The National Labor Tribune-December 27, 1914


Q-In Matt. 24:20 is the Sabbath day a twenty-four hour day? If so, which day of the week is it?

Answer-For untold centuries tradition has claimed that "the desire of all nations," God's Kingdom, would be established in the earth during the seventh thousand years of its history. To those who deny Bible Chronology, this hope is a useless one. We who unswervingly believe the testimony of God's Word can still give some credit to this tradition for the evidences are all about us that the kingdom is near at hand. It is the Apostle Peter who informs us that God's days are one thousand year days. The seventh thousand year day would therefore be God's great Sabbath day. In this verse to which you refer our Lord is warning his people to take their stand with him before the kingdom shall be established. Not because dire vengeance would be wrought upon them if they failed to do so, but because rich blessings would be missed. Those who would reign with him as kings and priests must make their calling and election sure before the kingdom is established. The Sabbath day is to be a thousand years of blessings. All the bounties of the earth will be developed by restored mankind under the direction of the ones who have heeded the warning of the text.

Q-Will you kindly explain Matt. 24:16-21 -why are the people of Judea warned to flee in the great time of trouble and not the rest of the world?

Answer-The passage to which you refer is found in our Lord's great prophecy regarding the destruction of Jerusalem and the signs of his second presence. This portion refers to his second coming and the end of this present dispensation. The fourteenth verse tells us that this will take place when the gospel has been preached in all the world for a witness. For some time Christians expected that the Gospel would be preached to every creature and each would accept it before Christ had come. We now see our mistake. It was only to be preached for a witness. The witness has been borne in all the earth. It is for this reason that almost without exception Bible Students are now looking for an early return of their Lord and Master. Evidently Jesus did not intend us to take literally his instruction that those in Judea should flee to the mountains, for Judea is a mountainous country, and practically all its inhabitants were already in the mountains. We understand that here, as elsewhere, Judea is used to represent Christendom. He was warning us to put no trust in earthly strength but to flee to the protection of the heavenly kingdom. It was the custom for the devout to go to the flat roofs of their houses for prayer and meditation. It is especially the devout ones in Christendom, the house-top saints, who are invited to turn to the Lord without waiting to make any provision for retaining any honor of men that may be theirs in earthly organizations. Those in the field, which Jesus elsewhere explains is the world, although not associated with the Lord, are invited to turn to him and are likewise warned against turning back-against turning to earthly organizations for their covering. They will be clothed in the righteousness of Christ.

Q-Please explain Dan. 9:25, 26. The first verse says, "to Messiah the prince shall be seven weeks and three score and two weeks." The next verse says, "and after three score and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off." It seems to be a discrepancy. Please explain.

Answer-This prophecy is a most important one, for in it we have a key to the explanation of all time prophecies. It has been fulfilled and we find that each day of the sixty-nine weeks represented an actual year. It was four hundred and eighty-three years from the giving of the commission to Nehemiah in 450 BC to the anointing of the Messianic prince at 29 AD, the dates given by the best Bible scholars. In connection with the primary fulfillment we do not know of any special meaning to be attached to the seven weeks, except perhaps a Divine provision for the sealing of the prophecy until the proper time for its unfolding. There has been a correspondency, however, between the Jewish and the Christian dispensations. The commission given to Nehemiah was to rebuild the holy city of Jerusalem. In 1391 a similar commission was given to John Huss. The holy truths of the Temple class had been cast down by unholy hands during the Dark Ages. To him was given the commission to restore some of these truths. Just seven weeks (forty-nine years) later one of the most important events in history occurred-the printing press was invented; this date is not of importance to the secular historian only. Of still greater moment has been the effect which it has had in preparing the world of mankind for the bringing in of Messiah's Kingdom. Daniel prophesied that the wonderful increase of knowledge at the present time, due almost entirely to this invention, should be one of the evidences of the time of the end (Dan. 12:4). Consider the prophecy as divided into two periods, seven and sixty-two years, and you will find no conflict between the two statements.

Q-Please explain Matt. 22:32 where God says he is not a God of the dead, but of the living. If he was not a God of the dead at that time, will he ever be; if so, when?

Answer-Most assuredly God is not a God of the dead. The only reason he can be said to be the God of any who are now in death, is because he counts those things that be not as though they were (Rom. 4:17), and, therefore, knowing in advance "that all in their graves shall come forth" (John 5:28), he thinks and speaks of these dead as though they already lived. "All live unto him" (Luke 20:38). God will never be a God of the dead. We frequently speak as God does, in this prophetic manner. We make our plans, and, having confidence that we will be able to carry [HGL642] them out, speak of them as if the work had been finished, referring, for instance, to the house we are planning to build as "our home." God can speak with absolute assurance, for his plans never fail (1 Kings 8:56).

Q-Who was the father of Jesus Christ?

Answer-Over and over again, the Scriptures declare that Jesus was and is the Son of God. He is referred to in Rev. 3:14 as the "beginning of the creation of God;" in Rev. 1:8 as the "Alpha and Omega, the first and the last" (of God's direct creation). He is referred to in John 1:3 as being with God in the beginning, as being used by God in bringing into being everything that exists. His pre-existence, his human existence, and his present highly-exalted plane of being are all referred to in Philip. 2:5-11. Firstly, he was a spirit being (in the form of God), secondly, he was made flesh, for the suffering of death (John 1:14; Heb. 2:9), and thirdly, because of his obedience to the Heavenly Father, he was highly exalted above every name that can be named. His change of nature from spirit to human conditions is mentioned in Matt. 1:18 as a begettal of the Holy Spirit, and his change to glory is referred to in Eph. 1:19-20, through a resurrection from the dead by the power of God. "Father" implies life-giver, and as Jesus received his life direct from God on each plane, then undoubtedly God was his father.

Q-Will you kindly explain the following verses- "Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee, leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother and then come and offer thy gift?" 'Matt. 5:23, 24.

Answer-These words of the Lord addressed mainly to his followers convey the lesson of strict justice, and of love, to be developed and maintained by those who would be in harmony with the Lord. If any are about to present an offering of service, or of worship, or thanks unto the Lord and remember that someone has been wronged by them in word, or deed, or thought; let them leave their offering and go and make amends for the wrong doing first; be reconciled to the other, and then come and offer their gift to the Lord. Coming before the Lord, then, in this attitude of kindness and love for others, and a willingness to forgive all wrongs that may have been inflicted upon themselves, and having made amends as far as possible for the wrongs that may have been committed, they may have the assurance that their offerings and prayers will be acceptable.

Q-Please explain Matt. 5:25, 26 - "Agree with thine adversary quickly, while thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence till thou has paid the uttermost farthing."

Answer-For eighteen centuries the Jewish nation had been under bondage to the Law. When it was given they thought it would bring immediate blessings and they joyfully accepted it declaring they would keep all of its precepts. They found themselves utterly unable to live up to its requirements. The Law that should have brought them life, instead placed them under the bondage of death there to remain until released by the sacrifice of Jesus. Very few received the benefit of that sacrifice for few believed in him. Those who accepted Jesus as their Redeemer were "made free with the liberty wherewith he makes free" (Gal. 5:1).

The quotation which you have made from the Sermon on the Mount seems to be, in a secondary sense, an allusion to this bondage to the Law Covenant. While we as Christians were not placed under that Law Covenant by the heavenly Father, it is possible for us to undertake the obligations of that Covenant and seek thus to attain the heavenly honors. As not one of the Jews in all those eighteen centuries succeeded in his effort to keep the Law, there can be no prospect of our succeeding in his effort to keep the Law, there can be no prospect of our succeeding any better today. "Israel which followed after the Law of righteousness hath not attained to the Law of righteousness." "The righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit" (Rom. 9:31-33; 8:4).

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