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June 15th
Herald of Christ's Presence

Other foundation can
no man lay

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

A.D. 1916 – A.M. 6044
Training Our Affections Heavenward 163
Setting Affections Above a Gradual Work 164
"The King in His Beauty" (Poem) 165
The Philippian Jailer 166
A Well-Timed Earthquake 167
Finally, Brethren, Think! 168
The Power of Thought 169
Questions for Self-Examination 169
Scope of the Abrahamic Covenant 169
Harvest Gatherings and Siftings 170
Sketch of Development of Present Truth 170
First Faint Gleam of God's Plan 170
Chronology Seen to Be Valuable 171
An Important Discovery 171
The Beginning of the Harvest Work 171
Denying the Ransom 172
"The Watch Tower" Begun 172
"Tabernacle Shadows of Better Sacrifices" 173
Further Light on the Scriptures 174
Doth This Offend You? 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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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, 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.

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.


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.


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.




No booklet of ours is so much in demand as the one entitled, WHAT SAY THE SCRIPTURES ABOUT HELL? We have these in good supply at 5c each. By the dozen, in booklet, 50c; in TOWER form, 40c per doz., 25 for 75c, $2 per hundred, postpaid.


Answering many inquiries, we announce that Brother Russell endeavors to serve at the New York City Temple on the first Sunday of each month. In the forenoon of such days there is a baptism, with every provision for those finding it convenient to be immersed at that time.

WHEN ordering books, etc., please consult November 1st WATCH TOWER for price.


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) 20; (2) 60; (3) 257; (4) 293; (5) 85; (6) 324; (7) 119; (8) 267; (9) 46; (10) 130; (11) 91; (12) 105; (13) 455; (14) 28; (15) 285; (16) 72; (17) VOW; (18) 218; (19) 272; (20) 160 (21) 213; (22) 98; (23) 172; (24) 260; (25) 325; (26) 165; (27) 183; (28) 130; (29) 19; (30) 57; (31) 281.

[R5905 : page 163]


"Set your affection on things Above, not on things on the earth." – Colossians 3:2.
N THE natural make-up of humanity there is a certain tendency which we all recognize as a sort of mental sacrilege, although we are unable to philosophize upon it or to explain it. So surely as we are men and women we have certain impulses of affection, certain powers that go out toward other creatures, other things; and it is very important that we see where they are tending; otherwise they will lead to idolatry. Just as the little tendrils of a vine will take hold of whatever is within reach, so our affections go out to various earthly objects; and they need to be pruned and trained, just as a vine needs to be. When you desire to have your vine grow a certain way, you turn it in the proper direction, tie it if need be, and see that its tendrils take hold of the proper supports.

Thus it is with each of us. These affections are proper, they are good; but they need guiding, training. If we did not have these affections, we could not love God. We must have them in order to a proper balance of character. Without them we could not hold together. The need for their proper guidance is manifest when we see some lady setting her affections on a little dog, giving it much time, care, choice food, etc. Some of the wealthy set their affections on poodle dogs, bull dogs, bird dogs or Angora cats. Some make pets of Canary birds, rabbits, white mice, etc. They spend upon those pets much valuable time, thought and care that might be much better spent in other ways – often treating them as if they [R5906 : page 163] were children, and lavishing as much affection upon them as if they were human. Some do the same with flowers.

Although we believe in having a very kindly feeling toward dumb animals, and although we greatly admire flowers, yet we hold that as the Lord's people we should not treat any of these as if they were human beings, nor set our affections upon them to our injury and the neglect of much more important things. There are plenty of children to care for; and we should not put flowers, dogs and toys in place of them. Although it is very proper for us to think how good is our Heavenly Father to give us all these things for pleasure, yet we should be on guard that we do not set our affections upon them and give them too large a place in our hearts. Where people do this, something valuable has been lost in their lives. If they are grown people, perhaps it would have been better if they had had children, rather than to set their love upon dogs and cats, and to waste precious time upon them.

As we look out upon the world of mankind, we see that some are much better balanced than others. We sympathize with the world; for most of them do not know the Lord. They are not Christians. Very many of them have poor, meager lives with little to fill their hearts and to brighten and enlarge their mental horizon. Many who spend little or no time upon pets, set their affections and thoughts upon a home. It is a great pleasure to them to be able to say, "I have a good home of my own." This longing for home is a natural craving of our beings. Phrenologists call this natural trait, inhabitiveness – love of habitation. But we are not to permit our affections to center even here. As children of God we should have far higher aspirations than the world has.

Many set their hearts upon having a large bank account. We have known people whose minds are so unbalanced that they would do almost anything to secure a good bank account. And when this is gained, they still are not satisfied. They continue to grasp after more, often resorting to very questionable or very dishonest methods to gain their ends. Such people are mentally and morally deranged. But we are to remember that the human family in their fallen condition are all more or less deranged. Only a thorough and radical course of treatment can remove the difficulty. The Lord alone can cure the malady that affects the entire human race.


There are still higher affections than those we have named which are also dangerous unless properly trained and guided. These are the affections of man for woman, woman for man, man for man, woman for woman, etc. All this is proper, of course, but we are to avoid inordinate affections, and are to have only that which is ordinary – that is, reasonable, proper. We are to beware of going to extremes. In His Word God has given us the proper outlines of conduct for His children; and we can know these only when we study His directions. Otherwise we are sure to take a wrong course. "Set not your affection on things on the earth."

It is God's arrangement that even husbands and wives should not set their affections too much upon each other. Thus the Apostle Paul enjoins, "The time is short; it remaineth that they that have wives be as though they had none." (1 Corinthians 7:29.) The intimation seems to be that we should not reckon our earthly relationships as being the highest and best of all things. It is a great thing to have each other's support in the trials and difficulties [R5906 : page 164] of life. We are not wishing to say anything to weaken this blessed bond. But it should be held in accordance with knowledge of and in harmony with God's Word. It should not be permitted to be in any wise a hindrance to our running the Heavenly race successfully. It should not become an earth-born cloud to veil from us the Father's face and approval.

By natural tendency we would all be inclined to go wrong; therefore we need to give careful heed to the admonition to set our affection on things Above. Let each of us look around carefully and sweep before our own doors. We are not here simply to have a good time. We are here for the purpose of learning certain principles, certain lessons that the Lord would have us learn, so that we may more than ever shape our lives in harmony therewith, that we may be able to see all the things of life from God's viewpoint. God's Word does not go into every detail of life; but it lays down important principles that touch our lives at every point; and it is for us to learn more and more how to apply these principles, to see what we need to restrain, what we need to cultivate, etc. The Lord wishes us to be intelligent children.


Those who come into harmony with the mind of the Lord have that wisdom from Above, which is first pure, then peaceable, easy of entreatment, full of mercy and good fruits. (James 3:17.) Each of us should scrutinize the affairs of his own life and observe whether to any extent he is setting his affections upon earthly objects or things, even upon things which are in themselves right and proper. One cannot love his wife too much, unless he permits her to come into the Lord's place in his heart. If he should love her so much that he would please her rather than the Lord, then he is doing wrong. God must be first. Everything must be subordinate. Everything should be brought into line with this: GOD FIRST – His will, His Plan, His ways.

As husbands and wives, kindred and friends, there is a certain degree of love that is in full harmony with the Heavenly love, the Father's will; and there are other affections or degrees of affection that are not in accordance therewith. Beware of these latter. Every one is imperfect, and each has tendencies whereby he might be led astray. Our great Adversary goeth about seeking whom he may devour. If he could, he would be glad to devour us. The better Christian one is, the better the Adversary would like to get hold of him.

To be a child of God does not mean that we shall be free from all earth-born tendencies. The Apostle points out that there is a continual fight of the New Creature against the old. (Galatians 5:17.) The Heavenly impulses, tendencies and aspirations need to be fought for; they must be carefully and continually cultivated. Not only must our affections be torn from their earthly props, to which they naturally cling, but they must be trained Heavenward, and be held there by the cords of love and devotion to God. Do not let them gravitate again earthward. There are many things on this earth that are attractive, that are beautiful; but we need not set our hearts upon them. We may see them and admire them; but we must go right along the narrow way. Our hearts are only just so large; and if we fill them with flowers or pets or earthly ambitions or affections, how can there be room for the infinitely more important and beautiful things?


We all remember the familiar story of the boy who was very fond of reading novels, and whose father wished to impress a valuable lesson upon his mind. One day he said to his son, "John, empty that basket of apples in the corner; then go and fill the basket with chips." The boy did so, and brought in the basket filled with chips. "Now," said the father, "put all the apples also into the basket." The surprised boy said, "Father, I cannot put the apples in while the chips are there." "No," said the father, and your mind is just like that basket. It can hold only so much; and if you fill it with chips, there will be no room for other and better things."

This was a wise father; he gave his son a good suggestion. You and I, as New Creatures in Christ Jesus, should fill our minds with the glorious Heavenly things – the Heavenly hopes, the Heavenly ambitions, the Heavenly affections. All these earthly things are but as chips in comparison. The mind and the heart filled with chips cannot contain the fruits of the Spirit. If we fill our baskets with the Heavenly loves and joys, the spiritual treasures, we shall have that which is transcendently above any earthly love and joy.

Beware of earthly, spurious love; for it will be a hindrance to the Heavenly love. The two should not be confused and mixed. The unselfish natural love, which is an element of perfect human nature, will not, if kept in subservience to the Heavenly, interfere with our spiritual interests. The one does not infract or destroy the other. There should be a natural love for husband, wife, children, parents, and the Lord would have this continue; but He would have it in full subjection to the Heavenly things. Here, also, God should be first.


In our text the Apostle is addressing Christians, the class who are day by day training their affections Heavenward. This matter of setting the affections on Heavenly things, however, is something that must be repeated, persevered in; for the affections are inclined to slip off. We have nothing but our old brains with which to do our thinking, and these brains have tendencies toward the flesh. Therefore the necessity arises for a repeated and continual setting of the affections on the things Above, until they become securely fastened there, fixed, established. Heaven is to be our eternal Home, not the earth, not the fleshly condition. All the precious promises center Above. Christ our beloved King is there. We are being prepared to enter soon into Heaven itself, the condition beyond the veil. The glories of the Holiest of all are now ours by faith; and they will soon be ours in reality if we hold fast and continue faithful to our covenant with God.

The Lord has now through His promises given us a foretaste of the good things to come. We have "the earnest of the Spirit." It is like the paying down of a hundred [R5907 : page 164] dollars to secure the purchase of a house. The balance remains due, and the buyer does not get the property until this balance is paid. But the earnest money holds the place for him until the full payment is made. By giving us His Holy Spirit God binds the contract into which we have entered with Him. In giving us this advance payment the Lord says, "Now prove to Me how faithfully you will keep your part of the Covenant into which we have entered. You keep your part, and I will keep Mine." "Faithful is He that calleth us, who also will do it." The only question is whether we shall do our part faithfully; for God will surely do His part.


When we ponder on earthly things we see that they are not worthy to be compared with the Heavenly things. [R5907 : page 165] But there is danger of spending consecrated time on things that are of less value even than flowers, etc. How much time do you think you should spend in reading the newspapers? How much does this enable you to set your affections on the things above? Each of us is responsible to the Lord for how he uses every moment of his time – God's time. We are not here condemning the reading of important world-news which bears upon the fulfilment of Scripture prophecy. It is not wrong for us to keep in touch with the progress of the great war, for instance, in so far as it is related to the incoming Kingdom. But we do not need to read much to find out what is necessary.

Doubtless if Jesus were here in the flesh now, He would be interested in noting how the world conditions are fulfilling the testimony of the Scriptures. He told us to watch for these fulfilments and to lift up our heads when we saw them coming to pass. But how can we lift up our heads if we do not see them coming to pass? And how can we see them if we do not read that which will give us this necessary information? But we are not to read for entertainment, nor are we to read what is unprofitable to us as New Creatures.

So then, dear brethren and sisters, we see the course we are to pursue. We are to be the Bride of Jehovah's great Son. Therefore we must be very diligent to get everything in readiness for the approaching marriage. When we consider the preparations which an earthly bride makes for her nuptials, we have a good illustration of how important it is for us to have our garments all prepared, our robes spotless, our embroidery-work all completed beforehand. You and I are privileged to have a most important part in the greatest, grandest wedding ever held. Therefore we should be ready. We who were by nature children of wrath even as others, are now privileged to be cleansed from all defilement by the precious blood of Christ. Daily also we are to wash with the water of the Word. We are to be purified from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, and be fitted to become the Bride of our Heavenly King.

This preparation means a continuous work as long as we sojourn in the mortal body. God's great Program has been so arranged as to demonstrate who will be fit to constitute the Bride of His Son. This decision in our case will depend on our diligence in making ourselves ready. If we attend to this most important work properly, we shall have no time to fritter away. We shall have little time for anything else than this one thing. But the proper making of ourselves ready means the helping of others as we have opportunity, especially the brethren who are walking this same Heavenly way with us. We are to lay down our lives for the brethren. This is an important part of our preparation. We are to build up ourselves and also the brethren in the most holy faith.

We hope, then, dear friends, that we are getting ready for the marriage of the Lamb, for our marriage to the Lamb. Something that we may do or fail to do today may have a bearing upon our final readiness. Our minds are the foundation for everything in this matter. The Lord knows that we have imperfect bodies. So the testing will not be as to whether our bodies are perfect, but whether our hearts are perfect. If our heart is perfect before God, we shall bring our words, our actions and our thoughts into harmony with the Law of Love to the extent of our ability. If we see to it that we keep our hearts thus loyal, we shall become more and more a copy of God's dear Son, our Heavenly Bridegroom; and we shall enter in due time with exceeding joy into our "house not made with hands, eternal in the Heavens." Then our Lord will present us before the Father – the "Bride adorned for her Husband"; He will present us with exceeding joy, BLAMELESS.

Oh, the blessedness of this thought! Can we be blameless? If we reach the Kingdom, dear brethren, we shall indeed be blameless! Meantime, our characters are to be blameless here. God would never blame us for things we could not help, but only for the things we could help; and He has made an arrangement whereby if we have made mistakes we can go to the Fountain of cleansing. If we strive to do our best, and if we go daily, or oftener if necessary, to the Mercy Seat for pardon and cleansing, we shall be spotless in the Father's sight; and in His own due time He will give us perfect bodies like our Lord's. Then we shall be perfect in the most absolute sense.

So long as we stay in the imperfect flesh we shall need the Throne of Heavenly Grace. We shall need mercy and assistance from the Lord every day. If we are faithful at heart, our mistakes will help us to be more watchful, more positive, than before. The Lord so arranges His providence as to teach us the necessary lessons. As we grow in the Divine likeness, we shall more and more come to love as God and Christ love – to love character, to love the principles of righteousness. We have never seen God or Christ with our physical eyes, yet we love them above all else. (1 Peter 1:8.) We have never seen the Apostle Paul, or the Apostle John, yet we love them; for we know their characters are lovable and worthy of admiration. We love the personality which shines from their writings, the beauty of their spirit. We love St. Paul because he counted all things but loss and dross that he might win Christ and be found in Him. We are to love whatever is good and noble and worthy, and in proportion as it is so.

What do we love in each other? Is it the shape of the head, the symmetry of the features, the cut or style of the clothing? Oh, no! We love one another in proportion as we see the Master's likeness in each other. If one is much like Jesus, we love such a one all the more. This is the Heavenly, the spiritual love. This is the kind of love which we are to cultivate day by day. All other affections are to be entirely secondary. Let our love and esteem be for the things that are highly esteemed in the sight of God; let these be more beautiful to us than all else, that we may become like unto our Father in Heaven.

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"Thine eyes shall see the King! The very same
Whose love shone forth upon the curseful tree,
Who bore thy guilt, who calleth thee by name;
Thine eyes shall see!

"Thine eyes shall see the King! The Mighty One,
The Many-crowned, the Light-enrobed; and He
Shall bid thee share the Kingdom He hath won;
Thine eyes shall see!

"And in His beauty! Stay thee, mortal song,
The 'altogether lovely' One must be
Unspeakable in glory – yet ere long
Thine eyes shall see!

"Yes! though the land be 'very far' away,
A step, a moment, ends the toil for thee;
Then changing grief for gladness, night for day,
Thine eyes shall see!"

[R5907 : page 166]

– JUNE 18. – ACTS 16:16-40. –


"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." – Verse 31.
HILE the missionaries were day by day passing from Lydia's home to the place of worship, outside of the city gate, they were met repeatedly by a young woman known in Philippi as a Pythoness, or Sibyl – a fortune-teller. She was a slave girl possessed by an evil spirit – one of the fallen angels – the spirit working through her, divining, or giving intelligence of lost articles, telling fortunes, foretelling future events, etc. She was evidently well known to all the people; and the exercise of her profession brought large income to a joint-stock company that owned her – apparently a syndicate of influential men.

For several days, as the missionaries went to and from [R5908 : page 166] the home of Lydia, attending to the Lord's work, this slave girl followed them, shouting, "These be the servants of the Most High God, which show unto us the way of salvation!" Of course, the girl did not know St. Paul and his companions; but the evil spirits did. To what extent they had forecast the results we may not know definitely, but quite possibly what occurred was what they had premeditated; namely, that the Apostle would cast out the evil spirit, and that this would bring upon the missionaries and their converts a violent attack from the owners of the girl and their friends, and all whom they could arouse to a frenzy of excitement, of wrath and of rioting.

It is also possible that the evil spirit may simply have told the truth without considering the possibility that the Apostle might command it to come out of the woman – perhaps supposing that he would be rather pleased with a testimony from any quarter. But we read that St. Paul was grieved as day after day this testimony was given – not that he was grieved that a testimony was made regarding the Truth, but that it should come from such a source; for he knew that the evil spirit would have no respect for the Truth. Any of the fallen angels who would have respect for God and for the principles of righteousness would not seek to obsess humanity when they knew that such obsession would be to their injury and contrary to the Divine will.

Some teachers will probably suggest that this woman had hysteria, or that she was somewhat demented. But either thought is out of accord with the facts in the case as Scripturally set forth, and is quite contrary to the words of the Apostle. St. Paul said not a word to the young woman, assuming that she was not accountable. He addressed the evil spirit as such, and in the name of Jesus commanded it to come out of the woman – just as our Lord and the Apostles under His instruction had frequently cast out these evil spirits. – Mark 5:1-17; Matthew 10:1; Luke 10:17, etc.


Just as the owners of the swine were angry with our Lord because of the loss of their swine when the legions of demons cast out of the man had entered into the animals, so it was with the owners of the slave girl. We can imagine what consternation was aroused amongst them when they found not only that their source of gain for the future was gone, but that the large sum of money invested in this girl was lost; for such spirit-possessed slaves had a high market value. They became desperately angry. Nothing will so greatly move men as love or selfishness; and under present conditions selfishness moves the vast majority with intense power. The syndicate had no hope of getting the evil spirit back into the slave; and so they must have revenge upon those who had brought financial loss to them.

There is much of this spirit abroad in the world today. As long as the Truth and the Lord's servants quietly go their way, the world will generally be too busy with its own affairs to molest them. But as soon as any perceive that truth and righteousness are inimical to their interests and prospects, their opposition becomes intense. But we do not consider it to be the chief business of the Lord's people to stir up the animosity of the world and thus to bring persecution upon themselves. As a rule it is best that we leave the world to watch its own affairs, while we preach the Gospel, not using it as a sledge-hammer to break men's hearts, but as the Message of joy, peace, love and blessing to those whose hearts, under Divine providence, have already been broken, and who have ears to hear the Message of the Grace of God.

Very generally the Apostles pursued as smooth a course as principle would permit; and in this instance St. Paul very evidently acted under special guidance of the Lord. The Apostle's general instruction to the Church is, "As much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men." (Romans 12:18.) The thought is, Do not go out of your way to stir up trouble; but if the Lord in His providence permits trouble to arise, be courageous and full of faith in Him who has permitted it, that He will overrule it for good and to our ultimate benefit.

Evidently the owners of the Pythoness had influence; for they succeeded quickly in arousing a mob determined to have revenge upon St. Paul and Silas. The two missionaries were carried before the rulers at the market place. There the syndicate ignored the truth of the matter and raised spurious charges, claiming that the prisoners were teaching a religion contrary to the laws of Rome, and thus likely to raise sedition. This was contrary to the truth; for the Lord's servants went, according to law, outside of the city gates for their worship.

However, under the circumstances, the false charge was sufficient to bring down upon the Lord's representatives the severest penalties which their judges could inflict. The magistrates, who held office especially for the preventing of rioting and for preserving order, were greatly excited and rent their garments as an indication of their distress and dissatisfaction that such a disturbance should be brought to their city. The thought was that the men against whom the populace would thus rise up must be guilty of something and thus deserving of punishment. They knew not that the evil spirits had to do with the arousing of the riot. As St. Paul elsewhere expressed it, "We contend not with flesh and blood [merely], but with wicked spirits in influential positions."


To satisfy the mob and to restore peace quickly, the magistrates ordered the missionaries to be beaten, presumably with rods, and then committed them to prison. Alas, what a reward for missionary effort! What a recompense for sacrificing their lives for the Lord and the Truth – that these noble men should be evil-spoken of, evil-thought of and evilly treated!

Let us remember that the God who changes not is our [R5908 : page 167] God, and that He has supervision of the interests of the Church today as then. Let us remember that He requires of us today, as of those missionaries of old, that we be willing to represent Him, willing to endure hardness and thus to make full proof of our ministry – of our service for Christ and His Message. Would it require faith on the part of the missionaries to accept such experiences as providential and not to think of these as evidences of the Lord's disfavor or neglect? So must we learn similar lessons of faith in the School of Christ, and be glad to follow in the footsteps of Jesus and the Apostles. We must learn to rejoice in tribulations as in prosperity.

The prison was constructed with outer cells, more or less accessible to the light and to air, and with an inner or central dungeon for the most vicious criminals. It was into this inner prison that St. Paul and Silas were thrust, and their feet made fast in the stocks. It was under these unfavorable circumstances, with their backs raw and bleeding from the scourging, that these faithful brethren were so filled with the spirit of rejoicing that they gave vent to their feelings in hymns of thankfulness for the privilege of suffering in connection with the Lord's work and of enduring tribulations for righteousness' sake.

We can readily see that nothing less than a strong, living faith in God enabled these two missionaries to feel that their adversities endured for the sake of the Gospel meant to them the Divine approval, if rightly received. They realized that their trying experiences were but "light afflictions" which, under Divine providence, would work out for them a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. Only this enabled these mistreated men to triumph in their hour of distress and to praise God for the privilege of suffering as members of the Body of Christ, filling up a share of the sufferings of Christ in order that by and by they might also share His glory as members of His Body – members of the great antitypical Moses, the Mediator of the New Covenant. – Col. 1:24; Acts 3:22.

These things were written for our instruction, that we, beholding the faithfulness of others, might be encouraged. Our covenant is the same as theirs, and theirs was the same as our Lord's; for the sufferings of Christ are one, however varied in character, and the glories to follow will be one, although the sharers will differ as star differeth from star in glory. The greater the sufferings endured faithfully, uncomplainingly, rejoicingly, the greater will be the reward in the Kingdom of our Father and of our Lord and Savior.


Whilst the missionaries were singing, an earthquake shock was experienced which jarred the walls, loosed the staples of the chains wherewith they were bound, and released the bars whereby their prison doors were held in place. The jailer, finding the doors open, supposed that the prisoners had escaped. Knowing that he would be held responsible, he drew his sword and was about to commit suicide, when St. Paul called to him and said, "Do thyself no harm. We are all here."

By this time the jailer was fully convinced that the missionaries committed to his care were remarkable men – not ordinary criminals. Possibly, indeed, he had some knowledge of demonism and obsession, and had heard that by word of mouth one of these men had spoiled a supposedly Divine oracle, by exercising some superior power. At all events he was now ready to care for these prisoners and to hear the Message of the Love of God.

Presumably he first made the prison secure, the while thinking over these matters, and then brought the missionaries into his own living quarters in the prison. He attended to their comfort, and meantime heard from them something respecting their mission-respecting Jesus the Messiah and His death as the world's Redeemer. The jailer was convicted of sin. He realized in a general way at least that all mankind are sinners, aliens, separated from God by wicked works. He longed for a realization of forgiveness of his own sins and for a reconciliation with his Creator; and he perceived that these missionaries could help him. Hence he inquired, "What must I do to be saved?" What must I do to come into relationship with God, that I, like you, might be able to realize His loving care in all of my affairs; that I, like you, might be able to glory in tribulation and to realize that under Divine providence all things will work together for my good now and hereafter?

The answer came promptly: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." Taking this statement as a text, the missionaries explained to the jailer and his household some of the philosophy of the Divine Plan of Atonement – the death of Jesus, the Just for the unjust; the blessing that in due time is to reach Adam and his race through the resurrection processes and the privilege now of hearing and accepting the Divine call to joint-heirship with Jesus as His "members" in the sufferings of the present and in the glory to follow.


The Truth-seed sank into good soil. Those present believed and gratefully accepted the privilege of discipleship – to suffer for Christ's sake. Forthwith they were baptized, thus symbolizing their death to the world, to sin and to self, and their desire to walk in newness of life as members of The Christ. How the missionaries must have realized that they were as providentially directed to the jail by the injustice of the magistrate as they had been previously guided to the riverside prayer meeting! Thus their faith was strengthened. They were willing to endure hardness with patience and joy for the sake of the great privilege of carrying the Good Tidings to others.

According to some standards it was now high time for these missionaries to strike for an increase of salary and a parsonage, and especially to strike against any further persecution, and to tell the Lord that they had had enough along the lines of self-sacrifice. But the effect was just the opposite. They were the more encouraged to go on, to endure still further sufferings.

As followers of Jesus, we must see to it that our experiences tally with those of the Master and His Apostles. We must neither look for any other kind of experiences nor be satisfied unless we find opportunities of suffering for the Truth's sake. We may be assured that, although times are somewhat changed, our Lord was quite right when He declared through His Apostle, "All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." (2 Timothy 3:12.) It may be in his own home and family or in the Church or from the world; for if he is faithful in letting his light shine he will not escape.

If, therefore, any one of the Lord's people is escaping persecution, he should feel fearful of his condition and should make careful examination as to whether he is faithful to all the privileges and opportunities that he can find. This does not mean, however, that we should seek persecution in the sense of doing foolish things or of doing proper things in a foolish manner. But it does mean that we should not shrink from the responsibility of proper conduct because of fear of consequences. Fear is one of the most subtle foes of the people of God. It should be offset by trust, by faith in God. [R5908 : page 168]


The record declares that St. Paul alone rebuked the evil spirit. Thus he alone was responsible for the tumult which led to the imprisonment of himself and Silas. We can readily perceive how Silas might improperly have taken a course in opposition. He might have publicly reprimanded St. Paul, and at least partially have joined with the multitude and thus have escaped arrest, beating and imprisonment. We are glad that it was not so with Silas, that he was a worthy companion to the noble St. Paul. He recognized that the Lord's blessing was upon the Apostle, and that St. Paul was being especially used of the Lord, and that therefore whatever experiences came to them the Lord was both able and willing to overrule for their good.

Thus Silas was privileged to share in the beating, in the songs and in the conversion of the jailer. Surely it brings a great blessing to have faith in the Lord, and to be obedient to Divine providences rather than to be too worldly-wise, too cautious and self-seeking. In Hebrews 10:32,33, the Apostle mentions some who "endured a great fight of afflictions," and some who were merely their companions in the shame without experiencing the same losses. He points out that God appreciates faithfulness in either of these respects and will duly give a reward. Let us be faithful to the Lord – followers of His leading and sharers of His blessings.


The next morning the rulers, having learned something of the circumstances of the preceding night, ordered the release of the missionaries. Evidently they realized that they had no just cause against St. Paul and Silas. The beating and the imprisonment of the two were merely to satisfy the public clamor – just as when Pilate similarly commanded that our Lord be beaten, not as a satisfaction of justice, but to appease the anger of the multitude. But St. Paul had not been a lawyer for nothing. The night before, he had probably attempted to tell the rulers that he and Silas were Roman citizens and had the right to demand a fair trial before receiving any kind of punishment. But the clamor of the mob was probably so great that their protests were unheard.

When the order for their release reached the prison, the missionaries sent word to the rulers that they were Roman citizens; and that Roman law had been violated in three particulars in their case; (1) They had been beaten; (2) This had been done publicly; (3) This was reprehensible in that they had not been legally condemned.


These charges against the rulers might have gone hard against them. Hence it is not to be wondered at that they came to the prison, as the Apostle requested, and brought the missionaries forth publicly, thus giving evidence to the people that they conceded that an injustice had been done on the previous night. This would avoid leaving a reproach upon the faith at Philippi. The public could not say to the disciples, "Your teachers were tried and expelled from this city, and forbidden to return."

On the other hand, notice the spirit of compromise. St. Paul and Silas did not insist on going forth to preach in public, and demand that they be given legal protection in the exercise of their liberties. On the contrary, they concluded that they had accomplished all in their power, and that God's providence was now directing them elsewhere. They acted upon the Master's counsel, "When they persecute you in one city, flee ye into another."

Thus a peaceful compromise was effected, by which the magistrates were relieved from further difficulty and the missionaries were honorably led forth as men who had done nothing amiss, but who had concluded that in the interests of peace they would quit the city, although their rights as Roman citizens would have permitted them to remain. Some of the Lord's people make the mistake of not sufficiently insisting on their rights; and others err in the opposite way of insisting too much for their earthly rights. Here in St. Paul's case we find illustrated the proper course – "the spirit of a sound mind." He insisted upon such of his rights as were reasonable and necessary for the Lord's Cause; but he freely relinquished other rights in the interest of peace, in harmony with his covenant of sacrifice and with the Scriptures.

Before separating the missionaries returned to the home of Lydia, where they met the brethren and comforted them. What they said for the comfort of the brethren is not difficult to imagine. They surely recounted the joy which they had experienced in suffering for Christ's sake and told how the Lord had overruled their trials, difficulties, sufferings and imprisonment for good, that thereby the jailer and his family were added to the number of brethren.

Whoever has read the New Testament properly has surely noticed the spirit of brotherhood therein recorded as prevalent amongst those accepted of the Lord as members of the Household of Faith. And whoever intelligently comes into contact with those who are now rejoicing in the Present Truth must surely note the same spirit of brotherhood in a remarkable degree.

[R5908 : page 168]



Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report: if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." – Philippians 4:8.
OMPARATIVELY few, even of educated and scientific people, seem to appreciate the great power of the mind and its potent influence upon all the affairs of our lives. Few mothers realize that their very thoughts have to do with the molding of their unborn children – giving them either helpful or injurious dispositions. Few fathers realize this, or seek to cooperate with their wives in the bringing forth of noble children – by stirring up the minds of their wives during pregnancy with noble thoughts, elevating ambitions, high ideals, with things of beauty, grace, art, purity, reverence, spirituality. When people come to know the power of the mother's mind for good or for evil toward the children, it will undoubtedly work a radical change in many homes; for it is our conviction that the majority of people would rather do right than do wrong, and that one of their chief difficulties and stumbling blocks is ignorance.

But while interested in mankind in general, we are never to forget that the Bible is addressed to the children of God, who have entered into a special covenant with [R5908 : page 169] Him through the Lord Jesus Christ, and who have become New Creatures through the begetting power of the Holy Spirit. The world will be taught and developed during the Millennium. But now, in the present life, the only opportunity for development is on the part of those who have received the begetting of the Holy Spirit, and whose great and only hope is a perfecting on the spirit plane in the Resurrection of the Just. As much, therefore, as we feel interested in the world, it is the Christian's duty to follow the example of the Lord and to be interested especially in his fellows, his brethren in Christ.


The Apostle's exhortation may be taken as a personal one by every Christian, and also as a general exhortation to the whole Church – that they seek to build one another up in the most holy faith and along the lines indicated in our Golden Text.

Each individual is responsible for the care of his own mind. In becoming Christians we gave our wills to the Lord, agreeing that henceforth we would not follow the dictates of our wills; but that, ignoring these, we would follow the guidance of the Lord's will. It was on this condition that the Lord received us into His family; and any failure to follow these terms is contrary to our covenant. The Lord through His Word gives us the necessary instructions as to what His will is; and these messages, received into good and honest hearts, bring forth fruitage of obedience, and this leads on to the development of the fruits of the spirit.

"As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." Many Christians have learned to govern their actions, to refrain from carnal strife. Many have learned to control their tongues in a measure, remembering that the same tongue with which we praise God could be used in doing injury to fellow creatures, as the Apostle points out. (James 3:1-10.) But restraint of conduct and of word is difficult unless the mind, the will, be brought into the line with the will of God. Hence God shows us the reason for what He requires, and sets before us exceeding great and precious promises. These are intended to work in us – to work in our minds and to work out in our words and actions the Lord's good pleasure, the Lord's will.


The Apostle, in our Golden Text, points out the proper course for us to take in getting control of ourselves, our thoughts, our words and our conduct. Every thought should be challenged; for if an evil thought or a selfish thought or a mean thought, a depraved thought, be admitted, it will germinate and bring forth a great defilement, which will affect our words and our conduct, and will extend to others. We may learn to do the challenging readily, even along the comprehensive lines which the Apostle lays down in this lesson. What at first may require considerable time for decision will by and by be decided almost instantly:

(1) Is the thought which is seeking consideration in our mind an honorable one? If so, it may pass in and be entertained. If not, it should be immediately resented and driven out from the mind as an evil influence.

(2) Is the thought suggested a pure one – not sensual, not selfish? If so, if it pass these examinations, it may pass on for further consideration. If by these it fails to prove its purity, it should be immediately resented as a thought likely to do great harm – as would the entrance into our home of things infected with a plague.

(3) Is the thought lovely? Does it appertain to things that are lovable? Does it excite lovable influences, or is it identified more or less with hate, resentment, anger, [R5909 : page 169] malice? If lovely, it may pass on. If not, it must be immediately expelled, not permitted to go further, to do harm to ourselves and to others.

(4) Is it reputable? This cannot mean: Is the thing well spoken of by the world? For the Apostle himself and our Lord Jesus were reviled by the world, who said all manner of evil against them falsely. The word reputable here must be taken to mean that which would be thought well of by all reputable people, if they knew and understood everything connected with the thought.

(5) Has the thought any virtue, or is it in any sense of the word praiseworthy? If so, it may be admitted. If not, it should be repelled; for even if it be blameless otherwise, the fact that it is not of any value is a reason for its rejection. We have no time and no place for things that are merely not bad. We desire to have in our hearts and our minds things that are positively good, helpful, beneficial in some way. Otherwise, the thought should be repelled as a mere cumberer of the ground of our hearts, of our minds, needed for profitable things. Much novel reading is of this character – not evil, but not advantageous, not upbuilding.

Whatever we may be naturally, the people of God who follow the instructions of the Divine Word surely become noble people, helpful people, possessed of the spirit of a sound mind; and these things will be only a part of their preparation for the Kingdom and for the great work then to be entrusted to them as the servants of God under their Redeemer and Head.

[R5909 : page 169]


Question. – Which is the greater, the Abrahamic Covenant or the New Covenant?

Answer. – The Abrahamic Covenant is an all-embracing arrangement. Everything that God has done and will yet do for our race is included in that Abrahamic Covenant. The Law Covenant of Israel was added to this Covenant "because of trangression." Although only a typical arrangement, nevertheless the Law Covenant developed a certain faithful class, to be made "princes in all the earth" during the Millennial Age. This Covenant was represented by Hagar; and her son Ishmael represented the nation of Israel. (Galatians 4:21-31.) The Christ, the New Creation class, was represented in Isaac, Sarah's son. Sarah, Abraham's first wife, represented that part of the Abrahamic Covenant which pertained to the Spiritual Seed, the New Creation, that which we sometimes speak of as the Sarah Covenant. This Sarah Covenant – the Grace Covenant, the Covenant of Sacrifice (Psalm 50:5) – brings forth the Isaac class, the Church, head and Body.

Even as Isaac was not born after the flesh in the ordinary sense (Abraham and Sarah being too old naturally), but was a special creation, so with The Christ company, the Church. This "Isaac" class is developed as a distinctly new creation, formed from members of the fallen human race. The Divine invitation to these is to present their bodies living sacrifices. They sacrifice their human nature that they may attain with their Head, the antitypical "Isaac" the Divine nature – something never before offered. After this New Creation is completed, the blessing indicated in God's Promises to Abraham will reach all the families of the earth. It will teach them, first through the "Isaac" Seed, the New Creation, and secondly, through the Ancient Worthies developed in the Ages preceding this Age, under God's typical arrangements.

All kindreds and families of the earth will be blessed [R5909 : page 170] by the privilege or opportunity to become children of Abraham, children of God, whom Abraham represented in a figure. "I have made thee a father of many nations (Genesis 17:5; Romans 4:17), said the Lord to Abraham – "In becoming thy seed shall all the nations of the earth bless themselves." These will be blessed under the New covenant, an arrangement whereby the Abrahamic Covenant will be fulfilled as relates to Israel and to all.

The Abrahamic Covenant, then, embraces all the other Covenants, those Covenants being merely different features of God's arrangements by which the work implied in the great Abrahamic Covenant or Promise is to be accomplished.

As we have elsewhere previously shown, Abraham took another wife, after the death of Sarah – Keturah. By her he had many sons and daughters. Thus the New Covenant is typed and its grand work of bringing many to life – to "the liberty of the sons of God." – Romans 8:19,21.

[R5909 : page 170]

ANY are the inquiries relative to the truths presented in the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES and THE WATCH TOWER, as to whence they came and how they developed to their present symmetrical and beautiful proportions. Were they the results of visions? Did God in some supernatural way grant the solution of these hitherto hidden mysteries of His Plan? Is the author of these writings more than an ordinary being? Does he claim supernatural wisdom or power? Or how comes this revelation of God's Truth?

No, dear friends; we claim nothing of superiority; nor do we aspire to exalt ourself in the estimation of our brethren of the Household of Faith, except in the sense that the Master urged it, saying, "Whosoever will be chief among you let him be your servant." (Matthew 20:27.) Our position amongst men of the world and of the Nominal Church, is certainly far from exalted; for we are everywhere spoken against. We are fully content, however, to wait for exaltation, until the Lord's due time. (1 Peter 5:6.) In the words of the Apostle, we therefore answer, "Why look ye upon us, as though by our own power we had done these things?" We also are a man of like passions with yourselves, of like infirmities and frailties, earnestly striving by overcoming many besetments, discouragements, etc., to press along the line toward the Prize of our High Calling, and claiming only, as a faithful student of the Word of God, to be an index finger, as we have previously expressed it, to help you trace for yourselves upon the sacred page the wonderful Plan of God – no less wonderful to us, we assure you, than to yourselves.

No, the truths we present, were not revealed in visions and dreams or by God's audible voice; nor were they revealed all at once, but gradually, especially since 1870, and particularly since 1880. This present unfolding of Truth is not due to human ingenuity or acuteness of perception, but to the simple fact that God's due time has come; and if we did not speak, and no other agent could be found, the very stones would cry out.

We give the following history, not only because we have been urged to give a review of God's leadings in the path of light, but especially because we believe it to be needful that the truth be modestly told, in order that misapprehensions and prejudicial misstatements may be disarmed, and that our readers may see all along the way the Lord has helped and guided us. In so far as the names and views of others who have parted company with us may be associated with this history, we shall endeavor to bring forward only such points as are necessary to an understanding of our position and of the Lord's leadings. Nor can we name all the little points of Divine favor to which was tested, prayers were answered, etc., remembering that our Master and the early Church left no such example of boasting faith, but admonished otherwise, saying, "Hast thou faith, have it to thyself."

We will not go back to tell how the light began to break through the clouds of prejudice and superstition which enveloped the world under Papacy's rule in the Dark Ages. The Reformation movement, or rather movements, from then until now, have done their share in bringing light out of darkness. But we will here confine ourselves to the consideration of the Harvest truths set forth in the publications of the THE WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY formerly called MILLENNIAL DAWN and ZION'S WATCH TOWER, now called STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES and THE WATCH TOWER. We begin the narrative at the year 1868, when Editor, having been a consecrated child of God for some years, and a member of the Congregational Church and of the Y.M.C.A., began to be shaken in faith regarding many long accepted doctrines.


Brought up a Presbyterian, indoctrinated from the Catechism, and being naturally of an inquiring mind, I fell a ready prey to the logic of infidelity, as soon as I began to think for myself. But that which at first threatened to be the utter shipwreck of faith in God and the Bible, was, under God's providence, overruled for good, and merely wrecked my confidence in human creeds and systems of Bible misinterpretations.

I was led gradually to see though each of the creeds contained some elements of truth, they were, on the whole, misleading and contradictory of God's Word. Among other theories, stumbled upon Adventism. Seemingly by accident, one evening I dropped into a dusty, dingy hall in Allegheny, Pa., where I had heard that religious services were held, to see if the handful who met there had anything more sensible to offer than the creeds of the great churches. There, for the first time, I heard something of the views of Second Adventism, by Jonas Wendell, long since deceased. Thus I confess indebtedness to Adventists as well as to other denominations.

Though his Scripture exposition was not entirely clear, and though it was very far from what we now rejoice in, it was sufficient, under God, to reestablish my wavering faith in the Divine inspiration of the Bible, and to show that the records of the Apostles and the Prophets are indissolubly linked. What I heard sent me to my Bible to study with more zeal and care than ever before, and I shall ever thank the Lord for the leading; for although Adventism helped me to no single truth, it did help me greatly in the unlearning of errors, and thus prepared me for the Truth.


I soon began to see that we were living somewhere near the close of the Gospel Age, near the time when the Lord declared that the wise, watching ones of His children should come to clear knowledge of His Plan. At this time, myself and a few other Truth seekers in Pittsburg and Allegheny, formed a class for Bible study; and the period from 1870 to 1875 was a time of constant growth in grace, in knowledge and in love of God and his Word. We came to see something of God's love, how it had made provision for all mankind, how all must be awakened from the tomb in order that God's loving Plan might be tested to them, and how all who will then exercise faith in Christ's redemptive work and will render obedience in harmony with their knowledge of God's will, might then, through Christ's merit, be brought back into full harmony with God, and be granted everlasting life. This we saw to be the Restitution work foretold in Acts 3:21.

But though seeing that the Church was called to jointheirship with the Lord in the Millennial Kingdom, we had up to that time failed to see clearly the great distinction between the rewards of the Church now on trial and the reward of the faithful of the world after its trial, at the close of the Millennial Age – that the reward of the former is to be the glory of the spiritual, Divine nature, while that of the latter is to be the glory of Restitution – restoration to the perfection of human nature, once enjoyed in Eden by the head of the race.

However, we were then merely getting the outlines of God's Plan and unlearning many cherished errors, the time for the clear discernment of the minutia not having fully come. And here I gratefully mention assistance rendered by Brothers George Stetson and George Storrs, the latter the Editor of The bible Examiner, both now deceased. The study of the Word of God with these dear brethren led step by step into greener pastures and brighter hopes for the world, though it was not until 1872, when I gained a clear view of our Lord's work as our Ransom-price, that I found the foundation of all hope of Restitution to lie in the doctrine.

Up to that time, when I read the testimony that all in their grave shall come forth, etc., I yet doubted the full provision – whether or not it would be understood to include idiots and infants who had died without reaching any degree of understanding, beings to whom the present life and its experiences would seem to have been of little advantage. But when in 1872 I came to examine the subject of Restitution from the standpoint of the Ransom-price given by our Lord Jesus for Adam and consequently for all lost in Adam, it settled the matter of Restitution completely, and gave me the fullest assurance that ALL must come forth from their graves and be brought to a clear knowledge of the Truth and to a full opportunity to gain everlasting life through Christ. [R5909 : page 171]

Thus passed the years 1868-1872. The years following, to 1876, were years of continued growth in grace and in knowledge on the part of the handful of Bible students with whom I met in Allegheny. We progressed from our first crude and indefinite ideas of Restitution to clearer understanding of the details; but God's due time for clear light had not yet come.

During this time, too, we came to recognize the difference between our lord as "the man who gave Himself," and as the One who would come again, a spirit being. We saw that spirit beings can be present and yet invisible to men, just as we still hold and have set forth in STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, Vol.2, Chapter 5. And we felt greatly grieved at the error of Second Adventists, who were expecting Christ in the flesh and were teaching that the world and all in it except Second Aventists would be burned up in 1873 or 1874 and whose time settings and disappointments and crude ideas generally of the object and manner of our Lord's coming brought more or less reproach upon us and upon all who longed for and proclaimed His coming Kingdom.


These wrong views so generally held of both the object and manner of Christ's Second Advent, led me to write a pamphlet: "The Object and Manner of the Lord's return," of which some 50,000 copies were published.

It was about January of 1876 that my attention was especially drawn to the subject of prophetic time, as it refers to these doctrines and hopes. It came about in this way: I received a paper called, The Herald of the Morning, sent by its Editor, Mr. N. H. Barbour. When I opened it, I at once identified it with Adventism from the picture on its cover; and I examined it with some curiosity to see what time the Adventists would next set for the burning of the world. But judge of my surprise and gratification when I learned from its contents that the Editor was beginning to get his eyes open on the subjects that for some years had so greatly rejoiced our hearts in our class in Allegheny – that the object of our Lord's Return is not to destroy, but to bless all the families of the earth: and that His Coming would be thief-like, and not in flesh, but as a spirit being, invisible to men; and that the gathering of His Church and the separation of the "wheat" from the "tares" would progress in the end of this Age without the world's being aware of it.

I rejoiced to find others coming to the same advanced position, but was astonished to find the statement very cautiously set forth, that the Editor of The Herald of the Morning believed the prophecies to indicate that the Lord was already present in the world unseen and invisible that the Harvest work of gathering the wheat and tares was already due; and that this view was warranted by the time prophecies which but a few months before he had supposed had failed.

Here was a new thought: Could it be that the time prophecies, which I had so long despised, because of their misuse by Adventists, were really meant to indicate when the Lord would be invisibly present to set up His Kingdom? – a thing which I clearly saw could be known in no other way. It seemed, to say the least, a very reasonable thing to expect that the Lord would inform His people on the subject, especially as He had promised that the faithful should not be left in darkness with the world, and that although "the Day of the Lord" would come upon others as a thief in the night (stealthily, unawares), nevertheless it should not be so to the watchers, the earnest saints. – 1 Thessalonians 5:4.

I recalled certain arguments used by my friend Jonas Wendell and by other Adventists to prove that 1873 would witness the burning of the world, etc. – the chronology of the world showing that the six thousand years from Adam ended with the beginning of 1873 – and other arguments drawn from the Scriptures and supposed to coincide. Could it be that these time arguments, which I had passed by as unworthy of attention, contained as important truth which the Adventists had misapplied?


Anxious to learn from any quarter, whatever God had to teach, I at once wrote to Mr. Barbour, informing him of my harmony on other points and desiring to know particularly why, and upon what Scriptural evidence, he held that Christ's presence and the Harvest of the Gospel Age dated from autumn of 1874. The answer showed that my surmise had been correct; namely, that the time arguments, chronology, etc., were same as used by Second Adventists in 1873. It also explained that Mr. Barbour and Mr. J. H. Paton, of Michigan, a worker with him, had been regular Second Adventists up to that time; and that when the date of 1874 had passed without the world's being burned up, and without their seeing Christ in the flesh, they were for a time dumbfounded. They had examined the time prophecies which had seemingly passed unfulfilled, and had been unable to find any flaw. Therefore they began to wonder whether the time was right and their expectations were wrong – whether the views of Restitution and blessing to the world, which others were teaching, might not be the things to look for.

It seemed that not long after their 1874 disappointment, a reader of The Herald of the Morning, who had a copy of the Emphatic Diaglott, noticed something in it which he thought peculiar – that in Matthew 24:27,37,39, the Greek word parousia, which in our Common Version is rendered "coming," is in the Diaglott translated "presence" – evidently the correct translation of the Greek. This was the clue; and following it, they had been led through prophetic time toward proper views regarding the object and manner of our Lord's Return, and then to the examination of the time when the things indicated in God's Word as related to Christ's Parousia should take place. Thus God leads His children often from different starting points of Truth. But where heart is earnest and trustful, the results must be to draw all together.

There were no books nor other publications setting forth the time prophecies as then understood. So I paid Mr. Barbour's expenses to come to see me at Philadelphia (where I had business engagements during the summer of 1876), to show me fully and Scripturally, if he could, that the prophecies indicated 1874 as the date at which the Lord's presence and the Harvest began. He came; and the evidence satisfied me. Being a person of positive convictions, and fully consecrated to the Lord, I at once saw that the special times in which we live have an important bearing upon our duty and work as Christ's disciples; that since we are living in the time of the Harvest, the Harvest work should be done; and that Present Truth is the sickle by which the Lord would have us do a reaping work everywhere among His children.

I inquired of Mr. Barbour as to what was being done by him and The Herald. He replied that nothing was being done; that nearly all the readers of the The Herald, being disappointed Adventists, had lost interest and stopped their subscriptions; and that thus, with money exhausted. The Herald might be said to be practically suspended. I told him that instead of being discouraged and giving up the work since his newly found light on Restitution (for when we first met, he had much to learn from me on the fulness of Restitution, based upon the sufficiency of the Ransom given for all, as I had much to learn from him concerning time), he should rather feel that now he had some "good tidings" to preach, such as he never had had before; and that his zeal should be correspondingly increased. At the same time, the knowledge of the fact that we were already in the Harvest period gave to me an impetus to spread the Truth such as I never had had before. I therefore resolved upon a vigorous campaign for the Lord and the Truth.


I determined to curtail my business cares and give my time as well as my means to the great Harvest work. Accordingly, I sent Mr. Barbour back to his home with money and instructions to prepare in concise book form the Good Tidings so far as then understood, including the time features, while I closed out my Philadelphia business preparatory to engaging in the work, traveling and preaching.

The little book of 196 pages, thus prepared, was entitled, The Three Worlds, and while it was not the first book to teach a measure of Restitution, nor the first to treat of time prophecy, it was, I believe, the first to combine the idea of Restitution with time prophecy. From the sale of this book and from my purse our traveling expenses were met. After a time I conceived the idea of adding another Harvest laborer, and sent for Mr. Paton, who promptly responded and whose traveling expenses were met in the same way.

By noticing how quickly people seemed to forget what they had heard, it became evident to us that, while the meetings were useful in awakening interest, a monthly journal was needed to hold and develop that interest. It therefore seemed to be the Lord's will that one of us should settle somewhere and begin again the regular issuing of The Herald of the Morning. I suggested that Mr. Barbour do this, as he had experience as a type-setter, and could therefore do it more economically; while Mr. Paton and I would continue to travel and contribute to its columns as we should find opportunity. To the objection that type was now sold, and that the new subscriptions that would come in would not for a long time make the journal self-sustaining, I replied that I would furnish the money for purchasing type, etc., and leave a few hundred dollars in bank subject to Mr. Barbour's check, and that he should manage this as economically as possible, while Mr. Paton and I would continue to travel. This seemed to be the Lord's will in the matter, was done.

It was after this, while a tour of the New England [R5909 : page 172] states that I met Mr. A. P. Adams, than a young Methodist minister, who became deeply interested and accepted the Message heartily during the week that I preached to his congregation. Subsequently I introduced him to little gatherings of interested ones in neighboring towns, and assisted otherwise, as I could, rejoicing in another who, with study, would soon be a colaborer in the Harvest field. About this time, too, I was much encouraged by the accession of Mr. A. D. Jones, then a clerk in my employ in Pittsburgh – a young man of activity and promise, who soon developed into an active and appreciated colaborer in the Harvest work, and is remembered by some of our older readers. Mr. Jones ran well for a time; but ambition or something else eventually worked utter shipwreck of his faith, and left us a painful illustration of the wisdom of the Apostle's words: "My brethren be not many of you teachers, knowing that we shall have a severer judgment." – James 3:1, Diaglott.


"Satan hath desired to have you, that he might sift you as wheat." – Luke 22:31.

Until then all had run smoothly onward. We had been greatly blessed with the Truth, but not especially tested in our love and fidelity to it. But with the summer of 1878, the parallel in time to our Lord's crucifixion and His utterance of the above quoted words, the sifting began which has continued ever since, and which must, sooner or later, test every one who receives the light of Present Truth.

"Think it not strange concerning the fiery trials which shall try you, as though some strange thing happened to you"; for "the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is" – whether he has built his faith flimsily of wood, hay and stubble, instead of with the valuable stones of God's revealed Truth' or whether he has built it upon the shifting sands of human theories (Evolution, etc.) or has built it upon the solid rock, the Ransom, the only sure foundation which God has provided. They who would build upon that Rock shall be saved personally, even though they may have built up an illogical faith, which the "fire" and shaking of this Day of trial shall overthrow and utterly consume. But they who have built upon any other foundation, whether they have used good or bad materials, are sure of complete wreck. – Luke 6:47-49; 1 Corinthians 3:11-15.

The object of this trial and sifting evidently is to select all whose heart desires are unselfish, who are fully and unreservedly consecrated to the Lord; who are so desirous of having the Lord's will done, and whose confidence in His wisdom, His way and His Word is so great, that they refuse to be led away from the Lord's Word, either by the sophistries of others or by plans and ideas of their own. These in this sifting time will be strengthened and will increase their joy in the Lord and their knowledge of His plans, even while their faith is being tested by the falling into error of thousands on every hand. – Psalm 91:7.

The sifting began: It was regarding St. Paul's statement (1 Corinthians 15:51,52), "We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye," etc. We still held the idea which Adventists, and indeed all Christians, hold, that at some time the living saints would be suddenly and miraculously caught away bodily, thenceforth to be with the Lord. And now our acquaintance with time prophecy led us to expect this translation of the saints at the point of time in this Age parallel to the Lord's resurrection; for many of the parallelisms between the Jewish and Christian dispensations were already seen by us, and formed one of the features of the little book above referred to – The Three Worlds.

We did not see then as we do now (see STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, Vol. III., Chapter 7), that April, 1878, marked the time for the beginning of the establishment of the Kingdom of God, by the glorification of all who were already asleep in Christ; and that the "change" which St. Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians 15:51 is to occur in the moment of dying to all the class described, from that date onward through the Harvest period, until all the living members ("the feet") of the body of Christ shall have been changed to glorious spirit beings. But when, at that date, nothing occurred which we could see, a reexamination of the matter showed me that our mistake lay in expecting to see all the living saints changed at once, and without dying – an erroneous view shared in by the whole Nominal Church, one which we had not yet recognized as an error and discarded.

Our present clear view was the result of the examination thus started. I soon saw that in the Apostle's words, "We shall not all sleep," the word sleep was not synonymous with die, though generally so understood; that, on the contrary, the expression "sleep" here used represents unconsciousness; and that the Apostle wished us to understand that from a certain time in the Lord's presence, His saints, though they would all die like men (Psalm 82:6,7), would not remain for any time unconscious, but in the moment of dying would be "changed," and would receive the spirit body promised. Throughout this Gospel Age, dying has been followed by unconsciousness, "sleep" This continued true of all true saints who fell "asleep in Jesus," up to the time when He took the office of King (Revelation 11:17), which we have shown was in the spring of 1878. See STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, Vol. II., pp. 212-219.

Not only did the king at that date awaken in His likeness all the members of his body, the Church, who slept, but for the same reason (the time for establishing the Kingdom having come) it is no longer necessary that the "feet" or last remaining members go into "sleep," or unconsciousness. On the contrary, each now, as he finishes his course, faithful unto death, will at once receive the Crown of Life, and being changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, cannot be said to sleep, or be unconscious at all. Here – 1878 – Revelation 14:13 became applicable: "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth."

So this reexamination showed further light upon the pathway and became a good cause for encouragement as evidencing the Lord's continued leading.


But while thus helped to clearer views and brighter hopes, and while I diligently endeavored to help others, the spring of 1878 proved far from a blessing to Mr. Barbour and to many under his influence. Rejecting the plain, simple solution presented above, Mr. Barbour seemed to feel that he must of necessity get up something new to divert attention from the failure of the living saints to be caught away. But alas, how dangerous it is for any man to feel too much responsibility and to attempt to force new light! To our painful surprise, Mr. Barbour soon after wrote an article for The Herald denying the doctrine of the Atonement – denying that the death of Christ was the Ransom-price for Adam and his race, saying that our Lord's death could no more avail for the payment of the penalty of Man's sins than would the sticking of a pin through the body of a fly and causing it suffering and death be considered by an earthly parent as a just settlement for misdemeanor in his child. I was astonished; for I supposed that Mr. Barbour had a clear understanding of the work of Christ as our Sin-Offering, our willing Redeemer, who gladly cooperating in the Divine Plan, gave Himself as the Ransom, or corresponding price, to meet the penalty upon Adam, that Adam and all his posterity might in due time go free from sin and death.

A totally different thing indeed was the willing, intelligent, loving offering of our Redeemer, according to the Plan devised and revealed by Infinite Wisdom, from the miserable caricature of the Ransom offered in Mr. Barbour's illustration. Either I had given Mr. Barbour credit for clearer views than he ever had, or else he was deliberately taking off and casting away the Wedding Garment of Christ's righteousness. The latter was the only conclusion left; for he afterwards stated that he had previously recognized Christ's death as man's Ransom.

Immediately I wrote an article for The Herald in contradiction of the error, showing the necessity that "One die for all," "the Just for the unjust"; that Christ had fulfilled all this as had been written; and consequently God could be just and forgive and release the sinner from the very penalty which He had justly imposed. (Romans 3:26.) I also wrote to Mr. Paton, calling his attention to the fundamental character of the doctrines assailed, and pointing out the time and circumstances all corresponded with the parable of the one who took off the wedding garment when just about to partake of the wedding feast. – Matthew 22:11-14.

Mr. Paton replied that he had not seen the matter in so strong a light before; for Mr. Barbour had a strong, dogmatic way of putting things which had for the time over-balanced him. I urged that, seeing now the importance of the doctrine, he also wrote and article for The Herald, which in no uncertain tone would give his witness also for the precious blood of Christ. This he did. These articles appeared in The Herald from July to December, 1878.


It now became clear to me that the Lord would no longer have me assist financially, or be in any way identical with, anything which cast an influence in opposition to the fundamental principle of our holy religion. Therefore, after a most careful though unavailing effort to reclaim the erring, I withdrew entirely from The Herald of the Morning, and from further fellowship with Mr. Barbour. But a mere withdrawal I felt was not sufficient to show my continued loyalty to our Lord and Redeemer whose cause had thus been violently [R5909 : page 173] assailed by one in a position to lead the sheep stray – and in that position, too, very largely by my individual assistance and encouragement, when I believed him to be, in all sincerity, true to the Lord. I therefore understood it to be the Lord's will that I should start another journal, in which the standard of the Cross should be lifted high, the doctrine of the Ransom defended and the Good Tidings of great joy proclaimed as extensively as possible.

Acting upon this leading of the Lord, I gave up traveling, and in July, 1879, the first number of THE WATCH TOWER AND HERALD OF CHRIST'S PRESENCE made its appearance. From the first, it has been a special advocate of the Ransom; and, by the grace of God, we hope it will be so to the end.

For a time we had a most painful experience. The readers of THE WATCH TOWER and of The Herald were the same; and from the time the former started, and the supply of funds from this quarter for The Herald ceased, Mr. Barbour not only drew from the bank the money deposited by me and treated all he had in his possession as his own, but poured upon the Editor of THE WATCH TOWER the vilest of personal abuse, in order to prevent THE WATCH TOWER and the doctrine of the Ransom from having due influence upon the readers. This, of course, caused a division, as such things always do. The personal abuse, being regarded by some as true, had its intended effect of biasing the judgments of many on the subject of the Ransom; and many turned from us.


But the Lord continued His favor, which we esteem more valuable than the favor of the whole world. It was this time that Mr. Adams espoused the views of Mr. Barbour, and likewise forsook the doctrine of the Ransom. And true to our interpretation of the parable of the Wedding Garment, as given at the time, Mr. Barbour and Mr. Adams, having cast off the Wedding Garment of Christ's Righteousness, went out of the light into the darkness of the world on the subjects once so clearly seen; namely, the time and manner of the Lord's presence; from that time, onward, they expected Christ, Spring or Fall, down to the Spring of 1892, which was their latest disappointment, so far as we heard.*

*Mr. Barbour died some years after this article first appeared in print.

During this ordeal, or we might truly call it, battle for the cause of Christ, we had the earnest cooperation of Mr. Paton, who, up to the Summer of 1881, was an appreciated colaborer and defender of the doctrine of coming blessings through Christ, based upon the Ransom for all given at Calvary. The book, the Three Worlds, having been for some time out of print, it seemed as if either another edition or a new book covering the same features should be gotten out.

Mr. Paton agreed to get it ready for the press; and Mr. Jones offered to pay all the expenses incident to its printing and binding and to give Mr. Paton as many copies of the book as he could sell, as remuneration for his time spent in preparing the matter, provided I would agree to advertise it liberally and gratuitously in THE WATCH TOWER. (For this reason, Mr. Jones' address was, probably, the only one mentioned in our advertisement of it.) He well knew that there would be a demand for it if I should recommend it, and that his outlay would be sure to return with profit (for those books did not sell at such very low prices as we charge for the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES). I not only agreed to this, but contributed to Mr. Paton's personal expenses in connection with the publishing, and as well paid part of the printer's bill, at his solicitation.


In the end, I alone was at any financial loss in connection with the book, Day Dawn, the writer and the publisher both being gainers financially, while I did all the introducing by repeated advertisements. We need to give these particulars because of certain misrepresentations and one-sided and partial statements of acts which were afterward published and circulated in tract form by Mr. Paton, who also became later an advocate of the "other Gospel," of which the Cross of Christ is not the center, and which denies that He "bought us with His own precious blood." (Galatians 1:6-9.) Mr. Paton afterward published another book, which though called by the same name as the one I introduced, was on another and false foundation, which I could not and did not recommend, but which I esteemed misleading sophistry, tending to undermine the whole structure of the Christian system, yet retaining a sufficiency of the truths which we once held in common to make it palatable and dangerous to all not rooted and grounded upon the Ransom Rock.

The false foundation which this later Day Dawn presented is the old heathen doctrine of Evolution, renamed, which not only denies the fall of man, but, as a consequence, all necessity of a redeemer. It claimed on the contrary, that not by Redemption and Restitution to a lost estate, but by progressive evolution, or development, man has risen and is still to rise from the lower condition in which he was created until, by his own good works, he ultimately reaches the Divine nature. Mr. Paton claimed that our blessed Lord Himself was a degraded and imperfect man, whose work on earth was to crucify a carnal nature (which it was claimed He possessed), and to thus show all men how to crucify their carnal or sinful propensities.

And here we remark that the darkness and degradation which came upon the whole world in its fallen, cast-off condition, and which was only intensified by Papacy's priestcraft during the Dark Ages, when contrasted with the light of intelligence which God is now letting in upon the world, have gradually led men to esteem present intelligence as merely a part of the process of evolution. This view, as we have shown in STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, Vol. I., p. 162, though quite incorrect, is nevertheless the occasion of the great predicted falling away from the faith in the Bible during this Harvest period. (Psalm 91:7.) And few Christian people seem to be well enough grounded in the Truth to be able to withstand this trial of this "evil day," in which many will fall, while only the few will stand.

The little history of the way Mr. Paton came to turn from us and from the Ransom to oppose that which he once clearly saw and advocated, is important; for it became the occasion of another sifting, or testing, of THE WATCH TOWER readers (by that time a much larger number), because Mr. Paton had been a respected brother and coworker with us, and because as a traveling representative of the THE WATCH TOWER and its doctrines (his expenses being met in part by WATCH TOWER subscriptions and renewals, as well as by money from myself), he was personally known to a larger number of our readers than was the Editor. It came about thus:

In the year 1881, Mr. Barbour, still publishing The Herald, and still endeavoring to overthrow the doctrine of the Ransom, finding that on a preaching tour I had used a diagram of the Tabernacle to illustrate how Christ's sacrifice was typified in the sacrifices of typical Israel, wrote an article on the Atonement, in which he undertook to show that the sacrifices of the Day of Atonement typified almost anything else than what they do typify. I could readily see through the fallacy of his presentation, which made the bullock and the goat typify one thing in one verse and another thing in each other verse in which either was mentioned. But I well knew that people in general are not close reasoners, and that with the cares of life upon them, they are too apt to accept a seeming interpretation, without a critical examination of the words of the Scriptures and their context.

After I had thought the matter all over, I reexamined the chapter. (Leviticus 16.) But while seeing the inconsistency of Mr. Barbour's interpretation, I could only confess that I did not understand it and could not give a connected interpretation which would fit all the details so plainly stated, and all of which must have a particular meaning. What could I do? those reading both The Herald and THE WATCH TOWER would probably be misled if not helped out of the difficulty; and to merely say the The Herald's interpretation was inconsistent with itself, and therefore a misinterpretation, would be misunderstood. Many would surely think that I opposed that view from a spirit of rivalry; for there are always people with whom everything resolves itself into personality, rivalry and party spirit, and such cannot understand others who take a higher and nobler view, and who think always and only of the Truth, regardless of persons.


I went to the Lord with this, as with every trial; I told Him just how it seemed to me, how anxious I felt for the dear sheep, who having their appetites sharpened by the Truth were by their very hunger exposed to Satan's deceptions. I told him that I realized that He was the Shepherd and not I, but I knew also that he would be pleased with my interest in the sheep and my desire to be His servant and to declare the Truth, the Way and the Life to them; that I felt deeply impressed that if the time had come for the permission of a false view to deceive the unworthy, it must also be His due time to have the truth on the same subject made clear, that the worthy ones might be able to stand, and not fall from the Truth.

Believing that the due time had come for the correct understanding of the meaning of the Jewish sacrifices which all Christians see were typical of "better sacrifices," and trusting that the Lord would grant the insight as soon as I got into the attitude of mind best fitted to receive the light, I prayed with confidence that if the Lord's due time had come, and if he were willing to use me as His instrument to declare [R5909 : page 174] the message to His dear family, I might be able to rid my heart and mind of any prejudice that might stand in the way, and be led of His Spirit into the proper understanding.

Believing that the prayer would be answered affirmatively, I went into my next morning prepared to study and write. The forenoon I spent in scrutinizing the text and every other Scripture likely to shed light upon it, especially the Epistle to the Hebrews, and in looking to the Lord for wisdom and guidance. But no solution of the difficult passage came. The afternoon and evening were similarly spent, and all of the next day. Everything else was neglected, and I wondered why the Lord kept me so long. But on the third day, near noon, the whole matter came to me as clear as the noonday sun – so clear and convincing and harmonious with the whole tenor of the Scriptures, that I could not question its correctness; and no one has ever yet been able to overthrow it. (The matter has been published in several editions in pamphlet form, under the title, TABERNACLE SHADOWS OF THE BETTER SACRIFICES, and can be had by addressing THE WATCH TOWER Office at Brooklyn.)

Then I knew why the Lord had led me to the solution so slowly and cautiously. I needed a special preparation of heart for the full appreciation of all it contained; and I was all the more assured that it was not of my own wisdom; for if of my own, why would it not have come at once? I found that the understanding of that subject was bound to have a wide influence upon all our hopes and views of all truths – not that it overturned old truths or contradicted them, but that, on the contrary, it set them all in order and harmony, and straightened out little knots and twists.

For instance, the doctrine of justification by Faith had always been more of less confused in my mind – as it has been in every mind – with the doctrine of sanctification, which calls for self-sacrifice and works. This was all made clear and plain at once; for the types show that we all, as sinners, needed first of all Christ's Ransom-sacrifice that we must appropriate its merit to ourselves by faith; that thus we are justified (reckoned free from sin), when we by faith accept of Christ's sacrifice on our behalf and consecrate ourselves to God. The type shows, too, that it is only after being thus cleansed in God's sight (by our acceptance of Christ's finished work as our Ransom-sacrifice, and the imputation of Christ's merit to us) that God is willing to accept our offering and receive us as joint-sacrificers with Christ: and that, if faithful to the end, following in His footsteps, we shall be granted the favor of joint-heirship in the kingdom.


Here I first saw that the great privilege of becoming joint-heirs with Christ and partakers with Him of the Divine nature is confined exclusively to those who would share with Him in His sacrifice and service of the Truth. And here, too, I saw for the first time that the Lord was the first of these sacrifices – the Sin-offering; consequently, that none of God's servants, the Prophets and faithful ones who lived and died before Christ, were priests after His order or sharers in the sacrifice with Him, even though some of them were stoned, others sawn asunder, and others slain with the sword, for the cause of God; that though they would get a good and great reward, they would belong to a separate class and order from those called to sacrifice and joint-heirship with Christ in the kingdom, at and since Pentecost.

Here, too, I first saw that the Acceptable Day of the Lord signifies this Gospel Age, the time during which God will accept the sacrifice of any who come to Him through Christ, the great Sin-Offering; that when this Acceptable Day ends, the reward of joint-heirship and the Divine nature ends; and that when this great Day of Sacrifice, the Gospel Age (the real Day of Atonement, has closed, when all the members of the body of Christ shall have participated with Him in the sacrifice of their rights as justified men, and shall be glorified, then the blessings shall begin to come to the world – the Millennial blessings purchased for them by their Redeemer, according to the grace of God.

This first brought me to a clear recognition of the distinction of natures – of what constitutes human nature, what constitutes angelic nature and what constitutes Divine nature. as shown in STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES. Vol. I., Chapter X. And whereas I had used the word RESTITUTION in a general way to mean some sort of a blessed change, now under the clear light. I began to see that the great work of Restitution could mean only what the word implies – a restoration of that which was lost (Matthew 18:11), a restoration to the original condition from which man once fell.

Then I saw that God's Plan when carried out, would not bring all of His creatures to the level of the Divine nature, but that He purposed to have an order of beings called angels. who though perfect, would always be of a different order, or nature, from the Divine nature; and that He likewise purposed to have a race of beings of the human nature of whom Adam was a sample, or pattern of whose future earthly home – Paradise – Eden was a sample, or pattern. I also saw that God purposed that Christ and His joint-sacrificers and joint-heirs to be God's instruments for blessing the fallen race and restoring them to the perfection enjoyed by Adam in Eden, a condition which God said was "very good." and in which man was an image of his Creator.

When all these things unexpectedly shone out so brightly and clearly, I did not wonder that the Lord gave me several days waiting and preparation for the blessing; and to Him I rendered praise and thanks. All my faintness of heart and all fear of the bad effect of the wrong view fled before this evidence of the Lord's leading in the pathway that "shines more and more unto the perfect Day." I saw at once that these new developments would probably prove a stumbling-block to some, as well as a great blessing to others who were ready for them. Instead, therefore, of publishing it in the next WATCH TOWER, I determined to first present the matter privately to the more prominent brethren; remembering the Apostle Paul's course in a similar matter. – Galatians 2:1,2.


Accordingly, I sent the invitation and the money necessary for the traveling expenses to four of the more prominent brethren, requesting a conference. Mr. Paton, from Michigan, was one of the four, and the only one who rejected the first rays of light. Nor could he find any fault with the exegesis, though urged, as all were, to state anything which might seem inconsistent, or to quote any passage of Scripture thought to be in conflict. There were none; and every question only demonstrated the strength of the position. I therefore urged that what was beyond the criticism of those most familiar with the Plan of God must be the Truth and ought to be confessed and taught, especially when it arranged and ordered all the other features of the Truth so beautifully.

I pointed out, too, how necessary it was to a logical holding of the Ransom to see just what this showed; namely, the distinctions of natures – that our Lord left a higher nature and took a lower nature, when He was made flesh, and that the object in that change of nature was that He might, as a man a perfect man, give Himself a Ransom for the first perfect man, Adam, and thus redeem Adam and all lost in him. I also showed how, as a reward for this great work, He was given the Divine nature in His resurrection – a nature still higher than the one He had left when He became a man.

But either Mr. Paton's mental vision or his heart was weak; for he never took the step; and before long, he, too, forsook the doctrine of the Ransom. Yet he still used the word Ransom, while denying the idea conveyed by the word; nor could he give the word any other definition or otherwise dispute the correctness of the meaning which we attach to it – which may be found in any English dictionary and is true to the significance of the Greek word which it translates.

Notwithstanding our best endeavors to save him, he drifted farther and farther away. I was obliged to refuse his articles for THE WATCH TOWER for the same reason that obliged me to refuse to spend the Lord's money entrusted to me to assist Mr. Barbour to spread the same pernicious theory.

It was about this time that Mr. Jones informed me that the copies of the book, Day Dawn, which I had purchased last were all that were left; and announcing it so that no more orders for it might come to the TOWER Office, I took occasion to promise MILLENNIAL DAWN, which should present the Plan of the Ages in the clearer, more orderly manner made possible by the new light shed upon every feature of it by the lessons from the Tabernacle.

About this time Mr. Paton concluded that he would publish another book under the name Day Dawn, revised to harmonize with his new views, which ignored the Ransom, ignored justification, and the need of either, and taught that all men will be everlastingly saved – not in any sense as the result of a sacrifice by Christ, but as the result of each one's crucifying sin in himself – the law under which the poor Jews tried to commend themselves to God, but which justified none. Many and severe were the calumnies heaped upon me because I exposed this change, told that the original Day Dawn was out of print, and that the new book was on a different foundation from that which I had recommended.


During this time I was busied with an immense work, known to some of you – the issue and circulation of over 1,400,000 copies of two pamphlets: one entitled. FOOD FOR THINKING CHRISTIANS, and other, TABERNACLE TEACHINGS. The united matter of these two pamphlets was about the size [R5909 : page 175] of that of SCRIPTURES STUDIES, Vol I. Besides this, I was flooded with thousands of joyous and joy-giving letters, from those who had received and were reading the pamphlets thus distributed, and were asking questions and more reading matter. To add to our pressure, financial complications came; and thus for four years I was hindered from fulfilling my promise of MILLENNIAL DAWN, now called STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES. Nor is our promise of the complete set fulfilled even yet. Six volumes are out, but the Seventh Volume is not yet issued. During these years, however, we were struggling through an immense amount of labor (all cheerfully undergone for the sake of our Lord and His saints); and each year we hoped afresh to be able to gather the hours necessary to complete the first volume of MILLENNIAL DAWN. And the same great Adversary of the Truth later hindered other volumes of the series.

Some who have The Three Worlds or the old edition of Day dawn would perhaps like to know my present opinion of them – whether I still think them profitable books to loan to truth-seekers. To this I reply, Certainly not; for the very immature views of God's Truth therein presented fall far short of what we now see to be God's wonderful Plan. Things which are now clear as noonday were then cloudy and mixed. The distinction between the perfect human nature, to which the obedient of the world will be restored during the Millennium, and the Divine nature, to which the Little Flock, the sacrificing Elect of the Gospel Age are soon to be exalted, were then unnoticed. All now so clear was then blurred, mixed and indistinct. Neither had we then seen the steps or planes, shown upon the Chart of the Ages in STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, Vol. I., which have assisted so many to distinguish justification and sanctification and to determine their present relationship to God.

And the time reckonings which those books presented, lacking point and leaving the reader in doubt as to what the author is attempting to prove to them, tend only to confuse the mind and to give the impression that time prophecies are merely clues and serve no definite purpose or object. Hence, I answer most decidedly, I would not recommend or use either of those books to day. Once I was much less careful about what I circulated or commended, but I am learning every day to be more and more careful as to what sort of food I put before any of the Lord's hungry sheep. The lord has taught me that it is a responsible matter to be a teacher, even to the extent of circulating a book or paper. Even the book, Food for Thinking Christians (now out of print), published and circulated during the year 1881, I no longer commend, because it is less systematic and therefore less clear than later publications.


Another chapter in our experience needs to be told, as it marks another shaking and sifting. Mr. A. D. Jones proposed to start another paper on the same lines as THE WATCH TOWER, to republish some of the simpler features of God's Plan and to be a sort of missionary and primary teacher. Knowing him to be clear on the subject of the Ransom, I bade him Godspeed and introduced a sample copy of his paper, Zion's Day Star (now for many years discontinued), to our nearly ten thousand readers, only, as it soon proved, to stumble some of them into rank infidelity, and others into the rejection on the Ransom. For though The Day Star steered a straight course for a few months, and maintained the same position as THE WATCH TOWER with reference to the Ransom, and for the same reason refused the no-ransom articles sent in for its columns by Mr. Paton, yet within one year it had gone boldly into infidelity, and totally repudiated all the rest of the Bible as well as those portions which teach the fall of Adam and the Ransom therefrom in Christ.

All this meant another strain, another sifting, another cutting loose of friends, who erroneously supposed that our criticisms of the false doctrines were prompted by a spirit of rivalry, and who did not so soon see whither his teachings were drifting, nor how the importance of holding fast the first principles of the doctrines of Christ – how Christ died for our sins, and rose for our justification.

These shaking and sifting processes continued to progress, and are not yet over; for all must be thoroughly tried and tested. It is not a question of who may fall, but of "who shall be able to stand?" as the Apostle puts it. And we have need again to remember the Apostolic admonition, "Let him who thinketh he standeth [who feels very confident, as did St. Peter when he said, 'Lord, though all deny Thee, yet will not I'] take heed lest he fall."


This doctrine, of another way of salvation (and salvation for all, too) than the Cross of Christ, is not only the error which since 1874 has been sifting all who came into the light of present Truth, but it is the trial that has come upon the whole of Christendom to try them. (Revelation 3:10.) It has spread among all classes of Christian people, especially among ministers of all sects. The number who believe that Christ's death provides the Ransom-price for Adamic sin is daily getting smaller; indeed there has been an actual stampede from the doctrine of man's fall in Adam and his ransom from that fall by "the Man Christ Jesus." (1 Timothy 2:5,6.) As the Psalmist prophetically pictured it, a thousand shall fall to one that shall stand. – Psalm 91:7.

The time has come for each one to declare himself boldly. Whosoever is not for the Cross and the ransom there effected, is against it! He that gathereth not, scattereth abroad! Whoever is silent on this subject, when it is being assailed by foes on every hand, whether it be the silence of fear or of shame or of indifference, is not worthy of the Truth, and will surely be one to stumble quickly. Whoever from any cause sits idly by while the banner of the Cross is being assailed, is not a soldier of the Cross worthy of the name, and will not be reckoned among the overcomers who shall inherit all things. And God is permitting these very siftings, in order to sift out all who are not overcomers and to test and manifest the Little Flock, who like Gideon's band will, though few in number, share the victory and honors of their Captain in glory.

Are you prepared for the issue, dear brethren and sisters? The armor of Truth has ben given you some time past; have you put it on? Have you made it your shield and buckler, your defence, against all the wily arts of the Evil One?

Do not be deceived by the agents whom the Adversary often uses. In this matter he will be as cunning as in his presentation of the misrepresentations of Truth.

Aptly indeed did the Prophet liken this infectious poison to a pestilence. (Psalm 91:6.) A pestilence spread because people are in a physical condition which renders them susceptible to disease. Physicians say that those whose systems are in good, healthy order are in little danger of any disease. In like manner a spiritual pestilence will flourish, not only because all will be exposed to it who have not a clear intellectual appreciation of the doctrines of Christ, but from another cause also. Out of the heart are the issues of life; therefore the most needful of all things to be in right condition is the heart. How is your heart? Is it proud boastful, independent, self-concious, self-willed? If so, take care; you will be very liable to this epidemic, no matter how far from it you may seem to be.

"A heart resigned, submissive, meek,
My great Redeemer's Throne,
Where only Christ is heard to speak,
Where Jesus reigns alone."

With such a heart you are safe. In meekness and lowliness, you will never think of redeeming yourself from the condemnation that you inherited through Adam, by sacrificing present sinful desires, but you will flee to the Cross, where God himself opened the Fountain for sin and uncleanness, present as well as past.


We presume that this article will offend some, though it is not designed to offend any. It is written for the defense of the meek against the sophistries of error. "Who shall ascend into the Hill of the Lord [into the Kingdom offered], or who shall stand in His Holy Place? He that hath clean hands and a pure heart [who is diligently fashioning his life after the principles of holiness], who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity [who cultivates no earthly ambition or pride, but patiently waits for the glory to follow the course of present self-sacrifice], nor sworn deceitfully [ignoring or despising his Covenant with God]. He shall receive the blessing of the Lord [the Kingdom glory and joint-heirship with Christ], and righteousness [perfection, full deliverance from present infirmities, etc.] from the God of his salvation." (Psalm 24:3-5.) "Seek righteousness, seek meekness; it may be ye shall be hid in the Day of the Lord's anger [this evil day – this day of snares, pitfalls, flying arrows and destructive pestilences]." (Zephaniah 2:3.) "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation" – that "your minds be not corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ." Let all the meek fully awake to the trial of the hour. And while many are putting stumbling-blocks in the way of the "feet" of the Body of Christ, let each soldier of the Cross be vigilant, not only to stand, but to assist others to stand bearing up the "feet" – Psalm 91:11,12.

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International Bible Students Association Classes

page 177
June 1st

Herald of Christ's Presence

Other foundation can
no man lay

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

A.D. 1916 – A.M. 6044
How the Great Apostasy Will Be Overruled 179
Sin's Rapid Development to the Flood 179
Satan's Evil Work Continued 179
Gradual Rise of the Papacy 181
Work of Reformation – "A Little Help" 181
"They Go From Strength to Strength" 182
Daily Self-Examination Necessary 183
Blessed Results of Spirit's Infilling 183
St. Paul at Thessalonica and Berea 184
"Turning the World Upside Down" 185
The Thessalonian Christians 186
"Them That Sleep In Jesus" 187
"In Jesus" vs. "In Christ" 188
Our Lord's Inspiring Promise 189
Summer Conventions of Bible Students 189
Interesting Letters 190
Consider One Another in Love 190
Re Love the Sum of All Graces 191
Letters From French Brethren 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.

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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, 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.

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.


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.


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.




Many of our readers got phonographs from us in connection with the "Eureka Drama" and the "Family Outfits." We have had considerable difficulty for the past eight months in filling orders. The demand for phonographs has been so great of late that all the manufacturers are behind with their orders. They give their special attention to the finer and costlier instruments. The cheaper ones for which there is the larger demand, are nearly always "out of stock."

In the Lord's providence we have made arrangements for obtaining a phonograph of up-to-date model, which we are enabled to supply to our readers at what are known as jobbers' prices – less than the wholesale prices. The retail prices are $25.00, $50.00, and $100.00. The wholesale prices are just one-half of the retail prices. The jobbers' prices at which we are permitted to supply WATCH TOWER readers are still less – namely, one-third the retail price – $8.33, $16.67, and $33.33.

The "A" Angelophone, which would cost our readers but $8.33, is of very neat design and of good, full size, quite artistic looking. The spring is strong enough to run the record without rewinding.

The "B" Angelophone is still larger, more handsomely covered, and has a double-spring motor with worm-gear.

The "C" Angelophone is still more handsome in appearance, with a cabinet case and lid, double-spring motors, worm gear, etc. All are rosewood-stained and varnished. All are supplied with excellent tone-arms and sound-boxes – and the latter is so arranged as to play any kind of record – Columbia, Victor, Pathe, Edison, etc.

The name Angelophone signifies "The Angel Voice." Very appropriately, the manufacturers are preparing a large selection of religious music. This, however, is not yet on sale. We will announce it later.

Any of our readers desiring to purchase at above prices may address their orders:

THE ANGELICO, c/o I.B.S.A., 122 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, N.Y.


For the information of our readers we give below a list of the languages into which the various volumes of STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES have been translated. Most of these can be supplied from the head office at Brooklyn.

Volume I. In English, German, Swedish, Dano-Norwegian, Italian, French, Greek, Hungarian, Spanish, Polish, Hollandish, Finnish, Arabic, Slovak, Rumanian, Armenian, Lettish, Chinese, Japanese and Korean. We have also the English Braille, American Braille and New York Point.

Volume II. In English, German, Swedish, Finnish and Dano-Norwegian.

Volume III. In English, German, Swedish, Finnish and Dano-Norwegian.

Volume IV. In English, German, Swedish, Finnish and Dano-Norwegian.

Volume V. In English, German, Swedish, Finnish and Dano-Norwegian.

Volume VI. English, German, Swedish, Finnish, Greek,

The PHOTO-DRAMA SCENARIO is supplied in Spanish, Italian, Greek, Polish, Armenian, German, Finnish, Swedish and English, in one or more styles of binding. See WATCH TOWER, October 1, 1915, for prices and styles of binding.

Week of July 2...Q. 57 to 63  Week of July 16...Q. 71 to 77
Week of July 9...Q. 64 to 70  Week of July 23...Q. 78 to 84
Week of July 30..Q. 85 to 92
Question Manual on Vol. III., STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, 5c each; or 50c per dozen, postpaid.

[R5909 : page 179]


"They received not the love of the Truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God sendeth them a working of error, that they should believe a lie; that they all might be judged who believed not the Truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." – 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 Rev. Ver.
HE Bible Helps of our day are so numerous and accessible, and the words in the original Scriptures translated Hell, so clearly shown in these Helps, that there is no reason why an honest student of the Word of God may not see clearly what the Bible teaches on this subject. We are not to lay upon our God the responsibility for the erroneous thought on the subject of future punishment; for He is not the Author of sin or darkness or error in any form. All His work is perfect; He is "righteous altogether," His name is LOVE. Such being the case He would never create any being to torture it forever. Nor does the responsibility for doctrinal error rest entirely upon humanity, who have no doubt been more ignorant than wilful in respect to this error of doctrine, though there seems to have been a measure of wilfulness on the part of mankind.

The Apostle Paul, in the first chapter of Romans, declares that when men knew God, they worshiped Him not as God, and did not wish to retain the knowledge of Him in their minds, but willingly departed from Him. (Romans 1:18-28.) This same Apostle elsewhere assures us that "the god of this world," "the prince of this world," Satan, who fell from his holy estate and became the Adversary of God through unholy ambition, has blinded the minds of mankind. (2 Corinthians 4:4; John 12:31; 14:30.) He is the great Deceiver, of whom the Lord said, "He was a murderer from the beginning [of man's creation] and abode not in the Truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own; for he is a liar and the father of it." – John 8:44.

Again the Master declared in Revelation, when telling us about the consummation of the Gospel Age and the inauguration of the Age to follow, that at that time Satan should be bound for a thousand years, that he should deceive the nations no more until the thousand years were finished – thus intimating that prior to that time the people of the world had been deceived by him right along. Satan started his lies very early. His first great lie was told to our Mother Eve, away back in Eden. (Genesis 3:4,5; 2 Corinthians 11:3.) The lie that he told to Mother Eve he has ever since very assiduously propagated; namely, "Ye shall not surely die" – God has deceived you; nobody dies; what is called death is only the dropping off of the mortal body as of a worn-out dress; merely the passing into another form of life – a more desirable change. But the Bible has all the while been assuring us that death is a reality, that death means death.


There is an irreconcilable conflict between the words of Satan and the declaration of God. But God has permitted man to a large extent to go his own way, just as St. Paul intimates in Romans, already cited. Mankind did not desire to retain God in their knowledge, so for a time He has permitted them to work all manner of uncleanness. (Romans 1:28-32.) But while He has allowed the world liberty in regard to their own wills, nevertheless He has not abandoned them. From the beginning God has purposed that in due time, after mankind have learned the needed lesson, they shall be delivered from sin and death – "whosoever will." For the time being [R5910 : page 179] He has permitted them to take their choice as to whether they would give heed to the voice of conscience still to some extent remaining in man, whether they would listen to His word of instruction, so far as they were able to know it, or whether they preferred the words of Satan and the promptings of evil. The great majority have followed Satan, the opponent of God.

The Adversary has propagated his falsehoods and deceptions in order to oppose God and righteousness. He succeeded so well from the start that in 1656 years from the creation of our first parents in Eden, many of the holy angels had fallen and had joined him in the debauchery of mankind. (Genesis 6:1-5.) Eventually the world became so full of corruption that God destroyed all of humanity from the face of the earth, including the unlawful progeny of the fallen angels, and began anew the propagation of the human race from Noah and his family, who had remained untainted – "perfect in his generation." – Genesis 6:1-22.


But soon Satan again got in his evil work, so that in Abraham's day, only a few centuries later, the whole world was again corrupted by idolatry and sin. Evil spirits – the fallen angels – denied by the Lord after the Deluge the power of materialization in human bodies, continued their deceptions by using human beings as mediums of communication with men, either by developing in them powers of clairvoyance, clairaudience, guiding their hands to write, etc., or by taking actual possession of their bodies and using these as if their own. All this has been done by Satan and the other fallen spirits over whom he made himself prince (Ephesians 2:2; 6:12), in order to prove to [R5910 : page 180] mankind that God had deceived them and falsified in His pronouncement of a sentence of death upon the father of the human race, to effect as well all his offspring. They wished to make men believe that people who had gone into death were not dead – that they had not ceased to be – but were more alive than before.

This gigantic falsehood has greatly hindered mankind from seeing the Truth and the real facts of the case. God has all along been Master of the situation to the fullest extent, but has been permitting Satan and His legions to thus exercise power over the rebellious race that He may ultimately teach a lesson to both men and angels.

Four hundred and twenty-seven years after the great Deluge, God called Abraham, and after testing his loyalty and obedience, made a covenant with him, as a reward for faithfulness, to the effect that in his Seed all the families of the earth should ultimately be blessed. In due time, the descendants of Jacob, Abraham's grandson, were chosen to be the special people of God, under the terms of the Law Covenant. These people were used to picture forth in types God's great Plan for the salvation of all mankind. They were to be a separate people from the other nations of the earth.

Although God established a special Covenant with the nation of Israel, and they promised full obedience to His Law, yet they became, like the nations about them, idolatrous, and sought after wizards, witches, and necromancers, mediums of the fallen spirits. This became so pronounced that God commanded that any amongst them who became such a medium should be put to death. They had agreed to be the people of God, and He had warned them to be on guard against these evil spirits.

In the days of our Lord, these fallen spirits had intruded to such an extent in Israel that many of His miracles were for the healing and deliverance of those afflicted of the Devil, possessed by one or more of these wicked demons, and thus rendered insane. Israel had become to a considerable extent affected by the false doctrines of paganism, this being especially true of certain parties among the ruling class. The Sadducees were infidels, materialists, denying totally the resurrection of the dead and believing in neither angels nor spirits. The mental afflictions and confusion of mind amongst the people seemed more widespread even than were bodily diseases. In the time of our Lord, Grecian philosophy had attained great prominence, notably the doctrine of the immortality of the soul. Thus was Satan's great lie, "Thou shalt not surely die," prospered. Like all Gentile nations, Greece had many gods, divinities; and thus were the Greeks worshipers of devils, fallen angels. – Deuteronomy 32:16,17; Psalm 106:34-38; 1 Cor. 10:19,20.


Because of the world-wide prominence of the Greek language, Greek philosophy, "science falsely so-called" (1 Timothy 6:20), had become entrenched in the minds of thinking people generally. This was true to quite a degree even in Palestine. Only to Israel had God sent His Law and given His prophecies. To them He had said, "You only have I known [recognized] of all the families of the earth." (Amos 3:2.) When Jesus came, He said, If you had received the witness of John, you would have been ready to be My disciples. Many of the Jews had merely a form of godliness. They thought God would save them by the Law whether or no. But Jesus told them that they should not boast that they had Abraham for their Father, for God was able even of the stones about them to raise up children to Abraham. He assured them that God would find a worthy Seed of Abraham.

The work of Jesus during His ministry was the starting of this new Seed. Jesus Himself was the Head of this Seed. The special work of the entire Gospel Age has been the calling and preparing of this Spiritual Seed of Abraham. The promise was first to the Jews, but since they did not prove worthy as a nation, God, after taking out the faithful "remnant" from that people, turned to the Gentiles, to take out from them a sufficient number to complete the foreordained 144,000 to comprise this Seed, the Church of Christ, the members of His Body. After the accomplishment of this work, Christ, who would then be present in the world the second time, would again visit the natural seed of Abraham, for their enlightenment and blessing. But this blessing would come to them through the Spiritual Seed of Abraham, the faithful Seed.

Our Lord, in the parable of the Wheat and Tares, shows that of those who would constitute, nominally, the Spiritual Seed, there would likewise be but a faithful "remnant" who would prove worthy to be exalted to reign with Christ; and that the remainder, like the majority of the natural seed, would lose this great favor. The words of the Apostle Paul have proven true, that "all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."


In this parable Jesus showed how after the Apostles had fallen asleep the great Adversary, Satan, would come and sow "tare" seed in God's wheat-field, the Church. This tare seed would spring up and bring forth "tares," imitation "wheat," who would associate with the true Church and count themselves as of the Elect. They would consider themselves as real "wheat," In the parable, the servants are shown as coming to the Master and asking Him whether they should root up the tares from among the wheat. But the Master replied that they should not then do this, lest, in pulling up the tares, they might also root up the wheat. He bade them let both grow together until the time of "Harvest," when He would again be present and would say to the reapers, "Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them into bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into My barn." The field was really a wheat-field always; the tares had no right there.

This indicated a separating work to come in the end of the Gospel Age, in the time called by our Lord the "Harvest." The "field" in the parable, as Jesus said, represented the world, the masses of mankind. This evil seed which Satan sowed in the wheat-field was largely the Greek philosophies. Prior to this time, when the persecutions of Nero and, later, Diocletian, Roman emperors, came upon the growing Church, there was a faithful company of disciples, which had held firmly to the Truth and were loyal to Christ; and they endured much hardness, many of them even unto death by violence.

But later came prosperity and freedom from persecution, and this proved the downfall of many. The Church attracted the attention of the Greek philosophers. They said, "You Christians teach much that is good. Your teacher Jesus was a great man, a great philosopher. But we also have great philosophers and teachers. We would like to come in with you, but in order to do that we must all be broad-minded; none of us must be narrow. We must each be able to see the great truths of the others. Socrates and Plato and others of our great teachers taught the doctrine of a future life long before Jesus was born."

So the Christians thought it would be fine if all the Gentiles could be united in religion. Thus the majority gradually worked in with the Greek philosophers and fraternized with them. Numbers of the adherents of paganism made a profession of Christianity, being reinforced. [R5910 : page 181] later by many others from the more northern tribes of Europe, these all joining some of their heathen philosophies and theories with Christianity.


Thus it came about that the poisonous draught was mixed which was poured into the "golden cup" of Truth, and held out to the world by the apostate "Woman," the professed Church of God. And she "made all nations drunk with the wine of her fornication." (Jeremiah 51:6-13; Revelation 17:1-5,15.) As error spread and the spirit of ambition gradually superseded the spirit of humility and loyalty to God, bringing the desire to avoid suffering and to be esteemed of men, the Church, as conditions [R5911 : page 181] favored her advancement, organized herself as the Papal hierarchy. The Bishop of Rome was declared Pope, and claimed to represent our Lord Jesus to the Church and to the world. The Pope sat upon a throne of glory and became an autocrat in power; commanding kings, and ruling as both a spiritual and a temporal prince. The pagan doctrine of the immortality of the soul, combined with the idea, also imbibed from paganism, of the torture of the wicked after death, was made the basis of the doctrine of the eternal torture of heretics and of the Purgatorial sufferings after death of practically all Catholics to fit them for Heaven.

These ideas and theories were presented by Dante in his great epic poem, The Divine Comedy. According to his presentation, it was written over the gates of the Inferno that all who entered abandoned hope. This place was for those who were to suffer eternal torment. This included all heretics; for no good Catholic entered that abode. Then there was another place – Purgatory – where different punishments were administered for various sins, the process of purgation to vary in time according to the degree of the sin and the masses said for them by their friends on earth and the money paid for their deliverance. Thus the work went on, and the "tares" in the Church were multiplied. People were threatened with eternal torment if they did not go to church, and support the hierarchy; and their infants who died were denied salvation.

It was the claim of the Papacy that the thousand years of Christ's Reign, the Millennium, promised in Scripture to follow Christ's Second Advent, began in the year 800 A.D., under Pope Leo III., who claimed to be the representative of Christ, His Vicegerent, to begin Christ's Reign in His stead. In that year the "Papal states" were ceded to the Church by Emperor Charlemagne. Their "Millennium" ended, it was claimed, in the year 1799, when Napoleon confiscated the territories granted to the Church and took the Pope, Pius VI., a captive to France, where he died. The succeeding freedom from Papal persecution, and the widespread circulation of the Bible in the languages of the people, was declared by the Papal leaders to be the "little season" foretold in Revelation to follow the thousand-year Reign of Christ on earth; and they are hoping that soon they will regain their former power and prestige and once more reign supreme, and that their rule will be permanent.

This Papal Millennium is known in history as the "Dark Ages." During that time many were the erroneous doctrines and practises brought in and forced upon the peoples of Europe by the Papacy. Their theory was that they must conquer the world. They endeavored to do this by force, which led to great persecutions, notable among them being the Inquisition. During those dark centuries millions were tortured, exiled, and murdered in multitudinous ways, for refusing to bow to the mandates of the apostate Church, under the leadership of Popes, Bishops and priests. Agents and spies were employed to apprehend and bring to punishment any who were found to express sentiments contrary to the Papal hierarchy, or who failed to bow in abject submission to their authority.

Thus were the nations of Europe paganized and steeped in error and superstition and in reverence for men who falsely claimed to be the special and authorized representatives of God on earth. Yea, these pseudo-apostles of God, as declared in the prophecy of Daniel (7:25), thought to "change times and laws." They presumed to have authority to alter the laws of God when it seemed advisable to them to do so. They thought to change the time for the Reign of Christ, as we have shown. They also set up the abomination of the Mass, which was the taking away of "the continual [once for all] Sacrifice" of Christ, claiming that in the Mass Christ is offered again and again, in a bloodless manner. Thus they set at naught the Scriptural teaching that the one offering of Jesus on Calvary was all-sufficient for the cancellation of sin. See STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, Vol. II., Chapter 9.

We do not charge that these religious leaders of the Dark Ages were all doing these things knowingly. We believe that many of them were themselves deluded by the Adversary into thinking that they were doing the Lord's will. These errors were gradually fastened upon the Church. The leaders became to a large degree confused. God alone can judge of the culpability of each one. By degrees this paganized Christianity, more cruel and relentless in its propagation and enforcement than even Paganism itself, was adopted by the European nations, and they became what was, and still is, known as "Christendom" – Christ's Kingdom. The glorious Scriptural doctrine of the resurrection also fell largely into the background; for what use had an immortal soul which could not die, for a resurrection from the dead? Plato's doctrine of the immortality of man was much more agreeable to the flesh than was the true idea of death. It was not pleasant to think of death as the enemy of man, as the curse which God had pronounced because of Adam's sin.


The work of reform, which in spite of violent opposition gradually developed, in the sixteenth century, into what was known as the Great Reformation, brought some measure of relief to the persecuted, hunted, crushed saints of God – His true Church. Even through the darkest years of the Dark Ages there were a few saintly ones who never bowed their knees to Baal. These sealed with their blood their declaration of faith in the vital doctrines of the Scriptures. However, in due time, their teachings gained sufficient headway to bring about the Reformation, by which the saints "were holpen with a little help." But their leaders were in time overcome with "flatteries," and also succumbed in a considerable degree to the desire to gain power and influence among the nations. See SCRIPTURE STUDIES, Vol. III., pp. 34-39 and pp. 108-113.


Why has God permitted these appalling conditions, is it asked by some? Why did He allow His wheat-field to become so overrun with tares? Our Lord knew that these conditions would later develop, as is shown in this parable of the Wheat and Tares. It was God's purpose to permit this experience as a great lesson to the Church, to angels, and eventually to the whole world. These errors were to be permitted to be introduced, to grow and bring forth their bitter fruitage, and thus to manifest the terrible effects of error, unholy ambition and sin. It had the effect, too, of developing and separating in spirit the true saints of God from the great mass of tares. Both were to grow [R5911 : page 182] together in the Babylonian System, however, until the Harvest time. Then would come the entire separation of the two classes.

Now we are in this separating time. Now we whose eyes of understanding have been opened can see that these errors and evil practices are not of God, are not taught in His Word. Now we see that, as our Master forewarned, "The Kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force." But the great majority of professed Christians are still largely blinded by the smoke of the Dark Ages which for so long has filled their eyes. Violence to the persons of the saints of God is not often indulged in today, because of present laws and public sentiment, though with some this persecuting spirit still exists as formerly, if only they could gain the power. But the same unscriptural doctrines are still preached, modified to some extent to suit the refined ideas of our day. The Bible doctrine of the resurrection of the dead is relegated to the scrap-heap.

Ministers of today, though they sometimes read passages of Scripture bearing upon the resurrection, straightway give them an interpretation utterly at variance with the Scriptural presentation. Some still preach that there is to be a final resurrection of the body, to be joined to its spirit – a doctrine nowhere taught in the Bible, and the veriest nonsense in view of their own theory of the immortality of the soul, which they say is translated at death to its eternal abode. The Bible teaches that the dead are dead, and that there is to be a resurrection of the soul, the being, the Ego. Our Redeemer died to buy back the human race who died in Adam; and He was raised from the dead on the third day by the Father. If the body is "shuffled off" at death, that the spirit may be free from its encumbrance, why would the spirit come to need it again sometime in the distant future? And what an eternal degradation this would be for a spirit which had been freed from its former animal body for years or for centuries!

The church systems of today are thoroughly permeated with all manner of pagan doctrines – Greek philosophies, Pantheism, Buddhism, Rationalism, Spiritism, etc. The doctrines of the immortality of the soul, a trinity of Gods in one, torment after death, re-incarnation of the soul after death, communion of the living with the dead – all these have been borrowed from paganism and are purely heathenish. Truly the nominal systems of today have become Babylon, confusion! And now in the Harvest time of the Age, God is calling His people out of them, and the work is nearly completed. He has spewed these nominal systems out of His mouth. – Revelation 3:14-20; 17:1-5; 18:1-24; 19:1-8.

At one time we wondered why it was God's will to permit this condition of things. But in the light now shining we believe we can clearly see the reason. We believe that God saw what we are now coming to see; namely, that who had never known of the nature and results of sin, who had never known the baneful effects of these monstrous doctrines, could never have appreciated the Truth as can those who have been influenced and bound by them.

What wonderful relief came to our minds and hearts when we emerged from this gross darkness out into the glorious light of God's Truth as it is in Jesus! What a marvelous impression it made upon us! We fancy that [R5912 : page 182] mankind, when awakened from the sleep of death, will be on the lookout, as they awake, for the conditions which they had been taught would be theirs beyond this life. Many will look around in terror to see the fiery flames and tortures, and will shout, "Where is the Devil?" Then when the love of God in His wonderful provision for mankind shall be shown to them, when they are told that they are now under the righteous Reign of Messiah, which designs only good for all men, when they come to realize God's matchless goodness, what a revelation of joy it will be to the poor, benighted, sin-cursed world!

Surely all who are sincere of heart, all desirous of doing right, when the conditions are made favorable for so doing will appreciate, as they never could have done otherwise, the glorious character of our great Creator! So we can see that God has had a purpose in permitting for six thousand years the evil conditions which have prevailed – a purpose for the Church and for the world and for all His created intelligences, even those yet to be created. We hope and believe that when God makes the matter fully plain all will see that His ways are just and righteous altogether. We are waiting for Him fully to demonstrate His character in due time; and this time, we believe, is now very near at hand.

[R5912 : page 182]


"Be ye filled with the Spirit." – Ephesians 5:18.
ET us consider together briefly these words of the Apostle Paul, addressed to the Church of Christ, the saints. They do not apply to those who are merely empty professors, having a form of godliness only, but to those who have fully accepted the terms of God's Call, who have made the full consecration which alone brings us into the position of sons of God. These are the only ones who have the Spirit of God. These only are begotten from Above. But St. Paul would have us remember that it is not sufficient that we receive the begetting of the Holy Spirit, which comes to us at the very entrance of the narrow way. We should see that the Holy Spirit of God abounds in us more and more as we go on in our Heavenward course. The little spark of the new mind should grow stronger and brighter day by day.

If this development does not take place, if we merely stand still, we shall soon begin to lose ground; but if we progress, the natural man will gradually perish and the new man will thrive. Christian development should be steady and continuous. We are to be more and more filled with the Spirit. Sometimes the Lord's children say, "I do desire to be filled with the Lord's Spirit, but it seems as if my capacity is so small. I wish to have His Spirit in large measure, but I am unable to be what I long to be. I am not satisfied with my attainments." But if we are striving earnestly and prayerfully to become like Christ, let us not be discouraged. Let us remember that if we keep filled to our present capacity, this very infilling will enlarge our capacity. Then our earthen vessel will hold more of the Holy Spirit. This, in turn, still further enlarges our capacity; and so the expanding and filling goes on. Thus it is possible for us to be filled continually.

If it were an impossibility for us to be filled with the Spirit of God, the inspired Apostle would not have so instructed us. To the truly consecrated child of God this is possible, and not only possible, but obligatory. But as there are ebbs and flows in the ocean tides, so with our sense of the Lord's presence with us and His smile upon us. We may not always realize His presence to a large degree, but the Lord's saints must learn to walk by faith, to trust Him and His abiding love and presence with us even though physical ill health or untoward outward [R5912 : page 183] circumstances or conditions may at times cause a mental depression. We are to rejoice in the Lord even though there may be for a time more or less heaviness of spirit.


In speaking of the glorious salvation of the Church the Apostle Peter says, "Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations [trials], that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory." (1 Peter 1:6-8.) And we can thus rejoice even in the midst of severe trials that cause pain and tears. There may be times when it will seem as though we are more filled with the Spirit than at other times. But if we are striving earnestly to daily walk with God, this will not really be the case. It may be only a difference of surface feelings. The true child of the Lord should steadily progress.

The spirit, or disposition, of the world will seek to invade the dominion of the New Creature. But the New Creature must be on the alert to see that his mind and body are freed from everything that would not be in fullest harmony with God's Holy Spirit. Each one should seek to judge himself in this respect. We may not judge one another, but we should judge ourselves. We are to see to it that the Spirit of the Lord is manifest in our words, our thoughts and our conduct. We should be able to do this more and more successfully, more and more continually, as we go on in the good way and grow in grace and knowledge. This we shall do if we are watching, praying, striving, day by day.

The Spirit of the Lord dwelling in us in fulness, as it should be, will cause our entire being to be so absorbed by the principles of righteousness laid down in the Lord's Word, to be so in love with the Heavenly things, Heavenly hopes, Heavenly prospects, that everything else will be of no value to us. And this will be more and more our blessed experience if we continue faithfully in the narrow way, if we "follow on to know the Lord."

But if, on the contrary, we find ourselves making provision for the flesh, making worldly plans; if we find ourselves inclined to lay up treasures on earth instead of in Heaven, we should take alarm, and should ask ourselves whether we are deficient, whether we are neglecting the means of grace – prayer alone with God, study of His Word, meditation upon the glorious things to which we have been called, watching ourselves as to our growth in the fruits of the Spirit. If we find that we are considerably controlled by the spirit of contention, we should ask ourselves, "Are we seeking to deal justly and equitably with others – to give them their rights and not to intrude upon them? Are we cultivating the love which is forbearing, forgiving and kind?" – 2 Timothy 2:24; Ephesians 4:31,32.

If we find after close introspection that we are in full sympathy with the spirit of love, and can see that we are gradually developing this crowning fruit of the Spirit, let us rejoice; for we should greatly deplore the matter if it were otherwise. If we find that we are controlled by this spirit of love, we may know that we are filled with the Spirit. This spirit of love will enlarge our hearts and minds, making us broader and nobler day by day.

But we need to continually watch and pray; for there is constant danger otherwise that we may be tripped up or stumbled either by our own faults or those of others. We are never safe from being side-tracked unless we go often to the Throne of Grace; we cannot be filled unless we keep very close to the great Fountain from which our infilling comes. We must daily carry our earthen pitcher to this Heavenly Fountain to be replenished; for we are leaky vessels. We are not to feel discouraged if we do not find in ourselves the rapid growth that we desire to see. Strong, sturdy trees that can withstand the fiercest storms are not developed in a day. Their growth is a slow, steady process. We should show our loyalty to the Lord by renewed effort every time we fail. He is looking at us not to see if we are perfect in the flesh – for He knows that we are not and can never be – but to see whether or not we have the spirit of earnestness and loyalty which daily and hourly seeks to keep the body under and to cheerfully take up the cross.


The Christian is not to be like the worldling who seeks to drown his troubles and afflictions in drink or in pleasures, dissipations and frivolous diversions; but in every trouble he is to fly to the only true Source of solace and comfort and strength. This will drive away all anxiety and give him rest and peace even in the midst of trouble. Like the fabled halcyon, which built its nest and brought forth its birdlings in the midst of the sea, the true child of God can be at rest even amidst the billows and storms of life, and can prosper as a New Creature and accomplish all the good pleasure of God's will.

This unwavering trust in the Lord, this abiding rest of the soul, this zeal in God's service, is a matter of growth. "They go from strength to strength," the Psalmist declares of the inhabitants of Zion. "First the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear," said our Lord of this class. (Psalm 84:7; Mark 4:28.) Notwithstanding the difficulties of life, these can continue to make melody in their hearts unto the Lord. They rejoice no [R5913 : page 183] matter what may be the outward earthly conditions. They can smile even through their tears, knowing that, according to His promise, all things are working together for their good. To attain this development is to be filled with the Spirit; and each consecrated disciple of Christ should reach this plane.

Some Christian writer has well said: "Wherever there has been a faithful following of the Lord in a consecrated heart, several things have, sooner or later, inevitably followed. Meekness and quietness of spirit become in time the characteristics of the daily life. A submissive acceptance of the will of God, as it comes in the hourly events of each day, is manifested; pliability in the hands of God to do or to suffer all the good pleasure of His will; sweetness under provocation; calmness in the midst of turmoil and bustle; a yielding to the wishes of others [where there is no conflicting principle involved], and an insensibility to slights and affronts; absence of worry or anxiety; deliverance from care and fear – all these, and many other similar graces, are invariably found to be the natural outward development of that inward life which is 'hid with Christ in God.'"

"Jesus, my Lord, Thou art my life,
My rest in labor, strength in strife;
Thy love begets my love of Thee;
Thy fulness that which filleth me.

"Mine effort vain, my weakness learned,
Weary, from self to Christ I turned,
Content to let His fulness be
An unbought fulness unto me."

[R5913 : page 184]

– JULY 2. – ACTS 17:1-15. –


"Him did God exalt with His right hand to be a Prince and a Savior." – Acts 5:31.
EAVING Philippi, St. Paul, Silas and Timothy went about one hundred miles to the southwest and stopped at the city of Thessalonica, the largest commercial city of Macedonia – a city now known as Salonica. En route they passed two cities, where apparently they found no opening for their Message, no hearts prepared. Philippi was one of the few cities where the Gospel made any headway before the city had first come under the influence of Judaism to some extent. Evidently the scattering of the Jews throughout this region had more or less acquainted their neighbors with the true God, the observation of His Laws and respect for His revelations and for the promised Messiah.

At Thessalonica the missionaries found a Jewish synagogue; and in harmony with their usual custom they attended worship there. For three Sabbath days they reasoned with the congregation from the Scriptures. The word rendered reasoned in Verse 2 implies a dialogue or discussion. St. Paul discussed the Bible with the Jews. The propriety of his course is evident. The Jews were familiar with the Messianic prophecies; and although making their home amongst the Gentiles, nevertheless, as the Apostle declares, they were continually hoping for the fulfilment of the grand promises made to Abraham, confirmed to Isaac and to Jacob – the Oath-bound Covenant. – Acts 26:7; Hebrews 6:13-19.

This form of preaching the Gospel has fallen considerably into disuse amongst Christians. It is an excellent one. We have endeavored to revive it amongst the friends of Present Truth everywhere by especially commending to them the Berean Bible Studies and such discussions of the Word of God with the aid of helps. The effect is excellent. In this way many obtain clearer conceptions of the Truth than they would get from any ordinary discourse. While we commend any kind of Bible study, we especially commend this form which the Lord has blessed above all others for the enlightenment of His people in this end of the Gospel Age. This method is for the advantage of the entire class; for an able leader is not so indispensable as with other methods. One danger with able leaders is that sometimes their ability goes in a wrong direction and misleads the too confiding ones under their care.

For this kind of Bible study both a textbook and a question book are used. The textbooks are the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES. In these volumes the teachings of the Bible have been brought into an assimilable form. Each subject is treated systematically, with references to various parts of the Bible in which these subjects are stated. It does not surprise us, therefore, that those of God's people who have learned the value of this method of Bible study and who follow it have a clearer understanding of the Word than have others.


After telling us that the Apostle reasoned with the Jews concerning the Gospel Message, our Study explains something of his method; namely, he opened the Scriptures to them, pointing out what they had not previously noted respecting Messiah – the fact that it was necessary for Christ to suffer death and to rise from the dead before He could be the King promised. The Jews knew of the Scriptures which referred to Messiah's sufferings. But these they ignored, and grasped only those which referred to His Millennial Reign of glory, honor and power.

What they needed was just what the Lord sent them in the Apostle – some one to explain the Scriptures, to answer their questions and to help them to find the answers to their own questions in the Scriptures. St. Paul showed them the connecting links between the two lines of prophecies pertaining to Messiah. He pointed out the fact that through the power of sin inbred, ingrained, death reigned over the human race, and that none could be released from this condition without a Redeemer. Messiah would indeed reign over His Kingdom, the world; but previously a redemption must take place, a lifting of the curse of death. Then he produced the facts of Jesus' death, "the Just for the unjust," and showed that our Lord's resurrection was exactly what had been declared by the Prophets, and was necessary for Him to carry out in due time the foretold blessing of Israel under their New Covenant and the blessing of the world through Israel. – Genesis 2:17; 3:19; 12:3; Ezekiel 18:4,20; Jeremiah 31:31-34.

Then the Apostle showed that first, however, an elect class must be gathered, to be associated with Messiah in His Kingdom; and that these must demonstrate their worthiness by laying down their lives in consecration in His service. The sum of the Apostle's argument was, "This Jesus whom I preach unto you is Messiah."


Some of the Jews believed the Message and took sides with St. Paul and Silas; but evidently they were only a minority. With them were some devout Greeks and also a number of prominent women. The division time had come. The wheat amongst the Jews in Thessalonica must be separated from the chaff class, as elsewhere. (Matthew 3:11,12.) They were being gathered into the Gospel garner, into the Spirit Dispensation. They were being transferred from Moses to Christ, from Natural Israel to the new Spiritual Israel, called to be a Royal Priesthood, a peculiar people, for a Divine purpose.

Only a minority of the Jews could receive this Message. The remainder were embittered. Therefore they became jealous of the success achieved by these strangers, who had been in the city but a few weeks, but who nevertheless had already made considerable impression upon Gentiles, whom they had been unable to influence and to convert to Judaism.

Having no truthful argument, no logic wherewith they could overcome the arguments of the missionaries, the unbelieving Jews resorted to Satan's usual tactics of misrepresentation, slander, thus arousing prejudice, hatred, malice, etc. They even incited an uproar in the city – a mob, which made an assault upon the house of Jason, with whom the missionaries were lodging. Not finding the missionaries, the mob, under leadership, took Jason and other believers before the magistrate, saying, "These that have turned the world upside down have come here also." Jason has received them, and is thus a participant in their wrong-doing. They are traitors to this government and the Emperor; they teach that there is another king – Jesus.

This was almost the exact charge brought against our Redeemer when He was brought to Pilate's judgment bar. And there is a measure of truth in it; for the [R5913 : page 185] Caesars claimed not only to be civil rulers of the world, but also to be the Pontifex Maximus, or chief religious ruler. While the Kingdom which Jesus and the Apostles preached is a Heavenly one, a spiritual one, nevertheless the Message includes the thought that in due time this Heavenly rule, or authority, would be extended to the affairs of earth, and Messiah's Kingdom would be worldwide – "under the whole heaven." – Daniel 7:27.

We can readily see that such a proclamation might be construed as treasonable from the world's standpoint. But surely the Jews had no excuse for using their influence along these lines; for they well knew that all the hopes and promises in which their nation rejoiced led up to just such a Kingdom hope. Nevertheless, their pride and hatred blinded them to the injustice of their course when they incited the heathen multitude. It should not surprise us at all if in the near future false Christians – Christians not in the proper attitude of heart to receive the Message of Present Truth – should similarly charge us with treason because we preach "the Kingdom of God's dear Son," about to be established in power and great glory, in the midst of a period of social distress and anarchy. Nor will it surprise us if these false Christians should be the very ones to incite the multitudes and the rulers against us.


The Jews realized that there was a conflict on between Judaism and Christianity; and that wherever the two came into contact there could be naught else than a clash, and one or the other be turned upside down. Similarly, some of those who are at present blinded to Present Truth rail at us in almost the same language. And the truthfulness of the assertions cannot be controverted. The Gospel of Christ created differences in the Jewish system then, as the Gospel Truth is doing now in Christendom. This is what our Lord Jesus foretold when He said, "Think not that I have come to send peace upon the earth. I have come to send a sword. . . . And a man's foes shall be they of his own household." – Matthew 10:34-36.

Our own experiences, like those of the Apostles, corroborate the truth of our Lord's statement. An irrepressible conflict is on. However, had the Jews but properly understood the matter, they need not have given themselves such concern. They might have known that comparatively few would accept the Message of the Gospel; and that the few going out from them would scarcely be missed.

And so it is today. Our dear friends in the various denominations are fearful lest Present Truth capture their people by the wholesale. But they are mistaken. It will take only the Elect, and leave the remainder. The wheat are comparatively few in proportion to the tares; and only the wheat is being gathered. The tares must be left in the bundles – in sectarian bodies. They must not in any manner get in amongst the wheat ready for the garner. The separation of the wheat from the tares should not, and could not, take place in the past, but must and will take place now, in the Harvest of this Age.

Apparently this attack upon Jason and others was not permitted of the Lord until the work of propagation had been well accomplished, and until those who had an ear to hear had a good opportunity to hear the Message. The rulers of Thessalonica put Jason and the other believers under bonds, to guarantee against a certain forfeit of money or of property that these Christian missionaries should raise no further disturbance. As a result, St. Paul and Silas realized that their work at Thessalonica was at an end; and, that they might not jeopardize the interests of the Cause and of their friends by further public utterances, St. Paul agreed that they should leave the city quietly, secretly.


The next stopping place was Berea; and there, as usual, the missionaries went first to the synagogue. They were agreeably surprised to find the Jews at that place very honest-hearted. We read, "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the Word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether these things were so." The Greek word used here for "noble" seems to imply persons of noble birth, a higher and nobler class than those of the more commercial city. Nobility of character is favorable, wherever found and from whatever causes; and true nobility implies reasonableness, as distinguished from prejudice.

The Bereans were reasonable. Professing to believe all that was written in the Law and the Prophets, professing to be looking for the Messiah, they welcomed the servants of God who sought to draw their attention particularly to the "things written aforetime." With all readiness of mind they began to examine the Scriptures, not merely on the Sabbath, but daily, to see how well the Apostle's arguments were supported by the testimony of the Law and the Prophets. As we should expect, many of so noble a class accepted the Good Tidings. Indeed, the wonder is that any person of noble and reasoning mind, once becoming acquainted with the glorious Message of God's love and mercy through Christ – His Plan for selecting the Church now and of blessing all the families of the earth through that Church by and by – could disbelieve it or could attribute such a Gospel to any human source. Surely its internal evidences are convincing that it is not of man nor by man, but of the Lord!

We read that many of the noble Bereans believed – Jews and Greeks, men and women. Here is a suggestion to us all. We should have a judgment and conviction respecting the Divine Word; but it should not be so unreasonable a one as to hinder us from receiving further knowledge from the same source. We are to "try the spirits," the teachings, the doctrines. This does not signify, however, that we are to be "blown about by every wind of doctrine." We should know in whom we have believed; and having been once convinced, we should not be easily turned aside from a properly grounded faith.

If we are satisfied that we have been building upon the Rock Foundation furnished us in the Divine Revelation, we should expect that any further light coming to us would not be contradictory to what we have found to be Scriptural and harmonious with the Divine character. On the contrary, we should expect that all further light from the Divine Word would be consistent with the foundations of our faith. Anything that would set aside or make valueless the first principles of the doctrines of Christ should be promptly rejected.


If the missionaries of the Cross of Christ were vigilant and earnest, so were the servants of error. The Jews of Thessalonica learned that the missionaries were at Berea, and forthwith began to foment strife and to raise a disturbance amongst the people. The missionaries concluded that this was a sign that they should move forward.

Let us be on the alert to watch for the leadings of the Lord's providence; and while not fleeing persecution in the ordinary sense, let us be ready to move when persecution seems inevitable and when apparently it might be considered as an indication from the Lord that He had service for us in some other field of labor. Thus persecuted, St. Paul went to Athens; and later Silas and Timothy followed him thither.

[R5913 : page 186]

– JULY 9. – 1 THESSALONIANS 1; 4:13-18. –


"If we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also that are fallen asleep in Jesus will God bring with Him." – Chapter 4:14.
HILE our Study today deals chiefly with the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Epistle of which it forms a part gives a description of the class that will rejoice in His Second Coming and with good reason. In this Epistle St. Paul points out some of the characteristics of those to whom he says, "Ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that Day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all children of the light, the children of the Day." (Chapter 5:4,5.) Of these characteristics the essential one is "the love of God," "The love of Christ," extending to all who are of the Household of Faith, and manifesting itself in a spirit of sympathy toward the entire "groaning creation."

Although the Church at Thessalonica was composed of those who in respect to length of Christian experience were but "babes in Christ," nevertheless it is very evident that the persecution which had come upon them had caused them to grow very rapidly. It was about a year since they had received the Gospel; and yet the Apostle witnesses to their rapid development, as evidenced by their love for one another – not only for the little company at Thessalonica, but to all of the Household of Faith throughout Macedonia. The Apostle declares that this love of the brethren was a manifestation of the fact that they had been "taught of God."

One of the first effects of a knowledge of the grace of God in Christ and of a full consecration to the Lord is this love for all fellow-servants – "the brethren." Would that the fervency and the zeal of first love, both toward the Lord and toward the entire Household of Faith, might not only continue, but increase with all! But, alas! many who start warmly and earnestly grow lukewarm – become captious, cynical, hypercritical, high-minded and self-assertive – and lose much of the simplicity, zeal and humility of their first faith and their first love.

This is the first attack of the great Adversary to re-ensnare, through the weaknesses of the flesh, those who have escaped his chains of darkness and have come to see some of the glory of God shining through Christ. If they do not resist these attacks, the effect is sure to be not only lukewarmness toward the Lord, His Cause and the members of His Body, but eventually the cultivation of the fruits of darkness – envy, malice, hatred, strife – instead of the fruits of the Spirit of Christ – meekness, gentleness, patience, brotherly-kindness, love. Hence the Apostle urges the Church, "We beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more" – in love and service one for the other; for this increase implies a growth in all the graces of the Holy Spirit.


The religion of Christ is designed to blend with all the proper duties, perplexities, trials and pleasures of the home and the family. Thus the majority of the people of God can best let shine the light which they have received from the Lord. Each should "study to be quiet" – to have a quiet ambition, not a restless bustling for notoriety and for great exploits, but a quiet, earnest perseverance in well-doing, a condition in which the fruits and graces of the Holy Spirit will best thrive.

True, the light received will make a great change in many of the affairs of the home. It sets before us new ideals, to be esteemed and copied. It introduces us to a new relationship, a new kindred – the family of God. Thus it brings us some new responsibilities and privileges; and if we are filled with the spirit of the Truth, with love toward God and all who have any of His likeness, it will make us very zealous in the dispensing of the grace of God, which has brought such blessing to our own hearts.

This does not signify that it is the Lord's will that all who receive the Truth should go forth as public teachers, abandoning home, trade, occupation, duties, responsibilities, etc. The Lord's call will never conflict with proper duties and responsibilities previously upon us. The man who has a family to provide for should not even think of leaving such obligations, nor consider himself called to public preaching, if it would imply the neglect of duties and obligations already resting upon him. Such persons should quietly and thankfully do all in the Divine service that a proper regard for those dependent upon them would permit.

On the other hand, those who are free to give time and energy to the Lord's service, and who have talents of any kind, should, when they receive the Truth, humbly present their all to the Lord and then seek to use their every opportunity in His service as He shall open the way. Thereafter such consecrated ones should be very careful that they do not so encumber themselves as to hinder their usefulness in such service.


Not only have we duties and a ministry toward every member of the Body of Christ, but we have certain responsibilities toward those who are in darkness, out of Christ. The Christian is to be a burning and shining light toward the world. The world sees not from the inside, as does the Household of Faith. Hence there is great necessity that the Christian should so live before the world as to be a "living epistle, known and read of all men," honoring to the Lord and to His Word.

The Christian life should be seen by the world, not merely as just and honest, but also as noble and honorable. There are honest people who are mean. There are truthful people who tell the truth in a combative and repellant manner. But in the true Christian, love should produce so generous a sentiment that it would ennoble every virtue. To this end, also, the Christian should strive "to have need of nothing" – so far as possible, not to be dependent upon charity, but rather, as the Apostle elsewhere states it, to "labor, working with his own hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth." (Ephesians 4:28.) The Lord's instruction to fleshly Israel that they should lend, but should not borrow, may well be applied in principle by Spiritual Israel. This principle applies to buying on credit, a practise which should be avoided by the Lord's people; and as a rule this principle would be found advantageous to mankind in general.


Under St. Paul's instruction, supplemented by Timothy's, the young Thessalonian Church had in a very short time attained considerable knowledge of the Divine Plan – much more, apparently, than is enjoyed by a majority of Christian congregations today. For instance, they knew what many today are ignorant of – that the Christian's [R5913 : page 187] hope centers in the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and the gathering of the Church to Him. They also knew that their friends who had died were "asleep"; and their hope was that all the sleeping dead would be awakened from the death sleep by the Lord at His Second Coming. Realizing that all hopes of eternal life depended upon the Second Coming of our Lord as the great Life-giver, there was no danger that the early Church should ever lose sight of this inspiring hope set before us.

For several centuries past this fact that the dead sleep, and cannot be awakened until the Second Advent of our Lord, has been lost sight of; and as a result all faith in the Lord's Second Coming has generally languished. It has come to be believed generally by Christian people that the dead do not "sleep," but are more awake than they were when alive – that in the moment of dissolution the dead go to Heaven or to Hell, and that these conditions are permanent, unalterable. With such unscriptural thoughts before their minds, who can wonder that to the majority of professed Christians the Second Coming of the Lord is an event without special interest? Hence it is regarded lightly by some; and by many it is wholly disbelieved and declared to be a useless, uninteresting and pernicious teaching.

However, "the brethren," who have been instructed in the Word of the Lord, and who do not follow "cunningly devised fables" originated by the Arch Deceiver, find that the Scriptures as a whole, from Genesis to Revelation, are illuminated with the grand hope of the coming of Messiah in glory and power, to establish His Kingdom of Righteousness in the earth, to awaken and uplift those who have fallen under the hand of Death – to give beauty for ashes, and the oil of joy for the spirit of heaviness – to as many as will accept His blessing, under the terms of the New Covenant. – Jeremiah 31:31-34; Hebrews 8:8-13; Isaiah 61:1-3.


As originally pronounced in Eden, the penalty against the race of Adam was not a sleep of death for a few days, years or centuries. On the contrary, it was absolute extinction – destruction. (Genesis 2:17; 3:19.) But God had purposed a redemption from the curse of death; and for this purpose Christ Jesus came into the world and died, "the Just for the unjust," that He might bring mankind back to God – back to Divine favor, where the gift of God – eternal life – will be a possibility for the willing and obedient. Ever since the Ransom-price was laid down at Calvary, and its acceptance manifested at Pentecost, it has been proper to regard the whole world as being no longer dead – wholly cut off from life – but as merely sleeping – awaiting the return of the Redeemer as the Awakener, the Vivifier, the Live-giver. – Romans 6:23; John 5:25,28,29; 1 Corinthians 15:12-23.

In this sense of the word, all mankind may be said to "sleep in Jesus," the Redeemer; for by His death our Lord Jesus secured for all of Adam's posterity another trial for life – instead of the one lost by Father Adam through disobedience. Our Lord Himself declared that as a consequence of His being lifted up as the great Sin-Offering upon the cross, He will yet draw all men unto Himself. (John 12:32,33; 3:14-16.) Thus He showed us that the world is not to be considered as dead – extinct – but as merely "asleep," waiting for the drawing time foreordained of the Father, and provided for by the "Ransom for all." (1 Timothy 2:5,6.) This drawing, like that exerted for the selection of the Church, will be through a knowledge of the Truth, and signifies that ultimately all mankind will be made aware of God's gracious provision, under which they may, if they will when brought to a knowledge of the Truth, obtain life everlasting.

Since the majority of the race of mankind went into death before the Ransom-price was provided, this implies an awakening from death in order that they may be drawn or come to a knowledge of the Truth. In harmony with this thought are the words of our Lord to the effect that the hour is coming when all that are in the graves shall hear His voice and come forth; and that then those who hear – obey – shall live – everlastingly.

A future life for all has been provided by our Lord, who "gave His life a Ransom for all"; and the fact that their death sentence has been provided for makes it proper to speak of them as "asleep in Jesus," instead of as being dead in Adam. The fact that many of them did not know of their redemption would work no greater hindrance than would the fact that many of the same ones had no knowledge in particular of the original sentence through Adam. They came under the Adamic sentence without choice or knowledge, and later came under the benefits of the redemption similarly without choice or knowledge. – Romans 5:18.


In the use of the phrase, "them also which sleep in Jesus," the Apostle cannot refer merely to the saints; for the Gospel had been preached at Thessalonica for only about one year, and during that year not very many of the saints could have died. Furthermore, when we remember that the saints are generally not related according to the flesh we can readily see that in appealing to their hopes in order that they might not sorrow as did others, the Apostle must have meant not only hopes for the saints, but also hopes for all of their friends who had died. If their hopes had been merely for the saints, and if they had believed that all others were hopelessly and everlastingly lost, it would have been in vain for the Apostle to appeal to them to sorrow not as others who have no such hope; for such bad hopes respecting the great majority of their dying and dead friends and relatives would have been a cause for greater sorrow than they or any other heathens could have had when they had no knowledge and no definite hopes.

This fact is set forth by the Apostle in Chapter 4:14. There he points out that the Christian's faith is built upon the fact that Christ Jesus died, and that He rose again. Our Lord died for the sins of the Church, "and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world." (1 John 2:2.) His resurrection is an evidence that His sacrifice was acceptable not only on behalf of His Church, but also on behalf of all for whom He died; and therefore it becomes a guarantee, or pledge, that in His own due time God will establish Christ and His Church as the Kingdom of God, and that this Kingdom when established shall bless all the families of the earth with the knowledge of the Truth.

Believing this, we are bound to believe also that all mankind redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, shall, according to His promise, yet come forth from the sleep of death to hear His Word as the great Law-giver of the New Covenant, and to have, if they will by obedience to it, the gift of God – eternal life – through Jesus Christ our Lord. As God accepted the sacrifice of Christ and raised Him from the dead, "even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring [from the sleep of death] with Him" – through His instrumentality.

But let us not confound this thought that the future of the whole world has been changed from "death" to [R5913 : page 188] "sleep" by the Ransom-price, which Jesus gave for all, with the very different expression, "the dead in Christ," which is applicable to no other than the elect Church. The name Jesus, which signifies Savior, has special application to the Ransom and Restitution features of our Lord's work. But the name Christ is the title to His kingly office. The call to "be baptized into Jesus Christ," thus to become "members of the Body of Christ" – the Anointed – is an offer which is restricted to the "called and chosen and faithful" Church of this Gospel Age. But the redemptive benefits covered by the name Jesus are "for all," "for every man," for "whosoever will" accept those mercies on the New Covenant conditions.


So then, in the language of the Apostle, we exhort Christians in respect to all their dead – in Christ and out of Christ, New Creatures and old creatures, those enlightened and blessed by the marvelous light of the Gospel, and those who have died while blinded by "the god of this world" – that they sorrow not as others who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died for all; that He has risen from the dead; that on this account all the dead are to be considered as sleeping, waiting for His return and the exaltation of His elect Church also in glory; and that then all whom God counts as asleep in Him, or on account of Him, or through Him and His work, shall also be brought from the dead.

Few Christians have noticed the frequency with which the Scriptures use this word "sleep" in reference to the state of the dead. Notice that in Chapter 4:13-15 the word is used three times in three successive verses. Notice also the following instances: John 11:11,12; Acts 7:60; 13:36; 2 Peter 3:4; 1 Corinthians 15:6,18,20,51; Matthew 9:24; 13:25; Mark 5:39; Luke 8:52; 1 Thessalonians 5:10; Matthew 27:52; 1 Corinthians 11:30.

In these instances, all from the New Testament, the word sleep is used instead of the word death, and used in full view of the Ransom by which all shall be redeemed. What was the custom in Old Testament times? Looking back, we find that Daniel (12:1-3) prophetically speaks of those "who sleep in the dust of the earth," and describes the sleepers as being of two classes – some who will awake to everlasting life, and some who will awake to shame and everlasting contempt – the latter class representing those who will be tried during the Millennium. Similarly, of both kings and prophets – one after another – it is declared that "he slept with his fathers."

The basis for this expression and of the faith in a future life which it implies is set forth by our Lord, saying, "That the dead are [to be] raised, even Moses showed at the Bush." (Luke 20:37.) "Have ye not read in the Book of Moses how in the Bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." (Mark 12:26.) "He is not a God of the dead [the extinct, for whom no future is designed], but [He is the God] of the living, because all live unto Him." (Luke 20:38.) It was as a result of Moses' experience that the Jews thereafter spoke of their dead as "asleep" and "waiting for the morning," when they would be "awakened."

But be it noticed, God's reason for speaking of humanity as yet having a hope of life beyond the grave rests not upon any change of the sentence from death – extinction – to a profound "sleep" for a period, but upon His predetermined Plan to provide a Savior who would redeem, purchase back, for Adam and all his race "that which was lost" – the privilege of life everlasting in harmony with God. – Luke 19:10; John 10:10.


Having spoken of the general hopes of the entire "groaning creation," all of which center in the Second Coming of our Lord, the Apostle delivers, not an opinion or a guess, but a special message to the effect that the sleeping saints will suffer no loss by reason of having fallen asleep, but that on the contrary they will be granted a priority over the living saints in that they will be "changed," "glorified," to see the Lord, to be like Him and to share His glory, before those of the same class who are alive at the time of the Second Advent. Elsewhere we have given at considerable length our reasons for believing that the shout, the voice and the trumpet here mentioned by the Apostle are symbols, as in other parts of the Scriptures; for instance, in the Revelation. See STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, Vol. 2, 143-150.

Apparently the Church at Thessalonica had been studying the subject of our Lord's Second Coming, and were fearful lest some of their number might "fall asleep" before that event, and were doubtful as to how much of the blessing might thus be lost by these, as well as solicitous for their friends. Hence the Apostle says, "Comfort one another with these words."

The word translated "coming" in Verse 15 is parousia. This Greek word does not really have the significance of our English word "coming," but signifies presence – after arrival – giving the thought that our Lord will be present before "the dead in Christ" are "raised," although this will be prior to the "change" of the living. This Scripture, as well as many others, indicates distinctly that the Lord's presence will not be manifest, visible, to the world during this time. As our Lord said before He went away, "Yet a little while, and the world seeth Me no more." (John 14:19.) This thought is emphasized by St. Paul's subsequent remarks respecting the Day of the Lord and the fact that the world would not know of it, but only the "brethren," those not "in darkness." – 1 Thess. 5:1-5.

It speaks well for the rapid growth in knowledge on the part of the Church at Thessalonica that the Apostle could thus write to them. How definitely he separates the Church, the Body of Christ, from the world! How particularly he shows that the one class will be in total ignorance of this subject, while the other class will have knowledge of our Lord's return! Knowledge of the Second Presence of our Lord is a feature of the Day of the Lord – the Day of His Presence – "the Harvest," or end of this Age, during which the great Chief Reaper will not only gather the sleeping saints first, but proceed also to seal and to gather all the living members of the Elect class, who shall be counted worthy to escape the great afflictions which are about to come upon the world, in the culmination of the great Time of Trouble, which will dissolve present institutions and make ready for the establishment of the Heavenly Kingdom, under the rulership of Christ Jesus and His "little flock" of joint-heirs – the Seed of Abraham, who are to bless all the families of the earth, living and dead.

"Painful and dark the pathway seems
To distant earthly eyes;
They only see the hedging thorns
On either side that rise;

"They cannot know how soft between
The flowers of love are strewn,
The sunny ways, the pastures green,
Where Jesus leads His own."

[R5913 : page 189]


"Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a Crown of Life." – Rev. 2:10.
HESE are the words of our glorified Lord, given through St. John the Revelator on the Island of Patmos. This thrilling exhortation is given to the Church, to those who have entered into a special contract, a special covenant with the Lord. The invitation of the present time, to suffer with Jesus that we may reign with Him, implies the attainment of membership in His Body. His members are His disciples; they have been invited to walk in His steps. [R5914 : page 189]

It is required of these that they continue to hold fast the faith that first led them to make a consecration. They are to continue in this attitude through evil report and through good report, to follow their Leader "whithersoever He goeth." They must not faint before they reach the end of the journey. The world, the flesh and the Adversary will try to dissuade them and turn them back – try to cause them to think that the invitation they have received is an intangible, impossible thing.

A faithful servant is one who demonstrates himself worthy of his master's confidence, one who can always be relied upon. Daily we are proving our loyalty or our disloyalty. "The Lord your God doth prove you." He proves us to see if we are worthy – to see whether we love Him best or love self best, to see if our confidence in Him is such that we will lay aside everything else to win this great Prize which He has offered, to see whether we are following a mere temporary impulse, whether we are trying to grasp this beautiful thing, this Crown of Life, without appreciation of its cost.

In one of His parables, our Lord represents some who, when the sun of persecution arises, are not sufficiently loyal to the principles of righteousness to stand. They become offended. They wither away. So this word faithful seems particularly to signify loyalty, including also the thought of being full of faith. God's children are to be full of faith, and those in whom God can have faith – those proving worthy of His entire confidence.

Our Lord will say to such as are wholly faithful to the end of the race, "Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord!" These shall have "a Crown of Life." Their loyalty must be proved even unto death. This does not mean merely that they shall die as a consequence of their consecration to the Lord; for there will be two classes of those who thus die – the Little Flock will die sacrificially, and the Great Company will die through "the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the Day of the Lord Jesus."

"Unto death," therefore, would in this text mean a faithfulness which would persist until the sacrifice is finished in death, a faithfulness ready to encounter death at any moment, which would lead to the performance of the Covenant of Sacrifice even unto its consummation.


The thought in respect to the receiving of the Crown is that it confers great honor. In the Olympian games of olden time a crown was given which was usually of laurel leaves; and great victors on battle-fields received crowns of laurel – the laurel being an evergreen shrub or tree, symbolizing that which endures. The Apostle used this illustration as picturing the high honor to be bestowed upon the faithful Church. There is a great Prize to be given. There is an election going on. It is for each individual to make his calling and election sure. – 2 Peter 1:10,11.

Each one who is victorious will receive a Crown of Life. It will not be a crown that will soon fade, or one that will last only a certain number of years, but a crown of everlasting life. And not only so, but the Lord shows us that this crown of everlasting life will be a crown of superior life – life on the very highest plane. Those who attain Restitution during the Millennial Age will have everlasting life on the human plane. The angels will have everlasting life on the spirit plane. But this Crown of Life given to the "more than conquerors" will be the very highest form of spirit life – immortality – far above all other planes of life, as the special reward for being victors in this race. "Let us so run that we may obtain." The goal is near!

"Run on, my soul, undaunted,
Where duty shines before,
Though deserts blaze around thee
And Jordans surge and roar;
The land on this side Jordan
Is not thy birthright blest;
Speed on, and find thy Canaan
And enter into rest."

page 189

E HAVE mapped out a very elaborate Convention arrangement for this Summer. The custom of taking a few days' vacation every Summer is becoming a general one. Bible Students especially enjoy their vacations when these can be spent in Christian fellowship and in building one another up in the Most Holy Faith and in the fruits and graces of the Holy Spirit. The method once employed of having one or two Conventions in the Summer has been found unsatisfactory for two reasons:

(1) This involves too large an expenditure of time and money when long distances must be traveled.

(2) When a Convention is too large the fellowship is not so good – the opportunities for getting acquainted, etc., are poorer proportionately.

We believe that we have made good selections of Convention points in the territory where Bible Students are most numerous. We are announcing the dates in good time, so that vacations may be arranged accordingly. In every case arrangements will be made for lodgings at fifty cents per night upward and for restaurant service, where each can provide according to his appetite, purse and judgment. Address the Secretary of every Convention you wish to attend, mentioning the number of your party, males and females. If colored, the fact should be mentioned.

In the past we have had difficulty from the fact that when an assignment was made no money consideration was passed; therefore neither the householder nor the visitor considered the matter thoroughly binding. As a result, sometimes the householder rented the room to others, and sometimes the visitor went elsewhere, neglecting the assignment. We hope to remedy the matter this year by requiring the deposit of one dollar in the case of each assignment. The dollar will be paid to the householder on the visitor's account, and the receipt will show this. We trust thus to avoid difficulty experienced in the past and to add to the comfort of all. Our representatives will visit and inspect the rooms assigned and judge of their cleanliness and suitability, and, to the best of their ability, serve the interests of the visiting Brethren and Sisters. We urge that, when sending in the one dollar for each person, you state your preferences as respects accommodation – remembering, of course, that a fifty-cent lodging will not be in any respects as fine as a five-dollar one. Our Convention List is, we believe, about complete, as follows:


St. Louis will be central as a Convention point to a large number of Bible Students. The Brethren there have arranged for Princess Theater, which is accredited with being a very cool place. In it all the Convention Meetings will be held – the evenings being devoted to the PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION. Brother Russell is expected to be present at the conclusion of page 190 the Convention. His topic will be, "The World on Fire," at the Odeon Theater, Sunday, June 25, 8 p.m.

The following Pilgrim Brethren are scheduled to be in attendance: R.H. Hirsh, George Draper, R.L. Robie, R.O. Hadley, W.M. Batterson, A.J. Eshleman, Menta Sturgeon, Chairman. Address J.H. HOEVELER, 6126 Waterman Ave., St. Louis, Mo., for information and assignment of lodgings.


A splendid invitation has come to Bible Students to meet at Sioux City, Iowa. We are sure of a cordial welcome by the Bible Students and citizens and officials there. A splendid Auditorium has been placed at our disposal. We have every reason to expect a glorious season of spiritual fellowship, as well as physical comfort. The following Pilgrim Brethren are scheduled to be in attendance: I.F. Hoskins, W.F. Hudgings, J.P. MacPherson, T.P. Yates, L.F. Zink, B.M. Rice, A.P. Walker, A.I. Ritchie, Chairman. Address A.J. Strite, 1422 W. 5th St., for accommodations.


The Authorities of this old and dignified Watering Place of Rhode Island have placed at the disposal of our Association excellent Auditorium facilities, including arrangements for the showing of the PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION every night. As Newport is central for a large population, we believe that the attendance will be excellent. The following Pilgrim Brethren are scheduled as speakers: R.H. Barber, P.S.L. Johnson, A.H. MacMillan, E.F. Crist, R.G. Jolly, F.C. Detwiler, C.J. Woodworth, H.C. Rockwell, Edward Hazlett, R.J. Martin and W.E. Van Amburgh, Chairman. Address Anna R. Calvert, Newport, R.I., for accommodations.


Although Norfolk, Va., is a Southern City, it is fanned by Ocean breezes. We are sure that it is quite a suitable place for our Convention. Virginia Beach is near Norfolk for those who desire a little further outing than the Convention will give. Old Point Comfort also is near. The following Pilgrim Brethren are scheduled to be in attendance: J.D. Wright, Alexander Graham, W.J. Thorn, F.W. Plaenker, F.H. Mendel, J.A. Meggison, A.E. Burgess and J.A. Baeuerlein, Chairman. Address P.L. Derring, 216 12th St., for accommodations.


A Convention at Niagara Falls will be very convenient for the Canada Brethren, as well as for some in New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio. A very interesting Convention is predicted. The following Pilgrim Brethren are scheduled to speak: W.M. Wisdom, J.F. Emerson, P.E. Thomson, T.R. Hilbish, J.F. Stephenson, Chairman. Address A. Fossberry, 727 Pine Ave., for accommodations.


Bible Students have been very cordially invited by city and State officials to hold a Convention at Nashville, Tenn. It will, we believe, be a central point for quite a goodly number. At least a thousand may be expected. Address M.E. Confehr, 2124 Achlen Ave., for accommodations.


Long Beach, Cal., is suburban to Los Angeles. We are sure that it is a delightful place for a Convention, and that every effort will be made for the comfort of all Bible Students in attendance. Arrangements will be in the hands of the Los Angeles Class. Address F.P. Sherman, 206 Hamlet St.


Seattle, Wash., is beautiful for situation and convenient to a large population. Many of our Canadian friends will doubtless come from Vancouver, Victoria, etc. Other delegates will come from Spokane, Tacoma, Portland, etc. We are trusting for a happy time in the sunshine of our Lord's favor. Address F.A. Acheson, 1009 8th Ave., for accommodations.


Milwaukee, Wis., claims to have some special advantages as a Convention City and will be central to a considerable number of friends in the Truth. It is accessible both by rail and by Lake steamer from Chicago and from other Lake Michigan points. During the eight days it is expected that the PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION will make two full showings in the evenings. The eight days will give splendid opportunity for commingling and spiritual fellowship amongst the friends. The Municipal Auditorium has been put at the disposal of the Convention for the entire time. We believe that a large number will be in attendance. Address A.L. Smith, 1166 Eighth St., Milwaukee, for accommodations.

Brother Russell is expected to give public addresses as well as Convention addresses at each of these Conventions. The dates for his public meetings are noted.

At each Convention there will be provision for the symbolizing of consecration by water baptism – robes, etc.

[R5914 : page 190]


Quite a number of the classes consider it wise to provide a supper at the home where the afternoon and evening meetings are held on the occasion of a Pilgrim visit. They are frequently unwilling to have this a light luncheon, but rather an elaborate meal. Various Sisters proffer their assistance to the one at whose home the meeting is held, but they fail to realize that even with their help she has many times as much to do as they have in getting house and dishes ready beforehand, and in cleaning things up later.

If the large majority of such meetings are held in a certain home because of its large rooms, etc., it means an oft-recurring burden to that Sister, and especially so if she is not physically strong.

This week I have been in two different towns where almost identical conditions exist along this very line. One of these sisters, a noble, self-sacrificing character, told me that she was so nearly in a state of collapse after the strain of such an occasion that it had become a severe trial to hear another Pilgrim was coming. But she is afraid to tell the class lest they misunderstand and think her selfish.

She was under such a physical and nervous strain as to get practically no good from the Pilgrim's visit and possibly while he was talking she would have to spend part of the time in the kitchen.

I find that sometimes the older and more practical sisters see the unwisdom of this, but the younger ones who have less home cares, and better health, will insist on a more elaborate program, though in the end the major portion of the work does not fall on them. Often it seems prompted by a pride that wants to surpass the hospitality of another class.

However, there are some sisters who have the matter of a luncheon down to the point of ideality, and if the friends knew that such methods gave us the greatest satisfaction they might adopt the same. Let me tell the method of a certain class where almost all week-day meetings are held at one home on the occasion of a Pilgrim visit since it is the only house large enough.

Probably 25 or 30 will sometimes stay over from one meeting to the next. They do not go to the table, but are asked to take seats around the room, leaving the middle of the room open for passage. Then there is passed to each one a picnic plate on which are two sandwiches (probably one is meat and one cheese), a pickle, a piece of cake and a banana (or some other fruit). Then tea or coffee or water is passed to each. On each plate is also a paper napkin.

There is no dish-washing, except of cups and saucers and [R5915 : page 190] spoons. Even tin cups will simplify this. When all are served, everybody is free to enjoy the discussion of Scripture questions, etc. As each one is through he puts his cup on a convenient table, from which sisters finally remove them in a few moments.

In this way the friends have clearer minds for the evening discourse and are in a better state to take in the more spiritual food. If any feel a cooked supper is necessary they can go to a nearby restaurant.

At the class I have in mind the Sister usually speaks to the Pilgrim brother earlier in the day somewhat like this: "Now, Brother, we know you must have little luncheons so often that something more substantial may be needed, so if you tell us what you want, we will see you have it." However, it suits me far better than a heavy supper, while there are other places where a memory of the elaborate variety of heavy food I am supposed and urged to eat, puts a little measure of fear into me when it is apparent I must endure it over again. If I had partaken of one-tenth of all the cake and rich things offered me during the last fifteen years, I would have finished my pilgrimage long ago.

These sisters at the place mentioned estimate the number to be provided for, and then divide it up amongst themselves. One brings 12 or 15 sandwiches, another the same, another a [R5915 : page 191] dozen bananas, etc., and thus the expense as well as the labor entailed is made very light.

Many of the sisters making extensive preparations for entertaining have the best of motives; they thus desire to show their appreciation of the presence of the friends, the Lord's children; but there is a lack of wisdom in it.

Another thing: When a home meeting is held the friends as they arrive are shown to a room where they can leave their coats. If they get there early enough this is all right, but it sometimes happens that even those coming in late are thus treated. Escorting them to where the wraps can be left, not only keeps the hostess out of meetings, but also preserves confusion among those near the stairway or hall; at least it distracts the attention of some. How much better if all such moved promptly to the nearest vacant chair, keeping their coats with them as they would in a more public place!

I also desire to mention the fact that the classes are not so particular to supply free literature to visiting strangers as they once were. I have been to public services, even, when not a single tract was on hand. It made me think of "Billy" Sunday's comments on "the deacon who didn't deak." That surely is one of the things to which the deacons of the various classes should see.

It isn't my intention to complain of the classes, for they are really in a glorious state, but there are some places where the foregoing suggestions might make them still more of a blessing to one another. With warmest Christian love,

Yours in the bonds of the Kingdom,



Have thought many times of writing you since that most helpful article on Love appeared in THE WATCH TOWER, and especially since you suggested that we write you stating the progress and growth we have made in the development of this all-important fruit of the Spirit. And now as my cup of joy and blessing is simply overflowing in gratitude to our dear Heavenly Father, and to you, His faithful servant, for your loving ministry, I write you of my experiences.

Desiring more and more to become Christlike, I had been striving to develop more love. It became the burden of my prayer. Then in the providences of God the article on Love appeared in THE TOWER. It was just what I needed! – and how it helped me! By God's grace I have noted growth in love as I daily seek to walk in the Master's steps. It has helped me to be more kind, more patient, more sympathetic, and to daily examine myself by this standard. Truly, the articles in THE WATCH TOWER become more and more to me "meat in due season," and I rejoice to see how wonderfully the Lord is providing all things needful for them who love Him supremely. (Philippians 4:19.) The Lord is indeed blessing us during this period of waiting, that the Bride may make herself ready.

Would like to relate to you several experiences in the Volunteer work, which were a source of joy and help to me, and we believe of interest to you. The other day, in serving a nearby town with tracts, we learned in conversation with a merchant's son how much he and his father enjoyed the tracts. He said, "Father has been treasurer and a member of council of the Lutheran Church for many years, and they have recently reelected him, but he will not serve any more; he is thoroughly disgusted with it all, because there are so many hypocrites in the Church. We don't want anything to do with it." A lady, hearing the conversation, said, "I haven't been in Church for two years." We sought, by the Lord's help, to lend a helping hand. They received the literature with gladness and would surely read it.

The next day, going to another town, we met a gentleman on the train (a tract serving as an introduction), and he spoke freely concerning conditions in his (another Lutheran) Church. He told me, "You would be surprised to know how many read these tracts. Why some of our members (mentioning names of business men) won't come to Church any more. When approached about it they say, 'What is the use, I get Pastor Russell's sermons at my house every Sunday morning, and there I get just what I want, and I would not get that if I went to Church.'"

No doubt the Truth is reaching more people than we might realize. (Ecclesiastes 11:6.) However this may be, these experiences awakened in me a deeper concern and appreciation as to our privileges and opportunities, and a greater diligence in the service of our Lord and Master.

Again asking you to pardon me for the length of this letter, and thanking you for your loving service, which is proving invaluable to me, and praying that our loving Heavenly Father continue to bless and to keep you strong in the Lord and faithful unto death, I remain

Lovingly your brother in Christ,



In accordance with the invitation of dear Brother Russell in his wonderful and comforting article on "Divine Love," published in the last July French TOWER, I am intending to write to him.

May the God of all grace and peace be with each of you in your activity for the Lord's cause, till by and by above we shall sing an everlasting alleluia to the honor and glory of our great Creator!

Corporal at Bailleul. – Northern France.

I have received the PHOTO-DRAMA booklet, and wish I could eat it and know it by heart. Forward to my new address THE TOWER (French), the BIBLE STUDENTS MONTHLY and Brother Russell's sermon. I am not very old, enjoying spiritual life only during the past five months. I never would have believed that such love could be found among God's children. I have known the Bible for ten years, and that it was God's Word, yet I was without knowledge, since darkness surrounded me. Is it possible that I could ascribe to the loving God the cruelty to torture everlastingly His creatures? Oh, how much I now bless the Father for having made known to me His love!

Believe me your devoted brother,


Wounded soldier in the hospital at Meung, France (newly interested).

This second message to you is to show my love and to tell of the change in my character since receiving THE WATCH TOWER (French). You have addressed to us an invitation which has greatly helped me, and since that time I pray every morning and evening, and run to the Throne of Grace to confess my failures and my progress. Dear brother, I can tell you I have received great blessings, and I ask your prayers to the end that perfect love – not the love of the world, but that for life eternal – may abide in me.

Your sister in Christ's love,


I thank the Lord with all my heart for granting me to know your excellent books and also the dear WATCH TOWER (French), which I value as a pearl. The Lord in His mercy has sent us His messengers with the torch of the true Gospel. Therefore, as Paul said to Timothy, "Keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called." Forgive my intrusion, but I wished to tell you how much your labor and devotion are precious to my soul.

M.R. – Switzerland.

It is ever with keen pleasure and deep gratitude to our God that I receive THE WATCH TOWER (French), that messenger of good news which is as refreshing water. (Prov. 25:25.) THE TOWER truly sums up our experiences, joys and hopes. As our face sees itself in a mirror, likewise the printed lines of THE TOWER reflect the truths we perceive in the Holy Word. Therefore, I more and more thank the Lord that I am among those having reached the 1335 days. I rejoice while listening attentively to the teaching of the faithful and wise servant. – Rev. 1:3.

The Lord bless you and keep you in His love through Jesus Christ!

Yours devotedly in Him,


Non-commissioned officer, Northern France.

I hasten to give you my most sincere thanks for so graciously sending your journal, THE WATCH TOWER (French), to my son, Oscar, who is a war prisoner in Germany. I take [R5916 : page 191] the liberty, sir, to present you my warmest felicitations for the work you have undertaken, which consists in giving to our associates spiritual meat in harmony with their faith and belief. I would gladly reimburse the expenses you have made for these services rendered to my son, who is very well pleased with THE WATCH TOWER and MILLENNIAL DAWN. Our correspondence with Switzerland not being allowed, I send this to my aforesaid son in Germany, who will transmit it to you.

Please believe, sir, in my deep gratitude and accept my Christian greetings.


President of the Temperance Society – Belgium.

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International Bible Students Association Classes