Lord's words to the Samaritan woman, "Ye believe ye know not what; we know what we believe." (John 4:22) One of the most prominent ministers in Allegheny recently said to his congregation, "There are nearly eight hundred members of the Church and I would to God that two hundred of you knew what you believed."

The gentleman was giving undoubtedly a very liberal allowance. In our opionion, he would have come nearer the truth if he had said not one in ten of the members of the Church knew what they believed or why they believed it. And where is the fault? Is it wholly with the people who attend divine services? Have they absolutely no gift of hearing as respects spiritual things? Or is the difficulty in part with the preachers, who, instead of informing the public respecting the doctrines of Christ, are too busy talking about politics of the day, discussing rich men, socialism, etc., etc. ?

An old adage is, "Like priest, like people," and we believe it would be difficult to find many ministers who know what they believe and what authority from the Word of God they have for the belief. How can such people show in their faces what they do not have in their hearts? How can they trust their affairs, both present and future, in the hands of one of whom they have such little knowledge, and that knowledge chiefly error handed down from the dark ages?

Even those who are truly the children of the King, the fully consecrated, are so swamped by their close [HG372] contact with the tares, so deprived of the fertilizing influences of the Truth, so choked with the tares, that they are, as the Scriptures explain, merely babes in Christ, lacking in knowledge, lacking in appreciation of the Divine Word, lacking in the strength and courage and full assurance of faith and principle. It is to this class, the meek, the teachable, who are hungering after the Truth, that the Lord's message at this present time is specially sent, to cheer them, to comfort them, to uplift them, to develop them in the fruits and graces of the Spirit through the knowledge of the Word. It is this class that we here and everywhere specially address.

GOOD CHEER IN TROUBLE

It is easy enough to be of good cheer under favorable conditions, mental, moral and physical, and with happy associations and surroundings. All who are truly the Lord's people, who have attained any measure of development in the knowledge of His plan, should be cheerful under such circumstances-especially when associating with fellow Christians, singing the divine praises and approaching the throne of grace as in the Church gatherings, so that the happy faces which we see at Church are not always a token of what we would see if we saw the same people in the everyday affairs of life. To illustrate our point: Not long since four of the brethren met with a nominal Church man, a stranger to them, to attend to a little job which proved very tantalizing and patience wearing to them all for nearly three hours. As they parted, the nominal Church member said, "Gentleman, when I go home I am going to tell my wife that I met four men who, under very trying circumstances, did not swear." The gentleman did not understand the reason lying behind the perplexity and the fretting circumstances which kept the brethren serene.

PEACE IN THE HEART

We may be sure, however, from his own words, that their living epistles were not entirely lost in this case. The brethren, through a better knowledge of the Lord, the result of their better faith and fuller consecration, had what the Lord promised they should have, the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, ruling in their hearts. The world and the nominal Church tell us that doctrine is of no particular consequence, that the important matter is honesty and proper living.

But, on the contrary, we tell them that doctrine is all important. The man who has not the proper doctrine before his mind lacks the very power which God intended should work in him to will and to do the divine good pleasure. The man who, taken the Lord's prescription is still sick, is still in pain, is still in trouble, and the anxious care and trouble show upon his face. The Lord has invited all the weary and the heavy laden to come to Him and find rest, and when this course has been followed and the rest has come to the heart it is always sure to manifest itself on the features and in the conduct.

"BE NOT AFRAID: IT IS I"

Our text is a part of a little narrative: Jesus had been with His disciples on the farther shore of Lake Galilee; He remained behind but sent them away in the ship.

A storm arose, the wind was contrary, they were tossed by the waves and made no progress; they were still in the midst of the sea and troubled. They had learned from previous experiences that while the Master was with them all would be safe, but now He was absent. We may be sure that He remained behind for this very purpose, that they might have the very experiences which they encountered, that they might feel troubled by the tempest's tossings and the dangers undergone, and that He might teach them a lesson thereby, a lesson respecting His providential care. In the severity of their trouble they beheld Jesus walking toward them on the water. They were doubly afrighted, and supposed that they saw a hobgoblin, a phantom, in harmony with stories always told by the seafaring; they were in terror, not only by reason of the storm, but now by reason of their fears. Then Jesus spoke to them in the words of our text, "Be of good cheer: It is I; be not afraid." Cast away your fear, learn to look to Me, to remember that having become My disciples I have supervision over all your affairs whether in storm or in calm; all things are subject to My supervision and shall be ordered for your best interests.

THE LESSON FOR US

We may be sure, too, that this lesson was not taught the disciples merely on their own account, but, like all other of our Lord's teachings and parables and miracles, they foreshadowed things to come, and were really lessons, instructions, along spiritual lines. The lesson intended for the Lord's true followers is that in all the storms and trials and difficulties and perplexities of life they may remember that, having put their interests and affairs into the hands of the Lord Jesus, he is both able and willing to keep that which has been committed to his trust.

"When the storms of life are raging, Tempests wild on sea and land, I have found a place of refuge In the shadow of God's Hand. [HG373] "Enemies may strive to injure, Satan all his arts employ; God will turn what seems to harm me Into everlasting joy."

It is not for the world, including the merely nominal Christian, to have this confidence in the Lord. It is better for them that they be undeceived. Not having committed their all to the Lord's care He has given them no assurance respecting His willingness to make all things work together for their welfare. Such promises belong only to the disciples of Christ, the followers of Jesus, the consecrated. It is better for the others that they should still stumble and realize their own weariness with their heavy load. All the more likely they will be inclined some day or other to see the difference between their own standing and that of the truly consecrated, and to come into a relationship with the Lord which will guarantee to them the easy yoke and light burden which the Lord promises to all who are His true followers.

PERFECT LOVE, NO FEAR

The Scriptures declare that perfect love casteth out fear, and this is the Christian's secret of a happy day. Having learned of the grace of God in Christ in the redemption, having accepted this grace and realized his sins forgiven, he is at peace with God, and having consecrated his justified heart to the Lord and to the service of the Truth he has made progress. Eating the Lord's Word, growing strong in the Lord and the power of His might, he has come to know more and more of the Lord's true character, that God is love; and as he has learned to love in return, in the same proportion has the love cast out the fear. Not only does perfect love for God cast out fear of Him, but it also casts out the fear of all troubles and danger, both real and fancied. When we know of God's goodness, when we know also of His promises for our protection and care, when we have His assurance that all things shall work together for good, we have indeed the true basis for fearlessness, for confidence, for hope, for joy and peace and blessing.

Such Christians, instructed by the Word of the Lord and full of love for Him and confidence in His love in return, are able to look to the Lord in all the storms and trials and difficulties of life, and to hear His voice in all the trying circumstances, saying, "Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid." They have learned not to question why the storms and trials of life are permitted; they have learned that they are all for the development of faith and patience and the various graces of the Lord's Spirit in us, and hence when trials come they know it is all for the best and a blessing from the Lord, as we read, "No chastisement for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruits of righteousness." (Heb. 12:11) And so, after having had experiences and disciplines in this life, those who are the Lord's true people, who have made progress in the knowledge of Him and who have had experience in the school of Christ, learning these necessary lessons, instead of beginning to mourn when the trials and storms and clouds of trouble gather, by faith will be able to hear the Master's voice, by faith will be able to discern that it is the great Teacher who has given them another lesson, and their hearts being fully submissive and anxious to learn, they rejoice therein.

The Apostle points out to us that the Christian's course should always be one of rejoicing. His own experience is an example of what he meant. He did not mean that the Christian should expect to be exempt from trials and difficulties, which properly enough would be a ground for sorrow and sadness and trouble; he did mean, being rightly informed respecting the object of these lessons and experiences, the Lord's faithful ones would rejoice in them as evidences that they were still in the school of Christ, still in preparation for the Kingdom.

O, what comfort it gives to our hearts when trials arise! Sometimes from the actual difficulties of life with which we are surrounded, with the waves of trouble that nearly swamped the boat of the disciples-sometimes in our experiences as little congregations of the Lord's people, and sometimes in our personal or family experiences, how comforting to think that the Lord is near, that nothing could harm us except by His permission, that not even a hair of our heads could fall without our Father's notice. No wonder that with such assurances our faces and hearts may always be calm in the midst of storm; no wonder if the hobgoblins of fear, which often cause the world more distress than its actual difficulties, are as nothing to us. Why should we fear? Greater is He that is on our part than all that could be against us. Whatever may be the trials or difficulties of the pathway, the end is sure to justify every pain, every sorrow, every disappointment-we have the Lord's Word for it.

Why should we sorrow as those who have no hope? We have a hope that is, as the Apostle explains, "an anchor to our souls, sure and steadfast, within the vail."

God's love, as manifested in the redemption, as testified by our Lord Jesus and by the holy Spirit speaking through the apostles, gives us all the assurance that we could ask that His love is not ephemeral, not transitory, but abiding. The fact that He followed up the redemption by the adoption, and now we are by His grace heirs of God and joint-heirs [HG374] with Jesus Christ our Lord if so be that we suffer with Him, gives us assurance respecting the divine purpose, and hinders us from being overwhelmed by the waves of present trouble and distress and protects us from the fears common to the remainder of mankind.

"AND AGAIN I SAY COME, REJOICE"

Having seen the ground of our proper rejoicing, having found that it is the result of heart-relationship to the Lord and instruction from His Word, let us have a few words of testimony from the apostles respecting this matter showing what manner of persons we ought to be, not only in all holy conversation and godliness, but also in enjoying the divine blessings ourselves while telling the good tidings to others.

Our Lord, when telling the disciples of the disappointments they would have in respect to the crucifixion and the blasting of their hopes, declared that later on they would have the reverse of this, rejoicing. He said, "I will see you again [I will reveal Myself to you] and your hearts shall rejoice." (John 16:22) So we, like the disciples, rejoice not merely that our Lord died as our Redeemer but that He rose again from the dead, and that not only is He to reveal Himself in the end of the age at His second advent shortly, blessing all the families of the world, but that all through the Gospel Age He has been spiritually present with His disciples to bless, refresh, comfort and strengthen us.

The Apostle tells us another cause for rejoicing which we have, assuring us that we not only have been justified by God's favor but have been granted also an entrance into still higher favor, in which we now stand, "Rejoicing in the hope of the glory of God." (Rom. 5:2) We have good cause for rejoicing in the hope of coming glory, not only because it means blessing to ourselves and intimacy with our Lord, but because also it means our participation with the great Messiah in extending divine blessings to the world of mankind. Again we read the Apostle's testimony even in the midst of suffering for righteousness' sake, for the Truth's sake, even while enduring hardness as a good soldier. He says, "I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice." Philip. 1:18 The Apostle gave us a good illustration of this spirit, one which should be helpful to all of us: We remember that when he and Silas were in prison at Philippi, their backs bleeding from the wounds received from the scourging and wet also with the salt, as was the custom in order to make the suffering more intense, so full were their hearts of faith in the Lord and the realization that they were suffering for Christ's sake, suffering for righteousness' sake, that the blessing of the Lord was with them and eventually would compensate them for their sorrow and trouble, that they were able through their abundant faith to so rejoice as to sing praises to God in prison. The Apostle continues, "Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord" (Philip. 3:1), as though he would tell us that the grand climacteric of Christian experience is this ability to rejoice in all the affairs of life as they come to us, rejoice that we can see Jesus and hear His Voice, saying, "It is 1: be not afraid," and appreciate the fact that all of life's experiences are under divine supervision and will work out for us a blessing. It was this same spirit of faith and confidence in our Lord Jesus that enabled Him to say in His most trying moment, "The cup that the Father hath poured for Me, shall I not drink of it?" John 18:11 The Apostle James, writing along the line of rejoicing, says, "Let the brother of low degree rejoice that he is exalted, but the rich that he is made low." (Jas. 1:9, 10) This is the same thought which the Apostle Paul enunciates: our experiences, whatever they may be, should be recognized as under divine supervision, protection and guidance, and therefore a matter of rejoicing to us, however disappointing our experiences may sometimes be as viewed from the earthly or fleshly standpoint. The Apostle Peter has a word in the same connection. He says, addressing the heirs of the incorruptible inheritance. "Ye greatly rejoice, though now for a little while if need be ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations; that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ." (1 Pet. 1:6, 7) Here is the thought: we rejoice greatly in our manifold temptations because we realize that these are evidences of our acceptance with the Lord, and that He is dealing with us as sons, and that He is polishing us as jewels for the Kingdom.

Those who can rejoice with joy unspeakable, even in the midst of temptations and trials and difficulties, surely belong to the class whom the Lord addresses in our text, "Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid." It is because they have heard this Voice and have come into harmony with the speaker that they find cause for rejoicing under all circumstances and conditions.

TRUTH SEEKING

Think not, O seeker after truth Thy path with roses strewn will be; That friends shall, smiling, grasp thy hand And cheer thee by their sympathy. [HG375] That souls as eager as shine own With joy shall hail truth thou mayest find And bid long cherished error flee And loose the chains of creed that bind.

Nay, nerve thy soul to meet rebuffs, To lonely plod thy weary way, To bear the scorn and bitter sneers And all that tries man's constancy.

Truth is a bird of beauty rare That ne'er hath been by mortal caught And though it sings a noble song, But few can hear its heavenly note.

A dreamer may, amid the throng, Above the clamor, faintly hear A few sweet notes that thrill his soul And fill with melody his ear.

And, pausing, may bid others pause And listen to the wonderous song. But, ah, the din of earth is great, And all unheeding is the throng.

Alexander Walker in Philadelphia Record


Part 2 DIVINE PREDESTINATION IN RESPECT TO MANKIND
"Whom God foreknow he also did predestinate." Rom. 8:29

We take this subject because we believe it is susceptible of a reasonable, Scriptural explanation, abundantly satisfactory to every consecrated Christian. We hope to show that the difficulty surrounding the question lies not in the Scriptural statements respecting it, but in the fallacies of the various creeds and traditions, which not only make void the teaching of the Word of God but confuse the people of God on this as well as on other subjects. We hope to show you from the Scriptures that the doctrine of predestination is Scriptural, reasonable and beautiful, and thus to confirm your faith in God, in his Word and in his purposes yet to be accomplished, of which the Lord through the prophet declared, "My ways are not your ways, neither are my plans your plans, saith the Lord; for as the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways and my plans than your plans." Isa. 55:8

DIFFICULTIES OF SO-CALLED "ORTHODOXY."

In order to have the subject clearly before our minds it is advisable that we glance at the commonly accepted view of foreordination and the difficulties which it presents, that turning from this we may see the beauty and reasonableness of the Scriptural presentation. Our Methodist friends and some others ignore the subject of foreordination, but not without difficulty, for they cannot avoid the conclusion that either the Almighty Creator knew what he was doing and is doing, or that he is working on a haphazard plan, the results of which he does not know. To feel that we have to do with a God who is not omniscient would necessarily mean a serious diminishing of our faith and confidence and hope. We might think of the Almighty as well intentioned, kindly disposed, but if we did not have confidence in his foreknowledge-that he knew the end from the beginning-the apparent failure of the divine plan in the past six thousand years would seriously discourage our faith and hope respecting the future.

On the other hand our Presbyterian, Lutheran, Congregational and Baptist friends, with others who hold with them the doctrine of predestination, have their difficulties. Holding that God foreknew and predestinated whatsoever cometh to pass seems to force the conclusion that God himself has been the author of sin, the designer of it, the instigator of it, the perpetrator of it, and the further conclusion that all who were saints were foreordained to be saints, and all the wicked were foreordained to be wicked; that this foreordination respecting them began in the divine purpose before the foundation of the world, and hence before the creation of the first pair, renders the difficulties all the greater, especially when we add to it either the written or unwritten creeds of all these denominations to the effect that the little flock are going to a corner of heaven predestinated for them, while the great mass of mankind are going to a great place called hell, elaborately fitted up with a complete corps of fire-proof devils and with fuel to last to all [HG376] eternity. To think of this being a divine provision for the great majority of the race before the work of creation had begun-no wonder it staggers our dear friends. It is to their credit that they are renouncing such a heathenish theory, and that some of them are straining the eyes of their understanding for a better light on the subject.

THEIR "HELL" IS THE DIFFICULTY

The difficulty with those who hold the so-called orthodox view of predestination is in their erroneous view of hell-in their erroneous view of what constitutes the wages of sin, death. If they could get rid of the hell-fire, eternal-torment theory, invented during the Dark Ages, when men supposed that they did God service in burning one another at the stake, and if instead of that repugnant and false view they could get the real Scriptural views of it-that death, annihilation, is the wage of sin-they would thereby remove from before their mental vision the great obstacle which hinders them from seeing predestination in its true Scriptural light.

As a matter of fact the word predestination is never used in the Scriptures in respect to the wicked, nor even in respect to all of the good. It is applied wholly to the Church and her interests, and never applied to the world and its interests. We are not wishing to give the thought that God does not have a foreknowledge respecting the world's interests and affairs, but merely pointing out that all the statements along these lines are to the Church and respecting the Church.

FOREKNOWLEDGE NOT FOREORDINATION

It is a common mistake to confuse foreordination with foreknowledge. The two thoughts should be kept separate and distinct before our minds: God as an omniscient one knows all things, and during the 6,000 years since the fall of father Adam he has permitted sins of different kinds which he did not foreordain.

To foreknow that mental, moral and physical degradation would follow Adam's sin and the sentence of death therefore visited upon him, and that thus the whole human family would be overwhelmed in sin and death and become a groaning creation is one thing, and to foreordain or decree or cause to come to pass such things is quite another matter. God denies that he is in any sense of the Word the author of evil. He admits that he is the author of many things that are called evils in the world, that are calamities, and that he has permitted these and even ordained some of them as punishments for sin, but he nowhere admits that he is the author of sin, wickedness. On the contrary he declares against all sin, sets himself as the standard of righteousness and purity and truth, and commands sinners everywhere to repent and reform to cease to do evil and to learn to do well.

Divine foreknowledge foresaw Adam a perfect man under perfect conditions, but with imperfect knowledge and subject to temptation, foresaw his fall into sin, under the penalty of sin, foresaw all the consequences as they have occurred, and permitted all these without foreordination intruding upon the matter at all. On the other hand, foreordination came in when God purposed the salvation of Adam and his race. He foreordained, planned in advance, what he would do: He would provide a Redeemer who would give an illustration to all the angels as well as to the fallen race, not only of his sympathy and compassion toward us as sinners, but also of his own justice, and demonstrate that his law is unchangeable, that the sentence of death once passed, could not be rescinded, that if Adam were released from that sentence it must be by having another take his place and die in his stead.

The Father foreordained that his only begotten Son, higher than angels as well as higher than man, should be the Redeemer, and this necessitated his leaving the glory which he had with the Father and the heavenly plane and his assumption of the earthly human nature. This God foreordained should be accomplished in his own due time, and we well know that God's due time was more than 4,000 years after the transgression had taken place.

The Father predestinated further that his Son should not be the loser by such obedience to the divine plan. Indeed he purposed on the contrary a reward and high exaltation to him who was already higher than all others and next the the Father himself. He predestinated a new begetting to his Son, that thus after giving his life for man's redemption he might grant him a new plane of being. He predestinated that at the time of his consecration, when he would be thrity years of age, he should be begotten again by the holy Spirit to a new nature, so that while he, according to the flesh, was dying for the three and one-half years of his ministry and accomplished the death at Calvary, he nevertheless was living as a new Creature during those three and one-half years, and as a new Creature was raised from the dead upon the third day, a spirit being, of the divine nature, far above angels, principalities and powers, and every name that is named, to die no more, but on the contrary in a future "due time" to assume the kingship of earth and to bless Adam and all of his race, whom he purchased with his life, his own precious blood. The foreordination undoubtedly includes the glorious Kingdom of the Millennial age, in which Messiah shall be King over all the earth and exercise his authority in restraining [HG377] Satan and all evil, and in causing all mankind to come to a knowledge of the Truth and to opportunities for life everlasting through the knowledge of the plan of God, and by obedience to the divine requirements, through the assistance and restitution process that will then be in operation.

THE PREDESTINATION OF THE CHURCH

Throughout the Scriptures the Church, the little flock, are everywhere spoken of as the "elect" of God: even those who dispute the doctrine of election cannot gainsay this fact. As already pointed out, their objection to the doctrine of election, their desire to deny it, is aroused to opposition by the thought that the few are elected to heaven and the many are elected or predestinated to eternal torment. But the Scriptures, as we have seen, teach nothing of this kind. They teach that the whole world of mankind were redeemed by the precious blood, and that the whole world is to receive a blessing at the hands of the Redeemer in due time, and that the due time for the world to receive its blessing will be during the Millennial age, the period of Messiah's reign, but that during this Gospel age, in advance of that reign of righteousness, the Lord is electing or selecting from amongst the redeemed world a little flock, a Royal Priesthood, to be associated with the Redeemer in the great work of blessing all the families of the earth.

This view that the election of the Church does not mean the reprobation of the world, but, on the contrary, signifies the blessing of the world through the elect Church, is unobjectionable from any and every point of view. Such an election is desirable and advantageous in every sense of the words. It is such an election as we are accustomed to in our form of government. The law makers and rulers of the people are chosen or elected from the whole for the very purpose of serving or blessing the whole. The elect are few, the non-elect are many, yet the propriety of the matter and the resulting advantages are fully appreciated. Nor does it occur to any one to suppose that those who are non-elect to Congress or some other official position are reprobated to eternal torment or anything disadvantageous.

Whence then came the ridiculously absurd misconception of election as the Scriptures present it-the supposition that all except the elect were to suffer torture because non-elected.

FOREKNOWN AND PREDESTINATED

We might quote various Scriptures aside from our text in proof that the Church was foreknown of God, and predestinated as a class to occupy a certain glorious position in connection with the divine plan for the world's salvation. For instance, in Eph. 1:5 the Apostle speaks of the Lord as having predestinated us unto the adoption of sons, and, following, in verse 1 he adds that we are "predestinated according to the purpose" of God. The Apostle Peter also speaks of the Church as the "elect according to the foreknowledge of God." 1 Pet. 1:2

One mistake which seems to becloud the mental vision of many is the supposition that this foreordination of the Lord respecting the elect was an individual foreordination, as, for instance, that the Lord foreknow you and me, and determined before the foundation of the world that we should be of the elect Church. Nothing of this kind is found in the inspired records. What we do find is a declaration that the Church as a whole, as the Bride or the consort of the Lord Jesus, was foreknown and predestinated of the Father; and, in harmony with that predestination, that there should be such a Bride class, the Lord has been "calling" out of the world individuals of a peculiar disposition, zealous for good works and full of faith in his promises, to the intent that these might make their calling and election sure-might by obedience to the conditions laid down secure a place amongst the very elect, who, as the glorified Bride of Christ, shall be all that the Father intended and predestinated.

It is not for us to say that God could not have known in advance, if he had chosen, just how each one who heard the call and responded to it would ultimately conduct himself in the race course, running for the great prize of joint-heirship with his Son, but it is for us to know that God has not anywhere indicated such an individual election or foreordination. It is for us to notice that all the references to the elect pertain to the Church as a whole, and not to its individual members, except as they shall by the grace of God make their calling and election sure by obedience to the terms of their covenant.

This whole subject is beautifully clear from the standpoint of our text, after once our minds are freed from the absurdities with which they were so long freighted.

The Apostle is discussing the interests of the elect Church-he is assuring us that God is for us and not against us; that although the difficulties and trials by the way may seem to be adverse to our interests, nevertheless we have the assurance of God's Word that if we are truly his he will overrule in all of our affairs so that all things will work together for good because we love him and have been called according to his purpose-called in harmony with his predestination. He predestinated that there should be a Church, and he has caused the message or invitation or call to membership in the Church to come to us. The fact that we have heard and appreciated that call [HG378] is an evidence that God is for us and desires that we should make our calling and election sure to a place in that glorious company which he has predestinated.

It is to these whom he would encourage, the "called ones according to his purpose," that the Apostle explains the method, the modus operandi of their predestination, saying, "Whom he Jehovah] did foreknow he also did predestinate [foreordain] to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first-born among many brethren." Let us notice the limitations that are placed about this elect class. The Lord predestinated, foreordained before man was created at all, that in view of the redemptive work to be accomplished he would select from amongst men the Bride class, and he foreordained also that each one who would be of the Bride class would be a "copy of his Son"-have the same character likeness as Jesus.

Was that a safe predestination? Surely it was. Will that predestination permit any to get into the Bride class while possessing a different character from that of their Lord and Redeemer? By no means. It fixes and limits the class most absolutely, and all will agree that the limitations are most just and reasonable. The Almighty has a great favor to bestow, and he proposes to bestow it upon a certain limited number, and that each one who would be of that limited number must have the character-likeness of the Lord Jesus. Our hearts say Amen to such a glorious predestination as this. And that is the end of the matter-no other predestination is mentioned. The Scriptures show us various classes of saved ones, some on one plane of being, others on another; but this elect class on the highest plane, "partakers of the divine nature," must all have peculiar characteristics that are here set forth.

THE METHOD OF GOD'S ELECTION

Our next query is, How does God undertake to make this election or selection which he foreordained? The Apostle explains the procedure in minutiae, saying that the predestinated ones were all called, and that previous to their call they were justified, and that previous to their justification they were honored-honored, blessed with the privilege of hearing the message of God, the tidings of great joy-whereas the majority of the world are not thus specially honored at the present time, but are in ignorance, blindness, deaf to the Word of the Lord. And we might remark that just at this point a mistranslation in the common version has helped to becloud the subject, for this word honor from the Greek Doxazo is mistranslated glorified. Now let us reverse the order of this statement and see the whole matter in the light of our experiences.

God has predestinated, foreordained, that he will have an elect little flock to be the members of the Royal Priesthood under the great High Priest Jesus, who in conjunction with him shall bless the world. In order to find these and to select them from amongst men he honors some, blesses some with the light of the knowledge of his grace-the knowledge of the redemptive work accomplished by our Lord, the knowledge of the fact that coming to the Father through him they may have forgiveness of sins and reconciliation. So many as take these steps become what is known in the Scriptures as justified ones, whose sins are forgiven, who are counted as no longer dead in trespasses and sins, but as restored to divine favor. To these justified ones the Lord then sends the call, the invitation, to be of the Bride of Christ-the invitation to walk in the footsteps of the leader, to fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ, to be dead with him in the present that they may also live with him in the future.

Not all of the justified have responded to this call or invitation of the Gospel age.

The great majority have been satisfied to simply have a measure of reconciliation, and have ignored the Apostle's exhortation, "I beseech you, brethren, [by God's mercy as justifying you from sin], that ye present your bodies living sacrifices," etc. (Rom. 12:1) But those who do accept the call are counted as in the race to win the prize of joint-heirship in the Kingdom, and they are exhorted by the Apostle to so run as to obtain-to make their calling and election sure by obedience-to fight the good fight of faith and to lay hold upon the blessings promised. These are reckoned to be the called ones, the runners in the race from the time they accept the divine invitation or call and start on the race course to run for the prize. Some run faithfully, zealously, others languidly; the faithful, the zealous, the self sacrificing are the ones who demonstrate their attainment to the character-likeness of their Redeemer.

THE VIRGINS, HER COMPANIONS

These are the class whom the Lord predestinated should be sharers in Emmanuel's glorious Kingdom. Laggards amongst these called ones, the less zealous, do not come fully up to the character-likeness of the great Overcomer or Redeemer, and will therefore not be in the elect little flock, his Bride. Nevertheless, having espoused the cause of righteousness, they will not be condemned with the world but will be tested, and, if under the tests of trials and difficulties they do not deny the Lord, they may be of the great company who, coming through great tribulation, will not be in the throne but before it, who will not constitute the living stones of the Temple but will serve God in his [HG379] Temple, who will not be the Bride, the Lamb's wife, but the servants, the virgins, her companions who follow her, who share a blessing but not the supreme blessing of the elect. Here, then, are two classes amongst the called-the little flock and a great company, both particularly mentioned by our Lord, and particularly differentiated the one from the other. Psa. 45:14; Rev. 7:13-15 Thus we see that there will ultimately be two classes received amongst those who have been called, but that only the little flock, or the elect, the predestinated, the Bride class, constitute the overcomers. Yet both of these classes, favored and developed, chiseled and polished during this Gospel age, will, the one on a superior and the other on a lower plane of glory, serve the divine purpose in connection with the Millennial Kingdom, which is shortly to be established for the blessing of all the families of the earth.

Be it noticed that the Apostle's statement of this matter begins at the further end.

He holds up before us the glorified Church of the future, "changed," possessed of glory, honor and immortality, as the Bride of Christ. He assures us that this foreordained or predestinated class must all be called or invited before they could have this position; that no man taketh this honor unto himself but he that is called of God. He further assures us that every one thus called to that glorious position must first be justified. Why? Because no sinner would be in a condition to be invited to be of the Bride of Christ. We must be justified from our sins, must be brought into reconciliation and harmony with God before we can be eligible to an invitation to strive for joint-heirship with Christ. Furthermore, every one thus justified must previously have heard of the grace of God and have believed in it; and to hear under present conditions, amidst the din of error and of sin, is, indeed, a special honor of God that is conferred, not widely nor everywhere, for there be many indeed who, having ears, hear not, and, having eyes, see not, neither do they understand, even though the Gospel be preached to them in their own tongues. It requires the honor and blessing of the Lord to even take the first step of faith toward the grand position of the elect, predestinated Church.


Number 72, January, 1908 Part 1 SELLING THE BIRTHRIGHT
The Allegory of Jacob and Esau applied-The World not in the Allegory at all How those represented may decide their place in it

Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of Cod; lest there be any fornicator or profane person, as Esau who for one morsel of meat sold has birthright." Heb. 12:15, 16

The story of Jacob and Esau, the sons of Isaac, and grandsons of Abraham, is familiar to many of you. Abraham was very rich, according to his day, in flocks and herds, etc., but his special wealth consisted in his favor with God, on account of which he was known as the friend of God. In line with this friendship he became the heir of the great oath-bound covenant, which in few words embraced all of the divine plan for the redemption and blessing of the world of mankind.

That promise was to Abraham and his seed, his posterity; and as Isaac had already been accepted of the Lord as the channel through which the blessing would descend to later generations, Esau and Jacob, his twin sons, were in the line of favor. The fact that Esau was born first gave him the natural preeminence, and under the Jewish code he was the heir of two-thirds of his father's property and the sole heir of his titles and dignities, etc., which in this case would include the oath-bound covenant.

Our text refers to Esau as a fornicator and profane person, but these words convey a false impression to the average reader. A more easily comprehended translation of the passage from the Greek to the English would say that Esau was heathenish, a prostitutor or seller of his birthright for base, unworthy considerations. In a word, Jacob had great respect for God's promise and a strong desire to be the heir of that promise; Esau had a less noble mind, and pandered to his appetite at the expense of the higher interests of the future, represented in God's promise. Jacob was not only willing to give up his mess of pottage and go hungry that he might inherit the blessings of the oath-bound covenant but, more than this, he was willing subsequently to flee from his father's house, from his brother's wrath, and be a stranger from home for years on this account. [HG380] There were two parts to the blessing, as we have shown. Esau's chagrin evidently was in the thought that he had parted with the larger share of the father's estate.

Apparently he cared little or nothing for any share he might have in the oath-bound covenant. Jacob, on the contrary, cared nothing for the family estate, and had solely in mind his inheritance of the covenant. This is shown by the fact that when he returned later to the same country he not only made no endeavor to secure the elder-born's share, two thirds, but permitted Esau to keep the entire property and tendered him a present from his own flocks and herds. In other words, the two brothers each got what they preferred-Esau the earthly portion, Jacob the intangible blessing of the future, whose only possession was faith in God and in his oath-bound covenant.

APPLICATION OF THE ALLEGORY

The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Galatians (Gal. 4:22-31) refers to incidents connected with Abraham and Isaac, and in general terms informs us that while all those events were literal enough, true enough, their great lessons, their chief importance to us, are as allegories or word-pictures representing great truths applicable to the Lord's people during this Gospel age. In the text he leads the thought in the same direction, and by implication tells us that all of the Lord's people should have a trust in God and in His oath-bound covenant, which would correspond to the confidence manifested by Jacob of old, and that we all should be on guard against any and everything that would in any degree correspond to the attitude of heart allegorically represented by Esau and his course of action.

All this is generally recognized by Christian people, but usually a mistake is made in the application of the matter. The world in general is considered to be the Esau class, which appreciate now God's favor, while the Church, nominal, is supposed to correspond to the Jacob class, which did appreciate and greatly desired a share in the inheritance of the oath-bound covenant. This is a mistake. The world cannot sell its birthright, for the simple reason that it has no birthright-as the Apostle declares, the world is without God and without hope. (Eph. 2:12) The hope we have for the world lies in the future, built upon this very oathbound covenant-that ultimately all the families of the earth shall be blessed.

WHO HAVE THE BIRTHRIGHT

The birthright, the inheritance of the oath-bound covenant, with all of its powers and blessings, belongs to those who are in relationship to God. The Jewish nation occupied a position of relationship to God, and therefore were in the Jacob plane of favor, while the posterity of Esau were outside of the promise and favors and privileges of the same, although they also were children of Isaac and children of Abraham. During this gospel age, in which we have the antitypes of the things of the past, the fulfilment of those allegories, we find that two steps are necessary to bring us into God's favor and to make us spiritual Israelites, heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ our Lord. The first step is that of justification through faith in the redeeming work of Christ, whose sacrifice was finished at Calvary. The second step is a full consecration of ourselves to the Lord. Those who have taken these two steps are heirs of God, the antitypical heirs with Christ of the oath-bound covenant made to Abraham. This the Apostle shows, saying, "If ye be Christ's then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." Gal. 3:29

THE SEED OF ABRAHAM

It is amongst these, the antitypical seed of Abraham, that we must look for the two classes represented allegorically by Jacob and Esau, and whoever will seek for them in the light of the Apostle's words will find them both. One class of consecrated, spirit-begotten children of God, the seed of Abraham, like Jacob so appreciate the favor of God represented in that oath-bound covenant, so rejoice in the hope set before them, that they are prepared to have it at any cost, at any sacrifice. The thought of inheriting that promise sustains and strengthens them in every discouragement, in every trial, and they are ready to endure all things through Christ who strengthens them. They have appetites, cravings of nature, ambitions, etc., in common with the world, but they forego these. In the Lord's providence matters so turn out that it will test and prove everyone of this class, whether they prefer the earthly favors and blessings and comforts and privileges, or whether they prefer the spiritual blessings which belong to the future and may be enjoyed now only by faith. If they choose the one, they miss the other.

On the other hand, there is also a class of those who have the favor of God, have come to a knowledge of him, have become members of the family, and who are thus heirs to the great spiritual blessings coming, but who are not appreciative, and are ready to sell their hopes and prospects of eternity for temporary gratifications of this present time. These in the allegory are represented in Esau, and their course is briefly pictured in his sale of his birthright.

THE MESS OF POTTAGE

The class of Christian people represented by Esau in the allegory are not always rude and uncouth; they are not always coarse, as was represented in Esau's [HG381] hairiness. Sometimes they are refined and titled and wealthy, as Esau was titled and wealthy; sometimes they are ministers, doctors, lawyers, judges, merchants, mechanics. In every station the Esau class may be expected, and likewise in every station the Jacob class may be found, though apparently among the Jacob class are not many great, or wise, or learned, or honorable, as the Apostle points out. 1 Cor. 1:26

Coming down to a more particular application of what would now be implied in selling the birthright: We see, for instance, an illustration in the case of the minister who, when asked whether or not he had read the books entitled "Millennial Dawn," answered "Yes." "What did you think of them?"

Answer: "There are some very good things in them." "Why do you not preach those good things?" Answer: "Young man, my bread is not buttered on that side."

This minister was unwilling to have the truth at any cost. He did not appreciate it as a pearl of great price, for which he would sell all. He appreciated more the good opinion of his fellow-clergymen, his title and position and income. He said to himself, "I prefer these things that are tangible, and am willing to part with my share of the Abrahamic covenant. I will take what is in sight, rather than wait for the good things promised for the future."

POTTAGE TEST TO MERCHANTS

The Christian merchant comes to the place represented in the allegory, where he must decide as between the prosperity of his business, perhaps, and his faithfulness to the Lord and the truth. He has certain ambitions, and as he finds that he cannot serve God and Mammon, but must choose whether or not he will pursue his worldly ambitions for wealth or name, etc., or whether he will renounce these and pursue the study of the Lord's Word and a life of consecration to him, with greater economy and smaller income, he must decide whether he will have the mess of pottage or be an heir of the Abrahamic covenant. Sometimes the test seems even more severe than this, and it is not merely a question of more business or less business, but perhaps a question of no business for a time if he is faithful to the Lord: we have known instances in which business men have been boycotted for the Truth's sake. Therein they had a test respecting their love for the Lord's favor and their participation in the Abrahamic covenant on the one side, with earthly hopes and comforts, and mess of pottage, on the other.

Sometimes it is the laborer or mechanic who, because of faithfulness to the Truth, because of his love for the Lord and devotion to his service, finds himself hated of all men for the Lord's sake, for the Truth's sake, and find that he will escape such petty persecution by putting his light under a bushel, by holding the Truth secretly, unworthily, contrary to the divine arrangement. It is for him to decide whether or not he will have a share as an inheritor of the covenant, or whether he will choose instead the mess of pottage of present social and earthly advantage.

DOCTORS TESTED BY POTTAGE

The consecrated man who is a physician has also a test along this line of a mess of pottage-earthly prosperity for the seeking, and loss of that prosperity if he gives the attention of which it is worthy to the endeavor to gain the great prize of joint-heirship with Christ as an inheritor of the provisions and blessings of the oath-bound covenant. In the Lord's providence the Truth has never been popular, and we understand him to teach that it will not be so during this Gospel age. Thus he provides the opportunity for our testing-whether we love the approval of the world and its reward of money and name and fame, or whether we prefer his approval and are ready to risk the cost.

We know of several physicians who are in just such a case. One of these embracing the Truth and seeking to circulate it amongst his friends was greatly opposed by those who nominally were fellow-Christians, and who, like Esau of old, were exceedingly angry with him because of his love for the oath-bound covenant of God and his faithfulness in telling the good tidings. As a result of that faithfulness, from having the largest practice in his city, he today has practically lost it all, but he thanks God as he realizes that he has gained in divine favor and is making sure his hold upon the divine promises, by the faithfulness which has thus cost him something in the loss of earthly advantages.

SISTERS TESTED ALSO

These principles apply not only to the more educated and those in the higher walks of life, but even to the small merchant and to the laborer. Everyone who is in the Lord's family must expect that at some time or other he will be tested to see which he loves the more, the mess of pottage or his prospects for inheritance in the oath-bound covenant and its blessings. The trials are by no means similar in every case. Sometimes they do not at all touch on the question of money. Look at the sisters, for instance-more generally their trials are along social lines.

As an illustration we think of a sister who, having been very prominent in one of the nominal churches in a Southern city, in due time was brought to a knowledge of the divine plan, and saw that the Church of God is one, and that the organization of sects and [HG382] parties is entirely contrary to divine authority, and that to be faithful to the Lord and to all of his people she should stand simply as a member of Christ's body, the true Church, separate and distinct from earthly organizations, united only to the Lord, and thus united indirectly by heart and faith to all who are his everywhere.

She sent a letter to the pastor explaining that she was still a child of the Lord, but that having received greater light upon the meaning of his Word she discerned that it was a mistake to fence herself off from other Christians and to have fellowship only with the one denomination and by so doing to imply separation from the others; that for this reason she must now withdraw, not from the one Church of the living God whose names are written in heaven, but from an earthly sect which God and his Book never authorized nor recognized. The step was taken with the full expectation that it would cost something, but that the blessing of the Lord and a manifestation of her respect for the inheritance in Christ was well worth the sacrificing that might be implied and the enduring of all the difficulties that might result.

A REVEREND EDOMITE

Her pastor was apparently of the Esau class, willing to barter anything for the maintenance of his own standing, and this to him included the standing of the denomination in numbers and influence. Hence, instead of appreciating the character of the sister, who had been one of the most prominent in his congregation-instead of admiring and loving her the more because of her faithfulness to principle, he undertook her assassination-not literally, however, but the assassination of her reputation. He deliberately circulated amongst her friends in the Church a story of her insanity, urging them by no means to see her or speak to her. The Lord blessed the trying experiences of that sister, who through these, we trust, is being polished, to be accounted worthy to be an heir of the oath-bound covenant, while the minister who thus sold himself to evil-doing, falsehood, for the sake of his personal standing and the standing of his sect-what shall we think of him, except that he belongs to the class represented in the allegory by Esau ?

With some the trial comes at home. An unreasonable husband seeks to bind the conscience of his wife, or an unreasonable wife seeks to bind the conscience of her husband. The Esau class is always aggressive, and rarely, if ever, just in such matters. They would be ashamed to have friends or neighbors know of the meanness of their hatred, of the petty annoyances as well as the great ones by which they seek to persecute those who love the Truth and who are desirous of laying hold upon the Abrahamic Covenant and becoming joint-heirs thereto with Jesus Christ the Lord. These persecutors are usually nominal Christians.

Sometimes, like our Lord's persecutors, they are scribes, Pharisees, doctors of divinity, whose cause for opposition is the darkness of their own hearts, which love not the light nor come to it lest their secret ways should become manifest.

However the test comes to the Lord's people, it is to be taken as one of the necessities of the case. If those who have been begotten of the Spirit succumb, and for the sake of peace and harmony sacrifice principle and truth, they thus demonstrate that they are unworthy of the Truth, that they are unworthy to be joint-heirs of the Abrahamic covenant; they take their place as belonging not to the Jacob class of faithful sacrificers but to the Esau class, who for temporary advantages of this present life are willing to sacrifice the Lord's favor and their prospective share in the coming blessings.

The public would hardly credit the various manifestations of the Esau spirit amongst Christian people in our day. It seems difficult to believe that ministers would deliberately falsify respecting the character and mental condition of Christian people in order to hold their interest and influence in their pastorates, as already stated. But we are to remember that it was the ministers who plotted our Lord's assassination and who trumped up the false charges against him on account of which he was crucified. We remember well that those doctors of divinity, scribes and Pharisees declared that the death of Jesus was necessary for the maintenance of the Jewish system, which they prized above the Truth.

The same spirit is manifest now. Many journals throughout this land today would publish these discourses were it not for the interposition of professed ministers of the truth in opposition. The publishers, usually worldly men, would be glad to print them did they not fear the power of the ministers to institute a boycott.

Ministerial power over the people, however, is overestimated. General intelligence is on the increase, and misrepresentations are not as powerful as once they were. One of the journals which publishes these discourses weekly was called upon by five ministers in a body, who endeavored to use their influence in opposition to their publication. The answer they got from the independent manager was that so long as the public wanted the discourses and the proprietors could realize an increase of circulation for their publication, they would continue.

It may be asked, Why should Christian ministers oppose the presentation of Scriptural teaching? We answer, For the same reason that the scribes and Pharisees came upon the apostles and forbade them to [HG383] teach the good tidings, as we read, "They were grieved that they taught the people." (Acts 4:2) They preferred to have the people in ignorance.

"GRIEVED THAT THEY TAUGHT"

They realized that for the people to have the eyes of their understanding opened would measurably decrease their power and influence over them in proportion as they would find that they had been misrepresenting God's Word and plan.

Where is the Jacob and Esau test in this matter? We answer that the ministers mentioned, for "one morsel of meat," are apparently willing to sell their birthright-their share in the glorious things which God hath in reservation for them who love him and love righteousness. They are willing to prostitute their office and influence to the doing of that which is evil, willing to sell their future prospects for their present advantage. In these various particulars they have the distinctive marks of Esau which the Apostle told us to look for. On the other hand, a small minority are willing, yea, rejoice, to have their names cast out as evil, to have themselves and their teachings misrepresented, slandered, by the Esau class. We are satisfied that this should be our experience, if it is the test which the Lord permits to come to prove our faithfulness to him and to his Word-if by this means or any means we may be of the true Israel class who will inherit the promise, the oath-bound covenant.

In conclusion, dear friends, it is for each of us to decide, first of all, Have we entered the Lord's family at all, so that we could be of either of these classes?

Have we been begotten of the holy Spirit, so that we could be heirs of this great promise? If not, the primary work is a full consecration of ourselves to the Lord that we may be accepted of him and become his dear children. If we have already taken the steps of faith and obedience it is proper that we now question ourselves as respects our loyalty of heart to the Lord and the Truth. To what extent do we love this better than we love houses, lands, parents or children, yea, and self also?

Are we willing, if circumstances so require, to lay down our lives for the Truth, in its service, etc.? If so we may safely count ourselves with the Israel class, and trust by the Lord's grace to be amongst those "overcomers" to whom he will grant to sit with him in his throne and be associated with all the work of the Millennial Kingdom.

But if we permit ourselves to be dominated by a time-serving spirit, a selfish spirit, it will blind us to the beauties and advantages of the things unseen as yet, and make all the more important before our minds the things of this present time, which the Apostle tells us are not worthy to be compared with the things reserved for us. It depends on which place we have the treasures, with the Lord or in the earth-for where our treasures are there will our hearts be also, and our lives in accord.


Part 2 TO HELL AND BACK! WHO ARE THERE
Hope for the recovery of many of them This article can be found in Pastor Russell's Sermons, pages SM516-SM526, entitled, "To Hell and Back! Who are There?"


Part 3 THE GREAT PRISON-HOUSE to be Destroyed

Its 20,000,000,000 "Prisoners of Hope" to be released Continuation of the sermon on "To Hell and Back. Who are there?

Hope for the recovery of many of them."

Also the PARABLE OF THE RICH MAN AND LAZARUS

Our topic inquires who are in hell. The Scriptures answer that all go to hell, the tomb, the death-state, as Solomon says, "There is no wisdom nor knowledge nor device in the grave (sheol), whither thou goest." In this [HG384] vast prison-house it has been estimated that something like 20,000,000,000 of Adam's children are prisoners. But the very word prison implies that they are not extinct, that it is in the divine power and purpose to bring them forth, as Job expressed it, "Thou shalt call and I will answer thee." Our Lord Jesus was the first of these prisoners to come back from sheol, from hades, as the Apostle Peter and the Prophet David have just told us. He went to hell, to sheol, to hades, to the tomb, to the death-state and came back by a resurrection. As the Apostle declares, "God raised him from the dead by his own power." The Apostle tells us that in the resurrection of Jesus we have God's assurance of his ability and willingness to deliver all from sheol, hades, the tomb, to raise all the dead through him. Acts 17:31 This figure of death as a prison house, holding captive until the glorious morning of the resurrection the whole world of mankind, is frequently set forth in the Bible. There the dead are spoken of as "prisoners of hope." In his last message to the Church our Lord declares, "I am He that was dead; and behold, I am alive forevermore, and have the keys of death and hades"-the grave, hell, the tomb. Zech. 9:12 Rev. 1:18

How glad we are to know that the keys of the great prison are in the hands of one who so loved the world as to give his life a ransom price for theirs, "that God might be just and yet the justifier of those who believe in Jesus." How we who now believe do rejoice exceedingly in this great Savior, able to save unto the uttermost. How glad we are to know that, although the number of believers now is small, the day is coming when all shall know of the Redeemer and the provisions and conditions of the eternal salvation. As it is written, "The knowledge of the Lord shall fill the whole earth as the waters cover the great deep;" then, as the prophet declares, "None shall need say to his neighbor or brother, know thou the Lord, because all shall know him from the least to the greatest." Isa. 11:9; Jer. 31:34

JESUS HOLDS THE KEY TO HELL

The keys of death and the grave, which the Lord holds and is ready to use, merely waiting the Father's due time-symbolize his rightful authority to control the dead and the dying. If the Lord had said, I have a crowbar or a sledgehammer, it would have signified His violent opposition to the dying and death conditions and that He would rescue the people by force; but the choice of a key as a symbol represents right and authority, and the Scriptures everywhere coincide with this thought, declaring that it was God Himself who condemned our race to death and that our Lord Jesus in no sense of the word designs to oppose the Father's power and authority. The Bible declares that our Lord redeemed us by paying our penalty for us, and thus "bought us with His own precious blood," and that thus justly He has the authority to do with the race of mankind as He wills. And, thank God, He wills their blessing and uplifting in accordance with the Father's promise to Abraham:" in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. "

OPENING THE PRISON DOORS

It was to this great prison that our Lord referred in His sermon on Isa. 61 and His application to Himself of the prophecy that He would open the prison doors and set at liberty the captives. Our Lord made no effort to rescue prisoners from the literal prisons of Palestine or other parts of the world at His first advent-He had a higher and grander mission. He even allowed John the Baptist to be beheaded in prison without so much as uttering a word of protest or giving one particle of assistance for his liberty. Our Lord was in process of redeeming the world, purchasing all the prisoners and the prison house with a view to eventually set all free during the millennial age by a resurrection from the dead.

Did time permit we would like to point out how the testimony of the Scriptures respecting the resurrection of the dead is in full accordance with the setting of captives free. We would like to show that the " life resurrection" (John 5:28, 29, R. V.) will be an instantaneous one to perfection, embracing only those who, during the present life, have made their peace with God through faith and have demonstrated their loyalty to Him, and whose trial therefore is ended and their full reward to be granted them in the moment of their resurrection. We would like to show how the remainder of the world will be awakened from the state of death during the millennial age, in practically the condition in which they died, but surrounded by the new conditions of the millennial kingdom-Satan and every evil influence "bound," restrained, and truth and righteousness and every good influence surrounding them, and with the Church of this gospel age, the bride of Christ, the royal priesthood, their assistants, governors, guides, to help the willing and obedient up, up, up, out of sin and degradation and death conditions back to the full perfection of perfect humanity, the image and likeness of God-back to all that was lost in Adam and Eden, with added blessings of increased knowledge through experience.

THIS IS NOT UNIVERSALISM

We find nothing in the Scriptures implying that all [HG385] men will eventually attain to eternal life, but, quite to the contrary, a provision of Second Death for all who will refuse the divine favors and blessings and privileges that through Christ shall ultimately come to every member of the race.

We do claim that the Scriptures teach a universal opportunity through which every member of the race may come to a knowledge of "the only name" and to obedience to the King of kings and Lord of lords. Thus each, if he will, may ultimately attain to everlasting life through the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. John 1:29) We urge all who feel a deeper interest in the Word of God through this presentation of its teachings, and who consequently would feel a deeper reverence and love for the Almighty and for the Savior, that such shall not content themselves with what they have now heard, but shall avail themselves of the helps for Bible study, which God is now granting to his people, that they may come to "full assurance of faith" and to that full rest of heart which is the privilege of the "sanctified in Christ Jesus."

PARABLE OF THE RICH MAN AND LAZARUS
-Luke 16:19-31

The great difficulty with many in reading this scripture is that, though they regard it as a parable, they reason on it and draw conclusions from it as though it were a literal statement. To regard it as a literal statement involves several absurdities; for instance, that the rich man went to "hell" because he had enjoyed many earthly blessings and gave nothing but crumbs to Lazarus. Not a word is said about his wickedness. Again, Lazarus was blessed, not because he was a sincere child of God, full of faith and trust, not because he was good, but simply because he was poor and sick. If this be interpreted literally, the only logical lesson to be drawn from it is, that unless we are poor beggars full of sores, we will never enter into future bliss; and that if now we wear any fine linen and purple, and have plenty to eat every day, we are sure of future torment. Again, the coveted place of favor is "Abraham's bosom;" and if the whole statement be literal, the bosom must also be literal, and it surely would not hold very many of earth's millions of sick and poor.

But why consider absurdities? As a parable, it is easy of interpretation. In a parable the thing said is never the thing meant. We know this from our Lord's own explanations of his parables. When he said "wheat," he meant "children of the kingdom;" when he said "tares," he meant "the children of the devil;" when he said "reapers" his servants were to be understood, etc. (Matt. 13) The same classes were represented by different symbols in different parables. Thus the "wheat" of one parable corresponds to the "faithful servants," and the "wise virgins" of others. So, in this parable, the "rich man" represents a class, and "Lazarus" represents another class.

In attempting to expound a parable such as this, an explanation of which the Lord does not furnish us, modesty in expressing our opinion regarding it is certainly appropriate. We therefore offer the following explanation without any attempt to force our views upon the reader, except so far as his own truth-enlightened judgment may commend them as in accord with God's Word and plan. To our understanding, Abraham represented God, and the "rich man" represented the Jewish nation. At the time of the utterance of the parable, and for a long time previous, the Jews had "fared sumptuously every day"-being the especial recipients of God's favors. As Paul says:" What advantage, then, hath the Jew?

Much every way: chiefly, because to them were committed the oracles of God [Law and Prophecy]." The promises to Abraham and David, and their organization as a typical Kingdom of God, invested that people with royalty, as represented by the rich man's "purple." The typical sacrifices of the Law constituted them, in a typical sense, a holy (righteous) nation, represented by the rich man's "fine linen, "-symbolic of righteousness. Rev. 19:8 Lazarus represented the outcasts from divine favor under the Law, who, sin-sick, hungered and thirsted after righteousness. "Publicans and sinners" of Israel, seeking a better life, and truth-hungry Gentiles who were "feeling after God" constituted the Lazarus class. These, at the time of the utterance of this parable, were entirely destitute of those special divine blessings which Israel enjoyed.

They lay at the gate of the rich man. No rich promises of royalty were theirs; not even typically were they cleansed; but, in moral sickness, pollution and sin, they were companions of "dogs." Dogs were regarded as detestable creatures in those days, and the typically clean Jew called the outsiders "heathen" and "dogs," and would never eat with them, nor marry, nor have any dealings with them. John 4:9 As to how these ate of the "crumbs" of divine favor which fell from Israel's table of bounties, the Lord's words to the Syro-Phoenician woman give us a key. He said to this Gentile woman- "It is not meet [proper] to take the children's [Israelites'] bread and to cast it to dogs [Gentiles];" and she answered, "Truth, Lord, but the dogs eat of the crumbs that fall from their master's table." (Matt. 15:26,27) Jesus healed her daughter, thus giving the desired crumb of favor.

But there came a great dispensational change in Israel's history when as a nation they rejected and [HG386] crucified the Son of God. Then their typical righteousness ceased-then the promise of royalty ceased to be theirs, and the kingdom was taken from them to be given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof-the Gospel Church, "a holy nation, a peculiar people." (Titus 2:14; 1 Pet. 2:7,9; Matt. 21:43) Thus the "rich man" died to all these special advantages, and soon he (the Jewish nation) found himself in a cast-off condition, in tribulation and affliction. In such condition that nation has suffered to this day.

THE LAZARUS CLASS

Lazarus also died: the condition of the humble Gentiles and the God-seeking "outcasts" of Israel underwent a great change, being carried by the angels (messengers-apostles, etc.) to Abraham's bosom. Abraham is represented as the father of the faithful, and receives all the children of faith, who are thus recognized as the heirs of all the promises made to Abraham; for the children of the flesh are not the children of God, "but the children of the promise are counted for the seed" (children of Abraham); "which seed is Christ;" and "if ye be Christ's, then are ye believers] Abraham's seed [children], and heirs according to the [Abrahamic] promise." Gal. 3:29

Yes, the termination of the condition of things then existing was well illustrated by the figure, death-the dissolution of the Jewish polity and the withdrawal of the favors which Israel had so long enjoyed. There they were cast off and have since been shown "no favor," while the poor Gentiles, who before had been "aliens from the commonwealth [the polity] of Israel and strangers from the covenant of promise [up to this time given to Israel only] having no hope and without God in the world," were then "made nigh by the blood of Christ" and reconciled to God. Eph. 2:12, 13

To the symbolisms of death and burial used to illustrate the dissolution of Israel and their burial or hiding among the other nations, our Lord added a further figure- "In hell [hades, the grave] he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off," etc. The dead cannot lift up their eyes, nor see either near or far, nor can they converse; for it is distinctly stated, "There is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave;" and the dead are described as those who "go down into silence." (Eccl. 9:10; Psa. 115:17) But the Lord wished to show that great sufferings or "torments" would be added to the dews as a nation after their national dissolution and burial amongst the other peoples dead in trespasses and sins; and that they would plead in vain for release and comfort at the hand of the formerly despised Lazarus class.

And history has borne out this parabolic prophecy. For eighteen hundred years the Jews have not only been in distress of mind over their casting out from the favor of God and the loss of their temple and other necessaries to the offering of their sacrifices, but they have been relentlessly persecuted by all classes, including professed Christians. It was from the latter that the Jews have expected mercy, as expressed in the parable- "Send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue;" but the great gulf fixed between them hinders that.

Nevertheless, God still recognizes the relationship established in his covenant with them, and addresses them as children of the covenant. (Verse 25) These "torments" have been the penalties attached to the violation of their covenant, and were as certain to be visited upon them as the blessings promised for obedience.

See Leviticus 26.

The "great gulf fixed" represents the wide difference between the Gospel Church and the Jew-the former enjoying free grace, joy, comfort and peace, as true sons of God, and the latter holding to the Law, which condoms and torments.

Prejudice, pride and error, from the Jewish side, form the bulwarks of this gulf which hinder the Jew from coming into the condition of true sons of God by accepting Christ and the gospel of his grace. The bulwark of this gulf which hinders true sons of God from going to the Jew-under the bondage of the Law-is their knowledge that by the deeds of the Law none can be justified before God, and that if any man keep the Law (put himself under it to try to commend himself to God by reason of obedience to it), Christ shall profit him nothing. (Gal. 5:2-4) So, then, we who are of the Lazarus class should not attempt to mix the Law and the Gospel, knowing that they cannot be mixed, and that we can do no good to those who still cling to the Law and reject the sacrifice for sins given by our Lord.

And they, not seeing the change of dispensation which took place, argue that to deny the Law as the power to save would be to deny all the past history of their race, and to deny all of God's special dealings with the "fathers," (promises and dealings which through pride and selfishness they failed rightly to apprehend and use); hence they cannot come over to the bosom of Abraham, into the true rest and peace-the portion of all the true children of faith. John 8:39; Rom. 4:16; Gal. 3:29

True, a few Jews probably came into the Christian faith all the way down the Gospel age, but so few as to be ignored in a parable which represented the Jewish people as a whole. As at the first, Dives represented the orthodox Jews, and not the "outcasts of Israel," so down to the close of the parable he continues to represent a similar class, and hence does not represent [HG387] such Jews as have renounced the Law Covenant and embraced the Lord Jesus, or such as have become infidels.

THE PLEA OF THE "RICH MAN"

for the sending of "Lazarus" to his five brethren we interpret as follows: The people of Judea, at the time of our Lord's utterance of this parable, were repeatedly referred to as" Israel," "the lost sheep of the house of Israel," "cities of Israel," etc., because all of the tribes were represented there; but actually the majority of the people were of the two tribes, Judah and Benjamin, but few of the ten tribes having returned from Babylon under Cyrus' general permission. If the nation of the Jews (chiefly two tribes) were represented in the one "rich man," it would be a harmony of numbers to understand the "five brethren" to represent the ten tribes chiefly scattered abroad. The request relative to them was doubtless introduced to show that all special favor of God ceased to all Israel (the ten tribes, as well as to the two more directly addressed). It seems to us evident that Israel only was meant, for no other nation than Israel had "Moses and the prophets" as instructors. (Verse 29) The majority of the ten tribes had so far disregarded Moses and the prophets that they did not return to the land of promise, but preferred to dwell among idolaters; and hence it would be useless to attempt further communication with them, even by one from the dead-the figuratively dead, but now figuratively risen, Lazarus class. Eph. 2:5

Though the parable mentions no bridging of this "great gulf," other portions of Scripture indicate that it was to be "fixed" only throughout the Gospel age, and that at its close the "rich man," having received the measurement of punishment for his sins, * will walk out of his fiery troubles over the bridge of God's promises yet unfulfilled to that nation.

Though for centuries the Jews have been bitterly persecuted by pagans, Mohammedans and professed Christians, they are now gradually rising to political freedom and influence; and although much of "Jacob's trouble" is just at hand, yet as a people they will be very prominent among the nations in the beginning of the Millennium.

The "vail" (2 Cor. 3:13-16) of prejudice still exists, but it will be gradually taken away as the light of the Millennial morning dawns; nor should we be surprised to hear of great awakenings among the Jews, and many coming to acknowledge Christ. They will thus leave their hadean state (national death) and torment, and come, the first of the nations, to be blessed by the true seed of Abraham, which is Christ, Head and body. Their bulwark of race prejudice and pride is falling in some places, and the humble, the poor in spirit, are beginning already to look upon him whom they have pierced, and to inquire, Is not this the Christ? And as they look the Lord pours upon them the spirit of favor and supplication. (Zech. 12:10) Therefore, "Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her that her appointed time is accomplished." Isa. 40:1,2, margin.

In a word, this parable seems to teach precisely what Paul explained in Rom. 11:19-32. Because of unbelief the natural brances were broken off, and the wild branches grafted into the Abrahamic root-promise. The parable leaves the dews in their trouble, and does not refer to their final restoration to favor-doubtless because it was not pertinent to the feature of the subject treated; but Paul assures us that when the fulness of the Gentiles-the full number from among the Gentiles necessary to make up the bride of Christ-is come in, "they [natural Israel] shall obtain mercy through your [the Church's] mercy." He assures us that this is God's covenant with fleshly Israel (who lost the higher, spiritual promises, but are still the possessors of certain earthly promises), to become the chief nation of earth, etc. In proof of this statement, he quotes from the prophets, saying:" The deliverer shall come out of Zion [the glorified Church], and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob [the fleshly seed]. "" As concerning the Gospel [high calling], they are enemies [cast off] for your sakes; but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes." "For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. O the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!" Rom 11:26-38

"Ye are complete in Him." Col 2:10.

"A cipher alone has no value, but it is a power indeed, when it follows one; and so it is with us when we follow Christ-His merit gives us association and cooperation with Him; gives us weight and influence and power for God and His cause. 'Ye are complete in Him; accepted in the Beloved'" R3149, top.


[HG388]

Part 4 THE OATH-BOUND COVENANT

God's Marvelous Condescension The Oath confirms the Word The Divine Plan of the Ages in a Nutshell It Gloriously reveals God's Justice, Wisdom, Love and Power

God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath." Heb. 6:17 Only those who have strong living faith in the Almighty God and his Son Jesus could have much interest in the words of our text. To the evolutionist these words have little meaning, as he is looking to a natural development rather than to any supervening power of God to bring the blessing which the world so greatly needs.

To the "higher critic," the Apostle's reference to God's dealings with Abraham are nonsensical, believing as he does that the statements of Genesis are foolishness, written hundreds of years after the death of Moses.

However, some of God's true children, whose eyes of understanding have not yet been opened to a clear apprehension of the divine plan of the ages, may be inclined to question what interest we could possibly have in God's oath to Abraham-given more than 3000 years ago. Such are inclined to say to themselves, "That event was helpful to Abraham, but has nothing whatever to do with us or our day." It is our hope that an examination of this covenant, which God attested with His oath, as stated in our text, may be helpful to many of the Lord's people today, enabling them to see that God had a plan in Abraham's day; that He is still working according to that plan; and that its completion will be glorious-a blessing to His creatures and an honor to Himself.

The context shows distinctly that the apostles and the early Church drew comfort from this oath-bound covenant, and clearly implies that this same comfort belongs to every true Christian down to the end of this age-to every member of the body of Christ. The Apostle's words imply that God's promise and oath were intended more for us than for Abraham-more for our comfort than for his.

Note the Apostle's words:" That by two immutable things [two unalterable things], in which it was impossible for God to lie, we [the gospel Church] might have a strong consolation; [we] who have fled for refuge [to Christ] to lay hold upon the hope set before us."

Doubtless Abraham and all of his family, Israel after the flesh, drew a certain amount of blessing and encouragement from this covenant or promise; and the oath of the Almighty-which doubly sealed it-gave double assurance of its certainty of accomplishment, but the Apostle intimates in the words quoted that God's special design in giving that covenant and in binding it solemnly with an oath, was to encourage spiritual Israel-to give us a firm foundation for faith. God well knew that although 3000 years from His own standpoint would be but a brief space, "as a watch in the night," nevertheless to us the time would appear long, and the strain upon faith would be severe; hence the positive statement, and the still more deliberate oath that bound it. We cannot but wonder at such condescension upon the part of the great Creator-that He should stoop to His fallen creatures, and above all that He should condescend to give His oath on the subject. An upright man feels that his word should be sufficient in any matter, and, therefore, would hesitate except under special conditions to confirm his word with an oath. How much more might the [heavenly Father have so regarded the matter! But our text explains the reason for such condescension. He was "willing more abundantly to show the unchangeableness of His plan. " It was not God's intention to show His plan to everybody-to the world in general-nor has He done so. The world by wisdom knows not God, understands not His great and gracious operations which for thousands of years have been gradually unfolding, and which are now near of accomplishment. God wished to show the natural seed of Abraham something of His plan, and, hence, they were granted an external glimpse of it; but the Apostle points out that the clear showing of the matter was especially intended for the "heirs of the promise."

JOINT-HEIRS WITH JESUS

Our Lord Jesus was the great heir of the Abrahamic promise, and the faithful of His consecrated people of this Gospel Age are declared to be His joint-heirs in that promise, which is not yet fulfilled. For its fulfillment not only the Church is waiting, as the bride [HG389] or fellow members of the body of Christ, to be participants with the Lord in the glories implied in the promise, but additionally the whole creation (the entire human family) is groaning and travailing in pain together, waiting for the great fulfillment of that oath-bound promise or covenant. Rom. 8:22 Those who follow the Apostle's argument and realize that we as Christians are still waiting for the fulfilment of this promise, will be anxious to know what are the terms of this covenant which is the hope of the world, the hope of the Church, and the object of so much solicitude and care on the part of God, in that He would promise and then back His word with His oath. We answer that every Christian should know what this promise is, since it lies at the foundation of every Christian hope. The Christian who cannot understandingly call to mind this oath-bound covenant or promise evidently lacks information very necessary to his spiritual development.

How can this hope be an anchor to our souls in all the storms and trials and difficulties of life, in all the opposition of the world, the flesh and the adversary, if we do not know what the hope is, if we have not even recognized the promise upon which this hope is based?

Let us awake in time, dear friends, before the poisoned darts of infidelity strike us and wound us and poison our minds, and blind the eyes to the glorious things of God's Word.

Need I quote the promise-the one so repeatedly referred to in the apostolic writings-the one which is the basis or anchorage of our souls? It was made to Abraham and reads thus:" In thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed."

It was the promise for the future and not for Abraham's own time. The world was not blessed in Abraham's day, nor did he even have a child at the time this promise was given. Isaac did not fulfil the promise; he was merely a type of the greater seed of Abraham who in due time would fulfil it. Jacob and his twelve tribes, fleshly Israel, did not fulfil the promise, but still looked for a greater Messiah to fulfil it, to bless them and through them all the families of the earth.

The Apostle Paul referred to this very promise, declaring that the seed of Abraham mentioned therein is Christ. All Christians agree to this, even though they have not distinctively and properly associated it with the declarations of the promise But the Apostle makes clear to us that, in saying that Christ is the seed of Abraham, he had in mind not only the Lord Jesus as the head of the body, the head of the Christ, but also the overcoming saints of this Gospel Age as the body of Christ. This he distinctly states in many places, for instance Gal. 3:16, 29.

Here he declares the matter expressly, saying:" If ye be Christ's then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."

THE SEED NOT COMPLETE

The seed of Abraham is the gospel Church, with her head the Lord Jesus, as the Apostle states again saying:" We, brethren, as Isaac was [typified by Isaac], are the children of promise." (Gal. 4:28) It follows that the seed of Abraham mentioned in the promise is not yet complete, for the Gospel Church is not yet complete and will not be until the full close of this Gospel Age-the harvest time of which we believe we are now in. But what a wonderful thought is involved in this plain interpretation of the Divine Word. It is big with hope for spiritual Israel, the spiritual seed, and no less it seems a blessing to the natural seed, fleshly Israel, and ultimately the Millennial blessings to all the families of the earth. Let us examine these three hopes: The hopes for these three classes center in this oath-bound covenant. Let us thus obtain what the Apostle tells us was the Lord's intention for us, namely, strong consolation-strong encouragement.

All through the prophecies the Lord foretold the sufferings of Christ and the glories that should follow; nevertheless the glories to follow have been granted much more space in the Divine revelation than the sufferings of this present time.

The implication suggested by the Apostle is that when the glories of the future shall be realized, the trials and sufferings and difficulties of the present time will be found not worthy to be compared, but those glories and blessings have been veiled from our mental vision, and instead a great pall hangs over the future in the minds of many of the Lord's people. With some it is merely a mist of doubt and of uncertainty, with others it is the smoke of confusion, blackness and despair as they think of their own friends in connection with an eternity of torture, and the probability that a large majority of those whom they love will spend an eternity of horror in torment-from the dark ages.

OURS IS CREAM OF PROMISE

Now, what hope and interest has the Church of Christ in this promise made to Abraham? To us belongs the very cream of the promise, "The riches of God's grace." The promise implies the greatness of the seed of Abraham-which seed is Christ and the overcoming Church. This greatness is so wonderful as to be almost beyond human comprehension. The overcomers of this gospel age, who "make their calling and election sure" in Christ, are to be joint-heirs with Him in the glorious Millennial Kingdom, which is to be God's agency or channel for bringing about the promised blessings-the blessing of all the families of the earth. How great, how wonderful, is to be the [HG390] exaltation of the Church is beyond human conception, as the Apostle declares, "Eye hath not seen, neither ear heard, nor hath it entered into the heart of man [the natural man] the things that "God hath in reservation for them that love Him"-that love Him more than they love houses or lands, parents or children or any other creature-more than they love themselves-and who show this by walking in the narrow way, in the footsteps of their Redeemer. Again the Apostle speaks of the great blessings coming to the Church as the seed of Abraham:" It cloth not yet appear what we shall be How great we shall be made in our change], but we know that when He shall appear we shall be like Him." (1 John 3:2) The Apostle Peter has a word on this subject of the greatness that shall belong to the Church, the spiritual seed of Abraham, saying, "God hath given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these we might become partakers of the divine nature." (2 Pet. 1:4)

To whatever extent we are able to grasp the meaning of these wonderful promises, they speak to us of blessings, favors, "exceedingly, abundantly more than we could ask or think." Eph. 3:20

PROMISE TO THE JEWS

The second class to be blessed under this Abrahamic covenant is fleshly Israel.

We are not forgetting that the Jews were a rebellious and stiff necked people; that they slew the prophets and stoned the Lord's ministers and caused the crucifixion of our Redeemer. Nevertheless, the Scriptures clearly hold forth that after they have had a period of chastisement, which they have been undergoing as a nation since the Lord's crucifixion, and after spiritual Israel shall have been glorified in the Kingdom, then a blessing from the Lord will come upon natural Israel; they shall be saved or recovered from their blindness, and as the prophet declares, "They shall look upon Him whom they have pierced and mourn for Him," because the eyes of their understanding shall be opened. We rejoice, too, that the promise is clear and distinct that the Lord will pour upon them the "spirit of prayer and supplication." Zech. 12:10 The Apostle Paul elaborates this subject. In Romans, chapters nine and ten, he points out how Israel failed to obtain the special blessing of this Abrahamic covenant by rejecting Christ-how only a remnant received the great blessing and the mass were blinded. In chapter eleven he proceeded to explain that their blindness is not to be perpetual, but only until the Church shall have been gathered out, and that then the Lord's blessing will come to fleshly Israel, saving them from their blindness and granting them mercy through the glorified spiritual Israel. I trust that every person in this audience will feel interested enough in this feature of the divine plan to examine carefully on his return to his home verses 25 to 33 of the eleventh chapter of Romans. The Lord will do this for the natural seed, not because of their worthiness, but because of His promise made to the fathers:" For this is my covenant with them, when I will cancel their sins."

But if God is to have mercy upon the natural Israelites, whom he declares to have been stiffnecked and hard-hearted and rebellious, would it surprise us that the divine, benevolent intention should be to bless others than the Jews-others who had not in the past the favors and privileges of this favored nation, and whose course, therefore, was less in opposition to the light? It should not surprise us, and so we find in this great oath-bound covenant a blessing for all nations-all people.

Let us look at the promise again-remembering that our Heavenly Father made it deliberately and subsequently bound himself to its provisions by an oath, so that we might not only be sure that he could not break his word, but doubly sure that he could not break his oath, and therefore without peradventure this promise shall be fulfilled. It reads:" In thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. " What is the blessing so greatly needed by all mankind? it is the very blessing that Jesus declared he came to give, saying "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." Ah, yes, Life! Life! Life! It is life that the whole world needs, and our Lord Jesus declares himself to be the great life-giver. Indeed, in the Syriac language, in which probably our Lord discoursed, the word life giver is the equivalent to our word savior. Jesus came to save man from sin and from the penalty of sin-namely, death. It is a human invention of the dark ages to attach eternal torment as the penalty for sin. It is the divine arrangement to attach to sin a reasonable and just, but an awful penalty-Death! It is because we are sinners that we are all dying creatures, and for the Lord to give life implies that he will take away the sin and all necessity for this penalty. Hence, "Christ died for our sins."

THE MILLENNIAL PROMISE

The great blessing of forgiveness of sins which are past, and even the blessing of being awakened from the sleep of death, would profit mankind but little if the arrangements of that future time-the Millennial age-were not on such a scale as to permit a thorough recovery from present mental, moral and physical weakness.

Hence we are rejoiced to learn that in that time Satan will be bound, every evil influence and [HG391] every unfavorable condition will be brought under restraint, and the favor of God, through the knowledge of God, will be let loose among the people- "the knowledge of the Lord shall fill the whole earth as the waters cover the great deep." Blessing! Ay, favor upon favor, blessing upon blessing, is the Lord's arrangement and provision. All shall know him from the least unto the greatest, and none shall need say to his neighbor or brother, "Know thou the Lord." Isa. 11:9; Jer. 31:34

But so accustomed have we all become to measuring the divine plan by our narrow minds that I doubt not there may be some in this audience ready to say, "I believe, Brother Russell, that in your love of heart you would delight to do good in this manner to the whole world of mankind, and so would we; but God's ways are not so great as our conceptions would be." Stop, my dear brother; you are looking at the matter from the wrong standpoint. Remember that our God is all wise, all just, all-loving, all-powerful, and that it is His own Word that declares that as the heavens are higher than the earth so are His plans higher than our plans, and His methods higher than our methods. (Isa. 55:8, 9) As the poet has expressed it: "We make God's love too narrow By false standards of our own."

It is time for us to wake up to the fact that we are no better than our God, but that we are poor, imperfect creatures of the dust, fallen by nature, and that it is time for us to stop misconstruing the divine character and plan as against His creatures, and to hearken to the Lord's own Word when He declares, "Their fear toward me is not of me, but is taught by the precepts of men." It is time for us to be praying for ourselves and for each other as the Apostle prayed for some, saying, "I pray God for you that the eyes of your understanding may be opened, that ye may be able to comprehend with all saints the lengths and breadths and heights and depths-to know the love of Christ which passeth all knowledge." Eph. 1:18; 3:18-19 Do not misapprehend us; we are not teaching that heathen and imbeciles and the unregenerate in general shall be taken to heaven, where they would be utterly out of harmony with their surroundings and require to be converted and to be taught.

Such an inconsistent view we leave to those who are now claiming that in the hereafter they will be saved in their ignorance. We stand by the Word of God, that there is no present salvation without faith in Christ Jesus, and hence that the heathen and the imbeciles have neither part nor lot in the salvation in the present time. We stand by the Scriptures which declare that any who are saved in the present time must walk in the narrow way, of which the dear Redeemer says they be few that find it. We stand by the Scriptures which say that salvation at the present time is only for the little flock who, through much tribulation, shall enter the Kingdom. We stand by the Scriptures, which say that this Kingdom class now being developed is the seed of Abraham under the Lord their Head, the Elder Brother, the Bridegroom. We stand by the Scriptures which say that through this Christ, when complete, a blessing shall extend to every member of Adam's race-the blessings of opportunity to know the Lord, to understand the advantages of righteousness, the opportunity of choosing obedience and by obedience obtaining everlasting life.

JUDGMENT DAY OPPORTUNITY

The blessings of the future will be of such a kind that every individual who does not have his full opportunity in this present life will have it then. Not an opportunity to become members of the little flock. Not an opportunity of becoming members of the seed of Abraham. Not an opportunity to have part in the great "change" from human nature to divine nature. Not an opportunity to sit with the Lord in His throne. But an opportunity to obtain that which was lost-human perfection, everlasting life under human, earthly, paradisiacal conditions.

An opportunity of coming again into the divine likeness, almost obliterated in the human family through the 6000 years of fall.

FUTURE OF HEATHEN PEOPLE

As our hearts go out with sympathy towards the poor groaning creation in heathen lands and in home lands, and as we take pleasure in doing the little now possible for us to do, what is our joy when we think of that future glorious opportunity that is to be ours, and of the great results that are to accompany it? Surely the hearts of the Lord's people are stimulated as we contemplate the meaning of this great oath-bound covenant! Surely, as the Apostle declares was God's intention, we have strong consolation in our ineffectual efforts to bring the majority of mankind to an appreciation of God's mercy and love now, but it gives us consolation also in respect to our neighbors and friends and members of our own families who are not saints, who are still blind to the grace of God as we see it, the grace which has brought salvation to our hearts in the present time, and which eventually is to bring salvation to to the uttermost in the resurrection. It encourages us further, as the Apostle points out, to lay hold upon the hope set before us-to take a firmer grasp of the divine character and plan. It gives our [HG392] souls encouragement beyond the veil when we see how gracious is the character of our Heavenly Father, how wonderful is the plan which He has devised and how he has been carrying it forward step by step up to the present hour, and that by His grace we are what we are, and have been called to joint heirship with our Redeemer, as members of the seed of Abraham. We reason that if the Lord so loved us while we were sinners, that much more does He love us now that we have accepted Christ and are under the robes of His righteousness and seeking to do those things in harmony with the divine will.


Number 73, April, 1906 The Scripture Teaching on CALAMITIES and why God Permits them
See Old Theology Quarterly, No. 2.


Number 74, July, 1906 DIVINE PLAN OF THE AGES FOR HUMAN SALVATION Why Evil was Permitted

See Old Theology Quarterly, No. 12, for the first part of this article.

The second part as excerpted from the chapter in The Divine Plan of the Ages, and is reprinted below.

WHY EVIL WAS PERMITTED THE HARMONIOUS CO-OPERATION OF THE CREATOR'S WISDOM, JUSTICE, LOVE AND POWER WITNESSED THEREBY

Evil is that which produces unhappiness; anything which either directly or remotely causes suffering of any kind.-Webster. This subject, therefore, not only inquires regarding human ailments, sorrows, pains, weaknesses and death, but goes back of all these to consider their primary cause-sin-and its remedy. Since sin is the cause of evil, its removal is the only method of permanently curing the malady.

No difficulty, perhaps, more frequently presents itself to the inquiring mind than the questions, Why did God permit the present reign of evil? Why did he permit Satan to present the temptation to our first parents, after having created them perfect and upright? Or why did he allow the forbidden tree to have a place among the good? Despite all attempts to turn it aside, the question will obtrude itself-Could not God have prevented all possibility of man's fall?

The difficulty undoubtedly arises from a failure to comprehend the plan of God.

God could have prevented the entrance of sin, but the fact that he did not should be sufficient proof to us that its present permission is designed ultimately to work out some greater good. God's plans, seen in their completeness, will prove the wisdom of the course pursued. Some inquire, Could not God, with whom all things are possible, have interfered in season to prevent the full accomplishment of Satan's design? Doubtless he could; but such interference would have prevented the accomplishment of his own purposes. His purpose was to make manifest the perfection, majesty and righteous authority of his law, and to prove both to men and to angels the evil consequences resulting from its violation.

Besides, in their very nature, some things are impossible even with God, as the Scriptures state. It is "impossible for God to lie" (Heb. 6:18). "He cannot deny himself' (2 Tim. 2:13). He cannot do wrong, and therefore he could not choose any but the wisest and best plan for introducing his creatures into life, even though our short-sighted vision might for a time fail to discern the hidden springs of infinite wisdom.

The Scriptures declare that all things were created [HG393] for the Lord's pleasure (Rom. 4:11)-without doubt, for the pleasure of dispensing his blessings, and of exercising the attributes of his glorious being. And though, in the working out of his benevolent designs, he permits evil and evil doers for a time to play an active part, yet it is not for evil's sake, nor because he is in league with sin; for he declares that he is "not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness." (Psa. 5:4) Though opposed to evil in every sense, God permits (i e., does not hinder) it for a time, because his wisdom sees a way in which it may be made a lasting and valuable lesson to his creatures.

It is a self-evident truth that for every right principle there is a corresponding wrong principle; as, for instance, truth and falsity, love and hatred, justice and injustice. We distinguish these opposite principles as right and wrong, by their effects when put in action. That principle the result of which, when active, is beneficial and productive of ultimate order, harmony and happiness, we call a right principle; and the opposite, which is productive of discord, unhappiness and destruction, we call a wrong principle. The results of these principles in action we call good and evil; and the intelligent being, capable of discerning the right principle from the wrong, and voluntarily governed by the one or the other, we call virtuous or sinful.

This faculty of discerning between right and wrong principles is called the moral sense, or conscience. It is by this moral sense which God has given to man that we are able to judge of God and to recognize that he is good. It is to this moral sense that God always appeals to prove his righteousness or justice; and by the same moral sense Adam could discern sin, or unrighteousness, to be evil, even before he knew all its consequences. The lower orders of God's creatures are not endowed with this moral sense. A dog has some intelligence, but not to this degree, though he may learn that certain actions bring the approval and reward of his master, and certain others his disapproval. He might steal or take life, but would not be termed a sinner; or he might protect property and life, but would not be called virtuous-because he is ignorant of the moral quality of his actions.

God could have made mankind devoid of ability to discern between right and wrong, or able only to discern and to do right; but to have made him so would have been to make merely a living machine, and certainly not a mental image of his Creator. Or he might have made man perfect and a free agent, as he did, and have guarded him from Satan's temptation. In that case, man's experience being limited to good, he would have been continually liable to suggestions of evil from without, or to ambitions from within, which would have made the everlasting future uncertain, and an outbreak of disobedience and disorder might always have been a possibility, besides which, good would never have been so highly appreciated except by its contrast with evil.

God first made his creatures acquainted with good, surrounding them with it in Eden; and afterward, as a penalty for disobedience, he gave them a severe knowledge of evil. Expelled from Eden and deprived of fellowship with himself, God let them experience sickness, pain and death, that they might thus forever know evil and the inexpediency and exceeding sinfulness of sin.

By a comparison of results they came to an appreciation and proper estimate of both; "And the Lord said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil." (Gen. 3:22) In this their posterity share, except that they first obtain their knowledge of evil, and cannot fully realize what good is until they experience it in the Millennium, as a result of their redemption by him who will then be their Judge and King.

The moral sense, or judgment of right and wrong, and the liberty to use it, which Adam possessed, were important features of his likeness to God. The law of right and wrong was written in his natural constitution. It was a part of his nature, just as it is a part of the divine nature. But let us not forget that this image or likeness of God, this originally law inscribed nature of man, has lost much of its clear outline through the erasing, degrading influence of sin; hence it is not now what it was in the first man. Ability to love implies ability to hate; hence we may reason that the Creator could not make man in his own likeness, with power to love and to do right, without the corresponding ability to hate and to do wrong. This liberty of choice, termed free moral agency, or free will, is a part of man's original endowment; and this, together with the full measure of his mental and moral faculties, constituted him an image of his Creator. Today, after six thousand years of degradation, so much of the original likeness has been erased by sin that we are not free, being bound, to a greater or less extent, by sin and its entailments, so that sin is now more easy and therefore more agreeable to the fallen race than is righteousness.

That God could have given Adam such a vivid impression of the many evil results of sin as would have deterred him from it, we need not question, but we believe that God foresaw that an actual experience of the evil would be the surest and most lasting lesson to serve man eternally; and for that reason God did not prevent but permitted man to take his choice, and to feel the consequences of evil. Had opportunity to sin never been permitted, man could not have resisted it, [HG394] consequently there would have been neither virtue nor merit in his right doing.

God seeketh such to worship him as worship in spirit and in truth. He desires intelligent and willing obedience, rather than ignorant, mechanical service. He already had in operation inanimate mechanical agencies accomplishing his will, but his design was to make a nobler thing, an intelligent creature in his own likeness, a lord for earth, whose loyalty and righteousness would be based upon an appreciation of right and wrong, of good and evil.

The principles of right and wrong, as principles, have always existed, and must always exist; and all perfect, intelligent creatures in God's likeness must be free to choose either, though the right principle only will forever continue to be active.

The Scriptures inform us that when the activity of the evil principle has been permitted long enough to accomplish God's purpose, it will forever cease to be active, and that all who continue to submit to its control shall forever cease to exist. (1 Cor. 15:25, 26; Heb. 2:14) Right-doing and right-doers, only, shall continue forever.

But the question recurs in another form: Could not man have been made acquainted with evil in some other way than by experience? There are four ways of knowing things, namely, by intuition, by observation, by experience, and by information received through sources accepted as positively truthful. An intuitive knowledge would be a direct apprehension, without the process of reasoning, or the necessity for proof. Such knowledge belongs only to the divine Jehovah, the eternal fountain of all wisdom and truth, who, of necessity and in the very nature of things, is superior to all his creatures. Therefore, man's knowledge of good and evil could not be intuitive. Man's knowledge might have come by observation, but in that event there must needs have been some exhibition of evil and its results for man to observe. This would imply the permission of evil somewhere, among some beings, and why not as well among men, and upon the earth, as among others elsewhere?

Why should not man be the illustration, and get his knowledge by practical experience? It is so: man is gaining a practical experience, and is furnishing an illustration to others as well, being "made a spectacle to angels."

The severity of the penalty was not a display of hatred and malice on God's part, but the necessary and inevitable, final result of evil, which God thus allowed man to see and feel. God can sustain life as long as he sees fit, even against the destructive power of actual evil; but it would be as impossible for God to sustain such a life everlastingly, as it is for God to lie. That is, it is morally impossible.

Such a life could only become more and more a source of unhappiness to itself and others; therefore, God is too good to sustain an existence so useless and injurious to itself and others, and, his sustaining power being withdrawn, destruction, the natural result of evil, would ensue. Life is a favor, a gift of God, and it will be continued everlastingly only to the obedient.

No injustice has been done to Adam's posterity in not affording them each an individual trial. Jehovah was in no sense bound to bring us into existence; and, having brought us into being, no law of equity or justice binds him to perpetuate our being everlastingly, nor even to grant us a trial under promise of everlasting life if obedient. Mark this point well: The present life, which from the cradle to the tomb is but a process of dying, is, notwithstanding all its evils and disappointments, a boon, a favor, even if there were no hereafter. The large majority so esteem it, the exceptions (suicides) being comparatively few; and these our courts of justice have repeatedly decided to be mentally unbalanced, as otherwise they would not thus cut themselves off from present blessings. Besides, the conduct of the perfect man, Adam, shows us what the conduct of his children would have been under similar circumstances.

Many have imbibed the erroneous idea that God placed our race on trial for life with the alternative of eternal torture, whereas nothing of the kind is even hinted at in the penalty. The favor or blessing of God to his obedient children is life-continuous life-free from pain, sickness and every other element of decay and death. Adam was given this blessing in the full measure, but warned that he would be deprived of this "gift" if he failed to render obedience to God- "In the day that thou eatest thereof, dying, thou shalt die." He knew nothing of a life in torment as the penalty of sin. Life everlasting is nowhere promised to any but the obedient.

Life is God's gift, and death, the opposite of life, is the penalty he prescribes.

Eternal torture is nowhere suggested in the Old Testament Scriptures, and only a few statements in the New Testament can be so misconstrued as to appear to teach it: and these are found either among the symbolisms of Revelation, or among the parables and dark sayings of our Lord, which were not understood by the people who heard them (Luke 8:10), and which seem to be but little better comprehended today. "The wages of sin is death." (Rom. 6:23) "The soul that sinneth, it shall die."-Eze. 18:4 Many have supposed God unjust in allowing Adam's condemnation to be shared by his posterity, instead of granting each one a trial and chance for everlasting life similar to that which Adam enjoyed. But what will such say if it now be shown that the world's opportunity and trial for life will be much more [HG395] favorable than was Adam's; and that, too, because God adopted this plan of permitting Adam's race to share his penalty in a natural way? We believe this to be the case, and will endeavor to make it plain.

God assures us that as condemnation passed upon all in Adam, so he has arranged for a new head, father or life-giver for the race, into whom all may be transferred by faith; and that as all In Adam shared the curse of death, so all In Christ will share the blessing of life, being justified by faith in his blood. (Rom. 5:12, 18, 19) Thus seen, the death of Jesus, the undefiled, the sinless one, was a complete settlement toward God of the sin of Adam. As one man had sinned, and all in him had shared his curse, his penalty, so Jesus, having paid the penalty of that one sinner, bought not only Adam but all of his posterity, -all men-who by heredity shared his weaknesses and sins and the penalty of these, -death. Our Lord "the man Christ Jesus," himself unblemished, approved, and with a perfect seed or race in him, unborn, likewise untainted with sin, gave his all of human life and title as the full ransom-price for Adam and the race or seed in him when sentenced.

Having thus fully purchased the lives of Adam and his race, Christ offers to adopt as his seed, his children, all of Adam's race who will accept the terms of his New Covenant and thus by faith come into his family-the family of God-and receive everlasting life. Thus the Redeemer will "see his seed [as many of Adam's seed as will accept adoption' upon his conditions] and prolong his days [resurrection to a higher than human plane, being granted him by the Father as a reward for his obedience]," and all in the most unlikely way: by the sacrifice of life and posterity.

And thus it is written: "As all in Adam die, even so all in Christ shall be made alive."-Corrected translation, 1 Cor. 15:22 The injury we received through Adam's fall (we suffered no injustice) is, by God's favor to be more than offset with favor through Christ; and all will sooner or later (in God's 'due time") have a full opportunity to be restored to the same standing that Adam enjoyed before he sinned. Those who do not receive a full knowledge and, by faith, an enjoyment of this favor of God in the present time (and such are the great majority, including children and heathen) will assuredly have these privileges in the next age, or "world to come," the dispensation or age to follow the present. To this end, "all that are in their graves . . . shall come forth." As each one (whether in this age or the next) becomes fully aware of the ransom-price given by our Lord Jesus, and of his subsequent privileges, he is considered as on trial, as Adam was; and obedience brings lasting life, and disobedience lasting death-the "second death. " Perfect obedience, however, without perfect ability to render it, is not required of any. Under the New Covenant the members of the Church during the Gospel age, have had the righteousness of Christ imputed to them by faith, to make up their unavoidable deficiencies through the weaknesses of the flesh; and this same grace will operate toward "whosoever will" of the world during the Millennial age. Not until physical perfection is reached (which will be the privilege of all before the close of the Millennial age) will absolute moral perfection be expected. This new trial, the result of the ransom and the New Covenant, will differ from the trial in Eden, in that in it the acts of each one will affect only his own future.

But would not this be giving some of the race a second chance to gain everlasting life? We answer-Thefirst chance for everlasting life was lost for himself and all of his race, "yet in his loins," by father Adam's disobedience. Under that original trial "condemnation passed upon all men;" and God's plan was that through Christ's redemption-sacrifice Adam, and all who lost life in his failure, should, after having tasted of the exceeding sinfulness of sin and felt the weight of sin's penalty, be given the opportunity to turn unto God through faith in the Redeemer.

If anyone choose to call this a "second chance," let him do so: it must certainly be Adam's second chance, and in a sense at least it is the same for all of the redeemed race, but it will be the first ind avid ual opportunity of his descendants, who, when born, were already under condemnation to death. Call it what we please, the facts are the same; viz., All were sentenced to death because of Adam's disobedience, and all will enjoy (in this life or the next) a full opportunity to gain everlasting life under the favorable terms of the New Covenant. This, as the angels declared, is "Good tidings of great joy which shall be unto all people."

And, as the Apostle declared, this grace of God-that our Lord Jesus "gave himself a ransom for all, "-must be "testified" to all "in due time." (Rom. 5:17-19; 1 Tim. 2:4-6) Men, not God, have limited to the Gospel age this chance or opportunity of attaining life. God, on the contrary, tells us that the Gospel age is merely for the selection of the Church, the royal priesthood, through whom, during a succeeding age, all others shall be brought to an accurate knowledge of the Truth and granted full opportunity to secure everlasting life under the New Covenant.

But what advantage is there in the method pursued? Why not give all men an individual chance for life now, at once, without the long process of Adam's trial and condemnation, the share by his offspring in his condemnation, the redemption of all by Christ's sacrifice, and the new offer to all of everlasting life [HG396] upon the New Covenant conditions? If evil must be permitted because of man's free moral agency, why is its extermination accomplished by such a peculiar and circuitous method? Why allow so much misery to intervene, and to come upon many who will ultimately receive the gift of life as obedient children of God?

Ah! that is the point on which interest in this subject centers. Had God ordered differently the propagation of our species, so that children would not partake of the results of parental sins-weaknesses, mental, moral and physical-and had the Creator so arranged that all should have a favorable Edenic condition for their testing, and that transgressors only should be condemned and "cut off," how many might we presume would, under all those favorable conditions, be found worthy, and how many unworthy of life?

If the one instance of Adam be taken as a criterion (and he certainly was in every respect a sample of perfect manhood), the conclusion would be that none would have been found perfectly obedient and worthy; because none would possess that clear knowledge of and experience with God, which would develop in them full confidence in his laws, beyond their personal judgment. We are assured that it was Christ's knowledge of the Father that enabled him to trust and obey implicitly. (Isa. 53:11) But let us suppose that one-fourth would gain life; or even more, suppose that one-half were found worthy, and that the other half would suffer the wages of sin-death. Then what? Let us suppose the other half, the obedient, had neither experienced nor witnessed sin: might they not forever feel a curiosity toward things forbidden, only restrained through fear of God and of the penalty? Their service could not be so hearty as though they knew good and evil; and hence had a full appreciation of the benevolent designs of the Creator in making the laws which govern his own course as well as the course of his creatures.

Then, too, consider the half that would thus go into death as the result of their own wilful sin. They would be lastingly cut off from life, and their only hope would be that God would in love remember them as his creatures, the work of his hands, and provide another trial for them. But why do so? The only reason would be a hope that if they were re-awakened and tried again, some of them, by reason of their larger experience, might then choose obedience and live.

But even if such a plan were as good in its results as the one God has adopted, there would be serious objections to it.

How much more like the wisdom of God to confine sin to certain limits, as his plan does. How much better even our finite minds can discern it to be, to have but one perfect and impartial law, which declares the wages of wilful sin to be death-destruction-cutting off from life. God thus limits the evil which he permits, by providing that the Millennial reign of Christ shall accomplish the full extinction of evil and also of wilful evil-doers, and usher in an eternity of righteousness, based upon full knowledge and perfect free-will obedience by perfect beings.

Those who can appreciate this feature of God's plan, which, by condemning all in one representative, opened the way for the ransom and restitution of all by one Redeemer, will find in it the solution of many perplexities. They will see that the condemnation of all in one was the reverse of an injury: it was a great favor to all when taken in connection with God's plan for providing justification for all through another one's sacrifice. Evil will be forever extinguished when God's purpose in permitting it shall have been accomplished, and when the benefits of the ransom are made co-extensive with the penalty of sin. It is impossible, however, to appreciate rightly this feature of the plan of God without a full recognition of the sinfulness of sin, the nature of its penalty-death, the importance and value of the ransom which our Lord Jesus gave, and the positive and complete restoration of the individual to favorable conditions, conditions under which he will have full and ample trial, before being adjudged worthy of the reward (lasting life), or of the penalty (lasting death).

In view of the great plan of redemption, and the consequent "restitution of all things," through Christ, we can see that blessings result through the permission of evil which, probably, could not otherwise have been so fully realized.

Not only are men benefitted to all eternity by the experience gained, and angels by their observation of man's experiences, but all are further advantaged by a fuller acquaintance with God's character as manifested in his plan. When his plan is fully accomplished, all will be able to read clearly his wisdom, justice, love and power. They will see the justice which could not violate the divine decree, nor save the justly condemned race without a full cancellation of their penalty by a willing Redeemer. They will see the love which provided this noble sacrifice and which highly exalted the Redeemer to God's own right hand, giving him power and authority thereby to restore to life those whom he had purchased with his precious blood. They will also see the power and wisdom which were able to work out a glorious destiny for his creatures, and so to overrule every opposing influence as to make them either the willing or the unwilling agents for the advancement and final accomplishment of his grand designs. Had evil not been permitted and thus [HG397] overruled by divine providence, we cannot see how these results could have been attained. The permission of evil for a time among men thus displays a far-seeing wisdom, which grasped all the attendant circumstances, devised the remedy, and marked the final outcome through his power and grace.


Number 75, October, 1906 SPIRITISM IS DEMONISM!

Its Increasing Influence We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against wicked spirits in High Places

Christian Science Criticised See Old Theology Quarterly, No. 68.


Number 76, January, 1907 Part I EARTHQUAKES IN PROPHECY

Their Significance at the Present Time The Part they play in Nature and in Grace Their Association with the Reign of Sin and Deaths The Grand Results to be expected The Stability of the New Order of things in the Millennial Kingdom A Dark Hour preceding the Millennial Morning

Chicago, Ill., Jan. 20, 1907.

Pastor C. T. Russell of Allegheny, Pa., preached twice here today to large audiences. The afternoon session at Thomas' Orchestra Hall was crowded to overflowing to hear about the "Overthrow of Satan's Empire." We report the morning topic, "Earthquakes in Prophecy," which was from the text, "And there shall be great earthquakes in divers places and famines and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven." (Luke 21:11)

The speaker said: About a year and a half ago an earthquake destroyed eighteen villages in Calabria, Italy, with a loss of thousands of human lives. A little later another earthquake sent a monster tidal wave over the city of Esmeralda and swallowed up four small islands off the coast of Port Limones. Next came the earthquake in the island of Formosa, Japan, destroying thousands. A short interval and San Francisco and other adjacent cities were almost demolished and other thousands of lives sacrificed. Then another destroyed Valparaiso and killed many. Since then Sweden and Great Britain report slight tremors, which scientific instruments indicate must have been of great severity somewhere.

Now we have the Kingston disaster.

The New York Tribune remarks: "The last year and a half will probably go down to history as one of the most disastrous periods of earthquake activity in the records of the human race." Our opinion is to the contrary, that much more violent and much more destructive disturbances are just ahead of us: and our opinion is based upon the testimony of the Scriptures.

The recent prevalence of earthquakes properly enough draws our attention to the Scriptures and what they have to say on this subject. Our text is from the Master's own lips-a part of his description of the trouble that would come upon the world in the close of this age, preparatory to the inauguration of the Millennial age and its glorious manifestation of righteousness under the King of kings and Lord of lords. The Lord was answering a question of His disciples respecting the end of the age and the signs which would mark it. In the preceding verses he had told them that they might expect to hear of wars and tumults, but not to be terrified, that such things would come to pass, but it would not be an indication that the end of the age was near. Then, coming down to [HG398] the events at the close of the age, He uses the words of our text respecting earthquakes, famines and pestilences and fearful sights and signs in heaven. And He follows this by saying that before these terrible signs, earthquakes, etc., of the end of the age, His disciples would suffer persecution in the synagogues and churches, etc., for His sake and for the Truth's sake.

It is far from our thought that an earthquake is of itself a sign of the end of the age. We remember that history tells us of various earthquakes in the past, so that these alone would prove little respecting the time in which we are living. But as many in this audience are aware, and as tens of thousands everywhere throughout the world are also aware, we have pointed out in our "Studies of the Scriptures" various lines of prophecy which converge upon the present time, clearly marking the period between 1875 and 1915 as the harvest time of this Gospel age, in which the elect are to be gathered into closer harmony with the Lord-separated from Churchianity and error, and ultimately to experience the change of resurrection and glorification to the spiritual, heavenly nature. And that shortly thereafter the new dispensation will begin, the Millennial Kingdom, in which Christ and His glorified saints will bring order out of confusion, supplanting ignorance, superstition and error with the Truth, the knowledge of the Lord-substituting the reign of righteousness unto life everlasting for the reign of sin and death, which has prevailed for 6,000 years. The hearts of thousands of the Lord's consecrated people, in many lands and of many tongues, have been made glad with this prospect, and been made strong with the Scriptural evidences supporting these hopes.

THE LORD'S SECRETS FOR SAINTS

It is true that our Second Adventist and Seventh Day Adventist friends have also been calling attention to the Scriptural predictions of great tribulations upon the world, now near at hand; but our message is still a very different one from theirs and used for a very different purpose. Their message is that the convulsions of nature that are now due are to result in a "wreck of matter and a crash of worlds" -in the utter destruction of our race and the reduction of this earth to a mass of cinder. And they use their message as a club to threaten and to drive the wicked to seek the cover and protection of the Lord. Be it noticed how different is our reference to these calamities. We hold with the Scriptures that the "earth abideth forever," and that cold and heat, summer and winter, will continue as long as the earth abideth. We hold again with the Scriptures that God made not the earth in vain-He made it to be inhabited. Eccl. 1:4; Gen. 8:22; Isa. 45:18

We have already pointed out that the fire of this day of the Lord will be a symbolical one, just as the fiery trials that have tried the Church throughout this age have not generally consisted even in part of literal fire. We have pointed out that the fiery troubles coming upon the world will overthrow present institutions, political, social, financial and religious and engulf the whole world in anarchy, and that this is in the Scriptures symbolically called in some places a great flood and in others a consuming fire that will devour the whole earth. We have pointed out that the passing away of present institutions, called the heavens and the earth that now are, will be followed by the establishment of a new heavens and new earth, or the reorganization of society, political, social, etc., along the lines of divine approval intimated in our Lord's prayer by the words, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven."

We remind you again of two of the proof-texts we have offered on this subject, namely,

(1) The Apostle's declaration, Every man's work shall be tried so as by fire; if any man's work abide he shall receive a reward, but only the faith that is built upon the Rock, Christ Jesus, and the gold and silver and precious stones will abide the fire of that day, when all the wood, hay and stubble of human tradition, philosophies and sophistries will be consumed. (1 Cor. 3:11-18)

(2) The statement of the Lord through Zephaniah, the Prophet, addressed to His people, "Wait ye upon me, saith the Lord, until the day that I rise up to the prey; for my determination is to gather the nations that I may assemble the kingdoms and pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger, for the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy." (Zeph. 3:8) That this fire of God's jealousy is not a literal fire that will consume the earth with its inhabitants to cinders is demonstrated, we hold, by the following verse which declares, "Then will I turn to the people a pure language [message], that they may all call upon the name of the Lord to serve Him with one consent." The symbolical fire of anarchy which will overthrow and consume present institutions is thus shown to be the precursor of God's great blessing for the world, for which we pray, "Thy Kingdom come."

Nor are we using this prophetic evidence respecting the end of this age as a club to drive the wicked to shelter. On the contrary, we are convinced and point out to others the Lord's declaration, "None of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand." (Dan. 12:10) We have pointed out also our Lord's words to the disciples at the first advent, which [HG399] illustrate the general operation of His providences, namely-To you (Israelites indeed) it is given to know the mystery of the Kingdom of God, but to them that are without (outsiders) these things are spoken in parables and dark sayings, that they may not understand. (Matt. 13:11-13) We have pointed out again that the Scriptures everywhere declare that "The secret of the Lord is with them that reverence Him, and He will show them His covenant." (Psa. 25:14) But to the wicked God saith, "What hast thou to do to take my name into thy mouth, seeing thou hatest instruction and castest my words behind thee." (Psa. 50:16, 17)

Our use of these prophetic mysteries we hold is in harmony with the divine intention and message-that the Lord's consecrated people might know of the time in which we are living, and that they might be more and more quickened and energized and separated from the world and its spirit and ripened as wheat, and made meet for the inheritance of the saints in light-as wheat prepared for the garner. Matt. 13:30, 43

FEARFUL SIGHTS AND GREAT WONDERS

We will not attempt to prognosticate the character of the frightful signs which belong to the closing of this age, but they are very particularly referred to here by our Lord, and also were foretold through the Prophet Joel, "I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath, blood and fire and pillars of smoke." (Joel 2:30; Acts 2:19)

The Apostle Paul refers to the same thing in Heb. 12:26-28. He refers to the establishment of the Law Covenant at Mount Sinai and the wonderful manifestations at that time which caused Moses and all the Israelites to fear and quake; and the Apostle tells us that those things were typical or figurative of the still more wonderful shakings, signs, etc., to be expected at the closing of this Gospel age, when the Kingdom of God is about to be established and the New Covenant about to go into effect between God and the world at the hands of the great Mediator Jesus and the Church, His "Bride," His "body." The Apostle says that the Lord's Word on the subject implies the removing of all things that can be shaken, that only the unshakeable things will remain, and these unshakeable things the Apostle refers to as associated with God's Kingdom of righteousness. When with the eyes of our understanding open we look about us we see, O. so many things that are evidently not permanent, not right, unsatisfactory to God and to all who love righteousness, and when we think of the fact that the shaking will be such as to loose and destroy all these imperfect things of the present time we can imagine better than we can describe the awfulness of that shaking time which in the Book of Revelation is described as a mighty earthquake, of which there was not the like at any time before nor the like to be expected at any time in the future. The term earthquake is used to symbolically represent revolution-it is in this sense of the word that it is used throughout the Book of Revelation. What we are to look for then will be a great revolution, the great earthquake, the great shaking of the present institutions which will overthrow everything that is not of the Lord's establishment and approval.

Why, then, should we think of or speak of literal earthquakes, do you ask?

Because in the divine order there seems to be a harmony between the literal and the figurative: the literal earthquakes have their part to play, too, in the great program. Not only are they to serve the Church as signs corroborating the prophecies respecting the approach of the great day of trouble which closes this age, but they are to serve also another purpose-a particular purpose. The Scriptures clearly intimate that our physical earth has not yet attained the grand perfection which the Lord designs it should have, to be fit for the blessed ones whose home, as the Paradise of God, it shall be throughout all eternity. Be it noticed that the Scriptures clearly point out that the "little flock," called during this Gospel age to be the Bride of Christ, are to experience a change of nature from human to spiritual, which will prepare them for heavenly conditions, spiritual conditions, but that for the remainder of mankind God's provision is not the change of nature, but a restoration to the perfection of human nature and the development of the earth to that perfect condition which will make it as a whole the antitype of the Garden of Eden-the "Paradise" restored. Rev. 2:7

THE FLOOD THEN, THE FIRE AND EARTHQUAKE NOW

We have already called attention to the fact that the flood of waters in Noah's time was caused by the breaking of the last of a series of rings that once surrounded the earth after the manner of the rings of Saturn; and that God, foreknowing the wickedness that would develop amongst mankind and the power that would be exercised amongst men by the giants of that time-Gen. 6:4-had so timed the breaking of this last ring that the flood of waters would serve the purpose of overthrowing that order of things, and making ready for the next step in the divine program, the present order, which began after the flood, upon the coming of Noah and his family out of the Ark. Similarly the Scriptures teach that God has reserved for its appropriate time in the end of this age certain great physical disturbances necessary to the [HG400] development of the earth and its preparation for the reign of righteousness and blessing of mankind, so that the troubles incidental to this change will come upon the world of mankind as disastrous floods, sore troubles, and co-operate in the bringing of mankind into sore straits and trials of faith and patience, which will result in anarchy and the complete shaking not only of the physical earth but also of the social earth and the ecclesiastical or heavenly institutions, that all the unstable things may pass away, that the new order of things may be ushered in on a permanent basis and have the divine approval, and mean ultimately the grandest blessing for our race.

From this standpoint a certain class only can read the signs of the times intelligently and with confidence, and this class the Scriptures call the Lord's "little flock," counted of the world as foolish, but counted of the Lord as the wise who are to understand. To these the Lord Himself addresses His words, saying, "When ye shall see these things come to pass-when ye see men's hearts failing them for fear and for looking after the things that are coming upon the earth-then lift up your hearts and rejoice, knowing that your deliverance draweth nigh." The Lord's consecrated people, possessed of His Spirit, cannot in any sense of the word rejoice at the tribulation coming upon others; their rejoicing can only be in respect to the glorious things which they hope to experience, and which they know to be near by these outward signs. And their rejoicing is not merely on their own behalf but also on behalf of the whole world, for they have the assurance of the Scriptures that beyond this time of trouble, which looms up as a dark cloud to cover the whole social world, there is a silver lining, and beyond that the glorious Sun of Righteousness, which shortly will blaze forth and dispel every cloud and all the shadows of ignorance and superstition, bringing to the world of mankind the rich blessings of divine favor secured through the precious blood of Christ, the revelation of which has been delayed until now, waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God, which cannot take place until they have been called hence and the faithful ones be glorified with their Lord.

NEW ENGLAND PROFESSOR'S PROPHECY

From this standpoint the news of the last few months of the earthquake in Southern California, another in Valparaiso, yet another in the antarctic circle and now another in Jamaica, doing great damage, causing frightful loss of life and great suffering, besides other minor shakings which effected little injury-all these things appeal to us as being incidental corroborations of the prophecies that show that we are getting close to the great time of trouble. True, there may be a lull for a time, but we have confidence that our Lord's prophecy of our text has a meaning, and that the time for its fulfillment must be very close. We are well aware that the natural man and his scientific leaders will consider such association of the facts of our day with the words of eighteen centuries ago as very foolish.

We are aware that they will say, as the Apostle Peter declared they would, that all things continue as they were from the foundation of the world (2 Pet. 3:4) that such changes have been going on and will continue to go on without any relationship to our Lord's second presence and the time of trouble with which this age will end. That is their view-the reverse is ours.

We remember that a New England Professor about seven years ago delivered an opinion which was at the time commented on as in the nature of a prophecy. His opinion was that in about eight years from the time he wrote, a great earthquake would shatter and break to pieces the huge cap of ice which for centuries has covered the south pole, and his prediction was that in the breaking of this ice-cap and dashing of these mountains of ice into the ocean, great tidal waves would result, and millions of tons of water would be thrown against the coasts of the United States, resulting in terrible damage and loss of life and extending as far north at least as New York City, which, he declared, would be entirely obliterated.

He further predicted that this breaking of the ice-cap of the south pole would so adjust and equalize the weight of the waters of the earth on our globe that the axis of the earth's rotation would be corrected, so that we would no longer have the unequal divisions of day and night of the present, but that the change of the axis would cause serious tidal waves, earthquakes, etc.

We know not the basis of the Professor's calculations-for aught we know they were the barest guesses; but we do know that while nothing like his guesses are a part of the inspired Word, that Word does teach that at about this time we are to expect wonderful contortions of nature and some radical changes in the earth's conditions, that the latter may be the better adapted to the wants of man during the Millennial age and throughout eternity. It is God's own declaration that He will make glorious the place of His feet-the earth, His footstool. (Isa. 60:13) And evidently great and wonderful changes shall be effected, some of these no doubt gradually; as, for instance, we know the gradual change of the temperate zone, its extension further and further toward the north pole. We notice also the increasing moderation nearer to the equator. Those who recognize the power of God can have full confidence that He is able to perform all the glorious promises of His Word respecting the Paradisiacal conditions of [HG401] this earth for the use of mankind in the Millennium and subsequently.

THE SYMBOLICAL EARTHQUAKES'REVOLUTIONS

As already intimated, social upheavals are pictured in the Word of God, under the symbolism of earthquakes, the mountains being carried into the sea, etc., and similarly uprisings of the social elements in anarchy are pictured as tidal waves engulfing the mountains, the governments. This is one of the forceful pictures used, not only in the Psalms, but also in Revelation, and in our Lord's symbolical language referring to the great time of trouble which is near at hand, of which the Prophet has declared that it will be a time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation, and of which the Lord declares additionally, No, nor ever shall be the like again. Dan. 12:1; Matt. 24:21 Let it not be understood that we are advocating anarchy or revolution of any kind.

On the contrary, we are heeding the Master's voice that all who are His true followers should seek peace and pursue it, and so far as possible live peaceably with all men; that, like Himself, they should not resist evil with evil, force with force, but should rather commit their way unto the Lord and seek to walk in His paths and rely upon Him for the results that would be to their profit and the Lord's glory. So far from counselling anarchy, we hold and teach that even the meanest and poorest of all the kinds of government known to the world is superior to anarchy, and we counsel in all sympathy and kindness those who are tending toward Socialism, and their number is ever increasing, that they are unsuspectingly hatching cocatrice eggs-that Socialism under present conditions is absolutely impossible, that the rich would not give up their advantage without a struggle to the death, and that this, as soon as Socialism shall have gained the power that it is seeking and that it will gain, will spell anarchy for the world, because those now starting in with Socialistic hopes, finding those hopes vain, will be so angered, so disappointed, that they will be soured, embittered, and mad with the deceptions of their theories and the impossibility of carrying them out as they intended along the lines of benevolence, that they will be drawn to the desperate methods of the anarchists.

Would that all could see with us what the Scriptures so clearly indicate, namely, the divine foreknowledge of past and present and future conditions, and the divine arrangement of them all for the highest welfare of all those who seek righteousness and hearken to the voice of Him that speaketh from heaven. Such the Lord urges to take His yoke upon them and learn of Him; that they accept of trials and difficulties incidental to loyalty to Him at the present time, and that by these attestations they shall be counted worthy of a share in the highest and best of all the gifts of God-to be sharers with Jesus in His throne, in His nature and in the power which He will exercise shortly in the blessing of all mankind with "restitution." Acts 3:1921 We urge, then, that all who are the Lord's seek more and more to understand His wonderful plan, and to glorify Him with their bodies and spirits which are His, and to wait for His time and His manner of bringing in the blessings of the world which we all see are so much needed by the poor groaning creation. Meantime, additionally, it is for all such to cultivate the graces of the Lord's Spirit, or, as the Apostle says, to "put on Christ," His character, His disposition, His meekness, gentleness, patience, long-suffering, brotherly kindness, love, against which things there is no law, and respecting which, the Apostle assures us, "If ye do these things ye shall never fall, for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." (2 Pet. 1:10, 11) These cannot be shaken out of the Lord's hand by any tumults.

Indeed, if they be in the disasters of the literal earthquakes, they will have corresponding grace sufficient for every time of need, and will be able to rejoice even in tribulation. Should they be in contact with some of the revolutionary earthquakes, still in patience they will possess their souls and be able to rejoice even in relationship to the Lord and their realization in spirit of His care and their knowledge that all things are working together for good to them that love the Lord to the called ones according to His purpose. Rom. 8:28 It is of this class that the Prophet declares, We will not fear though the mountains be removed and carried into the midst of the sea [literally, We will not fear though revolution should carry all the governments of the world into anarchy]. We will not fear though the sea roar and be troubled [though the multitude of mankind cry out, threaten and give evidence of great commotion in Socialism, etc.] We will not fear though the mountains shake with the swellings of the sea [though the kingdoms tremble with the tempests of anarchy]. There is a river the streams whereof make glad the city of God. God is in the midst of her [the little flock, the Church, whose names are written in heaven], she shall not be moved; [earthquakes cannot dissolve the relationship subsisting between the Lord and His faithful, the peace of God which passeth all understanding rules in their hearts, preserving them in peace] God shall help her and that [HG402] right early-[ in the morning of the Millennium-by the First Resurrection]. Psa. 46


Part 2 TONGUES OF FIRE The Gifts and the Fruits of the Holy Spirit

A Spurious Text Faith Healing, Miracles, Unknown Tongues The Purposes they Served Strong Delusions, Counterfeits Foretold

From all parts of the world, but especially from the Pacific coast, come reports of what its friends call a fresh Pentecostal blessing-an outpouring of the holy Spirit, etc., and what its opponents call a religious insanity. The movement is amongst so-called "holiness people" of various sects and parties- "missions," as their meetings are generally styled. People who have been seeking and claiming "divine healing" seem to be among the most susceptible. Amongst these are some who give evidence of deep sincerity and a superficial knowledge of God's Word.

Though generally swift to speak and slow to hear, they, through indolence or fear, neglect systematic study of the divine message. They seem to come under the head mentioned by the Prophet, "My people perish for lack of knowledge." Hos. 4:6 Reports of the movement in various directions seemed so absurd that we declined to believe them, supposing that since they were sent out by the secular press the facts must surely be misrepresented. Now, however, the "flame," as it is called, has reached Pittsburgh, where at one of the Christian Alliance Missions we have an ocular demonstration of this delusion.

What we see here corresponds well with the general reports from elsewhere. The meetings are "bedlam:" everything is confusion, prayers to God are yelled or groaned or barked-yelped. Now and then some one "gets the blessing" and falls in a trance like condition on the floor, to remain rigid, perhaps, for hours. Another begins to talk some sort of gibberish interspersed with English. Another in a different guttural mumbles and then gives an interpretation in English. These are said to have the "unknown tongues" of Pentecost; but we remember that foreigners present did recognize those tongues as bona fide and got a gospel message from them. Acts 2:8

The people in attendance pay little heed to what is uttered by these "tongues" and their interpretations. Some are simply curious and attend as a free show; others are too engrossed with their desire to have a trance or an "unknown tongue" to do anything else than groan their prayers to God for those "gifts," as evidences of His favor. Frenzied hugging and kissing and rolling on the floor (reported from elsewhere) are amongst the evidences that these poor people are surely under some spirit influence. And it certainly does not appear to be "the spirit of a sound mind." 2 Tim. 1:7

EVIL WORDS FROM EVIL SOURCE

It is quite true that there was confusion at Pentecost, caused by so many speaking at once in foreign languages; but nothing in the record implies insanity or fanaticism: nor could we expect either from such sound logicians as their writings show the apostles to have been. On the contrary, our experiences corroborate the declaration of St. Paul, that the operation of the holy Spirit of God in our hearts and minds has been favorable to the development of greater soundness of mind, by reason of our heed to the Word and its wisdom, which cometh from above. A WATCH TOWER reader in Los Angeles, Cal., writes that a neighbor woman got this so-called gift of tongues, and that a reputable Chinaman hearing her, said that he understood her quite well-that she spoke his dialect of Chinese. Pressed for an interpretation he declined, saying that the utterance was the vilest of the vile.

In our judgment, the facts justify the conclusion that these "flames" are of an unholy spirit, of Satan: that he is now producing a poor counterfeit for the deception of a class whom he cannot reach through Spiritism, Christian Science, Hypnotic New Thought nor Higher Critic Evolution theories.

Is it asked, Why would the Lord permit Satan to delude honest souls? We reply, that he has permitted "doctrines of devils" these many centuries amongst the heathen (1 Tim. 4:1), some of whom doubtless are also sincere. The time for the binding of Satan is not yet- [HG403] though we believe it is very near. (Rev. 20:2)

Doubtless Satan realizes better than we can how the binding or restraining is coming, and is actively maneuvering to avoid it; while God, on the other hand, is willing to permit his activity because it can now serve a purpose-a sifting work-which must reach and touch every class and condition of professed Christians everywhere to test and prove them. Thus we consider this one of the many delusions of our day. Mark the Apostle's forceful words respecting this day of trial with which this age ends and the next is ushered in. He says: For this cause "God shall send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie." Why? "That they [who fall] all might be [thus] condemned"-be manifested as not right, as out of harmony with God-as unfit to be of the "Bride" class. But why so? "Because they received not the truth in the love of it," but "had pleasure in untruth." 2 Thess. 2:10, 12 In other words, the "Present Truth" has been sent hither and thither throughout the bounds of Christendom that, like as a magnet would attract all the particles of steel within the radius of its influence, the Truth might attract all the Israelites indeed, for further schooling and ripening, preparatory to their "change" to Kingdom glory. Meantime, the Lord allows Satan to organize various human agencies, those not of His "very elect," that such may fall farther and farther from the Truth, until finally none will "stand" except the elect, and they "on the sea of glass mingled with fire." (Rev. 15:2) All others are to fall more or less, though some will subsequently be rescued from the catastrophe- "saved so as by fire." 1 Cor. 3:15

AN UNINSPIRED RECORD

We here quote from Pastor Russell's discourse of February 3, 1907, as it was published in the Pittsburgh Dispatch and other journals, from the text:" These signs shall follow them that believe: in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover. "Mark 16:17, 18. The speaker said: I have chosen this especial text for two reasons:(1) Because it is the one most frequently quoted by those who advocate the thought that all Christians should be known by the peculiar gifts it specifies, and able to speak with unknown tongues, to cast out devils, to heal the sick, etc.

(2) Because I wish the more pointedly to call to your attention the fact that these words are not a part of the original Gospel by St. Mark. It is well known to all critical students that St. Mark's Gospel closed with the sixteenth chapter and eighth verse.

From the ninth verse to the conclusion, as shown in our common version, was an addition to the original manuscript. This is demonstrated by the fact that these verses are not found in the original MSS. of the New Testament. The oldest Greek MSS. and the most authentic every way, are known as the Vatican MS. 1209, and the Sinaitic MS.-both written somewhere near the year 350. Neither of these contains verses nine to twenty, including our text. The earliest Greek MS. containing these verses is the Alexandrian, the date of which is credited to the fifth century. It seems rather remarkable to us, therefore, that there should be amongst scholars any who would use the words of our text as though they were of divine inspiration or apostolic authority.

However, the conclusions based upon these words deserve our consideration every way, because of the fact that the Scriptures clearly show that our Lord and the apostles and some members of the early Church did possess many of these gifts of the holy Spirit, and did exercise them somewhat after the manner described in these interpolated words we have taken as our text. We, therefore, invite your attention to what we believe to be the Bible teaching on the subject of the "gifts of the holy Spirit" and the "fruits of the Spirit."

THE "GIFTS" IN THE EARLY CHURCH

That our Lord ever spoke in unknown tongues is not stated; but that He did cast out demons and heal the sick and awaken the dead is recorded, and also the fact that He sent forth His disciples clothed with power and authority to do the same things is also declared. We are to notice, however, that although Jesus did many wonderful works, they are expressly stated to have been for signs- "These things did Jesus, and manifested forth [beforehand] His glory"-the glorious work of His Kingdom, which is to completely liberate mankind from the thraldom of sin, sickness, demons and death, in proportion as the laws of the Kingdom shall be obeyed. We are not, then, to understand that it was the divine will in our Lord's day nor since that all sickness should be cured by divine power, that all demons were to be cast out, etc., but rather than just a sufficiency of this kind of work was to be accomplished to give evidence of the change of dispensation-to testify to Jesus and His disciples-to authenticate their ministry and teachings as divine.

Nor were these healings merely performed upon those who were converts to the Lord-upon those who had accepted Him as the Messiah, had believed in Him and had become His disciples. On the contrary, the miracles recorded came not to those who were the Lord's disciples, but to those who were pronounced [HG404] sinners. As an illustration, take the case of the impotent man at the Pool of Bethesda. Its five porches were continually crowded with the sick, as we read- "In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, the blind, the halt, the withered." Yet to only one of these did the Lord address Himself, saying, "Rise, take up thy bed and walk, and immediately he was made whole, and took up his bed and walked."

And that this man was not a believer in Jesus is evidenced also by the narrative, for we read- "He that was healed wist not who it was that had healed him." That he was not a saint is also testified by the narrative, for we read that Jesus later said to him "Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more lest a worse thing come upon thee." (John 5:3, 13, 14) Other evidences in the same line might be given, but are unnecessary.

After our Lord's death, resurrection and ascension came the Pentecostal blessing, the baptism of the holy Spirit. As an evidence or witness to this baptism, but not a part of it, were gifts similar to those which Jesus had exercised, and these were generally distributed amongst all believers at that time, as we read that a measure of the Spirit was granted to every man in the Church to profit withal-for his profit and for the general advantage of the cause with which all were identified-the establishment of the Church. The Apostle Paul, in writing to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 12:4-31), clearly indicates that the holy Spirit operated in the early Church.

Some had the gift of tongues, others a gift of healing, others a gift of interpreting tongues, etc., while some had several tongues or languages at their command, and some, notably the apostles, apparently enjoyed all of these gifts. The Apostle exhorted the Church in general to not only covet and desire these gifts, but to recognize a distinction between them-that some were preferable to others. The Apostle says, "Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?" "Covet earnestly the best gifts." The Apostle suggests further that one who had the gift of tongues should pray that he might also receive the gift of interpretation of tongues. 1 Cor. 12:29-31; 13:13

THE USE AND VALUE OF THOSE "GIFTS"

The Apostle distinctly foretells the discontinuance of these gifts," saying, "Whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away." (1 Cor. 13:8) He clearly intimates the reason for the discontinuance to be that the Church would gradually come into a more developed condition, in which these gifts would no longer be necessary, but give place to a higher, nobler and more certain manifestation of the indwelling of the holy Spirit. He says, "We know in part and we prophesy in part, but when l as] that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away." He illustrates this by saying, "When I was a child I spake as a child and understood as a child, but when I became a man, I put away childish things." (1 Cor. 13:9-11) We have not yet reached the standard of perfection and full membership in Christ, and shall not reach it until our change in the First Resurrection; but as members of the Lord's body, His Church, His Ecclesia, we properly have made progress from the infantile condition at the beginning of this age. This is in harmony with the Apostle's injunction that milk is for babes and strong meat for those more developed, and that it is our duty, as the Lord's followers in the School of Christ, to grow in grace and knowledge and love.

These "gifts" in the Church had prevailed for several years at the time the Apostle addressed the saints at Corinth, whom he exhorted that they should desire the best gifts. He found them, like children, interested chiefly in speaking with unknown tongues, and gently reproved them for considering these a high attainment and evidence of great favor with God. Not that he discouraged the speaking with tongues, for, as he explained, he could thankfully say that he could speak with more tongues than they all; but he did wish them to realize that they might have these gifts and yet come very far short of being acceptable to the Lord. He would have them understand that the "fruits" of the Spirit were a higher manifestation and better testimony than the "gifts." The "gifts" were miracles, tongues, interpretations, etc.; the "fruits" were faith, hope, joy, love. When exhorting them to desire the best "gifts" he added the suggestion respecting the "fruits" of the Spirit as still better, saying, "Yet show I unto you a more excellent way"-an evidence of divine favor far beyond that of the "gifts."

To demonstrate the better value of the fruit of the Spirit, love in the heart and in the life (with its concomitants of joy, peace, kindness, etc.), he gave an illustration, saying, Though I could speak with the tongues of men and with the angelic tongues also, if I were devoid of love, it would indicate that I had become like sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. As a brass horn will make a noise when it is blown, yet have no appreciation of itself, so some possessing the miracles, gift of tongues, etc., might exercise these in a perfunctory manner and be lacking of the real Spirit of the Lord and His Truth. The power to work miracles might by there and operate through them, and yet they might have no more relationship to it than the cymbals have to the power which strikes [HG405] them. Taking the still higher gifts of prophecy and understanding of mysteries and knowledge, and even rising in the scale of attainment to the position of mountain-moving faith, all these, as the Apostle declares, would amount to nothing unless the fruit of the Spirit were developed, namely, Love. These various gifts might serve a purpose, but without Love the purpose would only be for others, and not a blessing to the individual himself.

Progressing still further in his comparison, the Apostle shows that even generosity is not sufficient, for though he were generous and self-sacrificing to the extent of giving all his goods to feed the poor and yielding up his body to be burned in his faithfulness to the Lord, yet should he not develop the great fruit of the Spirit, Love, he could have neither part nor lot with the Lord in HIS Kingdom, and all these other gifts would profit him nothing as respects membership in the heavenly Kingdom, as a member of the body of Christ. Therefore, he concludes that "Love is the principal thing"-far beyond all gifts, however honorable and useful they may be. Progressing in his argument, he shows that while the gifts would depart, this grace, this fruit of the Spirit, would continue-continue down to the end of the age-yea, and go far beyond into the eternal future. Referring to the "fruits" of the Spirit, which he desired them to cultivate and to esteem as preferable to the "gifts," he says-Now these abideth, faith, hope, love, but the greatest of these (the most important of all) is love, for love never faileth. It will not only be the essential quality without which we cannot gain an entrance to the life eternal and the heavenly state, but it will continue throughout all eternity to be the quality or characteristic of all that shall enjoy divine favor forever.

THE PROFIT OF "GIFTS" IN THE CHURCH

A little reflection will make clear to us the value, yea, almost the necessity of the gifts to the Church in its infantile stage. The Apostle explains the character of their religious gatherings: they met and one had a psalm, another a prayer, another an exhortation, another a hymn, another an unknown tongue, another an interpretation of that tongue, another a gift of prophecy. Their meetings were thus made interesting, entertaining and profitable. The prospect of messages coming from the Lord through unknown tongues, and the prospect of getting an interpretation of these also, would draw the believers together and maintain their interest and help to give them food for thought and discussion. They had no Bibles at first: the New Testament was not yet written; the Old Testament, written on parchments, was not only clumsy to handle, but very expensive, and the synagogues which could afford a complete copy were considered very fortunate, and these copies were kept with great care and merely read from on the Sabbath day in the hearing of the people who attended. The early Church, cast out of the synagogues, were really without any particular source of instructions except as they could call to mind the preaching of the Lord and the prophets as they had heard them in early life; and hence this provision of the Lord for the gifts of prophecy and understanding of mysteries and communication through unknown tongues and the interpretation of the same, were all designed to teach them their dependence upon the Lord and to draw them together for mutual instruction, and show them that the Gospel message was not given to them individually but collectively as a Church. All these good offices were well served by the gifts, and in due time the believers were taught to look beyond the gifts and to cultivate the fruits of the Spirit.

Gradually the New Testament grew-the four Gospels, the Epistles of Paul, Peter, John, James, etc.-and with this growth of written instruction the necessity for the gifts proportionately died away. They were not necessary as at first for the establishment of the Church nor for its instruction. It is quite in harmony with this that in general the Apostolic epistles of the New Testament make comparatively little reference to the "gifts" of the Spirit, but persistently counsel the putting away of the filth of the flesh and the cultivation of the fruits of the holy Spirit. No intimation is given anywhere that the Lord's people were to expect a repetition or continuance of the Pentecostal blessings, tongues, etc., but rather that they were to go on toward perfection-the perfection which will only be attained in the resurrection, but for which resurrection they were to be prepared by the cultivation of the fruits and graces of the Spirit. We are to notice carefully that the one baptism of the holy Spirit which came upon the believers at the first was nowhere promised to be repeated, and that it was separate and distinct from the "gifts" which at first accompanied, but which subsequently were to give place to, the fruits and graces of the Spirit, and did give place to these.

"OPPRESSED OF THE DEVIL"

The Scriptures do clearly teach that Satan had much to do with the bringing in of mother Eve's temptation, which led up to father Adam's disobedience. He is justly in the Scriptures styled "a murderer from the beginning." Indirectly he is the murderer of the 20,000,000,000 of our race who have already gone down into the tomb. Indirectly, at least, [HG406] all sickness, pain and sorrow may be thus traced back to him. He had still more to do with us through beguilements and temptations of our weakening flesh. He has led the majority of our race from bad to worse, mentally, morally and physically.

For it should be recognized that sin in its every form is death dealing-every sinful and impure thought has its reactionary effect upon our minds and bodies, tending to produce therein weakness and disease-dying conditions.

Naturally and quite properly the inquiry comes, Is not the Lord Jesus still interested in releasing all those "oppressed by the devil"? Like the Heavenly Father, he surely "changes not;" hence he is still interested in the release of our race from the power of sin and death, and of "him who hath the dominion of death, that is, the devil." Heb. 2:14. And if so, should not we expect that the healing of disease and expelling of demons would be still the Lord's work throughout this age-irrespective of the fact that now His Church has been established in the world upon a good footing, and has no need of the "gifts" for instruction, having instead in the hands of all the Bible of both the Old and New Testament? We answer, Yes-undoubtedly all this is true. Why, then, is it asked, should not the same healing of the sick progress now? Why should not this be one of the main duties and privileges of all believers, after the manner of their Lord and the apostles?

We reply that while the Lord proposes a great work as the Good Physician in the healing of the diseases of the world, mental, moral and physical while He proposes that ultimately this shall be accomplished on a much larger scale than anything which He did at the first advent, yet the time for this is not yet. What Jesus and His apostles did in the beginning of the age, as we have already seen, affected only a very small fraction of the world only a very small fraction indeed of those with whom they were in contact. The real work of healing and restitution, according to the Scriptures, belongs to the future, to the Millennial age, to that epoch which will follow the second advent of our Lord to His work as the Prophet, Priest and King in the lifting up and blessing every way of all who are of the millions whom He redeemed with His precious blood. The work of this age is not a restitution work except, as already noted, in the early Church it was a foreshadowing of coming good things. The work of this Gospel age is not a work of healing and restoring mankind.

The times of Restitution have not yet come, and will not come, as the Apostle points out, until the second advent of our Lord. (Acts 3:19-21) Now we are in the time when work the very reverse of this is in operation-a sacrificing work. All will admit that our Lord did not use His healing powers on His own behalf, but that, on the contrary, He sacrificed, laid down, His life in the service of truth and righteousness; that in three and a half years He so spent His vitality-when "virtue went out of Him and healed them all"-that at the time of His crucifixion He was very weak, as evidenced by the bloody sweat and the fact that He was not able to bear His own cross as did the others in the procession. All will admit that the apostles did not use their powers for their own restoration, nor have we any record of their ever praying for the healing of themselves or for each other to be healed of disease.

Even when Trophimus was sick, nigh unto death, the Apostle makes no intimation of prayer for his healing; and when Timothy had dyspepsia, instead of praying for his restoration of health, or sending him a blest handkerchief or napkin, the Apostle wrote him respecting his diet, "for thy stomach's sake and thy often infirmities." (1 Tim. 5:23) All must admit, then, that the healings were done upon those outside the Church, and evidently were for a time only, and would constitute no basis that the Church should expect miraculous intervention on behalf of its members. Quite to the contrary, these were all exhorted to lay down their lives, to seek not to spare them, save them, which implied not praying for their deliverance from those diseases or ailments which came to them as the result of their self-denials, services, self-sacrifices. Rather they were to delight in these, while exercising a reasonable prudence and care, which would make the most of all earthly advantages as a part of the stewardship to be used in the service of the Master.

"LOVED NOT THEIR LIVES"

Not only are believers exhorted to present their bodies living sacrifices in the service of the Lord and to lay down their lives daily, hourly, on behalf of the brethren-in their interest, in carrying blessings to them-but additionally we are told that the ones who will gain the prize, those who will make their calling and election sure, will not be those who prayed for and gained restitution of the things they had consecrated to the Lord's service, but those who spared not their lives even unto death. These overcomers shall inherit all things, sit with their Lord in His throne in the Millennial Kingdom, for they are followers in His footsteps. He prayed not for Himself, healed not Himself, and was not healed by others, but on the contrary said, "The cup which my Father hath poured for me, shall I not drink it?" and who also invited His followers, saying, "This is my cup, drink ye all of it."

We see, then, that in the Lord's order restitution to [HG407] physical health and strength was not intended either for Jesus, the Head of the Church, nor for the Church, His body, but for the world. We see also that the time is not yet come for the bestowment of this blessing upon the world, but that it delays until the sacrificing of the Church with her Lord shall be accomplished-until the Church glorified, sharers of the heavenly Kingdom with the Redeemer, shall shower the blessings of restitution, health, mental, moral and physical, everywhere throughout the earth, granting to all the fullest opportunities to come back, to be released from the power of sin anti death and from all the dominion of the great Adversary, who will then be bound for a thousand years that he may deceive the nations no more until the thousand years be finished. Rev. 20:2, 3


Part 3 "IN THE EVIL DAY" "Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men."

The Tests of Faith and Obedience now upon the Church Why the Present Time is Designated by the Apostle the "Evil Day," in which it will be difficult to stand, easy to fall Escape by Watching and Prayer

This article can be found in Pastor Russell's Sermons, pages 286-302, entitled," Wolves in Sheeps Clothing."


Part 4 FILTHINESS OF FLESH AND SPIRIT

To be Put Away Holiness to be perfected Why the Bible admonishes the Church, and not the World along these lines The Cleansing

This article can be found in Reprint R5737-R5739-April, 1916, entitled, "Our Cleansing Inward used Outward."

"For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But aced ye fret the kingdom of Cod, and His righteousness: and all these things shall be added unto you." Matt. 6:32, 33.

"Let us seek the Kingdom as the preeminent matter of our lives.... If seeking the Kingdom seems to hinder some of our earthy prospects, so much the better. The Master said it must cost us our all." R5048, c. 2, p. 5. "If the Kingdom was made first, all their earthly needs would be supplied." R5917, c. 2, p. 4.