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March 15th
ZION'S
WATCH TOWER
and
Herald of Christ's Presence

ROCK OF AGES
Other foundation can
no man lay
A RANSOM FOR ALL

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

VOL. XXXVII.MARCH 1No. 5
A. D. 1916 – A. M. 6044
CONTENTS
"Ye are Bought With a Price" 67
Divine Paradox – Liberty Through Bondage 68
Treasures Laid Up in Heaven 69
Balm of Gilead for Broken Hearts 69
Incentives to Faithfulness 70
Heavenly Pilgrims Nearing Home 70
Second Epistle of St. Peter 71
The Fire a Needful Kingdom Preparation 71
Philip and the Ethiopian 72
An Earnest Truth-Seeker 72
The Great Multitude 75
Two Companies – Two Rewards 76
Expecting a Personal Anti-Christ 76
The Editor's View is Different 77
The Truth in South Africa 78
Interesting Letters 78
Blessed Australasian Convention 78
Do Not Take Anybody's Say-So 79
The Daily Cup (Poem) 79

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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[R5868 : page 66]

ENTERTAINMENT OF THE PILGRIMS

All friends of the Truth properly feel it an honor and a privilege to entertain the Pilgrim Brethren during their brief stays. However, the interests of the Truth and the comfort of the Pilgrims should also be considered. The Elders, or, under their direction, the Class Secretary, should see to it that Pilgrims are entertained in homes where they will not be a burden and where they will be comfortable. Those who travel and preach continuously are more or less under a nervous strain and need comfort, proper rest, and some degree of privacy for meditation. All having the interests of the work at heart should, therefore, cheerfully cooperate that the Pilgrim may be entertained in a home where accommodations are suitable.

The entire Class would surely be disgraced if the Society's representative were otherwise treated. We are sure that only thoughtlessness on the part of some has made this suggestion necessary.

BETHEL HYMNS FOR APRIL

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

(1) 5; (2) 196; (3) 263; (4) 46; (5) 102; (6) 37; (7) 114; (8) 145; (9) 99; (10) 214; (11) 191; (12) Vow; (13) 7; (14) 182; (15) 290; (16) 14; (17) 279; (18) 198; (19) 154; (20) 273; (21) 221; (22) 324; (23) 8; (24) 261; (25) 166; (26) 72; (27) 195; (28) 272; (29) 1; (30) 286.

[R5859 : page 67]

"YE ARE BOUGHT WITH A PRICE"

"Ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body." – 1 Corinthians 6:19,20.
W
HAT different sentiments these inspired expressions of the great Apostle awaken in different hearts! To the heart of the fallen natural man these statements are very objectionable; but to the heart fully in harmony with God and His glorious Plan they are precious words, full of comfort and joy. The proud, unregenerate heart convinces itself that it did not need to be bought; that it needed no redemption; that it has no very serious ailment of sin. It may be ready to admit – and indeed could surely not dispute – that it is imperfect; that tried in the balances of justice, it would be found wanting. But to itself these lacks are very slight and insignificant, and deserve but trivial punishment; and it expects to bear that punishment, and believes that it does bear it to the full in the troubles and trials of life.

The natural heart believes in a great First Cause of some kind, which it calls God, or sometimes merely the principle of Good. It believes in certain laws of nature, which it holds are unalterable and irrevocable. That there is such a thing as forgiveness for sin, it denies. It is therefore wholly out of harmony with the Gospel proposition of a Sin-offering, "a Ransom for all," an opportunity for reconciliation to God through the merits of a Redeemer. It denies any need for reconciliation. This class of unbelievers are in many respects the most hopeless; for they have a sort of worldly-wise philosophy which so fills their minds that it hinders them from seeing the force and beauty of the true philosophy of the Bible. They are usually blind to the simplest logic that could touch this subject, as presented in the Scriptural declarations, "The wages of sin is death," and, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." – Romans 6:23; Ezekiel 18:4,20." is he able to see that "the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord." Only then can he realize that "he that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life" eternal. Not until then will he realize that "he that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life, and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him." – Romans 6:23; 1 John 5:12; John 3:36; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22.

"THE MEEK WILL HE TEACH HIS WAY"

But our inspired text gives offense in another respect to the natural man, or to the man who has fallen from grace; it hurts his pride. It implies that he is being treated as a mere slave, or chattel, to be bought or sold. What could be more galling to the proud, unregenerate heart than such a thought? Nevertheless, the thought that we are purchased, and hence are by right the bond-slaves of Him who purchased us, is everywhere held forth in the Scriptures; and the meek, the humble-minded, alone are able to receive it and appreciate it.

These hear the Apostle's statement that all were "sold under sin" (Romans 7:14), and they realize the truthfulness of the declaration. They find abundant evidence in themselves and in the entire human family that all mankind are "slaves to sin"; they find the "law of sin in their members" and in all others. They find the power of sin so strong that it cannot be fully broken by any; that, although it may be fought against, nevertheless it holds over the whole race of man a mastery that the enslaved ones cannot fully overcome, even with their most earnest efforts. They thus see in the Apostle's words (Romans 5:12-21) representing Sin as a great task master ruling the world, a very grim, but very truthful picture of the facts.

Such inquire of the Word of God, How comes it that God, who is Himself the embodiment of all that is good, pure and lovely, all that is perfect, has brought into existence human offspring under such bondage to sin through imperfection? They ask, Does not the Bible declare of God, "All His work is perfect"? (Deuteronomy 32:4.) Why, then, this universal imperfection, this general subjection of mankind to the power of sin? The true answer can come from one source only – the Word of God; and that gives the only satisfactory answer, the only one that meets all the requirements of the conditions as they are known to man.

The Word declares that God's work was perfect in the creation of man in His own image in the beginning; but that the creature, being endowed with free moral agency, rebelled against the law of his Creator, and thus by self-will, self-gratification, brought himself under the [R5859 : page 68] penalty previously threatened if he proved disobedient to his Creator's just command. The sentence was, "Dying, thou shalt die." This deliberate act of disobedience on the part of our first parent, Adam, not only brought himself under this death-penalty, but his posterity all shared in his subjection to death, and in the slavery to sin consequent upon his alienation from God and his failing powers as he more and more passed under the power of death.

So then the fact that Adam sold himself and his posterity yet in his loins to Sin, for a momentary gratification of self, meant not only his own enslavement, but also that of all his progeny who should afterward be born. These are the facts of the case. All of Adam's children can say with the Psalmist of old, "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, in sin did my mother conceive me."

DOCTRINE OF TOTAL DEPRAVITY UNSCRIPTURAL

Here we come to the thought which was evidently in the minds of some of the early reformers when they propagated the doctrine of Total Depravity, which is held by many at the present time – at least theoretically – but from which we must dissent. We hold with the Scriptures that as a result of Adamic transgression there is a general depravity which extends to every member of the human family, so that "there is none righteous, no not one." (Psalm 14:3; Romans 3:10.) But we deny that this depravity is total depravity; we deny that any individual of the human race is totally, hopelessly, in every particular, depraved, without anything that is good or commendable. The only sample of total depravity of which we have any knowledge is Satan himself, the father of lies and of every wicked work.

But general depravity is bad enough; and being so general, no man should have any difficulty in finding, to some extent at least, the portion of it which he has himself inherited and cultivated, as well as discerning it in his fellows. Some are more depraved than others; some have the original likeness of God less blurred and defaced in their nature and character. In harmony with the Scriptural statements that we were "shapen in iniquity," that the heart of man is "deceitful above all things and desperately wicked," every discerning person whose eyes have been opened to recognize depravity can note the evidence of it everywhere, even in young children. Self-will, passionate obstinacy and ill-temper are often to be noted in infants but a few weeks old. And very patient should be the parent, as well as very attentive and thorough in the correction of the child, when he remembers that the very traits which need correction have come down to the child from himself. Thus the Christian parent should be not only the most thorough in the matter of training up his child in the way that it should go, but also the most kind, loving and patient in giving this correction and training.

FALLEN HUMANITY'S ONLY HELP IN GOD

We have then before our minds the fact and the general prevalence of sin and know whence it comes. Thus we see the force of the Apostle's words when he personifies sin as a tyrant-master, and represents mankind as Sin's slaves, to whom he pays his wages – death. We have seen that God is not blamable for man's enslavement to Sin. While only the extreme wages of sin are mentioned in the pronouncement of the death-penalty, yet before the full payment of the wages of sin, we receive, incidentally, many of the aches and pains and difficulties, mental, moral and physical, which the great taskmaster, Sin, imposes. And as a groaning creation travailing together in pain under this hard master and suffering from his cruel lashes, all long for deliverance; and some of us have cried out to God for help – for salvation from sin and death to righteousness and life; and our prayers have been heard.

God wishes us to learn very thoroughly the lesson of the "exceeding sinfulness of sin," of its gall and bitterness, and of the hopelessness of any deliverance except that which He provides. Personal experience has proved to us that we are powerless to deliver ourselves from this slavery; that in order to overcome the Wicked One and his arts and wiles, which take firm hold upon us because of the weaknesses of our flesh through the fall, we need a power that we do not by nature possess. Finding that we are powerless to help ourselves, we at first naturally look to one another for aid, and indeed might get some aid from others. But we soon learn how little real assistance can be given or received from natural sources. And when we have learned the lesson which the Scriptures teach, that all are born slaves to sin, then we see the utter helplessness of our condition as a race.

All who come to realize the true situation, and to feel the bondage and need for deliverance, may thus see that the only hope is in God. If they reflect that it was God Himself who pronounced the sentence of death, and that He could not annul His own sentence nor transgress His own laws, let them reflect also that as He has infinitely superior power to ours, He has also superior wisdom; and that He may know how to accomplish that which to us would seem an impossibility. And this is the case. He has provided the way, which all mankind will see in Jehovah's own good time, now very near. The price has been furnished for man's full deliverance; and although thus far this price has been made applicable to only the few, yet its application for all is soon to be made.

DIVINE PARADOX – LIBERTY THROUGH BONDAGE

A realization of personal responsibility to the Redeemer who purchased them, and to the Heavenly Father who provided the arrangement for salvation from Sin and Death, lies at the foundation of all true consecration to God through Christ. As soon as the grateful, believing, ransomed one hears of the blessing which is offered him, he properly inquires, "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?" Then he learns that the new Master does not wish any but voluntary servants; and that, having provided for his release from the bondage of sin, He will nevertheless permit him to go back again if he chooses to his former service of Sin, and to continue to receive its wages of death. He learns the terms upon which he may be received. He learns that to be a servant of the new Master, Christ, is a very great privilege. He learns the blessedness of the Divine paradox, that to be a bond-slave to Christ is liberty in the truest and most real sense; that he becomes at once Christ's bond-servant and His "free man." (1 Corinthians 7:22.) So all along through this Gospel Age there have been some who have gladly owned themselves the bond-slaves of the Father and of the Lord Jesus Christ.

These precious souls rejoice to acknowledge and to avail themselves of God's gracious and loving arrangement through His Only Begotten Son – the Ransom given on Calvary. They are glad to recognize that they are "bought with a price," and are "not their own." And as they learn of their unspeakable privilege of joining with our Lord Jesus in His sacrifice, of following in His footsteps even unto death, they accept His terms with rejoicing [R5859 : page 69] and thankfulness. These leave the world and all to follow Jesus, and if they abide faithful unto death, they shall share with their Lord in all His glorious spiritual inheritance. But we have now come down to the end of the present Order, and severe and subtle are the temptations and testings which must be undergone to prove our entire loyalty to the Lord and to the Covenant which we have made with Him.

"Jesus, loving Savior, only Thou dost know
All that may befall us as we onward go;
So we humbly pray Thee, take us by the hand,
Lead us ever upward to the Better Land."

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TREASURES LAID UP IN HEAVEN
"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal; for where your treasure is there will your heart be also." – Matthew 6:19-21.
P
LEASURE, delight, joy, comfort – all these sentiments are suggested to us by the word treasure. Our thoughts, our hopes, our plans, center there. Our treasure is the inspiration of our lives, the incentive to energy, perseverance and endurance, for the hope which it enkindles. Most people have treasures, but they are generally such as yield slight satisfaction, because they are transitory and disappointing. How many have built their hopes upon earthly things only to find them but illusive baubles, mocking delusions, leaving the heart at last broken, crushed and barren! The treasures of wealth, fame, social distinction, of houses and lands, of friends and home and family, of power and influence, are subject to change and decay! And if the heart be centered in them, they are liable in a moment to be swept away, leaving the life desolate and despairing, all the more so because of the high hopes which they had inspired.

The wealth, laboriously gathered and husbanded with great care, may vanish in a night. The fame so dearly won may change to censure and reproach at the caprice of fickle public sentiment. The social prestige which bade you to the uppermost seats may a little later relegate you to the lowest seat, and your name may be cast out as evil and you be ostracized. Houses and lands and carefully hoarded belongings may disappear under the sheriff's hammer. Friends long trusted may suddenly grow cold and turn their backs upon you, and even become your enemies. The home you love must some time break up, the family be scattered or invaded by death. The love that glows upon the home altar may flicker and become dim or extinct. How many have found the high hopes of youth and early life turn to ashes in a few short years or months!

THE BALM OF GILEAD FOR BROKEN HEARTS

To all of these the Word of the Lord should appear with special force, when calling them to come to Him with their burdens and their broken hearts. "The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart, and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit." (Psalm 34:18.) His love and His precious promises come like the sweet balm of Gilead to those who, sad and disappointed in the struggle of life, come to Christ for rest and comfort, for life and healing. Many storm-tossed mariners upon life's ocean, discouraged and despairing, bereft of all hope, have found that these very experiences were the means of leading them to the Haven of eternal Refuge. There alone true blessing and safety can be found; there alone is the real treasure, far exceeding the choicest treasures of earth.

We think of the experience of a dear brother who recently found the Lord, when his earthly treasures had been swept away from him, all the savings of years, through conditions brought about because of the European war. He had lost all hope and was about to end his life by his own hand, when Present Truth was brought to his attention. He listened, then embraced it with joy, securing the SCRIPTURE STUDIES. Afterward he stated that he now knew why the Lord had permitted him to meet with such reverses – it was to lead him to Himself. How this dear one can now rejoice in his sorrowful experiences and realize that he has gained in exchange the "Pearl of great price," beside which all other treasures pale into insignificance!

Truly, in this our day, as never before perhaps, would all who have the spirit of a sound mind to any degree be longing for a treasure which will be secure, a rock upon which they may plant their feet, one which will securely hold in these days of stress and uncertainty, when men feel that everything is slipping from beneath their feet, when nothing earthly is sure, when fear with distress is on every hand. At such a time as this, how blest are we who are safe-sheltered in the cleft of the Rock of Ages, which cannot be shaken by the mightiest earthquake shock! How unspeakably precious is the treasure which we have laid up in Heaven; for we know our treasure is safe, where no storms nor billows can touch it.

THE TREASURES WE LAY UP IN HEAVEN

The all-important question for those who seek this great treasure then is, How can we lay up treasure in Heaven, and what kind of treasures are those which are to be stored up in the Heavenly depository? We have the assurance of the Divine Word that everything that is pure, holy and good is acceptable there. The very chiefest of all treasures is the personal love and friendship of God and of Christ. Jesus becomes to us "the fairest among ten thousand, the One altogether lovely." He is an unfailing Refuge in every time of need, our daily Joy and Solace and Comfort.

When we have gained this Treasure, we have gained the One that never changes, One whose love never grows cold, One from whom nothing can separate us – "neither death," which to His loved ones will now mean our blessed "change"; "nor life," which means further opportunities for suffering with Him that we may also share His glory, and which permits further works of loving service for Him whom we love; "nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers," for these cannot harm us who are sheltered in Christ; "nor things present, nor things to come"; for "all things shall work together for our good," and in every trial He will direct the issue that we may be able to bear it; "nor height" of temporary exaltation; "nor depth" of trouble or sorrow, for our Refuge and Strength is ever near; "nor any other thing" in creation, for He has promised to "keep the feet of His saints," and that nothing shall touch them as New Creatures in Christ, and that His presence shall go with them wherever they may be. – Romans 8:35-39; 1 Samuel 2:9; Luke 10:19; Exodus 33:14.

Nor will any other creatures either in Heaven or in earth receive such marks of special favor as are and ever will be the portion of the beloved Bride of Christ. Although the whole family in Heaven and in earth will be blessed through Him, His Wife, cooperating with Him in His work, will alone be His companion, His confidante, [R5862 : page 70] His treasure. Hear the Lord's exhortation to the Bride class: "Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear. Forget also thine own people and thy father's house [the ambitions, hopes and aims of the children of Adam]; so shall the King [Jehovah's Anointed] greatly desire thy beauty [beauty of character, of heart-loyalty]; for He is thy Lord, and worship thou Him." (Psalm 45:10,11; Canticles 4.) How unworthy we feel of so great honor and love from our beloved Bridegroom! And no wonder! When we look at all our imperfections, it seems that there is little in us to call forth such love and admiration. To think that the angels with all their purity and faithfulness should have been passed by; and that we poor, blemished mortals, should be chosen instead!

Is there not some mistake? Ah, no! We have the infallible words of inspiration to assure us that it is even so. This Bride of Jehovah's Son is to reign with Him in the future over a fallen race; and who could so well sympathize with them in all their weaknesses and frailties as those who have themselves partaken of the same? And who could bear the infinite heights of glory to which the Lamb's Wife will be raised, with such humility as those who realize that it was not through any worthiness of their own that they were chosen to so high an exaltation, but that it was all of Divine grace? Clad in the glorious Robe of our Bridegroom's furnishing, we can stand all complete, even now, in the eyes of Jehovah. And possessing the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, the faith that trusts under every condition, the love that delights to do the Father's will, we are lovely in the eyes of our Beloved, our Bridegroom and our King.

Having this confidence, we can with unspeakable joy and gratitude lay hold of the exceeding great and precious promises which are ours through Christ, and without presumption press along the line toward the prize of our High Calling, humbly trusting that He who has begun the good work in us will complete it unto the day of our glorification with our Bridegroom in the Heavenly Kingdom, when we shall be presented before the Father "without [R5863 : page 70] spot or wrinkle or any such thing," gloriously complete and perfect, in the most absolute sense, fitted and prepared for the wonderful work which we shall share with our blessed Lord and King.

INCENTIVES TO FAITHFULNESS

Listen to some of the blessed and inspiring promises with which the Father and the Son cheer the Bride: "Thine eyes shall see the King in His beauty." Ye "shall be Mine, in that Day when I make up My jewels." "I will give thee to eat of the hidden manna, and I will give thee a white stone [a precious token of love], and in the stone a new name written [the name of our Bridegroom, henceforth to be our name] which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it." "Lo, I am with you alway." "And if I go away, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself, that where I am, there ye may be also [and He has come, He is even now present, and will soon receive us unto Himself forevermore]." "Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you." "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." "To Him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My Throne." – Isaiah 33:17; Malachi 3:17; Revelation 2:17; Matthew 28:20; John 14:3; 15:16; Revelation 2:10; 3:21.

Precious promises are these, wonderful words of life! Let us count them over and over again, that all their sweet significance may sink deep into our hearts and bring forth their blessed fruitage in our lives. May they cheer us in every dark and trying hour and reinforce our waning powers with renewed vigor, courage and zeal, that we may press along the narrow way until indeed our "eyes shall see the King in His beauty." What wondrous treasures do we thus find laid up in Heaven for us, because we have left the world and all its delusive fancies and aspirations and have laid hold upon the things eternal! And while this glorious inheritance is to be the possession of all the faithful, the Apostle intimates clearly that our Heavenly treasure may be augmented by special zeal and faithfulness under the peculiar trials of the present time.

One of the treasures which we may lay up in Heaven will be the marks of just approval and distinction among the good and holy beyond the veil, which patient endurance of affliction, unwavering trust under crucial trials and testings, diligence in the King's business, will secure to us. Treasures of mind and character, too, we shall find laid up in Heaven; for nothing that is good and true and worthy of preservation shall be lost to those who have committed their investments to the Lord. These are incorruptible treasures, which neither the lapse of time nor the exigencies of circumstances will ever wrest from us.

Other treasures will be all the true and noble friendships which have been founded in truth and righteousness here on earth, whether they be on the spiritual or on the natural plane. For instance, one on the spiritual plane will not be disposed to forget or ignore the loving loyalty of a former friend, who from time to time administered the cup of cold water to the thirsty soul battling with the heat and dust of life's desert way, and who did this because the one ministered to was a disciple of Christ.

But especially sweet will be the spiritual friendships begun and cherished here, which will bloom and blossom in still greater vigor when transplanted into Heavenly soil and atmosphere. And what a treasure we shall find in the gratitude and love of those to whom we have ministered here in times of special need, and to whom we have carried the Living water and broken the Bread of Life! Who can measure the joy unspeakable that shall be the heritage of the faithful when we shall find all these precious treasures beyond the veil! When we view these treasures with unclouded eyes, and realize that they are ours forever, shall we not feel infinitely repaid for any sufferings and hardships we have borne in our brief earthly pilgrimage?

HEAVENLY PILGRIMS NEARING HOME

Then, dear brethren and sisters in Christ, let us keep our eyes steadfastly set upon the Heavenly, eternal things. Let us more and more lay up treasures where "moth and rust cannot corrupt and where thieves cannot break through and steal." (Matthew 6:20.) If our hearts are upon the Heavenly treasures, then the disappointments and afflictions of the present life cannot overwhelm us. Whatsoever things are worthy the aspiration of the spiritual sons of God are our real treasures, and they are the only things that are worth while. What care we for the illusive bubbles of this poor life, so soon to burst and disappear? Then, as sings the poet:

"Let us touch lightly the things of this earth,
Esteeming them only of trifling worth,"
not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us, if we faint not by the way, but with our pilgrim's staff in hand shall press along the Heavenly road until we reach the goal of our hopes.

As the sun sinks at the close of each day, and the shadows gather around us, how sweet to sing, "I'm one day nearer Home!" We have nearly reached the mountain-top, and every day multiplies the evidences that the journey is nearing its end. Just how long it will be we cannot know; probably it is best that we do not know. But we believe that it will not be very long.

[R5863 : page 71]

THE SECOND EPISTLE OF ST. PETER

"The Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." – 2 Peter 3:10.
W
HILE those of our number who have been for some time familiar with Present Truth well know the presentations which St. Peter gives in this general letter to the Church, it is well that we frequently have our pure minds stirred up by way of remembrance concerning these important things, "lest at any time we should let them slip." – 2 Peter 3:1,2; Hebrews 2:1.

In this Epistle the Apostle is urging upon the whole Church the importance of developing the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Then he reminds them of the vision of the coming Kingdom which he himself and St. James and St. John saw in the holy mount. He points out the need that careful attention be given to the study of prophecy. He warns them of the false teachers who will be manifested among them. He reminds them of the condemnation and overthrow that came to the angels who turned from obedience to God, of the catastrophe that befell Sodom and Gomorrah because of their corruption, of the destruction of the ungodly in the great Deluge, of the perverse and wicked course of Balaam the prophet, and its consequences. Then he charges that some of them were following his course, and next he discusses the fact that things will not always continue as they have been; that evil shall not always triumph; but that a great change impends, which will be the introduction of a new feature of the Divine Plan; namely, the establishment of God's Kingdom upon earth.

St. Peter indicates that this great change will come very suddenly – a radical change such as came in the days of Noah, a very sudden catastrophe, the coming of which will be scoffed at by those having a form of godliness without its power. (2 Peter 3:3,4.) This catastrophe he pictures as a great conflagration. The "heavens" will take fire and be consumed. Then the "earth" will take fire and be burned up. The "elements" will all dissolve with the fervency of the heat.

THE FIRE A NEEDFUL PREPARATION FOR THE KINGDOM

In reading this prophecy the majority of Christian people seem to think that there will be a literal burning up of the material heavens and earth. But, as we have pointed out for many years, we think that there is a more logical explanation of this prophecy, and that its fulfilment has already begun. This great Time of Trouble, which follows closely the Second Coming of Christ, will be an experience the like of which never was since there was a nation. (Daniel 12:1.) In one figure the Scriptures liken it to a great tidal wave, carrying the mountains into the midst of the sea. (Psalm 46.) This pictures the governments of earth as being overwhelmed, swallowed up, by the raging sea of human passion when the masses become fully aroused. In another figure it is depicted as a mighty "whirlwind" sweeping everything before it. In a third figure it is compared to the letting loose of the "four winds of the earth," "the four winds of the heavens"; in still another picture it is a great "fire." (Isaiah 66:15; Jeremiah 4:13; 23:19,20; 30:23,24; 1 Kings 19:11,12; Revelation 7:1-3; Daniel 7:2; Zephaniah 3:8; etc.) The whole earth is to be devoured by the fire of God's jealousy, the fire of God's righteous anger. The fire of God's anger no more means a literal fire than does the expression a fiery horse. It is the fire of God's wrath against sin that is being manifested at this time and will continue.

We are to remember that the Second Coming of our Lord is to bring a time of refreshing and of restitution to all mankind (Acts 3:19-21); and we must interpret these [R5864 : page 71] symbols denoting trouble in harmony with this Scriptural declaration. The word "heavens" is a figurative term for the present religious institutions – ecclesiasticism. The fire will extend to the social structure, the social order of things. The social, political, financial and ecclesiastical systems together make up our present order. The ecclesiastical systems will, we believe, go into destruction first, according to the Bible. The fire will next affect the social and industrial organization – merchandise, capital and labor, society, etc. It will devour the capitalistic elements, the banking elements, the political elements, the religious elements, the industrial elements. All these will be "melted," "dissolved" – they will separate, part company, fail to keep together, and will be swept away.

If this great cataclysm of trouble were all we had to which to look forward, we would think it the course of wisdom to say nothing about it. We would say, Do not think about it or speak of it; for it will be bad enough when it comes. But when the Bible tells us that the great trouble is designed merely to sweep away these outgrown religious systems, social systems, political systems, etc., and that God will on the wreck of all these things establish the Kingdom of Messiah for the world's blessing, then we are glad of the trouble, and see that it is the necessary thing. This knowledge would be a great comfort and relief of mind to many bewildered ones who see the trouble coming on with increasing momentum, yet who cannot see the ultimate good to result, who feel that revolution and anarchy are confronting the entire world, but see not the golden lining to the black clouds of trouble.

The principle of disintegration and reconstruction is constantly operating in nature. The rocks are disintegrating; and this process keeps the soil enriched and promotes vegetable growth. Animal and vegetable organisms are continually disintegrating, and furnishing elements for new formations, new organisms. There will have to be a thorough breaking up of the fallow ground of men's hearts, and a thorough disintegration of present arrangements before the seed of Truth can be planted that will bring forth the fruitage of the New Dispensation. During this Gospel Age God has been guiding those who have already been disintegrated, and who are yielding themselves to His reconstructive processes. The world will need this great Time of Trouble. They are not in the attitude of the class who are now seeking God and endeavoring to do His will. If we had the power to shield any of our worldly friends from this trouble, we believe that by so shielding them we would be doing them a real injury instead of good.

PROPER ATTITUDE OF THE SAINTS

God's dealings with the world in this time will be the work of a skillful surgeon, who wounds to heal, whose knife must go down to the depths of the abscess that would otherwise take the life of the patient. The Lord intimates that during this Time of Trouble those who shall seek righteousness and meekness may have at least a measure of protection granted them. (Zephaniah 2:2,3.) But as for those who are not seeking after righteousness and meekness, it will be better for them to go through the trouble, in order to prepare them for the great blessing to come later. The Apostle's argument is that the present order of things is not satisfactory to anybody who has the right attitude of heart.

The long foretold Time of Trouble, such as never was [R5864 : page 72] and never will be again (Daniel 12:1; Matthew 24:21,22), has begun. Daily the heat of human passion is growing more intense. In view of this approaching dissolution, now at the very door, what should be our attitude of heart? What should be the course of those who are prospective citizens of the great Government about to be established, which will control the affairs of earth under the headship of Christ Jesus, earth's rightful King? We should remember that in order to become of the Kingdom class which is to have the rulership of earth for a thousand years, we must be separate from the aims, ambitions and policy of the present order. One of the essentials is that we recognize the vast difference between the present order of things and the New Order now at hand, and that we take our stand accordingly. In the meantime, we should do good unto all men as we have opportunity, especially to the Household of Faith, our brethren in Christ.

As loyal children of the Great King of the Universe, who is now about to inaugurate His Kingdom in the hands of His Son, we pray, "Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth, as it is done in Heaven." We rejoice in the evidences which we see all about us that our prayers for this Kingdom are now to be answered. Meantime we must live in harmony with this prayer. As St. Peter reminds us, "What manner of persons ought we to be," in all holiness of life, in separateness from the world! The Apostle puts this solemn question right home to us. It is applicable now as never before.

Let us lay these precious words to heart; for we stand in the very presence of the Great Judge of all the earth. These exhortations and encouragements, which were primarily addressed to the Church who lived over eighteen hundred years ago, and which have served a purpose of good all along down this Gospel Age, are especially meant by the Spirit for those of the Church who are living in this very Day of God. How favored are these above all the people of the world and above the masses of professed followers of Christ, who have not this knowledge!

The Apostle's words near the close of his Epistle, should be of special comfort and cheer to us now, in this brief waiting time since the close of Gentile Times. He says, "And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation." (2 Peter 3:15.) How glad of this little extended time some of the Lord's dear ones are, who have come into the knowledge of Present Truth and consecrated themselves to God since October 1914! And how glad are many of Christ's followers who have longer known of these precious truths, that the Lord has mercifully granted them a little further time to make their calling and election sure! Perhaps some of these were not ready when the Gentile Times closed.

"Wherefore, brethren, seeing that ye look for these things [the overthrow of the existing order and the establishment of the glorious Kingdom of God's dear Son], be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless"; for our Lord "is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy....Amen." – 2 Peter 3:14; Jude 24,25.

[R5864 : page 72]

PHILIP AND THE ETHIOPIAN
– MARCH 19. – ACTS 8:26-40. –
ANOTHER FAITHFUL DEACON IN THE EARLY CHURCH – A GENTILE FEELING AFTER GOD – COORDINATION OF DIVINE PROVIDENCES BRINGING THESE MEN TOGETHER – DEACON PHILIP'S SKILLFUL USE OF TACT – DIVINE BLESSING UPON HIS EFFORTS – THE GOSPEL ONLY TO THE MEEK – THEY WILL BE TAUGHT OF GOD – LESSONS FOR TODAY.

"Understandest thou what thou readest?" – Acts 8:30.
D
EACON PHILIP, the instrument of Divine providence in starting the Ethiopian eunuch in the narrow way of discipleship – and through him probably introducing the "good tidings" into Africa – was just such a man as the Lord is pleased to use as His mouthpiece in the service of the Truth. Having proven himself faithful in the inferior work of serving tables, he had been advanced, and been made an ambassador for God in the preaching of the Gospel at Samaria; and the present lesson shows him still further guided and used of the Lord in His blessed service. There is an encouraging lesson here for all who have the same spirit – the same desire to serve the Lord and His cause. Faithfulness in little things is sure to bring larger opportunities.

We are not informed by what means the Lord "spake to Philip," sending him to the road in which he would find the eunuch's chariot. We may be sure, however, that the indication was sufficiently clear to Philip to be more than a mere guess or impression. We are to remember, too, that it was at a time when the Lord used miraculous means of communication, more than at present – doubtless for the very purpose of establishing the faith of His servants as well as their work. Today we walk more by faith, less by sight and miracle. Yet so bright is the light shining upon the Divine Plan and Word that we may safely say that we have much advantage every way, even over those of that time. We are to remember that up to the time of this lesson there were no New Testament writings; nothing, therefore to guide the Apostles and early Evangelists except the more or less miraculous interpositions of God's providence.

Even after we have learned of God's particular care for all of His people, we are inclined to surprise that a solitary individual should be so particularly cared for as was this eunuch – that a special messenger should be sent to him for his instruction in righteousness. Very evidently Divine providence does not regard the going of all mankind to this same degree. Very evidently there was something in the character of this eunuch, something in his heart-attitude toward God, that was pleasing and acceptable to the Lord, and caused the working of this miracle on his behalf – that he might have needed instruction in the Truth.

AN EARNEST TRUTH-SEEKER

The eunuch belonged to the kingdom of Meroe, which lay on the right bank of the Nile River, from its junction with the Atbara as far south as Khartoum, and thence to the east of the Blue Nile, to the mountains of Abyssinia. He was a court officer, evidently deeply religious, who had come in contact with, and been impressed by, the Jewish religion; and in his religious fervor he had gone up to Jerusalem to worship, and to gain additional knowledge of the true God. His case, like that of the Samaritans and of Cornelius, indicates that this occurrence was after the close of Israel's "seventy weeks," of special favor; for this eunuch was not a Jew in the fullest sense – eunuchs not being fully accepted as proselytes, nor granted the privileges of the congregation. – Deuteronomy 23:1.

Up to this time the eunuch, like Cornelius and the believing Samaritans, had been a part of the Lazarus class, [R5864 : page 73] lying at the gate of Dives, desiring to be fed with some crumbs from the bountiful table of blessing and promises which God had spread for Israel. Now the change had come. The House of Israel had been cast off; the end of Israel's special favor as respects the Gospel had come; and the time to receive the Lazarus class to Abraham's bosom had arrived. Philip as an angel, or messenger, of the Lord was sent to carry this representative of the Lazarus class to the arms of Father Abraham, as a true child of Abraham, through faith.

The eunuch had been at the head center of the religion which he esteemed to be the true one. He had come away from Jerusalem with a manuscript copy of one of the holy Prophets – Isaiah – a treasure in those times, very costly. That this manuscript was written in the Greek language, and not in the Hebrew, seems to be indicated by the word Esaias, which is the Greek form of Isaiah. He was hungering and thirsting for the Truth, and making his best possible endeavor to obtain it, as is evidenced by his purchase of the manuscript, and his long journey, and his reading. That he was doing more than simply reading – that he was studying – is evidenced by his language to Philip. Can we wonder that God's special providences would be manifested toward such an one – toward a person of such a condition of heart, hungering and thirsting for the Truth? We cannot wonder at it. It is in full accord with the Lord's promise, that such shall be filled; that such seekers shall find; that such knockers shall have the door of Truth opened unto them. Let us remember that we are under the care of the same God, and that He changes not; and let us learn the lesson that He is as well able today as ever to assist the sincere Truth-seeker.

Another lesson connected with this matter pertains to times and seasons. God could have directed the eunuch to the meeting of the Church at Jerusalem, and to the instructions of the Apostles there. But this probably would not have been so favorable for the eunuch. After receiving the Apostolic instruction he might have referred the matter to the Scribes and Pharisees, and have received in return explanations more or less confusing. In the Lord's providence he quite likely heard something of the Christians, and their claims that Messiah had come and had been crucified, and he quite probably knew the other side of the story – that the chief priests and teachers claimed that the whole matter was a fraud, an imposition. Possibly these very thoughts had led him to procure the manuscript he was reading, and had brought him into the attitude of mind favorable for the reception of the Truth when Philip expounded it.

A HELPING HAND

Let us learn from this, not only in respect to our own affairs, but also in respect to the general service of the Truth, to trust implicitly in Divine Wisdom and Power – to remember that "The Lord knoweth them that are His," and that He knoweth best how to bring them in contact with the Truth. Properly learned, this lesson will not slack our hands in the Divine service – for true servants will still be anxious and ready to serve, as was Philip – but it will serve to strengthen our hearts and to take from us that fearfulness that is a hindrance to the peace of many of God's children. Let us not fear for the Lord's Word, but remember His declaration through the Prophet, "My Word, that goeth forth out of My mouth, shall not return unto Me void; it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."

The chariot probably overtook and passed Philip in the road, the eunuch driving leisurely, in order that he might read. He was reading aloud, after the custom of that time and country, and according to the injunctions laid upon the people by the Jewish teachers. Indeed, it was one of the Jewish rules that the faithful, in traveling, should read if they had no companionship. We are not informed how the Spirit told Philip to hail the eunuch. Possibly in the same miraculous way in which he was sent to this road, or possibly having been sent to this road, he was on the look-out for the object of his mission; and hearing the eunuch reading from the prophecy, Philip may have understood at once that this was the favored person, and a favorable time for the message to the service of which he had been consecrated.

This gives us a suggestion – all of the Lord's people, in proportion as they desire to be the servants of the Truth, should be continually on the alert to note opportunities for service, and should expect to be guided and used of the Lord. All of the Lord's people are ministers, servants of the Truth; and each should seek to use every opportunity presenting itself, knowing not which may be specially prospered of the Lord. Wherever we see evidences of devotion to the Lord and to His Word, we should be continually on the alert to extend a helping hand. We should, as Philip did, seek an opportunity for conversing with such, with a view to giving them the help which they need, the very assistance which the Lord has extended to us through some channel. We are to be on the alert to pass along the blessing which we have received, and to esteem that this is the chief business of life with those who have consecrated themselves to the service of the King of kings.

Philip's inquiry, "Understandest thou what thou readest?" may not always be well received; but it was a very direct way of approaching his errand. It is well to use tact; but we have the thought that many of the Lord's people are inclined to use too much tact, and are not sufficiently direct in their endeavors to present the Gospel Message. Had Philip been too much under the control of this wrong sentiment respecting tact, he might have talked to the eunuch quite a while about the weather, the crops, his home in Ethiopia, the peace and prosperity of that country, its exports and imports, the religious status of the people, etc. Thus he might gradually have gotten his hearer's mind quite off the most important of all subjects. Considering that he heard him and knew the subject of his study, we cannot think of a better introduction to his message than the method and language which Philip adopted: "Understandest thou what thou readest?"

This was a test question, so to speak. If the eunuch did have an understanding of what he was reading he would take no offense at this, but would gladly have said, "Yes, friend, I thank God that I do; and the knowledge is very precious to me. Do you also understand it?" But had he been of the wrong condition of heart his answer might have been, with more or less manifestation of offense, "What is that to you? Mind your own business!" Or had he been of a hypocritical cast of mind, like the Pharisees to whom Jesus spoke, he would have professed a knowledge of the subject; and then to cover his own ignorance of it, he would have made some general remarks and have turned the conversation into another channel.

We are not to expect those who are in a Pharisaical condition to receive the Truth from us, any more than from the Lord. We are to know, according to the Lord's Word, that the Truth is purposely hidden from all not in the right attitude of heart to receive it – that it is indefinite, indistinct, unintelligible to them. This is one difficulty with the teachers of churchianity today. Like the Pharisees and Scribes and chief priests of old, they say, "Are we blind also?"* They claim to know; but we know [R5864 : page 74] that they know that they don't know. Therefore, as our Lord said to their prototypes, their blindness continues; for no one can expect to be taught of God while in that self-sufficient and dishonest condition of mind which boasts of knowledge and of the faith which it lacks.

A MEEK, TEACHABLE SPIRIT

All those to whom the Lord specially sends the Message of His grace during this Gospel Age are in considerable degree like this eunuch of our lesson – earnest, honest, Truth-seekers, not afraid to acknowledge that they do not know, and neither afraid nor ashamed to receive whatever assistance the Lord may provide. The eunuch did not stop to inquire of Philip, "Are you a priest? or a Pharisee? or a Doctor of the Law?" It was sufficient to him that he held in his hand what he believed to be a Message from God; and that he knew it contained various statements, promises, etc., which he did not understand. He believed that the God who gave this prophecy was both able and willing to furnish an interpretation of it, and he was seeking that interpretation; and whoever could give such an interpretation as would shed light upon his questions would by that means be proven a teacher of God, a servant of the Truth, a light-bearer.

The eunuch's answer implied this, when he said, "How can I understand, unless some man should guide me?" So earnest was he in his quest of the Truth that the bare suggestion of assistance implied in Philip's question was sufficient to arouse fully his interest; and he entreated Philip to have a seat with him in his chariot, and thus grant him the benefit of whatever information could be given. We are not surprised that a heart so noble, and yet so humble and teachable, should be specially favored of the Lord, and have a messenger sent specially to him for his instruction, while others by the million were passed by – not esteemed worthy. It is the same today; and while the Lord does not generally direct His people in such a miraculous manner as He directed Philip to the eunuch, we nevertheless have general instructions along the same line; viz., "Preach the Gospel to the meek." "He that hath an ear, let him hear." – Isaiah 61:1; Matthew 13:9; Revelation 2:7.

Our Message, as the Prophet declares, is to bind up broken hearts, and not to break hearts; we are to preach to the meek, and not to the froward, the Gospel of Christ. The hard hearts and the froward, God will deal with in another way. He will break them upon the anvil of affliction, trouble and discipline in His own due time and manner. Meantime, in this Gospel Age, He is seeking for the Bride amongst those who are already broken and already to some extent meek and teachable. We should not waste our time in futile efforts, contrary to this Scriptural rule. Let those who have not the Gospel, but who have merely a message of reformation, preach political reforms, social reforms, moral reforms. The Lord's Word to His consecrated, the Royal Priesthood, is, "Preach the Good Tidings to the meek, bind up the broken-hearted!"

THE GOSPEL TO THE MEEK

It was evidently not of chance, but of providence, that the eunuch had under consideration the particular part of Isaiah's prophecy which refers to our Lord Jesus as the Lamb before His shearers opening not His mouth in protest; telling about His humiliation, and how His life would be taken from the earth; and instituting a query respecting His posterity. (Isaiah 53:8.) No wonder the poor eunuch was mystified! No wonder the Jews were all mystified! Unquestionably this prophecy, like the majority of prophecies, could be but imperfectly comprehended until fulfilled – could be understood only in the light of its fulfilment, and then only by those in a proper attitude of heart and under the instruction, the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

We should notice in this connection: (1) that while the Scriptures are "the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God," able to make wise, they cannot be understood until the Lord's due time; (2) that they can be understood only under the leading and instruction of the Holy Spirit; (3) and yet, the Holy Spirit was not exercised upon the Truth-seeker either through the Scriptures or through any mental process, but through the living representative of the Spirit – through the Gospel Message delivered by a fellow servant. The true child of God, the real Truth-seeker, following the proper lines, and properly trusting to the Lord, according to His Word, will neither ignore nor reject the assistance which God has been pleased to render through teachers in the Church. He will merely seek to find such teachers as God shall raise up, and the distinction between these and sectarian teachers; and one of his best, safest and surest methods of knowing the teachers whom the Lord will raise up, will be by their ability to make simple, clear, plain, the Word of God – "written aforetime for our admonition."

This was the only credential offered by Philip in his ministry of the Truth. He had been taught of God through the Apostles, and was now able, in turn, to communicate to the hearing ear of the eunuch the simple story of how Christ had come into the world to redeem the world, had died for man's sins, had arisen, and ascended up to glory; that now, meantime, before blessing the world through Christ according to promise, God was calling out an elect Little Flock to be joint-heirs with Jesus in the Kingdom; and that just as soon as this election should be completed the Messiah (Jesus the Head, and the Church, His Body) would be manifested in glory and in ruling and blessing power to the world of mankind – the long-looked-for Messiah, whose work had been foretold by "all the holy Prophets since the world began."

Philip undoubtedly further explained to the eunuch, that those who accepted Christ as their Savior, and who desired to become His disciples, taking up their cross to follow Him, should give their assent to this matter by baptism. Apparently it did not take the eunuch long to decide what his course should be; and his readiness of heart to follow the Lamb whithersoever He would lead, is indicated by his promptness to be baptized.

Philip was ready to receive him as a fellow-member of the Church of Christ, and ready to give him the symbol of introduction into the Body of Christ – baptism – as soon as he gave evidence of having accepted the Lord, and having made consecration to Him. He made no request that the eunuch learn the catechism, nor that he confess something else such as well-meaning but mistaken men in the Dark Ages promulgated as necessary and as explanatory of the Bible. Neither did he say, "Now I will write your name; and you will be considered a member of the Church on that account, and I will procure for you some authority to preach the Gospel in Ethiopia." No; at that time the subject had not been confused and befogged as it is now. Philip preached the Gospel in its simplicity, and the eunuch received it in like manner; and with the Gospel itself went the right and authority to declare it. "He that hath My Word, let him speak My Word." (Jeremiah 23:28.) All who have received the anointing of the Spirit, the unction from the Holy One, are thus recognized as members of the Royal Priesthood, and fully commissioned to tell forth the good tidings, as opportunity and circumstances may properly admit.

[R5864 : page 75]

THE GREAT MULTITUDE
– MARCH 26. – REVELATION 7:9-17. –
CHRISTIANS OF THREE KINDS – "TARES," OR FALSE CHRISTIANS – SAINTS, A LITTLE FLOCK OF SELF-SACRIFICERS – AVERAGE CHRISTIANS, A GREAT MULTITUDE – THEIR DESTINY SHOWN IN THIS LESSON – HOW THEY WILL BE CONQUERORS – THE OTHERS WHO WILL BE "MORE THAN CONQUERORS" – CONTRASTS OF THE PRESENT AND THE FUTURE – PRIESTS AND LEVITES FOR THE COMING AGE – THE NUMBER OF THE FORMER KNOWN, THAT OF THE LATTER NOT KNOWN.

"They shall hunger no more;...and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." – Revelation 7:16,17.
A
CCORDING to the Bible those professing the name of Christ are of three general classes. It is not ours to read their hearts; but it is ours, as Jesus said, to know them by their fruits. Yet even here we might deceive ourselves. The only safe way for us, therefore, in respect to persons who claim to be Christians and who live an upright and moral life is to take them for what they profess to be. One of these classes Jesus styles Tares – "children of the Wicked One" – because their presence in the Church is the result of false doctrines, false teachings, sown by the Adversary, Satan. (Matthew 13:24-30,36-43.) Many tares, we understand, are very talented, very honorable, and very wealthy. They really, however, have neither part nor lot with the true Church of Christ, all of whose members are spirit-begotten through the Word of Truth.

In the sense that the consecrated are all called in the one hope of their calling and all begotten of the one Spirit through the one Word of Truth, they are one class, one Church, under one Lord, one faith, one baptism. (Ephesians 4:4,5.) Their division into two classes is the result of coldness, lukewarmness, fear to perform the sacrifice contracted, fear of death, on the part of some – the "great multitude" referred to in this lesson. The Apostle describes them, saying, "Through fear of death they are all their lifetime subject to bondage." (Hebrews 2:15.) Some of them fear also loss of business or name or fame or social standing. Therefore they compromise with the world and its spirit. They do not deny the Lord. Indeed, many of them would die rather than directly deny Him. Yet by their works they do deny Him – ashamed of the Truth because it is not popular, or ashamed of the Lord's brethren because of their humble position or their unpopularity among the worldly.

While this class do not deny the Lord's name, yet they fail to walk closely in His footsteps, and therefore will [R5864 : page 75] fail to get the glorious prize of this Gospel Age; namely, glory, honor, immortality, joint-heirship with Jesus in His Millennial Kingdom, etc. Those great blessings and favors are to be granted only to the "more than conquerors" – the Little Flock, to whom it is the Father's good pleasure to give the Kingdom – those who "follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth," rejoicing in tribulation, esteeming it an honor to be counted worthy to suffer for Christ, His Cause, His Word, His Brethren. And yet this Little Flock, styled in the Bible the Lord's jewels, are described by the poet, who says:

"Those whom God makes His kings and priests
Are mean in human eyes."
THE TWO CLASSES CONTRASTED

The Great Company described in our lesson will be overcomers; else they would never get any part in the everlasting blessings which the Lord is about to dispense now, at His Second Advent, when all of His faithful will be received to the Heavenly Home, the Father's House. They will be overcomers, or conquerors, in the end because the Lord will help them through by forcing those of this class who will be living in the end of the present Age to come to a positive decision – to banish their fears and courageously count not their lives dear unto them in the great tribulation with which this Age will end. The fact that when the test does come, when the crisis is reached, these will die rather than deny the Lord will constitute them overcomers and secure for them the blessing described in our text.

Nevertheless, there is a still higher position that will be attained by some. As it was not necessary for Jesus to be forced by tribulation either to acknowledge the Heavenly Father and stand for Truth or else to die the Second Death, so there is a class in the Church who are like the Master and who will have similar experiences to His. These are styled "more than conquerors" because they not only do the right thing – stand for Truth, righteousness and the Divine arrangement – but they do it as Jesus did – voluntarily, with hearty good will, as soon as it is shown to them.

Here, then, we see the difference between two classes in the Church, all of whom are spirit-begotten, all of whom are called with the same High Calling, all of whom had similar opportunities for attaining the great prize. The "more than overcomers," copies of God's dear Son, faithful unto death in their voluntary laying down of their lives in God's service and in behalf of the brethren – these will be the Little Flock to inherit the Kingdom – these will be the Royal Priesthood – these will constitute the Bride, the Lamb's Wife and Joint-heir.

SCRIPTURES RELATING TO THE SECOND CLASS

The Great Company of this lesson are to be found everywhere. They fail to become members of the Body of Christ, fail to get the great reward, fail to become kings and priests. They will be granted a blessing, however, but an inferior position, which will correspond to that of the Levites of old, who were not priests, but of the priestly tribe – servants to their brethren the priesthood. Again, they are represented in the Bible as not being worthy to be of the Bride class, but as being granted the great honor of being "the virgins, her companions, who follow her" – bridesmaids. – Psalm 45:14,15.

This class is also represented in the Lord's parable as the Foolish Virgins. (Matthew 25:1-13.) They were virgins – pure, justified; hence they were fully consecrated to the Lord. But they were foolish in that they permitted the things of the present life to balance against the things of the life to come, to which they had made a full consecration. The Wise Virgins go in with the Bridegroom, become the Bride class, when the marriage of the Lamb takes place at the Second Coming of Christ. But the Foolish Virgins do not gain admittance, and they hear the Master's words, "I do not recognize you." But although they cannot be recognized as the Bride class, we praise God for His mercy in indicating that they all belong to the company of virgins, the Bride's companions who follow after her.

A beautiful picture of this is given us in Revelation 19:6-9. There also we are told of the Great Company who will praise God eventually that the Marriage of the Lamb is come and His Wife hath made herself ready – even though they will not be part of that Bride class. Awakened from their slumber and stupor, and separated from Babylon the Great by its fire, these finally recognize [R5865 : page 76] what they have missed; but they thank God that His Plan, so full of blessings, will still be carried out, though the true Bride class have gone before. Then the Lord gives to them the precious message, "Blessed are they who are called to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb." But they can go to that Marriage Supper only through much tribulation, which will test to the last their full devotion to the Lord – even unto death.

In Psalm 45 we have a picture of the Heavenly Father as the Great King, the Lord Jesus as the King's Son, the Church as the Bride, and the Great Company as the virgins, the Bride's companions, following after her. It is not only a beautiful picture, but one full of comfort and encouragement to all.

TWO COMPANIES – TWO REWARDS

In the account of today's lesson these are spoken of as a "great multitude whom no man can number" – a poor translation, better rendered, "a great company whose number no man knows." We do know the number of the Elect, the "more than conquerors." It is stated to be one hundred and forty-four thousand of those who follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth – a Little Flock indeed, as compared with the millions of earth for eighteen centuries, but a very choice company. The Great Company is not a foreordained number. No one can say what their number is; for they are castaways from the High Calling, rescued by the mercy of God through Christ, because they have not denied His name, because at heart they were loyal, even though they failed to manifest a sufficiency of zeal in performing the Covenant of Sacrifice which they covenanted and on the terms of which they had been accepted into the Lord's family.

St. John says that theirs is a position of glory and honor, not in the Throne with the Bride, but before the Throne, as those who are subject. He sees them not wearing crowns, the highest insignia of victory, which goes only to the "more than conquerors." But he sees them victors, nevertheless, with palm branches. Then he heard the statement that they were not members of the Temple class, but servants of the Temple, who serve God in His Temple. Great will be their blessing. The Lord will lead them to the waters of life. But they will not be, like the Bride, possessed of immortality – which the Lord describes as water of life springing up in His people. (John 4:14; 7:37-39.) The water of life which Jesus will give the second class will be everlasting life on the spirit plane like unto the angels – but not on the Divine plane, not immortality, not the Divine nature.

Seeing these things set forth so clearly in the Word of God, shall we not be the more earnest hereafter, the more loyal, the more faithful, that we may obtain the highest reward, even that to which the Lord has invited us – to become members of the Body of Christ, members of the Royal Priesthood?

[R5865 : page 76]

EXPECTING A PERSONAL ANTI-CHRIST
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

In harmony with the spirit of a sound mind I prefer to think and speak of the things we know, the things for which we have such a clear, Scriptural basis as to make our position most assuredly correct. However, this letter is being written in order to have your expression upon matters which I do not know, but which seem to be within the range of possibilities, quite a number of passages in the Lord's Word seeming to make them reasonable inferences.

I have presented these suggestions in several discourses: and the brethren have been so stirred to greater diligence by them that, while desirous of saying more that might prove helpful to the various Classes, yet my confidence in your consecrated judgment prompts me to present the same for your criticism before making them too conspicuous in my ministry. Whenever given, emphasis has been laid on the point that I was not sure these ideas were correct, being merely inferential, but even if not right, a consideration of the possibility of such happenings could not fail to put us more effectually on our guard than before.

In the twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew we find two separate references to false Christs. Verse 5 says, "For many shall come in my name saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many." This evidently refers to pseudo-Christs who have arisen during the Gospel Age, but before the closing part of the Age, for in the next verse He says, "For all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet."

But when we come to verses 23 to 26 we read of another class of false Christs who would appear in the end of the Age. In verses 21 and 22 He speaks of the coming of the great "Time of Trouble such as was not since the beginning of the world, no, nor ever shall be," and after stating that unless those days were shortened no flesh would be saved, He continues:

"THEN, if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, [R5866 : page 76] or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs," etc. The adverb "then" is emphatic by position (similar to Matt. 25:1) and would connect the appearance of these false Christs with the time when the great tribulation was due.

It goes on further to inform us that these false Christs would show such signs and wonders that, if possible, even the Very Elect would be deceived. Would we not be justified in thinking that nothing has yet occurred which would warrant such a remarkably strong declaration? In such a case this sweeping deception must be still future, and as it has to do with this make-believe Christ, therefore the greatest of the false Christs must be yet to come.

Verse 26 offers additional clues to the meaning of this prophecy. It rather intimates there will be two kinds of manifestations of these counterfeit Christs. One is mentioned as occurring in the desert, the other in the secret chambers. You have clearly pointed out the secret chambers as designating the darkened rooms where Spiritism works her mysteries, and for some time past the fallen angels have impersonated our Lord, in addition to masquerading as the departed spirits of some of those present.

But when and where has the "behold He is in the desert" part of the prophecy had such a fulfilment as we might expect? May it not be just before us? Note that "the secret chambers" is in the plural, as though pointing out a deception oft-repeated, as has been the case; whereas "the desert" is in the singular, as if to teach us there would be but one occurrence of this sort – no more.

Can we assume that if the secret-chamber Christs have been the fallen angels, then the Christ who will appear in the desert will be Satan, whose final effort to transform himself into an angel of light will culminate in his appearing as an impersonation of the Lord Jesus?

The hosts of Christendom have been taught that at some time Christ will return, but lacking a knowledge of the manner of the Second Advent, they have expected Him to come in the flesh, accompanied by a multitude of visible angels.

Furthermore, we find a widespread opinion that this event is near. Misinterpreting certain prophecies, the Seventh Day Adventists are proclaiming extensively the thought that when Constantinople falls Christ will come. Various denominational commentaries which give Mohammedanism an unreasonably prominent place in the prophetic portions of the Bible have expressed the same idea. Through internal anarchy or through outside influence the fall of Constantinople may not be very distant; and think of what would result if, coincident with that event, what looked like the long-expected return of Christ should take place on some desert out near Palestine!

It would not be our Lord, but the Evil One impersonating our Redeemer. Imagine the wicked angels appearing with him as though they were the holy angels whom many expect to come with Christ! Suppose other demons would impersonate a few of the dead, as if to indicate a beginning of the resurrection! Think of the signs and wonders they may work as evidence to further deceive the human race into believing Jesus has come!

That this could be done if the Lord would allow it seems a reasonable premise, and that it may be done seems a reasonable inference from certain Scriptures. I find there have been various Bible Students – even centuries ago – who thought they saw in the Word a suggestion that Satan was to appear as a [R5866 : page 77] man in the last days. The passage in Isaiah 14:16, where Lucifer is spoken of as a man, is probably the most direct of such references.

There also exists a secondary reason why Satan wishes to be as a man. The True Christ has already returned, but with our natural sight we cannot see Him; however, spirit beings, like the Devil and his angels, can see Him, and as they behold our Lord doing successfully the preparatory work of the Kingdom, while they are helpless to thwart the same, it must make them hate that holy Son of God more than ever! How they must envy the human race, who cannot see that present Lord, and must wish they were human also, that they might not behold any longer the One they detest! Thus in permitting them to take on human nature the Lord simply grants them their wish.

Should it be this way, we can readily discern how fully it would, "if possible, deceive the very elect." Catholics, Protestants, Adventists, Mormons and every sect in Christendom would welcome this one as Christ, for isn't this the very way they have looked for Him? This would seem like convincing evidence to every infidel on earth, and they would hasten to acknowledge Him. Even the hosts of heathendom, unable to gainsay such a demonstration, would fall before Him. And those among us who had listened to discourses, etc., but never really made these things their own by a consecrated application of them, would hastily denounce us, and renounce our teachings, to bow their hearts to this spurious Christ.

Then we would discern why God had granted us so much light upon the manner of the Second Advent, and we would need it all. Think of what blasphemy they would consider us guilty as we insisted that this one they called Christ was really the Devil! The charge against us would resemble that against our Lord, and the indignation of the mob might quickly terminate the militant part of our experience.

But still other results would follow the appearance of such a pretended Christ: The Bible foretells a great confederacy of the two main divisions of Babylon. For several years the signs of that confederacy were everywhere discernible; but of late there has sprung up a bitter feeling between the two sides, being fanned by anti-Catholic publications, etc., until there seems no likelihood of their drawing any closer together.

Suppose this impersonator of Christ uses his usual subtlety, appointing the Pope prime-minister, Billy Sunday minister of war, etc., or making some such recognition of both Catholics and Protestants; what would more effectively remove the partition separating the sects? How they would throw their arms around each other's necks, and only we would be disfellowshiped!

This would also make the prophecy of the anti-Christ and Man of Sin have a double application, even as you have shown in the instance of other prophecies. The coming of the Elijah had a double application – individually John the Baptist, collectively the Church. The Christ has likewise – individually our Lord, but collectively The Christ includes both Head and Body. So the collective anti-Christ was the papal system, the individual anti-Christ Satan. As the individual Christ is the Head of the greater Christ, so the individual anti-Christ would be the head of the greater anti-Christ.

May it be just possible that we have been so impressed with the wonderful application of the anti-Christian prophecies to the system that we have overlooked their coming individual fulfilment?

But we know that Satan could not impersonate our Lord for long with any measure of character-likeness to Him. With the awful wickedness of his heart, only a few days would suffice to reveal his true spirit, and he would plunge this world into worse than it ever saw before.

Out of reverence and fear for the one whom they supposed was Christ, the world would lay aside its swords only long enough to put us away, then would resume the conflict with renewed fury. The hopes of the nominal church and the world had been lifted high only to be dashed to pieces as they perceived the wickedness of the one whose appearing they had hailed.

It has been suggested that the Lord might use His power in some way to prevent Satan from leaving the body of flesh, and thus it would become his prison throughout the Millennium. This would compel him to swallow his own teaching that the body was only a prison in which the real man was confined until liberated by death. He would be forced to experience the very thing he had so untruthfully taught. This gives great force to Isaiah 14:16-19.

There are other points I was going to mention, but probably the letter is already too lengthy; but before closing I wish to mention one advantage of considering these things.

Some of the friends seem to be saying, "The time may be many years off before the Church is all glorified, there is so much yet to be accomplished; let us go into business," etc. I have pointed them to these things with the remark, "If this conjecture should be correct, everything yet to be fulfilled before the glorification of the saints might be accomplished in a month." The time may be two weeks or ten years.

Friends have asked me, "But don't you expect the Seventh Volume first? and it will take months to write, publish and assimilate it." My answer has been this: How do we know but that it may simply be an issue of THE WATCH TOWER?

An ordinary looking copy of THE TOWER arrives, and the brother who has learned to value its message takes advantage of the first opportunity to read it. There in the middle of one article he finds a point which proves a key to many passages of Scripture in Revelation; on another page is another such point; and as he reads, it begins to dawn on his mind that he has the Seventh Volume! What comfort and help and assurance it brings, and he is ready for the trial time just ahead!

Another, less appreciative of the light he has been getting, lays that same TOWER aside for a more convenient time, unwilling to have it crowd out his pleasures or intrude on his comfort, little realizing what that TOWER contains or what he is soon to face, unprepared for it because of a failure to walk in the light already received. [R5867 : page 77]

I meant to make this letter a query, but it sounds almost like a sermon. However, I am sure you will understand the spirit which prompts it. Do you think of any Scripture which would seem to disprove it, or do you believe such ideas might in any way prove detrimental to the Lord's people?

Like a younger brother I have ever valued the privilege of looking up to you as an elder brother, and the God of Wisdom has directed you, for in so many ways you have been a blessing to me. The Lord guide you to the very end of the way!

Yours with much Christian Love,

B. H. BARTON.

THE EDITOR'S VIEW IS DIFFERENT

We think it not unwise to lay before THE WATCH TOWER readers the above article from the pen of our dear Brother Barton. It may do no harm for us to have the thought before our minds. To some others, as well as to Brother Barton, it may seem to be the Truth.

But the view presented does not appeal to the Editor as the correct one. He still believes in harmony with the presentations in STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES. The particular passage in question from our Lord's great prophecy in Matthew 24 is treated in detail in STUDIES, Volume IV. He still believes that to be the proper interpretation. However, we claim no infallibility. We claim that there is no direct inspiration from God since the days of the Apostles.

It should be remembered that each church organization claims to be the Ecclesia, or Body of Christ, of which He is the Head; and that each regular organization has an executive person or committee that really serves as the head of such organization – as Christ's representative in His Body. This thought had its origin in the Eighth Century, when our Roman Catholic friends declared that they set up the Kingdom of God, and from which date they count that His reign has been continuous, and that the popes have been His Vicegerents – reigning instead of Him. Protestant sects have not gone to the same extreme to claim one of their number as substituting for the Lord; but very generally they do claim that Christ's Kingdom has been set up and is in operation. The original thought in the organization of various denominations of Protestants was that it was the true Church. It is only of late years that Protestants have agreed to the thought that Christ Jesus has many bodies – many churches. Yet in a confused way they will admit with us that the Bible teaches only one Church, or Body of Christ; that it is to enter into glory with the Lord by resurrection "change" at the Master's Second Coming; and that His Church is composed of the saints of the Lord, regardless of denominational lines.

These are the false Christs – false bodies of Christ with false heads, or governments not authorized by the Word. They have deceived many – practically the whole world. On the contrary, the people comparatively more or less deranged mentally who have claimed to be Christs have deceived very few in comparison with all mankind. We believe that we have presented the right thought. The Editor is not expecting any personal anti-Christ, nor that Satan will materialize as a man and misrepresent the Lord. On the contrary, as the great Time of Trouble progresses the spirit of evil will be made manifest more and more in all the "children of disobedience"; [R5867 : page 78] and more and more they will become vexed and angry with the children of obedience, who will be standing loyally by the Word of God and the principles of righteousness and love. It is from such a division of the people, we believe, that the antitypical Elijah class will suffer violence; first, represented by the chariot of fiery trouble; secondly, by the whirlwind of anarchy.

However, let us cast our care upon the Lord and wait patiently for His time and be fully content therewith. Then all will be well with us, whatever way the matter may turn out. The time, apparently, is not far distant when these matters will be very fully demonstrated. The spirit of anger, malice, hatred, envy and strife burns more and more fiercely in the hearts of the children of disobedience – in whom the works of the flesh and of the Devil will undoubtedly be more and more manifested. In other words, Christ will be more and more exhibited in His followers, but the spirit of Satan will be more manifest in the remainder of the world.

[R5867 : page 78]

THE TRUTH IN SOUTH AFRICA
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

It is with feelings of deep thankfulness to God that at the close of another year's activity in the Harvest service, I am privileged to forward the Report of our labors in Africa during 1914-15. In presenting the last Annual Report I expressed the hope that the next occasion would find us reporting to Headquarters beyond the Veil. That hope has not been realized. I feel certain, however, that I am expressing the mind of the brethren in Africa, when I say that we are deeply grateful to God for the privilege accorded to us further, to make our calling and election SURE. The past year has been one of continuous testings and trials, both to individuals and to Classes, furnishing abundant opportunities for the display of the Christian graces laboriously cultivated in years gone by, and for the demonstration of that faith and patient endurance which is the supreme test of our devotion to the Lord. – James 1:4.

These very facts assure us that the time of our deliverance is at hand, that the Lord is, as it were, putting the finishing touches to the living stones, preparatory to their being set in the Temple of His Glory in the near future. For many years the great Master Workman has been chiseling, dressing and polishing these, bringing them into conformity with the symmetrical outlines of the Chief Corner Stone, and we are grateful to Him for the likeness. Now, while still in the quarry, He is fitting them each to the other, and if the process develops friction and reveals faults and weaknesses hitherto unsuspected, these will be endured all the more patiently and we will surrender ourselves the more unreservedly into the hands of the Great Master Builder, because we know these experiences to be the prelude to the speedy establishment of the great Spiritual Temple, so admirably designed and accurately fitted as to permit of its erection "without the sound of a hammer."

The year that has gone has been the busiest in the history of the Harvest Work in Africa:

     Volumes of STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES sold..    3,141
     Scenarios, Hymnals, Mannas, Diaglotts, etc.,
          sold...................................   1,589
     Free literature circulated..................  75,131
     Meetings held...............................     312
     Miles travelled.............................   4,682

You will see from above Report that the output of Volumes has been well nigh double that of last year, while a gratifying increase is also noticeable in all other publications.

The various Classes are still holding up the banner of Present Truth, and the dear Brethren are not only holding fast to The Faith, but adding to their numbers as well. Perhaps there is more opposition than ever before, but that is the natural corollary of growth and a good evidence that the Brethren are alive and awake to their privileges and that the Truth is doing its separating work, gathering the wheat from among the tares in Babylon.

During the year I have made two pilgrim Tours covering nearly five thousand miles. One of these was in connection with the EUREKA DRAMA set sent us from Brooklyn. The Drama drew large audiences everywhere, but the results have not been altogether as anticipated. However, a great witness has been borne to the people of South Africa, and the outcome is in the hands of the Lord.

The Newspaper Work in Africa is, in the Lord's providence, practically closed. The war has so decreased the supply of paper in this Dominion that most of the newspapers had to curtail the size of their journals and all had to considerably economize their space. We had only two native papers publishing the Sermons, and these insisted on so abridging them as to render them useless as a means of propaganda, so I have withdrawn them.

The Native Brethren in South Africa still retain their interest in the Truth, and are waiting patiently the further development of the Lord's Purpose. The progress of the war in Nyasaland and South Africa has made reports from that region somewhat scarce; but when last heard from, the Brethren there were still holding fast to the Truth, living in that state of detachment and patient waiting upon God which is the attitude of all the Lord's people at the present time. Your communication re work in Rhodesia, to Mr. Nodehouse, was duly received. I have written that gentleman asking for particulars and am awaiting his reply.

While, therefore, our opportunities are not quite so large as formerly, there is not sufficient evidence to warrant the view that the door is closed or nearly closed in South Africa, and while the Lord permits we shall hold the Fort for Him, telling out the Glad Tidings of the coming Kingdom now so near at hand, till He says "It is enough." Pray for us, dear Brother, as we do for you, that we may be kept faithful unto death and may be counted worthy of a place in the Kingdom.

With continued personal devotion, and a large appreciation of your ministrations, prayers and loving interest in the Harvest Work in South Africa, I am

Your Brother and Co-Laborer in His Glad Service,

WM. W. JOHNSTON. – South Africa.

[R5868 : page 78]

INTERESTING LETTERS
BLESSED AUSTRALASIAN CONVENTION
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

Our Convention is over once more, but it has been the best yet, in attendance, for food provided and for joy generally. Of course, it is only a very small matter compared to your large Conventions. We had sessions every day from Sunday to Sunday, and attendance ranged from just a little over a hundred, to 230. The Testimony Meetings, although they were liberally arranged for – as you will see from the enclosed program – still seemed too short to let every one who desired have an opportunity to speak. On the New Year's morning we had a Baptism service, when fourteen symbolized their consecration. It is beautiful to see many old and young yet coming to rejoice to lay their all on the altar of sacrifice and seek to follow the Lamb.

We unanimously resolved that the time was very opportune for you to pay us a visit, and it was proposed by Brother Gates, of Sydney, and seconded by Brother Allison, of Adelaide, that the following letter be sent to you: "Dear Brother Russell: –

In bringing to a close this Convention which has been a great source of blessing and refreshment to all the dear friends attending from other States as well as to the local Ecclesia, we desire to send a message expressing our love to you and all the dear co-laborers in America. It is also suggested that we send you a hearty invitation to pay us a visit. Our thought is that, owing to the war, it may be that your privileges of service in Europe may be curtailed, and also your visits to England, and that thus in the Lord's good providence your steps may be guided in this direction. We assure you that our hearts' affections go out to you; and to see and speak with you, would be joy second only to that which we hope so soon to have beyond the veil. Earnest prayers for your highest welfare."

Yours in the Service of Christ,

R. E. B. NICHOLSON, Manager,
Australasian Branch.

DEAR BRETHREN: –

Yours of January 4th is at hand.

I rejoice in the Lord that you have had such a sweet and blessed Convention and that, although the numbers were not large, the interest and spirit were what we would expect and that great good has been accomplished.

May the Lord's blessing continue with you all, making the present year, 1916, your very best in character-development and in effective service for our King. [R5869 : page 79]

I cannot promise anything definite in respect to a visit to Australasia, much as I should desire to greet you all in the flesh, to say some words of comfort and encouragement and to personally receive assurances of your continued Christian love. However, we know not what the Lord's providence may indicate, but assure you that we will seek to follow His leading in this and in every matter. With much Christian love,

Your brother and servant in the Lord,

C. T. RUSSELL.

DO NOT TAKE ANYBODY'S SAY-SO
OUR DEAR PASTOR: –

I was pleased to receive your loving letter and gift, which were much appreciated, the latter of which I intend exchanging for renewal of THE WATCH TOWER for another year. Like thousands of others of like precious faith, we are indeed thankful to our loving Heavenly Father and to you, His servant, for its cheering, helpful and inspiring messages of exhortation and hope for those seeking to know and do the will of God. Its bi-monthly visits are eagerly looked for and its spiritual food is soul-satisfying.

The article in September 1 issue on "Christian Duty and the War" was good and to the point; we trust by God's grace we shall maintain that attitude, looking to Jesus our Captain, who said His Kingdom is not of this world, else would His servants fight; and to St. Paul, His mouthpiece, who shows that our weapons are not carnal, though mighty to the pulling down of strongholds of error.

I rejoice, by the Lord's favor, at the prospect of further opportunities in the Colporteur work this new year. The previous eight in this blessed work have been the happiest in my life. I am now wondering if our work may not soon be cut short since compulsory military service for single men is suggested, with the possibility of severe penalties to those who refuse. However,

"My times are in Thy hand;
My God, I wish them there."

The Class here have unanimously reelected you as our Pastor. I assure you we can never repay the help you are to us through the SCRIPTURE STUDIES, THE WATCH TOWER, TABERNACLE SHADOWS, etc. We are grateful to our Heavenly Father and our Present Lord who have used and are still using you to bring forth "Meat in due season for the Household of Faith."

If it will not be troubling you too much we would like your advice on the following queries:

What should be our course if ordered by those in authority to cease distributing our Volunteer literature?

Or that we may no longer sell STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES?

Or that we may no longer assemble as Classes for the study of the Scriptures?

Praying the Lord's richest blessing upon you in your labor of love, I remain, by God's grace,

Your brother,

A. W. SEWTER, COLPORTEUR. – Eng.

REPLY TO QUERIES: The Lord's people are to govern their conduct by the laws of the land in which they reside – except such laws as would conflict with God's Word. But we should not take anybody's "say-so" re such laws, but should make sure that such laws really prevent. – EDITOR.

RE PRICE OF "MANNA" AND RECIPROCITY
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

In view of the fact that it is so surprisingly easy to sell the PHOTO-DRAMA SCENARIOS at 68c and 88c, we would like to suggest that you allow the MANNA to be Colporteured at 68c. We are convinced, after our experience with the SCENARIO, that at 68c the MANNA sales would be very materially increased. This would be an encouragement, and assist in making expenses.

We find that many of the friends have not yet introduced the STUDIES, MANNA, SCENARIO, TOWER, etc., to their tradespeople – grocers, butchers, bakers, shoemakers, milkmen, etc. We have suggested to many that these people are most anxious to retain their trade, giving them profit-sharing coupons, trading stamps, premiums, etc., and that they would be only too pleased if they had an opportunity to reciprocate in return for their custom during the many months or years they have dealt with them. What an opening the friends have in this way! One Sister here went out the other day amongst the people on her street, and took orders for nineteen SCENARIOS in about five hours. There is hardly a person in the Truth but could do likewise – and their tradespeople and neighbors would appreciate the privilege of buying from them. With much love, we are

Yours in the Harvest work,

[R5868 : page 79]

THE DAILY CUP
"I will take the Cup of Salvation." – Psalm 116:13.
With a tender smile on His loving face,
My Lord stood holding the Cup of Grace –
"Wilt thou drink, dear one, today?"

O loving Bridegroom, I am so weak!
My enemies even now do seek
To cause me to shrink away.

Today the Cup seems a bitter draught
That cost Thee Thy life, as once Thou quaffed –
Increase my faith, I pray!

"My Dove, I will show thee the care I take
To guard the Cup for thy dear sake,
That thou mayst drink each day."

Oh, wondrous vision my Lord revealed!
I saw my soul's fierce battle-field,
And the enemies dreaded by me.

The World, the Flesh and Satan wise
Were all made plain in their evil guise,
Plotting adversity.

"I will fill the Cup with troubles sore,
Pour them in till they're brimming o'er –
I'll make it a Poison draught!

"So bitter 'twill be that its very breath
Will cause her to shrink from such a death!" –
Thus Satan in wickedness laughed.

And the World and the Flesh in blindness lent
Their aid to his wicked, fell intent:
My soul felt their power so dire.

Then I turned and looked at my Bridegroom's face –
The glory from it filled all the place,
But His eyes were flames of fire.

"Begone, ye enemies of My Bride!
The Cup is MINE!" He sternly cried;
"I guard this Cup each day.

"And nothing goes in it beyond the power
Of My Bride to bear in her weakest hour,
If she look to Me for grace."

Then He turned to me with the tenderest mien –
"My Love, art thou strengthened by what thou hast seen?
Canst thou now the enemy face?"

Dear Lord, forgive me, I humbly cried,
That I should forget that He who died
To redeem my soul, is by my side
And holds the Cup in His hand.

Gladly I take the Loving-Cup,
Gladly I drink as Thou holdest it up;
To share it with Thee is grand!

And if it should be that this is the day
When the flesh, as I drink, shall pass for aye,
Then 'twill be the Cup of Joy.

Oh, wondrous miracle of grace!
The smile on my loving Bridegroom's face
As I pressed my lips to the Cup,

Filled my soul o'erflowing with peace Divine!
And not alone did this peace I find,
But my heart with Joy welled up.

And so each day as I take the Cup
From my Best Beloved, I meekly look up
And whisper a prayer for grace.

And He gives me grace; and Peace Divine,
And Love and Faith and Joy are mine,
As I gaze upon His face.

My hope is in faith the Cup to drain
That I in His Kingdom with Him may reign;
The Cup of Joy I then will claim,
Triumphant by His Grace!

LILLA S. WARD.

page 80

International Bible Students Association Classes
STUDIES AND LECTURES BY MEMBERS OF THE PEOPLES PULPIT ASSOCIATION

page 81
March 1st

ZION'S
WATCH TOWER
and
Herald of Christ's Presence

ROCK OF AGES
Other foundation can
no man lay
A RANSOM FOR ALL

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

VOL. XXXVII.MARCH 15No. 6
A. D. 1916 – A. M. 6044
CONTENTS
Thoughts of the Memorial Season 83
First-Fruits and After-Fruits 83
Jesus Our Passover Lamb 84
Primary Significance of Bread and Cup 84
Deeper Significance of Loaf and Cup 85
The Celebration in the Kingdom 85
Opposition from Religious World 86
The Ransom and the Sin-Offering 87
Ransom Price and Ransom Work 87
The Sin-Offering is Different 88
The Secondary Sin-Offering 88
Value of Scape Goat's Suffering 89
"Why Persecutest Thou Me?" 90
Conscientious Wrong-Doing 90
St. Paul as a Type 92
Aeneas and Dorcas 92
Meaning of the Term Saint 92
Lesson of the Lilies 94
Passover Proving (Poem) 94
Interesting Letters 95

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

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

page 82

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

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

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

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

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

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WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY
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ANOTHER VOLUNTEER NUMBER OF B. S. M.

Those who have used the first Volunteer matter of the season and who are, therefore, properly ready for our second number for 1916 volunteering, will please notice that it will be ready for them shortly and that orders may be sent in at once. The leading article in it will be "What Is A Christian?" This article seems to appeal to a very large number of intelligent, conscientious, thinking people, and, we believe, will be a means of doing much good.

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Questions from Manual on SERIES THIRD of
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Question Manuals on Vol. III., STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, 5c. each; or 50c. per dozen, postpaid.

[R5869 : page 83]

THOUGHTS ON THE MEMORIAL SEASON

"For as often as ye eat this Bread, and drink this Cup, ye do show the Lord's death till He come." – 1 Corinthians 11:26.
T
HE Passover season, as celebrated by the Jews, is approaching, beginning this year on the 17th of April. But the interest of Christians in this season centers especially in the slaying of the lamb, which preceded the Passover Feast, and which typified the Lamb of God, Christ Jesus. Our celebration of this Passover season, therefore, relates to the great Antitype. At this time we as Christians commemorate the greatest event of all history, the sacrificial death of the Savior of the world. Our celebration this year properly begins on the evening of April 16th, after six o'clock, which is the beginning of the 14th of Nisan.

We greatly regret that, while millions of professed Christians and Jews will in some formal ceremonies and in a perfunctory manner celebrate at that season this most important event, but few of either religion discern the real significance of the celebration. Could their minds be thoroughly awakened to its true significance, there would be a religious revival such as the world has never yet known. But, as St. Paul declares, "The god of this world hath blinded the minds" of many; and even some whose eyes of understanding are partially opened, St. Peter describes as being blind and unable to see afar off. They are unable to see the deep things of God in respect to these ceremonies, which have been celebrated for now more than three thousand years, in type and antitype.

The Israelites were commanded to celebrate the Passover as the first feature of the Law and as one of their greatest memorials as a nation. Therefore we find that in some degree the Passover is celebrated by Jews in all parts of the world, even by those who claim to be agnostics. They still have a measure of respect for the Passover as an ancient custom. But is it not strange that with the bright minds which many of our Jewish friends possess, they have never thought it worth while to inquire as to the meaning of this celebration?

Why was the Passover lamb slain and eaten? Why was the blood sprinkled upon the door-posts and lintels? Of course, God so commanded; but what was the reason, the motive, behind the Divine command – what lesson, what object? Truly a reasonable God gives reasonable commands; and in due time Jehovah will cause His faithful people to understand the significance of every requirement. If the Jew can realize that his Sabbath day is a type of a coming Epoch of rest and blessing, of release from toil, sorrow and death, why cannot he see that similarly all the features of the Mosaic institution were designed of the Lord to be foreshadowings of various blessings, to be bestowed "in due time"?

FIRST-FRUITS AND AFTER-FRUITS

Blessed are those whose eyes can see that Jesus was indeed "the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world"; that the cancellation of the world's sin is to be effected by the payment of man's penalty, by the application of Jesus' sacrificial merit in due time for the sins of all mankind. Only the Church have as yet received of the merit of Jesus' death. Greatly favored are those who can see that as the whole world lost Divine favor and came under Divine sentence of death, with its concomitants of sorrow and pain, so it was necessary that a satisfaction of Justice should be made before this sentence, or curse, could be removed; and that therefore, as the Apostle declares, "Christ died for our sins" – "the Just for the unjust," that He might bring us back to God. Thus He opened up a new way – a way to life everlasting. [R5870 : page 83]

The Scriptures call the Church of Christ "the Church of the First-borns," "a kind of First-fruits unto God of His creatures," "the First-fruits unto God and the Lamb." (Hebrews 12:23; James 1:18; Rev. 14:4.) These expressions imply that ultimately there will be others of God's family later born; they imply after-fruits. Christian people in general seem to have overlooked these Scriptures, so far as making application of them is concerned, and have generally come to believe that only those are ever to be saved who are designated in the Bible as the First-fruits – that there will be no after-fruits.

But the Passover type indicates that it was God's purpose to save all Israelites; and that as a nation they represented all of mankind that will ever come into harmony with God and be granted everlasting life in the Land of Promise. Let us note that there were two Passovers – the one in which only the first-borns were passed over; and another greater one at the Red Sea, when by Divine Power the whole nation of Israel was miraculously delivered and led across the channel of the Sea especially prepared for them by the accentuation of winds and tides. These passed over dry-shod and were saved; while the hosts of Pharaoh, representing all who eventually will go into the Second Death, were overwhelmed in the Sea. The passover at the Red Sea pictures the ultimate deliverance from the power of sin and death of every creature of Adam's race who desires to come into accord with the Lord and to render Him worship, all who will ever become a part of Israel; for not one Israelite was left behind in Egyptian bondage. [R5870 : page 84]

RESPONSIBILITY OF THE FIRST-BORNS

But this passover is not the one which we are about to celebrate. We are to celebrate the antitype of the passing over of the first-borns of Israel by the angel, in the land of Egypt. Only the first-born ones of Israel were endangered on that night in Egypt, though the deliverance of the entire nation depended upon the salvation, the passing over, of those first-borns. So only the First-borns of the sons of God from the human plane, the Church of Christ, are now being passed over during this night of the Gospel Age; only these are in danger of the destroying angel. These are all under the sprinkled blood.

We see, in harmony with all the Scriptures, that the "Little Flock," "the First-fruits unto God of His creatures," "the Church of the First-borns," alone is being spared, passed over, during the present Age. We see that the remainder of mankind who may desire to follow the great antitypical Moses, when in the Age to follow this He shall lead the people forth from the bondage of Sin and Death, are not now in danger of eternal destruction – only the First-borns.

The Church of the First-borns are those of mankind who, in advance of the remainder of the race, have had the eyes of their understanding opened to a realization of their condition of bondage and their need of deliverance and to God's willingness to fulfil to them all of His good promises. Furthermore, they are such as have responded to the grace of God, have made a full consecration of themselves to Him and His service, and in return have been begotten of the Holy Spirit. With these it is a matter of life or death whether or not they remain in the Household of Faith – behind the blood of sprinkling.

For this class to go forth from under the blood would imply a disregard of Divine mercy. It would signify that they were doing despite to Divine goodness; and that, having enjoyed their share of the mercy of God as represented in the blood of the Lamb, they were not appreciative of it. For such, the Scriptures declare, "There remaineth no more a sacrifice for sins"; "Christ dieth no more." They are to be esteemed as adversaries of God, whose fate was symbolized in the destruction of the first-borns of Egypt. The Church of the First-borns, through the begetting of the Holy Spirit and the greater knowledge and privileges which they enjoy in every way, have a far greater responsibility than has the world; for they are the only ones yet in danger of the Second Death. This is the lesson of the Passover type, and applies only to true Christians.

By and by the night of sin and death will have passed away, the glorious Morn of deliverance will have come, and The Christ, the antitypical Moses, will lead forth, will deliver, all the people of God – all who, when they shall come to know, will be glad to reverence, honor and obey the will of God. That Day of Deliverance will be the entire Millennial Age, at the close of which all evil and evil-doers, symbolized by the hosts of Egypt, will be utterly cut off in the Second Death – destruction.

JESUS OUR PASSOVER LAMB

The Apostle Paul clearly and positively identifies the Passover Lamb with our Lord Jesus, saying, "Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us; therefore let us keep the feast." He informs us that we all need the blood of sprinkling, not upon our houses, but upon our hearts. We are to partake of the Lamb; we must appropriate to ourselves the merit of Christ, the value of His sacrifice; we must also eat of the unleavened bread of Truth, if we would be strong and prepared for the deliverance in the Morning of the New Dispensation. Thus we put on Christ, not merely by faith; but more and more we put on His character and are transformed into His glorious image in our hearts and lives.

We are to feed on Christ as the Jews fed on the literal lamb. Instead of the bitter herbs, which aided and whetted their appetites, we have bitter experiences and trials which the Lord prepares for us, and which help to wean our affections from earthly things and to give us increased appetite to feed upon the Lamb and the unleavened Bread of Truth. We, too, are to remember that we have here no continuing city; but as pilgrims, strangers, staff in hand, we are to gird ourselves for our journey to the Heavenly Canaan, to all the glorious things which God has in reservation for the Church of the First-borns, in association with our Redeemer, as kings and priests unto God.

Our Lord Jesus also fully identified Himself with the Passover Lamb. On the same night of His betrayal, just preceding His crucifixion, He gathered His Apostles in the upper room, saying, "With desire have I desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer." It was necessary that as Jews they should celebrate the Passover Supper on that night – the night of the anniversary of the slaying of the Passover lamb in Egypt, of the saving of the typical first-borns from the typical "prince of this world" – Pharaoh – the same date on which the real Passover Lamb was to be slain. But as soon as the requirements of the type had been fulfilled, our Lord Jesus instituted a new Memorial upon the old foundation, saying, "Do this in remembrance of Me."

PRIMARY SIGNIFICATION OF THE BREAD AND THE CUP

We recall the circumstances of the first Memorial – the blessing of the Bread and of the Cup, the fruit of the vine; and our Lord's declaration that these represented His broken body and shed blood, and that all His followers should participate, not only feeding upon Him, but being broken with Him; not only partaking of the merit of His blood, His sacrifice, but also laying down their lives in His service, in cooperating with Him in every and any manner, that they might later share all His honor and glory in the Kingdom. How precious are these thoughts to those who are rightly in tune with our Lord!

In presenting to the disciples the unleavened bread as a memorial, Jesus said, "Take, eat; this is My body." The evident meaning of His words is, This symbolizes, or represents, My body. The bread was not actually His body; for in no sense had His body yet been broken. In no sense would it then have been possible for them to have partaken of Him actually or antitypically, the sacrifice not being as yet finished. But the picture is complete when we recognize that the unleavened (pure, unfermented) bread represented our Lord's sinless flesh – leaven being a symbol of sin under the Law, and especially commanded to be put away at the Passover season. On another occasion Jesus gave a lesson which interprets to us this symbol. He said, "The Bread of God is He which cometh down from Heaven, and giveth life unto the world." "I am the Bread of Life." "I am the living Bread which came down from Heaven; if any man eat of this Bread, he shall live forever; and the Bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." – John 6:33,35,51.

In order to appreciate how we are to eat, or appropriate, this living Bread, it is necessary for us to understand just what the bread signifies. According to our Lord's explanation of the matter, it was His flesh which He sacrificed for us. It was not His prehuman existence as a spirit being that was sacrificed, although that was [R5870 : page 85] laid down and its glory laid aside, in order that He might take our human nature. It was the fact that our Lord Jesus was holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners – without any contamination from Father Adam, and hence free from sin – that enabled Him to become the Redeemer of Adam and his race, that permitted Him to give His life "a Ransom for all, to be testified in due time." – 1 Timothy 2:3-6.

When we see that it was the pure, spotless nature of our Lord Jesus that was laid down on behalf of sinners, we see what it is that we are privileged to appropriate. The very thing that He laid down for us we are to "eat," appropriate to ourselves; that is to say, His perfect human life was given to redeem all the race of man from condemnation to death, to enable them to return to human perfection and everlasting life, if they would; and we are [R5871 : page 85] to realize this and accept Him as our Savior from death. The Scriptures show us, however, that if God would consider all past sins canceled, and should recognize us as having a right to human perfection, this still would not make us perfect, nor give us the right to eternal life.

In order that any of the race of Adam might profit by the sacrifice of Jesus, it was necessary that He should rise from the tomb on the Divine plane of life, that He should ascend to the Father and deposit the sacrificial merit of His death in the hands of Justice, and receive from the Father "all power in Heaven and in earth." As relates to the world, it was necessary also that in the Father's due time He should come again to earth, a glorious Divine Being, then to be to the whole world a Mediator, Prophet, Priest and King, to assist back to perfection and to harmony with God all who will avail themselves of the wonderful privileges then to be offered.

It is this same blessing that the Gospel Church of this Age receive by faith in their Redeemer; namely, justification by faith – not justification to a spirit nature, which we never had and never lost, and which Christ did not redeem; but justification to human nature, which Father Adam possessed and lost, and which Christ redeemed by giving His own sinless flesh, His perfect human life, as our Ransom-sacrifice. The partaking of the unleavened bread at the Memorial season, then, means to us primarily the appropriation to ourselves, by faith, of justification to human life-right – a right to human life – with all its privileges, which our Lord at His own cost procured for us. Likewise the fruit of the vine symbolizes primarily our Savior's life given for us, His human life, His being, His soul, poured out unto death on our behalf; and the appropriation of this by us also signifies, primarily, our acceptance of Restitution rights and privileges secured by our Lord's sacrifice of these.

DEEPER SIGNIFICANCE OF THE LOAF AND THE CUP

Now let us note that God's object in justifying the Church by faith during this Gospel Age, in advance of the justification of the world by works of obedience in the Millennial Age, is for the very purpose of permitting this class who now see and hear, who now appreciate the great sacrifice which Love has made on man's behalf, to present their bodies a living sacrifice, and thus to have part with the Lord Jesus in His sacrifice – as members of His Body. This deeper meaning of the Memorial He did not refer to directly. It was doubtless one of the things to which He referred when He said, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now; howbeit, when it, the Spirit of Truth, shall come, it will guide you into all Truth, and will show you things to come." – John 16:12,13.

This Spirit of Truth, the power and influence of the Father bestowed through Christ, speaking through the Apostle Paul, clearly explains the very high import of the Memorial; for St. Paul says, writing to the consecrated Church, "The Cup of blessing for which we give thanks, is it not the participation of the blood of Christ? The Loaf which we break, is it not the participation of the Body of Christ?" – the sharing with Christ as joint-sacrificers with Him even unto death, that thereby we might be counted in with Him as sharers of the glory which He has received as the reward of His faithfulness? – "For we, being many, are one Loaf and one Body."1 Corinthians 10:16,17. – Emphatic Diaglott.

Both views of this impressive ordinance are very important. It is essential, first of all, that we should see our justification through our Lord's sacrifice. It is proper then that we should realize that the entire Christ, the entire anointed company, is, from the Divine standpoint, a composite Body of many members, of which Jesus is the Head (1 Corinthians 12:12-14), and that this Body, this Church, as a whole must be broken – that each member of it must become a copy of the Lord Jesus and must walk in the footsteps of His sacrifice. We do this by laying down our lives for the brethren, as Jesus laid down His life – directly for His Jewish brethren, but really for the whole world, according to the Father's purpose.

It is not our spiritual life that we lay down, even as it was not Jesus' spiritual life that He laid down. As He sacrificed His actual, perfect being, His humanity, so we are to sacrifice our justified selves, reckoned perfect through Jesus' merit, but not actually so. Likewise the Loaf and the Cup represent suffering. The grains of wheat must be crushed and ground before they can become bread for man; they cannot retain their life and individuality as grains. The grapes must submit to the pressure that will extract all their juices, must lose their identity as grapes, if they would become the life-giving elixir for the world. So it is with the Christ company, Head and Body. Thus we see the beauty and force of St. Paul's statement that the Lord's children are participants in the one Loaf and the one Cup. But it is His blood, the virtue of His sacrifice, that counts. Our blood has virtue only because of His merit counted to us, only because we are members of His Body.

Our Lord distinctly declares that the Cup, the fruit of the vine, represents blood; that is, life – not life retained, but life shed, given, yielded up – sacrificed life. He tells us that this life poured out was for the remission of sins; and that all who would be His must drink of it, must accept His sacrifice and appropriate it by faith. They must receive life from this source. It will not do for any to claim an immortality outside of Christ. It will not do to declare that life is the result of obedience to the Law. It will not do to claim that faith in some great teacher and obedience to his instructions will amount to the same thing and bring eternal life. There is no way to attain eternal life other than through the blood once shed as the Ransom-price for the whole world. "There is none other name given under Heaven or amongst men whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:12.) Likewise there is no other way by which we can attain to the new nature than by accepting the Lord's invitation to drink of His Cup, and to be broken with Him as members of the one Loaf, to be buried with Him in baptism into His death, and thus to be with Him in His resurrection to glory, honor and immortality. – Romans 6:3-5; 2:7.

THE CELEBRATION IN THE KINGDOM

On the occasion of the institution of the Memorial Supper, our dear Lord, as usual, had something to say about the Kingdom, the theme of His every discourse. [R5871 : page 86] Those to whom He had promised a share in the Kingdom if faithful, He reminded of His declaration that He would go away to receive a Kingdom and to come again and receive them to Himself to share in it. He now adds that this Memorial which He was instituting would find its fulfilment in the Kingdom, that He would no more drink of the fruit of the vine until He should drink it anew with them in the Father's Kingdom.

Just what our Lord meant by this statement might be difficult to determine positively, but it seems not inconsistent to understand Him to mean that as a result of the trials and sufferings symbolized in His Cup, there will be jubilation in the Kingdom. "He shall see of the travail of His soul and shall be satisfied." He will look back over the trials and difficulties endured in faithful obedience to the Father's will, and will rejoice in these as He sees the grand outcome – the blessings which will come to all mankind. This jubilation will be shared by all His disciples who have drunk of this Cup, first in justification, then in consecration and sacrifice with Him. These have His promise that they shall reign with Him; and when the reign shall have begun, when the Kingdom shall have been established, looking back they shall praise the way that God has led them day by day, even unto the end of their earthly course, and even though it has been a "narrow way," a way of self-sacrifice, a way of self-denial.

Our dear Master's faith stood the test of all these trying hours which He knew to be so near the time of His apprehension and death. The fact that He rendered thanks to the Father for the bread and the cup is indicative of a joyful acquiescence in all the sufferings which the breaking of the bread and the crushing of the grapes implied. Already He was satisfied with the Father's arrangement. In line with this spirit was the singing of a hymn as they parted, a hymn of praise no doubt, thanksgiving to the Father that His course on earth was so nearly finished, and that He had found thus far grace sufficient for His need.

In considering the events of those solemn hours which followed the Memorial Supper, let us follow the Redeemer to Gethsemane, and behold Him "with strong cryings and tears" praying "unto Him who was able to save Him out of death" – expressive of our Master's fear of death lest in some particular He might have failed to follow out the Father's Plan, and therefore be thought unworthy of a resurrection. We note that our Lord was in some way comforted with the assurance that He had faithfully kept His consecration vow, and that He would surely have a resurrection as promised.

We behold how calm He was thereafter, when before the high priest and Pilate, and Herod and Pilate again. "As a lamb before her shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth" in self-defense. We see Him faithful, courageous to the very last; and we have His assurance that He could have asked of the Father and could have had more than twelve legions of angels for His protection. But instead of petitioning for aid to escape His sacrifice, He petitioned for help to endure it faithfully. What a lesson is here for all His footstep followers!

On the other hand, we recall that even amongst His loyal disciples the most courageous forsook the Master [R5872 : page 86] and fled; and that one of them, in his timidity, even denied his Lord! What an occasion is this for examining our own hearts as respects the degree of our own faith, our own courage and our willingness to suffer with Him who redeemed us! What an opportunity is thus afforded for us to buttress the mind with the resolution that we will not deny our Master under any circumstances or conditions – that we will confess Him not only with our lips, but also by our conduct.

OUR OPPOSITION TO BE FROM RELIGIOUS WORLD

We are shocked with the thought that it was Jehovah's professed people who crucified the Prince of Life! and not only so, but that it was the leaders of their religious thought, their chief priests, Scribes and Pharisees and Doctors of the Law, rather than the common people, who were responsible for this dreadful deed. We remember the Master's words, "Marvel not that the world hate you; for you know that it hated Me before it hated you." We see that He referred to the religious world; and realizing this, we know that it will be the religious world that will hate us, His followers. We are not to be surprised, then, that opposition to the Truth and persecution of the light-bearers should come from the most prominent exponents of so-called Christianity. This fact, however, should not cause us to hate either our own opponents or those who persecuted our Lord to the death. Rather we are to remember the words of the Apostle Peter respecting this matter: "I wot that in ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers." – Acts 3:17.

Ah, yes! Ignorance and blindness of heart and mind is at the bottom of all the sufferings of Christ – both Head and Body. The Father permits it to be so now, until the members of the Body of Christ shall have filled up that which is behind of the afflictions of their Head. (Colossians 1:24.) Soon, as our dear Lord declared, those who now partake of His broken body and are broken with Him in the service of the Truth, those who now participate in His Cup of suffering and self-denial, will drink with Him the new wine of joy in the Kingdom, beyond the veil. With that glorious Morning will begin the great work for the world's release from the bonds of sin and death – the great work of uplifting, the "Times of Restitution of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy Prophets since the world began." – Acts 3:21.

The thought before the mind of each of those who participate in the Memorial service should be that expressed in the words of St. Paul, "If we suffer with Him, we shall also reign with Him; if we be dead with Him, we shall also live with Him"; "for our light afflictions, which are but for a moment," "are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us." (Rom. 8:18.) With these thoughts respecting the passing over of our sins as the First-borns through the merit of the precious blood, and our share with our blessed Lord in all His experience of suffering and of glory, we may indeed keep the Passover feast with joy, notwithstanding the trials and difficulties. So doing, continuing faithful as His followers, very soon we shall have the great privilege of leading forth the Lord's hosts – all who ultimately shall hear and know and obey the great King – out of the dominion of sin and death, out of Egypt into Canaan.

THE COMING ANNIVERSARY

According to custom, the New York and Brooklyn congregation will this year meet to celebrate the great event which is so full of precious significance to all the saints who have come into an appreciation of Present Truth. We recommend that the dear friends in various parts of the world neglect not this blessed Memorial. We do not advise the leaving of the smaller groups to meet with larger companies, but rather that each little company, or band, meet together as is its usual custom; for this seems to have been the course of the early Church. Let us "keep the Feast," with joy of heart, but with due appreciation of its solemnity, not only as relates to our Lord's sacrifice [R5872 : page 87] for us, but also as relates to our own covenant to be dead with Him. We recommend that the leaders of each company make arrangements to obtain unleavened bread, and either unfermented grape juice, or raisin juice, or other fruit of the vine. Our recommendation is against the use of fermented wine, as being a possible temptation to some weak in the flesh, though provision might be made for any, if there be such, who conscientiously believe that fermented wine was meant to be used.

We recommend that these little gatherings be without ostentation. Decently, orderly, quietly, let us come together, full of precious thoughts respecting the great transaction we celebrate. Let us not have our attention too much taken up with forms and ceremonies. Let us in this, as in all things, seek to do that which would be pleasing to our Lord; and then we shall be sure that the service will be profitable to all who participate.

We have heretofore suggested that none are to be forbidden to partake of the emblems who profess faith in the precious blood and full consecration to the Lord. As a rule there will be no danger that any will accept the privilege of this fellowship who are not earnest of heart. Rather, some may need to be encouraged, since wrong views, we believe, are sometimes taken of the Apostle's words concerning those who "eat and drink damnation (condemnation) to themselves, not discerning the Lord's body." (1 Corinthians 11:29.) For the sake of these timid ones, who, we trust, will not forego the privilege of commemorating this great transaction, we would explain that to our understanding the class mentioned by the Apostle is composed of those who fail to realize the real import of the sacrifice, and who recognize this service as a mere ceremonial form. The failure to investigate and learn what this signifies, brings condemnation, reproof.

We trust that the occasion will this year be a most precious and profitable one to all the saints. As we are approaching the end of our course, the great importance of our Calling, its responsibilities and privileges, should be impressed more and more upon our hearts and minds. We are living in wonderful times. We know not what a day may bring forth. Then let us walk with great carefulness, with great soberness, yet with joy and rejoicing, knowing that our deliverance draweth nigh; and that, if faithful, soon with our Beloved Bridegroom we shall partake of the wine of joy in His Kingdom and be forever with Him.

[R5872 : page 87]

THE RANSOM AND THE SIN-OFFERING
N
OTWITHSTANDING all that we have written on the subjects of the Ransom and the Sin-Offering in the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, in THE WATCH TOWER and in the TABERNACLE SHADOWS, it would appear that some of our dear readers are not yet clear in respect to these matters. Some even confuse themselves and others by hinting that "Brother Russell has changed his views – or that the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES contradict THE WATCH TOWER. These are harmful mistakes. Should our views change we will state the change in no uncertain terms. We therefore make a renewed effort to make plain what we believe to be the proper interpretation of these subjects.

"The Ransom-Price relates to the valuable thing itself; namely, the blood or death of Christ – a ransom price sufficient for the payment of the penalty of one member of the human family or of all, as it may be applied." – Z'09, p. 309.

The Ransom views the matter of man's recovery from sin and death as a purchase – a Redemption. The basis of this thought is the Divine Law, "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a man's life for a man's life." (Deuteronomy 19:21.) Adam and his entire race of thousands of millions are in dire distress through sin and its penalty. God has provided a recovery by a Ransom process – purchasing back from their fallen condition.

Our first thought naturally would be that to redeem, or purchase back, the right of humanity to life, would mean that each member of Adam's race must be purchased by the life of another person, holy, harmless, unsentenced. But looking deeply into God's Plan we find that only one man was tried before the Divine Court – namely, Father Adam; that only Adam was sentenced to death; and that all of his children go into death, not because of their individual trial and death, but simply because Adam, having failed to maintain his perfection, was unable to give his children more life or rights than he possessed. And so it has been throughout the entire period of six thousand years from the time of Father Adam's sentence until now.

Here we see a wonderful economic feature connected with the Divine Plan. God would not permit more than one member of the human race to be tried and sentenced to death; for His purpose from the beginning was that the sacrifice of one life should redeem the entire human race. By one man the whole trouble came; by another Man the whole trouble will be rectified. This the Apostle points out, saying, "As by a man came death, by a man comes also the resurrection of the dead; for as all in Adam die, even so all in Christ shall be made alive – every man in his own order." – 1 Corinthians 15:21-23. [R5873 : page 87]

Thus we see the value of Jesus' death – that it was not merely for Adam, but included all his posterity. We see, too, how necessary it was that Jesus should be "holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners"; otherwise, He, like the remainder of the race, would have been under a Divine death sentence. Because all of Adam's race were involved in sin and its penalty it was necessary to find an outsider to be the world's Redeemer; and that outsider, whether angel, cherub, or the great Michael Himself, the Logos, must exchange the spirit nature for the human nature in order to be a corresponding price – a Ransom for the first man.

It was not a God that sinned; hence the death of a God could not redeem. It was not a cherub that sinned; hence the death of a cherub could not redeem. It was a man who sinned, and the ransom for him must be furnished by the death of a man. It was for this cause that the great Logos, in carrying out the Divine Plan for human redemption, left the glory which He had with the Father before the world was, humbled Himself and became a man, "was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor [the perfection of human nature]; that He, by the grace of God, should taste death for every man." – Hebrews 2:9.

RANSOM PRICE AND RANSOM WORK

If we have established clearly what a ransom is, and that Jesus was the only One suitable to be a Ransom for Father Adam, our next point is to show from the Bible that He did give Himself as a Ransom. We have the word of Jesus Himself on the subject (Matthew 20:28); and also St. Paul's testimony, "the Man Christ Jesus, [R5873 : page 88] who gave Himself a Ransom-price for all, to be testified in due time." (1 Tim. 2:6.) This proves that the giving of the price sufficient to ransom Adam and all his race was accomplished in Jesus' death at Calvary.

But the work of ransoming Adam and his race is much more than merely the providing of the Ransom-price. The thought connected with the word Ransom goes beyond the mere giving and appropriating of the price. It includes the recovery of Adam and his race from the power of sin and death. Manifestly, this work has not yet been accomplished; indeed, it has scarcely begun. The only disposition thus far of the Ransom, the merit, has been its imputation to the Church, and this only by faith. The Church is not yet glorified as a whole – not yet delivered from the power of sin and death completely. Manifestly, then, it will require the entire thousand years of Messiah's Kingdom to ransom, to deliver, to set free, from the power of sin and death, Adam and all his children. Consequently, the Ransom work, which began more than eighteen centuries ago, is still to be accomplished.

There is no difficulty about the Ransom-price; for that price has been in the hands of Justice for nearly nineteen centuries. But it has been unapplied as respects the world and only imputed to the Church that has been called out from the world during this Gospel Age. The full completion of the Ransoming work will include what the Bible speaks of, saying, "I will ransom them from the power of the grave." (Hosea 13:14.) Nor will the Ransoming work be fully accomplished when the last member of the race has been delivered from the power of the grave; for there will still be a great resurrecting work to be done – a raising up out of imperfection of mind, morals and physique, to the full image and likeness of God, lost through Adam's disobedience and redeemed by the precious blood at Calvary.

THE SIN-OFFERING IS DIFFERENT

With the thought of the Ransom before our minds, we now investigate the subject of the Sin-Offering, remembering to keep the two subjects separate and distinct. "The Sin-Offering shows the manner in which the Ransom-price is applicable, or effective, to the cancelation of the sins of the whole world." (Z '09, 309.) The Sin-Offering does not require so long a time for its accomplishment as does the Ransom. We have already seen that the Ransoming work has been in progress nearly nineteen centuries, and will be in progress nearly ten centuries in the future, or a total of twenty-nine centuries. But the Sin-Offering will all be completed before the glorious Reign of Christ begins, His Church then being with Him in glory.

The Sin-Offering of Israel's Atonement Day shows us the same sacrifice of Jesus which constitutes the Ransom-price, but it is a different picture; for it shows how God appropriates the merit of Christ in behalf of human sins. This matter was pictured in that feature of the Law which provided the Day of Atonement. The sin-offerings were its principal feature. There were two. First was the bullock of sin-offering, which was furnished by the priest himself, the blood of which was made applicable to the priest's own family and tribe. This we see represented the death of Jesus, and the primary imputation of His merit to the Church of the First-borns.

This Church consists of two classes. First, is the priestly class, who, like the High Priest, are especially devoted to God and His service, who "present their bodies living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God, their reasonable service." (Romans 12:1.) In the type these were pictured both by Aaron's sons and by the body of Aaron, he being the head. Thus the Apostle speaks of Christ as being the Head of the Church, which is His Body, we being "members in particular of the Body of Christ." – 1 Corinthians 12:27.

Second, there is the other class of the Church which, although making the same Covenant of Sacrifice, fail to go on obediently to lay down their lives in the Lord's service. They do not draw back to sin and to death, but neither do they go on to the sacrificing stage: hence they constitute a secondary class, servants of the first class. These were typified in the Levites, who were the servants of the priests. These are not to be in the Throne with the sacrificing Priests, the Royal Priesthood, but are to serve God in His Temple. They are not to have the crowns of Glory, but will be granted eventually palms of victory. And all not found worthy of a place in either of these classes will die the Second Death.

In this picture the Lord shows us a special imputation of the merit of Jesus for the sins of His consecrated people only; and that these, justified by the merit of Jesus, are thus qualified through His merit to be sharers with Him in His glorious priestly functions.

THE SECONDARY SIN-OFFERING

The secondary Sin-Offering of the typical Atonement Day was called the Lord's Goat. It was not provided by the typical High Priest, as was the bullock, but was taken from the people. Indeed, two goats were taken at the same time, as representing the two classes of the Church. The sacrificing class or priestly class were represented by the Lord's goat. The less zealous of the Church, the antitypical Levites, were represented in the second goat – the Scape Goat. It was the Lord's Goat class, the under priesthood, that constituted the secondary Sin-Offering.

The account says that the Lord's Goat was sacrificed and was in every way dealt with in precisely the same manner as the bullock, which preceded it. Thus the type tells us that the Church must walk in the footsteps of her Lord, sacrificially even unto death. We should remember that the blood of the bullock was not applied for the sins of the people, but merely for the sins of the high priest's family and tribe – typically for the Church. We should also notice that this secondary Sin-Offering, the Lord's Goat, was not offered for the same persons; for they needed no further offering. It was offered by the high priest as a secondary part of his own original offering; and its merit was made applicable to all the people, to bring atonement to all.

In the antitype, the High Priest, Jesus, completed His own personal Sacrifice at Calvary. Forty days later He ascended up on High, and appeared before the Mercy Seat and presented the merit of His Sacrifice, not for the world, but for the Church. As the Apostle writes, "He appeared in the presence of God for us," the Church – not for the world. (Hebrews 9:24.) This is in full accord with what we have just seen in the type.

Ever since Pentecost the Lord has been accepting the consecrated persons represented in the two goats; and those sufficiently zealous He has accepted as His members, and has been offering them up as a part of His own Sacrifice. Soon He will have finished this work – when the last member of His Body shall have been found faithful unto death. The next step in the antitype will be for the High Priest then to present again at the Mercy Seat the blood of the antitypical Lord's Goat as His own blood – otherwise, the sacrifice of His Church as part of His own Sacrifice. This He makes applicable to the sin of all the people – the original sin of all the people.

At that moment, which we believe is in the near future now, the Father will turn over to the Son all the people, their sins fully forgiven so far as the original transgression [R5873 : page 89] is concerned. Forthwith Messiah's Kingdom, established in power and great glory, will begin to deal with the world for its rescue from sin and death, for the ultimate uplift to human perfection of all who are willing and obedient to the regulations of His Kingdom.

PUNISHMENT FOR SINS AGAINST LIGHT

Meantime, there will be other sins of the world not included in the Adamic transgression. The Sin-Offerings are merely for Adam's sin and all the various weaknesses and imperfections which flow from that original sin. The other sins will be such as are not to be attributed to human weakness, but which represent more or less of sin against knowledge, against light. Full, wilful sin against [R5874 : page 89] full light would bring upon the sinner the Second Death. But only a few have had full light, full knowledge, full opportunity; and hence very few indeed will have sinned the sin unto death.

Wherever the light of the Gospel has gone, however, a certain measure of knowledge has gone, and a certain measure of responsibility accrues; and God intimates that He keeps a very exact accounting with all. Every sin must receive a just recompense of reward. The penalty of Adam's sin has reached down in a general way over the whole race for six thousand years; but the penalty must be paid for the other sins of which we speak, sins which were more or less wilful, more or less against light and knowledge and which have not been previously expiated, but which have been accumulating since Pentecost.

Before the New Dispensation can rightly be ushered in with all its blessings, the world's accounts must be fully squared. It will be the settlement of these accounts against the world which will bring the great Time of Trouble such as never was since there was a nation – the Time of Trouble which we believe has begun in the present war, and which will progress until the great catastrophe of anarchy will complete it in the near future. Then the accounts of Justice having been squared in that great Time of Trouble, the blessings of Messiah's Kingdom will immediately begin.

THE VALUE OF THE SCAPE GOAT'S SUFFERING

However, God is a very strict Accountant. As He is sure to count against the world all wilful disobedience, and especially all persecutions of His Church, so also He is willing to give the world credit on account wherever possible. This, we believe, is intimated in the picture given us of a work which followed the Sin-Offerings; namely, the confessing over the head of the scape goat certain transgressions of the people, and the sending away of the scape goat into the wilderness.

Understanding that this scape goat represents some of God's consecrated people who have failed to live up to their privileges, we understand this to signify that these will go into a great Time of Trouble, as represented in Revelation 7:14. There they are represented as coming up out of great tribulation and washing their robes and making them white in the Blood of the Lamb. Those tribulations coming upon the Great Company class, the Levite class, are not tribulations for wilful sins, but tribulations for the destruction of the flesh, in harmony with the Covenant entered into by this class, a Covenant of Sacrifice, which they failed to keep. The sufferings of this Great Company class, we understand, therefore, go as a credit to the world to square the account of the world's sins against light and especially against God's people. The Time of Trouble will be especially against the hypocrites, but the Great Company Class will have their portion with the hypocrites and be bearers of a certain share of punishment due the world.

That we may clearly note the character of sins for which the world is held responsible, let us recall the statement of Rev. 6:9-11, "I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the Word of God and for the testimony which they held; and they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost Thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? and white robes were given unto them"; and they were told that they should wait "a little season," until their brethren, who also were persecuted, should have the persecutions accomplished in them.

Thus the same idea respecting the Divine requirements in the end of the Gospel Age is given to us that Jesus specified in regard to the Jews in the end of their Age. He said that all the righteous blood shed on the earth from the time of Abel down, would be required of that generation – to square the accounts. (Matthew 23:34-36.) In the great time of trouble with which the Jewish Age ended, those accounts were squared up to that time. Similarly we expect that all the remaining accounts of the world will be squared during the culmination of the great Time of Trouble – just before us.

THE INAUGURATION OF THE NEW COVENANT

The Apostle, in contrasting the typical and the antitypical Sin-Offering, declares that Jesus, not by the blood of bulls and of goats, but by His own blood, accomplishes the blessings. (Hebrews 9:11-15.) And again, the sacrifices of the antitypical High Priest are styled the "better sacrifices" – in the plural. This points us back to the institution of the Jewish Covenant arrangement, where Moses took the blood of bulls and goats and inaugurated the Law Covenant, sprinkling first the Tables of the Law, and afterwards the people, with the blood. – Exod. 24:3-8.

The question arises, Why did Moses use the blood of bulls – plural – and of goats – plural; whereas in the type of Leviticus 16 the blood of one bullock and the blood of one goat alone was used? We reply that there was really but the one antitypical bullock, the one Man Christ Jesus who died for us; and that there is really but one antitypical Goat, the one Church, which is accepted by the Lord as His Body, and is associated with, and part of, His sacrifice. But in the inauguration of the Law Covenant, more than one animal of each kind was necessary because of the multitudes of the people of Israel who were to be sprinkled with that blood. The blood of one bullock and of one goat would not have been sufficient; hence the statement, bulls and goats – in the plural – and yet not definitely stated as to how many; for it was really the one bullock and the one goat duplicated as many times as was necessary to provide a sufficiency of blood for the sprinkling of all the people.

In the antitype, when the New Law Covenant will be inaugurated by Messiah's Kingdom, the blood of Christ, as represented in the blood of Jesus and also in that of His associated sacrifices, the Church, will be used in sprinkling, or satisfying the Divine Law, first of all. This will be the basis for the turning over, to the Kingdom of Messiah, of the whole world by the Father. Then will progress the work of sprinkling all the people with the blood – the work of cleansing mankind – giving all men the benefits secured by the redeeming blood.

THE ANTITYPICAL ATONEMENT DAY

We trust that from the foregoing our readers will see clearly the distinction between the Ransom which Jesus gave and its application; and the Sin-Offerings of this Gospel Age and what they signify. We wish now to impress a further point; namely, that the Sin-Offerings were associated with the Day of Atonement for sin in the type [R5874 : page 90] and in the antitype. The antitypical Day of Atonement began with our Lord Jesus and His sacrifices. The entire Gospel Age has been a part of this Day of Atonement. This Day will witness the full completion of all the sin atonement and more; for all of the Millennial Age will be a part of the antitypical Atonement Day.

The sacrifices of the Day of Atonement are merely the means to an end. The end to be attained is the blessing of the world, and the bringing of the world back to at-one-ment, or harmony, with God. That work will require all of the Millennial Age. It will include the teaching of the world, the restoration of mankind to all that was lost in Adam and redeemed at Calvary. The Sin-Offerings of the Atonement Day merely represent God's Purpose in the use of the Sacrifices which must be completed before the world's at-one-ment with God can begin to go into effect.

So, then, let us hope that all will henceforth see clearly that the Sin-Offerings of the Atonement Day and its Sacrifices constitute a picture of the processes by which God accomplishes the world's blessings; while the Ransom is entirely distinct, and shows the work of Jesus alone and its ultimate effect for mankind throughout the whole wide world.

[R5874 : page 90]

"WHY PERSECUTEST THOU ME?"
– APRIL 2. – ACTS 9:1-31. –
A NOTABLE ILLUSTRATION OF ZEAL WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE – REPROVED FROM ON HIGH – SAUL'S DEEP CONTRITION AN EVIDENCE OF GENUINE REPENTANCE – HIS EYES OF UNDERSTANDING OPENED – ST. PAUL'S "THORN IN THE FLESH" – THE GREAT APOSTLE TO THE GENTILES A TYPE OF THE NATION OF ISRAEL.

"Faithful is the saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief." – 1 Timothy 1:15. R.V.
W
HOEVER thinks of Saul's transformation from an enemy of Christ and His Church to a friend and zealous servant as an experience on a par with the conversion of sinners is greatly in error. Such conduct as is related in today's Study is not the conduct of sinners, enemies of God. In our opinion, however, the term "conversion" would scarcely be appropriate in such a case. Saul of Tarsus was either a bad man and a hypocritical Pharisee, a money-lover, a self-lover, or else an "Israelite indeed," whose aim and object was the service of God, and whose persecution of the early Church was prompted by his fidelity to God. We believe that the latter description is the one which fitted the case of Saul; for it is in harmony with his own testimony on the subject. – Acts 26:9-11.

If, then, Saul was a true and loyal member of the favored nation of Israel, thoroughly consecrated to God and serving Him to the best of his ability and knowledge, but merely blinded for the time by prejudice and misconception, we can no more think of his case as a conversion than the cases of the other Apostles. Our Lord chose the original Twelve because they were Israelites indeed; and He gave them the instruction necessary for His service. This He did also for Saul, though in a more striking manner.

The word convert signifies the turning about in an opposite direction. But Saul was already going in the right direction; namely, in a whole-hearted service of God, although his efforts were expended upon the wrong thing in that right direction. The Lord merely opened his eyes of understanding, and showed him the better how his efforts should be used. Saul needed merely to be shown aright; and this he demonstrated by as much fidelity and energy in the Lord's service afterward as he had ignorantly misused previously.

CONSCIENTIOUS WRONG-DOING

Saul was one of those Israelites who lived amongst the Gentiles, but who occasionally went up to Jerusalem to certain of the feasts. (Deuteronomy 16:16.) His home was in the city of Tarsus, a notable city of that time – said to have been excelled in scholarship only by the cities of Alexandria and Athens. Not only had he the advantages of a home in such a city, but his family was an influential one, as is implied in the fact that he was a citizen, not only of Tarsus, but also of Rome. In addition to the education of his home city, he had received a special course in theology, or Jewish Law, at Jerusalem, under Gamaliel, one of the greatest teachers of that time.

Saul's early training, therefore, and all of its conditions were favorable to producing in him a breadth and refinement of thought equaled by few. These conditions, combined with his honesty of heart and his zeal for God, although not at first according to knowledge, fitted him to become just what the Lord subsequently made him; namely, "a chosen vessel" unto the Lord, to bear His name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel.

Apparently the circumstances connected with the stoning of St. Stephen only incited Saul to greater energy in stamping out what he believed to be a very injurious doctrine – heresy. Our own experience confirms the thought that an earnest, conscientious opponent is more to be respected than a cold, indifferent professed friend. We are reminded of our Lord's words, "I would that thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of My mouth." (Revelation 3:16.) Let us have respect, therefore, for all who are warm-hearted and zealous, remembering that there is more hope of their being pleasing to God, and being accounted worthy to receive the Truth, than for the lukewarm.

Under the arrangements of the Roman government, the Jewish priesthood was granted considerable power, and had come to exercise very much of the power subsequently used by the Popes of Rome. The religious rulers had power to authorize arrests and imprisonments for the infraction of their rules and regulations. Saul, exercising the same respect to law and authority which subsequently marked all of his dealings and teachings as a Christian, did not attempt to take matters into his own hands in regard to the persecution of the Christians, but went about it in the manner recognized as legal – under the sanction and authority of the highest religious tribunal. Let us remember that nearly all persecutions have been sanctioned by some human law, and regulate ourselves according to the Divine code.

THE THREE ACCOUNTS HARMONIZED

The account given in today's Study regarding the opening of the eyes of Saul's understanding is that of St. Luke, and was doubtless received directly from the Apostle Paul himself, with whom St. Luke traveled for a time. Two other accounts are given by St. Paul himself. (See Acts 22:6-11; 26:12-20.) The three accounts [R5874 : page 91] are in practical agreement, and show only such variations as might reasonably be expected, considering the fact that they were delivered under different conditions, as it was sought to emphasize or elaborate different points.

Had the three accounts been exactly alike, word for word, there would have been just ground for supposing a special preparation of the text with this harmony in view. When rightly viewed, even the seeming discrepancy of the account is additional evidence of the truthfulness of all. The account itself being simple, we need to give attention only to those points which apparently conflict.

All three accounts say that Saul himself heard a voice, saw a light and fell to the ground. One account adds that all with him fell to the ground as well. The account in our lesson declares that the men of his company "stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man." Another account says, "They beheld indeed the light, but they heard not the voice of Him that spake to me." These accounts can be harmonized in this way: Saul himself was evidently the center of manifestation – "a great light shone round about me." Doubtless his companions saw something of this light in a general way, but they did not see the source of the light. They did not see the glorious body of our Lord Jesus Christ – "seeing no man." Saul, however, saw the glorious body of our Lord Jesus Christ, as he himself subsequently testified. – 1 Corinthians 15:8.

Although no one but Saul was smitten to the ground, the others, who stood speechless and terrorstricken, no doubt soon kneeled reverently about their leader. Respecting the voice – Saul and all with him heard a sound, "the voice," but only Saul could distinguish the words – which were meant for him alone. A similar case is recorded in John 12:28,29. In one sense of the word Saul and all of his companions heard the sound, or voice; but in another sense of the word Saul alone heard the voice. We use this same form of expression in our daily conversation. If some one addresses us in a low or indistinct voice, we say that we did not hear. We mean that although we heard the voice, we did not understand or comprehend what was said.

OPENING OF SAUL'S MENTAL VISION

Saul's feelings, as he heard from the Lord of Glory a reproof of his misdirected zeal, can be better imagined than described. Nevertheless, we can but admire the promptness with which he at once ceased his opposition and placed himself on the side of the One whose cause he had so recently persecuted. We can imagine him praying, "Lord, teach me! In my blindness and ignorance I have been fighting against Thee, the Only Begotten of the Father, the Messiah, while verily I thought that I did God service. Having made such a great mistake, I am thoroughly humbled. I can no longer trust either to my own wisdom or to the wisdom of those in whom I have heretofore confided – the chief priests, the scribes and the Pharisees. Now, Lord, I come to Thee. Show me how I can undo some of the great wrong which I have done ignorantly. Show me; and I will gladly and promptly follow and obey."

How deep a hold the matter took upon Saul's mind may be judged from the fact that for three days he neither ate nor drank. He could not think lightly of his own blinded course. Deep contrition is always a good evidence of genuine repentance of wrong. No doubt his thoughts were busy; for he was well educated in the Law and in the Prophets and was familiar with what he had learned concerning the Nazarene. It is reasonable to suppose that those three days of blindness and fasting were days of prayer and reflection, during which he diligently compared the testimony of the Law and the Prophets with what he knew of the Nazarene and His teachings. Saul's natural sight had been destroyed; but his mental vision had been opened, and he now saw matters in a new and wonderful light.

AN ILLUSTRATION OF DIVINE METHODS

In a previous lesson the name Ananias was associated with ungodliness and falsehood. But in today's Study we find another Ananias of a totally different character – a true servant of the Lord. His hesitation to go to Saul does not seem to have been caused by opposition or by faithlessness, but rather a reasonable caution. He had heard of Saul, and possibly also knew Saul's host to be an enemy of the Cause of Christ. Therefore he wished to assure himself that he had not misunderstood the Lord. But the Lord graciously made the matter clear to him, as He always does to His faithful ones; and Ananias promptly fulfilled his mission.

Here again is an illustration of Divine methods. The Lord sent upon this important errand one who apparently was a very humble member of the Church. He did not send St. Peter, St. James and St. John, the Apostles, from Jerusalem, with great pomp and show to receive the penitent enemy of the Cross and to make a public triumph. He merely used a ready and willing instrument that was nearby. This should be a lesson to us that the Lord is both able and willing to use in His service the humble ones who are ready and willing.

The scales which fell from Saul's eyes would seem to indicate that a certain portion of the eye had been destroyed by the great light; and the healing may be said to have been in a natural way. Although informed that he received his sight, we are not informed that his eyes were made whole. Indeed, it seems evident, from subsequent statements, that to his dying day his eyes never recovered soundness, and his sight was never again normal.

It has been surmised, and with good reason, that the continued weakness of his eyes constituted what the Apostle terms "a thorn in the flesh." (2 Corinthians 12:7-10.) Although under the power of the Holy Spirit he was granted many gifts of the Spirit, amongst which was the gift of healing, and although he exercised this gift of healing upon many (Acts 19:11,12), yet the Lord did not relieve him from his own weakness in this respect. This must have been all the greater trial; for it would seem all the more strange that he who could heal others could not heal himself – that he who had Divine power for the blessing of others of this way should not have the Divine power for his own blessing.

To St. Paul's petition our Lord's answer was, "My grace is sufficient for thee; My strength is made perfect in weakness." The noble Apostle exclaims, "Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." Thereafter he never requested the removal of this "thorn."

Several incidents in St. Paul's experience confirm this conclusion: (1) Although an educated man, he seldom wrote his own letters; and of the one letter which he did write, although one of the briefest, he remarks, "Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with my own hand." (Galatians 6:11.) The Greek would even give the thought that these words apologize for the use of very large characters in the writing – such as a semi-blind person would use. (2) When standing before the tribunal of the chief captain, St. Paul declared that he did not know Ananias as the high priest; whereas, if his eyesight had been good, he could not have well helped knowing the high priest, on account of his gorgeous apparel. [R5874 : page 92] (Acts 23:5.) (3) In writing to the Galatians he tells them (4:15) that, when he first met them, their love and sympathy for him were such that they would willingly have plucked out their eyes for him – an expression which would be meaningless unless his eyes were defective.

After a few days in which to gain strength from his fasting and from the nervous excitement incidental to his experiences – days of communion with those whom he had come to persecute, and whom now in his renewed condition of mind he recognized and fellowshiped as dear brethren – Saul promptly began to preach Christ as the Son of God – publicly using the opportunities afforded in the Jewish synagogues. The account of his enlightenment in the Gospel is that of a most noble character, which commands the respect of every class in every time.

ST. PAUL AS A TYPE

We are inclined to regard the Apostle Paul as in some sense of the word a figure, or likeness, or type of his race – Israel – and the opening of their eyes of understanding which is now shortly due to take place. Amongst the Jews are many who seem to be Israelites indeed, merely blinded, as both the Prophet and the Apostle have described. (Romans 11:7-12.) That nation, whose blinding took place in the Fifth Thousand-year Day, and which has been blinded throughout the Sixth Thousand-year Day, is to have its eyes opened on the Third Day, which will be the Seventh Thousand-year Day – the Millennial Day. "After Two Days will He revive us; in the Third Day He will raise us up." – Hosea 6:1-3.

During all this time Israel has also been without food or drink of a spiritual kind. Israel also is to be a chosen vessel in the Lord's hand as connected with the earthly agencies in bearing the Message which shall bless the Gentiles and all the families of the earth. We are near to the time for the opening of Israel's eyes. When that time shall have fully come, the Lord will send some Ananias, whose touch under Divine favor shall bring sight. The name Ananias signifies, "Jah is gracious."

[R5875 : page 92]

AENEAS AND DORCAS
– APRIL 9. – ACTS 9:32-43. –

ST. PETER'S PREACHING TOUR – VISITING THE SAINTS – A TERM MUCH MISUNDERSTOOD – A PARALYTIC HEALED AT LYDDA – ST. PETER CALLED TO JOPPA – DORCAS AWAKENED FROM THE SLEEP OF DEATH – A BEAUTIFUL CHARACTER – THE FRIEND OF THE POOR – PURPOSE SERVED BY THESE TWO MIRACLES.

"In all things showing thyself an example of good works." – Titus 2:7.
P
ERSECUTORS never like persecution for themselves. Those who have the mind of Christ are never persecutors. They feel it to be their bounden duty not to assist things which they believe to be wrong; they may even find it necessary or expedient to denounce the wrong, to show up its inconsistencies, and in some instances to name the active agents in wrong teachings and wrong doings – as the Apostles have done in their writings. But as for persecuting others, the Lord's people can take no part in this. They are hindered by the spirit of love, the mind of Christ, which directs that we should do to others as we would have them do to us – the Golden Rule, our "perfect law of liberty."

The persecution which scattered the disciples throughout all Judea, and of which Saul of Tarsus was one of the leaders, subsided shortly after he became a Christian, and was followed by a period of rest, recuperation, edification. While Saul's changed course may have had something to do with this, in all probability a trouble which arose about this time between the Jews and their Roman rulers had more to do with it.

About the year 38 A.D. the Emperor Caligula, who had but recently come into his office, promulgated an edict that his statue should be set up in various quarters of the empire and worshiped. When the Jews learned that it was the intention to put these statues in Jerusalem, and even in the Temple itself, as well as elsewhere, their indignation and trouble knew no bounds. They gathered in great masses, young and old, to entreat the local governor to intercede for them that such a desecration of their Holy Temple and Holy City and Holy Land should not be permitted. While the governor made every effort to have the Emperor change the edict, the most he could accomplish was a command to leave the Temple untouched. But many altars were raised to the Emperor outside of its gates; and news came that all the synagogues of Alexandria had been turned into temples to Caesar. This state of affairs lasted until January 24, 41 A.D., when Caligula was murdered.

A SEASON OF SPIRITUAL GROWTH

It is not surprising that such outside persecution and interference with their own religious rites and liberties caused the Jews to relax their persecutions of the Christians, and thus brought about the period of rest mentioned in today's Study. The record says that the churches were edified. We get the thought, therefore, that this time of peace was a time of upbuilding amongst the little groups of the Lord's people in Palestine. There is a two-fold sense in which the Church may be built up or edified; in numbers and also in the fruits and graces of the Holy Spirit. Apparently the infant Church was edified in both ways; for the declaration is that the believers walked in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit.

The Scriptures declare that "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." (Psalm 111:10.) This is not a selfish fear, not a fear that the Lord will eternally torment or otherwise unjustly deal with His creatures, but a reverence of the Lord which recognizes His greatness and His goodness, and fears to do aught that would be displeasing to Him or that would separate from His love and favor. This proper kind of fear, which is the beginning of wisdom, will never be lost so long as the wisdom is maintained.

But reverence of God was not the only grace developed in the early Church. To it was added the comfort of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the spirit, mind, disposition of God. This the primitive Church was cultivating, developing it in their hearts, walking in it – that is, living it. The word comfort signifies united, cemented; and the thought of the statement as a whole is that not only was the Church multiplying in numbers and being built up together as God's holy Temple, but that the various "living stones" were being cemented or bound together by the Holy Spirit.

MEANING OF THE TERM "SAINT"

From our Study we learn that although the Apostles made Jerusalem the headquarters for their work, nevertheless they went hither and thither throughout Judea, meeting with the Lord's people scattered by the previous persecution, and forming little congregations everywhere. [R5875 : page 93] In one of his tours St. Peter came to Lydda, the chief city of the Plain of Saron (Sharon), about ten miles southeast of Joppa. His special mission, we are told, was the visiting of the saints.

This word "saints" signifies holy ones, those set apart, sanctified believers in Christ. There is much opposition to the use of the word today, attributable, we believe, to two reasons. One is that the vast majority of professing Christians well know that they are not saints, not sanctified, not living as near to the Lord as they could live – not separate, even in heart, from the world, the flesh and the Devil. Such persons have strong reasons for disliking the word "saints," realizing that it would exclude them and nearly all of their friends and special associates in Christian work.

Another reason for opposition to the word "saints" is the fact that in the Dark Ages it became customary for the Roman and Greek Catholic churches to canonize, or legally set apart as objects of reverence, certain persons respecting whom, after several centuries had elapsed, nothing especially evil was remembered, but only things esteemed as honorable and praiseworthy. The word saints thus became separated from living Christians; and, indeed, this may have been because there were few Christians so faithful as to be representatives of saintship.

Still another reason why some dislike the term "saints" is that they consider it to be rather boastful – some would even say hypocritical. Having lost sight of the doctrine of Justification by Faith, in its proper application, they have become accustomed to think of all Christians as "miserable sinners" and to pray for them as such – overlooking the fact that there are some in whom "the righteousness of the Law is fulfilled," because these "walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit," the merit of Christ covering all their unwilling shortcomings. – Romans 8:4.

The Lord's people, however, are to remember to apply and to take pleasure in all the names and practises authorized by Apostolic usage. Thus the term "saint" certainly approves itself to us. Almost all of the Epistles of the New Testament are addressed to the saints; and those professing Christians who cannot properly apply the term to themselves cannot properly apply to themselves the exceeding great and precious promises contained in those Epistles; for all the promises are addressed to the saints, are meant for the sanctified in Christ Jesus. Let it be borne in mind, however, that the word "saint" does not signify actual perfection merely, as in our Lord's case, but also those reckoned holy through Him; and that the Apostles, who were saints and who classed themselves with the saints of God, declared respecting themselves, "We also are men of like passions with you." – Acts 14:15.

The term "saints," then, properly applied in the Church, refers to those who, although originally "children of wrath, even as others," have been rescued from that condition of condemnation, have been washed, cleansed, and thus brought into accord with God through the forgiveness of their sins and through the covering of their weaknesses and blemishes; and who have become the "sanctified in Christ Jesus" by making full consecration of themselves to live, not perfect lives – an impossibility while in the flesh – but as nearly perfect as they may be able, the Lord's grace making them continually "holy, acceptable to God," through the merit of Christ Jesus. Let us never be ashamed of this name "saints," if it present before our minds saintship, holiness, separateness from the world; for this is the very thought which should be there continually. It is a thought which will enable us the better to live separate from the world, as the Master indicated. – John 17:16.

The healing of AEneas, the paralytic, was a very notable evidence of the power of the Lord, similar to the healing at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple. (Acts 3:1-11.) Here, as always, St. Peter made sure that none should think that the power which he exercised was his own. He distinctly affirmed that Jesus the Messiah, whom their rulers had crucified, had performed the cure, and therefore was not dead, as they had supposed, but risen.

The fame of this miracle spread abroad and resulted, we are told, in the drawing of many unto the Lord and to the Church. Thus did the Lord establish the Church and attract to it those who were in the right attitude of heart, using miracles then, as now He uses other means. Those miracles, as heretofore pointed out, cannot have lasted much longer than the Apostles themselves; for the miraculous gifts of the Spirit were granted only through the laying on of the hands of the Apostles, and The Twelve had no successors, St. Paul taking the place of Judas. The Heavenly Jerusalem had twelve foundations, and no more; and in them were written the names of the twelve Apostles, and no others. – Revelation 21:14.

ANOTHER NOTABLE MIRACLE

One of the saints at Joppa was a woman apparently of means and education. If her name represented her appearance, she was very beautiful; for Tabitha in the Syriac language, Dorcas in the Greek, signifies graceful, beautiful. But this woman was famed for a grace and a beauty entirely separate and distinct from whatever she possessed of these qualities naturally. Hers was the beauty of a meek and quiet spirit, full of love and helpfulness. Evidently she was a burning and shining light for the Lord in that vicinity. She did what she could. She served the Lord, His brethren and all who needed help. According to the best opportunities afforded her she helped the poor, particularly widows, who as a class were at that time apt to be in a very trying position, especially if poor.

The Greek text indicates that Dorcas had been in the habit of assisting the poor with garments, etc., doubtless assisting them also with words of encouragement and helpfulness, and ministering to them the Truth. Under these circumstances it is not strange that her death should have produced sorrow, especially amongst the beneficiaries of her charities and amongst the numerous friends which a beautiful, Christlike spirit of this kind is sure to make.

Apparently Dorcas took sick and died suddenly, at about the time that others of the saints at Joppa heard that St. Peter was at Lydda and had cured AEneas. Immediately they sent for the Apostle, probably with no thought that he would perform such a miracle as that of bringing Dorcas back to life, but rather with the thought that they had lost a highly esteemed member of their little group and that St. Peter could give them some consolation at this time. In those days there was neither telegraph, telephone nor mail service; and consequently some of the brethren became the messengers to take the word to the Apostle – to request his presence without delay.

St. Peter went at once with them to Joppa. As he entered the death-chamber, he saw an affecting scene. Poor widows and others were lamenting the loss of their friend, and showing the garments which she had made for them. This was surely a noble tribute to the usefulness of her life. No millionaire has ever left monuments which will endure so long, or which will reflect so much glory upon his character, as were left by this humble woman. And even the humblest and poorest of us may to [R5875 : page 94] some extent emulate her example and leave behind us when we die some such monuments of love and some such testimonies of appreciation.

It is sad indeed when any, especially of those who have named the name of Christ, die and leave none who sincerely, truly, mourn for them and miss them. Such a condition testifies to a life that was either selfish or misunderstood. We who are looking forward to the close of our journey, and that before very long, should see that our lives are spent day by day in such a manner that some will be the happier for them; and that our decease will be recognized by some, at least, as a loss.

St. Peter's most notable miracle was the bringing of Dorcas back from the portals of death. Like the other miracle recorded in our lesson, it was peculiar to that time and for the purpose of the establishment of the Church. We are not to suppose that it was the Lord's purpose that all of His people during the Gospel Age should be thus snatched back from death, or that they should all be relieved from beds of sickness, or that they should all have powers such as the Apostle here exercised. There is a ministry of evil – of calamity, sickness, death, etc. – which has often been valuable indeed to the Lord's people, inculcating various lessons and developing various fruits of the Spirit – meekness, gentleness, patience, long-suffering, brotherly kindness, love.

[R5874 : page 94]

LESSON OF THE LILIES

"Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow." – Matthew 6:28.
F
EAR and anxiety are amongst the most serious foes of our human family. They wear upon the gray matter of the brain; they produce nervous exhaustion and are very injurious to health. For those who would seek to walk in the Divine path which God has marked out for the Gospel Church, fear and anxiety are special hindrances. The Savior had this fact in mind when he spoke thus to His disciples. He would have His followers to be without worry, to be restful of heart. But He would not have them be without carefulness. There is a carefulness which is entirely proper, yea, necessary, on our part, but not this extreme worry – this inability to enjoy the blessings of the present moment because of thoughts, fears, respecting tomorrow. When the Apostle said (Philippians 4:6), "Be careful for nothing," he was not referring to a proper care and sense of responsibility, but to an anxiety which would rob the soul of rest and peace, and which would indicate a lack of faith in the Lord [R5875 : page 94] and in His care for His people. The word rendered "careful" here is from a Greek word meaning over anxious.

In giving a forceful lesson to His disciples on trustfulness in God, the Master used the illustration of the lilies of the field. The lilies of Palestine are quite common – rather a small flower, many of them red. They persist, live, grow, notwithstanding that no special provision is made for their cultivation, and that they are trodden down by those who pass through the fields. Yet they develop and mature and blossom, and have an exquisite organism, which microscopic examination shows is very beautiful. Jesus declared that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. There is a perfection in the texture of a flower that is wonderful. The finest clothing cannot approximate the delicate structure of the flower, created by an Infinite Hand.

The lesson seems to be that although the flowers may be in an unfavorable environment, unable to do for themselves or to take any anxious thought in the matter, nevertheless, God's providence has so arranged for them that they thrive and become very beautiful. These lilies did not look up and wish that they might become great trees, nor wish that they might climb up higher in the world and nearer the sun, as do the vines. On the contrary, they were content with the lot chosen for them by their Infinite Creator. – Matthew 6:30.

THE LESSON OF TRUST IMPERATIVE

And so God's people are to take a lesson from the lilies. They too are to be content with the Lord's arrangement for them – as the poet expresses it:

"Content whatever lot I see,
Since 'tis my God that leadeth me."
In proportion as we approximate this condition it will give us peace and rest of mind. We are not to worry, and not to be slothful, but are to be diligent, "fervent in spirit serving the Lord," doing with our might what our hands find to do. When doing this, we are to be content and trustful that He will work out all things for our good. He wishes us to learn this important lesson of trust.

Those who neglect to learn this lesson will be unprepared for the great work God has in mind for our future under Messiah's Kingdom. God will not have any in that Kingdom, we are sure, who are not full of trust. As the flowers flourish under God's providential care, so are all of His people to flourish – to grow in knowledge and beauty of spirit, in beauty of character. And this is not accomplished by some great things that they do, but by the spirit in which they meet the little things, the every day experiences of life. God's people are to grow steadily, though unobtrusively.

The lily would always have a humble place; it would never be great like a tree. So it is with us here in the flesh. And the Lord puts each one in the place He designs for him. We shall learn better the lessons for the future by being placed under humble conditions now, where we may grow, where our entire loyalty to the Father's will may be fully tested, where all the beauties of our character may be the most fully developed.

PASSOVER PROVING

The Cup my Father pours
Shall I not drink?
And precious, holy thoughts
Shall I not think?
And if His Love doth send
Less joy than pain,
And if all friends forsake,
Shall I complain?
If foes misrepresent
And work me woes,
Shall I not rest content
Since Father knows?

If where once friend I had
I Judas find,
Still Jesus holds me in
His love entwined.
He knew the love and loss
Of faithless friend;
He'll know each step I take
Unto the end.
His love enfolds me fast –
I cannot fall.
The Cup my Father pours –
I'll drink it all.

Hattie O. Henderson.

[R5875 : page 95]

INTERESTING LETTERS
GERMAN SOLDIER'S NIGHT WATCHES
BELOVED BRETHREN: –

I wish to thank you for your labors in sending me THE WATCH TOWER and letters "To the Brethren in the Field," for it is joy to me to let you know with what eagerness I look forward to your mail. To me it is a holiday and a day of special grace whenever I receive anything which bears the stamp, "W. T. B. & T. Soc'y." I imagine myself in the midst of my brethren, reminiscences are being awakened, and before my mental eye appear forms so dear to my heart. While they all differ in form and character, in one thing they are all alike, that is the new mind. Gentle are their steps, their actions, their language, injuring none; but nevertheless full of power and firmness. These are my brethren in God's family, as I have come to know them.

While we are separated in the flesh, the ties of Christian love unite us all the more firmly.

A few hours ago in our march we passed through fields of corpses, and now night has settled. I am lying in my tent; not far distant, along the ridge of the forest, 21-cm. howitzers are hurling their destructive projectiles, while about a mile and one-half further on rattles the gunfire of the infantry. The mere sound of it makes me shudder. To sleep is impossible. A rattling in my pocket, and the last WATCH TOWER, the Herald of Christ's Presence, has fully awakened me. I am reminded of the sixth verse of the 63rd Psalm: "When I remember Thee upon my bed, and meditate upon Thee in the night watches." O what peace fills my heart, and what precious hours of communion with my Father are my portion!

Weeks ago I passed through Lemberg. The engineer of a machine shop to whom I spoke concerning the hope of the Jews, assured me that they are waiting for the Messiah. Only as I rode by on horseback was it possible to speak to some of the Jews. I laid my hand upon their shoulders and shouted into their ears: "Your Messiah is coming; I have been asked to tell you"! Astonishment, tears of joy and God-speed – and onward went the march.

How far we still have to journey I know not; the Lord knows. But we well know that

"Soon our conflicts and toils will be ended;
We'll be tried and tempted no more,
And mankind of all ages and nations
Shall be blessed in that triumphant hour."

Therefore, while we have such a glorious hope, let us who are His and are called by His Name, continue steadfast till we shall see Him whom we have loved so long.

Faithfully your brother,

MAX VON DER STEIL.
(From German WATCH TOWER.)

"THOU CROWNEDST THE YEAR"
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

Greetings in the name of our Redeemer from the Class in St. Louis, with best wishes of the Season – a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year increased a hundredfold to you and the Bethel family!

We wish to report to you the progress made by the Class during 1915, which now numbers about two hundred and fifty consecrated members. Seventy-six of these symbolized their consecration this year and two hundred and three partook of the Memorial supper.

Twenty-three meetings are held weekly for Bible study, praise, prayer and testimony, etc. A number of public meetings have been held, in the Odeon, our best auditorium, and other halls, with a total attendance of about ten thousand.

The PHOTO-DRAMA was again presented here this month, the Coliseum being used with most thorough publicity; eight performances were given with an average attendance of three thousand. The EUREKA DRAMA was sent out for one month to small towns near St. Louis, giving twelve performances with an average attendance of two hundred and fifty. Great interest was manifested.

The pieces of literature distributed by the Class this year totals one million.

We feel that every effort has been made to witness to the Truth in the city of St. Louis. It appears now that a clearly marked line is drawn between those who are friendly and those who reject and slander the Truth.

We are indeed thankful for the great privilege that is ours and pray our Heavenly Father's continued blessing and guidance as we seek to do His will, knowing that it is all His work and that we can do nothing of ourselves. Our prayers are offered daily for you and all colaborers in the Master's service. With much Christian love,

Your brother and fellow servant,

J. H. HOEVELER, Secretary.

BRETHREN HELP IMPOSTORS
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

From time to time, in the Pilgrim service, I come across the trail of certain "false brethren" who appear to make it their business to travel from Class to Class, borrowing money from the brethren, with the plea that they are bound for a certain Colporteur field, etc., and have just run short of funds. These "gentlemen" seem to be fairly well posted on the main points of the Truth, and can talk glibly about Brother Russell and the Pilgrims, although, if the brethren were a little more cautious, frequent slips would betray these frauds.

One of these men recently passed west through Montana, doubtless bound for the Pacific coast. He succeeded in bilking a number of the brethren. The plan followed is to secure the name of one of the brethren at some farther point, then, upon arrival, to "pump" this brother for detailed information about the other brethren in the Class – their financial standing, etc. This information is all too frequently advanced with surprising freedom.

In my judgment such information furnished to strangers (even though pretended brethren) is wrong. The Bible House plan of giving out no information about the brethren, their names, addresses, etc., especially to strangers such as the above, could profitably be followed by all the brethren.

Might it not be well, dear Brother, to repeat the warnings that have appeared from time to time in THE WATCH TOWER against these "false brethren" that the Classes may again be put on their guard?

With assurance of my deep appreciation of your labors of love on behalf of all the flock, I am

Your fellow-servant in the one Hope,

W. A. BAKER. – Montana
A DEDICATED TOY BANK
DEAR BRETHREN: –

Please find enclosed our "Good Hopes" for 1916, and also $10 as part payment toward the same. We are very anxious to serve our dear Master, but there is so little we can do, although if we are a little more alert and thoughtful we can increase our donation to the "Good Hopes."

At the beginning of the year we decided to have a toy bank and dedicate it to the interest of our "Good Hopes" (aside from our regular donation) and drop into it such money as should be saved on special occasions; for instance, if we walk to Prayer Meeting instead of riding, we drop in 10 cents; or if one of the brethren pay our car fare, another nickel goes into the box; or if we decide to have some refreshments and for this reason deny ourselves, another 10 or 20 cents goes into the box. Sometimes we have taxed ourselves a certain amount for foolish words or actions, etc.

It was to my surprise on opening the bank today to find $2.98, which was accumulated within less than a month! So we expect by His grace to continue this plan and see how the dear Lord will bless our feeble efforts. Oh, that we could do more to manifest our appreciation of his unspeakable blessing to us!

The time is almost over in which we shall have the privilege of ministering to the "Feet" of Him, because the last one of the "Feet" members will soon be glorified, and then they will not need our help. May God's blessing be upon you all!

Faithfully yours in the One Hope,

SHIELD H. TOUTGIAN AND WIFE.
EUREKA DRAMA SHOWN IN STATION
DEAR BRETHREN: –

I read your regrets in THE TOWER about the EUREKA DRAMAS lying idle and I regret the matter also. We try to make use of ours when we can, but the weather has been cold and expenses high.

February 1, 2 and 3 my wife and I took the DRAMA to Black River, Mich. The three days cost us $8.43, and we were entertained free, at that. A French Catholic family entertained us and we gave the DRAMA in the R. R. Depot, which was a good place. It was well warmed. The stereopticon and graphophone were side by side, inside the ticket window. We had all the light we wanted for operating, while the auditorium was quite dark. We had as fine pictures with gas as I ever saw.

In a town like Black River the passing of the EUREKA DRAMA was a great event and I believe other R. R. Depots could be obtained free of charge. Several persons walked five miles and back again every night to see the DRAMA! The audience was very quiet and needed no reminder. I am sure the Lord's hand was in the whole matter. We had about eighty persons each night. Yours in the service,

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