page 1
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

VOL. XXXIVJANUARY 1No. 1
A. D. 1913 – A. M. 6041
CONTENTS
Views from the Watch Tower 3
This Wonderful Period 3
Foregleams of Messiah's Kingdom 5
A Text Suggested for 1913 6
The Harvest Work World-wide 6
Our Lord's Knowledge of His Pre-Existence 8
His Knowledge at the Age of Thirty 8
His Illumination of Mind 9
The Year Before Us (Poem) 10
How Righteous Character Is Produced 10
Conscientiousness Gives Strength 10
The Deluge Effect 11
No Rain on the Earth 11
"Thy Word Is Truth" 11
The Cause of the Deluge 12
God's Rainbow Covenant 13
Fire, the Next Calamity 14
Interesting Questions 14
Interesting Letters 14
Berean Questions in Scripture Studies 15

'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.

PUBLISHED BY
WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, PRESIDENT
"BROOKLYN TABERNACLE," 13-17 HICKS ST.,
BROOKLYN, N.Y., U.S.A.

Foreign Agencies: – British Branch: LONDON TABERNACLE, Lancaster Gate, London, W. German Branch: Unterdorner Str., 76, Barmen. Australasian Branch: Flinders Building, Flinders St., Melbourne. Please address the SOCIETY in every case.

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SEND MONEY BY EXPRESS, BANK DRAFT, POSTAL ORDER, OR REGISTERED.
FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES BY FOREIGN MONEY ORDERS, ONLY.

Terms to the Lord's Poor as Follows: – 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 May 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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BROTHER RUSSELL'S WEEKLY SERMONS

We remind all the dear friends afresh of the weekly sermons published in the newspapers. We recommend that you continue to encourage the publishers of these sermons by subscribing to the papers. Take as many as you can afford to purchase, especially the cheaper-priced papers – more especially those which publish the three-column sermons. Use these as tracts, marking sermon with blue pencil; give or send to such as you believe would be interested.

A NEW ARRANGEMENT

Some of the dear friends use the sermons as a part of their weekly service. At their Sunday meetings one of their number, who has a good voice and who is in every way qualified, reads the sermon to them – having first studied it over to comprehend it and to know how to read it – where to lay the emphasis, etc.

We have made arrangements with the Lecture Bureau that the weekly sermons may be published in advance for all classes who have elected Brother Russell as their Pastor and who write to us, indicating their desire to use the sermons as above. But we expect them also to assure us that this sending of the copy for class readings will not interfere with their patronage of the newspapers which publish the sermons. Secretaries requesting these advance copies will please ascertain from the classes how many different newspapers publishing the sermons are being taken by the class regularly.

NEW POEMS OF DAWN

Our attention was called to the fact that many of our readers do not know that the Book of POEMS OF DAWN recently published is quite different from the old edition. It does, indeed, contain the choicest poems from the old edition, but it includes many entirely new. We believe that every WATCH TOWER reader would be desirous of having this new edition if thoroughly aware of the contents. Its beautiful verses are very restful and helpful, well adapted to the various experiences of the Lord's people. As a part of His staff for His weary ones to lean upon they are a present help in time of need. The prices are extremely low and include postage – cloth-bound, 25c.; Karatol-bound, 35c.; India paper, leather-bound, 50c. page 2

BETHEL HYMNS FOR FEBRUARY

After the close of the hymn the Bethel Family listens to the reading of "My Vow Unto the Lord," then joins in prayer. At the breakfast table the MANNA text is considered. Hymns for February follow:

(1) 44; (2) 130; (3) 305; (4) 310; (5) 299; (6) 314; (7) 248; (8) 281; (9) Vow; (10) 273; (11) 270; (12) 105; (13) 267; (14) 4; (15) 320; (16) 238; (17) 109; (18) 110; (19) 95; (20) 112; (21) 286; (22) 108; (23) 249; (24) 151; (25) 115; (26) 268; (27) 160; (28) 19.

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VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER
THIS WONDERFUL PERIOD
T
HERE never was such a wonderful period! We never before knew so much or could do so much. We never experienced an age of equal comfort. No part of yesterday was as glorious as this hour.

The hundred years behind us are jammed and crammed with achievements that out-balance the sum total of progress since the signing of the Magna Charta.

The average mechanic enjoys luxuries that Midas, with all his wealth, could not command. The college freshman has more real information in his little finger than the erudition of the foremost scholar of the Renaissance. We have done more to put existence on a sane, logical and definite basis than the sum total of our ancestors.

A mere hundred years ago even the scientist thought that the atmosphere was simply space – that gas was only a smell.

The first microbe hadn't disclosed his identity.

Metchnikoff's announcement of battling hosts in every drop of human blood would have earned him a padded cell.

The best illumination George Washington could secure came from tallow dips, lighted by striking a spark from flint and steel.

Every piece of fabric was woven by hand.

The only horse-power was four-legged and wore a tail.

The steamboat was still building on the ways of Fulton's brain, and the wheels of the steam engine had only moved in Stephenson's head.

It took Benjamin Franklin two weeks to send a letter from Boston and get a reply from Baltimore.

Abraham Lincoln's angular frame never reposed in a Pullman berth.

Garfield called a 20-day "liner" an "ocean greyhound."

It is hardly a year since the father of antiseptic surgery was gathered to his fathers.

Electric light, trolley cars, bicycles, automobiles, department stores, skyscrapers, 10-cent collars, tinned salmon, airships, penny newspapers, appendicitis and power cranes are infant ideas still toddling in their diapers.

Thirty years ago electricity had never been hitched to a wheel; gunpowder was the most powerful explosive; subways weren't considered within range of possibility.

"Impossibility" is now an old-fashioned word with a definition, but not a meaning. Almost every dream of the past is a reality today.

The magic cities and the fairy kingdoms of your grandmother aren't half so wonderful as the world in which you live.

The Cincinnati Post.

*                         *                         *
PRESENT DAY INVENTIONS FOREGLEAMS OF MESSIAH'S KINGDOM

The above surely is not exaggeration! What thanks should be rising from all our hearts to God, the Giver of every good and perfect gift! How energetic we all should be to rightly use present blessings and opportunities for our own good, for the good of our families and neighbors – all men!

Thinking people cannot help wondering why so many blessings have been crowded into our day. There is but one answer, and remarkably few seem to realize it. Some are disposed to say that all of these blessings come as a result of another onward step of evolution! Is this reasonable? Do we see signs of excessive wisdom in ourselves or others? How many people do any of us know personally who have ever invented any great, wonderful or useful article of the many which go to make up our wonderful day?

Examining carefully the personality and history of individuals through whom present day blessings come, we may well be astonished. We find that very few of them have been men of great education, and many of them are by no means great men in any sense of the word, except in the one particular of their invention. It is by no means sure that the prodigies of today are any more numerous than those of previous periods, but our facilities for knowing about them have increased a thousand-fold.

Through the printed page the knowledge of an invention, carried before the civilized world, becomes a stimulant to others, furnishing, perhaps a connecting link for another invention. Many of our great inventors tell us that they merely stumbled on their invention. Our successful air-brake patent, for instance, is merely the development of the cruder thought that water, hydraulic power, could be used to operate brakes. A still brighter mind caught the thought, and realized that air would serve the purpose better.

As an illustration of the fact that mental illumination may be along some one particular line, we remind our readers of "Blind Tom." He was noted for his wonderful skill in playing any tune that he might hear. He had no education; in fact, he was almost idiotic, incapable of receiving an education. But he had an ear for music [R5153 : page 4] which made him famous. Can we claim that we or others of our day stand so high intellectually as to be able to look down upon some of the bright minds of the past? Have we many Shakespeares, many Byrons, many St. Pauls, many Ciceros? Have we many Solomons? or are there many who could compare with Moses?

THE MILLENNIUM HAS COME!

We must look in another direction, if we would rightly understand and properly appreciate the meaning of the wonderful inventions of our day. They are coming to us because we are living in the dawning of a New Dispensation! They are the foregleams of an Epoch so wonderful as to be beyond our most vivid imagination. Evidently God has been gradually lifting the veil of ignorance from the eyes of human understanding. Gradually He has allowed us to see the power of steam – gradually to learn how to apply it. Later He lifted the veil in respect to electricity. Now its marvels are enlightening the world.

Shortly chemistry will be accomplishing wonders for us – no doubt making unnecessary the mining of coal. From the air that we breathe and the water that we drink we shall doubtless shortly know how to separate the elements necessary to furnish us the light and the heat indispensable to the world's progress. Everything is getting ready for the Millennium! Not only is it coming, but it is here! We are not, indeed, enjoying its full blessings yet; but what we are enjoying is a foretaste of them.

All of our hearts should be attracted more and more to the Lord in thankfulness for His wonderful mercies. More and more we should be studying His Divine Word, the Bible. From it we should be coming daily to a clearer understanding of the Divine Character and Plan. This alone will chase away our ignorance and superstition, and bring us love, joy, and peace.

The blessings of God now coming to the world will center in Christ's sacrifice at Calvary. During the past eighteen centuries, His redemptive work has been the gathering of the Church, and now it is to mean the blessing [R5154 : page 4] of all the families of the earth, as the Scriptures have promised. Yea, the Scriptures clearly show that these blessings are intended for those who are in their graves, as well as for the living.

IS THERE A LACK OF CONFIDENCE IN THE MINISTRY?

Rev. Chas. E. Newlin addressed the regular monthly meeting of Methodist preachers in Atlanta some days ago, and in the course of his address Mr. Newlin used the words: "I can prove by 99 per cent. of the business men of Atlanta that they lack confidence in the real, true manhood of the preachers of the city."

The Rev. B. Frank White, in leaving the pastorate of the First Presbyterian church, of Connellsville, Pa., is quoted as saying: "A man can't be honest in the ministry and hold his job." As Mr. White expects to remain in the ministry, although seeking another field, the inference is that he prefers a station where he can preach the word in a style more in keeping with his conscientious scruples.

The writer is inclined to believe that both of the assertions above quoted are rather broad, if not more or less exaggerated. We believe that the great majority of ministers are honest and are doing all in their power to advance the cause of religion here on earth; we also believe that there are some in the pulpit who have no right to be there. The vision they saw in the clouds, "G. P. C.," meant not to "Go Preach Christ," as they imagined, but to "Go Pick Cotton."

South Georgia Progress.
WHY MINISTERS DESERVE SYMPATHY

Christian ministers deserve considerable sympathy. They are at the present time in a very trying position. It is the conscientious ones who are in trouble. Behind them are the creeds and theories of the Dark Ages, to which they are chained:

(1) By the vows which they took at their ordination.

(2) By the honor of their position in the sight of their friends and neighbors.

(3) By their financial necessities and those of their families.

Ministers possessed of an education know not only that the creeds of the past are in conflict with each other and with reason, but also that those creeds are in conflict with the Bible. Better translations and older MSS. have shown us the fallacy of deductions made by our forefathers. Every educated minister now knows that the Hebrew word translated "hell" in the Old Testament Scriptures, means the tomb – the state of death – the only hell that was known for four thousand years. They know that in our Common Version of the Bible this word Sheol is translated grave and pit more times than it is translated hell. They know that it never means and never did mean, anywhere, a place of fire and torture.

Baptist ministers have gotten out a new Bible, in which they go to the trouble of translating this word Sheol by three English words, "the under-world." This hides the truth from the average mind about as much as the mistranslation hell does. But it helps our Baptist friends a little in dealing with Sheol, for of course, in the grave, in the tomb, is in "the under-world." Of course nobody thinks there is another world of living people in the center of the earth. It is only the dead that are in the under-world – in the tomb.

All educated ministers know further that the word Hades, in the New Testament translated hell, is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word Sheol, and likewise means the under-world, the tomb, the state of death or condition of death. The trouble with these ministers is that they know that their congregations are not generally aware of the truth on the subject, and they fear to tell those truths lest they should be accused of having practiced deception in the past, when as a matter of fact they had simply taken from theologians of the Dark Ages what they in turn gave to the people, without examining the Scripture proof.

HONESTY TO GOD AND RELIGION MOST COMMENDABLE

Another difficulty confronting these ministers is this: For the past twenty years the colleges of the United States, Great Britain, Germany, etc., have been teaching the Evolution Theory – that man was not created in God's image, that he was not in God's sight "very good," and that he did not fall down from Divine favor. It teaches, on the contrary, that he was an evolution from the ape, and instead of falling has been rising in the scale of intelligence and getting nearer to God's image every year, all the time.

Following the Evolutionists came the Higher Critics, declaring that the Bible is really old wives' fables and not at all inspired. Nearly all graduates of colleges and seminaries for the past twenty years have gone into pulpits, consecrated to the preaching of God's Truth from the Bible standpoint, in violation of whatever conscience they have.

These generally are the great and popular preachers of all denominations. They consider not the vows of their ordination, but practically say, "We do not hide our unbelief to any great extent. We answer questions [R5154 : page 5] of the people with a measure of candor, dodging occasionally; and if they know anything about the Bible themselves, they know that we do not believe in its inspiration. If they wish to continue us as their preachers and to honor us and to pay our salaries, we will continue to serve them. By and by we will get their faith in the Bible thoroughly undermined; and then we will come out into the open. Then we will tell them that we falsified a little for their good, as a mother would tell her babe some fairy story for its entertainment."

The preachers who are in trouble are the conscientious ones who believe the Bible to be true and who have not yet gotten their bearings. They cannot long believe in an eternity of torture, yet are afraid to follow the course of the International Bible Students Association in a thorough Bible Study which ignores the creeds. These poor men know not what to believe, and are in great trepidation when a question is asked them by the people who pay them for religious advice. They cannot dig. To beg they are ashamed. And to tell the whole truth about what they know and what they do not know respecting the Bible they are afraid. They have our sympathy.

Our advice to all such is, "Tell the truth and shame the Devil!" Take your stand for what truth you see, and seek for more light upon God's Word in this glorious dawning of the New Era, in which God declares that He is pleased to give an increase of light on things Divine. "The wise shall understand, but none of the wicked [or hypocrites] shall understand." – Daniel 12:10.

It would appear as if we are living in the time of special testing so clearly foretold by the Lord. Everything hidden would be uncovered, He said. He will bring to light the hidden things of darkness. (I Cor. 4:5.) If we would not be put to shame before Him, we must be honest. Who can doubt that honesty, especially in respect to God and religion, is most estimable from the Divine standpoint? None of us have anything whereof to boast. But if we are honest with our God, we can look up to Him, by faith realizing that we are acceptable through Jesus Christ our Lord.

THE REMEDY FOR INEQUALITY OF CONDITIONS

"The struggle under the competitive system is not worth the effort," wrote the publisher at Girard, Kan., of a widely circulated Socialistic newspaper, just before he committed suicide. Could there be a more mistaken reason for a Socialist's self-destruction?

This man's peculiar creed had been accepted within a few days of his death by a million of his countrymen. A new political party that subscribed to many of his beliefs had polled 4,000,000 votes. If Socialism is a true remedy for political and industrial ills, those who preach it should be filled with confidence and hope.

It is to be feared that it is not a true remedy. Human nature is competitive. No matter how it may be governed, it will not be radically changed.

N.Y. World.

*                         *                         *

We agree with the Editor of the World, that four millions of American voters and as many millions abroad are Socialists from the conviction that Socialism is the proper remedy for the world's difficulties. We agree with the Editor of the World, also, that these well-meaning men are deceiving themselves. The only remedy for the inequality of human conditions is the one which God has declared He will provide. Selfishness is so ingrained in humanity that apparently none can be absolutely just when self-interest is in the opposite balance.

God purposes to settle the whole matter for rich and poor in His own way – and His way must be the best way. He purposes to change the hearts of men. In the Bible He tells us that He will take away the stony heart and give a heart of flesh. (Ezek. 36:26.) This signifies that He will make mankind more tender-hearted, more sympathetic. He will restore that condition of things which existed at the beginning, when Father Adam and Mother Eve were created in the Divine likeness, and declared to be very good and acceptable in God's sight. – Genesis 1:26,31.

The fall drove our first parents from Eden and necessitated the battle for daily bread, against thorns and thistles, etc. Under this influence selfishness has developed and now, after six thousand years, is deep-seated. What a blessing it will mean for God to take away this stony heart and to give the heart of flesh! When that time shall come and that change shall have been effected, Socialism will be a success and surely will prevail throughout the whole earth.

But, you ask, by what mighty miracle can this change of heart be accomplished? How can the whole world be thus converted? The Bible answers that it will be done, not by sudden conversion, but by a gradual one, which will [R5155 : page 5] require nearly a thousand years for its accomplishment.

Are we asked, What power could intervene and force this change of heart upon humanity? The Bible answers that it will be Divine Power represented in Messiah's glorious Kingdom. The Second Coming of Christ, once supposed to mean the destruction of the world, Bible students now see to mean the very reverse – the blessing of earth, the taking away of the curse, the lifting of the fallen race to all that was lost in Eden, and the destruction of the finally impenitent.

FOREGLEAMS OF MESSIAH'S KINGDOM

We are not to look into the sky to see Messiah come, but rather to remember that His resurrection exalted Him to the glory which He had with the Father before He became a man. He will at that time indeed empower earthly representatives, to whom the world will look for guidance and instruction; but Messiah and His glorified Church, His Bride, will be invisible to men – on the spirit plane.

Many of our readers will be surprised to know that the glorious blessings of Messiah's Kingdom will steal over the world gradually, coming through human channels – entirely unaware of being used of the Lord. Bible students are so interpreting the wonderful things of our day. They are foregleams or early dawning of Messiah's Thousand-Year-Day, during which He will roll away the curse and shed forth Divine blessings. Whoever can see the matter from this standpoint must be deeply interested in every fresh advance of invention. In another column we refer to some of these present-day wonders which have come in during the last century.

If it be true, as we hold, that these blessings are the foregleams of Divine favor through Messiah's Kingdom, with what patience should all exercise themselves to wait upon the Lord, and not to seek to disturb too radically any present condition which is at all bearable! Who will dispute that everybody today is much better off than his grandparents were – even fifty years ago? St. Paul by inspiration declares that "Godliness with contentment is great gain." We commend this thought to Socialists and every one else.

We do not claim that even-handed justice prevails, nor do we admit that it would be possible under present conditions. People of superior brain power will not use that power for the public good solely. All still have a [R5155 : page 6] sufficiency of selfishness to claim that their superior qualities justly entitle them to superior conditions. Why may we not concede this point, rejoice in the blessings we have, be thankful to God for them, and wait patiently for His Kingdom?

Under present (selfish) conditions each workman demands wages according to his skill. Why quarrel with the wealthy, learned, more capables on that score? What great advantages have come to the world thus! Why stop it before God's providence brings us a better rule – the Golden Rule. "Have patience, brethren," and be ye peacemakers not strife-breeders.

[R5155 : page 6]

1913 – A TEXT SUGGESTED FOR – 1913
W
E SUGGEST to all THE WATCH TOWER readers as a special text for the year the words of the Psalmist, "What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows unto the Lord now in the presence of the assembly of His people." – Psalm 116:12-14.

The Editor for some months has been trying the plan of calling this text before his mind as his waking thought. He has found it very helpful, and now suggests it to all the readers of this journal.

How appropriate that each day should begin with the inquiry as to what are the possibilities of our service or sacrifices in the Lord's Cause! What is more appropriate than that we should remember the benefits which we have received, as well as those which we hope yet to receive from our gracious Heavenly Father? What could be more appropriate than that we should resolve afresh every morning to take the cup of salvation, remembering that the cup of salvation is the cup of suffering, the cup of trial – His cup – the cup of communion, or fellowship, in the sufferings of Christ? As the Master said, so should we each say, daily, "The cup which My Father hath poured for Me, shall I not drink it?"

What is more appropriate than that we each should take pleasure in following our Master, being made partakers of the sufferings of Christ, that we may also be sharers in His glory? What could be more appropriate than that our waking thoughts should recall the Vow which we have made to the Lord, and that those thoughts shall be open to all the congregation of the Lord's people? We will not keep secret the matter of our Vow, nor the matter of our obedience, but we will stimulate one another in the good way.

Furthermore, we call upon the name of the Lord for help, assistance, that the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts and the conduct of our life throughout the day may be pleasing and acceptable in the sight of our Lord. The day thus begun will surely be a happy day to those who have taken the vows of full consecration to the Lord. And what a happifying thought we have in this connection; namely, that so many of the dear brethren and sisters may at the same time be lifting their hearts in thanksgiving and making resolutions afresh.

[R5155 : page 6]

THE HARVEST WORK WORLD-WIDE
THE INTERNATIONAL BIBLE STUDENTS ASSOCIATION
T
HIS ASSOCIATION sprang up spontaneously and gradually during the past thirty years, but particularly during the past ten years. It is composed of thinking Christian people of various ages who are studying the Bible reverently and profitably. There are no limitations as to membership, except such as could be properly applied to any true Christian: (1) Faith in God as the great Creator and Heavenly Father; (2) Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as the world's Redeemer; (3) Faith in the Bible – that it is the inspired Message of God, respecting His will and purposes in connection with mankind; (4) A clean and honorable life.

Our Association finds this platform broad enough for all true Christians, regardless of all denominational lines, quirks and frills. We have no bondage, and any one is as free to leave the classes as to enter them. Indeed, following the example of the early Church in this as well as in other matters, we avoid any special manner of joining these classes, or any special enrollment, or any special commitment as to faith and practise other than the broad principles already mentioned.

The INTERNATIONAL BIBLE STUDENTS ASSOCIATION has classes in nearly every city in many countries, and you may also desire to know about these and their relationship to each other and to the Association.

Each class of the INTERNATIONAL BIBLE STUDENTS ASSOCIATION is independent, manages its own affairs, conducts its own meetings, and provides for its own expenses. The Association provides public instructors and ministers to lecture on the Bible, and to give suggestions as to the methods of the primitive Church, and as to the best means of conducting Berean Bible Classes. No Class is obliged to have these lectures, nor to have the literature which the Association publishes for their assistance. They all do, however, find it very convenient to avail themselves of these helps to Bible study; and when requested, the Association provides the assistance to the extent of their ability – subject to the limitations and the accessibility of the classes, and the condition of its treasury funds.

As for the personnel of the classes, they are from all walks of life – laborers and physicians, pupils and teachers, housewives and society people. They are mostly thoughtful, but have been dissatisfied for years, and have been feeling after God, and seeking to satisfy their hungry souls. They are from all denominations – Baptists, Presbyterians, Catholics, Episcopalians, Jews; and a large percentage were once agnostics. These include all nationalities, also: English, Scotch, Irish, French, Italians, Chinese, Japanese, etc. Indeed, we find that all over the world there is an intelligent class who hunger after God, righteousness and Truth, and who have nothing satisfactory in any of the creeds, but are now finding a soul-satisfying portion in the Bible itself.

Here, as elsewhere, we are asked if these classes are confined to America. We say, "No, indeed!"

Throughout Great Britain, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, India, China, Japan, Australia, South Africa, these classes are to be found, as well as in Canada and the United States. Indeed, the original charter of the Association was a British one, the office being in London. The international character of the work is the reason for that feature of the Association's name. [R5156 : page 7]

It is well understood that many of these Bible Students were unsatisfied when they studied the Bible from various denominational standpoints, and that they are now satisfied, and we are asked how we account for this. Do we use the same Bible? or how comes it that Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, etc., can gain a clearer light in the INTERNATIONAL BIBLE STUDENTS ASSOCIATION Studies than in their own denominational lines and classes?

There is a difference. Each denomination seeks to uphold its own traditions of the past, some of which are true and some false. But in our methods all denominational predilections are ignored. We pause not to inquire what Brother Calvin or Brother Wesley taught, nor what others taught before them or since. We go back to the teachings of Christ and the Apostles and Prophets, and ignore every other teaching. True, all denominations claim more or less to do this, but they are more or less handicapped by their traditions and creeds. They look through colored spectacles. We ignore all those and strive to view the Words of Inspiration in the light of the context only, or in the reflected light from other passages of Scripture.

There is another reason why our position is blessed of God – the time mentioned in the Scriptures when the wise ones of God's people are to understand is here. The Scriptures show what all people are beginning to realize clearly – that we are in the dawn of the New Dispensation. All the wonderful inventions of the last eighty years corroborate the testimony that these are the foregleams of a New Dispensation; and that now, when these earthly blessings are increasing, is the time when God promised that He would give special enlightenment respecting His Word and Plan, which He declares He purposely kept under a veil, a partial mystery. The Mystery of God is to be finished, completed, and the full Plan of God is to be revealed in this New Dispensation already dawning.

We are also asked, "Is the INTERNATIONAL BIBLE STUDENTS ASSOCIATION affiliated with any of the regular organizations or creeds?"

It is not. We purposely avoid all such trammels of thought. Nevertheless, we are sympathetic with all Christian people of every creed. We are realizing that the various denominations were organized, not for the purpose of dividing and distracting the Lord's Flock, but each with an endeavor to find the light and Truth. We urge Christians to ignore all sectarian fetters and fancies, and point out that there is but one Church, and that there is but one Head of the Church.

Our public meetings are preferably held in large auditoriums, opera houses, etc., for these prove to be common meeting places for people of all faiths, and those without any denominational bias – all who are Truth seekers, not satisfied with the husks upon which they have been endeavoring for some time to feed.

We are often told that considerable interest and comment attaches to the fact that our Association uniformly advertises its meetings with "Seats free and no collections." This has become quite a trade-mark with our Association, because it is so different from the usual practise; and an explanation was requested as to the object of this, and as to how we get along without money, or how money is raised to meet the expenses, which are often quite large.

As thinking people, we have for years noticed that the money question has been the burning question in nearly all religious meetings. The Church members are usually assessed up to the extent of their willingness, or more, and the public collections are specially taken to "milk the goats" – to get money from the worldly. We do not find this method to have Scriptural sanction, and we are seeking to follow the teachings and example of Jesus and the Apostles.

The work started along the lines of these examples thirty years ago seems to commend itself to all Bible students. They received help freely; they are glad to extend assistance to others without money, without price, without collections. Nor are collections found to be necessary. The Association receives whatever contributions are sent in to it for the carrying on of the work. Such moneys are not put up as Foundation Funds, nor consumed in expensive buildings, but are used promptly, freely, in the dissemination of free literature and in providing free public meetings. The Association is content to spend what the Lord thus sends to it, and does not go into debt, or make appeals for more money.

Each local class, in arranging for public meetings, follows the same course. Nevertheless, in the case of the new classes, or those financially weak, the general Association helps with the expenses. All meetings conducted by the Association's representative speakers, and under its auspices, are strictly free.

"Since you are not gathering people into different denominations, and since your INTERNATIONAL BIBLE STUDENTS ASSOCIATION has no creed but the Bible, what would you say that your Association aims to gather the people into, and what reply would you make if one should charge you with trying to build up a new denomination at the expense of others?" may be asked.

Our Association endeavors to bring all Christian people into relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, as His members. We recognize that the different denominations contain true people of God, and we are in full sympathy with such, and are glad to co-operate with them in any manner, for the furtherance of the Lord's work in harmony with the Scriptures. Our only opposition to sectarianism is that it attempts to divide God's people, insists upon the theories of the Dark Ages, and refuses to recognize the Bible as paramount in authority. We urge Christian people to stand for the Divine Character, Plan and Word, even though this should mean opposition and persecution from those of the sectarian spirit.

The INTERNATIONAL BIBLE STUDENTS ASSOCIATION labors specially for Christian unity, on the Bible basis, in harmony with the words of the Apostle, that "By one Spirit we are all baptized into one Body." – I Cor. 12:13.

THE PEOPLES PULPIT ASSOCIATION

This is an affiliated association organized to conduct the interests and affairs of the Household of Faith in New York State, and from that centre, according to the requirement of the laws of that State. It guides the interests of the Bible Students as respects the holding of Public Meetings, supplying speakers and literature freely.

THE WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY

Is the PARENT organization, through which the moneys for all parts of the work are supplied. To it all voluntary donations for the work should be made.

Brother CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL is President of all three of these organizations. Newspapers and the public frequently refer to him by the titles "Reverend," "Mr." and "Doctor"; but he prefers to be known as "Brother" or "Pastor," because these are Bible terms.

There are great truths that pitch their shining tents
Outside our walls, and though but dimly seen
In the gray dawn, they will be manifest
When the light widens into perfect day.

[R5156 : page 8]

OUR LORD'S KNOWLEDGE OF HIS PRE-EXISTENCE  Audio

"By His knowledge shall My righteous Servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities." – Isa. 53:11.
T
HIS STATEMENT implies that our Lord's knowledge had some very important relationship to His work. Without this knowledge, although He had made His consecration, He might not have been able to withstand the attacks of Satan, and the misinterpretations of the Scriptures which the Adversary used to try to turn Him aside from that consecration. The knowledge which our Lord had at thirty years of age, a perfect man, was that of His miraculous birth, that in some manner Jehovah was His Father, and that in some manner He was to fulfil the Old Testament Scriptures. This was information enough to lead Him up to the point of consecration. With the larger knowledge which came to Him later, came testings to prove His loyalty. From the beginning He was loyal in His intention and thought; but we may infer from the Scriptures that there was, at least, a possibility that without the knowledge which He had, He might not have been competent to meet the besetments of the way.

This experience is similar to our own. When we consecrate ourselves, we have a sufficiency of knowledge for that step. As we proceed, we are guided into the knowledge of the Truth, which constitutes part of the grace of God to assist us in making our calling and election sure. As the Lord said, "The Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth and will show you things to come." (John 16:13.) So apparently the Holy Spirit guided Jesus Himself and showed Him both of the future and of the past – made the Plan of God as plain to Him as it now is to us. He understood it better, however, because His mind was perfect, while our minds are imperfect.

HIS LIFE PRINCIPLE TRANSFERRED TO A LOWER PLANE

When considering the question as to how and when our Lord Jesus, the Man Christ Jesus, came to an appreciation of His pre-human condition, we struggle with a question respecting which we have no direct revelation. We are, therefore, left to deductions, and different minds might draw different deductions from the facts and circumstances of the narrative. Of one thing we are assured, namely, that during our Lord's ministry He had a clear knowledge of the heavenly things, as His words indicate. He said to Nicodemus, "If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall you believe if I tell you of heavenly things?" (John 3:12.) Again, He said to His disciples, "What and if ye shall see the Son of Man ascend up where He was before?" (John 6:62.) On the night of His betrayal He said to the Heavenly Father, "Glorify Thou Me with Thine own self, with the glory which I had with Thee before the [R5157 : page 8] world was" (John 17:5), showing that He had knowledge of His pre-human existence. We question then, How and when did He obtain this knowledge?

Reasoning on this subject we see in the Scriptures nothing that says that the Logos, who was with the Father from the beginning, entered into the body of Jesus, and thus used the flesh of Jesus as a veil or covering. On the contrary, the record is that the Logos was made flesh, not that He got into flesh. Hence, we disagree with the theory of the incarnation; it is from a deranged theology. The Bible tells us that the Logos was made flesh and that He became the Man Christ Jesus, that He humbled Himself and took a bondman's form and was found in fashion as a man. (Phil. 2:5-8.) The Bible says that He laid aside the dignity and honor which He once had; that He became poor – not that He posed as poor while in the flesh, but that He who was rich became poor for our sakes. (2 Cor. 8:9.) The necessity of this procedure we see in the Bible arrangement that, "Since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead." (I Cor. 15:21.) He came to be a corresponding price for the first man's life and life-rights.

From these Scriptures we are led to the conclusion that the spark of life previously vivifying the Logos was transferred from the spirit plane to the human plane – from the higher plane or nature to a lower plane or nature. This glorious being was begotten of the Holy Spirit and ultimately born a human being. The same spark of life, we believe, was maintained. The very fact that His spark of life could not come from the condemned Adamic race, assures us that the same spark of life was transferred to the womb of the Virgin Mary. This child that was born, then, was born like other human children, only that He was perfect, because of the perfect germ of life from which He was developed. He would certainly be a very peculiar boy, and wiser than other boys. We read further that he not only grew in stature, but in wisdom and in favor with God and man. (Luke 2:52.) Humanity perceived that He was different from others. The whole matter was pleasing to God, to whom Jesus became more and more pleasing as He neared maturity.

DEVELOPMENT OF HIS SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY

When He was twelve, Jesus had, apparently, much knowledge. He knew, probably from His mother, that He was miraculously born and that He was different from others. He had also His mother's explanation that He was to be the "Son of the Highest" and fulfil the predictions respecting the Messiah. (Luke 1:32,33,55.) At this time He began to inquire – not by way of showing His precocity, but in sincerity and in truth – whether or not this was the time when He should begin His ministry. He began to consider at what time a man should become a priest – thinking of His responsibilities as a priest. The doctors of the Law must have marveled that a child of twelve should think of such questions. We may suppose that a dialogue took place, the results of which satisfied His mind that this was not the time when He should begin His ministry. He did not have this knowledge by any inductive process, but obtained it by inquiry of the Scriptures and of those who were best versed in the Scriptures. The decision was that there was nothing for Him to do until He was thirty years of age.

Then we read that He returned home with His mother and her husband Joseph, and was subject to them. He did not then enter upon His work of ministry. He treated Himself as a minor, subject to those who had charge over Him. This was His condition until He came to John at Jordan. There is not a suggestion anywhere that He had previously manifested any teaching powers. He was a learner, not a teacher. Every Sabbath day He was in the synagogue to hear the Word of God read, to meditate upon it and to know the Divine requirements respecting Messiah and the wonderful things prophesied of Him. Evidently he was perplexed in the same manner that the Jewish nation was. But He had a different cast of mind from theirs. They wondered and queried as to His knowledge.

HIS KNOWLEDGE AT THE AGE OF THIRTY

At thirty years of age our Lord certainly must have had much knowledge which Adam did not possess when he was on trial. Jesus had a knowledge of what sin is [R5157 : page 9] and what the penalty for sin is; of the fact that God arranged for the redemption of mankind, to be accomplished through the great Mediator of the New Covenant – a Savior, a Redeemer, a Deliverer. He knew of the Divine Law written in the Decalogue; of the inability of others to keep the Law and of His ability to keep it. His mother had told Him of His miraculous birth, of the message that had come through Gabriel and of the prophecies of Anna and Simeon. This amount of knowledge would be very valuable to Him. He had also in mind the prophecy respecting the future of the great Messiah that was to come and deliver the world.

But what He evidently lacked was the knowledge of the deeper things of the Scriptures. He evidently found perplexities in the Bible. While He had not received the Holy Spirit, yet He was much better qualified to understand the Scriptures than was the fallen race. But the Apostle says that "the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God...because they are spiritually discerned." (I Cor. 2:14.) Jesus had not been begotten of the Holy Spirit, therefore He did not have the understanding of the prophecies and of the types of the Law.

But our Lord did not begin to teach until after He was anointed, when He invited His disciples to join Him. They were to proclaim the message without understanding the matter at all, that the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand and that Israel should try to get near to God, to be prepared for this Kingdom when it should be revealed. Our Lord put His power upon them so that they cast out demons; for they had no power of the Holy Spirit until after Pentecost.

Similarly, now we see that no one is competent to be a teacher in the Church of Christ as an Elder except He be fully consecrated, except he come under the terms and conditions necessary to the begetting of the Holy Spirit. Apparently the people knew of our Lord's consecration. When our Lord had received the begetting of the Holy Spirit at His consecration at Jordan, John the Baptist both saw the descent of the Holy Spirit and heard Jehovah's testimony, and afterward said that he "saw and bare record." If the multitude had seen and heard, he would not have needed to bear record that Jesus was the anointed of God. – John 1:32-34.

HIS ILLUMINATION OF MIND AFTER SPIRIT-BEGETTING

After His baptism Jesus Himself became conscious of some great change in His own condition and in His relationship to the Father and to spiritual things; for we read that at the time when John saw the Holy Spirit descend upon Him, "the heavens were opened unto Him." (Matt. 3:16.) By "heavens" here is meant, not that Jesus was given a telescopic view of things beyond the sky, but that the higher things were opened to Him – the things which as a natural man He could not receive. No matter how perfect a man may be, he cannot receive spiritual things. As St. Paul says, "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness [meaningless] unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." – I Cor. 2:14.

We assume that at the very moment when our Lord received the Holy Spirit an impression was made upon the convolutions of His brain which would give Him those very recollections of His pre-human condition which otherwise the natural brain could not have. In the natural man, every impression of the mind is recorded in the convolutions of the brain. We can see how the convolutions of our Lord's brain could have been so impressed that they would reproduce the experiences, the knowledge and the very thoughts which He had prior to His being made flesh. We know that that very moment marked the time of our Lord's spirit begetting, and we believe that He then received special knowledge of heavenly things.

Instead of beginning the ministry for which He had prepared for thirty years, He turned aside into the wilderness and studied the Scriptures for forty days. He had already had many times forty days to think over these Scriptures, and if He had had the same power of understanding before His consecration that He afterwards had, He would not have needed those forty days for study, but would have given them for service in His ministry. Very evidently, then, all the years of His life on the human plane had brought Him no such perception as He now had through this glow and illumination of mind, received when He came up out of the water. He began to have the full scope and appreciation of the mission upon which He had entered, and everything written in the Scriptures respecting Messiah.

As He now studied the Law and the Prophets, He saw the terms of the Covenant of sacrifice in the light of this illumination; He saw the hitherto hidden meaning of the various types. He began to see that if Messiah would reign it would be by a manifestation of loyalty to God and to righteousness. As soon as He was illuminated, He saw the things pertaining to the suffering through which He afterwards learned obedience in the fullest sense possible. Thus He received the illumination which was so powerful to Him – just as it is a great illumination for us to see the terms and conditions of our calling – that we must walk in His steps if we would reign with Him. The Scriptures act as an enlightening power to those who are taught of God. Only those begotten of the Spirit can understand the real depth of God's Word.

In bewilderment our Lord saw the meaning of the Atonement Day sacrifices and of all the things written in the Book – the things which He had covenanted to do when He entered into consecration. He had already [R5158 : page 9] pledged Himself to do "everything written in the Book." But now He was finding out what this really meant – death, even the death of the cross!

HIS FURTHER ILLUMINATION AFTER SPIRIT-BIRTH

We see that when our Lord was raised from the dead a spirit being an equally miraculous work must have taken place; for again He received a change of nature. The One that was raised from the dead was the Spirit-begotten New Creature, who had all the record of His previous experiences, on both the spirit and the human plane.

How, then, did the Father raise our Lord from the dead a spirit being, and how could this spirit being have any knowledge of the things experienced in the flesh and also of the things of His previous existence before He was made flesh? We answer that this is impossible to understand, except that it is done by Divine Power. Whatever may have been the operation, after reaching the spirit plane His mind must have been stamped by Divine Power with recollections of both the earthly and the pre-human experiences. Otherwise all of our Lord's human and pre-human experiences would be valueless.

We see this also respecting the Church. We also are embryo spirit beings. And when we shall be raised in His likeness in the resurrection, we shall not have our fleshly brains for recollection, and we therefore shall be dependent upon the Divine Power for the memory of all [R5158 : page 10] the experiences of the present time. So when we read, "So also is the resurrection of the dead; it is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body" (I Cor. 15:42-44), we have this thought, that the Divine Power will impress this spirit body with the knowledge of all the blessed experiences of the present time, so that these experiences shall not be fruitless, but profitable to us, making us better qualified and more able for the Divine service, as well as for the carrying on of the work of the New Covenant.

OUR LORD "THE BRIGHTNESS OF JEHOVAH'S GLORY"

If our Lord had not been found perfect, loyal, faithful, in His pre-human condition, He would never have had the privilege of becoming a man in order to redeem man. He never showed any defects of character to be rectified, therefore, He did not need any of the experiences which aid in making character. His experiences as a man with adverse conditions were given to test His loyalty and obedience to the utmost.

Our Lord was faithful under all the favorable conditions of His pre-existent condition; He was faithful as a man; and having been glorified to the Divine nature He is still faithful. We may conclude, therefore, that His experiences on these three planes have all cooperated to demonstrate His character to the very highest degree – "the express image" of Jehovah. – Heb. 1:3.

THE YEAR BEFORE US
Standing at the portal of the opening year,
Words of comfort meet us, hushing every fear;
Spoken through the silence by our Father's voice,
Tender, strong and faithful, making us rejoice.
Onward, then, and fear not, children of the Day;
For His Word shall never, never pass away.

"I, the Lord, am with thee, be thou not afraid;
I will help and strengthen, be thou not dismayed.
Yea, I will uphold thee with Mine own right hand;
Thou art called and chosen in My sight to stand."
Onward, then, and fear not, children of the Day;
For His Word shall never, never pass away.

For the year before us, oh, what rich supplies!
For the poor and needy, living streams shall rise;
For the sad and mournful, shall His grace abound;
For the faint and feeble, perfect strength be found.
Onward, then, and fear not, children of the Day;
For His Word shall never, never pass away.

He will never fail us, He will not forsake;
His eternal covenant He will never break;
Resting on His promise, what have we to fear?
God is all-sufficient for the coming year.
Onward, then, and fear not, children of the Day;
For His Word shall never, never pass away.

[R5158 : page 10]

HOW RIGHTEOUS CHARACTER IS PRODUCED  Audio
O
UR WILL REPRESENTS our choice, but our choice is made up largely of our impressions and our judgment – or mis-judgment – of things surrounding us. As a child will reach for a finely polished razor or for a light and be cut or burned, so our wills sometimes grasp for things that are not good for us. From the time that we first heard the Lord's voice, therefore, the education of our wills has progressed; for all are defective in their choice, in their views of matters, and in their manner of thinking.

Our soundness of mind increases with our knowledge of the Divine Plan and of the character of our Lord. When we think of His perfection as the Logos and as the Man Christ Jesus, we are enabled to realize somewhat our own imperfection, and we thenceforth seek to eliminate those things which belong to our imperfect judgment. We recall that He was "holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners" – that He was perfect; and we realize, that having a consecrated mind, He entered the "narrow way" with a right will and a balanced mind, which would be accentuated by His experiences in life. With His perfect example before us, we seek daily to train our wills in harmony with the Divine will.

The will is the result of a certain combination of mental qualities, or faculties. We may, therefore, change our wills in various ways by having divers combinations of the mental qualities; for instance, one quality of the mind is called acquisitiveness – a desire to get, to control. Another quality of the mind has respect to justice, another to music, another to art, and so on.

If the quality of justice be small or if it be dormant, a person of large acquisitiveness might be led to steal. He would have no quality of justice to tell him that this act is wrong. Some one might be tempted to take money, or one might be willing to do something dishonorable to gratify love for music or what not. On the contrary, if one has a large organ of justice, it would control him. If this faculty were thoroughly awakened and brought into exercise, he would say, "No, it is wrong to steal. In this matter there are principles to be regarded." Thus his desire is not gratified at the expense of principle.

One's will is made up of the organs which control his conduct. If the selfish propensities rule, he will be selfish. In some people the organ of conscientiousness seems to be dormant. Along some lines these people act just as an animal would – without thought as to either their own motives or the effect that their actions will have upon others. If such people should at any time give their hearts to the Lord in consecration, their attention is sure to be called, sooner or later, to their manner of living. If they consult the Word of God for instruction, the Scriptures tell them that God is not pleased with their conduct. As a result of this information, they begin to learn to scrutinize their thoughts and words and doings, and in due time to change their ways.

CONSCIENTIOUSNESS GIVES STRENGTH OF CHARACTER

A person who has large veneration, large spirituality and large conscientiousness has great advantage over one who has small veneration, or small spirituality or small conscientiousness, for as different matters come up, these three faculties naturally agree and say, "This is right" (or wrong, as the case may be). When the thing seems right, judgment would say, "This is a proper thing." This kind of people can be martyrs for anything that they believe is right, for they are strong in three qualities of the mind which give them a force of character for righteousness.

A person who has less conscientiousness would have less of this strength of character. Strong will exerted in any direction produces strong character; bad will, bad character; good will, good character. We are to some extent what we are by birth. After our consecration God instructs us and we are so transformed by the renewing [R5158 : page 11] of our minds that we have our minds made up to do right instead of wrong. This making up of the mind is the formation of will.

We should strive to have strong will, strong character, and should put away everything that would be likely to weaken our character. One who builds strong character reasons out what he thinks is God's will – what he thinks is the right thing to do. Then he determines to do that thing and resolves to let nothing interfere with the accomplishment of his purpose. Whoever has a good, strong will has something to help him over every trial and difficulty in life.

[R5159 : page 11]

THE DELUGE EFFECT  Audio
– FEBRUARY 2. – GENESIS 6:9-22; 7:11-24. –

"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord." – Romans 6:23.
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CIENTIFIC BIBLE students are rapidly reaching the conclusion that we are fully justified in laughing at the so-called scientists who have denied the Bible story of the Deluge. The Bible is corroborated by Geology, Astronomy and History. The oldest records of Babylonia tell the story of the Deluge – of Noah and his ark.

To discredit the Bible, these archaeologists declare that the Genesis account was merely copied from the Babylonian records. How foolish! Who does not know that there were no records of ancient times that will at all compare with our Genesis account! None other even professes to give a connected history of the human family, a chronological line of 1656 years from Adam to the Flood, or a definite record, as the Bible does, of just how long it rained, just how high the floods rose and just how long was the period required for the waters to drain off.

"Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan" God's Book in vain.

But, says one, the theory of a deluge, whose waters would cover the hills and the mountains, might be thinkable if the earth were flat; but how could it possibly be true since we know that the earth is a sphere?

Geology comes to the rescue of the Bible student and points out distinctly that there have been several great deluges. It shows us great beds of sandstone, clay, shale, etc., all of which Science declares must have been placed where they are as the settlings of great floods. Some of these deposits are hundreds of feet below the surface.

When we ask where such floods could come from, Astronomy answers us, pointing us to Saturn and Jupiter, with their "rings." Scientists declare that these rings consist of minerals and water thrown far off in a gaseous state when the planets were at white heat. They subsequently cooled and formed into various strata or rings. Because of their great distance from the planets their motions are different, and they are held in suspense by the same laws which hold the planets themselves in space. Nevertheless, the superior weight of the planets draws them nearer and nearer.

The ring nearest the planet, and approaching it, is still held off by the "firmament" of circumambient air. The rotation of the planets on their axis gives least resistance at the poles; and these rings, after spreading out as great envelopes, gradually thin at the center, or equator, and thicken at the poles, until the weight at the poles becomes so great as to overcome the power or the strength of the firmament, and then breaking through from both poles, causes deluges.

NO RAIN ON THE EARTH

The astonishing statement that, prior to the Deluge, there had been no rain on the earth (Genesis 2:5), is in full agreement with what we have seen from the foregoing. The earth once had similar "belts" or "rings." These were precipitated, as we have described, one after the other, at long intervals during the Six Creative Days mentioned in the first lesson of the year. By means of these deluges, our minerals were deposited and our coal beds buried.

God, foreknowing all things, foreknew the necessity of the Noachian Deluge, and hence so timed the features of His Plan that the last of earth's "rings" was still unbroken when man was created. But it was no longer in the form of a ring. The waters above had approached the earth and formed a great watery canopy or veil, merely held off by the "firmament."

There could be neither rain nor storm under such conditions. The temperature of the whole earth was equable, the sun's rays acting upon the watery canopy as they do upon the white glass of a hot-house. The temperature was the same at the poles as at the equator. This accounts for the remains of tropical animals and of plant life found imbedded under hundreds of feet of ice in the polar regions.

WHY THE POLAR ICE?

Geology testifies to a Glacial Period, when great icebergs, carried by floods of water, rushed from the poles toward the equator. Geologists have traced great valleys cut by these icebergs. On their findings they base the theory that the earth was once ice-covered. Instead of attributing the ice to the period of the Deluge, 4,400 years ago, they add a handful of naughts; and the more they add, the prouder they feel of their achievements, because they think that they are getting away from the Bible and discrediting it.

But scientific Bible students are having their faith in God's Word established more and more. Without affecting the torrid zone, the warmer temperature is now extending itself into the frigid zone quite rapidly. "Greenland's Icy Mountains" will soon be things of the past. The poles are warming up. The ice caps are dissolving. Last winter was called the "straw hat season" of Alaska, because of the higher temperature than ever before known.

"THY WORD IS TRUTH"

The fitting of these facts to the Bible narrative is not only intensely interesting, but conducive to faith in God, in His providences, and in the Bible, and very conducive to a disregard of the wild guesses of "professors," who have no faith in the Bible and are seeking to discredit it.

The sudden break of the canopy of water would not only cause a deluge to come down at both poles, and the flow of great tidal waves toward the equator, as geologists show was the case, but it would also produce a sudden and intense cold at the poles. The water froze so rapidly that out of the solid ice animals have in recent years been dug, which have grass between their teeth.

We have only to put two and two together to have a chain of evidence linking us to the Bible. For instance, is it asked why it was colder at the poles then than now? The reply is: The more direct rays of the sun then, as now, fell on the equator; but the torrid zone was hotter than now, until the trade winds sprung up, which carried [R5159 : page 12] the heat and distributed it all over the earth. And the waters of the equator must have been hotter then, as the poles were colder, until the ocean currents set in – which, like the Gulf Stream, carry the water from the equator and distribute it along the shores of America and Europe – and the Japan and other currents, which in the Pacific carry their water warmed at the equator to the poles.

These processes, going on for 4,400 years, are gradually thawing out the polar regions, as all scientists agree; and this it is that has recently been causing larger numbers of icebergs from the glaciers of the polar region to break loose and float down, to the distress of mariners.

Still there remains the question, Why was not Noah's ark carried off by this swift current toward the equator? Why did it apparently remain not far from the place where it was built and come to rest on the top of Mount Ararat? Professor George Frederick Wright has dropped the suggestion which fits well with the Bible narrative. As we understand the professor, the geological evidences are that the swift currents of water, laden with icebergs and rolling rocks, visited various parts of Europe and America, and perhaps Asia, but seemingly avoided the vicinity of Mount Ararat. There, alluvial deposits are of extraordinary depth. The geologists say that while there was a commotion round about, there was an eddy and back water in that particular vicinity.

Is it too much for the child of God to believe that the Great Creator, who intended to preserve alive Noah and his family to begin afresh the population of the earth, was fully competent to regulate the currents of that Deluge?

"Faith can firmly trust Him,
Come what may."
It is pleasing to us, additionally, to note that the time required for the draining off of the waters (Genesis 8:1-14) is reasonable and in harmony with the scientific investigation conducted from the Bible standpoint.
THE CAUSE OF THE DELUGE

We have already seen that physical causes led up to the Deluge. Next let us inquire, Why did Divine Providence decree the obliteration of man, except Noah and his family? Why did He who knew "the end from the beginning" purposely allow that last canopy to remain to cause the Flood, instead of precipitating it before man was created?

The answer is that God foreknew the rebellion of Satan and his attempt to become the "Prince of this world." God also foreknew that His human son, Adam, would fall before the temptation which would come upon him. He permitted the temptation and the fall solely because He foresaw a way by which, ultimately, good would be accomplished thereby and valuable, instructive lessons be given both to angels and to men. These lessons test the love and loyalty of every creature in Heaven and on earth, and when rightly learned, will serve their purposes to all eternity.

All of God's dealings with His intelligent creatures are along the lines of absolute Justice, guided by Love Divine. But while Love can guide Divine Justice, Justice must rule, as we read: "Justice is the foundation of Thy Throne." (Psalm 89:14.) The Bible record is that at the time of the Flood wickedness had become so great that the conduct of mankind and the thoughts of their hearts were "only evil continually." – Genesis 6:5.

This great increase of wickedness for 1600 years is explained to have come, not merely from human depravity, [R5160 : page 12] but by the connivance of some of the angels. These, although created holy, perfect, became enamored of sin through humanity, until they became disobedient to God, and by their greater intelligence led humanity into depths of iniquity.

The Bible cites many instances in which holy angels have materialized, assuming human bodies and clothing. Thus three spirit beings, naturally invisible, appeared to Abraham as men and did eat and talk with Abraham; and he knew not that they were angels, until afterward. This power appears to have been possessed by all the holy angels before the Flood. It was then that some of them, becoming enamored of the beautiful daughters of men, took to themselves wives, and lived in their materialized bodies, preferring to live as human beings.

The Apostle Jude declares that thus they "left their own habitation," or condition as spirit beings, in violation of the Divine Law. Thus, instead of using their permission to appear as men to help and instruct mankind, they used this power to still more rapidly degrade humanity. Moreover, the children born of those angelic sons of God by human mothers were human beings of a new order – different from Adam's family. We read that they were giants – physical and mental – "men of renown."

The fact that they grew to manhood and became renowned proves that this improper relationship between angels and humanity continued for centuries, because in that primitive time full manhood was not reached in less than a hundred years. Those giant sons of the angels, begotten in lust and in violation of the Divine Law, would not, naturally, be renowned for their virtues or holiness, but the reverse. Therefore, it does not surprise us to read further that those sons of the angels tyrannized over humanity, and that the whole earth was filled with violence.

The time had come when God's displeasure with those conditions should be manifested – not by sending those angels and their giant-renowned sons and the depraved antediluvians of Adam's race to a hell of torture, but by merely overwhelming them in the Deluge. God thus set an example of His opposition to sin and His determination that, eventually, it should be fully stamped out. But neither in this, nor in anything else, did God ever suggest any thought of torturing sinners, or anybody, throughout eternity.

On the contrary, all those antediluvian sinners of Adam's race were as much redeemed by Christ's sacrifice as other sinners of the race at any time. They belonged to the great mass of mankind, with whom Messiah will deal during His Millennial Reign of righteousness. They will all be brought to an accurate knowledge of the Truth, like the remainder of the race. The object in so doing will be that after lessons of chastisement for any wilful disobedience, they may be, if they will, fully recovered from sin and death, and brought back to all that was lost – human perfection and everlasting life in an earthly Paradise restored – world-wide – at Jesus' cost.

As for the sons of the angels by human mothers, there is no hope for them. Their begetting and birth were not authorized of God. They were cut off in death. They were not redeemed. They will never be awakened nor resurrected.

As for the fallen angels themselves: The Bible tells us that for these 4,400 years they have been exiles from God, restrained "in chains of darkness," "until the Judgment of the Great Day." – Jude 6; 2 Peter 2:4.

We will supply a full treatise of this subject to our readers free, on receipt of a postcard request, addressed to Brooklyn Tabernacle, Brooklyn, N.Y.

[R5160 : page 13]

GOD'S RAINBOW COVENANT  Audio
– FEBRUARY 9. – GENESIS 8:1-9:17. –

"I do set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between Me and the earth." – Genesis 9:13.
T
HE HIGHER CRITICS refer us to recently excavated clay tablets found in Babylonia as the earliest record of the Deluge of Noah's day. These tablets, in coarse outline, represent Noah and a boat. A few words descriptive of the Flood follow. And we are asked to accept this as a superior account to the one given us in Genesis, of which today's lesson is a part! We are amazed! and recall to mind the prophecy of Scripture which discusses our day, saying, "The wisdom of their wise men shall perish and the understanding of their learned men shall not be apparent." – Isaiah 29:14.

Only the reputation of these men for learning saves them from ridicule; and we, of course, concede to them the right of their opinion. "'Each has a right to his choice,' as the old lady said when she kissed the cow." As for our part, the logical statements of Genesis respecting the particular time when the Flood began, the number of days that it rained, and the increase of the waters, seem reasonable, as does the further account of the cessation of the rain, and of the length of time in which the waters gradually receded, and the length of time in which the surface gradually dried and vegetation manifested itself. Thus the Genesis account of the Deluge is stamped trustworthy – a hundred times more trustworthy than the crude record of the Babylonian! To us it seems evident that Divine Wisdom guided in the Genesis account, but not in the other.

Naturally Noah and his family might dread another Deluge, not clearly understanding the origin of the Flood which had overwhelmed the world. Very appropriately God called their attention to the rainbow, when He assured them that never again would the whole earth be overwhelmed in water. We can see the philosophy of this, whereas Noah and his family merely had the matter by faith, not discerning the philosophy. We can see that when the last of earth's "rings" had come down there could not be another deluge, because there were no waters above the firmament to be precipitated. Since the Flood, we merely have the moderate supply of moisture, in the form of clouds in our firmament, and none in the form of a great envelope beyond the firmament.

Now we may see how it was that Noah had never seen a rainbow; because prior to the Flood, when the sun shone through the watery envelope as merely a great ball of fire, its rays did not strike directly through, and hence no rainbow was possible. But since the watery envelope broke, the fine vapors in the direct line of the sun's rays cause, naturally, the rainbow effect. And, as God declares, so long as there is a rainbow, there can never be a flood. God's words and ways are not less reasonable when we come to see their grand philosophy. On the contrary, the more we understand the Divine methods and operations the more we appreciate their wisdom.

THE TOWER OF BABEL

Generations afterward, when the family of Noah had multiplied, the meaning of the rainbow as a covenant between God and man – the guarantee against another deluge – was forgotten. The worldly-wise of that time were foolish enough to undertake the building of a great tower, to whose top they could go in the event of another deluge. Since they had neglected the Lord's message and disregarded His promise, He let them alone to make manifest their own folly in labor and sweat of face, which could prove of no avail.

Finally, however, when they were measurably wearied with their herculean task, and when they had, to some extent at least, learned a valuable lesson, the Lord confounded their language so that they could not understand each other, nor co-operate with each other in any such vast enterprise. Separated in tongue and in interest, they scattered. Their interests became diverse, and gradually manners and customs and color of skin, during the centuries, became more and more dissimilar. Thus the various races with their peculiarities of temperament and language had their start.

St. Paul tells us all this was a premeditated plan on God's part, as being to the best interests of humanity and most favorable for the outworking of the Divine purposes. He says, God "hath made of one blood all nations of men, for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation, that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him and find Him." – Acts 17:26,27.

How one part of God's Word sheds light upon another! Thus we are enabled to see how Divine Wisdom has had a supervision of the ultimate interests of humanity. Even though God has allowed man in his ignorance to become the servant of Satan, He still has protected him in a measure, and shaped his affairs for his ultimate good. That good, as we have seen, is to be fully attained by the world in general at the Second Coming of Jesus and the establishment then of His Messianic Kingdom, which will bind Satan and scatter the power of darkness and sin. It will shine forth as the Sun of Righteousness, to heal and bless and uplift the willing and obedient of mankind.

But the matter of separating the human family into different nationalities has been specially useful during the dark time preceding Messiah's Second Coming. More [R5161 : page 13] or less the nations have been occupied in watching each other and guarding themselves against each other. The barrier of language for centuries served to keep apart peoples living in close proximity, to hinder the running to and fro which has been going on, particularly within the last seventy years, since steam power became effective for transportation.

The commingling of all nations within the last sixty years is breaking down the national barriers wonderfully. It is fulfilling the word of prophecy, "My determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms." (Zephaniah 3:8.) The world of mankind is being brought into close touch, barriers of language are breaking down; and the breaking down of these barriers is favorable to human co-operation, either for good or for evil. Since mankind are sinners by nature, their co-operation is most likely to be along selfish lines, and therefore most likely to be evil.

So we find today that rich corporations are building together a great Tower of Babel for their protection against every kind of calamity which could come upon their riches. The laboring classes are doing likewise. The mechanics are building up a great Tower of Babel of Unionism, which they trust will deliver them from all adversity and in which they hope to be safe forever. Had it not been for the dispersion and for the language-barriers, no doubt these world-wide organizations of Capital and Labor would have developed long ago and the final great catastrophe or conflict between these great giants would have come so much the sooner, precipitating all its terrible anguish and disaster on humanity – [R5161 : page 14] "a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation." – Daniel 12:1.

FIRE, THE NEXT CALAMITY

St. Peter divides the history of mankind into three great Epochs, called "worlds" in our common version Bible, but more properly designated three great Epochs. The first Epoch of earth's experience ended with the Flood, and then the present Epoch began, styled by St. Paul "this present evil world," or Epoch, because during this time evil holds preponderance of power amongst men, even though they do their best.

The first Epoch, or order of things, was overwhelmed and brought to an end by a deluge of water; and St. Peter tells us that the present "world," or order of things, is to be brought to a conclusion by a deluge of "fire." But following the fire, there will be a new "world" or new Epoch, or order of things, much better than anything yet experienced by mankind. "The world to come whereof we speak" will be an Epoch of righteousness, because it will be under the direct rule and supervision of Messiah's Kingdom." – 2 Peter 3:10-13.

At first many Bible students were inclined to understand St. Peter's words to signify that the fire which will terminate the present order of things and usher in the New Age would be a literal fire, which would consume the physical earth and the heavens. However, closer study reveals the fact that the fire is of symbolic kind, which will merely consume present institutions – everything of the present time that is contrary to the Divine will – everything that is unjust, inequitable.

The "elements" which "will melt with fervent heat" will be the capitalistic and labor elements, and the strife between these, the friction, is already great. A little more and it will burst into a flame, as St. Peter prophesied. The "heavens" that will be involved will not be the Heavens of God's residence, but the ecclesiastical heavens – the church institutions. These will become involved in the strife between Capital and Labor, and they also will perish in that trouble time. But, thank God! the New Dispensation will, in the midst of the trouble, intervene; and it will prove to be as prophesied: "The desire of all nations." – Haggai 2:7.

As Noah and his family were the only ones spared from the physical wreck of the old order of things before the Flood, so St. Peter intimates that Christ Jesus is the Ark of Safety now for all who will be saved out of the present order of things. Christ's faithful followers of all denominations and nations will become, with Him, the Royal Priesthood of the future – the "new heavens" – the spiritual ruling power of the New Dispensation, or Messiah's Kingdom. Under their supervision, speedily a "new earth" – a new social order – will be inaugurated, in which selfishness will be wholly eliminated, and in which righteousness will prevail. Of this new order of things we read: "We look for a new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." – 2 Peter 3:13.

Although, doubtless, many human lives will be lost in that greatest trouble the world has ever known, with which this Age will end, nevertheless the great mass of humanity will still remain. But all their ingenious arrangements of the present time, social, financial and ecclesiastical, will have perished, and everything will have been put upon a new basis by the Great Messiah.

The Lord, in the prophecy of Zephaniah, describes the time of trouble that is coming, as a fire to consume; and then tells us that following the fiery baptism of trouble, He will send to mankind "a pure Message, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord to serve Him with one consent." (Zephaniah 3:9.) This teaches that mankind will not be wholly destroyed by the fiery trouble of that Day, but it teaches that the confusion of doctrines given forth in the name of the Lord will all terminate with this present Age. The Message of Divine grace and Truth which will be promulgated in the future will be pure, and the blessing to all who will receive it will be great.

[R5161 : page 14]

INTERESTING QUESTIONS
PROPER COURSE FOR PILGRIMS

Question. – Is it wise or proper for a Pilgrim en-journey to be entertained by those who are out of sympathy with the Vow and with the work of the Society in general, even though he be an Elder of the Class?

Answer. – Most decidedly not. Furthermore the Pilgrims should make clear to the Class that they had greatly erred in selecting such a one for an Elder, and should help them to rectify the matter as quickly as possible.

If the Class likes that Elder who is out of accord with the Society's work, it should not make a request for Pilgrim service. Some of the Lord's dear sheep are very stupid. Meekness and gentleness are commendable; but there are times when they would mean disloyalty to God.

MEANING OF VOICE OF JEHOVAH

Question. – It is said of Adam and Eve, "And they heard the Voice of Jehovah." What is meant by the "Voice" of Jehovah?

Answer. – We suppose that it refers to our Lord Jesus in His pre-human condition. The Logos was a god. The Logos, Word, Voice, of God, communicated with man, as the Representative of God.

[R5161 : page 14]

SOME INTERESTING LETTERS
MY DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

I am a stranger to you, having come into a knowledge of Present Truth only last spring; but as I had for long been Truth-hungry, I accepted all of the SCRIPTURE STUDIES with the avidity and zeal only known to those who have for long been starving for the Bread of Life.

I have consecrated, taken the Vow, and symbolized both by immersion.

At the time I came into the Truth, I was talking to a class (of women only) on Sociology, having previously given a course of lectures on History, Philosophy and philanthropic subjects. Indeed, for the past twenty-five years I have given the most of my time to giving talks on subjects in the line of humanitarianism, to women.

As I am very deaf, and as the only one talent I have is the gift to make clear the subject I am talking on, my friends have believed that my work has been useful and uplifting. Now, at the advice of our dear Sister Calkins, I wish to ask your advice upon a problem I have now for solution. Immediately upon my consecration I testified to my class as to the marvelous light that had come into the darkness of my life, and that as I considered the "Kingdom of God" was the one and only solution to the problems of present-day questions, hereafter I could not talk upon any other subject than that of the Kingdom.

In pursuance of this plan I invited some of the sisters "in the Truth" to come to my house for a study hour, thinking that gradually I would invite those outside who might manifest an interest in our subject. Then, learning of the Scriptural teaching regarding woman's sphere in the Church, I felt that I should like your advice as to my future work.

As I was perfectly willing to consecrate all, I had in this [R5162 : page 15] also meant my only gift, or talent – but I could not keep still – every one I met I talked to – I gave the "Divine Plan" into the hands of no less than twenty women; and many people formerly in utter darkness are coming to see the light.

And now, the women of my class of last winter and the winter before are begging me to talk to them again. I may choose my own subject, and I want to give some "Talks on the Bible." I have consulted a dear brother and sister here, and they advise me to give the talks – they think it is a wonderful opportunity. But we finally decided we would submit the question to you.

The situation is, I know, unusual, and as I told Sister C., it is so difficult to make the situation understood in all its details. But I think I have stated the main facts. Of course, my whole object will be to endeavor to have those who listen to me read the SCRIPTURE STUDIES for themselves.

I know, dear brother, you are a busy man, and I am sorry to trespass so much upon your valuable time, but I am so anxious to do whatever work I can at this time; for "the night cometh in which no man can work." And at the same time I do not wish to be disorderly or bring any reproach upon the Ecclesia. Now, will you please tell me what I ought to do?

If you would like to have me, I will give you a list of my subjects and a little synopsis of each.

I am praying only to be guided in this and in all things by the Spirit of Truth. Your sister in Christ,

CHARLOTTE C. HEINEMAN. – Cal.

REPLY
DEAR SISTER IN CHRIST: –

Yours of recent date is at hand and contents are noted. We rejoice with you in the fact that the Lord has found you worthy of receiving a knowledge of the Truth. May His continued guidance and blessing be with you, enabling you to profit by every experience which comes to you.

My thought would be that the Lord would be pleased to have you use the talent you possess. Apparently He has given you a constituency in which you can work and regarding which you have responsibilities toward Him. I would recommend, therefore, that after you have thoroughly familiarized yourself with the Truth, you resume your lectures to women, discussing nothing but the Truth, and stick close to the teachings in the volumes of STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES. The restriction that St. Paul makes regarding women's teaching refers to meetings of the Church, and these usually include both men and women. The meetings such as you would have would not be meetings of the Ecclesia, and to my understanding you would not in any wise come under the restriction mentioned by St. Paul. In such a case, even if some men should take upon themselves the position of women and attend one of your lectures, this would bring you under no condemnation.

Not only would it be proper for you to resume your lectures, but if your finances would permit, and the way should open for you to again meet and address women in other cities, whom you had formerly served, or whom you could reach, I would recommend that you extend your work accordingly.

Praying for you the Lord's guidance, wisdom and richest blessing in your endeavors to glorify His name, I remain,

Your brother and servant in the Lord.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

As an encouragement to some who may grow weary in well-doing, we report the instance of a man who said he got PEOPLES PULPITS stuffed into his pockets nearly everywhere he went. We solicited him for STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES in his work-place and got his order for six volumes immediately, he saying on sight of the titles that he was just reading a paper about them Sunday. He commended us to three others of his shop-mates with the result of an order for six volumes each. They in turn gave us the names of others yet to be called on, which we trust will likewise result in further sales.

Again, on the train Sunday returning from Bainbridge, we handed out "BRIMSTONE" PULPITS to the conductor and others, having given out 1,000 or more at the above town. When we left the train the conductor was still eagerly reading in a corner beyond interruption.

Trusting the multitude of your labors are continually sweetened by reason of the approval from above, and sending Christian love and Thanksgiving-day greetings,

Yours in the Master's Vineyard,
J. G.———Ohio.

page 15

BEREAN QUESTIONS IN SCRIPTURE STUDIES
Series VI., Study XIII. – Parental
Obligations of the New Creation.
FEBRUARY 2
Read P. 524, par. 1, to P. 526, par. 2.

TRAIN UP A CHILD IN THE WAY HE SHOULD GO."

(7) How should the homes of New Creatures be ruled, and when and how should the rod be administered, if necessary? P. 524, par. 1, 2.

(8) Define order, which has been called "Heaven's first law," and show how rewards and punishments are necessary accompaniments of the Law of Love in the ideal home. P. 525, par. 1, 2.

(9) How should parents guard themselves in correcting their children, either by word or action? P. 526, par. 1.

(10) How should Christian parents reason with their children and help them to understand the Divine requirements and necessity for discipline? P. 526, par. 2.

FEBRUARY 9
Read P. 527, par. 1, to P. 530, par. 2.

(11) At how early an age may a child appreciate the principles of righteousness, and when should the parent begin the work of character-building in a child? P. 527, par. 1.

(12) What is the all-important thing to be remembered in the training of a child? P. 528, par. 1.

(13) What will be the loss, as well as the bitter experiences of parents who fail to properly train their children? P. 528, par. 2.

(14) What element should chiefly characterize the atmosphere of the home, however humble it may be? P. 529, par. 1.

(15) What may be expected of a properly trained child as respects consecration to the Lord? P. 529, par. 2.

(16) How does the evil influence of a home in which selfishness is the law manifest itself in parents and children? P. 530, par. 1, 2.

FEBRUARY 16
Read P. 531, par. 1, to P. 536, par. 1.

CHILDREN BORN IN JUSTIFICATION.

(17) Explain how the children born of consecrated parents are justified. P. 531, par. 1.

(18) What is the provision of Divine Grace as respects children, only one of whose parents is a believer? P. 532, par. 1, 2.

(19) In the foregoing case, upon which parent does the headship devolve, if the wife be a New Creature? P. 532, par. 3.

(20) In a case where the husband is the New Creature, what should be his course with respect to the family? P. 533, par. 1.

(21) In cases where the children have not been properly trained in earlier years, what encouragement and suggestions may be offered to the parents? P. 534, par. 1, to P. 535, par. 2.

(22) What two principles should especially guide parents in training their children? P. 536, par. 1.

FEBRUARY 23
Read P. 536, par. 2, to P. 540, par. 2.

(23) How should the rights of maturity in a child be recognized and justly considered by parents? P. 536, par. 2.

(24) How should the education of a child be considered, especially with respect to a collegiate course? P. 537, par. 1; P. 538, par. 1.

(25) What kind of education should be regarded as far superior in every respect to that obtained in the schools of the world? P. 538, par. 2.

(26) What would be a reasonable business schooling? And why is such preferable now to a collegiate course? P. 539, par. 1.

(27) As for play: What are the advantages of proper exercise, and the deteriorating influence of useless and idle pleasures? P. 539, par. 2.

(28) How may children be taught to take pleasure in useful, helpful occupations? P. 540, par. 1.

(29) Why should economy of time, as well as of means, be inculcated in youthful minds? P. 540, par. 2.

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

VOL. XXXIJANUARY 15No. 2
A. D. 1913 – A. M. 6041
CONTENTS
Covenant Relationship with God Essential to Life Everlasting 19
Israel's Covenant Relationship Actual 19
The Covenant of Sacrifice 20
Distinction between Keeping and Fulfilling the Law 22
That Feature Fulfilled by Christ's Death 23
Death and the Resurrection 23
Adamic Death Scripturally Called Sleep 24
Earthly Phase of the Resurrection 25
Quietly Minding One's Own Business 26
Busybodying an Evidence of Unbelief 26
"Yet There is Room" 27
Abraham and the Hebrews 28
God's Call to Abraham 28
Children of Abraham 29
Abraham Was Very Rich 29
Riches Often Bring Trouble 30
God's Blessing Makes Rich 30
Interesting Letters 30

'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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[R5170 : page 18]

1913 – OUR YEAR'S TEXT – 1913

We have gotten out a motto card bearing this year's text, with a pretty design of grapes, the cup and the loaf, and with our text, "What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and will call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows unto the Most high."

We believe that nearly all of our readers will want one or two copies of this motto for their own use. Some will want a copy in each room. We suggest that so far as possible, Classes order these together, thus saving packing and carrying charges. The price singly will be 5c., by the dozen 30c., postpaid.

[R5165 : page 18]

BROTHER RUSSELL'S MORNING RESOLVE

MY EARLIEST THOUGHT I DESIRE SHALL BE:

"What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord [for grace to help]. I will pay my Vows unto the Most High." – Psa. 116:12-14.

Remembering the Divine call, "Gather My saints together unto Me; those that have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice" (Psa. 50:5), I resolve that by the Lord's assisting grace I will today, as a saint of God, fulfil my Vows, continuing the work of sacrificing the flesh and its interests, that I may attain unto the Heavenly inheritance in joint-heirship with my Redeemer.

I will strive to be simple and sincere toward all.

I will seek not to please and honor self, but the Lord.

I will be careful to honor the Lord with my lips, that my words may be unctuous and blessed to all.

I will seek to be faithful to the Lord, the Truth, the brethren and all with whom I have to do, not only in great matters, but also in the little things of life.

Trusting myself to Divine care and the Providential overruling of all my interests for my highest welfare, I will seek not only to be pure in heart, but to repel all anxiety, all discontent, all discouragement.

I will neither murmur nor repine at what the Lord's providence may permit, because

"Faith can firmly trust Him,
Come what may."

[R5162 : page 19]

COVENANT RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD ESSENTIAL TO LIFE EVERLASTING  Audio
G
OD IS NOT in covenant relationship with the brute creation; for to them He has made no promises, although He has made a general provision for their needs. But we may understand that with all His intelligent creation He has a covenant, or agreement, to the effect that so long as they will do His will they shall possess life. Because of violation of that arrangement, the fallen angels were cast off, "reserved in chains of darkness unto the judgment of the Great Day" (Jude 6), to receive their final punishment. When Adam and Eve were disobedient, they violated this covenant, and came under the sentence of death. "They like men [Heb. Adam], have transgressed the covenant; there have they dealt treacherously against Me." – Hos. 6:7, margin.

Because of Adam's transgression, the world is not in covenant relationship with God in any sense of the word. On the contrary, they are aliens, strangers, foreigners. (Eph. 2:11-13.) To some extent God brought Abraham back into covenant relationship, but not fully so. To the nation of Israel He made certain promises in the form of a Law Covenant, to the effect that whoever kept that Covenant would thereby demonstrate his worthiness to receive God's blessing promised to Abraham – that through him should all the families of the earth be blessed. – Gen. 12:3.

The Law Covenant was given to the Jewish nation; Moses was the mediator, for it was impossible to make the Covenant with Israel directly. Although they were unable to keep that Covenant because of inherited weaknesses of the flesh, yet it brought them a measure of blessing, as St. Paul points out. (Rom. 7:7.) While it lifted Israel above the degradation into which the Gentiles were falling, nevertheless it did not bring the blessing for which they longed. It did not remove the death penalty – it did not give them life.

In the clear light now shining for the people of God, we see that the Law Covenant was only a type of a better Covenant to be made with Israel after the Church of Christ has been glorified; that Moses himself was only a type of a better Mediator; that the sacrifices of the Law were only types of the "better sacrifices" mentioned in Heb. 9:23, and that their priesthood was a type of the Royal Priesthood of the Gospel Age. – Heb. 7:27.

In the Scriptures, the words covenant and promise are used synonymously. The children of Israel were under the Abrahamic Covenant long before they entered into the Law Covenant. They are still under those Covenants. St. Paul says, "God hath not cast away His people whom He foreknew." (Rom. 11:2.) Then he proceeds to say that after the Elect Church has been gathered from among the Gentiles, the favor of God will return to Israel; for they are still beloved for the father's sake. The fathers of Israel are the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The Jews are, therefore, under the Abrahamic Covenant. – Rom. 11:25-28.

ISRAEL'S COVENANT RELATIONSHIP ACTUAL

An actual covenant relationship is one that is fully established – not merely suggested, or proposed, but accomplished. As Israel approached Mt. Sinai, God proposed to make a covenant with them. When all was in readiness, the Covenant was made through Moses as the mediator. The work of mediation was twofold; the first part was the sprinkling of the Law, representing the satisfaction of Justice; the second part was the sprinkling of the people, representing the bringing of the people into covenant relationship with God. That Covenant was then fully made, and has remained in operation ever since. – Exod. 24:3-8.

With the Israelites, God was making a covenant which was to last for centuries. It was good for only one year at a time, however. For the first year the people were in harmony with God, but at the end of that time the cancellation of sins ceased; for the blood of bulls and of goats cannot take away sin. The whole arrangement was only a type. At the end of that first year, the Day of Atonement was inaugurated, and sacrifices were made for another year. The fact that the Atonement Day sacrifices were repeated year by year shows that they were efficacious for only a year at a time, and so never really took away sin. – Heb. 10:1-4.

After the Day of Atonement, the people made various kinds of offerings. Some of these seem to typify the presentation of the worshiper himself to God, as an indication that he wished to do the will of Jehovah. Others were for sin-offerings, indicating that the worshiper realized that there had been a measure of wilfulness in his conduct. So rigid are the requirements of the Law Covenant that only one Jew, the Lord Jesus Christ, was able to keep them. This He could do because He was perfect, and the Law is the measure of a perfect man's full ability.

That the Israelites were in covenant relationship with God through Moses, the mediator of their Covenant, is demonstrated by the fact that Moses said, "He hath declared [R5163 : page 20] unto you His Covenant, which He commanded you to perform, even the ten commandments." (Deut. 4:13.) Therefore the Jew is bound by the Law so long as he lives. (Rom. 7:1.) Although the Law Covenant is not intended to be an everlasting arrangement with the Jew, yet the only ones who have been able to get from under it are those who have come into Christ; the remainder cannot rid themselves of it. But the days draw nigh when the Lord God will make a New Covenant with them through a new Mediator, The Christ, who will assist them to keep the Law satisfactorily and thus to be delivered from the evil features of their Covenant.

At the close of the Babylonish Captivity, the Prophet Daniel asked the Lord for an explanation of the prophecies relating to his people. The answer to his prayer is given in detail. "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy." – Dan. 9:24-27.

For an elucidation of this prophecy, the reader is referred to STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, Vol. II, Study III. All these things were to be done in those seventy weeks. Of this period of time, we find that the seventieth week was the most critical, for it was the week during which Messiah was to confirm the Covenant. In our Study III, we show that this week began October, A.D. 29 and closed October, A.D. 36 – from the beginning of our Lord's ministry until the conversion of Cornelius, the first Gentile to receive the Holy Spirit.

THE COVENANT CONFIRMED FOR ONE WEEK

During that period of seven years, God bestowed special favor upon the Jews. At the beginning of that week of years, our Lord, who was then thirty years of age, presented Himself to God as a sacrifice. This presentation was the first feature of the antitypical Atonement Day work, and corresponded to the sacrifice of the bullock in the type. Our Lord began the antitypical sacrifices; as St. Paul says, "Then said He, 'Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God.' He taketh away the first, that He may establish the second." (Heb. 10:9.) Our Lord there began to take away the type and to establish the antitype. It was necessary not only to begin the work with the antitypical bullock, but to complete it and to take His place as the antitypical Moses, so to speak. This He did not accomplish until after His death on the cross.

Many other features of that antitypical Atonement Day work are not yet completed. It was a part of the Atonement for the High Priest to offer the Lord's goat and to take its blood into the Most Holy and to sprinkle it there. It was also a part of the Atonement Day work for him to come out and confess the sins of the people on the scape-goat, and a still further part for him to bless the people. During our Lord's ministry, He fulfilled various features of the types. At Calvary His work of sacrificing Himself was finished, and the Divine acceptance of that sacrifice was manifested.

The Prophet's statement that in the midst of the week Messiah would cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, implies that our Lord would there terminate the efficacy of the typical work for Israel as a people, and that they were rejected from Divine favor at the time that they crucified Him. A few days before His death, our Lord had said, "Behold, your house is left unto you desolate." (Matt. 23:38.) This rejection seems to have been symbolized when the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom, an indication of a breaking down, rather than of an opening up.

This rejection of the Jewish nation does not indicate the end of their Law Covenant. To the Church of Christ, who have been given the privilege of understanding the deep things of the Spirit of God, it appears that the efficacy of the typical sacrifices, which were offered year by year continually, ceased at the death of our Lord; and that since that time, as a nation they have had no Divine favor; but that the only ones who have had favor since then are those who have come out of Moses into Christ. The typical sacrifices continued until the time when Christ died, for the reason that Jesus Himself was under the Law, a part of which He fulfilled, and no feature of which can pass away until all has been fulfilled. – Matt. 5:17,18.

After our Lord's ascension, it was possible for greater work to be done than ever before. Under the Lord's blessing, thousands of Jews were gathered into the Gospel garner within comparatively a few days. The work of our Lord was cut short nationally, but it increased the opportunity of the Jews individually. There were only five hundred Jews who believed on Jesus until after His death, when there were thousands added to the number. (1 Cor. 15:6; Acts 2:41.) During the three and a half years following our Lord's death, God did not recognize the Gentiles, for He had said that He would give seventy weeks to the Jews, and therefore He allowed no favor to go to the Gentiles until that period had expired.

After the expiration of the seventy weeks of years set apart for Israel, the Gospel began to go to the Gentiles, to gather from among them "a people for His name." (Acts 15:13-18.) During this Gospel Age, the antitypical Atonement work has been progressing. Our Lord has already offered the antitypical bullock in the sacrifice of Himself. Since Pentecost, He has been offering the antitypical goat – the Church class. This work has been in progress for more than eighteen hundred years. As soon as it shall have been finished, the blood will be taken into the Most Holy, to sprinkle the Mercy-Seat and to "make atonement for all the people," as in the type.

THE COVENANT OF SACRIFICE

The Abrahamic Covenant, as it was given to Abraham, is a complete covenant, whose provisions include all mankind; for it reads, "In thee and in thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." (Gen. 12:3; 28:14.) Its promise is to THE SEED: (1) Jesus; (2) The Christ, Head and Body; (3) the earthly seed through them. Its provisions extend to all who have the faith of Abraham. The promise of God was that a blessing shall come to all the families of the earth. This promise was confirmed by an oath on the part of God, so that by two immutable things – the oath and the promise of God – the heirs of the promise may be sure of its fulfilment. – Heb. 6:13-18.

The Seed of Abraham, which is to bless all the families of the earth, was intended to be a Spiritual Seed. Since Abraham and his posterity were natural men, the only way by which they could become the Spiritual Seed was by the sacrifice of the earthly nature and the attaining to the spirit nature. The opportunity for making this sacrifice was first given to our Lord Jesus. By carrying out His covenant of sacrifice, He became the Head of the Seed which is to bring the blessing. – Psa. 50:5; 40:7-10.

During the Gospel Age, Jehovah has been selecting the members of this Spiritual Seed, that they may lay down their human life and earthly interests in order to attain to the spirit nature. The selection of this Seed has been the work of the Gospel Age. Soon the Seed will be all gathered; then the work of blessing the natural seed will begin, and through them the blessing will subsequently spread to all nations, as these shall accept the Divine favor.

The Church will always be in covenant relationship [R5163 : page 21] with the Father. The fact that He calls them sons implies that they are bound to Him. (John 1:12.) Every father is in covenant relationship with his children, and they with him. Every child has a responsibility to its father, and the father to the child. The fact that God has received the Lord Jesus and the Church as sons (Heb. 3:6) signifies that they are in covenant relationship with Him. St. Paul says, "We are the children of God; and if children, then heirs." (Rom. 8:16,17.) His statement not only implies that relationship, but proves it; for the sons have a right to the things which the father has provided for his children.

All who hunger and thirst after righteousness (Matt. 5:6), all whose souls long for God "as the hart pants after the water brook" (Psa. 42:1), and who, having found Him, have consecrated themselves to Him – these have received the anointing of the Holy Spirit, witnessing with their spirit that they are sons of God. (Rom. 8:14-16.) As anointed sons these can discover in themselves the worthy traits of true sons – loyalty, zeal, energy, discretion, faithfulness, obedience.

There are, however, conditions attached to this covenant of sacrifice; there are certain requirements which must be fulfilled. All must become partakers of the sufferings of Christ, if they would participate with Him in the glories to follow. But the arrangements for keeping our contract are complete in Christ. Therefore if we put ourselves under His care, this covenant will be everlasting with us, and we shall have "the sure mercies of David." – Isa. 55:3.

COVENANT RELATIONSHIP TO BE RE-ESTABLISHED WITH HUMANITY

In Jer. 31:31-33, we read, "I will make a New Covenant with the House of Israel and with the house of Judah...after those days." The expression, "those days," we understand to refer to Israel's "seven times" of punishment, promised by the Lord for the violation of their Law Covenant. This New Covenant is to be made with Israel alone; for God never purposed to make a covenant with the Gentiles. The New Covenant will properly be so called because it will take the place of the old Law Covenant, which God made with Israel and which [R5164 : page 21] was broken by them. After Israel shall have been fully established under their New Covenant, all other nations will be privileged to come into this relationship after the manner set forth in the Law. All the world will eventually be blessed thereby.

The New Covenant, then, is to be made with such of Abraham's descendants as are able to receive it. Since the people are not worthy to enter directly into relationship with God, that Covenant must have a Mediator. The Mediator is the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Church, His Body. The Scriptures indicate that the Mediator is nearly completed.

The Word of God distinguishes between a covenant and its mediator. A covenant does not go into operation until after it has been fully mediated. When Moses mediated the Law Covenant, he first offered sacrifices; then he took the blood of the animals and, dividing it into two parts, sprinkled both the Book of the Law and the people. (Exod. 24:4-8; Heb. 9:19-24.) After he had done this, the Law Covenant was in force; and it will continue until superseded by its antitype, the New Covenant.

The Mediator of the New Covenant will be The Christ. For more than eighteen hundred years, our Lord has been offering the great antitypical sacrifices of Himself and His Church. As soon as He will have finished making application of the blood, He will have made satisfaction for the sins of the world. This act will correspond to the sprinkling of the Book by Moses. Divine Justice having accepted this arrangement, the Mediator will antitypically sprinkle the people; that is, he will show them how to come back into full accord with God.

The New Covenant will begin to swallow up the old Law Covenant as soon as the Kingdom is established. The Scriptures indicate that the first to receive it will be the Ancient Worthies. Raised from the dead to human perfection, they will form the nucleus of the new arrangement in the earth. Next in order will be those who have been known as Christians, but who have not been consecrated to death, and Jews who have been consecrated to the Law, but who have been blinded. Gradually the light will come to all who love righteousness and hate iniquity. Sprinkled from all sympathy with evil, they will make their declaration of full loyalty to God. In due time this light will spread to all kindreds and tongues and nations.

CHANGE OF HEART IN THE MILLENNIUM

The Prophet Jeremiah, speaking of the New Covenant (31:34), says, "They shall know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." The sins and iniquities of Israel will no longer be remembered against them. Christ will have appeared on their behalf and made satisfaction for their sins. They will then be as free from original sin as the Gospel Church are. The Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ is the sufficiency for all. – I John 2:2.

The Prophet Ezekiel tells us that during the next Age the hearts of mankind will be changed. He says, "Thus saith the Lord God;…A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh." (Ezek. 36:22-27.) This change of heart is entirely aside from the making of the New Covenant. It will take a thousand years to remove the stoniness out of the hearts of mankind and to make them stand without a Mediator. Those who receive everlasting life must attain this condition; for all of God's creatures who would live forever must keep His Law perfectly.

During the Millennium, God will not recognize the people, because of their imperfection, their weakness; but all of their dealings will be through the Mediator, until they shall have been brought up to perfection. At the end of the thousand years, they will be delivered up to the Father, unblamable before Him. (I Cor. 15:24.) God will then receive them as sons, heirs of the earthly blessings which He has provided for mankind – the things given to Adam. The very moment when the merit of Christ is applied for the world is the same moment when they will be turned over to the Mediator. Then they will be in covenant relationship with God, but only through the Mediator, until they shall have reached human perfection and shall enter into this relationship directly with the Father.

The New Covenant will continue everlastingly; and as it is proper to say that Moses mediated the Law Covenant, so we may say that Christ will mediate the New Covenant. But it would not be proper to say that Moses is now the Mediator of the Law Covenant; for a covenant does not need a mediator after it has been mediated. So the New Covenant will need no Mediator after the thousand years. But the title "Mediator" may belong to Christ to all eternity, just as one who has been a judge, ever after receives the title of "Judge."

At the end of the thousand years, when the Messiah [R5164 : page 22] will have accomplished His work of Restitution, He will cease to act as Mediator. But the Covenant will continue to stand; for if that relationship with God were to be removed from the people, they would have no blessing of everlasting life. That blessing depends upon covenant relationship with God. Under the favorable conditions of the New Covenant, whosoever will may have an opportunity to become the children of The Christ, the Seed of Abraham.

At the conclusion of the thousand years, the willing and the obedient receive the commendation, "Well done," and will be accepted as fit for the condition of everlasting life on the human plane. Those who prove to be unworthy of life will be destroyed in the Second Death.

[R5164 : page 22]

DISTINCTION BETWEEN KEEPING AND FULFILLING THE LAW  Audio
T
HE QUESTION, Did the keeping of the Law Covenant require the death of Christ? is a peculiar and very deep one. On one side it might be argued that the death of Christ was sacrificial, that no law would be just which would require the death of an innocent person; that since God's Law is just, it did not require the death of an innocent man, and that therefore it was not necessary for Jesus to die in order to fulfil the Law. But this is only one side of the question.

The other side of the argument is that our Lord Jesus, who loved His God with all His heart, soul, mind and strength, and who had consecrated His life to do the Father's will, must do that will and avoid everything contrary to it, in order to live in harmony with His consecration. As soon, therefore, as He learned that it was God's will that a redemption price of a perfect human life should be paid for Adam and the world of mankind, He would present Himself in consecration and faithfully carry out all that is implied in that consecration, because He loved God with all His heart, soul, mind and strength.

It would be reasonable, also, to expect that if our Lord knew that the hundreds of millions to whom He had become "neighbor" by becoming human were in great difficulty and could be delivered only by a sacrifice on His part, He would, if He loved His neighbor as Himself, want to do something for their relief. This desire would lead Him to make the sacrifice.

If to this we add the thought that God would not permit our Lord to perish, but would restore Him to life and glory, and that Jesus had in mind the promise that He would not be suffered to remain in death, we at once perceive that He would be willing to die for His unjust neighbor, because He loved His neighbor as Himself.

These two views, so directly opposite, nevertheless coincide in that it was left open for our Lord to will what He would do. The Father gave Him an opportunity and set before Him a great reward; the Father did not entrap our Lord into an engagement from which He could not draw back. When we come to view the subject from this standpoint, we see the reasonableness of the whole arrangement.

In His consecration at baptism our Lord had said, "Lo, I come...to do Thy will, O God" (Heb. 10:7); I will keep nothing back that You require. Such obedience would have been as much as the Law could require of any one. On the other hand, Justice would not require a sacrifice, for Justice could not demand it. Willingness to do anything that Justice would demand constituted His keeping of the Law. This point is so fine that it is almost impossible to explain it in language. We can know, however, that the Father set before Jesus the great reward, and that for the joy set before Him He endured the cross and despised the shame. – Heb. 12:1,2.

GOD'S WILL EXPRESSED IN THE TYPES

There is a distinction between fulfilling the Law and keeping the Law. The Jews did neither. They partially kept the Law and endeavored to do still further than they were able to do. But they could not fulfil the Law; for it is so great that it is beyond the power of man to fulfil all of its requirements.

The Law consists of two different parts. The one is a regulation of the morals – the duty of all toward God and toward fellow-men. In this sense of the word, the Law stands for justice – for what is right. The Jews endeavored to do right and thus to keep the Law, but were unable to do so on account of hereditary weaknesses.

Our Lord Jesus, however, kept the Law in this sense. By so doing He earned the right to everlasting life on [R5165 : page 22] the human plane. This the world will do in the next Age. They will be enabled to keep the Law and will get everlasting life, the reward of obedience to the Law. But Jesus did more than keep the Law of Justice. He also fulfilled that part of the Law which was applicable to Him, and He is still fulfilling the Law.

The other part of the Law consists of the ceremonial features, which constitute the types and shadows mentioned by St. Paul. (Heb. 10:1.) These prophetic features of the Law represent the Divine will in respect to the means by which mankind will be restored from the plane of degradation, sin and death to Divine favor. This prophetical fulfilling of the Law consisted in the carrying out in antitype of one important feature – the Passover institution. The killing of the lamb, the sprinkling of the blood and the eating of the flesh, were prophetical – typical.

Jesus fulfilled His part of the type when He was put to death. It was only by virtue of His sacrifice of His will entirely to the Divine will that He was able to fulfil the prophecies, for these were not commands to mankind in general. In these was a suggestion of things which were not commanded, but which God desired to have accomplished at some time through some one, and through which the Redemption of the human race and the Restitution of all things lost by Adam would be effected.

In the performance of the Atonement Day sacrifices the blood was taken into the Most Holy and typically made satisfaction for sin. Jesus accomplished a part of this work. Since then He has ascended on High and made satisfaction for us, the Church class, by means of which we may walk in His footsteps by consecration. (Heb. 9:24.) All down through the Gospel Age He has been accepting this class, and eventually will accomplish their sacrifice. This was typified by the killing of the Lord's goat.

Jesus, we see, has been fulfilling the Law during these eighteen hundred years, as well as during His ministry. This work will not be finished until the end of the Age. Jesus said that He came not to destroy, but to fulfil the things of the Law (Matt. 5:17); and He will continue the fulfilment of the types of the Law during the thousand years, until all is fulfilled at the close of the Millennial Age. Some of these things are future; such as the sprinkling of the blood of the antitypical Lord's goat, the sending away of the antitypical scape-goat, and the appearance [R5165 : page 23] of the antitypical High Priest to bless the people. It will take the entire thousand years of Christ's reign to get back all that was lost through Adam's disobedience and that is to be restored to mankind through the merit of Christ.

THAT FEATURE OF THE LAW FULFILLED BY CHRIST'S DEATH

The moral Law – the Ten Commandments – and the Covenant, of which it is a part, promised life to those who would keep its requirements. Jesus could have had that everlasting life by doing everything that the Law required, for the Law demands no more than justice. He could have obeyed every command of the Law without sacrificing any of His rights. But the prophetic features of the Law could not have been fulfilled unless some one had sacrificed his life, and the one who would do this must be the equivalent of the one who had sinned. Since the one who had sinned was perfect, in the image of God, the one who would be a corresponding price to fulfil the Law and to bring out all those blessings to the world that the Law prophesies, must be one who could fully keep the Law. Only such a person would be competent to make the sacrifice and thus to fulfil the prophetic features of the Law.

This requirement was fully met by Jesus, who was "holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners" – everything that Justice could expect. He gladly kept the Law, and did even more. He proposed to do everything written in the Book; for He had said, "Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God" (Psa. 40:8) – everything that had been written. His consecration went beyond the moral Law and embraced everything that God had written prophetically. All this He fulfilled. As a result He is the Savior, "able to save to the uttermost" all that come to the Father through Him. – Heb. 7:25.

We cannot think that God would be offended with any one who came up to the requirements of the Law, but who did not go beyond. Since God had said, "If any one keep all this Law, I will do My part and give him everlasting life," Justice could ask no more. If such a one should not go forward to sacrifice, Justice could not be offended, for it could not demand that he do so.

In fact, the Father does not require the righteous of this Age to sacrifice, nor will He expect the world to do so in coming to the plane of human perfection. But if God should set before any of the human family an opportunity to offer their lives in doing the Divine will, they should esteem this a privilege. The Father would not consign one to death, however, who should fail to do this. But every one who loves the Lord should think, "Here is my opportunity to show my trust, my loyalty to God." In this respect the example of Jesus will stand out for all eternity to angels and to men, so that if ever God gave even a hint of what His will would be, they would hasten to do that will and not hesitate for any consideration.

There is a lesson also of love in the matter. We are not to content ourselves with saying, "I did not lie; I did not steal; I did unto my neighbor as I would wish done unto myself." We are not to stop with this as a sufficiency; no one will get life on any plane if he does no more than this. Our privilege is to anticipate God's will through watching the types of the Law and the words of our Lord and Head. We are to count all things as loss and dross in comparison with this opportunity which we have. Nothing else should be counted so great a privilege as that of following in the footsteps of Jesus.

FOR CHILDREN OF BELIEVERS
MORNING PRAYER
Dear Father, hear a little child
Who offers thanks to Thee;
Through all the darkness Thou hast kept
A watch-care over me.
O Father, keep me through this day,
I would to Thee belong;
May love control my little hands,
May kindness rule my tongue.
Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done
Upon this earth again;
Dear Father, hear my little prayer
For Jesus' sake. Amen.
EVENING PRAYER
Dear Lord, before sweet slumber comes
To close my weary eyes,
Up to Thy Throne of Heavenly grace
My voice in prayer would rise.
For all the blessings of this day
I give Thee thanks and praise.
Forgive me, Lord, for Jesus' sake,
For all my naughty ways;
And as I lay me down to sleep
Do Thou an angel send
To watch beside me all the night
For Jesus' sake. Amen.

Rebecca F. Doney.

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DEATH AND THE RESURRECTION  Audio
D
EATH IS NOT a sleep; it is destruction. Dead bodies decay because the work of destruction is progressing in them. We say that mortification sets in; that is, the destruction of the tissues goes on until everything that had life in that body has perished. This process of decay is common to both man and beast, and also goes on in the vegetable world. As the Scriptures say, "That which befalleth the sons of men befalleth the beasts; even one thing befalleth them; as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no pre-eminence above a beast....All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again." – Eccl. 3:19,20.

Very few people seem to realize what is meant by the term "soul." The Scriptural teaching is that man IS a soul, not that he HAS a soul. In Gen. 2:7 we read, "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man BECAME a LIVING SOUL." The Word of God speaks of both man and beast as souls. (See Num. 31:28.) Body, soul and spirit are in combination in a living organism.

A dog has a body; a dog has a life – a vitalizing principle; and aside from this life-principle and organism, a dog has a personality. One dog differs from another; one may be a bulldog, another, a lap-dog in a fashionable family. Each animal has his own joys and sorrows; but whatever he is, these things go to make up the experiences by which a dog would recognize himself.

So it is with a human being. There is a body and a life principle, the union of which makes the soul. His experiences [R5166 : page 24] – his home-life, his education, his environment, his travels, his finances, his private affairs – all go to make up his personality. It is not his body, but his soul that has these experiences. As two dogs under different experiences would have very different personalities, so with human beings. All the different experiences of life help to make them happy or unhappy, learned or ignorant, wise or unwise.

IN DEATH WHAT PRE-EMINENCE HATH A MAN?

What is the difference between a brute soul and a human soul? The human soul has a higher organization of body and brain, which constitutes him an individual of a higher order; and not only has he a better brain by Divine appointment, but he was not made like the brute beast to die after a brief period of years. Man was made to live forever.

In Eden, man came under the sentence of death, as the penalty for disobedience. The entire race has been born in a dying condition. Each human being receives a spark of life from his parents, without which the body would return to dust. When man dies, his personality, which is the result of his hereditary and prenatal influences combined with his experiences, perishes; for it cannot exist without a body. As the Scriptures declare, "In that day his THOUGHTS perish"; for "the dead know not anything"; "There is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave whither thou goest." – Psa. 146:4; Eccl. 9:5,10.

The question then arises, Does man die in the same sense that the brute creation does? We answer that so far as man himself is concerned, he would be as dead as is the beast, if God had not made an arrangement by which humanity will have a future life. God intends to restore to life, not the body, but the soul that died. The soul that went into death is the soul that was redeemed by Jesus. – Psa. 49:15.

Through the resurrection, God has arranged to show His love for the world. It is written, "When the fulness of time was come, God sent forth His Son" (Gal. 4:4); "Who gave Himself a Ransom for all" (I Tim. 2:6) – "for every man." (Heb. 2:9.) Every man has gone into death or is going there; and unless a redemption had been provided, there could be no resurrection. So the Apostle Paul explains that, "since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order." – I Cor. 15:21-23.

This making alive will be the resurrection of the dead – not of those particles of matter which have gone to fertilize a tree and then through its fruit become a part of another organism, but the resurrection of the being – the soul. In the resurrection, "God giveth it a body as it hath pleased Him." (I Cor. 15:38.) To the individual, it does not matter what particles compose his new body. What he is interested in is the resurrection of his soul – his being – his personality. That restoration is the all-important part of the resurrection.

God has given the assurance that He is able to restore mankind; and we who believe His Word do not think of man as dead in the same sense as is the brute. On the contrary, we allow the beast to pass into oblivion, but we think of man. For our dead we raise a memorial, remembrance, of the body which represented the personality dear to us. Our faith assures us that the personality is not extinct, but that it will have a resurrection. The respect which we show to our friends and loved ones in their sepulchers indicates our faith in their future life through a resurrection of the dead.

ADAMIC DEATH SCRIPTURALLY CALLED SLEEP

In the Scriptures, God sets forth the thought that the dead are asleep. Since He is the One who has the Power and the Purpose to raise the dead, He can speak of them in this way. Their bodies have indeed gone to dust, but they as individuals are known to God. To raise men from the dead and to give them back the very thoughts which they had before death will be a stupendous work, which only the Wisdom and Power of the Almighty God can accomplish. Those alone who have confidence in the promises of God can speak of their loved ones as asleep in death.

The Scriptures speak of the Ancient Worthies as asleep. We read that "David slept with his fathers." (I Kings 2:10.) The same statement is made of all of the kings of Israel, whether good or bad. St. Stephen, stoned to death, "fell asleep." (Acts 7:60.) St. Paul says, "Them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him....We which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent [precede – go before] them which sleep...and the dead in Christ shall rise first." – I Thess. 4:14-16.

In the morning of that glorious Day when the Sun of Righteousness shall rise with healing in His beams, all that God has promised for that blessed time will come to pass. (Mal. 4:2.) Meantime, the dead are awaiting that Day during which "all that are in the graves shall hear His voice [the voice of the Son of Man] and shall come forth." (John 5:28,29.) In this sense of the word, therefore, we speak of the dead as asleep. Our Lord Himself used this word in speaking of Lazarus. He said, "Lazarus sleepeth." When by their reply the disciples showed that they did not understand, Jesus said unto them plainly, "Lazarus is dead." – John 11:11-14.

HEAVENLY PHASE OF THE RESURRECTION

From one standpoint, all mankind fall asleep to wait for the morning of the great Millennial Day, when the Sun of Righteousness shall arise. The resurrection will come to every member of the human race; but as no two individuals have been in the same degree of degradation, some will rise more rapidly than will others. The Scriptures seem to indicate that there will be several classes in the resurrection. One of these is designated the "First Resurrection," that is, the chief, or most important; and it will consist of those who are to be associated with our Lord in His Throne. "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the First Resurrection; on such the Second Death hath no power, but they shall be Priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years." – Rev. 20:6.

This description excludes the Great Company and applies merely to the Little Flock, "partakers of the Divine nature." (2 Pet. 1:4.) Other Scriptures seem to show us that the Great Company class will attain to spirit perfection in their resurrection; and therefore we might think of theirs as a second resurrection – second in order, in glory and in preference. These two classes compose the "Church of the First-borns, which are written in Heaven." (Heb. 12:23.) The difference between them is merely that the Little Flock were zealous to go forward and perform what duties and privileges they saw, while the Great Company were less zealous and less loyal in sacrifice, although they would suffer death rather than deny the Lord or His Truth.

This distinction is set forth in the typical arrangement of the Law Covenant. As the tribe of Levi was called [R5166 : page 25] out from among Israel for a special work, so the Church of the First-borns are called out from among mankind, as the antitypical Levites. The priestly tribe of Israel was divided into two classes, the priests and the Levites, and likewise the Church is composed of two classes. Of these, only the "more than conquerors" (Rom. 8:37.) will become "partakers of the Divine nature" and have the preeminence. The Great Company will not attain to this honor.

We are not able to distinguish who are the "more than conquerors." The Great Company are identified with the Little Flock both here on earth and also in Heaven. Both classes are of the "First-borns." As the Apostle James says, we are "a kind of first-fruits of His creatures." (James 1:18.) To illustrate this thought, let us consider a bed of strawberries: These berries are among the first fruits of the season, yet even among them we find that some berries ripen sooner than the rest of the crop. These early-ripe berries may be said to be the first-fruit of the first-fruits. So with the Little Flock. [R5167 : page 25]

EARTHLY PHASE OF THE RESURRECTION

In the Scriptures, a third class of faithful servants of God are mentioned. Many of these are called by name in the Epistle to the Hebrews. We refer to the Ancient Worthies, who lived and were found faithful before the coming of our Savior. These did not have the opportunity of walking in the footsteps of our Lord and so did not have the "high calling." These are said to receive "a better resurrection" than will the rest of mankind (Heb. 11:35) – better, not in the sense of belonging to the spirit plane, but in that it will be an instantaneous raising to human perfection, whereas the remainder of the race will require a thousand years during which to come back gradually to the original condition lost by Adam.

At the beginning of the reign of Christ, the Ancient Worthies will come forth perfect human beings – mentally and physically – that their bodies may correspond with their moral development. If they had scars, these will be theirs no longer; if they had blemishes, these will have disappeared. It is not easy for us to picture to ourselves a perfect man, for we have never seen one, and all around us are various degrees of imperfection. But we know that a perfect human being will be perfect in form, feature, voice, sight, hearing, taste, and in all other organs, as well as in mind.

Last of all, "the residue of men" will come forth, "every man in his own order." (I Cor. 15:23.) Their awakening will merely bring them forth from the tomb in the condition in which they entered it; for in the grave, "there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom." (Eccl. 9:10.) This awakening is not the resurrection, but merely the preliminary step toward it. The Greek word rendered "resurrection" is anastasis, and means literally "a standing up again." Adam fell, and ever since "the whole world lieth in wickedness" – literally, "in the wicked one." (I John 5:19.) The standing up again is, therefore, a return to the perfection lost in Eden; for the world of mankind the resurrection is the Restitution. – Acts 3:19-21.

During the thousand years of Messiah's reign, the resurrection of the world will be in progress. The work will not be done by the Father directly, but will be committed to the Lord Jesus (John 5:28,29), and will require the whole thousand years for its completion. At the end of that Millennial reign the world of mankind will be perfect, as was Adam in his creation. All God's work is perfect. – Deut. 32:4; Gen. 1:31.

As previously stated, the Ancient Worthies, as a reward for their faith in God, will come forth to a better resurrection than will other men. The remainder of the race will come forth in practically the same condition in which they went into death. They will know nothing more, nothing less than when they died; their personality will be the same. As for their bodies, we cannot suppose that these will be perfect, for if mankind were thus brought back from death, they would not know each other. If all should be brought forth of one color, or if all should have the same style of features, they would not be recognized. On the other hand, they will come forth, neither gasping for breath, nor in fragments, as if blown to pieces by an explosion or eaten by an animal, but in what formerly was their usual health.

Mankind recognize each other by certain physical traits as well as by mental and moral characteristics. If in the awakening a man were given a perfect form or a properly balanced brain, he would not know himself on coming forth from the tomb. His very thoughts would be different; there would be nothing by which memory could identify him. Humanity will be raised from the tomb in the condition suggested by our Lord when He said to the man with a withered hand, "'Stretch forth thine hand!' And he did so; and his hand was restored whole as the other" (Luke 6:10) – complete – not in the full sense of the word, but enough so to have a new start in the new life.

SHAME AND CONTEMPT WILL BE PURGED AWAY DURING THE MILLENNIUM

The Savior makes an atonement for the sins of mankind for the very purpose of giving them a trial for life, an opportunity to demonstrate whether, under the favorable conditions of the Messianic Kingdom, they will choose righteousness and life or unrighteousness and everlasting death. The Scriptures seem to imply that there will be a great deal of shame and contempt properly attaching to those who will not have come into full accord with God. – Dan. 12:2.

During the thousand years of trial, very many will purge themselves of this shame and contempt. Thus we may suppose that, as the years go by, the shame will gradually cease and the contempt will die away. We see this point illustrated in the case of Saul of Tarsus. When he learned that he was fighting against God, he was very much ashamed of the course which he had taken. As gradually he manifested his loyalty to God, he purged himself of this shame and contempt. St. Paul's valor and zeal in the service of the Lord offset the things which he did ignorantly as Saul of Tarsus. His shame, therefore, has passed away.

The world will awake from the dead in this condition of shame and contempt. But gradually the obedient will arise from this state to the original perfection of the image of God. The wilfully disobedient, on the contrary, will not rise. They will sink lower, until finally they will go into everlasting destruction, or as St. Peter says, "As natural brute beasts...shall utterly perish in their own corruption." – 2 Pet. 2:12.

At the First Advent our Lord did most of His healing on the Sabbath Day, thus foreshadowing the work of healing which He will do for the world in the great antitypical Sabbath – the Millennium. Mankind will come forth from the tomb free from their previous condemnation, with human bodies in proper condition, so that their friends will recognize them as formerly; but they will have weaknesses – physical, mental and moral.

God has provided everything necessary for the resurrection of mankind – not only the Ransom-price, but also [R5167 : page 26] Christ's Mediatorial Kingdom. The uplifting influences of the incoming Age will be open to every member of the race, whether great or small, rich or poor. But their acceptance or rejection and the rapidity of their progress will depend upon their personal interest in the matter. Those who refuse to advance and who show no desire for their own development, will be cut off in Second Death.

There is no reason why those who will not make progress should be allowed to live on indefinitely. The same Justice which declares that only those who are in perfect accord with God shall have everlasting life, will not permit those to live forever who continue to be imperfect. Such will indicate by their attitude that they are not in harmony with righteousness, and will be justly classed as wicked. Of these it is written, "All the wicked will He destroy." – Psa. 145:20.

[R5167 : page 26]

QUIETLY MINDING ONE'S OWN BUSINESS  Audio

"But we beseech you, brethren....that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business." – I Thess. 4:10,11.
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HERE IS A quietness that appertains to sloth and indolence; but this evidently is not what the Apostle means in our text; for elsewhere he urges us to be "not slothful in business." (Rom. 12:11.) There is another quietness that appertains to peace – a composure which is the opposite of nervousness, giddiness and childishness. This condition we believe to be that which the Apostle has in mind. The Lord's people are to study to have a mind that is well balanced. This composure is not natural to the majority of people and is, therefore, something to be studied and attained. We are in the school of Christ to learn such lessons.

This desirable quietness represents the graces of the Holy Spirit – meekness, gentleness, patience and brotherly kindness. While we are to be "fervent in spirit, serving the Lord" (Rom. 12:11,) we are also to be obedient to the instructions of the Holy Spirit, in meekness, quietness and love. We are to endeavor to take a proper estimate of the affairs of life, and not to allow trivial things to excite us. This course, if faithfully pursued, tends to produce a quietness of spirit.

To mind one's own business is a very important lesson to learn. Surely every Christian has observed that much of the trouble in the world results from interference one with another. In every difficulty, one or both of the persons involved failed to mind his own business. Some people are always seeking to find fault with others, and seem to think they are commissioned to correct the whole world. We find no authority given in the Bible for such a course.

A busybody is a person who meddles with the affairs of others with which he properly has nothing whatever to do. Sometimes he fancies that it is his duty to advise, criticise, investigate, chide and reprove others. The Golden Rule will prove a great help in deciding what is one's duty in any case. This commandment of the Lord prohibits everything akin to busybodying. Each member of the New Creation should educate his conscience to discriminate between brotherly-love and busybodying, and should learn to apply the rules of justice and love to every act, word and thought, so far as in him lies.

Where a matter is one in which we are personally concerned, however, we shall not be meddling with other [R5168 : page 26] people's affairs, but minding our own business, when we give it proper attention. There are times, places and circumstances which the Bible points out as proper for correction, reproof, etc. A parent may correct a child; a teacher, a pupil. It is not meddling for a parent to have knowledge and direction of all that is going on in the house, nor for the teacher to be in touch with the affairs of the school. The personal rights of the members of a family or of a school should never be lost sight of, however. A householder and those who are serving a house come under the same rule as do parent and child, teacher and pupil.

One of the greatest lessons of life is to learn that one who spends considerable time in correcting others, even though it be properly done and well, is prone to forget himself. One's first duty is to bring himself into harmony with the Divine arrangement and to keep himself there.

BUSYBODYING AN EVIDENCE OF UNBELIEF

To keep ourselves in the Love of God, we should cultivate the fruits and the graces of the Holy Spirit. There are not a few who can discourse learnedly on those qualities, but who seem not to be able properly to apply their knowledge to the affairs of every-day life. They seem to be unable to realize where meekness, gentleness and love should be shown in their own experiences. There are some things which we can teach others better by example than by precept. If we show in the little things of life that we are governed by the principles of justice and love, and if when under trial we exhibit meekness, gentleness and other fruits of the Spirit, our influence for good will be greatly increased.

Observation in life leads one to believe that fully one-half of the world are meddle-some busybodies, and that many of their trials result from this weakness. It would appear that in nearly every family there is some one, perhaps a husband, perhaps a wife, perhaps a child, who takes advantage of the kindness and generosity of the others and rules the house. Usually in such cases there is much injustice done. Those who take this position often attempt to justify their course by saying, "If I did not take the reins in hand, things would not run properly." Such do not perceive that they are busybodies.

This course of conduct demonstrates a lack of faith in God. We should do our duty and leave the rest to the Lord. There are people who in the future will find that they have lost much because they have not been subject to the Divine arrangements. Any one of the Lord's people who thus practises injustice is not making progress as a New Creature. Whether it be the husband, the wife or the child who rides rough-shod over the rights of others, this course is contrary to the Divine Law and the spirit of Love. Some day these will realize that they made a grave mistake. – Col. 3:18-21.

The head of a house and of a family has a responsibility which he should recognize and which it is his duty to exercise. But he should do so with loving interest, looking out for the welfare and the preference of those whom he directs. The responsibility of a husband in his home, therefore, means the obligation which the Divine Law has laid upon him and which often requires the sacrifice of his own time and preferences in the interest of his family. It is his duty to discharge this responsibility. – Eph. 5:25-33; 6:4.

The Scriptures also describe the proper place for the [R5168 : page 27] mother in the family. This position is a noble one. But every woman who usurps the place of the head of the household is surely doing injury to herself and the best interests of her family, even though she may seem for a time to prosper in her wrong course. – I Pet. 3:1-6.

There are many who are impatient and unkind in their dealings with the members of their own family, but who to outsiders seem to be models of deportment. It is hard to see how they justify their course, especially when we recall that they have a particular responsibility toward their family for mental, as well as physical sustenance. It behooves each one who would have the approval of God to study his conduct, not only toward the world and the brethren, but also toward the members of his own family, that he may be sure that he is minding his own business in every sense of the word.

[R5168 : page 27]

"YET THERE IS ROOM"  Audio

"Hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown." – Rev. 3:11.
T
HE QUESTION is sometimes asked whether it is possible for one to consecrate himself and to be accepted at this late hour in the Gospel Age, unless there is a crown reserved for such a one. Certainly it would be possible for one to consecrate himself. Consecration is always proper. Long before the Gospel Age began, Abraham and the Prophets made consecration of their lives. St. Paul informs us that these Ancient Worthies showed that their lives were consecrated to God and righteousness; for they suffered – many of them – painful and ignominious deaths for His sake. Thus they demonstrated that the world was unworthy of them. – Heb. 11:33-38.

The fact that a person has offered himself in consecration does not, however, obligate the Almighty to accept the offering. While it is true that "God is no respecter of persons" (Acts 10:34,) yet His favor was given first to the Jews and then to the Gentiles. This favor is the most wonderful ever offered to beings on any plane of existence – that all who will accept the terms may come into the Church, which is the mystical Body of Christ, until a sufficient number shall have been found, until the fore-ordained number shall have made consecration and shall have made their calling and election sure.

While the Scriptures indicate clearly that we are living at the very close of the Gospel Age, yet it is not for us to know when the full number shall have consecrated themselves. It is our belief that in a general way the outward call ceased in 1881, A. D.

Our thought is that in 1878 there were a great many consecrated persons who had not passed their trial in full; and that there were in the nominal churches many thousands who had made full consecration to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. From 1874 to 1881, there was a great number of evangelists preaching both in this country and abroad. Of these, Evangelist Moody was perhaps the best known. He seemed to make a great many converts; and his preaching seemed to be very different from that of the majority of evangelists. He preached forgiveness through the precious blood of Christ, and full consecration to God.

During that revival period, many made a full consecration, had their names tentatively written in Heaven, and filled up the number required. But when the testings came, many were found unworthy of a higher reward than that of the Great Company. Others took the places of the failures and were also tested and sifted. Vacancies occurred; and still others came in for an opportunity. We see evidences that this work has been going on for the past thirty years; and we believe that it is true that some names are now being listed and that there are crowns awaiting such.

OUR REASON FOR THIS THOUGHT

People who have not been interested in religion and who have not heretofore consecrated themselves unto God, have quite recently made full consecration of themselves and have received that evidence which seems to indicate that God has accepted them. Not only have the eyes of their understanding been opened so that they can see the spiritual, or deep things of God, but they are given opportunities to sacrifice. While we make a covenant that we will sacrifice (Psa. 50:5), yet it is for the Lord to give us the opportunity to do so. The fact that some of the recently consecrated are receiving and using opportunities to sacrifice, implies that when they made their consecration there was a place open and that they are filling it.

The fact also that so many have been thus accepted since 1878 seems to imply that there has been a considerable vacancy in the list of the Elect, and that it is gradually filling up. It is not for us to say how much of a vacancy remains, or just when it will be filled. We fully believe, however, that it will be filled before the close of "the Times of the Gentiles," which we think will end with October, 1914.

As for others who have not yet consecrated themselves, we can say with St. Paul, "I beseech you,...brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice." (Rom. 12:1.) Do your best. It may be that there is an opening and you may get in. Consecrate your time, your talents, all that you have, to the service of God. He is a good Paymaster; whatever reward He may give you will be a prize.

We realize, however, that all who will be accepted as members of the Body of Christ must have trials both of faith and of loyalty before being assigned to a definite place in the Kingdom. Those who become reprobates will constitute the Second Death class. Others may be assigned to the Great Company. All such will be counted out of membership in the Royal Priesthood. As each is put out as unworthy, his former place becomes vacant and [R5169 : page 27] his crown released. Such vacancies, we understand, are now being filled from among those who offer themselves.

This condition has obtained since 1881, when, we believe – as before stated – the general call ceased. When a vacancy occurs, it is reasonable to believe that from among those who are in a waiting attitude the one would be chosen who is the most highly developed and most fully in harmony with the Lord.

"The Lord be with you!" steals the benediction
With solemn splendor like a falling star;
In morns of joy and midnights of affliction,
It breathes its echoed sweetness near and far.

"The Lord be with you!" when the shadows hold you;
And prove His loving power to soothe and bless;
When dangers darken and when fears enfold you,
"The Lord be with you!" in His tenderness.

[R5169 : page 28]

ABRAHAM AND THE HEBREWS  Audio
– FEBRUARY 16. – GENESIS 12:1-9. –

"I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing." – Genesis 12:2.
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F
ATHER of the Faithful" is one of Abraham's titles in the Bible. He is one of the greatest characters in history. The most enlightened peoples of the earth look back to him as the Divinely-appointed channel through whom all their religious hopes and prospects have been received – Jews, Christians and Mohammedans. God's promises made to Abraham constitute the foundation of faith for all these peoples, although many of them are not aware of the fact.

The Jews are Abraham's natural descendants through Isaac and Jacob, while the Mohammedans represent specially the Ishmaelite and Esau branches of Abraham's family. Christians profess that they have become heirs to the chiefest blessings promised to Abraham's Seed, by becoming associates and joint-heirs with Christ Jesus, whom they consider the antitype of Isaac and the Heir to all things. – Galatians 3:29.

The New Testament claim is that the Church of Christ – partly from the Jews and partly from the Gentiles – is the antitype of Rebecca, Isaac's wife and joint-heir. As such, the Church is to be the Bride and Joint-heir of Messiah in His Kingdom. In this picture Abraham typified Jehovah God, Isaac typified Jesus Christ, and Rebecca typified the Church. The New Testament claim is that this Spiritual Seed of Abraham is yet to be God's agency in blessing Natural Israel and all the nations. But, alas, much of the New Testament teaching was lost in the darkness of medieval times.

Christians forgot their high calling, forgot that they were to be joint-heirs in Messiah's Kingdom, forgot that that Kingdom was yet to bless all the families of the earth. Instead, they got the narrow view that merely the saintly Elect would be saved at all, and that they to all eternity would look over the battlements of Heaven and see all others of mankind in torture, and to all eternity hear their groans. Only now are Bible students gradually getting freed from the creeds and back to the teachings of God's Word. Only now are we learning the true import of St. Paul's words to the Church, "If ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's Seed, and heirs according to the promise [made to him]." – Gal. 3:29.

One would think that under such circumstances every Jew, every Christian, every Mohammedan, would have absolute confidence in the fact that Abraham once lived. Indeed, it has been merely their confidence in the promises of God made to Abraham that has held the Jews together as a nation and that has gathered Christians from all nations to be heirs of that same promise. Yet, strange to say, the learned Jews and Christians of our day are turning Higher Critics. They are rejecting Abraham and the promises of God made to him as merely mythical legends. How strange that they do not recognize the inconsistency of their position! It is like the tail of a dog disowning its head.

What excuse would Jews have, living in every nation and speaking fifty different languages, for still keeping themselves Jews at all, if they repudiate the peculiar promises of God which relate to them as a people and which caused them originally to remain separate from every other nation, according to Divine instructions, and in hope of a blessing ultimately? The Jew or the Christian who repudiates Abraham simply makes himself foolish in the eyes of all intelligent thinkers. Such would do themselves credit to renounce all claim to Judaism and to Christianity, and thereby they would benefit those whom they would leave.

GOD'S CALL TO ABRAHAM

The name Abraham signifies Father of a multitude. It was given to him after he had responded to God's call and showed his faith and obedience. Originally, his name was Abram, which signifies exalted faith. The name Abraham occurs in the New Testament seventy-four times. Jesus referred to him nineteen times. The promises of God made to Abraham constitute the foundation for all the theology of the New Testament, as expressed by the Lord Jesus, by St. Paul, by St. Stephen, St. Peter and others.

Abraham's birthplace was Ur of the Chaldees, one hundred and twenty miles to the north of the Persian Gulf, and was known as the richest portion of Asia. His father, Terah, was a heathen. Polytheism prevailed – the worshiping of many gods. Jewish legends respecting Abraham tell that as a boy he loathed the vices with which he was surrounded. When only fourteen years old, he refused to join with the family in idol-worship, and on one occasion destroyed seventy-two costly idols.

From Ur the family migrated to Haran, about five hundred miles northwest and in the direction of Palestine. There Abraham remained until his father Terah's death. Then he removed to the land of Canaan. God's dealing with Abraham, according to St. Stephen's account (Acts 7:2,3), began while he was still in Ur. God called him out of the midst of the evil surroundings to be the founder of a new nation that would be holy and obedient to God. The words of the call are not fully given, nor are we informed of the manner in which it was conveyed. It is sufficient for us that Abraham recognized the message as from the Lord, and that he obeyed Him.

Evidently the Lord fixed no earlier date than the death of Terah for Abraham's going to Canaan. Otherwise Abraham would not have been justified in delaying the matter. Doubtless Abraham had something to do with the migration from Ur to Haran. It took them away from the idolatrous scenes of the metropolis to the quieter conditions of pastoral life, and would be recognized by Abraham as a step in the right direction – toward Canaan, so that, on the death of his father, he could be prepared to quickly enter upon the Divine arrangement.

SEPARATE YOURSELVES FROM IDOLATERS

A portion of the call is stated: "Get thee out of thy country and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee; and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing; and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth (injureth) thee; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed." – Genesis 12:1-3.

It was in harmony with this Divine call that Abraham, seventy-five years old, at the death of his father Terah, took up his journey to the land of Canaan. There were no landed estates then. The Henry George idea of free land prevailed. Sometime before this, Abraham's elder brother, Nahor, had married and set up an establishment of his own. His brother Haran had died, and Terah. Abraham, with the remnant of the family – and his half-sister Sarah (princess), who became his wife, and his nephew Lot, the son of his elder brother Haran – took their flocks and herds to Canaan, so called because inhabited by sons of Canaan. – Genesis 10:18. [R5169 : page 29]

ABRAHAM'S GREAT FAITH IN GOD

The Bible makes a clear distinction between faith and credulity. Abraham was not credulous, in the evil sense of that word, but he was full of faith. This feature of his character specially endeared him to the Almighty, who, because of it, styled him His friend. As St. Paul writes, "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." (Galatians 3:6.) It is not claimed in the Bible that Abraham was perfect, nor that any man is perfect. The reverse of this is declared: "There is none righteous (perfect), no, not one." "All come short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:10,23.) None measure up to the glorious image of God, as first it was represented in Father Adam.

Neither was Abraham the friend of God because of his great education, nor because of any wonderful intellectual powers. None of his attainments are held up to us as a basis of his special favor from God and relationship to Him. Nevertheless, we see that he had intellectual powers. The fact that he was very rich indicates that he was a good manager. His skill as a leader of men and as a general was shown at the time that Lot and all the wealthy Sodomites and their possessions were taken captive by King Chedorlaomer and his associates. In the [R5170 : page 29] most commonplace language we read that Abraham promptly armed 318 of his own servants, pursued the victors, by strategy routed them and recovered the spoils.

But it was not for his skill as a general, nor for his generosity in dealing with the spoils, nor for his generosity on other occasions, that God loved Abraham. The special quality that God esteemed in him is repeatedly mentioned in the Bible as having been Abraham's faith. "Abraham believed God." He did not believe his own imaginations, nor the imaginations or dreams of other men.

CHILDREN OF ABRAHAM

Abraham's children, from God's standpoint, include only those who have faith in God. The original evidence of this faith and obedience was circumcision of the flesh, which figuratively represented a turning away from sin, to be obedient to God, and to be inheritors with Abraham of the promise made to Abraham and his seed. Circumcision has become largely a ceremony to the Jews – a ceremony in which they have little or no faith. Such faithless circumcision entitles them to no special favors of the Almighty. But all Jews who still trust in Abraham and the promises made to Abraham are subject to Divine favor and, to our understanding of the Bible, will soon be recipients of marked evidences of Divine blessing at the hands of the glorious Messiah, who soon is to set up God's Kingdom.

St. Paul explains that all true Christians, coming either from the Jews or from the Gentiles, become the Spiritual Seed of Abraham – heirs of certain spiritual promises, as the natural seed are heirs of certain earthly promises not yet fulfilled. But St. Paul tells us that as the natural seed must maintain their faith in circumcision to mark their separateness from the Gentiles, so the Spiritual Seed of Abraham must have an antitypical circumcision of the heart – still more effective, separating them from the world and from sin – marking them off as God's peculiar people zealous of good works.

We exhort both Jews and Christians to honesty and faithfulness – to obedience to God: the one class, that they may inherit the Heavenly promises; the other class, that they may be ready for the inheritance of the earthly promises, which will be theirs as soon as the Heavenly, Spiritual Seed of Abraham shall have been completed by the "change" of the First Resurrection.

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ABRAHAM WAS VERY RICH  Audio
– FEBRUARY 23. – GENESIS 13:1-18. –

"The blessing of Jehovah, it maketh rich, and He addeth no sorrow therewith." – Proverbs 10:22. – R.V.
T
HE BIBLE declares that there are not many rich, not many wise, not many learned, who enjoy God's special favor, but chiefly the poor of this world, who are rich in faith. But whoever concludes from this that God is prejudiced against the rich, or that all the rich are iniquitous and have gained their wealth through fraud, errs grievously. What it does teach is that God is no respecter of persons. Whether one be rich or poor, learned or ignorant, God's estimation of him is from the standpoint of the heart. There are both good and bad rich men, just as there are both good and bad poor men.

Abraham, though the youngest son of the family, at the death of his father Terah doubtless inherited all that remained of his possessions, including the share of Sarah, his wife, who was his half-sister. The chronology of the narrative agrees with this; but some have erred in the study of it. Abraham is mentioned first amongst his brethren because of his greater prominence, and not because he was the elder.

Added to Abraham's rich inheritance was the blessing of the Lord upon him. After he had accepted the Divine call and left his homeland to become a wandering shepherd and herdsman in Canaan, his flocks and herds increased greatly. He was, under God's blessing, very rich. Others also of God's servants in the past were greatly blessed with riches – for instance, Job. We are not, however, to apply our Golden Text in this way at the present time. The blessing of the Lord very rarely makes wealthy His saintly people during this Gospel Age. Jesus and the Apostles and the specially saintly all down through the Age and today are poor in this world's goods.

It may be asked, Why this change in God's dealings? The reply of the Scriptures is, that in the past, up to the time of Christ, God's blessings were to men as men; but since the time of Christ, God's saints are "New Creatures in Christ." The terms of discipleship are that they exchange all earthly favors, riches and blessings, and sacrifice their claims to these in order that they may become heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ, their Lord, to the Heavenly inheritance – and share in the Messianic Kingdom and its glory, honor and immortality.

God dealt with Abraham as a friend and gave him earthly blessings and promised him earthly blessing in the future life. Jesus and His followers God accepts not as friends, but as sons. His promises to these are not earthly, but Heavenly, spiritual privileges and hopes in the present life, and spiritual glory and immortality – far above angels – in the life to come. God's favor to this House of Sons, of whom Jesus is the Head (Hebrews 3:6), is manifested often in the trials, difficulties, chastisements and earthly losses and afflictions which they experience, all of which are designed to work out for them "a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." The beauty and harmony of the Bible can be understood only [R5170 : page 30] by those who thus "rightly divide the Word of Truth" and differentiate between the blessings and promises to the Ancient Worthies as distinct from those which appertain to the followers of Jesus.

ABRAHAM'S FRIENDS NOT JOINT-HEIRS

Lot was a man of nearly Abraham's age, his nephew, the son of his brother Haran. They were friends and companions. God did not call Lot, nor any other of Abraham's relatives, but merely himself, to be the recipient of the promises – the channel through whom they would be fulfilled. This did not hinder Lot from being with his uncle, but indeed permitted him to share the blessings of Divine Providence, which guided Abraham's affairs. God's Covenant and promises were not made with Lot, but with Abraham only. Similarly the spiritual children of Abraham alone are the heirs of the Abrahamic promise, and not their friends or relatives, although the latter may share a reflex blessing of spiritual influence through association with them.

These spiritual children of Abraham, Christ and His consecrated followers, are particularly specified as the heirs of the Abrahamic promise by St. Paul. (Galatians 3:29.) "They all have a faith similar to that of Abraham, and a spirit of obedience similar to his. Jesus is their Head, Captain and Leader, as well as their Redeemer, and they become His disciples by a covenant of sacrifice similar to His own. His promise to them is, "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My Throne" – the Kingdom which is to fulfil all the gracious promises which God made to Abraham – to Jews and Gentiles.

RICHES OFTEN BRING TROUBLES

God's blessing upon Abraham, shared by Lot, led on to more or less of ambition and strife, not between the two men themselves, but between their servants. Abraham loved peace, and perceived that it would be wise that the two families should part company. Lot assented. Abraham gave him his choice as to the section of country; and Lot chose the most fertile – the plain of Sodom, in the Valley of Jordan, and the Plain of Sodom, afterward devastated as a judgment from the Lord, is now the Valley of the Dead Sea.

Lot made his home in Sodom while his herds and flocks were pastured in the fertile regions surrounding. Doubtless Lot's wife had to do with the choice. She loved a beautiful home. To her the surroundings of Sodom were very attractive. The family lived there three years, although the riches of the country had a debasing effect upon the people. Lot's righteous soul was vexed, more than offsetting the charm of the country which his wife so loved. Looking back with longing heart at the time of its destruction, she was overtaken in the catastrophe which her husband and daughters escaped. [R5171 : page 30]

Abraham, on the contrary, fixed his heart and hopes upon the gracious promises of God, which appertained less to the present and more to the future life. Sarah, his wife, was a real helpmate, who shared her husband's hopes and desired to co-labor with him faithfully for their accomplishment. In these two families, both well-intentioned, we see illustrated the difference between seeking chiefly the Divine approval and seeking chiefly earthly welfare and ease.

Many Christian people today make similar mistakes to that which Lot made. They allow conflicting earthly interests to separate them from the blessings of God's greater favor. They thus involve themselves and their families in the snare of the wicked, while at heart preferring righteousness.

The Master's advice should be remembered, "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness." Do that which is in harmony with that aspiration and leave to God the oversight and care of earthly interests, that He may give you the lessons and experiences most helpful for you. Those who follow His advice find peace and joy which the world can neither give nor take away – "the peace of God, which passeth all understanding."

GOD'S BLESSING MAKES RICH

Whoever has the Lord's blessing is rich indeed, regardless of the amount of this world's goods which he possesses. Of what value is all the wealth of a Croesus if it bring not peace, joy and happiness? Wherever we go we find all – rich and poor – seeking pleasure, seeking the springs of joy; but how few of these seekers ever find it! Alas! it seems impossible for the world to understand the great fact that the blessing of the Lord constitutes the true fund of riches and pleasures forevermore – more than the life that now is, and the coming one!

Those whom the Lord makes rich with His promises and His favor, His guidance and His blessing, have the joy which others are vainly seeking. These true riches during this Gospel Age are obtainable by all who have the "hearing ear," and who learn of God's favor in Christ. In Christ are hidden all the treasures of Divine Wisdom, Love and Power.

The only ones who obtain a share of these blessings at the present time are such as become followers of Jesus through faith and consecration of their lives to His service. Nevertheless, in Him are also restitution blessings for the world of mankind, which will be dispensed during the thousand years of His reign, which will begin at His Second Coming. St. Peter tells us of this, and points us to the fact that it has been "foretold by all the Holy Prophets since the world began." – Acts 3:19-21.

God's Covenant with Abraham is several times repeated in slightly different form. One of these presentations is a part of today's study; but as this will be the topic of our study next week, we will here merely allude to it and ask the reader to note that it was not a Heavenly promise, but an earthly one – "all the land which thou seest"; and that it was to an earthly people – "I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth." These are wholly different promises from those which appertain to the Spiritual Seed of Abraham, as our lesson of next week will show.

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INTERESTING LETTERS
DEAR PASTOR RUSSELL: –

Just about eighteen months ago I wrote to thank you for the great happiness your books had brought to my husband and self. Today I write to tell you that he finished his course – on September 25.

It was truly as St. Paul says, "In the twinkling of an eye." He had been out, and was telling me something he had seen – and stopped in the middle of a sentence.

In your answer to my last letter you said you noticed we were anxious to spread the Truth, and that perhaps we should be given more opportunity. He was. He became mate on the ferry here, and as it is quite a big thing, he had many opportunities of talking to people, and I don't think he ever missed one.

Last year people used to laugh, but this year they were either annoyed or said, "Well, we can all see there's something coming, and perhaps you're right – hope you are!"

Several, I know, thanked him for telling them of your books, and said they were just what they were wanting. He always said he wasn't nearly good enough for the "little flock," but it seems to me he was just the sort you describe in Vol. V, page 237. He hated the thought of the "Great [R5171 : page 31] Company," as he did anything that was half and half; and he certainly never turned his back on the Truth.

His death was a great shock to everybody in the town, for he was considered one of its healthiest inhabitants, and he was only forty-three. As he lay there, I said to the doctor (who did not know him personally), "He never played a mean trick on anybody in all his life," and the doctor said, "You've only to look at his face to see that, Mrs. Childe."

People who knew him always said he was the most absolutely honest man (very often to his own detriment) they had ever met. His deck hands have told me he was the nicest man they ever worked for – so fair and just, and always ready to stand up for them if anyone else tried to down them; and I would rather have that than a good word from the King – one doesn't put on company manners for one's deck hands.

It may interest you to know that my husband tried twice (before we heard the Truth, and principally for the protection of myself and the children) to join a secret order. Each time – in different towns – the same men black-balled him. They had injured him, and so hated him. Since he knew the Truth, he has been asked to join (which is much against their rules, I believe), not only that order, but several others. They said it would make things so much easier! Of course, he stood clear, and was not in any "bundle" whatsoever.

We were left with almost no money – had lost all we had a few years ago. I have three children – 11 and 9 years and 10 months old. I hadn't a relative nearer than 2,000 miles away. I left it all with God, knowing "our bread and water were sure," anyway. And now we are provided for, for at least two years! There was no appeal made – just everybody wanted to help. Ah! –

"I read from the past that my future shall be
Far better than all my fears!"

They all respected my husband for his character, though many thought he had "queer views." I should so value a word from you at this time. I don't know what I should do without the Truth now; I should be despairing. But now every newspaper I take up tells me I shall soon see him again! Thank God! I can say –

"The billows that guarded my sea-girt path
Carried my Lord on their crest!"

He has been as good as all His promises.

With many thanks for the comfort (under God) you have given me in this, my greatest trouble, I remain,

Yours sincerely,
ELEANOR I. CHILDE. – B. C., Can.

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DEARLY BELOVED BROTHER IN CHRIST: –

Your letter to colporteurs I have received, and I wish to express my great appreciation of its words of encouragement and counsel. I also wish to thank you for the offered gift – I chose a "Heavenly Manna" – as my other one is wearing out. I could not live without these words of Truth each day, as they give needed strength in trials, and are a source of great blessings.

The WATCH TOWER, too, is eagerly waited for. Each issue is most precious. When I saw the last report, I felt so glad that I had been permitted a very small share in the work. Oh! the joy of service. I wish to briefly tell a little experience regarding our newspaper here, The Piqua Leader-Dispatch, which gives us the sermon each Monday.

Quite recently I was in the office on business, and being well known to the editor and others of their force, they called me in to inform me that a local minister had just been in to request the discontinuance of our sermon feature. They inquired of me the "why."

I knew at once what brought this on, for we were that week putting out our recent "Hell" tracts. This was the result. I carefully, wisely (I trust) chose my words in answer. I also stated that I had worked this city for a year or so in the interest of the Bible Society, and knew of many who were much helped by the reading of the sermons. I said that all great men have enemies, but ours is a Christian cause, and a great success, too.

Their reply was that personally they considered it very "small" for any minister to take such a stand.

A week or so later this same minister publicly announced that he would expose "Pastor Russell," our society, Bible Students, etc. And he did – to a moderate audience. But the wrath of men must praise God; for he spoke of our untiring zeal, of the wonderful scope of the work, but couldn't understand where the money came from!

Then he related how he had requested The Leader-Dispatch to discontinue the sermons. Their answer had been, however, that "they were too valuable!" "Then," he added, "if they will put them before us, we can at least refuse to read them."

I think this a good advertisement, don't you? But I found Catholics and Protestants, Christians, Jews and non-professors, who read them. Thanks be to God! How glad we are that in "due time" all shall know, even the least. We pray richest blessings upon you, dear brother, in the coming year.

Yours by His Grace,

MRS. GEO. H. KELLER.

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MR. EDITOR: –

Enclosed herewith please find clipping from the Gospel Messenger, December 14, 1912 issue, containing an article entitled "Hell and Damnation," by B. E. Kesler, River Bend, Colo. This paper is a Dunkard paper, or more properly is the mouthpiece of "The Church of the Brethren."

You will note that Mr. Kesler makes the charge that Pastor Russell makes all kinds of fanciful translations of the Scriptures in order to sustain what he designates your "theories." It is another case of "throwing dust" into the eyes of the people. I don't understand how any one can write such an article without knowing that he is misrepresenting the facts, and in proof note what he says respecting 2 Peter 2:4. Here he makes you say that God cast the angels that sinned down to the fires of Gehenna, whereas you plainly show in the pamphlet, which he evidently read, that the Greek word here is not "Gehenna," but "Tartaroo." This I find is what the Emphatic Diaglott, as well as Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Scriptures, reveals it to be.

Is it not now time in the Lord's providence to answer the charge, "It is a peculiarity of his writings, generally, that he doesn't seem to find his theories taught in any of the commonly accepted translations of the Bible, and so he makes bold to make his own translation as he goes, and in this way tries to cover up his assumed prerogative, to condemn as 'heretics' and 'hypocrites' all who do not bow at his shrine and accept his theories"?

I will not now take the time to call attention to other discrepancies in this article of nonsense, but will leave it to your judgment of the Lord's will in the matter. Surely now is the separating time; and all who are professing to be the Lord's people are most surely now taking their stand for either Truth or Error, as never before.

We surely can never appreciate the Present Truth enough, nor render unto the Lord sufficient praise or thanks for the anointing of our eyes with the "eye salve" of Truth through your faithful ministry.

Yours in the Beloved,

M. L. WOLF

*                         *                         *

Thanks, dear friend! It is saddening to find religious teachers striving to throw "dust" in the mental eyes of their [R5172 : page 31] followers. Some are "blind leaders of the blind," while others apparently are "willingly ignorant." Like the Pharisees of old, some have taken away from their too trustful followers the "key of knowledge," and are grieved that the people are now being taught better. However, the result is that some are getting awake and learning to think, and to study the Bible for themselves, who otherwise might have slept on. It is God's "due time" for His faithful to be awakened and to come to a knowledge of the Truth; and for aught we know He is using the wrath of man to praise Himself.

A still more despicable course is followed by some claiming to be ministers of Christ. Unable to controvert Pastor Russell's teachings they slander him shamefully. Professing to be Christians, they insinuate and come as close as possible to infracting the lowest standards of human law respecting slander and libel. They that preach the Golden Rule and profess to believe that everybody who breaks it is going to everlasting torture, do they forget the words of St. John that their course is in the sight of our Lord really "murder"? – 1 John 3:15.

page 31
MY DEAR PASTOR: –

Received the last WATCH TOWER for 1912 yesterday; and oh, how much good it has done me already! The article which appeals to me specially now is one entitled: "The Philosophy of Our Daily Experiences." It is meat in due season for me; and I thank the Lord for such strengthening food, as I am now undergoing some "training." By His grace and help assisting, I would like to come to the place where I will delight to do His will.

God bless you and keep you till the end.

MINNIE J. WILSON.