Greatly Misunderstood Parable Made Plain "And in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom." – Luke 16:23

Many dear Christian people who are themselves opposed to cruelty in every form subscribe to creeds of the dark ages which misrepresent the heavenly Father as taking fiendish delight in creating millions of humanity with the foreknowledge of a precarious existence in the present life of a few years and their eternal torture. It is claimed by foreordination or at least forearrangement, God planned that all except the saints shall spend an endless eternity in most horrible torture. Some say in physical and others say in mental torture worse. These Christian friends have apparently failed to note that the Scripture references which they believe teach eternal torment are all of this parabolic or symbolic character; that there is not a literal statement to such an effect from Genesis to Revelation. On the contrary, there are numerous Scriptures which declare that the wicked shall be "destroyed," "perish," "die," and that God's provision is that none can have eternal life except as a gift and favor through Christ. "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom. 6:23).

The masses, disgusted with all doctrines, no longer hope for anything reasonable or logical in religion. Some, devoid of heart and reason, are fully satisfied; let the doctrines alone. But others still hunger and thirst after righteousness – truth. Their hearts cry out after the living and true God – a God of justice, wisdom, love and power. They realize that the Bible must be his revelation of his own character and purposes, yet are free to acknowledge that they have never been able satisfactorily to understand it or to harmonize its doctrines. The message of Present truth is for this latter class, and all over the world they are hearing it and being blessed, refreshed, comforted, strengthened by divine might in the inner man. Coming to a clearer knowledge of the Divine Plan of the Ages, they are finding it soul satisfying and sanctifying. It is this class that the People's Pulpit seeks to reach and to instruct more perfectly respecting the divine character and purpose.


We remind you that in the parable the thing said is never the thing meant. For instance, wheat and tares do not mean wheat and tares, but children of the Kingdom and children of the wicked one. Sheep and goats mean the Lord's people and those of a different spirit or disposition. So in the parable under consideration.

We hold that the rich man and Lazarus and all the various things connected with the story are parabolic. The majority of people, seemingly anxious to hold on to this parable as a proof text favoring the eternal torment theory, insist that it is not a parable, but a literal statement of facts. We must pause, therefore, to show the impossibility of that view before we proceed to analyze the true meaning. We need mention only a few points to show that it could not properly be understood as a literal statement of facts. For instance, it is not stated that the rich man was profane or immoral or wicked in any ordinary sense of these words. The whole account is that he was rich, was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. Viewed literally the implication would be that all the wealthy who wear purple apparel and who have a bountiful supply of provisions will by and by spend an eternity of torture, regardless of their moral characters.

Surely such an interpretation is irrational.

Likewise of Lazarus, we read not a word about his good qualities, his purity of heart, his generosity to the [HG428] poor, his reverence for God, etc., but merely that he was poor, lay at the rich man's gate, desired to eat the crumbs from his table and was full of sores. If these conditions are to be understood literally, it would signify that moral and religious qualities have nothing to do with our admittance to a heavenly state, but merely poverty, sickness, etc., such as few of us could claim to have duplicated.

Moreover, a literal interpretation would imply Abraham's literal bosom as the place of bliss. And if Lazarus got there, and even two or three since, it would leave no room for any of us, unless Abraham has a larger bosom and longer arms than any one we know. But enough of this.


We offer a suggestion as to the meaning of the parable. We admit that, since our Lord did not interpret it, anybody has the same right as ourselves to seek to find and to make known an interpretation which will fit to all the various parts of the parable and be reasonable, Scriptural and harmonious. Yet we have never seen any lucid interpretation except that which we now present.

The rich man symbolizes the Jewish nation. For centuries that people were God's peculiar people, of whom he said, "You only have I known (recognized) of all the families of the earth" (Amos 3:2).

St. Paul tells us that the Jews had much advantage every way, "chiefly because that unto them were committed the oracles of God" (Rom. 3:2). These divine gifts, favors, blessings, promises, are all symbolically represented in the rich man's condition.

First. – His clothing of purple symbolically represented royalty. That nation God had organized as his kingdom, as we read, "David sat on the throne of the kingdom of the Lord," and again, "Solomon sat on the throne of the kingdom of the Lord in the room of his father David." Although this kingly power was taken away from them in the days of the king Zedekiah, nevertheless the scepter of authority remained with them. "The scepter shall not depart from Judah . . . until Shiloh come." Messiah was therefore to come to that nation, that it might have the great honor of being his kingdom, the charmer of divine blessing to the world.

Second. – The fine linen symbolically represented righteousness, the righteousness which by divine arrangement was reckoned to that holy nation "year by year continually," for centuries, as a result of their atonement day sacrifices.

Third. – The sumptuous fare represented the gracious promises of God through the law and the prophets and his covenants with that nation.

Lazarus, the poor beggar full of sores who ate of the crumbs, symbolized those gentiles who were outside of the Jewish covenant, "aliens and strangers from the commonwealth of Israel." They had not the health and fine linen symbolical of justification and harmony with God. Their sores and rags represented their degradation, sin and alienation from divine favor and forgiveness. The eating of the crumbs from the rich man's table represented that under divine arrangement every promise and favor really belonged to the Jews and that every blessing granted to the gentiles was from Israel's fullness. Such crumbs of comfort were the healing of the centurion's servant and the Cyro-Phoenician woman's daughter.

When this mother asked relief for her child Jesus answered, "It is not meet to take the children's bread and to give it to the dogs." Our Lord thus used an aphorism of that time and country under which the Jews spoke of all gentiles as "heathen dogs." The woman accepted the answer without offense, knowing that it was the Jewish sentiment in general, but she replied, "Yea, Lord, yet the little dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from the children's table." Here she applied the word dog to herself and other gentiles, and the favor which she requested she called a crumb from the Jewish table, following our Lord's own suggestion in the matter.

Fourth. – The dogs which licked Lazarus' sores represented gentiles in general and that the class of them represented by Lazarus, anxious for a share in divine mercy and grace, were companions of dogs, aliens, foreigners from divine favor.


The death which came to the rich man and to the beggar in the parable represents a decided change as respects divine favors and treatment on the part of both parties. The rich man, the Jewish nation, took sick, and the dying process began from the time of our Lord's crucifixion. As our Lord declared, "Behold, your house is left unto you desolate" (Matt. 23:38). For thirty-seven years the rich man, the Jewish nation, gradually died to all of the wonderful privileges and blessings which had been theirs as God's peculiar people. The death of that nation occurred in the year 70, when Jerusalem was destroyed by Titus' army. Never since have they had national life. They have been dead and buried, entombed in hades as a nation. Thank God, the resurrection of Israel to national life is clearly foretold under the new covenant at the second coming of Messiah in the glorious reign of the spiritual kingdom, "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah" (Jer. 31:31). [HG429] The death of the beggar occurred three and a half years after the cross at the end of Israel's specified seventy weeks of special favor. "The middle wall of partition" between Jew and gentile was then broken down. The beggar was no longer outside of the gate, the companion of dogs, but had full access to the table of the Lord and all the gracious promises and covenants it held forth. Cornelius, the first gentile convert, was received at this time, and his acceptance marked the end of special Jewish privileges, the breaking down of the "middle wall of partition."

Then and thenceforth every sincere gentile seeking fellowship with God and a share in his gracious promises had through Christ, exactly the same rights as had the Jew – no more, no less. Indeed, the Jewish converts to Messiah became fellow members of this Lazarus outcast class, which now though no more glorious than before in the sight of men, was specially favored of the Lord (Eph. 2:15).


Abraham is styled the "father of the faithful," and from this standpoint all faithful to God are counted as his children – symbolically. This is the figure used in this parable. Lazarus, accepted to Abraham's bosom in the parable, means that all of that class outcast from the Jewish nation, but hungering for the crumbs of divine favor and blessing and cleansing, were adopted as Abraham's seed or children of his bosom (he typified God). Thus all gentiles accepting Christ are now children of Abraham, children of God by faith in the blood of Christ. Our Lord Jesus is the head of the seed of Abraham, and all we as well as all faithful Jews accepting him and becoming his disciples are counted members of his Body. As the apostle declares, "Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise," and, again, "If ye be Christ's then are ye Abraham's Seed and heirs" (Gal. 3:29; 4:28)


All scholars will concede that the Greek word hades and the Hebrew word sheol, rendered hell in our common version, really signify the death state, the tomb.

Various Scriptures tell us of the silence of sheol and hades and that there is neither wisdom nor knowledge nor device there; that the dead know not anything.

Scholars therefore have been perplexed greatly at the statement of this parable that the rich man lifted up his eyes in hades, being in torments. The difficulty dissolves as soon as we have the proper interpretation to the parable and see that the Jewish people died as a nation and were buried as a nation, but did not all die individually. The people of Israel, outcast from their own land among all the nations of earth, are very much alive, socially and personally, having suffered for all these centuries.

Only very recently we have had an exhibition of how this rich man (Israel), dead as a nation, but alive as a people, has appealed to Father Abraham to have Lazarus cool his tongue with a drop of water. Of course the thought would not be that a spirit finger would take a drop of literal water to cool a literal tongue. The interpretation must be looked for along the lines of the parable. The fulfillment came when the Jews of this country in a general petition requested the president of the United States to co-operate with other "Christian nations" and intercede on behalf of their members in Russia that they might have more liberty and less persecution, that their torments might be cooled.

If we look for the rich man's "five brethren" we find them. There were twelve tribes of Israel, and, although all of these tribes were in a general way represented in Israel in our Lord's day, yet, strictly speaking, that rich man was composed mainly of the two tribes – Judah and Benjamin. Now, if the two tribes were represented in the one man the other ten tribes would be properly enough represented in his "five brethren." The suggestion of the parable that something be done for these five brethren is for the purpose of showing us that nothing would be done for them. The answer of the appeal was:" They have Moses and the prophets . . . If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead" (Luke 16:29, 31).

Here, dear friends, we have a consistent interpretation of this parable, and it relieves our minds greatly. It assists also in illustrating to us the special relationship of the Jews under the Law Covenant and how this special relationship was lost by reason of their unbelief and how their unbelief alienated them from the divine favor of this gospel age and constituted a deep and wide gulf between them and the spiritual Israel class represented in Lazarus in Abraham's bosom.

We thank God that the promise of the Scriptures is that with the end of this gospel age this gulf of unbelief and consequent separation from divine favor will be done away and Israel will be delivered from the torments of these centuries and experience a national resuscitation or resurrection under the glorious privileges, favors and advantages of the new covenant, "Even so have these also not believed that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy" (Rom. 11:31). [HG430]


God's great covenant, the oath bound covenant, "In thee and in thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed," applies specifically to the Christ, our Redeemer and Lord, the Head, and to the "elect" Church, the members of his Body.

All of the privileges of blessing the world belong to this class, but they ate received conditionally – that they will sacriifice their earthly rights and interests that they may have instead spir. iitual and heavenly conditions. Christ's death and the death of these, his elect members to earthly interests constitute the teens upon which he and they shall be the mediator of the new covenant for Israel, to giive Israel a share on the earthly plane in the work of blessing all the families of the earth under their new covenant. Thank God, this will mean restitution, uplifting out of sin and death conditions not only for those who have not yet entered the tomb, but for all of the race who will accept this favor of God through Christ, including those who have gone into the tomb. All refusing this grace will die the Second Death, symbolized by Gehenna.


This article can be found in its entirety in the Newspaper Sermons, entitled, "In the Cross of Christ We Glory."


"This article can be found in its entirety in the Newspaper Sermons, entitled, "Hosanna! Hosanna! To the Son of David!"

THY KINGDOM COME We have learned it, we have sung it, We have prayed it o'er and o'er. We believe it, nations need it, Let us ask it more and more.

May thy Kingdom come!

A new tomorrow without sorrow, Christ shall rule in righteousness. Wars all ceasing, peace increasing, All his name shall then confess.

May thy Kingdom come!

Need we wonder? need we ponder? "Faith can trust him, come what may." Jesus taught it, all have sought it, Yes, that bright Millennial day.

May thy Kingdom come!

Keep on hoping, keep on praying For that Kingdom promised long. Age of gladness, no more sadness, Right shall rule instead of wrong.

When thy Kingdom comes!


Volume 1, Number 7 THIEVES IN PARADISE

This article can be found in its entirety in the Newspaper Sermons, entitled, "Thieves in Paradise."


This article can be found in its entirety in the Newspaper Sermons, entitled, "Passover in Type and in Antitype."


This article can be found in its entirety in the Newspaper Sermons, entitled, "The Risen Christ."



This article can be found in its entirety in the Newspaper Sermons, entitled, "Foreordination, Predestination and Election."

CALLED BY A NEW NAME Lift up shine eyes dear child of God, Lift up shine heart and sing. Let naught distress thee, for thou art Espoused unto a King.

In silken threads of shimmering gold A pattern thou shalt make Upon thy royal wedding gown For thy dear bride-groom's sake.

His bride must be in queen's attire. And so with patient care. Ne'er let a single day go by Without some stitches there.

When finally thou art by his side. The world shalt know thy fame. When Christ presents thee as his bride And gives thee a new name!


This article can be found in its entirety in the Newspaper Sermons, entitled, "Foreordination, Predestination and Election."

CALLED BY A NEW NAME Lift up shine eyes dear child of God, Lift up shine heart and sing. Let naught distress thee, for thou art Espoused unto a King.

In silken threads of shimmering gold A pattern thou shalt make Upon thy royal wedding gown For thy dear bride-groom's sake.

His bride must be in queen's attire. And so with patient care. Ne'er let a single day go by Without some stitches there.

When finally thou art by his side. The world shalt know thy fame. When Christ presents thee as his bride And gives thee a new name!



"The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." Isa. 11:9

Assuredly our text has never yet had a fulfillment, but just as surely it shall be fulfilled, for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it; yea, more, hath declared that ultimately "every knee shall bow and every tongue confess" Messiah, to the glory of God the Father. Some time ago in our Sunday-School hymnals a very popular melody was entitled "SHOWERS OF BLESSINGS" and prayed, "Let some droppings fall upon me." This truly expresses the Christian's experience in the present time. The Lord permits his people to have sunshine, cloud and showers for their refreshment, for their development. Nevertheless the showers of refreshing never seem to come with sufficient frequency, and we continually rejoice in the hope that "still there's more to follow." What a contrast, therefore, is suggested by the words of our text – a downpour of truth and grace which will produce a flood of righteousness and knowledge of the Lord world-wide and ocean-deep!

When will this be, and how will it come to pass, are the incredulous inquiries. It seems too good to be true that, after a reign of sin and death lasting for six thousand years, so wonderful a change is to be brought aboutl It seems too great a miracle to be expected that, after the struggle of Truth with Error, of Righteousness with Sin for long centuries, the time should ever come when Righteousness and the knowledge of God should obtain so complete a victory, so thorough a mastery of the world When we consider the united energies of Christendom during the last century to spread the knowledge of the Lord amongst the heathen and the results during the last century in spreading the knowledge of the Lord throughout heathendom, the Scriptural statement seems incredible.

When we reflect that a century ago there were six hundred millions of heathen and that now there are twelve hundred millions, we ask ourselves by what miracle it could ever come to pass that the knowledge of the Lord should ever cover the whole earth as the waters cover the mighty deep.


The Scriptures answer our query and explain the entire situation. They tell us that the world's conversion comes not by might nor by power of man, but "By my spirit, saith the Lord." The Bible tells us that during this Gospel Age God has poured out his holy Spirit upon his servants and upon his handmaids and upon these alone; but they tell us also that with the end of this Age and the dawning of the new dispensation the Lord will pour out his spirit upon all flesh. "After those days, saith the Lord, I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh."

But what will be the cause of this change in the Divine program, which the Almighty has foreknown from of old and foretold through the prophets?

Evidently it is not a change of the Divine purpose or intent, but merely a change in the Divine operation, for "Known unto the Lord are all his works, from the foundation of the world." A lesson we all need to learn is that as, in human operations, time and order are observed, so likewise these are elements in the Divine arrangement. In the construction a foundation is the first requisite, and the roof or capstone and the finishing touches mark the completion of the edifice. So in the Divine arrangement various ages mark various degrees of development in the Divine purpose and not until the finishing touches shall have been given will the glories of the architect and builder of creation's wonderful temple be manifested. We are at present in the formative period. God has begun the great work of which he prophesied of old. Messiah has come, has died for the sins of men, has arisen from the dead and been highly exalted: the Church, spiritual Israel, gathered from natural Israel and from all the families of the earth, "a little flock," has been in process of selection for nearly nineteen centuries. Soon it will be completed – the predestinated number possessing the foreordained quality of character, "copies of God's dear Son," will have been found and tested and developed and polished and fitted and prepared for the glorious position to which they have been called as Messiah's Bride and joint-heir in his Kingdom. Then the King and Queen of the Millennial Kingdom, being in readiness for their work, a great change in the Divine program of earth will take place.


The Scriptures most distinctly teach that we are under the reign of the "Prince of this world," Satan, and that our Lord at his Second Coming in power and great glory will bind or restrain this strong one and overthrow his empire, which is not of Divine authorization, but built upon human weaknesses, ignorance and superstition. We are distinctly told that Satan shall be bound for that thousand years (the [HG433] Millennium) that he may deceive the people no more until the thousand years shall be finished.

The question naturally arises, Why did God with all power at his command so long permit Satan to deceive humanity and through their superstitions and ignorance rule them as their Prince? Why was he ever given liberty or power at all over humanity? In the light of the Scriptures we may see that as God at times has used the wrath of man to praise him, so during this period of Satan's liberty he has not been permitted to frustrate the Divine Plan or intention but, unconsciously, has co-operated with it and served it. Without his blinding influence the Jewish rulers would not have crucified our Lord, as St. Peter distinctly shows, "I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers" (Acts 3:17).

Likewise had it not been for the delusions of Satan the Church would not have been persecuted; the way to glory and honor and immortality and joint-heirship with Christ would not have been made the "Narrow Way;" the saints, the "jewels" whom the Lord is now selecting, would not have been polished and fitted and prepared for the glorious places to which the Lord has called them. Surely, then, the Lord has used the great Adversary to assist in the accomplishing of the Divine purposes. Satan may have supposed that he was frustrating God's plans, but just as surely he was mistaken. The Divine Word is sure which declares, "My Word that goeth forth out of my mouth shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in that whereunto I sent it."


Attempting to give us glimpses of the glory that is to come the Scriptures use various figures of speech, telling us, for instance, that the present is a dark night as compared to the future, which will be a morning of joy. They declare, "Weeping may endure for the night, but joy cometh in the morning" – the Millennial morning.

Following the same figure we read, "The Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in his beams." From this standpoint the entire six thousand years of the reign of sin from the time of Adam's disobedience in the Garden of Eden to the time of the establishment of the reign of Christ has been a night time in which "darkness has covered the earth and gross darkness the people" (Isa. 60:2). The night will give place to the glorious day of his presence, the bright shining of the Sun of Righteousness.

The spirit of sleep and stupor came over the Church during the dark ages. The Lord permitted it to be so.

We lost sight of the glorious things of the Restitution morning and the blessings then to come to the Church and to the world in general. These things were little preached and little believed, although most conspicuous in the Word of God.

Instead we gave heed to the heathen theories and more or less mixed and combined them with the Scriptural teaching, much to our confusion. As a consequence now the Truth of God's Word when we come to it and read with better understanding is new to us, strange – verily, "Truth is stranger than fiction," because the fiction has been drilled into us from infancy and sung to us from nearly every hymn-book in the world. Thus we have had a hymn-book theology rather than a Bible theology, and this accounts for the fact that the Word of God and his character are so little understood, and that today leading minds are repudiating the Scriptures and taking to Higher Criticism. We need to turn back, to retrace our steps, to inquire for the old paths Jer. 6:16), for the doctrines older than Wesley and Calvin, older than Roman Catholicism – the doctrines of Jesus and the apostles and prophets. From this standpoint, thank God, we can see light in his light and glorify his name and appreciate his Word as containing the very essence of wisdom, justice, love and power.


The proposition of the Scriptures, of a Millennial Age of blessing, coming through the establishing of God's Kingdom, for which we pray, "Thy will be done in earth as it is done in heaven," strikes people in three different ways:

First. – Some ungenerously will be disposed to resent the thought under the supposition that it would imply a more favorable opportunity for the world in general in the next Age to come into harmony with God than the Church of the present age enjoys. To these we answer that their argument is at fault because they fail to recognize the fact that the reward to be given to the overcomers of this Gospel Age, the Church class, will be a much higher one than will go to the obedient of the world in the next age. The reward of the Church will be a spirit nature and a share in the heavenly Kingdom with the Lord Jesus. The reward of the earthly class of faithful ones will be Restitution to the perfection of human nature lost by Adam and redeemed by our Lord Jesus. Surely those who appreciate the "high calling" to the Divine nature and joint-heirship with the Lord in his Kingdom will see that it is well worth the additional sacrifices, self denials, etc., which it will cost.

Second. – Another class, generous and appreciative, [HG434] offer the criticism that it seems unfair on God's part to give such a glorious Millennial opportunity to those who will be living at the time of the Second Advent and to deny it to the remainder of the race who lived previously. This also is a mistake, we answer. God's proposition is that all of the world of mankind who do not enter into the trial of this present time – the Judgment or trial of the Church, the spirit-begotten ones – will have an opportunity of entering into the judgment or trial of the world for the prize of Restitution and human perfection on the earthly plane. This blessing, this privilege, will begin with the living nations at the time of the beginning of the establishment of the Lord's Kingdom, but it will not end with them. The Scriptures declare, "All nations which thou hast made shall come and worship before thee." And again, "In thy Seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed."

Some of those nations and families have perished from the earth, but the Divine provision of redemption and Restitution is meant for all eventually. The Scriptures assure us of an awakening of all the sleeping millions of earth's population. "The hour is coming in the which all that are in their graves shall hear the voice of the Son of Man and come forth." The Apostle tells us that they will come forth, "Every man in his own order," or class; thus intimating that from the Divine standpoint there are numerous classes of the dead. Thus the Scriptures assure us that the first class, the blessed and holy ones, the saintly, will alone share in the First Resurrection, and that these shall be priests unto God and reign with Christ a thousand years (Rev. 20:3, 4). The remainder of mankind will come from the tomb classified – not all at once.

They will not come forth to be damned or condemned. They were "condemned already" as children of Adam because of his sin. It is on that account that they were "born in sin and shapen in iniquity." It was from that sin and its sentence or condemnation that Christ died to set them free. They will come forth free from that condemnation in a judicial sense, but, nevertheless, with the weaknesses of the fall still upon them, and they will be required to co-operate with the Lord in their own uplifting during that thousand years. Note that the great King of Glory, with all power in heaven and earth, could not, if he chose, lift them at once from their degradation and all that was lost, because the gradual uplifting and their own cooperation in the Divine program, so arranged, will be the most helpful way – because the learning of righteousness by the process of climbing up out of conditions of imperfection will impress upon them its principles the more thoroughly.

Third. – A third class, and they are not a few, discern at once that "true and righteous" are the Lord's ways and arrangements – that those now on trial have more advantage every way in that to them was granted so high an honor and blessing and so great a stimulus to righteousness. They recognize also that the Lord's arrangements for the world, the living and the dead, will be glorious to all, to angels and to men, when all shall have been brought fully to an appreciation of the facts.


To some it may appear strange that it is the knowledge of the Lord that is to fill the whole earth ocean deep – not the knowledge of mankind, not the knowledge of sin, not human philosophy – none of these are to fill the earth and to bring blessings to the world of mankind, but ,'the knowledge of the Lord." Well did our dear Redeemer say, 'This is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only living and true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." Life eternal is not to be gained by a knowledge of astronomy or geology or mathematics or chemistry, etc., but by the knowledge of God. How is this? What is there so wonderful, so magnetic in the knowledge of God that it should be said that men might gain eternal life thereby? We answer that God himself is the very personification of those glorious elements of character which he demands we shall emulate, copy, pattern after.

Thus our Lord Jesus said, "Be ye like unto your Father which is in heaven." Not that we can ever be exactly like him in these respects, while we have our present imperfect bodies, but his is the pattern after which we must copy as best we can now and of him be the exact copy by and by.

The thought is that as we copy our Heavenly Father's character each additional step of progress means a clearer knowledge of the Father, and only those who attain to the very perfection of love in their hearts will be able rightly, truly to know the Father or the Son. Hence to know him in the full, proper sense of the word would imply that we had attained his likeness in our hearts, and this would imply preparation for life eternal on the Divine terms. From this standpoint our text implies that all mankind will ultimately be in that condition of the knowledge of God which will imply the perfection of their hearts, imply their acceptance to eternal life, imply that all unwilling to come to this glorious condition under the Divine opportunities will have been destroyed from amongst the people in the Second Death (Acts 3:23). How wonderful is the Divine arrangement! Blessed are our eyes, for they see and our ears that they hear and our hearts that they now respond!



A Storm at Sea This article can be found in its entirety in the Newspaper Serb us entitled, "A Storm at Sea."


Suggestions – Craving – Desire – Yielding – Absorption – Destruction

This article can be found in its entirety in the Newspaper Sermons, entitled, "Sin's Small Beginnings."


The Tree of Life in the Paradise of God Verily I say unto thee today, Thou shalt be with me be Paradise." – Luke 23:43.

Paradise is another name for the Garden of Eden, the abode of bliss. It was lost through the sin of our first parents, but the gracious promise of our great Creator is that this condition of earthly bliss shall be re-established – not merely in a little corner of the earth, but that the whole earth shall become the Paradise of God.

Heaven is God's throne and the earth is his footstool, and he assures us, "I will make the place of my feet glorious" – "in due time." How this will be accomplished is the Gospel message.

The Divine promise to Father Abraham, that all the families of the earth should yet be blessed through his Seed, includes the thought of man's full restoration to Divine favor – as before he sinned and before he fell; before Paradise was lost; before man came under the curse or sentence of death. The Jews hoped that Messiah would come and constitute their nation the earthly Kingdom of God and re-establish Paradise with Palestine as its center. They expected that under his wise ministration, using their nation as his instruments, the Divine Law would extend to all and, by bringing all people into harmony with God, would gradually bring back all to the Paradise state.


It was in full harmony with this expectation that the dying thief asked the Lord to remember him when he would come into his Kingdom, the Kingdom whose dominion would establish righteousness in the earth, and thus convert the world, under Divine favor, into the Paradise of God. Our Lord's answer was that verily, truly, his request would be granted – the thief would yet be with him in Paradise.

Paradise has not yet been established, because God's Kingdom has not yet come to earth and it delays until a certain work for the Church shall be accomplished.

It is not the Divine intention to make of the nation of Israel God's Kingdom in the highest sense of that word, though it will be actively identified with the heavenly Kingdom as its earthly representative. God is selecting during this Gospel Age a new nation, Spiritual Israel, from every nation, people, kindred and tongue. At our Lord's First Advent and subsequently he gathered from Israel such as were saintly and ready for the Kingdom; and since then he has been taking out from other nations enough to complete the foreordained number of the "elect" Church. These will constitute the Kingdom per se, and it cannot be set up or established in power until this election or selection shall have been completed and the "elect" "changed" or glorified on the spiritual plane by the power of the First Resurrection.

Paradise, or the Garden of the Lord, not only represents that earthly condition which will be restored for the benefit and blessing of the natural man, as the reward of his obedience to the rules of Emmanuel's Kingdom during the Millennial Age, but it also applies in a figurative sense to the glorious and heavenly position which God has in reservation for the Church. Thus we read in the Book of Revelation that the Lord has promised to the overcomers of the Church that "To him that overcometh will I give to eat [HG436] of the tree of life which is in the midst of the paradise of God" (Rev. 2:7).


This is a grandly beautiful and symbolic message and promise assuring us of the happiness and heavenly bliss in eternal life conditions of all who are faithful followers of Christ in the present age – walking in Jesus' footsteps in the "narrow way." The Book of Revelation pictures the history of this Gospel Age down into the Millennial Age and shows us Paradise re-established with the Heavenly City, the glorified Church, as its center or capital. The River of life is pictured as flowing from under the Throne. On either bank of its crystal waters of Truth and grace grow the trees of Life, after the manner of Eden of old. The future state will all be Paradise. The completeness of blessedness will first be manifested in the Church on the spiritual plane, and, secondly, it will be manifested in the Ancient Worthies on the earthly plane – perfected Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the holy prophets, the earthly representatives of the heavenly Kingdom. Gradually the paradisaical condition shall fill the whole earth. The wilderness shall blossom as the rose and the solitary places shall be glad and streams shall break forth in the deserts, as we read in Isaiah 35. The morally lame shall learn to walk in the paths of righteousness. Yea, they shall leap for joy, as they come to a knowledge of the grace and goodness of God. The world's eyes of understanding shall be opened and their deaf ears shall be unstopped, that they may hear and see the goodness and mercy, the justice and the love of our God. The willing and obedient shall eat the good of the land, but the evil doers shall be cut off in the Second Death.

Gradually the boundaries will be spread abroad until, in the end of the Millennium, they shall include the whole earth. Gradually the numbers enjoying Paradise shall increase until, in the end of the Millennium, the entire race of Adam shall experience this blessed privilege of God's love and mercy through Christ.

St. Paul, like John the Revelator, was caught also to Paradise in vision and saw the glorious things of the future age, which he was not permitted to explain to us, because the due time had not yet come. Neither was John the Revelator permitted to reveal fully the particulars of the Paradise condition. He could merely give us a few symbolic hints or suggestions respecting the glories of Paradise restored.


We have already noticed that Paradise was lost by sin through disobedience of the heavenly command.

Life and Eden bliss and Divine favor and fellowship were all lost to Adam and to us, his children, under the death sentence. There was no hope for any of us any more than for the brute beast, for while the latter was born to die, man, created with possibilities of life eternal, was sentenced to the loss of all. Indeed, under the demoralizing influences of sin and death we find many of the human family really more degraded than the brute creation and apparently less worthy of Divine favor.

But God, rich in mercy, in the great love wherewith he loves us, provided for mankind a recovery from the sentence of sin and death, while he has made no provision for future life for the brute creation.

God's provision for man's recovery from the sentence of death is the story of the "Cross of Christ." Because a man had sinned the redeemer must be a man.

Because the penalty was human death, the perfect man must die for the sinner's release from the death sentence – to uplift the willing out of sin and death conditions, up to fellowship with God and eternal life. Because the race of Adam inherited naturally his mental, moral and physical defects, therefore none of his posterity was worthy of eternal life. But, in the Divine arrangement, as Adam had involved all of his children and their Paradise home in the wreck of sin and death, so a redemption has been effected through Christ.

The great work of Messiah will therefore be the restoration of the world to all that was lost in Eden and redeemed at Calvary. The work of restoration, St. Peter tells us, has been spoken of by the "mouth of all God's holy prophets since the world began" and will be accomplished by Messiah at his Second Coming (Acts 3:21).

But the Divine Plan changes not. Sin is still objectionable to God, will always be so. And the divine sentence is that no sinner may have eternal life; hence the offer of Divine Grace is merely that all who will may have Divine assistance, resurrection, restoration, uplifting out of sin and death conditions to perfect conditions. But these things will be accomplished only in those who are willing and obedient. Only such shall eat the good of the land – the fruits of Paradise (Acts 3:23).

Furthermore it is the Divine arrangement, and a just one, that any good and noble deed of the present life works a measure of character development which will be assistful in the future life, enabling the faithful the sooner to mount up in the full perfection of earthly life. Correspondingly every willful sin, every violation of conscience and principle works a defilement and impairment of manhood, which, likewise, will have its effect in the future life in the [HG437] difficulty of rising out of degradation to the heights of Divine perfection and approval and everlasting life. If all mankind could appreciate these facts what an influence it would have in restraining, governing and developing self control and true manhood"


Does some one inquire as to why he who redeemed Adam, his Eden home, and all his race, and who proposes a restoration of all – why he has not begun this restitution work during the eighteen hundred years since the sacrifice of himself?

The Scriptures answer that another feature of the Divine program is being carried out. The Lord is gathering the "elect" Church from Israel and all the nations to be Messiah's assistants in his Kingdom and the gracious work of uplift – resurrection – restitution. This "elect" Church class first selected is in the Scriptures called "A first-fruits of God unto his creatures" (Jas. 1:18). The world of restored humanity will be the after-fruits.

The Scriptures exhort such as in the present time are blessed with the hearing ear to give heed to the special invitation of the elect. They exhort such as have the eye of faith to aspire to the crown of glory and joint-heirship that is now being tendered to a very select class. He that hath an ear let him hear. He that hath an eye let him see. So many of us as have been blessed of the Lord with the ear of faith, the eye of faith, let us rejoice therein with the blessed opportunity. Let us seek indeed to make our calling and election sure to this heavenly estate of glory, honor and immortality and joint-heirship with our Lord, the King of kings and Lord of Lords!


Both the thieves crucified with our Lord lost their right to the original Eden or Paradise of God through father Adam's disobedience, as did we all. Both of those thieves were "born in sin and shapen in iniquity, in sin did their mothers conceive them," as with us all. Both of those thieves were redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, as were we all; for "ChristJesus, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man;" "He is the propitiation for our sins [the Church's sins,] and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." Thus, as we have seen, the Redeemer has made provision for both of those thieves, as well as for all of us – all of Adam's race – to be recovered from the sin and death conditions of the fall and to be restored to Paradise. The Church now called during this Gospel Age may reach the spiritual Paradise or highest condition of holiness and happiness. The two thieves and the remainder of mankind will have their opportunity during the Millennium. Their opportunity will be for a return to earthly life and perfection and happiness and an earthly Eden – world wide. How much grander a work will thus result from our Lord's death than we had previously supposed!

Let none suppose, however, that those two thieves will enter Paradise on the same footing. While both were guilty of robbery, they evidently were dissimilar in the condition of their hearts. The one was hardened, as evidenced by the fact that he could speak thus rudely to the Redeemer, whose face bespoke gentleness, purity and innocence of crime. Such cruelty implied a deep degradation of mind – implied that he was sin-hardened. And yet we must remember that others of the multitude standing by used similarly cruel language. And we must remember that there are many thieves who are not caught and many, perhaps, as morally wrong, as evilly intentioned, who for fear of the consequences, never committed the wrongs. We can even suppose that some of the scribes and Pharisees and Doctors of Divinity of those days were in God's sight much worse than the impenitent thief – murderers at heart and in deed. Yet of the latter St. Peter declares, "I wot brethren, that in ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers," when you crucified the Lord of glory.


Ignorance and superstition and inherited depravity all bore down upon the impenitent thief to a degree which we are not capable of properly estimating. The Lord will judge him – both thieves – all mankind. The penitent thief will unquestionably have a two-fold blessing. First he will be blessed because of his penitent attitude of mind; secondly, because of his faithfulness in expressing that penitence and mercy to our Lord in his distress. Our Lord declared that even a cup of cold water given to the least of his disciples will have its reward. Surely it will be in harmony, then, that the penitent thief will have a reward for his defense of the Master.

The penitent thief manifested not only sympathy but honesty and it is entirely in keeping with the general teachings of our Lord's Word that the honest hearted and the merciful have special blessings. Those blessings cannot reach them in the grave and it is not always that they reach them in the present life. Virtue is not always its own reward. Our Lord declares the Truth on the subject, assuring us that such shall be "recompensed in the resurrection of the just." That is to say, when the just, the justified, the Church, shall [HG438] be resurrected in the First Resurrection and when then the heavenly Kingdom shall be established amongst men and the general awakening of the world from the sleep of death shall gradually follow – then every good and every evil word, every good and every evil act, will be recompensed – in Paradise. Let us be glad and rejoice that the Divine arrangement is an earthly Paradise, possible to every member of the race, and a heavenly Paradise, possible to every member of the spirit-begotten Church, and that the alternative of Paradise is not eternal torment, but everlasting destruction – the Second Death.


"Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven." – Matt. 6:10

The words of our text have been repeated by Christian people of all nationalities for centuries. You recognize them as a portion of what is generally termed the Lord's prayer, given to the Lord's followers as a model in answer to the request of the Apostles, "Lord, teach us to pray." The fact that our Lord instructs us to pray for his Kingdom to come, implies several things.

(1) That it was not already here.

(2) That it is part of the divine provision that in due time the Dominion of the Highest shall be established among men.

(3) That this is one of the chief desideratums for God's people and for humanity.


It surely has not escaped the attention of every Bible student that nearly all of our Lord's parables are more or less closely identified with this Kingdom thought. The majority of them open with such expressions as, "The Kingdom of heaven is likened unto," etc. If we keep in memory that it is a Kingdom of priests that is to be established, otherwise called a Royal Priesthood, all will be plain. Our Lord Jesus, after he had paid our ransom price, after he died the just for the unjust, as our sacrificing High Priest ascended up on high to be our King; to be a Priest upon his throne. And similarly he is now calling for an underpriesthood, willing to follow his example of self-sacrifice in the present life. These in due time he will glorify with himself, giving them a share in that Royal Priesthood as Priests upon the throne of the Millennial Kingdom. Thus he promised, "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." (Rev. 3:21).

If all Christian people could realize that their "high calling" of God is not a calling away from eternal torment, but a calling, or invitation, to association with Christ in his great Kingdom, which shall ultimately rule the world, "under the whole heavens," they would read the Bible with a fresh interest; it would soon be to them a new book.

Glance at some of the parables. Note how they give snap-shot pictures of the Church's experiences, not only in the future, but especially in the present time of development and preparation and testing – picturing the trying experiences necessary for attaining the Kingdom. In other words, the Church, while on trial, is the embryo Kingdom, the probationary Kingdom class. This is the enlisting time, the testing time, the proving time, and none will be accounted worthy to share in the actual glories and privileges of the coming "Kingdom of God's dear Son" except those who now demonstrate not only loyalty but loving devotion to the Lord, to his Truth, to all who are his – to the extent of laying down their lives for the Truth and for the brethren.

Note the parable of the sower, and that the message sown is the "good seed of the Kingdom." Note that the ripe wheat developed from that sowing is denominated the children of the Kingdom. Note that the gathering of the wheat into the barn – by the resurrection change, to the heavenly state – is still associated with the thought of the Kingdom in the words, "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father." Now they are exhorted to shine forth their light as tallow-candles, that they may "show forth the praises of him who called them out of darkness into his marvelous light." If unfaithful in shining forth the light under the present conditions of prevalent darkness, they will not be esteemed worthy of a place with the glorified faithful in the Kingdom which will shine forth as the sun.

Note in the parable of the net cast into the sea, which gathered fish of various kinds, that the net represented the nominal church of this present time, which in due time is drawn ashore, the fishes caught, separated, and those suitable for the Kingdom are represented as gathered in baskets, while the [HG439] unsuitable are represented as being cast back into the sea.

Notice the parable of the pearl of great price, which represented the Kingdom blessings and privileges, and could be obtained only by the selling of all that was possessed; that thus the Lord's followers who desire a share in his Kingdom are to reckon that no sacrifice is too great to make to attain that blessing – indeed, they are to know that the Kingdom can be attained at no less cost than the surrender of all their earthly hopes and aims.

Note the parable of the pounds and talents, which represented our Lord's departure to heaven for investiture in authority to be the great King of earth, the sovereign of the Millennial Kingdom to be established at his return. Note the giving of the pounds and the talents to his faithful servants to be used in his interest in his absence. Note that on his return he first reckoned with these, and rewarded the faithful, saying to one, Have thou dominion over two cities; to another, Have thou dominion over five cities; to another, Have thou dominion over ten cities. Note that this giving of the Dominion to his faithful servants signified their sharing with him in his Kingdom at the time of its establishment at his second coming.


Note the parable of the sheep and the goats which pictures the Millennial Kingdom in full operation. It opens with the announcement, "When the Son of Man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory. And before him shall be gathered all nations; and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats" (Matt. 25:31). This is unquestionably a picture of the Millennial reign of Christ, and his dealing with the world. When that time shall come, the elect Church, the Bride of Christ, will be with him in the throne, sharing his glory, and sharing in the work of judging the world; as said St. Paul, "Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?" (1 Cor. 6:2.)

The prophecies of the Old Testament Scriptures abound in testimonies respecting the blessing which will come to the world during the reign of Messiah's Kingdom.

The Jews had every reason to expect that God had honored their nation as the seed of Abraham with especial relationship to his Kingdom – that as his holy nation and people Israel should be the channel for the dispensing of the divine blessings to all the families of the earth. Nor will that expectation prove false. The Lord has not changed his plan; he has merely introduced first of all another feature of his plan not previously revealed, styled by the Apostle Paul "the mystery of God."

This mystery is, that before Israel can be God's earthly agents for dispensing his blessings to mankind in general, to every nation, people, kindred and tongue, God will first select a special class, a "Little Flock," a "Royal Priesthood" – the Church, the Bride, the members of the Body of Christ as a Spiritual Israel. When this Kingdom class shall have been fully selected, and the last member shall have been glorified with Christ beyond the vail on the spirit plane of existence, then divine favor will return to natural Israel.

We are not to understand that everyone who has Abrahamic blood in his veins will on that account be permitted a special service for the Lord during the Millennium as an earthly representative of the spiritual Empire. Nay, they are not all Israelites who are of the seed of Abraham. But the Lord shows us through the Apostle that prior to the coming of Christ God had already selected Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets and other faithful ones enumerated by St. Paul in Hebrews 11th chapter. These, having demonstrated their faith and willing obedience to do the Lord's will, have this testimony, "that they pleased God."

These ancient Worthies of the earthly seed of Abraham are already prepared of the Lord to be the earthly representatives of his Spiritual Kingdom. In due time, after the glorification of the Church in "the first resurrection" these will come forth not on the spirit plane, but as perfect human beings. Through these the Lord's blessings and instructions to mankind will be disseminated. They will constitute the earthly Jerusalem, as the Church will constitute the heavenly Jerusalem, Mount Zion; as we read, "The Law shall go forth from Mt. Zion, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem" (Mic 4:2) for the blessing of all nations, for their instruction in righteousness, for their assistance in the highway of holiness, that they may gain at its farther end the great reward of life eternal.

It is but reasonable to expect that with the establishment of that Kingdom for which Israel has so long waited and hoped, its mercies dispensed through these Ancient Worthies will first appeal to the nation of Israel, and subsequently to all people of all nations, as they shall come to the faith of Abraham and receive the instruction of the Kingdom. Thus it is written, "And many nations shall go and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths" (Mic 4:2). [HG440]


It may help some to think of this Gospel Age as a parenthesis. God's dealings with the Jews in the flesh were interrupted by the development of the spiritual seed of Abraham – Christ and the Church (Gal. 3:29). As soon as this work of developing Spiritual Israel shall be completed, and the 'little flock" be exalted to glory on the spirit plane by their resurrection change, then the parenthesis will be ended, and divine favor will resume its operation with natural Israel, and through Israel to all nations, for their blessing.

Note how distinctly this matter is set forth in Romans 11th chapter. There the Apostle notes the rejection of natural Israel, and how it was foretold by the Prophets Isaiah and David – that their table of divine mercies and promises would become a trap and a snare to them, making them proud and arrogant instead of humble, and thus showing the unfitness of the majority of them for a share with Messiah in the spiritual part of the Kingdom. The Apostle pictures these in the olive tree, whose roots represented the Abrahamic Covenant, and whose branches represented theJews. He points out that nearly all the branches were broken off – because of unbelief – and that the unbelief was because of an improper condition of heart. He says that those Jews who received Jesus were the branches not broken off, and that God during this age has been choosing out from amongst the Gentiles such as would be suitable substitutes for the broken off Jewish branches, so that eventually the olive tree would have the full number of branches definitely foreknown and intended – a few of them natural branches (including the Apostles and all the Jews who received Christ in sincerity) and the remainder of that spiritual olive tree, branches grafted in from amongst the Gentiles. The tree as a whole, then, represents spiritual Israel, the "one new man" mentioned by the Apostle, whose head is Christ, and whose members are partly Jewish and partly Gentile, transformed, renewed (Eph. 2:15).


Continuing his discussion of the subject, in this same chapter, St. Paul says, "I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye be wise in your own conceit; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved; as it is written, "There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer."

Let us not make the mistake of supposing the Apostle meant that all Israel will be saved to heavenly glory, or to eternal life. Israel will be saved from the blindness and rejection of God which came on them as a nation when they rejected Messiah.

The great Deliverer who will bless them will be composed of Messiah the Head, and the Church, his Body, – composed of overcomers, some of whom once were Jews, and some of whom once were Gentiles. This great Deliverer who comes out of Zion is the spiritual Son of Zion, the Messiah, the King, the Royal Priest, the Judge, the Mediator of the New Covenant. The first blessings of his Millennial Kingdom will be upon natural Israel, from whom the Kingdom was taken away, and to whom the earthly phase of the kingdom will be restored in the hands of the Ancient Worthies, who will be the earthly representatives of the heavenly Kingdom. The kingdom itself will be invisible to men, but its earthly representatives will be seen and known to all mankind; as it is written, "Ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the Prophets, in the Kingdom of God" (Luke 8:28).


The object of our Lord's reign is distinctly set forth in the Scriptures. Also its length of duration. He is to bind Satan, "the prince of this world," to overthrow entirely his dominion of sin, ignorance, superstition, as they now control the human family, bought with the precious blood. His Kingdom will cause the knowledge of the Lord Jehovah to fill the whole earth, that every creature may receive a blessing through that knowledge.

We are distinctly told that this Millennial Kingdom will not last forever, but for a definite period of time – for a thousand years. The Scriptures clearly intimate that the work of havoc caused by the reign of Sin and Death during six thousand years – from Adam to the second coming of Christ – will be fully offset by the one thousand years' reign of the Kingdom of Righteousness. How stimulating the thought! How it must thrill the hearts of all who love God and their fellowmen, all who grieve to see the Divine will and standards violated, all who love righteousness and hate iniquity, and realizing that the dying, and the crying, and the degradation, and the sin, which prevail throughout the whole world, are enemies, contrary to the Lord's Kingdom.

St. Paul assures us that in due time God will give this Kingdom to the Christ – divine power shall be established in the Millennial Kingdom, and at the end of that Millennial reign Christ will deliver up the Kingdom to God, even the Father – the entire work and purpose of the reign being then fully accomplished. He tells us that meantime Christ "must [HG441] reign until he shall have put down all insubordination" – everything contrary to the divine will, everything sinful; until he shall have uplifted mankind out of the miry clay and the horrible pit of sin and death.

This is the thought brought before us by St. Peter saying, "Times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord, and he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you, whom the heavens must retain until the times of restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began" (Acts 3:19-21.) These times of restitution are the Kingdom times, the times of resurrection, the times of human uplifting from sin and death conditions to life, and joy, and peace, for all who will receive the Lord's favors upon his terms.

Volume 1 Number 10 SIN ATONEMENT

Better Sacrifices than those of Bulls and Goats This article can be found in its entirety in the Newspaper Sermons entitled, "Sin Atonement."


"If ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's Seed, and hears." Gal. 3:29

The issues of life, death and a hereafter are all in the power of the Lord. He took counsel of none of us, and holds himself fully responsible, declaring that all of his purposes shall be accomplished, and that his Word that has gone forth shall not return to him void, but shall accomplish that which he pleases (Isa. 4:10,11).

He owed us nothing in the beginning, and will be under no obligations to us in the end. We are his debtors for all that is profitable or enjoyable. He is a rich King and Father and is able and willing to do exceedingly abundantly for us, his creatures – more than we could have asked or thought.

But he has his own way for doing this, which, in the end, will be seen to be the best way. "His ways are in clouds and darkness," writes the prophet; and the poet answers, yes, "God moves an a mysterious way His wonders to perform."


Eternal life is "the gift of God" for all of his creatures who will take it on his terms; and for all others he declares, "the wages of sin is death" – the blotting out of life. And who cannot see that this arrangement to destroy all who will not use life in accord with the Divine will, is really a mercy? To perpetuate life opposed to his will and law of righteousness would be a disgrace to God and an injury to the holy as well as to the unholy. God gave our race life in Adam, but, as he had foreseen, they lost it by disobedience and came under the penalty – death. As he purposed before the foundation of the world, he in due time sent his Son to be "The Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world." As such Jesus died, "the just for the unjust," "tasting death for every man" (Heb. 2:9). This glorious purpose God set forth to Father Abraham in his oathbound covenant, of which the Apostle writes in Heb. 6:1320.

The context shows distinctly that the Apostles and the early Church drew comfort from the 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 [HG442] encouragement from this Covenant or promise and the oath of the Almighty, which doubly sealed it, which 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 3,000 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 would stoop to his fallen creatures and, above all, that he should condescend to give his oath on the subject.

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 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. 8:19-23).

Those who follow the Apostle's argument and realize that we as Christians are still waiting for the fulfillment 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 an oath. We answer that every Christian should know what this promise is, since it lies at the very foundation of every Christian hope.

How can this hope be an anchor to our soul 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?


This is the pitiable condition of many of God's true children; for they are merely babes in Christ, using the milk of the Word. They have need of the strong meat of God's promises, as the Apostle speaks of it, that they may be "strong in the Lord and the power of his might;" that they might have on the whole armour of God – helmet, breastplate, sandals, sword and shield – and be able to quench the fiery darts of the Wicked One; able also to help the weaker ones in this day when the Adversary is assaulting the Word of God, the citadel of the truth, with various infidel arguments in the hands and mouths of those who profess to be ministers of the Word.

Need I quote the promise, the one so repeatedly referred to in the apostolic writings, the one which is the basis or anchorage for our souls?

The Apostle Paul referred to this very promise, declaring that the Seed of Abraham mentioned therein is Christ. All Christians agree to this, although 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 LordJesus 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 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 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 Wordl It is big with hope for Spiritual Israel, the Spiritual Seed, and no less, it means a blessing for 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 great 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 the 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. [HG443]


Many of us have learned to distort the simple language of God's Word in such a manner as to cause us anguish and distress. For instance, "destroy," "perish," "die," "second death," "everlasting destruction," etc., terms used by the Lord to represent the ultimate, complete annihilation of those who will not come into harmony with him after a full opportunity is granted them, are interpreted to mean the reverse of what they say – life, preservation in torture, etc.

It is high time, dear friends, that we should learn that God's Book is not the foundation of these horrible nightmares which have afflicted us, and which in the past hindered many of us from a proper love and reverence of our Creator. It is high time that we should take the explanation which the Apostle gives us of this matter and of all the errors which assail poor humanity respecting the future. He says:" The god of this world has blinded the minds of them that believe not, lest the glorious light of the goodness of God, as it shines in the face of Jesus Christ our Lord should shine into their hearts" (II Corinthians 4:4). We cannot here and now discuss this subject, but have provided in the hands of the ushers, some free pamphlets on "What Say the Scriptures about Hell?" Should the supply prove insufficient drop me a postal-card and I will cheerfully send from Brooklyn what will satisfy both your head and your heart.

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 blessings of all the families of the earth.

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 weaknesses.

Hence we are rejoiced to learn that in that time Satan will be bound, every evil influence and every unfavorable condition will be brought under restraint, and the favor of God through the knowledge of God will be turned upon the people – "The knowledge of the Lord shall fill the whole earth as the waters cover the great deep." Blessing, aye, 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 to say to his neighbor or his brother "Know thou the Lord?" (Isa. 11:9 Jer. 31:34.)

The prophets spoke repeatedly of these blessings due to the world in the future.

Mark how Joel tells that, as during this Gospel Age, the Lord pours out his spirit upon his servants and hand-maidens, so after these days, in the Millennial Age, he will pour out his spirit upon all flesh. There will be world-wide blessing through the knowledge of the Truth. Mark how Moses, the prophet, spoke of these coming blessings, and told how God would raise up a greater Lawgiver than himself, a greater Teacher, a better Mediator, and, under the better Covenant of the Lord, would bring blessings world-wide. Mark again how he represents the atonement for the sins of the whole world in the Atonement Day sacrificial arrangements!

Mark how again he typically foretold the blessings of the Millennial Age, representing it in Israel's "Year of Jubilee," in which every man went free and every possession was returned to its original ownership, thus representing the blessings of the future, man's release from the servitude of sin and Satan, and the return to him of all that was lost through Adam. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, Micah, have spoken of these coming times, so that the Apostle Peter, pointing to the future, could truthfully declare that the coming times of restitution of all things have been spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began (Acts 3:19-21).


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

We are not foregetting that the Jews were a stiff-necked and rebellious 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 our 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 shall 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 [HG444] of prayer and of supplication" (Zech. 12:10). See also Rom. 11:25-33.

But if God is to have mercy upon the natural Israelite, whom he declares to have been stiff-necked 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 peoples.


"We make God's love too narrow, by false standards of our own."

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 the heathen 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 that the heathen and the imbeciles have neither part nor lot in the salvation of the present time. 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, their Elder Brother, the Bridegroom.

The period in which opportunity will be granted to man is in the Scriptures termed the Day of Judgment – a thousand-year day, the Millennial Day. It will be a day of trial, a day of testing, a day of proving the world to see whether, with a full knowledge of God and of righteousness, which he requires, they will choose righteousness in preference to sin, choose life in preference to Second Death.

Thank God for that wonderful judgment, the trial day for the world, secured for all through the precious blood of Christ. "When the judgments of the Lord are abroad in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness." – Isa. 26:9.


This article was republished in the Convention Report Sermons, pages 41-44, entitled, "The Times of the Gentiles."

Volume 2 Number 3 WHAT IS THE SOUL?

This article was republished in Reprints 1880 – 81 – October 15, 1895, entitled, "What is the Soul?"


This article was republished in Reprints 1881-82 – October 15, 1895, entitled, "What is the Soul."