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March 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. XXXIVMARCH 1No. 5
A. D. 1913 – A. M. 6041
CONTENTS
The Coming Memorial Supper 67
Ye Do Shew Forth the Lord's Death 68
"Till He Come" 69
Who May Partake? 70
How to Partake 72
The Sacrificial Loaf and Cup (Poem) 73
The Church's Part in the Sin-Offering 73
Holy Spirit Evidence of Acceptance 74
Sacrifice of Earthly Rights 74
The Work of The Advocate 75
Blemishes, Spots and Wrinkles Defined 75
Necessity of a Tender Conscience 75
The Sale of a Birthright 76
Earthly Loss Spiritual Gain 77
The Lesson of the Lost Birthright 77
The Gate of Heaven 77
Jacob Have I Loved 78
Neither a Jew nor a Christian 78
What the Dream Meant 78
Berean Questions in Scripture Studies 79

'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
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BROOKLYN, N.Y., U.S.A.

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

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THE HARVEST IS GREAT

The Master said, "The Harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the Harvest that He would send forth laborers into His Harvest." (Luke 10:2.) These words, applicable nearly nineteen centuries ago, seem very applicable today also. We have more opportunities for using unencumbered brethren filled with the Spirit than ever before. If any such brethren believe themselves reasonably well developed in meekness, gentleness, long-suffering, brotherly-kindness, love; and if, in addition, they have had some considerable experience with Present Truth and are fully consecrated to the Lord, we should like to hear from them.

Such desiring to co-labor under the Society's auspices might give us a brief history of their life-work thus far, and send their photograph. Let them tell us also to what extent they have had and used opportunities for presenting the Truth in public, and to what extent God has blessed their efforts in bringing others into a fulness of consecration and mental enlightenment.

Or if their talents run more toward stenography than toward public speaking, we should be pleased to know of that. But do not mention stenography to us unless you are thorough-going in it, as a poor stenographer is a hindrance rather than an aid. page 66

MEMORIAL CELEBRATION APRIL 20th

In our issue of February 1st the Memorial Celebration was noted for March 20th, after 6 P.M. This was an error. It should have been April 20th. The March date would have been right according to the Episcopalian and Catholic reckonings of the first full moon after the Spring Equinox marking the Passover. However, it has been our custom to follow the Jewish reckoning, which makes it, this year, Sunday evening, April 20th, after 6 P.M. If any thereby memorialized a month in advance they will have a good opportunity to celebrate a second time, if they choose.

An additional typographical error appeared in the Sunday School Lesson of March 9th, stating, "When Abraham was ninety-nine years old – about the year 1900 B.C.," when it should have read, "When Abraham was ninety-nine years old – in the year 2021 B.C."

MILLENNIAL COTTON PLANT

The finest specimen of cotton plant we have ever seen has come into our possession. It is a little tree, an inch in diameter a foot from the ground, and seven feet high. It contains about three hundred bolls. This seems to be a specially thrifty and prolific new variety. We have no knowledge respecting its pedigree or the kind of soil on which it grew. It is our thought that such phenomenal plants should be specially cared for and their seed kept carefully separate from other seed, with a view to improving the general yield. Apparently this cotton should be grown one stalk to the hill, with the hills two feet apart.

If any WATCH TOWER readers are cotton-growers, we shall be pleased to send them samples of this special seed for special planting separate from all other seeds. We will supply the seed free, on condition that the seed from one-half the crop shall be kept for us and be at our disposal when picked and ginned. The other half would be for the experimenter in extending his acreage next year.

POEMS OF DAWN

This book of 286 pages contains nearly three hundred beautiful poems of consecration and encouragement for Christians. It makes an excellent gift for any friend or relative not in the Truth, although most appreciated by the saintly. It is topically arranged, but you could not open at random and read without being refreshed, comforted, drawn nearer to God. The Karatol-bound edition is exhausted, but we still have a good supply on hand of the cloth-bound edition, 25c., and the India paper, leather bound, 50c.

BETHEL HYMNS FOR APRIL

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 April follow:

(1) 239; (2) 120; (3) 47; (4) 274; (5) 208; (6) Vow; (7) 332; (8) 168; (9) 78; (10) 160; (11) 38; (12) 175; (13) 293; (14) 56; (15) 58; (16) 166; (17) 12; (18) 130; (19) 110; (20) 313; (21) 260; (22) 75; (23) 229; (24) 107; (25) 108; (26) 103; (27) 251; (28) 94; (29) 279; (30) 109.

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THE COMING MEMORIAL SUPPER

"This do in remembrance of Me." – 1 Cor. 11:24,25.
T
HE SUPPER which our Lord instituted as a remembrancer of His great sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world, is striking in its appropriateness and its simplicity. The world's great men have always sought very different means of perpetuating their memories. In whatever way they would remind their followers of their merits and their greatness, it surely has not been by a reminder and commemoration of their death – especially if, as in our Lord's case, it was a death of ignominy and shame, a death as a malefactor and criminal. Another, more probably, would have left instructions for medals to be struck commemorating some of his mighty works – such, for instance, as the awakening of Lazarus, or the stilling of the tempest on the sea, or the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, while the multitude strewed the way with palm branches, and cried, Hosanna to the King!

But our Lord chose as His remembrancer that which represented what was, in His and in God's estimation, His mightiest work – His Sin-Offering on our behalf; and that which His real followers, and they alone, would appreciate more than any other feature of His mission. True, His followers would have appreciated something commemorative of His wonderful words or works, but the worldly also could have appreciated those things. But not so the value of His death as our Ransom-Sacrifice, the basis of our reconciliation and at-one-ment, which has never yet been fully apprehended by any but the consecrated Little Flock – the Elect. And it was for these that the remembrancer was arranged and instituted. And though a Judas was present, he was given a sop, and went out from the others before the supper was ended; thus no doubt representing that in the close of this Age, before the Little Flock will have finished their part of having fellowship with their Lord in His sufferings, the sop of Truth will have become so strong as to drive forth from the company and communion of the faithful all who do not rightly appreciate and value the Ransom accomplished by the Lamb of God for the taking away of the sins of the world. – I John 2:19.

DATE OF THE PASCHAL SUPPER

The date of the Paschal Supper at which the Jews ate a lamb, commemorative of their deliverance from Egyptian bondage and of the sparing of their first-born at that time, was of course calculated by the Jewish method of reckoning time, viz., lunar time. (Exod. 12:2-14.) Instead of dividing the months as we do, they allowed the new moon to mark the beginning of a new month; and the difference between the sun time (solar time) and moon time (lunar time) was equalized by always beginning the new year with the appearing of the new moon about the Spring Equinox. In celebrating their religious festivals the Jews still maintain this method of reckoning. And since our Lord, the Apostles and the early Church followed this same rule for determining the date for the annual celebration of our Lord's Last Supper, we also follow it.

The first new moon after the vernal Equinox is reckoned in Hebrew almanacs this year (1913) as being April 8th – probably Jerusalem observation. At 6 p.m. the day before begins the first day of the Jewish month Nisan, the first month of the Jewish sacred year. Beginning with the 1st of Nisan the Hebrews counted, and on the tenth day the Paschal lamb was chosen or selected from the flock. On the fourteenth day (the full of the moon*) "between evenings" (at any time between 6 p.m. of the 13th and 6 p.m. of the 14th of Nisan) the lamb was to be killed and eaten. On the fifteenth day their Passover Feast began, lasting seven days, the first and the seventh days being observed as specially holy, as Sabbath days, or "high" days. (Exod. 12:16.) On the sixteenth day, the omer of the first-fruits of the barley harvest was offered to the Lord, and fifty days after (Pentecost Day) they offered before the Lord two wave loaves. – Lev. 23:17.

*As the Sun is a symbol of Christ's kingdom, so the Moon symbolized Israel as a nation. (Rev. 12:1.) The 12 and sometimes 13 lunations symbolize the tribes of that nation. The moon was at its full at the time of Christ's crucifixion. There it immediately began to wane and waned for as long as it had previously increased. So Christ's death was the turning point between the two equal parts of Israel's history. See STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, VOL. II., p. 218. As those Jews who were unclean, and hence could not keep the Passover properly in its proper season, were permitted to do so on the 14th of the second month (at the full of the next moon – Num. 9:8-13), the lesson taught seems to be that all prevented (by ignorance) from accepting Messiah as their Redeemer, when offered to them, will have an opportunity of doing so when, in the Times of Restitution of all things, their nation (moon) shall again be full of blessings, in the latter Harvest.

These things done by the Jews every year were, as we have already seen, types of greater and grander occurrences. The choosing of the lamb on the tenth day typified how, if Israel would be blessed and recognized as the Church of the First-born in the antitypical Passover, they must accept Jesus then, five days before that Passover Feast, and four days before His crucifixion. And it evidently was on that very date that our Lord offered Himself finally to that nation – when, as their King, He rode into the city on the colt. (Compare John 12:12-16.) They, [R5191 : page 68] however, neglected to receive the Lamb of God, were at once rejected, and ceased from being the typical first-born.

The 14th day (which this year [1913] will begin at 6 o'clock on the evening of Sunday, April 20th, and last until 6 p.m. of the 21st) was the day in which the Paschal lamb was to be killed and eaten; and the Hebrew counting of time (doubtless Divinely arranged for this very purpose) permitted the eating of the "Last Supper" upon the same day that the Lord was crucified. The Passover supper of lamb and herbs and unleavened bread (fulfilling the Law, which was not ended until the cross) was eaten shortly after 6 p.m. Then followed the institution of the Memorial Supper of bread and wine, representative of the body and blood of the antitypical Lamb. This thereafter, as often as the occasion returned (yearly), was to be observed by His followers instead of the eating of the literal lamb – as the commemoration of the antitypical Lamb and the greater passing-over of the antitypical First-born, which His blood effects.

The waving of the barley sheaf of first-fruits, on the 16th of Nisan ("the morrow after the Sabbath" or Passover Feast of the 15th – Lev. 23:5,6,11,15-17), typified the resurrection of Christ our Lord, as "the first-fruits of them that slept."*I Cor. 15:20.

*Here is the strongest possible confirmation of the correctness of the position taken in STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, VOL. II. – that our Lord was not three full 24-hour days in the tomb, but only parts of the three days and nights; that He was crucified on the day corresponding to our Friday afternoon, and arose on what corresponded to our Sunday morning. The showing of this type, that the Paschal lamb was to be killed sometime during the 14th of Nisan, and the wave-offering of the sheaf of first-fruits was to occur on the 16th, should settle the matter for all. It agrees with the repeated statement (1 Cor. 15:4; Luke 24:46) that our Lord rose on "the third day, according to the Scriptures." This Scripture concerning the first-fruits is the only type which we recall as in any way pointing out the time of our Lord's resurrection. Then, too, the fact that history, as represented in the traditions and customs, points out Good Friday and Easter Sunday as celebrations of our Lord's death and resurrection, should have some weight on so trivial a matter, unless some motive or reason for misstating the dates can be assigned. The only Scripture seeming to oppose all these facts is the declaration that our Lord would be three days and three nights in the earth; and the only explanation that can be offered to this is, that the expression is used in a general and not in a specific manner, the nights being mentioned to preclude the idea of any cessation of death until the third day. Thus understood, the expression would signify that during portions of three days and nights our Lord would be in the tomb. At all events the evidence is overwhelming that He died on the 14th of Nisan, and rose on the 16th – the third day after.

The two wave loaves offered on the fiftieth day, Pentecost, represented the presenting of the Church before God and its acceptance through the merit of the great High Priest, indicated by the anointing of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. The Church really is but "one loaf" (I Cor. 10:17), the two loaves representing the same thing as the two goats presented on the Day of Atonement. It indicated that although all presented were acceptable to God through Christ Jesus, He yet knew that all presented would not come up to the condition of faithfulness to the end. The two loaves represented, therefore, the two classes of the consecrated – the overcoming Little Flock, and the Great Company of the consecrated servants of God who do not make the "high calling" theirs, by overcoming the world as they might and should do.

The method of calculating the date for Good Friday and Easter Sunday in vogue among Episcopalians and Roman Catholics differs from the foregoing in this: They celebrate as Easter Sunday the first Sunday following the first full moon after the Spring Equinox, and the preceding Friday is recognized as Good Friday. This method of counting was instituted by the Council of Nice, A.D. 325, as instead of the Jewish method which we recognize. But the name "Passover" continued to be used (not Easter+ Sunday) for a long time; it was after Papacy had become established in political influence, and the ignorant pagans began to flock to the system which enjoyed the favor of the Government, that the name "Easter" was substituted for "Passover," because about the same time as the Passover the pagans had been in the habit of celebrating the festival of their Easter goddess (Germanic [R5192 : page 68] Ostara) – Estera – goddess of Spring. This was one of the many methods adopted by an ambitious "clergy" for gaining numbers and influence.

+The use of the word Easter in Acts 12:4 is a mistranslation; it should be rendered Passover. – See Revised Version.

Sometimes the two methods of counting, Jewish and Roman Catholic, indicate the same days, but not often; occasionally their results are nearly a moon or month apart.

The Jews will celebrate the Passover week as a "feast" beginning April 22nd (at 6 o'clock p.m., April 21st), the 15th of Nisan. We in the Memorial Supper do not celebrate the feast-week, but the day previous, the 14th of Nisan, beginning on the evening of April 20th, 1913, which is the anniversary of the proper date for killing and eating the Paschal lamb – the anniversary of the death of our Lord Jesus, the true Lamb of God, because of whose sacrifice the "Church of the First-born" passes from death unto life – to be completed in the First Resurrection. The antitype of the Passover Feast-week is found in the rejoicing of heart of all the First-born of true Israel – the seven days signifying the perfection or completeness of the joy and the salvation.

We have given the details as to the counting as a general answer to many questions on this subject, and not because of any weighty importance or bondage attaching to the exact anniversary day. We recognize no such bondage upon those made free by Christ. For though desirous of observing the Memorial Supper properly, upon its proper anniversary, as intended by our Lord when He said, "This do ye [every time you celebrate this yearly memorial] in remembrance [lit., for commemoration] of Me," we esteem it more as a privilege than as a duty; and if we should err in the matter of selecting the day, through ignorance or misunderstanding, we believe the Lord would accept our good intentions and forgive the error and grant His blessing. Indeed, we believe that the Lord owns and accepts the good intentions of many of His children who, because of erroneous teachings and human traditions, select various other times and seasons for celebrating this memorial of His death, instead of its anniversary, which He designated. Similarly we would sympathize with the patriotic intentions of the man who should "celebrate" the independence of the United States three, four, or fifty times a year, forgetful of the date, or ignorant of the fact that the Fourth of July is the anniversary of the event, and was appointed as the appropriate date for celebrating it.

This, like other truths long buried under the rubbish of the Dark Ages, God is now making clear to His people. And all who are truly His people are anxious for the truth and the right upon this, as upon all other subjects revealed in God's Word.

YE DO SHEW FORTH THE LORD'S DEATH

"For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you – that the Lord on the night in which He was delivered up took a loaf, and having given thanks, broke it and said, 'This is that body of Mine, which is broken on your behalf; this do ye in My remembrance.' In like manner also, the cup, after the supper, saying, 'This cup is the New Covenant in My blood; this do ye, as often as ye may drink, for My remembrance.' For as often as you may eat this bread or drink this cup you declare the death of the Lord till He come." – I Cor. 11:24-26.

There is no necessity for discussing with honest minds what is and what is not meant by the expression – the Lord's death. Some, in an anxiety to get away from the doctrine of the Ransom, or rather, in their anxiety to get [R5192 : page 69] away from the logical deductions associated with the doctrine of the Ransom, are claiming, regardless of all Scripture to the contrary, that our Lord Jesus had two deaths, one when He came into the world, and the other at Calvary; and that the death of "The Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a Ransom for all," at Calvary, was of small importance as compared with the other. They seem willingly ignorant of the fact that the Scriptures declare, "In that He died, He died unto sin once"; and that that one death, and the only one ever referred to by our Lord or His Apostles, was the death at Calvary.

The Apostles declare that He spoke of the death which He should accomplish at Jerusalem. This one and only death of our Redeemer is what is symbolized by this remembrancer – His body, His flesh, broken for us, and of its merits and life all who would have life everlasting must partake. "Let no man deceive you by any means," on this important question.

But as water-baptism is not the important baptism, but only the symbol representing the real, so partaking of the emblematic bread and wine is only the symbol of the more important feast – our appropriation of the merit of Christ, which secures to us eternal life through His broken body and shed blood. Thus by faith accepting His finished sacrifice, and by similar faith, as instructed by Him, appropriating to ourselves all the merits and perfections and rights which The Man Christ Jesus possessed and laid down in death for us, we really feed our hearts upon the Bread of everlasting Life, the Bread which God sent to us from Heaven. This is the true Bread, the eating of which gives everlasting life. This is, primarily, what the literal bread symbolizes and signifies to all who partake of it rightly and intelligently. It is a memorial of the ransom of Adam and his family from the bondage of sin and death.

THE BREAD AND THE CUP

Another thought: the bread was unleavened. Leaven is corruption, an element of decay, hence a type of sin, and the decay and death which sin works in mankind. So, then, this symbol declares that our Lord Jesus was free from sin, a Lamb without spot or blemish, "holy, harmless, undefiled." Had He been of Adamic stock, had He received His life in the usual way from any earthly father, He, too, would have been leavened with Adamic sin, as are all other men; but His life came unblemished from a higher, Heavenly nature, changed to earthly conditions; hence He is called "the Bread from Heaven." (John 6:41.) Let us then appreciate the pure, unleavened, undefiled Bread which God has provided, and so let us eat of Him – by eating and digesting the Truth, and especially His Truth – appropriating to ourselves, by faith, His Righteousness; and let us recognize Him as both the Way and the Life.

The Apostle, by Divine revelation, communicates to us a further meaning in this remembrancer. He shows that not only did the loaf represent our Lord Jesus, individually, but that after we have thus partaken of Him (after we have been justified by appropriating His righteousness), we, by consecration, become associated with Him as part of the one, broken Loaf – food for the world. (I Cor. 10:16.) This suggests the thought of our privilege as justified believers to share now in the sufferings and death of Christ, the condition upon which we may become joint-heirs with Him of future glories, and associates in the great work of blessing and giving life to all the families of the earth.

This same thought is expressed by the Apostle repeatedly and under various figures, but none of them more forceful than this, that the Church (which is Christ's Body, see Col. 1:24), with their Head, is the "one Loaf," being broken, during the Gospel Age. It is a striking illustration of our union and fellowship with our Head.

We quote: "Because there is one loaf we, the many [persons], are one body; for we all partake of the one loaf." "The loaf which we break, is it not the participation of the body of the Anointed One?" – I Cor. 10:16,17. – Diaglott.

The "fruit of the vine" represents the sacrificed life given by our Lord. "This is My blood [symbol of life given up in death] of the New Covenant, shed for many, FOR THE REMISSION of sins." "Drink ye all of it." – Matt. 26:27,28.

It was by the giving up of His life as a Ransom for the life of the Adamic race, which sin had forfeited, that a right to LIFE may come to men through faith and obedience, under the New Covenant. (Rom. 5:18,19.) The shed blood was the "Ransom [price] for ALL," which was paid for all by our Redeemer Himself; but His act of handing the cup to the disciples, and asking them to drink of it, was an invitation to them to become partakers of His sufferings, or as St. Paul expresses it, to "fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ." (Col. 1:24.) It was the offer to us that if we, after being justified by faith, voluntarily partake of the sufferings of Christ, by espousing His cause, we will be esteemed by God members of the Body of Christ, as well as sharers in the sufferings of Jesus. (2 Tim. 2:12; Acts 9:1-5.) "The cup of blessing, for which we bless God, is it not a participation of the blood [shed blood – death] of the Anointed One?" (I Cor. 10:16. – Diaglott.) Would that we all might realize the value of the "cup," and could bless God for an opportunity of sharing with Christ His "cup" of sufferings and shame! All such may be assured that they will be glorified together with Him. – Rom. 8:17.

Our Lord also attached this significance to the "cup," indicating that it signified our participation in His dishonor, our share in His sacrifice – the death of our humanity. For instance, when asked by two of His disciples for a promise of future glory in His Throne, He answered them: "Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of?" On their hearty avowal He answered, "Ye shall indeed drink of My cup." The juice of the grape not only speaks of the crushing of the grape till blood comes forth, but it also speaks of an after refreshment; and so we who now share the "sufferings of Christ" shall shortly share also His glories, honors and immortality – when we drink the new wine with Him in the Kingdom.

"TILL HE COME"

What is the full significance of this expression?

Since our Lord who instituted the Memorial Supper placed no limit upon its observance, this expression by [R5193 : page 69] the Apostle is not to be understood as limiting the length of time in which it will be appropriate to commemorate the death of our Lord Jesus, our Ransom-Sacrifice, and our consecration with Him to sacrifice. Rather, he is showing that it was not to be considered a limited arrangement, for a few years, but was to be continually observed until the Lord's Second Coming. Looking down to and speaking of the Second Coming of our Lord, the Apostle includes in his expression the gathering and exaltation with Christ of His Church, or Kingdom, to rule and bless the world. This is even yet a common and proper way of speaking of matters so closely identified and so dependent one upon the other. The Christ, Head and Body, is coming, to rule the world in power and great glory. The presence of the Lord or Head is necessary first; then comes the change of the sleeping members of [R5193 : page 70] His Body, the sifting of the living members, and their gradual gathering together unto Him.

Even though the Kingdom may be considered as begun from the time the King began the exercise of His great power (Rev. 11:17) in 1878, it will not be "set up," in the full sense of the word, until the last member of the Kingdom has been changed or glorified – until the breaking of the Loaf, The Christ, Head and Body, is completed. While one member suffers, the Body suffers; while one member is unglorified, the Kingdom is not fully come into power and dominion.

It is the Coming of Christ, as including the full exaltation of His Church or Kingdom, that the Apostle evidently meant when he said, "As often as you may eat this [Passover] bread and drink this cup, you declare the death of the Lord [as your hope and confidence] till He come." The same thought of the Kingdom glory being the end of the symbol may be gathered from our Lord's own words on the occasion of the institution of the Memorial – "I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that Day when I drink it new with you in My Father's Kingdom." – Matt. 26:29.

And surely, if it were ever proper and expedient for those who believe that our Lord's death was the Ransom-Price to confess it – to show it forth as the basis of all their hopes – it is now, when this foundation doctrine of God's Word is being traduced and misrepresented.

APPRECIATING THE PRIVILEGE

We urge that none neglect this annual privilege, for any reason. There is a special blessing in its observance. If you incline to feel discouraged, go partake of the broken loaf, asking the Lord for a fresh realization of your justification, and a fresh appreciation of your consecration to be broken (sacrificed) with Him, as members of the one Loaf – His Church, His Body.

Let us not forget that the Memorial is meaningless or worse unless thus accepted and appreciated. But let nothing hinder us – neither sins, nor coldness, nor feelings of unworthiness. Go to the Lord and make a clean breast of all your shortcomings. Go to your brethren, or any whom you have wronged – make full acknowledgment, whether they acknowledge faults toward you or not. Get yourself right with your Lord, and so far as possible with every man, and then eat – yea, feast upon the rich provision the Lord has made for all who accept, now or in a later "due time."

Such a heart-searching and cleansing, we remember, was shown in the Passover type given to the Jews. Before they gathered to eat their Passover lamb they searched everywhere throughout their habitations, for anything containing leaven or putrefaction, bones, crusts, everything. These all were burned – destroyed. So must we fulfil the antitype, and "put away the old leaven" of anger, malice, hatred, strife. – I Cor. 5:7,8.

But remember that this kind of leaven of sin cannot be thoroughly put away unless it be burned; and only love can burn it out – Heavenly love, the Love of God. If we have that love shed abroad in our hearts, it will consume everything of the opposite character – jealousy, hatred, evil speaking, etc. Put off all these, urges the Apostle, and put on Christ and be filled with His Spirit. Do not be discouraged. But learn the lesson and start again with fresh resolutions and increased appreciation of the fact that of yourself, without the Master's aid, you could never gain the prize. He knows this better than do we, and says, "Without Me, ye can do nothing." It was because of our need that the Father thus arranged for us. "Be of good courage!" is the Master's word to all who are longing and striving to be of the class called "conquerors."

YOUR ADVERSARY THE DEVIL

Temptations seem to be specially permitted at this season of the year. "Roots of bitterness" seem to sprout and grow always, but at this season with ten-fold vigor. Let us remember that Love, not Knowledge, is the final test of our discipleship. "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another." It was because the Apostles had not enough love for one another that they disputed as to which should be the greatest in the Kingdom, and were so determined not to stoop to one another that they neglected also to wash the Master's feet, and gave Him the opportunity even in menial things to be servant of all. It was this wrong spirit – this lack of the Lord's Spirit – that made them susceptible to the Adversary's power, and led Judas to betray, and Peter to deny the Lord's Anointed.

Let us then take heed to ourselves, and watch and pray and be very humble and very loving, lest we fall into temptation. Not since that time, probably, has our great Adversary been more alive than now to do injury, or to entrap or to stumble the followers of Jesus.

Let all who hold fast the confidence of faith in His precious blood [His sacrificed life] as the Propitiation [satisfaction] for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world, be more zealous and fervent than ever before in confessing this great truth; "for even Christ our Passover [Sacrifice] is slain; therefore, let us keep the feast." None of the nominal first-born shall be passed over and become members of the Church of the First-born in glory, none except those who, during this night, abide under the blood, and partake of the merits of the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world – just as in the type.

WHO MAY PARTAKE?

The Lord's Supper is not for the world, not for merely nominal believers, but only for those who, (1) accepting of Christ as their Redeemer and Sin-Bearer, are (2) consecrated to Him and His service. But it is not for us – nor for any man or set of men – to decide who may and who may not partake. It is our duty to point out from the Word of the Lord what are the proper qualifications for participation in the "cup" and in the "loaf," and then to say as did the Apostle, Let every man examine himself, and then, if he think proper, let him partake. – I Cor. 11:28.

Now that God's people are emerging from the errors of the Dark Ages, when this Memorial can be more clearly understood, the judging or examining of one's self can be more thorough than ever before. Let each ask himself: –

(1) Do I believe the Scripture teaching that I, as a member of the human family, was under that condemnation to death which passed upon all because of original sin?

(2) Do I believe that my only hope of escape from that condemnation of sin and death was through the Ransom-Sacrifice of The Man Christ Jesus, my Lord?

(3) Do I believe He gave Himself – His flesh and blood, His humanity – as my Ransom-Price, pouring out His soul unto death, making His soul a Sin-Offering (Isa. 53:10,12) on our behalf?

(4) Do I see that the consecration to death, made at Jordan when He was baptized, was fulfilled by His sacrifice of Himself for mankind, which, beginning there, was finished on the cross when He died?

(5) Do I see that the rights under the Law, which He secured by obedience to it (the right of lasting life and the dominion of earth), were what He through that same sacrifice bequeathed to the fallen, dying race – to as many as shall ultimately accept the blessings under the conditions of the New Covenant?

(6) Do I see that His flesh and blood, thus sacrificed, [R5193 : page 71] stood for, represented, those blessings and favors which they purchased?

(7) Do I see that the partaking of the bread and wine, symbols of His flesh and blood, signifies my acceptance of those favors and blessings which the flesh and blood of my Lord bought for me and for all?

(8) And if I do thus heartily accept the Ransom thus memorialized, do I consecrate my entire being – my flesh and blood, justified through faith in that Ransom – to the Lord, to be broken with Him, to suffer with Him, to be dead with Him?

If we can answer these questions affirmatively, we clearly or fully discern the Lord's body, give credit to His meritorious Sacrifice, and may eat – should eat – "Eat ye all of it."

Those, however, that deny that a Ransom for sin and sinners was required and given, who feel that they need not to partake of Christ's merit, who deny that the merit of one can be imputed to another, who have cast off the Wedding-Garment of Christ's Righteousness, who feel "happier" and "freer" in the filthy rags of their own righteousness, and who now consider the precious blood wherewith they were once sanctified a not-holy, or an ordinary thing – such we advise to stay away from memorializing that in which they no longer believe; for they would merely be adding hypocrisy to unbelief. For such to partake, is to add condemnation to themselves and their no-ransom theories. [R5194 : page 71]

THE WORD OF GOD, THE TRUTH

But, better still, let us advise all who have merely been entrapped into this error, by the sophistries promulgated through various channels by the great Adversary, to reject all vain human philosophies, and to receive again the simple Word of God, the truths therein set forth – that all are fallen, and that the only way open for our reconciliation and restitution consistent with the Divine Law and sentence was the giving of the full and exact corresponding Price or Ransom for our sins; that in no other way could He be just and yet justify sinners. Let them recognize the fact that our Lord Jesus, as the Lamb of God, bore the full penalty for our sins in His own body on the tree – that He gave a full Ransom for all.

The philosophy is very plain, but if some cannot grasp it, at least let such grasp the fact that God declares it to be so, and let them return unto the Lord, and He will abundantly pardon. Let them ask for the guidance of the Spirit, and the anointing of the eyes, that they may be able to comprehend, with all saints, this, the Foundation of all the Grace of our God in Christ. Thus in true acceptance of the broken body and the shed blood – realizing that the Sacrifice was for their sins, and that the blood shed [life given] seals the pardon for all – let them commemorate the greatest event of history, the shedding of the precious blood, the sacrifice of the precious life of God's dear Son for our sins. Nevertheless, we know from God's Word that these words or any words will not succeed in turning back to the Way, the Truth and the Life those who have wilfully and knowingly gone out from under the "blood of sprinkling." There will be no pass-over for them. "It is impossible to renew them again unto repentance." (Heb. 6:4-10; 10:26-30.) We well know that even these words of loving admonition and these faithful references to the words of Inspiration will be attributed to hatred, malice, envy and every wicked feeling on our part, instead of to the real motive – a desire to serve the Lord and the Truth, and any brethren or sisters unwittingly stumbling.

Many in the past have partaken of the emblems of the Lord's body and blood without fully appreciating the philosophy of the Ransom, who nevertheless did so with reverent appreciation of the fact that the death of our Redeemer had purged us from our guilt and relieved us from its penalty. Such discerned the real significance of the Memorial, though, because of gross errors associated with the Truth, they did not discern its simple philosophy as many of us may now do.

ONLY THE BAPTIZED

But some Baptist brother will perhaps remark: You have forgotten to mention baptism as a necessary qualification to partaking of the Memorial Supper.

No, we have not forgotten baptism. We agree with you that the baptism is necessary – that the Memorial Supper is only for the Church; and that baptism is necessary before one can belong to the Church. But we differ with you as to what the Church is. We hold that the Baptist church is not the Church. Like all other churches organized and governed by fallen men, the Baptist church contains "tares" as well as "wheat"; but the Church contains wheat only. Surely no one will claim for any sect of Christendom that his sect contains all the "wheat" and no "tares." But the Church, "whose names are written in Heaven," includes all the "wheat," and has not a "tare" on its roll. This is the one Church which our Lord established, and of which all the Elect must become members – the Church passed-over – "The Church of the First-born ones, whose names are written in Heaven." – Heb. 12:23.

Nor can we admit your claim with reference to baptism. The Scriptural view is still more exclusive than yours. You have in the membership of the Baptist church some who would be far from acceptable as members of the "Church of the First-borns." They passed your test of water-baptism, but they have not passed the test of the greater baptism which is required of all members of the Church whose names are written in Heaven. The real baptism is a baptism into Christ's Body – the Church – by a baptism or immersion into Christ's death, and a resurrection therefrom in His likeness. Water immersion is a beautiful symbol of the real immersion of the human will into the will of Christ, a beautiful illustration of a full sacrifice even unto death; but it is only an illustration or symbol – just as the bread and wine of the Supper are not the real life-giving elements of our Lord's sacrifice of which we are to eat, but merely their symbols.

We agree, therefore, that none but the Church, the immersed, should partake of the Supper; but we recognize as really immersed all whose wills are dead and buried in the will of Christ, and who, as New Creatures in Him, are risen to walk in newness of life, while waiting for the consummation of their course in literal death, and their awakening as actual new beings in the First Resurrection. All such, whoever and wherever they may be, are the real members of Christ's Body, the Church, whether they have performed the enjoined water-symbol or not. Of course, when such consecrated ones, dead to their own wills and alive only to the will of Christ, come to see that our Lord's admonitions include the symbol of water immersion or burial, as well as the burial of their wills, they will be glad to follow and to obey their Head and Lord in all things – especially when as infants they were not "believers," and they now know that a drop of water could not in any degree symbolize burial and resurrection. Such as see the value and beauty of this injunction of God's Word should, if possible, be buried in water also (as our Lord and His Apostles showed us) before partaking of the Memorial Supper. See STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, Vol. VI, Study X, "The Baptism of the New Creation."

Of course, we cannot hope that only true "wheat" will present themselves at the Lord's table; we expect that some "tares" will come also, as Judas was present at the [R5194 : page 72] first gathering. But since we cannot judge the heart, nor separate the "wheat" from the "tares," we fulfil the whole duty when we "declare the whole counsel of God" as revealed in His Word on this subject, and should leave the decision as to whether or not he partake to each individual who professes faith in the atoning blood and consecration to the Redeemer.

HOW TO PARTAKE

If there are in your neighborhood others of God's consecrated people besides yourself, you should know it. Your faithful love for them and for the Truth should have led you to seek them out to bless them with the Truth shortly after you yourself received it. If there are such with whom you can have communion and fellowship, invite them to join you in the Memorial, but not if you know them to be deniers of the Ransom, lest you assist in bringing additional condemnation upon them.

Meet with few or many, as circumstances will permit, but better far with a few who can enter with you into the spirit of the Memorial, than with a throng devoid of that spirit of fellowship and union in Christ.

Provide for the occasion, if possible, unleavened bread (or crackers), such as the Lord used, and such as Hebrews now use; because the pure, sweet, unleavened bread best symbolizes the sinless flesh of the Lamb of God, who knew no sin (of which leaven is a symbol), who was holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from the race of sinners. Provide some drink from "the fruit of the vine," as the Lord directed. Undoubtedly He and the disciples used light wines, and we regard wine as unquestionably the more appropriate symbol. But since our Lord did not stipulate wine, but merely the "fruit of the vine," we can conceive no objection that can be urged against the strained juice of boiled raisins, which are dried grapes. And surely this would be "the fruit of the vine" as really as wine is.

We do not urge this raisin-liquor upon any who feel a conscientious desire to use wine; we merely remind all that our circumstances, climate, habits, etc., differ greatly from those of the early Church, and we very much doubt if our Lord would have us symbolize His blood with many of the intoxicating wines of our day – especially in view of the fact that some of the saints may have inherited weakness of the flesh, which one taste might re-enkindle into a great temptation. "Let each judge not to cast a stumbling-block before his brother." If wine is conscientiously preferred, choose a light wine, or mix a little wine with the raisin-juice.

The Memorial service should be very simple – it is chiefly a season of communion. Have a table in the midst of the assembly for the bread and wine. After the singing of a hymn, one of the brethren should, in a few chosen words, express the object of the service and read a few verses from the Scriptures on the subject. Another might then give thanks for the Bread of Life, the broken body of our Lord; after which the unleavened bread (or soda biscuit if more convenient) should be passed to all the communicants. An opportunity for remarks on the Bread of Life might here be given, or an extract from STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, Vol. VI, Study XI. Then a prayer of thanks for the "cup," and for the precious blood symbolized in it, should be offered, and the cup of "fruit of the vine" passed. Here an opportunity might be given for remarks on the precious blood. But avoid discussions at this meeting. However appropriate to contend earnestly for the faith on other occasions, this is not such an occasion. This is a meeting for fellowship and communion with the Lord, our Redeemer and present King. If any seem contentious, let him have his say, and let the others refrain from discussion, that the holy moments of special communion with Himself, which the Master [R5195 : page 72] appointed for our blessing, be not marred.

Those who celebrate the Memorial with guileless, earnest hearts receive a great and refreshing blessing, and for this it is well to have seasons of quiet in the midst of the service, when no one will be speaking audibly and when the hearts of all can come very close to the Master in communion – in realization of His love, past and present, in renewing the pledge made to be His faithful follower even unto death, in considering how that pledge has been kept or violated during the year preceding, and in resolving afresh to run with patience the race for the prize of joint-heirship with our Lord, to which we are invited.

A beautifully appropriate hymn for closing the Memorial is No. 276 in our hymn-book. And it will surely add to our joy to realize that some of like precious faith in all parts of the world are celebrating the same great Sacrifice, thinking of the same gracious Lord, being comforted and encouraged by the same exceeding great and precious promises, resolving by the grace of the same gracious King to do greater service and to make greater sacrifices in His service and in the service of His people thenceforth, and closing with the same song of praise and worship.

"Sweet the moments, rich in blessing,
Thus before the cross we'll spend;
Life and health and peace possessing
From the sinner's risen Friend."

Of the first Supper it is written: "They sang a hymn and went out." Let us do the same. Let each go to his home with his heart full. We suggest the omission on this occasion of the usual, general and proper after-meeting greetings, and all commonplace remarks and thoughts. Thus we may prolong our communion and fellowship with the Master. Keep within sight of Him throughout the next day. Hear the clamor of the people against the guileless One. See them incited by the clergy of Jerusalem. See Him before Herod and his soldiers. See Him arrayed in robes of mock-royalty and crowned with thorns, then buffeted and spat upon.

See Him crucified as a criminal, and taunted with the very gracious deeds which He had performed – "He saved others, Himself He cannot save." Remember that He could have saved Himself; that He could have asked for and would have received, "more than twelve legions of angels," to deliver and protect Him; that He could have destroyed His enemies and vilifiers, instead of dying for them; and that our hope of a resurrection and everlasting life depended upon His willing offering of Himself as our Ransom-Price. Considering His love for us and for all, it will surely strengthen us as His followers to endure more and more hardness as good soldiers of the cross. Aye, let us consider Him who endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest we become weary and faint in our minds, under the light afflictions now permitted for our trial and discipline, which, if faithfully endured, will work out a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.

THE CELEBRATION AT BROOKLYN, N.Y.

As usual, the Church at Brooklyn will celebrate "Christ our Passover slain for us." The service will be in the Brooklyn Academy of Music (Lafayette avenue, near subway and all car lines), because Brooklyn Tabernacle is not of sufficient capacity. The services will begin at 8 p.m. sharp, Sunday, April 20.

All devoted believers in Jesus' great Sin-Atonement are cordially invited to meet with us and partake of this Memorial [R5195 : page 73] – no matter how baptized, and no matter to which denomination they are attached, or whether free from all. The Lord's Table is for all who are His.

Disabled or sick brethren can be supplied with the emblems at their homes by sending post-card request to the Brooklyn Tabernacle.

THE SACRIFICIAL LOAF AND CUP
A broken loaf – a cup of crimson wine,
On snowy table laid,
Ah! emblems these of wondrous sacrifice –
The costly price, He paid!
That precious body, broken once for me,
That precious blood once spilt –
For me, that I through Him might be made free,
Aye, free – from death and guilt!

And has this broken loaf, this crimson wine,
A further meaning still?
Ah, yes! thro' grace I am a part of Him,
His sufferings to fulfil.
My body to be broken with my Lord,
My blood with His be shed,
And as I die with Him, with Him I live,
My ever glorious Head!

O wondrous mystery! O glorious thought!
Thro' death with Him I rise!
Suffering with Him, I with Him too shall reign,
Triumphant in the skies!
Yet on this night – before this snowy board,
Spread with this bread and wine,
Canst thou say truly, O my soul, my soul,
"These promises are mine"?

Is all thy will completely blent with His,
Whate'er may be that will?
Art willing to be crushed, that thy life's wine
May thus flow out to fill
And bless and nourish other lives than thine,
That they may bud and flower?
Art glad and thankful that thy broken life
Shall have vicarious power?

And canst thou to His precious will say "Yes,"
E'en tho' with tear-dimmed eyes
And quivering lips of pain and throbbing heart?
And when His love denies
What thy poor heart had thought its very own,
And brings to thee instead
Experiences thou canst not understand –
A pathway hard to tread –

Wilt thou still say "Amen," and trust Him still,
And wait in patient love,
Till He shall say, "It is enough, My child,
Come to thy Home above"?
And when His Truth is ridiculed and scorned,
And His dear "Servant," like his blessed Lord,
Is spat upon, and crowned with thorns, dost thou
REJOICE yet more to own His Word?

"Yes, yes!" my glad heart answers, "I REJOICE
This privilege sweet to own!
And I will kiss my cross, and wait Thy time,
Dear Lord, to share Thy Throne."
Then, oh my soul, these emblems are for thee –
This broken loaf, this wine –
And thou may'st claim His precious promises,
For they are truly thine.

The hour is late – the end is drawing nigh –
And as we gather here,
Brethren beloved, to share this holy feast,
We know the time is near
When all His loved ones shall be gathered Home,
Our tears all wiped away,
And all the shadows that oppress us here
Shall yield to perfect day.
Then with rejoicing let us now partake,
Our journey's almost o'er;
The light is breaking o'er the Heavenly hills!
Our King is at the door!

ALICE G. JAMES.

[R5195 : page 73]

THE CHURCH'S PART IN THE SIN-OFFERING

"Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that ye should follow His steps." – 1 Pet. 2:21. R.V.
H
UMANITY is imperfect, unsatisfactory to God, condemned to death. In one sense of the word, therefore, it has not merit; for God would not condemn that which has value. In another sense, however, God must perceive something in the fallen race which can be made acceptable to Himself, else He would not have made provision for the redemption of mankind. The very fact that He has provided a Redeemer for the human race is a proof that mankind are not totally depraved, although [R5196 : page 73] there is not a sufficiency of good qualities to make any one of them worthy of everlasting life. But each one has a little merit of his own, and this God intends to preserve and make valuable.

The process of making valuable what little of the original perfection any human being may have retained, is called justification. In God's Plan of the Ages, a thousand years are apportioned to the work of bringing mankind up to perfection, so that God can accept them and give them everlasting life. This period is the Millennium. Meantime, during the Gospel Age, a certain class called out from the world have a different provision made for them, by which they are now reckoned perfect through the imputation of the merit of Christ.

Even an unjustified person has some inherent merit. It would seem that the quality which God values most is an honest heart. Indeed we may say that one's worthiness is in proportion to his honesty, his truthfulness. Whenever an honest-hearted person begins to realize his sinful condition and to long for reconciliation with God, he will find that the Word of God directs all such to look to the Savior of mankind.

The Lord Jesus does not spurn sinners who evince a desire to forsake sin and to approach Him. By their measure of faith and obedience all such are justified to fellowship with Him; as it is written, "No man cometh unto the Father, but by Me." (John 14:6.) He invites sinners to have confidence in Him as a Burden-bearer, saying, "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me." – Matt. 11:28,29.

All thus approaching God have a measure of peace and justification, but neither in full; so they may be said to be tentatively justified; that is, justified for a purpose. To all such God says, "If you will believe this message of My grace to the extent that you will consecrate whatever of the original perfection you possess, I will deal with you as if you had the full amount of human perfection. If you by faith will present your body a living sacrifice (Rom. 12:1,2), even if that body is not worth more than one-third or one-half the full value of human perfection, nevertheless, I will impute enough of Christ's merit to supply your deficiency. Thus you may be counted as possessing the whole – as if you actually had one hundred per cent. of perfection."

Only during the Gospel Age is this wonderful offer made. The amount of merit necessary to bring the believer up to the standard of justification, or righteousness, where he will be acceptable to God, is exactly in proportion [R5196 : page 74] to his deficiency. If the one presenting himself in sacrifice possesses but thirty per cent., our Lord will impute to him seventy per cent. to make up one hundred per cent. which represents perfection. If he has sixty-five or forty-five per cent., there will be imputed thirty-five or fifty-five per cent., as may be required to bring him up to the full standard of righteousness.

In other words, when one enters into a contract that he will lay down his life in sacrifice, our Lord indorses him to the extent of his inability, or imputes to him enough of His merit to make up his deficiency, that his offering may be acceptable. This deficiency is not made up actually, but reckonedly, for the purpose of enabling him to present his sacrifice and of permitting Justice to accept it. Our Lord, who now has become the Advocate, makes up to each of the Church what he lacks of being a perfect human being.

THE HOLY SPIRIT THE EVIDENCE OF ACCEPTANCE

Complete peace and justification are obtainable only when the tentatively justified enter into a definite contract, or covenant, with God and present their bodies as living sacrifices. Of each who resolves to do thus, Divine Justice says, "That person is imperfect and therefore incompetent to enter into a contract of this kind; but if the Lord Jesus Christ will indorse him, the contract may be made." "Very well," says the Lord, "I indorse his note. If he does not die voluntarily, according to his agreement, I guarantee that he shall nevertheless die; for I will see that the contract is carried out. If he resists the enforced destruction of his flesh, and thus proves his unworthiness of life, he will go into the Second Death."

As each consecrated believer presents himself for sacrifice, the great Redeemer imputes to him the merit of His own sacrifice, in order to make him acceptable to the Father. After the Father has accepted the offering, He immediately imparts to him the Holy Spirit, by which he is begotten to a new nature. This impartation of the Holy Spirit is the evidence that the sacrifice has been accepted.

Thus the merit of Christ is imputed to every one who presents himself in full consecration during the "acceptable time" – the Gospel Age. Those who offer themselves through the great Redeemer are not, however, accepted in the full sense of the word, until they reach the end of the journey of life; for they may fail to make their calling and election sure. Their standing, therefore, is one of faith, not of works. Whatever there is of good in them is acceptable to God through the merit of Christ, their Advocate.

The basis of this reconciliation arranged by God is the death of our Lord Jesus Christ as a Ransom – a corresponding price – for Adam, who forfeited his life through disobedience. This price our Lord has already placed in the hands of Justice to be applied for the world in due time. Meanwhile this merit, which is to bring Restitution to the world eventually, is now imputed to the Church, to cover our imperfections and shortcomings and thus to permit us to get rid of the earthly nature and to come into the Heavenly nature.

In this transaction our Lord accepts us as New Creatures, members of His Body, and our flesh as His flesh. Therefore the sacrifice of the flesh of the Church is a continuation of that of His own flesh. As human beings we have to give up our wills altogether; and under this arrangement we are henceforth members of His Body. From this standpoint He counts our blood, our death, as a part of His own, and associates us with Him in the glorious promises.

Let us get the thought well established in our minds that while no sacrifice on our part is necessary to the salvation of the world, as all the merit is in our Lord Jesus, yet according to the Divine Plan, which the Lord is working out, the Church is permitted to share with her Lord in the sacrifices of the present time – not as individuals, not in a personal sense, but as members of His Body. All the while, however, it is our Lord's own merit which makes the Church acceptable.

THE CHURCH'S SHARE IN THE SIN-OFFERING

The question may be asked, What has the Church to do with the Sin-Offering? We reply that we would not know what part they have if God had not shown us by making a picture in the Atonement Day sacrifices. Israel's Atonement Day prefigured typically the work to be done by The Messiah – the reconciliation of God and mankind. The Day of Atonement had various features. It began with the sacrifice of a bullock, which typified the offering of the Lord Jesus Christ on behalf of the Church. The blood of the bullock was sprinkled on the Mercy Seat for the priest and his house, typifying the entire Household of Faith.

Then the Household of Faith was represented by two goats. One of these goats went through experiences exactly similar to those of the bullock. This goat represented that class of believers who daily follow in the footsteps of the Lord, who are sharers with Him in His sufferings and who will also partake of the glories to follow. – Rom. 12:1,2; Heb. 13:11-13.

The other goat represented that class of consecrated believers who do not go voluntarily to death, but who, without turning to sin, fail to make a willing sacrifice. Therefore this class is treated as the scape-goat and driven into the wilderness condition for tribulation experiences. St. Paul seems to refer to this class when he says that some are thus dealt with that the spirit may be saved in the Day of the Lord Jesus. – I Cor. 5:5.

Because the Scriptures picture the Lord and the Church as the Sin-Offering, therefore we believe it. St. Paul addresses the Church as the antitypical goat class when he says, "The bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the Sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth, therefore, unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach." – Heb. 13:11-13.

What beasts were thus treated? Only the bullock and the Lord's goat. The Apostle plainly states that Jesus was typified by one of these beasts, and urges the Church – the "Us" class – to go forth unto Him without the camp, thus antityping the Lord's goat. Let us then go forth; let us walk in His footsteps, bearing His reproach with Him; for "if we suffer [with Him] we shall also reign with Him" – shall be glorified together. – 2 Tim. 2:11,12.

THE CHURCH'S SACRIFICE OF EARTHLY RIGHTS

The merit of our Lord's sacrifice resides in the fact that, having maintained His righteous standard throughout His earthly ministry, and having sacrificially given up His life, He has that right to life on the human plane at His disposal. That right He has given into the hands of Justice, to constitute the basis of the imputation to the Church of whatever each member may need to make up for his deficiency. As soon as the Church has completed her sacrifice, and has passed beyond the veil, this merit will be released for application on behalf of the world.

The Church's part in the Sin-Offering, therefore, is that she receives, as a reward for her faith and obedience, the privilege of sacrificing with her Lord. Her share is thus accomplished when she presents herself a living sacrifice. The Lord's part begins when He accepts the [R5197 : page 75] offering. He stands sponsor for His Church and, as the Advocate, becomes responsible for those under His care.

Those who are called the Church are privileged to participate in the sacrifices of the present and in the glorious work of the future. A part of that future work will be the sealing of the New Covenant. The Church will have a share in this sealing in the same sense in which she has a share with her Lord in His glory. The entire merit is in the Lord; and by His grace we are what we are and have part in the glorious work. By virtue of membership in the Body of Christ in glory, the Church have part in the Sin-Offering and are sharers of all that is Christ's, including the work which He will accomplish.

When we present ourselves as living sacrifices, we make consecration unto death and consequently, if accepted, lose forever all right to life on the human plane. We present our bodies that we may become priests of the new order, or profession, under the great High Priest, to whom we have given our lives. If He accepts them, we have nothing more to do with them. He has all title to our earthly rights. We do not hold over those rights. In other words, we cease to be; we are beheaded, so far as all earthly hopes or aims are concerned. By virtue of His perfection, our Lord has a right to everlasting life. We never had a right to everlasting life, but are enabled to present ourselves because of His acceptance of our sacrifices as His own.

Our thought, then, in presenting ourselves must be that we are presented for sacrifice – not that we can compel the Lord to accept our sacrifice, but that we are willing, desirous, that He should accept it. It does not follow, however, that He must accept it, nor that we have anything to do with the ultimate results. We do not set ourselves apart merely to serve righteousness – to do right and to deal justly with our neighbor. This is true of the Jew, whose Law Covenant binds him to do this. But it is not so with us; for "flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God." (I Cor. 15:50.) Therefore we purpose that by the assisting grace in Christ we will present our bodies sacrifices even unto death, that according to His covenant with us, He may exalt us in due time. (I Pet. 5:6.) We do not merely forsake sin, but give up that to which we have a right in earthly interests.

THE WORK OF THE ADVOCATE

It may be said that the Lord Jesus becomes the Sympathizer to those who believe in Him, even before they present themselves in consecration. But this sympathy is a very different matter from the Advocacy, a term which bears the thought of rendering assistance from the store of grace to enable the individual to come into the spirit begotten condition and to maintain his standing there.

The term Advocate signifies a friendly and competent representative. If we employ an attorney, he goes into court for us and puts himself down as our advocate, to appear for us in any case that might come up against us. If we should need his assistance, we would cause word to be sent to him, as our attorney.

Our Lord's work as Advocate for the Church began when He appeared in the presence of God and made application of His precious blood on behalf of all those who come unto the Father by Him throughout the Gospel Age. (Heb. 9:24.) Individually, He becomes our Advocate when we come into the acceptable condition by presenting ourselves as living sacrifices. This matter of the imputation of the merit of Christ to us and of our demerit to Him is, strictly speaking, one with which we have nothing to do. It is the Father's arrangement. God does not recognize us at all; for we are by nature sinners. He could not accept our sacrifices except as He imputes to us merit which we do not possess, but which our Head has provided. In this sense, our Lord's merit is said to be imputed to us and our demerit to Him.

If A pays something on B's account, B's account is credited with the amount and A's is debited. Whatever is imputed to one in the way of merit is counted to the other by way of demerit. The merit of our Lord, which is to go ultimately to the world, is to this extent temporarily charged with our shortcomings, and will not be released until we shall have fulfilled our part of the covenant.

BLEMISHES, SPOTS AND WRINKLES DEFINED

The Robe of Christ's Righteousness, otherwise termed the Wedding Garment, is a very beautiful figure of speech illustrative of a certain great truth. Since only the New Creatures, only those begotten of the Holy Spirit, are granted this Robe, and since these are not under condemnation and are not reckoned according to the flesh, it would not be an improper form of statement to say that they have no sin. "Whosoever is begotten of God doeth no sin." – I John 3:9. R.V.

If the New Creature were to sin, the penalty of death would be incurred. Sin on the part of the New Creature would signify a change of will, a change of mind; and the New Creature would cease to be. The Robe of Christ's Righteousness does not cover the imperfections of the New Creature; for the New Creature never had any imperfection. In God's sight the New Creature has a standing, and is pure, spotless. The flesh is not the New Creature, but the old, which is reckoned dead, and then, as St. Paul says, is also reckoned alive as revived or quickened. – Eph. 2:1-7; Col. 2:13; Rom. 6:4.

Our quickened flesh, then, by the grace of God is represented as pure, desirable in His sight, and in proper condition for the marriage – the union with Christ. Whatever spots might appear on this Robe would, of course, be as figurative as the Robe itself, and would represent blemishes. These would not be ours as New Creatures, but would result from the fact that for the time being the New Creature must tabernacle in the flesh, until it is given its new body.

Blemishes are the weaknesses and imperfections of the flesh. Spots are not those wrong-doings of which we are unconscious, but those which we seem to recognize as contrary to the will of God. These spots may be of different sizes, representing discrepancies, or various degrees of imperfection. In addition to these weaknesses, failings, faults and mistakes, there may be some little carelessness, indolence, neglect of using an opportunity. These may be considered, not as blemishes or spots, but as wrinkles on the Robe of Christ's Righteousness.

St. Paul seems to wish to give us the thought of the absolute purity of the class that will ultimately be presented to the Father by our Lord, when he says that the Church will not have a spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but will be "holy and without blemish." (Eph. 5:27.) This figure, of course, represents perfection of mind; for our bodies cannot be brought to that condition, because of the fall of Adam. All mankind are born in sin and shapen in iniquity. – Psa. 51:5.

THE NECESSITY OF POSSESSING A TENDER CONSCIENCE

It is the duty of the New Creature to detect the imperfections, errors and shortcomings of the flesh, and to go immediately to the Throne of the Heavenly Grace with them, to obtain mercy and forgiveness. Only those with tender consciences will keep their garments unspotted. The failure to do this seems to be the reason why many [R5197 : page 76] fail to make their "calling and election sure." They are not particular about these little things; they are careless of opportunities, etc. Thus their robes become spotted and quite unfit for the marriage ceremony.

The Scriptures show us that this class will go through a time of great trouble, during which they will do what they failed to do at the proper time – "wash their robes and make them white in the blood of the Lamb." (Rev. 7:14.) By this process of purification, they will come up and will bear palm branches instead of wearing crowns of glory. Instead of being members of the Temple class, they will be servants in the Temple.

The Robe of Christ's Righteousness, the figurative expression which means the imputation of the merit of Christ to those who are accepted as members of His Body, is not only styled "the Wedding Garment" (Matt. 22:11-14), but is also beautifully pictured as the Bridal Robe. (Psa. 45:13,14.) There we read that the Bride will be brought before the great King in garments of needlework. Thus we get the thought that while this Robe is provided for us when first we become members of the family of God and of the prospective Bride of Christ, nevertheless, there is an individual work for each to accomplish.

This special work is represented as embroidery. The design we as Christians are to trace with painstaking zeal; for it requires great skill, close attention. This Robe of Christ's Righteousness, which is represented as being ours in the sight of God, will continue to be ours throughout the everlasting future. It will no longer be ours by imputation, but by right of possession. By that time we shall have made our characters, by the grace and assistance of the Lord, copies of the character of God's dear Son, our Redeemer. Then we shall no longer need the imputation of Christ's merit to cover our blemishes; for the new body which we shall receive in the Resurrection will be without spot or wrinkle – without blemish. It will be perfect.

[R5198 : page 76]

THE SALE OF A BIRTHRIGHT
– APRIL 6. – GENESIS 27:22-34. –

"Esau...for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected." – Hebrews 12:16,17.
I
N OLDEN TIMES, and still in some countries, the birthright belonged to the firstborn son. At the father's death the oldest son took his place at the head of the family; and the property, usually consisting of flocks and herds, became his possession. But today's lesson introduces us to a birthright which included much more than the earthly possessions. It included the inheritance of certain great Divine promises.

Abraham's estate went to Isaac, the others of the family receiving portions of it of and through him. Abraham was very rich, but the possession which he prized more than all earthly things was the Divine Promise, or Covenant, made with him – that the blessing of the Lord would specially be upon his seed, his posterity; and that eventually all nations of the earth would be blessed and favored of God through them.

This great promise Isaac had inherited. At the time of our lesson he was more than a hundred years old, and blind. He realized that the time had come for him to give his blessing to his heir, which blessing served as instead of a written will – the custom of today. He therefore instructed Esau, the hunter, to prepare him a special dinner of venison; thus to prepare to receive his blessing.

Isaac had two sons, Esau and Jacob – twins, Esau being the elder by a few moments only. But these twins, contrary to what is usual, were very dissimilar. Esau was hairy and ruddy, full of vigor, athletic, a hunter. Jacob was the reverse of this – smooth-skinned, dark-complexioned, a tent-man, or home-keeper, as in contrast with a hunter. Jacob seems to have inherited the qualities of his father, Esau more the vivacity of his mother. As temperamental opposites agree best, Isaac loved Esau most; while Rebecca, the mother, loved Jacob best.

The quiet, studious Jacob thought frequently of the great blessing God had promised to his grandfather Abraham, a share in which he apparently had missed by an accident of birth – by a few minutes only. The more he studied, the more he realized the value of that great Promise. Esau, on the contrary, full of animal spirit, thought more of the pleasures of the present life, and considered the Divine Promise as quite secondary and rather visionary.

These two men had passed thirty years of age, we know not how much. Esau was looking forward to his inheritance of the bulk of his father's property. Jacob, humiliated by his misfortune of birth, was downcast. He was fond of lentil soup, and had made some for himself. Just as he was about to partake, his brother Esau arrived on the scene hungry, having just returned from a chase, and begged to have Jacob's soup.

Then Jacob said to Esau, in substance, "You have every advantage. I have nothing but this soup. If you are willing, we will change places. You can have the soup and I will take the advantages." Esau replied, "I am tired to death, anyway. Give me the soup." Jacob answered, "I mean it, though, solemnly. If you swear that you will transfer the birthright to me, we will settle this matter; and the soup will be yours." Careless Esau swore away his birthright for a mess of pottage, and thus signified that he had no particular faith in God or in His promises.

Time passed. Esau married heathen wives when he was forty, and his father Isaac a hundred years old. A little later than this came the denouement – the imparting of the blessing to the one who bought, to the chagrin and anger of the one who most solemnly sold it.

Rebecca, the mother, had heard Isaac's instruction to Esau, and remembered that the birthright had been sold under oath to Jacob, her favorite. She explained the situation to Jacob and assured him, as his mother, that he would be right in personifying his brother Esau and receiving the blessing as his proxy or representative. She prepared the kind of stew which Isaac preferred, using the skins of kids to cover Jacob's neck and hands, that thus his father might mistake him for Esau. As he had bought all of Esau's rights, she thought it not improper to clothe him with Esau's garments, and instructed him that any blame coming from the deception would be hers. She took the entire responsibility. Jacob carried out the program and got the chief blessing.

Esau came in later with his venison stew, prepared to violate his contract made under oath, and was greatly disappointed to learn that the blessing was gone. It seemed more valuable then than when he had sold it. Although he received an inferior blessing from his father, he had the spirit of murder toward his brother for carrying out the terms and conditions incident to the birthright sale.

EARTHLY LOSS SPIRITUAL GAIN

The account shows that Jacob's interest in the birthright blessing was not in the temporal or earthly inheritance, but in the spiritual Promise with which he was connected. He left his home and all the property to which he was heir, and went penniless to work for his uncle. Esau might have all the earthly possessions. Jacob carried with him, wherever he went, the birthright privilege of the Promise made to Abraham. This could not be alienated from him. With this he was rich.

St. Paul calls our attention to the fact that all these results were foreknown to God; and that at the birth of these two men it had been specifically declared that the elder should serve the younger. (Romans 9:10-13.) No doubt this Divine prophecy guided Rebecca in opposing and thwarting Isaac's love for Esau, which impelled him to give the blessing to the elder son, notwithstanding the Divine prophecy to the contrary. – Genesis 25:23.

JACOB LOVED – ESAU LOVED LESS

It is not for us to defend Jacob and his mother in their misrepresentation of the facts – in the deception of Isaac. It is not for us to recommend any others to follow his course. Nevertheless, it is proper that we should notice that the Bible distinctly tells us that God's loving favor was with Jacob. "Jacob have I loved." He was loved because of his reverential love for God and the great Oath-bound Promise.

Not a word of condemnation is given to Jacob anywhere in respect to this matter. No teacher in the name of the Lord, therefore, has the right to be wiser than what is written in God's Word. On the contrary, Esau is roundly denounced, and is called profane and wicked, because he would sell his birthright for a mess of pottage, or any other consideration. The love of Jacob for the birthright is held up for our emulation. Esau's carelessness is held up as a warning that if any of us are careless of our birthright, we shall not only lose it, but lose the favor of God. – Hebrews 12:15-17.

THE LESSON OF THE LOST BIRTHRIGHT

The Apostle calls our attention to the fact that the experiences of these two men in the long ago were designed of the Lord to be typical. Abraham's natural seed is indeed to have a blessing, represented by Esau's blessing; but Abraham's Spiritual Seed is to have the greater blessing, typified by Jacob's inheritance. The earthly seed inherit the earthly blessings. The Spiritual Seed give up all their earthly rights, that they may be possessors of the spiritual promises, which the natural man cares not for.

The Apostle points out that this does not apply merely to the Natural Israelite, but to all who, after having had the privileges and opportunities of becoming joint-heirs with Christ in His Messianic Kingdom, love the pleasures of this world. These are represented as selling their birthright on the spirit plane for a mess of pottage – earthly advantage.

The Abrahamic Promise is still the one, and the only one, held out by the Almighty. Messiah is the Seed of Abraham, through whom all of God's blessings must come. Jesus is the Head and the Church are the members of the Body, as St. Paul points out: "If ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's Seed, and heirs according to the [Abrahamic] Promise." – Gal. 3:29.

To the Jew first, came the opportunity for constituting this Spiritual Seed; but the vast majority loved and trusted more the things of the present life. The few loved and trusted Jesus and became His followers. Since the door to this "high calling" has been thrown open to the Gentiles, the results have been the same; the majority have loved the present life; the few have appreciated the things unseen as yet.

To the saintly few represented by Jacob, the obtaining of this life-right means self-sacrifice, the loss of earthly favors – the surrender of these to others who love the present world. To others it means the getting of a mess of pottage – earthly advantages of the present time – and the losing of a great prize, which Jesus likened to a "pearl of great price," to obtain which we should be willing to sell all we possess – to obtain a share in Messiah's Kingdom, which shortly is to bless Israel and all the world.

No one can sell his birthright until he has a birthright. Hence the application of this in antitype is merely to the consecrated people of God. Only those who have been begotten of the Holy Spirit have a birthright in the highest sense. And only these could sell it for the mess of pottage. The world may strive for its various prizes and pearls, and is measurably justified in so doing, because it has nothing else.

But the spirit-begotten heirs of the Divine Promise became such by promising absolute loyalty to the Lord and [R5199 : page 77] to the principles of Justice and Mercy. These must self-sacrificingly continue to walk in the Master's footsteps; else they cannot share with Him the glorious outcome. Only those who attain a share in the Kingdom will have a share in its wonderful work of blessing and uplifting humanity. Let us, then, as the Apostle exhorts, lay aside every weight and every besetting sin, and run with patience the race set before us in the Gospel, looking unto Jesus, the Author of our faith, until He shall become the Finisher of it. – Hebrews 12:1-3.

[R5199 : page 77]

THE GATE OF HEAVEN
– APRIL 13. – GENESIS 28:10-22. –

"I am with thee and will keep thee, whithersoever thou goest." – V.15.
O
UR LESSON relates to the Patriarch Jacob. He was something over forty years of age at the time he left home, forsaking all the family possessions which belonged to his purchased birthright. He counted all earthly possessions as insignificant in value compared with the great Promise made to Abraham, of which he had become heir. That his brother Esau cared nothing for the spiritual Promise and was quite content to get possession of the earthly inheritance of Isaac, is manifest from the subsequent story.

In his journey toward Haran, Jacob lighted upon the little town of Luz. Following the custom of many in Palestine today, he did not ask for lodgings, but merely placed a stone for his pillow, wrapped himself in his outer mantle, and lay down in a quiet place to sleep. He had always been the home boy, the philosopher, his mother's pet; and although he was now a man in years, we are to remember that the race was longer-lived at that time and slower of maturity, by about one-half. Practically he was just entering manhood's estate. His deep religious convictions, his faith in the God of his father and his grandfather, his desire for a share of the Divine blessing, had made him an outcast. Doubtless he felt lonesome and heart-sick. He was leaving the only friends he had in the world, and going forth practically penniless, to find some kind of service.

"JACOB HAVE I LOVED"

This is the Scriptural statement and is borne out by the Lord's dealings with Jacob. He had shown his courage, his devotion, his faith. God would reward him. At this time he was needing encouragement, and therefore was given a dream of beautiful import. In the dream he saw a ladder extending from his side clear up into Heaven. It was crowded with angels going and coming.

At its further end, in his mind he saw the God of Glory and heard Him speak; and the words were wonderful – full of interest and encouragement. God here gave Jacob the assurance that not only had he secured his father Isaac's blessing, but that God recognized the transfer – recognized him as the legal heir to the great Abrahamic Promise, which is the basis of all hopes, Jewish and Christian, for themselves and all the kindreds of the earth.

God's message was: "I am the Lord God of Abraham and the God of Isaac, thy father; the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; and thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the east, and to the west, and to the north, and to the south; and in thee and in thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken."

This phraseology is much the same that was given to Abraham and was confirmed to Isaac. Now it was confirmed to Jacob. He was thenceforth in Covenant relationship to God. Better than he knew, all his efforts would be so supervised as to work together for his highest welfare.

NEITHER A JEW NOR A CHRISTIAN

Jacob was not a Christian; and we are not to think for a moment of the Lord's providences over him as being of the same kind as those of the Church of this Gospel Age. He was not invited to be a sharer of the "high calling." He was not promised a change of nature to Heavenly condition by resurrection, or in any other way. All of the promises to him were earthly, as were those made to Abraham.

Neither was Jacob a Jew. There were no Jews yet. The nation subsequently called Israel and afterwards known as the people of the Jews were Jacob's children; but they were not yet born. They became a distinctive people and nation not merely by being Jacob's children, but by being brought into Covenant relationship with God through Moses and the Law Covenant of Sinai.

Thus we see that the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, not under the Law Covenant, and not under the Gospel arrangement, constituted a class by themselves. To them especially (and in conjunction with them some of the noble Prophets and worthies of the Jewish Age) belonged certain great promises of God in respect to the land of Canaan and the blessing of the world. Not being a part of the spirit-begotten Church of this Gospel Age, they can have no share with Messiah in His Spiritual Kingdom, which shortly is to bind Satan, overthrow sin, scatter darkness and superstition and flood the world with a knowledge of God. They were not invited to share this "high calling."

However, a special call, or invitation, or promise, was made to them, not made to any others. In fulfilment of that Promise, these patriarchs are to be granted human perfection in the resurrection; and being made superior to the remainder of humanity, they will be qualified to be the princes or rulers of all the earth, representatives of the Spiritual, Heavenly, invisible Kingdom of Messiah.

Thus instead of any longer being recognized as the fathers, or patriarchs, they will by and by be recognized as the first children of Messiah, as the first ones to whom He will give the perfection of earthly life. Thus reads the prophecy: "Instead of Thy [Messiah's] fathers, shall be Thy [Messiah's] children, whom Thou mayest make princes [rulers] in all the earth." – Psalm 45:16.

It will be noted that Jesus, speaking of His glorious Kingdom to come, said, "The Kingdom of God cometh not with observation" [outward display]. (Luke 17:20.) He also said to the disciples, "Yet a little while and the world seeth Me no more." (John 14:19.) And when describing what would be seen and recognized at His Second Advent and the establishment of His Kingdom, Jesus said not one word about any one seeing Himself or any one of the Apostles in Kingdom glory. But He did say, "Ye shall see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the Prophets." – Luke 13:28,29.

Jesus and His Bride Class – the Apostles and saints of this Age, from every nation and denomination – will indeed be the real Kingdom and have the real supervision and power; but they will be invisible, as the Scriptures declare. All these will "be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye," by the First Resurrection power. No longer earthly beings, they will be spirit beings, the Elect, being "made partakers of the Divine Nature." (2 Peter 1:4.) As St. Paul again declares, the Resurrection change must come before the Church can enter the Kingdom glory; for "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God." – I Corinthians 15:50.

WHAT THE DREAM MEANT

In order to rightly appreciate this dream or any part of the Gospel Message, it must be remembered that man, originally in covenant relationship with God, was cut off therefrom by disobedience in Eden. The covenant of everlasting life could not stand with any who were sinners. "The soul that sinneth, it shall die."

But God had planned from the beginning a redemption of Adam and his race from this death sentence, this curse of destruction. He could not take Abraham back into His family, having purposely so arranged the condemnation that it could be set aside only by the work of a Redeemer. The Covenant made with Abraham, confirmed to Isaac, and now to Jacob, was merely a promise that God in due time would through their posterity send the Redeemer, the Deliverer, and through these bless all the families of the earth with the privilege of return to harmony and fellowship with God, as sons of God.

The ladder represents this thought of direct fellowship between Heaven and earth, between God and man. The foot of this ladder was close to Jacob. Through his Seed this great work of opening up relationship with God and men would be accomplished. The vision of God at the further end and His encouraging words were to stimulate Jacob to faithfulness and appreciation of this great Promise as a pearl of great value – worth much more than the mess of pottage which he gave for it; yea, worth much more than home and its comforts. The dream had its intended effect. Jacob was encouraged, not only for that time, but through the remainder of his days. More than this, that dream has been a comfort and refreshment to all of God's people made aware of it through the Bible.

And this lesson applies to Christians of today also. With the fuller light of the Apostolic teaching and the guidance of the Holy Spirit we understand that before Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the Holy Prophets of the past can bless the world as the honored seed of Abraham in the flesh, another work must be done. That other work will be done by our Lord Jesus. The death of the holy, harmless, undefiled Lamb of God constituted the entire [R5200 : page 79] foundation for the complete outworking of the Plan of God's Mercy for our race.

During this Gospel Age a secondary feature has operated; an elect, select company, a Bride class of joint-heirs with the Master, has been called out of the world from Jews and Gentiles, to constitute the Spiritual Seed of Abraham. If this ladder of intercourse and communion came down to Jacob, still more does it come down to and center in The Christ, of which Jesus Christ is the Head and the Church His faithful members.

When Jacob awakened, he felt overwhelmed. To have the Almighty thus indicate His care and blessing and approval, and to assure him of His protecting care in the future, seemed wonderful to the friendless man. He said, Surely this place may be called God's House and the Gate of Heaven! And so ever since, the Church has delighted to be known as the House of God – Bethel. By and by as the great Temple of God, composed of living stones, Jesus Himself being the Chief Corner Stone, this Bethel will be the Gate of Heaven, through which will come to mankind all the glorious things which God has promised – Restitution, perfection, Paradise – for all the willing and obedient.

Jacob took the stone he had used for a pillow, set it up as a monument and poured oil upon it, as signifying its sacredness to God. His example since has been imitated by the Egyptians, in setting up great columns pointing heavenward, and also imitated by the Babylonian steeples, and by Christians in the cathedral steeples and church spires. All of these, however, unwittingly point to Heaven, and prefigure the fact that there is by and by to be a ladder, a communication between Heaven and earth. That ladder will be the Messianic Kingdom.

Tradition tells us that subsequently Jacob's stone was taken to Jerusalem, and there used in conjunction with the crowning of the Jewish kings. Tradition says that that stone was taken by Jeremiah when the Babylonians overthrew Jerusalem. Tradition further says that it was carried to Ireland and for a time used there for crowning their kings. It says also that this same stone is now in Westminster Abbey, and forms the seat of the throne on which the British sovereigns are crowned.

page 79

BEREAN QUESTIONS IN SCRIPTURE STUDIES
Series VI., Study XIII. – Parental Obligations of the New Creation.
APRIL 6
Read p. 557, par. 1, to p. 559, par. 1.

MARRIAGE OF THE CHILDREN OF THE NEW CREATION.

(57) Does the Apostolic advice to the New Creation concerning marriage apply to their unconsecrated children? P. 557, par. 1.

(58) How do many of the New Creation err in this respect? P. 557, par. 2, 3, 4.

(59) At what ages respectively would it seem best for natural men and women to marry? P. 558, par. 1.

(60) How may wise parents assist their children in mating properly? P. 558, par. 2.

STEWARDSHIP OF OUR CHILDREN'S HEALTH

(61) What is the close relationship between clean and healthy minds and bodies? P. 559, par. 1.

APRIL 13
Read p. 559, par. 2, to p. 562, par. 1.

(62) To this end, how should ventilation, clean surroundings and proper physical and mental exercise receive careful inspection by the parent? P. 559, par. 2.

(63) Into what three classes may foods be divided? And what is the proper proportion of each to be partaken of during the day? P. 560, par. 1 to 4.

(64) How may a purely vegetable dietary be satisfactorily arranged, if necessary for economy? P. 561, par. 1.

(65) Explain the injurious results of an uneven balancing of foods, especially of starchy variety? P. 561, par. 2.

(66) Should we be careful not to make diet "a fad"? P. 561, par. 3.

(67) Why is cheerful and profitable conversation a desirable accompaniment of the family table? P. 562, par. 1.

Series VI., Study XIV. – Sundry Earthly Obligations of the New Creation.
APRIL 20
Read p. 563, par. 1, to p. 565, par. 2.

(1) Does the transforming of their minds release the New Creation from responsibility toward their fellowmen? P. 563, par. 1.

(2) Why should New Creatures be much more alert than others to recognize the principle of justice? P. 563, par. 2.

(3) What is the Divine injunction with respect to indebtedness, as expressed by the Apostle in Romans 13:8? P. 564, par. 1.

(4) What should be the rule for every member of the New Creation as respects money matters? P. 564, par. 2.

(5) Why should all New Creatures aim to keep their expenses below their income? P. 565, par. 1.

(6) If we have in the past unwisely contracted debts, what should be our course? P. 565, par. 2.

APRIL 27
Read p. 566, par. 1, to p. 568, par. 1, last half.

(7) What Scriptural precedent may be found for taking advantage of modern bankruptcy provisions? P. 566, par. 1.

(8) If the debt were an obligation of friendship and not a business one, how should it be considered by a New Creature? P. 566, par. 2.

(9) Are widows and orphans responsible for debts of the former head of the family? P. 567, par. 1.

(10) How should we consider the matter of borrowing and lending, as between "brethren"? P. 567, par. 2.

(11) If a brother be so situated that he could give no security for a loan, how should the tender of it consider the matter? P. 568, par. 1, first half.

(12) In case the brother wished a loan with the intention of making profit, would it be proper to take security and require interest? P. 568, par. 1, last half.

page 81
March 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. XXXIVMARCH 15No. 6
A. D. 1913 – A. M. 6041
CONTENTS
The Privilege and Necessity of Prayer 83
Access to Throne of Grace a Privilege 83
A Privilege of the Household of Faith 84
Watching Unto Prayer Commended 85
Praying for Temporal Things 85
Proper Subjects for Prayer 86
The Atmosphere of Prayer 87
For Whom May We Now Pray? 88
Formal Prayer (Poem) 89
Making Friends With Mammon 90
Giving All for God's Favor 90
Set Your Affections Above 91
The Different Steps in Justification 92
Faith the Essence of Righteousness 92
Tentative Justification Not Consecration 92
Vitalized Justification 93
Sanctification a Gradual Process 93
Gethsemane (Poem) 94
Southern Convention Tour 94
Interesting Letters 95

'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 82

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.

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1913 – MOTTO TEXT CARDS – 1913

The beautiful motto cards bearing this year's 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," are temporarily out of stock. We are expecting a second consignment from abroad by the latter part of April. At that time we will be ready to fill orders – singly at 5c., by the dozen 50c., postpaid. On account of heavy import duty we cannot supply any more at the former rate of 30c. per dozen.

POST-CARDS

We carry in stock an excellent assortment of Scripture post-cards of our own selection, both Birthday and for general use. The price for all of these cards has been reduced to 15c. per dozen, in any quantities.

1913 – VOLUNTEER MATTER – 1913

The topics of Ordination and Foreign Missions are considered in a manner very interesting, we believe, to all, in PEOPLES PULPIT, Vol. V., No. 1, which is to be used as this year's regular Volunteer matter.

Although a little delayed by our printers, we hope to begin making shipments of the above by March 15. You will be duly notified when your shipment is made. If papers are not received within ten days after notification, kindly advise us fully and promptly. When received, please acknowledge whether full number of papers we mention in notification reach you in good condition, fully prepaid.

[R5200 : page 83]

THE PRIVILEGE AND THE NECESSITY OF PRAYER

"Let us...come boldly unto the Throne of Grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." – Hebrews 4:16.
P
RAYER is a general term for all manner of petitions – whether a request, a hymn, or an expression of thanksgiving and praise. The word supplication seems to carry with it the thought of a continuous request, a repeated prayer, a longing desire, a waiting for the Lord to grant our petitions.

Well has the poet said,

"Prayer is the soul's sincere desire,
Uttered or unexpressed."

The first intimation of approach to God on the part of humanity is that in connection with the sacrifices offered by Cain and Abel. They did not come, however, with a petition to a Father, but with sacrifices, thus acknowledging sin. The one who brought a sacrifice symbolically representing a sin-offering God accepted; the other, He declined to accept in any sense of the word.

Two thousand years later, God made choice of Abraham as the person through whom the vague promise made to Eve should be fulfilled; and to him He made the very definite promise that in him and his Seed all the families of the earth should be blessed. With Abraham God made a Covenant, which He renewed to Abraham's posterity – to Isaac, but not to Ishmael; to Jacob, but not to Esau. These men were privileged to pray, because by their faith they were justified to fellowship with God.

Eventually these blessings of Divine favor and grace extended to Israel as a nation; and they entered into these privileges in the full sense of the word, under the Covenant of the Law, of which Moses was the mediator. From that time on they had the same opportunities to appeal to God as had Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Indeed, in some respects, they had a preferred condition. They had a typical Atonement Day, on which they were typically cleansed; and because of this typical cleansing, they were permitted to come to God, as did David, Hezekiah and others.

The temple at Jerusalem was called the House of God, and the people went up to the temple to pray. Apparently it was generally understood that they might not pray anywhere and everywhere. This is indicated by our Lord's conversation with the woman of Samaria. Suppliants were heard only when they went to the temple to pray. The Samaritans claimed that the proper place to pray was on Gerizim, the mountain of Samaria. When the woman asked our Lord in regard to this matter, He intimated that the Jews were right in claiming that Jerusalem was the place where men ought to worship. – John 4:20-24.

The Jewish nation, by means of their Law Covenant made with God, were in covenant relationship to Him, and were, therefore, permitted to pray to Him. God does not regard all prayers, but only those offered by persons in a particular attitude of mind, and in a certain covenant relationship. Those outside – even sincere, honest Gentiles – did not have the privilege which Israel possessed.

ACCESS TO THRONE OF GRACE A SPECIAL PRIVILEGE

During the Gospel Dispensation, all who have made full consecration to God have become spiritual sons of God and may ask of Him as their Father, may come boldly, confidently, to the Throne of Grace in prayer. Those who have not made a consecration to God have no Advocate through whom to approach Him. Those who come in the spirit of prayer and with a real desire for those blessings which God has promised to give, will see that prayer is a privilege restricted to a certain class. Those who do not esteem it a privilege may as well not come; for God has not as yet made any proposition to the world. Prayer is the privilege of God's children.

Cornelius was a man who sought harmony with God. Although he prayed for years and gave much alms, yet his prayers and alms did not come up before God until an appropriate time – not until Jesus had died and ascended up on High, there to appear in the presence of God for us. (Acts 10:1,2,4; Heb. 9:24.) Three and a half years after the Cross, at the end of the time of special favor to the Jews, this man's prayers and alms came up before God as a memorial. But even then he must send men to Joppa to invite St. Peter to come to his home and instruct him how to receive the blessing of God in Christ. When Cornelius accepted Christ, our Lord became his Advocate, and the Holy Spirit came upon him. Thereafter he had the privilege of access to the Father at the Throne of Grace.

So is it with humanity today. There is but one way for any to avail himself of the privilege of prayer. Each must recognize the fact that he is a sinner, and that there is no access to God except through Christ. In an earthly court, etiquette demands that one who desires to be presented to the king must first receive an invitation to appear in the king's presence, then at a set time he must appear, dressed in a certain kind of clothes. It is the same at the Heavenly Court. No man can come to God except [R5201 : page 84] through Christ Jesus. After he has accepted our Lord as his Redeemer, and has offered himself in consecration, our Lord, as his Advocate, must cover his imperfections with the Robe of His own Righteousness, and present him to the Father. Then he will be accepted and given the privilege of prayer.

POSSESSORS OF PARTICULAR QUALITIES OF MIND NATURALLY DRAWN TO GOD

The question then arises, If the world cannot approach God in prayer, what is the method by which He draws men? The Scriptures say that no man can come unto Christ except the Father draw him. (John 6:44.) The answer is that the drawing cannot be done through the Holy Spirit; for the world has not yet received that Spirit. The drawing power which the Almighty exercises over humanity is in different degrees. Some have a strong desire to worship God, others have a weak desire, and others have no desire at all. This difference is due to the shape of the brain. Mankind are born with differences in this respect. – Psa. 51:5.

Various imperfections were stamped upon us before our birth. As the Scriptures say, "There is none righteous, no, not one"; "for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." (Rom. 3:10,23.) All come short of that standard which God would be pleased to recognize. But amongst mankind there are some who have not lost their reverence, whatever else they may have lost in the unbalance of mind resulting from the fall. Or perhaps they have the quality of conscientiousness or appreciation of justice well developed. These qualities draw or incline their possessors toward God; and they feel as if they cannot be happy without Him. This is the drawing influence.

This drawing influence may be illustrated by the effect of a magnet. If a quantity of steel filings were scattered throughout a box of sawdust, and a magnet were held close to the surface, the steel filings would immediately respond to the attraction of the magnet. On the other hand, the sawdust would not be affected; nor would the steel filings respond to any other influence than that of a magnet, exercised either directly or indirectly.

Man was created in the image of God. The fall has greatly marred that image, but no one is totally depraved. All have unbalanced brains, some in one direction, others in another. When the Truth comes in contact with those whose organs of veneration or conscientiousness are less impaired, they are drawn to investigate it, with the hope of being drawn close to God. Those whose organs of veneration and conscientiousness are more impaired, do not have this experience, and are not drawn unto God, if haply they may find Him.

Those who are without this drawing influence are not to be blamed; for they were born under those unfavorable conditions. Those who are reverential are, however, favored in that whoever would come to God must exercise faith in Christ; for without this faith there can be no blessing. At first this blessing and privilege are not clearly discerned by the seeker after righteousness. He merely longs to know God, and as he seeks, he finds; and as he knocks, it is opened unto him. – Matt. 7:7,8.

Any one, therefore, who seeks God will find Him; for the Scriptures promise, "Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you." (James 4:8.) Those who thus find the way to God have something for which to be thankful in the possession of the quality of mind which led them to appreciate God. Persons of a particular character will follow on in the way and will, if faithful, attain to the reward. Those who have it not will not be drawn of the Lord until they shall have been made over in the next Age. We are not, therefore, to suppose that everybody is being drawn during the present Age.

After a person has been drawn, guided and instructed, then his will comes into action. It is for him to decide what course he will pursue. When he sees that no man comes to the Father except through Christ, and that the conditions are self-sacrifice, then he has the matter squarely before his mind. There are Scriptures which warn him that the path is difficult, but there are other Scriptures which tell him of the glory, honor and immortality at the end of the way. It is for the person to decide what he will do. But he does not come fully into the family of God until he has decided, and has taken the step of thorough consecration unto death; only then can he be begotten of the Holy Spirit and enter the School of Christ.

PRAYER A PRIVILEGE OF THE HOUSEHOLD OF FAITH

During the Jewish Dispensation, the Jews had the privilege of approaching God in prayer; but during the Gospel Age they have not had this privilege. As long as the Atonement Day sacrifices were offered annually, they had the privilege of prayer under the Law Covenant; but as soon as the typical sin-offerings ceased, all those privileges which that Covenant secured for them terminated; therefore the Jews have no access to God. They are still under the Law Covenant; but they have lost this special feature of it, because the typical priesthood ceased to be recognized as soon as the Antitypical Priest appeared.

The Church of Christ alone, therefore, at this time has the special privilege of coming to God in prayer; for the great Antitypical High Priest has made a satisfactory Sin-Offering of Himself. Whosoever will, through faith in Him and under the covenant relationship of sacrifice, may draw near to God in prayer, nothing doubting.

But while only the consecrated class, the under priesthood, the New Creation, are thus encouraged to approach the Throne of Grace with confidence and courage, very evidently all who in any proper sense belong to the "household of faith" may to some extent enjoy the privileges of prayer, the privileges of thanksgiving and intercession, and may rejoice in the peace of God, in a realization of the forgiveness of sins through faith in the Atonement.

During the Millennial Age, every good trait which any one possesses will be an advantage to him, and every evil trait will be a disadvantage. But no advantage will be so great that it will enable any to rise without the aid of Messiah. The less degraded will not have so far to retrace their steps; but where much grace is needed, much will be supplied. The power of the great Mediator will be adapted to all conditions; for the Scriptures give us the assurance that Christ's Kingdom will be instituted for that very purpose. Since there is none righteous, no, not one, therefore all must have the great Messiah to assist them back into full harmony with God.

PRAYER AN OPPORTUNITY AND A NECESSITY

While prayer is a privilege and not a command, yet our condition makes it a necessity. Because of the fall of man from his original perfection, our flesh has imperfections, frailties; and yet we, as New Creatures, have responsibility for these weaknesses. The only way to discharge these responsibilities is to go to the Throne of Grace and there obtain help in time of need. Whoever, therefore, goes frequently to the Throne of Grace in prayer thus indicates that he recognizes the necessity of using the opportunity which God has provided in his interest and as his privilege.

Prayer is necessary to the well-being of any one who would properly enjoy the blessings and privileges of his organism. We have the organ of veneration, which appeals [R5201 : page 85] to us for the worship of God. If we decline this worship, ignorantly or wilfully, our best interests could not be served. In this respect, the majority of the world are not serving their best interests; but the Christian is so doing.

The person who does the proper amount of watching will have no difficulty in determining when he ought to pray. If he watches properly, he will continually see something about which to pray. If he foresees trouble and says, "Tomorrow morning I will pray about the matter," he is making a mistake. As soon as one has any thought or idea of a coming difficulty, he should make it the subject of prayer. "To him that knocketh, it shall be opened." Whoever seeks the Divine pleasing will find it.

The Lord's people are to watch in every direction. Our time is consecrated to the Lord, and it is our duty to watch that we render it to Him. If we consecrate our time to Him, and then waste it in reading novels and other worldly literature or in playing games, we are not using our time properly, although these practices are not sinful. Likewise we are to watch our own temptations, and to seek to control self and to guard against our own weaknesses, as well as those of others. We are also to watch the Word of the Lord, that we may be thoroughly furnished unto every good word and work. Every trial, every temptation, is a special trial, a special temptation. No one knows whither the smallest temptation may lead. The Scriptures warn us to take heed; for what may seem a small matter may lead to something great. The fact that a thing may seem small does not imply that it may not be the most serious event of our whole life.

Those who have more opportunities for service are less liable to be led into temptation than are those who have fewer. We are, therefore, to be "not slothful in business"; but "fervent in spirit, serving the Lord." (Rom. 12:11.) Watching against the world and its temptations, against our own flesh and its weaknesses, against the Adversary [R5202 : page 85] and his delusions – these duties will keep us busy enough.

We are also to watch the signs of the times. In our Lord's day He reproved some because they knew not the time of their visitation. His words were, "Ye can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that ye do not discern this time?" (Luke 12:56.) If we are too much engaged in work or in pleasure to have time to study, to watch properly, we find ourselves in difficulty.

WATCHING UNTO PRAYER COMMENDED

It is one thing to be tempted, and quite another thing to enter into temptation. Our Lord was "in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin" – He did not in any manner give way to the Tempter. So it should be with us. We are to resist the Devil and to watch and pray that we yield not to temptation. If we are negligent, if we think, "Oh, a little indulgence this once will not hurt us!" we are in danger. The only safe position for us to take is to watch and pray continually, for if we should enter temptation we know not where the matter may end. As some one has aptly said, "We cannot prevent the birds from flying over our heads, but we can prevent their nesting in our hair."

On the night in which our Lord was betrayed, St. Peter was amongst the most confident of the Apostles. He said to the Lord, "Though all men shall be offended because of Thee, yet will I never be offended." (Matt. 26:33.) He did not know how much weakness was in him; therefore, when the Lord was watching and praying that momentous night, St. Peter was one of the first to fall asleep! Afterwards he was the very one to deny the Lord, and denied Him with cursing!

We recall our Lord's words to St. Peter, "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not." (Luke 22:31,32.) St. Peter's very courage led him into a trap placed before him by the Adversary. This quality he showed when he went into the courtyard of the palace and mingled with those who were there. St. John, who accompanied him, was a relative of one of the priests; but St. Peter, who was recognized by his speech as a Galilean, was courageous enough to enter, even after having cut off the ear of one of the priest's servants. – John 18:15,16.

Our Lord had foretold what would take place, saying, "I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest Me." (Luke 22:34.) After this had happened on the night of the trial, St. Peter remembered the words of Jesus, "and went out, and wept bitterly." (Luke 22:62.) Had he not done so, we know not what might have happened to him. The weeping showed that the denial was merely the result of weakness of the flesh.

St. Peter could have taken a wrong attitude. He could have said, "I had a right to stand up for my own life, and not to be implicated in this matter." Thus he might have gotten into a wrong condition of heart; but his crushing out of this evil inclination toward self-preservation proved that in spite of his thrice repeated denial he was at heart loyal to his Master. So is it also with us; he who resists the smallest temptation thereby strengthens his character that he may be able to withstand the greater ones.

A good story is told which illustrates the wisdom of not entering into temptation. A man who desired to hire a coachman had a number of applicants for the position. They were ushered into his office, and he asked them, "How near could you drive to the edge of a precipice without danger of accident?" One said he could drive within a foot without fear of falling over; another thought he could safely come within six inches of the edge; and so on. Finally, one man who had listened in silence to the others, said, "I do not know how near to the edge of the precipice I could safely drive; but I do know that I would keep as far away from it as I possibly could." This man was given the position.

This is the principle upon which we should act. The one who keeps the farthest away from temptation is on the safe side. Those who feel too confident of their own strength and power and go too near the danger line are liable to slip over the edge. Let us ever pray that we may not enter into temptation; let us also watch that we may keep out of danger.

PRAYING FOR TEMPORAL THINGS

On His last evening with His Apostles, our Lord said to them, "Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My name; ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full." (John 16:24.) Undoubtedly there is a special blessing to those who look for a fulfilment of His promise. Our Lord said, on one occasion, that the Heavenly Father is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him, than are earthly parents to give good gifts to their children. (Luke 11:13.) He did not mean that we must necessarily use the words, "Give us the Holy Spirit," or that we should pray for a Pentecostal blessing, as do some well-meaning friends; but that we should ask for the spirit of the Truth, of a sound mind, for the wisdom which comes from above.

We are not wise enough to guide our matters aright. We are instructed, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." (James 1:5.) This [R5202 : page 86] wisdom seems to be especially necessary to us as the servants of God, that the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts may be acceptable in the sight of the Lord. – Psa. 19:14.

Our Lord instructed His disciples, "Take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (for after all these things do the Gentiles seek); for your Heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things." (Matt. 6:31,32.) His words seem to imply that we are to be different from the world. They would be ready to ask and pray for every imaginable blessing – different kinds of food, houses, money, and what not! They could not pray for spiritual things; for they have no appreciation of such gifts. Be not like them.

Why, then, did our Lord in His prayer say, "Give us this day our daily bread"? This is a very different matter from specialization in prayer. The Lord has promised that, if we are faithful, our bread and water shall be sure. (Isa. 33:16.) We shall not be neglected. It is very proper that we acknowledge the Lord as the Giver of all good. According to His promise, we look to Him to give us food and raiment. Whatever we have, we acknowledge our dependence upon the Lord for what He provides for us; and we ask for nothing beyond what He does provide.

The more we advance in spiritual development, the less we feel like dictating to the Lord and the greater confidence we have in His Wisdom and the more faith in His promises. The most that we should do is to make mention to Him of those promises for temporal provision and of our trust in them. Of one thing we may be sure – that the Lord, who has called us to be His followers, has us under His supervision, and will see to it that all things shall work together for our good. If he calls us to be members of the Body of Christ, neither lack of food nor anything else can hinder us from the full opportunity of making our calling and election sure.

Those around whom the Angel of the Lord encampeth (Psa. 34:7), may be said to have a charmed life. The Lord is directing His Church. Therefore, think you that He will permit loss of life through accident or illness before we have had time to comply with the terms of His invitation? Surely not! Therefore, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." (Matt. 4:4.) We are trusting in the promises of God. He will accomplish His Divine purpose in us, if we abide in Him and His Word abides in us, and if we are faithful in obedience.

The Editor does not recall having from childhood asked the Lord for physical strength or health. He has known times when his physical strength was not great and when there were opportunities for service which seemed to require more strength than he had. Then he has taken pleasure in going before the Lord in prayer and saying that he was trusting that the necessary strength and all else which the Lord saw best to give him would be provided; but that if the Lord saw best that he should not be able to make a satisfactory presentation, he would still do his part and leave the rest with the Lord, knowing that whatever the Lord permitted would be the best experience for him.

This course has always been sufficient. In forty years of active service, he has never missed a meeting because of lack of strength, although there have been times when his friends have said, "You cannot possibly speak tonight!" His reply invariably has been, "If the Lord gives me strength, I will go to the meeting place, and will trust Him for strength to speak." At one time he almost fainted on the platform; but grace sufficient has always been his portion. So long as he remains on this side of the veil, he intends to speak whenever he has an opportunity, unless he is unable to do so. He is sure that if the Lord gives him the opportunity to speak, He will also furnish the needed strength.

PROPER SUBJECTS FOR PRAYER

When we recall that St. James said of some of his day, "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss" (James 4:3), we feel that we should be careful what we ask for. Our Lord instructed His Apostles that it is very important to abide in Him and to see that His words abide in us, if we would have our prayers answered. His words are, "If ye abide in Me and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." (John 15:7.) In other words, petitions according to the Lord's [R5203 : page 86] will shall be answered, but those contrary to His will shall remain unanswered.

To ask selfishly for the things of the earth would not be true prayer. Many Christians have a mandatory way of telling the Lord what they would like to have Him do for them – that so many should be converted to Him at a meeting; that this meeting should be thus prospered; etc. Our prayers should be along higher lines than these. Temporalities should be presented in a casual way. We should have the desire to subsist in such a manner as would be pleasing to the Lord and should be thankful for whatever His providence may give us – whether much or little.

It has been suggested that to pray for anything which God is willing to give is entirely proper. We may pray for the Holy Spirit, for more love, more gentleness, more patience, more wisdom from on High. We may pray that all these things will work together for our good; for He has promised that this shall be. We may pray for guidance from the Lord as may be best in His sight. But we may not tell Him what to do; for we have no means of knowing what is His will in matters in general.

Our Lord did not pray in a mandatory fashion. With His petitions, He said, "Not My will, but Thine, be done" – I have no will of My own; for I have given up My will and I desire to have Thy will done. This is a prayer of full submission. It did not mean that our Lord did not pray in faith, nor that He would not get what He desired. It meant that He desired to learn the Father's will; and He learned that the Father willed that He should drink the cup of suffering to the very dregs.

If we are submissive, our prayers will become more and more messages of thanksgiving. We shall increasingly desire to walk in the Master's footsteps. We shall desire that His will be done in us rather than anything that we could attempt to tell Him. Everything will be according to His Plan, which will come to pass, and which He will not alter for us nor for anyone else in the world. Those who have reached this development of Christian living will realize that it is not necessary to pray that God will save this or that one; for has He not promised to save all the people of the earth who will come to Him in His appointed way?

Consider the case of Saul of Tarsus. He was seeking to do God's will, but was blinded. After God had opened his eyes to the real facts of the case, he went forward in the right way. He was a holiness man both before and after he received the Truth; but the enlightenment which he received taught him better how to do the will of God. If he had not been a chosen vessel of the Lord, he would have had no such experience, but rather he would have been treated as was Simon the Sorcerer. [R5203 : page 87]

ANSWER TO PRAYER DELAYED FOR OUR GOOD

Amongst some Christian people, agonizing in prayer, wrestling with God as Jacob wrestled with the angel, is very much encouraged. Frequently these people do so much praying that they do no studying, much to their disadvantage. The Scriptures instruct us to study to show ourselves approved unto God (2 Tim. 2:15), and not to seek to get something in a miraculous way, but rather in an intelligent manner. People who pray after this fashion are proceeding somewhat as did the prophets of Baal in the time of Elijah. Those men ran along the altar, cutting themselves with stones and crying to their god to consume the sacrifice. – I Kings 18:26-29.

The Prophet Elijah, on the contrary, was very calm. He worshiped an intelligent God, who needed not to be shouted at to attract His attention. When the time came for Elijah to pray, he did so, using few words, but going straight to the point. – I Kings 18:36-38.

There is a lesson for Christians in this narrative. Some who misunderstand the Divine Character and Plan in general, pray for the things which they should not, and neglect to ask for the right things. If we abide in the Lord and His words abide in us, we shall know what to ask for; and we shall be so careful about our asking that we shall not ask amiss.

If one's prayers seem not to be answered, he should not become faint-hearted and cease to pray. Our Lord says that we should pray and not faint. (Luke 18:1-8.) Our Heavenly Father may will to bring us into such a condition of heart that we can appreciate His blessing. It may be God's will to delay the answer for our highest good.

Thirty-nine hundred years ago, God promised Abraham that he should have the land of Canaan, and that in his Seed all the families of the earth should be blessed. That promise is not yet fulfilled. (Acts 7:5.) For more than eighteen hundred years the Church has prayed, "Thy Kingdom come! Thy will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven." The Lord has not answered the prayer yet; nevertheless we are to continue to pray and to wait patiently. We have faith that God will do as He has promised. "Wait ye upon Me, saith the Lord, until the Day that I rise up." – Zeph. 3:8.

There is a great blessing in store for all those who delight their hearts in the way of the Lord. We are in line with His gracious promises. We are waiting and praying. By and by, the Lord says, He will avenge His own Elect – in the end of this Age. He will deliver them from all the opposition of the flesh and of the Adversary. He will set them on High and pour them out a blessing such as He has promised. Then the prayers will be answered. Meantime, the prayers continue to go up, earnestly, trustfully.

There is a difference between "saying one's prayers" and praying. In prayer, we should have some definite request before our minds, in order that we may look intelligently for an answer. A brother, who was carefully scrutinizing his thoughts, words and doings, with a view to discovering what trait of character most needed upbuilding, concluded that he needed patience. Sometime after, he wrote, "I have been wondering what is the matter. I have been praying for more patience; but my trials are of such a character that my patience is actually growing less. But lately I begin to see that the Lord is answering my prayer for patience in this very way, and is permitting these trials for the very purpose of developing this trait of character in me."

This experience is in line with the Apostle's injunction, "Take unto you the whole armor of God." (Eph. 6:13.) Whatever our prayer may be, we should watch to see in what manner the Lord is answering our petitions. This attitude on our part will demonstrate our faith, trust and loyalty. In turn our faith will be strengthened. Thus shall we be pleasing to the Lord because of our confidence in Him. He knows the way that we take better than do we ourselves. Then if something which we had not been anticipating should come into our lives, we should think, "Here is a lesson for us to learn – of patience, of obedience."

It is the privilege of the Lord's people to ask, in order that they may have fulness of joy. We have this joy and the "peace of God, which passeth all understanding," and we rejoice greatly in hope of the glorious things which the Father has in store for us and which the Holy Spirit reveals through the Word. The joyful Christian is the thankful Christian. The thankful Christian is the one who is making the best use of his life. By reason of having exercised thankfulness of heart, he will be the better prepared for the Kingdom. Those less thankful may attain the Kingdom, for aught we know. But the thankless heart will not get the Kingdom.

THE ATMOSPHERE OF PRAYER

The text, "Pray without ceasing," would seem to be the equivalent of the statement, "Cease not to pray" – the petition continues, as if the person were in an expectant attitude. In one way or another that petition may be still awaiting an answer. This idea is carried out in a court of law. It is the custom to address the court, saying that the applicants pray for such and such release from such and such difficulty in certain cases. That request might be withdrawn, or it might be continued. So it is with the prayers which we make to the Heavenly Court. We have made our petition; and if it is worth asking for, it is worth waiting for.

We should not be as the Gentiles, who thought that they would be heard for their much speaking. But we should seek first the Kingdom of God. Our prayers should be along that line. Whatever temporal experiences we would have the Heavenly Father might see to be helpful to us in the attainment of the Heavenly things of the Gospel. We should not cease our praying, although we are not bound by an iron law. God has not commanded us to pray, because that would be in the nature of a fixed rule, to disobey which would be sin. But we believe He will bless those who ask. The more we feel our need of things, the more we appreciate them when we get them. The Lord would have us appreciate these gifts by going frequently to request them; then, when they come to us, we are in a condition to receive and to make a better use of them.

We have many reasons for giving thanks – the heart that gives thanks will find itself more and more in a thankful attitude. At first when we begin to give thanks, we do so for the more pleasant things; but as our experience increases, we find joy in the afflictions and the persecutions of life; for these experiences refine our hearts and make them more susceptible to the right as against the wrong – the Truth as against the error, the purity as against the impurity.

Not only should we pray frequently and with regularity, but we should be always in the attitude of prayer. The children of God should be in that attitude of heart which looks to the Lord for Divine guidance in every perplexity and every experience. Just as the needle turns to the pole, so our hearts should turn to the Lord. If there is pain or trouble or difficulty in our pathway, we should look to Him. If there is privilege of serving the Lord, we should not think ourselves competent for the [R5204 : page 88] service without turning to the Lord for help. In other words, the Christian's prayer should ascend not only in the beginning of the day; the atmosphere of prayer should surround him continually. It should not be a mere sense of duty, but an appreciation of a great privilege.

Those who appreciate the Lord at all could not afford to be without this privilege. Those who do appreciate this privilege rejoice to go to the Heavenly Father many times a day. Our advice to all who are seeking to walk the narrow way, would be that they forget not this privilege. But in their families or in their rooms with their roommate, the prayer should be in such a form as would be reasonable and proper, according to what would be their best judgment of pleasing the Lord – and not to be an intrusion in any sense.

FAITH STRENGTHENED BY PRAYER

As to just how the prayers of one may benefit another we may not know. We have not sufficient information to philosophize on it very deeply. We might surmise certain mental influences proceeding from one to another, just as we know electrical influences to proceed from one station to another thousands of miles away. The powers of the mind are something not comprehended. We can influence ourselves, and, to a certain extent, influence another. One mind can influence another without a word, by some telepathic power. As to why God permits this and gives blessings in answer to prayer we cannot say. We are left to philosophize, to speculate.

If we are in the School of Christ, we are there to be taught, to learn certain lessons of life. One of the lessons is to have full, perfect faith in God – absolute trust. Such a trust is exercised by our prayers for ourselves as well as for others; and this trust is cultivated by our prayers. God is pleased to bless these prayers, and thus to cultivate and strengthen our faith. We cannot suppose that God would leave any important work undone if we failed to pray for it, or that the answer to our prayer would come as we look for it; but blessings may come from one channel or another. God is quite able to overrule any matter so that He can give blessings, either by our co-operation and prayers, or without our co-operation and prayers.

We have reason to believe that when we pray for others our prayers avail. We have known instances where prayers have been answered very remarkably. The Lord's Word seems to inculcate this faith in us. God's people have been people of prayer, and are people of prayer. We cannot imagine how one could be a consistent follower of Christ without prayer.

FOR WHOM MAY WE NOW PRAY?

We understand that promiscuous praying for health during the Gospel Age would have been improper, and that only by means of the gift of healing were the early cures of the Age performed; that it ceased with the death of the Apostles after accomplishing its object; and that the proper prayers relating to sickness, on the part of the saints, would have been those offered for the forgiveness of sins – as a result of which healing followed. But we see, too, that as the Millennial Age is dawning – lapping upon the Gospel Age, which is closing – we should expect that healing and general restitution would begin to be manifested, much as we do see it. And this leads us to inquire, In the light of the foregoing examination of the Bible teachings, and in the light of our present location in the dawn of the Millennium, for whom may we now pray?

We answer, the saints cannot properly pray for their own health now, any more than could their Master. They cannot properly ask the Restitution privileges which they have consecrated, nor can they ask that their sacrifices be nullified, by having all the cost of weariness, exhaustion, stripes or sickness miraculously removed. But when they realize their afflictions to be punishments for sins, they can still feel at liberty to confess their sins one to another, and to pray God for forgiveness. Thus they may as a result be healed.

The saints who abide in Christ, and in whom His Word abides, may pray for others than themselves, especially in view of the fact that we are now in the beginning of the Times of Restitution; namely, in cases where they are sure their object is not self-exaltation; where their desires for the recovery of the sick are not selfish, and where they have reason to believe that the restored health would be consecrated to good works and the glory of God.

In such cases we may upon request pray for the recovery of the afflicted or imbecile not of the consecrated Little Flock – the sacrificers, the Royal Priesthood. Yet even in such cases, though our faith must necessarily be strong, because confident of asking from right motives, and at a time when the Lord is pleased to grant a beginning of Restitution blessings, we should always say, as the Master did in His prayers – "Nevertheless, not My will, but Thine, be done." – Luke 22:42.

However, it is not time yet to expect general healing and full Restitution work, as that evidently will not be due until the entire Priesthood shall have finished sacrificing and entered with their Head and Chief Priest, Jesus, into the glories and perfections of the Heavenly state, or condition, typified by the Most Holy.

PRAYER FOR KINGS AND GOVERNMENTS

In his Epistle to Timothy, St. Paul says, "I exhort, therefore, that first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty." (I Timothy 2:1,2.) Other Scriptures tell us clearly that the kingdoms of this world are not the Kingdoms of our Lord. (Luke 19:11,12.) They inform us in an indirect way that the world would not appreciate the fact that the affairs of the present order of things are all under the supervision and care of Satan (Matthew 4:8,9; John 14:30); that the Lord will not set up His Kingdom of righteousness until His appointed time. When that time shall come, all kings and priests and people will serve and obey Him. (Daniel 7:27.) His reign will be the one that will be "the desire of all nations."

But the Bible gives us to understand that, in the meantime, these present kingdoms are given the opportunity of seeing what they can do under these conditions. (Daniel 2:37-44.) When the typical kingdom of Israel was destroyed and the kingdom was given to Nebuchadnezzar, it was for the opportunity of seeing what his kingdom could do. It might be righteous or unrighteous.

And so it has been from the kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar down. They are all Gentile kingdoms, and not representatives of God. All these various kingdoms are demonstrating various principles of government. Mankind under these kingdoms are learning lessons of experience which will be valuable to them in the future. Under these kingdoms we have seen man battling for rights. Sometimes they have been defeated, and sometimes they have been victorious – as the case may have [R5204 : page 89] been. In the various battlings we have seen righteousness and unrighteousness striving together; but with all, policy rules.

Under all the kingdoms mankind has demonstrated that no government by imperfect man can rectify the difficulties which confront humanity. We cannot abolish sin and sorrow, crying and dying. Had only one king or one nation been permitted to experiment with the race, we would not have known whether or not other nations might not have been successful, had they had the opportunity. Each nation in turn seeks to be the universal power, and each claims to be the better government; as, for instance, the American Government wants to give better government to the Filipinos, and Great Britain wants to give better government to the people of South Africa. What do civilized nations and tongues do in less civilized lands? What can they do for the betterment of conditions? In all these countries, in all their endeavors, they show that selfishness dominates.

POWER USED FOR SELFISH PURPOSES

We see the fact demonstrated that if one nation had really the power to bless others, it would not bless them without taking advantage of them. Our civilized nations in heathen lands use their power in a selfish way, taking money away from their fellow-creatures. Instead of leading them to higher and better conditions, things have generally been conducted upon a commercial basis. And these very people who have more or less taken advantage of others in their extremity and need, and those people who have been taken advantage of by fear, will all no doubt learn some good lesson from these experiences.

God is permitting the nations to learn these various lessons, before setting up His Kingdom in great power and glory. When His Kingdom shall be established, the contrast between its government and all these other governments will be so marked that all will have a great deal to learn. No doubt many who suffered from injustice will be all the better prepared to appreciate the better government when it shall come in.

In the meantime, God's people who are being called out to be members in the Body of The Messiah are not told to say, "These kingdoms are not doing well and our Kingdom will show this." On the contrary, we should speak encouraging words: "Your nation is seeming to do about the best it knows how to do. As it gets more intelligent, it strives for a better government."

SYMPATHY FOR THOSE IN AUTHORITY

We who belong to the new Kingdom are as citizens in a foreign country. We see that we are more or less influenced by the condition of the things of this world. We have sympathy with mankind. We are glad that a New Dispensation is coming in. We see that these who are striving to make things better have a herculean task. If they were to give it up to us it would take all of our time; and under present evil conditions we could do no better than they are doing. We have great sympathy for [R5205 : page 89] kings and princes. They do well to accomplish so much, with sin in every direction.

Our sympathy would lead us to consider them kindly in our minds. And we may pray for them such wisdom as God sees best. It would not do for us to request of God that one of them should be healed, if he were sick. If we had some means of helping, we should use that means; but as for the results, we should remember that these lie in the hands of God. We should help in any way we can. We are not to specify, but merely to pray God's blessings upon these kingdoms.

We are interested in these kingdoms because we are interested in mankind in general. We wish to live a peaceful and godly life, that we may have that much more opportunity for reading and studying. (I Timothy 2:1,2.) We are glad if there is peace in the earth now; and we do not intend to quarrel. We intend to pray for these rulers; for we do not believe that they are at heart black or evil intentioned. Perhaps they are trying to do to the best of their knowledge what would be best for all. Most of the monarchs of Europe are not wishing to pull the people into war.

PRESENT DAY BLESSINGS

As to the people who are keeping such a wonderful government in our own land, we see how they are having persons to watch every building that is being erected; how they give special attention to the fire department and the water department that there may be a proper supply and purity of water; and how they care for the general health of the city, providing for quarantine, etc., etc. Those who have charge of the school systems for the education of the young, and of the hospital systems, are doing a great work!

We should reflect that ours is a happy day in comparison with what it would be if we were living as people did in the time of the barbarians. When we see the wonderful things which are being done today – the great buildings, bridges and other wonderful improvements – we say, "What is man! Surely a wonderful piece of Divine mechanism! What things he can do even in his imperfect condition! And what will he not be able to accomplish when Messiah's Kingdom is here, which will put stripes on the disobedient, and utterly destroy those who will not come into harmony with its rule of righteousness!"

We are glad that things are moving as well as they are. Instead of berating the people who are the leaders, we prefer to think that they are well intentioned people. We can well pray for such without any difficulty in mind. And we can feel glad and thank God that these people take care of us as well as they do.

Our prayer to God for kings, etc., is that He will so overrule and direct among the nations as would be most in harmony with His wise plans, for the blessing and development of the Church now being selected. For though God has given over the world to the rule of the "Prince of this world" until the full end of the Gentile Times, yet God has not given unlimited power. The wrath of man shall not work ruin to the Plan of God; for He will cause the wrath of man to work to His praise, and all that will not so work He will restrain. (Psalm 76:10.) This is what the Apostle has in view: Pray God's guidance and direction over all the affairs of life and over rulers to the end that the piety, sobriety and growth of the Church may be conserved.

FORMAL PRAYER
"I often say my prayers;
But do I always pray?
And do the wishes of my heart
Go with the words I say?
I may as well kneel down
And worship gods of stone,
As offer to the living God
A prayer of words alone;
For words without the heart
The Lord will never hear,
Nor will He to those lips attend
Whose prayers are not sincere."

[R5205 : page 90]

MAKING FRIENDS WITH MAMMON
– APRIL 20. – GENESIS 33:1-15. –

"Be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, even as God also in Christ forgave you." – Ephesians 4:32. (R.V.)
T
HE GREAT TEACHER admonished His followers, "Make unto yourselves friends with the Mammon of unrighteousness." In other words, His followers were not to be selfish and grudging, or to be exactors of the last dollar or shilling. They were to be generous in their dealings, and thereby secure the friendship of those who otherwise might hate them. In other words, the followers of Jesus were to have Heavenly ambitions instead of earthly ones, and they were to be willing to allow others to have the best of the bargain in earthly matters, if thereby they could forward their spiritual interests. This is well exemplified in today's lesson.
GIVING ALL FOR GOD'S FAVOR

In a previous lesson we saw how Jacob willingly, gladly, gave up all of the earthly riches of Abraham and Isaac, and left all those in possession of Esau, claiming only that he should be the heir of the spiritual blessings – the great Promise made to Abraham, confirmed to Isaac and to Jacob himself. That Promise was not in respect to the present, but to the future; it was purely of faith. What cared Esau for a promise of the future? He desired what he got – the earthly inheritance. Nor do we find that after he got possession of the earthly inheritance, he ever gave a thought to the Covenant, which reads, "In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed."

But all the while, that Covenant was the one thing before the mind of Jacob. He would not contend with Esau for the earthly blessing, although it was included in the purchase which he had made. He would give Esau all of the earthly blessing, if he might inherit this great blessing of the future. All of Jacob's course in life was governed by this great Promise. If the Seed of Blessing was to come through him, then he must have children; hence he married and reared a goodly family, regarding them all as identified with himself in the original Promise. His accumulation of wealth, flocks and herds, was along the same line – a desire to become great and influential, in line with that Promise.

Under the Lord's guidance, he had left his Uncle Laban's house, with the flocks and herds and servants which he had gradually accumulated there. Under Divine direction he was going back to the land of his father. Although twenty years had passed since he left home, he felt a timidity respecting his brother Esau, and prayed to the Lord upon the subject, reminding Him of the Promise, in which he trusted.

Then he sent word ahead to his brother that he was coming. Next he prepared a present – a gift of considerable value for those times – two hundred and twenty sheep, two hundred and twenty goats, sixty camels, fifty cattle, thirty asses, under the direction of servants. How large a proportion of his flocks and herds these were we know not, but they did represent long years of toil on Jacob's part. They were earthly things, however – things of the present time – and Jacob valued them as nothing in comparison to the great Promise which he possessed. He could give this goodly portion of earthly Mammon as a present to his brother Esau to purchase his favor, his good will. He was not under obligations to Esau; rather, Esau was indebted to him.

Jacob, the younger by a few minutes, had purchased of his elder twin brother all of the first-born's portion, which included the major share of Isaac's worldly riches. Jacob had left all these in Esau's hands. The latter, naturally enough, might expect that Jacob was now coming to claim his riches – to take possession of the estate.

Esau was ready to fight for it, of course. Even if Jacob had protested that he laid no claim to the estate, Esau would continually have judged him according to his own standards, and would have mistrusted that at an opportune time Jacob would make an attack. Thus a rivalry between the two families would have been established – a feud. Such a feud would have interfered with Jacob's hopes in connection with the Abrahamic Promise. He must be a co-worker with God in the matter of establishing his seed, or posterity, numerous and influential, and qualified in due time to bless all the families of earth.

THE WISDOM OF JACOB'S COURSE

Jacob not only offered the present to Esau, but insisted upon his accepting it. It would stand as a pledge of good faith between them. It would help to heal any old sores. Esau would be all the more willing to see the prosperity of his brother; for he realized that he had gotten the better of Jacob; first, by getting the patrimony, and secondly, by getting in addition so rich a present.

Evidently Jacob's course was the wise one. He still had plenty, and God could give him as many more sheep, goats, cattle, camels and asses as He pleased. His chief concern would be the promotion of everything appertaining to that great Abrahamic Promise, in which he delighted, the fulfilment of which lay beyond the present life.

THE LESSON OF GENEROSITY

One lesson which we as Christians may draw from the course of experiences of Jacob is generosity toward the world – toward those who have no interest in the Heavenly Promise. We do not mean to institute a comparison between Jacob and ourselves, in the sense of holding him up as a pattern for Christian conduct. Quite to the contrary, we point out that while Jacob's faith was commendable and may be copied by us, his standing with God was very different from ours. While he was an heir of that Abrahamic Promise and the Christian Church are also heirs of it, our inheritances are different.

We have already seen that the Abrahamic Promise is to have a double fulfilment. The earthly fulfilment is to come to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and all of the faithful; while the higher, the Heavenly fulfilment, is to come to Christ and His spirit-begotten followers – the true Christians of this Gospel Age. Only the spirit-begotten from Pentecost onward have enjoyed the blessed privileges of the School of Christ, or been able to develop the fruits and grace of the Holy Spirit.

Nevertheless, the general principle holds good with the Spiritual Heirs as with the natural heirs of that Promise – that faith in the Promise makes secondary everything else in life, hence, as Jacob was willing to set aside all other ambitions, aims, hopes and loves, wishing merely to see the accomplishment of this Abrahamic Promise and to surrender earthly rights and privileges in its favor, so should we, the Spiritual Heirs – yea, more so. We have much advantage every way. We can understand the Promise better than could they. [R5206 : page 91]

We see how God has already begun the preparation for the fulfilment of that Promise in the sending of His Son to redeem our race, and thus to make possible the blessing of all the families of the earth in due time. We see further that Jesus, having redeemed mankind, has been highly exalted, and now in power and great glory is merely waiting for the time to come when His Elect Spiritual Church will be completed. Then the Messianic Kingdom will be established; and then Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all the faithful heirs of the earthly part of the inheritance will be awakened from the tomb, to enjoy their share in the grand work of world-blessing which God has promised.

As Jacob forsook his father's house, leaving all with his brother without contention, trusting only to the Heavenly Promise, so must we Spiritual Israelites forsake all earthly hopes and aims for joint-heirship with Christ in the Heavenly Kingdom. As Jacob was glad to give goodly presents to his brother for the sake of peace and prosperity and to assist in carrying out God's arrangement under this Promise, so should we as Christians be willing to give to our partners in life, our neighbors and friends and brethren, the larger share of earth's good things, if thereby we may forward the interests of the Lord's cause in connection with the Abrahamic Promise, in which we trust.

The world has the things of the present time. They are its prize. Mankind set their hearts upon these earthly things – they know nothing higher. We, on the contrary, appreciate the Heavenly things, esteeming, as the Apostle said, that all the things of earth are unworthy of comparison. We, like St. Paul, esteem the greatest things of an earthly kind but loss and dross that we may win Christ – that we may win a joint-heirship with Jesus in the great blessing of God by becoming members of the Spiritual Seed of Abraham, and participating in the glorious work of this Promise – the blessing of all the families of the earth. – Galatians 3:29.

SET YOUR AFFECTIONS ABOVE

God had certain lessons of faith and obedience for the Ancient Worthies to learn. And how well they learned these! How much faith we see manifested in Abraham's career, and Isaac's and Jacob's, and all along down the line amongst those enumerated by St. Paul in Hebrews 11! How their obedience proved their loyalty as well as their faith!

We are not surprised that those noble characters are to have a goodly place in the work of blessing mankind under Messiah's Kingdom. Their experiences in life were a schooling, and training and preparation for what lies before them during Messiah's Kingdom. If they were faithful to God and trusted Him in the dark, and loyally sacrificed earthly interests, doing His will, how sure we may be that they will be no less loyal, no less faithful, no less obedient, when as perfect human beings under the favorable conditions of Messiah's Kingdom they shall be entrusted with honorable service and power by the great Messiah!

Who cannot see that if the Ancient Worthies of the House of Servants required testing as to obedience, faith, loyalty, much more the spirit-begotten members of the Christian Church require testing along these same lines! There are two reasons why our testing should be more thorough than theirs. (1) We are members of the House of Sons, while they were members only of the House of Servants. We have not only the spirit of begetting as Son of God, but additionally have much clearer light shining upon the Divine Revelation, making known to us God's will and showing us how His Plan is outworking. (2) Additionally, our testing is for a still higher position of glory and honor – "that we might become partakers of the Divine nature"; that we might be joint-heirs with Christ in His Kingdom on the Heavenly, or spiritual, plane, still more important than the earthly plane, which the Ancient Worthies will receive. As St. Peter says, "What manner of persons ought we to be" – we who have had such great favors and privileges and enlightenment!

If then Abraham left his father's house – kindred – to be a stranger in a strange land in obedience to the Lord's leading, will the Lord expect less of faith and obedience in His spirit-begotten children of this Gospel Age? Surely not! If Jacob surrendered up all of his rights to his father's property, should not the spirit-begotten children of God be willing to do as much, or more? If Jacob was willing to give liberally of his earthly possessions to secure peace with those who owed him much, ought not we, who have received the Holy Spirit, be willing to give still more generously of this world's Mammon, or riches, to those who love the present world, in order to secure our liberties and privileges, which we prize especially as opportunities to make our calling and election sure to the Heavenly gifts and Heavenly calling in connection with the Divine Plan?

FINALLY OUR GOLDEN TEXT

Our Golden Text seems at first not very closely related to the lesson. Nevertheless there is a relationship. It is this: Whoever cultivates the spirit of generosity and benevolence toward others in the interest of the Lord's Cause will thereby be making character. Generosity in dealing with our enemies, with the world, will gradually make us more generous in all our dealings – in our homes, with our families, and especially in the Lord's family, to which our text refers.

"Be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, even as God also in Christ forgave you." We are not to forget that the Church of this Gospel Age is represented as being in the School of Christ, to be taught and prepared for Divine service, glory, honor in association with the great Redeemer during His Messianic Reign. We are not to forget that the lessons of this School are the graces of the Holy Spirit, and to whatever extent we attain these graces, to that extent we shall be prepared for the place in the Kingdom to which God has called us. To whatever extent God's people neglect the cultivation of these fruits of the Spirit, in that same proportion they will be unfit to share in Messiah's Kingdom.

Is not this the very essence of St. Peter's exhortation when he says, "Add to your faith, fortitude; to fortitude, knowledge; to knowledge, patience," etc. "If these things be in you in abounding measure, they shall make you to be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of the Lord, and thus an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But he that cannot see these things is blind and cannot see afar off," and looks merely at the things of this present life, and will be unprepared for the graduation examinations prior to the inauguration of the New Dispensation – now at hand. – 2 Peter 1:5-11.

[R5206 : page 92]

THE DIFFERENT STEPS IN JUSTIFICATION
E
VEN BEFORE Christ came into the world, God had dealings to a certain extent with some of the human race. He dealt with Adam, telling him of the penalty for sin and promising that the Seed of the woman should some day bruise the serpent's head. He dealt also with Enoch, with Noah, with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and others, centuries before Jesus was born. God did not, however, deal with these men in the particular and special sense in which He has dealt with the Gospel Church, who are privileged to be called "the sons of God." – John 1:12.

The Scriptures state that Abraham believed God, and his faith was counted to him for righteousness. (Gen. 15:6.) God must have had some dealings with Abraham [R5207 : page 92] before he believed or there would have been nothing for Abraham to believe. Evidently God had had some communication with him before faith and trust could have brought him into even a tacitly justified condition.

Abraham sought to be as nearly perfect in conduct as possible, and to do those things which are pleasing to God. After he had manifested his desire to be obedient, God said, If you will prove your faith by leaving your native land and risking the loss of your present earthly comforts and of the home of your childhood, I will make a Covenant with you. Abraham believed God.

As soon as opportunity was afforded, Abraham left Chaldea and journeyed to Haran. Later, God made him certain promises on condition that he would go into the land of Canaan. After he had entered Canaan, God said, "All the land which thou canst see will I give unto thee and to thy seed after thee." (Gen. 13:15.) Abraham was called "The Friend of God." (James 2:23.) St. Paul tells us that God preached the Gospel unto Abraham, saying, "In thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed." – Galatians 3:8; Genesis 12:3.

FAITH IN GOD THE ESSENCE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

So we see that there was a kind of dealing with the Ancient Worthies before Christ came – before there was any actual justification to life. None could be thus justified until a life had been given as a corresponding price for Adam's forfeited life. Hence the promise of God, so far as these were concerned, was only a hope. They understood that in some way He intended to do something for their relief, but did not know how God, who had once condemned them to death, could give them everlasting life. Nevertheless, they had faith in the promise, and this God counted for righteousness; for faith in God is the essence of all righteousness. By this faith they were justified to fellowship with God.

When Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all the Prophets manifested their faith toward God, they proved their heart-loyalty, so that long after their death He could say, "I am the God of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob." They believed that some day they would be raised from the dead. If there were no resurrection, God could not have spoken of them as He did; "For He is not a God of the dead, but of the living." (Luke 20:37,38.) This is the argument with which Jesus offset the teachings of the Sadducees that there will be no resurrection of the dead; but it was not given as a proof that the patriarchs were in heaven at the time, for Jesus distinctly tells us that at the time in which He was speaking no man had ever ascended into Heaven. – John 3:13.

We see, then, that Abraham had a measure of relationship with God, but not until he had manifested his faith. God had dealt with him, however, before this manifestation of heart-loyalty, and that dealing consisted in giving him knowledge of how to become the Friend of God.

In due time God will indicate to the members of the human family that He is willing to accept them on terms by which He will be their God and they shall be His people, but that they must prove their faith by walking before Him to the best of their ability. This is the most that God does for any one – simply to give him knowledge of the steps which he must take in order to have complete justification. He says, "My son, give Me thine heart." (Prov. 23:26.) On this principle God spoke to the Lord Jesus Christ and continues to speak to all who would come unto the Father by Him.

TENTATIVE JUSTIFICATION NOT CONSECRATION

Manifestly, things are somewhat different now from what they were in Abraham's time. Abraham did not become a son of God; for he lived before the opening up of the way to life, and that which God counted a justifying faith could not bring him redemption. Our Lord had not yet opened up that living way. Notwithstanding the fact that the redemption had not taken place, Abraham had God's promise that in due time he and his Seed should bless the world.

The Message that now goes forth is that God is willing to receive again those who were once His sons, but who lost their sonship through the disobedience of Adam. Therefore, the very knowledge of God's Plan is an offer of salvation to whosoever may hear of that Plan. God says, in substance, If you wish to become My son, this is the way. "My son, give Me thine heart." After you have made a full consecration, I will reveal to you the deep things of My Word.

We should make a clear distinction between what God has done and what He intends to do. God considered Abraham and all the faithful of past ages as the servant class. (Heb. 3:5.) But with the faithful of the Gospel Age it is different. St. John tells us that "To as many as received Him, to them gave He privilege to become the sons of God." (John 1:12.) Only since Pentecost has opportunity been given for any to become sons. Hence, before that time none could become "heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ" – heirs of the Abrahamic Promise. – Rom. 8:17.

To those who have come into Christ since Pentecost the assurance is given that they shall be made joint-heirs with the Lord if they continue faithful to the end, that if they suffer with Him, they shall also be glorified together with Him. (Rom. 8:17.) The only ones who have full relationship with God are the consecrated, who have received the full life-justification possessed by none others in the world.

Just as God dealt in the past with those who dealt with Him, and as He gave them encouragement and directed them by His Voice, so now He gives those who deal with Him particular information respecting His will through the Son and through faith in the blood of our Lord Jesus. Whoever thus starts out now is beginning to come into a justified condition; and every step of progress that he takes brings him nearer to consecration.

FROM KNOWLEDGE TO TENTATIVE JUSTIFICATION

The first step leading to justification is the gaining of a little knowledge; for no man can be justified in ignorance. This knowledge leads to a step of faith. With each advance in faith based upon that knowledge comes greater opportunity for increase of knowledge and faith. Thus we learn to walk by faith rather than by sight.

All of these steps, however, lead up to a full and perfect justification. First we come to a faith in God, believing [R5207 : page 93] that there is a Great Creator, that we are His creatures, and that He has merciful intentions toward us. Then other steps lead us to see that God has made arrangements for receiving us back into fellowship with Himself through the Lord Jesus Christ and His work of grace. We see that "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures." (1 Cor. 15:3.) This is a step of greater knowledge and leads to another step of obedience. Thus we draw nearer to God. As St. James says, "Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you." (James 4:8.) Each step enables us to see that we are getting nearer to the blessing.

After seeing that the Lord Jesus has prepared the way for the forgiveness of sin, we learn that there are certain terms upon which our sins will be forgiven. This is another step of knowledge. Then we are brought to the point where the Lord tells us by His own Word and the words of the Apostles that this forgiveness is based upon faith in Him and full acceptance of His finished work, that the only way by which we may become sharers in that work is by the consecration of ourselves and all that we have to the Father, and that we take up our cross and follow Jesus. We also learn that unless we take this step we cannot reach full justification.

TENTATIVE JUSTIFICATION DEFINED

When one has been drawn to the Father through His Word and His providences, and has accepted the blood of Jesus Christ as his only means of salvation, he comes to the place where he must decide whether he will present himself to God or whether he will wait for the Millennial blessings of Restitution. What he will do is uncertain. He is tentatively (that is temporarily) justified for a purpose – that of considering which step he will take. He is still on the human plane – a natural man.

Tentative justification, then, is for the purpose of giving a standing with God, from which a believer in our Lord's Ransom-sacrifice as his only hope of salvation may ascertain whether he has that spirit of sacrifice which will lead him to full consecration. The believer is at liberty to choose which course he will take. He may offer himself in consecration or he may decide not to do so. But should he decide to wait for Restitution, he thereby proves that he has not appreciated God's offer.

The object in preaching the Gospel during this Gospel Age – or at all – is to give an opportunity to whosoever will hear to attain to the privilege of spirit nature. Whoever hears the call and neglects to take advantage of it has evidently received the grace of God in vain. He suffers the loss of whatever he might have profited by accepting the offer. If for the doing of a certain piece of work a reward is promised, the one who fails to perform the work loses the reward, the honor, the money, or whatever was promised for doing the work.

God does not intend to inflict punishment on those who decide not to make the sacrifice of their humanity. But this class cannot gain the prize offered to those who do so. Only those who use their opportunity to be dead with Christ shall live with Him – become participators in the glorious things that are His. Those who take this step constitute the Church at the present time.

For the others, however, we trust that they will have opportunities in the future, in the Millennial Age. Under the favorable conditions of that time we hope that they will do better than they have done in this Age. Yet our [R5208 : page 93] thought is that the person who has come to a knowledge of God's grace and has had a measure of light respecting it, but has rejected it, will be in a worse position than those who have never heard of it.

Nevertheless, we do not wish to discourage any one who experiences faith in Restitution, in a future life, in good works. We would not discourage any one who hopes for earthly life, Restitution blessings. We believe that there are a great many people who are living noble lives, but who have neither faith nor light regarding the high calling. They are not on that account to suffer forever, except in the sense that they will have lost the opportunity of attaining the Kingdom blessing.

VITALIZED JUSTIFICATION

The Lord says that one should take the step of consecration only after counting the cost. (Luke 14:27-33.) After one has decided to take this step, he presents himself to the Lord. If his consecration is accepted, the Lord imputes enough of His merit to make the sacrifice perfect; for nothing imperfect can be presented to Jehovah. At the very moment of his acceptance as perfect through the imputed merit of Christ, he is reckoned alive in the full sense of the word; he has received actual justification in a legal sense. His justification is said to be vitalized. In other words, as soon as our Lord Jesus becomes his Advocate, God is reconciled to that sinner and treats him as one actually perfect. Full justification means full making right in the sight of Jehovah.

Let us be sure that we clearly understand this important point. Justification is said to be vitalized when, by the imputation of the merit of Christ, one who has made a full consecration receives by faith his share of the redemptive work of Christ. Those who have received vitalized justification can have no part in Restitution. Since that which is vitalized is made alive, justification that is vitalized is said to be unto life, for one's future existence depends upon his retaining that justification after our Lord's merit has been imputed. Abraham's justification, on the contrary, was not unto life, but only to fellowship with God. Christ had not died in Abraham's day and, therefore, merit could not have been imputed to any one.

By means of the various steps by which God has led us to Himself we reach the fulness and completeness of justification. That justification is vitalized by Jesus, who imputes to us a sufficiency of His merit to cover our deficiency. At the same moment God accepts that sacrifice which has already been offered to Him through the Advocate. This acceptance is indicated by the begetting of the Holy Spirit.

The one thus covered with the imputed merit of Christ and begotten of the Holy Spirit is thenceforth a New Creature. (2 Cor. 5:17.) If he continues faithful to his consecration vow, he will ultimately be presented to the Father as a member of the Bride class. Those who fail to keep their vow will be put through severe trials, great tribulation, which will eventually prepare them for a lesser place than they would have had if they had kept their robes unspotted.

During this Gospel Age only those who have presented their bodies as living sacrifices are given the Holy Spirit. This power operates in their lives for their development as New Creatures, to bring them into harmony with God and to prepare them for membership in the Body of Christ.

SANCTIFICATION A GRADUAL PROCESS

In the early stages of the Church there were "gifts of the Spirit," necessary to the inauguration of the Church. These gifts of the Spirit ceased, however, as soon as the Church had been established and the New Testament had been completed. We no longer have the gift of healing, of speaking with tongues, etc., but we have something more valuable than are gifts. These were for the infantile [R5208 : page 94] condition of the Church. Instead, we have today the fruits of the Holy Spirit, which are developed and matured gradually as the result of labor.

In some characters the period of maturing fruit of good size and flavor is longer than in others. Nevertheless, as surely as we receive the Holy Spirit into good and honest hearts and are submissive to the prunings of the Great Husbandman, so surely shall we bear large, luscious fruit in due time. The fruits of the Spirit, the Apostle says, are manifest; that is, they can be seen in our lives. They are meekness, self-control, faith, goodness, gentleness, long-suffering, brotherly-kindness and love.

At the beginning of our existence as New Creatures the fruits of the Holy Spirit germinate within us, but these must grow to maturity. We must bear fruit. The Lord says, "Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit He taketh away" – cuts it off – "and every branch that beareth fruit, He pruneth it, that it may bring forth more fruit." (John 15:2.) There is more or less pain in the prunings and testings of loyalty and obedience, but every manifestation of obedience helps to prepare us for membership in the Bride Class.

The work of actual justification and of actual sanctification and growth in grace is gradual. Completeness will be attained only in the First Resurrection, for "flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God." (I Cor. 15:50.) Those who will constitute the First Resurrection are the blessed ones – the holy ones, who have cultivated the fruits and graces of the Spirit. As St. Peter tells us, "Add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly-kindness; and to brotherly-kindness love. For if these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren [idle] nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." – 2 Peter 1:5-8.

GETHSEMANE!
Gethsemane! The Garden's lonely shade the world's
Redeemer sought that night. He went alone to pray
For grace and strength to drink the last drop in His Cup.
Great souls crave solitude in sorrow's hour! Not e'en
His well-beloved three might share the sacredness
Of that deep woe, – He bade them tarry, while He went
A little farther on, and fell upon His face.

*                         *                         *
Gethsemane! A solitary place, apart,
No mortal feet may press in sympathy that dark,
Encrimsoned earth. No human hand the fevered brow
May cool, no other heart can share its agony,
No voice but God's may break the solemn silence there, –
A place where every soul must drink alone the Cup
The Father's hand hath poured, and given to His child.
Gethsemane! A desert place, alone, apart?
Ah, no! The anguished heart doth never cry in vain
To Him who marks the smallest sparrow when it falls,
For He shall send His Angel with the message, "Fear
Thou not, for I am with thee! I will ne'er forsake,
Nor let thee fail! My right hand shall uphold, My love,
My power shall keep thee, even to the bitter end!"

GERTRUDE W. SEIBERT.

[R5208 : page 94]

SOUTHERN CONVENTION TOUR
A
T THE SUGGESTION of the Newspaper Syndicate which handles our weekly discourses through about 1,500 newspapers, we made a visit to Colon, Panama and Havana, in order that the discourses might come from those points bearing a measure of local color. Incidentally, we arranged for other meetings, as follows: Jacksonville, Fla., Feb. 16th and 17th. –

A convention of Bible Students gathered here on the 15th, to the number of about 200. They reported having had a splendid season of spiritual refreshment prior to our arrival, and that our coming in no wise diminished their joy and zeal.

We gave one public discourse at the Duval Theater. We had excellent attention. Crowds were turned away, unable to gain admittance. We hope that some good was accomplished – that some of the Lord's people were refreshed and strengthened in spirit; and that others, not consecrated, were enabled to see a light attractive to their hearts, which may bless them in after-days, leading them to righteousness and the Golden Rule, if not to the grand climax of full consecration to the Lord.

At Colon and Panama we gave public addresses, on Feb. 22d and 23d. In both instances the theaters were packed in a way not permitted in the United States. At Colon it was estimated that about 600 stood during the service, while many hundreds were turned away. At Panama we gave additionally an address to the Bible Students, numbering about 100. They came from different parts of the Canal Zone. Nine-tenths of the attendance of the interested in those parts are colored, very few being white.

Kingston, Jamaica, we reached Feb. 25th. We found a large convention already in session, crowding Collegiate Hall – about 600 – nearly all colored. These gathered from various parts of the island, and represented one-half of the interested there. Some of these dear friends spent nearly all that they possessed to come to the convention. [R5209 : page 94] We found them a very interesting company, very earnest for the Lord and for the Truth. Their singing was excellent.

On the next day we had two meetings in the theater. The one in the afternoon was attended by convention friends and about as many more of the public, invited by special cards. These friends assembled in the evening at Collegiate Hall, so as to give the full benefit of the theater to the public. And the public came in crowds. The theater seats about 1,100. Besides these, approximately 700 were jammed into all the aisles and corridors and windows, and probably 2,000 were turned away. These were nearly all colored, not more than ten per cent. whites.

The friends had arranged to reserve certain seats for the whites, desiring especially that they should have an opportunity to hear; but the crowd, while orderly, insisted on taking possession of these. A number of ministers were present. They all remarked the eagerness of the people to hear, and seemed surprised that anything religious should have such a drawing influence. The Episcopal minister thoughtfully and wisely observed that the secret of the interest lay in the fact that our Message was a "Gospel of Hope."

The newspapers, commenting on the people comprising the convention, commented upon their cleanliness, order, etc.; and the fact that they used neither tobacco nor liquors, and needed no attention from the police. In substance, they said, "This speaks well for the work of Pastor Russell and his associates. We hope that they may accomplish still more of their commendable work in Jamaica." [R5209 : page 95] They also referred to the fact that money and collections were not mentioned in connection with this convention.

On the 27th we gave an address on the Oneness of the Body of Christ, through Baptism of the one Spirit; and later we had a consecration service for children. The convention closed with a Love Feast, in which four brethren especially representing the Society in Jamaica, stood with us in line and shook hands with the company as they filed past, meantime singing some of our beautiful hymns of praise and thanks to the Giver of every good and perfect gift.

In the evening our boat departed for Santiago, Cuba. About 150 were on the pier, singing and waving us goodbye. Their order, cleanliness and earnestness were afterwards commented on by passengers on our boat. We were complimented on having such friends and adherents.

Santiago was the scene of the principal battle in the war which brought Cuban freedom from the yoke of Spain. We had the opportunity of visiting the battlefield – San Juan Hill, where the principal part of the battle was fought, and Kettle Hill, celebrated as the point where Colonel Roosevelt and his corps were engaged and suffered severe losses.

A journey of about 500 miles brought us to Havana, in time for a publicly announced meeting, with just one hour to spare. English is comparatively little used in Havana, and our congregation was small – about 200. However, even in this small number we had the satisfaction of knowing that some received a blessing, of which we trust to hear further on.

Monday, March 3, was spent in crossing from Havana to Key West. We arrived at Key West just in time for an advertised meeting in its largest auditorium. We had a splendid hearing on the topic, "Beyond the Grave." Our boat for Tampa permitting, we announced a meeting for the following night at the same place. The second subject was "Where Are the Dead?" The attention was excellent. Approximately, from five to six hundred of Key West's most intelligent and thoughtful people thus heard the Truth discussed for altogether four hours. We have hope that some of the hearers had eyes and ears of understanding, that some of them are of the consecrated class, and that the number of Bible Students there will be considerably increased.

Tampa was our next stop. Our steamer arrived in good time for the appointed meeting on Wednesday, March 5th. The Casino was crowded with a very intelligent audience of citizens, Bible Students and tourists. About three hundred were turned away. Our topic was, "Beyond the Grave." After the meeting many stopped to greet us. Altogether, we had a very enjoyable time.

The friends had made arrangements for a little convention of Bible Students, following the public address. We arranged our time of departure so as to permit the service of blessing the children, and a discourse for an hour on "The Three Bodies of Christ" – the Church in her three aspects portrayed in the Word of God. We trust that the brethren were encouraged, and that the fruitage of our visit may appear in the Kingdom, if not sooner.

Pensacola, Fla., was our next stop. There we had from noon until 10:10 p.m., March 7th. The Bible Students here also had arranged for a little convention, and visitors from nearby towns were in attendance. The programme was the same as at Tampa – a semi-public meeting for the Bible Students, and another meeting for the general public, with the same topics as at Tampa. As usual, we had a crowded house and closest attention.

Leaving at 10:00 p. m., Friday night, we reached Washington on Sunday morning, in time for a morning meeting with the class of Bible Students, and the usual Sunday afternoon meeting at Washington Temple. Leaving the capitol, we reached Baltimore in time for the appointed meeting in the Academy of Music. The public discourse at Washington and Baltimore was the same – "The Grandest Inauguration." All interested, we presume, already have had reports of that discourse, as it appeared in the newspapers regularly publishing the sermons.

Incidentally, we remark that a fund has been provided, so that any of the Lord's people who cannot afford to take a paper publishing the sermons weekly may be supplied free. The dear friends who have arranged this matter voluntarily are not only willing to pay for the papers, but very much pleased indeed to do so. We are again living in the time when the poor have the Gospel preached to them. Be sure to avail yourselves of this, another Divinely arranged matter.

Address all requests for sermon papers to THE WATCH TOWER office. But will each ask for himself and not for another? It is the intention not to send papers to any who do not express a personal desire to have them. Send in your name thus for a free subscription. You need not be in fear of ever being asked to pay for the paper. Any such request would be a mistake, and should be promptly reported to THE WATCH TOWER office.

page 95

INTERESTING LETTERS
DEARLY BELOVED PASTOR:

Greetings in our dear Lord's name!

There is in my mind a blessing for which I have become filled with the desire to convey to you my appreciation and gratitude. I refer to your suggestion, regarding the words, "What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward me." That these be our first waking thoughts.

What a holy joy and assistance has resulted in my case! The moment I open my eyes in the morning I repeat it, and as you say, it is a glorious beginning of the day. To me it seems one positive evidence that a heart is really the dear Lord's when we desire from the earliest moment of the day forward to its end, to earnestly prove our love and loyalty to Him. One very sweet thought in connection with this is that it seems a tightening of heart-bonds, to know that at about the same hour every morning our prayer ascends with that of our faithful Pastor, whom many of us, by the dear Lord's grace, have come to love with an unspeakable tenderness.

Yes, dear Brother, I agree with you that the present finds us having a very good time, with the peace of God in our hearts and all the joy of the Holy Spirit. As we pray for you, we desire your prayers – dear Brother Erb and I. With fervent Christian love, Your Sister in Him,

MRS. JONATHAN R. ERB.

MY DEARLY BELOVED PASTOR AND BROTHER:

Greetings in the Lord! I wish to briefly express my growing appreciation of the Berean Questions on the Scripture Studies. Have been using them in connection with my daily reading in the second, third and fourth volumes. I tried not using them for about five days, thinking that I hardly needed them for volume four, but since I have taken them up again, I appreciate them more than ever. They help to emphasize important points which I otherwise might loose. How thankful I am for this further help which seems to me is also "meat in due season."

The TOWERS are so helpful and encouraging. May you be even more richly blessed in your work and labor of love is my prayer.

Please accept my hearty thanks for the helpful colporteur letter and the beautiful little pin. Sister Anna also wishes me to express her thanks for the HEAVENLY MANNA she received.

My mother and sisters join in extending to you very much Christian love. In His Dear Name,

L. GILLESPIE.