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January 15th
ZION'S
WATCH TOWER
and
Herald of Christ's Presence

ROCK OF AGES
Other foundation can
no man lay
A RANSOM FOR ALL

"Watchman, What of the Night?"
"The Morning Cometh, and a Night also!" Isaiah 21:11

SEMI-MONTHLY
VOL. XXIXJANUARY 1No. 1
A.D. 1908 – A.M. 6036
CONTENTS
Views from the Watch Tower 3
Christendom in Survey 3
"All Things Continue as They Were" 4
Yet Seven Years More 4
"A Confederacy!" – Isa. 8:12 5
The Time of Trouble 5
The Present Financial Spasm 6
Travailing in Birth of New Era 6
Outlook for the Work 7
Two Debates Arranged For 8
Preparing the Way of the Lord 8
The Antitypical Elijah 9
Finding the Lord's Jewels 11
Seeking Fellowship with Jesus 12

"I will stand upon my watch, and set my foot upon the Tower, and will watch to see what He shall say unto me, and what answer I shall make to them that oppose me." Hab. 2:1

Upon the earth distress of nations with perplexity: the sea and the waves (the restless, discontented) roaring: men's hearts failing them for fear and for looking forward to the things coming upon the earth (society): for the powers of the heavens (ecclestiasticism) shall be shaken. . . .When ye see these things come to pass, then know that the Kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Look up, lift up your heads, rejoice, for your redemption draweth nigh. – Luke 21:25-28, 32.

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THIS JOURNAL AND ITS SACRED MISSION
T
HIS Journal is one of the prime factors or instruments in the system of Bible Instruction, or "Seminary Extension," now being presented in all parts of the civilized world by the WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY, chartered A.D. 1881, "For the Promotion of Christian Knowledge." It not only serves as a class room where Bible Students may meet in the study of the divine Word, but also as a channel of communication through which they may be reached with announcements of the Society's Conventions and of the coming of its traveling representatives styled "Pilgrims," and refreshed with reports of its Conventions.

Our "Berean Lessons" are topical rehearsals or reviews of our Society's published "Studies," most entertainingly arranged, and very helpful to all who would merit the only honorary degree which the Society accords, viz., Verbi Dei Minister (V.D.M.), which translated into English is, Minister of the Divine Word. Our treatment of the International S.S. Lessons is specially for the older Bible Students and Teachers. By some this feature is considered indispensable.

This Journal stands firmly for the defence of the only true foundation of the Christian's hope now being so generally repudiated, – Redemption through the precious blood of "the man Christ Jesus who gave himself a ransom [a corresponding price, a substitute] for all." (I Pet. 1:19; I Tim. 2:6.) Building up on this sure foundation the gold, silver and precious stones (I Cor. 3:11-15; 2 Pet. 1:5-11) of the Word of God, its further mission is to – "Make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery which...has been hid in God,...to the intent that now might be made known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God" – "which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men as it is now revealed." – Eph. 3:5-9,10.

It stands free from all parties, sects and creeds of men, while it seeks more and more to bring its every utterance into fullest subjection to the will of God in Christ, as expressed in the Holy Scriptures. It is thus free to declare boldly whatsoever the Lord hath spoken; – according to the divine wisdom granted unto us, to understand. Its attitude is not dogmatical, but confident; for we know whereof we affirm, treading with implicit faith upon the sure promises of God. It is held as a trust, to be used only in his service; hence our decisions relative to what may and what may not appear in its columns must be according to our judgment of his good pleasure, the teaching of his Word, for the upbuilding of his people in grace and knowledge. And we not only invite but urge our readers to prove all its utterances by the infallible Word to which reference is constantly made, to facilitate such testing.

TO US THE SCRIPTURES CLEARLY TEACH
That the Church is "the Temple of the Living God" – peculiarly "His
workmanship;" that its construction has been in progress throughout the Gospel age – ever since Christ became the world's Redeemer and the chief corner stone of this Temple, through which, when finished, God's blessings shall come "to all people," and they find access to him. – 1 Cor. 3:16,17; Eph. 2:20-22; Gen. 28:14; Gal. 3:29.
That meantime the chiseling, shaping and polishing, of consecrated believers
in Christ's atonement for sin, progresses; and when the last of these "living stones," "elect and precious," shall have been made ready, the great Master Workman will bring all together in the First Resurrection; and the Temple shall be filled with his glory, and be the meeting place between God and men throughout the Millennium. – Rev. 15:5-8.
That the Basis of Hope, for the Church and the World, lies in the fact that
"Jesus Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man," "a ransom for all," and will be "the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world," "in due time." – Heb. 2:9; John 1:9; 1 Tim. 2:5,6.
That the Hope of the Church is that she may be like her Lord, "see him
as he is," be "partaker of the divine nature," and share his glory as his joint-heir. – 1 John 3:2; John 17:24; Rom. 8:17; 2 Pet. 1:4.
That the present mission of the Church is the perfecting of the saints for
the future work of service; to develop in herself every grace; to be God's witness to the world; and to prepare to be the kings and priests of the next age. – Eph. 4:12; Matt. 24:14; Rev. 1:6; 20:6.
That the hope for the World lies in the blessings of knowledge and opportunity
to be brought to by Christ's Millennial Kingdom – the restitution of all that was lost in Adam, to all the willing and obedient, at the hands of their Redeemer and his glorified Church. – Acts 3:19-21; Isa. 35.
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, Editor.

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All Bible Students who, by reason of old age, or other infirmity or adversity, are unable to pay for this Journal, will be supplied FREE if they send a Postal Card each June stating their case and requesting its continuance. We are not only willing, but anxious, that all such be on our list continually and in touch with the Studies, etc.

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THE WOMAN'S NATIONAL DAILY

The number of the friends subscribing for this cheap daily through us was not nearly as large as we had expected. Hence Brother Russell's sermons are not appearing in it regularly, as proposed. Sorry, for it meant a wide circulation of the Truth weekly. A kind card to the Editor of the National Daily from each one who has subscribed might help. But the best help will be large lists of new subscriptions. The Daily and THE TOWER both $1.60 for the year, or 60c now if you already are on the TOWER list. Get new subscribers for The Daily one year and the TOWER four months, both for $1. [R4114 : page 2]

CANADIAN FRIENDS DESIRING SERMONS WEEKLY

Arrangements have been made for Brother Russell's sermons weekly in The Toronto World. We can give a clubbing rate of $1.50 per year (or, with TOWER, $2.50), except in the cities of Hamilton and Toronto, where the price will be $2.75, with TOWER, $3.75. Make up your lists speedily and send to us. page 2

"STUDIES," INDIA PAPER EDITION

We now have India STUDIES, Vols. 4, 5 and 6. Back orders will have attention at once. Price, 85c each. The first three volumes will be announced later – when in stock.

THE NEW BIBLES

The new Bibles are all gone except No. W300, the best grade, full seal. Price, $3.00, plus 10c postage – $3.10.

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VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER Listen
T
HE opening of a New Year is a most favorable time for special circumspection – for reviewing the year past, for the looking forward to the things coming upon the earth, and for a general survey of present conditions in the world, in the Church, and particularly in our own hearts. This circumspection should be taken with a view to our growth in knowledge and in grace – not from idle curiosity nor from boastful self-sufficiency.
CHRISTENDOM IN SURVEY

While Church and State are in many respects totally separate, nevertheless throughout what we term Christendom they are so closely related and intertwined as to appear one, and this oneness we believe the Scriptures to teach will increase until for all practical purposes they will be one. We surmise that this will be accomplished within the next three years. The Committee on Church Federation appointed some time ago is to meet in December, 1908. Conditions during the present year will undoubtedly cause the idea of Church Federation to take firmer hold than ever upon the public mind, especially upon the clerics, and our expectation, therefore, is that two years later it will be an accomplished fact. Quite probably by that time some arrangement will have been effected between the Episcopal system and other Protestant denominations, whereby the clergy of the latter will all be recognized by the former – probably by the Episcopal clergy in some manner imparting the apostolic succession. Thereafter any not recognized by the system will be in sore straits, condemned as unorthodox, and without right or authority or privilege to preach or teach. This condition of things, as pointed out in these columns twenty-eight years ago, we look for as the fulfilment of Rev. 13:15-17.

In the Lord's providence the increase of light and knowledge preparatory for the great Millennial day has brought to Christendom great riches. Not only have the millions of Christendom been more constantly employed than ever, but by reason of education their employment has yielded larger fruitage, and in combination with machinery the results have surely been five-fold. No wonder, then, that the world's wealth has been enormously increased. As might be expected, however, all have not profited equally by this great gain. While all have profited in great measure, the master minds – especially those endowed with large acquisitiveness – have profited chiefly by the favorable conditions. As a result we see that one-seventh of the people own six-sevenths of the wealth. If on the one hand this condition of things seems hard and inequitable, let us remember on the other hand that it is the legitimate fruit of the law of selfishness, under which the world has operated now for six thousand years. That the field in many respects has been a fair and open one is evidenced by the fact that some of the wealthiest people of today started life in the humblest circumstances. If some of these in gaining their wealth have used unscrupulous means, let us remember that they did nothing more than many of their neighbors who had less success in life – nothing more than what the majority of mankind would have done had they possessed opportunity and the intellectual talent to improve it. This being true, it behooves us to look with generosity upon the rich, and to note to their credit that many of them have been very benevolent both in public and in private. Let us remember, also, that many of the most successful have not gained their wealth by grinding the poor nor by treating them as slaves, but on the contrary have paid the best wages, treated their employees most honorably, and really have been benefactors to the world in that their business acumen enabled them to launch large projects, which gave profitable employment and large wages to many of their fellows, who would have been incapable of such management.

LET A MAN THINK SOBERLY

Many are able to take the reasonable, just, philosophical view of the subject above presented so long as they are doing reasonably well themselves; but when the pinch comes and they begin to be in want they reason differently. They forget a part of the truth on the subject – they think merely of the fact that in nature [R4109 : page 4] and providence we are surrounded by wonderful bounties and vast opportunities, and in the scramble for wealth which these produced others got the lion's share. From this standpoint they reason that the wealth of the world and the increment belong equally to the wise and the unwise, to the learned and the ignorant, to the ambitious and the careless, and with this thought in view they are inclined to demand their share and to hold that anyone who has more than his per capita portion must have stolen it from his fellows. But since they joined in the scramble, hoping to be amongst the more successful, even acknowledging thus the principles of selfish competition, it is with bad grace that they now especially find fault with those who have been more successful than they, instead of finding fault with the system which permitted, fostered and developed present conditions. Indeed, however strenuous may be the results of present conditions of the world, we can fully justify divine providence in permitting matters to take the course which has led up to the present condition of things – up to the time of trouble which will mark the consummation of this age and the inauguration of the Millennium.

Without selfish ambition to spur men on, without the law of necessity to speed the movements of the slothful, the tendency of mankind would have been toward a barbaric indolence, contentment with a hut instead of a palace, satisfied with signs and grunts and hieroglyphics instead of an education. Undoubtedly, all the fallen conditions considered, the Lord did the best thing for the race to permit selfish ambition to crack the whip and drive the remainder of the world toward a higher civilization than that into which they had sunk, as described by the Apostle in Romans, chapters 1 and 2.

"ALL THINGS CONTINUE AS THEY WERE"

The Lord through the Apostle calls our attention to the fact that in the end of this age there would be a tendency on the part of the worldly wise to say that there would be no change of dispensation; that all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation and will so continue – that there will be no change. This is brought out as an answer that will be made to some who will claim the presence of the Lord and the change of dispensation – just as we are doing. But in accord with the Word of God, we are not heeding these worldly wise, but are hearkening to the voice of him that speaketh from heaven, which assures us of a great change, and that it is now at the door: (1) A change of rulers, the Prince of Light taking from the prince of darkness the sceptre of this world and binding, [R4110 : page 4] restraining, him for a thousand years, that during the same he shall not deceive the nations. (Rev. 20:3.) (2) The overthrow of all present institutions built up under the influence of the prince of darkness, and fostered by ignorance, superstition and selfishness, and the substitution of a reign of equality and love which shall lift all men from the depths of degradation, mental, physical and moral, and bring them all to a completeness of perfection if they will, and thus to a plane of equality, destroying the unwilling as mischievous and injurious in the Second Death.

Emphasizing this change which he will bring about, the Lord through the Prophet declares that he will not forever plow the field and sow, but in its appropriate season he would do a reaping work. We perceive that the entire field was not sown with the good seed of the Gospel, but only a small, limited area, and that for now nearly nineteen centuries the Lord has watered and harrowed this sowing, and that the harvest time of the Gospel Age is come. True to our Lord's parable the Adversary was permitted to do a contaminating work – to over-sow the field with tare seed, and as a consequence the acceptable crop now to be gathered is a small one in comparison with what would be expected by those who have not been able to distinguish between wheat and tares, between consecrated believers and nominal Christians. To our understanding of the Bible, as set forth in the volumes of SCRIPTURE STUDIES, this harvest work has been in progress since October, 1874, and will be completed within forty years – by October, 1914. Within that time we fully expect that all the wheat will be gathered into the garner, glorified, and that the tares will be gathered into bundles, if indeed by that time their burning will not have commenced. We do not understand the burning of the tares will be with literal fire, nor that their destruction will mean the destruction of the individuals, but merely that they will cease to exist as imitation wheat and take their true stand with the world as members thereof, without part or lot in the inheritance of the "saints in light."

YET SEVEN YEARS MORE

From the foregoing it will be seen that to our understanding Christendom entered upon the final seven years of harvest time in October, 1907. Promptly on time the present panic gave Christendom a convulsive tremor, and it is our anticipation that the entire seven years thus started will witness a succession of panics and difficulties, each pressing a little more upon the interests of mankind, the rich as well as the poor, and each bringing conditions to a little harder plane than its predecessor, until, with the close of the seven years, during 1915, according to the Bible, we expect that anarchy will gain the upper hand of control throughout Christendom, overthrowing present institutions, civil and religious, financial and social, and in a general way plunging the poor world into the most awful trouble it has ever experienced – a trouble so dark, so terrible, that in referring to it the Master said, "Except those days be shortened there would no flesh survive." But then he added, that because of the Elect the days would be shortened. The Elect Church, at that time in glory with the Lord, and assuming the authority of the world, will at the proper moment intervene, and with divine power and wisdom bring order out of the confusion, and establish in the world righteous conditions, which the Scriptures assure us will then be welcomed by all mankind. Those now disposed to fight for present conditions will then, as a result of the chastening experience, be glad to look for and accept the new order of things – the reign of righteousness and love under the Millennial rule of the King of kings and Lord of lords, with whom in his throne will be associated [R4110 : page 5] the Bride, the Lamb's Wife – the Elect Little Flock of this Gospel Age.

We are not prophesying; we are merely giving our surmises, the Scriptural basis for which is already in the hands of our readers in the six volumes of SCRIPTURE STUDIES. We do not even aver that there is no mistake in our interpretation of prophecy and our calculations of chronology. We have merely laid these before you, leaving it for each to exercise his own faith or doubt in respect to them; but showing our own faith by our works. Even our enemies must concede, and many of them do concede, that the facts as they have developed year by year since we began these presentations in 1876 have most wonderfully, most remarkably, corroborated our expectations and continue to do so. For instance, the Jews had not thought of returning to their own land when, in 1878, we pointed out that the time for favor to that people had chronologically begun, in fulfilment of Isaiah's prophecy, "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith my God. Speak ye comfortably unto Jerusalem, and cry unto her that her appointed hour is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins." (Isa. 40:1,2.) Zionism was not dreamed of at that time, and began to take practical form seventeen years afterward.

"A CONFEDERACY!" – ISAIAH 8:12

We pointed out from the Scriptures a federation of Protestants which would receive its life or vitality through association with the Episcopal Church, and that this combination of Protestants would be one side of the great scroll of the heavens while Roman Catholicism would be the other side of the scroll, and that these would not unite, but "roll together as a scroll" during this harvest time, and because of the shaking incident to the time of trouble and anarchy with which the age would end. But not until seventeen years later was the idea of federation brought forward. Formerly it was urged everywhere that the cause of righteousness was advanced by the competition between various denominations of Christendom. Now, however, the federation is surely near, and it will have an important part to play in connection with the trouble coming upon the faithful Little Flock, and later on it will receive by divine permission as complete an overthrow as came upon the Jewish institution, its prototype, in A.D. 70. In 1878 Christendom in general possessed faith in the precious blood of Christ, a ransom price: we pointed out from the Scriptures that a testing would come upon all and chiefly along this line, that a thousand would fall to one who would stand (Psalm 91:7); that the cross of Christ was set for a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel – to Natural Israel in its harvest time, and to Spiritual Israel, Christendom, in this present harvest time of this age.

As we look about today, we see, alas, how truly the Scriptures on this subject have been fulfilled. Not a college or seminary that we know of in the world teaches the doctrine of redemption, the very foundation of the Gospel. Some of them teach Evolution, Higher Criticism and morality; others which do not openly so teach give similar instruction in a private way – in that the professors are known to hold these views. Amongst the ministers of all denominations the same thing is true: probably not one minister in ten can be found who would declare unequivocally that it is his faith that the death of Christ was a ransom price for Adam and his race – that without his death as our Redeemer there would have been no atonement for sin, and no forgiveness of sin, and no future life for any – the plain teaching of Scripture. Moreover, these same errors have stumbled and overthrown the faith of the majority of professing Christians, remarkably few of whom would be found who know what justification by faith means, and who believe that Christ died for our sins and rose again for our justification, that by his stripes we are healed, and that the chastisements necessary for the securing of our peace with God were laid upon him who died, the Just for the unjust, that he might bring us back into harmony with God. As for the coming generation, it is growing up in unbelief as respects the foundation principles of the real Gospel of Christ. It is being instructed in "another Gospel," which is not another, because there is truly no good tidings except that which God himself has provided, the forgiveness of sins through the merit of the precious blood of Christ. Not only in the colleges, but also in the High Schools, and now more latterly in the Grammar Schools – yea, even in the Sunday Schools – the theories of Higher Criticism in respect to the Bible, and of Evolution as respects our race, are being taught. The one undermines faith in the Bible, the other puts before the mind of the youth another theory, the reverse of the Scriptural one, which – supported by teachers and professors and ministers and others – causes the Scriptural theory of a perfect Adam and his fall by original sin, his redemption by a Savior, and his ultimate restitution in the "times of restitution of all things which God hath spoken" – it makes all of these seem absurd, unreasonable.

THE TIME OF TROUBLE

Similarly the Scriptural presentation of the time of trouble has been found to be correct. Step by step the conditions have been approximating the great climax which the Scriptures declare. Education and general enlightenment and invention – blessings which belong to the morning of the new dispensation about to dawn – have awakened the world to its present rapid pace, and have turned the minds of the masses towards selfishness and the worship of Mammon in a remarkable degree. This Mammon worship is shared in not only by the wealthy but also by the poor. One man chases after a fortune of one thousand dollars, another after one of a million, another after hundreds of millions, but nearly all are in pursuit of wealth. If it be claimed that this is more true of the people of the United States of America than of Europe, we reply that this may be so, because in every sense of the word the people of America are awakened at least ten years in advance of Europe; but indications are that the whole world is getting awake very rapidly, and its awakening will be a ruder one than ours, with no less strenuous results. [R4111 : page 6]

We are not faulting the people for their awakening in the morning time; we are not faulting them that in their hunger for a share of the wonderful blessings which God has granted in the present time they have been moving with selfish energy to the protection of their rights and the acquirement of greater privileges by means of labor unions and federations. We would be most inclined to find fault with the unjust and unreasonable demands and methods sometimes employed. And yet even here we sympathize in great measure when we remember that these, hungry for their pro rata of present blessings, have not the guidance of the Lord, his Word and his Spirit, to show them the wise and proper path. Hence some of their moves not only result disastrously to themselves, but sometimes inflict needless hardship upon some of the best-intentioned capitalists and employers. On the other hand, we must not be surprised that capitalists of keen mind, reckoning life as a battle and a game, have exercised their quick intelligence to strengthen their own position, to maintain advantage in their own hands, and to increase the same by combinations and trusts, eliminating competition and advantaging themselves in general. What more could we expect from natural men operating under natural laws, growing more and more disrespectful of the divine Word, and more and more into sympathy with the Evolution theory – that it is the law of nature to have a survival of the fittest, and that the unfit need not be sympathized with too much, but rather be allowed to drop out of the race for wealth and station and even for the right to live? Thus we find ourselves at the threshold of what we believe to be the last seven years of this Gospel dispensation.

THE PRESENT FINANCIAL SPASM

All financiers must ultimately agree that the present financial spasm was directly caused by selfishness on the part of the bankers, etc., and nearly all the wealthy are either directly or indirectly bankers or bank directors. Shrewd bankers realize that their business prospers in proportion as the volume of money currency is small in comparison to the amount of business. Hence the money of a country is sought to be restrained in volume, and at the time the present panic broke out amounted in this country to about $24.50 per capita. It has since been increased by the issue of more National Bank notes, etc., to about $33.00 for each person of population, which is larger than that of any other country. However, the business enterprise, etc., here is so much greater than elsewhere that in our judgment even yet we have only one-third the amount of money that the country really needs. The bankers of the world practically control the governments in this matter, and they advocate as small a volume as possible – as small as will be safe not to risk a panic. Why? Because they make their money on interest and discounts, and it is to their advantage to have the public short of money and needing to borrow. The scarcer money can be made without injuring prosperity and promoting a panic the greater will be the demands made upon them by borrowers, and the greater their profits.

The enormous amount of their profits and surplus above the capital stock is advertised by the banks with pride, as showing their prosperity and soundness. If money were three times as plentiful interest rates would be about one-third what they are today, and the bankers would not be so much more prosperous than the remainder of the people. As an illustration of how the scarcity of money operates to the advantage of the banks, we note the case of a Pittsburgher who recently got into financial trouble and applied to an institution of this city whose capital and surplus amount to many millions of dollars. After examining his property they let him have $250,000 on credit, and took from him a mortgage for $350,000 – thus clearing, because of the necessities of the case, $100,000. Had money been more plentiful that borrower would have found many ready to come to his assistance on much cheaper terms. We are mentioning this matter in detail to call attention to the fact that selfishness is at the bottom of nearly all financial troubles, and it is selfishness that will be to blame for the final collapse which the Scriptures predict and which we expect in 1915.

We have already noted (Vol. IV., chap. VIII.) that the demonetization of silver was a matter instigated by the bankers. We have pointed out that it was inimical to the interests of the public. It lessened the money of the world by at least one-half. If silver were remonetized the business of the world would have none too much money for profitable handling, but that larger amount of money would make the banking business less profitable. Bankers tell the public that less money is necessary per capita than heretofore, because by our superior banking facilities one dollar chases around and, during a year, pays a thousand dollars worth of debts. We agree that the world has brilliant financiers, that our banking system in many respects is splendid, and that the making of one dollar do the work of a thousand is very wise for the bankers and very profitable to them. However, if the one dollar did one-third as much work as at present, the danger of panics would be proportionately decreased and the prosperity of the banks also decreased. Financial matters resemble a top, whose point is money and whose upper portion is composed of bonds, stocks, mortgages, securities representing value. So long as the top is kept spinning at a rapid rate it can stand erect upon the point, but when something occurs to overturn it it is difficult to get it to spin again. The heavy top of national debts, land values, etc., now prevailing throughout the world is too great in proportion to the world's money. But we have no thought that conditions will be materially changed. The bankers have the confidence of the public, great and small, and will continue to maintain their present power, and these and other deleterious influences will have much to do with bringing forward the great trouble in its due time, through "lack of confidence."

TRAVAILING IN BIRTH OF NEW ERA

We are not meaning to say that the banks of the country are not sound, reliable. Quite to the contrary: they are very rich – if their wealth be measured by the securities they hold. It is our expectation that the present stress will ere long be much relieved, but we do not expect to see as great prosperity as the past few years have witnessed; rather that there will be a down grade, with repeated hitchings or spasms of trouble, in harmony with the Apostle's illustration that this trouble is coming upon the world "as travail upon a woman with child." The final spasm, which we look for in 1915, will give birth to the new dispensation of peace and blessing, the Millennial reign of Messiah, in which we hope to share, for the blessing and uplifting of the world.

What shall we do? Quite a good many are inquiring as to the wisest course in view of our expectations. If by this query is meant, How can it be escaped? Our reply is that it will be impossible to escape the coming trouble except by death, for according to the Scriptures it is to be world wide, every man's hand against his neighbor, no peace to him that goeth out or to him that cometh in. We understand the Scriptures to teach that all of the "overcomers," the "very Elect," will be gone before 1915 and its terrible collapse, though they may pass through a considerable measure of persecution before that, and of course would share with others in [R4111 : page 7] the sorrows and perplexities of the further spasms of the trouble. Our advice in general would be, "Trust in the Lord and do good," exercise faith and the spirit of a sound mind. Remember the Lord's promise to care for all who are his, and to make all things work together for their good. Rely upon this and show your faith by your calm, quiet demeanor in the midst of trouble. As for those possessed of money, we offer the suggestion that a small home is one of the safest investments imaginable.

Should the banks some years later on become entirely insolvent, as we expect, money in them and in insurance companies, etc., would be practically lost; but a home well adapted to one's needs would still have a value. Some have queried whether or not a little farm would be profitable in the time of trouble. We reply that wherever the Lord's keeping power is there is safety; that so far as human judgment could go there would be as little safety on a farm as anywhere, for in the time we anticipate tramps and thieves will infest the country districts and beset the wayfaring man as much if not more than the city dweller. If attempting to locate a family of small children our inclination would be to prefer a town of moderate size, not a manufacturing city nor a mining village, but, if possible, a college town, inhabited by an intelligent middle class, where order would be more respected and prolonged. But the wisest and best legacy possible to leave to our friends would be a good example as respects honesty, morality and reverence for divine things. To be known to have money secreted at that time would be to invite thieves and torture and possibly death. If in the small town suggested a lot could be had sufficiently large for a back-kitchen garden, it would be desirable. That will be a time, however, for demonstrating the truthfulness of the Lord's words: "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust do corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven."

OUTLOOK FOR THE WORK

We anticipate two more good years in connection with the harvest work. Already we notice that some who have heretofore been opponents of the Truth are surprised by the lightning-like rapidity with which the present financial trouble has come upon the country and has spread from ocean to ocean, and may yet perhaps influence Europe. They seem to read in this a corroboration of our expectations, and to be correspondingly [R4112 : page 7] more willing to investigate the more spiritual features in our presentations. Let us be prompt to avail ourselves of every opportunity for putting the Truth into the hands of the public. Some of the colporteurs write us that already they have found quite a slackening of their work. From others we have the reverse report, that when they mention that the SCRIPTURE STUDIES they are selling explain the panic and show from the Scriptures the outlook for both capital and labor they find many thereby interested to purchase, and we trust to read and become more thoroughly informed respecting all the features of the divine plan. During the next two years, even if the prosperity be not so great as at present, we expect to see the work go grandly forward, and perhaps as much or more evidence of gathered wheat as in the past. Those who cannot give all of their time to the colporteur work are again reminded of the Volunteer work, and that in this department all can serve. We are already arranging for a large output of tracts during 1908. We will contract for at least two millions at first, and from present prospects the financial sinews will not be lacking for the doubling of that number.

It remains largely in the hands of our readers to determine what shall be the output for the year 1908. Remember, that they are free and freight paid to your place. When writing about them give the quantity you would like to have, and also mention the reputed population of the district you hope to serve, and the number that will be cooperating with you in the Volunteer service. We think it not unreasonable to suppose that our Lord's estimate of treasures laid up in heaven would include such volunteer services, or any kind of service we would render to him and his cause.

"FIERY TRIALS THAT SHALL TRY YOU"

We come now to the most important feature of this view of the future – of the last seven years of the harvest. While, as suggested, we anticipate that the harvest work will go on, that the Truth will be spread very widely, it is our expectation also that another part of the harvesting work will be in progress, namely, the threshing and winnowing of the wheat already gathered from the field. Before it will be ready for the garner these tribulation processes of threshing and winnowing will be expected. If our anticipation be correct, it implies that there will be peculiar trials and testings of faith and of patience and of humility and of devotion to the Lord and to the brethren, upon those who are already in the light of Present Truth. To what extent have we still the chaff and straw of worldly sentiment attaching to us as New Creatures, as grains of wheat? To what extent are these earthly interests and ambitions holding us fast? We must be set free, and the experiences to be expected will be of a kind necessary for a complete separation from the things of worldliness and sin. So far as our hearts are concerned they must reach absolute perfection of intent and endeavor, however imperfectly they may be able to control our mortal bodies: otherwise we are not fit for the Kingdom, not fit to be gathered to the garner. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. The Apostle declares, "Of your own selves shall men arise speaking perverse things to draw followers after them." The last week of our Lord's ministry was the most eventful one of all, and the one which witnessed his greatest triumph with the people when they hailed him as King as he sat upon the ass. And yet the same week meant the severest trial upon all of his disciples and our Lord's ignominious death. So we shall not be surprised if something of a similar character should come to pass during these seven years – prosperity of the work amidst intensest opposition.

The Apostle, speaking of our day, mentions "perils amongst false brethren," and already we learn that some of these are boasting how much they shall be able to hinder the harvest work during the coming year. But we hear also the Word of the Lord assuring us that greater is he who is on our part than all they that be against us. We hear his voice again saying, "Let not your hearts be troubled," and again, "In quietness and confidence shall be your strength." So all of the Lord's true people should feel – "None of these things move us" – none of these things shall hinder us from our own faithfulness to the Lord and to the harvest work. Let us be content to wait until the great Chief Reaper at the close shall distribute his rewards and blessings. Let us continually seek his approval, and by and by we may hear his voice saying, "Well done, good and faithful servant: Thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things. Enter thou into the joys of thy Lord."

It is proper here that we remind the Lord's people of the Master's words to the effect that there are just two great captains in the present conflict – that he himself is the Head and Leader of the one party, and the Adversary the head and leader of the other. He assured us that we cannot serve God and Mammon, selfishness. He implied that we might be in danger of mistaking [R4112 : page 8] which of these two masters we are serving when he said, "His servants ye are to whom ye render service." The implication is that some might be serving the Adversary and mistakenly think themselves the servants of the Lord. We urge all to think carefully along these lines, to note what have been the leadings of divine providence throughout the harvest time, to note the spirit that belongs to the work – the spirit of self-sacrifice, the spirit of loyalty to the Word, the spirit of love for the brethren to the extent of laying down life in their service. We are also to notice the spirit or disposition of the Adversary, that it is not to build up but to pull down, that it is out of accord with the harvest work of the great Reaper, that it is self-seeking and ambitious, and disposed to raillery and to "shoot out arrows, even bitter words," against those who are seeking to serve the Lord and his cause, from whom they receive no arrows again in return. – Psa. 64:3.

Let us have in mind at the opening of this year the words of our Master to the apostles in his Gethsemane hour, "Watch and pray lest ye enter into temptation." Let us remember that it was zealous Peter who most courageously said, "Lord, though all men forsake thee yet will not I!" it was he who slept while he might have been giving some words of encouragement and joined with the Master in prayer, and it was he who later on temporarily fell from his steadfastness and joined himself to the enemies of the Lord by denying him. We are glad that he ultimately recovered himself by the Lord's assistance, but how much better it would have been, how much happier for him, if he had watched and prayed. And so with us – let us follow in the footsteps of our Lord, watching and praying, walking circumspectly; let us lay down our lives for one another in the service of the Truth, not rendering evil for evil nor railing for railing, but contrariwise let us bless those who seek to injure us and pray for them, realizing that not of themselves do they these things but of the Adversary's misleading, even as we have the assurance that those who crucified the Lord were under Satan's delusion, as the Apostles say, "I wot that in ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers." "For if they had known they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." So those who now oppose the Truth do so because their eyes are holden and their ears are holden because of the Adversary, and because they have allowed themselves to become entangled by his delusive snares and ambitions. We hope and pray for their disentanglement, their recovery, while we shun their ways.

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TWO DEBATES ARRANGED FOR Listen
T
HE Editor of ZION'S WATCH TOWER is not anxious for debate – except where it would seem to be necessary for the defense of the Truth, or providentially indicated as likely to bring forth good fruits. However, as Dr. Eaton's challenge came unsolicited, so also, now, we have two more – both of which we have accepted in the name of the Lord and depending on his sustaining grace – as follows: –
DEBATE WITH REV. WM. DILLON, D.D.
VERY PROMINENT AMONGST THE "UNITED BRETHREN," AT ELKHART, INDIANA, JANUARY 17 AND 18 FOUR TOPICS, TWO HOURS EACH, AFTERNOONS AND EVENINGS

(1) "The Scriptures teach that there will be no probation nor opportunity for salvation after the body dies, nor subsequent to the second coming of Christ." Dr. Dillon will affirm, Pastor Russell will deny.

(2) "The Scriptures clearly teach that only the 'saints' of this Gospel Age will share in the First Resurrection, but that vast multitudes will be saved in and by the subsequent resurrection." Pastor Russell will affirm, Dr. Dillon will deny.

(3) "The Scriptures clearly teach that the second coming of Christ will precede the Millennium, and that the object of both the second coming and the Millennium is the blessing of all the families of the earth." Pastor Russell will affirm, Dr. Dillon will deny.

(4) "The Scriptures clearly teach that the divine penalty for sin – actual transgressions of God's holy law – eventually to be inflicted upon the incorrigible, will consist of inconceivably painful sufferings, eternal in duration." Dr. Dillon will affirm, Pastor Russell will deny.

DEBATE WITH ELDER L. S. WHITE
SELECTED REPRESENTATIVE OF THE "CHRISTIAN DENOMINATION" (RADICAL BRANCH) CINCINNATI, O., FEBRUARY 23-28. SIX TOPICS, TWO HOURS EACH. PARTICULARS IN OUR NEXT ISSUE.

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PREPARING THE WAY OF THE LORD Listen
JOHN 1:19-34. – JANUARY 12 –

Golden Text: – "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."

O
UR Lord declared of his forerunner, "Verily, I say unto you, there hath not arisen a greater prophet than John the Baptist." The signification of the word prophet is "proclaimer" – not necessarily a proclaimer of future things, however. For instance, the Scriptures refer to the prophets and seers, the latter-named referring particularly to the seeing of visions and the foreseeing of coming events. Strictly speaking, a prophet is one who teaches or proclaims, though in many instances the two qualities are combined in one individual. This was so in the case of John the Baptist. He was not only a prophet declaring the important message to the people that they should repent, etc., but he foretold coming events – as, for instance, in this lesson he foretold that our Lord was the Lamb of God which should take away the sin of the world. He declared also that the Lord would baptize people with the holy Spirit and with fire. There was no greater prophet than John, because none of them was entrusted with a more important service of the Lord. Others had foretold the coming of Messiah, his birth of a virgin, his being led as a lamb to the slaughter, his crucifixion, his resurrection, etc., but to John was given the very honorable service of being the first direct announcer or herald of the Son of God, the man Christ Jesus.

While thinking of this honorable position occupied by John, let us remember the Master's word on the subject – "Nevertheless I say unto you, he that is least in the Kingdom of heaven is greater than he." (Matt. 11:11.) What a thought there is here respecting the honor that God has conferred upon the apostles and upon all who since their time have believed on the Lord through their word and come into vital relationship [R4113 : page 9] with him through faith and consecration. In proportion as we realize this honor of being ambassadors for God, let us be faithful in the use of the opportunities and privileges afforded us. It was for John's honor to be the herald of the Lord in the flesh; it is our distinction to be permitted to proclaim the parousia of the Son of man and his glorious reign, about to be inaugurated for the blessing of all the families of the earth. Let us be faithful even unto imprisonment, even unto death, even unto beheading, should such be the providence of God.

John's proclamation was, "The Kingdom of heaven is at hand, repent" – reform, get ready for it. He foretold that our Lord would treat the people of Israel as a reaper, that he would winnow the wheat and cast the chaff into the fire. The same thought he expressed again, saying, "He will baptize [some of you] with the holy Spirit and [others of you] with fire." These prophecies were accurately fulfilled. Our Lord did a reaping work in that nation, as he said to his disciples, "I send you forth to reap that whereon you bestowed no labor." For three years and a half the Lord reaped and gathered the first-fruits of that nation as his disciples, and upon these at Pentecost he poured out the holy Spirit. Subsequently the apostles gathered others before the time for the burning of the chaff, the "baptism of fire" which occurred in the closing of their national history, which culminated in A.D. 70 with the utter destruction of the city, the temple, and their entire polity. Similarly we who are living in the harvest time of this age, and who are declaring the presence, parousia, of the Son of man, are aware that a reaping work is now being accomplished in Christendom, nominal Spiritual Israel, and that all the wheat will be gathered into the garner, beyond the vail, and that speedily there will come upon the world, especially upon the tare class, a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation – the divine preparation for the establishment of Messiah's Kingdom in power and great glory for the blessing of all the families of the earth.

"WE BE ABRAHAM'S CHILDREN"

John's announcement that sin would bar any from a share in the Kingdom, and hence that all should repent and seek divine reconciliation and turn over a new leaf, came as a shock to some who had been passing as God's holy people – the Pharisees and the worldly-wise Sadducees, higher critics, unbelievers. While some of these hearkened and confessed their sins and reformed, others disputed, claiming that John's teachings were extreme and unreasonable. Their argument was that God had promised the Kingdom to the seed of Abraham. There is no other nation of Abraham's seed and none other as holy or as worthy as we, and the promise of the Kingdom belongs to all Jews irrespective of their sanctity. So those who really embraced John's testimony were chiefly of the poor, confessedly sinful. We have the Lord's word for it that if the nation at large had heeded, had accepted John's message, they would have believed in Jesus. Hence we may well suppose that of the 500 brethren who became our Lord's disciples before his crucifixion, and who were privileged to see him after his resurrection, many of them were of those who had heard and heeded John's message. We may suppose also that considerable numbers of those who believed on the day of Pentecost and afterward were of those who heard John and were baptized by him for remission of sins and reformation of life. Thus do divine arrangements and agencies cooperate for the blessing of the honest-hearted, whatever may be their station in life, high or low, rich or poor.

OUR LORD'S FORERUNNER

In the East in olden times, and still, great personages in their travels are preceded by heralds or forerunners who clear the way. Dr. Trumball describes the streets of an oriental city, "well filled with half-naked cripples, blind beggars, vain women, and men in bright-colored garments, donkeys trotting through the crowded ways. Suddenly out of all this confusion a sharp, clear voice was heard, 'O ah! O ah!' – meaning, Take care – from a young Egyptian, gaily dressed, coming on the run, swinging a light staff in his hand and repeating his cries to the throng in the street to make way for those who are to follow. Close behind him came an open carriage drawn by a span of showy horses, containing an official of the government. During my stay in Cairo one of the commonest sights was the carriage of a pasha, preceded through the crowded streets by one or more forerunners, calling aloud for the clearing of the way."

John the Baptist was to be the forerunner of our Lord in the flesh – to clear the way, to make the announcement – that he might be properly received, etc. But John did not fulfil all of the prophecy relating to this clearing of the way and preparing for Messiah's Kingdom, which reads: –

"Prepare ye in the wilderness the way of the Lord,
Make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be exalted,
And every mountain shall be made low,
And the crooked places shall be made straight,
And the rough places plain." – Isa. 40:3,4.
THE ANTITYPICAL ELIJAH

We remind our readers that in the second volume of DAWN-STUDIES, chapter VIII., we have set forth the evidences that as John in the flesh introduced Jesus in the flesh and thus fulfilled the work of forerunner, so the Church in the flesh during this Gospel Age has been the antitypical Elijah, whose business it is to announce the second coming of Christ, the King of glory, and to call for the clearing of the way for his Millennial reign. As you all have this presentation we will not enter into a discussion of it here.

Let us note the foregoing prophecy: We perceive that John's ministry accomplished comparatively little of this; it lasted less than two years and reached a very small proportion of one generation, of one nation. But this is the very message that the antitypical John, the antitypical Elijah, the Church of Christ in the flesh, has been witnessing to the world. Its message as voiced by the Apostle is that the world is in a wilderness condition and needs the presence of the great King to bring order out of its confusion. Its message is that those who hear should walk circumspectly, should make a straight pathway in the desert, a highway for the coming King. More than this, it shows [R4113 : page 10] that the entire reign of Jesus and the Church during the Millennium will be to prepare the world for the presence of Jehovah, that the earth may again become his green footstool instead of being a desert, rejected and condemned by him because of sin.

Not only is the work of the Church in the flesh pointed out in this prophecy, but also the work of Christ and the Church in glory during the Millennial Age is foretold – "every valley shall be exalted," signifying that the humble shall be lifted up out of degradation, and those who have reached high positions of influence and affluence under the reign of sin shall be humbled under the reign of righteousness, and thus symbolically "every mountain shall be brought low." The great things which belong to the present time of sin and imperfection will all be straightened out, and the incongruous things will all be smoothed over; so that eventually the world of mankind, as a result of the work of the "Times of restitution of all things," shall again be in harmony with the divine will and the divine law of love, be ready for a return of the divine presence, as represented by the prophets in the words, "He shall make the place of his feet glorious."

"WHO ART THOU, THEN?"

This was the question asked of John the Baptist – "Art thou the Messiah?" No. "Art thou Elias?" No. "Art thou that prophet mentioned by Moses?" (Acts 3:21,23.) No. "Who art thou, then? Why do you come in this manner, speaking as with authority?" John's answer was, "I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight....I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose." (Luke 3:4,16.) Thus did John announce the greatness of Messiah and his own insignificance in comparison. Surely we who antitype him may feel very humble in respect to all of our privileges in connection with the announcement of the glorious Kingdom. Any other attitude would be unworthy of us as his representatives and ambassadors. The poet expresses this matter, saying:

"Rather be nothing, nothing –
To him let their voices be raised;
He is the fountain of blessing,
Yes, worthy is he to be praised."

How similar is this announcement to the one made by John. There Jesus was present in the flesh, offering himself to fleshly Israel. Now he is present a spirit being and equally unrecognized. There he was eventually recognized by all the Israelites indeed; here we expect that his presence, parousia, will be recognized by all Spiritual Israelites indeed before the "harvest" closes. It is not advisable to cast this pearl of precious truth before the world nor before the unconsecrated. The facts of the Lord's presence, that the harvest work is now in progress, that the wheat will [R4114 : page 10] soon all be garnered and that the fire of trouble upon the tares will soon be kindled are only for those who are "Israelites indeed," hungering and thirsting for righteousness. But these truths are indeed meat in due season for all the wise virgins.

"BEHOLD THE LAMB OF GOD"

While our Lord's strength and majesty are symbolically referred to when he is styled the "Lion of the tribe of Judah," thus picturing his mighty power as the Millennial King, the picture of a lamb is certainly very appropriate to him in connection with his earthly ministry and sacrifice for our sins. His submission to the Father's will in every particular and ultimately even unto death, even the death of the cross, was very lamb-like. Furthermore, he was God's Lamb in the sense that his offering for our sins was the divine arrangement, the Father's plan. The Scriptural declaration is that God gave his only begotten Son to be man's Redeemer, that he sent his Son into the world – the Son delighting to do the Father's will. All these thoughts beautifully blend together in this expression, "The Lamb of God." Moreover, it brings to our minds the thought of the necessity for a sacrifice for our sins. In no other way could a lamb take away or bear the sin of the world. How glad we are that by the Lord's grace we not only have eyes of understanding to see him as our great Teacher, Shepherd, but also eyes to see and minds to understand that he was indeed the Lamb of God, whose sacrifice on our behalf is to cancel our sins, their penalty, etc. Only those who can recognize Jesus as the Lamb of God, the Sin-Bearer, can have the justification by faith proffered to believers in this Gospel Age. Let us never lose sight of this feature of the Truth, Whoever loses his robe of righteousness through faith in the blood, loses all so far as the Scriptures reveal.

TAKING AWAY THE SIN OF THE WORLD

How wonderful are the statements of the divine Word! – how exact! John, as a Jew, would not be expected to understand all that his words declared, for the Jews were especially expecting Messiah to take away the sins of the Jews, and that then they, as God's Royal Priesthood, would correct the world in righteousness. But John's declaration goes farther than this, and includes all the Gentiles as well. The wisdom from on high which guided this prophetic utterance is beyond that which the majority of the Lord's people today can appreciate. The general thought today seems to be that the sin of the world is never to be taken away – that the world will sink down into eternal torment under the weight of sin – the Adamic condemnation, supplemented by personal transgressions. Christendom, Churchianity, today knows nothing about a Savior that, as the Lamb of God, shall take away the sin of the world. Alas! alas! poor, blind Christendom! It has read these words and other similar declarations of the Scriptures without getting from them the real blessing which they contain. We remember in this connection the Apostle's statement that "the man Christ Jesus gave himself a ransom for all," and we remember his further statement that Jesus' sacrifice was "a propitiation for our sins [the Church's sins], and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." (I John 2:2.) Truly, as the Lord declared, As the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways and my plans than your plans. How glad we are that we find God to be neither [R4114 : page 11] little, mean nor revengeful, but a great God whose wondrous plan so far transcends the thought of man. As we look with the eyes of our understanding we realize a measure of the fulfilment of the Apostle's prayer, which, no doubt, included us, "I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,...that ye may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth and length and depth and height; and to know the love of Christ that passeth knowledge." – Eph. 3:14,18,19.

HIS WORK IS BEFORE HIM

John the Baptist spoke of the Lamb as being present, but of the cancellation of the sin of the world as being a future work. And this work is still incomplete. Our Lord did die as the Lamb, his sacrifice was indeed fully meritorious and satisfactory to the Father, as evidenced by his resurrection from the dead and exaltation to glory and power. But in harmony with the divine plan, the taking away of the sins of the world is divided into two parts: (1) The taking away of the sins of those whose hearts long for reconciliation with God and forgiveness, and to be in harmony with that which is right and true and just and good. These, called believers, have their sins taken away reckonedly; or rather, as the Apostle and the Prophet express it, their sins are "covered" from God's sight by the robe of Christ's righteousness – to be entirely blotted out or taken away when, by the Lord's grace, they shall have finished their course and as faithful ones been counted worthy to enter into life eternal. In that new body then to be granted there will be no blemish, no sin to cover, all will have been blotted out. Then will begin the reign of Christ and his glorified Church, his Bride, the blessing of the world – the Millennial reign, the Kingdom of the heavens, the rule of righteousness. (2) But before that reign shall begin, the Lamb of God – who redeemed the world more than eighteen centuries ago – will present the merit of his sacrifice and the sacrifice also of the Church, his Body members [made worthy, acceptable through his merit], to the Father as the second offering of the great Day of Atonement sacrifice – for all the people. – Lev. 16.

As the Lord's presentation of his sacrifice when he ascended up on high was accepted of the Father and the blessing came upon the Church, the household of faith, so surely will the second presentation in the end of this age when offered by the great High Priest be acceptable to the Father for the sins of the whole world – all the people. Divine forgiveness for all, the obliquity of Adamic guilt and weakness, will then be made applicable to every creature, and only for such portions of transgressions as have been in the nature of wilful wrong doing will receive "chastisements," "stripes." (Luke 12:47,48.) All the influences of that Millennial Kingdom will be exercised for the blessing, uplifting and assistance of all who will then be brought to a knowledge of the Lord and his gracious plans. Even stripes, chastisements, judgments are amongst the assistances for the world and their correction in righteousness. So, then, by the end of the Millennial Age, the blessing of God – through the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world – shall have accomplished such wonderful, gracious blessings for mankind that all shall have reached the full perfection of restitution to human nature except the incorrigible, who will be "utterly destroyed from amongst the people." – Acts 3:23.

JOHN'S FAITHFUL WITNESS

We see in John's message an utter absence of selfishness, that stumbling stone which has kept so many of the Lord's people from themselves progressing and from being used of the Lord as a blessing to others and witnesses to the truth. John's confession was that Jesus was far greater than himself, and should be preferred before him because he was before him. He was not only before him in the sense of having had a preexistence with the Father, but he was before him in the sense of always having had a higher station and being perfect, while John himself was compassed with imperfections of the flesh like other men.

The declaration, "I knew him not," should not be understood to mean that he was not acquainted with Jesus, for the record shows that they were full cousins. Rather the thought is that he knew not that Jesus was the Messiah: he knew him as his cousin, he knew him as a wonderful boy and a wonderful man, he knew him well enough to at first protest that he was not one of the kind that should be baptized – he was not a sinner. But after Jesus had insisted that by his baptism he would be accomplishing the Father's will – "fulfilling all righteousness" – then John baptized him in water. There, he tells us, at that moment he received from God the evidence that Jesus was the Messiah. He had already been informed that he was to announce Messiah and the Kingdom, and that he would know the Son of God by beholding the descent upon him of the holy Spirit as a dove, but he had not expected that this demonstration should take place in connection with any whom he baptized. He himself, then, was astonished when he beheld the descent of the Spirit upon the Lord, and he announced then to the people that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God, the Lamb of God. John did not announce that Jesus was the Father, but that he was the Son of God. This was our Lord's own declaration, the declaration of the apostles, and our testimony must be in harmony with this. We are not to ignore the Father nor the Son nor the relationship between the two, nor the oneness which exists between them, which our Lord explained in his prayer, when he prayed for the Church that they all might be one even as he and the Father are one – not one in person, but one in unity of heart and purpose.

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FINDING THE LORD'S JEWELS Listen
JOHN 1:35-51. – JANUARY 19. –

Golden Text: – "We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and the Prophets did write, Jesus of Nazareth."

O
UR last lesson showed us Jesus at the time of his consecration and its symbolization by baptism, when he received the holy Spirit, which to John the Baptist was the token that he was the Messiah. It was after this that Jesus was for forty days alone in the wilderness studying the divine plan, and particularly his own share therein, under the enlightening influences of the holy Spirit which he had just received. This, we see, brought also testing and temptation from the Adversary, suggestions of other and different ways from that which the Lord's Word indicated and which the holy Spirit now showed. Our Lord having passed through those temptations successfully, a victor, began his ministry of three and a half years of self-sacrifice even unto death. Naturally enough he went back to where John had been baptizing and preaching. How much fellowship he enjoyed with John is not stated, or how long he remained in that vicinity. Only the most perspicuous incidents are noted.

It was while Jesus was away in the wilderness that the Pharisees and Scribes asked John whether or not he was the Messiah and received bold testimony that he [R4115 : page 12] was not, and was not even worthy to be the menial servant of the great Messiah, who was to accomplish the fulfilment of the prophecies. This was just before our Lord's return, and on the next day (v. 29) Jesus – having returned from the wilderness – mingled amongst the people listening to John's preaching, etc., and it was at that time that John said, "Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world," and acknowledged him publicly, and that he had the witness of the Spirit in seeing the dove resting upon him at his baptism. It was on the following day, as we read in our lesson, that John, standing with two of his disciples, pointed to Jesus in the distance walking and said, "Behold the Lamb of God."

"THERE COMETH ONE AFTER ME"

The beautiful simplicity and honesty of John the Baptist is remarkable because it is rare. The majority of even the noble-minded seem to have such a selfish, grasping disposition as to unfit them for a service of this kind committed to John. Apparently the majority would find it absolutely impossible to avoid the extolling of their own position and service and dignity in connection with whatever they would say in respect to another, but John seems to have been utterly oblivious of himself – he thought only of his responsibility as the Voice that should cry in the wilderness to them, announcing Messiah. Disowning all honor and distinction for himself, he directed the reverence of all hearts toward Jesus. Let us emphasize this, each in his own heart, as being the proper attitude for all of the Lord's honored servants. We are not to honor ourselves, but to honor him whom the Father has honored, our Lord and our Head. In proportion as we shall be faithful in this service and seek not our own but our Master's praise and honor, pointing him out as the one in whom is centered the divine plan – in this same proportion will we be exhibiting the spirit, disposition, which our Lord can approve and reward with a share in the heavenly Kingdom and glory. If we did not cultivate this spirit and have it in our hearts we would be unfit for the Kingdom – unfit to be entrusted with so great power, honor and glory and with immortality. "He that honoreth me I will honor," "He that is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of man be ashamed," "He that exalteth [praises] himself shall be abased; he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." – John 5:23; Luke 9:26; 14:11.

"ALL MEN WERE IN EXPECTATION"

The Scriptures inform us that at this time the whole Jewish nation was in expectation of Messiah. The records show this in connection with the time of our Lord's birth, the solicitude of Herod, the killing of the babes of Bethlehem, the journey of the wise men, etc. Doctor Farrar remarks on this same line: –

"We are informed by Tacitus, by Suetonius, and by Josephus, that there prevailed throughout the entire East at this time an intense conviction, derived from ancient prophecies, that ere long a powerful monarch would arise in Judea, and gain dominion over the world."

It was in harmony with this general expectation of the people that John's preaching drew such large crowds when he announced that the Kingdom of Messiah was nigh, and that all those prepared for a share therein should confess their sins, repent of them and reform – inviting them to symbolize this by baptism, but applying it only to Jews, and not in reference to their original sin – which under the Law was atoned for year by year with the blood of bulls and goats – but referred to repentance for all personal transgressions, misdeeds against the Law. We have our Lord's testimony for it that in proportion as the people believed John's message and acted thereon, in that same proportion they were ready for his ministry and the further truth of the Gospel. Hence we are not surprised that those who became the Lord's disciples were in some manner intimately and sympathetically acquainted with John and his preaching. Is it not a rule in divine providence that one step of knowledge and devotion leads to another? It was in harmony with this that the disciples of John the Baptist had the Messiah first pointed out to them, and thus the door was opened for their becoming Jesus' disciples.

SEEKING FELLOWSHIP WITH JESUS

The two disciples to whom John the Baptist made the remark, "Behold the Lamb of God," at once concluded that if they had found the Messiah whom John was introducing it was time to seek his fellowship, and if possible identify themselves with his ministry. Nor does John the Baptist seem to have offered the slightest remonstrance against their leaving off cooperation with him. The name of one of these is given in the narrative, Andrew; the name of the other is omitted, but it is presumed that it was John, the writer of this Gospel, whose modesty in such matters is indicated by the withholding of his name on another occasion also – when he refers to himself as "that disciple whom Jesus loved." How beautiful this modesty, how much it endears the character of John to all of us. A less modest man in writing of the matter would probably have told of how he first thought of following Jesus and invited Andrew to accompany him. But we can not only have much more love for John because of this characteristic of humility, but it gives us correspondingly more confidence in all he has written – that ambition did not warp or color any of his descriptions of the matters recorded by him.

The modesty of the two men is further exemplified by their course of conduct in following the Lord instead of approaching him boldly and saying, "Sir, we have the honorable distinction of being amongst the most prominent disciples of John the Baptist, and now introduce ourselves to you." On the contrary, they followed quietly, wondering where our Lord resided and how they might have an opportunity without obtruding themselves to become acquainted with him. Their reverence for him and their modest opinion of themselves restrained them from improprieties. However, after they had followed the Lord probably a considerable distance on his journey toward his abode, he turned to them saying, "What seek ye?" or, as we might translate it into the form of today, "Is there anything I can [R4116 : page 13] do for you?" Taken by surprise, they merely answered the Master, "Rabbi, we are wondering where you reside." Our Lord answered, "Come and see," and they went with him and spent the remainder of that day (for this was about four o'clock in the afternoon) in his company. Their queries and our Lord's answers during that afternoon and evening are open for our imagination, for no record is given us. Doubtless they explained to the Lord what they had heard respecting him from John the Baptist, and made inquiries regarding his future work and Kingdom. We may be sure that our Lord told them only part of the truth, in harmony with his subsequent statement to all of the disciples, "I have many things to tell you, but you cannot bear them now." – John 16:12.

LESSONS FOR THE NEW CREATION

There are several lessons here that may profit us: (1) The humility of the disciples in their approach; (2) Their proper ambition to have all that God had provided for them and to make use of their opportunity – to progress from being the disciples of John to the discipleship of Jesus; (3) Their seeking in this unobtrusive manner to have fellowship with the Lord and to become better acquainted; (4) Our Lord's generous reception of them and hospitable invitation to his home; (5) His wisdom in not telling them the whole truth – neither about the heavenly things nor about the earthly trials and difficulties. Meat in due season is the Scriptural order – milk for babes, strong meat for those who are more developed, as the Apostle recommends.

How much need all the Lord's dear followers have for applying these various lessons each to his own heart and experience and practice! How many of us have had a zeal without wisdom, and have fed new beginners with strong meat, which has troubled and hindered them if it did not choke their interest. But we are all pupils, and let us all learn more and more to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves, as earnest in showing the pearls to those ready for the sight as in withholding them from those who are swinish and unprepared.

"WHAT ARE YOU SEEKING?"

There is peculiar force in this query, and no doubt our Lord used it with the intention of awakening this very thought in these two who first sought his companionship. It is a good question for each one of us to put to himself, and for us to suggest at a proper time to all others who are manifesting any interest in Present Truth. What are we seeking? What are we looking for? We know what the world is seeking – wealth, honor, fame, ease, etc. – and we know that many who turn toward the Lord still have the spirit of the world. They would like to be the Lord's disciples and still have and cultivate and enjoy the hopes and ambitions that are more or less worldly. It is appropriate that we should give heed to the Master's words as though they were addressed to each of us individually, What are you seeking? Let us answer our Master in our own hearts and in prayer; and before we make answer, let us consider well that it may be a truthful one, for we might indeed deceive ourselves, but could not deceive him with whom we have to do. It is right that we should seek the Kingdom and that we should know that there is a great honor and glory and dignity associated with it by divine arrangement, and that thus we should "seek for glory, honor and immortality." But in conjunction with this seeking of the Kingdom we should remember our Master's words on another occasion, that we should seek chiefly the Kingdom of God and his righteousness.

We are to remember that the Kingdom is not to be reached by an unrighteous path, that injustice, iniquity, lawlessness, self-indulgence, selfishness in any form are paths which lead in other directions. We are to remember that the Master by word and by example indicated to us that to live godly in this present time would involve us in a measure of persecution, as it did him, and that the servant must not expect to be above his lord in the world's favor. Hence to say we are seeking the Kingdom means that we are taking the path leading thereto – the narrow way of self-denial. It means that we have enlisted under the banner of the Lord, with a full knowledge that our loyalty to him will mean to us opposition from the world, the flesh and the Adversary, as we seek to be good soldiers of the cross and to endure hardness in fighting against sin. It is those who seek the Lord with sincerity, with honesty, without guile and without selfishness, who find him, have fellowship with him and become his true disciples, and eventually will have joint-heirship with him in his Kingdom.

"FIRST FINDETH HIS OWN BROTHER"

One of the two who heard John and followed Jesus was Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter – "He findeth first his own brother Simon." The revised version may be understood to imply that both disciples sought their brothers, but that Andrew found his brother first. If, as is supposed, John was the other disciple, we know that he had a brother, James, and that the latter also was brought to the Lord. The particular thought we wish to emphasize here as worthy of special commendation, embodying a proper lesson for us, is the fact that these disciples in beginning the service of the Truth went first to their own brethren. This implies that they had brotherly love in their hearts, as we should properly expect all would have who would be found worthy to be disciples of Jesus. It implies that they had influence with their brethren along religious lines, which probably would not have been true if they had not been recognized by their relatives as men of character and principle. If, therefore, any of the Lord's people should feel impelled to first go to strangers with the good tidings it would be a less favorable sign as respects the esteem in which they are held. However, let them not feel discouraged if they have not this favorable evidence to begin with. Let us remember the Apostle's assurance that amongst those the Lord is choosing for his disciples there are not many great, noble, influential – that they are mainly the ignoble.

The very fact that the Lord has granted us the privilege of his fellowship is an assurance that there was something in us that he did not despise, and was [R4116 : page 14] willing to take over, that he might mould and fashion it by his truth and grace, and finally present it beautiful and irreprovable before the Father through the glorious change of the First Resurrection. Again, however, let us emphasize the propriety of loving those who are our kin to the extent that we will do all in our power for their assistance. As this is a rule that should prevail amongst brethren it should also be a rule as between husband and wife, parents and children. If a wife should receive the Truth, her first joy should be, if possible, to bring the matter to the attention of her husband. If a husband receive the Truth it should be his first joy and privilege to bring the matter to the attention of his wife, and so between the parents to the children. We confess that we have been surprised at times to find that this course, which seems so natural and so proper, has not always suggested itself to those who have come into the light of Present Truth.

We advise that where a different course has been followed it is time for a change. Let the husband plan for the welfare of the wife and assist her in arranging the home matters, so that she may have time for studying the Truth, attending meetings, etc. Let the wife coming into the Truth give diligent attention to arrange matters most favorably for her husband, that he also may enjoy the blessings, the privileges of study, etc. The old adage, that "Charity begins at home," is as true of religious charity as of other kinds. "Husbands, love your wives" – do all in your power to bless them, especially in their highest spiritual interests, and to bring to them this highest of all joys. "Wives, reverence your husbands" – appreciate them, and desire that they shall have all of the good things obtainable, and use your best influence for their assistance.

"WE HAVE FOUND THE MESSIAH"

With this message they greeted their brethren, and, as explained in the text, the Hebrew word Messiah corresponded to the Greek word Christ. They knew that for long centuries Messiah had been promised, and that their whole nation, through varying vicissitudes, had been looking, hoping, praying for his coming and for the blessings which he would bring to their nation as their king, delivering them from all evil and exalting them with the power of God to be the light of the world, and thus through them shedding blessings upon all nations. The afternoon spent by these two with Jesus had convinced them that the words of John the Baptist were correct, that Jesus was "the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."

It is not explained how Peter received the message, but judging him from his subsequent course of conduct, we must assume that he came with haste to see, to know, to judge for himself on the subject. The nature of the evidence given him by Jesus is not related, but he believed, became a disciple, received a new name – an added name. He was Simon Bar-Jona, or Simon, son of Jonah; now, henceforth, he would be more particularly known as a disciple by the name of Simon Peter, that is, Simon, a stone. Thus early did Jesus indicate his knowledge of the man, recognizing him as one of the living stones for the glorious Temple of the future, as this Apostle himself afterward explained. – I Pet. 2:4,5. [R4117 : page 14]

"GO FORTH INTO GALILEE"

On the day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and en route found Philip, whom he personally invited to become his follower, and then speedily Philip found Nathanael, known also in the Scriptures as Bartholomew.

This finding of the disciples is described to have been at Bethabara, where Jesus was making his home, and which by the revisers is called Bethany – thus giving the suggestion that our Lord was acquainted with the family of Lazarus and Martha and Mary before he began his ministry, and that it was to this point that the disciples followed him from the fords of the Jordan, where John had been baptizing. Evidently our Lord tarried in the vicinity of John's mission for a time, there to find some of the most earnest ones whom John's preaching had gathered together.

It will be noticed that the disciples here mentioned all came from Galilee, John and James, Andrew and Simon Peter, Philip and Nathanael. (Judas alone was a Judean.) What were these men doing so far away from their homes? We can only suppose that they were amongst the masses who heard of John and his preaching, and who were so deeply interested in the coming Messiah that they came what was considered in those days a considerable journey, leaving their business that they might hear what John had to say, and join with him as his disciples in helping to prepare the way for Messiah. How the Lord does use one ministration of the Truth to prepare our hearts for a later and fuller illustration of it! This corroborates the statement of our Lord's prayer to the effect that these disciples were true, God-fearing consecrated men before they came to Jesus. In the prayer Jesus says, "Thine they were and thou gavest them to me." (John 17:6.) A lesson to us in this is that if we are faithful and zealous to every portion of truth that comes to us, according as we receive and act upon this we will be prepared for another. Had these men not had the spirit of consecration they never would have left their affairs to join with John in his ministry, and then they might not have been so well prepared to be the honored apostles of Jesus.

"WHENCE KNOWEST THOU ME?"

The story of the call of Nathanael is a specially interesting one. Our imaginations have little difficulty in filling in the items omitted by the narrative. Philip himself had come within the charmed circle of our Lord's influence, and had realized that it was a blessed privilege to become his disciple and that he must be indeed the long-looked-for Messiah. Full of this confidence he looked for his friend Nathanael, whom he recognized as being of one mind and heart with himself in the desire to serve the Lord and to be ready for Messiah's Kingdom. Finding him his salutation was, "We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and the Prophets did write – Jesus of Nazareth, [adopted] son of Joseph." Nathanael was apparently a man of keen intellectual power. He felt that his friend Philip had accepted something too hastily, and that he was being deceived by a pretender, and his prompt objection was, "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?" As though he had said, "That is a mean city of itself; no great people of any reputation would ever come from thence; no prophecies, so far as we know, make any reference to that city. What you tell me of your Messiah rather tends to prejudice my mind against him."

And so it is today with some of the Lord's true followers who are expecting the second coming of the Lord as the great King of glory. When we tell them that we have found the truth on this subject and that the Law and the prophets all corroborate the fact that we are now living in the harvest time, in the parousia of the Son of man, they are disposed to sneer at our zeal and enthusiasm and to bid us be very careful lest we be deceived. They ask, Whence comes the message of the parousia? and when they are told that it is not from the great, the wise, the mighty of this present time, not from the Doctors of Divinity, but from humble sources that the message reaches them, they ask, [R4117 : page 15] "What could you expect from such a source?" intimating that rather we should look to the Scribes and Pharisees and Doctors of the Law today.

Let us answer such doubting brethren as Philip answered Nathanael, "Come and see!" Investigate, test the matter by the Word of God. Apparently Nathanael would not go with Philip. The latter may have gone his own way dejectedly, because one whom he esteemed to be a true servant of God was apparently unwilling to hearken and to investigate. But Nathanael had his own reasons for not at once complying with the invitation. He felt that the matter was one of great importance; that it affected not only his own interests but the interests of his friends and of the Lord's cause in general. He must be cautious. He had already heard of Jesus, and had been considering and praying about this very subject before Philip came to him; he had asked to be kept from delusions and snares – that his judgment might be guided of the Lord, that he might not be deceived by a pretender. He would follow a little later, and, free from all prejudice, would endeavor to judge of the merits or demerits of the case, relying upon the Lord's blessing, which he had sought.

How glad we would be if all our dear friends who give evidence, so far as we are able to judge, of being true, loyal servants of the Lord, were to take the course that Nathanael took to seek the Lord and his protection and guidance, and then to investigate, proving all things by the Word of God! And while we may be sure that though some may not as promptly take this course as did Nathanael, all who are of the truly overcoming class will ultimately take it and ultimately be guided, that they may indeed come in contact with Present Truth and realize the parousia of our Lord and his work of harvesting the Church and gathering the ripe grains into the garner preparatory to their shining forth with him in the glory of the Kingdom for the blessing of all the families of the earth. – Matt. 13:43.

BLESSED ARE YOUR EYES AND EARS

As we notice in this lesson the reception that our Lord gave Nathanael, we are forced to contrast it with the very different reception he gave to some of the Scribes and Pharisees and Doctors of the Law when they approached him in a caviling spirit. To these he spoke in parables and dark sayings which he did not expect them to appreciate or to understand, but to such as Nathanael our Lord was most gracious, because knowing the hearts of all he could wisely discriminate. We may not exercise such a liberty because such a knowledge is not ours; it is for us to be patient and courteous to all, and to do our best to assist all to an understanding of the Truth, whether they shall hear or whether they shall forbear – convinced, however, that only the Israelites indeed will hear effectually, will receive the call and be profited thereby to the attainment of the prize.

Before Nathanael had quite reached Jesus and those who were with him, the Master said, in his hearing, "Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile." A wonderful tribute this! No wonder Nathanael was fit to be of the Little Flock and one of the apostles! No wonder Philip wrestled with him, praying him to come and see. His honesty of heart made him worthy of the blessings of which the mass of his nation were not then worthy. As we read in John 1:11,12, Jesus "came unto his own and his own received him not; but to as many as received him to them gave he liberty [privilege] to become the sons of God." And he helped those who were in the right attitude of heart to receive him; he assisted their faith and encouraged their confidence, saying to one, as we remember, "Be not faithless, but believing." – John 20:27.

But Nathanael, although he realized that he was an honest, true Israelite, seeking for whatever God had to give to his faithful, was not satisfied with this testimony – such an expression might be given by another in flattery. He would cross-question the Lord, and he said, "Whence knowest thou me?" You have made a statement; what is your authority for it? I do not know that we have ever met before. Jesus replied, "When thou wast under the fig-tree, before Philip called thee, I saw thee." Ah, well did Nathanael remember how he had crept under the low-spreading boughs of the fig-tree and how he had prayed to the heavenly Father for wisdom and for the proper evidences on the subject of concern. Here he had the very answer to his prayer. The one who could know about that prayer and could thus answer it and reveal himself must indeed be superhuman – all that he claimed, the Messiah. Nathanael's faith operated quickly, and he responded, "Rabbi [Master], thou art the Son of God: thou art the King of Israel."

And is not our Lord's dealing practically the same today? Is it not true that those who now in faith and prayer seek for enlightenment respecting the times and the seasons and the features of the divine plan, and information respecting the harvest work – is it not true that these are specially helped of the Lord? that the Truth is made specially clear before their minds? whereas others coming to the subject through idle curiosity perhaps, or with a half faith fear a coming trouble and are desirous of knowing how to escape it, are left comparatively in darkness? Let us who have discerned these beautiful traits and qualities in the class of disciples whom the Lord chose at his first advent, see to it that we cultivate similar characteristics, and that we expend our special energies to bring the Truth to the attention of others who give evidence of meekness and faith and loyalty to God.

"THOU SHALT SEE GREATER THINGS"

As soon as Nathanael had confessed his faith our Lord assured him that what he had already come to appreciate was insignificant in proportion to the still [R4118 : page 15] greater things which as his disciple he would gradually come to know and to understand. And is not this true with us today? The joy, the confidence, the hopes which filled our hearts at the beginning, as we came to recognize the Lord and to have a clearer understanding of the divine plan – have these not continually been added to by the Lord, so that what we first saw and enjoyed seems but small in comparison with the riches of grace and loving kindness and tender mercies revealed to our eyes of understanding. As our mental vision widens we behold lengths and breadths and depths and heights of the love of God surpassing all of our expectations. – Eph. 3:18,19.

And by faith we can see Jesus as the antitypical Jacob's ladder, as our Lord intimated to Nathanael. As Jacob in his vision saw a ladder reaching from earth to heaven and communications carried on thereby, so we, in the light of the divine plan now unfolding, see that our Lord Jesus and the Church associated with him constitute the ladder of communication between God and the world of mankind, which, during the Millennial Age, will serve as the channel of favor by which all the families of the earth shall be blessed – by which the glory and blessing of the Lord shall be brought down to earth, even as now the Elect, firstfruits of his human creatures, are being gathered from amongst men, that they may ascend to God as heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ their Lord by means of the glorious change which shall come to them in the First Resurrection, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.

page 17
January 1st

ZION'S
WATCH TOWER
and
Herald of Christ's Presence

ROCK OF AGES
Other foundation can
no man lay
A RANSOM FOR ALL

"Watchman, What of the Night?"
"The Morning Cometh, and a Night also!" Isaiah 21:11

SEMI-MONTHLY
VOL. XXIXJANUARY 15No. 2
A.D. 1908 – A.M. 6036
CONTENTS
The Cincinnati, O., Debates 19
Reports from Harvest-Fields Abroad 20
Great Britain 20
Germany 21
Australasia 21
Jamaica 22
Berean Bible Study in Tabernacle Shadows 23
What Constitutes Teaching? 23
A Plea for the Sisters 23
A More Excellent Way 24
Cleansing the Temple 25
Regeneration and the Kingdom 27
An Interesting Letter 31

"I will stand upon my watch, and set my foot upon the Tower, and will watch to see what He shall say unto me, and what answer I shall make to them that oppose me." Hab. 2:1

Upon the earth distress of nations with perplexity: the sea and the waves (the restless, discontented) roaring: men's hearts failing them for fear and for looking forward to the things coming upon the earth (society): for the powers of the heavens (ecclestiasticism) shall be shaken. . . .When ye see these things come to pass, then know that the Kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Look up, lift up your heads, rejoice, for your redemption draweth nigh. – Luke 21:25-28, 32.

page 18

THIS JOURNAL AND ITS SACRED MISSION
T
HIS Journal is one of the prime factors or instruments in the system of Bible Instruction, or "Seminary Extension," now being presented in all parts of the civilized world by the WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY, chartered A.D. 1881, "For the Promotion of Christian Knowledge." It not only serves as a class room where Bible Students may meet in the study of the divine Word, but also as a channel of communication through which they may be reached with announcements of the Society's Conventions and of the coming of its traveling representatives styled "Pilgrims," and refreshed with reports of its Conventions.

Our "Berean Lessons" are topical rehearsals or reviews of our Society's published "Studies," most entertainingly arranged, and very helpful to all who would merit the only honorary degree which the Society accords, viz., Verbi Dei Minister (V.D.M.), which translated into English is, Minister of the Divine Word. Our treatment of the International S.S. Lessons is specially for the older Bible Students and Teachers. By some this feature is considered indispensable.

This Journal stands firmly for the defence of the only true foundation of the Christian's hope now being so generally repudiated, – Redemption through the precious blood of "the man Christ Jesus who gave himself a ransom [a corresponding price, a substitute] for all." (I Pet. 1:19; I Tim. 2:6.) Building up on this sure foundation the gold, silver and precious stones (I Cor. 3:11-15; 2 Pet. 1:5-11) of the Word of God, its further mission is to – "Make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery which...has been hid in God,...to the intent that now might be made known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God" – "which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men as it is now revealed." – Eph. 3:5-9,10.

It stands free from all parties, sects and creeds of men, while it seeks more and more to bring its every utterance into fullest subjection to the will of God in Christ, as expressed in the Holy Scriptures. It is thus free to declare boldly whatsoever the Lord hath spoken; – according to the divine wisdom granted unto us, to understand. Its attitude is not dogmatical, but confident; for we know whereof we affirm, treading with implicit faith upon the sure promises of God. It is held as a trust, to be used only in his service; hence our decisions relative to what may and what may not appear in its columns must be according to our judgment of his good pleasure, the teaching of his Word, for the upbuilding of his people in grace and knowledge. And we not only invite but urge our readers to prove all its utterances by the infallible Word to which reference is constantly made, to facilitate such testing.

TO US THE SCRIPTURES CLEARLY TEACH
That the Church is "the Temple of the Living God" – peculiarly "His
workmanship;" that its construction has been in progress throughout the Gospel age – ever since Christ became the world's Redeemer and the chief corner stone of this Temple, through which, when finished, God's blessings shall come "to all people," and they find access to him. – 1 Cor. 3:16,17; Eph. 2:20-22; Gen. 28:14; Gal. 3:29.
That meantime the chiseling, shaping and polishing, of consecrated believers
in Christ's atonement for sin, progresses; and when the last of these "living stones," "elect and precious," shall have been made ready, the great Master Workman will bring all together in the First Resurrection; and the Temple shall be filled with his glory, and be the meeting place between God and men throughout the Millennium. – Rev. 15:5-8.
That the Basis of Hope, for the Church and the World, lies in the fact that
"Jesus Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man," "a ransom for all," and will be "the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world," "in due time." – Heb. 2:9; John 1:9; 1 Tim. 2:5,6.
That the Hope of the Church is that she may be like her Lord, "see him
as he is," be "partaker of the divine nature," and share his glory as his joint-heir. – 1 John 3:2; John 17:24; Rom. 8:17; 2 Pet. 1:4.
That the present mission of the Church is the perfecting of the saints for
the future work of service; to develop in herself every grace; to be God's witness to the world; and to prepare to be the kings and priests of the next age. – Eph. 4:12; Matt. 24:14; Rev. 1:6; 20:6.
That the hope for the World lies in the blessings of knowledge and opportunity
to be brought to by Christ's Millennial Kingdom – the restitution of all that was lost in Adam, to all the willing and obedient, at the hands of their Redeemer and his glorified Church. – Acts 3:19-21; Isa. 35.
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, Editor.

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THE WOMAN'S NATIONAL DAILY

The number of the friends subscribing for this cheap daily through us was not nearly as large as we had expected. Hence Brother Russell's sermons are not appearing in it regularly, as proposed. Sorry, for it meant a wide circulation of the Truth weekly. A kind card to the Editor of the National Daily from each one who has subscribed might help.

CANADIAN FRIENDS DESIRING SERMONS WEEKLY

Arrangements have been made for Brother Russell's sermons weekly in The Toronto World. We can give a clubbing rate of $1.50 per year (or, with TOWER, $2.50), except in the cities of Hamilton and Toronto, where the price will be $2.75, with TOWER, $3.75. Make up your lists speedily and send to us.

"STUDIES," INDIA PAPER EDITION

We now have India STUDIES, Vols. 4, 5 and 6. Back orders will have attention at once. Price, 85c each. The first three volumes will be announced later – when in stock. [R4119 : page 18]

NO DEBATE WITH DR. DILLON

Rev. Wm. Dillon, D.D., found it impossible to keep his appointment at Elkhart, Ind., and so notified us in advance of the date set.

[R4118 : page 19]

THE CINCINNATI, O., DEBATES Listen
S
OME time ago the Editor of this journal was approached by Elder A. A. Bunner, who urged a debate on six questions of difference. We replied that we were too busy, and, besides, preferred to state the Truth and leave it to the people – particularly as we now have the eyes of nearly a million readers every week. He demurred, and finally we agreed to debate with him if he could get the endorsement of the Christian denomination of Pittsburgh. He was unable to do this. He explained that the "Disciples" hereabouts are known as Progressives, while he is attached to the Radical wing of the same denomination.

The matter was finally taken up by the Editor of The Leader and the Way of the same faith. He found in Texas Elder L. S. White, supposed to be one of the ablest men of their connection. We have mutually agreed upon all the particulars for six debates at Cincinnati, O., in which we trust the Truth will be vindicated and caused to reach new ears and eyes. The entire "Disciple" Church seems to be aroused. It is expected that some of the railroads will grant concessional rates of fare. Probably some Cincinnati newspaper will publish stenographic reports of the debates. The following copies of correspondence may be of interest:

Dallas, Tex., Nov. 15, 1907.
ELD. C. T. RUSSELL, Allegheny, Pa.

Dear Sir and Brother: – Our correspondence has been delightfully pleasant (for which I am truly grateful), and as we are agreed on all details for the coming discussion, am sending you copy of all the propositions we are to discuss, properly signed by myself, and hereby extend to you, as per your request, formal invitation to meet me in the discussion of these propositions in Cincinnati, Ohio, beginning Sunday evening, February 23, 1908, and continuing six consecutive evenings, of two hours each, with one evening to each proposition. I suggest that you make due announcement in your paper. I also trust that the discussion may be in the same good spirit of our correspondence, and that the same may redound to the glory of God.

Truly and fraternally, (Signed), L. S. WHITE.

PROPOSITIONS FOR DISCUSSION IN CINCINNATI, OHIO, BEGINNING SUNDAY EVENING (7.30), FEBRUARY 23, 1908, FOR SIX CONSECUTIVE EVENINGS:

(1) The Scriptures clearly teach that all hope of salvation, today, is dependent upon accepting the Gospel of Christ as revealed in the Scriptures, and that such acceptance is confined to this present life.

(Signed) L. S. WHITE, affirms.
C. T. RUSSELL, denies.

(2) The Scriptures clearly teach that the dead are unconscious between death and the resurrection – at the second coming of Christ.

(Signed) C. T. RUSSELL, affirms.
L. S. WHITE, denies.

(3) The Scriptures clearly teach that the punishment of the (finally incorrigible) wicked will consist of conscious, painful suffering, eternal in duration.

(Signed) L. S. WHITE, affirms.
C. T. RUSSELL, denies.

(4) The Scriptures clearly teach that the First Resurrection will occur at the second coming of Christ, and that only the saints of this Gospel Age will share in it; but that in the resurrection of the unjust (Acts 24:15) vast multitudes of them will be saved.

(Signed) C. T. RUSSELL, affirms.
L. S. WHITE, denies.

(5) The Scriptures clearly teach that immersion in water, "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit," of a believing penitent is for, in order to, the remission of sins.

(Signed) L. S. WHITE, affirms.
C. T. RUSSELL, denies.

(6) The Scriptures clearly teach that the second coming of Christ will precede the Millennium; and that the object of both – the second coming and the Millennium [R4119 : page 19] – is the blessing of all the families of the earth.

(Signed) C. T. RUSSELL, affirms.
L. S. WHITE, denies.

Allegheny, Pa., Nov. 26, 1907.
ELDER L. S. WHITE, Dallas, Tex.

Dear Sir and Brother: – I am in receipt of your formal invitation to a public discussion of our doctrinal differences along Scriptural lines. I accept the invitation, with the assurances of the Editor of the Leader and the Way, that you are a widely known and highly respected representative of the Radical branch of the Christian or Disciple denomination, and yourself a Christian gentleman.

I, too, have enjoyed the spirit of Christian courtesy [R4119 : page 20] which has pervaded our correspondence, leading up to the final statement of the propositions to be discussed. I share with you the hope you express, that the result of our meeting may be to the glory of God and to the enlightenment, and therefore the blessing, of his people.

I might here remark respecting the first proposition, that I accept it as you prefer to have it, but only with the understanding that it is not two propositions, but one; for I would not be prepared to deny the first part of the same, "That the Scriptures clearly teach that all hope of salvation today is dependent upon the acceptance of the Gospel of Christ, as revealed in the Scriptures." I continually affirm that, but it is the after part of this proposition that I deny, viz., "That such acceptance is confined to this present life."

Your letter makes no reference to chairmen for the six sessions. I shall assume, therefore, that you will agree to my previous suggestion, viz., that the duties of the chairman shall consist in preserving order, and in notifying each speaker as to the termination of his limit of time; and that, if possible, ministers of Cincinnati, of various outside denominations, be secured as chairmen – if possible, a different one for each session. Your letter, while stating that the discussion shall be limited to two hours at each session, offers no suggestion respecting the division of the time. I shall assume this to be an oversight, and that my previous suggestion on this subject has your approval, viz., that the first fifty minutes shall be at the disposal of the affirmative; the second fifty at the disposal of the negative, to be followed by ten minutes for the affirmative and then ten minutes for the negative.

As respects rules for the controversy: I suggest that each speaker be allowed full liberty to order his subject according to his best judgment, and that it shall be in order for him to present his argument as may please him best. The language and conduct of each of the disputants shall represent to his opponent and the auditors in general his conception of the divine rules and standards governing Christian courtesy.

With Christian regards and prayers for divine guidance of us both in the interests of truth,

Yours in the Lord,

C. T. RUSSELL.

[R4119 : page 20]

REPORTS FROM HARVEST-FIELDS ABROAD Listen
REPORT FROM GREAT BRITAIN, 1907

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

I have now the pleasure of sending the report of the British work for the past financial year. You will see that this year we are able to show a general increase in the work. We are glad to do this, not only because it is more pleasant than if we had to report decrease, but because it shows that the work of the Lord goes forward, and that there is yet much opportunity to work in the Harvest field. A review of the work and the prospects show that there is, apparently, an almost unlimited field for the "harvesters," and unlimited scope for their energies; the fields are "white unto harvest," and there are but few months for the reaping. Of late we have had abundant proof that the multitudes will listen to the message of the Kingdom and to the various features of the Plan; they are glad to have the "stones gathered out" of the way. The year has been one of continued activity, and, with the exception of the shortage of books we have experienced, there have been no hindrances. When you come next year you will find very much to give you cheer and encouragement, and grateful and willing hearts who share with you in the joys and sorrows of the harvesting.

This year we are able to report an increase in the circulation of the DAWNS and STUDIES. We have sold nearly 8,000 more books, and this would have been increased to nearly 10,000 but for the shortage. The greater portion of the increase is in Vol. I., but a good proportion is in Vols. II., III., through some of the Colporteurs selling sets of three or six. There is a great mining and manufacturing population yet in almost absolute ignorance of the Truth, and the small towns and villages of England are yet as virgin soil to the workers. During the year the possibility of a colporteur of good address being able to dispose of the books in difficult ground, and that in sufficient numbers as to provide a living, has been proved several times; while in the ordinary way the average colporteur can always get on. There is no reason for a person of good address and a readiness of manner failing in the work of a colporteur, nor for thinking that there is any part of this country where the work cannot be made self-supporting.

The visit of Brother Williamson was specially enjoyed and it did much to cement the already close relationship between us and our brethren in America. The Conventions were happy and good times, and were surely blessed of the Lord.

You will see that the "Volunteer" work has gone on about as usual, and that the British friends show much activity in this work. We have yet a good supply of tracts upon which the brethren can call, and we shall be glad to have them make request.

The donation to the TRACT FUND is not quite so high as last year's total: it is good to share in the joys of the dear brethren in their giving to the Lord whether of means or of service. I continually thank the Lord for the privilege of being used to serve with them in this way.

The meetings all over the land seem to grow in zeal for the work, and we would that this should be the case with us all, and that at the same time we may grow in the grace of the Lord. While so much waits to be done it is a pity to spend any energy of mind or body in that which is merely wasted in the doing. The Lord gives us the privilege of building up each other, and thus of building up that holy city, and also of witnessing to the world, and we can do these things only as we are intent upon the work. May his grace help us to bind ourselves upon the altar and thus to each other and to the Lord.

With brotherly love and affection, and conveying the love of the British brethren,

I am yours in his grace,

J. HEMERY.
SUMMARY OF THE BRITISH WORK FOR 1907
Total number of DAWN-STUDIES sold at cost 34,575
"
Booklets, Manna, etc.
"
7,876
"
Tracts distributed free
1,394,500
"
"
stated in pages
35,933,000
"
Letters received
8,130
"
"
sent out
6,825

[R4119 : page 21]
FINANCIAL STATEMENT, 1907
Cost of tracts distributed free, including £ s. d.
postage, freight, etc. 1,564 6 4
The above, stated in U.S. money $7,556.20
Pilgrim and Convention expenses 109 2 7
The above, stated in U.S. money $527.11
-----------
Totals $8,083.31 or 1,673 0 11
Tract Fund and "Good Hopes" $4,179.77 or 861 4 7
Deficit for 1907 3,820.13 or 811 4 7

REPORT FROM GERMANY, 1907

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

By the Lord's grace we have reached the end of another year of harvest work in Germany, ending Nov. 1st, and it seems only too short a period to have accomplished very much. At least we could wish it had been a great deal more, but we know it is a day of small things which the Lord does not despise. Neither will we think little of the possible blessing he is abundantly able to give to the large quantities of tracts scattered all over Germany. We no doubt see only a small fraction of it in our mails: much of it will no doubt be seen later, when the seed sown on the "dry land" will be plowed in by the great time of trouble impending and afterward caused to sprout by the showers of blessings and times of refreshing from the presence of the [R4120 : page 21] Lord. We take courage and lift up our heads in rejoicing, knowing that deliverance is nigh for the world as well as for God's people. The great Adversary seems to be aware of it here in Germany, and is stirring up the most religious bodies of Christian people and deceiving them with his imitation "speaking in tongues," and the secular press is not slow to make light of it and to reproach Christianity as the source of this unchristian spirit. The intelligent Christian public is fast drifting into open infidelity or what they are pleased to call a religion – "Monism" – the disbelief of the supernatural and of the future existence of the individual. An organization under this name has rapidly gained thousands of members and is flooding the country with highly enticing and well-written leaflets. Surely it seems that the devil and his angels are fighting hard, but we have the assurance of the Scriptures that our Lord will be victorious, and that Satan will be bound for the thousand years. Praise God and his well-beloved Son, our Lord Jesus!

Following is a brief statement of the literature circulated during this year, and a financial statement of the Volunteer, Tract and Pilgrim Work: –

DAWNS, BOOKLETS, TOWERS AND TRACTS DISTRIBUTED
DAWN Volumes, cloth 2,556
Vol. I., TOWER form 4,000
Booklets 3,576
Copies German TOWER, monthly 1,800
"
"
"
for year
21,600
8 page Volunteer Tracts 4,000,000
8-page TOWERS 30,000
16-page " 16,700
Total in tract pages 41,521,600
Letters and cards received 4,254
"
"
sent out
2,550
FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE TRACT & PILGRIM WORK
Printing, postage, freight, etc Mks. 33,340.05
Printing, postage, freight, etc Mks. 33,340.05
Pilgrim expenses " 1,524.12
Rent, light, heat, living expense of office force Mks. 4,064.14
     Total 38,928.31
Receipts, Tract Fund, from friends in Germany " 6,034.80
Deficiency supplied by the home office, — Allegheny ($7,832.26) " 32,893.51

I should remark with regard to the above amount of cash received from America in the interest of the Lord's work in Germany, that the friends generally are very appreciative of this generous help and the self-sacrificing it implies on the part of their American brethren. They feel like saying: Be assured, your labor of love is not in vain in the Lord's cause.

We notice with gladness your great conventions in America, and long for that greatest Convention of all, beyond the vail. But while we still sojourn here, we are glad to have what seasons of refreshing the Lord sees best to grant us, and so we are looking forward with much pleasure to your proposed visit in the spring. May the Lord prosper you and all of his dear people in his service, and help us all to finish the work he has given us to do. And may God, our Father, according to his own good pleasure, now in the end of the age, glorify his dear Son, our Lord, and with him his Elect, to the end that his own holy name may be glorified. – John 17:1-3.

We all send much love in the Lord to you and your co-laborers one and all.

Your brother in the blessed service, O. A. KOETITZ.

AUSTRALASIAN REPORT, 1907

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

Another year of opportunities and privileges in the Harvest service has closed, and the report of the Society's Australasian Branch is due.

As we consider the events of the past twelve months, we feel constrained to acknowledge, with gratitude to the Lord and appreciation of the zeal and energy of his people, that some progress has been made in bringing the Harvest message to the attention of God's people in this part of the "field;" yet we could wish that more energy had been used, more zeal displayed and perhaps more accomplished. The time is short and shortening, but the dimensions of the "field" show no signs of decrease.

The Colporteurs have been blessed and a blessing during the past year. As shown in the summary, a few hundred more cloth-bound volumes were put out than during the year before. This increase would doubtless have run into thousands, had we not been deprived, during the greater portion of the time, of the labors of three very efficient workers. There are signs of others about to engage in the service, and we may still pray for more laborers. As heretofore, a goodly proportion of the newly interested have been found by the colporteurs.

The Volunteers have been considerably more active than formerly, in some directions, in methodical free tract distribution. Nearly twice as many tracts were distributed this year as last, totalling over nine and a half millions of pages. Naturally, our figures are small, compared with those for other English-speaking countries; at the same time, we take a little comfort in the thought that only about [R4120 : page 22] one-fortieth (perhaps less) of the total number of Z.W.T. readers live in Australasia, and that if we circulate one-fortieth of the total number of DAWN-STUDIES and free tracts by colporteuring, volunteering and otherwise in this territory, we are at least keeping in line with the rest of you in this respect. Yet we know that more, much more, can be done here, so we feel free to exhort the friends to "work while it is called day." The Lord has done much for us; at best we can do but little for him.

There is some increase in the voluntary donations, too, yet not sufficient to keep pace with Tract Fund expenditures, to say nothing of overtaking our deficit. But as it was in former times, so it is now and here – "not many rich" have been called. Nevertheless, we are glad to testify to an increasing appreciation of this feature of the service of Present Truth by those who are able to take part in it, and this without exhortation of any sort.

It was the writer's privilege to visit the brethren in Adelaide and Western Australia last June, a journey of about 5,000 miles, and we hope to make other visits during the coming year.

Desiring a continued interest in your prayers and in those of the brethren everywhere in behalf of the work and workers in this part of the vineyard, I remain, dear brother,

Yours in the Redeemer's service,

E. C. HENNINGES.
AUSTRALASIAN BRANCH SUMMARY
Publications Circulated
Copies of DAWNS and STUDIES 21,903
"
TOWER-DAWNS
1,220
"
Booklets
1,315
Total 24,438

Copies of Tracts and Z.W.T. sent free 418,450
These represent in tract pages 9,509,000

Letters and cards received 1,864
"
"
"
sent
3,843
Total 5,707
FINANCIAL SUMMARY

Expenditures
£ s. d.
Deficit from last year 606 17 1
Printing, paper, postage, freight (in and out), rent, gas, etc. 161 4 11
Pilgrim work 43 17 0
Total 811 19 0


Voluntary donations from Australasia
Good Hopes realized £ 31 17 11
From other sources 136 13 2

168 11 1

Deficit owing to Head Office 643 7 11

REPORT FROM JAMAICA, 1907

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

Once again we have the pleasure of sending you a general report of the work – for the year 1907.

We are glad to note how our hearts are growing in thankful appreciation, while the loving kindness of our God toward us is ever increasing. Indeed the year's experiences remind us of the general conventions – the last is the best. And considering that wine (the fruit of the vine) symbolizes the spiritual refreshment of the Lord's people on this side the vail, as well as the "glory to follow" (Matt. 26:29), we are thinking that the incident at the marriage in Cana might be a suggestion that we should expect the last to be the best until we drink it new.

The Pilgrim service has been more extensive than last year and has done much to establish the Lord's people in out-of-the-way places; indeed, we are realizing more and more how important a part it plays in assisting us to put on [R4121 : page 22] the whole armor of God to withstand the temptations of this "evil day."

The amount of work done for the year is as follows: –

Total Pilgrim visits 53
Total miles traveled 2426
Public meetings 10
Home meetings 212

According to the present outlook this will be the most important service for the year begun.

The Colporteur service has circulated over 600 volumes more than last year, and this we consider as doing very well, when we take into account the earthquake, the eight months drought following and the resulting financial depression. These have produced much starvation in various parts of the island and the scarcity of food is still felt.

The number engaged in the Colporteur service during the year was 24, eight of whom devoted all of their time. Some of these and many others who did "sharpshooting" were stimulated to enter the service by the hint given out in the TOWER that every reader should try to put out at least six volumes for the year. These dear brethren and sisters are receiving much favor at the hand of the Lord for the spirit of self-sacrifice which prompts them.

The number of tracts distributed was much less than last year, owing to the unsettled condition of things, and yet these "swift messengers" have done some effective work in silence, revealed to us through correspondence.

Newly interested friends are growing phenomenally. The public seems desirous of hearing something better and many are in earnest. We believe the recent experiences of the island have much to do with the spirit of investigation which has become a stimulus to the reapers to thrust in the sickle.

We were unable to hold a General Convention this year, but there were three local ones which were sources of great blessing to all. Some enjoyed them even better than all that went before.

We think that our TOWER list just now is a fair representation of good interest. The Lord is working all things after the counsel of his own will to the spiritual advantage of his dear children, and in this we rejoice.

We pray, for you and for all, the Lord's continual guidance. Pray for us.

Yours in fellowship and service, J. A. BROWNE.

OUTPUT FOR 1907
Total output of DAWNS, STUDIES, etc 2,823
Total output of Booklets 1,539
Tracts, sample TOWERS, etc 16,800
FINANCIAL STATEMENT
£ s. d.   
Pilgrim service 96 16 0   
Freight, etc. 43 7
Sundries, current expenses, etc. 119 19

Total expense 260 3 5   
Voluntary contributions 29 12 9   

Deficit for 1907 ($1,100) 230 10 8   

page 23

BEREAN BIBLE STUDY IN TABERNACLE SHADOWS
OTHER SIGNIFICANT TYPES
FEBRUARY 2

23. Describe the Mercy Seat and state what it symbolized. I Cor. 11:3; Psa. 80:1; I Sam. 4:4; 2 Sam. 6:2; Isa. 37:16. T.123, par. 3, 4.

24. Can humanity enter Jehovah's presence? I Tim. 6:16; T.124, par. 1.

25. Why was the Mercy Seat called the "Propitiatory"? and what particular attribute of God's character was represented in it? Psa. 89:14; Job 36:17; 37:23; Isa. 56:1; Rev. 15:3. T.124, par. 2.

26. Is this word "Propitiatory" ever applied to our Lord Jesus? and why? Rom. 3:25,26; T.124, par. 3.

FEBRUARY 9

27. What was represented by the two cherubim? And what was shown by their being of the same piece as the "golden slab"? T.125, par. 1.

28. Was the blood of the sacrifices placed by the High Priest on the Cherubim? And, if not, where was it placed? and why? T.125, par. 2.

29. What attribute of Jehovah led to the plan of redemption? I Pet. 1:20; T.126, par. 1.

FEBRUARY 16

30. When will love and power act for the accomplishment of God's wonderful provision for mankind? T.126, par. 2.

31. How is the relationship and oneness of Christ and his Bride to the Father shown in the Ark? and how is the supreme headship of Jehovah represented? I Cor. 11:3; John 17:9,21; T.126, par. 3.

FEBRUARY 23
THE PRIEST UNBLEMISHED

32. Could a man who had a blemish of any kind fill the office of High Priest, in the type? And what was prefigured in this? T.126, par. 4; T.127, par. 1, first six lines.

33. What solemn lesson is contained in this for us? Rev. 3:11; T.127, par. 1, 6th line on.

THE MYSTERY HID FROM AGES AND GENERATIONS
COL. 1:26

34. Why were the beauties and glories of the Tabernacle kept so securely hidden from the people? What does this mean in the antitype? T.127, par. 2.

[R4121 : page 23]

WHAT CONSTITUTES TEACHING? Listen
A PLEA FOR THE SISTERS

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

Before entering upon this subject, I wish to apologize for writing at all.

This question with the impression to write has haunted me with great persistence for many weeks and will not be suppressed. I have striven to crush it, to forget it, to relegate it to oblivion, arguing that it in no wise concerns me anyhow: when "Am I my brother's keeper?" seems to ring in my ears, as it were; and it still follows me and will not be side-tracked. I have taken it to the Lord and prayed him to guide my pen.

First – There is a tendency (unconscious, no doubt) among some to make very frequent mention of the subjugation of the wife and the lordship of the husband, enlarging greatly upon these points, but utterly failing (at least in my hearing) to call attention to the duties of the latter, except, indeed, his lordship – always forbearing to point to the command, "Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the Church," "giving honor to the wife as the weaker vessel," etc. This one-sided application of Scripture leads a certain type of man, unfortunately not rare, to become a petty tyrant, ever reminding the wife that she must obey him, swelling himself that he is lord over somebody, while ignoring entirely his side of the question, degrading her, if she be degradable, into the position of a slave. Having forced her there he ceases to respect her. It is such teaching that is developing men of certain mental calibre (and there are many) into characters such as "Tennessee" describes in his letter in the WATCH TOWER of Nov. 15th.

Lest it be inferred that I have a grievance along the above line, I beg to say I have not. My husband is one of the noblest of Christian gentlemen, fulfilling, it seems to me, as nearly as is possible for fallen humanity, the conditions of a typical head, crowning my life with tenderest love, protection and care.

Second. – All educators, even those of indifferent ability, are well aware of, and appreciate the value of questioning the students (my husband and I were both in this work for upwards of twenty years, he in the medical colleges, I in the public schools), yet in a simple class, which meets for Bible study with the DAWNS or Tabernacle Shadows, never a question is asked a sister. She has toiled, it may be, all the week, Sunday included, at tasks that would appal a masculine mind – washing, ironing, scrubbing, baking, garment-making, cooking for husband and children, half a dozen of the latter, more or less, and a thousand and one other things incidental to housework – with no leisure to read or study, yet when she is privileged to attend a Bible class this important aid is denied her. Never a question to lead her to think, to call out interest, or to draw out her mind and fix her attention. Think of it! No wonder the meeting drags uninterestingly, as one remarked to me.

Pastor Russell, I will not believe, unless I see it over your own signature, that you approve of thus depriving the members (a part of them) of Christ's Body of this valuable aid to gaining knowledge. Personally, it is of little or no consequence to me whether or not I am ever asked a question. I have leisure to think, read, study and pray, and, thank God, always have had, but I plead for those whose hands are fuller and for the principle involved.

Again, lest it be thought that I write as above because I wish for prominence in our meetings or for display of attainments, I beg to state that if I care for those things they are within my reach: it is not necessary to look for them in our little class. I have never wished for more privileges in the Church than are shown in the Scripture. Never thought a woman should be bishop or deacon; 1 Tim. 1:13 excludes her, also many men. There is likewise something inherent or God-implanted in the nature of womanly women which makes such usurpation repugnant to them. My work in the Church in the past, in which I know I had the Spirit and God's blessing, consisted in taking part in prayer meetings or evangelistic meetings ("praying and [R4121 : page 24] prophesying," as I see it) and teaching in the Sunday Schools.

Hoping attention will be called to the above-mentioned evils, I am, yours in Christ,

M. E.

*                         *                         *
IN REPLY TO THE ABOVE

We must admit that there is much unmanliness and tyranny in some men, and much unwomanliness and tyranny in some women – as results of the fall. Even amongst those favored by the Lord with the High Calling these ignoble qualities are manifest; because God is not calling chiefly the noble, but the mean. Not many rich, not many wise, not many noble hath God chosen, but mainly the mean things to confound the mighty, and things that are naught to bring to naught the things that are prominent. (1 Cor. 1:26-28.) We see the reason to be that the noble and the great usually trust too much in themselves and are unready to implore and accept forgiveness and aid through the only name. Hence the seeing of unmanliness and unwomanliness must not offend us, nor hinder our love for the brethren – for all whom the Lord has called.

But, on the other hand, all those accepted to the School of Christ have the greatest of all teachers, and should become the noblest of the noble in their sentiments; for it is written, "They shall be all taught of God." These lessons of the Spirit, inculcated through the Word, develop in all the Elect the graces of the holy Spirit, namely, meekness, gentleness, patience, brotherly kindness, love. Some grow these fruits of the Spirit more promptly and more luxuriantly [R4122 : page 24] than others, but all must attain them in heart (and hence, surely, in some good degree outwardly) ere they can be accepted as heirs of the Kingdom. As it is written, they must all be copies of God's dear Son, their Redeemer.

But, how comes it that amongst the more advanced there are sometimes acts, such as are referred to in the letter foregoing, which seem to some to be tyrannical? For instance, the passing by of the sisters in the asking of the Berean Study questions. We suggest that this need not be ascribed to an ignoble motive so long as we can think of a noble one that would meet the conditions. For instance, the leader of the meeting may have had in mind as a God-given rule the Apostle's words, "I suffer not a woman to teach." And possibly he reasoned that to ask a sister a question would be inviting her to teach, and hence be on his part a violation of the apostolic injunction. Possibly he thought that in giving the sisters a chance to answer by saying, "Has anyone else an answer to suggest?" he was going to the extent of his conscientious privilege – leaving it to the conscience of each sister to decide and act accordingly. This plan certainly does divide the responsibility. The chief difficulty about it seems to be that it implies an impropriety on the part of the sisters who answer, in the judgment of the more prominent brethren.

We trust that none of the brethren takes the view that the sisters have no good thoughts; nor that they are incapable of expressing these; nor that they cannot teach well their own sons and daughters. All must admit that women have displayed wonderful powers in teaching, reasoning, managing, etc. And all noble men, and especially all developed brethren, must desire to "render honor to whom honor is due" – and therefore must greatly honor noble mothers, sisters, wives and daughters, and womankind in general, for their many noble and gentle traits. This certainly is the writer's attitude of heart.

As for the noble Apostle Paul, we cannot think of him as a woman-hater or as a woman-despiser. Surely his epistles clearly show that he, too, honored true womanhood. Who ever expressed the esteem for woman more pointedly than he, when he wrote, "As Christ loved the Church and gave himself for it, so ought men also to love their wives as their own bodies"? (Eph. 5:25,28.) His reason for writing as he did respecting woman's sphere of activity in the Church was undoubtedly loyalty to God – to duty. Our Lord declared of his apostles, "Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." (Matt. 16:19.) And surely the Lord used St. Paul more than any other Apostle to declare the loosing from the Law and the obligations and responsibilities binding upon the "New Creation."

A MORE EXCELLENT WAY

After giving the subject considerable prayer and meditation we feel that a more moderate view than the above might be attached to the words, "I suffer not a woman to teach." It is as follows:

Teaching is not within the province of all the brethren, either; but only for those specially indicated by divine providence. This is shown by several Scriptures. For instance, to the Elders of the Church at Ephesus St. Paul said: "Take heed, therefore, unto yourselves and to all the flock over which the holy Spirit hath made you overseers [elders, shepherds, bishops] to feed [teach] the Church of God." (Acts 20:28.) Again, note the Apostle's statement that God hath set the various members in the Body as it hath pleased him, and that amongst those so set he mentions "teachers." (1 Cor. 12:18,28.) Again, note St. James' words, "Be not many of you teachers, brethren." (Jas. 3:1, Diaglott.) Again, one of the qualifications to be sought when electing elders was that they should be "apt to teach." (1 Tim. 3:2.) Again, respecting the priestly or teaching service we read, "No man taketh this honor to himself, but he that was called of God, as was Aaron." (Heb. 5:4.) The Lord, speaking through the Church his Body (including males and females, bond and free – all one in Christ), chooses for the eldership certain brethren "apt to teach"; and, as the Apostle indicates, there is a special responsibility resting upon these as respects the feeding of the Lord's flock. Again he asks, "Are all teachers." – 1 Cor. 12:29.

Now, then, may we not interpret the Apostle's words, "I suffer not a woman to teach," to mean – I never sanction a female Elder in the Church. If we may, one difficulty is removed; and it would be well in accord with this view that we read, "If a woman pray or prophesy [speak publicly] in the Church...let her head be covered"; because, in the Church, the woman figuratively represents the Church, while the man represents the Lord, the Head of the Church.

This would settle the matter complained of in the letter above published. Then it would surely be as proper to ask the Berean questions of the sisters as of the brothers; because in this view of the matter, none of those answering would be a teacher nor considered as teaching, but a learner, reciting what he or she had learned or thinks had [R4122 : page 25] been learned from the Lord through his instruments or teachers.

To the Editor's mind this is most satisfactory and he trusts that it will be so to all WATCH TOWER readers. If some of the dear sisters have been pained in the past by a too rigid following of the Word, we trust they will be magnanimous and credit the strictness not to a lack of love for women, but to a greater love for the Lord and his Word. Whoever has been "rightly exercised" by the stricter view will, we believe, receive a corresponding blessing, for our Lord is able to make all things work together for good to each and all of his faithful.

"Let him that is taught in the Word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things." – Gal. 6:6.

[R4122 : page 25]

CLEANSING THE TEMPLE Listen
JOHN 2:13-22. – JANUARY 26. –

Golden Text: – "Holiness becometh thy house, O Lord, forever." – Psalm 93:5.

W
E are aware that there are many scholars who believe that there were two cleansings of the Temple by our Lord. It is admitted by all that one cleansing occurred at the last Passover which Jesus attended a few days before his crucifixion. This is well attested by Matthew 21:12; Mark 11:15; Luke 19:14. Our lesson is taken from John's Gospel, and because this incident is grouped with others which occurred in the beginning of the Lord's ministry it is assumed, we believe without sufficient authority, that there were two cleansings, the one at the beginning, the other at the close of our Lord's ministry. It is acknowledged, however, that John's Gospel was written long after the others, and apparently with the intention of supplying certain details that were overlooked by the other historians. To our understanding Jesus began his teachings in a rather quiet manner, reserving many of his mightiest works for the last, amongst others the calling of Lazarus from the tomb, the triumphal entry into Jerusalem on the ass, and the cleansing of the Temple. This latter act has a peculiar significance when we remember that it followed our Lord's assumption of the office of King – which he did just five days before his crucifixion, when he rode upon the ass in fulfilment of the prophecy, "Behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just and having salvation; lowly and riding upon an ass." (Zech. 9:9.) Thus recognized by the multitude as the King of the Jews, our Lord exercised kingly authority in the cleansing of the Temple, and was no doubt backed up in the matter by the sentiment of the throng which had just acclaimed him the son of David with hosannas. It was under these circumstances that none attempted resistance.

It was a requirement of the Jewish Law that the devout of the nation should assemble at the Passover season to keep the Feast of Passover in celebration of their deliverance from Egypt and the sparing of their firstborn on the preceding night. Josephus tells us that sometimes the population of Jerusalem on such an occasion was swelled to the number of two millions. Far more than half of these must have camped outside the city, unable to find lodgings within. It was the custom on such occasions to offer sacrifices, some representing thankfulness, some consecration and others contrition. Of course the multitude of strangers from afar rarely brought with them the doves or pigeons or lambs, etc., which they presented in sacrifice. The supply of these animals for sacrifice became quite a business on such occasions. Moreover, there was a certain Temple tax levied, which must be paid in a particular kind of money called the "shekel of the sanctuary." The last coinage of these was in B.C. 140, hence they were quite scarce in our Lord's day and sold at a premium. Roman coin was circulated throughout Palestine in general merchandising, so that when the time came at the Passover for the paying of the Temple tax with the Temple money not only visitors from foreign lands needed to purchase shekels of the sanctuary [R4123 : page 25] but also the home folk.

"TAKE THESE THINGS HENCE"

In consequence of these conditions the Temple area became quite a house of merchandise and money-changing, and as the necessities of the people were taken advantage of and high prices charged, our Lord called the place a "den of thieves." (Matt. 21:13.) In imagining the scene we are not to think of money-changers, sheep and dove-traders, etc., in the Temple proper, but in its outer courts, the whole of which was designated the Temple or the house of God. This trading was probably carried on in what was known as the Court of the Gentiles. Into the holiest precincts of the Temple proper only the priests were permitted to enter; into the enclosure where the altar was located the Levites were also permitted; outside of this was [R4123 : page 26] the Court of the men of Israel, and still further out a Court of the women, and beyond this enclosure the Court of the Gentiles, provided to the intent that all nationalities might there congregate for worship. Our Lord referred to this fact saying, "It is written, My house shall be a house of prayer for all nations." (Mark 11:17.) Probably the Court of the Gentiles was little used, as few Gentiles had become sincere converts to Judaism. The size of the court apportioned to them was probably symbolical of the larger proportionate numbers who should ultimately come into the Lord's favor and become true disciples and fellow-heirs with the Jews of divine favor.

[PLAN OF THE TEMPLE IN OUR LORD'S DAY]

It is claimed that any Jew under the Law had the right to do as Jesus did in the matter of driving out the traders, but very evidently no Jew had previously attempted it. The scourge of small cords could not have done serious damage to anyone, but we do not know that our Lord used it upon humanity. He may have driven out the animals, whose owners would follow them, and it will be noticed that he did not set at liberty the doves, which could not so easily have been recovered, but permitted their owners to take them away. The overturning of the tables of the money-changers would not only stop their usurious exchange business, but keep them busy looking after their coin. We may be sure from the fact that our Lord lived under the Law and obeyed it that his conduct on this occasion was quite within the recognized proprieties, even though it was unusual, and even though he himself had visited the Temple time and again as a Jew, and had witnessed these same scenes but had not interfered with them. This we consider to be a proof that the occurrence took place but once, and that after our Lord had assumed the office of King – just before his crucifixion. Thus the statement, "The zeal of thine house hath consumed me," was fulfilled.

THE CLEANSING IN THE ANTITYPE

When we remember that the Law was a shadow of better things coming, that the Jewish people typified Spiritual Israel, and that their Temple typified the Gospel Church with its various classes, then we begin to see how we may look here for a parallel of that cleansing work of the Jewish harvest. Those familiar with Volume II., STUDIES, will remember that the Jewish dispensation is the parallel to the Gospel dispensation in very many particulars, including that of time and the fact that it ended with a harvest period, and that our Lord at his first advent was the chief reaper in the Jewish harvest, as he is to be the chief reaper in the Gospel harvest at his second advent. We have noted also the fact that the time parallel of October, 1874, corresponds to the beginning of our Lord's ministry at the time of his baptism, and that April, 1878, corresponds to the time of our Lord's acceptance of the office of King, riding upon the ass and receiving the shouts of the multitude, and then proceeding to the Temple cleansing work. Our thought is that the antitypical cleansing of the Lord's Temple has been in progress since the spring of 1878.

Within the hallowed precincts of the nominal Temple of today are many who have long been making merchandise of their privileges, opportunities and knowledge. All intelligent people well know that religious matters are to a large extent made merchandise of. Amongst the Roman Catholics everything possible is hedged about with penalties and prohibitions and limitations, so that the people are led to believe that they can present nothing acceptable to God except as they receive it through their priesthood. They are expected to pay the priesthood for every birth and the baptism of the child; they are expected to pay at every service, that they may be participants in the blessings of the common mass; they are expected to pay for every blessed scapular sprinkled with holy water; they are expected to pay for every funeral service and for every prayer, as well as for the privilege of being buried in holy ground. In all this we have a close counterpart to that which our Lord denominated a den of thieves, making merchandise of divine things.

As for Protestants, there are many evidences of the same spirit amongst them, but as they represent a more intelligent class, the exactions upon them by the clergy are the more refined. With few exceptions the payment for baptisms and funerals and marriages is apparently left optional. This is the wisest way with this class of worshipers. Neither are there attempts made to collect money for saying masses for the dead, to exact a specific fee from each one occupying a place at a service, though the collection plate is passed with regularity, and frequently strong appeals are made for money, and sometimes with the announcement that nothing inferior to a silver piece will be acceptable. It is to the credit of Protestants that they do not tax the living for prayers and masses for the dead, as do the Roman Catholics. Nevertheless strong impression is sought to be made upon all, that membership, either in a Catholic Church or in some one of the numerous Protestant ones, is necessary to salvation, and that liberality to the Church of one's choice is also a necessity. Although rarely so stated, it is implied that eternal torment is the alternative. We are not inveighing against charity and liberality for the spread of the Gospel of Christ: neither did Jesus say one word against liberal giving on the part of the Jews for the support of the Temple. Our Lord's condemnation fell upon those who were making merchandise of the opportunity, circumstance and conditions. It is our belief, indeed, that Christian people have been blessed in their response to the numerous demands: nevertheless the principle is all wrong. Whatever is given to the Lord should be voluntarily done, with love for him, with a desire to render unto him the first-fruits, the best of all that we possess, time, influence, money, etc.

"THE TEMPLE OF HIS BODY"

The Jews demanded of the Lord by what authority he set up so high a standard as he required of them in the cleansing of the Temple. He answered them, "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up." Of course they could not understand that it was one of [R4123 : page 27] our Lord's dark sayings, which is fully comprehended even yet by only a few. The Jews thought our Lord spoke slightingly of the Temple of which they were so proud, which just recently had been finished, after being in process of construction for forty-six years. They were incensed at him, and we recall that this was one of the charges against him a few days later. When he was arraigned before the High Priest it was said that he had blasphemed the Temple, spoken slightingly of it in declaring that he would raise it up again, if destroyed, within three days. "But he spake of the Temple of his Body." The disciples evidently got the thought that he referred to his fleshly body as the Temple of God, and supposed that our Lord's prediction was fulfilled three days after his crucifixion. But we cannot so view the matter. To our understanding the Lord spake of the Temple of his Body – of the Church, his Body – of the Temple of which the Apostle Peter subsequently wrote, that we as living stones are built together upon Christ for a habitation of God through the Spirit. To suppose that our Lord spoke of the fleshly body as the Temple, and to suppose that that fleshly body was raised on the third day, would be to suppose that our Lord did not fully pay over the price necessary for our redemption.

Such a view would contradict his own statement, "My flesh I give for the life of the world." (John 6:51.) He gave his flesh not only for three days but forever, and he was raised by the Father's power from the grave the Lord of glory. As the Apostle declares, "Now the Lord is that Spirit" (2 Cor. 3:17); and again, "He was put to death in the flesh but quickened in the Spirit" (I Pet. 3:18); and again, "Though we have known Christ after the flesh, now know we him so no more." (2 Cor. 5:16.) The flesh was consecrated to death at the beginning of our Lord's ministry, and this great sacrifice was symbolized in his baptism. It was the New Creature that was there begotten of the holy Spirit (to which fact John bore witness), which grew during the Lord's three and a half years of ministry; and it was the New Creature, the Spirit begotten, that was born of the Spirit on the third day, when our Lord arose from the dead. Our Lord's change was but a sample of that which is to come to all of his true followers, as the Apostle explains, saying, It is sown in weakness, raised in power; sown in dishonor, raised in glory; sown an animal body, raised a spiritual body. (I Cor. 15:43,44.) So, then, our Lord's body of flesh, destroyed by the Jews at Calvary, was not restored on [R4124 : page 27] the third day. No restitution work was accomplished in him, but a complete change, because, as the Apostle declares, "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God." – I Cor. 15:50.

But, on the other hand, we have the Scriptural declaration that the Church is the Body of Christ, of which the consecrated faithful are "members in particular." (I Cor. 12:27.) We see that as human beings our Lord the Head, and all the members of his Body, have been suffering the destruction of the flesh, have been sacrificing their human nature throughout this Gospel Age, and we see that in due time this glorious Church, the New Creation, will in the First Resurrection come forth a glorious Temple of God, composed of living stones and filled with the glory of God. This will be on the third day also, for if we consider the six thousand years past as six days of a great week, and the Millennial Age as the seventh or Sabbath day of that week, we find that it was early in the fifth of these days that our Lord sacrificed, that many of his followers suffered likewise during that and the following sixth day, and that the seventh day, into which we have chronologically entered since 1872, is thus the third day, in which, very early in the morning, the entire Body of Christ, the King of glory, will be perfected. Then the great Temple of God will be complete and ready for the great work of the Millennial Age, the blessing of all the families of the earth, and through it they all may have the opportunity of coming into full harmony with God and gaining the blessing thereof – eternal life.

[R4124 : page 27]

REGENERATION AND THE KINGDOM Listen
JOHN 3:1-21. – FEBRUARY 2. –

Golden Text: – "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish but have everlasting life." – John 3:16.

T
HIS lesson well illustrates the wrong, unscriptural trend of thought and of Biblical interpretation which has come to prevail so generally throughout Christendom. The peculiar, the strange thing connected with the matter is that people of apparent capacity for reasoning on other subjects seem to abandon all logic in the study of God's Word. The usual interpretation of this lesson is that Jesus taught Nicodemus that he was about to establish a Church, which he called the Kingdom of God, without its having any likeness to the Kingdom or bearing any rule in the world. It is claimed that our Lord meant Nicodemus to understand that his Church was to be considered the Kingdom because eventually it would so prevail throughout the earth that God's will should be done on earth even as it is done in heaven. Then, to make this interpretation the more absurd, they acknowledge that our Lord here declared that no one could appreciate this Kingdom or enter into it except he were first begotten of the holy Spirit. Now note the absurdity of all this: –

After nearly nineteen centuries the total number of both Catholics and Protestants in the world is about four hundred millions, including the ring-streaked, the speckled and the black – the rough, the scuff, the tough of all civilized lands – improperly styled Christendom. The remainder of the race, twelve hundred millions, either never have heard of the Lord Jesus at [R4124 : page 28] all or, having heard, repudiated him. The number of the heathen, therefore, today is many times as large as the entire population of the earth at the time when the Lord conversed with Nicodemus. If the world is the Kingdom is it conquering itself in any sense of the word? Surely not! But now let us look at the four hundred millions called "Christendom," and judge as best we may be able who and what they really are, aside from their profession. How many of them make the slightest profession of having been born again, begotten again, born from above, and to have the renewing of the holy Spirit? Practically none – surely, as in our Lord's day, only a "Little Flock."

DIAGRAM SHOWING PROPORTION OF HEATHEN TO VARIOUS RELIGIONS TODAY

If any one is in doubt on this subject let him inquire amongst his Christian friends and neighbors on the subject of the new birth, the begetting of the holy Spirit. Let him explain what he means by a full consecration or devotion of time, strength and all that we possess to God and his service, and the change of heart signified by the begetting and anointing of the holy Spirit, and then ask how many of his friends and neighbors have either made the consecration involved or have received the holy Spirit. He will not have gone far into this inquiry until he be fully convinced that there is a great mistake in this ordinary view of the Kingdom – that it is thoroughly untenable and cannot be our Lord's meaning.

Thus satisfied that the general concept of this lesson is radically wrong, let us note carefully and prayerfully every word of our lesson with untrammeled minds, that we may know the truth and the truth may make us free from error, from superstition, and may bring to us light, joy and assistance.

NICODEMUS AND THE GREAT TEACHER

Nicodemus, an influential man amongst the Jews, a member of the Sanhedrin, and widely known as a professor of holiness – of full consecration to God – a Pharisee, came to Jesus by night; not necessarily from fear, possibly wisdom guided him, a prudent recognition of the interests of others as well as of his own. Possibly he came by night because then he might have a better opportunity for private conversation with the Master. In any event we find him very reverential and courteous. He addressed our Lord as Rabbi, or Teacher, and declared his belief that he was from God, a servant of God, in whom God evidently delighted, as manifested by his miracles. Only a mere portion of the conversation of the evening is given. We may reasonably presume that Nicodemus came to ask questions respecting the Kingdom of God, which he knew John and his disciples had been preaching, and which Jesus and his disciples subsequently also preached. As a student of the Scriptures he knew to expect the Kingdom, and that it was God's provision for the blessing and uplifting of Israel and ultimately the fulfilment of a promise to Abraham, "In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." Having confidence in Jesus he wished to learn particulars respecting this Kingdom, for neither John the Baptist nor Jesus had manifested anything to indicate how the Kingdom was to be brought about – where the soldiers were to be obtained, how drilled and officered, where the implements of warfare were to come from and the large amount of money necessary to equip and provide for an army. Such a question is implied by our Lord's statement, "Verily, verily I say unto you, except a man be born again [anew] he cannot see the Kingdom of God."

We can imagine the perplexity of Nicodemus, who was looking for a King and a glorious retinue, more grand than any monarch of the past, inasmuch as the Messiah King expected was to represent heavenly authority and power amongst men. Judge now of his perplexity on being told that no one could see this Kingdom unless he were born again – born over. The chaos of his thoughts is shown by his rejoinder, How can a full-grown man, advanced in years, be born again? With our Lord's answer he began to get a little light on the subject: Jesus said, "I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. That which is born of flesh is flesh and that which is born of Spirit is spirit."*

*We have quoted this correctly, for the article "the" does not appear in the Greek text.

Nicodemus got some very "strong meat" in very few words. From this statement he would understand that the Kingdom would not be a fleshly or earthly one, but a spirit Kingdom, a heavenly Kingdom. He could perceive that the natural birth of the flesh is a figure or symbol illustrative of a new birth, a spirit birth, and that our Lord meant that the Kingdom of God would be on a higher plane than any earthly Kingdom – it would be a spirit Kingdom which mankind in general could not see and could not enter into or become members of. The only ones who would really see the spiritual Kingdom or enter into it would be those begotten of Spirit and born of Spirit. But our Lord added, "Born of water and of Spirit." The reference to water would probably, in the mind of Nicodemus, recall the water baptism for the remission of sins, and as a sign of repentance which John the Baptist and his disciples had been preaching.

To us who live since Pentecost – and who may, therefore, have a clear conception of the deep things of [R4125 : page 29] God under the guidance and instruction of the holy Spirit – our Lord's mention of water may have a still fuller significance. We see that symbolical water represents Truth, and that our begetting of the holy Spirit is said by the Apostle to be also a begetting "through the Word of truth." (Jas. 1:18.) We remember also that the same thought is expressed by the Apostle Paul, who declares (Titus 3:3-5), "his mercy saved us through the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the holy Spirit." Putting these matters together we have the thought that our regeneration or begetting again of the holy Spirit and our renewing by it come to us in conjunction with the washing or cleansing which is effected in us by the operation of the Truth – the divine message. This is beautifully symbolized in Israel's Tabernacle service, in which the priests, before entering the Holy and thus typically becoming New Creatures, first washed at the laver which represented the Word of God, the Truth, the water of regeneration, by which we come into that condition of consecration to the Lord in which he is pleased to accept us, to grant us the spirit of adoption into his heavenly or spiritual family.

"SO IS EVERY ONE THAT IS BORN"

Nicodemus was astonished at such a presentation of the Kingdom and of the methods and conditions upon which it could be seen and entered into. Our Lord rejoined, Marvel not at the words, Ye must be born again. Then he gave him an illustration of what one would be like who would be born of the Spirit. He drew his attention to the invisibility of spirit beings and yet their reality. He took as an illustration the wind – invisible, we know not whence it comes, we know not whither it goes; but we do know of its power, we can hear the sound, can see its effects. This, our Lord declared, would give Nicodemus an illustration of those born of the Spirit; they would be intangible, invisible, while present and powerful. Such would be the Kingdom when it should be established. We must notice very carefully our Lord's language, else ere long these erroneous thoughts will bring us into confusion. We must not allow any of them to twist and turn the Scriptures, and to say that our Lord said something here that he did not say. We must repel the suggestion that he meant that the Spirit of which we would be begotten is invisible, for although that is true enough it is not what our Lord is saying. Neither must we allow our minds to be misled into supposing that the Lord means that the holy Spirit passes hither and thither throughout the world, begetting some and passing others by, and that we know not who may be begotten of the Spirit and who not. All this is confusing and wholly out of accord with what is written. Whoever would have clear, proper conceptions of the Master's teaching must give strict heed to the Word. We have been in darkness long enough through our inattention and through our allowing other people to read into the Word of God what is in no sense of the word there. We are neither to add to nor to take from the Word of God, and whoever does so adds to his own confusion, and is as well an unfaithful minister of the Truth, and an unfaithful ambassador, spokesman, for the Lord.

Astounded at what he had heard, Nicodemus exclaimed, "How can these things be?" Is it possible that those who have been studying the Law and the Prophets for centuries have erred so egregiously? Our Lord replied that as a master in Israel he should be able to discern these matters when once they were brought to his attention. As a thoughtful student of the Law and the Prophets Nicodemus should have seen that there were insurmountable difficulties connected with the prevailing thought that God's Kingdom would be an earthly one. He therefore should have been quite prepared for the announcement that the Kingdom of God would be a spiritual one which, as the Lord on another occasion explained, would come not with outward show, and of which the people would not declare, "Lo, here it is," or "Lo, there it is," but it would be in the midst of mankind, invisible but all-powerful.

We have elsewhere shown* that there is a particular fitness to our Lord's words in this connection when he declares that that which is born of flesh is flesh and that which is born of Spirit is spirit. As there cannot be any birth of the flesh without first a begetting of the flesh, so there can be no birth of the spirit without first a begetting of the Spirit. The begetting of the Spirit comes in connection with the washing of regeneration through the Word, and belongs to this present life. As New Creatures we develop spiritually until we reach the quickening stage of activity in the Lord's service; and those thus begotten and quickened, in whom the new will remains faithful unto death, in the resurrection are born of the Spirit – raised from the dead spirit beings. Thus our Lord was begotten of the holy Spirit at the time of his baptism, but in his resurrection he was born of the Spirit – the first-born from the dead – the first-born from among many brethren. Similarly his brethren and joint-heirs in the Kingdom are now begotten of the holy Spirit at the time of their washing of regeneration and begetting, and their birth, if faithful, will be in the resurrection change, when that which is sown in weakness will be raised in power, sown an animal body, raised a spiritual body – sharers with our Lord in the First Resurrection to spirit nature, glory, honor, immortality. It is proper to notice here that confusion has come to many because of their failure to notice that the same Greek word gennao is used in referring to both the begetting and the birth.

*DAWN-STUDIES, Vol. V., pp. 189; 192.
"WE SPEAK THAT WE DO KNOW"

In answer to Nicodemus' doubts our Lord assured him that this testimony respecting the Kingdom, that it would be a spirit Kingdom, was no idle speculation – that he knew what he testified to be true, that the trouble with Nicodemus was that he was not ready to be taught. He had called our Lord Master, Teacher, and declared that he believed him to be sent of God, [R4125 : page 30] and yet he was so bound to his preconceptions that he was unready to receive the testimony of the only one who was capable of giving him the instruction. Our Lord intimated that he could tell much more about the heavenly Kingdom, but it would not be proper to do so, since his hearers were not in a condition to appreciate spiritual things. "If I have told you earthly things and ye believe not, how could you believe if I explained to you heavenly things?" In the light of the Apostle Paul's exhortation we see that our Master's words were not chiding, but rather a declaration of facts, because, as the Apostle declares, it is impossible for the natural man not begotten of the holy Spirit to understand spiritual things. The most, therefore, that Jesus was able to teach either to his disciples or others during his ministry were earthly things. He left the explanation of the deeper things of the divine plan until after his followers at Pentecost received the begetting of the holy Spirit and were thus fitted and qualified, prepared, enabled to understand the spiritual things, the heavenly things. – I Cor. 2:14.

Undoubtedly this is the trouble with the great majority of the people today also – they have not been begotten of the holy Spirit, they have not been begotten again, and hence are unable to understand spiritual things. We reiterate, therefore, our recommendation, frequently made, that when any are found who have not the hearing ear for the Truth we should not seek to pound it into them, but rather should take a different tack and seek their consecration – present to them the reasonableness of a full consecration to the Lord and his service in view of what they have already seen and are able to grasp. If they make the consecration and receive the begetting of the holy Spirit the deep things of the Lord will then be for them and may be understood by them. Hence the wisdom of not casting the pearls of divine Truth, the deeper, spiritual things before the unregenerate – the wisdom, on the contrary, of preaching merely the outlines of the divine plan of the ages to the world in general, of exhorting them to receive not the grace of God in vain, and assuring them that wisdom from on high and an ability to appreciate the deeper things come only to and are only for those who have come into the spiritual covenant relationship of the sons of God as New Creatures.

"NO MAN HATH ASCENDED UP TO HEAVEN"

This statement by our Lord would cause no particular surprise to Nicodemus, for nothing in the Law or in the prophets or in the teachings of orthodox Judaism ever held to the idea prevalent amongst the heathen that the dead were alive – more alive than ever before. They knew that the dead were dead and that the hope for them lay in the resurrection, when Messiah should come forth for the banishing of the curse and the establishment of the Kingdom of heaven amongst men for their uplift and reconciliation to God. But today the heathen error, Plato's philosophy, that the dead are more alive than the living, with all the absurdity that is implied in such a statement, has fastened itself upon Christendom. People otherwise sane and logical will tell us that they believe in the resurrection of the dead, and in the same breath tell us that the dead are not dead. They fail to tell us how the dead could be resurrected if none is dead. Let all who study this lesson with a desire to learn from the Master rather than to instruct him, take heed to the words, "No man hath ascended up to heaven." (The last four words of this verse 13, "which is in heaven," are not found in ancient Greek MSS., and evidently were no part of this conversation.)

"THE SERPENT IN THE WILDERNESS"

The remainder of this lesson, in our judgment, was not spoken to Nicodemus, but combined various of our Lord's teachings which the writer here brought together conveniently. [R4126 : page 30]

The reference of verse 14 to the lifting up of the brazen serpent in the wilderness and the declaration that it was intended to be a type of the crucifixion of our Lord is a very important item. We remember the story of the Israelites bitten by the fiery serpents because of sin, and how they were suffering great pain and were dying in large numbers until Moses by divine direction erected on a pole a serpent made of brass. Thenceforth every Israelite, looking toward that serpent, by faith was healed. The antitype of this we see. The whole world has been bitten by sin, and, as the Apostle declares, all are groaning and travailing in pain, all are dying. (Rom. 8:22.) Eighteen centuries ago Jesus the Son of man was lifted up on Calvary, he was treated as a sinner, our sins were laid upon him that he might thus have the right to impute his righteousness to all who desire it, and to grant them healing and life eternal.

Our Lord, in explaining the matter, declared that the Son of man would be lifted up, to the intent that everyone believing on him should not perish but have eternal life. Only the few have yet had the opportunity of believing in him – the great mass in our Lord's time and ever since have been in utter ignorance of the Redeemer and his sacrifice, and of the blessings secured by looking to him. But will they never see? Will they never know? Will they never gain eternal life? Will only the Church, the specially favored of this Gospel Age, the Elect, have this great opportunity? Surely not! In due time God will cause the knowledge of his grace to reach every member of the race. Surely this is the import of our Master's words following, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish but have everlasting life." (v. 16.) Ah, yes! This is a blessed assurance. We are glad that by the grace of God Jesus "tasted death for every man." (Heb. 2:9.) We are glad that he was a propitiation for our sins, the Church's sins, but we are also glad that he is a propitiation for the sins of the whole world (I John 2:2), and that eventually the whole world shall have the privilege, opportunity, of having their eyes and ears opened that they also may see and understand the riches of God's grace in Christ.

With what pleasure we read that "God sent not his [R4126 : page 31] Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved." The world had already been condemned, for it had shared in Father Adam's condemnation as his race. It needed no more condemnation but it did need salvation from the Adamic condemnation resting upon it; – it did need to be delivered from the bondage of corruption, mental, moral and physical, and it was this that Jesus came to accomplish. How different the story as the Master gives it from the way in which it is told in the creeds. The theory claimed during the "dark ages" was that all who were not of the Elect Church were condemned to eternal torment. It was recognized that the race as a whole had as yet received none of God's grace, nor opportunity for the same, because of blindness and ignorance and superstition; and it was claimed that it never would have favor – that God never meant the world to be saved, and that Christ did not die for the world but for the Church, the Elect. How glorious the lengths and breadths and heights and depths of divine love and wisdom as now displayed through the divine Word in this harvest time! – showing us that the election of the Church is merely the prelude to the great work of blessing and enlightening, uplifting and restoring the world in general – all who will – "in due time." Nevertheless there is a measure of increased condemnation in proportion as the light is seen by any one and rejected; as our Lord said, "This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil." (John 3:19.) The meaning is evident: Our Lord's first advent was not with a view to increasing the Adamic condemnation but the reverse of this, to effect the sacrifice by which it might ultimately be canceled. Nevertheless his presence then in the world, and the light which then shone and which has since shone through his followers, has carried with it a measure of responsibility – a measure of condemnation to all who have resisted the light.

This condemnation, however, is quite separate and distinct from the Adamic condemnation, which was inherited, and which because of Christ's sacrifice for our sins will ultimately be completely canceled; this condemnation, resulting from an intelligent rejection of light, bears an individual penalty, which will bring the unfaithful one stripes either in the present or in the future. In the giving of these stripes we are assured that full allowance will be made for inherited weaknesses, temptations, etc. – everything that can be justly charged up to the Adamic fall will be canceled through the merit of the sacrifice of Christ. The stripes merely represent the individual's own perversity, and should the opposition to the light of Truth be persisted in to the full degree, the penalty would be the Second Death.

THE SELECTIVE PROCESS

From the foregoing we perceive that wherever the light of the Gospel shines there is proportionately responsibility and more or less of a selective condition. As our Lord declares, all who do evil intentionally, in the light, thereby manifest their hatred of the light, and such will avoid the light, realizing that it makes manifest the error, the sin with which they are identified and which, to some extent, at least, they love. They hate and avoid the light because it reproves their darkness, their error, their sin. On the contrary (v. 21), all who would serve the Truth, the light, are glad to come to more and more light as they may discern it. They desire that their course in life shall become manifest, that all shall know that to the extent of their ability they are seeking to do the Lord's will. And if, perchance, something contrary to God's will may be exposed in their own conduct or theories, they are glad of this also that they may have an opportunity for correcting the same.

This selective, separative work is not going on amongst the heathen but in Christendom, nor is it specially going on amongst the masses of Christendom, but chiefly amongst those who have professed to be God's people, who profess to have turned from darkness to light, as did the Jews of our Lord's day. Realizing the true situation, let us be very zealous for every ray of light which can be shed upon the divine plan or upon our own hearts and lives. Let us more and more desire to know the Truth, that it may make us free from every bondage and bring us more and more into captivity to the will of God in Christ. Children of the Light, we can have no fellowship with any of the unfruitful works of darkness, doctrinal or otherwise! Let us maintain our stand more and more loyally as the divine Word increasingly clarifies our vision and distinguishes for us between light and darkness, truth and error, righteousness and sin!

[R4126 : page 31]

AN INTERESTING LETTER Listen
MY DEAR BRETHREN: –

Since entering the Colporteur work I have not worked more than two ten-hour days at the most, this being due to having but Saturday afternoons and holidays for this purpose. During this time I sold 73 volumes – 17 on the Fourth of July morning, when I even parted with my sample book. I expected to be out all day on the 4th, but hereafter when I go out to spend a whole day I shall see to it that I have my wheel better loaded. One week later I took another day for the work, but was rather disappointed by rain. However, it cleared off by noon and allowed me to take another missionary trip. In that afternoon I sold 18 volumes.

This, dear brethren, is the grandest privilege I ever enjoyed. I rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory, and can say with the Psalmist, "Praise the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me praise his holy name." May we all hold fast that which we have already that no one take our crown is my earnest prayer for all. Cannot say more at present, but with deepest and tenderest Christian love, I remain.

Yours in the Lord's vineyard,

HARRY W. DAVIDGE, – New Jersey.