page 129
May 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. XXXIVMAY 1No. 9
A. D. 1913 – A. M. 6041
CONTENTS
Evidences of the Anointing of the Holy Spirit 131
Distinction Between Anointing and Begetting 131
The Anointing Not the Mind of Christ 132
Dwelling Together in Unity 133
Friction the Result of Selfishness 133
"No Schism in the Body" 134
Anointing the "Feet" of Christ 134
Antitypical Perfume on Antitypical Feet 135
A Disciple's Prayer (Poem) 135
Benjamin's Portion Five-Fold 136
Two Tribulation Classes 137
Lessons Learned by Joseph's Brethren 138
When Will Men Profit? 139
Mercy Is Better Than Sacrifice 140
"Fall Not Out By The Way" 141
Some Interesting Letters 142
Requests for Pilgrim Visits 143
Berean Questions in Scripture Studies 143

'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 130

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION PRICE, $1.00 (4s.) IN ADVANCE.
SEND MONEY BY EXPRESS, BANK DRAFT, POSTAL ORDER, OR REGISTERED.
FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES BY FOREIGN MONEY ORDERS, ONLY.

Terms to the Lord's Poor as Follows: – All Bible Students who, by reason of old age, or other infirmity or adversity, are unable to pay for this Journal, will be supplied Free if they send a Postal Card each May stating their case and requesting its continuance. We are not only willing, but anxious, that all such be on our list continually and in touch with the STUDIES, etc.

ALSO FRENCH, GERMAN, SWEDISH AND DANISH EDITIONS.
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ENTERED AS SECOND-CLASS MAIL MATTER AT BROOKLYN, N.Y., POSTOFFICE.
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A WORD TO CONVENTIONERS

You will assist us, and therefore advantage all concerned by advising us in advance where you intend going; and for what days; and how many are to constitute your party; and color and sex. Address at each Convention city, three weeks in advance, Laymen's Home Missionary Movement.

It will further advantage all if we have the engagement of all rooms. Then you will not be going in at the eleventh hour and taking, at higher prices, rooms we had already secured for others, and causing trouble when you wish to bless.

RE HOT SPRINGS, ARK.

Hot Springs is in the mountains of Arkansas and therefore will not be so hot as its name might imply. The surroundings are beautiful and attractive. It is under U.S. Government control, and sanitary to the highest degree. It has few sick visitors in summer. We are expecting that the attendance there from Texas and the South will be considerable.

OMISSION AND ADDITIONS

Cross off the list Mt. Lake Park, Md.

The International Bible Students Association Classes of Los Angeles and San Francisco are arranging for Conventions to be held in connection with Brother Russell's visits to their Cities. Los Angeles proposes five days of Bible study, June 11 to 15; San Francisco proposes three days, June 14, 15, 16. Such of our readers as desire to attend those Conventions are requested to write for particulars – railway excursion rates, etc. State what railway routing you prefer, going and returning. Address Laymen's Home Missionary Movement, Box 325, San Francisco, Cal., or 405 So. Hill St., Room 316, Los Angeles, Cal. The Brethren will arrange for special parties and for entertainment, etc. Our readers on the Pacific Coast proposing to attend the later Conventions in the East may also receive helpful information respecting routes, rates, etc. Surely avail yourselves of these Christian hospitalities.

Dr. L. W. Jones, of 3003 Walnut Street, Chicago, Ill., learning of Brother Russell's arrangements for the Convention Tour to the Pacific, has made up a Convention Party to accompany him, or rather asked him if they may have the pleasure of his company on their special train. He has very thankfully accepted the kind hospitalities. Parties wishing to join the Excursion Train enroute can address the Doctor direct, or, if they prefer, communicate through the Laymen's Home Missionary Movement of the Pacific Coast at addresses above.

SUBSCRIPTIONS FOR SERMON NEWSPAPERS

We are glad to know that our readers subscribe for the journals which publish Brother Russell's sermons weekly. We are specially glad when they encourage and support the paper published nearest to their post-office. We are still more pleased when these subscriptions pass through our hands. This may be done by those who make up clubs – everyway.

Our readers must not think that newspapers which send them letters requesting them to act as agents are prompted by us. Whatever we have to say to you on the subject of subscription will be said either through the WATCH TOWER columns or through the Pilgrims, or directly by letter.

Letters coming to you through newspapers are merely circulars and need no reply.

*                         *                         *

Whenever and wherever our readers see in newspapers anything from the pen of Brother Russell, there and then they should recognize an Editor to be encouraged and a paper to be assisted.

BETHEL HYMNS FOR JUNE

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 June follow:

(1) 305; (2) 1; (3) 105; (4) 114; (5) 43; (6) 145; (7) 230; (8) 7; (9) Vow; (10) 321; (11) 293; (12) 95; (13) 238; (14) 50; (15) 320; (16) 325; (17) 145; (18) 27; (19) 15; (20) 259; (21) 198; (22) 222; (23) 226; (24) 333; (25) 4; (26) 246; (27) 313; (28) 165; (29) 160; (30) 130.

[R5227 : page 131]

EVIDENCES OF THE ANOINTING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

"Christ in you, the hope of glory." – Colossians 1:27.
T
HE SCRIPTURES frequently speak of the Church as being "in Christ," giving the thought of membership in His Body. (Romans 12:4,5; I Corinthians 12:12-27; 2 Corinthians 5:17.) Our Lord Himself used the figure of a vine and its branches to convey the same thought. He spoke of Himself as the Vine, and of the Church as the branches in the Vine, partaking of nourishment therefrom. (John 15:1,2.) It is not this thought, however, that is expressed by the Apostle's words, "Christ in you, the hope of glory."

The word Christ signifies anointed. All who will be members of the Royal Priesthood will be anointed – not separately, but collectively. This was pictured during the Jewish Age by the installation into office of both the kings and the high priests of Israel. According to the Law, every king and every high priest must be anointed, else he could not serve. The oil which was used in this ceremony was of a peculiar kind, which might not be used for any other purpose. – Exodus 30:22,23.

The anointing which our Lord and the members of His mystical Body have received is different from anything else in the whole world. It is the anointing of the Holy Spirit, which is variously spoken of as the spirit of holiness, the spirit of a sound mind, the spirit of the Truth, and the Spirit of God. It is not the Truth, but the spirit of the Truth, it is not the Word of God, although it is in harmony with the Word; it is not holiness, yet it is in full accord with holiness. It is the spirit, the disposition, which is associated with a sound mind, with holiness, with Truth and with the Word of God.

As the anointing of kings and priests in Israel was the Divine evidence that they were accepted to office, so was it with our Lord Jesus. St. Peter tells us that "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power." (Acts 10:38.) Our Lord was set apart for a very high office. In harmony with the Divine arrangement, He is to be the great antitypical King and Priest – "after the order of Melchizedek."

During the Gospel Age, God has been setting apart those who are to be members of the Body of Christ. These are invited to be kings and priests unto our God – a Royal Priesthood. Consequently, when one is received into this Body, under the Headship of Christ, he comes under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. This unction is from the [R5228 : page 131] Father in that He alone can give the recognition. It is from the Son in that we can come to the Father only through Him.

This is well illustrated by the consecration of the Jewish high priest. The holy oil was poured upon Aaron's head, typifying the anointing of our Lord at the time of His consecration. The oil then ran down to the very skirts of Aaron's garments, thus typifying the anointing of the Body of Christ, which is the Church. This descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Church was manifested at Pentecost.

DISTINCTION BETWEEN ANOINTING AND BEGETTING

The anointing of the Holy Spirit is slightly different from the begetting of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit which came upon Jesus at Jordan was both the begetting and the anointing power of God. Our Lord was The Anointed from the moment at which He was begotten.

So with the Church at Pentecost. They were waiting for acceptance of God. Our Lord had appeared in the presence of God as their Advocate, in order that their sacrifices might be acceptable. When the Father recognized their acceptance by shedding forth the Holy Spirit – when there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and "sat upon each one of them" (Acts 2:3, R.V.) – that recognition was both their begetting and their anointing. The former – the begetting – represents the matter from the individual standpoint, and the latter – the anointing – from the collective. We are begotten individually, but we were anointed collectively.

If we should consider the anointing and the begetting as two different steps of progress, we should be obliged to say that the begetting takes place first, and that the begotten one is anointed, or recognized as an heir of God. But this giving the one a priority over the other is not necessary to the thought. These seem to be two pictures, which represent the matter from two different standpoints. We are not individually anointed, nor are we collectively begotten.

This Spirit which we receive from God abides in us. Whoever loses the Spirit loses the light, and passes into the death condition. So the Apostle urges, "Grieve not the Spirit." If we cease to be in the Body of Christ, we cease to be anointed. If we lose the spirit of our begetting, we shall die. The begetting represents the beginning of our experience, and the resurrection the completion. Each is individually begotten and born of the Spirit.

In the picture of anointing the whole Body is anointed. There will be no need for a repetition of the [R5228 : page 132] ceremony. At the beginning of the Gospel Age, the one Body was anointed, and all who will be members of that Body come under that one anointing, and all these will share in His resurrection – the First Resurrection – the Chief Resurrection.

THE ANOINTING NOT THE MIND OF CHRIST

Not only was our Lord begotten to the new nature, anointed of the Holy Spirit, but each member of the Body must be similarly begotten, for "flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God." If we have received this anointing, we are eligible to all that God has promised to The Christ – primarily to the Head, and also to the members of His Body. As God foreknew the great Shepherd of the sheep, the Redeemer, He also foreknew this class.

Long before our Lord came into the world, the Father had planned that there should be an Anointed Company, the Head of which should be our Lord, and the Body of which should be the Church. (Ephesians 1:3,4,22,23.) Jesus was to have the first place in the Christ Company, and associated with Him would be those who would have His Spirit, His will, who had made a full consecration of their lives to do God's will faithfully, even unto death.

For those who have this spirit of consecration, and have presented themselves in sacrifice, our Lord stands as the Advocate before the Father, to make good for them, to cover their blemishes and imperfections. Our Lord's work is not that of anointing, but of making it possible for us to be received by the Father. The anointing is of the Father, but by the Son. St. Peter says that Jesus, having received the Spirit of the Father, shed it forth. – Acts 2:33.

As long as we have this Spirit of God, it is an evidence to us that we are children of God. So long as we possess it, we maintain this relationship of sons. (Romans 8:9,14.) Then the consequent thought is that if we are children of God we are "heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ," "to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that fadeth not away, reserved in Heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time." – Romans 8:17; I Peter 1:5.

The words of our text suggest the thought that whoever has the Spirit of God has the evidence that he is an heir of glory and will receive the reward, if found faithful. On one occasion the Apostle John said, "But the anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you." (I John 2:27.) Those who have this anointing have no need that any one teach them that fact, for they have the evidence of it, the proof of it in their own hearts and experiences. These evidences are more apparent to themselves than to any one else.

The evidences that one has been anointed may not be understood except as we have the instructions of the Word of God. The Scriptures give us an outline of the witness to the possession of the Holy Spirit, so as to leave no room for doubt. They tell us that the Holy Spirit, the begetting power in us, leads us more and more to have the mind of Christ. We were not anointed with the mind of Christ, but with the Holy Spirit, and whoever has the Holy Spirit will find that he will develop the mind of Christ.

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE MIND OF CHRIST

The mind of Christ is the will to do the Father's will. Our Lord, when a child, said on one occasion to His mother, "How is it that ye sought Me? wist ye not that I must be about My Father's business?" (Luke 2:49.) We recognize that we have a Heavenly Father, whose service is the highest possible service. Those who are His must have this spirit. The work of the New Creature must be the Heavenly work, otherwise he will have no proof that he has passed from the condemnation upon the human race and become a New Creature.

If we have the spirit of loyalty to God, to the Truth and to the brethren, we have the mind, the disposition of Christ. We also have indeed the weaknesses of the flesh, but it is our privilege to fight against these and to become more and more transformed in the spirit of our minds, to have our minds more centered in the Truth and in the service of the brethren.

If there is a decrease of zeal in this direction, then we may know that there is danger of going backward instead of forward. We hear of instances where the Lord's people have lost their first love and have become more or less cold. From our standpoint we may know when any have lost their first love. It is when they have allowed their minds to be led away to earthly things – love of family, of home, of worldly possessions, etc., all of which war against the Heavenly things. We should seek our pleasures, not from earthly sources, but from the Heavenly source. Very frequently we find Christians who tell us that they had a blessed experience when first they knew the Lord, but that they do not now feel as near to Him as formerly. If we probe the matter, we nearly always find that they went into business, or married, or did something which has warred against the Holy Spirit. We are not speaking against those things, but "If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them" – the things that make for our peace.

OTHER EVIDENCES OF THE ANOINTING

In addition to having the mind of Christ, we have other evidences that we have been anointed. We find ourselves needing the spiritual food, and to satisfy our hunger, our Heavenly Father has provided us the knowledge of the Divine Plan, the knowledge of our Lord. Each new view gives us fresh inspiration. Then if we find some of the brethren spiritually hungry, how can we withhold from giving them the spiritual refreshment which we have? If one has earthly mercies and dispenses them, God may give him the privilege of opening blind eyes. If it is a blessing to open physically blinded eyes, how much greater a blessing is it to open the spiritually blinded eyes! We have the blessed privilege of helping some to get their eyes open to see spiritual things, and also of helping others who already see to understand more clearly.

If we love the Truth, we will serve the Truth. This service is sure to bring upon us the disapproval of the world, it will not bring us an earthly passport. The world will say that we are doing it for money or some selfish object, for they are sure to err, sure to fail to see the real purpose of the truly consecrated people of God. If we endure these things, we thereby prove ourselves to be good soldiers of Jesus Christ.

If devotion to the will of the Father brought upon our Lord shame, ignominy, we must not wonder that we are treated likewise. If the world called the Master of the House of Sons Beelzebub, they will assuredly call His followers some evil name. The willingness to receive all this as a part of our reasonable service is a further evidence that we have been anointed.

Probably the Lord's people find that they can very easily love some of the brethren, but that there are some others whom it is not so easy to love, for they do not [R5229 : page 133] seem to be lovable. However, we should reflect that if the Lord can receive and love these brethren, we should do the same, and that our love should help them out of their naturally mean traits of disposition. Thus we shall develop love for all of the brethren – the rich and the poor, the educated and the uneducated – and desire to render them assistance as opportunity may offer.

The evidences that one has been anointed with the Holy Spirit are, increasing desire for spiritual things, desire to assist others to see and to grow in knowledge and Heavenly grace, persecution from the worldly-minded, and the development of the mind of Christ – the disposition which is loving, generous, forgiving toward others and which is reverential toward God and obedient to His will. Whoever finds, on self-examination, that he has these evidences in his own heart has the witness of the Spirit that he is a child of God.

THE HOPE OF GLORY

The word "glory" carries with it the thought of honor and dignity – sometimes also that of brightness, shining. The Scriptures speak of the Heavenly Father as having the excellent glory, that glory unto which none others can approach. Our Lord Jesus is said to have been received up into glory – honor and distinction. Of Adam it is said that he was "crowned with glory and honor," was put over the beasts of the field, the fowl of the air and the fish of the sea. (Psalm 8:5-8; Genesis 1:28.) In this connection the word "glory" seems to indicate that Adam was made in the image of his Creator.

Applying these same thoughts to ourselves, we find that as yet we have no glory. What blessing we have received is the possession of the Holy Spirit, the evidence of our adoption into the family of God. This, however, is merely the beginning of the glory which God has promised to those who are faithful – merely the earnest. To have the Holy Spirit in us is to have the anointing in us. If we allow the Holy Spirit to operate in us, and ourselves faithfully co-operate therewith, the end will be glorious.

Thus the anointing which we have received – the Spirit of Christ in us – is the hope or basis of the glory which we are expecting – a glory which is to be like that of our Redeemer – a glory which is above that of angels, principalities and powers – a glory which is next to that of the Lord. This anointing, this Spirit of Christ within us, is the earnest, or hope, or basis, of all that is coming. Hence we should heed the admonition of the Apostle that we quench not the anointing, this Holy Spirit of Christ. On the contrary, we are to cultivate it, develop it, give attention to it. If we should allow it to die, because of neglect of the help which God has supplied, if we should quench it by indulgence in sin, we should thereby demonstrate that we are unworthy of the blessing and fit only for the Second Death.

[R5229 : page 133]

DWELLING TOGETHER IN UNITY

"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" – Psalm 133:1.
I
N SOME earthly families there is a considerable degree of unity. Of such we sometimes say, "This family all seem to pull together." In other families there seems to be a pulling apart. When we see husband and wife, brothers and sisters, seeking to help one another, we say, "There is a great deal of love in that family." By this we mean an earthly love – a certain amount of animal love. This disposition is a right one. The Bible seems to imply that there is an obligation, a special duty, to those who are near to us. The Scriptures say that a man should not neglect his own household. He that careth not for his own is worse than an unbeliever. – I Timothy 5:8.

Man was originally created in the image of God, and had love Divine as the inspiring influence in his life. This love has been largely effaced by selfishness, which is the representative of sin. In proportion as people are fallen, to that extent they are selfish. Some are kind and generous to the members of their own family, and seek to co-operate in helping one another. We cannot say that this is not a right principle, if, in seeking to do for its own, it does not injure others. Brothers and sisters should sympathize with one another, and have a spirit of helpfulness one toward another. Wherever we see this spirit in a family we say, "That is a delightful family."

There are other families where there seems to be a personal selfishness, and no brotherly sympathy at all. In such families there is a desire to do more for an outsider than for one of their own. The members see more blemishes in their own than in others. In such cases, justice is lacking. Whenever the principle of justice is overridden, a spirit of antagonism is engendered instead of love, and under such conditions there is no unity possible.

FRICTION THE RESULT OF SELFISHNESS

Let us apply this rule to the Lord's family – the Church. God has organized a new family in the world – not according to any earthly ties, but according to the Spirit of God. This family consists of those who have been begotten of the one Spirit of the Father. What a beautiful family it is! We see a type of this family in the days of Gideon. All the sons of Joash, Gideon's father, were different from the others of Israel in their general appearance. It is written that they resembled the children of kings. (Judges 8:18.) So should it be with us. As we have the Spirit of the Lord, we should shine out in our words and deeds, and in every way should "show forth the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light." – I Peter 2:9.

Evidently the principle of selfishness is the root from which all disagreements emanate. Surely there is nothing of selfishness in the Lord's Spirit. Whence then is this spirit of strife and discord which sometimes manifests itself among the Lord's people? One sets himself up and seeks to take away the rights and liberties of others. Others, having a similar spirit, may desire to be clannish. One says, "I am of Paul"; another, "I am of Apollos," a third, "I am of Christ." This spirit is wrong. St. Paul points out that there is none other than Christ to whom we should be united.

The most favorable condition for unity is that all seek to have the Lord's will done in their mortal bodies. The only difficulty that could then arise would result from ignorance or from weakness of the flesh that had not been overcome or that could not be overcome. The other members of the congregation, having the Spirit of the Master, would assume that the erring brother was merely ignorant, and not wilfully in opposition. Therefore in all kindness and gentleness they would seek to point out the will of the Father as expressed in Christ. The younger brother would be glad to have this done, because he would have the Spirit of Christ.

If the difficulty were one of the flesh, the brethren [R5229 : page 134] should recognize that it was merely a weakness of the flesh, and sympathetically they should point out to the brother wherein he had come short. In turn, he should make apology for his mistake. Then he should be freely forgiven. So he would learn and would come into proper unity with the other brethren. Thus we are all, at the present time, to have the Spirit of the Master, and so far as possible to live together in unity.

"NO SCHISM IN THE BODY"

It is, however, not possible always to "dwell together in unity" with everybody. It would be impossible for God and Satan thus to dwell. There are some people who have the spirit of Satan. We could have no unity with such a one. There would be polishing from coming in contact with such, but there could be no unity; for what fellowship could light have with darkness? On one occasion St. Paul wrote to the Corinthian Church, "I hear that there are divisions among you." Then he proceeded to say that it must be so, in order that whatever was wrong might come to the surface, that the inharmony of the situation might be realized, and that the one in the wrong might be led to go out, because he was an intruder. (I Corinthians 11:18,19.) Recognizing his position, such a one would go out, saying by his action, "I am not a member of the Body of Christ; these are the Lord's people." Or, failing to go out, he should be advised to do so.

Those who are not brethren, who are not children of light, but children of darkness, associating with the brethren, must be dealt with along the lines of the Divine direction laid down in Matthew 18:15-17. We may not take any measures not Scriptural. This is the only method.

We have seen great machines running with great precision and very little commotion. The parts are dwelling together in unity; all are working in perfect order, because they are well put together. They could not fall together, or there would be merely a rattling. The family of God are like a great machine. The setting of the members in the Body is under the supervision of the great Engineer, who brings them into the spirit of harmony, through the impartation of His own Spirit.

The working of a new engine or other machine is very slow at first, because there is a certain amount of friction engendered when the parts begin to move. So when the engineer finds that there is friction in any of the parts, he puts on a little lubricating oil, and thus prevents injury. When the parts are worn smooth, there is little danger of friction. So with the members of the Body of Christ. When they are new in the Body we must expect some friction, and then we should exercise more of the Spirit of the Lord. And we should be very sure of our own spirit, of our own intention.

Even if the one causing friction should not be of the Body, even if he were a stranger – no part of the machine [R5230 : page 134] to which he is attaching himself – there would be all the more need of oil. We should, therefore, remember that no matter how well developed each member may be, he will need the Holy Spirit. If we find any member unendurable, we should go to the Lord in prayer and ask for more of His Spirit, that we may exercise more patience and more brotherly-kindness in dealing with that one. So shall we be pleasing to the Lord, and helpful in building one another up and in doing good unto all men, especially to the Household of Faith.

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ANOINTING "THE FEET" OF CHRIST  Audio

"She hath done what she could." – Mark 14:8.
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E CAN scarcely think of a higher encomium that could have come from the Master's lips to any of His followers. This expression of Jesus, then, should be of special comfort, particularly so to the sisters in the Church. They have not all the opportunities that the brethren have of service in the Truth. There are certain limitations of the sex, and these, of course, were upon Mary. She did not have the privilege of going about with Jesus to hear all of His teachings, and of co-operating with Him in that way, nor of being one of the seventy sent out to do mighty works, to proclaim the Kingdom.

But not discouraged by these limitations, Mary was very much on the alert to improve all the opportunities that she had. She and her family had been special friends of Jesus – for how long a time we do not know. But we know that He frequently went to their home; and the Scriptures testify that "Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus." – John 11:5.

When Lazarus fell sick, the sisters sent Him word, "He whom Thou lovest is sick." They manifested their faith and submission also as to what answer would come – as to whether He would simply send word, or bless a handkerchief, or what not. They felt that He would care for them – being a special friend of the family.

It must have been a great trial of their faith when our Lord remained away, when Lazarus died, when the funeral took place. On the fourth day after, Jesus came to Bethany – too late to do any good! We remember that then Mary, who had sat at Jesus' feet to be taught of Him, was so overcome because He had not sent some help in her brother's case, that she did not feel that she even wished to see the Lord. She did not feel like honoring Him. So when she heard that He had come, she sat still in the house, and did not go to greet Him. Of course, after Jesus had called forth Lazarus from the tomb, her faith and love and zeal were revived and intensified. Her faith had been sorely tried and tested, and had finally triumphed.

On this occasion, when Jesus came up to Jerusalem, prior to the crucifixion, He came to their home as usual. Then Lazarus and Martha and Mary made quite a feast, at which there were present some of the Pharisees from the city of Jerusalem. After this feast, Jesus rode upon the ass into Jerusalem, and was proclaimed King by a multitude of disciples. It looked as if things were getting very favorable, and as if very soon the people would receive Him as King. – Luke 19:37-40.

Some had previously wondered and some had persisted in faith. These thought that now was the moment of Jesus' glorification, and this, they felt sure, meant also their own glorification. When He came into Jerusalem, He drove out the money-changers from the Temple, and all things seemed auspicious. Later on, some of the scribes and Pharisees tried to show up the fallacy of His teachings, and they were all put to flight, so that they were afraid to ask him questions, because it did more harm than good. – Luke 20:40.

FAULT-FINDING ANTAGONISTIC TO LOVE

The common people were in favor of Jesus, but the leaders were much discontented. They said, "The Romans will treat us badly and not give us any liberty, if we allow [R5230 : page 135] this thing to go on. It will bring us all into disgrace." So the high priest said, "It is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not." (John 11:50.) But this determination was to be kept quiet. The chief priest and rulers, therefore, worked secretly.

Just before the day of the crucifixion, Jesus was again in the home of Lazarus and Martha and Mary. It was on this occasion that Mary took the opportunity of breaking a box of ointment and pouring it over the head of Jesus. This ointment was not oil – such ointment as we use today – but very expensive perfume. The alabaster package in which this was put up was apparently a small vase.

Mary broke the vase – probably uncorked it – that she might pour out the ointment. In this way she manifested her high appreciation of His being a Guest at their home. To Mary our Lord was not simply a great man. To her He was more, He was the Messiah. So far as she understood, she adored Him, reverenced Him as her Lord; and she took this opportunity for showing her devotion by pouring upon Him the precious perfume.

One of the disciples, Judas, rebuked the woman, saying, "This is a shameful waste of money, this ointment was valuable." Such ointments were much more expensive at that time than now. By the synthetic process we can now manufacture almost any odor without using even one flower. But the process used in olden times made it much more costly.

As Judas was upbraiding Mary, Jesus stopped him, saying, "Let her alone; why trouble ye her? She hath wrought a good work on Me....She hath done what she could." She has manifested her love, her devotion. She has not followed Me as you disciples have done. She had the restrictions of her sex upon her. But this is one thing that she could do, and one thing that she did. I appreciate what she has done. She has anointed Me for My burial. – Mark 14:6,8.

THE MASTER'S TRIBUTE OF APPROVAL

We may suppose that these would seem very strange words for the Master to use – "She hath anointed My body aforehand for the burying." The disciples thought He would not die. But Jesus was so in the habit of saying peculiar things that if they stopped to quarrel over them, they would have been led away from Him. On one occasion He had said, "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you." (John 6:53.) This saying had perplexed them greatly. When He said He was about to be crucified, they thought, How can He use language which is so untruthful? And when St. Peter said, "Be it far from Thee, Lord! This shall not be unto Thee!" Jesus upbraided him. – Matthew 16:22,23.

These words, these things, came to their remembrance in future days; and thus their faith and hope and trust were much intensified and were made more precious. Thus also our faith has been strengthened.

Applying to ourselves Jesus' words to Mary, we can see that no one could have a higher tribute from the Master's lips than the approval given to Mary's act. Apparently it meant: She cannot do more – she has done all she could. There is encouragement in these words for all of us. However brethren may criticize us, if we are [R5231 : page 135] sure that our hearts have been loyal to the Lord, we may be sure that He will say of us sympathetically, "It is not any great thing that they can do, but they are doing what they can." As the Heavenly Father looks down upon us, He must see that we are doing very little. It is comforting, however, for us to know that the Heavenly Father is pleased to look down upon us, and that He sees that we are trying to do what we can.

This text should be of special encouragement to the sisters. They have special opportunities, in a more private manner, of ministering to the Body of Christ. Of course it does not mean that the brethren are not to minister to the Body of Christ – to wash one another's feet, etc. – but it points specially to the privilege of the sisters – the anointing of the Head and the feet.

ANTITYPICAL PERFUME ON ANTITYPICAL FEET

We of today are in a very special sense the feet members. This expression is specially applicable to those who are living now – the last members of the Body of Christ, the Church. The expression, "anointing the feet," seems to call attention to the fact that any service done to any member of the Body of Christ will be esteemed a service to Him. He will say of all who thus serve Him that they have done what they could.

Mary's conduct in this case, and her deep humility, are in strange contrast with that of the Apostles on the next day. When they had assembled for the Passover Supper, they felt their own importance so much that they were not willing to be servants to each other. They were going to be kings on the Throne. Therefore they were not going to wash each other's feet; and not only so, but they were not going to wash the Master's feet. Then the Master washed their feet, and set them an example.

This is a special time for seeking to honor one another, to serve one another and to strengthen each other's hearts. The perfume itself is a beautiful picture of love and devotion, and illustrates the manner in which we can pour perfume on each other by speaking graciously to each other, and by seeking to see the best that there is in one another. "Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor." – Ephesians 5:1,2.

A DISCIPLE'S PRAYER
Loving Master, I am thine;
Joined with Thee I may resign
All I have that is of earth,
Yet I know it has no worth,
But in it I think and live,
And I have naught else to give.
Even this Thou didst give me
As a test that Thou mightst see
Whether I love these things more,
Counting up my little store
As of wealth that can compare
With the crown that I may wear
If I gladly give it all,
Letting my ambitions fall,
Toppling as the flames arise
Through my willing sacrifice.
Honored am I thus to be
Called to heirship, Lord, with Thee,
And my seeming pause was due
To the overwhelming view
Of Thy dazzling purity,
And my own depravity,
In contrasting the exchange
Of human life for spirit gains;
Holiness to replace sin,
Peace and joy where grief has been,
And if faithful in the strife
The reward, Immortal Life!
Trusting, humbly do I pray:
Keep me faithful day by day!

– MARY CHRISTIANCY.

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BENJAMIN'S PORTION FIVE-FOLD  Audio
– MAY 25. – GENESIS 43. –

"He that loveth his brother abideth in the light." – I John 2:10.
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HEN the wheat supply procured from Egypt began to run low, Jacob urged his sons to go again for more. But they positively refused to do so unless their younger brother, Benjamin, should go along. Then one of the brethren – Judah – became surety for Benjamin. Jacob finally consented, sending with them a present of honey, spices, etc., and double money, and Benjamin, saying, "And God Almighty give you mercy before the man [Joseph], that he may send away your other brother, Simeon, and Benjamin. If I be bereaved of my children, I am bereaved."

Again they were expected by Joseph, who this time gave instructions that a dinner should be served for them in his presence. They were in fear, however, especially because the money had been put into the mouths of their sacks at their former visit. They communed with Joseph's steward at the door of the house and got his answer – so different from what they would probably get today in Egypt, or anywhere else. He said, "Peace be to you, fear not: your God, and the God of your father, hath given you treasure in your sacks; I had your money. And he brought Simeon out unto them." Then he gave them water, wherewith to wash and refresh themselves, and provender for their asses, and made ready for the noon repast.

Then Joseph came in, robed as an Egyptian prince. They bowed themselves to the earth, and tendered him the present. Tenderly he inquired for their father, and then in respect to Benjamin, their younger brother. So deep was his emotion that he was obliged to retire for a time to shed tears of joy. Restraining himself, he returned, and the meal proceeded. From his own private table he caused portions to be sent to his eleven brethren, having already directed that they should be seated according to their age and birthright. This also astonished the brethren, and much more were they astonished when they perceived that the helping given to the youngest brother was five portions instead of one – a mark of special favor.

The story is very simple, very touching, very beautiful, both for children and for those of mature mind. The setting is so natural as to carry with it the conviction of truth, so guileless as to be fully in harmony with what might be expected in the Book of God.

THE SPIRITUAL LESSON TAUGHT

Bible Students, realizing that Joseph was a type of The Messiah, are of the opinion that Benjamin, Joseph's younger brother by the same mother, was also a type. As Abraham's wives were typical of different covenants, so Bible Students seem to see that Rachel, the mother of Joseph and Benjamin, typified a special covenant – the Covenant of Sacrifice, which has operated during this Gospel Age, and which brings forth two distinctly separate classes of saints. These two classes of saints seem to be typified by Joseph and Benjamin.

The highest class is represented in Joseph – The Messiah – the class that includes the specially faithful of God's people during this Gospel Age – Jesus and all of His footstep followers. This class, eventually, as typified by Joseph, will reach the Throne of empire, becoming the King or Ruler of the universe, next to the Almighty Creator, typified by Pharaoh, who took Joseph out of the prison-house of death and highly exalted him to be next to himself in power and great glory.

It has evidently escaped the attention of many Bible Students, until recently, that two classes of saintly Christians are being developed during this Gospel Age – a superior class, represented by Joseph, and an inferior class, represented by Benjamin. The word Benjamin signifies "son of my right hand." The name Benoni – "son of my pain" – was given to him by his mother, who died in giving him birth.

The antitypical lesson here would be that this special Covenant, typified by Rachel, gives birth to the elect Church, The Messiah, of which Jesus is the Head, and will also give birth to another class, and then cease – expire – giving birth to no more. The secondary class are Scripturally designated as tribulation saints, the declaration being made that they shall "come up out of great tribulation" to the blessing which they will inherit. Moreover, this class is represented as being much more numerous than the still more honored class, typified by Joseph.

"LITTLE FLOCK" – "GREAT COMPANY"

In order to present this view clearly, we must refer to Revelation, 7th chapter. There we are given the picture of 144,000, sealed in their foreheads. These are the same that are elsewhere represented as standing with the Lamb on Mount Zion, and singing the song which none but themselves could learn to sing. (Revelation 14:1-3.) Again, these are represented as being with the Lamb, standing upon the sea of glass. (Revelation 15:2,3.) Thus in various ways this group seems to represent the Very Elect, the saintly few, the Little Flock, to whom it will be the Father's good pleasure to give the Millennial Kingdom, as joint-heirs with their Lord and Redeemer.

In Revelation 7:4, we read that these are from the twelve tribes of Israel – 12,000 from each tribe. This is understood by Bible Students to signify that God originally arranged for the full number of the Elect to be taken from Natural Israel, as though He did not know that Natural Israel would reject the Lord and crucify Him. The Plan was laid out on the Israelitish basis, even though God knew in advance that Israel would not obtain that which he sought (the chief blessing), but that the Election would obtain it, and the remainder of that nation would be temporarily blinded, until the completion of the gathering of the Elect. – Romans 11:7,25-33.

Although many of the Israelites were dispersed amongst the surrounding nations, it is evident from the Scriptural records that the entire nation – every tribe – was represented in Palestine after the return from Babylonian captivity. Thus, Jesus referred to His work as being for the twelve tribes of Israel, and the Apostles did also. As a matter of fact, the saintly ones of the Jews who heard the call, and who responded, and who were begotten of the Holy Spirit, and who thus became Spiritual Israelites and sons of God – were from all the various tribes, of some more and of some less. These constituted so many of the foreordained 144,000.

But there were not enough of the saintly ones to complete the Election. Hence by Divine favor the Message was carried to the Gentiles, Cornelius being the first Gentile convert. During the intervening centuries, the Gentiles who have responded to God's call have been accepted and begotten of the Holy Spirit, have been reckoned in as Israelites indeed, as spiritual members of the Seed of Abraham, as heirs, together with the elect Jews, to the First Resurrection, according to God's Promise made to [R5232 : page 137] Abraham – Natural Israel being still heir to God's secondary promises.

Thus the sealing of the Elect has been in progress for nearly nineteen centuries. Altogether, gathered from Jews and Gentiles, there will be 144,000 kings and priests unto God, followers of the Lamb, and His joint-heirs in the Kingdom. The filling up of these assignments of 12,000 each to the twelve tribes we may understand to be accomplished in the same way that British regiments of soldiers in India are recruited. The enlistments are made all over Great Britain, but the enlisted man – no matter from what city or country he be – may be assigned to membership in whatever regiment is deficient in numbers.

"AFTER THESE THINGS I BEHELD"

After the account of the sealing of the 144,000 of the Very Elect, in the same chapter we have an account of the Great Company. We read, "I beheld, and lo, a great company, whose number no man knoweth [unlike the Little Flock, these were not predestinated, or foreordained, as to number], of all nations, kindreds, peoples and tongues, stood before the Throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God who sitteth upon the Throne, and unto the Lamb."

It should be noticed that the promise to the elect kings and priests is that their blessing will be not before the Throne, but in the Throne. Moreover, their victory will not be shown by palm branches, but by crowns of glory. All these circumstances attest that this Great Company before the Throne and with palm branches are a wholly different company from the Elect, the Bride, who will share Messiah's Throne and glory. This Great Company is elsewhere referred to symbolically as the "virgins," the Bride's companions, who will follow her. They will enter into the palace with her, into the presence of the great King, but they will not be the Bride. – Psalm 45:14,15.

This Great Company was explained to the Revelator, and the explanation is for us. We read, "These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the Throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His Temple; and He that sitteth on the Throne shall dwell among them."

Bible Students notice that the Little Flock class are styled "the Temple of God," "living stones," whereas this Great Company will serve God in that Temple – in and through the Church. They also notice that this class who will wash their robes and make them white in the blood of the Lamb during a great time of trouble, must of necessity be a different class from the Bride, who are described as watching and keeping their garments unspotted from the world – that they may be without spot and without wrinkle in the presence of the King.

TWO TRIBULATION CLASSES

The Little Flock, the Royal Priesthood, the Elect Church, of which Christ is the Head, will indeed pass through tribulations. So it is written, "Through much tribulation shall ye enter the Kingdom." Indeed we know that the Lord Himself passed through great tribulation, shame, suffering and death. We know the same also of His footstep followers, the Apostles and others.

Nevertheless, these are not described in the Bible as the Tribulation Class, because, by virtue of their greater faith, these are able to rejoice in their tribulations and to count them all joy, knowing that these are working out for them a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. These pass through the tribulations joyfully, because they consider the things that are seen as temporal. They look with the eye of faith to the things not seen, to the things eternal, which God hath in reservation for them that love Him.

The Tribulation Saints are variously pictured in the Scriptures as those who lack in the amount of their zeal, but who do not lack in their loyalty. The Tribulation Saints fail to go on and fulfil their vows of sacrifice, and to be heroes in the fight against the world, the flesh and the Adversary. As the Scriptures say, "Through fear of death they are all their lifetime subject to bondage" – bondage to the flesh, bondage to the customs of society – fearful of the sacrificing experiences which they covenanted should be theirs. – Hebrews 2:15.

For this reason, they cannot be accepted of the Lord as copies of His dear Son, and as worthy of sharing in His glory, honor and immortality. Nevertheless, the Lord is very compassionate, and tests them as to their loyalty to Him. As many as ultimately prove faithful, loyal, He proposes shall be granted everlasting life, even though they fail of joint-heirship in the Kingdom, the very thing to which they were invited. As it is written, "Ye are all called in the one hope of your calling." – Ephesians 4:4.

Undoubtedly, there have been some of this class developed all the way down through the Gospel Age, but the Scriptures picture this class especially in connection with the tribulation coming on the world in the close of this Age. Take for instance, the statement that they should come up out of great tribulation, also St. Paul's statement that "that Day shall try every man's work of what sort it is." They that builded with gold, silver and precious stones, he declares will stand the test. The fire of that Day will not cause them tribulation – will not destroy their faith structure. Then he describes the Great Company class, saying that others have built improperly with wood, hay and stubble, and that the fire of that Day shall completely destroy all such improper structures. He declares, nevertheless, that if they builded, even improperly upon the true Foundation, they shall be saved, so as by fire – saved in the time of trouble, coming up to God's favor through great tribulation, and sharers in a goodly resurrection, although not participants in the First Resurrection. For of it we read, "Blessed and holy are all those who have part in the First [chief] Resurrection; on such the Second Death hath no power; but they shall be priests of God and of Christ and shall reign with Him a thousand years." – Revelation 20:6.

BENJAMIN'S FIVE PORTIONS

In dispensing his bounties, Joseph gave abundantly to all of his brethren. But to Benjamin, his full brother, of the same mother, he gave five portions. To Bible Students it appears that, since Joseph clearly typifies The Messiah and His kingly power and glory, the blessings distributed to his brethren represent favors that Messiah will bestow upon Natural Israel, His brethren according to the flesh, in addition to the general blessing which His Messianic reign will give to the whole world, represented in the Egyptians.

According to this picture Benjamin, the son of pain, would represent the Great Company class of the Lord's people, who will come up out of great tribulation to a higher plane, to a higher condition, to a higher blessing, than the remainder of the world. They, begotten of the Holy Spirit like the Church, will also be spirit beings, if found worthy of life. And their brethren, who sold the antitypical Joseph, will nevertheless be greatly blessed by Him.

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LESSONS LEARNED BY JOSEPH'S BRETHREN  Audio
– JUNE 1. – GENESIS 44. –

"Confess therefore your sins one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed." – James 5:16. (R.V.)
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ODAY'S lesson shows us that Joseph's brethren were not nearly so hard-hearted as at first they appeared to be – when they purposed to kill him, and subsequently left him in the pit to die, and still later sold him into slavery. The doctrine of total depravity, which so many of us were taught in our youth, is again and again disproved, not only in our own characters, but in our experiences with others. He who considers everybody totally depraved approaches his fellows from the wrong standpoint. Looking for depravity, on which he has theorized, he finds it, and not looking for anything good, he misses what good there is.

The Scriptural proposition is the correct one; viz., that all men are depraved, that none is perfect, no, not one; that all have sinned; all have shared in the results of original sin; and all consequently come short of the glory of God, which was exemplified in the perfection of Father Adam. The Scriptural thought is that God can accept to fellowship with Himself only that which is perfect. He can give His favor and eternal life only to those fully in accord with His own perfection. Hence, all men being sinners through the fall, all need a redemption; all need a reconciliation.

The opportunity for such a reconciliation comes during this Gospel Age to a comparatively few, and to these it is under restriction. They must be perfect in heart, in will, in intention, and by faith must accept of Christ's merit as covering all their blemishes. From this standpoint God accepts them as New Creatures, ignoring the unintentional weaknesses of their flesh. Thus, through Christ, the true Church of consecrated believers alone are reckoned and dealt with as sons of God, have the privileges of sons of God and of fellowship with the Father in prayer, and have the Divine supervision of their interests, which guarantees that all things shall work together [R5233 : page 138] for their highest welfare. But even these will need to be perfected by the power of the First Resurrection before they shall see God, and be fully ushered into all the glorious things that He has in reservation for them.

The world's justification is arranged for along totally different lines. The time for it, according to the Scriptures, will be the coming Age, when Messiah's Kingdom shall bind Satan's influence, roll away the curse, and bring instead blessings to the entire race. God will not deal with the willing and obedient then as He deals with His faithful now. Instead, they will be left under the care of the great Mediator, and be justified, or made actually right, during those thousand years. The willing and obedient, brought back to the original perfection of Adam, and fully instructed by the great Teacher, will be ready, at the close of the Millennium, to be presented to the Father, and to be accepted by Him as sons. But, meantime, all not willing and anxious for reconciliation will perish by the way, in the Second Death.

The point we would here emphasize is that God nowhere declares that man is totally depraved, but He does declare that the slightest degree of imperfection cannot be tolerated by Him. Hence the Divine arrangement, through Jesus, the Redeemer and Restorer, is that all of our lacks, all of our shortcomings, few or many, much or little, will be made up for each of us by the great Redeemer, without whose sacrifice and aid recovery to perfection and acceptableness with the Father will be impossible.

JOSEPH'S BRETHREN TENDER-HEARTED

Our lesson shows that Joseph's experiences, mixed with faith by him, worked out in him a grand character, full of sympathy and wholly obedient to God. But by a different process, Joseph's ten brethren were exercised by remorse, and became more sympathetic, more brotherly-kind, more loyal to their father Jacob. Rewards of all life's experiences – the bitter and the sweet, our right doings and our wrong doings – are intended, under the Divine supervision, to be corrective and helpful to us. Confidence in God, however, is necessary as a basis for any such blessing. We have seen Joseph's confidence, and today's lesson shows us that his brethren, although of a different character, still recognized the Almighty, had a reverence for Him, and realized that He might be expected to give just recompense for every evil deed.

Our lesson tells us that after the feast which Joseph made and in which Benjamin got five portions, the eleven brethren departed for home, well pleased with their experiences and the favor of the Egyptian ruler. Before their departure, Joseph, desiring to test his brethren as to their sympathy for their father and for their loving interest in their youngest brother, had caused his own silver cup to be placed in the mouth of Benjamin's sack of wheat. After they had gotten fairly started upon their journey homeward to Canaan, Joseph sent after them servants from his house to say, "Why have you been so ungracious to your benefactor? Why have you taken his silver cup? What treacherous men you are!" They protested innocence, and declared that if the cup were found in their possession, they would all willingly become slaves. The search for the cup, according to Joseph's direction, began with the eldest brother and ended with Benjamin's sack. There it was found. In great distress the entire company wended its way back to the palace.

Again Joseph was austere and reproved them, that he might give them the opportunity to show their selfishness and to abandon Benjamin. Again protesting their innocence, they nevertheless declared themselves willing to become Joseph's slaves. But he answered, "God forbid! Only the one who has been guilty – Benjamin – shall be my slave. Return to your families and to your father with food, and continue to enjoy the favors of Egypt."

This proposition he knew would test them. Would they be glad to escape personal servitude, and get back to their own families and leave Benjamin a slave? Had they the same cold heartlessness that they had exhibited in his own case, when they sold him into slavery? Would they similarly disregard their poor old father's interests and happiness?

Then it was that Judah, who had pledged himself to his father that Benjamin should return in safety, made an appeal to Joseph. He narrated the circumstances connected with Benjamin's coming – how the poor old father set his heart upon Benjamin, and how he had pledged himself for the lad's return. He wound up an eloquent plea with the entreaty that he might be retained as the bondman, and that his brother Benjamin might be permitted to go free: "Now, therefore, I pray thee, let thy servant abide instead of the lad, a bondman to my lord; and let the lad go up with his brethren. For how shall I go up to my father, and the lad be not with me? lest peradventure I see the evil that shall come on my father."

The evidence of a change of heart was satisfactory to Joseph, and is to us all. All who love righteousness rejoice in righteousness, as those who love sin rejoice [R5233 : page 139] in it. When we perceive so marked a change in those men, we rejoice not only for their sakes, but also for the general lesson which their experiences furnish. The conviction is borne in upon us that much of the sin, much of the meanness, much of the cruelty of the present time, may be attributed to inherited weaknesses and immature experience. We say to ourselves, "How great a change probably would be effected by a larger, broader, deeper knowledge of ourselves and of each other!"

And do not the daily experiences of life tend to give us the broadening of sympathies and thus character-development? We believe that this is true. Doubtless there are exceptions to every rule, but it is our conviction that there is a sufficiency of the likeness of God remaining in every member of our race to permit him at times to appreciate the good, the true, the noble, the pure. It is because he is surrounded by sin and selfishness that these Godlike sentiments are so rarely appealed to, or brought into exercise.

It seems reasonable to suppose that if every human being were to have one hundred years of experience under present conditions, and then to be given a fresh start, nearly all of them would profit greatly by the experiences, and live more sane and reasonable lives. Nearly all of them would be more generous, as well as more just. We admit that there are exceptions. We are free to confess that the Divine arrangement which limits human life under present conditions is a very wise one.

Some members of the human family appear to cultivate merely the selfish propensities, and rarely to exercise beneficent sentiments. For such persons to live more than a century would mean to give them that mush more opportunity selfishly to enslave their fellow creatures. God, however, has both the Wisdom and the Power to eventually bring home to each member of our race valuable lessons along the lines laid down by the wise man, "Righteousness exalteth a nation; but sin is a reproach to any people." – Proverbs 14:34.

WHEN WILL MEN PROFIT?

But some one will say, Admitting the premise that life's trials and scourgings – providential stripes – teach men the sinfulness of sin and the wisdom of righteousness, admitting that in time all of our race might learn something along the lines of this great lesson, even as did Joseph's brethren, where would be the profit of such instruction, if only the saintly, who walk in the footsteps of Jesus under a covenant of self-sacrifice, are to share in the glorious reward, the Kingdom? How will the remainder of the race profit by their experiences, if death ends all hope? Of what avail can the lessons of life be to those who fail to complete those lessons before they die, or who fail to become saints – fail to become fit for the Kingdom of God?

The answer is that we all have made a mistake in respect to the teachings of the Bible. The Bible nowhere says that all hope of salvation ends when we fall asleep in death. So far as the Church class is concerned, it is true that death will end their period of probation. But it is not true in respect to the world. The Apostle shows that the Church is a special class, called out from the world and given a trial for life everlasting or death everlasting in advance of humanity in general. These, if faithful, will not only gain everlasting life, but have it upon a higher than human plane. As spirit beings, they will attain to that perfection in the Resurrection.

It is to the Church class that the Apostle indicates that, if they commit wilful sin, death will end all, saying, "If ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." The ye in both cases refers to the Church, not to the world. – Romans 8:13.

Again, the Apostle declares, "If we sin wilfully after that we have received a knowledge of the Truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation," which would destroy us as adversaries of God. "For it is impossible for those who...were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good Word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance." – Hebrews 6:4-6.

Both of these Scriptures, however, apply exclusively to the Church, because the Church alone is on trial at the present time. The world's time for trial, or testing, will be in the next Age. The thousand years of Christ's reign will be the great thousand-year Judgment Day of the world. In it will be determined the worthiness or unworthiness for everlasting life of all humanity. All found worthy will eventually be perfected and granted the Divine [R5234 : page 139] blessing of everlasting life. All found unworthy in that world's trial Day will be condemned as unworthy of life, sentenced to the Second Death.

The experiences of the present life, good and bad, will have their bearing upon the world's future trial, but will not decide the case for any one. Because of misuse of present opportunities and knowledge, some will enter upon the future life and its judgment disadvantaged proportionately. Those disadvantages will be their stripes, their whippings, their chastisement, for present failures. Others, rightly exercised by the trials and difficulties of life, will be made more gentle, more sympathetic, more just, more loving, by them, as were Joseph's brethren. Thus they will be the better prepared for a goodly entrance upon the testings of the great Judgment Day of the Messianic Kingdom.

And as Joseph, whom they sold into Egyptian slavery, was the judge of his brethren, so The Christ, Jesus and the Church, will be the Judges of the world. As the Apostle says, "Know ye not that the saints shall judge the world?" – I Corinthians 6:2.

As Joseph judged not his brethren according to what they had done to him in the past, but according to their attitude of heart at the time, so the future judgment of the world will take note of the condition of men's hearts at the time, rather than take note of their wrong conditions of the previous time. Nevertheless, the principle of justice continually operates: he who sins shall suffer. Joseph's brethren suffered for the wrong doing toward him, and they identified their various tribulations with that great sin of years gone by. So it will be with humanity in general. Every sin, every transgression, will receive a just recompense of reward, not an unjust one – not eternal torment.

The good deeds and the evil deeds of mankind each have an influence upon their mentality and character, and that mentality and character are not lost in the sleep of death. There is to be a resurrection of all that are in their graves. All shall hear the voice of the Son of Man and come forth, each in his own order. The saintly ones shall come forth to the perfection of life at the beginning of the Age, that they may be the judges of the world. The unsaintly ones shall come forth also, that they may be brought to a knowledge of the Truth. All shall have the opportunity of profiting by their works in the past, by the lessons learned, and by the glorious light of Messiah's Kingdom, which then will be everywhere, and which will scatter all ignorance, superstition and darkness, and light [R5234 : page 140] the way of return to fellowship with God and everlasting life.

Our Golden Text is supposed by some to have reference to physical healing. But by others these words are understood especially to apply to spiritual healing, by far the more important. Of these spiritual healings the Psalmist speaks, saying, "Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with loving kindness and tender mercies." (Psalms 103:3,4.) They who hide their sins from themselves and who think to hide them from the Lord greatly err, and will make no progress.

[R5234 : page 140]

MERCY IS BETTER THAN SACRIFICE  Audio
– JUNE 8. – GENESIS 45:146:7. –

"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" – Psalm 133:1.
W
HEN Joseph beheld how changed were his brethren, he sympathized with them. When he saw that their hearts went back to their wrong course in his own case, and that they realized the Divine disapproval and were sorry, he pitied them. When he saw their interest in his aged father and their unwillingness to hasten his death by an unkind act or word he was full of pity. He wished, however, that the disclosure of his identity should not be witnessed by the Egyptians. Realizing that his emotions were getting the better of him, he hastily cried out, ordering all the Egyptians to leave the room. Then he made himself known, saying, "I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt."

We can well imagine the consternation of the brethren. It had appeared to them that their trials and difficulties were multiplied, and that somehow or other Joseph had been identified with all their troubles. Now, to be in his presence, to hear him speak to them, no longer through an interpreter, but directly in their own language, telling them that he was Joseph, we can imagine how they felt – stunned.

But Joseph, full of true sympathy and pity, hastened to set them at their ease. He did not cruelly threaten them, nor cause them to suffer punishment for their wrong-doing. He did not even chide them for the wrong. Instead, realizing that sin had already brought them a punishment, Joseph consoled them, saying, "Be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves that ye sold me hither; for God did send me before you, to preserve life...to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God."

How beautiful the revenge! Joseph heaped upon his brethren unasked forgiveness and expressions of sympathy. Alas, how few Christians under similar circumstances would have been so noble! And yet Christians have much advantage every way over Joseph, in that they have been begotten of the Holy Spirit and have the instructions of the Scriptures. How beautifully Joseph represented in type Christ and His Spirit. How evidently our creeds of the Dark Ages misled us when they taught us to believe that all the Jews, the brethren of Christ, were to be eternally tormented because they had crucified Jesus instead of accepting Him and becoming His disciples!

Now in the better light shining from one page to another of the Bible, God's people are seeing that instead of Messiah's purposing the eternal torture of the Jews, He purposes the contrary – that they shall obtain Divine mercy and forgiveness. This mercy will be extended to them very shortly, after Messiah's Kingdom shall have been established, as St. Paul points out in Romans 11:25-33: "They shall obtain mercy through your mercy." The same thought is expressed by the Prophet, saying of Israel, "They shall look upon Him whom they pierced, and shall mourn for Him." (Zechariah 12:10.) Theirs will be a mourning of true sorrow, as they shall realize the grievous wrong committed more than eighteen centuries ago. But instead of their being punished with an eternity of torture, the Lord will be gracious to them, as He declares, "And I will pour upon them the spirit of grace and of supplication." How beautiful, and how much in harmony with our typical lesson of today! Joseph's ten brethren apparently typified Israel, as the Egyptians typified the Gentiles, as Benjamin typified the Great Company, and as Joseph himself typified the Messianic class, the Elect, of whom Jesus is the Head, and the overcoming Church, the members of His Body.

"SPEAK COMFORTABLY TO JERUSALEM"

All along, the Bible record has been consistent with itself and with the Divine character. Our trouble has arisen from giving heed to the creeds of the Dark Ages. The Bible indeed does tell that no one can become a member of Spiritual Israel except by believing in Jesus as the Son of God, and becoming associated with Him in the self-denials and sufferings of this present time, that they may have joint-heirship in the coming Kingdom. Our mistake was in adding to that simple Message, and telling the world, the Jews included, that the fate of all others is eternal torment.

Quite to the contrary, now we see that what Spiritual Israel gains is the Kingdom, and that Natural Israel and the world lose, in the sense of failing to attain that highest glory and blessing. But we see also that God's object in arranging for such a Kingdom is that it may bestow the needed blessings upon Natural Israel and through them ultimately upon all people.

This is the general lesson taught by the full forgiveness of Joseph's brethren. The assurance given them that they merely carried out the Divine Program corresponds well with the message that shall ultimately come to the Jews; viz., that their crucifixion of Messiah was merely a carrying out of the Divine Purpose, through which the blessing of God is made available to all the families of the earth. To this agree the words of St. Peter at Pentecost. Addressing some of the repentant Jews he explained this matter fully, saying, "I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers." (Acts 3:17.) St. Paul says, "For if they had known they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." – I Cor. 2:8.

God's attitude toward the Jews, Joseph's brethren in antitype, is clearly presented in the prophecy of Isaiah. (40:1,2.) That prophecy is especially located at the end of this Gospel Age. We believe that it is the message due to the Jews at the present time. It says not one word about their eternal torture, but on the contrary, it is in full agreement with St. Paul's statement that with the end of this Age God's favor will return to the Jews, and they shall obtain mercy through Spiritual Israel – the Messianic Body, of which Jesus is the Head. We read, "Comfort ye, comfort ye My people, saith your God. [R5235 : page 141] Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord's hand double [the second portion] for all her sins."

Israel has indeed been obliged to drink the cup of ignominy and shame and sorrow, during the nearly nineteen centuries since she sold her Redeemer to the Romans, to be put to death. Sorry we are that so much of this affliction has come to her at the hands of those who mistakenly have professed to be the followers of Jesus! Sorry we are that the Jews have thus had so much reason for failing to understand the Spirit of Christ! They can understand this only by remembering that as there are true Jews and false Jews, so likewise there are true Christians and false Christians. "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His."

JOSEPH WAS LONG MISUNDERSTOOD

Joseph's brethren failed to understand him – so great was the difference between their characters and his. Even after they had become more sympathetic and tenderhearted, they had still a sufficiency of bitterness of spirit and of animosity that, if they had been in Joseph's place, they would have seen to it that somehow or other future punishments would have been meted out. They were, therefore, surprised by Joseph's words of brotherly kindness and sympathy, and unable to believe that he meant it all. They concluded that he was dealing graciously with them for his father Jacob's sake.

So we find that years afterwards, when Jacob died, these ten brethren were in great trepidation lest Joseph should then wreak his vengeance upon them. They went to him again, asking for a continuance of his forgiveness. But Joseph said unto them, "Fear not: for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them." – Genesis 50:19-21.

JOSEPH WAS TAUGHT OF GOD

However he learned the lesson, it is most manifest that Joseph was taught of God. Vengeance against his brethren he had none. Whatever punishment would come to them for their sin would be not his to inflict, but God's. And that punishment they evidently did receive in the mental torture, fears and forebodings of many years. Joseph had nothing to do with regulating the Divine arrangements whereby Justice always metes out punishment for every wrong. It was his to be generous, loving, kind, an exemplification of the great Redeemer and His Messianic Kingdom.

It was the same in respect to his own experiences. We note with astonishment that a man with so few opportunities had such a comprehensive grasp of the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit of Christ. We who have been begotten of the Holy Spirit, and who have the example of the words of Jesus and the Apostles and the history of all past ages, may still sit at Joseph's feet, and be amazed to perceive how thoroughly he learned of God, and may apply similar lessons to ourselves. Never a murmur, never a word of repining, against the bitter lot that had been his! In every word, in everything, he testifies to God's Goodness, Wisdom, Love and Power. He realized that to have made a single change or alteration in the experiences that had come to him would have been to do injury to the Plan as a whole, and he would have failed to learn some of the lessons of life which he needed.

Oh, how much all the followers of Jesus need to look unto the Lord in respect to all their trying experiences! How much we all need to have and to exercise faith in God – that he knows, He sees and He is able and willing to make all things work together for good to us, because we love Him, because we have been called according to His Purpose, because we are seeking to make that calling and that election sure by the development of a character which will make us "meet for the inheritance of the saints in light," and for joint-heirship with our Redeemer!

JACOB IN EGYPT

Joseph planned that for the five remaining years of the famine, at least, his father Jacob and indeed the entire family should come into Egypt. He thought of the district styled Goshen as very suitable for their purposes, being a cattle-grazing locality. Pharaoh, heartily in accord with Joseph, his prime minister, and pleased with the prosperity of affairs under his management, gave full consent, and suggested that Egyptian wagons be sent to fetch the old man Jacob and the women and children, not so able to ride upon the asses, camels, etc. Joseph prepared delicacies for the journey and little presents, indicative of his love. He sent a special message to his father, "Tell my father of my glory in Egypt, and of all that ye have seen; and ye shall haste to bring down my father hither." Then he kissed them all goodby, saying:

"FALL NOT OUT BY THE WAY"

Evidently Joseph was a keen observer of human nature. Many would have thought it unnecessary to caution the brethren against disputes under all the circumstances. Many would have said, "They will be so overjoyed with the blessings of God in the outcome of their experiences that love will prevail amongst them, and no disputes." The contrary, however, is often true. When prosperity comes, there are opportunities to quarrel over the spoils, to feel more or less of envy and selfishness.

Under former conditions, the brethren would have felt jealous of Benjamin, because of the greater attention which he received from Joseph and because of the present of three hundred pieces of silver given to him. They might have queried as to how much liberty they would have in the land of Goshen. The suggestion might have come to some that they would then be under the thumb of Joseph, and that he would favor Benjamin, etc. Evidently Joseph's warning, "Fall not out by the way," was timely.

We have known matters to go similarly with the Lord's brethren. When in tribulation, their hearts were crying to the Lord, but in prosperity they were disposed to grudge one against another, and to be envious and jealous of each other's opportunities, blessings and privileges. What a great mistake! Each should remember that the Master's eye is noting his progress in Christlikeness. Each should remember that brotherly love is one of the tests of character.

It is all the more true because sometimes brethren in Christ can make more trouble for us than any others. The very closeness of our relationship, the very knowledge of each other, give to each of us opportunities for criticism and evil surmisings that might not arise as respects others. Well it is that all of God's people should accept Joseph's words, "See that ye fall not out one with another by the way." It is the way planned for us by the Lord. It is a narrow and difficult way, full of adversities to the flesh, and trials and tests to the spirit. Proportionately, there should be love and sympathy, co-operation and helpfulness. The words of the Psalmist used as our Golden Text in this lesson, were evidently prophetically written as respects the Church, the Lord's brethren: [R5235 : page 142] "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity."

The Psalmist proceeds to compare this unity of the brethren, the Church, with the precious ointment poured upon the head of the king and of the high priest on their induction into office. The significance of the illustration evidently is that the anointing oil typified the Holy Spirit, and that as it ran down the high priest's beard, and even to the skirts of his garment, it anointed the entire body of the priest. That priest typifies Melchizedek, the Royal Priest – Jesus the Head, and the Church His Body. Throughout this Gospel Age the anointing of the Holy Spirit, which came to the Church, the Body of Christ, at Pentecost, has continued, and gives an unction, or anointing, to all of His true members. And by this anointing these members may be recognized as one with Christ, "For by one Spirit ye were all anointed into one Body." – I Corinthians 12:13.

[R5235 : page 142]

SOME INTERESTING LETTERS
WHAT A CHORD IT STRUCK!
DEAR BROTHER IN CHRIST:

I was glad to receive your letter today, and what a chord it struck! What meaning such words as "First-borns" and "Little Flock" have now! I was glad to hear about Sister Adams. I have been learning much since I saw her, and you may tell her that I find this Truth more wonderful every day. Kindly convey to her Christian greetings from Sister Farrer and myself. I am sure the whole class would join.

Yes, Brother, I have been a Presbyterian minister, graduated from Knox College, Toronto, in 1898. I was at the Assembly Meeting held in Hamilton in 1899. I was commissioner from Regina Presbytery. I never dreamed of this Truth at that time. Truth is stranger than fiction. From the first day I started for Presbytery and college, I knew something was out of gear; what it was I could not tell. I was loyal to the Presbyterian Church. Many of the people I loved dearly: such men as Drs. Grant and Gray of Orillia, Dr. McLeod of Barrie and Dr. Caven of Knox College. I thought a great deal, but Brother, there are some big bits to swallow, and I am afraid if the truth was told, many things were swallowed and never digested, and this is true in all denominations, and [R5236 : page 142] I find the Presbyterians just as worthy as any. I have been careful in my thoughts, yet held my mind open to conviction. Years of knocking about on the mission field from nearly one end of Canada to the other, has had its effect. When I became fully acquainted with the workings behind the scenes, I was astounded. I have felt so many times that our people were not treated fairly, and certainly many of our poor missionaries were shamefully used, and could not defend themselves. I have certainly wondered where the hearts of the older and more prosperous ministers were. The city of __________ is the limit! One city minister told me a few days ago that the church, i.e., the Presbyterian Church here, had all gone to the Devil. Those were his words. Another minister, a Presbyterian, too, was up to our class on Wednesday last, and is reading the first volume; he knows something is wrong, and what he sees is not Christianity. Is it not strange that so many of our ministers are down on the Truth people! It must be because we hold to the Bible.

Say, Brother, take a look behind the scenes and see every big city minister in __________ lay hold of Evolution and deny the Ransom of Jesus Christ! This year I became heartsick and resolved to remain at home, attend no church, and try to study and love the Bible, as it was the only thing I had worth while. I have not been preaching for awhile on account of poor health, but have been looking on. I knew we should assemble, but where I could not say. It was not at former places. Strange, I had never heard of Bible Students or read Pastor Russell's books. A friend of mine invited me to a meeting one evening, and I went. On returning home I told Mrs. Farrer that I had heard more Scripture than I had studied and heard all the while I had been at the coast, all packed into one talk. It was certainly a wonderful talk. It shook me up; I never heard the like, and I told my wife that that man had the best of the argument by a mile.

During the following week I got hungry for more, but did not know where to go or what literature to get. However, I knew about the meeting the next Sunday, so I went to see if I could get anything to read. I did and hurried home to see what I had. I was not anxious to be seen around the place. I tell you, Brother. I soon found out what a prize I had in that first volume. We had absolutely nothing to compare with the first, fifth and sixth volumes, in college. I have wondered why we did not have them as text books. It was only after I got started in the Truth that I knew that Pastor C. T. Russell was the author of the books. I tell you, Brother Adams, I rejoice to be called a fool for Jesus' sake.

I attended Mr. Wilson's church while down in the city. Poor Wilson, I knew him before I went to college, but he is at sea, in the same boat as we were all in. The fact is we learned nothing much of the Bible at college. I am sending a letter of withdrawal to the Presbytery and will mail you a copy later on.

With much Christian love, I am your brother in Christ,

W. H. FARRER.

THE PEOPLE FREE? NOT SO THE MINISTERS

Something Interesting from an Inquiring Friend.

I wrote the following to a Presbyterian minister:

DEAR SIR: – Do you subscribe to the following statement, taken from the Confession of Faith? – "The Bodies of men after death return to dust, and see corruption, but their souls (which neither die nor sleep), having an immortal subsistence, immediately return to God who gave them. The souls of the righteous, being then made perfect in holiness, are received into the highest Heavens, where they behold the face of God in light and glory, waiting for the full redemption of their bodies; and the souls of the wicked are cast into hell, where they remain in torments and utter darkness, reserved to the Judgment of the great Day. Besides these two places for souls separated from their bodies, the Scripture acknowledgeth none.

"At the last Day, such as are found alive shall not die, but be changed; and all the dead shall be raised up with the self-same bodies, and none other, although with different qualities, which shall be united again to their souls forever." – Confession of Faith, Chapter XXXII, 1, 2.

The following is the answer from said minister:

DEAR MR. __________: – Perhaps next week I may be able to call and see you, but as we have special meetings this week, I could not do so before.

I take it for granted that your inquiry relates to your real relationship to God and is not simply a matter of speculation. For I have no time nor inclination to engage in simple discussion and argument. Life is too short for that.

Nor do I care to defend the teachings of theology, which are quite different things from religion, for nobody is asked to accept Presbyterian Theology – or even read it – except Ministers, Elders and Deacons; you doubtless are aware of that. The first and only thing we require of private members of the church is to accept Jesus Christ, God incarnate, as Savior and Lord.

Sincerely yours, __________

What would be an appropriate answer on my part?

THE EDITOR'S REPLY

I would not attempt to discuss the matter further with the gentleman, but would merely thank him for his kind letter, and say that, as I was neither a minister nor an Elder of the Presbyterian Church, my conscience would go free; but that I had a sympathy for elders and ministers. I would proceed to say that, having found something satisfactory on the subject of "The State of Men after Death, and of the Resurrection of the Dead" (heading of chapter in the "Confession," from which the extract is copied), I ventured to recommend to him STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES by Pastor Russell, the books which God blessed to my heart and head enlightenment, hoping they might prove a blessing to him also.

DEAR BRETHREN:

Re the Dayton Flood: The newspaper reports of the number of dead have been much exaggerated. It is indeed sad, and many thrilling experiences and miraculous rescues have been reported.

As far as we can learn up to this writing, none of the Dayton Ecclesia were drowned, although a number of us have had thrilling experiences and narrow escapes. The shrieks and wails of the panic-stricken people, mingled with the moans of drowning horses, etc., was terrible to hear. It turned our minds to Daniel's description of the great time of trouble.

Sister Pottle and Sister H. F. Rieck were confined to an attic with the writer for about thirty hours before the sisters were rescued by boats. Here the value of the Truth was [R5236 : page 143] manifested. God's promised Grace to help in time of need was surely manifest, as the sisters were calm and composed. In the most perilous moments, one of the sisters calmly said, "Well, perhaps the time has come."

Our experience has been a valuable one. After forty-eight hours of confinement, the writer waded through about four feet of water for four squares, where the troops helped him into a boat and then to the landing. Brother Driscoll, also, will have some thrilling experiences to relate to you.

We still have many, many blessings to count. One of the greatest is the knowledge of the Truth, and the love of the brethren. This experience will draw us closer together, as we have learned of the dear brethren's anxiety and efforts for our rescue.

Beloved, remember us kindly at the Throne of Grace, that we may be meek, humble and serviceable.

Your Brother by Participation,
P. D. POTTLE. – Dayton, Ohio.

page 143

REQUESTS FOR PILGRIM VISITS

Please bear in mind that with this issue of the TOWER all requests for Pilgrim visits now on file expire. All who are desirous of securing the visits by the traveling brethren during the ensuing year – May, 1913, to May, 1914 – should promptly notify us. No charge is made for this service, the expense being borne by contributions to the Tract Fund. The friends at each place provide proper places for the meetings, and are pleased to entertain the Lord's servants.

We request that postcards be used in making applications for these visits, and specially desire replies to all of the following questions. The questions need not be repeated, but merely indicated thus: (a), (b), etc.

(a) How many Bible Students in your vicinity use the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES?
(b) Are weekly meetings held?
(c) How many are usually in attendance?
(d) Where do you now meet on Sundays? (Give full street addresses and name of auditorium.)
(e) At what hours are the Sunday meetings held?
(f) Was a vote taken on the Pilgrim invitation?
(g) How many voted for the invitation to be sent?
(h) Do you desire Sunday appointments for Special Public Lectures?
(i) How frequently do you desire such Special appointments?
(j) What is the seating capacity of Auditorium you could secure?
(k) What attendance do you think could be secured for well-advertised public sessions in good Auditorium?
(l) Would a suitable place be found for meetings not specially advertised?
(m) Have the members of your class chosen leaders in accordance with suggestions of SCRIPTURE STUDIES, Volume VI., chapters 5 and 6?
If so, give name and full address of each.
(n) Give full names and full addresses of the two (2) to whom notices of Pilgrim visits should be sent. (Please notify the Pilgrim Department as to any change or removal.)
(o) If your town is not on a railroad give the name of proper railroad station at which to stop.
(p) How many miles from station is meeting place, and which direction from station?
(q) Would Pilgrim be met at station?
(r) If not, how should Pilgrim get from said station?
(s) Give writer's full name and address.
(t) Any additional remarks.

page 143

BEREAN QUESTIONS IN SCRIPTURE STUDIES
Series VI., Study XIV.
SUNDRY EARTHLY OBLIGATIONS OF THE NEW CREATION
JUNE 1
Read p. 583, par. 1, to p. 585, par. 1.
CONSCIENTIOUS MEDDLING

(35) What is a "busybody," and what is the Scriptural reproof of such? P. 583, par. 1.

(36) How should the Golden Rule be applied in such cases? P. 583, par. 2.

(37) What is the peculiar form in which this natural tendency to meddle in the affairs of others sometimes attacks the New Creature? P. 583, par. 3.

(38) When tempted to interfere with the affairs of others, what questions should we ask ourselves? P. 584, par. 1, first part.

(39) Would it be "busybodying" on the part of a parent to look into the affairs of the family under his care? P. 585, top.

(40) Where is the admonition against "busybodying" to be especially remembered and heeded? P. 585, par. 1.

JUNE 8
Read p. 586, par. 1, to p. 589, par. 2.
"BLESSING GOD AND CURSING MEN"

(41) How great is the influence of the tongue among the members of the natural body? P. 586, par. 1.

(42) What is the only proper and successful method of restraining the tongue? P. 587, par. 1, 2.

SOCIAL OBLIGATIONS

(43) What are the cravings of the new mind for fellowship with kindred minds? P. 588, par. 1.

(44) What are the admonitions of the Word against associating with evil-doers? P. 588, par. 2.

(45) What should be our sentiments toward and association with those related to us by ties of blood? P. 589, par. 1.

(46) What was evidently the intention of the Lord with respect to the forming of a new family – the "household of faith?" P. 589, par. 2.

JUNE 15
Read p. 590, par. 1, to p. 594, par. 1.

(47) Does this new relationship imply the ignoring of sex proprieties, or that the unbelieving husband or wife should be neglected? P. 590, par. 1.

"HONOR ALL MEN"

(48) What should be the attitude of the New Creation toward the powers that be? What are the Scriptural admonitions along this line? P. 590, par. 2, 3.

(49) What advantage has the New Creature from his viewpoint of present conditions in the world? P. 591, par. 1, 2.

(50) Is it wise or necessary for the New Creation to alarm the world in respect to the Time of Trouble? P. 592, par. 1.

(51) What position should the New Creation take in the matter of voting? P. 593, par. 1 to 5.

(52) Should we use carnal weapons and fight for our native country and its rulers? P. 594, par. 1.

JUNE 22
Read p. 594, par. 2, to p. 598, par. 1.

(53) In the event of our being required to do military service, what would be the proper course to pursue? P. 594, par. 2.

THE NEW CREATION AND MORAL REFORMS

(54) Explain how our consecration vow should touch and purify every act of our lives. P. 595.

WEARING OF COSTLY APPAREL

(55) Give three good reasons why the New Creation should not wear extravagant and conspicuous apparel. P. 596, par. 1 to 4.

(56) Would the investing of money in stocks, bonds, etc., be any more in harmony with our consecration vow than if spent upon extravagant dress and luxurious homes? P. 597, par. 1.

(57) Is there any connection between our stewardship and the fact that the Lord has left His cause in need of financial support? P. 597, par. 2.

(58) Briefly, what would be considered the proper course for the New Creation with respect to dress and money matters? P. 598, par. 1.

Series VI., Study XV.
THE FOES AND BESETMENTS OF THE NEW CREATION
JUNE 29
Read p. 599, to p. 602, par. 2.

(1) What is the chief enemy of the New Creation? Is the New Creature double-minded, or is he controlled by two wills? P. 599.

(2) Are the death of the flesh and its will, and the subsequent resurrection of the flesh actual or reckoned matters? And how must these "dead" and "alive" conditions be maintained by the New Creature? P. 600, par. 1.

(3) What is the declaration of the Scriptures respecting the natural heart? And how is the heart of the New Creature different? P. 600, par. 2.

(4) How does the old heart, the selfish disposition, constantly assail the new heart and practise deceptions upon it? P. 601, par. 1.

(5) What is one of the favorite and deceptive arguments of this old heart? P. 601, par. 2.

(6) How must the new heart meet these attacks? P. 602, par. 1, 2.

page 145
May 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. XXXIVMAY 15No. 10
A. D. 1913 – A. M. 6041
CONTENTS
A Convincing Proof of the Resurrection 147
Our Lord's Change of Nature 148
Resurrection Much Misunderstood 148
The Manner of Mother Eve's Temptation 149
Deception Through Mental Suggestion 149
Degradation of the Serpent Not an Injustice 150
Storms on the Sea of Life 150
Legal and Actual Cancellation of Sin 151
Responsibility According to Ability 152
All Things Work for Good to Them 152
Spiritual Israel's Experiences 153
Joys of the Life to Come 154
Reports of Memorial Celebrations 154
Woes Ancient and Modern 155
The Victories of Faith 156
Faith Is Not Credulity 156
The Faith Before and Since Christ Came 157
The Mystery – Christ in You 158
Interesting Questions 158

'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 146

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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THINGS YOU OUGHT TO KNOW

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[R5236 : page 147]

A CONVINCING PROOF OF THE RESURRECTION  Audio

"Be not faithless, but believing." – John 20:27.
P
REVIOUS to the occasion of the words of our text, St. Thomas, the Apostle, had not been present at any of the manifestations of Jesus after His resurrection. He seems to have been of a rather skeptical turn of mind. He heard the other Apostles telling about what they had seen, about the manifestations that had taken place, and he felt that on such evidence he could not believe in the resurrection of Jesus. He thought that his brethren had been too easily deceived.

St. Thomas did not accredit his fellow disciples with an attempt at deceiving him; but as he declared, he would not believe on any such testimony as he had received. He said, "Unless I see the spear mark, unless I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe." You cannot convince me that He is not dead. You cannot convince me that a person put to death after that manner is again alive. I cannot say where the deception came from, but you brethren are too easily deceived.

A week later, Jesus appeared in the "upper room" a second time. After saluting the company, He said to St. [R5237 : page 147] Thomas, "Reach hither thy finger and behold My hands; and reach hither thy hand and thrust it into My side; and be not faithless, but believing." Again, He said, "A spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see Me have." The disciples did not see, evidently, the spirit being. They saw merely a materialization – actual flesh and bones. St. Thomas did as the Lord had requested. Then he said, "My Lord and my God!" He acknowledged that Jesus was the Lord. It was not an apparition. The brethren had not been deceived. He was the one who had come very near being deceived by his own lack of faith.

We cannot doubt that in this incident the Lord has given to all of His followers a very helpful lesson. Had none of the Apostles even seemed to doubt the Lord's resurrection, they might have failed to bring out convincing proof of the fact. They might afterward have thought to themselves, "Why did we not make further investigation?" But here we have evidence of the investigation.

There are some people who are naturally very cautious. St. Thomas seems to have been one of these. We cannot think that the Lord is displeased with such characters. From our standpoint, indeed, the person who is inclined to be somewhat critical is rather to be approved. We would naturally incline to disapprove those who are too easily credulous, too easily persuaded. We are even to think highly of those who are of the mental attitude of St. Thomas. We are glad that there was one such hard thinker as this Apostle.

The Lord said in this connection, "Because thou hast seen, thou hast believed. Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet have believed." There might be a question as to what the Lord meant by these words. He may have meant, Do not congratulate yourself that you were not easy to convince; or He may have meant, There is a special blessing for those who have faith – who believe without seeing.

There were above five hundred brethren amongst the disciples at the time of our Lord's crucifixion. The Apostle says that He was seen of these at one time. (I Corinthians 15:6.) But afterwards the brethren were obliged to believe without seeing, merely on the testimony of others. We are in this category ourselves. All the Christian Church throughout the Gospel Age have believed without seeing the outward demonstration. Whether on this account the Lord would be specially pleased with us, we know not. But we think not. Whether we believe on slight evidence or on greater evidence is dependent upon the structure of the brain. God seems to have made provision that all those called of Him may have a sufficiency of evidence. And He gives us the additional evidence from the days of the Apostles to help to sustain our faith. We have the benefit of the doubts of St. Thomas and of our Lord's demonstration of His change of nature.

FAITH THE CENTER OF CHRISTIAN PROGRESS

The question might be asked, Why did Jesus lay stress upon the importance of faith? Why did He imply that St. Thomas could not be His disciple at all without believing? There are many who tell us that they cannot see that faith has any province, that they see no reason why God should bless faith, that in their opinion God should reward us for the doing. They say, "We are doing all the good works that we can." The Bible always sustains the thought that any one who does not do to the best of his ability shall receive stripes. But the Bible also holds out the other thought – that God purposes to reward His people according to their faith; that whoever cannot exercise perfect faith cannot be His disciple; that if one has not faith, it is impossible for him to get into the Kingdom.

In God's arrangement, faith has been made the very center of Christian progress – faith in the things He has done, faith in the things He has promised to do. Faith is the thing which, by God's grace, enables us to avail ourselves [R5237 : page 148] of the wonderful opportunities of this present time. "Without faith it is impossible to please God." But this does not mean that conditions will always be as now, or that God will forever reject those who, on account of their mental make-up, cannot now exercise faith, but it means that at the present time He will save no others than the faithful.

The Scriptures very clearly indicate, however, that after the selection of the Church, and the reward of their faith, the Lord will then deal with the world through the class which exercise faith now – through Christ and the Church – for the blessing of all mankind. In the next Age less faith will be required than now. Messiah's Kingdom established, will be openly manifested. Then mankind will not be obliged to walk by faith. They will walk by sight, whereas now we must walk by faith and not by sight.

From the natural standpoint it looks as though God were not ruling the world at all, but that the world were being ruled by chance or by Satan himself – so different are conditions from what we would expect if God were recognized as the great King. Consequently we must exercise faith, if we are to receive the blessing at this time. By and by, during the Messianic rule, when everything contrary to righteousness will be punished, and everything in harmony with righteousness will be rewarded, then all opposers of righteousness will be cast down, and all lovers of righteousness will be prosperous. That will be the time of walking by sight.

In the present time we must walk by faith because ours is a special salvation. The "high calling" is a peculiar privilege, for a special class. In the next Age, however, mankind's unbalance of mind through the fall will be compensated for. Those who need much demonstration will have much; those who need less will have less. The matter will be made so clear that there will be no excuse for any one not to attain to full obedience of works, and these works will gradually lead them up to full human perfection. God has made nothing unreasonable in His laws and requirements, His every demand is reasonable and essential.

OUR LORD'S CHANGE OF NATURE

Putting ourselves into the position of the disciples during the forty days after Jesus had arisen from the dead, we can readily imagine that they were considerably confused. One and another of them had been witnesses of strange things – they could not explain what, but they had seen what purported to be Jesus – on one occasion the appearance was as the gardener, on another occasion as a stranger, etc. They saw no mark of identity, and did not really know whether they had seen Him at all. On another occasion, looking very much like His former self, He appeared in their midst, the doors being shut. They could not imagine how a human being could have come in while the doors were shut. Therefore there was considerable perplexity.

The Scriptures give us to understand that the reason why our Lord thus manifested Himself in various forms was that God raised Jesus from the dead to a different plane of existence – as a spirit being. The Scriptures declare, "Now the Lord is that Spirit." (2 Corinthians 3:17.) The Second Adam is the Heavenly Lord. He is not the earthly man Jesus. This explanation we can appreciate because we are living since Pentecost. We can see and understand that Jesus had become a spirit being, and that like the angels he could, where it was necessary, appear like a human being. We would not question at all that if Jesus had any reason for showing the identical body that had been crucified He could have appeared in it, could have opened the door and the Apostles could have been blinded, so that they could not see the door opening and shutting, as He entered. But the account contradicts such supposition and is very explicit in the statement that "the doors were shut," not that the Apostles did not see them open, but that they did not open at all. In the second statement – when St. Thomas was present – our Lord appeared in the same manner, "The doors being shut."John 20:19,26.

While Jesus could have brought the body, and could have maintained Himself inside of it as a spirit being, He did not do so. If He had done this they would have been deceived, supposing that He had arisen in His body of flesh in which He had been crucified. Therefore He appeared in different bodies of flesh, but under conditions that left no doubt as to His identity. He knew that after the disciples had received the Holy Spirit all would be plain to them. So He made no attempt to explain to them at that time, but merely kept them in touch with Himself until after the Pentecostal blessings had come, when they were able to understand from the true viewpoint.

Our thought, therefore, would be that the body in which our Lord appeared was materialized. This was not a deception. It was intended, on the contrary, to keep the disciples from being deceived. Being natural men, they could not appreciate a change from human nature to spirit nature. Therefore this appearance was to help them over a difficulty – to keep them from saying "He is not risen."

RESURRECTION MUCH MISUNDERSTOOD

The disciples could see that our Lord had a different power altogether from what He had before He died. Thus He appeared time and again during the forty days – a few minutes at a time. This very evidently was to accomplish the purpose of demonstrating to them that He was a spirit being, that He had power to come and go like the wind, that He could appear in the flesh when necessary, and then vanish at will, and that He could come in one form and another form. This was the great lesson by which He purposed to keep them from being in any way deceived.

We cannot imagine how Jesus could have substantiated His resurrection and confirmed the faith of His disciples in any better way. If He had remained with them as a man, they would have felt bound to believe that the same [R5238 : page 148] personality, the same flesh, was His still, and they would have been unable to understand His words, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the Age." But now they could understand that as He had appeared and vanished from sight, although really present with them throughout the forty days, He could also in a different sense, be with them all through the Gospel Age, and return in person when necessary, in the end of the Age.

We see no deception in this, but an avoidance of deception. We are to remember that it took several of these manifestations to attest the fact that He was a changed being. If the disciples had thought of Him as a Man in Heaven, it would have led them into serious difficulty, just as we see is now the case with our friends in the nominal Churches, who think Jesus arose in the same flesh, and that He retains that flesh in Heaven. As the hymn says,

"Five bleeding wounds He bears,
Received on Calvary;
They pour effectual prayers,
They strongly plead for me."

Our friends believe this. We ask them if they think that as Jesus bears the marks, the scars, of His wounded flesh, that all of His followers will likewise bear theirs. [R5238 : page 149] They answer, Yes. Then we remind them that some of them were most horribly maltreated, often mutilated, before they died. Think of those who were beheaded; and those who met with accidents and wounds! If they are to bear those marks and bruises in Heaven, or be headless, they will be a disfigured set.

We show them that those who hold this view do not believe at all in the Redemption – the Redemption of which the Bible treats. We quote to our friends, "He poured out His soul unto death;" He made "His soul an offering for sin." Yes, they answer, we believe that His fleshly body was sacrificed. We reply, His fleshly body will only redeem the fleshly body of Adam. But Adam had more than the fleshly body. It was the soul of Adam that sinned – and Jesus must have given a soul in order to redeem Adam. – Isaiah 53:10,12.

If the body never was a part of Jesus, then it was not Jesus that died, but His body; it was not He that was humiliated, but His body; it was not He who left His glory that was sacrificed, but His body. Now, if the body never was Jesus, then He deceived mankind into thinking that He was a man; and He deceived the Apostle into saying that "He who was rich, for our sakes became poor." (2 Corinthians 8:9.) Then to speak of His being tempted, as the Apostle Paul spoke of Him, was wrong, for He could not be tempted like us, if He were altogether of a different nature. So we see that the Truth, as the Bible teaches it, is harmonious.

THE RESURRECTION OF THE WORLD

The First Resurrection, Christ's Resurrection, began with the glorious change of our Lord, more than eighteen centuries ago, and as His Resurrection, it will be completed when the last member of His Body shall have experienced the change from earthly to Heavenly, Divine nature. The world's resurrection cannot take place before that of the Church, but must follow it. The Ancient Worthies will be the first of the earthly class to be resurrected to human nature. But their resurrection will not be at the same time as that of the Church, but later – as the Apostle says, "They, without us, shall not be made perfect." – Hebrews 11:39,40.

The awakening of the world will probably not begin for fifty or a hundred years after the Kingdom has been established. During that time, however, the resurrection process – the raising up gradually – will be in operation amongst the nations then living. As gradually nations, peoples, kindreds and tongues are awakened, they must be brought to a knowledge of the Truth, and must give the assent of their wills, before any resurrection processes begin to operate in them. This work will continue all down through the thousand years of Messiah's Reign.

The world's resurrection will not be fully completed until the end of the thousand years, while the Church's resurrection will be completed at the beginning of the thousand years. For this reason it would be improper to say that the resurrections of the just and of the unjust take place at the same time. Indeed, the world will not be raised up fully until, at the close of the thousand years, they shall be turned over to God, even the Father; for one result of the fall was the loss of the Heavenly Father's favor and fellowship. Mankind will not be delivered out of that feature of the fall until the Mediator shall have accomplished His work in them.

[R5238 : page 149]

THE MANNER OF MOTHER EVE'S TEMPTATION  Audio

"Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree in the garden?" – Genesis 3:1.
T
HE SCRIPTURAL teaching that God knows no sin, signifies that He practises no sin. He commits no sin, connives at no sin. He is not an assistant to sin. He cannot look upon sin with any degree of allowance. He shows no favor, no light of His countenance, no light of His eye, on anything that is sinful. On the contrary, He would turn His back upon these things. He would not have the slightest sympathy with anything sinful.

If, therefore, man were sinful in the largest possible degree, God would have no sympathy with him. The Scriptures present the thought that man is not thus sinful in the highest degree, but that he is sinful on account of weaknesses; that these weaknesses had their start, or beginning, away back in the disobedience of Father Adam; and that Father Adam's death penalty came upon him as the result of his disobedience, as recorded in Genesis. Because man is thus a sinner by nature rather than by will, therefore God has purposed to redeem him from the curse and to give him full reconciliation with Himself by the Restitution to be accomplished by our Lord Jesus under the Messianic Kingdom.

Such as will not conform to the laws and regulations of that Kingdom will be accounted as wilful sinners. God will not look upon them with any degree of allowance. He will take from them every right and privilege. They will be destroyed. As it is written, "All the wicked will He [God] destroy," in the Second Death. – Psalms 145:20.

DECEPTION THROUGH MENTAL SUGGESTION

There is intelligent sin. Those who know right and do wrong are wilful sinners. The great wilful sinner, according to the Scriptures, is Satan. He was a murderer from the beginning, we read, and abode not in the Truth. (John 8:44.) He murdered our race by his deception. He did not tell the truth, but he misrepresented it. He told Mother Eve that she would not die, if she ate of the forbidden fruit; and that she would have wisdom and knowledge such as she craved. We are not to understand that Satan did this in a direct way, but through the serpent.

According to the Scriptures, the serpent at that time did not creep, but was next in intelligence to our first parents. Satan used this serpent to counsel Eve to disobey the Creator. Eve should have said, "Who is this that teaches me to disobey the Great Creator who made man?" The temptation came, however, in a very deceptive manner. The serpent spake not by words, but, apparently, by actions. It went continually to the tree of whose fruit Adam and Eve were forbidden to eat, and ate of the fruit.

Mother Eve saw that the serpent ate of the fruit and that it was the wisest of all cattle. Then the thought occurred to her that the reason why the serpent was the wisest of all cattle was because it ate of the tree, the forbidden fruit. Next the thought came that the reason why they were not to eat of the fruit of the tree was that they might be kept from being as intelligent as they might otherwise be. Lastly, the thought was suggested, If you eat of the fruit of that tree, the influence of that fruit upon you will make you as God Himself. You will know everything. So it was this indirect teaching under the obsession of the serpent by Satan that constituted the serious deception which came to Eve. [R5238 : page 150]

DEGRADATION OF THE SERPENT NOT AN INJUSTICE

It might be argued that Mother Eve did not sin. She did sin. She knew that she had no right to violate the command which she had received. Every one who does wrong knowingly commits sin. We might just as well excuse the man who steals a thousand dollars. He knows at the time that he is stealing a thousand dollars. Whether he is ever caught or not, the wrong has been committed.

In other words, the wrong starts with the heart, with a willingness or intention to do wrong. Such a one is a sinner – a transgressor of the Law. So Mother Eve was a transgressor of the Law, and in that sense she was amenable to the penalty. The serpent was not, however, a moral being, that he should receive a special punishment as a criminal. The criminal was Satan, who will one day be destroyed, as will also all those who have his spirit, his disposition.

There was a certain penalty, however, meted out upon the serpent – not for its punishment, for it had done nothing contrary to its nature, but to make the serpent a synonym of Sin, because it was the tool of Sin. The serpent became the symbol of Satan and of Sin. When [R5239 : page 150] the children of Israel were disobedient in the wilderness, God permitted them to be bitten by fiery serpents. He instructed Moses to raise up a brazen serpent upon a pole, that whoever looked upon it might live. (Numbers 21:6-9.) Our Lord said that "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:14,15.) Even as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness for the healing of the people, so all may be healed by looking to our Lord for the help necessary.

There was no injustice done to the serpent, when God said, "On thy belly shalt thou go." God has made no covenant with any one except His intelligent creatures. So if an ox were degraded to the condition of a bullfrog, there would be no violation of justice. The serpent and other beasts have life as an unmerited favor from the great Creator. No creature would have the least right to question whatever privileges or blessings would come to him. To simply degrade the beast from one form of life to another form of life was no injustice. It is, however, a lesson in humility, which has been profitable, more or less, all through the six thousand years of man's history, and will be profitable all through Messiah's coming glorious reign of righteousness.

[R5239 : page 150]

STORMS ON THE SEA OF LIFE  Audio

"He maketh the storm a calm." – Psalm 107:29.
I
F THERE is anything in the world which causes a man to feel his own littleness it is a storm at sea. The voyagers realize that no human arm could calm that storm. The text, then, refers to the Almighty One, our Heavenly Father. Our Heavenly Father, however, always uses instrumentalities. The Scriptures tell us that after He had created one great being, He rested. This One was the Logos, the Only Begotten of the Father, the First-born of all creation. (Colossians 1:15; Revelation 3:14.) All the power the Father has since exercised has been through the Lord Jesus.

The passage of Scripture used as our text may not have been understood fully and completely by the Psalmist, the one who uttered this prophecy. Like many other Scriptures it has a special application to the Church of Christ. The Apostle Paul tells us that these things were written beforehand for our admonition, instruction. (I Corinthians 10:11.) We believe that nearly all the prophecies recognize the Lord and His Body first. There have been many storms permitted by the Lord to come upon the little company of His followers. Sometimes the whole journey of life has been a stormy one. We sometimes sing, "When the storms of life are raging." In his Epistles, the Apostle intimates that those who do not have storms, trials and difficulties lack proof that they are God's children; for God would not be dealing with such as His children. – Hebrews 12:7,8.

If we are children of God, we need to have trials and testings, that these may make us meet for the inheritance of the saints in light. (Colossians 1:12.) In all these experiences, the tendency of the trial is to drive us nearer to the Lord, to make us feel that we need the Divine shelter and care. And so a blessing comes out of these storms. We are not to think of God as making these storms, either literal or figurative. Satan is the great Enemy. While literal storms come about by natural laws, apparently, yet there may be a power exercised by spirit beings to produce them. During our Lord's ministry a storm of this kind was raised on the Sea of Galilee. The storm was so sudden and so great that, although the lake is not very large, the boat seemed in danger of going down, and the disciples, although experienced fishermen, were in terror. Jesus was asleep in the end of the boat. They came to Him and said, "Master! carest Thou not that we perish?"

STORMS A TEST OF FAITH

Satan knew that Jesus and the disciples were in the boat on the sea. Perhaps he thought that by causing this storm he could destroy Jesus and thwart the Father's Plan. Jesus rebuked the storm. This He would not have done, we suppose, if it had been caused by the Father. Then He applied the lesson to the disciples, saying, "O ye of little faith, why did ye doubt?"

The Lord's evident intention in letting the storm go as far as it did was to test the faith of the disciples, and to give a lesson such as this text is giving us now. It would cause them to remember in future years, in all their difficulties, whether from their own imperfections, or the imperfections of others, or as the result of the work of fallen angels, that all things were under Divine oversight. This also we should remember: We have the assurance that all these things will work for good to us, and that He will with the temptation provide also a way of escape, that we may be able to bear it. – I Cor. 10:13.

This was illustrated in the storm on the sea, and the Lord's act in rebuking the storm. So if we have trials and difficulties, we should cry unto the Lord – we should exercise faith enough to cry unto Him. It should not be that blind faith which would say, "Whatever the fates have ordained, that is my portion; and there is no escape." This latter is the condition of the heathen, but is not the case with us. The Lord allows the storms to press us more and more so that we will cry unto Him. Then He will hear us and give us the necessary deliverance. He may not always make it a very speedy deliverance, but He will make a way for us to escape. We must remember also that it is the New Creature with which He is dealing. These storms may be right inside, in our own person – [R5239 : page 151] storms of passion, of anger, of resentment. These we are not to allow to go on; but we are to cry for the Lord's help, that we may be overcomers of these storms – trials.

GREAT STORM OF WRATH COMING

This incident of the Sea of Galilee pictures what the Lord is doing for the Church now, and what He will do in the future for the world. He intends to deliver the whole world from sin and death, which have had a long reign of six thousand years. This period has been one continuous storm, with occasional brief lulls. Meantime the world is receiving certain great lessons as to the desirability of harmony with God. By and by they will come to understand, and will then greatly appreciate the importance of being fully in accord with God and very obedient to the Divine direction. Thus a foundation stone is being laid in their education for the next Age.

Finally, this storm on Galilee seems to picture very graphically the great time of trouble with which this Age will end. Then the reign of Satan will cease, and the reign of Messiah will begin. We are not to think of Jesus' Kingdom as bringing about the great time of trouble. The Scriptural thought seems rather to be that Christ's work in the present time is with the Church, and that with the completion of the Church, with the glorification of the Church, Christ's Kingdom will be set up. This Day of Trouble will be more particularly the Day of Jehovah. In this, Divine Justice will have a hand.

We do not mean, however, to exclude the Lord Jesus, for He is the chief factor in all that God does. But when the Kingdom of Messiah comes, it will exercise a restraining power – will bring down the lofty, will turn the wrath of man so as to cause it to praise God. This wrath of man will bring "a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation." In some of the Scriptural pictures it is represented as a whirlwind, and in others it is represented as a great tidal wave – the sea and the waves will roar. Then in the midst of a great storm, which will be sufficient to wreck the whole human fabric, Messiah's Kingdom will be set up. It will cause wars to cease. Satan will be bound. The light of the knowledge of the glory of God will fill the whole earth. "The desire of all nations shall come," and will be recognized in the making of the storm a calm, by this Kingdom of Messiah.

[R5239 : page 151]

LEGAL AND ACTUAL CANCELLATION OF SIN  Audio
B
ECAUSE the entire race of Adam was in him when he was sentenced, it was condemned with him; and during the six thousand years since, it has been unable, on account of weakness, frailty, sin, to extricate itself from this Divine condemnation. God has provided the Redeemer for the very purpose of lifting the death-penalty upon mankind because of the disobedience of Adam, in order that as condemnation has passed upon all because of the disobedience of one, so justification to life, through the obedience of one, might pass upon all. – Romans 5:18,19.

More than eighteen hundred years ago our Lord laid down the Ransom-price for man's life. During the interim, the Church has been called from amongst mankind and permitted to become sharers with Him in His sacrificial death, that they might afterwards share in His glory. When the last member shall have passed beyond the veil, and the great High Priest shall have been completed – Jesus the Head and the Church His Body – then Christ will present His merit for the sins of the whole world. Divine Justice will accept this merit. With this acceptance, the sins of the whole world will be canceled in [R5240 : page 151] a legal sense, just as those of the Church are now. When we come into the Divinely appointed relationship with the Lord, there is no condemnation to us who are thus in Christ Jesus. – Romans 8:1.

At the end of the Gospel Age, when the Ransom-price shall have been applied for the world, and shall have been accepted by the Father, the whole world will be placed in the hands of Jesus Christ. Then, through The Christ as the Mediator, the New Covenant will go into operation, the terms and conditions of which will be open to all mankind – for it will contain blessings for all.

Nevertheless, there will be something for men to do in order to avail themselves of the blessings of this Covenant. As it is God's part to make such a Covenant, so during the thousand years of Christ's reign it will be the part of humanity to accept the terms and come into harmony with God through its requirements. Gradually mankind will come up, all who will, to the standard of everlasting life, but those who refuse to respond will die the Second Death.

From this point of view, we see that it will require the entire thousand years of Christ's reign to accomplish fully the work of the antitypical Atonement Day – making all mankind at-one with God. The work of At-one-ment includes the satisfaction of Justice, not only at the beginning of the Millennial Age, but throughout the Millennium. This is shown in the type of the inauguration of the Law Covenant. Moses sprinkled the blood first upon the tables of the Law, and then upon all the people. As the work of sprinkling the people was a task that undoubtedly took a long time to accomplish, so the antitypical sprinkling of mankind will require many years.

A COMING SETTLEMENT FOR SIN

The answer to the question, Will mankind come forth from the tomb free from condemnation? depends largely upon the point of view. They will come forth free from Divine condemnation, for all of the condemnation which came upon them through heredity will have been satisfied by the Ransom-price paid by Christ for Adam and all of his race. And for other sins than those of heredity there will have been a settlement – at the end of the Gospel Age. The Scriptures indicate that of this present generation God will require all the righteous blood shed from the time of Abel down to the present. Hence for wilful sin there will be satisfaction rendered through a great time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. – Daniel 12:1; Matthew 24:21.

A type of this trouble is seen in that which came upon the Jewish nation at the end of the Jewish Age. (Matthew 23:34-36.) In the Revelation, we find an illustration of this coming satisfaction, for injustice perpetrated. We read, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost Thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow-servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled." (Revelation 6:10,11.) That Day of Vengeance is about at the door of Christendom.

From all this it is evident that Divine Justice does not intend to terminate fully the adjustment of accounts until there is a full ledger of Justice, so to speak. From that [R5240 : page 152] time forward, each one will be responsible for the weaknesses and blemishes of his own conduct. – Jer. 31:29,30.

RESPONSIBILITY ACCORDING TO ABILITY

Mankind will not be accountable for the violation of a perfect standard, but each will be held responsible in proportion to his own knowledge and ability. During the Millennium, the rule will be such as would now be considered just in a well regulated family. The stronger child is given the heavier burden to carry. So it will be during the coming Age. Each one will be accountable for what he can bear. He will not be held responsible for perfection and condemned for inability to reach it, but will be judged according to his ability.

During the thousand years, each individual will make progress to the extent that he shall endeavor to comply with the regulations of the Kingdom. But before he can do this, he must enter into the New Covenant and formally purpose to be one who will come into line with the requirements of the great King and His Assistants. If he fails to do this, he will be considered an outlaw, and at a hundred years old he will be destroyed as a sinner. (Isaiah 65:20.) The weaknesses upon him will not be regarded as sin, except as all imperfection is sin. But no one will be held responsible for more than he is able to do, nor will he be condemned for what he is not able to perform.

Under the Millennial Kingdom, mankind will be dealt with, not individually, as with the Church of this Age, but collectively, as with the Jewish nation. Individual relationship with the Father will not be possible until the end of the thousand years – until Messiah shall have put down all imperfection and shall have lifted mankind up out of sin and death conditions into perfection as human beings. Then He will deliver the Kingdom over to the Father, and will no longer stand between humanity and Divine Justice. – I Corinthians 15:24.

The Scriptures show, however, that before the Heavenly Father will receive the restored race of mankind, He will give them a very crucial test by permitting some wonderfully deceiving influence to go abroad in the world. This influence proceeds from "the dragon, that old serpent, which is called the Devil and Satan." By that time every one will know right from wrong. The test, therefore, will be to determine whether those who know right will practise wrong. Consequently the Lord will prove them, as He did Father Adam and Mother Eve, to demonstrate whether they are as loyal to Him as they should be. – Revelation 20:7-10.

Those who fail in any of the tests of obedience will be judged unworthy of everlasting life, and will be destroyed. Those who prove themselves worthy of everlasting life will receive it. Of that time the Apostle Paul says, "The creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God." (Romans 8:21.) All the members of the groaning race of mankind, who will be obedient, will be delivered from sin and death conditions into the full liberty of the sons of God – such as Adam enjoyed before his fall. They will have the knowledge which he lacked, and will pass the test which he failed to pass.

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ALL THINGS WORK FOR GOOD TO THEM  Audio
– JUNE 15. – GENESIS 46:28-34; 47:12,28-31. –

"To them that love God all things work together for good." – Romans 8:28.
S
O JACOB and all his family left the land of Canaan, the Land of Promise, Palestine; and, at the invitation of Pharaoh through Joseph, they located in the land of Goshen, suitable to their business which was that of herdsmen and shepherds. Joseph went in his chariot to Goshen, and there met his father Jacob, whom he had not seen for many years. After the custom of oriental countries, they kissed each other, and Joseph wept. Then came the official presentation of Jacob and his family to Pharaoh. Joseph was careful that they should make no mistake. He therefore let the king clearly know that their occupation was that of shepherds and herdsmen; for the Egyptians despised that business, and hence would keep themselves separate from the Hebrews. Thus the land of Goshen became almost like a separate country from Egypt.

Jacob at this time was one hundred thirty years old, and quite feeble. Brought into the presence of Pharaoh, Jacob blessed him – in the sense of asking the Divine blessing upon him, we may assume. Thus the family of Jacob, now called by their new name, Israel, became firmly established in the land of Egypt. Jacob lived seventeen years thereafter, during which Joseph and his people, the Israelites, were in favor with Pharaoh and the Egyptians.

Our lesson relates especially to God's willingness and ability to make all the experiences of His people to work out for their good. This naturally suggests that we inquire in what way Jacob's life experiences were to his welfare. The Scriptures declare, "Jacob have I loved; Esau have I hated [loved less]." God's Love should be distinctly seen manifested in some way in making matters work for good to Jacob and his family. The question is, How? Can we see the lines along which Divine favor operated for the welfare of Jacob and his family?

Only with the eye of faith, guided by the words of Jesus, His Apostles and the Prophets, can we see how God's blessing was with Israel and gave them blessings more than others. Many have not this eye of faith. Hence only the few can see, appreciate, understand, this matter. The majority both of professing Christians and of Jews fail to see what blessing came to Israel. Proportionately such are weak in faith, and quite ready to be turned aside by Higher Critics and Evolutionists into total unbelief in the Bible and the Divine Plan of the Ages which it sets forth.

Jacob, having become the heir of the great Promise made to Abraham (in thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed), straightway seems to have gotten into trouble. He fled from home, leaving everything to his brother. He served his uncle Laban for seven years, that he might have Rachel for his wife, but Divine Providence permitted him to be cheated, and he was obliged to serve seven years more for her. Time and again his uncle Laban changed his wages in an endeavor to get the best of him. Thus Jacob was thrown into competition with his uncle in the endeavor to protect his own interests.

Finally, with the fruit of many years' toil, he returned to Canaan, fearful, however, of his brother Esau, whom he placated with a rich present. Later, he lost his wife and was bereft of Joseph, his beloved son. Then came the famine, the recovery of Joseph and the incidents of our recent lesson. Later on, that very move into Egypt appeared to have been a disastrous one, for the Egyptians [R5241 : page 153] enslaved the Israelites. Finally, they were delivered, only to have trying experiences in the wilderness of Paran for forty years, before entering Canaan proper.

HOW DID GOD BLESS ISRAEL?

Then it was a gradual matter to get possession of the land. They had various trials and difficulties, captivities to the Philistines, the Syrians, etc. Later on, they had kings, and then a rebellion, or division of the Kingdom, followed by more wars, famines, pestilences, until they were all carried captive into Babylon. They went away numerous, they returned a comparatively small company. Then they had more trials, wars, etc.

By and by, Jesus came, and was repudiated by all except the few. Then the nation was repudiated by God. "Your house is left unto you desolate." Gradually trouble and anarchy came upon them, until as a nation they went to Hades – nationally they fell asleep. They have been asleep for more than eighteen centuries, while personally they have endured persecutions in many nations.

What we want to see is how God's blessing was identified with all those experiences of Israel. We want to know in what way God overruled for their good and blessing more than in the affairs of other nations. To understand this, we must take a glance at other nations and peoples and their experiences and then must look also into the future.

Where is Egypt – where is the government of the Pharaohs today? Where is Assyria – where are their peoples today? Where are the Philistines? Where are any and all of the nations who flourished in the days of Israel? The answer is that they are no more. They have merged with other peoples or have been blotted out by natural processes. They could not be restored today, because none of those peoples remain anywhere. We are not discussing the numerous tribes of India, nor the consolidated bands of China and Japan, nor the barbarous tribes of Africa. These all have been outside the line of our history, because not closely identified with the nation of Israel, Natural or Spiritual.

But Israel exists today, even though the nation is asleep in Hades, Sheol, waiting for a national awakening and resurrection. That awakening is already arousing "dry bones" from despair, and pointing forward to a future day of blessing and prosperity. One result of God's providential care over Israel has been that as a people they have been maintained in existence. It is this hope of future blessings, based upon God's promise to Abraham, which continues to vitalize that people. It is this hope which by and by, according to prophecy, will re-vitalize Israel, and again bring her forward and identify her with the great Messianic Kingdom, which will bless the world.

But some one may say, Tell us not about national blessings, for we shall have to think of the whole world from the standpoint of one human brotherhood. If Israel has been blessed of God, there should be some personal blessing manifest and not merely a national prolongation of grace, in their life as a people.

Very true, we answer. There are both personal and national blessings of the past and for the future. God's dealings with Israel in the past did not indeed prove all of that nation to be holy, saintly, and worthy of the highest honor and stations in the Divine Program. But those providences served to select in that nation a peculiar people, of similar characteristics to those possessed by Abraham; viz., faith and obedience. Following Abraham came Isaac; following Isaac came Jacob; and following Jacob came the nation of Israel amongst whom there were a few, from time to time, worthy of being ranked with their fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The trying experiences of centuries of national life tended to develop noble characters, strong in faith and loyal to the core. St. Paul enumerates some of these besides Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the Prophets. He includes with them all those "Israelites indeed" who were loyal to God to the extent of suffering persecutions for righteousness' sake and for the sake of the hopes which they received through that Abrahamic Promise. Some of these, he says, were "stoned to death, some were sawn asunder....of whom the world was not worthy."

This selecting process continued down to the time of Jesus, and found a glorious company, even if it were not a numerous one. God was seeking such people, and He found the ones whom He sought. True, they have not yet received their reward. True, their reward is not be a Heavenly one, but an earthly one as was promised them. "All the land that thou seest will I give to thee, and to thy seed after thee."

These faithful ones of Israel are the ones for whom all things have been working together favorably – because they loved God, because they were responsive to the righteousness which He set before them and to the great Promise which He gave them. The time is near at hand, we believe, when these will constitute Messiah's earthly representatives in the ruling and blessing of the world of mankind.

What was prophesied of them before will be fulfilled. Instead of being the fathers, they will be Messiah's children, receiving everlasting life from Him as a Father. He will make them princes in all the earth, in subordinate co-operation with His Heavenly Empire. (Psalm 45:16.) Thus we see that all the trials and difficulties of Israel were, under Divine Providence, working together for good to that special class, "Israelites indeed, in whom was no guile," and who loved God supremely. And their reward is nigh at hand. Through them, the blessing will extend to every nation of earth.

SPIRITUAL ISRAEL'S EXPERIENCES

When God's time came, at the First Advent, to call out from the world a special class of Spiritual Israelites, He gave the first opportunity to the children of Jacob. As many of them at that time as were "Israelites indeed, in whom was no guile," were privileged to have special opportunities and instructions from Jesus. All of that true, loyal class were enabled by special providential guidance and instruction, to recognize Him as the Messiah, while all others were blinded by prejudice, superstition and obscure statements.

This was another advantage that came to the natural seed of Abraham – that they should have the first opportunity of becoming members of Spiritual Israel, of which they had previously had no information whatever. Nor have they yet learned that The Messiah for whom they were waiting is to be a Spiritual Messiah, instead of a fleshly one, and that He is to be a composite Messiah, instead of a single person – that He is to be composed of many members.

Thus the natural children of Abraham had "much advantage every way, chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God," and because having those oracles, those prophecies, they had the best opportunity of all people of knowing respecting Messiah and of coming into harmony with Him, becoming His disciples.

But as was said of Natural Israel, so with still greater emphasis it might be said of Spiritual Israel, that their privileges brought to them special sufferings and persecutions. Jesus was buffeted, all manner of evil was said against Him falsely, and He was finally crucified as a criminal, because He averred that He was the Son of [R5241 : page 154] God, and did not deny that He was the One who ultimately would be the King of Glory.

Then for centuries the faithful followers of Jesus had bitter experiences. Sometimes they were literally tortured, literally persecuted, literally flayed alive. At other times they suffered symbolical persecution, symbolical flaying alive, and had all manner of evil spoken against them falsely for Christ's sake. Deceptions, false doctrines, and antitypical carrying into symbolical Babylon – all these have been experiences of the people of God. Nor does this close the list; for St. Paul declared, "Whosoever will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." So whoever today belongs to the Lord has the assurance that if he is faithful to his Master, he will have the opposition of Satan, of the world and of his own flesh.

The questions arise, How are these things working better for us than for the world? Do not Christians die the same as unbelievers, the same as Jews, the same as Mohammedans, the same as the heathen? Do they not have their share of sickness, sorrow, and pain in connection with their dying experiences? Surely none can dispute the truthfulness of this suggestion! Wherein then, shall we say, is there an advantage in being a Spiritual Israelite? If all the world is redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, if all the world is to have a blessing under Messiah's glorious reign of a thousand years, and if the Ancient Worthies are to have the first place in the Kingdom that will then be established under the whole heavens, what will be the advantage, if any, to those who have been faithful and loyal Spiritual Israelites – to those who have endured hardness as good soldiers and have sought to lay down their lives in the Master's service, in the service of the brethren, in the service of the Truth, in the service of God? [R5242 : page 154]

MUCH ADVANTAGE EVERY WAY IS OURS

The advantages of this class are numerous, and lay hold upon the present life, as well as that which is to come. In the present time, it is the privilege of these to enjoy the peace of God, which passeth all human understanding. It is their privilege to know by faith that all things are working together for good to them because they love God. It is their privilege to realize that whatever may happen to others in the world, nothing can happen, so far as they are concerned. Their affairs and interests are all subject to a Divine supervision. No wonder they can have peace in every storm! No wonder they are able to rejoice even in tribulation!

Theirs is a joy of spirit, of which no earthly experience can rob them, and their joys increase daily, yearly, as they ripen in Christian experience, and as they grow in knowledge and in grace. Theirs is a privilege of access to the Throne of Heavenly Grace, and a privilege of communion with the Heavenly Father and with their Lord Jesus Christ. They may count themselves, as St. Peter declares, members of the Royal Priesthood, the Holy Nation of Israel, the Peculiar People of God. They may rejoice in the privilege of being God's ambassadors, and of telling the Good Tidings to others, thus to "show forth the praises of Him who called them out of darkness into His marvelous light." Oh, great are the privileges and mercies and blessing of these Spiritual Israelites, far more than compensating for their disciplines, tribulations and oppositions!

JOYS OF THE LIFE TO COME

But beyond all these experiences of the present life lie the riches of God's grace for the future, which these possess and hold with the power of faith. As St. Paul declares, they have the "promise of the life which now is and also of that which is to come." And that life to come is such a wonderful life that the study of it is an endless matter. Every step of obedience brings them rights and privileges with God, brings them a step forward also in knowledge of Himself and of His glorious Plan. Thus the more saintly and self-sacrificing the character, the deeper may be his knowledge, the richer his experiences, the more precious his hopes and anticipations.

Are we asked, What are the anticipations of this class? The answer is, They anticipate the things which God has promised; they anticipate that as they are now children of God, so their promised resurrection from the dead to full spiritual perfection will make them sons of God on the highest plane. And if children, then they will be "heirs, heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ, their Lord." Besides, these Spiritual Israelites are heirs of a Spiritual Canaan, a Spiritual Kingdom. To enter upon their Kingdom they must needs experience the powers of a better resurrection than others. And this will mean, the Apostle assures us, that they will "be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye," for "flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God." Is it not true then, in the fullest and most absolute sense, that all things are working together for good to those who love God, to the called ones according to His purpose, not only to those who were called during the Jewish Age, but also to those who have been called and who have accepted the call during this Gospel Age!

[R5242 : page 154]

REPORTS OF MEMORIAL CELEBRATIONS

The annual reports of the numbers participating in the Memorial Supper constitute one of our best means of knowing approximately the number of fully consecrated Christians interested in what is styled Present Truth. For this reason we have specially requested that reports be sent to us as promptly as possible after the celebration each year. For some reason we are continually disappointed. Evidently many of the Classes do not elect scribes or secretaries, or else those elected are not suitable persons or slack in the Lord's business. We have waited the press in order to print a satisfactory report. Ten days have passed since the Memorial, and only a small fraction of the Classes have reported. For instance, there are over eleven hundred Classes in the U.S. and Canada, but we have heard from only two hundred and sixty-five of them, representing 7,944 commemorators. The following statement shows only those cities reporting fifty or more participants. The Brooklyn report for this year is smaller than a year ago, not because of less interest, but because some of the outside Classes have grown to an extent that justifies holding separate Memorials more convenient for some of the more feeble members. The same applies to Pittsburgh, Pa.

Brooklyn, N.Y............. 815      Allentown, Pa.............  73
Boston, Mass.............. 360      Binghamton, Pa............  72
Pittsburgh, Pa............ 350      Toledo, O.................  71
Los Angeles, Cal.......... 310      Worcester, Mass...........  71
Cleveland, O.............. 189      Spokane, Wash.............  70
Seattle, Wash............. 164      Cincinnati, O.............  70
Washington, D.C........... 160      Jacksonville, Fla.........  58
Minneapolis and St. Paul.. 160      Newark, N.J...............  57
Detroit, Mich............. 149      San Francisco, Cal........  56
Indianapolis, Ind......... 129      Springfield, Mass.........  55
St. Louis, Mo............. 124      Pasadena, Cal.............  50
San Antonio, Texas........ 119      Altoona, Pa...............  50
Portland, Ore............. 112      London, Eng., Tabernacle.. 525
Columbus, O...............  98         "     "   Forest Gate.. 313
Buffalo, N.Y..............  97      Bristol, Eng..............  95
Lancaster, Pa.............  87      Oldham, Eng...............  87
Denver, Colo..............  85      Sheffield, Eng............  73
Houston, Texas............  80      Birmingham, Eng...........  56
Richmond, Va..............  79      Glasgow, Scotland......... 428
Lynn, Mass................  78      Eleven Classes S. India... 455

[R5242 : page 155]

WOES ANCIENT AND MODERN
– JUNE 22. – AMOS 6:1-8. –

"Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live." – Amos 5:14.
I
T IS safe to say that everybody is seeking good, and not evil. Everybody is seeking pleasure, and not misery – happiness, and not woe. The difficulty is that all of our judgments are more or less perverted. Some have greater wisdom than others; but there is none perfect, "none righteous, no, not one." All come short of the glorious standard which God has set. The difficulty is that we have all been born in sin and are all misshapen. Not only our bodies are imperfect, but likewise our brains are unbalanced – some one way, and some another. Consequently young men and maidens, looking forth from childhood and youth upon the problems of life, have various conceptions of happiness, pleasure, joy, and make various resolutions and endeavors respecting the filling of their cup with blessings – long life, riches, ease, honor, etc.

The teachers of our public schools and colleges have a most wonderful opportunity for influencing the course of humanity. We rejoice in the thought that the teachers of the world in general are striving nobly for the fulfilment of gracious, benevolent ideals, and they are using their opportunities for the blessing and uplift of their pupils. And yet evidently many of them have but a slight appreciation of their great privileges. And some, of course, like the remainder of the world, are selfish, and think of their work from the standpoint of business – so much effort, so much pay.

Fain would we encourage the teachers of the world to look not entirely to the reward of the present, but especially to the still more important reward of the future. It is growingly the view of Bible students that our every act and word, yea, and our very thoughts, our motives, have to do not only with our present experiences, but also with our future life – secured for all through the redemption Sacrifice at Calvary.

Of course, the first and chief responsibility for children rests upon their parents. And no doubt the majority of parents, to some extent, realize their responsibility in God's sight and man's, for the children they bring into the world. But they labor under the difficulties of their own ignorance. They knew not the proper course to take in life themselves. Their lives have been a succession of blunders – some more, some less, serious. They presume that their children must blunder similarly, and that success will be largely a matter of luck. Not seeing the principles underlying life's experiences, they are unable to guide their children intelligently. Here teachers, moralists, religionists and humanitarians, find their opportunity. But how little anyone seems able to accomplish along any line! And how discouraged the philanthropic become!

On the whole, however, a broad view, contrasting the present time with fifty years ago, shows that progress is being made in many directions. Our cities are cleaner – both physically and morally – so far, at least, as outward appearance and standards are concerned. However shocked and shamed we may be at occasional disclosures of corruption and vice, those whose memories go back half a century can tell that no longer do we have the vile "doggeries" of old, with poor sots sitting, lying, in various degrees of intoxication inside and outside the premise. [R5243 : page 155] No longer does vice flaunt itself in the face of society. The battle against intoxication and the social evil is making progress in that, at least, it has made former conditions impossible.

In some States the progress has been more than in others. The "doggeries" have been transferred into gilded palaces. The sot is disdained, even by the man who contributes to his fall by tempting his appetite beyond the power of his will.

NEW ISSUES NOW – NEW TEMPTATIONS

Our lesson tells of a time in the history of Israel when the prosperous class had become wealthy – when many of the nation's wisest and most brilliant people had settled down to ease and luxury – to self-gratification. They considered that they had won in the battle of life, and would now take their ease and enjoy the fruits of their strife and diligence. They would let the other fellow do the worrying for awhile, and they would live on Easy Street.

The Lord through the Prophet upbraided them, assuring them that He was not pleased with such a course. He tells them that woes are to be expected as a result. It was made the mission of Amos to call attention to the fact that aggressive selfishness had accumulated great riches, that the wealthy were living in great luxury, and that these conditions fostered pride and moral laxity amongst the wealthy; while the poor were being filled with avarice, losing respect for God and religion, for truth and mercy, and the desire for further knowledge of God. Society was on the edge of a great volcano, and God declared that an eruption was near at hand. Amos was His mouthpiece. Today's lesson is a part of the Message he delivered.

PRESENT DAY CONDITIONS CORRESPOND

Our lesson is not inappropriate to our times. Notwithstanding the progress that has been made in many good lines, and notwithstanding the philanthropic sentiments of many, inside and outside the Christian denominations, nevertheless there is danger. First of all, let us consider the danger of the rich. The wealth of our day to a certain extent reaches to the very humblest and scatters blessings to all.

But the bulk of the world's wealth is in the hands of the few. The inordinately rich are in great danger of injuring themselves. Some of these cannot devise ways and means by which to consume even their incomes. Luxuries of every kind are tasted in the hope of finding rest, happiness, joy, peace. Not finding these, mankind still pursue them, seeking new avenues to happiness. Wealth brings increased opportunity for sin in its various forms, including debauchery.

The influence upon the poor is notable. The latter, seeking pleasure, imagine erroneously that the rich and indolent are finding it, while they themselves are seeking in vain. Thus the poorer, surrounded by the wonderful blessings of our day, are often miserable, because their minds are discontented. They want happiness, joy, pleasure, and believe they can obtain these only through wealth. The result is that their hearts are filling with anger and malice, and jealousy of the rich. The way is thus paved for most evil and atrocious conditions, and many are fully persuaded that our present favorable social conditions are maintained only through police and military power, backed by all the assistance of modern times – the telegraph, telephones, etc.

"WARN THEM THAT ARE RICH"

These words of the Apostle never were more in season than now. Those trusting in the uncertainty of riches need to arouse themselves. They need to learn the lesson [R5243 : page 156] that the pleasure they seek lies not in the direction of their indulgence of self, but rather in self-sacrifice – in the service of others. Indeed this is the great lesson for all to learn – both rich and poor. While millions are seeking for joy, pleasure, only a remarkably few have found them. Those few are God's saintly people – whether Catholics or Protestants.

The secret of their success in finding what others are still seeking for lies in the fact that they have been Heaven-directed, and that they have followed the guidance of God's Word. And the more fully they have heeded His instructions, the greater has been their blessing. God's Message to all is, Seek first God's righteousness, God's will, the Divine Rule or Kingdom. Father Adam rebelled against the Divine will, and by breaking his covenant precipitated upon himself an avalanche of imperfection and death, which has since remained on the world – the reign of sin and death.

God's Word reveals that in due time He will roll away the curse, and bring blessings and opportunities to every member of our race. But meantime He would gather out a special class for a special purpose – the Church of the First-borns, whose names are written in Heaven. (Heb. 12:23.) These are to be highly exalted and to be used of the Almighty with the Savior Jesus in the great work of blessing the whole world. These are the Seed of Abraham, the Body of The Messiah, of which Jesus is the Head. – Galatians 3:16-29.

The greatest privilege of the present time is to get into this elect company of God's saints. In order to enter this company, faith and obedience are necessary requisites. That faith must recognize Jesus as the Lamb of God, the Sin-bearer. It must recognize Him also as the Pattern and Exemplar. The reward will be to those who have His spirit, His disposition, and who will walk through the present life in His footsteps. Such will eventually gain with Him glory, honor, immortality – the Kingdom.

In the present time, they will to the world seem to have the unfavorable side, a battle against the world, the flesh and the Adversary. The world cannot understand what pleasure and blessing these really enjoy because of the surrender of their wills to God's will, and because of the Spirit of the Lord, which they consequently receive. But these alone have the peace and joy and blessing which the world can neither give nor take away. What other men are seeking and failing to find, God's saints enjoy.

"Peace is theirs which knows no measure,
Joys which through all time abide."

[R5243 : page 156]

THE VICTORIES OF FAITH  Audio
– JUNE 29. – ACTS 7:9-16; HEB. 11:20-22. –

"This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." – 1 John 5:4.
W
E ARE living in a day when faith is greatly discounted – in a day when people seem disposed to say, "I care not what a man believes, if only his life be honorable." And by this generally is meant that faith is of no consequence. Those who so hold usually put honor of men as the highest goal. Their sentiments, translated into plain English, would be, "With all your getting, get money and prosperity; for without these, no matter what you believe, or whom you worship, you will never prosper in the present life, success in which is the only goal now recognized by an increasing number."

The Bible standpoint, however, is the very reverse of this. God's Word puts faith first, and builds character upon that faith. God declares that no human being can do perfect works. Hence He has not made works the standard. Faith is God's standard, and He assures us that whoever has the proper faith must of necessity have works which will correspond to his faith. In line with this principle, we note that God's favorites of the Bible have all been men of faith. Their faith did not make them perfect, nor were their works always acceptable in God's sight, but He punished them for evil works and rewarded them for their great faith.

Thus we find in the Bible record that some of God's favorites committed grievous sins and made serious mistakes, and still, for all that, maintained themselves in God's favor, by reason of their faith.

GOD LOVES NOT THE WICKED

Of all religious books ever written or ever read, the Bible is perhaps the most candid. It tells of the mistakes and the sins of the very characters which it holds up as models and examples of men after God's own heart. Yet the Bible leaves no room for any one to assume that God loves wickedness, or that the friends of God are the depraved of mankind. Quite to the contrary, the highest possible standards of righteousness, in word, in deed and in thought, are inculcated, and we are distinctly told that full acceptance with God can be only along the lines of truth and righteousness.

God tells us that we and all mankind are by nature sinners. He tells us that we could do nothing to clear away our own guilt and the sentence that stands against us as members of the fallen race. But He also tells us that He purposes to adjust that matter for us satisfactorily; and hence that our responsibility is not for what we cannot avoid, but for what we can avoid – not for what we cannot do, but for what we can do. He tells us that the foundation of all our noblest endeavors will lie along the lines of confidence in Him. This confidence He calls faith. He assures us that without faith it is impossible to please Him, and He has shown us this in all the lessons of the Bible.

FAITH IS NOT CREDULITY

Many make the mistake of supposing that faith is credulity. Under this delusion they are ready to swallow any and everything of a religious kind, if they are told [R5244 : page 156] that God says so. But this is not the faith which the Bible encourages. On the contrary, the Bible would have us know definitely the things that God has promised, and exercise a definite faith in those things and give no heed whatever to the seductive vagaries of Satan, of our fellow men, or of our own imagination.

It is not for us to quarrel with those who take a different view of matters and who in the name of faith bind their followers with ignorance and superstition, and seek to prevent them from using their reasoning faculties. It is for us to address those who are feeling after God if haply they might find Him – those who are not content with superstitions, but whose hearts and minds cry out after the living God and His definite Word, His solemn statement of His will respecting us, and of His Plan, and of the part which we may have therein. So Jesus and the Apostles attempted not to teach everybody, but merely those who hungered and thirsted after righteousness. In the language of Jesus, "He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear." [R5244 : page 157]

THE FAITH BEFORE CHRIST CAME

Let us look into the past, and note the method by which God has all along sought His peculiar people. The first proclamation of God's purposes respecting our race was made to Abraham. God spake to Abraham, saying, "Walk as in My presence, and be thou perfect" – i. e., Do your best to be perfect. After Abraham had manifested some faith, God gave him further tests. When in obedience to those tests Abraham left his native land to live in Canaan, he manifested so great a faith that God called him His friend, and made to him the very first revelation of the Divine purposes in respect to humanity.

Abraham knew that there was a curse upon the race, under which the whole creation was groaning, going down to the tomb, and God's declaration to him was that the time would come when, instead of the curse, He would send a blessing. This meant to Abraham that, instead men becoming more imperfect and wasting away in death, a change would come, by which they would be rescued from the dying condition, and resurrected from the power of the tomb.

This was a wonderful proposition, even for God to make; yet Abraham, with childlike faith, believed the Message. God declared to him that, because of his own faith, He would greatly bless him and his posterity, so that through him as a father eventually would come children who would accomplish the great work of blessing mankind, and would rescue all from the power of sin, Satan and death. The briefly epitomized statement of all this was in the words, "In thee and in thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." – Genesis 28:14.

What was it to have faith in that Promise? What did it mean to Abraham? Assuredly it meant that thenceforth Abraham's mind would take in a larger horizon – the world of humanity, instead of merely his own immediate family and flocks and herds, and his nearest neighbors. It meant that if God would so honor his posterity, Abraham would seek in everything to co-operate with God and that great Promise.

For years God tested Abraham's faith. Yet he still believed. "His faith staggered not." After Isaac had been born and as yet had no child, God directed that this son of promise, the one in whom the whole Promise centered, should be sacrificed. What a test of faith! What a grand development of faith Abraham had acquired when he was ready to obey the Voice Divine, accounting that God was able to raise Isaac up again from the dead! Oh, for such a trust in God! Oh, for such a faith! Oh, for such an appreciation of Divine Power! What could not be accomplished in the world through the Divine Message if such faith prevailed amongst God's children! What would God not do for children who would trust Him thus!

It was the same with Isaac and with Jacob. They trusted that same Promise. It influenced the whole course of their lives. It made them more like God. It shaped every interest of life. Although they understood practically nothing of how God would accomplish so great a blessing, their faith laid hold upon the fact. From their posterity God would raise up a holy people to be His agency, His channel, for instructing the world, ruling the world, uplifting the world, resurrecting the dead, bringing mankind back to all that was lost through Adam's disobedience.

Their faith might have had plenty of opportunities for stumbling, if it had been weaker. If they had been more worldly-wise, they might have said, How can God do this thing and yet be just? Having once pronounced a sentence, how can He clear the guilty? But their faith wavered not. In their hearts they said, "God has promised; and what God has promised, He will do, and He will have His own way of accomplishing it."

By and by, the nation of Israel as a whole was called the people of God. The nation as a whole entered into a Covenant with God, and He with them, through Moses, the mediator of the Law Covenant. Israel was impulsed by faith – faith in the Promise made to Abraham that God would use his posterity and through it bless all people, all of Adam's race – the living and the dead.

The Covenant of Sinai pledged the people of Israel that they would be a holy nation, that they would keep God's Law blamelessly. God covenanted that in that event He would fulfil in them the Promise made to Abraham. God knew that imperfect human beings could not keep His perfect Law. But He would let them try; He would let them learn the lesson; He would through that lesson give instruction to the angels respecting His own righteousness. He would also through it give instruction to Spiritual Israel, whom later He would develop and through whom the blessings actually would come. This St. Paul explains, saying, "The Law Covenant was added because of transgressions, until the promised Seed should come." – Galatians 3:19.

In other words, God started this work with Israel, in a typical manner, long centuries before the real Spiritual Israel would be developed. But He did not thereby do injury to the people who had covenanted to keep the Law, but who were unable to do so. On the contrary, they as a people were blessed by their endeavors to keep that Law, and blessed also by the chastisements which came upon them because of their failures and lack of faith.

But God especially blessed all of that people who shared Abraham's faith, so that the Apostle Paul could enumerate, in addition to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, a considerable number who pleased God because of their faith, long centuries before Christ, the Spiritual Seed of Abraham came. Those Ancient Worthies, although they will not be the Seed of Abraham in the highest sense, on the spirit plane, will be the seed of blessing on the earthly plane – the channel through which the heavenly blessings will ultimately be extended to all nations.

What was it that impulsed the Jewish people during all those centuries past? Was it not faith in God – faith that He would fulfil the Promise made to Abraham? It surely was! And it is that Promise that still actuates such of the Jews as have not lost their faith – such of them as are still Jews. Those who have lost the faith of Abraham are no longer in any sense of the word related to the Promise; for the Promise was according to faith.

St. Paul speaks sympathetically of the Jewish nation, in respect to that original Promise which God made to them, saying: "Unto which Promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come." (Acts 26:7.) And all the Jews, in proportion as they still maintain that hope, may still expect to come to a realization of all and more than they ever dreamed of.

FAITH SINCE CHRIST CAME

The coming of Christ did not change the Divine Purpose, and therefore did not change the faith of God's people. Jesus and the Apostles believed and taught the very Gospel which, St. Paul says, God preached in the beginning to Abraham. (Galations 3:8.) The Apostolic Message also was that all the families of the earth were to be blessed through the Seed of Abraham. But there was an additional feature then to be proclaimed and to be believed; viz., that God had begun the work of providing this Seed of Abraham, The Messiah – that God had sent the Logos, His Son, into the world, that He [R5244 : page 158] might become the Seed of Abraham on the spirit plane, and eventually fulfil every feature of the original Promise.

All the Jews were in expectation of the Messiah, but they were not all Israelites indeed; they did not all have the proper faith. God preferred, therefore, to allow some of them to remain in a measure of blindness on the subject, while others were granted a special anointing of the eyes of their understanding, their eyes of faith. To this class Jesus said, "To you it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of God" – the Messianic Kingdom, through which the Seed of Abraham is to bless all the families of the earth.

Then came another step of faith. The early disciples said: We desire to believe that Jesus, the Son of God, is the foretold Seed of Abraham, but we do not see Him doing the work of blessing the world. Instead of reigning in triumph to dispense to the world the blessings secured by His sacrifice, He has gone to Heaven. How shall we understand this?

THE MYSTERY – CHRIST IN YOU

The answer of God through the Apostles was that "the faith once delivered to the saints" was still the same, but that now, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, they were to understand that The Messiah would not be one person, but many persons – not Jesus alone would be the Seed of Abraham, but Jesus as the Head and the Church [R5245 : page 158] as His members, or Body, would be that Seed. St. Paul says, "Ye, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of Promise." Jesus was represented by the head of Isaac, the Church was represented by the body of Isaac, in that figure. It has taken the entire Gospel Age to develop the Body of Christ, the Church.

Under another figure, Jesus was represented in Isaac, and the Church was represented in Rebecca, his bride. According to this figure, the antitypical Isaac has entered into glory, but waits for the development of the antitypical Rebecca. At the appointed and appropriate time He will come, the Seed of Abraham, and receive His Bride to Himself, and they twain will be one. And through the One, through the Kingdom of Glory, will come to all the families of the earth the blessing promised nearly four thousand years ago to Abraham.

This is "the faith once delivered to the saints," the hope set before us in the Gospel – the faith that God will use the Seed of Abraham to bless all humanity, and the hope that we by faithful perseverance and trust may become joint-heirs with Jesus, the Redeemer, in all that glorious inheritance of the Messianic Kingdom.

Let us not doubt the Wisdom of God in the arrangement which He has made, and which He has caused to be set forth in the Scriptures; viz., that this faith, based upon the Abrahamic Promise, is the Power of God by which it is His will that all His people shall be sanctified – separated so far as possible from the world and from sin; sanctified to Himself in Christ Jesus, their Lord. This is "the faith once delivered to the saints." This is the faith which enables us to gain the victory over the spirit of the world, and to be separate, sanctified to God, for service here and hereafter.

[R5245 : page 158]

INTERESTING QUESTIONS
MORE ABOUT HIGHWAY OF HOLINESS

Question. – Will any one be forced, or compelled, to walk up the Highway of Holiness?

Answer. – At present there is no Highway of Holiness; consequently no one is walking on it during the Gospel Age. There will be no such Highway until the Great King takes control of affairs, overthrows the present order of things and sets up the Kingdom of Heaven. Then a Highway of Holiness will be prepared, upon which the righteous can walk. During the Gospel Age there are but two ways – the Narrow Way and the Broad Way. (Matt. 7:13,14.) The former is for those who desire to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, and is a steep, rugged path. The latter is the road that leads to destruction and is a broad way on which the human race are hurrying to the tomb.

Those who walk acceptably in the footsteps of the Master must do so willingly. Theirs must be a voluntary devotion. To be forced is not at all the thought. The Little Flock will thus run the Narrow Way; but the Great Company will have experiences which will force them, not to take one special way, but to decide for themselves, what course they will pursue. There is a difference between forcing a man to go aboard a vessel, and bringing certain influences to bear which will cause him to desire to do so.

In the next Age, when the world's Highway of Holiness shall have been opened up (Isa. 35:8), force will be used to bring all mankind to a knowledge of the Truth respecting God's provision for them. Wrong doing will then be punished with corrective stripes. But it would be far from right to suppose that mankind will be driven or forced along the Highway of Holiness. All who go up thereon must exert themselves; for it will be an upward way. Our Savior stated the Father's sentiment respecting all to whom He will ever grant everlasting life. His words were, "But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship Him."

"PERFECT LOVE CASTETH OUT FEAR"

Question. – What kind of fear is referred to in the text, "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear."I John 4:18.

Answer. – Fear is a mental condition which is begotten of uncertainty. There are some things which we ought to fear, and some which we need not fear. The Adversary seems to take advantage of the fallen condition of the race, and to cause them to fear God; for it is natural to avoid whomsoever we fear. Mankind realize instinctively that they are sinners by nature and that there is a penalty for sin. Taking advantage of this fear of the consequences of sin, the Adversary tries to instill in them a dread of God. He pictures before their imperfect minds a God who is unjust, over-severe in His dealings with sin and the sinner, for whom He has prepared a place of everlasting torture.

As we gradually come to a clear knowledge of God and of the principles by which He regulates the universe, we lose this improper fear; and in its stead comes a love for God and a realization that He has love for us. Our love for Him grows in proportion as we perceive that He loves mankind, and has made provision for them whereby they may have an opportunity for everlasting life. After we have come to love Him perfectly, all fear in the sense of dread is cast out.

Our knowledge and love should not, however, cast out the fear of displeasing God; for proper fear (reverence) must never be cast out. The more we have of reverential love, the more of the proper fear we shall have. Who would not fear to offend a brother or a neighbor whom he loved and appreciated? Much more should we dread offending our just, wise, loving God. [R5245 : page 159]

The principle that "perfect love casteth out fear" should operate between husband and wife, between parents and children. The wife who fears her husband cannot be as happy as she would be if there were perfect love; and so also children who are in dread of either, or both, of their parents cannot love them with true filial affection. Each should fear to wound or offend the other, and should strive to have that perfect love which God is pleased to have all of His intelligent creatures exercise.

RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT AND CRITICISM
Question. – How may we distinguish between "righteous judgment" and criticism?

Answer. – The Lord says, "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment." (John 7:24.) St. Paul says, "Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come." (I Cor. 4:5.) The question then arises, What is "righteous judgment"? A righteous judgment is a right decision. But since we cannot read the heart, how can we render a right decision? The Scriptures answer that we cannot read one another's hearts and therefore should not attempt to judge them.

If, then, we cannot judge each other's hearts, motives or intentions, what can we judge? The answer of Scripture is that we may judge each other's conduct. If we see one of the Lord's people doing something improper, we might say, "Dear Brother (or Sister), your conduct would seem to be contrary to the Word of God, and to be bringing forth bad fruitage." If that person should reply, "It does not seem to me that I am doing wrong," we must not judge or condemn that one's heart. But we should judge between good and evil conduct, and at the proper time and place call attention to the matter and leave it there.

There is a difference between judging the heart, which we have no right to do, and judging the conduct, which is right to do. But it does not always follow that our judgment of another's conduct must always be right. We are all prone to make mistakes.

If we should come to a brother and say, "Dear Brother, your conduct seems to be wrong, but I am sure that you want to do right. Will you explain?" He may be able to show us that the fruitage was good when we thought it bad. We may have misunderstood the matter. We are not to condemn our brother, but to go directly to him and get his view. Then if we cannot agree, we should tell him how it seems to us, and ask him to judge his own heart. We can do no more.

SETTING MEMBERS IN THE BODY

Question. – What is signified by God's "setting the members every one of them in the Body, as it hath pleased Him"? – I Corinthians 12:18.

Answer. – In the present time there is a Church of Christ on probation. We sometimes say that we are members of the Church Militant; but to be a member of the Church Militant will not prove that we shall be in the Church Triumphant. Only those who are "faithful unto death" will be in the Church Triumphant. St. Paul, whom God had set in a very high position in the Church feared lest he might become a castaway. He said, "I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection; lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." (I Cor. 9:27.) Various privileges and opportunities are granted to us while in the flesh, and our acceptance in the end and our participation in the glory beyond will depend upon our faithfulness here.

The Apostle says that the various members, "fitly framed together, grow into an holy Temple in the Lord." (Eph. 2:21.) We may not use this figure too literally or we may get into confusion. The stones in the Temple differ to some extent one from the other. In what is called "random range work" building there are places for little stones and places for larger stones. This might, in some [R5246 : page 159] respects, represent our being a larger or a smaller stone in the Temple – representing the privileges or honor which we may have beyond the veil.

St. Paul also says that he was trying to do much more, that he was trying to have a larger share in the trials and self-denials, in order that he might have a larger share in the work beyond. This did not mean that he desired self-aggrandizement, or that he was either proud or self-seeking. And we shall not be so if we would attain that to which God would have us attain – the glorious character-likeness of our Master.

"JERUSALEM...MOTHER OF US ALL"

Question. – In the text, "Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all" (Galations 4:26), who are meant by "us," and how is the spiritual Jerusalem the "mother of us all"?

Answer. – The Apostle here uses a figure of speech which is common in the Scriptures, and in which a city is referred to as the mother of its inhabitants; for instance, "daughters of Jerusalem," "daughters of Zion," "Sodom and her daughters," etc. The "us" class mean the saints of God. The citizenship of the saints is in Heaven – in the Heavenly Jerusalem, which will not be built until the First Resurrection. By faith we look forward and speak of that promised condition and of our citizenship therein.

The Church is developed under the same Covenant-Mother as was Christ; for we are His members. His was a covenant of sacrifice. "Gather My saints together unto Me; those that have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice." (Psa. 50:5.) The Man Christ Jesus entered into a covenant with the Father, which meant the sacrifice of His flesh, His earthly nature. As a reward for this sacrifice, the Father made Him a New Creature of the Divine nature – "far above angels," constituting Him the Great Messiah who shall bless the world.

Carrying out the Father's Plan, our Lord imputes His merit to such as now follow His example, and walk in His footsteps, performing the same covenant of sacrifice. If these are faithful, they will share in the great work of Messiah in blessing the world, and will constitute the New Jerusalem, the Millennial Kingdom. By faith we are its children. Even now, our citizenship is in Heaven.

BROAD UNSECTARIAN QUESTIONS

The following are the questions usually put by Brother Russell when receiving candidates for Water Immersion. It will be noticed that they are on broad lines – questions which any Christian, whatever his confession, should be able to answer in the affirmative without hesitation if he is suitable to be acknowledged as a member of the Church of Christ:

(1) Have you repented of sin with such restitution as you are able, and are you trusting in the merit of Christ's sacrifice for the forgiveness of your sins and the basis of your justification?

(2) Have you made a full consecration of yourself with all the powers that you possess – talent, money, time, influence – all to the Lord, to be used faithfully in His service, even unto death?

(3) On the basis of these confessions, we acknowledge you as a member of the Household of Faith, and give to you as such the right hand of fellowship, not in the name of any sect or party or creed, but in the name of the Redeemer, our glorified Lord, and His faithful followers.