page 129
May 15th
ZION'S
WATCH TOWER
and
Herald of Christ's Presence

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

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

VOL. XXXVII.MAY 1NO. 9
A. D. 1916 – A.M. 6044
CONTENTS
The Christian's Warfare Against Pride 131
Mental Strongholds to Be Cast Down 131
Pride Leads to Mental Unbalance 131
"Jesus Died and Paid It All" 133
Legal Phase of Ransoming Work 133
The Cripple at Lystra 134
Memorial Supper Reports 136
The Counsel at Jerusalem 137
Necessity for These Restrictions 137
Liberty is Not License 138
Faith Demonstrated by Works 139
Faith Distinguished From Credulity 139
Preaching the Gospel a Necessity 140
Many Ways of Preaching the Gospel 140
"Your Brethren That Hated You" 141
Requests for Pilgrim Visits 141
Some Faithful Witnesses 142
Some Letters on the Subject 142
"How Wonderful!" (Poem) 143

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

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

page 130

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

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

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

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

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

PUBLISHED BY
WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, PRESIDENT
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SCRIPTURE STUDIES AND SCENARIOS – VARIOUS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We are put to much inconvenience by the failure of our readers to promptly and plainly notify us when they change their address. Old as well as new address should be mentioned.

[R5889 : page 131]

THE CHRISTIAN'S WARFARE AGAINST PRIDE

"The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." – 2 Corinthians 10:4,5.
S
OLDIERS of the Cross are of a different kind and are differently armed from the soldiers of the world. Ours is a fight against the spirit of the world and against the flesh. It is the fight not only against the imperfections that came into our flesh through our forefather's disobedience, but against the natural opposition of the flesh to sacrifice. The flesh instinctively struggles to avoid sacrifice. Moreover, our fight is against unseen spiritual foes. The world have their swords and their guns as weapons of warfare. And the Lord has provided us an armor; namely, the breastplate of righteousness, the helmet of salvation, the shield of faith, the Sword of the Spirit, and the sandals of "the preparation of the Gospel of Peace." These are all weapons of defense, except the Sword. The Sword is an aggressive weapon. – Ephesians 6:11-18.

In the case of the Christian, "the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God," is to be handled to accomplish good, to be used in opposition to Satan and sin. But the thought of this Scripture seems to be, not that we are commissioned to fight the world, but that we are to strive to be loyal to the Lord, to fight sin in ourselves and wherever it might properly be under our jurisdiction, and to repel the attacks of the Adversary. The exercise of our powers in bringing self into subjection means a great deal in the way of sacrifice, much in the way of battling. God has given us "exceeding great and precious promises." The New Creature is made strong by these promises – strong in proportion as he perceives the significance of these promises, and feeds upon them.

MENTAL STRONGHOLDS TO BE CAST DOWN

The Apostle is pointing out that these strongholds which we are to pull down are in ourselves. Sin is entrenched in our minds, in our imaginations. Pride, selfishness and various other kinds of sin, are entrenched in us through the long centuries of the downward tendencies of our race. These things have dug deep trenches in our system; they are firmly fastened there. But, urges St. Paul, "Let not sin have dominion over your mortal body." Destroy the stronghold. Bring your entire being into subjection to the will of God.

By way of pointing out what these strongholds are – that they are mental strongholds – the Apostle says, "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth." Our imaginations may be of many kinds. We may be beset by false doctrines and superstitions that have come down to us from past ages. The Word of the Lord is the only thing that can effectually cast these down and make us see God's real character, make us see His glorious promises to the Church now and to the world in the future. The Word of the Lord is the only thing that will cast down imaginations – ignorance, superstition, pride, unholy ambitions, idle speculations, and every form of thought that would lead us astray and hinder the work of grace in our hearts and minds. These imaginations of the natural mind exalt themselves against the true knowledge of God, the Spirit of God – "high things," the Apostle calls them.

We are to "mind not high things." The Apostle does not mean that we are not to mind the high things that are spiritual; for in another place he says, "Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth." (Colossians 3:2.) In other words, Set your affections on the very highest things. But the "high things" of the world are very different; they exalt themselves against the things which are truly high, which are of God. The Lord's children are to be humble, not high-minded, not to be carried away by the empty honors, projects and ambitions of earth. The desire to have a place among men, to shine in society, to have wealth and influence, to have whatever things would bring us into high esteem amongst mankind, is a temptation that the disciple of Christ must guard against.

It has been noted by those who have the care of the mentally defective that a great deal of difficulty lies in the imagination. It is said that if one visits an insane asylum, he will find one here who thinks he is a king; there another, who imagines that she is a queen; another who imagines he is fabulously rich and could draw checks for millions. The organ of self-esteem has been too large. The Lord only knows how much the individual himself has had to do in cultivating this tendency. But he has always more or less to do with the matter; the high imaginations and the desire to be great obtain dominion over him – get the mastery.

PRIDE LEADS TO MENTAL UNBALANCE

The same thing applies to Christians. After coming into the Church of Christ, they are still liable to the ambition to become some great one, to do some great thing, to find or promulgate some great doctrine, to discover [R5889 : page 132] some new interpretation of Scripture or some new type. All these are "high things that exalt." Our Lord gave a discourse upon this subject, telling us that when we are invited to a feast, we should not take a high seat, but a low seat – and perhaps afterward we might be exalted. To desire these things and to seek for them is to have "strongholds" of pride and unholy ambition in the imagination, aspirations for exaltation and honor. Then comes the thought that we are great, that we are worthy of attention, of special notice. Mental unbalance is there. The fact is that we are all insignificant, of very little importance in the execution of the Lord's Plan.

The Lord could have done all His great work without us and our cooperation, probably more easily than with us. But He very graciously permits us to have a part in His work, for our own good and blessing. He is dealing [R5890 : page 132] with us as children and is training us. Having begotten us of His Holy Spirit, He helps us to overcome our weaknesses and rewards us if we do overcome them. He drills and disciplines us to fit us for a noble and glorious future. A part of this drilling as soldiers of the King of kings is our fight against self-esteem and a desire for great things, high things, according to the standards of this "present evil world."

"BRINGING INTO CAPTIVITY EVERY THOUGHT"

The thought of casting down unholy and unprofitable imaginations is also borne out in the final words of our text, that we are to "bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." Whatever we do we have first thought about. We sometimes say, "I acted before I thought." What we mean is that we acted before we gave the matter serious thought. No thought should be harbored in our minds which is not in full harmony with the Word of God. As Christ was obedient to the Father in everything – saying, "Let not My will, but Thine, be done" – so every one of us should bring our thoughts into obedience to Christ. Our Redeemer is our Exemplar.

All the members of Christ's Body must have the same mind that was in Christ, must manifest the spirit of our Master. "Let us humble ourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt us in due time." (1 Peter 5:6.) No one can wholly follow the Lord without much of the spirit of humility, without bringing his thoughts into subjection to the Lord. This is not the time to exalt ourselves and to show how we can shine. But we are to "show forth the praises of Him who hath called us out of darkness into His marvelous light" (1 Peter 2:9), who has called us with this Heavenly Calling, not for our own sakes merely, but for His own glory and the blessing of others. God's glory is to be our chief concern always. We are to be efficient servants of the Lord, through His grace, not of our own strength. If we are to be great in the end, we must be humble, we must gladly be servants of all now. We must be glad to serve, not only when there is honor attached, but when the service is unnoticed or unknown.

God has arranged for our learning certain lessons of self-control, bringing ourselves into full obedience to God in a voluntary way, with a view to our being His representatives by and by, and of then enforcing obedience to God's requirements on the part of the world. It is a generally accepted principle that no one is qualified to rule others who has not himself learned obedience. At the cost of great suffering, our Lord Jesus learned what obedience means. He promptly and fully submitted Himself to God. This Spirit of Christ is to be manifested and developed in us, that we shall thus be ready for the future work of The Christ, the work of the Millennial Age.

In proportion as the Truth is received and assimilated, it brings to us the spirit of a sound mind. It does not bring us perfect soundness of brain; but where rightly received, it brings meekness, teachableness, thoughtfulness, seriousness. It leads us to take careful heed to the instructions of our Heavenly Guide. It thus gives balance to the judgment, greater than we had ever before known. This should increase as we go on in the good way and become disciplined soldiers in the army of the Lord. But if the Truth is not received in the spirit of the Truth, in the love of it, it might not only fail to be of any benefit, but might engender a spirit of pride and boastfulness.

This quality of pride seems to be particularly associated with all kinds of insanity. Many of the inmates of insane asylums are affected with a large degree of self-esteem – thinking of themselves more highly than they ought to think. Their minds are unbalanced in that direction to a notable degree. We cannot be too careful to cultivate nearness to the Lord, which always brings humility and a proper realization of our own unworthiness and littleness before Him.

KEEPING CLOSE TO CHRIST OUR ONLY SAFETY

Satan is especially alert to trap the Lord's children in this "evil day." We might give an illustration which we have used before, but which seems well to picture wherein lies our special danger and our entire safety. Suppose we should consider a large circle, with Christ as the Center of that circle. Suppose the circle contained an abundance of space, so that there might be varying degrees of closeness to the Lord. Let the outer edge of that circle represent the utmost limit of God's care over His children. Any one, then, nearing the outside line would be coming more and more into a place of danger. We believe that in proportion as any of us live close to the great Center of the circle – our Lord Jesus – we are safe. In proportion as we fail to do this, and allow ourselves to drift or to wander away from Him, we shall be getting near the danger point, and are amenable to the evil influences from outside. Should we wander entirely over the outer line, our case would be beyond recovery.

The Lord has in a way put around the human race a barrier against danger. This barrier is, largely, man's will. Those who have given up their wills, their minds, to the Lord, to have His will done in them, are particularly liable to severe and subtle attacks of the Adversary. He especially seeks to delude and entrap the true children of the Lord, thus again to bring them into bondage to sin. Upon such as come under his influence, the delusion is gradual.

We are all born with unsound minds. As to the degree of unsoundness we need not quarrel. The armament which the Lord gives us is not merely a knowledge of how to quote Scripture. Neither is it merely to have the ability to dispute and to debate, though that ability is very good in its place. The real thing that God is looking for is in our hearts. He is not looking to see how much you know; for He could pump a good deal of knowledge into you in a few minutes if He so desired. But the Lord is looking to see to what extent you are meek, patient, fully submitted to His will. Let us have more and more of the Spirit of the Lord, the spirit of a sound mind, and the earnest desire to help one another.

"The Lord shall judge His people." (Hebrews 10:30.) If they get into trouble through not being sufficiently watchful, the Lord will give them some experiences which will be good for them, if rightly received. Let us remember the warning words of the Apostle Paul: "If we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged" [R5890 : page 133] of the Lord. (1 Corinthians 11:31.) This means that when we neglect to judge ourselves, He has to do it for us. Then we are being chastened with a view to our correction, that we might attain unto the Heavenly reward and favor that is to be ours as New Creatures in Christ, if we remain humble and faithful unto death. If we continue to be meek and filled with the spirit of humility, not craving present honors and exaltation, but willing in perfect patience to await the Lord's own good time, our exaltation will come; and we shall share our Savior's Throne and His glory forevermore.

"O blows that smite, O wounds that pierce
This shrinking heart of mine!
What are ye but the Master's tools,
Performing work Divine!
How blest that all these seeming ills
That draw my heart to thee
Are each a proof that Thou hast set
Thy seal of love on me!"

[R5890 : page 133]

"JESUS DIED AND PAID IT ALL"
T
HE Ransom of our race by our Savior is a matter of deep interest to the Lord's people, and one which apparently is very difficult to understand clearly. We view the subject from different standpoints. All see the same thing, but all do not see the details.

God might have told us that He had arranged a way by which Justice and the dignity of His Court of the Universe could be upheld and man nevertheless be released from the sentence of death imposed upon him six thousand years ago. There was no need of His telling us anything about the Ransom. It would have been sufficient for us that God should have told us that He had attended to the matter properly. But instead, God reasons with us in the Scriptures, and there explains the process of His Government by which He could be just and yet be the Justifier of sinners. This process which God had all to do with and man had nothing to do with is Scripturally styled the Ransom – the giving of the perfect life of Jesus to be the full, complete offset for the forfeited life of Adam, the father of our race.

From this viewpoint, if one went no further into the matter, one might say, "Jesus has died and the world has been ransomed" – just as the Scriptures speak of Jesus, even while He was in the flesh, as being the Messiah, the King of Glory. Even when He was a babe the angels sang, "Unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ [Messiah] the Lord." Their statements included not only the babe and what had already been accomplished in His birth, but all the great work which He would do in the future. As a matter of fact, the babe was merely called a Savior because He would in the future save His people from their sins. The babe [R5891 : page 133] was merely called the Anointed – Messiah – because it was foreseen of God that He would make a consecration at Jordan, be begotten and anointed of the Holy Spirit, finish His work of sacrifice and be exalted to Heavenly glory, not only, during this Age, for the Church which is His Body, but also for the willing and obedient of the world of mankind during the Millennium. Thus we see that the babe was not the Savior except in the prophetic sense that He was to be the Savior. He was not King except in the sense that He was born and came into the world to that end. He was not the Deliverer then, nor has He even yet delivered all His Church; whereas, after the deliverance of the Church, comes the deliverance of the world from the reign of Sin and Death.

Similarly the word ransom may be, and often is, used by us all in a prophetic sense – as including the entire work of Redemption down to the very end of the Millennial Age; as we read, "I will ransom [deliver by a ransom] them from the grave." – Hosea 13:14.

LEGAL PHASE OF RANSOMING WORK

But as we come close to these various questions and analyze them, we see new beauties, new divisions of matters, which at first seem to be indivisible. We see, for instance, that the first step toward ransoming the world was taken when the Logos left the glory which He had with the Father and humbled Himself to become the Man Jesus. The first feature in the ransoming work was our Master's consecration of Himself at Jordan, followed by His life of devotion even unto death. The completion of His sacrifice was the completion of the Ransom-price, but it was not the completion of the Ransom-work. Indeed, the Ransom-work could not even begin until the Ransom-price had been provided – not paid.

We sometimes have spoken of Jesus as having paid the Ransom when He died, but such expression was not accurate. The price of obedience to the Father's will was death, and our Lord's death constitutes the price. In one sense Jesus paid it when He surrendered His life; but in another and more accurate sense, He did not pay it, but merely placed it in the hands of the Father as the price to be appropriated, or made applicable later.

The Ransom-price has been in the hands of Divine Justice – in the Father's hands – ever since Jesus died, but only as a deposit, because the time had not come for it to be paid over officially. If the Divine Plan had been for Jesus to take possession of the world and to set up His Kingdom at Pentecost, then it would have been proper for Him to have paid over to the Father the Ransom-price fully and completely – appropriating it as the offset to Father Adam's sin and sentence on behalf of all his race. But had that price been formally paid over, the proper and logical thing would have been for the Father to put the whole world immediately into the hands of Jesus, and for the Millennial Reign to begin.

RANSOM-PRICE DEPOSITED WITH DIVINE JUSTICE

There was, however, another feature to the Divine Plan: God did not wish to turn over the Kingdom to Jesus until the great Seventh Day, the Millennium. He did wish that during the intervening more than eighteen centuries a Church class should be called out from amongst the world, to be the Bride and Joint-heir of His Son in the Kingdom. Hence the Ransom-price for the sins of the whole world was merely left unappropriated, while Jesus dealt with the Church.

And since the Father's Plan for the Church was that they should sacrifice or surrender their earthly interests and receive, instead, Heavenly interests and the Divine nature, therefore it was not necessary to give the Church Restitution – the thing which the Ransom-price will secure for the world of mankind. Hence, instead of giving the Church a direct share in the Ransom-price, which would mean Restitution, the Lord's provision for them is different; namely, an imputation of merit covering their blemishes, so that they might present their bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.

All, therefore, that Jesus has done with the Ransom-price is to impute a share of that price as covering the shortcomings of those who desire to become His disciples and joint-heirs. He has not appropriated it to them actually, as in Restitution, but by imputation – justifying [R5891 : page 134] them from all sin, and thus permitting them to be accepted of the Father as members of the House of Sons, by the begetting of the Holy Spirit.

And how beautiful is the thought that, when shortly our Lord will pay over the Ransom-price for the sins of the whole world, and have the world immediately turned over to Him for Restitution work, the Church will be with Him in glory sharing His honor and His Throne, as now they share in His sufferings and His ignominy!

PRACTICAL PHASE OF RANSOMING WORK

When the Ransom-price shall then have been given to justice in exchange for the world of mankind, and when the purchased world of mankind shall have been turned over to the Purchaser, the legal phase of the Ransoming work of Jesus and the satisfaction of Justice in the release of mankind from the penalty of death will be complete. Then, however, another part of the ransoming will begin and will operate; namely, the giving of the benefits of the ransom to Adam and his family. This phase of the Ransom-work will continue for the thousand years of Messiah's Kingdom, bringing Restitution to man and his earthly home – to all the willing and obedient of Adam's race – the unwilling being destroyed in the Second Death.

Then the Ransomer will have completed His work of ransoming the human family in its two phases: First, its legal phase, the satisfaction of Divine Justice by the giving of a life for a life; second, its practical phase, the restoring or recovering or delivering of the redeemed from the bondage of Sin and Death to the liberty of the sons of God. – Romans 8:21.

[R5891 : page 134]

THE CRIPPLE AT LYSTRA
– MAY 21. – ACTS 14:8-20. –

HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF – ST. PAUL AND BARNABAS PERSECUTED – SLANDERED AND MALTREATED BY PROFESSEDLY RELIGIOUS LEADERS – A NOTABLE MIRACLE – HONESTY REWARDED WITH STONES – HOMEWARD BOUND – VISITING THE CITIES WHERE THEY HAD BEEN PERSECUTED – TRIBULATION NECESSARY FOR PERFECTING OF THE SAINTS.

"He giveth power to the faint; and to him that hath no might He increaseth strength." – Isaiah 40:29.
L
EAVING Antioch of Pisidia, St. Paul and Barnabas went to Iconium, about one hundred miles distant. There also they preached the Word faithfully; and there also opposition was aroused and persecution threatened. The record is that "when there was an assault made, both of the Gentiles and also of the Jews, with their rulers, to use them despitefully and to stone them, they were aware of it, and fled unto Lystra." They did not permit fear to hinder them from preaching the Gospel with courage, neither did they fear threats; but when the persecution took a positive form, they fled. In so doing, they were following the Lord's instructions. He did not say, "Be fearful of persecution, withhold your Message and put your light under a bushel"; but He said the very reverse. Nor did He say, "Be fearful, and flee when there is no danger." On the contrary He said, "When they persecute you in one city, flee ye to another."

Arriving at Lystra, they began afresh to preach the Gospel, as courageously as though there had been no previous opposition. Amongst the auditors was a cripple, presumably a Jew or a proselyte, who manifested much interest in the Apostle's words. Perceiving that the man had faith, St. Paul stopped in his sermon and called out to him, "Stand upright on thy feet!" This was a thing that the man had never before done; but he had the necessary faith and obeyed the Apostle's command. Thus a miracle resulted, evidently to the astonishment of the entire congregation. The effect upon the people was electrical; and they shouted in their own dialect, "The gods have come down to visit us!"

The city of Lystra figured as the scene of a mythological event. The tradition was that Jupiter and Mercury, two of the gods of mythology, had once come to Lystra in the form of men, and had been refused lodgings everywhere until they came to the lowly hut of a poor man, who entertained them to the best of his ability. The gods rewarded him by turning his hut into a gorgeous temple, and punished the remainder of the citizens with a flood. This tradition was very old, and was perpetuated by a statue of Jupiter at the city's gate as its protecting god.

It is easy to discern how a comparatively ignorant and superstitious people might jump to the conclusion that the visit of St. Paul and Barnabas was a repetition of this visit of Jupiter and Mercury, handed down to them through tradition. St. Paul they called Mercury, because in their tradition Mercury was the orator, the speaker; and Barnabas they called Jupiter. Forthwith the priest of Jupiter prepared to offer a sacrifice of oxen before the statue of Jupiter at their city gate, in honor of the supposed gods present with them as men, in the persons of Barnabas and St. Paul.

NOBILITY OF THE MISSIONARIES

The missionaries were probably quietly conversing with some of the more interested ones, when they heard of the commotion in the city and of the sacrifice about to be offered. Not for a moment did they think of taking advantage of the superstition of the people to make of themselves some great ones. Nor did they attempt to turn the event to a service of the Truth by claiming that God was Jupiter, that our Lord Jesus was Mercury, and that they themselves represented the Father and the Son.

On the contrary, most earnestly and simply did they entreat the people to desist, explaining that they were nothing but imperfect men like the populace themselves – "men of like passions" – that their mission was the very reverse of what the Lystrians supposed, and that Jupiter and Mercury were only products of imagination, ignorance and superstition. The two ran in amongst the excited populace while the latter were preparing for the sacrifice; and even then with difficulty, amidst protests of their own nothingness, did they restrain the people from sacrificing in their honor. Noble men they were; and their faithfulness to the Lord and to the Truth attested the wisdom of sending them on this missionary tour.

From this incident we may draw a lesson, helpful to all of the Lord's people who are to any extent His ambassadors, representatives, teachers of the Truth. The Truth itself, especially in the light of our day, is so wonderful, so brilliant, that it naturally reflects some of its brilliancy upon those who represent it, causing men to marvel and to say, as of old, "Whence hath this man this wisdom?" (Matthew 13:54.) In some instances it might lead to an undue deference, to an ascription of undue honor, and to a subserviency which would not be proper for the Lord's ambassadors to receive, and which they should as promptly and as thoroughly repudiate as did St. Paul and Barnabas refuse the honors which the Lystrian populace were about to bestow upon them.

From the worldly viewpoint, however, this would be an unwise course. Those who will accept flattery, adulation [R5891 : page 135] and honor more than is due are likely to be prospered in this course to some extent by the Adversary, and are apt to find that the worldly spirit likes to worship worldly heroes. The only wise course for the Lord's servants, therefore, is that followed by these missionaries of our lesson – to repudiate the entire matter, to confess that they are men of like passions with others, and to hold up the Word of God, hiding themselves behind it and ignoring self altogether.

Not alone will this course be profitable as respects the finding and the development of the true children of God, whom He is now gathering out of the world, but it will be profitable also for the Lord's ambassadors! for in this way they will grow in the Lord Jesus' grace and character-likeness, of which humility was a prominent trait. Thus they will best abide in the love of God.

TRUE SOLDIERS OF THE CROSS

In pointing out to the Lystrians the fact that their ideas were vanities, the Apostle well knew that this could not bring him the favor of his hearers; for it is not human nature to appreciate being told of our follies. To work his way into their good graces he would have needed to tell them a lie – that they were very wise, that their course was a very proper one, etc. Therefore in his endeavor to be candid and to serve the Truth, he risked their disappointment and displeasure. Undoubtedly, as God's mouthpiece, he shunned not to declare the whole Message of God, whatever its results might be.

Here are good lessons for all of the Lord's people. It requires comparatively little courage to be a soldier of the Cross and faithful to the Truth amongst those of like precious faith and obedience. But it requires great courage to resist improper honor of men when we know in advance that this resistance will not only deprive us of their honor and friendship, but make us ignoble in their sight, and turn them into enemies. True soldiers of the Cross still have the same trial; and it requires hardness – a hardening campaign of experience in the Lord's service – to endure these things and come off joyful in them.

The babes in Christ, the weak, the untried, those who have not passed through trials and experiences, and developed character, are not hardened, and could not stand such experiences. Hence it is that the Apostle advises the Church that even proper exaltation to a position of service in the Church should not be accorded to a novice, lest he should be puffed up, and thus be injured himself, as well as be injurious to others. (1 Timothy 3:6.) It requires time and seasoning either to rightly accept and appreciate honors and dignities along proper lines, or to decline those along improper lines.

St. Paul pointed out to his hearers that in times past God had been permitting all nations to walk in their own ways, and had interfered particularly in the affairs of only the one nation – Israel. All other nations had been permitted to take their own course, except in so far as they might cross some feature of the Divine Plan. Thus the Prophet had expressed the matter to Israel: "You only have I known of all the families of the earth." (Amos 3:2.) The Apostle's reference to "times past" (Verse 16) implies the change of dispensation which had just occurred in connection with the death of our Lord Jesus, the cutting off of Israel from any special favor, and the throwing open of the Gospel Call to all who have ears to hear – "to the Jew first and also to the Greek."

Now God was sending a Message of instruction to all nations, in order that they should turn from such vanities and should recognize the only living and true God and His Son, the world's exalted Redeemer whom the Father had ordained to become its Ruler in due time, to put down sin and death and to bless with His Reign of Righteousness all the families of the earth. The Apostle also pointed out that although God had left the nations without the instructions of the Law Covenant and the prophecies, He had given them some indications of His care, in making provision for their necessities – causing the sun to shine and the rain to fall upon the just and the unjust, upon the evil and the good.

STONED FOR SPEAKING THE TRUTH

The sudden change of public sentiment which resulted from the Apostle's plain statements of the Truth led the Lystrians to look at the missionaries with very different eyes, now that, according to their own declarations, the two were only common men like themselves. We may even suppose that they felt rather humiliated that their superstition had aroused them to do reverence to men who repudiated it and acknowledged their unworthiness of it.

While the populace was in this spirit, certain Jews came thither from Antioch and Iconium, explaining to the Lystrians that the missionaries were imposters, working upon the credulity of the people, "turning the world upside down," raising questions about theology, and disturbing the minds of the people. The populace was ready for just such leading in the reverse direction, and disposed to feel that somehow, if these two men were not really Jupiter and Mercury, they were pretenders and falsifiers, who had deceived the people and who should be put to death. As a result, St. Paul was stoned, dragged outside the city, and left for dead.

How erratic is the fallen human mind, in its condition of superstition and ignorance! How easily the priest of Jupiter could lead the ignorant to make gods of men, and how readily he could lead them in an opposite direction, equally wrong! But although the greatest of all the Apostles, and one of the most remarkable orators and logicians which the world has ever known, was in their midst, how few, comparatively, could he influence in the right direction – for the Truth and righteousness, in obedience to God!

In many respects the world is the same today as it was then, although civilization and general intelligence have done much to lift it out of that abject benightedness which leads to idol worship, although Mohammedanism, Confucianism, Churchianity and a certain kind of Christianity have put a veneer of respectability, reason and common sense upon it. Nevertheless, under this veneer the masses are still in a very unsatisfactory condition. They are still disposed to be humbugged, disposed to appreciate those who are boastful and pretend to be great, disposed to worship that which demands worship rather than that which is worthy of it, disposed to misunderstand God and His Plan and to consider these from a devilish standpoint rather than to appreciate the lengths, breadths, heights and depths of the Love of God.

A REMARKABLE EXPERIENCE

But God was not through with the Apostle Paul. He was not stoned because of God's indifference, nor because of the Almighty's lack of power to protect His servant. On the contrary, it is quite probable that the Lord was teaching the Apostle some great lesson, valuable both to himself and to the Church to whom he ministers even today in the matter of these experiences. Quite probably the Apostle, while being stoned, remembered afresh the death of St. Stephen, to which he had consented. Quite probably, too, the result was a fresh realization of his own unworthiness to be so prominent a representative of the Lord and of His Truth.

Had the incident of the sacrificing not been thus [R5891 : page 136] followed by some trying experience, who knows but that the Apostle might have felt a little of self-gratulation, such as would be natural to any man who had renounced voluntarily honors thrust upon him. He might have been disposed to glory in his strength of character; but his experiences led him in an opposite direction, as he himself subsequently wrote. (Romans 5:3-5.) All of the Lord's faithful ones may learn good lessons here – learn to trust in the Lord's providences in all of their affairs, not only in those which seem favorable, but also in those which are apparently working disadvantage and disaster. Concerning St. Paul the Lord had said, "I will show him how great things he must suffer for My name's sake." (Acts 9:15,16.) From this lesson we may infer that when the Lord's servants are permitted to suffer for His name's sake – not for wrong-doing, not for anger, malice, hatred, strife, evil speaking, etc., but for His sake – it is an attestation of the Lord's favor, in the acceptance of their sacrifice, as in the type Abel's sacrifice was accepted with fire.

As the disciples stood about the prostrate form of St. Paul, supposing that he was dead, the Apostle arose and returned to the city.

HOMEWARD BOUND

Their entire public preaching at Lystra was at an end; and the next day the missionaries went to Derbe, a distance of thirty-five miles. This implies that the Lord wrought a wonderful miracle in St. Paul, in that he was able to continue his journey on the very next day after having received so severe treatment as a stoning unto apparent death. The Lord sometimes works marvelously for His people, as in this instance. At other times He leaves them to the general vicissitudes of life as other men.

No particulars are given regarding the ministry of the Truth at Derbe. We may presume that it was without special incident. Having gone thus far, the missionaries determined to retrace their steps, instead of proceeding and returning homeward by the nearer route – via Tarsus, St. Paul's home city. Apparently their motive in so doing was their realization that the little groups of believers at Lystra, Iconium and Antioch in Pisidia would by this time need some encouragement and establishment in the Truth; that because of the fierce opposition in these places there would probably be more or less contention and trouble, and questions would arise which the new converts would not be competent to answer.

This was pastoral work; and in the homeward journey there is no intimation that the missionaries attempted further mission work. They had no expectation whatever of converting all the people in these cities. They understood the Plan of God too well to have any such expectations as modern mission workers seem to have. They knew very well that the mission of the Gospel was not to convert the world, but to select out of the world a special people for His name. (Acts 15:14.) They had witnessed the Truth to these people, and had confidence that the Lord was with them and that only such as had the hearing ear would be reached, either by the missionaries or by those who had already been enlightened.

Accordingly the two contented themselves with the work of upbuilding the "little flock," encouraging them to make their calling and election sure to a place in the Millennial Kingdom which, in God's due time, the Age to come, shall be used of the Lord in the world's blessing, the world's conversion, the world's uplift.

Doubtless the brethren in these various places were surprised that if the Gospel were of God, its servants, its ministers, should be so at the mercy of the forces of evil. This may have tended to shake their confidence considerably; for the natural expectation would be that God would protect His servants. St. Paul explained this to the believers, declaring that tribulations are necessary for the perfecting of the saints, for the trial of faith, for the testing and the preparing of those who would be joint-heirs with Christ in the Kingdom; and that after the permission of evil shall thus have served its purpose of keeping the "little flock" separate from the world and of polishing and refining them for the Kingdom, then the time will come when Satan shall be bound, and when the righteous shall no more be persecuted, but shall reign as joint-heirs with their Lord and Head in His Kingdom.

[R5891 : page 136]

MEMORIAL SUPPER REPORTS

The Memorial Supper seems to have been very generally observed on Sunday night, April 16th – the Anniversary. Reports mention especially a very deep spirit of solemnity and reverential joy on the part of the Brethren participating – so far as reports have yet reached us. The corroboration which the events of our day are giving to our hopes and prospects as found in the Bible seems to have a solidifying influence. At times faith seems almost to give way to sight. The fact that we may be here a year or two, or possibly more, before the Kingdom will be fully set up is not disappointing, because the Lord's people are finding so many opportunities for service that their hands, hearts and heads are fully engaged – laboring on this side of the veil in cooperation with the glorified members on the other side.

The Brooklyn Congregation is henceforth known as the New York City Ecclesia, because our principal services are now held in the New York City Temple, although the Tabernacle in Brooklyn is also used on every Sunday by a considerable number. We had a splendid meeting, which, apparently, everybody present enjoyed with a deep spiritual zest. We thought together of the original Passover Supper and its Antitype, and the Memorial Supper instituted by our Lord and of the meaning of the emblems – of our eating the broken flesh and participating in the shed blood of our Savior, and how these represent also our fellowship, or common union, with our Master in His ignominy, suffering, death, guaranteeing for the faithful a share with their Master in the Heavenly Kingdom and Glory.

The number participating, as shown below, does not include a number of suburban Classes which previously communicated with us, but which have now so grown that it is considered wise for them to have their own celebration.

This list below shows the Classes from which we have already heard, whose participating numbers were above fifty. The figures show quite a substantial increase in the numbers of the deeply interested and fully consecrated ones, which rejoices us greatly. However, we are especially joyed with the thought of the deeper and deepening Christian experiences which are manifest amongst the Brethren everywhere. We trust that this earnest devotion to the Lord will continue. "Faithful unto death" is the term of enlistment for all the Soldiers of the Cross:

New York City, N.Y.......1041   Cincinnati, O........... 188
Chicago, Ill............. 612   Indianapolis, Ind....... 184
Boston, Mass............. 507   Columbus, Ohio.......... 177
Pittsburgh, Pa........... 424   Dayton, Ohio............ 175
Los Angeles, Cal......... 422   San Antonio, Tex........ 175
Philadelphia, Pa......... 354   Milwaukee, Wis.......... 169
Toronto, Can............. 288   Kansas City, Kan........ 159
Cleveland, O............. 258   Buffalo, N.Y............ 158
Portland, Ore............ 255   Baltimore, Md........... 136
Vancouver, B.C........... 253   Toledo, O............... 127
St. Louis, Mo............ 244   Denver, Col............. 123
Seattle, Wash............ 235   Springfield, Mass....... 115
Washington, D.C.......... 221   Oklahoma City, Okla..... 112
Providence, R.I.......... 202   Spokane, Wash........... 110

Houston, Tex............. 109   New Brighton, Pa........  69
Louisville, Ky........... 108   Hartford, Conn..........  68
Roseland (Chicago), Ill.. 107   Rockford, Ill...........  68
St. Paul, Minn........... 100   Duquesne, Pa............  67
Worcester, Mass..........  98   Schenectady, N.Y........  67
Binghamton, N.Y..........  91   Wilmington, Del.........  60
Everett, Wash............  90   Reading, Pa.............  60
Richmond, Va.............  88   York, Pa................  57
Allentown, Pa............  86   Cumberland, Md..........  57
St. Joseph, Mo...........  83   Paterson, N.J...........  57
Scranton, Pa.............  75   Erie, Pa................  53
Grand Rapids, Mich.......  74   Jacksonville, Fla.......  52
Pasadena, Cal............  74   Wichita, Kan............  51
Altoona, Pa..............  70   Montreal, Can...........  50

[R5892 : page 137]

THE COUNCIL AT JERUSALEM
– MAY 28. – ACTS 15:22-33. –

THE FIRST ECUMENICAL COUNCIL OF THE CHURCH – "THE SPIRIT OF A SOUND MIND" IN SETTLING DOCTRINAL DIFFERENCES – THE YOKE OF THE LAW COVENANT VS. CHRISTIAN LIBERTY – THE DECISION OF THE APOSTLES ON THE QUESTIONS AT ISSUE – LESSONS FOR OUR DAY – LIBERTY IS NOT LICENSE.

"The Liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free." – Galatians 5:1.
W
HEN St. Paul and Barnabas had made their report to the Church at Antioch, both the congregation and their missionaries rejoiced in their mutual service for the Gentiles. The Lord's Cause was indeed quite prosperous everywhere for a season. But this period of peace, prosperity, growth in knowledge and in numbers was followed by a season of contention and differences at Antioch. From Jerusalem, the headquarters of the Lord's work, there came certain brethren, Hebrews by birth, who, perceiving that the Gentile Christians ignored circumcision, raised a great commotion on that score, claiming that as circumcision would not save without Christ, neither would Christ's salvation be operative without circumcision.

The minds of many in the Church were disturbed by these assertions, and for a time a split in the Church seemed probable. But better counsels prevailed; and their beloved brethren, St. Paul and Barnabas, were sent to Jerusalem, as a committee to confer with the Apostles and Elders there. Today's Study tells of this conference and its results.

Incidentally we remark upon the wisdom shown by these early Christians. They had "the spirit of a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7; James 3:17,18.) They had indeed great confidence in St. Paul and Barnabas, and realized that under the administrations of these two faithful brethren the Church at Antioch had already received great blessings from the Lord; and that this fact rather contradicted the idea that they could not be esteemed proper subjects for Divine favor without circumcision. They acted wisely, therefore, in considering that the Lord's will on the subject was positive; and that His will would be indicated through the Apostles, to whom He had said, "Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven, and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven." (Matthew 16:19; John 20:21-23.) The Apostles might therefore properly be expected to know whether or not the Gentile Christians were free from that obligation which had been placed upon all the descendants of Abraham.

THE JERUSALEM CONFERENCE

At the Conference, the kindly deference of the Apostles, one to the other, is quite marked. It is also noticeable that they based their conclusions on what they found written in the Old Testament Scriptures and on their leadings of Divine providence. For several years the Truth had gradually become more and more plain to them. They saw that the special favor of God to the Jews had given place to a general favor toward people of every nation, so that all men everywhere who believed in the Lord, accepted His promises and consecrated their lives in harmony therewith, might henceforth have equal privileges and advantages with those of Hebrew birth. They knew of God's covenant relationship with the nation of Israel; and it took time for them to become convinced that the Divine Program had taken another step forward.

Similarly, in the end of this Age there are many who realize that only a "little flock" has been called of God, and has responded, sacrificed under that High Calling. It is difficult for these to grasp the thought that a change of dispensation is at hand; and that God purposes to complete the work of this Age for the Elect and then to inaugurate a new work for the non-elect – for the benefit of "all the families of the earth."

The conclusions of the Conference are given us in few words; namely, that so far as God is concerned, He had recognized believers of Gentile birth by bestowing upon them His Holy Spirit in just the same way in which He had recognized believers of Hebrew birth, and "put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith." (Acts 15:9; 10:44-47.) What more could be asked? These Gentiles had received all this favor from God without having come under the bondage of the Law Covenant. Why, they wisely asked, should they put a yoke upon the Gentiles when God had made no such requirement? They realized that the Law Covenant was indeed a yoke so heavy that neither they nor their fathers had been able to bear it. Christ had relieved them of the yoke of the Law Covenant. Why should they put it upon brethren to whom the Lord had not given it? – Romans 3:19.

Even going beyond this, they recognized that in some respects the Gentiles held the superior position; for they were free from the Law, never having come under that yoke. Hence the statement, "We [Hebrews] believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they [Gentiles]."

THE CONCLUSION OF THE MATTER

In Verses 22-29 of today's Study we have the decision of the Apostles on the question at issue. They not only wrote it out, but sent it at the hand of two of their trusted brethren – Judas Barsabas and Silas – with St. Paul and Barnabas, that the Church at Antioch might have the matter in both written and oral testimony. The declaration was that the disquieting teachings had not been authorized by the Apostles at Jerusalem. Then they briefly summed up, not as law, but as "necessary things," the following: (1) Abstain from meats offered (sacrificially) to idols; (2) And from blood; (3) And from things strangled; (4) And from harlotry.

It was not intimated that abstinence from these things would make one a Christian; for nothing but faith in Christ and consecration to Him and endeavor to walk in His steps could constitute any one a Christian. By these recommended abstentions, they declared, "It will be well with you" – you will find these recommendations profitable to you as followers of the Lord. As a matter of fact, the Apostle Paul has pointed out most forcefully that "Love is the fulfilling of the Law" (Romans 13:10); for love for God would control the life as respects holiness, and love for our neighbor as for ourselves would control as respects earthly justice.

THE NECESSITY FOR THESE RESTRICTIONS

The things recommended by the Conference were necessary to a preservation of the Body of Christ, composed of Jews and Gentiles of different education and sentiments. Without discussing whether or not harm could come to the meats sold in the markets, by reason of pagan ceremonies in connection with the killing of animals, the Conference advised that these be abstained from, because Jews would certainly consider the eating of such meats as participation in heathen idolatry – even though from the broad standpoint of fact the idol, being nothing but wood or stone or metal, could neither profit nor injure the food. Nevertheless, it was advisable that the Gentile Christians abstain from the use of their liberty in this direction, [R5892 : page 138] out of deference to the weaker brethren, Jews and Gentiles, who could not so deeply philosophize and whose consciences might be injured.

A similar thought attaches to the prohibition of the use of blood. To the Jew it was forbidden. (Leviticus 17:10-14.) Under the Law Covenant, blood was made a symbol of life; and to partake of it would therefore imply responsibility for the life taken. Moreover, in the typical ceremonies of the Law the prohibited blood was used as a symbol to represent the sin-offering; for atonement for sins was effected by the blood. To emphasize these typical lessons the Jew had been forbidden to use blood. There may be other reasons, sanitary or otherwise, connected therewith, but not yet known to us.

These prohibitions had never come to the Gentiles; for they had never been under the Law Covenant. But so deeply rooted were the Jewish ideas on this subject that it was necessary to the peace of the Church that the Gentiles should observe this matter also. The things strangled meant animals taken in traps, whose blood was not shed, or drained out by bleeding to death, as the Jewish Law required of all meats that were to be eaten. This restriction was necessary to the harmony between the two branches of Spiritual Israel – that which came from Judaism and that which came from the Gentiles – previously separated by the Law Covenant. If the Gentile brethren did not wish to be contentious and cause division in the Church, they would surely be willing to restrain or sacrifice their liberty respecting these matters.

The last restriction specified was harlotry. The idol worship which prevailed at the time of our Study had connected with it a great deal of sensuality, which would be contrary to the Spirit of Christ in every sense of the word. It is difficult, however, to understand why one moral precept should be thus separated from others and placed on the list with ceremonial requirements. We incline to ask why were not included profanity, drunkenness, idolatry, adultery, false witness, murder, etc. Are we to understand that the Gentiles are free to commit all crimes not stipulated by this Conference?

Surely not! Rather, all the requirements of the Law are included in the one Law of the New Creation – Love for God and man. Love would cover profanity, murder, theft, false witness, adultery; but the Law of Love would not so thoroughly cover the items enumerated by the Council at Jerusalem. We are to recognize that the Apostles were Divinely authorized to bind things on earth; and that they were so guided in their public utterances that they bound nothing unnecessarily, nothing contrary to the Divine will. It is our opinion, therefore, that these items thus superadded to the Law of Love should be observed by all Spiritual Israelites as representing the Divine will. As a matter of fact, nearly all the butchering for our markets is in harmony with the Jewish regulations, although many Jews decline to recognize this, and eat only such meats as have been inspected and approved by their rabbis.

GOOD RESULTS FROM THIS WISE COURSE

The message sent by the Conference to the Church at Antioch was received in faith by all, and caused great rejoicing in the Church. Harmony prevailed, unity of spirit, fellowship amongst the members. The secret of this lay in the fact that the Lord was recognized as having the supervision of the affairs of the Church, and as guiding her course and directing her way through the appointed channels, the Apostles.

Similarly today, where honesty of heart prevails amongst the Lord's peoples, schisms, divisions, should be unknown. The Lord's guidance and instruction should be sought – His Word through His Apostles. Moreover, since the Apostles fell asleep, the Lord has been pleased to use faithful brethren in the Church as finger-boards to indicate the right path, in harmony with His Word through the Apostles and Prophets. The thing necessary to each is the honest conscience, the humble spirit, and the pure heart.

We rejoice at the evidences that in the early Church there was such a spirit of broadmindedness as is represented in today's Study. We rejoice to know that when an important subject was to be considered, with a view to discerning the mind of the Lord, there was full liberty granted for as much dispute or debate, in a proper manner, as was necessary to bring the entire subject before those who had it under consideration. There is a difference, however, between discussion inside the pale of faith and disputes outside that boundary. As St. Paul says, "Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations" – do not receive him to dispute his doubts – what he does not believe. (Romans 14:1.) Let him have a full opportunity for hearing the faith discussed. If his doubts do not then disappear, he will probably drop out of the assembly.

AS TO WHO COMPOSE THE CHURCH

In harmony with this we are not to recognize disputes respecting the FOUNDATION PRINCIPLES of the Gospel of Christ. The Church is composed only of those who recognize the foundation – that Christ died for our redemption from sin and its penalty; that all who would share His blessings must accept the simple facts of His death for us and His resurrection by the power of God for our ultimate deliverance; and that then, in harmony with the desire to be His disciples, they must consecrate themselves fully to Him, to do His will and to serve His cause. These foundation principles of the Church of Christ are not subject to dispute. Those who reject these principles are not of the Church, and should not be heard in the Church. They are intruders – doubtless wolves in sheep's clothing – of evil intentions and ultimate results.

But as respects discussions amongst those who are truly the Lord's, opportunity for freedom of discussion on any point of importance, within reasonable limits, is absolutely necessary to spiritual health and progress. To shut it off means to crush proper activities of thought, and in many instances means to accumulate a force which would ultimately result in an explosion, which would be damaging in some respects at least. Let us remember the Golden Rule in this matter. Let us accord to others the same reasonable liberty, inside of foundation principles, that we would like to have them accord us, if our positions were reversed.

LIBERTY IS NOT LICENSE

Our Golden Text is a precious one. The value of true liberty amongst the Lord's people cannot be over-estimated. It becomes a part of their very life. But because of a wrong conception of union, the spirit of true liberty was crushed out of the Church shortly after the Apostles fell asleep in death; and the Dark Ages resulted, with all their ignorance, superstition, blindness, persecution, etc. The Reformation movement of the Sixteenth Century was only a re-awakening of the spirit of liberty mentioned in our Text – liberty to think inside the foundation lines of the doctrines of Christ, liberty to believe as much or as little more, in harmony with this, as mental conditions and circumstances will permit, without being branded a heretic or persecuted by brethren, either in word or in deed. [R5892 : page 139]

Strange to say, a peculiar combination of too much liberty and too little liberty is creeping over Christendom today. The too little liberty feature objects to any discussion of the doctrines of Christ and the teachings of the Apostles, for fear that some difference of opinion should be manifested. This is an endeavor to have an outward union without a union of heart and of head. The general trend along this line favors the covering over, the concealment, of truths as well as of errors, in the wrong assumption that the appearance of union will serve the purpose of real union, and will be really effective as respects the prosperity of the true members of the Body of Christ. Such a false union is coming, however, and will cause prosperity in the nominal Church, but only for a brief season. The culmination of the Time of Trouble will overwhelm all.

On the other hand, the too great liberty feature is that represented by the teachings of Higher Critics and Evolutionists. Any attempt to contradict these unscriptural doctrines is tabooed, as tending to stir up strife and thus to destroy the unity of the Church. Thus the too great liberty and the too great bondage features are working together in the nominal church systems to expel and ostracize the Truth and all who love it, all who wish to "stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free." Let all who are the Lord's people and who have tasted of true Christian liberty see to it that they stand fast in that liberty; and as soon as an attempt is made to restrain their liberty, if not sooner, let them get completely out from all the bondages of human systems, in order that they may stand firmly and loyally with the Lord, our Redeemer, our Instructor, our King.

[R5892 : page 139]

FAITH DEMONSTRATED BY WORKS
"I will show thee my faith by my works." – James 2:18.
F
AITH is a mental conviction respecting things not positively proven to the senses, but received on supposedly good authority. There is another quality that seems very closely allied to faith; namely, credulity. The difference between these two appears to be that faith requires, and inquires for, good, sound evidence and authority for its basis. There are people who are very much prejudiced, and who seem to reason very little about anything. Sometimes they are credited with having a great deal of faith, whereas the truth is that they have a great deal of credulity. The faith that is of the responsible kind is that which the Christian is called upon to exercise. He exercises faith in God. If he doubted God's existence, God's character, he would not be in any sense prepared to receive the Message which the Father has to send at this time.

Having gotten a glimpse of the great Divine Character through the Book of Nature, we properly enough, before exercising faith in the Bible, make inquiry into the personnel of the writers – who they were, what were their characters, who did they claim to be, what evidences are there that they were true, and do these evidences agree. In other words, faith does not jump at conclusions, but makes investigations and sees that it has some reasonable ground for its existence. If it were solid ground, it would be knowledge. Faith is not knowledge. Therefore Faith inquires for reasonable ground upon which to build.

FAITH DISTINGUISHED FROM CREDULITY

With the Bible open, the Christian has before him a field of faith-knowledge – knowledge of things not seen by the natural eye – all of which he may continually be proving. While ever satisfied with what he has been demonstrating, he must necessarily be manifesting his faith by the way, proving that which is good. His mental processes being active, he should realize how one feature of the Divine Plan fits into another. Thus his faith grows into larger faith, deeper faith, stronger faith. In time his faith becomes a conviction so strong that he might be willing to stake his life on what he believes to be the truth in the Divine promises. He accepts those promises as something real, something that he knows about – not something received in a vague, unsatisfactory manner.

On the other hand, credulity is prejudice. The heathen are credulous; for they are blindly prejudiced. Many Christian people seem to be beset by the same spirit of credulity, and seem to mistake it for faith. We are not to forget that there are two great powers at the present time – the power of Good and the power of Evil. We are not to forget that for six thousand years the power of Evil has had the upper hand on earth. God has permitted Satan to have a great deal of power in the world. But it is a deceptive power. To Satan's misleading spirit powers we accredit much of the superstition that has fastened itself upon humanity.

For instance, there was a time when we thought it a manifestation of great faith to see three gods in one God, and one God in three gods. From our mistaken viewpoint we said, "One cannot reason this out; it is all of faith." The fact that somebody had said that there are three gods in one God, and one God in three gods, was not a basis for faith. So then, it was not faith that we had in a Trinity, but credulity. With many other things it was the same; we were not exercising faith. And so it would seem to have been with very many in the past. They must have swallowed many things with a very slight amount of mental mastication. We believe that such conditions still exist.

We notice our Christian Science friends. Many of them are very noble people, very estimable people in some respects; yet in our judgment they hold certain doctrines that are not matters of faith, but of credulity. They have theories respecting sin, respecting error. Because these theories seem to fit certain experiences in life, they have accepted these as a basis for what they call faith, and have seemed to receive them aside from all processes of reasoning. The basis for their doctrine seems to be that they have experienced healing as a result of faith. They do not seem to see that Satan has power to mislead. We fear that many of them are being misled by Satan's deceptions. We see a similar condition amongst Mormons. They too have theories, and have healing. It is the same with the Seventh Day Adventists. The Adversary is misleading all these people as respects the Call of this present Age; they are being side-tracked. They are not, therefore, to receive the highest blessing, which goes only to the faithful who walk in the footsteps of Jesus.

COMBATTING WRONG DEDUCTIONS IN EARLY CHURCH

The Apostle in our text says, "I will show thee my faith by my works." This is part of an argument that he has been putting up. There was a theory prevalent in the days of the Apostle, that works amounted to nothing – that it was faith which counted. The Apostle James is combatting that thought. Faith is all very well; but you must have works also! The Apostle says, "You show me your faith without works, but I prefer to show you my faith by my works." There was some perversion of St. Paul's teachings that had gotten into circulation at that time. St. Paul had said that by the works of the Law no [R5892 : page 140] flesh could be justified. The Jews, who had the Law, had not been able to keep that Law; neither would St. Paul or any other human being be able to keep that Law, in order to justify himself in God's sight. The only way to do this was by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and not by the Law of works.

We are not to understand St. James as in any sense of the word opposing St. Paul in this thought, but rather as opposing the wrong deductions from St. Paul's teaching; to wit, "It does not matter what kind of works I have. I have strong faith; God will not pay any attention to the works. I can work the works of the flesh; and having plenty of faith in God, I shall be all right." St. James points out that this is not true. Faith in God and in Christ and in the forgiveness of sins is proper; but there must be works to accompany it. Just as surely as we have faith it will manifest itself in some way, and these works, if not good, will be bad works, indifferent works. A good tree will produce good fruit. A pure fountain will send forth pure water.

This seems to be the Apostle's argument. Surely we all agree with him, and are all seeking to show forth our works. The world cannot appreciate our faith, because they cannot read our hearts. But God appreciates our faith. Abraham was the father of the faithful. God loved him and treated him as a friend. He was called the "Friend of God." But, says the Apostle, God required that Abraham should show his faith by doing some works; he must have some works to prove that he had faith; he will test us by our works as to the strength of our faith.

[R5893 : page 140]

PREACHING THE GOSPEL A NECESSITY

"Woe is unto me if I preach not the Gospel." – 1 Corinthians 9:16.
W
OE is a word not so often used today as formerly. It was a common word in the old English; but there is a meaning attached to it at present, we think, that was not in the original word. Nearly all who read the parable where the Lord speaks of "weeping and gnashing of teeth" seem to have the thought that it means eternal torment. Woe, when used in the Bible, means the same to some minds. So these construe our text to mean, "I shall go to eternal torment if I do not preach the Gospel." This is because of the creeds, traditions and customs that have come down from the Dark Ages, when the people were forbidden the Bible.

We understand the Apostle to mean here: "I should be very unhappy if I could not preach the Gospel; it would be a cause of great distress to me. In view of my former course of persecution, and the Lord's great mercy to me, it would mean a loss of His favor and blessing should I refrain from proclaiming His Message." The context seems to bear out this thought. So it should be a great distress to those to whom the Lord has granted the illumination of His Truth, if the opportunity of preaching this glorious Gospel were taken from them.

From one standpoint, the Apostle's words would apply only to the public ministry of the Word. From another standpoint, any one of God's consecrated people is a minister, ordained to preach; for ordination means commission, right, authorization. This commission to preach the Gospel is mentioned by the Prophet Isaiah. (Isaiah 61:1-3.) There the Church is brought to our attention through the great Head of the Church, Christ Jesus, who is represented, primarily, as the speaker. We read: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me; because the Lord hath anointed Me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent Me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to preach the acceptable year of the Lord, and the Day of Vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of Jehovah, that He might be glorified."

MANY WAYS OF PREACHING THE GOSPEL

Here the commission of the Holy Spirit to Messiah was prophetically announced, long in advance. The Body members of the Messiah, who have received the same anointing through Him, have also received this commission to preach the Gospel. If the disciple of Christ properly appreciates the privilege of being a messenger of God, an ambassador for God, it would be a woe indeed to him if he could not proclaim the Message, to the extent of his ability and opportunity.

There are some who have the thought that there is no way to preach except by a public discourse from the platform. But this seems not to be the Bible thought of preaching. Jesus talked to the people by the seaside, and along the way; sometimes He sat upon the edge of the well and preached the Message of salvation; He preached to His disciples up in the mountain; sometimes He journeyed with them and talked. And so with us. Whatever way or time we may have for preaching the Good Tidings we should use.

The word Gospel means glad tidings, good news. We are to tell the "good tidings of great joy." This may be done in the daily walk of our life, as we meet the butcher, the baker and the grocery man, or our neighbors and friends. It may be done by literature sent through the mails, or by handing out a tract, a book, or by preaching from the platform. All of this is preaching the Gospel, making known the Good Tidings; for preaching means merely to make known, and does not relate to the manner in which the knowledge is imparted.

BASIS AND SUPERSTRUCTURE OF THE GOSPEL

Many tracts contain no Gospel; they contain tidings of great misery. These we would not wish to circulate; for the more we spread such tidings the less preaching of the Gospel we would do. We are to remember that our Lord Jesus especially identified the Gospel with the Kingdom. Therefore we should preach the Good Tidings, the Gospel of the Kingdom. This has been God's method for gathering the Church, and is to be the witness to the world. We still have the opportunity for making known this good Message of the Kingdom. The Basis of this Gospel is the death of our Lord Jesus Christ as a Sacrifice for sinners, His resurrection and His ascension to the right hand of the Father. Its superstructure is the salvation of the Church and of the world – "whosoever will." The blessings of God are all through Christ.

The rich blessings of the Lord for both Church and world are to follow the Second Coming of Jesus. Then the Church is to be glorified and exalted; and the world will enter upon the Era of Blessing God has promised shall come with the full establishment of His Kingdom.

Whoever, therefore, understands this real Gospel, and appreciates his own ordination to preach it, must necessarily feel unhappy if he should be hindered from preaching [R5893 : page 141] it. Some can preach in several ways. Others can preach in nearly every way. Some can preach in very few ways; but all can preach in some way. The more we do, the more happy we should be. So we thank God that we have so many helps in our day – books, free literature, Bible Concordances, etc. We greatly appreciate all these and are seeking to make good use of them to the blessing of others as well as for our own upbuilding.

[R5893 : page 141]

YOUR BRETHREN THAT HATED YOU

"Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for My name's sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified; but He shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed." – Isaiah 66:5.
H
OW beautifully reasonable is the Message of God's Word! Many of the followers of Jesus, young in faith and possessed of but a small measure of the Holy Spirit, would be inclined to threaten their enemies with dire vengeance from God, even as the Apostles James and John at first desired to call down fire from Heaven upon the Samaritan city because the people had refused to sell them bread for the use of Jesus and His disciples. Where in the Bible do we find one word of threatening in respect to those who persecuted Jesus unto death, or those who have persecuted His followers? The simple statement is, "They shall be ashamed." The Lord's declaration through Daniel's prophecy is, "Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake," some to shine as the brightness of the firmament – the saintly, the Church of glory – others to be ashamed – to have shame and lasting contempt. – Daniel 12:2,3.

And even here our Common Version Bible oversteps the matter and declares, "Everlasting shame and contempt," whereas the Hebrew text says merely "lasting shame and contempt." The shame will last as long as the wrongdoer continues to be in his shameful condition of opposition to the Lord and to His Message. The contempt will last as long as the individual's course shall be a contemptible one. But as soon as reformation sets in, the shame will begin to depart; and eventually there will be neither shame nor contempt to those who will manifest a proper appreciation of the character of our God and the principles of His Government, when under the instructions of the Kingdom they shall come to understand them.

So then, dear brethren, since the Messianic Kingdom will be administered by those who have suffered for the name of Christ, receive persecutions patiently, joyfully. As the Lord advised, "Rejoice and be exceeding glad." Everything that we may suffer for the Lord's sake, for the Truth's sake, will, He assures us, eventually bring us an everlasting reward, if we are rightly exercised by it, if we become character copies of God's dear Son.

The names of all who suffer for righteousness' sake, we are assured, are written in Heaven; but we shall be glad to have a little memorandum on earth, too, from those who desire to send their names in to us. Make the record just as brief as possible, head it I.H.S., and crowd it down into a few words on a postcard, even though you enclose the postcard in an envelope. We want your address on one side and this brief review on the other side; and we will keep these cards on file.

In addition to telling us very briefly something about what the Truth has cost you, you may add one line about your family, and then a brief word respecting your talents, abilities and experience. Who knows but that we might be able to suggest something for you in future?

In addition to this card, we suggest that any brothers or sisters who have special literary talents as writers or as editors, and other special education, or such as are lawyers, doctors, or fluent preachers, send us a brief letter respecting their financial standing – accompanying the above mentioned card.

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REQUESTS FOR PILGRIM VISITS
A
S THE WATCH TOWER list includes thousands of new readers we make the following explanations afresh:

THE WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY out of donated funds sends forth instructors, lecturers, styled "PILGRIMS." It pays their expenses of every kind. Thus they become in a special sense its representatives, meeting with Bible Students everywhere. Some of these are specially qualified for public service as well as for semi-public studies with the friends; others are less qualified for public service, but excellent in Class meetings. The SOCIETY uses great care in the selection of these to the intent that their presentations of the Truth, expositions of the Scriptures, etc., may be along helpful lines – profitable every way and especially for the upbuilding of the Lord's people in the most holy faith.

It is expected that the Classes inviting such Pilgrim service will provide for the Pilgrim's necessities at one of their homes, or otherwise, during his brief stay of from one to two days. Luxurious or extraordinary preparation for these Brethren is not expected, but merely their comfortable provision. By this we mean a clean, comfortable bed and wholesome food. Any one not being able to furnish these reasonable requirements should not propose to entertain the Pilgrim. The Class inviting Pilgrim service should consider itself responsible and should see that these reasonable comforts are provided. The Pilgrims are expected to address meetings every night, also afternoon meetings wherever these are possible – or otherwise to visit the Brethren who may be sick either spiritually or physically. The morning is often necessary for traveling. The Pilgrim should not be kept up too late at night. "Moderation" should govern, in this as in all things, as the Scriptures direct.

We invite Classes desiring Pilgrim visits to send in their requests at once, addressing the SOCIETY, care PILGRIM DEP'T.

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

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

[R5894 : page 142]

SOME FAITHFUL WITNESSES
F
ROM an English newspaper, The Rugby Observer, March 3, we quote the following: –

The first conscientious objectors to come before a Rugby Tribunal made their appearance yesterday before the Rural Authority. There were three claims. Two were made by Colporteurs living at Biltonhill and in the employ of a Tract Society, and their objection was to either combatant or non-combatant service.

The first, a widower, on his application wrote that while he appreciated the noble sacrifices that had been and were being made on behalf of King and country, the reason of his application was that five and a half years ago he became a Christian, and that he then vowed to God that he would give himself to His service and work out his life to the best of his ability on the principles of Christianity. He would regard employment in any branch of military service as a complete violation of his oath to the King of kings; he would feel that in his own conscience he would have broken a sacred oath to the Almighty.

Addressing the Tribunal, applicant said when he accepted the principles of Jesus Christ he knew that sooner or later it would cost him something, and he had realized that as the spirit of militarism had permeated all the institutions of the country, it would need courage to hold to those principles. But while he realized that militarism had no room for conscience, he was determined to be guided by his conscience in the matter. He had sworn allegiance to the King of kings, and while he had all respect for those who had sworn to England's King, he was bound in honor to the Lord.

"I HAVE NO COUNTRY"

The President: "Don't you think it is quite compatible with the Christian life to defend your country?"

"I have no country, sir. I gave up my citizenship. While I have always realized the privileges of being born in this country, and have been surprised at the privileges granted by the conscience clause in the Military Act, and had decided to stand to my principles even if that clause had not been added – yet my oath of allegiance is to the King of kings."

Replying to further questions appellant said the instructions of Jesus Christ were that they were to use no violence to any man. Jesus Christ instructed: "It is said you should love your friends and hate your enemies; but I say unto you, love your enemies."

Rev. Challenor: We are aware of the Sermon on the Mount, but there is non-combatant service you could take up.

Applicant: Do I understand that I am discussing whether I am to take up non-combatant service?

Rev. Challenor: In the R.A.M.C. your work would be like that of the Master, to alleviate suffering.

Applicant: In this I should consider what the Master would do. It may seem to be very good to alleviate the sufferings of the brave soldiers at the front, but I hear them say on coming back, "It is ten hells in one." Take a man who is in the jaws of death, and I am asked to nurse him back to life. For what purpose? To send him back to those ten hells in one. No, I am of the opinion that it would be better to let him die and await the Lord's coming.

Mr. Flowers: Do you refuse to take the military oath?

Absolutely. I have taken my oath to the King of kings.

Rev. Challenor: Many other people have taken an oath to the King of kings.

Applicant: I hope they will have determination to keep it.

Mr. Wratislaw: Suppose a burglar entered your house, would you not resist him?

I have no house here.

But suppose you had?

Well, a burglar usually enters a house to look for wealth. If I saw a burglar in my house, I should ask him what he was after. If he said "wealth," I should say, "Well, I am going to help you find it, because I have none."

Yours is a paid service, surely.

I receive nothing in the form of wages from the Society.

Does not the Tract Society pay a commission to its men?

That is so. If I do no work I get no pay.

Replying to a question as to whether he would not defend his mother from violence, applicant quoted the incident of the betrayal of Jesus Christ when Peter was reproved for taking up a sword. No cause, he said, was grander than that, but Christ rebuked Peter for using the weapon.

Mr. Wratislaw: You will not fight and you will not tend the wounded. Are you prepared to go to one of the military prisons in Germany and say, "I am willing to put myself in this prison that one of those wounded soldiers may go back?"

Applicant: I should ask myself, "What would the Master do?" I remember that while our Lord was on earth John the Baptist was in prison, but our Lord did not release him; He allowed him to be beheaded in prison. I am prepared to go to prison. I am prepared to go to prison for my own conscience. If a man is imprisoned unjustly the Lord will deal with his captors, not I.

But you do not mind seeking the shelter of this country?

If this country denies me the privilege of living in it I am quite prepared to take a passport to leave it.

I hope you would accept it.

Exemption from combatant service only was granted.

Applicant: My conscience will be the final decider in this matter, and I shall keep to my conscience at all costs.

SHARP PASSAGE WITH APPLICANT

The previous applicant's companion sought exemption on similar grounds. He said he had consecrated his life to the Lord's service from the age of 14 years, and participation in any form of military service would violate the principles of Christian truth to which he had pledged himself. He said his views were identical with those of the previous applicant.

Asked by the Rev. Challenor if he did not consider it his duty to alleviate the sufferings of the wounded, he replied that if he did not undertake such service he would not be there to attend to the wounded.

The President: If you were in that incident in the Bible you would not be the good Samaritan?

To my understanding the parable is not applicable to military service. I would gladly help any one who needed it, but to work in non-combatant service is to assist those engaged in combatant service. He added that the citizenship to which he belonged was the citizenship of Heaven.

Exemption from combatant service was granted.

Applicant: I would like you to understand that my determination is not to serve in any branch of military service, and you as a Tribunal, have a right to give me the exemption I claim. You have been instructed by the Local Government Board to give me exemption in such circumstances. At the same time, I shall appeal if you will not grant it.

The President: You can appeal to the County Tribunal.

Applicant: You have the power and you have the intelligence to judge my claim.

The President: Perhaps the County Tribunal will have more intelligence than we have.

Applicant: It might be so of course.

SOME LETTERS ON THE SUBJECT
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

As you are aware, compulsory military service has been enacted in this country within certain limits. I come under the provisions of the act and would like to have your advice, which for the past fourteen years I have esteemed and sought to follow as presented in the DAWNS and TOWERS.

I applied for total exemption from all forms of military service, but succeeded in getting exemption from combatant service only. A special non-combatant corps is being formed for conscientious objectors to combatant service. Do you think a properly educated conscience would be violated by engaging in such a service, if compelled to do so? A number of the brethren in Glasgow have been refused even exemption from combatant service at the first appeal court, but I expect all will get recommended at the second and practically final appeal court for non-combatant service. Not to appear when called by the military authorities would mean trial by a civil court as a deserter and then a handing over in charge of an escort to the army officials. To refuse to drill, etc., after that, I suppose, would mean repeated punishments, ending probably in a court martial and a sentence of death. Do you think a properly educated conscience would make us endure all that rather than engage in non-combatant work? I would be deeply grateful for an early reply, as I may be called upon to decide for myself very soon. With fervent love as ever,

Your brother in Christ,

ALEX. KIRKWOOD.

Reply by the Editor

The question is one for the conscience of each individual. For our part, it would seem to be a participation in the war if one were to engage in laying out and digging trenches, putting in foundations for cannon, etc. – the things implied in the term "engineering."

It would seem to the Editor a somewhat different case if a soldier of the Cross were demanded by an earthly government to enter the hospital work – such as the Red Cross – for relief of the sick and wounded, etc., even if the care of [R5894 : page 143] the wounded and the nursing of them back to health would the sooner prepare them for slaughter.

The Editor's conscience would not balk at Red Cross hospital work.

DEARLY BELOVED PASTOR: –

Greetings in the name of the Lord from all of like precious [R5895 : page 143] faith in this place, who are anxious to assure you of a deep and constant love for you.

At the suggestion of these we are writing to inform you of a wonderful manner in which the Lord has used His people here to witness His glorious character and Plan – in a way so unexpected and with such clear evidence that we are but instruments in His hands.

You are aware of the position in which many of our dear younger brethren are now placed by reason of governmental legislation, and we are assured, beloved Pastor, that you are entering into these experiences with us, in that if one member suffer the others suffer with that one; even as it has been our privilege to enter (in spirit) the measure we have known to be laid upon you.

It was necessary for six brethren to appear before a local Tribunal three days ago, this particular tribunal being regarded as one of the "warmest" in the country; and it was therefore with the expectation of a rough time and with no anticipation of an opportunity of witnessing to any appreciable extent that these brothers faced the ordeal.

But the Lord has His hand in matters, and His power was manifested in a most wonderful way. It was our conclusion that here also was fulfilled, "Take no thought what ye shall speak, for in that hour it shall be given unto you," as the brothers in turn, young in years and young in the Truth (most of them only two or three years old "in the Lord"), stood up to these mighty ones (which they surely were, having years of knowledge behind them, and being lawyers and business men, all of them city counselors, or aldermen. Truly, "Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings Thou hast perfected praise"!

The power of the Truth confounded the mighty, too. The whole was something they had not met before, and had not reckoned with. To see these youths standing up to the learned ones, meeting their arguments with a reasonable answer, and replying in the spirit of the Master, was a witness most effectual – by far the best extension work we had done for some time.

In quietness and confidence is surely our strength. The applicant had no control of the subject; he had simply to answer questions put to him in rapid succession by several members of the Tribunal; but it was remarkable what a comprehensive witness was given. The first brother's main theme was the errors of Christendom, whilst the second pointed out the Law we are under – not the Mosaic, but the Law of Christ; whilst the third had no alternative but to cover the terms of our covenant, and what it means to us; the next the establishment of the Kingdom; and the last emphasized the answers of the one preceding him and dealt with the destruction of the present order of things to make way for the better one under Messiah's Kingdom.

"God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform" and a great witness has gone forth to a class we could not hitherto reach. And, then, all the papers have published something upon the subject. The Truth has thus been brought into prominence more than ever.

The decisions are against the brethren, so we take it to be the Lord's will that another witness should be given. I am glad to tell you that all the brethren are one in mind and attitude in the matter, and are rejoicing in the privilege of sharing experiences so like the Lord's and in having such opportunity of demonstrating their faithfulness to Him.

And now, dear Brother, we must thank you for your able ministry of the Truth of God to us, and we thank Him for the knowledge received through you, our beloved Pastor.

How valuable is the knowledge the Lord has permitted us to have! We are appreciating it more and more as the days go by, for so many do not know the things of which we have knowledge, and consequently the strange happenings of today disturb them much and they have not the "peace which passeth knowledge."

Be assured, dear Pastor, that we continually bear you up at the Throne. May the Lord sustain you to the end! We rejoice with you in the increasing evidence that our deliverance draweth nigh. With fervent love from all,

Yours in the Lord,

-----. – England.

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

Greetings in our Lord Jesus! As you will no doubt have been informed, the Military Service Act has been passed in Great Britain, which gives the Military authorities power to call to military service every able-bodied man in the country between the ages of 18 and 41. It is Conscription pure and simple. Provision was made for conscientious objectors to be partially or totally exempted from the Act, if their objection was proved to be a bona fide, conscientious one. Many of the dear brethren throughout the country have already been up before the appointed Tribunals, claiming exemption from military service, either combatant or non-combatant. In every case that I know or have heard of the claim for total exemption has been disallowed, but mostly all have been granted to have non-combatant military duties. As the desire of the brethren is to be outside of the Act entirely, believing that it is only another way of engaging in military operations, most of them, I understand, are appealing to the Appeal Tribunals for the full benefits of the total exemption clause, which was provided in the Act for conscientious objectors. I myself have appealed and am waiting to appear before this Second Tribunal, the Appeal Tribunal. The Act provides for a third or Final Tribunal to be held in London, but it is within the power of the second or Appeal Tribunal, to keep any case from going further than the Second Tribunal.

When up before the First Tribunal held in the Town Hall, Newcastle, on seeing that I was showing from the Scriptures that a Christian was breaking the Law of his God to engage in warfare with carnal weapons, the military representative, Colonel Hicks, asked me the question, "What did Jesus mean when he told his disciples to sell their garments and buy swords?" Wondering just how to put the matter in few words so that they could understand the meaning of the incident recorded in Luke 22:36, the first sentence I uttered was interrupted by two or three members of the Tribunal, and the question was waived by further questions.

Requesting your prayers for myself and all the dear brethren who are being severely tried, and with much love,

Your brother in our dear Lord.

JAMES HAMILTON.

NO DISCOURAGEMENT AMONGST THEM
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

Greetings in our Lord and Head!

You are probably conversant with the trend of matters here in regard to the Military Act. So far as we are aware, all the brethren affected have asked for exemption in accordance with the conscience clause embodied in the Act.

The Tribunals to determine the validity of these claims are now sitting; but up to the present none of the brethren have succeeded in obtaining a complete exemption. There seems to be an entire disregard of the letter of the law in most of these cases. The brethren are, however, appealing to a further Tribunal in the hope that eventually they may obtain the full benefits of the Act.

You will be glad to know that though present circumstances are proving a test to all, and especially to the younger brethren, yet so far as we know there is no discouragement amongst them. Most are glad to have this privilege to witness openly and to suffer for the Lord and the principles of the Truth. With continued love as ever,

Yours sincerely in His service,

W. CRAWFORD. – England.

CANADIAN CONSCRIPTION IMPOSSIBLE

A brother of considerable information on this subject writes us to the effect that Canada, being a Colony and not a sovereign State, could not legally conscript her citizens for overseas service. She could, however, conscript for home service – for defense of Canada.

[R5895 : page 143]

"HOW WONDERFUL!"
"He answered all my prayer abundantly,
And crowned the work that I had brought.
With blessing more than I had thought –
A blessing undisguised, and fair, and free.
I stood amazed and whispered, 'Can it be
That He hath granted all the boon I sought?
How wonderful that He for me hath wrought!
How wonderful that He hath answered me!'
"O faithless heart! He said that He would hear
And answer thy poor prayer, and He hath heard
And proved His promise. Wherefore didst thou fear?
Why marvel that thy Lord hath kept His Word?
More wonderful if He should fail to bless
Expectant faith and prayer with good success!"

Selected.

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

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May 1st

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

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

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

VOL. XXXVII.MAY 15No. 10
A.D. 1916 – A.M. 6044
CONTENTS
Machinations of the Evil One – How to Vanquish Him 147
Two Classes of Elect 147
How to Resist Satan's Attacks 148
Non-Resistance of Evil 149
Christians Not to Exact Justice 149
Appeals for Justice Sometimes Proper 149
The Divine Law of Love 149
Witnesses to the Truth 150
"God's Plans Like Lilies White Unfold" 150
The "Truth People" 150
The Macedonian Appeal 151
Be Ready, For the Days Are Evil (Poem) 152
We Reap What We Sow 153
What It is to Sow to the Flesh 153
Some Pastoral Counsel on Marriage 154
Character Development 155
A Blind Boy's Wisdom 157
Interesting Letters 158

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PUBLISHED BY
WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, PRESIDENT
"BROOKLYN TABERNACLE," 13-17 HICKS ST.,
BROOKLYN, N. Y., U. S. A.
Foreign Agencies: – British Branch: LONDON TABERNACLE, Lancaster Gate, London, W. German Branch: Unterdorner Str., 76, Barmen. Australasian Branch: Flinders Building, Flinders St., Melbourne. Please address the SOCIETY in every case.

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

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

ALSO FRENCH, GERMAN, SWEDISH AND DANISH EDITIONS.
SAMPLE COPIES FREE.

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

1916 – BIBLE STUDENTS' CONVENTION – 1916

We have arranged for four General Conventions this year:
One at Sioux City, Iowa, four days, July 6 to 9.
One at Newport, R.I., eight days, July 9 to 16.
One at Norfolk, Va., nine days, July 22 to 30.
One at Long Beach, near Los Angeles, California, nine days, September 2 to 10.

If possible, we will arrange for still another Convention – convenient to northern Kentucky, southern Indiana and Ohio – provided some suitable place can be found where the Conventioners could have good accommodations, large Auditorium and a welcome. Thus many will have an opportunity for attending good, large-sized Conventions without going a very great distance or involving a very heavy expense.

In every instance it may be expected that accommodations will be arranged for at a cost of from $1.25 per day upward. It would not be safe for any one to calculate on any less expense than $1.25 per day over and above the cost of transportation. We urge nobody to attend, and we especially urge that no one either borrow money or use up his last dollar in this way. If the Lord wishes you to come, He will, no doubt, make it reasonably possible for you. If not, His blessing will be upon you as you seek to learn the Truth and to enter into heart-fellowship with the Brethren who will be assembling. We can journey more and enjoy more in our minds, when they are wisely and properly exercised along loving, generous, sympathetic lines.

Sioux City claims to be an ideal place for the Convention. One of these claims is that it is central to a considerable population. We shall expect at least a thousand in attendance.

Newport, R.I., is too well known to need description. It is an ideal summer resort of high class, to which are attracted many from New England and Eastern States. We shall hope to meet fully two thousand Conventioners here.

Norfolk claims a splendid climate with delightful sea-breezes in summer. The friends there promise us good accommodations. The locality will be a desirable one for very many. It is near several good summer resorts – Old Point Comfort, Virginia Beach, etc. Their popularity seems to bear out the claims that Norfolk has a salubrious climate. We shall hope to meet nearly two thousand Conventioners here.

Long Beach, Cal., near Los Angeles, is said to be an ideal place – doubtless the most suitable that could be found on the Coast. We shall hope for a thousand Conventioners here.

INTERESTING QUESTIONS FOR MATURE BIBLE
– STUDENTS –

The Society is sending out to all Pilgrim Brethren a series of questions respecting the teachings of the Bible. They are not difficult for those who are well informed respecting the Divine Plan of the Ages. The Society wishes, however, to see how clearly and concisely its representatives can answer such queries. The suggestion has come to us that others would like to have copies of these questions and to have the opportunity of presenting their answers. We would be pleased to have the matter so, and will send the questions to any of our subscribers, on request. We believe that the suggestion is especially good in respect to those who are occupying any position of influence or service amongst the Brethren. It does us all good to think, and helps to establish us as respects what we know well and what we do not so clearly know, and thus leads on to a clearer knowledge of the Truth and to the graces which, properly, should accompany every step of knowledge.

THE WATCH TOWER FREE LIST

Strictly speaking, we have no free list; that is to say, the Postal Laws require that all subscriptions be paid for. However, many desire to read our journal who are in dependent or very poor circumstances. Some kind friends have provided a fund out of which these may be supplied according to the law. Now is the time to send in your renewal of the requests, if you are on the poor list, in order that your subscription may be renewed, as though you sent in the money. A post-card will do. The following words will be understood to mean that you are not so circumstanced as to be able to pay for the journal, but desire it. Say: "Your offer of THE WATCH TOWER for the ensuing year is noted, and accepted, with appreciation." (Sign.)

[R5896 : page 147]

MACHINATIONS OF THE EVIL ONE – HOW TO VANQUISH HIM

"Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you." – James 4:7.
T
HE word Devil represents that evil one who through unholy ambition became the first opponent of God, who attempted to set up a rival government to that of the Almighty, and who was cast out of Heaven and cut off from all association with holy beings. His name, which was once Lucifer, shining one, was changed to that of Satan, meaning the hater, the accuser. He who was once called, "Son of the Morning," became the Prince of the "rulers of darkness." (Isaiah 14:12-16; Ephesians 6:11,12.) Not only did he do evil to himself and cease to be an angel of light, a "morning star," but he became the instigator of evil, a leader into evil. According to the Scriptural account, he has succeeded in leading astray from God, not only the entire human family, by luring our first parents into disobedience, but has also misled a large number of the Heavenly hosts of angels into sin and opposition to Jehovah.

This may upon the surface appear to be a great triumph of Satan over the Almighty God; but such is not the case. God has at all times been Master of the situation. He has purposed to permit all this deflection to teach a great lesson to both angels and men. It is His purpose, "in due time," to judge all these sinners, both angelic and human, by a company that He is now preparing, and to restore to harmony with Himself all who have properly learned their lesson as to the exceeding sinfulness of sin and the desirableness of righteousness and of obedience. We understand that the only exceptions to this rule are Satan himself and some who after having been clearly enlightened, will deliberately choose sin. Satan has become inseparably connected with sin; and his destruction is plainly declared in the Scriptures, as is also that of those who have so imbibed his spirit as to make it impossible to renew them again to repentance – whether in the Gospel Age or in the Millennium. – Hebrews 2:14; Matthew 25:41; Hebrews 6:4-6; 10:26-29.

God has promised to deliver mankind from Satan's power and his blinding influences. He has promised to open all the blind eyes, and to unstop the deaf ears, and to take away the veil that is spread over all nations. (2 Corinthians 4:4; Isaiah 35:5; 25:7,8.) This work is soon to be inaugurated in the Messianic Kingdom, which God has arranged to establish upon earth, under Jesus Christ His Son. Jesus taught us to pray for that Kingdom, saying, "Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth, as it is done in Heaven." When this Kingdom is set up, the Lord Jesus will bind that "old Serpent, the Devil," with a great chain, that he may deceive the nations no more for a thousand years, while Christ will be lifting up all mankind from sin, degradation and death – up to the perfection originally lost in Adam. The interim between the time of man's fall into sin and the time of his deliverance and restoration from that fall has been utilized in preliminary features of God's Plan leading step by step to this glorious outcome.

TWO CLASSES OF ELECT

In shadows and types the Lord has prefigured the great work which He is to accomplish for all mankind. During these ages of types, He was preparing a class of elect ones who should rule over the world as "princes in all the earth," during the Millennial Kingdom. During the present Gospel Age, God has been selecting, or electing, a very choice class to be exalted with Christ as Divine, spiritual beings, to reign with Him as His immediate associates in this Kingdom for the blessing of all the world. These are to give instructions to those who shall have charge of the earthly phase of the Kingdom. These are the special Elect, who suffer with Jesus now, following in His footsteps, that they may be exalted with Him to the highest position to which God has ever called any of His intelligent creatures.

This Church of Christ have had their eyes opened in advance of the world, to see the great difference between righteousness and sin, between the character of God and that of Satan. They have unqualifiedly taken their stand on the side of God. They have therefore escaped from the domination of the great Enemy of God. No longer is he their Prince. These have "passed from death unto life." They now have a standing with God, the relationship of sons.

No other members of the human race since the fall of Adam have been sons of God. These are not earthly sons, as was Adam, but spiritual sons. Theirs is a Heavenly Calling, the distinctive offer of the present Age. They still have some of the fleshly weaknesses which they inherited as members of the fallen race, but they have become New Creatures in Christ, with new hopes, new aims, new aspirations. They are begotten of God's Holy Spirit to a new nature, to be a New Creation; and their unavoidable blemishes are covered by the white robe of their Savior's perfect righteousness. His perfection is thus imputed to them, that they may be acceptable sacrifices with Christ, as members of His Body. [R5896 : page 148]

THE WILL A STRONG DEFENSE AGAINST SATAN

Satan, who is the opposer of God and who has led astray some of the holy angels, opposes these who have escaped from his thraldom and who have these new hopes and aspirations. He does not need to make such attacks upon the world; for they are already in his power – "The whole world lieth in the Wicked One." (1 John 5:19, Diaglott.) He attacks only those who are trying to get free from him. When the spider perceives that the fly which he has entrapped is struggling and is about to get loose from the web, he instantly hastens to throw additional webs around his victim. So when Satan sees any of his subjects endeavoring to free themselves from his entanglements, he at once sets about throwing stronger coils around them, to prevent if possible their escape.

But Satan cannot overcome a decided human will. God has given every creature this defense; and whoever does not break down this defense by a persistent yielding up of that will to evil influence, can resist the power of sin and of Satan to a considerable degree. But poor humanity need Divine help to free themselves entirely from this great Adversary and his hosts of evil. The position of the Christian is invulnerable so long as he keeps close to the Source of his strength. Greater is He that is on our part than all that can be against us. If the time were come for the binding of Satan, our Lord would attend to it at once. But it has not yet fully come. God's children need not feel, however, that they must flee from Satan and his hosts. They have no such power that we need to strive to get away from them. But rather we should stand our ground, and should firmly resist their influence, knowing that with every temptation God has promised and provided a way of escape. With this knowledge we may be strong in the presence of any adversary.

MAMMON – THE IMPERSONATION OF SELFISHNESS

The Apostle Paul says that we war not against flesh and blood merely, but against spiritual wickedness, or as the margin reads, "wicked spirits" in high positions – the great army of fallen angels under the captaincy of the Devil, the prince of demons. (Ephesians 6:12.) He is the powerful leader of fallen angels and fallen men, of all who may be on the side of wrong. Many are fighting on his side because they are deluded, blinded. They are unwittingly rendering him service. There are two masters: one is God and the other is Mammon. Jesus said, "Ye cannot serve God and Mammon." (Matthew 6:24.) We must serve either the one or the other.

Mammon was the name of an ancient Syrian god – the god of riches, of cupidity, the impersonation of worldliness. Today mammon means the spirit of the world, selfishness, with its avarice and love of wealth. Satan is the promoter of this mammon spirit. St. Paul tells us how we may know which master we are serving. He says, "His servants ye are to whom ye render obedience." (Romans 6:16.) If we are giving time and thought to grasping after riches and worldly honors, if our influence is for war and strife, for selfishness in any form, if our sympathies and affections are tending earthward rather than Heavenward, then we are serving mammon, the worldly spirit, and are thus serving Satan, whether we realize it or not. Close and careful scrutiny of his thoughts, words and doings in the light of the Word of God will soon show any Christian whether he is rendering service to his rightful Master or to the Adversary. Whoever is serving the Devil is his servant, is in his army. If we are serving the cause of righteousness, and that only, we are on the Lord's side.

HOW TO RESIST SATAN'S ATTACKS

The Lord's children are to see to it that they are not deluded into sin and into the service of sin; to that extent they would be deserting their colors and taking their stand as opponents of the Lord. When Christians take a decided stand against Satan and his wiles, they are relieved from his attacks – not that he flees from them in the sense that he is fearful of harm to himself, but that he will leave them. He will retreat just as a general of an army would retreat from a city after having found that its gates were strongly protected and that attack was useless. If the Adversary finds one well protected and resisting him with a firm will, he will at once retreat. But if there be any parley with sin, any tendency to consider a matter when it is seen to be sin, an entrance is at once made for the Adversary; and he will renew the [R5897 : page 148] attack and press the matter, placing it in the most alluring light, in order that he may take control, that he may enter the heart where he has found the weakness.

Hence it is of the utmost importance that the child of God should make a positive and prompt decision when he realizes that he is being enticed to evil. A moment's hesitation is very dangerous. Those who take their stand for the Lord, who give themselves fully and unreservedly to Him, He has agreed to protect. He may permit them to be assailed for a time, but He will deliver them so long as they remain loyal and true; and they will be made stronger as the result of the temptations.

THE ADVERSARY'S METHOD OF ATTACK

The attacks of the Adversary are usually made through his angels. We are not to suppose that the Devil himself is in every part of the world at the same time, or in the minds of all the people of the world – nor even in the minds of all God's people. We are to suppose that wherever any of Satan's agents are there is activity. The fallen angels are ever ready to intrude upon the rights and liberties of humanity, and to bring them more fully into subjection, if possible. But they particularly endeavor to entrap the Lord's children. The Adversary seems to be always on the alert to enter the army of the Church and to try to make havoc in its ranks.

Satan acts upon the minds of humanity. The mind, being imperfect through the fall, has thus inherited tendencies toward sin. The assaults of the Adversary may come through human beings that suggest wrong thoughts to others. He probably gets in his work more often in this way than in any other. The Apostle urges all the children of God to let no evil communication proceed out of their mouth. Evil communications often have the effect of tearing down character, and every Christian should be on the alert, not only for his own protection, but also for the protection of others. Each child of God should see that his own heart is kept pure and so free from guile that he will be in no danger of communicating evil of any sort to another by his words. We should carefully guard our conduct, that no thoughtless act of ours should be a cause of injury to any one or bring a reflection upon the Truth, which we love so well, and to the service of which we have committed ourselves.

"He is come to claim His Throne,
And to make thy life His own.
Voices of this passing earth,
Echoes of its praise or mirth,
Reach not where the heart hath heard
Golden music of His Word.
'All for Jesus' henceforth be!
Live for Him who died for thee!"

[R5897 : page 149]

NON-RESISTANCE OF EVIL

"See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men." "Resist not evil." – 1 Thessalonians 5:15; Matthew 5:39.
P
ERHAPS every well-balanced man has a natural disposition to exact justice from those who do him harm. There is a sense of justice apparently in all people, which leads them to feel that, if they have been unjustly treated, some punishment should be meted out to those who mistreated them; and their first impulse is to exact justice. God's Law is based upon justice, "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." Our minds instinctively recognize this Law of Retribution.

During the existence of the Jewish nation, their Law required that justice should be done. If the ox of Shimei the Benjamite gored the ox of Eliab the Zebulunite, then Shimei's ox was to be killed or the full amount of damage met by him; for the owner of the gored ox must be fully recompensed. And so it was in all matters.

The principle of justice is a proper one. It would be ill for the world if justice were not recognized. In the world's courts there is an attempt to give justice, so that if one's ox is gored the owner could go to the courts and have redress. We see the righteousness of this arrangement, the wisdom of it. But in the case of the Church, the Lord has made a new provision. The Church is called out of the world, and its members are to realize that they are no longer of the world. They are to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. They are to suffer injustice. Jesus gave Himself up to suffer for the unjust. Those who are followers of Jesus are to have His spirit of sacrifice in the interests of others. Whoever does not follow His example in this respect demonstrates that he has not the Spirit of Christ. And whoever has not the Spirit of Christ would better not start to follow in His footsteps; for such will not be sharers in His glory.

CHRISTIANS NOT TO EXACT JUSTICE

"Even Christ pleased not Himself." When He was evil entreated, He did not say, "Do not harm Me or I will retaliate." Such was not the Lord's spirit. He knew that He would be maltreated. He remembered the commission which the Father had given Him. He bore in mind that those with whom He had to do were fallen. He did not seek to get justice from them. He submitted the whole matter to the Father; and on behalf of the whole world, even of those who were doing Him injustice, He died, that by and by all might be reconciled to God through His death.

As followers of Jesus, we, like Him, resign our rights rather than try to get them. So we are different from others. We have a knowledge of God's Plan for the forgiveness of sin. We are suffering as members of the Body of Christ, filling up that which was left behind of the sufferings of our Head, and we are to rejoice in the privilege of doing this. But if we were to render evil for evil and to exact justice from everybody, we would be losing our privilege of sacrificing for righteousness' sake; for the Divine arrangement is that if we suffer with Jesus in the interest of the same truths for which He suffered, if we become dead with Him, we shall live and reign with Him. If, therefore, we should have the independent spirit of the world, and should say, "If you do injury to me I will surely get even with you," we would not have the Spirit of Christ.

Jesus knew that it was the Father's will that He should be a Sin-Offering, that He should suffer "the Just for the unjust." And He invites us to walk with Him in this way, to be sharers of His sufferings, and thus be sharers in His glory in the Kingdom. It behooves each of the Lord's followers therefore to see that he does not render evil for evil. The Apostle might have been understood to mean, Let no man render evil for evil to the brethren; but he makes it broader and says, "unto any man" – not merely among yourselves follow that which is good, but among all mankind.

APPEALS FOR JUSTICE SOMETIMES PROPER

This does not mean that it would not be proper under some circumstances to appeal for justice to the law, in whatever country we might be living; but it means that when the law has decided the matter against us we should submit. If the law should take away your coat and your cloak, be submissive to the law. To a certain extent we are to permit ourselves to be imposed upon. If the case be one merely of personal feelings, there would be no proper ground for resistance. If the case be one that affects the Lord's Cause, it would seem to be a matter of appeal for relief, that we might get whatever the world is willing to give us which would be for the furtherance of the Gospel.

We see that in our Lord's case, when He was unjustly sentenced, He inquired respecting the justice of the matter. He put the matter to the Court. This was not resistance. In the case of St. Paul, we remember not only that he fled from some places where they persecuted him, but that in other cases he appealed, which it was wise to do, to a higher tribunal. In one instance, perceiving that the whole matter was one of injustice, and seeing that the mob around him were of two kinds – some being Sadducees and some Pharisees, with the Pharisees being in the majority, He called out, "I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee. For the resurrection of the dead am I called in question!" Thus he appealed to the Pharisee element of the crowd, and set them more or less at variance with the Sadducees. He said, I am like the Pharisee in my belief of a resurrection from the dead. He did no evil to the Sadducees, but merely sought to bring to his sympathy and support those who had some faith and interest in the resurrection, that thus he might dissuade them from persecution of himself. In another instance, the Apostle was about to be beaten unjustly; and as they were binding him he said to a centurion standing by, "Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman, and uncondemned?" This immediately brought the Apostle release from his distressing circumstances. He did not say, "If you beat me, I will make it a sad day for you!" We do not know that St. Paul would even have reported the matter, if he had been unjustly treated. We have every reason to suppose that he would not have done so. On another occasion, when he was beaten very sorely, we have no knowledge that he endeavored to prevent the injustice. He merely [R5898 : page 149] accepted it as of the Lord's permission.

In the case in which he referred to his Roman citizenship and asked, Does the law give you the right to do me harm? we are given a clue as to our own proper course under similar circumstances. We, likewise, could say, if unlawfully arrested or interfered with in doing the work of the Lord, "Are you acting according to the instructions of the law? Am I violating any of its provisions? Have I not the rights of a citizen of this state?" And if the officer was exceeding his authority, the provisions of the law should be pointed out in a reasonable manner, without any manifestation of a retaliatory spirit.

THE DIVINE LAW OF LOVE

Coming back to the matter of rendering evil for evil: we might be asked, Suppose that a burglar entered our house and we could find the burglar, should we put him in prison? One view would be, "Yes; put him in prison [R5898 : page 150] Make it a sore day for him." Another view would be, "No; we have no desire for revenge. We do not wish to do him injury in return." At the same time here is a man at large, violating the laws and menacing the safety and interests of the community. So we would feel that we should report the man to the authorities and turn him over to justice. We would wish to shield the public and also to check the evil-doer in his wrong course.

This seems to be the thought of the Scriptures – that so far as our hearts are concerned we are to be perfectly willing to endure evil for righteousness' sake; for we are called to suffer for the cause of righteousness. We are not to return evil for evil. We are not to resist evil, in the sense of trying to retaliate and get revenge for injuries done us. Rather let the evil be repeated. This was the Master's course; and it is a part of our covenant with the Lord to share in the persecution and sufferings of our Head, to endure opposition and injustice for the Truth's sake, for Christ's sake.

The more of this unselfish love we have, the more Godlike shall we be. God is unselfish, whereas the whole world is selfish. It is but natural that mankind should be selfish after six thousand years' experience with sin. Would it not be strange indeed if the whole world were not marked with selfishness, with the desire to advance the interests of self at the expense of others? But this course is contrary to the Divine Law of Love. We, therefore, as children of God, are to endeavor to rid ourselves of personal selfishness and of merely seeking our own good. We are to try to do good to every one as far as possible, according to the course of wisdom and our opportunities, especially to those who are fellow members of the Body of Christ, those traveling the same narrow course of self-sacrifice.

[R5898 : page 150]

WITNESSES TO THE TRUTH

"Pilate therefore said unto Him, Art Thou a King, then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a King. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the Truth. Every one that is of the Truth heareth My voice." – John 18:37.
W
E RECALL that these words of the Master were uttered when the Jews brought Him before Pilate and accused Him of setting Himself up to be a King. Pilate asked Him, "Art Thou a King, then?" His answer was, "To this end was I born" – For this purpose was I born – "for this cause came I into the world."

God had arranged that there should be a King Emmanuel, a Priestly King, who would put an end to sin and restore sinners (as many as were willing) to God's favor. It had been foretold through the Prophets that the time would come when a King should reign in righteousness, when princes should rule in judgment (Isaiah 32:1.), and when every knee should bow and every tongue confess, to the glory of God. So our Lord Jesus now declared in answer to Pilate's question, that He had come into the world to this end. If there had been no world to be redeemed, no world to be brought back into harmony with God, the Logos would not have needed to come down to dwell among men. If God had not purposed that there should be a Kingdom and a King, it would have been wholly unnecessary that our Lord should die, for there would have been no world to be blessed and lifted up as a result of His great work.

The latter part of the text says, "that I should bear witness to the Truth." While all of our Lord's utterances were, of course, truths, there was a certain great Truth to which He was bearing witness. Not only was He speaking truthfully, but He was also upholding the Truth. God had created man. He had turned out badly – was a discredit to his Creator. The reign of Sin and Death was a discredit to God and a disgrace to all good government. Under such circumstances it would seem a reasonable question to ask, "Why not destroy creatures so unworthy and discreditable?" Because Jehovah had declared that the curse resting upon man should be rolled away, and that a great blessing should come to the world, through Abraham's Seed, and not one jot or one tittle of God's Purpose could fail of accomplishment.

"GOD'S PLANS LIKE LILIES WHITE UNFOLD"

Hundreds, yes, thousands of years had passed since God's Promise to Abraham; and no blessing had come, no rolling away of the curse! But God had remained true. His Word had not been broken, could not be broken. He purposed to bless the world, and He would surely accomplish all His design. This is the great Truth – that Jehovah God has provided salvation for "all the families of the earth." The types of the Law foreshadowed it. The Prophets testified to it; "Yea, all the Prophets from Samuel and them that followed after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold these days" of blessedness to come. Our Lord Jesus while in the flesh bore witness to this Truth. He declared the fact that God had not misrepresented Himself and His Plan.

Our Lord had come into the world for the very purpose of being that great King who was to bless all of Adam's fallen race. He came proclaiming this Kingdom, and the Jews said, "How can He be a King? He cannot accomplish anything!" And now, here He was before Pilate, still declaring Himself to be a King. For three and a half years He had borne witness to the great Truth that God's will should be accomplished, that God's Kingdom should yet be established under the whole heavens. And it will be fully consummated, through the great One who was there crucified as a malefactor. Verily,

"God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform!"

The rejection of Jesus made it seem as though God's whole Plan had been turned aside. It seemed as though those unbelieving Jews had triumphed over the great Jehovah. Yet we see that the crucifixion of Messiah was the very thing necessary to the accomplishment of God's Purpose. It was necessary that Christ should redeem the human family by His own death before He could restore them through His Millennial Reign. But to the world at large this great Truth is still obscure. Jesus assures His disciples that to them it has been given to know the mysteries; but to all outsiders, all not in fullest harmony with God, these things are given in parables and dark sayings; and hearing they do not understand, and seeing they perceive not.

THE "TRUTH PEOPLE"

It seems rather remarkable to the Editor that without any effort on our part this word "Truth," and the term, "Truth people," are identified with ourselves. What we have is the Truth – nothing else but the Truth, the Bible Truth! This is the only word we could use. The denominations have taken up the other names, and we have left us simply this term – "the Truth." And without any preconcerted action in any way that we are aware of, this expression, "Truth people," seemed to get about as applied to us. We are, indeed, bearing witness to the Truth – the same Truth to which our Master bore witness [R5898 : page 151] even unto death – about the Kingdom, about Jesus' leaving His glorious prehuman estate and coming into the world, about His going into the Heavenly glory again, to a far higher station than was His before. We are bearing witness to the truth that God is not a vicious God, a cruel God – that He never purposed to doom man to eternal torture, but has promised that the curse of sin and death shall be swept away forever. The witness is just the same today, along the same line, as proclaimed by our Lord and His Apostles.

All who are of the Truth hear the Truth, and love to bear witness to the Truth. Yet in our case, as in the Master's case, the world knoweth us not. It knows us not because it knew Him not. The world, especially the religious world of Christendom, is disposed to crucify us as it crucified Him, only we are living in a more civilized time and the Scribes, the Pharisees and the Doctors of the Law apparently find it more difficult today than of old to incite the people to destroy our lives. But by God's grace we will continue to bear witness to the Truth until the dark night comes "wherein no man can work," should our lives be spared till then.

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THE MACEDONIAN APPEAL
– JUNE 4. – ACTS 16:6-15. –

ST. PAUL'S SECOND MISSIONARY TOUR – MARKED EVIDENCE OF DIVINE SUPERVISION OF ALL THE INTERESTS OF GOD'S CHURCH – GOSPEL SENT TO EUROPE – PREACHING IN PHILIPPI – LYDIA OF THYATIRA AND HER HOUSEHOLD BELIEVED.

"Come over into Macedonia and help us." – Verse 9.
F
OR some time after the Conference at Jerusalem, St. Paul and Barnabas remained at Antioch. But seeing that there were many laborers there and that a larger field was little worked, they planned a second missionary tour. Barnabas and his nephew John Mark went in one direction, while St. Paul went in another with Silas, with whom he had become acquainted at the Jerusalem Conference, and who is reported to have been a Roman citizen, as was St. Paul. It is with these two that we have to do in today's Study.

Their course lay through Syria and Cilicia to the cities of Derbe and Lystra. In these places they confirmed the faith of such as had already been accepted of the Lord through the Apostle's first missionary tour and through the working of the Truth during the interim. It was at Lystra that they found Timothy, a young man of Jewish mother and well trained in the Word by her and his grandmother – his father being a Greek. – 2 Tim. 1:3-5.

We note that amongst the things presented to the Churches was the decision of the Jerusalem Conference that the Jewish Law should not be considered binding upon the Gentiles, except in certain features noted in our last Study. To some it has seemed inconsistent that at the same time when the Apostle was calling this decision to the attention of the brethren he should cause Timothy to be circumcised. But when properly understood, St. Paul's conduct was thoroughly consistent. Circumcision was no part of the Mosaic Law, but was instituted with Abraham, centuries previous, as a mark or sign upon all the children of Abraham. (Genesis 17:9-14.) The Council at Jerusalem did not decide that no Jew should be circumcised thenceforth, but that circumcision should not be considered necessary to a Christian.

The thought is that the fact that one is a child of Abraham according to the flesh is not sufficient to make him a New Creature in Christ; and therefore circumcision of the flesh will not accomplish this. Since the New Creature is received of God as a member of the Body of Christ, he must as a New Creature have the circumcision of the heart in order to be a Spiritual Israelite, whether previously he was a Jew or a Gentile. Circumcision of the heart signifies a cutting off – a separation from the flesh, its aims, hopes, desires, etc.

We see, then, that there could be no objection to the circumcision of Timothy – that it would neither help nor hinder him spiritually – if done with the clear understanding that it was only a figure, and not the real circumcision which constituted Timothy a member of the Body of Christ, the Church. Timothy's mother being a Jew, he was a Jew, even though his father had been a Greek. And this fact becoming known to Jews in general with whom they would come into contact while traveling, inquiry might be made as to whether Timothy had been circumcised. If he had not been, the implication would be that he had been a renegade Jew. If he had been circumcised, this would grant him correspondingly greater influence with them – a closer access to their hearts.

THE GOSPEL SENT TO EUROPE

After good success in the mission up to the point where today's Study begins, the Apostle had in mind a journey through Asia Minor. But apparently things went unfavorably until he concluded that the Lord was hindering their efforts; and in perplexity he began to think of other fields of labor. His moment of uncertainty was the Lord's opportunity for directing him. He dreamed that he saw a man dressed in the costume of the Macedonians, who beckoned to him and said, "Come over and help us."

The Apostle accepted this dream as of Divine leading, and promptly began the journey which took him into Europe. We have here an evidence of God's supervision of all the interests of His Church. He was not averse to permitting the Message to go into Asia Minor; for it went there later, possibly at a more opportune time. But this was the time for sending the Gospel to Europe. Evidently the Lord could have directed His Message southward through Africa and away from Europe; but there is a "due time" connected with every feature of the Divine Plan. And now, by Divine arrangement, the Message of God's grace in Christ was to go to the Greeks, who were recognized at this time as the foremost people of the world in literature and the arts.

It is supposed that about this time Luke, the physician, became attached to St. Paul's company. A man of education, a scribe as well as a physician, the Lord evidently provided him as St. Paul's amanuensis, that thereby the Apostle's letters should reach many of the churches of that time, as well as the Lord's people from then until now. Thus it came that Luke wrote not only a version of the Gospel, but also the Book of Acts and nearly all of St. Paul's Epistles.

Here we have another illustration of the privileges of the various members of the Body of Christ. Luke could not be the Apostle Paul, nor could he do St. Paul's work. But he could be used of the Lord honorably and efficiently in a greater spread of the Truth. So it is with us. We cannot be Apostles. We cannot do anything [R5903 : page 152] very great. But if we are filled with the Spirit of the Lord, it is our privilege to be used to some extent in some service of the Truth. And any service for the Lord and for the brethren, even to the washing of feet or to any menial service, is an honorable privilege.

PHILIPPI HONORED WITH THE GOSPEL

The first place in Europe for the preaching of the Good Tidings appears to have been Philippi, one of the chief cities of Macedonia. On the Sabbath day, as usual, the Apostle and his companions sought for some who worshiped God, and who hoped for the Kingdom that God had promised. They knew that such would be the better prepared to receive the Message which the Apostle had to deliver – that Jesus had appeared as the Redeemer and had laid the foundation for the Millennial Kingdom in the sacrifice of Himself; and that ultimately the blessings of His sacrifice would be made available to every creature; but that now, in advance of the Divine dealing with the world in general, the Lord is calling out a Spiritual Israel, a "little flock," to be His kings and priests with Jesus in the administration of the Millennial blessings.

Apparently there was no synagogue in Philippi; and matters may have looked very unfavorable to St. Paul and his companions. However, they heard of a little religious meeting held every Sabbath by the riverside, outside of the city gate. It was principally a prayer meeting and a place of Divine fellowship. Not having the facilities of a synagogue, they probably had no Scripture parchments, and hence no reading of the Law, but merely prayer and worship.

All this was favorable to the Gospel Message which the Apostle had to present. He spoke to those who resorted thither, commending the importance of their worshipful condition of heart and of praise to the Giver of all good. Then he proceeded to declare the Good Tidings of the Sacrifice of Jesus, of His death and resurrection, and of His Second Coming in power and great glory. He showed surely that the invitation now being given was for joint-sacrificers with Jesus, and that their reward would be joint-heirship with their Lord in His Millennial Kingdom, as members of His Body, the Church. – Romans 8:17; 2 Timothy 2:11,12; Galatians 3:29.

However many or few were at the meeting, there was one present whose heart was in the right condition to receive the Message. This one was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple. She was from Thyatira, from the very district – Asia Minor – into which the Apostle had not been permitted to enter and preach. Probably she was in Philippi temporarily, engaged in merchandising – perhaps of purple dyes or possibly of purple-dyed cloth. Dyes were much more expensive in olden times than now, and the secret of how to make them was turned to financial profit. Thus it is supposed that Lydia was in quite comfortable circumstances financially. Not only did the Truth open her heart, enlightening the eyes of her understanding, but she was prompt to obey it in full consecration and to symbolize that consecration in water baptism – "she and her household."

Not always do religious parents have religiously inclined children. Several instances of the kind are mentioned in the Scriptures. Personal experience teaches us also that the parent who is earnestly consecrated to the Lord and guided by His Word has generally a good influence upon those nearest to him and directly under his care. Such an influence should be hoped for, prayed for, sought for, by every parent. But it can be obtained only by carefulness, circumspection of word and of deed. These in subjection imply that the very thoughts of the heart have been brought into captivity to the will of God.

Nevertheless, parents who have failed to discern the Truth and to recognize its responsibilities until their children have outgrown parental instruction must not chide themselves unmercifully if their children do not respect them and their religious convictions. Rather they should remember that the Lord is thoroughly acquainted with the situation, and will hold them accountable only for what they do or fail to do after they have come to know Him and to have an opportunity for understanding the instructions of His Word respecting their own lives and the training of their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. – Ephesians 6:4.

"AND SHE CONSTRAINED US"

The fact that Lydia's household believed implies that she was the mother of adult children; and that these were so thoroughly under her influence that they worshiped with her the true God, neglecting the idolatries prevalent in Philippi. Since her husband is not mentioned, we may infer that she was a widow. Hence it was her right, without conference with anybody, to invite the Apostle and his companions to share the hospitality of her home. She seems properly to have realized that, instead of honoring them, she was honoring herself and her household by having such guests – the ministers of God, the brethren of Christ – under her roof. Note her language when inviting: "She besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us."

The latter statement implies that the Apostle was not too ready to force himself upon anybody, that he did not urge, saying, "Surely myself and my companions, who have preached to you, should be served by you in temporalities" – though this was the truth. Rather the Apostle made no reference to temporalities. Indeed, after Lydia's suggestion had been made, apparently it was not too quickly accepted, but with the indication that the disciples of Jesus had no desire to intrude upon others. This is implied in the statement that they were constrained – gradually drawn or led to accept the invitation. How beautiful it is to see God's children wisely exercised in such matters! How much more is their influence upon one another for good!

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BE READY – FOR THE DAYS ARE EVIL
Let me suffer wrong without complaining,
While myself from doing wrong abstaining,
Through Thy grace and strength, O Lord, I pray!
Let me never smite the hand that smites me,
But do good to him who ill requites me;
Thus prepare me for the evil day.

Into Thine own image, Lord, transform me,
To Thy gentle Spirit so conform me
That this lesson never may be lost;
Not the poor oppressed, but the oppressor,
Not the injured, but the proud transgressor,
Is the one who needs our pity most.

My true Peace and Savior, be Thou near me,
That in suffering I may ne'er grow weary;
Be Thou near me to direct my way;
Strengthen Thou my soul when foes assail her,
That Thy patient spirit may not fail her;
Thus prepare me for the evil day.

That herself in patience still possessing,
She may find e'en woes to be a blessing.
Nor account them strange when they arise;
Point her to the happy realms above her,
Prepared by Thee, who dost ever love her;
And gave Thyself for her in sacrifice!

Unknown.

[R5899 : page 153]

WE REAP WHAT WE SOW
– JUNE 11. – GALATIANS 6:1-10. –

NOT THE WORLD, BUT THE CHURCH, REFERRED TO – POOR SOIL AND INVOLUNTARY WEEDS HEREDITARY – SOWING REPRESENTS A VOLUNTARY ACT AND PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY – WHAT IS SOWING TO THE FLESH? – WHAT IS IT TO SOW TO THE SPIRIT? – WHAT SHALL THE HARVEST BE? – THE CONTEXT.

"God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." – Verse 7.
I
T IS true that every person has a responsibility for his every wilful act and word. It is true, in a sense, that every human being will have a harvest considerably in accord with his own wilful course in life. Evidently, therefore, every human being could take a profitable lesson from the words of our Golden Text and receive a blessing in proportion as he would follow the spirit of that Text.

However, we are not to forget that the Apostle is not addressing the worldly, but the saintly. He is addressing the Church; and the Church is composed exclusively of persons who have left the world, turned their backs upon sin, accepted the Lord Jesus as their Savior and Advocate with the Father, and who have consecrated their lives wholly and unreservedly to the doing of the Divine will. Such, begotten of the Holy Spirit, are in the Bible styled New Creatures in Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:17.) To these, "old things have passed away; all things have become new" – new hopes, new aims, new ambitions, new prospects, new standards. These spiritually begotten children of God, and no one else, are addressed by the Apostle.

According to the Bible, God has great and precious provisions for the world in the future, but not in the present time. Now the Church of Christ, the saintly Bride class, is being selected from the world to constitute the Royal Family of the future, when completed and perfected by the First or Chief Resurrection. (1 Peter 2:9.) Then this Royal Family will, as God's Kingdom, deal with the world of mankind, ruling, instructing, uplifting, blessing, all the willing and obedient. Then the world will have its chance for sowing and reaping. – Acts 3:19-23.

THE SOIL AND THE SEED

The heart of the Christian is consecrated soil from the start – from the time that God accepts him as a child. Under Divine instructions special flowers and fruits are to be cultivated. These are styled fruits and graces of the Holy Spirit. All Christians obedient to the Voice from Heaven are seeking to eradicate and destroy the weeds of sin and selfishness, which spring naturally in their flesh because of heredity.

Originally, Father Adam's flesh was perfect. The weeds of sin had not yet been planted. But now, there is no pure soil; sin-weeds are everywhere. Every Christian who would have the consecrated garden of his heart fruitful, pleasing to the Lord, must wage a vigorous and continuous battle against the weeds of sin, in order that his heart may be in the condition to receive the good seed commended in the Divine Word.

Vigilance is necessary, not only to keep down the weeds, but also to keep the soil in proper condition, that the seed may enter, germinate and bring forth good fruitage. The Christian must also battle against the thorns, which our Lord Jesus mentions as illustrating the cares of the present life and the deceitfulness of riches, which would choke the Word and make the life unfruitful, unprofitable. – Matthew 13:22.

The Christian who would expect to receive the reward of the Master's "Well done; enter into the joy of thy Lord!" must be very diligent in the sowing of the proper seeds in the garden of his heart. Acts, words and thoughts are the good seeds; and they must be sown carefully and persistently. They will yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness – meekness, gentleness, patience, long-suffering, brotherly-kindness, love. And these fruits and flowers of the Holy Spirit abounding in the garden of the heart, St. Peter tells us, will make such a Christian ready for an abundant entrance "into the Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." – 2 Peter 1:11.

It is important that we sow good seed; and there is just one storehouse from which this is supplied – the Word of God. Whoever gives most attention to the words of our Lord Jesus through the Apostles and the Prophets, and whoever keeps this seed pure, free from contamination with worldly wisdom – science falsely so-called – and from the traditions of men – creeds – is best prepared to produce fruits and flowers to the Master's approval.

WHAT IT IS TO SOW TO THE FLESH

A mistake made by some of the Lord's people is that of sowing to the flesh, after having consecrated themselves to the Lord and having agreed to sow merely to the Spirit – in harmony with the Lord's will. Sowing to the flesh does not mean a thorough rebellion against the Lord, but rather the procurement and the sowing of bad seed – unprofitable seed. The spending of time, energy, money, etc., in the pursuit of pleasure or of earthly things or riches, whether successful or not, is sowing to the flesh.

The tendency of all such neglect of the Christian's covenant with his God is toward corruption – toward death. Many, indeed, may retrace their steps after finding that they have spent their talents improperly. But in such cases they have wasted time, energy and opportunity, and if they gain eternal life at all, it will doubtless be on a less glorious plane than if they had been faithful from the very beginning. Let us exhort ourselves and our fellows to sow to the Spirit – in accord with the glorious promises which God has made to us, which we have accepted, and to which we should be bending every energy in the development of the fruits and graces of the Spirit.

TREATMENT OF FELLOW CHRISTIANS

In the context the Apostle urges that each individual Christian should seek to bear his own burden rather than to lean upon the brethren. Each is to remember his own personal responsibility and not to get weary in well doing. Each is to remember the reaping time, the harvest time, when all who do not faint, all who do not grow weary, but who persevere, will receive their reward.

Additionally, the Apostle urges that while seeking to do, each for himself, we should be tender-hearted toward each other, yea, toward all men. "As we have opportunity, let us do good unto all, but especially to them who are of the Household of Faith."

Respecting those who are of the Household of Faith the Apostle urges that if we find a brother overtaken in a fault, we should show our own spirituality in the manifestation of the spirit of meekness and kindness toward the one at fault. We should bear each other's burdens, and so fulfil the Law of Christ. We should cultivate the spirit of meekness by remembering that we ourselves might at some time be overtaken in a fault – in the future, if we had not in the past. We should learn to think humbly of ourselves. We are really nothing when compared with that which is perfect. Our standing with the Lord is not because of human perfection, but because of proper wills – good intentions – fully consecrated hearts.

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SOME PASTORAL COUNSEL ON MARRIAGE
G
OD Himself performed the first marriage ceremony, by simply bringing together our first parents, Adam and Eve. Mother Eve was already bone of Adam's bone, and flesh of his flesh, but the two had been separated by God Himself. They were two in body, but one in heart; for He purposed that the entire race should be born from this one pair, in order that when sin should enter and involve the whole human family, the death of one person would suffice to redeem the entire race. "By man came death; by man also came the resurrection of the dead. – 1 Cor. 15:21; Rom. 5:12,19.

The Bible clearly teaches that, when the great Plan of God shall be completed by bringing Restitution to the world, this Restitution will bring humanity to that condition in which Adam was previous to the separation of the woman from him. And so we have the words of Jesus to the effect that "Those deemed worthy to obtain that Age, and that resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage, because they are like the angels." (Luke 20:35.) In other words, in the Times of Restitution, males and females will all lose their distinctive features, and become again as Adam was in the beginning – each complete in himself – when the earth shall be filled with people. God does not design to over-fill the earth, but simply to fill it.

But while the union of man and woman is a matter of love between themselves, the Law steps in and says that there must be suitable regulations and some formal way of authorizing their union before others as witnesses, so as to avoid trouble in the future. Consequently there are certain specifications regarding licenses, etc., all of which we believe is quite proper.

A SPECIAL MEANING IN MARRIAGE

However, as Christian people who have the Word of God, and who as Bible students have come to some appreciation of that Word, we see in marriage a special meaning which God purposed when instituting the rite. Marriage between man and woman is a picture, or illustration, of the union to take place between Christ and the Church; and God so ordained that it should be. The Apostle in referring to marriage as a picture, goes on to say that as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for it, so also should men love their wives as their own body. – Ephesians 5:25-32.

Great love is this – that a man should do for his wife what he would do for himself! So Christ did all this for His Body, the Church. He did even more than this – He laid down His life for us. This should further suggest that husbands should lay down their lives for their wives, and consequently should provide not only for her food and clothes, but for her mental and moral interests as well. These should all come under the care of the husband; and a good husband should see that his wife is well cared for, even at the sacrifice of some things for himself, as circumstances might suggest.

Then, turning to the other side of the matter, the Apostle says that as the Church reverences her Lord, so should wives reverence their husbands. Only as mankind has caught the spirit of this Divine lesson, only in that proportion do they understand how to get the best out of life. Those who follow strictly the Lord's arrangements get the most out of the marriage relation. The husband who loves his wife to the neglect of his own preference at times is the one who is likely to be appreciated most; and the wife who does what she can to serve her husband's interest and is devoted to him is an illustration of what the Church does for her Lord.

In this statement we are not undertaking to contradict the Apostle when he says, "He that marrieth doeth well, but he that marrieth not doeth better." (1 Corinthians 7:38.) He is not here addressing the world, but those who have devoted their lives to the Lord. If their marriage would not interfere with their consecration to the Lord, then they might marry. If it would interfere with their consecration, then for them to marry would be putting a mortgage on their lives. But there are cases in which both brethren and sisters have been benefited by marriage, not only personally, but in their relationship to the Lord and others.

We would not be understood to mean that those who marry are going contrary to the Lord. All who desire to please the Lord should be very careful in such a matter, however; and others should not attempt to criticize those who marry. This is the liberty with which God has made us free; and this is the liberty which we should both maintain for ourselves and grant to others.

"FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE"

Those who marry should have in consideration the fact that they are probably not marrying a person who is perfect; for the Bible tells us that "there is none perfect, no, not one." Neither one is perfect; and for one who is imperfect to ask that another shall be perfect, when neither one is or can be perfect, is manifestly wrong. However, each should endeavor to cover up his own weaknesses. There are those who are unwise in this matter. Our minds being perfect, we should live up to that high standard of mind as nearly as we can. We should hide every defect as quickly as possible, that there be no hindrance. It would be a mistake to think, when one is entering into marriage, that he is marrying somebody who is perfect. He has kept back his weakness from the other, and that one has kept back her weakness from him; and well might it be that they keep back their weaknesses throughout life.

The married should not inquire into the things of each other's past; for at the moment of the marriage each takes the other for better or for worse; there should be no looking back. So it is when the Lord accepts us; He does not go back to make investigations. Neither should we. If married couples should find that there are difficulties, they should not permit any one to interfere between them by endeavoring to straighten out their difficulties for them; for all such attempts make trouble. What God has joined together, let no one attempt to interfere with. Marital difficulties invariably cause a great deal of talk; and knowing this, we should be on guard lest we should do anything to increase difficulties in the lives of others. We are not even to sympathize. We are to leave them alone. Give them advice whenever they ask for it, but do not interfere. After they have married, it is for better or worse as long as they live.

So, then, marriage is a serious matter, and should be undertaken only after serious consideration. It is a very sacred obligation. The contracting parties bind themselves for the remainder of life. All marriages would be more satisfactory if this thought were fully appreciated and followed.

"Master, speak! and make me ready,
As Thy voice is daily heard,
With obedience glad and steady
Still to follow every word.
I am listening, Lord, for Thee:
Master, speak, speak on, to me!"

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CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT

BY BROTHER TOOLE, WITH EDITOR'S COMMENTS

The subject that we have been studying somewhat during the week has been that of Character Development. This is one feature of the Plan of God. Your part and my part in the eternal Plan of God depends upon our Character Development. God's Plan is going to be carried out. He will have a class selected from this earth who will worship and serve Him on the spirit plane of existence. He will ultimately have this earth inhabited with human beings who also will live in harmony with His holy Law. But whether we are to be of the Heavenly number, who will eternally love and praise Him and eternally enjoy His favor and blessing, or whether any one of us is to be of the earthly number, who also will eternally love and praise Him and eternally enjoy His favor and blessing, depends upon Individual Character Development. So after getting acquainted with the various features of the Plan of God in a general way, our minds seem naturally to fix upon that one thing upon which the enjoyment of God's eternal blessings depends.

The great questions that confront us then are: What is the standard of character that we must develop in order to have the assurance of enjoying the Plan of God in its consummation throughout the endless ages of eternity? Is it possible to develop such a character; and how is it developed?

Let us notice the standard that God has set. Romans 8:29 says: "Whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate [determine or decide] to be conformed to the image of His Son." This shows the standard; God has decided that this class, whom He did foreknow to be joint-heirs with Christ, should be character images of Christ.

That same thought is given to us in Ephesians 4:11-16, when it speaks of the Lord's providing of evangelists, teachers, pastors, etc., for the perfecting of the Church, for the edifying [instruction] of the Body of Christ. For how long? Until they come to the unity of the faith, unto a perfect Man. What is the perfect Man? "Unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ." You see from this last clause that the full measure of Christ's character is the standard.

Again, take Ephesians 5:25-27. It says: "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the Church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the [R5901 : page 155] washing of water by the Word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish." Now you can see that if the Church would be presented in His presence without blemish, without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, she would be Christlike; wouldn't she?

What does it mean to be presented without fault or without blemish? It means that every imperfection of character is to be overcome. Every unholy quality of disposition is to be cleansed away. He washes us from our past sins by His blood; but it takes the Word and constant obedience to the Word to sanctify us.

For example, take pride. Pride is an unholy quality of character. It is the disposition of self-exaltation in heart or in act. Of a king it is written, "His heart was lifted up unto destruction." Humility is expressed in the exhortation: "Let each esteem others better [more important] than themselves"; and, "Not unto us, not unto us, but to Thy Name give glory." Now to be presented without fault and without blemish would mean that this disposition of pride would be so completely eradicated that no temptation, however strong, would ever in the heart in the least degree arouse self-importance or self-exaltation. This passage says that Christ can and has undertaken to save His people as completely as that. Now if He can purify us so completely from pride, could He not as completely cleanse us from any other blemish of character? Yes, we are to be presented without fault and without blemish – perfect characters.

Further, since Christ makes the Church holy by making the individuals holy, this passage would read: Christ loved me and gave Himself for me that He might cleanse me by the Word, that He might present me unto Himself a glorious character without spot or wrinkle, but that I should be holy and without blemish. Here again holiness, or Christlikeness, is set as the standard.

Additionally, this passage also shows the possibility of reaching that standard. It says, Christ so loved the Church, not that He may do an impossible thing; for if it were impossible to become Christlike, if it were impossible that we could be presented holy and without blemish, do you think that Christ would have died and attempted it? No. Therefore the very fact that Christ died and attempted to sanctify the Church and present it holy and without blemish reduces it to a glorious possibility.

There are still other texts that teach the same thing. Take Ephesians 3:14-19: "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in Heaven and in earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints, what is the breadth and length and depth and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God." What does it mean to be filled with the fulness of God if it does not mean to be filled with Godlikeness? That is the only reasonable way that we can be filled with the fulness of God while in the flesh.

Here again the possibility of becoming Christlike is taught. God knew that our weak faith and our terrible depravity and our failure to make ourselves holy by our oft-repeated efforts would cause us to doubt the possibility of becoming Christlike by becoming filled with all the fulness of God. Yes; the thought of becoming a complete overcomer seems clear beyond the range of possibility. I once asked a brother, "Do you think it is possible to obtain the experience described in these verses?" He replied, "It is for some." Another replied to the same question, "According to their capacity." You see how they doubted the possibility. But now note carefully, thoughtfully and believingly every word of the 20th verse, and note that it is referring to the grand experience described in the previous verses. "Now unto Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us." You see He can do not only as much as you can conceive or ask, but abundantly more. It takes real faith to believe God can make you holy or Christlike. But the Scriptures say He is able. If we cannot find words with which to pray, we can point out these verses to the Lord and in faith ask Him to fulfil them to us.

Again, "Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness [righteous heart or character] for they shall be filled" – made holy. (Matthew 5:6.) "And sin [sinful disposition] shall not have dominion over you, for ye are not under Law, but under grace." – Romans 6:14.

So we see there is no question as to the standard now. It is Christlikeness or holiness. And it is possible. And we can scarcely overestimate the importance of being thoroughly convinced of these two truths. If we are fully and deeply persuaded that we must become Christlike, or we cannot inherit eternal life, or the Kingdom, and if we are also fully persuaded that we can become like Christ in character we will arouse ourselves to seek to attain it. If we indulge the thought that our desire to be good, to be holy, to be Christlike, is all that is necessary, we will never be willing to seek to become holy with sufficient earnestness, or willing to endure the trials and take the crosses that will perfect us in love. Do not let the enemy deceive you. But let this thought ring in your ears; I must become Christlike and I can. There is a path that leads to it and I will find and follow it.

Now we will consider a few Scriptures that show the necessity of developing Christlikeness. Since Christ's character is the standard to be reached, and since it is reached gradually, we must get busy developing this character; or sooner or later we shall become completely and forever separated from our relationship with the Lord. (John 15:2.) "Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit." You see the branch was in the vine and yet did not bear fruit – did not make the effort to become Christlike. What shall become of such branches? "Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit, He taketh away." Your standing in the Lord is not because of your knowledge simply, but because you are becoming Christlike. Are you growing? Are you bearing increasingly the fruits of the Spirit? Do you know what it means to become like Christ? Do you have a clearer insight into what Christ's character is like? Wake up, brother, before you are cut off! If you have not been developing the various qualities of Christlikeness, start now by surrendering fully to the Lord and begin active obedience to God's Word. No more excuses!

Again, we must develop more and more the Spirit of the Lord in order to be useful now. First, by example. "Be thou an example of the believers in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity." (1 Timothy 4:12; Titus 2:7,8.) Are you growing? Are you becoming an example to others? Is the life, or spirit, of Christ being manifest in your mortal body? (2 Cor. 4:10.) God expects this of you. The brethren need such an example and stimulus as you can give.

Once more: In Ephesians 6:18, we are told to pray one [R5901 : page 156] for another with all prayer and supplication; and in James 5:15,16, we are told that the prayer of faith shall save the (sin) sick, and that the prayer of the righteous man availeth much. You see it is the prayer of a righteous man and the prayer of faith that is to bring results. A righteous man is not necessarily yet perfect, but he is obedient and growing. In John 15:16, you will notice that Jesus points out that the more we bear fruit (grow in holiness) the more successful will we be in prayer. Christ has chosen us to bear fruit, that whatsoever we ask the Father in His name He may give it us. You see, the more we develop in character the more we can serve the brethren by obtaining blessings and enlightenment and mercy for them through prayer. Have you the love that gives you the longing to thus help the brethren? or are you cold, critical and indifferent? If you are, you are in a dangerous position. Do you pray the prayer of faith and the prayer of the righteous man in behalf of the brethren? Does your love prompt you to this? You can have such a love if you will. (1 Thessalonians 3:12.) "The Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another."

Once more: The great work that the Lord has for us to perform in the coming Age demands that we become Christlike. No other character would do. We see how hard it is to deal with one another now owing to our lack in courage, faithfulness, patience, mercy, humility, firmness, etc. Nothing but the love described in 1 Corinthians 13 will fit us to deal with the fallen race. "Herein is love (to be) made perfect in us, that we may have boldness in the Day of Judgment, because as He is, so are we (to become) in this world." (1 John 4:17.) God has a love that is not discouraged with the deepest moral degradation in His object, but follows the welfare of the sinner with an unchilled devotion, though He hates the sin with a hatred no less than infinite; and we are to be "filled with all the fulness of God." You must grow, grow, grow into Godlikeness.

One more reason: The very character of God demands that we become holy. Habakkuk 1:13 says: "Thou art of purer eyes than to behold [look on with approval] evil; Thou canst not look upon [countenance] iniquity." You see we must be purified from all iniquity and evil before we can have the approval of God. Every defect in our character is evil. So you see we must perfect character before God could eternally endure us. (Psalm 5:4,5.) "For Thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness; evil shall not dwell with Thee – Thou hatest all the workers of iniquity"; not only in its grosser [R5902 : page 156] and outward forms, but in its finer, more polished inward forms. God detects the smallest deflection in our hearts, and His character is so holy that He cannot but hate it. And this fitness of character to meet God's approval must be accomplished while in the flesh. Death and the resurrection will not make any change in our characters. The new body will only give us a better medium of expressing our true selves. This argument can be summed up thus: God, being holy, could not eternally endure an imperfect character. Therefore we must in this life become Christlike, or perfect in character; or else we cannot eternally dwell with God. "Be ye holy, for I the Lord your God am holy."

*                         *                         *

The foregoing article in many respects is excellent, and fully in accord with our presentations in STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES – with but a few exceptions. In presenting the matter of holiness, perfection of character, Christ-likeness, we have been careful, in STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, to point out that this does not signify a perfection in the flesh, which, the Bible shows us everywhere, is an impossibility. We have shown that it does mean a perfection of heart, of intention, of will, of endeavor. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." "Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts." "Be ye transformed by the renewing of your minds." – Matthew 5:8; 1 Peter 3:15; Romans 12:2.

All this may be exactly what Brother Toole had in mind; but since he has not stated the matter thus, there is, we believe, a danger that some might misapprehend his meaning. Some might think that he meant perfection in the flesh and might go to the extreme to which people have gone in the past of claiming that in act, in word, in thought, they were perfect as the Lord. This might lead to a kind of spiritual pride which would be very injurious, as it is unscriptural. On the other hand, some of the more conscientious of the Lord's people, realizing the imperfection of their flesh – their conduct, words, thoughts – might become wholly discouraged and give up the race entirely.

Some might even go to the length of imagining that they would become so perfect in the flesh that they would no longer need the Robe of Christ's Righteousness. This would be a serious mistake, as illustrated in the parable of the Wedding Garment – which shows that the taking off, or the rejection of the Robe of Christ's Righteousness would work the rejection of the individual from the company of the Lord's people. He would be cast into the outer darkness of the world – be cut off from the knowledge and illumination of Present Truth. We should always remember the force of the Apostle's statement, "Ye are complete in Him" (Colossians 2:10), and the Master's words, "Without Me ye can do nothing," and again, "If ye abide in me." – John 15:5,7.

The subject is a difficult one to many for various reasons. When first we heard the Gospel call we were "children of wrath even as others." (Ephesians 2:3.) As we sought to reach the Heavenly Father we found that He would not receive us except as we would come through the appointed Doorway – Jesus. We found next that Jesus would not accept us and become our Advocate and make it possible for us to come into the family of God unless we would make a full consecration of our lives to Him – surrendering our own wills, engaging to bear the cross, and following in the Master's footsteps. When we made such a self-surrender our Redeemer imputed to us His own merit, covering all our blemishes and making us acceptable to God. This, His gift, is figuratively styled the wedding garment.

But this imputation of the Savior's merit was not given to the New Creature, but to the old creature. It was when we were thus robed by our Savior that we were acceptable to the Heavenly Father, who justified us in spirit, in mind, and begat us with His Holy Spirit. From that moment we were embryo New Creatures, but without any proper spirit bodies. The Lord left us in the fleshly bodies covered with the Robe of Christ's Righteousness. It is the Father's will that while we as New Creatures thus tabernacle in the flesh, we should grow in grace, grow in knowledge, grow in love – grow in all the fruits and graces of the Holy Spirit.

It is not the flesh that is to grow up into the Anointed in all things, but the New Creature. And the New Creature never was a sinner. From its very start or begetting it was holy. The New Creature, therefore, does not pass from sin to righteousness, but from one degree to another degree of knowledge and appreciation of righteousness. Every step of the New Creature is progress in Christ – progress along spiritual lines. The Lord has provided spiritual bread and spiritual water for the New Creature in the Bible, and its progress will be in proportion as these are recognized and assimilated.

Character-development is thus a daily, yea, an hourly, experience to these New Creatures. The character of Jesus becomes more and more their spirit, their disposition. If they maintain their original consecration, if they practise the lessons of the Lord's Word, and if they grow strong in the Lord through partaking of the Lord and His Spirit, they are thus becoming more and more copies of God's dear Son. They were copies of Him, so far as purity and consecration were concerned, at the very start. Their testing is along the lines of continued obedience, continued devotion, as they reach larger degrees of knowledge of the Word of God, of the Plan of God. Like their Redeemer they must demonstrate that they are faithful, even unto death – fully submitted to the Heavenly Father's will, fully loyal thereto.

But we must not mistake these New Creatures and too closely identify them with the flesh. "Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you." (Romans 8:9.) The flesh has its natural tastes, appetites and disposition through heredity. These will never be overcome entirely. Hence, as the Apostle says, there is continually a warfare between the flesh and the Spirit in the New Creation. The flesh warreth against the Spirit and the Spirit warreth against the flesh; and the two are contrary. (Galatians 5:17.) The New Creature fights his good fight of faith in that he stands loyal to the Lord and continues to seek in every way the will of God, as did the Savior. This may mean various encounters with his own flesh. As St. Paul says, it signifies brow-beating himself – keeping his body under. According to the Bible, it will be a fight to the finish. If the flesh conquers, the New Creature dies – and that will mean the Second Death. If the New Creature conquers, it will be by the death of the flesh.

It is impossible for us to judge one another in this matter. Some of the Lord's most loyal people may have a great fight with their flesh. On-lookers might be inclined to judge them severely and to think that they were not sufficiently loyal. But God alone knoweth the heart. In some instances, as St. Paul intimates, it is difficult even for one to judge himself [R5902 : page 157] aright – difficult to know to what extent the New Creature has done all in its power to war a good warfare against the flesh, and to what extent the New Creature may have been partially excusable for some failure to come up to its highest ideals. St. Paul says, "It is a light thing that I should be judged of you or of any man, yea, I judge not mine own self. There is One that judgeth me." (1 Corinthians 4:3,4.) Sometimes the battle is so closely drawn, sometimes the New Creature is so beset by the world, the flesh and the Adversary, that his victory may seem to outsiders to be rather ignoble. God alone knows to what extent better results were possible.

Every Christian, however, has recognized that, if his heart has been faithful to the Lord and the victory has been only a partial one even, nevertheless valuable lessons have been learned by the New Creature, and its faithfulness and endurance have demonstrated its loyalty to the Lord and the principles of His righteousness, His government. We would be perfect; but we, as New Creatures, have this treasure in earthen vessels, and they are imperfect; hence our results are not satisfactory according to the flesh. They are satisfactory, however, to the Lord, if we are loyally striving for righteousness, laying aside weights and hindrances and seeking by every failure to make ourselves the stronger to endure further temptations, tests, trials.

The test of Jesus' character was humility, resignation to the Father's will in everything, even unto death, even the death of the cross. This demonstrated His love to the Father, His loyalty to the principles represented in the Father's character and government. These are the tests upon all the followers of Jesus. Whoever has this love and this loyalty is, to that extent, a copy of God's dear Son – not in the flesh, but in the spirit.

Let us all be fully agreed as to the grand perfection of character of the Heavenly Father and of our Savior and as to the fact that this heart-desire must be in us if we would have the mind of Christ. It is for the Lord to permit increasing trials and tests to come upon us as we grow older and stronger. Sometimes He permits a great fight from within or without, or both; and the New Creature is put to the test of endurance. It is not the Lord's intention that these trying experiences shall crush the New Creature; but, on the contrary, that the putting forth of endeavor to resist the Adversary and every evil shall make the New Creature the stronger. We have the promise, "He will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, but will with every temptation provide a way of escape." – 1 Corinthians 10:13.

Thus it was with our dear Redeemer: At the very close of His ministry came His most severe tests, and He cried in an agony of spirit, "If it be possible, let this cup pass from [R5903 : page 157] Me." The triumph of the New Creature is shown in the succeeding sentence, "Nevertheless, not My will, but Thine, be done." As with the Savior, so with the disciple – there is a struggle, a fight, to the end of the journey. With the Master every trial brought a victory. With His followers, because of their inherited weaknesses of the flesh, this is not so except as the Lord by His grace turns a partial defeat into a victory.

The New Creature, even partially defeated, is exhorted by the Apostle to come with courage to the Throne of Heavenly Grace, to obtain mercy and find grace to help for future needs. In doing this, he is doing what God intended and foreordained for him. But "if we say we have no sin [and as respects our flesh, no imperfection of act, word, thought] we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. [But] if we confess our sins [our shortcomings], He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all iniquity." (1 John 1:8,9.) He is just, for this is His Plan. This is the arrangement He has made, that He might be just and yet be the Justifier of him that believeth in Jesus.

In making this provision for the weaknesses of our flesh, God is not compromising with sin. And in accepting this provision, we as New Creatures are not compromising with sin, either. It is not the New Creature that sins. Its hopes, aspirations, desires are proper. But because of the weaknesses of the flesh and surroundings of evil, the New Creature cannot do all it would, but must be continually striving, attaining and setting its mark higher and higher, as clear knowledge of the Divine will is gained. This is fruit-bearing, character-development, acceptable in the Lord's sight through Jesus Christ, but not acceptable in any other way; for our very best endeavors are more or less blemished by the imperfections of our flesh.

Thus we perceive the necessity for our continuing under the robe of Christ's righteousness – wearing the wedding garment which He has provided – until our glorious "change" shall come, the resurrection change. Then we shall be through with our flesh and through with every provision which God has made for the covering of its blemishes; for we shall be New Creatures complete, spirit-bodied as well as spirit-minded. The Apostle emphasizes this, saying, "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God." We must all be changed. He explains the change, saying, "Sown in weakness, raised in power; sown in dishonor, raised in glory; sown an animal body, raised a spirit body." – 1 Corinthians 15:42-44.

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A BLIND BOY'S WISDOM
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

I have been thinking of writing to you since coming into the wonderful light of God's Plan, through a young blind brother, Arthur Page, 19 years old; but I have so far refrained from doing so lest I might infringe on your time. However, on reading the article in THE WATCH TOWER of March 1st, "Philip and the Ethiopian." I was so struck with the comparison between Philip and Brother Page that I can no longer refrain. His directness and quite apparent sincerity arrested my attention and interest from the first.

Perhaps I may briefly tell what was clearly the work of our loving Father; After working for three years as a lay missionary of the Church of England, in Canada, in lumber, railroad and mining camps, under the Church Camp Mission (Winnipeg), I was returning last November from Dawson, Yukon, where I had been amongst the miners in the Klondike District. Previous to going to Canada I had been four and one-half years at Trinity College, Dublin, finishing my divinity course there. My object in returning was to be ordained for a curacy in the city of Belfast, Ireland.

There being no Chaplain on board, I was asked to act in this capacity, and after the evening service in the third class dining room on our first Sunday at sea, I was told that a blind boy would like to see me. I was introduced to Brother Page, who asked if I would read to him during the voyage. I was glad of the opportunity, and on the following morning we began. He asked to have only the Bible. Beginning at The Acts of the Apostles, I read the first chapter till, in verse 16, I came to a mention of David, when he asked me pointedly, "Where do you think David is now?" Not knowing, I said so, and he asked further, "Where do you think Adam is?" As I couldn't make out the point of the question I told him that I didn't think Adam's whereabouts was of any importance. He smiled, and quietly pointed out his belief in the matter, and I felt drawn by its reasonableness.

We discussed little more that morning, and for the remainder of the week we had no opportunity for reading, owing to rough weather. However, on the following Monday morning about a dozen passengers asked if they could be present during our reading, as tremendous interest had been aroused by the blind boy's knowledge of the Bible, especially when it was discovered that twelve months previously he couldn't have quoted half a dozen texts. None of the hundreds on board had been able to puzzle him on any point, so they seemed anxious to see how the "parson" would fare.

For the five remaining days of the voyage there was such interest that we had to have studies three times each day, beginning immediately after breakfast. The study went on till the steward came to lay the tables for dinner; then we adjourned till after the meal, when we usually began again at 2, continuing till "table-laying" again, when several invariably asked what time the evening meeting began. Seven-thirty was the usual hour, and the time seemed to fly till a steward came at 11 o'clock to put out the lights. A couple of evenings we were allowed to continue till 12, provided we spoke low.

Every denomination seemed to be represented; all brought forward the various "pet" doctrines. Brother Page did the answering, while I endeavored to keep pace with him in looking up the numerous passages he cited. Right from the beginning not one was able to contradict his reasoning. Of course, I was very much astonished, but I saw that he could reason on points that we daren't touch. Once I grasped the fact that we are souls, instead of the former idea of our possessing a mysterious something, I seemed to realize how wrong had been my former view of this. Soon I was supporting Brother Page, unconsciously, against my own views.

There were always from 20 to 50 at the studies, and so keen was the interest that on one occasion so many crowded on the table the pressure broke the supports. There was a young, unlearned blind boy, calmly answering questions as fast as they could be put, from those who had been professing page 158 Christians for probably 20 years or more! Yet he was quite clear and convincing. Occasionally some one would attempt frivolity; Brother Page would rebuke him very directly, but lovingly, and his frivolity ended. It was easy to see from the faces of many who attended regularly that we all had similar thoughts – the Holy Spirit of God was his guide.

We got to Tilbury on Saturday evening, and on Sunday I spent the afternoon and also the evening at the Tabernacle with Brother Page. When I saw the whole congregation going down for tea between the meetings I could scarcely believe my eyes; and the fellowship with all there felt like a foretaste of Heaven. Before crossing over to Ireland I got Volumes I. and V. from Brother Hemery, whose kindness was an inspiration.

I had a rather stormy interview with the Bishop, under whom I had arranged to work. I felt a bit nervous as I went into his study to suggest what seemed very heretical, and I found myself quite confident when with him. It was very sad to listen to his arguments. The interview resulted in my being advised to read three books. I tried to do this, but I found that once having started Volumes I. and V., the old, foggy "creed" books were an impossibility, every page seeming full of error. I felt no pleasure in the old books – rather a feeling of forced medicine. But with the Volumes I could scarcely realize that I wasn't dreaming, everything seemed so reasonable and delightful. Subjects that we read books on, and were lectured on for weeks in College were made beautifully clear in a few pages.

I have now left the Church of Ireland, and feeling that I could not offer the Lord less than my whole time, I have decided to take up the Colporteur work here, as the brethren feel there is work to be done. I have been at it for a week, and enjoyed it immensely. But as I hadn't read Volume VI., I decided to do so before continuing. Words cannot express what a help and pleasure the reading of this volume has [R5904 : page 158] been! I have many a time put it down during reading to try to realize the wonderful love of God that it opens up; and how clear it makes such points as Baptism, Passover, etc!

Brother Lloyd is coming over from England to give me a few lessons in Colporteuring, so I am looking forward with much joy to this.

There seems to be no end to the Lord's goodness. He opened up the way for my going to Liverpool a few weeks ago to see the PHOTO-DRAMA, and this was very delightful, as well as meeting with and being strengthened by the brethren there.

Brother, I fear I have trespassed too much on your time. I find it very hard to write briefly, so this letter has grown beyond bounds; and even then I haven't told the half of the Lord's great goodness!

I feel glad that I had to give up a little in the world in order to be with His followers. I feel I am a weak runner, but I long to run so as to obtain the Prize. It is grand to be a "babe" with such loving, helpful elder brothers and sisters! I would dearly love to thank you personally; but if I win in the glorious Race I hope to do so then. Meanwhile I give all the thanks to the Lord, and all will be His forever. I have been asked to send you the enclosed cuttings regarding the "two horns" of the Image.

That the Lord may bless you and all at Bethel with the fulness of His peace, is the constant prayer of

Your brother by His grace,

T.H. BROWNE.

[R5904 : page 158]

INTERESTING LETTERS
NO PEACE TILL GOD SPEAKS IT
DEARLY BELOVED BROTHER RUSSELL: –

It is only because I know your time is precious that I refrain from time to time to write you telling of our appreciation of your faithful and untiring service. We wonder more and more, dear Brother, as we note the broadening avenues of service into which our Heavenly Father privileges you to enter while the enemies of the Truth are being hampered on every side – the waters of trouble rising higher and higher about them. We rejoice for you, and for the privileges which are ours through your faithful ministry.

We note your confession of some trepidation with regard to what you find it your duty to say through THE WATCH TOWER from time to time relative to the conduct of the war. We feel assured that those who have grasped clearly the Harvest Truth, and who still love it, will generally agree that you are fair and impartial. They will realize that your grasp of the history the nations have written, and of the principles supposed to underlie the conduct of international affairs, together with the course the different belligerents are all taking, require that you, as a faithful steward, speak as you believe the Lord regards the course of the nations. We feel that your utterances are Heaven-directed in order that those who know the Truth, and all Truth-seekers may see the more clearly why the nations are at war, the necessity that all who are heart-proud, in their own interest as well as that of others, be humbled; and the absolute impossibility of peace until God speaks with authority.

Gratitude fills our hearts more and more for the privilege of knowing something of the Lord's plans, as a safeguard against pessimism, bitterness or discouragement, as we see these sentiments fastening themselves upon so many of those who do not know.

The war comes pretty close to us in Canada. The methods being employed in the recruiting campaign, every possible lever being pulled without regard to individual conviction as to what is right – in a fight which is claimed to be against Militarism, and in a land where every citizen is supposed to be free – is an interesting study. We can, especially of late, hear a rising murmur of dissatisfaction – a revulsion of public sentiment – which in the light of the Scriptures we see to be the sure harbinger of coming trouble along other lines. The "little finger" of clerical power is rapidly marshalling secular pressure to its support, and correspondingly becoming the "heavy hand" of oppression.

Canada, as a whole, you already know is not lagging behind the United Kingdom. St. John is keeping well to the front, with a continual change of tactics. A strong coercive method at first was employed through recruiting meetings in auditoriums and in the open, at which dire threats were handed out to the people. Because of public resentment this gave place to something more like inciting the scorn of the gentler sex for what they termed "slackers." Then came criticism of the gentler sex because they did not get into line as fully as was desired; also criticism of their position as lacking the spirit of patriotism and of self-sacrifice. Then came "bill-posting" on telegraph poles and everywhere, and a freezing-out of men eligible for service from the various industries. Now we have a body of French-Canadian soldiers billeted here who are commissioned, individually, to button-hole young men everywhere, using whatever methods may be considered effective; those methods include the use of intoxicants. (I am not in position to say the use of intoxicants is authorized – but it is practised.)

I have just mailed to the office (File H) newspaper report of recent Charge of Bishop Richardson (Episcopal), representing him as following the lead of the Bishops of London in debarring the clergy (so far as expression of sentiment goes) from the privilege of becoming actual combatants, but stating that it is their duty to "heap scorn upon any suggestion of selfishness or slacking" on the part of others. I do not know how long the temper of Canadians will stand this. I thank God for the power of the Truth in my own case. I have felt that I could bear injustice toward myself with considerable grace, but the wholesale measuring out of injustice to others has always brought to my notice an element in my make-up the effect of which would give me serious concern, in this day of aggravated injustice, were it not for the power and spirit of the Truth. Even while thus fortified and guarded I feel that probably my strongest test will come right along this very line.

How secure we are in our "Strong City"! How safe from any threatening storm! The friends in the Provinces are of a good courage. The participation in DRAMA and Convention privileges of the past two seasons, especially, has been rich in blessing to us all.

Sister Black joins me in expression of increasing love for you, dear Brother, remembering you ever in our prayers, and asking a continued interest in your prayers that we may be faithful unto death.

"We will rejoice in Thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners."

Your brother by Divine favor,

W. W. BLACK.

STRANGE STATEMENTS OF PREACHERS
DEARLY BELOVED BROTHER RUSSELL: –

It has fallen to my lot to have had not a few clergymen in audiences that I have been privileged to address, but to have had presiding elders and bishops among them has been rare; yet in at least three cases this has occurred. In each instance a special experience marked the occasion. It has occurred to [R5904 : page 159] me that it may be of interest to you to hear a report of the experiences; therefore, I will write you a short account.

The first experience was with an U.B. bishop. The discourse was on The Resurrection. He took elaborate notes. At the end of the service one of the brethren, recognizing the bishop, asked him how he liked the lecture. He replied: "I liked it first rate, but do not agree with the speaker. I would like to divide time with him before an audience. I can quote ten verses to his one on the subject." (I had cited by book, chapter and verse over a hundred verses to prove our position as Scriptural)

At this remark the brother told him that the speaker would, if the bishop desired it, enter a debate with him. Leaving the bishop the brother came to me, telling me of the bishop's remark. Thinking that it would give the Truth a wide hearing, I said I would be pleased to debate with him. The brother then returned to the bishop and asked to introduce him to me. After the introduction the bishop, assuring me that he had taught Greek thirty years, said that he wanted to correct an ungrammatical remark that I had made on the Greek text. It turned out that the bishop was mistaken, and admitted that the mistake was his. After several criticisms of the thoughts of the lecture, and his manifest inability to meet my replies, in response to my query as to time, place, etc., of the debate, he said that he thought no good would come from a public debate, but a private talk over the matter might yield good! With this he left. His attempt to undermine the influence of the address miscarried.

The second case was that of a presiding elder, who attended a lecture on The Two Salvations. Introducing himself at the conclusion of the lecture he invited me to call on him. During the call he assured me that he did not believe in eternal torment, though he preached it. Asked why he so preached, he answered that the people were not yet enough enlightened to be given the Truth on the subject without injury [R5905 : page 159] to themselves, the church, the clergy and society. Asked why this was, he answered, "They would forsake the churches, leave the ministry unsupported, and commit all sorts of excesses, unrestrained by fear of torture." What a commentary on the moral effects of the ministry's work! He confided in me the statement that he was a Universalist as well as an Evolutionist and Higher Critic; yet he rebuked me for preaching against eternal torment!

The third case was that of an Episcopal bishop, who attended a semi-public meeting that I addressed this week on The Overthrow of Satan's Empire. Before the service, in a conversation that he held with the elder of the class that gave the meeting, he very strongly defended the doctrine of Apostolic Succession and the Divine Right of the clergy. In this particular lecture the latter doctrine is attacked from many points of view. During the course of the lecture I did not deviate from my usual way of presenting the doctrine of the Divine Right of the clergy. My remarks on the subject, though delivered very kindly, seemed deeply to cut the bishop. His face became redder than the red in the Stars and Stripes that decorated the stage from which I spoke. The way he squirmed in his chair one would have thought that he was seated on pins. He remained throughout the entire lecture, but did not wait to meet me. I could not but think that we are now judging the kings and princes!

By the way, there is another matter that I think might be well to bring to your attention, i.e., the friends by letter asking the Pilgrims to answer questions. You will recall that some time ago, in view of the fact that they travel on one-day appointments, which scarcely leaves them time properly to do the work at the places they visit, as well as in view of the fact that the dear Lord, mindful of the needs of His dear flock, has through the Correspondence Department at the Tabernacle arranged for the answer of just such questions, you wrote the Pilgrims a letter, which you afterwards published in the TOWER, asking them to refer the brethren who asked them questions by mail to the page in the STUDIES where the subject is treated, or better still, to write their questions to the Correspondence Department at the Tabernacle. Judging from the number of letters that I receive asking questions, I have concluded that a large number of the friends have either overlooked or forgotten your letter on the subject.

Feeling that it is for me to abide by your suggestion contained in the above-mentioned letter, I do not answer these questions, but write to them telling them the condition. This, of course, consumes time for them and me, and is doubtless disappointing to them. Is there not some way in which this matter can be brought to their attention, whereby they can be spared disappointment, as well as save the Pilgrims' time, and receive their answers all the sooner? I am glad to note their zeal to learn the good Word of God, and would gladly answer their questions if this were in harmony with the Lord's will; but under the circumstances it is of profit to nobody for them to write to the Pilgrims for their information. For this reason I thought it might be well to bring it to your attention, trusting that it may result in larger blessing to all concerned in the matter.

The dear Lord has been blessing me richly in many ways both by toward and untoward circumstances. Was very much pleased by the reports of the year's work of the Society. My prayer to the Lord is that He continue to bless His cause, people and servants, especially yourself among them. Rejoicing that I am privileged to be associated in this the best of fellowship and service with you, and sending you much Christian love, with the assurance of my continued prayers for, and cooperation with you, I remain

Your brother and fellow servant,

PAUL S.L. JOHNSON.

"ABRAHAM SAW MY DAY AND WAS GLAD"
MY DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

Greetings and love in the dear Lord! I take this opportunity of expressing my love for you, and for the service in which you are engaged so faithfully.

It was in the year 1908 that I began to read the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES. From that time on I have not failed to find something to encourage, strengthen and uplift even though I have gone through many trials that have appeared more than I could bear, from outward observation.

I am continually reading the STUDIES, and the "Old, Old Story," which their pages foretell with no uncertain sound, always appears new. I find each time I go through them something I never saw before. Recently I have been going through TABERNACLE SHADOWS again, and have been particularly struck with the thought that Abraham was Justified by Faith in Christ.

I should be glad, dear brother, if you will explain just how it was possible for this to be. The question has been raised several times here and I have not been satisfied with the answers given at any time.

Some have suggested that "If Brother Russell were writing TABERNACLE SHADOWS now he would not put those words in..." Is this correct?

I have also heard on various occasions, when studying the Volumes, that Brother Russell has left various points without a full explanation in order that we might study for ourselves. I am, dear brother,

Yours in the Anointed,

__________,

EDITOR'S REPLY

Your Father Abraham rejoiced to see My Day; he saw it and was glad." – John 8:56.

Abraham knew that God's promise to bless all the families of the earth was sure to be fulfilled. He saw the Day of Christ – the Millennium – and its glorious work by the eye of faith. Similarly he saw the great Messiah the King by the eye of faith; yea, more, by the same eye Abraham saw the millions of Adam's race blessed of God by the Messiah, His Seed, during the Millennium.

THINKS IT UNEQUALED
DEAR BRETHREN AND SISTERS: –

With the enclosed renewal of my subscription to THE WATCH TOWER I cannot refrain from an expression of appreciation. For clearness of thought, cohesion of ideas and strength in "The Word," it is surely not equaled in any present-day religious publication. I look forward to each issue and read it with avidity, and am deeply grateful to each of the dear brothers and sisters who are assisting in its publication. With sincere thanks to all who have assisted in opening to my view a horizon of promise more glorious than the splendor of the setting sun. I remain,

Your brother in hope,

J. H. BENNETT.

I. B. S. A. BEREAN BIBLE STUDIES
FOR THE MONTH OF JUNE
QUESTIONS FROM
MANUAL ON SERIES THIRD
"STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES"
STUDY VI.=="THE WORK OF THE HARVEST"
Week of June  7..Q. 29 to 35  Week of June 21..Q. 43 to 49
Week of June 14..Q. 36 to 42  Week of June 28..Q. 50 to 56

Question Manuals on Vol. III STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, 5c each; or 50c per dozen, postpaid.

page 160

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