Return to Question Book page  

Prev     Next

What Pastor Russell Said

Question Book

[Q721]

TYPES--Antitypes Follow Types at Once.

QUESTION (1916-Z)--1--Is the type always followed by the antitype at once or not?

ANSWER--Our thought is that we should expect a type to be followed by its antitype; and we would rather look for it to follow immediately. For instance, after the type of the eating of the Passover lamb was recognized for the last time by Jehovah, it was followed immediately by the Antitype, Jesus, the Lamb of God, who was crucified on the very same date as the annual Passover Supper. The type of the bullock and the Lord's goat, offered as sin-offerings on the Jewish Day of Atonement, was followed at once by its antitype, as soon as the typical sacrifices were repudiated by the Father, when the Jewish House was left "desolate," just before Jesus' death.--Mat. 23:37,38; Luke 13:34,35.

Again, in thinking of Isaac as a type of Christ, we think of him as the typical heir to the Promise God made to his father Abraham. God declared to Abraham, "In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." Isaac was the natural seed of Abraham according to this Promise; and Isaac continued down the Jewish Age in that he was represented in the children of Israel, his natural posterity. Thus he was the recognized seed of Abraham down to the time when Jesus became the Spiritual Seed. There the natural seed was cast off. The real Seed of Abraham, in whom the Promise centered, was not the natural seed, but the Spiritual Seed.

Jesus was not the antitypical Seed of Abraham when He was born into the world--not until He had been begotten of the Holy Spirit. Jesus began to be the antitype of Isaac at that time. Ever since Christ's spiritual birth on the Divine plane of being, the members of His Body have been in process of development. So this Spiritual Isaac began to fulfil the type as an antitype in the person of Jesus when He became the Spiritual Seed, and is continuing in the persons of His Body members, to take the place of the type. Thus the type is merged into the antitype.

TYPES.

QUESTION (1916-Z)--2--How does the principle of antitype following type apply in the cases of Adam and of Melchizedek?

ANSWER--The Apostle Paul explains in the case of Melchizedek that his priesthood had no beginning and no ending, the order of his priesthood was to be perpetuated; consequently his priesthood did not pass away until the antitypical Priesthood came. The Apostle particularly points out that he was without father or mother in the priesthood-- "he abideth a priest continually," he continued a priest to the conclusion of the type in its antitype. He was a type of the greater Melchizedek, which is The Christ, Head and Body. Jesus was "made a High Priest forever (literally for the Age), after the order of Melchisedek."--Hebrews 6:20.

As for Adam, we are not sure that the Lord's Word speaks of him as a type. The Apostle does not contrast Adam and Jesus, but speaks of the first Adam and the Second Adam. Christ is very unlike Adam. Adam disobeyed God, while Christ was wholly obedient. Adam failed while Jesus succeeded. St. Paul says (1 Cor. 15:47) that the Second Man is the Lord from Heaven. The first [Q722] Adam continues to be the head of the human family. We still speak of him as Father Adam. The Second Adam will not begin His work until the Millennial Age, when He will become the second Father to the race, taking the place of the first Adam. He is not the Second Adam as yet. He is to be the Second Adam.

The various titles that belong to our Lord Jesus include that of The Everlasting Father. And the Everlasting Father will be the successor of Adam, who was only the temporary father of the race and who failed to give his posterity life. In due time the Second Adam will be the regenerator of the human family.

TYPES--For Examples.

QUESTION (1916-Z)--1--1 Cor. 10:11 reads, "Now all these things happened unto them (the Israelites) for types." (See marginal reading.) Please explain.

ANSWER--We understand the Apostle's thought to be that all these things happened to this people as typical Israel. They were the types, and Spiritual Israel are the antitypes. They, the type, had these experiences; we have experiences to correspond. They, the type, did not pass away--that is, cease to be the type--until we, the spiritual antitype, began our career. When our career began, our antitypical experiences began. The whole nation of Israel was this type, with their experiences, testings, etc.

TYPES--A Stronger Word Than Figure or Picture.

QUESTION (1916-Z)--2--What is the difference between the words "type," "figure," and "picture"?

ANSWER--There is a very strong relationship between these words. To some people they would all mean the same; to others there would be a slight difference of meaning. A type is a figure, and is also a picture, designed to bring out certain important matters and details as Divinely appointed. A figure is a much less exact representation or statement of matters than a type. Abraham received Isaac from the dead in a figure (Heb. 11:17-19); that is, there is a pictorial illustration connected with the matter, but it is not so sharp as in a type.

A picture, a figure or a parable would have weight and value according to the character of the person who made the picture or the parable, and in proportion as it had intrinsic merit. A type would be beyond all this, in that it is very clearly defined and implies Divine foreknowledge and arrangement. God gives types. Men may give pictures, figures or parables.

A parable is a figure; it is a word-picture, but not a type. It has not the exactness of a type. We would use the words parable and picture in the same way; for we see no difference. A type is an exact pattern of its antitype, just as a printer's type corresponds to the matter printed therefrom. Isaac was a type of Christ; Rebecca, his wife, a type of the Bride of Christ; Ishmael, Abraham's son by Sarah's bondmaid, was a type of the nation of Israel, developed under the Law Covenant, which was typified by Hagar, the bondwoman.

UNBELIEF--Vs. Sin.

QUESTION (1913)--3--It is claimed that unbelief and lack of faith is sin, and is the sin spoken of by the Apostle Paul [Q723] in Heb. 12:1, the sin which doth so easily beset us. Is this the proper view?

ANSWER--I think that is not the proper view of the Apostle's language. I think the Apostle has in mind that there may be one sin or weakness that would especially beset you; there might be another one which would especially beset your brother or sister. There might be still another one that would beset me. Whatever sin it is that would easily beset you, and is, therefore, close to you, ever present with you, and always seeking to trammel you, cast it aside; it is your special danger. Be sure to lay it aside and run with patience the race set before us.

UNITY--Speaking the Same Things.

QUESTION (1908)--1--Please harmonize 1 Cor. 1:10: "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing." Please harmonize this with this other Scripture: "For there must also be heresies, sects, divisions, among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you."

ANSWER--I think in the first Scripture the Apostle is speaking of the ideal condition for which we should strive; namely, that all who are truly the Lord's people ought to try to get the mind of Christ, and we ought to know that it will not be contradictory; that if you and I have different theories, there is something wrong, and we should not be satisfied to have anything wrong. There is only one way that is right, and we ought to be anxious to have that one way. If we all have the mind of Christ, we would all have the same mind; and if God has given us His Word, He has given it with that in view, that you might lay aside your personal views, and various peculiarities and tendencies of reasoning, and I might lay aside mine, and that all others might do the same, and take His Word. As I look over this congregation, and see how many different shaped heads there are, and the many different peculiarities of character there are, I might say, You people could not agree on anything; you have different kinds of heads altogether. But you see we can be all of one heart and of one mind, because whatever the processes of your natural brain organs are, you have agreed that you do not know anything about it, and that He knows all about it, and you will take His Word for it. And the other one agrees to the same, and I have agreed to the same; so now we all come together, and we have one common basis from which to work, and we ought to be able, by the grace of God, to do right. Our heads ought to be able to be in reasonable harmony on the Word of God. Let this be so, and let us strive to this end. Now it is possible, in fact it is probable, that amongst the Lord's people, as Apostle says, Grievous wolves will come in amongst you, and even among your own selves will some arise to draw away disciples after them, having a certain amount of pride and ambition. If this is so, what can you expect? Can you have one mind, one heart, one thought, under those conditions? No. Then it will be necessary for something to come in order that there may be a division, or that the wrong may be manifested. And there may be such a separation, because it will be better if there are any of that class in, that they should be out. So there are two Scriptures: the [Q724] one shows the ideal condition, and the other shows the actual working out of it. Sometimes these wrong conditions will come in, and it is God's will that there shall be an outworking, so that there will be a gradual separation, that that which is true and loyal to the Lord, and approved by Him, may be made manifest among you, that you may be able to see which is the wrong.

UNIVERSALISM--Pastor Russell's Belief.

QUESTION (1909)--l--Do you believe in universal salvation?

ANSWER--I believe that the world was universally lost through Adam. I believe in a universal redemption, that Christ by the grace of God tasted death for every man.

I believe in a universal opportunity, for this is the very reason that God gave His son to die for the world, and all, whoever will have it on God's terms of a perfect heart and love for God and man, may have it. Whoever will not have it on God's terms cannot have it at all, but will be destroyed from the presence of the people.

UNIVERSALISM--Re Salvation for Wilfully Wicked.

QUESTION (1909)--2--I understand there are three classes, first the Church; second, those who have tried but failed; and third, the wilfully wicked. Will the third class finally be saved?

ANSWER--A question like this shows that the one asking it has not thoroughly grasped the situation. We have been told if a person heard a church bell ring, or saw a Bible, it meant that he was in danger of going to heaven. Many people sell and handle Bibles who never knew what they teach. You see that the wilful sinners are not only those who have a will, but those who have it enlightened. Those who get the true light are those who have their eyes of understanding open. God is going to bless all the eyes soon so that they shall all see, for "All the blind eyes shall he opened and the deaf ears unstopped." Wilful wrongdoing will mean second death.

UNIVERSALISM--Re God Author of Sin.

QUESTION (1911)--3--Does the doctrine of Universalism by logical inference make God the author of sin?

ANSWER--I presume it would depend upon the kind of logic that was used. I think that one way of reasoning on the subject, this might be true, but I presume that our Universalist friends would not so think, and would have a different logic.

UNJUST STEWARD--Interpretation of The Parable.

QUESTION (1911)--4--Please give your interpretation of the parable of the unjust steward, referred to in the sixteenth chapter of St. Luke's Gospel? (Luke 16)

ANSWER--The Lord gave this parable in the hearing of his disciples, and also in the hearing of the Pharisees. He tells about a certain man who had been a steward and to whose care goods had been intrusted with all the responsibility and privilege that belonged to a steward of olden times. A steward in olden times was fully authorized to do with the goods just the same as the master himself would have done; he represented the master, fully and completely. This unjust steward had been reported to his master as having been unjust and not satisfactory. And he understood that [Q725] he was to be called to an account for the injustices of the past, and he said, "In view of this matter that I am about to be put out of this stewardship, I will make good use of the time I have left and the opportunity that is left to me." So he called his master's debtors, and said, "How much do you owe?"

"Well, I owe so much."

"Very well, I will discount that, make it less. I have the authority to do this; I am still steward."

If he had waited until he was put out of the stewardship he could not have reduced the bill; but he reduced the bill.

And then he called another, "what do you owe?"

"Well, I owe so and so."

"Very well, cut it down."

And so he did with several of those who were debtors to his master, and his master said, "That is a cunning, wise steward that I have. He saw that I was about to put him out of office, and he made good use of his time to 'feather his nest' and make things right, so that when he would be put out of the stewardship, he would have some friends amongst those people; because he did them kindness and reduced their accounts, they would think very kindly toward him." His master commended him. And then our Lord said that there was something of this kind that was due to be understood and appreciated in his time. So likewise those to whom he was speaking should have this same thought in mind. How is that? The Pharisees were the representatives of Moses, and as Jesus had said, the Scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. They therefore were the exponents of Moses, the exponents of the law, and when any of the people came to them, it was with them to say whether this thing should be a very severe application of the law, or a very slack application of the law; and Jesus said they went to the extreme of exacting the very last item and exaggerating the law to the people.

How did they do this? Well, Jesus said they would bind heavy burdens on the poor people without sympathy for them--burdens that they themselves were unable to carry, that they would not pretend to carry for themselves; but they would bind these burdens on the poor Jewish people. And the intimation of Jesus in this parable is, that those Scribes and Pharisees who have taken a different course and instead of trying to make out that the law was so very severe, they should have been making some sympathetic allowances for the people and should have been saying to the people, "Now you cannot keep that perfect law: I know that you cannot keep that perfect law, but now how nearly can you keep that law?"

"Well, we could not keep more than one half of it."

"Very well, keep one half of it then."

And to another one, "How much can you keep of the law?"

"Oh, maybe three-fourths."

"Very well, go and keep the three-fourths."

But instead of doing that, these Scribes and Pharisees were inclined to say, "If you do not live up to the very scratch you are no good. We Pharisees and Scribes live up to the scratch." Jesus made fun of them, saying, "You are hypocrites; you know that you do not keep that law any [Q726] more than those people do; you know you are just as bad as they are, and in the sense of being hypocritical, you are worse off than they are."

Now Jesus was telling them that the end of their age was at hand, and whatever they had been doing in the past, the time was here when they ought to be making friends instead of turning the people against them; they should be coming into the sympathy of the people instead of casting off the masses of the people saying, "You are sinners, we would not eat with you, or have anything to do with you." They should have been sympathetic, and trying to help the people, and saying, "Do the best you can; this law of God is a perfect law, and no man can keep it absolutely, but come in and try to do the best you can and God's blessing will be with you proportionately. You see, there was one lesson to the Scribes and Pharisees of what they should do in view of the fact that they were about to be put out of the stewardship. The law dispensation was about to come to an end, that is one reason why they should have been coming down and doing the very best that they could to be sympathetic with the people. But turning to his disciples, he gave a lesson to them, and to you and to me, saying, "make to yourselves friends with the mammon of unrighteousness." You have some of what may be termed the mammon of unrighteousness in your possession--that is, some of the things that are prized by the world in this present time, and where ever you can use earthly blessings, money, influence or anything else, to make friends, do so; do not try to make enemies out of the people in general. The very one lesson that you as my disciples should have in your minds, is, that you want to do good to the people and you want to bring, as my disciples, my message to all the people possible. Therefore, use every other thing as subordinate to this that you may have more power and influence and accomplish more good along this line. Count your earthly interests as secondary in every way and if by sacrificing a dollar, or a hundred dollars, or a thousand dollars, you can thus increase your influence and ability to serve the Lord and righteousness, be very glad of the opportunity. You are to seek, in the first place, chiefly, the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and leave all those other things, all your earthly interests, to God to take care of, and do not worship mammon, do not worship money, do not worship earthly interests, but worship God and his righteousness, and these things will take care of themselves.

UNRIGHTEOUSNESS--Holding The Truth in Unrighteousness.

QUESTION (1905)--1--What is it to hold the truth in unrighteousness?

ANSWER--I would take that expression to be a very broad one, and that it would mean to have a knowledge of the truth that we did not live up to. Everyone is responsible for whatever degree he possesses. There is a degree of knowledge, such as we had in the Nominal church, to the extent that Christ died for our sins, even though we did not understand the philosophy of it. Now, not to live according to that truth would be to hold it in unrighteousness. Then we see, the sacrifice and therefore have an increase of [Q727] responsibility, and so every additional feature the truth brings will increase our responsibilities. From my point of view, all of us here who have been favored with the light of present truth have the greatest responsibility of any people in the world and therefore our lives should be according to the best standard of righteousness. That does NOT mean that we, by reason of truth, have a body made perfect, so that it would be possible for us to live more nearly perfect than the people of the world. There are some very fine people naturally that do not have the same degree of light, and they might be naturally more nearly righteous than those who have been blessed by the light. Often men like Robert Ingersoll are naturally very fine men. I did not know him personally, but I have heard that he was well born and naturally had the advantage over others. Sometimes among the Lord's people there are those who are naturally very mean. Some time ago (1898, page 179), we published an article in the Tower on the subject of "Mean Christians and Noble Unbelievers." How does the Lord view it? According to the thoughts and intent of the heart. Men are prone to judge by the outward appearance, but God by the heart. God's scale is 100 points of character--a perfect man. None have 100 points. See Rom. 3:10,23. Some may have as high as 50 points, others 40, 38, 35, 30, 25, 20, or even only 10 points of character. To judge them according to the flesh they would all fall short. How does God judge them? He does not judge them as coming under His notice at all until they come under Christ. The world has no standing at the present time. God has provided a redemption price and is going to let the world know about it in "due time." Until then they have neither part nor lot in the matter and are not counted at all. If Ingersoll was the finest man on earth God is having nothing to do with him at all. Reason would say that all the fine people would become the Lord's people, but the Scriptures say, "Not many wise, not many noble, chiefly the mean things of the world," mainly the mean things. God has made a plan and arrangements, and he is judging those who come into harmony with those arrangements, and it is chiefly the mean ones that come into harmony with him. Why is it? Because those naturally well born and having high ideals, etc., see others mean and contemptible, they say they are on a lower plane. They begin to say he is a mean fellow and needs a Savior, but God needs me, he needs a few such persons as I am to grace his place. But the Father will not let any come except by Jesus, which means coming by the cross, realizing that he is a sinner and needs the cross to pay the price of the sin. Stuck up people do not like to take something for nothing. The best man in the world is not worthy of everlasting life; there is only one way, and the best man in the world needs to come by that way as well as does the worst man. Referring to the 100-point scale. What is our hope if 100 points are needed? The 10-point brother might think that the 50-point brother had a better chance than he had, but the 50-point man, if he looked at the matter right, would realize that he cannot of himself reach the 100-point mark, and that he will need to apply the merit of Christ. God's plan is elastic enough to suit each one of these. Well, the 50-point man might ask, Is God going to give the 10-point [Q728] man more than he does me? Yes, the meaner the man the more the Lord will make up to him. He has arranged for the meanest one as well as for the others. "Where sin abounds there grace abounds the more." How does the Lord accomplish this? Does he just turn the matter over to us? Not exactly. One hundred points--the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us who are walking not after the flesh but after the spirit. They cannot walk up to the mark, but they can walk after it, walk in the direction of it, to the best of their ability. That does not take in the world because they are walking after the flesh. God counts us according to the intention of our minds on the 100 points, and Christ's death makes good to us the difference.

URIM AND THUMMIM--God's Answer.

Question (1911)--1--How did God answer by the Urim and Thummim?

ANSWER--Nobody knows exactly how this was done. The breastplate of the high-priest, which bore twelve precious stones, the name of each tribe on a stone, it is supposed, was taken by the High Priest into the Most Holy when some question was to be asked. For instance: Shall we go out to war, or refrain from war? Shall we do this, or the other? It is supposed that something in the Most Holy indicated the answer on this breastplate, either by making certain of the stone to shine with special brilliancy, or something of that kind; but it is all guesswork, nobody knows anything about it. It was supposed to be a yes or no. If it would be dark it would be no; if it would be light it would be yes, to whatever question was asked. If it was with reference to one particular tribe, the stone which represented such a tribe would either be light or dark in connection with that particular tribe. But it is all guesswork.

US--Went Out Because Not of Us.

QUESTION (1909)--2--Please explain 1 John 2:19. "They went out from us, but they were not of us, etc." Were they not of us at one time?

ANSWER--I think this question might he viewed from two standpoints. If we were speaking of the Great Company and those who during this age go into the second death, we might say they went out from us before they had known of us. They certainly were of us or otherwise they could not have gone into the second death, but they were not of the very elect class that God foreknew.

Again, we would say of the Great Company. They are not of us. Well, they were of us, because we were all called in the one hope of our calling, and they failed to make good their High Calling, and therefore got into the Great Company, but they are not of us in the sense that they are not of the class that will attain unto the kingdom that God foreknew and foreordained as the elect, for He foreordained, as the Apostle said, only those who shall become copies of His Son. Therefore, the others are not of us if we are of those who are of the "us" class. It is merely according to the way you use the word.

VAIL--The Same Vail Untaken Away.

QUESTION (1910-Z)--3--Please explain this text "And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face that the children of Israel could not steadfastly look to the end of that which [Q729] is abolished; but their minds were blinded, for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the Old Testament, which vail is done away in Christ." --2 Cor. 3:13,14.

ANSWER--It was the intention that the Law Covenant should not be perpetual, because of the imperfections connected therewith. It has not yet been abolished, however, in the sense of being totally set aside. It is still operating and is still a condemnation upon those who are under it. But " to those who are in Christ Jesus," there is now no further condemnation; it is abolished so far as they are concerned.

The thought, then, would be that the Apostle is here speaking of the Law Covenant being abolished in the sense that it is condemned or that its passing away is arranged for. "Christ has become the end of the Law for righteousness to every one that believeth," not to every one who has given merely an intellectual assent, but to all who believe in the Scriptural sense--to all those who become his followers, all those who so thoroughly believe his message as to accept the wonderful provisions he has offered; for it; may properly be said that no one is fully a believer who does not accept God's offer of glory, honor and immortality--a proposition so wonderful that any one whose faith truly grasps it would sacrifice every other thing imaginable that he might avail himself of its offer.

If, therefore, some obey partially, the inference is that they believe only partially; but if they believe fully, then all the arrangements are made for them whereby they may make their "calling and election sure"; hence the frequent statements that "all things" are for believers--those who believe in the proper, full, thorough sense. So "Christ is the end of the Law," to all these, and the arrangement is that all the world shall yet have the opportunity of coming to a full knowledge and full belief, during the Millennial Age. The whole Jewish nation will be granted an opportunity of transfer from the [Law] Covenant, under Moses to the New Law Covenant, under the glorified Christ, in his Mediatorial Kingdom.

VISIONS--"It Will Surely Come--It Will Not Tarry."

QUESTION (1915)--1--What does Hab. 2:3 mean? "For the vision is yet for an appointed time but at the end it shall speak and not lie. Though it tarry, wait for it: for it will surely come; it will not tarry."

ANSWER--This is explained on the first page of every issue of The Watch Tower. God has provided in His Word a great vision, a great revelation. It is a picture, so to speak. He has given this picture of His plan more or less clearly through the prophets and through the Law. The jubilees prefigured restitution to all the world. Other features of the Law, such as the Atonement Day sacrifices, etc., pictured other features of God's plan. The passover represented still other parts. These pictures were all harmonized into one great picture, or view--God's great plan to bless the world. "In thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed," God declared to Abraham. All this went to make up the great vision, or picture, that God purposed to give His people. [Q730]

In proportion as we come to have the mind of God, we can understand more and more clearly what these things mean. The most important part of the picture was that Messiah would come, and that He would set up His kingdom. All of these promises would be parts of that great view, or vision. Its fulfillment would seem to tarry long. Does it seem as though God had forgotten that promise to Abraham? the prophet seems to query. It has sometime seemed as though God had forgotten it. "But," declares the prophet, "it will surely come; it will not tarry." It does not really tarry. There might be various times when we would expect to see more than we do see. We may have expected to see more of the trouble upon the world before this. The year 1915 is now more than half gone, and I think it very doubtful whether we shall see all we had expected in this year. It looks as though we were trying to hasten the fulfillment of the vision.

But the vision is still for an appointed time; and we are not to give it up. We trust ourselves to God's arrangement. It was not the Lord's way to have everything go off in October, 1914. I do not know how much may yet happen between now and October, 1915. If I were to give a guess, I would not be able to see how our expectations could all be realized between now and October, 1915. I hope they will. I shall wait longer than October, if necessary. The vision is sure. All these blessed things are positively certain to come; it is simply a matter of His time and of our understanding of His time. When you and I have fully grasped the main feature of all this matter, we are surely close to it. It was a very close hit that this great time of trouble began near October, 1914; and it is going on now at high speed. None of the prayers that it may stop are being answered. If the time of the world war had been merely a guess, it would certainly have been a great hit. It would have been a miracle. We have come very close to it, if not exactly.

VOLUME SEVEN--Re Issued in Time for Little Flock This Side.

QUESTION (1910)--1--Have we reason to expect Volume 7 in the popular published form in time to be of service to any of the Little Flock this side of the vail?

ANSWER--I do not know whether you have or not. I believe that it will be published in time to do some good this side of the vail to the Little Flock, for I understand it will be specially for the Little Flock and not for any others except the Little Flock and the Great Company. It is not for the world.

VOLUME SEVEN--Re 1913.

QUESTION (1913)--2--Volume 7 of Scripture Studies be published before 1913 A.D.?

ANSWER--Now that is more than I know.

VOLUNTEERING--Answering An Objection.

QUESTION (1906)--3--I have had people object to delivering tracts on Sundays, and I answer their objections "that this is Sunday reading."

ANSWER--Very good brother.

VOLUNTEERING--Objections to Sunday Morning Work.

QUESTION (1906)--4--There has been some objection [Q731] offered to distributing tracts early on Sunday morning. What would you advise?

ANSWER--I should say that was not a well founded objection.

WAR--Should Saints Go to?

QUESTION (1915)--1--Would it be committing suicide to refuse military service, if by so doing one knew he would be court-martialed and shot?

ANSWER--Each person has the right to think about this matter according to his own judgment. In my judgment, it would not be. I would consider it an opportunity for giving a very forceful witness for the Truth. We stand for righteousness, we stand for justice, and for everything that makes for peace. Hence for us to say, "Our King whom we serve has instructed us not to take life, and we cannot, therefore, engage in warfare, and if you think on that account we should be put to death, we are willing to die," would be a noble witness. We are willing to be such witnesses.

The word "witness" is in the Greek marturos, from which our word "martyr" comes. This Greek word means witness, many of God's children witnessing by their death; and our word "martyr" has this thought--one who witnesses by his death. Therefore to die as the result of refusing to engage in military service, to give our influence to war in any way, is one way by which God's people can become martyrs. The world's people will say, "If you do what you are told, you would not have any reason for losing your life." But we remember that the three loyal Hebrews who were cast into the furnace of fire said, "Be it known unto you, O King Nebuchadnezzar, that we will not bow down to the image which thou hast set up." (Dan. 3:18.) So it is well that God's children today should refuse to bow down to the image of war.

WAR--Re Compulsory Enlistment.

QUESTION (1916-Z)--2--I find myself confronted with a problem in which I feel sure you will help me. As you know, we shall have compulsory military service: I am seventeen years of age, and if the trouble be not over by the time I reach my nineteenth year, I feel that I would rather be shot as a "traitor" than to disobey God's command. Is there any way in which we could defend our loved ones without murder? I am greatly perplexed and anxious to do what is right. I shall follow your advice, so great is my belief that God is using you to enlighten those who are willing to learn. Hoping I have not interrupted too long, I am.

ANSWER--We rejoice to know that the Truth is thus being spread in every direction, and that the Lord is using the consecrated talents of His servants everywhere for the sealing of His saints in their foreheads--intellectually--Rev. 7:1-3.

We are glad to note that you are in full agreement with what we said recently in The Watch Tower to the effect that God's consecrated people can have no interest in the war. If there be any excuse for violence and bloodshed anywhere, it would he in the actual defense of the home. The Bible, however, does not lay down laws for the world, but merely for God's consecrated people. To these the [Q732] Master's own example and words would seem to teach that although they may invoke every legal protection, barricade their homes, etc., against the enemy, such saints would not be disposed to take the lives of others--even in self-defense. And yet we confess that this would be a very serious test upon nearly all of them.

WEEPING--WAILING--GNASHING--To Whom Applies?

QUESTION (1916)--1--What is meant by "weeping and gnashing of teeth", "wailing and gnashing of teeth," and could this apply to the great company class?

ANSWER--There is certainly a great deal of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth--much of this going on now in the countries where there is war. There has been plenty of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth all the way down. We are all familiar with the weeping and wailing, but we are not accustomed to the gnashing of the teeth. This means chagrin, disappointment. "O God! I don't see why I should have done it." "I have failed." It signifies disappointment--sharp disappointment. It adds to the figure of weeping and wailing. We have seen much of this. Jesus in describing matters at the close of this age indicates that various classes will have sharp disappointment in connection with them. One would be a class of people who would be hypocritical, and the nominal church systems will have this experience also. The Scribes and Pharisees in the first advent who saw His works and heard His words, and yet treated Him as they did, when He shall come in power and great glory and they who pierced Him shall see Him, will be very sorry and disappointed, and will be found weeping and wailing. So with the nominal church of the present time who think they are heirs of everything that God has that is good, when they shall ultimately see what the Lord really is and does, I am sure that, at that time many people who have been so prominent in religious circles, when they see what the Lord will do, they will have keen disappointment and gnashing of teeth. This does not mean in any wise hell-fire or eternal torment. In regard to the man who had not on the wedding garment when the King came in to see the guests, unto whom he said, "Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment?" the inference is that he did not come in without a wedding-garment, because every one had to have one in order to get in, but the inference is that he had taken it off. The question was, why have you taken it off? The wedding garment represents Christ's merit, the imputation of His righteousness, the covering which He provides for His own. This man could say nothing, because he had taken it off. Everything had depended upon this covering at the first, and now, those who take this off, have nothing from the Lord. "Bind him hand and foot and cast him out into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth" is the Word for all such. Not into hell with fiery torments--it would not be very dark there. The outer darkness is the darkness the world is in now; the same darkness that we were in and which we left when we came into the light of the present truth, and we consecrated ourselves and received the holy spirit. If we go out of this light we will then go into that outer darkness in which we were before, and will share in [Q733] the weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth which the whole world is to have. After this war comes the symbolical earthquake, then the fire and there will be plenty of weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth during that time--that great time of trouble. The whole world will have a share in this. They will have so many disappointments. Anyone who has been in the light of the truth and then repudiated it will have his share with the outsiders in that great time of trouble. Won't some of the saints be there? If any shall be there they won't have any of this weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth, because the plan of God will be so clearly before them that they will lift up their heads and rejoice for the reason that the things occurring will presage their deliverance which is now so near at hand. It will be in the midst of these troubles that the great company will have their flesh destroyed.

WEDDING GARMENT--By Whom Worn?

QUESTION (1910-Z)--1--Is it your thought that only those who consecrate are ever really justified--have the robe of Christ's righteousness imputed to them, covering their sins and reckoning them perfect; that other believers have only the blessing of the knowledge of provision of justification which will be freely given then only on condition that they sacrifice in the footsteps of our Redeemer?

ANSWER--We understand the Scriptures to teach that there is a difference between a faith-justification and an actual-justification. The world during the Millennial Age under the processes of restitution will have full, grand opportunities for advancing from sin and death conditions to actual justification, righteousness--Covenant relationship with God. In the past the Ancient Worthies, because of faith in God, were esteemed by him and treated as in harmony with him, in Covenant relationship by faith, as though they were perfect. But more than that faith-justification they could not attain until after the merit of Christ's sacrifice would be appropriated for them. Christian believers of this Gospel Age are in a still different position. They are justified by faith in the same manner as were the Ancient Worthies, but additionally, Christ, having now made a special application of the merit of his sacrifice on their behalf under agreement that they will not keep it in a restitutionary sense, but that they will sacrifice it--after the manner shown us in our Lord's example.

So, then, at the beginning of our Christian experience we are granted fellowship with God through a faith- justification, which continues available for a reasonable time to permit us to come to a knowledge of the grace of God. It permits our coming to a knowledge of our privileges of sacrificing with our Redeemer; in becoming dead with him to all earthly interests, as well as dead to sin. The taking of this stand of consecration--self sacrifice--brought to us Divine acceptance, manifested by the begetting of the holy Spirit, and from that position as New Creatures we must progress and make our calling and our election sure. Those who, after coming to a knowledge of the Truth and to an opportunity of consecration to sacrifice unto death, and then fail to respond obediently, lose their justification, in the sense that it fails to become vital--divinely approved. Such receive the grace of God in vain--they receive a knowledge [Q734] of God's mercy and of their own privileges without profiting thereby--without accepting the only "call" of this age.-- Eph. 4:4.

Our conclusion or summary, then, is this: There is a justification by faith, which for a time gives a reckoned standing with God in his favor, during this age; but in order for this to become vital justification, it must be followed sooner or later by a full consecration. It is to those who consecrate to sacrifice, "those who have made a covenant with me by sacrifice" (Psa. 50:5), and who thus by faith become betrothed to Christ as members of his Body through fellowship in his sufferings--it is to these that the wedding garment is given. At a Jewish wedding, we cannot imagine the offering of robes to passers-by, who merely have knowledge that a wedding is in prospect. The parabolic picture applies to such persons as have heard of the wedding and believed in it and have turned from other works and pleasure with a desire to enter and participate in the matter. Their desires would extend to the taking of the first steps, of entering the door, before they would be handed the wedding garment. So with us. We had a reckoned justification from the time we first believed in Christ, trusted in his merit and heard something of the conditions upon which we could become his joint-heirs. It was not until we had counted the cost and fully decided to enter in, that we were reckoned as members of the Church of the First-born--members of Christ's Betrothed.

It follows, then, that the taking off of the wedding garment would properly enough symbolize either of two acts:

(1) Repudiation of the sacrificial work of Christ; or,

(2) Repudiation of our nuptial contract--to suffer with him; to be dead with him; to drink of his cup; to be baptized into his death; to go to him without the camp, bearing his reproach.

WILFUL SIN--To Whom Is Application for Forgiveness Made?

QUESTION (1912)--1--When we commit a partially wilful sin, do we apply to God through Christ for forgiveness, or to Christ our Advocate alone. "If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous."

ANSWER--If we commit a partially wilful sin do we apply to the Father, do you ask? "If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the Righteous." Jesus directed His followers to pray to His Father, for He Himself directed His prayers to the Father in Heaven. Our sins are against God, the Heavenly Father, and His Law is thus ignored and broken, but we have an Advocate through whose merits we can come to the Father, but this Advocate does not stand in the place of the Father. "No man cometh unto the Father but by Me." If we merely come to the Advocate and do not proceed further we are not going to the Father. We must come to the Father in the Name and through the merit of the ONE who redeemed us. At the same time, I cannot imagine how there can be any objection of the Father or anybody else to our offering a petition or thanksgiving to our Savior for all that He was so willing to do for us. The Scriptures clearly tell us: "All men should honor the Son as they honor the Father." To come to the Son and to respect Him and to offer him a petition [Q735] and to give Him our praise and thanksgiving would not be to come to Him and seek His forgiveness for sins we had committed. He Himself gives us this injunction : "OUR Father, forgive us our trespasses."

WILL--Death of As Illustrated in Tabernacle Shadows.

QUESTION (1910) --1-- Please give some illustrations of the yielding of self-will to death only by subjection as mentioned in Tabernacle Shadows page 71.

ANSWER--I don't remember the matter in Tabernacle Shadows. I do not understand the question exactly. Self-will is what we had at first when we came to God, and what we gave up when we presented our bodies living sacrifices. If we do not give up our wills then God does not accept us at all. Whoever did not give his will did not give anything, because the will carries all with it and God would not accept anything else. Now suppose we gave up our wills when we made our consecration to the Lord and suppose we proceed along the pathway of life, and trials and difficulties come to us, and we fail to maintain this submission of our wills; and suppose the will of the flesh is strong, and the will of the New Creature does not conquer the will of the flesh--what then? Then we are not walking after the spirit properly. That means we are yielding something to the flesh, and the Apostle says, if ye walk after the flesh ye shall die, but if through the spirit ye do mortify the deeds of the body ye shall live. So every one of the overcomers will have to mortify the will and the deeds of his flesh and bring it into subjection. Is it possible, for us to conquer the flesh? In our minds it is possible and that is what God is speaking about. He is speaking to your mind and to your heart. You must not consent to sin, you must not be servants of sin. The New Creature cannot take its orders from the Old Creature. The New Creature must be an overcomer. It may be sometimes a hard struggle between the two, but if you have been faithful in putting up a strong fight against the flesh, even if you failed in it, God might count you nevertheless as having been faithful to the extent you were able and give you a blessing, and really make that a strength for you in the future, if you remember that weak point the next time. You would say, There is the place I slipped before. Do you remember ever passing along a street where there was a slippery place and you fell? As you went past that place again you would say, There is the place I fell once. You would remember the spot where you slipped before, where the snow was over it, and how you fell down. I have had that experience several times. Now in spiritual matters it is the same way. Perhaps some place you slipped and fell down and that slip in God's providence may make you very strong on that particular point, because every time you go near there, you say, "Here, beware!" And it will strengthen your character on that very point. So by various experiences our Lord is teaching us in the School of Christ. And what he is looking at, let us never forget is the heart; and if your heart came off a victor, even if you failed in the particular trial at the particular moment, and if when you got up out of the difficulty you went to the Lord, in the name of the great Advocate, and apologized to him, and told him how sorry you were, and how you would endeavor in the [Q736] future to do better, then you know that you were forgiven, and a victory was thus gained. You did not count it all when you slipped and fell, but you counted it afterwards when your character was made stronger by following the directions of the Lord's Word and came with courage to the throne of heavenly grace that you might obtain mercy and find help in every time of need.

WILL--How to Determine the Lord's Will.

QUESTION (1910-Z)--1--Suppose some one has in mind an undertaking which he believes is of the Lord's leading, and yet others who are as consecrated to the Lord as himself, seem to think it may not be of the Lord's leading, is there any way whereby he can assure himself that he is right?

ANSWER--We think that it is a good rule, when one is uncertain as to what is the right course, to simply stand still and wait, if the matter can be dealt with in that way. But if it is a matter that cannot be delayed but must be determined at once, it would not do to stand still; but it would be well in many instances to merely stand and wait.

For instance, a gentleman asked us as to whether he should build a house or not. We were not hasty in giving him advice, and he urged us to tell him our thought. After he had told us all the conditions, we advised him not to build, and gave our reasons. We did not attempt to urge our views upon him at all, but left them there. It is well for us to remember not to give too much concern about things that are not in our hands to decide; we would thus save ourselves a deal of trouble. In everything, however, that is in our hands to decide, we should use a great deal of care and judgment and try to find out the Lord's will in the matter.

In the case of people having different opinions about things, we think it well for one, if the responsibility rests with him, to hear what others may have to say and then consider the matter with as much wisdom and judgment as possible, and proceed to act according to his best judgment, taking into consideration the reasons advanced by his friends, bearing in mind, however, that the responsibility of decision is with himself.

WILL--Human Will vs. Nature.

QUESTION (1913)--2--Do you understand that there is any difference in the depraved will and the human nature?

ANSWER--The human nature has not a depraved will. The human nature is that which Adam had. The depraved will in us now is because we have merely the depraved human nature. Adam's will as a perfect man was a perfect human will, and the will of the natural man today, because depraved, is a depraved will.

WILL--New Will Antedates Spirit-Begetting.

QUESTION (1915)--3--Will you please explain the meaning of the new human will, or the difference between this and the New Creature?

ANSWER--The new human will--I am not sure whether we would best call it the human will. Call it the new will! The new will comes in before we become New Creatures. You must have a will to do the will of God before you seek to do it. And when you seek to do the will of God you will remember that He has directed that you should go to the [Q737] Lord Jesus Christ for instructions. Then as you go to Him for instructions, He becomes your Wisdom and shows you the way. But you willed to do this before you came at all. That was a new will, but altogether your own. No matter what gave you the impulse to have a change of attitude toward God and righteousness, it was first your will that willed to do God's will. It was not the New Creature; for no New Creature begins until the spirit-begetting takes place, and that does not take place until after you have your new will.

This will accepts the terms of justification, i.e., it makes a full consecration. When the earthly will--the new earthly mind--accepts the terms of justification, by submitting itself in entire consecration to the Lord, the individual is begotten by the Holy Spirit. Then he becomes a New Creature. We may then still speak of this will as the new will, because the new will does not die in our sacrifice, but it becomes now the will of the New Creature, and is even more conformed to God by reason of its possessor's being begotten of God's Spirit. This new will now begins to dominate everything. It has full control, and only then is it recognized of God. The individual has a new standing from the time when he receives the begetting of the Spirit.

WINDS--Re The Four of Heaven.

QUESTION (1911)--1-- In Revelation we read about the four winds of heaven being holden by four angels that they should not blow upon the earth nor hurt the trees and grass, etc. What do we understand these winds to signify and how soon may we expect them to be let loose?

ANSWER--It is a symbolic expression, of course, dear friends. All the book of Revelation is symbolic. The four winds we understand to represent the completeness, as we speak of a square as being complete, and as the four corners of the earth; and again we speak of north, south, east and west, thus giving the four corners of the earth, figuratively. And it is represented that the angels are holding the winds. What winds? Well, certain winds are represented in symbolic language as being false doctrines --as, for instance, "be not carried about by every wind of doctrine." Here false doctrines are symbolically spoken of, winds that carry about some that are unstable, that do not understand the divine plan; they never get settled as to what anything means, because they have never had a right understanding of the matter. They have never had the solidifying influence of the truth upon them. Then again winds are used to represent strife. And winds again are used to represent war and trouble and confusion. And four winds let loose would represent a whirlwind, you see, as the four would come together; and so the Scriptures represent that in the end of this age, the time of trouble that will come on the earth will be as a whirlwind from the four corners of the earth. Now what will cause this whirlwind of trouble? I will remind you that Satan is said to be the prince of the power of the air, and otherwise he is said to be the prince of demons. These powers of the air, we believe, are the demoniacal powers, the powers of the evil spirits, and our thought respecting the letting loose of those four winds is that it will mean a time of the breaking loose of the fallen angels from the restraint which has been upon them for now about four thousand three hundred years, since the time these fallen [Q738] angels sinned, as Saint Peter says, when the ark was preparing--going back a long ways to the days of Noah; they were then shut up on account of their disobedience to God; they were restrained in chains of darkness, Saint Peter says, and Saint Jude also, and this restraint of chains of darkness was to be until a certain time, namely, until the judgment of the Great Day. Our thought is that this text of Scripture has reference to this same power of the air. The same fallen angels; and the breaking loose or letting loose of these from restraint means that the time will come when God will no longer restrain these evil spirits, and that there will be a great time of trouble come upon mankind as a consequence of their being permitted to interfere with the human race. We cannot doubt that certain spirits that worked havoc back in the days of our Lord would have done still worse if they had had an opportunity. We cannot doubt they would do the same today if they were permitted. Evidently, to my mind, the fallen angels have been restrained for all these centuries. The wind has not yet been allowed to blow, the great storm which they willingly would brew has not yet been allowed to come to pass, and will not be allowed to come to pass until the 144,000 shall have been sealed in their foreheads; that is, until the elect shall all have been recognized of God and identified and completed. Then suddenly these evil influences will be allowed to come upon the earth, and a time of trouble will ensue such as never was since there was a nation. Jesus says, "Neither will there ever be again such a time."

WISE AND FOOLISH VIRGINS--Re Great Company and Serving at Marriage.

QUESTION (1911)--1--If the wise and foolish virgins represented the Little Flock and the Great Company, how is it that the Great Company get in to serve at the marriage of the Lamb after the door is shut and the bridegroom says, "I never knew you?"

ANSWER--I would advise the questioner to read that chapter of studies in the Scriptures which deals with this particular parable in an extended manner. You will get it much more satisfactorily than I can hope to answer it here in the time at our disposal. I could merely say that this parable of the wise and foolish virgins is applied to the end of this age--not to the entire age, but to the end of the age; at about the time that Messiah is to be expected to gather his Bride Class, the wise virgins will go in to the wedding with the Lord. They had the light, they had the blessing, and after all of them have gone in the door to the wedding, the door to the Bride Class, will be closed; and then we read that the other class, the foolish virgins--just as much virgins, you see, both classes were virgins, and "virgins" stand here for pure, or that which is in harmony with God. We are not to suppose these foolish virgins went to eternal torment because they did not have the oil, and we are not to suppose they go to some terrible end because they do not get into the marriage. It is a great privilege to get into the marriage, it is a wonderful privilege to become members of the Bride, the Lamb's wife, only the more than conquerors will get that blessing; then this other class that were over- charged with the cares of this life, and did not take the proper time to examine and get the light, to get the oil--what happens to them? [Q739] Here we read that after the wise virgins had gone in, these foolish virgins having gone to buy oil, and finally getting the oil, getting the light, getting the information, become wise then, but by the time they got wise, and had the light the door was shut, the full number, the complete number of the elect had gone in, and there could not be any more come in as the elect. Whatever would come to those would be outside of that special privilege of joint heirship with Christ. Other Scriptures show us that blessings will go to that class, but they will be obliged to prove their loyalty by passing through the great time of trouble and symbolically washing their robes and making them white. When the Lord says, "I never knew you," the translation should properly be rendered, I do not recognize you. That is to say he recognizes only the one class as his Bride Class, he cannot recognize these others as his Bride Class, because they were not found worthy. The pictures in the Scriptures show us that they are to come in and be associated with the Bride Class, in the sense of being bridesmaids or attendants, or servants of the Bride Class, colaboring and co-operating with them; as, for instance, we read in, I believe,--the forty-sixth Psalm, (Psa. 46) where we have a picture given us of the Bride Class, that the Bride is all glorious within; she shall be brought before the King in raiment of fine needlework of gold. Then the virgins, her companions that follow her, shall also be brought in before the King.

WOMAN--What Does She Symbolize?

QUESTION (1908)--1--In Luke 15:8, we read: "Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?" In an article in the Tower, this woman is shown to represent "divine energy." Is there any other place that woman symbolizes anything but the Church?

ANSWER--I doubt that a little. I do not remember writing that a woman represents divine energy; if I did I have forgotten it. We would have to have the quotation from the Tower before we would ever believe that women represented divine energy. I have great regard for the sisters, but I did not know that woman was ever used to symbolize divine energy. I don't think I ever said so; if I did, I was thinking of something else. The reference is not given and the quotation is not given. The fact that something in the Tower might be misunderstood would not surprise us any. Why, we find a whole lot in the Bible that has been misunderstood.

WOMAN--Woman the Glory of Man--The Church the Glory of Christ.

QUESTION (1910-Z)--2--In the Scripture which says that woman is the glory of man, is the intimation conveyed that the Church is the glory of Christ?

ANSWER--We understand it is. We are not to understand by this, however, that woman is the glory of the man in the sense of being more glorious than the man; nor that the Church is the glory of Christ in the sense of being more glorious than Christ; nor that the Son is the glory of the Father in the sense of being more glorious than the Father; but we do understand that the Father is especially glorified in the Son because of the closeness of the relationship existing between them and because of the honor that the [Q740] Father has shown the Son. Similarly Christ will be glorified in the Church because the wonderful glory that will be manifested through the Church will be a reflection of the glory of Jesus--all as a result of the Father's grace through him.

WOUNDS--Wounded in House of Friends.

QUESTION (1910) --1--In Zec. 13:6, we read, "And one shall say unto him, what are these wounds in thy hands? Then shall he answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends." The above text has been offered as proof that our Lord, at his second advent, will have a body of flesh. Kindly throw a little light upon it.

ANSWER--Well, I do not know that I can throw any particular light upon it, except that we know that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven. He is to be the King and therefore he cannot be flesh and blood. Therefore, to my mind that settles the matter. I would suppose that this was the way God was pleased to state the matter through the prophet, so as to call attention to the fact that our Lord would be wounded in the hands in the house of his friends. As we read, "He came unto his own and his own received him not," but wounded him, crucifying him.

ZEAL--Re Reproach.

QUESTION--2--In order for the saints to do their duty, is it necessary for them to be so zealous for the Lord and His work as to bring bitter reproach upon themselves?

ANSWER--Well, it would depend. There is a mild way of doing things that will avoid much of the bitterness and much of the reproach, and that is the better way. You will notice the Apostle Paul's method, when addressing some of the notable men before whom he was called, Felix, Festus, Agrippa, etc. He might have said something in a very braggadocio style that would have aroused the opposition of everybody present. He might have said, What are you? What is the Roman Empire? The Lord Jesus is greater than you all. All that would have been true, but he did not say it. He said, I am glad, most noble King Agrippa, that I am privileged to make my defense in your presence, because I know you are familiar with the things in the Law and in Jewry. You see, he was very complimentary. He did not bring opposition because of foolishness, and that is the lesson that you and I want to learn. The Lord is not going to bless you much for doing foolish things. Be as "wise as serpents and as harmless as doves." Whenever you have done the best you can, don't be surprised if the world, even after you have done them a kindness, should hate you. Our Lord said, "Marvel not if the world hate you and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake." You will get plenty of it then. You are to be prepared then, dear friends, for plenty of opposition, and this will be a time for your faithfulness. The Scriptures tell us that whosoever will live godly in this present age shall suffer persecution. If you do not have any persecution, it is a sign that you are not living godly, and you had better hurry up and live godly, so as to have a chance of getting into the Kingdom--only do not make the mistake of acting foolishly. I do not mean to say that I myself have not done things that were not done in the wisest manner, but I hope we are all learning to be as wise as we can. [Q741]

ADAM--Created--Not Born as His Posterity Was.

QUESTION--Was Adam "born in sin and shapen iniquity" as is stated in the Scriptures of all of Adam's posterity? --Psa. 11:5. (A.N.D.)

ANSWER--Strictly speaking, Adam was not born; he was created of the dust of the ground. Science confirms this statement of the Bible, for all of the elements contained in the human body are found in the earth. Man was a distinct creation; and not a product of evolution as some deluded scientists maintain. When God formed man of the earthly elements He pronounced him "very good," and the Scriptures elsewhere declare that all of God's works are perfect. (Deut. 32:4.) As a perfect man it was optional with Adam as to whether he would obey the Lord or not. The very fact that Adam had the power of choosing between the good and the evil proves that he had not created a mere machine but that he was a free moral agent and hence in the image of God as the Scriptures affirm. If Adam had been imperfect, of a sinful nature, degraded and evil as the race is today, the Lord would never have placed him on trial. As a result of Adam's disobedience, he passed under the sentence of death and involved all of his posterity in the same awful sentence and from that time to the present the race has journeyed over the downward way leading to destruction. Death reigns as all will admit. The race is to be delivered from death at the second coming of Christ as the Apostle says "For He must reign until He has placed all enemies under His feet; even death the last enemy shall be destroyed." "And there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away." 1 Cor. 15:26; Rev. 21:4.

ADAM--If Perfect, How Sinned?

QUESTION--If Adam was perfect; how could he have sinned? It seems to me that a perfect man would have acted in a perfect manner. It is the imperfect individual that sins or acts imperfectly. Kindly explain this matter as I am frequently brought face to face with this proposition.(Eve)

ANSWER--From the Scriptural narrative of the creation of man, it is evident that God, the Creator, designed to have an intelligent creature made in His own likeness, with an individual will capable of deciding for good or evil. Man has the power of willing to do as he, himself desires. Had he been created otherwise he would not have been in the likeness of God, but a mere machine controlled and directed by the Divine will. We may reasonably suppose that Adam chose to disobey the Lord because of his love for Eve. She had been deceived by the Adversary, Satan, and had partaken of the forbidden fruit, the penalty for which was death. Adam, realizing that she must die, deliberately chose to share her fate, as life without her would not be worth living. We are distinctly told that Adam was not deceived (1 Tim. 2:14) and we could conceive of no other motive on the part of a perfect man in disobeying the Divine mandate, than that of love for his bride.

Prev   Top of page   Next