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June 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. XXXVJUNE 1No. 11
A. D. 1914 – A. M. 6042
CONTENTS
Views From The Watch Tower 163
Dr. Abbott's Outlook 163
Comments on Dr. Abbott's Outlook 163
Germany Deserting the Church 165
Loosing the "Four Winds" 165
Symptoms of the Coming Trouble 165
Justified or Condemned by Words 166
World Full of Evil Speaking 167
Well-Meaning, But Hinderers 168
"Called of God, as Was Aaron" 169
Saving Him From Death 170
Laborers in the Vineyard 171
The Glorious Character of Our God 172
Freedom of the Will 173
Divine Paradoxes 173
Almost Home (Poem) 174
1914 – General Conventions – 1914 174
Some Interesting Letters 174
Episcopal Minister and the Truth 174
A Baptist Minister's Appreciation 175
Great Grandfather's Motto 175

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.
SAMPLE COPIES FREE.

ENTERED AS SECOND-CLASS MAIL MATTER AT BROOKLYN, N. Y., POSTOFFICE.
ENTERED AS SECOND-CLASS MATTER AT THE POSTOFFICE DEPT., OTTAWA, CANADA.

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DOES THIS APPLY TO YOU?

We fear that some of the dear Colporteurs are being attracted away from the colporteur division of the Harvest work. We urge all who have any measure of success as colporteurs that they should consider it one of the very best parts of the Harvest field, yielding more fruitage to individual effort than does any other.

The DRAMA, so far from hindering the colporteur work, should greatly increase it wherever the DRAMA is produced. Wherever it is heard of, the attention of the people is drawn to the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES.

This is the favorable time of the year for colporteuring. Therefore, we would like to say something to re-encourage the noble band of faithful reapers who are laying down their time, their strength and their lives in this service. "He that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life everlasting."

There never has been a time when so many people have been manifesting an ear to hear the Truth. Superstition is dying. Ignorance is giving way before the better knowledge of God and of His Word. The DRAMA is helping all this. Nevertheless, those who merely see and hear the DRAMA have only gotten a start in the right direction. They need to read the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES with their Bibles, that they may be thoroughly furnished and may put on the whole armor of God, and thus be prepared for the impending trials of the near future. [R5472 : page 162]

The field is large. If you have time to invest in this precious service, write to us for hints, or methods, and for prospectus, and for assignment of territory – indicating what territory you prefer, giving first, second and third choice of locality. This proposition applies to all the unincumbered possessed of any talent and address. The greater your talent, and the better your education, etc., the greater your ability for serving the Lord in this part of the Harvest field. Many housewives can spare one or two hours daily for this grand work. When the privilege reaches us it becomes an opportunity for demonstrating to the Lord our zeal for Him, for His Truth and for the Household of Faith. Many teachers will have vacations shortly. What better way could be found for spending it than in the service of the King of kings? Moreover, it is healthful employment. Those who cannot colporteur should remember that the opportunity still remains for volunteering, and that our new Volunteer matter is ready and going out rapidly.

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POEMS OF DAWN

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

CREDIT AND FREE SUBSCRIPTIONS

With the May 15th issue of THE WATCH TOWER the free subscriptions to the "Lord's Poor" ended, with the exception of those entered within the last six months. If your TOWER stops coming, this will explain the reason. You are as welcome to it as ever, upon your own request. If you desire its visits continued, please advise us AT ONCE. A post-card request will be sufficient.

BETHEL HYMNS FOR JULY

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 July follow:

(1) 94; (2) 259; (3) 14; (4) 47; (5) 12; (6) 46; (7) 305; (8) 220; (9) 18; (10) 108; (11) 262; (12) 216; (13) 299; (14) 224; (15) 221; (16) 326; (17) 155; (18) 23; (19) 144; (20) 254; (21) 212; (22) 307; (23) 324; (24) 192; (25) 313; (26) 113; (27) 204; (28) 87; (29) 263; (30) 219; (31) 82.

[R5467 : page 163]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER
DR. ABBOTT'S OUTLOOK

"A minister asks a question which I may summarize thus: How can one who has accepted the newer thinking in theology so present it as to satisfy the desires of those who are longing for the old religion? It is a question which a great many ministers and some laymen are asking. The answer involves a consideration of the use and value of sermons and church services.

*                         *                         *

"One reason why many naturally devout persons have discontinued church attendance is because the church service for them no longer promotes the religious life. It seems to them unreal. They still wish to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk reverently, but the church service does not help them to do so. They have abandoned the Church, but they have not abandoned religion. To bring them back to the Church the Church must somehow put new life into its services. It must make its expression of the religious feeling more effective in promoting the religious life.

*                         *                         *

"When astronomy compelled a new theory of the Universe, and modern biology and anthropology a new theory of the origin of man and of sin, and modern criticism a new theory of the Bible, and modern sociology a new theory of redemption, the Puritan churches began of necessity to construct a new theology. The ministers who were familiar with modern discovery and the modern mind began to teach a new philosophy of religion.

*                         *                         *

"We no longer express penitence, thanksgiving, and consecration by offering sacrifices. But penitence and thanksgiving and consecration are essentially the same experiences that they were in the days of Ezra. Theology has changed. We no longer believe that man was created perfect six thousand years ago, and that sin came into the world as the result of the fact that a woman was persuaded by a serpent to eat a forbidden fruit. But doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God are essentially what they were in the days of Abraham.

"In our time there are a number of self-sacrificing and devoted philanthropists and teachers who have discarded both worship and theology and are endeavoring to promote the higher life by ethical instruction, illustrated and enforced by moral example. But while they endeavor to promote doing justly and loving mercy, they make no effort to promote reverent comradeship with God. They substitute the religion of humanity for the humanity of religion. Some of them are preaching ethical sermons in Christian pulpits. Some of them have come out from the Church altogether and are devoting themselves to various forms of social service. They are doing unselfish work for their fellow-men, and in the lives of many of them Christian ministers might well find both example and inspiration.

"But I do not believe that ethical culture can take the place of spiritual life. If all that humanity wants is well-regulated conduct, ethical culture might possibly furnish it – though that is doubtful. But that is not all that humanity wants. It wants character. What men think is important; what they feel is more important; but what they are is most important of all. For out of what they [R5468 : page 163] are will come naturally and spontaneously their thinking, their feeling, and their conduct.

*                         *                         *

"The minister who would satisfy the need of his people must realize that their need is not a form of worship nor a philosophy of religion, but a life. If he uses a prayer-book, it must serve him as an expression of his own penitence, thanksgiving, consecration. If he does not use a prayer-book, his prayers must be real communion with God, not an address to his congregation. Whether he believes that man has been six or sixty thousand years upon the earth, that sin is the consequence of a fall from perfection six thousand years ago or the consequence of the animalism in us from which we have not yet fully emerged, that Jesus Christ saves us by having paid once for all the penalty of our sins in a sacrifice suffered long ago or by living with us and giving life to us in a perpetual sacrifice, is not unimportant. BUT IT IS INSIGNIFICANT BESIDE THE QUESTION WHETHER PENITENCE FOR HIS OWN SINS AND JOY IN HIS LIVING SAVIOR ARE REAL EXPERIENCES OR ONLY BOOK-LEARNED THEORIES. If they are real experiences and he can communicate them to his hearers, he will satisfy their real needs. If he communicates them through the old theology, some of his hearers will think him old-fashioned in his thinking; if he communicates them through the new theology, some of his hearers will fear he is not quite sound. But if he succeeds in giving to them that life the fruit of which is doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God, they will accept the gift with thankfulness, whatever may be the philosophy which he employs in imparting the gift."

Lyman Abbott.
COMMENTS ON DR. ABBOTT'S OUTLOOK

We have wondered how such noble men of good thinking capacity as Doctor Abbott regard the future and their own change of religious sentiment. We have above, Doctor Abbott's own words on the subject. His expression probably represents fairly, generously, the sentiments of the large class of scholarly men among whom he is a leader. They have abandoned the old landmarks altogether. The personal God who takes personal interest in the affairs of man is unknown to this class. Some of them recognize a force operating in nature, and give this blind force the name of god – Nature god. Others, admitting that they have no real ground for their contention, hold that there is a personal God who is so great that He [R5468 : page 164] takes no more account of man and his interests than men take account of ants, insects, microbes.

Yet still there is in the human heart a yearning for the sympathy of a Divine Friend, which causes some of these bewildered leaders of human thought to ignore their own theories and to crave and worship a personal God of Love whom they know not, and who has made, they think, no revelation of Himself or of His plans, respecting which they make liberal guesses, frequently altered, mended, amended, contradicted. St. Paul seemed to have some such philosophers in mind when he wrote, "without God, and having no hope in the world." Jesus seems to have had some such persons in mind when He spoke of "blind leaders of the blind" falling into the ditch.

A DEPLORABLE CONDITION OF UNBELIEF

With many of these good people the trouble begins with their loss of confidence in the Bible as the inspired Revelation of God for the instruction and guidance of His people. As soon as any assume this attitude toward the Bible, they are like the mariner on the high seas who has lost his charts and compass and has become befogged. Occasionally a little rift in the fog gives him a view of some bright star; and for a moment he rejoices in the thought that he at least knows by the stars which way to steer his craft. But as the fogs shift, he is pitiably bewildered. He dare not even confess to the trusting passengers under his care the real status of affairs. He must be brave; he must secrete his fears and doubts and ignorance.

This appears to be the deplorable condition of the Higher Critics and Evolutionists. If we misjudge them, we shall be glad to have them set us straight. We shall be glad to be informed by what process of reasoning they have any knowledge whatever respecting a future life of any kind in any place. We shall be glad to be informed respecting any process of reasoning along the lines of their presentation that would go to demonstrate that they have, or could have, any expectation of a future life, except representatively through their children, who in some future time, thousands of years ahead, might be evolved to such perfection of mind and body and to such a mastery of conditions of nature as would permit them successfully to combat germs, microbes and hereditary weaknesses, and to live forever.

But how poor a prospect is this in comparison with the hope set before us in the Gospel – the hope of a personal future life by resurrection from the dead, a hope which Evolutionists and Higher Critics deride as chimerical! We can only return the compliment by declaring that the Christian's hope, founded upon the Bible, "the hope of the resurrection of the dead," seems to us far less chimerical, far less unreasonable, and much more advantageous to us in every way, than the hope of the Higher Critic and Evolutionist that though they perish, some of their great, great grandchildren may achieve everlasting life.

While we have no sympathy with Higher Criticism and Evolution, we have every sympathy for the many noble minds that have accepted these theories, to the destruction of their own joy, peace, and faith. Our experience gives us this sympathy. Once we had very much their position. We thank God for our deliverance from it into the brighter light from Heaven which shines in the face of Jesus Christ our Lord, shines through His words, shines through the writings and prophecies of the past, as explained by the appointed and especially inspired Apostles of Jesus. Quite probably the majority of those whose views we are criticising came to their present views as did the writer.

A GREAT LESSON TO BE LEARNED

For three centuries the darkness of superstition has been gradually breaking; and although the Bible has come back to the people, it has been interpreted through creedal spectacles of various hues, but all of them dark. We have been unwittingly trusting the creeds and not the Bible. But more and more the absurdities of those creeds have become manifest in the advancing light of the Millennial Morning. We have now come to the place where practically no intelligent people any longer believe the creeds of the past. But in repudiating those creeds, all have been in danger through the error of the supposition that those creeds represent the Bible teachings. Hence, to nearly all of us, the repudiation of the creeds has meant the repudiation of the Bible, however much we have desired to hold to the Bible as the Divine Light in a dark place.

The great lesson for us all now to learn is that while we have been right in repudiating the creeds, and while every one of them should be publicly as well as privately repudiated, we should return to the Bible and give it a fresh examination, totally untrammeled by the theories of the darker past. We should go to the Bible, expecting to find it in opposition to these creeds – expecting to find that the pure Message of Divine Truth, as given out by Jesus and His authorized Apostles, was corrupted during the Dark Ages – during the time when the Bible was ignored in favor of creeds formulated by bishops who mistakenly thought themselves Apostolic bishops, and who under Satan's misguidance led Christendom into atrocious errors and "doctrines of devils." – 1 Timothy 4:1.

Only by such radical change of attitude toward the Bible – only by such confidence in God, confidence in the Bible as the Revelation to man of a God of all Grace, the Father of Mercies, are we prepared to view the Old Book from the proper angle, to see its real meaning, and to be convinced that it is the Message of Hope for the world, and of glory, honor and immortality for the Church, and indeed true and worthy of all acceptation.

A NEW STIMULUS TO BIBLE STUDY

One of the chief aims of the PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION is to re-establish faith in the Bible as the inspired Word of God. It is our conviction that many of God's consecrated people are trembling on the brink of infidelity. The teachings of Higher Criticism and Evolution, which have gone forth from the colleges and intellectual leaders of Christendom for the past forty years, have permeated, leavened, the thought, the sentiment of the whole world.

God's consecrated people need the helping hand which He through this DRAMA is, we believe, extending to them. It is wonderful to note how some of these are being reached by it, and how quickly some of them respond. A young man who witnessed the DRAMA in the New York Temple (W. 63d St., near Broadway), inquired whether or not there was something more that he could read along the lines pursued in the DRAMA. He was told of the six volumes of THE STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES. He purchased them at once and read them. Returning, he said, "I had $700 saved up to put me through a theological course. I have concluded that in these volumes I have the theological course that I need."

The fairness of the DRAMA, its faithfulness to the Bible, and the gentleness with which it treats opposition, commend it to sober-thinking, honest-hearted people; and while all classes are welcomed, this special class is particularly desired and appreciated by the promoters of the DRAMA. Only those who have been rescued from the darkness, obscurity and "mentally lost" condition of Higher Criticism and Evolution, can fully appreciate what it means to be saved from all that darkness, doubt, fog – what it means to have a firm foundation for faith in a [R5469 : page 165] God of Justice, Wisdom, Love and Power – what it means to know God and to have an intelligent appreciation of His great and wonderful Plan of the Ages, in which the Church has first place, but in which the whole world of mankind is yet to receive a blessing and a glorious opportunity for everlasting life.

GERMANY DESERTING THE CHURCH

Church attendance in Protestant Germany is shrinking in what The Christian World's Berlin correspondent, quoted in The Christian Work (New York), calls an alarming way. According to a census made on a recent Sunday only 11,252 persons were attending the 68 State Protestant places of worship in Berlin. In the town of Chemnitz, in Saxony, with 300,000 Protestants, "the church attendance on this particular Sunday was 2,248." Or, taking the communion statistics as a test, "in Berlin, last year, only 14.81 per cent. of the Protestant population partook of the communion."

Of course, says our informant, the numbers are more satisfactory in country districts, but "in the towns, and in numerous country districts as well, not only is the number of communicants sinking, but it is rapidly sinking, and has been rapidly sinking for several years past." And we read on:

"In Berlin it is an established fact that the number of those who make a practise of going to church is rapidly decreasing. A serious journal here has been investigating the causes for this, and as a result of its inquiries among the working classes, it has obtained the following six reasons for the falling off:

"(1) The influence of the anti-religious press.
"(2) Social Democratic agitation against Church.
"(3) The influence of evil-disposed neighbors and fellow-workmen on those who would otherwise attend.
"(4) The notorious unbelief of the educated classes.

"(5) The widely spread suspicion and dislike expended on the clergy, especially the belief that they do not themselves believe what they teach, and that their piety and truth are merely hypocrisy.

"(6) Finally, the fact that all public places of amusement are open on Sunday, and that it is exactly on Sunday that the proprietors of these places use the greatest efforts to fill them. Another reason given for the increasing absence of young people from Divine service is the recent institution of associations such as scouts, wanderers, and boys' and girls' brigades, all of which have their gatherings on Sundays. The great horse-races are held on Sunday, also the chief athletic events. It is stated that all these things help to deplete the churches.

"Another journal in examining the causes at work in emptying the churches does not hesitate to remark that the antiquated methods employed by the clergy in addressing their flocks and in conducting their services are becoming 'repulsive' to churchgoers. Modern men in modern life will not tolerate a man in a pulpit calling them 'beloved hearers.' They hate the sanctimony and unctuousness inseparable from so many pastors. It irritates them to hear, 'firstly, my beloved,' and 'secondly, my dear brethren,' and 'thirdly and lastly.'

"Then there is a strong impression that much might be done to modernize the service of song. The Germans are the most musical people in the world and possess some of the most magnificent church music ever written. But they are beginning to lose all patience with those slowly droned-forth chorales in which there is neither force nor fire. With a sigh they think of the bright services of song in English and American churches."

Literary Digest.

[R5469 : page 165]

LOOSING THE "FOUR WINDS"

"And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation." – Daniel 12:1.
T
HERE is something peculiarly forceful about this statement. We have known some to lay stress upon the word such in this verse of Daniel's prophecy and to suggest that this might mean, not that the trouble will be greater, but that it will be of a different character than any previous trouble. We do not share that view. Our thought is that it will be the most intense, as well as the most widely diffused trouble, the most general trouble ever known. We see a great many things which corroborate this thought. We can readily see that anarchy at this time would affect mankind more than at any previous time of the world's history.

In the past the cities were supported by a large farming element; and each farmer was accustomed to keeping his stock on hand, selling more directly to the consumer. Today the cities are large, more massed together than ever before. Food is shipped to these cities in large quantities. Additionally, the people have become extravagant; we probably eat much more food as a people, and of a daintier kind, than ever before. We would feel ourselves starved by what people ate in former times.

Our Lord fed the five thousand with bread and small fishes. Now the people would not be satisfied, as they were then, to sit down on the grass, with a piece of bread in one hand and a piece of fish in the other. Now they would want five dishes, at least – and knives and forks, etc. They would think that they were starved if they had only a piece of fish and a piece of dry bread. And now, instead of gathering up the fragments, they would feel like throwing the fragments away.

SYMPTOMS OF THE COMING TROUBLE

We are reminded of the strike of last year in some of the large cities of England. In Liverpool, it was only by having Government troops on guard that food could be distributed to keep the people from starving. So we can see how soon whole cities could be put into confusion and everybody go hungry to bed; and they would soon starve, if supplies were cut off.

We have reason to believe that this trouble in some respects will be accompanied by a ferocity never seen in the past. True, there have been atrocities committed in every age of the world's history. And it is true that we now have a veneer that goes by the name of Christianity; but there is no Christianity about it. We see more and more clearly how easy it would be to scratch off this veneer and get to the savage nature below it. This being so, we can see how the rendering of assistance of one part of the world to another part would be at an end. We also see how the evil spirits will be stirred up. We have every reason for believing our Lord's words to be literally true – that the severity of the coming trouble will be such as never before has been known.

Then again, we understand that the trouble at the end of the Jewish Dispensation was a type, or foreshadowing, a parallel, of the great trouble coming at the end of this Dispensation. The trouble that then came upon the Jewish nation was reckoned as having been the most severe in the world's history. The trouble at the close [R5469 : page 166] of this Age will be on a vastly larger scale – world-wide.

CHRIST'S KINGDOM THE ONLY HOPE

As to the Socialistic movement, it is our thought that the Socialists will fail entirely in their attempt to carry out their ideas. Some of the ideas are good; some of them are medium; and some of them are bad. But they can never carry out the best of their ideas, because those who are controlling capital and managing the world's affairs will never give them the opportunity. Whether it will be the socialistic, the anarchistic or the capitalistic element that will bring about the anarchy, will depend upon which obstacle will be the most difficult to move.

All parties are very earnest, very intense, very obstinate. The capitalists fear that the whole country and every other country would "go to the dogs" if Socialism were in power. Therefore they would be ready to put it into the ditch rather than give it a trial. And so we do not expect that the Socialists will get sufficient power to take the reins of government. We think the attempt would result in anarchy, until Divine Power shall set up the Kingdom which has been promised.

And by this we are not accusing any party in particular. We believe that under stress of failure either side would be ready to see the streets run with blood rather than see the other side win – they would be ready to go to any length to maintain their purpose and ideas. Each party is sure that it knows what it is doing. There can be no possible settlement. All parties are sure that they are right and are sure that they will succeed. When the crisis is reached, which seems nearing, the great whirlwind will come, which will sweep all civilization before it. Thank God, that the Kingdom of God's dear Son will end it when men shall have learned their own impotency!

THE FOUR GREAT WINDS

In Rev. 7:1, St. John mentions this whirlwind: "And after these things I saw four angels, standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the winds should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree." The winds of the earth referred to here are, of course, symbolic. The thought is [R5470 : page 166] that the winds from the four quarters – North, East, South and West – are being held back, and that when the restraint is withdrawn they will rush together, and the result will be a whirlwind. Certain Scriptures tell of a whirlwind that will be raised up from the coasts of the earth. See Jer. 23:19; 25:32,33; 30:23,24. We do not understand that this will be a physical whirlwind, but this symbolic expression is used to convey the thought of a severe strife of the powers of the air.

These "powers of the air," or "winds," are not powers of natural air, but are the powers referred to by St. Paul when he speaks of Satan as "the Prince of the power of the air." (Eph. 2:2.) Those spirits who have been under the control of Satan – the fallen angels – were to be restrained in chains of darkness until the Judgment of the Great Day. (2 Peter 2:4.) The letting loose of these winds, or air powers, would seem to show that God has let go His hand of restraint; that He will have to do with the permission of the terrible trouble that will come upon the world as a great cataclysm, which will result in the complete overthrow of the social order in anarchy.

We find that in spite of the many advantages of our day and the blessings showered upon the world, people are unthankful and ungrateful. Discontent is growing; and the result will be a great strife, and the complete fall of present institutions. Our text seems to imply that this outside influence will exercise a baneful effect upon men, when finally granted the liberty. These fallen spirits have been under restraint for these many centuries, but they have exercised their influence to whatever extent they have had permission. If they had had unlimited power they would have wrecked the world long ago; but they have been restrained in chains of darkness.

FALLEN ANGELS SOON TO BE LOOSED

Apparently God will soon cease to restrain the fallen angels, and they will then proceed to vent their fury upon humanity, so that the whole earth will be full of violence, the same as in the days of Noah. "As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of Man." – Luke 17:26.

It is true that the Savior gave the thought that at His Second Advent He would be present, unknown to the world, doing a work of gathering the Church – of making up His "jewels" – and that the world would not know of His presence until the Time of Trouble was upon them. He said that they would be eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. (Luke 17:27-30.) And this is true. The world is going into large contracts, etc., quite unaware of how near we are to the new arrangement, the incoming Kingdom. But we believe that the very near future will be a time of great crime and angry passions.

We read of the time that God beheld the thoughts of men, that man's heart was evil and only evil continually – a very desperate condition. Our thought is that the loosing of these "four winds" is still future. The power manifested by the demons when loosed, will, we believe, be with a view to the injury of mankind. We do not know but that many of our readers will have a share in that injury. We have every reason to suppose that, if these fallen angels shall get loose, they will vent their first anger upon the Lord's people. We are not to fear this, however, but to take whatever the Lord's providence permits to come, knowing that everything shall work for our good. "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof," the difficulty thereof. Let us leave the whole matter in the Lord's hands and trust in Him.

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JUSTIFIED OR CONDEMNED BY WORDS

"By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." – MATTHEW 12:37.
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HE word justified here used by our Lord is not the justification referred to generally in the New Testament. The "justification by faith" of which St. Paul writes is the clearing before God of those who have from the heart accepted Jesus as their Savior. "Being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ." Our justification is on the basis of our faith in God; we cannot come into His family without faith. The Apostle James declares that a living faith shows itself by works. And in God's arrangement He has made it necessary that we manifest our faith by such good works as we are able to perform. So faith and works together are bringing us into the character-likeness of Christ, thus to be sharers in His resurrection. If we have only faith and not works, we shall never reach the goal; if we have all works and no faith, we shall likewise fail.

But "by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words condemned": here our Lord is not addressing the Church at all. None were accepted to full justification [R5470 : page 167] and begetting of the Holy Spirit until Pentecost, which was some time after this statement was uttered. These words were spoken to the Pharisees, who were being reproved. The word justified is used here in a limited sense. For instance, we might speak of some transaction we have made, and say, I felt justified in taking that course. Jesus was here using this word in a similar manner. He was addressing those who professed to have a special relationship with God under the Law Covenant, and to be especially holy. The Jews were not justified to life, but merely to fellowship with God. And now they were in their trial time: would they prove worthy?

DAY OF THEIR VISITATION UNRECOGNIZED

We read that they did not realize that they were in a testing time – that they had come under a certain judgment of God as to whether or not they as a people might continue as His servants. "They knew not the time of their visitation." Our Lord said, when riding into Jerusalem, "Behold, your House is left unto you desolate!" They as the House of Servants were not worthy of a continuance of special favor at that time. For three and a half years there had been a certain kind of favor shown to them; the Gospel was preached in their midst. But the Gospel did not appeal to the nation; only to the "Israelites indeed" from among them, the faithful remnant. After the three and a half years which ended the "seventieth week," the Lord's favor to the Jews terminated, and from that time the door was thrown open to the Gentiles. And ever since then the Jews have had no preeminence over others.

The Pharisees professed entire consecration to God and great holiness. Jesus told them that they made broad their phylacteries, and enlarged the borders of their garments; that they took the chief seats in the synagogues, and for a pretense made long prayers; and that they paid tithes even of the smallest seeds, mint and anise and cummin, but omitted the weightier matters of the Law, and that theirs was merely an outward, perfunctory observance of that Law. (Matthew 23:5,6,14,23-25.) He declared that the Law commanded that they should love their neighbor as themselves. And He charged that they "devoured widows' houses"; they were ready to take advantage of the fact that these had no natural protectors. He told them that it would be foolish to think that by offering prayers on the street corners, etc., they were keeping the Law.

WORDS AN INDEX OF THE HEART

"By thy words thou shalt be condemned"; that is to say, they should lose God's special favor. By their words they proved themselves dishonest. They perceived the good works of Jesus, but through jealousy and spite they said all manner of evil against Him and crucified Him. Everything they said against Him showed their real heart-condition. They were demonstrating themselves as unworthy of God's favor. We are not to think, however, that the Jews came under God's everlasting disfavor. During this Gospel Age they have been under special chastisements: they have had much persecution; but their faith in God has brought them this persecution.

God's wrath came upon them "to the uttermost" during those forty years ending the Jewish Age. At the close of the year A.D. 70 the nation went to pieces. But the people have remained very much alive! And they are now soon to return fully to God's favor: "they are still beloved for the fathers' sakes." They have still a share in the arrangement made from the beginning, so their condemnation was not an everlasting condemnation. But they have lost the chief blessing.

Had they said, We are not yet able to see that this is the Messiah, but we are convinced that there is some wonderful power operating in Him – had they used such words, they would have demonstrated themselves as desirous of knowing the right way, which God would have shown them just as some others were shown – especially after Pentecost. In such a case by their words and their conduct they might have been justified. They did not speak those words, however, because they did not have the right condition of heart. "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." Their heart-attitude was shown in their words; favor to their nation terminated.

WHAT CONSTITUTES EVIL-SPEAKING

The Apostle Paul says, "Speak evil of no man"; he does not say, Speak evil of no creed. Some of the creeds should be very evilly spoken of! It would do the people good who are bound by them. He does not say that we [R5471 : page 167] are not to speak evil of an evil principle, but brings the matter down to personality. The Bible speaks of mankind as evil-thinking, evil-speaking, evil-doing; they are all under the ban in this sense. And to say that the whole world are sinners, is not speaking evil; for all recognize the fact. It is true, and every person ought to know that all men are sinners: sin prevails.

But when we come down to personalities, we are getting on dangerous ground. Jesus said that the Pharisees were hypocrites and whited sepulchres. He did not thus address an individual, but He spoke evil of the system, and of a class. So if we call attention to pickpockets, we are not necessarily casting reproach on any one in our neighborhood. But when we single out an individual and speak evil of him, we are on wrong ground, according to the Scriptures, except as a matter of necessity. If you know of a pickpocket, the proper course is to have him arrested. If you know that at one time a certain person was a pickpocket, it does not necessarily follow that he is one now; he might have reformed.

Therefore, when giving advice respecting pickpockets, it would not be right to single out this person or that one, unless we have positive knowledge. There are some behind prison bars who are today serving Truth and righteousness. And so it is with some who have come out from behind prison bars. To keep up a reproach and brand one because of certain misconduct earlier in life is not right. It is not right to hold a reproach against any one, and hinder him from an honest course in the future. We would better say, Now you are a free man, and I believe you are determined to do right. The effect of this would be good – to let him see that some one who knew about the past was willing to help him. But if he gave no assurance of doing right, then we would feel free to put others on guard against him. If he were willing to do right, we should co-operate with him in any way possible.

THE WORLD FULL OF EVIL-SPEAKING

There is no doubt that there is much evil-speaking: the world is full of it. A man in business will often say of another, I would trust that man about as far as you could throw an elephant by the tail – a graphic way of saying how much confidence he has in him. Another expression is, I would not trust him with even a cellar full of cold water! The world has not come into the School of Christ; it is the Church, therefore, that is especially instructed to speak evil of no man. Of course, it is natural for our fallen flesh to "dodge" nearly everything, and to try to think out some way by which we could justify ourselves in saying something unfavorable of another; and it seems that even the Lord's people have often "edged [R5471 : page 168] around" to see what excuse they could find for speaking evil and yet not feel condemned.

THE HUMAN HEART VERY DECEITFUL

It is to be assumed and presumed that every child of God has a heart that is desirous of doing the Lord's will, and that, therefore, none of them would desire to do that which is contrary to the Lord's will. But there is something in the fallen human heart which is very deceitful – determined to do the thing it used to do in the world. We have known people of the world who think nothing whatever of telling anything and everything about people. They will often say it in a whisper, knowing that the person to whom they tell it will whisper it to somebody else in five minutes. Even if they are not sure that it is true, it is too "good" to keep! They want others to share such a fine thing! They roll it as a sweet morsel under their tongue for awhile, and then hasten to spit it out to others, that they may help to carry it on! Evil burns to get out.

Well, it would not be wrong to tell the truth about a person, says one. Yes, it would be wrong! But, if I do not tell John Smith that Mary Jones owes me a bill, he may trust her. I must tell it to others because she may get in debt to them. I will not say very much: I will just shrug my shoulder and nod my head and say, You would better look out, or you will get bitten! And so if it were only a dime the person owes, she would be done a thousand dollars worth of injury.

Do we know something that we could tell, and is it "aching" to get out? If so, let us go before the Lord in prayer, and earnestly strive to follow out the injunction of the Apostle Paul: "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil-speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." – Ephesians 4:31,32.

IMPORTANT TO THE LORD'S PEOPLE

We believe that this matter of evil-speaking, dear brethren, is one of the difficulties of Christians – to know how and when and where to hold our peace in respect to the reputation of others. We know of a brother who had been in prison, and was released. He told us that he was glad to get out. We asked, Have you been telling any one about your having been in prison? Yes, he answered. Well, do not tell it again. Very few of the Lord's people would trust you if they knew. We will go to these that you have told, and tell them not to mention it, at all. It is a trait of our fallen nature to speak of these things.

EVIL-SPEAKING DEFINED

Of course there are people who are foolish; they would tell unfavorable things about themselves as well as about others. But most people would not be willing to tell anything disparaging about themselves, and we should stop and think, Shall I say anything detrimental about anybody? If the circumstances were changed, if I were in his place and he were in my place, would I like him to tell this about me?

But how would it be if we saw a man picking another man's pocket? Then we would feel fully justified in taking all the steps necessary for his arrest, because we would think that it would be the very best thing for that man as well as for others. We would think it right to shout, Pick-pocket! Pick-pocket! and have him arrested.

So far as we can determine, evil-speaking means the saying of anything that would be injurious to another, in a way or under circumstances that, if it applied to ourself, we would think unkind and injurious. In certain instances we have known of one who had been doing wrong, and we have sent him word that if he pursued such a course, we would believe it our duty to take some action in the matter; but that if he assured us he would abandon his course, we would do nothing. In this way, in several cases, the person has been kept from doing harm to others; and we were saved from openly making reference to the matter about which we knew, and which, perhaps, no other person in the world knew.

We need the wisdom from on High. And we believe that this attitude represents a necessary development of Christian character. If we really desire the good of our neighbor, and our own good, if we desire to honor him as we would wish him to honor us, then we must follow the Golden Rule, "Do unto others as you would that they should do unto you."

Much evil-speaking would be avoided by remembering the following bright little jingle clipped from a secular Journal. The sentiment is wholesome and Scriptural:

"Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can."

St. Paul gives the same thought briefly, in the words, "As we have opportunity, let us do good unto all men." – Galatians 6:10.

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WELL-MEANING, BUT HINDERERS
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E FEEL sure that all of the Lord's people have only the best of motives. How could they have other than good motives and yet be recognized by the Lord? Selfishness may creep in and assert itself to some extent without being detected by the New Creature; but being detected, it is to be restrained, demeaned, put to death. The entire course of the Lord's followers is one of experience in respect to personal imperfections of mind and body, and in respect to properly understanding the words and conduct of others.

We have two items which we desire to bring to the attention of such brethren as have to do with public speaking, introductions, funeral services, etc. Our suggestions and criticisms should be understood as intended to be helpful to the brethren themselves and to the Cause we all love to serve.

(1) We are informed that, when serving at funerals, some of the brethren, anxious to tell the Good Tidings respecting death and the wages of sin upon our race, and the redemption and the resurrection as the release from the penalty, are in danger of going to extremes. Sometimes they preach too long – attempting to tell more than is proper on such an occasion. At other times they are so intent upon presenting the Gospel Message and Bible explanation respecting death, that they forget to speak a word of comfort to the bereaved members of the family of the deceased, or to make some reference to the deceased, his character, his zeal for God, his devotion to the Bible – or some other truthful eulogy comforting to the bereaved family.

We are not wishing to intimate in any sense that ordinary funeral sermons, which are wholly eulogistic and give no attention to the Bible teaching respecting death, are right. We merely wish to suggest that a [R5475 : page 169] course of moderation is a wise one, bringing in an explanation of some of the Divine Plan, and making some reference to the deceased and his family, etc.

(2) Great care should be exercised in the selection of a brother to do the introducing of a public speaker. Far better is it that there be no introduction at all, than that a wrong one be made. The person who thinks the occasion a suitable one for showing off himself, his eloquence, his knowledge of the Bible, etc., should not be entrusted with any work of introduction. The person who thinks it an opportunity to tell all he knows of the Divine Plan and to inform the audience in advance what the speaker intends to tell them, is just as much out of place as is the person who, being invited to offer an opening prayer, stretches it out into a discourse, wastes valuable time and disgusts everybody with his lack of propriety. More harm can be done in two minutes by the person who introduces the speaker than the latter could undo in two hours.

Humility, modesty and brevity are grand qualities everywhere, but are especially appropriate in those who would introduce a speaker, whether at a Class Extension Meeting, Pilgrim Meeting or any other.

On such an occasion the one leading in prayer should make it merely an invocation. The audience has not come together to hear him pray, but to hear the address. His invocation should thank God for the privileges of the hour, for the liberty granted in our day, for the desire of heart to know the Truth and for an open Bible. Requests should be made of the Lord for a Divine blessing upon the meeting – upon the audience and upon the speaker, that the Lord's name may be glorified, that the Truth be advanced and all who love righteousness be blessed.

The introduction should be brief also. It should not say, "The speaker will tell you what we believe," as though making a distinction between the audience and the small group in the audience who profess to be teachers. With greater humility, it should be something like this: "It is my privilege and honor to introduce the speaker of the afternoon. He comes to us under the auspices of the International Bible Students Association, bringing, we believe, a Message from God's Word. We trust that it will be convincing, encouraging, helpful. Let us hear candidly, remembering the Master's words that we are to be sanctified through the Truth, and that His Word is the Truth. Let us therefore rejoice in proportion as the Word of the Lord is heard with the ears of our hearts. I now introduce to you __________, whose topic for the occasion is __________."

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"CALLED OF GOD, AS WAS AARON"
– JUNE 28. – HEBREWS 4:14-5:10. –

"The Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost."> – LUKE 19:10.
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ODAY'S LESSON deals with the Priesthood of Jesus and, incidentally, with the priesthood of His Church. He is the High Priest, or Chief Priest, of our profession, or order, writes the Apostle. The Jews found it difficult to understand how Jesus could in any sense of the word be associated with the priesthood. The Lord God had confined the priestly office to the family of Aaron, of the tribe of Levi. Jesus did not belong to that tribe, nor did His disciples. How could He fill or have to do with the priestly office?

The necessity for discussing the question arose from the fact that, as St. Peter had pointed out, the Church is a Royal Priesthood. So St. Paul shows that as the antitypical Priest, Jesus had offered up Himself as the antitypical Bullock for sin atonement; and that after so doing He had ascended up on High and thus entered the antitypical Holy of Holies, appearing there on our behalf – on behalf of His Church, the antitypical Levites, the antitypical under-priests.

St. Paul argues that because we can by faith recognize Jesus as our great High Priest in Heaven and know that He has sympathy for our imperfections, therefore we may come to Him with great courage, when overtaken by a fault, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in every time of need. But all these blessed assurances will be without force unless we can realize that Jesus is our High Priest in Heaven. Hence the Apostle's argument in this lesson is a demonstration of this fact.

AARONIC PRIESTS WERE TYPICAL

The Apostle reasons (5:1) that all the Jewish priests were taken from amongst their fellows and especially ordained, or set apart, for their work, to represent their people before God, offering for them both their gifts and their sacrifices for sins. In this arrangement the priests were able to sympathize with the people, because they were subject to the same weaknesses, and also had need of the forgiveness of their own sins. But even amongst these imperfect, blemished, sinful priests, who needed to make offerings for their own sins, none was allowed to take this office of himself. God must call him to the office. Thus it was with Aaron. God called him to be the head priest.

So, the Apostle points out, it must be with the antitypical priests on a higher plane. Christ, the High Priest spiritual, and His elect Church, the Royal Priesthood on the spirit plan, must also be called of God. They could not assume the office otherwise. "Christ did not glorify Himself to make Himself a High Priest." God honored Him in this way, however, saying to Him in the prophecy of the Psalms, "Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten Thee"; and again, "Thou art a Priest forever after the Order of Melchizedek." – Psalms 2:7; 110:4.

MELCHIZEDEK A ROYAL PRIEST

On this broad foundation of the Divine call the Apostle declares that Christ is not a priest after the order of Aaron – a Jewish priest, an earthly priest; but, although typified by Aaron in respect to an earthly sacrifice, He is really a glorified Priest, not after the Order of Aaron, who was never glorified, never a king, but after the Order of Melchizedek, who was a king and a priest at the same time – not a sacrificing priest, but a reigning priest.

So Christ in glory is not a man, not an earthly being, not the sacrificing One, as before. He is the glorified Kingly Priest, in power and great glory now as the King of saints, able and willing to succor them in all their trials and difficulties. And by and by, after He shall have accepted all of His under-priests – after He shall have changed them to His own glorious likeness in the First Resurrection, beyond the veil – then He will become the King and Priest in glory to the world, and for a thousand years will reign to bless and to uplift all the willing and obedient who, under the enlightenment then afforded, will draw nigh unto God.

"IN THE DAYS OF HIS FLESH"

Coming back to his argument, the Apostle shows us the connection between the glorified Kingly Priest beyond [R5472 : page 170] the veil and the suffering Jesus in the flesh. (5:7.) When the Apostle writes, "Who in the days of His flesh," we are to understand that the days of His flesh are past, ended. As the Apostle Peter elsewhere explains, "He was put to death in flesh, but quickened in spirit" – in His resurrection. But in the days of His flesh Jesus offered up strong cryings and tears. The Apostle seeks to give us, as the followers of Jesus, confidence in His ability to sympathize with us in all of our troubles. Therefore he reminds us that Jesus "in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save Him out of death, was heard in respect to that thing which He feared."

Our minds instinctively go back to the Master's experiences in Gethsemane – his prayers to God, His tears, His agony, and according to one account, His bloody sweat. The Apostle's thought, his suggestion, is that the Master who had Himself passed through such trying and bitter experiences, and who is now in Heavenly glory and power, will surely sympathize with and succor all of His true followers, even though He may allow them to have Gethsemane experiences and buffetings of the Adversary.

AS A SON – NOT AS A SINNER

The sufferings of Jesus, the Apostle points out, came not to Him because He was a sinner, but because He was a Son and because as a Son the Heavenly Father would prove, test, His loyalty unto death, even the death of the cross. Only by such a test of loyalty could He be deemed worthy of the high exaltation designed for Him and promised – glory, honor and immortality, Divine nature. The things which He suffered, the things which He endured, not only were to constitute a sacrifice for human sin and to make possible human restitution through the Messianic Kingdom, but those same trials, difficulties and experiences were necessary to the Master Himself. As the Apostle proceeds to say, He was made perfect through sufferings.

Jesus was not imperfect at any time in the sense of being sinful. He was perfect, undefiled, in His glorious condition as the Logos, before He left the glory which He had with the Father and was made flesh. When born of Mary, the assurance given us is that He was still "holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners." His sufferings, therefore, did not make Him perfect in the sense of making Him sinless. The perfecting was of another kind.

Our Lord had entered into a Covenant of Sacrifice – to prove Himself loyal to the Father's will, even unto death. He had the promise of perfection on the highest plane – the promise of the Divine nature – as a reward, if He would fulfil His Covenant of Sacrifice faithfully, loyally. The beginning of that new nature was granted to Him at the time of His baptism, when He was begotten of the Holy Spirit. But the new nature begotten there needed development, or perfecting; and it was for this purpose that the trials, difficulties and buffetings were permitted to come to Him. He was made perfect as a New Creature of the Divine order, or nature, by the things which He suffered.

SAVING HIM FROM DEATH

In the Master's case, after He had entered into a Covenant of Sacrifice, it was a matter of either life or death. His obedience to the Covenant of Sacrifice would bring Him the life immortal, Divine. But any failure would cost Him His all; for His all was staked in that Covenant of Sacrifice. Hence in the Garden of Gethsemane His strong crying and tears were not caused by timidity in respect to the impending crucifixion, or by anything that man might do unto Him. They were not caused by doubt respecting the Divine power or the Divine faithfulness. The Master's fear was of death – lest He should have failed to comply fully with all of the Divine requirements, and should thus lose all in death, and not be accounted worthy of a resurrection.

The Apostle says, "He was heard in respect to the thing which He feared." He was delivered from the fear of death. From that moment onward the Master was the calmest of the calm, in all the trials and stress of that night and the following day. We cannot doubt that the [R5473 : page 170] Father assured Him that all was well – that thus far He had proven Himself faithful.

LEADER AND HIGH PRIEST

On the basis of His own victory and exaltation Jesus is now "the Author of eternal salvation unto all that obey Him," says the Apostle. – 5:9.

The first salvation which this antitypical Priest after the Order of Melchizedek effects is the salvation of His Church, a Little Flock, a Royal Priesthood, a Holy Nation. These are to be saved to the same glorious station which He Himself has attained. Nor can they reach that station by any other road than that which He traveled. Hence His invitation to them is that they take up their cross and follow Him; that they walk in His footsteps through evil report, through good report, faithful unto death, as He was.

Not that it is possible for any of His followers to overcome in the same absolute sense that He did; for He was perfect in the flesh, and His followers are all imperfect through the fall. What is required of His followers is that they demonstrate the same heart loyalty that He manifested – the same willingness to do the Father's will and to sacrifice every other interest. For these the great High Priest appropriates the merit of His sacrifice, imputing it to His followers as a covering for all their unintentional blemishes and shortcomings. Thus they are assured that they may stand complete in Him in the Father's sight, and by and by in the glorious First Resurrection be made actually perfect by that glorious consummation – "changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye"; for "flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom."

But in order to attain this position, all of the followers of Jesus must obey Him, must follow His directions. Then He will succor them and guide them to the Heavenly Kingdom. "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life."

Additionally, He will be the Author of salvation to as many of mankind as will obey Him when He takes over the Kingdom, the dominion of the world, during the thousand years of His Messianic Reign. All who then refuse to obey Him will be destroyed in the Second Death; but all the willing and obedient will ultimately be perfected as human beings, earthly beings – restored to the perfection in which God created Father Adam, plus valuable experience in connection with sin and recovery from it.

"Tell the whole world these blessed tidings;
Speak of the time of rest that nears;
Tell the oppressed of every nation,
Jubilee lasts a thousand years.

"What if the clouds do for a moment
Hide the blue sky where morn appears?
Soon the glad sun of promise given
Rises to shine a thousand years.

"Haste ye along, ages of glory;
Haste the glad time when Christ appears.
O! that I may be one found worthy
To reign with him a thousand years!"

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LABORERS IN THE VINEYARD
– JULY 5. – MATTHEW 20:1-16. –

"He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." – MATTHEW 5:45.
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HIS parable is difficult of interpretation so as to make all of its facts find fulfilment. The Great Teacher gave it as a parable of the Kingdom; hence we know that it applies to the experiences of the Church during this Gospel Age. If we were to apply the different intervals mentioned to different epochs in this Age, we would have difficulty; for the Apostles and others, called early in the Age, did not live and labor throughout the entire period. Again, in so applying it, we would face the proposition that only those at the beginning of the Age had definite promise as respects a reward – that all others got merely the assurance that they would receive what would be right.

Another difficulty which we would encounter in interpreting the parable is how to apply the murmuring of those who were first called and last rewarded. Other Scriptures show us that the Apostles and others first called in the Gospel Age will experience their resurrection change before those who will be living at the Second Coming of Christ. St. Paul declares that the dead in Christ shall rise first, and that then those of us who are alive shall be changed. Furthermore, it would be unthinkable that the Apostles and others of the early Church would murmur at the reward to be given them.

All of these difficulties must be borne in mind when we attempt to find a solution of this parable that would fit the experiences of the Church as a whole during the Gospel Age.

If we attempt to apply the parable to the individual experiences of God's people, we have trouble also. Applying it thus, we might say that those who begin a Christian life early, and are found faithful in the Lord's service at the evening-time of life, would be the ones first called and promised a reward. Others coming in later, and serving the Lord's cause with only a portion of their time, strength and talent, would correspond to those who heard the later call – some even at the eleventh hour. If we interpret the parable as meaning that all these will get a similar reward regardless of the time spent in the Master's service, we would still have difficulty with the fact that those called earliest murmured, complained, were dissatisfied.

On the contrary, we are surely convinced that any who would murmur against the Lord's will and His just and loving arrangements for His people, will never obtain the Kingdom reward beyond the veil. We may feel assured that any who receive the Master's "Well done" and the resurrection change will be far from murmuring. They will rejoice and be glad, and feel more than rewarded for every little service and sacrifice. How then can we apply this parable consistently, in harmony with the teachings of other Scriptures respecting the reward of the Kingdom class? We can think of only one way, and that is to apply the parable entirely to present-life experiences of the Kingdom class, especially of those who will be living at the close of this Gospel Age.

PARTLY APPLICABLE TO THE JEWS

For sixteen hundred years and more the Jews waited for the First Coming of Messiah and the blessed opportunities which then would come. When Jesus began His ministry, He preached, "The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand," and gave the Jews the privilege of entering into it. That privilege was a "penny," or a reward for their faithful endeavor to keep the Law all their lives. But when the offer of the Kingdom was promulgated, some publicans and sinners were attracted – some who had previously neglected God's service and labors in the vineyard. These new laborers were received by the Lord Jesus and given an opportunity to become His disciples.

The privilege of discipleship was the penny, or reward. The Scribes and the Pharisees, who had been faithful to the Lord God all their lives, considered that they should have had some pre-eminence or preference over the publicans and sinners; and they murmured at any arrangement as unfair which would not give them the first opportunities of the Kingdom. If publicans and sinners were to obtain the blessed privilege of discipleship with Messiah, then surely, they thought, some still higher favor should come to them. They murmured that Jesus received publicans and sinners and ate with them.

One of the Master's parables was intended as a special reproof to the Pharisees along this line. The prodigal son represented a class of Jews not living up to their privileges, while the elder brother represented those who had continuously sought to be earnestly and actively engaged in the Father's business. When some of this prodigal class received the Message of God's Love from the lips of Jesus and His disciples, and returned to the Father's House and were treated graciously and given the same privilege of sonship as those who had not gone astray, but who had labored faithfully, the elder-brother class was offended. They murmured, and refused to participate in the feast. Thus there were some who were first in opportunity, but who were last so far as the blessing was concerned, and others who were last and least found opportunity for receiving the Divine blessing sooner and more effectively.

APPLICABLE ALSO TO CHRISTIANS

The general lesson of the parable would seem to be that we should appreciate the fact that whatever God has to offer is a gift. We should enter His service with loving loyalty to principle, to righteousness. If we have served many years, that privilege of service should be esteemed; and our interest in the Lord's cause should make us happy. From such a standpoint of appreciation of the privilege of service, we should be glad to see the Lord's work carried on, glad to see others enter the service and glad to see them get the same reward that we hope for ourselves. Only those who have such a broad spirit, such an appreciation of the privileges of the vineyard, [R5474 : page 171] such a sympathy for "as many as the Lord our God shall call" – only these will be fit for the Kingdom proper and in readiness to receive the special privileges of knowledge and opportunity when the Kingdom is ready to be announced.

As the typical kingdom was offered to the Jews in Jesus' day, and as those who were newest in Divine service received the same opportunities for a share in the Kingdom with those who had been long engaged, so apparently it is to be in the end, or Harvest time, of this Gospel Age. Those who have all their lives been seeking to be faithful to the Lord and to serve His cause should remember that they have had that much more of privilege and blessing. If some shall enter the Divine service later, they should be rejoiced with as fellow-servants.

Indeed, all who are servants, according to the Word of the Lord, should be praying the Master to send other laborers into the vineyard, instead of feeling jealous of any others who might come. And as greater knowledge of Present Truth is now coming as a reward to all who labor at all in the vineyard of the Lord, let us not be surprised [R5474 : page 172] if this shall be equally distributed to those who have come in recently and to those who have been a long time in the Master's service.

Let us rather rejoice in the Lord's ways. Let not our hearts be angry because of His graciousness to those who have come into the service even during the eleventh hour. Are they not brethren? Under the terms of the Golden Rule should we not wish them to have the same blessings that we enjoy? Any aloofness on the part of those who have been longer in the Lord's service – any feeling on the part of such that they must have more manifestation of the Lord's favor now – is evidently wrong. The Lord would have us more like unto Himself. And this is the suggestion of those who have selected the Golden Text for this lesson. Be ye like unto your Father; for He is kind to the unthankful. "He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." – Matthew 5:45.

LESSONS OF THE GOLDEN TEXT

More and more we are learning that in a very large and important sense our forefathers during the Dark Ages lost the proper conception of God's character and of His Plan for human salvation. Instead of picturing Him in the creeds as loving and gracious, they portrayed Him in very different colors. The creeds of the Dark Ages, which have been handed down to us, have given us colored and distorted views of the teachings of the Bible. Only in recent years are Bible students beginning to discern this fact. Nearly all people of intelligence have now cast away the creeds as irrational in the general trend of their teaching – in their representation that God from the beginning purposed a Hell of fire and everlasting torture for nearly all His human creatures, numbering thousands of millions, and a Paradise of bliss for only a saintly handful, an elect few.

But alas, while we have been realizing the errancy of our creeds, and have been discarding them, many of us have failed to notice how different their teachings are from the teachings of the Bible! But the Bible is being sought after again. The colored creed-spectacles which distorted our view are being broken to pieces. We are learning to read the Bible in its own clear light, and a blessing proportionately is coming to us.

Notice, for instance, this text: "That ye may be the children of your Father which is in Heaven." Brother Calvin, Bloody Mary, and thousands of others during the Dark Ages, committed horrible atrocities in the name of religion, in the name of Jesus, in the name of the Father, thinking that they were copying God, being like their Father in Heaven. But alas, they knew Him not aright! They had been following demon-drawn pictures which represented the almighty, gracious God, the Father of Mercies, as most devilish in His plans and arrangements for His human creatures. Now we are seeing what Jesus really meant when He said, "That ye may be the children of your Father which is in Heaven." Now we are including the remainder of His statement: "for He is kind to the unthankful"; and "He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."

Two of the very noblest of Jesus' disciples caught the wrong thought, even though they were for awhile personally present with the Master. How much more should we excuse those who, during a long period of energetic creed-making and of neglect of Bible study, lost all proper conception of the Divine character!

The two disciples referred to were James and John, the sons of Zebedee. When the Lord and His disciples had run short of food, James and John went to a city of Samaria to purchase bread. The Samaritans inquired why Jesus did not come to their city to heal the Samaritan sick, as well as the Jews. When they learned that His mission for the time was exclusively for the Jews, they were offended and said: Buy your bread from Jews, then; we will sell you nothing. Then it was that James and John, indignant that their Master, the Heir of all things, should be thus dishonored, asked permission of Jesus to call down fire upon the Samaritans, to consume their city. These disciples thought that they had the spirit of God. But Jesus said, "Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of; for the Son of Man came not to destroy men's lives, but to save them."

And if these two dear disciples needed to be corrected – needed to be shown that they had a wrong spirit in wishing to destroy the Samaritans – how much more would Jesus' reproof be appropriate to those who in the name of God would consign all opponents to an eternity of torture!

But such were some of us, in our ignorance, in our superstition, in our creed-intoxication – as a result of drinking the wine of false doctrine. (Revelation 17:1-5; 18:3.) Thank God for the deliverance! Praise His name for the saner views coming to His people! The dawning of the Morning of a New Dispensation is giving enlightenment. The Sun of Righteousness is rising; the hobgoblins of the past are fleeing before its illuminating rays. "Tell the whole world these blessed tidings."

THE GLORIOUS CHARACTER OF OUR GOD

Now when we read our Golden Text we see that it tells us that as our God is gracious, loving, merciful, kind, even to the unthankful, even to the unjust, even to sinners, so we should be kind, generous, loving, should do good unto all men as we have opportunity, and especially to the Household of Faith. This view of God appeals to our hearts; and the more we study this God of Love, the more we realize that He is the only loving and true God, and that all of our previous misconceptions were unreal, unloving, untrue – gods of our own manufacture – and the more do we see that civilized lands have made creed idols with pen, type, ink and paper, more horrible than any which the heathen ever made of iron, stone, brass or clay.

"As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." If the ideal of his heart, the God that he worships, is cruel, vengeful, hateful, devilish, it would be a miracle if that man or woman worshiping such a false deity would not become more or less contaminated and be led into more or less of wrong thinking and wrong doing. But when we get before the mind's eye the loving and true God as our ideal, we are more and more changed and transformed day by day as we discern our Maker's gracious character. Unconsciously we copy this high ideal, and more and more become transformed through the renewing of our minds, and more and more prove the good and acceptable and perfect will of God in our daily lives.

Let us hold fast that which is good – the sure Word of God. Let us discard the human theories of the Dark Ages, which greatly misrepresented to us the Divine Message. Thus we shall be giving heed to the Master's words: "Ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free."

"Who trusts in that Word has the sweet hope of life,
An end of confusion and error and strife.
Its grace it imparts to the truth-seeking soul,
Who humbly submits to its righteous control."

[R5475 : page 173]

THE FREEDOM OF THE WILL
T
HE Freedom of the Will is an expression evidently brought forward in contradiction of the thought that humanity are mere machines, acted upon by certain influences; for instance, that God would act upon a person so as to oblige him to do or to will or to think in a certain way, or that Satan could control the will of any one for evil, against his desire.

The Bible gives us to understand that when God created man, He made him in His own mental image; that is to say, with freedom of will to choose his own course of action – ability and liberty to reach a mental decision for himself. The Bible indicates that God similarly created all the intelligences of the spirit world – angels, cherubim, seraphim, etc., all of whom are said to be in God's image, possessing full liberty of will.

As God can choose that course or this one, so can we. We can be obedient to God or disobedient to Him, just as we will. But by reason of the fall and its curse, or penalty of death, and the blighting of human powers by the dying processes, the human will often finds itself in difficulty. The Apostle Paul says, "To will is present with me, but to perform" is not always possible. (Rom. 7:18.) We should will to do perfectly, although none is able to do perfectly. On the other hand, one might will to do wrong, but might be more or less hindered in executing his will. In either case, the will is free.

There is such a thing as a dominated will. By yielding their wills to occult influences, some persons are mastered by evil spirits. Such practically lose their wills, and we call them deranged, insane. It is said that more than half of all the inmates of insane asylums are there, not because of any functional derangement of the brain, but because of being possessed by evil spirits.

INDIVIDUALITY TO BE PRESERVED

God's people are given to understand that the only way in which they come into relationship to God is by full submission of the will to Him. Such a submission of the will would be unwise except to the Lord; or, in the case of minor children, to their parents, or teachers.

A child might properly reason, I have a will of my own, but I will ignore it and do the will of my parents. This is the proper attitude for a child in the hands of good and intelligent parents. The child should be taught to realize that its will is uneducated, and that it should, therefore, submit itself fully to its parents and look to them for guidance and direction. But every parent, while recognizing his responsibility as the supervisor of the child, should treat the child from the standpoint of its free will, and seek to show it the reason why a matter should be thus and so, controlling it as far as possible by the intelligent exercise of its own will.

And so with those who are in the family of God. It is a primary requisite that they first submit themselves to God – give up their own wills. They are first to recognize that they are unholy, born in sin; that they have imperfect, fallen tendencies, which if pursued, would be injurious. Therefore they should seek to make the will of the Lord their will. They should give themselves fully up to His guidance; His will concerning them is only for their good. The Lord teaches His followers that they are to reason for themselves; they should read between the lines in their study of the Bible, to gain the instruction which He there furnishes. They will thus be better enabled to know His will, and will come more and more to see how much better God's will is than their own, and thus will come more fully into heart-harmony with Him, and with the Lord Jesus.

The freedom of the will is contrasted with the bondage of the flesh. We may will to go to the uttermost parts of the earth; but we may be sick, or lame, or may lack the money or the means of conveyance. While the will may be there, there is not always the power to put it into operation. So also in respect to sin and righteousness, and the will to do one or the other. Each one is hampered more or less by his own imperfections and by the imperfections of others who are under the dominion of Satan, the prince of this world. But when the will is fully yielded to God, He gives us more and more of the spirit of a sound mind – we become more conformed, from day to day, to His likeness.

[R5475 : page 173]

DIVINE PARADOXES

"Because Thy loving kindness [favor] is better than life, my lips shall praise Thee." – Psalm 63:3.
T
HERE are two ways in which this text may be viewed, both of which are very proper. One way is to consider it merely from the viewpoint of the Psalmist and what he meant. The other is to consider it from the standpoint of prophecy. We understand the Prophet David to mean that to have God's favor is more desirable than life; that is to say, he would rather die than to live without Divine favor. The other way, of viewing it prophetically, is to suppose that here, as in many other places, the Psalmist represented The Christ, Jesus the Head and the Church His members.

Our consecration is unto death. God has invited us to present our bodies living sacrifices, holy and acceptable unto Him, and He has given us exceeding great and precious promises for the life to come. Therefore, because of our love for Him and for the principles of righteousness for which He stands, we are not merely willing to lay down our lives, but glad to lay them down. We are glad to lay down our human lives in doing the things that are pleasing to God.

Another of David's Psalms gives us the thought that in God's favor is everlasting life. (Psalm 30:5.) These paradoxical statements are in harmony with the other [R5476 : page 173] Divine paradox, that "he that loseth his life shall find it." He that surrenders his earthly life shall gain glory, honor, immortality, the Divine nature. We are glad that we can appreciate these glorious things represented in the Divine favor extended to the Church; and we gladly lay down our lives. We have chosen the better part.

"Therefore my lips shall praise Thee." The Scriptures declare "that with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, but with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Romans 10:10.) We may say that to live righteously is one of the best ways of proving our obedience to the Lord. Yet there are some who try hard to live pleasing to the Lord, who might be restrained from making a confession of Him. There are reasons for the blessing which we receive by confession. One reason is that it is a witness to the world – showing forth the praises of Him who called us out of darkness; and a second reason is that this witnessing has a good effect on ourselves. We enlist our natural forces to support this witness, and thus bring into unison all the powers of our nature.

The preaching of the Gospel brings opposition. If our Lord had gone about casting out demons, healing the sick, etc., and had not told anything about the Divine Plan, He would probably have been looked upon as a fine [R5476 : page 174] character – as a man going about doing good. But because He preached differently from the Scribes and Pharisees, and His preaching of the Truth infringed upon the teachings of those about Him, it roused their ire.

So it is today. All the persecution comes about from the making known of the Truth. In no time that we know has this not been true. In the Dark Ages and throughout the Gospel Age, the preaching of the Truth has brought upon those telling the Good Tidings persecutions from those whose minds have been benighted by the Prince of Darkness. In proportion as we open our lips and tell of the Gospel of the Lord, we are opposed by Satan and those who are blinded by him. With the lips one might praise God, and with the lips he might injure men. The lips of this class consecrated to God – those who are laying down their present life in His service – should be devoted to His praise, to showing forth the glorious character and lovingkindness of our God, to telling forth the wonders of the Divine Plan, which is marvelous in our eyes.

[R5477 : page 174]

ALMOST HOME
My frail barque rudely tosses on the sea,
In terror, Lord, I feebly cry to Thee,
"My faith increase, as darker grows the night,
Oh, make me strong in Thee and in Thy might!"
He hears my prayer, He answers, with a smile,
"We're almost home, have faith a little while!"

Nor sun, nor moon, nor any star is seen,
Not e'en the faintest rift of blue between;
The chilling waters deeper, darker flow,
The storm-clouds lower, the winds more wildly blow –
Yet hark! Above the strife His voice, so mild,
"Be brave, be strong, we're almost home, My child!"

*                         *                         *
Do eager hands lie folded on thy breast,
And hath the Lord of Harvest bid thee rest?
Dost see the happy laborers go by,
Nor canst refrain a tear or longing sigh?
Be calm, poor heart, and sink into His will –
"We're almost home, dear child, lean harder still!"

April 19, 1914.
GERTRUDE W. SEIBERT.

[R5476 : page 174]

1914 – GENERAL CONVENTIONS – 1914
COLUMBUS, OHIO, JUNE 26-JULY 7

All sessions of the Columbus Convention will be held in Memorial Hall, on E. Broad St. The Photo-Drama will be presented each evening: Part 1, June 26th; Part 2, June 27th; Part 3, the next evening, then Part 4, etc., thus allowing for three full presentations of the four parts.

Twenty-four public speakers will be on the program. Brother Russell expects to speak on July 3d, 4th and 5th. Opportunity for symbolic immersion will be given on June 30th and July 3d.

Lodging can be secured through the local Committee at from fifty cents per day (two in a room) upward. No one should calculate on a less expense than $1.25 per day. All expecting to attend should give prompt notice by addressing the I.B.S.A. Convention Committee, care of F. D. White, 147 Winner Ave., Columbus, Ohio. Give full name of each person and indicate which prefer to room together and at what rate.

DO NOT send this information to Brooklyn. Send NO money for rooms.

CLINTON, IOWA, JUNE 28-JULY 5

The Coliseum, located in the heart of the city on a quiet corner, facing Riverfront Park, will be used for all the sessions of the CLINTON CONVENTION. The Photo-Drama will be presented each evening: Part 1, June 28th; Part 2, June 29th; Part 3, June 30th; Part 4, the next evening; beginning again with Part 1 on July 2d, etc., to the end of the Convention.

A full program of speakers has been provided. Brother Russell expects to speak June 28th, 29th and 30th. Opportunity for symbolic immersion will be provided on Monday, June 29th.

The Committee on Arrangements requests that all expecting to attend notify them at once, stating price expected to pay, color, sex, number in party and how many days. Prices for lodging will range from 50 cents per day upward.

Address all communications to I.B.S.A. Convention Committee, care of Frank T. Horth, 418 Second Ave., Clinton, Iowa. DO NOT address Brooklyn. DO NOT send money for rooms.

Railroads advise that the two-cent per mile rate applies practically everywhere and that, therefore, no Convention rates will be granted this year.

Parties traveling in companies of ten or more and desiring to arrange for special coaches, or in some cases special trains to accommodate the friends who enjoy traveling together in numbers, should apply to their local ticket agents for special rates.

The Kansas City friends advise that arrangements have been made for a Special Convention Train to the Clinton Convention. The train will leave Kansas City via the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway June 27th, at 7 p.m. Fare for the round trip – Kansas City to Clinton and return – $14.12. For reservation in sleeper and other information address I.B.S.A. Convention Committee, c/o Minnie E. Donaldson, 2621 Agnes Ave., Kansas City, Missouri.

[R5476 : page 174]

SOME INTERESTING LETTERS
EPISCOPAL MINISTER AND THE TRUTH
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

Ever since, about two years ago, I was led back to the Word of God and found the Glorious Truth, through the reading of the volumes of SCRIPTURE STUDIES, I have been wanting to write and let you know how I love you, and how grateful I am to the Heavenly Father that I am one of those permitted to see the Plan as revealed to the Household of Faith through "that faithful servant." I have been deterred from writing only by the knowledge that you are very busy in the Master's service, so that I have felt it almost an imposition to write you even of these things.

For about six years I was an Episcopal minister, and was reasonably "successful." I was supposed to have the gift of speech, and having been favored with a good education, I was able to put this gift to work so as to bring some glory to myself as a pulpit orator. But that was all empty honor, as I felt even then. In the course of time, and as my study advanced and I began to think for myself (a crime for a minister of a denomination), some of the doctrines of the church (for instance, those of the Trinity and the Incarnation as held by that denomination), became to me unreasonable and impossible of belief. "He descended into Hell," of the Apostle's Creed, so-called, also became a very serious stumbling block.

After much fighting against my conscience and strenuous endeavor to keep down reason and avoid thoughts antagonistic to the creed and to those doctrines I was supposed to believe; and after trying vainly to take the advice of my Bishop that I should confine my preaching to those things I could talk about conscientiously, with the suggestion that I might still repeat the Creed with mental reservations, etc. (you know the arguments), I found that my natural contempt of hypocrisy and an innate honesty of thought compelled rebellion. And so, in the course of time, I gave notice of withdrawal from that ministry. [R5476 : page 175]

Eventually I withdrew altogether from that denomination, and, being blinded by the very thing I had taught to others, namely, that the Bible set forth those absurdities, I forsook the Bible also. Then, these foundations being removed, I became intensely worldly and came very near wrecking not only my own life and prospects, but also the life of my dear wife. Perhaps my experience in this regard was not very different from that of others in like case.

From early childhood I had been a dreamer and somewhat of a thinker. My earnest, compelling desire grew into a necessity to learn the Truth, the meaning of human life and death, the solution of the probability of, and the nature of a future life. And so I searched in every field – the philosophies, the oriental religions – in fact everywhere in what seemed to offer help. None came. It was all unreasonable, it was all "vanity." Finally came a settling down to the conclusion that while there must be ultimate Truth, it was impossible for man to know it. That is a despairing, hopeless condition to arrive at, and I knew it. For ten years, almost, I had not prayed. I knew not what to pray for nor to whom to offer prayers. Simply, I concluded, that one must only await the end, and then one would find the solution if there [R5477 : page 175] were one. And so I waited and bothered no more to find the Truth that I decided could not be found.

Then, about two years ago a friend sent me the first two volumes of STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES. Years before that I had received the first volume, entitled then MILLENNIAL DAWN. But I disliked the title – thought it was in line with the other fulminations of sectarian writers, and had not read. Indeed, the book was lost or destroyed. But somehow I was led to read the last two sent. At first I was not impressed – the first volume did not make any impression on me. But when I had read the second, and saw the wonderful correspondencies between the chronology and the Time features, and saw how all of those laws and prophecies harmonized, the conviction was forced upon me that only the Spirit of the One God could have done this, and that the Bible that I had rejected, was indeed the revelation of Jehovah. And I rejoiced! O, how I rejoiced! Since then I have read and reread them all. I have studied the Scriptures, and the Book has become my dearest possession; the Truth has become so real to me! Later, my wife, who at first opposed the Truth, was "acknowledged by God." Recently she symbolized her consecration. And so, dear Brother, I thank God first, and then I thank you. God bless you!

Now I want to ask your advice in regard to a matter that is puzzling my wife and me. It is in regard to my twelve-year-old boy. He has recently taken a decided interest in the study of the Scriptures, and he loves the Lord very dearly. He unhesitatingly accepts every word of the Bible. He understands the significance of the Ransom and knows about Restitution. We believe that he takes in a little of the thought of the High Calling of the Church. Should we urge him to make his consecration? He is a restless boy, loving play and entering into it with all his mind, as he does into everything in which he is interested. How much knowledge ought we to see in him before it were well for him to make the "covenant by sacrifice"? Is it your thought that his consecration would not be apt to place him in any more dangerous position than it would one of maturer years and judgment?

Brother, we pray for you every day, and several times a day, that the Lord's strength will be with you in all your great trials, to sustain and keep you; and that His Spirit will always dwell in you richly and His love uphold you.

Your brother in the Lord,

FREDERICK ROEHL.

IN REPLY
DEAR BROTHER IN CHRIST: –

Your welcome letter reached me while enjourney at Chicago homeward bound. I am now answering it.

I greatly rejoice with you and your wife and your little son that the Lord's grace has been extended toward you. It constitutes a further confirmation of the conviction which has been for some time growing upon me; viz., that the only thing in us commendable in the Lord's sight is honesty – sincerity. Because of this sincerity the Lord has led you and is willing to continue to lead all of us who are of this character to the end of the journey. His grace is sufficient for us.

I trust, dear brother, that the Lord is granting you opportunities for service. "He that reapeth receiveth wages and gathereth fruit." "Pray ye, therefore, the Lord of the Harvest that He will send forth laborers into His Harvest."

In respect to your little son: If I were you, I would not press consecration upon him, but I would hold it up before his mind as the only proper course for all intelligent people who have come to a knowledge of God and His gracious purposes – "your reasonable service" – everybody's reasonable service. Nothing else is reasonable when once we see the Truth. The whole world will be given the opportunity of consecration eventually. Without consecration none will ever gain everlasting life on any plane.

Your son cannot be injured by consecration, but may be greatly helped. If the Lord sees him incompetent in any sense or manner for the High Calling He will not accept him to that, but to the earthly favor in due time. But who shall say that a child of ten may not very fully and completely come to an appreciation of full consecration in thought and word and act? Looking back I can see that my whole consecration was first made at a little advance – beyond twelve years of age. With Christian love,

Your brother in the Lord.

A BAPTIST MINISTER'S APPRECIATION
GENTLEMEN: –

I beg to state that I purchased one volume of "Bible Keys" recently, entitled, THE DAY OF VENGEANCE (now entitled, BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON), of Mr. O. Magnuson, Middletown, Conn. I have read and reread carefully, and cannot express in words the deep interest I feel in the spread of these great and vital truths. I must have the other volumes at an early date.

Never before has such a flood of light been thrown upon the sacred pages for me. I am a Baptist minister, in my fortieth year. In earlier life, I served quite awhile in the Colporteur work of my church. I write to ask for information regarding this work by your Society.

An early reply, with advices in full, will oblige.

Yours for the Truth,

J. H. ROBERTS, D.D. – Va.

IN REPLY
DEAR BROTHER IN CHRIST: –

We have yours of the 25th inst., and are glad to learn from it that the Lord has found you with the Truth, and that you are rejoicing in as much of it as you have read. Since you have appreciated the first volume, we feel sure that you will appreciate the other five in an increased measure. Being a clergyman, we think you will specially enjoy Volume V., which discusses THE ATONEMENT in detail with all its incidental questions.

We shall be pleased to hear from you from time to time and to know of your progress in the Narrow Way; and will be glad to render any assistance or suggestions which may be in our power. Praying for your Divine guidance and wisdom, we remain,

Your Brethren in the Master's Service.

GREAT GRANDFATHER'S MOTTO
OUR DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

Greetings in His name! The attached was my Great Grandfather's motto. Truly the Lord has blessed the fourth generation of his descendants, whereof we are glad.

We pray the Lord's continued blessing on your labors of love, and ever remember you at the Throne of Grace.

With much love from all the members of our family (mother and three sons).

Your brother by His Grace,

JAMES GREENLEES.

THE HAPPY MAN.

THE HAPPY MAN was born in the city of Regeneration, in the Parish of Repentance unto Life: he was educated at the school of Obedience, and now lives in Perseverance: he works at the Trade of Diligence, notwithstanding he has a large estate in the country of Christian Contentment, and many a time does jobs of Self-Denial: he wears the plain garment of Humility, and has a better suit to put on when he goes to court, called the Robe of Christ's Righteousness: he often walks in the valley of Self-Abasement, and sometimes climbs to the mountains of Heavenly-Mindedness: he breakfasts every morning on Spiritual Prayer, and sups every evening on the same: he has Meat to eat which the world knows not of, and his Drink is the Milk of the Word of God. Thus happy he lives and happy he dies.

Happy is he who has Gospel Submission in his Will, Due Order in his Affections, Sound Peace in his Conscience, Sanctifying Grace in his Soul, Real Divinity in his Breast, the Redeemer's Yoke on his Neck, a Vain World under his Feet, and a Crown of Glory over his Head. Happy is the life of such a man; to obtain which, believe firmly, pray fervently, wait patiently, work abundantly, live holily, die daily, watch your hearts, guide your senses, redeem your time, love CHRIST, and long for GLORY!

page 177
June 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. XXXVJUNE 15No. 12
A. D. 1914 – A. M. 6042
CONTENTS
1914 – General Conventions – 1914 178
The Voice From Heaven 179
Babylon Cast into the Sea 179
Knowledge Brings Responsibility 179
Fervent in Spirit – Watching Thereunto 182
Lessons Learned by the Lord's Delay 182
Our "Solitary Way" 183
Fashioning Ourselves as Obedient Children 184
How to Fashion Our Minds 184
The Fashioning a Gradual Process 185
Greatness the Reward of Service 186
"Are Ye Able?" – "My Cup, My Baptism" 187
"We Are Able" – "Ye Shall Indeed" 187
What Blind Bartimaeus Saw 188
The Worst of Blindness 188
Only the Few Yet See 189
Mind and Will 190
Some Interesting Letters 190
A Maturing Obligation 190
What the Photo-Drama Did for Him 191

'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 178

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

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

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

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

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

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

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FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES BY FOREIGN MONEY ORDERS, ONLY.

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1914 – GENERAL CONVENTIONS – 1914

ASBURY PARK, N.J., JUNE 26 TO JULY 7
COLUMBUS, OHIO, JUNE 26 TO JULY 7
CLINTON, IOWA, JUNE 28 TO JULY 5

The City Council of Asbury Park has extended a cordial invitation to the I.B.S.A. to hold a Convention in their city from June 26 to July 7, placing their Auditorium, seating 2,000, at the disposal of the Association. The invitation has been accepted.

Asbury Park is one of the most attractive and healthful resorts on the Atlantic Coast, and it is quiet and restful. Great trees shade the streets almost to the ocean's edge, and within a few minutes' walk from the sandy beach one is in the midst of typical rural scenery.

The PHOTO-DRAMA will be presented each evening: PART I., June 26th; PART II., June 27; PART III., the following evening; then PART IV., etc., thus giving opportunity for three full presentations of the four parts. A splendid program, with more than twenty-four speakers, has been arranged. Brother Russell expects to speak on June 28th and 29th. Opportunity for symbolic immersion will be given July 6th.

For particulars as to the Columbus, O., Convention (June 26th to July 7th) and Clinton, Ia. (June 28th to July 5th) see June 1st WATCH TOWER, page 174. Owing to the Asbury Park Convention being held on the same dates as Columbus and Clinton, Brother Russell's dates at Columbus will be June 30th, July 1st and 2d; Clinton, July 3d, 4th and 5th.

The I.B.S.A. Convention Committees at Columbus, Clinton and Asbury Park have a complete list of all the good and available lodging places. You will assist all concerned by promptly advising the Committee at the place where you expect to attend a Convention, and for which days.

It will be of further advantage, both to you and to all, if the Committees have the engagement of your rooms. This will avoid trouble and confusion at the eleventh hour and taking, at higher prices, rooms secured for others.

Address at once at the city you expect to attend Convention, Int'l Bible Students Assn., Convention Committee, care General Delivery.

When sending remittances to the Society, please remember to make them payable in all cases to the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY, No. 17 Hicks Street, Brooklyn, N.Y.

[R5478 : page 179]

THE VOICE FROM HEAVEN

"Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." – Revelation 18:4.
T
HE context of the above Scripture shows that our text refers to Babylon – not the literal city of Babylon, but to the symbolic city, described in the Book of Revelation. The term Babylon seems to signify a concentration of the various errors in apostate church systems, personified in Revelation as mother and daughters. "Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots," is the name given by the Lord to the original System, thus intimating that the whole brood is illegitimate in every sense of the word. She neglected the Heavenly Bridegroom, and mingled in her "cup" a stupefying potion that has intoxicated the world; even the Lord's saints were bewildered. – Revelation 17:1-6.

After the Apostles "fell asleep," the people of God gradually drifted into error of doctrine and practise, which culminated in the Dark Ages. A great System developed, and led into confusion and darkness. We need not suppose that in all these centuries every one connected with this System was hypocritical. As the people of Natural Israel were led captive into literal Babylon, so the people of Spiritual Israel, among whom were some of the Lord's true saints, were led captive into Mystic Babylon. Some of these would have liked to get free, yet did not know what to do.

When we come down to the Reformation, we see that instead of getting entirely free from Babylon and her errors, the various systems then formed partook to a considerable extent of the spirit of the Mother System from which they had separated. The same spirit of persecution that was manifested in the "Mother" has also been manifested more or less in the "daughters." The enslaving power extended from medieval times to the Reformation; so that, looking out upon the so-called Christian world today, we see that there could not be a better word used to picture existing conditions than the word confusion.

Yet there are true people of God still in this Babylonian System. But the time of separation is here: those yet remaining in Babylon must hasten! The fact that some of God's children have been in Babylon all through the Age shows us why God has had any respect at all for Babylon; His saints have been more or less enslaved there for centuries. This is the reason why God has dealt with Babylon in any sense or degree.

BABYLON CAST INTO THE SEA

Our text with its context is a prophecy that in the end of the present Age a time would come when God would wholly reject Babylon. In the picture given us in Revelation of this time, the Lord's rejection of the apostate systems is declared in the words, "Babylon is fallen, is fallen!" She has been spewed out of His mouth, and the Almighty now calls upon His true people to "come out of her." The faithful ones are delivering themselves out of Babylon during this Harvest time; the separating work is almost completed. Soon, as pictured in Scripture, the "sea" of anarchy will swallow up the false systems. Babylon is to be "cast as a great millstone into the sea." (Psalm 46:2; Jeremiah 51:62-64; Revelation 18:21.) We believe these prophecies are to be fulfilled in the very near future.

The nominal Church no longer stands in a peculiar position – above the world. Some of her ministers declare that they do not believe in Jesus as the Savior of the world – man is his own savior, they say. They believe in the social uplift of humanity, which, according to their view, is to come by putting the right men into the right places, by giving woman the franchise, and by other methods of social reform. What a sorry hope!

Some may ask: How may we recognize God's Voice calling His people to come out of the churches now? In what manner shall we hear His Voice? We answer that God bids His people to separate themselves from all sin and sinful conditions. Our forefathers did not hear this Voice, did not see this condition of sin. The Voice had not then spoken. Even in the time of the Reformation these entanglements of error were not clearly discerned. But now, in this Harvest time, we can see very clearly that the teachings of the nominal churches have been grossly in error – have grossly misrepresented the Divine Purpose and the Divine Character. We now perceive that Babylon is full of error and corruption of doctrine, and filled with the spirit of the world.

KNOWLEDGE BRINGS RESPONSIBILITY

Furthermore, the times and seasons of God's Plan are now made plain. We are shown that we are now living in the time foretold, when these systems of error are to be rejected by the Lord. Should we not leave these systems when we see all this? This is God's Voice to "come out of her." We hear this Voice now speaking; we see that this prophecy of Revelation is now being fulfilled. If [R5478 : page 180] any remonstrate: But, Lord, we have many precious friends in Babylon, and we are loth to leave them. We have tried to show them what Babylon is, but they will not heed. It will be a great loss to us to leave them all and take a stand against them. Must we come out? Our friends will think us crazy! The Lord replies: "Come out of her," or "receive of her plagues."

You are not sharers of her sins until the time you see this. You were born in Babylon. The Lord is not holding you responsible for what you did not understand. But the better you understand, the more responsibility you have. If, when you see what the Truth is and what the untruth is, you still remain in Babylon and support her with your influence and dollars, you will be very culpable. If you fail to come out of her when you hear the Lord's Voice, it will imply that you are not thoroughly loyal to Him. You may be His children, but if you fail to obey the Lord through fear of earthly loss, it will prove that these things are more precious to you than His favor, and He will treat you as He treats the hypocrites: you will have a share in their experiences.

If you are approving of the sins of the spewed-out systems by upholding them and giving them your influence, you will surely be partakers of Babylon's plagues. This is a fair warning. We understand that it is the duty of every Christian to break every tender tie, if necessary, and to be loyal to God, to stand free from the error and sins of Babylon. The time of her judgment has come.

The plagues coming upon Babylon are sore troubles, which will result in the complete overthrow of the present order of things – political, social, financial and religious. This order of things in its various phases, is one Cause, under different uniforms; these interests are all united in one great policy. The princes and kings of the earth and their supporters are Babylon's great army, and pitted against it is another vast army, composed of the masses of the people. The conflict between these two great armies will ere long precipitate the present order of things of the world into anarchy.

THE VOICE OF PRESENT TRUTH

It becomes an important question then: Have all God's people heard this Voice? We answer that we do not think all have yet heard; hence there must be some Christians still in Babylon, partakers of her sins, but confused because of ignorance, because of lack of knowledge. The question might be asked: Shall we go forth making this call a special message? We answer: This is not our thought. Our thought is that where this is made a special message the result is usually different from what is intended: it makes many angry. They say: By what authority do you call us Babylon, and by what authority do you tell us to "come out"?

Our thought is that it is the Lord who calls His people out of Babylon; the call is to be recognized especially as a Voice from Heaven. What is this Voice from Heaven? Apparently, the Voice is Present Truth – a presentation of the doctrines of the Scriptures, with their times and seasons – a showing that while there has been confusion and error all the way down through the Age, we are now in the Harvest time, when Truth is clearer than ever before. This Voice of Truth tells us whether or not we should support a system that is full of error, full of confusion.

In what way should we give God's Message to come out of Babylon? We should show them the Light, the Truth; we should place before them the opportunity for investigation, and encourage them to prove these things for themselves. As they come to see the Truth and the bondage in which they have been, they will be glad to stand free in Christ by breaking off these shackles. This will be the Voice, then, that will show all the Lord's people who are in the right attitude of heart that they should stand free, that they should come out of Sectarianism, that they should not misrepresent the Lord by claiming that they are of Babylon when they are not, but that they take their stand for God.

LOYALTY TO TRUTH THE TEST

This stand will mean the holding forth of the Divine Plan of the Ages, the Truth. If, after one has seen the real character of Babylon and has gotten his bearings in a general way, he then remains, it can be only by compromising the Truth. By being worldly wise he might remain and continue for a time to have popularity, to have honor of men. But if after seeing the Truth, after [R5479 : page 180] understanding the Truth, one were to continue in Babylon, he would of course be a greater sinner than one who had not been so enlightened.

It is not our thought that we should avoid doing our duty in the proclamation of the Truth, but that we should avoid arousing unnecessary antagonism; for people in error are in no condition to have the error lightly spoken of. They must be in the right condition before one can even whisper to them, "Come out of her." Even if they make inquiry of us, we should not speak too positively; but we should say: Now, my dear brother [or sister], if you have heard the Voice of God, if you realize that the various denominations are in error, then you will, apparently, see your duty. You once said you were of them; if now you see that you are not of them, you should tell them so. But when you shall see, and when you shall hear, is not for another to say. If, when you have heard and believe the Truth, you remain in Babylon, you will be a partaker of her sins, and more guilty than the average one among them. When you are able to hear this Voice yourself – this Voice which will show you the right and the wrong, the Truth and the error – no doubt you will have the fortitude to "come out."

BABYLON'S ATTITUDE TOWARD THE TRUTH

But those who hear the Voice of Present Truth, and who obey the call to come out of Babylon, are usually subjected to persecution. In our Lord's day, when the believers were from among the Jews, some were put out of the synagogues. We remember a particular instance during our Lord's ministry. A man who was born blind was asked how he had his sight restored; and when he confessed Jesus, the rulers put him out of the synagogue. (John 9:22,34.) That same spirit, that same condition, seemed to follow with the Apostles.

All through the Dark Ages those who were faithful to the Light were kept out of the churches. The church creeds and practises were conscience-barriers to keep Light-bearers out; those faithful to the Truth were excommunicated or put to death as heretics. This condition continued to some extent even after the time of the Reformation. Servetus, a brother Christian, whose horrible death by burning at the stake was caused by Calvin, is a case in point. Jesus said, "They shall put you out of the synagogues; yea, the time cometh that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service." The execution of Servetus was an instance of the literal fulfilment of our Lord's words.

Those who have ruled the synagogues have not always been bad people, but mistaken people. Thus it was with Saul of Tarsus, when he haled Christians to prison and [R5479 : page 181] approved the death of St. Stephen. And so with the churches of our day when any become enlightened and let their light shine. The same thing is true that has always been true; namely, "The darkness hateth the light." They say: If you stay with us you shall not present these matters. So those who are loyal to God are in this way forced out of the synagogues; indeed, the loyal ones are now called to "come out."

"YOUR BRETHREN THAT HATED YOU"

But our day has a peculiarity that other days have not had. The Divine Plan is now so beautiful that we can see that others are in darkness, and this impelling Voice of the Truth is the Voice of God, the Voice of conscience, the Voice of enlightenment, calling us out of Babylon, which is misrepresenting God, His character, His Plan and His Word. We do not know but that they may go to the extreme in our day – to kill socially, to kill ecclesiastically, perhaps to kill physically. Nearly all the persecutions that have come to God's people have come from professed Christians, fellow-believers. "Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for My Name's sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified; but He shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed."Isaiah 66:5.

We are glad that these shall one day, not far off, we believe, see their mistake. Instead of feeling like bringing vengeance upon our enemies, we should feel quite a sympathy – not with them, but for them. We should realize that it is with them very much as it was with the Jews in our Lord's day: those Jews and their rulers knew not what they did, or they would have been ashamed. And they will be ashamed when they come forth and realize what they did – just as Saul of Tarsus was ashamed when he realized what he had done. And so with these blinded ones of today: "Some shall come forth to shame and lasting contempt." This contempt will last until there has been a proper repentance for their share in the persecutions of the Lord and His faithful ones.

AMOUNT OF KNOWLEDGE NECESSARY

We surely appreciate very highly the value of knowledge, but we also remember the truthfulness of St. Paul's statement that "knowledge (alone) puffs up, but love builds up." Yet knowledge is necessary to growth in grace. Only as we perceive the beauty of the Divine character can we appreciate our God. Therefore, we rejoice that He is lifting the veil and revealing Himself more and more to our eyes of understanding.

We can see that mental capacity is not the same in all. Some can receive a large measure of the Truth, while others can assimilate only a little. No one needs more knowledge than he is capable of receiving. God is judging His people according to their character-likeness to His Son, our Lord, not according to what they know. While knowledge is very important, very necessary, still no one has a monopoly of understanding – no one has perfect knowledge in the present life; and if our eternal destiny depended upon knowledge, each of us would come short. Nevertheless, we believe that all who are the Lord's will be brought into touch with Present Truth, and will be judged by it. Those who obtain the knowledge and then show a disposition to shirk the responsibility connected with it or to deny the Truth or to live ungodly after seeing the Light, thus demonstrate their unworthiness.

The Apostle, speaking to the faithful ones in Christ, says, "Ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that Day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are children of the light." He seems to imply that the Lord's true people will come to a knowledge of the Truth. This does not necessarily mean all the Truth, but enough to sanctify. One with large intellectual power would require and could assimilate a large amount of knowledge; one with small mental capacity would need less.

There are certain basic principles that the Lord's people have at all times grasped; for instance, the fact that there is but one God. Even those who hold to the doctrine of the "Trinity" declare that there is one God. Thus they have a measure of the Truth, although they contradict themselves. It is the same in regard to the penalty for sin. Our forefathers desired to be right when they thought eternal torment the punishment for sin; and they called it a just penalty, in their endeavor to be right. But with these basic principles is mixed a large proportion of error. The whole world of mankind has been under delusions; and we who are now waking up are really surprised to see how little we actually knew – how ignorant we were in regard to some of the precious messages which our God has given us.

"WEEPING AND GNASHING OF TEETH"

But as we were children of God before we received full knowledge, so we believe that it is possible for others to be children of God without having full knowledge. We are living in the Harvest of the Gospel Age, when God is causing the knowledge of the Truth to encircle the earth. At the same time the Adversary is doing all that he can to hinder people from studying the Divine Message – raising a dust of calumny to blind the eyes of the unwary.

It is because we believe that there are children of God attempting to live on the husks and skimmed milk of human tradition – brethren in Christ starving for the pure food offered in the Word of God – that we are trying to reach and help them. Otherwise we would abandon all special efforts at propaganda; for we know that as soon as the Messianic Kingdom shall have been set up, conditions will be favorable to all to come to a knowledge of the Truth as it is contained in the Bible.

The days that are almost upon us will surely bring "weeping and gnashing of teeth" to many of the Lord's people; for whoever stands for error will be in opposition to God. They are about to go into a great Time of Trouble, and it will be their own fault. Some of us heard God's Voice early in the Harvest, and therefore we had the responsibility earlier; some heard later. Some are hearing now about the sins of Babylon – that these sins are about to be punished, and that they should come out and be on God's side, if they would have Divine favor. It is the desire to further sound out this present Message that has led us to the production of the PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION – that those who would not read might see. To whatever extent it helps each of God's children, still bound, to recognize his own responsibility, it represents the Voice of God, telling them their present duty as Christians.

"When ye hear I am come, then can ye arise,
The joy of your heart springing up in your eyes?
Can ye come out to meet Me, whate'er the cost be,
Though ye come on the waves of a storm-crested sea?

"When I call, can ye turn and in gladness 'come out'
From the home of your childhood, the friends of your heart?
With naught but My promise on which to rely,
Afar from their love – can ye lie down and die?"

"Yea, we'll take up the Cross and in faith follow Thee,
And bear Thy reproach, Thy disciples to be.
Blest Savior, for courage to Thee we will fly;
Of grace Thou hast promised abundant supply."

[R5480 : page 182]

FERVENT IN PRAYER – WATCHING THEREUNTO

"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance, and supplication for all saints." – Ephesians 6:18.
P
RAYER is a wonderful privilege. It is a very great favor to be permitted to approach the Supreme Ruler of the Universe with our petitions. We should come, therefore, in the spirit of deep appreciation, of earnestness and humility and reverence. The greater our earnestness, the more acceptable will be our prayers, and the more abundant blessings shall we receive.

There is a great deal of formal prayer. The Scriptures speak of this as drawing near unto God with the lips, while the heart is far from Him. (Isaiah 29:13; Matthew 15:7-9.) It would be better not to approach the Lord at all than to do so in an improper manner. The man who merely utters words with His lips is not praying. A Christian should not say prayers, but should pray. We should not think of saying even one word that we do not mean and have not thought out. Many people have done themselves injury by praying in a formalistic manner.

When we come to the Father, let us draw nigh in spirit – with the heart, the understanding, the mind – whether the prayer be long or short. Let us come with true and earnest devotion, with supplication, that He may see our intense desire in the matter. As our Lord said, the Father seeketh such to worship Him as worship Him in spirit and in truth. Without the spirit of prayer our petitions amount to nothing.

No one may offer prayer to the Father except those who have accepted His terms, and have come into relationship with Him as sons, through the great Advocate. Others are aliens and strangers. There is a difference between worship, or thanksgiving, and prayer. Any one may offer worship – adoration, homage. Any one may bow the knee and express thanks and appreciation. But the privilege of making requests of God is directly limited to those who have been accepted in Christ.

There is a difference, too, between prayer and supplication. The term prayer applies to any petition, great or small; whereas the term supplication means a special, agonizing desire for a thing – entreaty with intense yearning. But whether it is prayer in the ordinary sense, or intense prayer – supplication – we should always come in the spirit, with an appreciation of the fact that we are entering into the presence of the great Creator and that in thus doing we are enjoying a great privilege.

"WATCHING THEREUNTO"

St. Paul adds, "and watching thereunto." Watching seems to be an attitude of mental alertness. If we really believe that the Lord has indicated that we should pray for the things we need, and that He will give us these things, then we should be on the alert to recognize when we receive them. We should take heed as to the things for which we ask, and be sure that we ask for the things promised, the things for which we are entitled to ask.

We should also watch for the Lord's providential leadings. The person who, after having prayed, forgets what he prayed for, and who cannot tell whether or not he has received an answer to his petition, has certainly missed a great blessing which it is designed that he should have.

Prayer is not to be offered to be heard of man, but of God. It is intended to be a stimulation to our hearts and to quicken us to an expectancy of certain things; and it should be our earnest endeavor to keep our lives in harmony with our requests. When Jesus told His disciples to pray the Lord of the Harvest that He would send more laborers into His Harvest, He did not mean that they were to tell the Heavenly Father His business; but that they should be solicitous that others come into the work, that God would send forth laborers into His Harvest field; and that the disciples themselves should watch for opportunities of service, in harmony with their prayers.

The Lord frequently called attention to the fact that we should be persevering in prayer. Perseverance is an essential quality in the sight of God. It includes patience, carefulness and interest. In short, it is related to every fruit of the Spirit which the Lord's people are to cultivate. Patience is good, but it needs perseverance. Love is good, but it needs perseverance.

Perseverance does not make the will. The will is already there. It is the will that God recognizes in the beginning. But by various experiences, trials, difficulties, tests of endurance, the Lord would prove us and develop us. He would have us become very positive characters in all these qualities which have His approval. So our praying should all be in the spirit, from the heart. We should watch thereunto with perseverance day by day, until the Lord shall see that we have attained the character which He can honor with a share in the Kingdom.

LESSONS LEARNED BY THE LORD'S DELAY

Perhaps one reason why our Lord does not answer our petitions quickly is that He desires us to learn to watch for the answer and thereby get the lesson of appreciation and gratitude to Him, as we realize that He has given us our request. We should therefore pray with all perseverance, watching for the answer until it come – not watching merely for a few minutes, or for a day or a week. The Lord might see best to further defer the answer to our petition, either to test our faith or to increase our earnestness and get us into a better condition to receive the blessing. It requires time to become emptied of self and prepared to receive the mind of Christ; and with some, more time is required than with others.

We are sure that the Lord will pursue that course which is best for us, just as a teacher with his pupils, and a parent with his children. The parent exercises judgment as to what is best for the child. So our Heavenly Father wishes to give us the good things. Sometimes He sees best that we wait a long time before getting the answer to our petitions; at other times He may give us a speedy answer to our prayer. Nevertheless, as the Apostle Paul declares, we know that all things are working together for our good, because we love God and have been called according to His purpose. And we must ever bear in mind the conditions which our Lord imposes: "If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye may ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." – John 15:7.

We must search the Scriptures to know what is the mind of the Lord, what He has promised and what He has not promised. The fully consecrated will not want anything which is not in fullest harmony with the will of Him we so love and adore, and who is so worthy of our love and loyalty. We must remember, too, that while we are praying with persistence and faith, the Lord is preparing for us, not only the blessing and opportunity of service which we desire, but He is also preparing the circumstances and conditions which will bring this blessing or opportunity in the best form. This will require our waiting on the Lord, which should be in perfect trust and patience for His good time to grant the desire of our hearts. "The supplication of a righteous man availeth much in its working." – James 5:16. – R.V. [R5480 : page 183]

Family prayer is also very desirable in the homes of the Lord's saints, wherever possible; and prayer amongst the children of God when they assemble together is eminently proper. Our Lord sanctioned this by praying with and for His disciples; and it was also commended by the Apostles. We are to pray, not for ourselves only, but for all of the saints and for the interests of the Lord's Cause. The Scriptures commend both public and private prayer amongst the children of God. But secret prayer is absolutely essential to the life of a Christian.

PRAYERFUL ATTITUDE ALONE NOT SUFFICIENT

We have been surprised occasionally to hear some professed follower of Christ urging the impropriety of a form of prayer in words, and of assuming any particular posture in prayer, or of praying at any stated time, asserting that kneeling in prayer is unnecessary – that all of life should be a prayer. Such a proposition is astounding to us – the logic of it is incomprehensible. True, we are to pray always, to be always in the spirit of prayer, to be so devoted to the Lord that we shall ever manifest in our lives the beauty of holiness, that we shall be shining lights in the world. But we hold that no Christian can maintain this heart attitude, or glorify God in his life, without going to the Lord in a particular and formal manner, and preferably upon his knees, and if possible in solitude at certain times. "Enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to Thy Father which is in secret." – Matthew 6:6.

Our dear Master's constant attitude of prayer did not hinder His more particular devotions when He turned aside from the busy affairs of His life to converse with the Father in secret – sometimes briefly and sometimes spending the entire night in prayer in the mountain solitude. The very isolation of the Lord from all human help drew Him the nearer and the oftener to the Father in prayer and communion. So it is, or should be, with all the true followers of the Master. As we grow in His character-likeness we will, like Him, pray without ceasing, in everything giving thanks, singing and making melody in our hearts to the Lord, recognizing Him as the center of all our hopes and our joys.

OUR "SOLITARY WAY"

We all realize at times the inability of even our dearest ones to enter fully into and appreciate our sorrows and our needs. They are unable to sympathize with us fully in our struggles and our trials. This realization should send us, as it did our dear Lord, the more frequently to the Throne of Grace, where we are always sure of having the ear of One who understands us perfectly and can make all needful allowance for our frailty; who knows the limit of our ability to do and to be, in our imperfect flesh; and who can give us the perfect sympathy which none other can give. He never fails to hear and to heed the cry of His children, even though He may for a wise purpose in love defer for a time a visible answer to their pleas.

JACOB AN EXAMPLE

The prayer of Jacob at the time he was anticipating a meeting with Esau on his return from Padan-Aram may be considered one of the most excellent examples of earnest, persevering prayer to be found in the Lord's Word. It is full of confidence and trust in God. It recounts God's Promise to his grandfather Abraham and his father Isaac and the renewal of this promise to himself. He mentions to the Lord His promise also to bring him again to his home land. His humility is shown in his words: "I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies and of all the truth which Thou hast shown unto Thy servant; for with my staff [only] I passed over this Jordan [when fleeing from home], and now I have become two bands [great companies]." – Genesis 32:10.

He tells the Lord of his fear of Esau, yet shows that his fear is offset by his confidence in the Almighty. It was at this time, and doubtless in answer to this prayer, that the angel of the Lord appeared to Jacob, and so full of faith was he in the Power of God and in His Promise to protect him and make of him a great nation, that he laid physical hold upon the angel, declaring: "I will not let thee go, except thou bless me!" The angel here appeared as a man; but Jacob had recognized him as the representative of the Lord, sent to meet him.

We cannot suppose that the angel was not sufficiently powerful to release himself from the grasp of Jacob, but rather that God was pleased to bless him, and that these circumstances were designed for the very purpose of drawing out Jacob's longing desire for this blessing of the Lord, to demonstrate the depth and intensity of his desire. When this was proven, when he had manifested his deep appreciation of the blessing which God alone could give, and this great longing to be in harmony with Him, then the blessing came – Jacob's victory. God was pleased to reward such faith and energy and zeal.

LESSONS TO SPIRITUAL ISRAEL

Jacob was only a natural man, yet his prayer has in it a lesson that may be of much profit to New Creatures in Christ; not that we should wrestle with God as did Jacob, for we are sons of God, and sons have a much closer relationship than servants, and have no need to wrestle with God to gain His favor. The late Bishop Phillips Brooks expressed the true thought very beautifully and succinctly when he said, "Prayer is not conquering God's reluctance; it is laying hold upon God's willingness." We have His favor now; and He has promised us His choicest blessings. But Jacob's earnest zeal and faith and humility and his perseverance of mind are well worthy of our emulation and imitation. We should always pray and not faint, as our Lord reminded us. God wishes us to be persistent, and to have unwavering faith in His willingness to give us His best gifts.

If the blessing in answer to our prayer does not come in the moment of asking, we are to continue "instant in prayer," patiently waiting for the Lord's due time, in an attitude of entire, sweet submission to His will, assured that if the answer be delayed it is because our Father in His wisdom sees a reason for it and has our highest welfare at heart. He is never indifferent to His children nor unheeding of their needs and of their cry for help and for fellowship with Him. But let us see to it that God's glory is our chiefest desire.

Alas, how many spiritual Israelites seem to have a much less keen appreciation of propriety in prayer than had Jacob! He asked for God's blessing, in whatever manner He might be pleased to give it. Jacob did not specify even the earthly good things which God had promised him. He desired the Lord's glory in the fulfilling to him and his posterity of His great Covenant. Many of God's children ask and receive not, because they ask amiss, that the answer may minister to the desires of their flesh. The Lord has promised to care for the temporal necessities of His children and will surely give them what is best, whether this be little or much.

How few seem to remember that as New Creatures our desires and requests should be especially for the things that pertain to our spiritual interests; that it is this class of blessings that the Father desires us to have, [R5481 : page 184] and has promised to give us! He assures us that as earthly parents are pleased to give good gifts to their children, so our Father delights to give us His Holy Spirit – His very best gift – the gift which comprises all blessing and glory, which will insure to us everything which is desirable, in the very highest sense. If the Lord's people who have consecrated their all to Him, could be brought to the point where their one aim in life, the burden of all their prayers, would be that they might have a larger measure of the Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of holiness, the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of a sound mind, what an unspeakable blessing it would mean!

ISRAEL – MIGHTY WITH GOD

Jacob got the blessing and with it a change of name. Thenceforth he was called Israel, which signifies, Mighty with God, or "A Prince with God." This new name therefore was always a source of encouragement to him, an incentive to fresh zeal and to trust in the Lord. All of Jacob's posterity adopted this name. We have in antitype Christ Jesus, our Lord, the true Israel, the One who through faith and obedience to the Father has prevailed, who has overcome the world, the flesh and the Adversary, and has received the highest blessing of God as the result of His great struggle. He is now supremely exalted, and is declared to be the Prince of the kings of the earth. He has sat down with the Father in His Throne.

We also, the followers of Jesus, bear the name of Israel. We, like Him, if faithful as was He, shall be exalted by the Father. We shall share with our Lord and Head His Throne. We shall be made higher than angels, principalities and powers, as our Master has been. How glorious this thought! How wonderful! Should not this great hope inspire us to the utmost diligence and carefulness that we may make our calling and election sure?

If we prove faithful unto death, the name Victor, or "Mighty with God," will be our name. It will apply to every one of the Lord's faithful ones as it applied to our Head. But only those who manifest His Spirit, only those who so love God that they will hold on to His promise and who will not let Him go without the blessing, will receive the fulfilment of the promise and will reign with Christ in glory and share His Throne.

Jacob had a method of marking the special manifestations of Divine providence – as when he called the place in which he wrestled with the angel Peniel – "the face of God." This was a reminder to him that there he had been privileged to receive from the Lord a particular blessing, a marked answer to prayer. Similarly it is profitable to Spiritual Israel that we should make note in some special manner of the Lord's mercies and providences to us. Many feel poor as respects the favor and blessing of the Lord, simply because they have failed to let these blessings make a proper impression upon their hearts at the time they were received. We are all leaky vessels, and unless special notation of these favors of the Lord are made upon the tablets of memory, or in some other way, their lesson and the encouragement and strength which they bring are largely lost to us.

Doubtless we should all have more "Bethels" and more "Peniels" did we but follow the course of setting up some kind of monuments of our Father's faithfulness in His answers to our prayers, and there entering into some covenant or vow with the Lord in return for these His mercies. As each watches for fresh evidence daily of the love and special watch-care of our God over us, we shall find that we have far more cause for encouragement and thanksgiving than we would be aware of without such notation and watchfulness. Let each of us, then, daily, weekly and yearly raise to God our "Ebenezers," if we would increase our faith and joy and love.

[R5481 : page 184]

FASHIONING OURSELVES AS OBEDIENT CHILDREN

"As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance; but as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation." – 1 Peter 1:14,15.
T
HE APOSTLE is not addressing the world, but those who have become children of God – those who have passed out from their position of condemnation with the world, and have been justified by faith in the precious blood, who have been accepted of the great Advocate Jesus, and have been begotten of the Holy Spirit. But it is not sufficient that we become children of God; for [R5482 : page 184] these newly begotten children are only started in the Narrow Way, they are in an imperfect, undeveloped condition. They have this standing as children because they have put themselves into the hands of God and desire to do His will, loving righteousness and hating iniquity.

On the basis of this stand that we took – of enlisting under the banner of Jesus, to fight against sin and self and Satan – God purposes to prove how thoroughly in earnest we were when we espoused His cause. He wishes us to attain to that development of character which will fit us to be associates with Jesus in His great Kingdom, which is to bless the world.

If we are obedient children, everything will work well. We shall get the proper tests, the proper chiseling and polishing, everything that will make us "meet for the inheritance of the saints in light." But if we do not prove obedient, this will hinder us from ever getting into the Elect company, although we may have a place in that company of children who have had to be chastised and finally brought to proper obedience.

By this we are not implying that any of God's children are exempt from discipline; for we are told that every son receiveth chastisement. (Heb. 12:6-11.) Those chastisements that came to our Lord Jesus were not deserved, but were experiences by which He proved His thorough loyalty and worthiness of exaltation. And so the chastisements that come to His followers are to fit them for future service and to demonstrate their worthiness of being counted in as members of His Body.

The chastisements which are in the nature of punishments for sin should bring about a thoroughly loyal condition of heart in reasonable time, or the one chastised will lose his place in the Body. If he prove ultimately disobedient, he will be counted unworthy of any of God's favors, and will die the Second Death. The exhortation of our text, therefore, is to the highest attainment and the utmost loyalty to the Father.

HOW TO FASHION OUR MINDS

There is a fashioning of our minds in progress. It is not the fashioning of our will. The will is given up to begin with. But the will has to do with regulating the mind as well as the body – the will has to do with this fashioning. We will that our minds shall be educated along the lines of obedience, that we may be properly exercised by all the trials which God has purposed for us. [R5482 : page 185]

We as New Creatures should learn to think as God would have us think, to develop habits of thought which upbuild the New Creature. We should eat and drink according to His will, and our clothing should be regulated according to His will. We are to seek His guidance in our life in all things – because of the weaknesses of the flesh, the promptings of the Adversary, and our environment. The Lord has made provision, and has given us definite instructions in the Scriptures, by which we may regulate our lives in harmony with His Word; and we should seek more and more to know the will of God and to profit by His providences in our lives, and to apply the knowledge gained, so that whether we eat, or drink, or sleep, or labor, we shall do all to the glory of God.

Our organism of flesh we receive by heredity. These bodies of ours have various weaknesses and inconsistencies – some in one direction, and some in another. But they are all, more or less, perversions of the true ideal which God originally gave. Centuries of sin have left their mark upon us, upon our minds and bodies; and this mark is seen in the theories which have come into our minds. These errors in the past had control of us.

Before we saw the Lord's way, we thought it was right to follow after earthly pleasures and pursuits and to put self first. We naturally said, This is the proper course for us to take. We see that the prominent and the great are following this course, seeking first the affairs of this present life – praise of men, how finely they can be clothed and housed, how fine a carriage or automobile they can have. They seek – and are in large measure able to secure – the gratification of the taste for earthly things, whether it be for the satisfaction of the mind, as various kinds of literature, or for the body, as for certain kinds of foods or drinks, etc.

But when we become children of God, we ask, What is God's will in respect to what we shall eat or drink or wear, as to the use of tobacco, as to the cut of our clothes, etc.? It is not for us to decide now whether we shall go to the theater or play cards or dance. All these matters should have been decided before we consecrated ourselves. Now, in harmony with the Covenant we have entered into with Christ, we are to know strictly the Father's will. As we learn to see things from God's standpoint, we change our ideas as to what we shall eat, and what we shall drink, etc. And this change going on in our minds is the "fashioning."

THE FASHIONING A GRADUAL PROCESS

Although we discover some things very quickly, we do not learn all things at once. Some things are less conspicuous before our minds than are others, and represent the finer shadings of what would be proper for a New Creature. We gradually come to note these things more and more; and we ask, Which things shall we continue to choose? The knowledge of God's will is a matter of education. We come to see that this is right and that is wrong. (The world sets such a style for evening dress, such a style for morning dress.) When we become Christians we have new standards, and it takes some time to get everything harmoniously adjusted therewith.

In line with this thought, the Apostle says, "Be ye transformed, by the renewing of your minds" – not by the renewing of the new will. We already possess the new will. But we see that the body is regulated by the mind. Therefore the new will says, I must begin with the mind I must get my mind to see things correctly, according to God's will. I will use the Bible and all the providential indications that will give me a knowledge of God's mind, and I will begin to conform my mind thereto. Thus our minds become gradually fashioned – transformed into the mind of the Lord. As we come to see more and more what is the will of God, our minds decide to do His will. Our reason plays an important part.

God wishes to appeal to our reason, because we are thus better developed than in any other way. We are all in the School of Christ – under the tutelage of our Lord. In this School we are learning to do His will. We have the teachings of our Lord Jesus and the writings of the Apostles; and our Lord declared that whatsoever the Apostles should bind on earth would be considered bound in Heaven; and whatsoever they should loose on earth would be so considered in Heaven. Our education progresses, until, at the end of this life, those who have thoroughly learned the lessons of this School will be those who have been obedient children. These will have been transformed by the renewing of their minds, that they might prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God." – Romans 12:2.

OUR STANDARD – JEHOVAH'S RIGHTEOUSNESS

The new will is, in substance, a will to be like our Father in Heaven. The Apostle Peter exhorts, "As He who hath called you is holy, so be ye holy." Holiness is the standard of perfection. Our will must be holy when we first make our Covenant with God. Nothing less than a holy will is acceptable to Him. If we had had an unholy will, a will not submissive to God, we would not have been accepted. So if our will be holy, we shall, as far as we are able, do His will.

As He who has called us is holy, so we, as far as our will is concerned, will be holy. And we will so direct our mind, as to be holy in life so far as is possible. We will apply the principles of God's holiness to every affair of life. We will observe the Golden Rule, that we should do to others as we would that others should do to us. Whoever neglects to apply these principles of holiness to his own life is not growing in the new life, not being transformed. We should seek to have our minds fully in accord with God's mind, and our conduct as far as possible also in alignment.

If our mind is not running in the proper groove, we must see to it that we turn it into the proper groove. We want to render obedience to our highest conception of what is the Lord's will, as far as we are able. Our will will be determined by God as loyal in proportion as it has been on the alert to watch the mind and the body, the tongue and everything pertaining to our conduct.

The Apostle enjoins upon us that we shall be "holy in all manner of conversation." (1 Pet. 1:15.) The word conversation here has its broad meaning. It relates to our intercourse with others – all of our conduct with respect to others – our manner of life. We are to be holy in everything that pertains to our lives – in our thoughts, words and deeds. This is a very high standard; and no wonder that the Lord has set a high standard! It is for us to learn what this standard is, and to help others to know what it is.

This is why we spend a few years this side of the veil after we have given our hearts to Jesus. We say that we have taken up our cross to follow Jesus, and the Lord wishes to demonstrate whether this is true. He is watching our course, and the foreordained number will be found for the Bride class. Others will be given another position not so good; and those who manifest that they have not the true spirit of obedience will die the Second Death.

[R5483 : page 186]

GREATNESS THE REWARD OF SERVICE
– JULY 12. – MARK 10:32-45. –

"The Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a Ransom for many." – Verse 45.
I
T WAS at the close of Jesus' ministry. For more than three years the Master had been calling His disciples and instructing them. They had come to recognize Him as the Messiah, the Heir of all God's promises, the One through whom the Messianic Kingdom would be set up, which would bless all the world of mankind – the dead as well as the living.

The Master had particularly assured them that if faithful they should sit with Him in His Throne. However, He had not told them that His Kingdom would be a spiritual one, and that they would need the change of the First Resurrection before they could be sharers of it. He had not yet made clear to them the fact that a whole Age would intervene before they would be sharers in the Kingdom, and the Kingdom itself be established amongst men. But he had hinted all this. He had said, "I have many things to tell you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when the Spirit of Truth is come, it will bring My words to your remembrance and show you respecting future things."

Jesus did, however, begin to break to the disciples a part of the news necessary for them to know and appreciate, lest they should be entirely overwhelmed and discouraged. He told them that He was going up to Jerusalem, and that the result would be that He would be delivered to the Gentiles to be crucified. St. Peter, always courageous, this time brought upon himself a severe rebuke. He undertook to correct the Master, saying, "You are not telling us truth; these things shall not happen to You, and Your saying them to us will only discourage us. You are, as I have confessed, the great Messiah. You are to reign; You are not to be crucified at all. Give up that thought, dear Master; and let us continue to think about the glorious things of the Kingdom into which You will soon be ushered and in which we, as your faithful disciples, will soon have a share.

But Jesus rebuked St. Peter, saying, "Get thee behind Me, adversary; for thou savorest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men."

And now in this lesson Jesus, in the same journey, again brought up the matter of the shame, ill-treatment and death which was to come upon Him. This time He included the thought of His resurrection from the dead on the third day. However, the matter was incomprehensible to the disciples; and they merely said to themselves, This is another of those dark sayings of the Master which seem so mysterious. Remember how He said to us on one occasion, "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you." That was a dark saying, and we could not understand it. But we hung on, although we did not then, neither do we now, understand the meaning of these words. Here we have another similar statement: the Master is representing Himself as receiving the treatment due to the vilest of criminals – crucifixion.

They could not comprehend the meaning of the Master's words; these thoughts seemed so different from what they had been expecting! How could they receive them? Not until after Pentecost did they get the full grasp of the situation and of what Jesus had told them. There the Holy Spirit began to make plain the Divine arrangement – that the sufferings of all the Church must come first before the glories of the Kingdom would be revealed and the blessing to the world begin.

ON RIGHT HAND AND LEFT

Another of the Gospels tells us that the mother of James and John came with them and voiced their plea for them. They believed that the time for distributing the honors of the Kingdom was very near at hand. They wanted to speak for prominent places. We need not assume that these two dear disciples sought the positions closest to the Master merely for ambition's sake. Rather, let us suppose that they loved the Lord very dearly, and therefore thought that they could appreciate a nearness to Him more than could some of the others. Indeed, they evidently appreciated being near to the Master in His hours of suffering and deepest experiences; and they were permitted to come nearer than the majority of The Twelve. On several special occasions the Lord took with Him the same James and John, and Peter. They were with Him in the holy mount, and at the awakening of Jairus' daughter, and in Gethsemane's Garden. They were glorious characters, whom the Lord greatly loved.

Let us mark carefully the words of Jesus. He did not say, My dear disciples, there will be no Throne to sit upon, but on the contrary He declared that while there would be a Throne, and while there would be places of preference in that Throne, they would not be distributed by Himself, but by the Father.

The Father stands as the Representative of absolute Justice, while Jesus stands as the Representative of mercy, compassion, forgiveness. Places in the Millennial Kingdom are not to be given on the score of mercy or favoritism, but absolutely on the score of quality. The Lord Jesus Himself will have the highest place, because He is worthy. "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing." The Father will give these to Him, as He has promised. Indeed, He has given our Lord honor and great glory, even though this Kingdom glory still waits until the Church, the Body of Christ, shall have been completed by the change of the First Resurrection.

WHAT KINGDOM IS MEANT

For many centuries confusion has prevailed amongst Christian people respecting the Kingdom of Messiah, so frequently mentioned by Jesus and the Apostles, and the basis of this lesson. There was no confusion at first, nor for nearly two hundred years after Jesus' day. The early Church understood very well the promise that Messiah would come a second time, would receive the Church to glory with Himself and establish the Kingdom of Divine Power for the rule of the world and the subjugation of all things to the will of God; and that this Messianic Kingdom would require a thousand years to fulfil its mission. But by and by a theory sprang up to the effect that the Church was to be organized as Messiah's Kingdom and was to conquer the world before Jesus' Second Advent.

This unscriptural view changed the whole course of church history. Instead of longer preaching the Gospel merely with a view to calling out and perfecting the saintly few who would have a hearing ear and an appreciative heart, to make these ready for Kingdom honor and glory, the course changed. Thereafter the endeavor was to grasp civil power. Intrigues were begun, false claims were asserted, and the endeavor was made to obtain control of kings and nations along the lines of superstition. Additionally, persecutions were used; and as much as possible civil rulers were cajoled, threatened, induced, [R5483 : page 187] to become the tools of ecclesiasticism, for the purpose of establishing a world-wide dominion of the church.

For a time – through inquisitions, etc., etc. – these things flourished; but ever since 1799 all thought of ecclesiastical dominion of the earth has given way. In their confusion many have lost all faith in the Messianic Kingdom, and few are looking for it at Christ's Second Coming. Many in perplexity discuss a spiritual kingdom in the hearts of believers. Others believe that Christ's Kingdom is now represented in the great governments of the world, and yet are abashed and confused when asked whether certain portions of Messiah's Kingdom are building dreadnaughts to destroy other portions of the same Kingdom.

By the majority of Christian people, the teaching of the Bible seems to be regarded as not consistent nor logical; otherwise, they would see that St. James, St. John and the other Apostles could not sit upon twelve thrones without there being a ruling Kingdom. They would also see that the Kingdom must be future, in harmony with the Lord's prayer, "Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth, as in Heaven." What we need is to cease handling the Word of God deceitfully. We must learn to read our Bible reverently and to understand it by comparing Scripture with Scripture. Bible students who do so are receiving great blessings, and are perceiving that Messiah's Kingdom is not only future, but apparently nigh – even at the door.

"ARE YE ABLE?" – "MY CUP, MY BAPTISM?"

To the two dear disciples who requested places of special nearness to the Master in the Kingdom, Jesus made known the fact that any position whatever in the Kingdom would require the fulfilment of certain conditions. It was not enough that they had been called to discipleship. It was not enough that they had surrendered all to follow the Lord; that they had been with Him, had heard His teachings and had assented to them so far as they could understand them. There must be something more; else they might not get into the Kingdom at all.

These conditions the Master declared, saying, "Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?" What did He mean? Did He mean, Would they be able or willing to eat the Passover supper, and there partake of the unleavened bread and drink of the memorial cup which He would institute? They had already been baptizing many. Did Jesus mean that they should be baptized again in water? What was the purport of the words, My cup, My baptism?

We reply that Jesus' "cup" was the one to which He [R5484 : page 187] elsewhere referred, saying, "The cup which My Father hath poured for Me, shall I not drink it?" In the Divine Plan God had already marked out that whoever will be of the great Messiah, and entrusted with the Messianic Kingdom glory, honor and power for the blessing of the world, must demonstrate worthiness of that honor and glory. In the case of Jesus Himself the cup meant all those experiences of ignominy and shame, including crucifixion, which He experienced during the three and one-half years of His earthly ministry and which he fully accomplished at Calvary when he cried, "It is finished."

Of that cup the Master said to His disciples, "Drink ye all of it." In other words, whoever will be successful as a disciple of Christ in attaining to joint-heirship with the Master in His Kingdom glory, honor and power, must first of all demonstrate a loyalty and faithfulness in respect to suffering with the Master, must prove his love, loyalty and faithfulness unto death – walking in the footsteps of Jesus.

The Master made no reference to water baptism, but to His baptism into death, of which He spoke a few days later, saying, "I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!" The Master's baptism in the beginning of His ministry was merely a symbol, or picture, of the real baptism. His going down into the water, His burial in it and rising up from it symbolically represented His going down into death and His resurrection therefrom. His real baptism into death progressed for three and a half years, from Jordan to Calvary; and when He cried on the cross, "It is finished," He meant that His baptism into death was completed. He was raised up out of that death-baptism on the third day by the Father's Power, to the Father's right hand, which position He will always occupy.

This was the Master's baptism. It meant the full renunciation of all earthly rights. And now He asked those dear disciples whether or not they were ready, able or willing to follow Him to this extent – to be sharers of His cup of ignominy and His baptism into death. Only by faithfully following Him thus might they hope for any share in His Kingdom. The same principle must apply to all the followers of Jesus. It is for each of us to decide whether we will drink of His cup or not; whether we will share in His baptism into death or not. Only the lowly, self-sacrificing, will be able or willing to endure such an experience.

Let us now apply these thoughts to the incorrect views of the Kingdom so frequently held. How could these sentiments be applied to any Kingdom of God in the heart, or how could they apply to the various kingdoms of earth? Is it necessary for the kings of the earth to partake of Christ's ignominy and sacrifice unto death, by consecration, before they can reign? Or, applying the matter to the church systems at the present time, as some do, is it through great difficulty that any attain membership in the earthly institutions called the Church of Christ? Does it require self-denial to get into these? Are all who are in them buried with Christ in baptism – into His death? Do they all partake of the cup of His sufferings? Surely not! Only a right view of the Kingdom dovetails into these various statements. We must see that the Kingdom is the Pearl of great price, to obtain which all else must be sacrificed. – Matthew 13:46.

"WE ARE ABLE" – "YE SHALL INDEED"

In the other account of this incident the disciples answered that they were able, that is, willing, to undertake to share the Master's cup and His baptism. Of course they did not know clearly what all this meant; but they were able, or willing, ready, to do anything that the Master would command. So it must be with all who, like those faithful Apostles, shall come off conquerors and share with the Redeemer in the glory, honor and immortality promised to His Kingdom class, the Bride class.

In that account, Jesus is represented as replying, "Ye shall indeed drink of My cup, and be baptized with My baptism." That is to say, willingness on the part of all is as much as the Lord could reasonably require of His disciples. We have not the power that He possessed: we are sinners by nature. He was "holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners." We can merely, therefore, will to do right; and the Lord must needs take us under His care and into His School of affliction and experience, giving us the lessons necessary to prove our loyalty and faithfulness even unto death. How gracious, how Godlike, that because of our weakness as members [R5484 : page 188] of the fallen race we could not do all ourselves, God has provided for us in the Savior whom He has appointed! Our imperfections are accounted as imputed to the Redeemer, while His perfections are accounted as imputed to us. Thus through Him only may we hope to gain the Kingdom and glory and honor and immortality.

CHIEF SERVANT – MOST HONORED

The other Apostles were indignant that St. James and St. John should have made such a request. However, the incident afforded Jesus opportunity for laying down the rules which must govern in respect to greatness in the Messianic Kingdom. Whichever one will serve the others most will thereby be demonstrating to God a greater fitness for a higher place. This is different, as Jesus says, from the ordinary course of affairs, where a lordship is exercised according to some arbitrary rule.

The rule of the Kingdom will be that the one who serves most will have the highest honor. Thus Jesus Himself is pre-eminently servant of all. His position is the highest in the Kingdom by Divine appointment, and others will range next to Him in proportion as they have His spirit of love, service, obedience and loyalty.

[R5484 : page 188]

WHAT BLIND BARTIMAEUS SAW
– JULY 19. – MARK 10:46-52. –

"Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing." – Isaiah 35:5,6.
I
T WAS the Passover season, and many were journeying in the same direction with Jesus – toward Jerusalem. Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, sat by the wayside, hoping to receive charity from the passersby. An unusual commotion was created as Jesus passed, and Bartimaeus inquired the cause. The answer was that Jesus the Nazarene had just passed by.

Bartimaeus had heard that Jesus was the reputed Messiah who, according to the Scriptures, would eventually bless the whole world and do away with sin, sorrow and pain. He had heard that already Jesus was performing cures, healing the sick, casting out demons and opening the eyes of the blind. Oh, he thought, Why did not some one tell me while He was passing! He has healed others, might I not be one of the favored ones?

His faith and hope flamed up; and he shouted, "Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me!" Be quiet! Make less noise! Do not interrupt the Great Teacher; He is talking with others, said the passersby. But Bartimaeus felt that it was now or never with him; he lifted his voice above that of the multitude, and shouted more loudly than ever, "Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me!"

Jesus heard the voice, and ever ready to be gracious to those who call for mercy, He bade the blind man come to Him. It would show his faith: it would thus be a more important lesson to the multitude. Helped by others, Bartimaeus finally found himself in the presence of Jesus; and the Master said, "What wilt thou that I should do unto thee?" Promptly the answer came, "O Lord, that I might receive my sight!" Jesus said unto him, "Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole." And immediately he received his sight, and became one of the followers in the concourse, praising the Divine power and acknowledging Jesus as the Messiah.

"JESUS, THOU SON OF DAVID"

The blind man's words, "Jesus, thou Son of David," had special significance to him and to the Jews of his day, which is lost so far as the multitudes of today are concerned. The Jews knew that Messiah as the great High Priest was in a measure prefigured by Aaron; and as the great Lawgiver, was prefigured, or typified, by Moses; and as the great King was prefigured, or typified, by Solomon, David's wise, rich, influential son, his successor in the kingdom. The uniting of all these lines of prophecy is found pictorially represented in Melchizedek, who was a priest upon his throne; that is to say, he was a priest of God at the same time that he was a prince or ruler – he had a double office.

St. Paul calls our attention to this fact that Jesus is not ultimately to be a priest after the Order of Aaron – merely a sacrificing priest, without any reigning power; but that He is to be a Priest after the Order of Melchizedek. St. Paul cites the Divine declaration to this effect in the Psalms of David: "I have sworn and will not repent, Thou art a Priest forever, after the Order of Melchizedek." (Psalm 110:4.) St. Paul bases highly important arguments upon this prophetic statement. He shows the Divine foreintention in respect to Jesus and the [R5485 : page 188] Messianic Kingdom, and the character of the same.

The committee arranging the order of these International Bible Studies evidently had in mind the fact that the miracles of Jesus at His First Advent were the merest fore-shadows of the greater miracles and works which He will accomplish at His Second Advent. In line with this thought, they have given us as the Golden Text for today's lesson Isaiah's prophecy respecting Messiah's Kingdom. This agrees with the general trend of the Apostolic teaching to the effect that all the miracles which Jesus performed were foreshadows, or illustrations, of the greater work which is to be accomplished by the establishment of His Millennial Kingdom, in due time. We read, "These things did Jesus and manifested forth His glory"; that is, showed in advance His Kingdom glory and power.

We are not for a moment to think that Jesus and His disciples attempted to heal all the sick of Palestine. On the contrary, while many were healed, they were the exceptions amongst the multitudes that were sick – such as manifested special faith. In the present instance, Bartimaeus was only one of many blind beggars by the wayside, we may be sure; for Palestine, Syria and Egypt are the lands of blind beggars. The Lord had already passed Bartimaeus by, not heeding him, not offering to heal him. He had his eyesight restored because of his faith, because he cried out, because he would not listen to those who sought to still his voice and turn aside his faith.

THE WORST OF BLINDNESS

A similar case, we remember, was at the Pool of Bethesda. Multitudes were lying there, waiting for the movement of the waters, in order to step into the pool for healing. Jesus addressed Himself to only one of these, saying, "Take up thy bed and walk." It is when we come to understand that the miracles of Jesus pictured forth coming blessings during His Messianic Kingdom that we get the proper view of matters, and may rejoice accordingly that a good, glad Day is coming for all the blind, all the lame, all the deaf, as indicated by Isaiah's prophecy. – Isaiah 35:5,6.

"Eyes have they, but they see not; ears, but they hear [R5485 : page 189] not." The whole world is referred to in the Bible as being blind and deaf to the things that are most interesting, most profitable. Only an occasional one here and there, like Bartimaeus of old, grasps the possibility of relief from his blindness and deafness, and takes the proper steps to secure relief. St. Paul tells us of this blind condition, saying, "The god of this world [Satan] hath blinded the minds of them that believe not." – 2 Corinthians 4:4.

Six thousand years ago, Satan started this work of blinding human understanding to the goodness of God and to those things which would make for their highest welfare. He still continues it. He began by contradicting the Almighty when he told Mother Eve that the penalty for sin, "Dying, thou shalt die," was a deception on God's part. Satan declared, "Ye shall not surely die"; and he persuaded her that this threat was merely an attempt on God's part to keep her from great blessings of knowledge, and that the true welfare of herself and her husband would be promoted by disobedience.

The question naturally arises, What motive did Satan have in misrepresenting matters to our first parents? Why should he be interested in their disobedience and alienation from God? The answer is that thus only could he make them effectually his own slaves of sin. So long as they recognized God as their wise, loving Parent and had confidence in Him, they would remain loyal to Him, and correspondingly would not be the servants of sin.

Satan has continued this work of misrepresenting God's Divine character and Plan for now six thousand years. St. Paul says that he puts light for darkness, and darkness for light, and that "we are not ignorant of his devices." After telling us that the god of this world has blinded the minds of all unbelievers, St. Paul adds the explanation that this is done lest the light of the knowledge of the glory of God should shine into their hearts – lest they should see the real goodness of God. He explains that this light of God's goodness is reflected, to those who see it, from the face of Jesus Christ our Lord.

In this beautiful, poetic form the Apostle presents a wonderful truth which Bible students are more and more coming to appreciate. God is Love; and all the stories that we have heard to the contrary are intended to blind our minds and prejudice us against our best Friend. Hence it is that Satan has persistently propagated, not only amongst the heathen, but also amongst Christians, various doctrines which are the reverse of the Truth. St. Paul styles these "doctrines of demons." – 1 Timothy 4:1.

During the Dark Ages the Adversary worked these into our Christian creeds, had them painted upon the walls of Christian churches, and had them acted out in theatricals of a darker day. These all picture God as the worst imaginable devil. They all represent Him as knowing what He was doing when He created our race and purposed from the beginning that nearly every member of the race should suffer an eternity of torture. No wonder that during the Dark Ages the world was not drawn to God by these horrible misrepresentations! No wonder that even when the Bible came back to the reverence of the people, these doctrines of devils adhered to it, and have since hindered the world from loving it!

Now we are learning that we were all more or less blinded by the Adversary; and as we get free from his blinding influence, our hearts rejoice in the favor of Him who has brought us out of darkness into marvelous light.

ONLY THE FEW YET SEE

Writing to the Church of Ephesus, the Apostle intimates that while they had seen something, there was still much more for them to see. We quote: "Making mention of you in my prayers, that...the eyes of your understanding being enlightened, ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints." And again: "I bow my knees unto the Father...that ye may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge." We still need to offer this prayer on behalf of ourselves and of all the Church.

As for the world, it still lies in darkness, in the Wicked One, as the Apostle declares, under the bondage of the superstitions which Satan has prospered. Only the few now get their eyes open, as did Bartimaeus. They are people of special character, who see special opportunities and who so greatly long for the light of the knowledge of God that they are willing to ignore the general sentiment of those who bid them be quiet and continue in ignorance – blindness. It is those who hunger and thirst after righteousness that have the promise of being filled, and those who are longing for sight that may hope to have it, in the present time.

But, thank God, a glorious change is promised! Satan, the Prince of Darkness, is to give place to the glorious Prince of Light, the same One who healed Bartimaeus in a typical way more than eighteen centuries ago. He is to take the Kingdom. Divine Power is back of the Program by which Satan is to be bound for a thousand years and all his works of darkness to be undone. Instead of misrepresentation of God's true character and loving plans, the reverse will be given to mankind. The light of the knowledge of the glory of God will fill the whole earth as the waters cover the great deep – until no one shall need to say to his neighbor, Know thou the Lord; for all shall know Him, from the least to the greatest. – Isaiah 11:9; Jeremiah 31:34.

"ALL THE BLIND EYES SHALL BE OPENED"

Whoever in reading this prophecy thinks merely of the natural sight, and of the fact that all natural blindness will be done away in Messiah's Kingdom, sees only a small portion of the glorious work to be accomplished. The blindness of ignorance and superstition with which Satan has afflicted the race is far worse than the physical blindness. And the assurance is given us by the Lord that all the blind eyes shall be opened and all the deaf ears shall be unstopped. The Scriptural declaration, "Every eye shall see Him, and they also that pierced Him," has undoubtedly special reference to the eyes of understanding. Jesus declared to His disciples, "Yet a little while, and the world seeth Me no more; but ye shall see Me." Yea, the Apostle John says, "We shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is."

By the miraculous change of the First Resurrection the Church class shall be made spirit beings like unto the angels, and will then see the Master face to face, because spirit beings like Him. But the world will never see Him in this manner. They will see Him with the eyes of their understanding opened, just as believers now see the Father and see Jesus by the eyes of faith and the eyes of understanding; just as we see the things which "eye hath not seen, neither have entered into the heart of man" – the things which God has in reservation for them that love Him, the things which God has revealed unto us by His Spirit, the things which we see with our spiritual vision.

Similarly, during the Millennial period, all blinded eyes will be opened to the goodness, the greatness, the love, the power, of God. Thus the world will come to know God, [R5486 : page 190] being helped to that knowledge through the Messianic Kingdom; and all who avail themselves of the privileges then extended may attain to that glorious degree of knowledge mentioned by Jesus when He said: "This is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent."

HELPERS, NOT HINDERERS

In the type, the people first of all bade Bartimaeus keep quiet; but when Jesus called him, they joined in giving words of encouragement and in helping the blind man to the Savior. The latter action should represent the course of all who are the Lord's people. They should encourage the blind, the superstitious – all who are out of the way – to come to the Savior, to realize that He is indeed gracious and willing to save them from their blindness.

We might extend these observations to various affairs of life, and say that many are blind as respects the beauties of the Bible, and that all who have gotten their eyes of understanding opened to see the beauties of its real teachings should be on the alert to assist others to the same blessing. We might extend the lesson to the use of the natural sight. Some are so deeply engrossed in business or in pleasure-seeking that they never lift their eyes to the glorious beauties of nature. The shining stars are telling of a Divine Wisdom and of an omnipotent Creator, yet the blinded ones fail to get a blessing from the message, because they fail to see. "Eyes have they, but they see not."

All nature is speaking of a great, eternal God, and telling us that humanity is His chief earthly handiwork, and that our highest aim should be to seek to know Him and to serve Him. But how many are born blind and deaf to the lessons of the stars, of which the Prophet declares, "Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard"! There are some so blind mentally that they see not that the unhappiness which they feel is largely the result of their own selfishness. They see not that their homes might be more beautiful, might be places of comfort and happiness, instead of places of selfish grasping, upbraidings, discontent.

All who realize these conditions to be prevailing in themselves or others should be crying out, "O Lord, that I might receive my sight!" and should be rejoicing also to the extent that they are learning that the time is coming, yea, is near at hand, when Messiah's Kingdom will grant the blessing of the opening of the eyes of understanding to all of Adam's race.

[R5486 : page 190]

MIND AND WILL
I
N THE WATCH TOWER for April 15th there occurs a statement which seems to call for an explanation. On Page 117, lines 11 and 12, we read: "The will of the body was reckoned entirely dead before the individual could be counted a New Creature." While it is true that the words mind and will are often used interchangeably, nevertheless, it has been our custom to differentiate between these; but in the above sentence this was neglected.

The will of the flesh dies actually; and we receive a new will, a holy will, the will of God, instead of our own will. If that will should ever cease to be holy, and turn again to be a fleshly will, that would be what the Apostle terms, "drawing back unto perdition." St. Peter says that such a change of will would correspond to a sow returning to her wallowing in the mire, after she had been washed. Those who turn wilfully and deliberately back to the will of the flesh are described as "twice dead and plucked up by the roots." In other words: This would mean that, the fleshly will having revived, the spirit-begotten new will had died.

But with the mind it is different. The mind is a part of the body. The body has its fleshly appetites, preferences, propensities, and is continually clamoring for the earthly rights against the decision of the new will. The fleshly mind, therefore, is not dead; else it could not clamor and war against the spirit of the new will, the New Creature in Christ Jesus. – Galatians 5:17.

Such clear-cut distinctions are to be found only in the Bible, and probably will not be appreciated by any but close Bible students. What we would better, therefore, have said is, "The mind of the flesh is reckoned dead, before the individual can be counted a new Creature."

This is in line with the Apostle's statement, "Reckon ye yourselves dead indeed to sin, but alive unto God." Again we read, "Mortify [deaden] your members which are on the earth" – your fleshly mind. This mortifying, or deadening, of the fleshly mind means a continuous struggle on the part of the new will against the old creature reckoned dead, but not actually dead.

[R5486 : page 190]

SOME INTERESTING LETTERS
A MATURING OBLIGATION
DEAR BROTHER IN CHRIST: –

Accept love and greetings from one who has been greatly blessed by your faithful service. For several years I have recognized THE WATCH TOWER publications as the means of grace provided for the "Feet-members" of The Christ – the Anointed.

The information herein desired I feel sure has already been given, had I a mind sufficient to have grasped and retained it. But I hope you will bear with my feebleness and, if you think proper, serve me a morsel of advice.

I have a wife and three children for whom I am able to earn but a bare living. As a Colporteur I have been able to provide as well for my family as by other employment. For some months I have suffered from a peculiar physical weakness, causing a nervous strain which, in turn, affected my mind. My salvation has been in concentrating my attention upon the study of God's great Plan, so that, by His grace, what seemed about to wreck me was turned into a great blessing. I have found, in secret prayer and study, peace of mind which enabled me to bear my disordered condition, although I grew physically weaker.

Having taken up the Colporteur work I find joy and peace in keeping actively engaged in the service, but I can barely make expenses. I am owing a note at bank which will be due October 1st. I have a life-policy for $1,000, and I have an undimmed faith in the correctness of our chronology. In spite of the deadly attacks of Satan I have hope that I shall, through much tribulation, enter the Kingdom.

My question is, Shall I be accounted faithful if I go on in the Colporteur work and leave it to the Lord's providence to provide the $100 to pay the note on October 1st? I have given instructions that in case of my death the note be paid from the policy, as it now appears that the insurance companies may hold up longer than the Church Militant.

I wish to express my deep appreciation of the "meat in due season" provided by our Lord through you, as a "chosen vessel," and that to me, also, the article, "The Peace of God," in the August 1st TOWER was a master-piece and one of the weapons of resisting Satan's attacks upon me. I have learned that there is life in activity, mentally, physically and spiritually.

Pardon my obtruding upon your valuable time. Please do as you see fit in this matter, but I shall be glad to be remembered in your prayers – that I may be given strength to serve [R5486 : page 191] acceptably. It is a delight to remember you and all the dear ones at Brooklyn Bethel and everywhere.

Your brother in love, service and hope,

__________.

*                         *                         *

[We advise that you pay the interest in full, immediately, apologizing for delay, stating your excuse and promising to be punctual as possible in the future. Thus the matter may stand for some time, until you can conveniently pay the debt according to the evident original intent of the lender. But if, any time, payment be demanded, you should cash your insurance to pay, or borrow on it. – EDITOR.]

GRATEFUL FOR THE TRUTH
MY DEAR PASTOR: –

It is nearly twelve months since I wrote, thanking you for the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES. In that letter I said that if nothing happened apparently to fulfil our expectations, that 1914 marks the end of Gentile favor and the setting up of Christ's Kingdom, I should be as prepared as ever to accept with gratitude and joy your explanations of the Scriptures.

Oh, what blessings I have received from THE STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, THE WATCH TOWER, the tracts, TABERNACLE SHADOWS, etc.; I have feasted royally on "Present Truth." I grow hungrier after each meal! I feel I must thank you, and tell you also what a blessing the Vow has been to me.

I came into the Truth in a remarkable way. Having been a professing Christian for thirty years, and taking part in all kinds of religious work, yet I was most unhappy, with a hungering for something I never received. One day I said, I will read nothing but the Bible; I will know, if possible, what is God's will and do it with His help.

After this for weeks I was seeking books to throw light on the Bible. A man brought some Swedenborgian literature to the village, and loaned me one of their books. One night I took this up, as I thought, and found I had THE DIVINE [R5487 : page 191] PLAN OF THE AGES. The verse on the front page caught my attention at once: "To make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery," etc.

I felt, This is something I want. I started to read and never rested till I had read it through; looking up all the references, with growing joy and wonder over every chapter. Oh, how precious it was at once! I said to my neighbor, I would not give away the knowledge this book has given me for a thousand pounds. In six weeks I had all the STUDIES, and soon I had all of your literature that I could get.

THE DIVINE PLAN OF THE AGES had been in the house for four years and I had not seen it. That day it was lying where I had put the Swedenborg book; I do not know how it got there. It seems it had been sent to my father four years previous. But the most remarkable thing I have not yet told you: A few days previous to finding your book I had gone to my room and on my knees told my Heavenly Father that I was unsatisfied. I was not being "persecuted for righteousness sake"; most people appeared to love me. I told Him I wanted, like Paul, a share in Christ's suffering: I was ready to die, if only I might attain. I wanted nothing less than the best. In a few days I found THE DIVINE PLAN OF THE AGES, as I have told you. Then I was short of time to read, and I fell and sprained my ankle very severely, and so had plenty of time to read.

Oh, how thankful I am for my Heavenly Father's mercy and loving kindness and condescension in allowing me to have a place in His Little Flock! My heart is full of Christ, and "longs its glorious matter to declare"; but so few will hear – especially because I have come out of the Wesleyan church and all the offices I had there. My old friends fight shy of me; some have told me they would rather not hear if it would convince them they must come out.

I am only a woman keeping house for my dear old father, and now that I have no offices in any church, I feel I am feeding and not passing the food on to others. I do not wish to be like the servant who buried his talent. I speak to all as I have opportunity, and some listen with great interest; but I do not know that I have succeeded in bringing any into the Truth. Two persons have bought full sets of THE STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, but are not reading them.

I have never looked back and feel I never shall. I feel consumed day by day to know my God, and do His will. Though a Wesleyan I was baptised (immersed) eleven years ago into Christ's death, understandingly, though not so fully as I understand today. Do you think I need to be baptised again? Please excuse me for taking your valuable time.

Yours very gratefully and lovingly in His service,

GRACE E. ROWSE. – Eng.

page 191

WHAT THE PHOTO-DRAMA DID FOR HIM
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

I have intended before now to write, especially to tell you what the PHOTO-DRAMA has done for me. It is a wonderful presentation of the Gospel, of man's degeneracy under the blinding influence of "the god of this world" (Satan) and of the saving and reclaiming power of Christ.

I thought I knew my Redeemer, but oh, how much better I now know Him who bore for me the shame of death on the cross! My heart went out to Him, and I indeed suffered with Him.

The pictures, while portraying man's degeneracy, show, throughout, our Father's Wisdom, Justice, Love and Power; they have established me more firmly in the promises of His Word.

The people are asking questions of the nominal ministry, and being unable to answer the questions, they lower themselves to personal abuse and vilification of you. You, doubtless, know of the attack of the Y.M.C.A. upon you, brought on by questions asked after viewing the pictures.

I was especially impressed with the fact, in mingling with the audience after each exhibition, that the thing that appeared to attract them most was the Thousand Years of Blessing.

The pictures have made me more zealous to spread the Truth, and have increased my love for the Heavenly Father and our dear Elder Brother Jesus. I daily pray God's richest blessing upon the PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION and all engaged in its presentation, and upon you, dear Brother, its author.

I am your servant in Him,

F. W. KNOCHE. – Iowa.

[R5487 : page 191]

A WORD TO THE WISE
DEAR PASTOR RUSSELL: –

While the closing hymn was being sung at THE TEMPLE recently, I noticed that rather more than a few of the ladies were apparently more interested in getting together their loose articles of attire and assuming their wraps than giving their respectful, if not devout, attention to the solemn and beautiful words that closed the day of praise and worship. The same people were in no particular haste to leave the building, as evinced by the greetings and adieux to their friends.

Perhaps you might consider it would help in realizing our duties as the Lord's people, to wait quietly and orderly until the final words of the service are uttered, followed by a few moments of quiet thought and prayer before plunging into the cares of our daily life. A few words from you in THE WATCH TOWER, and occasionally an admonition, might remind the whole Church of the great privileges which we enjoy, and for which we should be grateful.

Yours in the service of the Lord,

ROBERT E. BRAY.

RE PROMPTNESS AT MEETINGS
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

It seems to me that a word of encouragement to some of the dear friends in respect to greater promptness at meeting hours would be helpful. Apparently some do not realize the necessity for reverence in this respect. If we do not preserve order in regard to our meetings we are not observing Heaven's first Law. We must lack reverence for our Heavenly Father and for our Master, if we are less prompt in the Lord's affairs than we are in our own.

Some of the dear friends come to the meetings as much as from thirty to forty-five minutes late. The same dear friends are very prompt in observing other appointments. How can we expect the Lord to be pleased with us if we give Him the inferior things? How can we expect to receive the chief promises if we do not put forth as much effort for our everlasting welfare as we do for the temporal?

If we set a certain time for meeting and very seldom get there on time, we are not to be depended upon; our word is broken. How can we expect the Lord's approval in such a condition as that? He was so prompt and precise, doing the Father's will to the dot.

These same dear friends are very noble in other respects; and how they can be so indifferent about coming into the meetings on time I cannot understand, except it be that they have gotten into this bad habit and do not know how to get out of it. I am sure I would like to lend them a helping hand in this direction.

Yours in the one hope of all saints,

FRED OTTI.

page 192

International Bible Students Association Classes
STUDIES AND LECTURES UNDER THE AUSPICES OF PEOPLES PULPIT ASSOCIATION

I. B. S. A. BEREAN BIBLE STUDIES
FOR MONTH OF JULY
Questions from Manual on Series Second of
"STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES"
STUDY IV., VOL. II.
Week of July  5........Q. 24 to 30  Week of July 19........Q. 38 to 45
Week of July 12........Q. 31 to 37  Week of July 26........Q. 46 to 51

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