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

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

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

VOL. XXXVIMARCH 1No. 5
A. D. 1915 – A.M. 6043
CONTENTS
The Blood of Sprinkling of the Passover 67
The Antitypical Passover Lamb 67
"A Kind of First-Fruits" 68
"Church of the First-Borns" 68
"As Oft as Ye Do This" 68
The Mass Is Not the Eucharist 69
Date of the Memorial Supper 70
Drink Ye of the Same Cup 71
Cup of Joy in the Kingdom 71
Sacrificial Love vs. Duty Love 72
Our Personal Responsibility to God 73
Christian Not a General Policeman 73
God's Mercies to Disobedient Israel 74
Fruits of Disobedience 75
Messianic Reign Autocratic 76
Saul Rejected by the Lord 76
King Saul's Second Test 77
"Are Ye Able?" (Poem) 78
Interesting Letters 79
Miracle Wheat Takes Prize 79

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PUBLISHED BY
WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, PRESIDENT
"BROOKLYN TABERNACLE," 13-17 HICKS ST.,
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CHANGES IN "SCRIPTURE STUDIES"

We call attention to a few slight changes which have been made in four pages of Vol. II. and six pages of Vol. III., "STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES." These are all trivial and do not alter the real sense and lesson, but conform to the facts as we have them today. The pages containing these corrections are as follows:

Vol. II., page 77, line 1, "will be the farthest limit," reads "will see the disintegration." Vol. II., page 77, line 6, "will obtain full universal control," reads "will

begin to assume control." Vol. II., page 77, lines 16,17, "end of A.D. 1914," reads "end of the

overthrow." Vol. II., page 81, line 9, "can date only from A.D. 1914," reads "could

not precede A.D. 1915." Vol. II., page 170, line 16, "at that time they will all be overturned."*

*How long it will require to accomplish this overturning we are not informed, but have reason to believe the period will be short.

Vol. II., page 221, line 25, "full favor until A.D. 1914," reads "full

favor until after 1915." Vol. III., page 94, line 29, "in this end or harvest," reads "at the end of

this harvest." Vol. III., page 126, line 12, "at A.D. 1914," reads "after 1914." Vol. III., page 133, line 21, "ere the harvest is fully ended."+

+The end of the harvest will probably include the burning of the tares.

Vol. III., page 228, line 11, "some time before 1914," reads "very soon

after 1914." Vol. III., page 228, line 15, "just how long before," reads "just how long

after." Vol. III., page 362, line 11, "some time before," reads "some time near." Vol. III., page 364, line 14, "must not only witness," reads "may not only

witness."

Unless we find the chronology in Vols. II. and III. to be wrong, we must believe that it will be practically the same chronology as will be used throughout the Millennial Age.

So far from the events of our time disproving the chronology, they seem to confirm it. The gathering of the nations to the Valley of Jehoshaphat ("valley of graves") is evidently in progress. They are gradually realizing it to be a life and death struggle that will be awfully costly. They do not see, as we do, that it means their destruction – "grinding to powder." Nevertheless they are apprehensive of what we see coming; viz., the EARTHQUAKE of revolution, to be followed by the FIRE of anarchy, which will utterly consume them and prepare the earth for Messiah's Kingdom, and cause them to hear the "still small voice." – 1 Kings 19:11,12.

The present is a time of testing, we believe, to many of the Lord's people. Have we in the past been active merely because we hoped for our glorious change in A.D. 1914, or have we been active because of our love and loyalty to the LORD and His Message and the brethren!

Never before has the world been so ready to hear the Kingdom Message. Never before, therefore, have the privileges and opportunities of the Colporteurs been so great. If there are some parts where Colporteurs find it difficult to make sales because of scarcity of money, there are other parts of the country where money is not so scarce and where high prices for food make the community prosperous.

Let us see to it that we testify to the Lord by our faithfulness in letting our light shine more and more, demonstrating our loyalty to Him even unto death. "Faithful is He that called you," who also will do for us "exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us."

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COTTON SEED FREE

Again we have some cotton seed for free distribution. It is of the Caravonica cotton type, which has been so successful in South Africa. It is quite prolific. Our subscribers are welcome to sample lots, free.

BETHEL HYMNS FOR APRIL

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

(1) Vow; (2) 259; (3) 326; (4) 221; (5) 164; (6) 106; (7) 119; (8) 130; (9) 41; (10) 46; (11) 238; (12) 202; (13) 310; (14) 14; (15) 19; (16) 273; (17) 165; (18) 258; (19) 117; (20) 283; (21) 229; (22) 215; (23) 330; (24) 303; (25) 8; (26) 230; (27) 9; (28) 293; (29) 12; (30) 198.

[R5640 : page 67]

THE BLOOD OF SPRINKLING OF THE PASSOVER<%=R5640%>

"When He seeth the blood the Lord will pass over the door and not suffer the destroyer to smite you." – Exodus 12:23.
T
HE Passover season, as celebrated by the Jews, draws near – beginning this year on the 30th of March (the 15th day of Nisan actually starting at 6 p.m. Monday, March 29th). But the interest of Christians centers especially in the slaying of the lamb, which preceded this Passover Feast. The Passover lamb was slain on the 14th day of the month Nisan, which date this year begins at 6 p.m. Sunday, March 28th. The Memorial of the death of the antitypical Passover Lamb, our Lord Jesus, which is celebrated on the same date, will therefore be observed by us on the evening of Sunday, March 28. How much we regret that while millions of Christians and Jews will in some formal ceremonies and in a perfunctory manner celebrate this great event of history, but few of either religion discern the real significance of the celebration!
THE PASSOVER INSTITUTED

Could the minds of all these be awakened thoroughly to its true significance, a religious revival would be started such as the world has never yet known. But, alas! as the Apostle declares, the god of this world has blinded the minds of many; and even some whose eyes of understanding are partially opened St. Peter describes as being blind and unable to see afar off, or holden and unable to see the deep things of God in respect to these ceremonies, which have been celebrated in the world for now more than 3500 years. And, by the way, it must be admitted even by Higher Critics and agnostics in general that an event so prominently marked, so widely observed for so long a time, must have a foundation in fact. There must have been just such an occurrence in Egypt; the first-born of Egypt must have perished in that tenth plague, and the first-born of Israel must have been preserved from it – all who observed the injunction to remain under the blood – else this widespread celebration of the event would be inexplicable.

We need not remind you of the particulars connected with the institution, except to say that the Israelites were held in a measure of serfdom by the Egyptians, and that when the time, in the Lord's providence, arrived for their deliverance, their masters sought selfishly to maintain their bondage, and refused to let them go forth to the land of Canaan. One after another the Lord sent during the year nine different plagues upon the people of Egypt, relieving them of one after another when their king craved mercy and made promises which he afterwards broke. Finally, the servant of the Lord, Moses, announced a great, crowning disaster – that the first-born in every family of Egypt would die in one night, and that in the home of the humblest peasants as well as in the home of the king there would be a great mourning, as a result of which they would be glad finally to yield and let the Israelites go – yea, urge them to go, and in haste – lest the Lord should ultimately bring death upon the entire people if their king continued to harden his heart and resist the Divine mandate.

The first three plagues were common to all in Egypt, including the district in which the Israelites resided. The next six plagues affected only the district occupied by the Egyptians. The last, the tenth plague, it was declared, should be common to the entire land of Egypt, including the part apportioned to the Israelites, except as the latter should show faith and obedience by providing a sacrificial lamb, whose blood was to be sprinkled upon the sides and the lintels of their doorways, and whose flesh was to be eaten in the same night, with bitter herbs and unleavened bread, the eaters standing staff in hand and girded ready for the journey – with full expectancy that the Lord would smite the first-born of the Egyptians with death and make them willing to let the Israelites go, and with full faith also that they would share in this calamity were it not for the blood upon their door-posts and lintels.

THE ANTITYPICAL PASSOVER LAMB

The Israelites were commanded to celebrate this Passover as the first feature of the Jewish Law and as one of their greatest memorials as a nation. As a matter of fact, we find that in some degree the Passover is celebrated by Jews in all parts of the world – even by those who claim to be agnostics and infidels. They still have a measure of respect for it as an ancient custom. But is it not strange that, with the bright minds which many of them possess, our Jewish friends have never thought it worth while to inquire into the meaning of this celebration? Why was the lamb slain and eaten? Why was its blood sprinkled upon the door-posts and lintels? Because God so commanded, of course; but what reason, motive, object or lesson was there behind the Divine command? Truly a reasonable God gives reasonable commands, and in due time will be willing that His faithful people should understand [R5640 : page 68] the significance of every requirement. Why are the Hebrews indifferent to this subject? Why does prejudice hold their minds?

Although Christianity has the answer to this question we regret that the majority of Christians, because of carelessness, are unable to give a reason and ground for any hope in connection with this matter. If the Jew can realize that his Sabbath day is a type or foreshadowing of a coming Epoch of rest and blessing and release from toil, sorrow and death, why can he not see that similarly all the features of the Mosaic Law institution were designed by the Lord to be foreshadowings of various blessings, to be bestowed in due time? Why can it not be discerned by all that the Passover lamb typified, represented, the Lamb of God, that its death represented the death of Jesus, the Messiah? and that the sprinkling of its blood symbolizes, represents, the imputation of the merit of the death of Jesus to the entire Household of Faith, the passed-over class?

Blessed are those whose eyes of faith see that Jesus was indeed "the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world" – that the cancellation of the world's sin is effected by the payment of Adam's penalty – that as the whole world lost the favor of God and came under the Divine sentence of death, with its concomitants of sorrow and pain, it was necessary before this sentence or curse could be removed that a satisfaction of Justice should be made; and that therefore, as the Apostle declares, Christ died for our sins – the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us back to God. Thus He opened up "a new and living way" – a way to life everlasting.

"A KIND OF FIRST-FRUITS"

Those familiar with the Bible have noticed that therein the Church of Christ is called "the Church of the First-born," and again "a kind of First-fruits unto God of His creatures." (Heb. 12:23; Jas. 1:18; Rev. 14:4.) This implies others ultimately of God's family later born – the after-fruits. Christian people seem to have overlooked these Scriptures so far as making application of them is concerned, and have generally come to believe that only those who are of the First-fruits will ever be saved, that there will be no after-fruits. But let us look at this type of the Passover – let us notice that it was God's purpose to save all Israelites, and that as a nation they represented all of mankind that will ever come into harmony with God and be granted eternal life in the Land of Promise.

Let us notice also that there were two passovers. There was a great one, when the whole nation by Divine power was miraculously delivered by the Lord and led [R5641 : page 68] by a sand-bar across the channel of the Red Sea especially prepared for them by the accentuation of winds and tides. That picture, or type, shows the ultimate deliverance from the power of sin and Satan of every creature who will ultimately come into accord with the Lord and desire to render Him worship – not an Israelite was left behind.

But that passover at the Red Sea is not the one we are discussing particularly on this occasion – not the one whose antitype we are about to celebrate. No; the event which we celebrate is the antitype of the passing over, or sparing, of the first-borns of Israel. Only the first-borns were endangered, though the deliverance of all depended upon the salvation of the first-borns. Applying this in harmony with all the Scriptures, we see that the First-fruits unto God of His creatures, the Church of the First-borns, alone, are being spared at the present time – being passed over – those who are under the blood. We see that the remainder of mankind who may desire to enlist and to follow the great antitypical Moses when He shall ultimately lead the people forth from the bondage of sin and death are not now endangered – merely the First-borns, whose names are written in Heaven.

"THE CHURCH OF THE FIRST-BORNS"

The First-born – the "Church of the First-Borns" – are those of mankind who in advance of the remainder have had the eyes of their understanding opened to a realization of their condition of bondage and their need of deliverance and of God's willingness to fulfil to them His good promises. More than this, they are such as have responded to the grace of God, have made a consecration of themselves to Him and His service, and in return have been begotten again by the Holy Spirit. With these first-born ones it is a matter of life and death whether or not they remain in the Household of Faith – behind the blood of sprinkling. For these to go forth from this condition would imply a disregard of Divine mercy. It would signify that they were doing despite to Divine goodness, and that, having enjoyed their share of the mercy of God as represented in the blood of the Lamb, they were not appreciative of it. Of such the Scriptures declare, "There remaineth no more a sacrifice" for their sins. They are to be esteemed as adversaries of God, whose fate was symbolized in the destruction of the first-born of Egypt.

We do not mean to say that the first-born of Egypt who died in that night and any of the first-born of the Israelites who may have departed from their homes contrary to command and died therefor, have gone into the Second Death. Quite to the contrary, we understand that all these matters were types, figures, illustrations, foreshadowings of matters on a higher plane, and that the realities belong to the Church of Christ during this Gospel Age since Pentecost. If we sin wilfully after we have received a knowledge of the Truth, after we have tasted of the good Word of God, after we have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit and thus members of the Church of the First-born – if we should then fall away, it would be impossible to renew us again to repentance; God would have nothing further for us; our disregard of His mercy would mean that we would die the Second Death. – 2 Peter 2:12; Jude 12.

From this standpoint the Church of the First-born, through the begetting of the Holy Spirit and the greater knowledge and privileges they enjoy every way, have a greater responsibility than the world, for they are the only ones as yet in danger of the Second Death. This is the lesson of the type and applies to Christians only.

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

"AS OFT AS YE DO THIS"

The Apostle clearly and positively identifies the Passover lamb with our Lord Jesus, saying, "Christ our Passover is slain for us; therefore let us keep the feast." (1 Cor. 5:7,8.) He informs us that we all need "the blood of sprinkling," not upon our houses, but upon our hearts. (Heb. 12:24; 1 Pet. 1:2.) We are also to eat the unleavened (unfermented, pure) bread of Truth, if we [R5641 : page 69] would be strong and prepared for the deliverance in the Morning of the New Dispensation. We also must eat the Lamb, must appropriate Christ, His merit, the value that was in Him, to ourselves. Thus we put on Christ, not merely by faith, but more and more to the extent of our ability we put on His character, and are transformed day by day into His glorious image in our hearts.

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

Our Lord Jesus also fully identified Himself with the Passover lamb. On the same night that He was betrayed, and just preceding His crucifixion, He gathered His disciples into the upper room, saying, "With desire have I desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer." It was necessary that as Jews they should celebrate the Passover supper on that night – the saving of the typical first-born from the typical "prince of this world." But as soon as the requirements of the type had been fulfilled, our Lord instituted a new Memorial upon the old foundation, saying, "As often as ye do this [celebrate the Memorial of the Passover season – annually] do it in remembrance of Me"! (1 Cor. 11:24,25.) Your Jewish neighbors, whose eyes of understanding have not been opened, will not appreciate the matter in its true antitypical sense, but you – who recognize Me as the Lamb of God, who in God's purpose has been slain from the foundation of the world – who recognize that I am about to give My life as the world's Redemption-price – will note this Passover season with peculiar and sacred significance that others cannot appreciate. Henceforth you will not celebrate any longer the type, but memorialize the Antitype, for I am about to die as the Lamb of God, and thus to provide the blood of sprinkling for the Church of the First-born, and meat indeed for the entire Household of Faith.

"THIS IS MY BODY, BROKEN FOR YOU"

That the Lord's followers should no longer gather as the Jews had done previously to eat the literal Passover supper of lamb, in commemoration of the deliverance in Egypt our Lord shows by choosing new emblems – "unleavened bread" and the "fruit of the vine" – to represent Him as the Lamb. Thenceforth His followers, in accord with His injunction, celebrated every year His death as their Passover Lamb, until after the Apostles had fallen asleep in death, and a great falling away had confused the faith of nominal Christendom, producing the epoch known as the Dark Ages. Even during the Dark Ages the teaching that Christ was the antitypical Passover Lamb persisted, though the celebration of His death in the Passover Supper which Jesus instituted fell into disuse. It was crowded out by that most terrible blasphemy, which has deceived and confused so many millions of Christendom – the Mass – introduced by Roman Catholicism. This in the Scriptures is called "the abomination of desolation," because of the disastrous influence it has had upon the faith and practise of the Lord's people. Although Protestants in general have repudiated the Mass, as being wholly contrary to the teachings of Christ and the Apostles, nevertheless the practises of Protestants are largely influenced yet by that terrible error, from which they have only partially escaped.

THE MASS IS NOT THE EUCHARIST

Many Protestants will innocently ask, Is not the Mass merely the Eucharist, the Lord's Supper, under another name? O, no! we answer – it is wholly different! The Lord's Supper celebrates the death of Christ accomplished at Calvary. The Mass represents a new sacrifice for sins made every time the Mass is performed. Our Roman Catholic friends believe that when the priest blesses the wafer it becomes the actual body of Christ in his hands, for the very purpose of sacrificing Him afresh. High Mass is a particular sacrifice of Christ for a particular sin of a particular individual. Low Mass is a sacrifice of Christ for the general sins of a congregation. Roman Catholics claim to believe in the merit of Christ's sacrifice at Calvary – that it covered original sin, general sins that are past; but they claim also that the daily sins, shortcomings, blemishes of every individual, require to be cleansed by fresh sacrifices of Christ from time to time. Thus, from their standpoint, as represented in the Mass, and as practised by the Roman Catholics and Greek Catholics and High Church Episcopalians, Christ is being sacrificed afresh all the world over every day. This in the Scriptures is called an "abomination" in God's sight, because it disregards, sets at naught, the fact as stated in the Bible, that Christ dieth no more, "that by one sacrifice He hath perfected forever all who come unto the Father through Him." – Rom. 6:9; Heb. 10:14. [R5642 : page 69]

It will be readily seen that the repeated sacrifices represented in the Mass would have the effect of nullifying or minimizing the value of the great Sacrifice at Calvary, represented in the Passover and in the Memorial Supper. How could those who had come to look especially to the Mass for the cancellation of their sins be expected to look with as deep concern and as high an appreciation as otherwise back to the antitypical Passover? While, therefore, the celebration of Good Friday has continued, the celebration of the Memorial Supper preceding it fell into disuse long ago.

As for Protestants, repudiating the dogma of the Mass as wholly unscriptural, they have abandoned it and returned to a celebration of the Lord's Supper. Meantime, however, accustomed to the frequency of the Mass, they have considered it merely a matter of expediency how often the Lord's Supper should be celebrated. Hence we find some celebrating it every four months, some every three months, some every month, and some every Sunday. This general laxity and failure to reach a common ground of conformity is due to two things: (1) Christian people generally have overlooked the fact that our Lord's death was as the antitypical Passover Lamb, and that its celebration is the antitypical Passover Supper; (2) They have misunderstood our Lord's words, "As oft as ye do this," to mean, Do this as often as you please, whereas the words really signified, As often as you, My disciples (all of whom are Jews and accustomed to keeping the Passover), celebrate this occasion, do it in remembrance of Me – not in remembrance of the literal lamb and the typical deliverance from typical Egypt and its bondage through the passing over of the typical first-born.

Those who celebrate the Lord's Supper weekly consider that they have Scriptural precedent for so doing because in the Bible we read that the early Church met [R5642 : page 70] together on the first day of the week and on such occasions had the "breaking of bread." It is a great mistake, however, to confound such breaking of bread with the Memorial Supper, for the former was merely an ordinary meal. There is absolutely nothing in the record to indicate otherwise; the wine, the fruit of the vine, is not mentioned in connection with it, and the bread was not said to represent the broken body of our Lord. It was a cheerful social custom in the early Church to celebrate our Lord's resurrection on the first day of the week, and this common social custom helped to unite the bonds of brotherhood and fellowship. In many places the Lord's people follow this custom still. The Tabernacle congregation at Brooklyn has such a breaking of bread every Lord's day between the afternoon and the evening services, as a convenience for those living at a distance, and especially as a desirable opportunity for extending fellowship amongst the Lord's people.

THE DATE OF THE MEMORIAL SUPPER

As we all know, the Jews used the moon more than we do in the reckoning of their time. Each new moon represented the beginning of a new month. The new moon which came closest to the spring equinox was reckoned as the beginning of the ecclesiastical year, the first day of the month Nisan. On the fifteenth day of that month, the Feast of Passover of the Jews, lasting a week, began. That Feast of seven days represented the joy, the peace, the blessing, which resulted to the first-borns of Israel from their passing over, and typified the complete joy, peace and blessing which every true Christian experiences through a realization of the passing over of his sins through the merit of Christ's redemptive sacrifice. All true Christians, therefore, in their hearts have a celebration of this Feast of Passover continually – the completeness of the matter being represented in the seven days, seven being a symbol of completeness. Not seeing the matter from the same standpoint, the Jew thought less of the killing of the Passover lamb and the eating of that supper than he did of the week following it. But our Lord emphasized the importance of the killing of the Passover lamb when He announced Himself as its Antitype and when He invited us to celebrate His death on its anniversary, until, at His Second Coming, our entrance into the Kingdom would signify the complete fulfilment of all our blessings.

It would be a great blessing, doubtless, to many Christians if they could see this subject in its true light, could lay more weight upon the value of the death of Christ, and join more heartily in its celebration – on its anniversary, instead of at various other times and seasons, irregularly and without special significance. However, there have sprung up all over the civilized world little groups of the Lord's people who are taking heed to this subject, and whose delight it is to celebrate the Master's death according to His request – "As often as ye do this" – annually – "do it in remembrance of Me." We believe that such a celebration brings special blessing to both heart and head. The nearer we come to the Divine requirements the greater is the measure of our blessing, the more closely are we drawn to our Master and Head, and to each other as members of His Body.

The date of the celebration this year will fall on March 28, after 6 p.m., because at that hour begins the 14th day of the month Nisan, according to the Jewish reckoning. We urge upon all of the Lord's people everywhere to gather as may best suit their convenience in little groups or families to do this in remembrance of our Lord's great sacrifice. The fact that it is the anniversary of His death makes the matter the more impressive.

"LORD IS IT I?"

We recall the circumstances of the first Memorial, the blessing of the bread, and of the cup, the fruit of the vine, of our Lord's exhortation that these represented His broken body and shed blood, and that those who are His followers should participate – not only feeding upon Him, but being broken with Him, not only partaking of the merit of His blood, His sacrifice, but also in laying down their lives in His service, in co-operating with Him in every and any manner. How precious these thoughts are to those who are rightly in tune with the Lord!

Following these thoughts they may think of the course of Judas, who, though highly favored, loved filthy lucre to the extent that he was willing to sell his Master, and was bold enough even while his treachery toward the Lord was being exposed to cry, "Is it I?" The very thought that any who had companied with the Lord could thus deny Him and betray Him to His enemies causes a proper loathing of such conduct, and should properly fill us with caution, if not with fear, lest in any sense of the word we should for the sake of honor or wealth or any other matter sell the Truth or any of its servants, the members of the Body of Christ.

Let our minds, then, follow the Redeemer to Gethsemane's Garden, and behold Him with strong cryings and tears praying to Him who was able to save Him out of death – expressive of the Master's fear of death lest in some particular He might have failed to follow out the Father's Plan and therefore be thought unworthy of a resurrection. We notice how our Lord was comforted by the Father through the angelic messenger with the assurance that He had faithfully kept His consecration vow and that He would surely have a resurrection as foretold. We behold how calm He was thereafter, when, before the High Priest and Pilate, and before Herod and Pilate again – "as a lamb before her shearers is dumb so He opened not His mouth" in self defense. We see Him faithful, courageous, to the very last, and we have His assurance that He could have asked of the Father and had more than twelve legions of angels for His protection. But instead of petitioning for aid to escape His sacrifice, His petition was for aid to endure it faithfully. What a lesson for all His footstep followers!

AN OCCASION FOR SELF-EXAMINATION

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

Next we are shocked with the thought that it was the Lord's professed people, the Jews, who crucified the Prince of Life! Not only so, but that it was the leaders of their religious thought, the chief priests, scribes, Pharisees and Doctors of the Law rather than the common people. We hearken to the Master's words, saying, "Marvel not if the world hate you; for ye know that it [R5642 : page 71] hated Me before it hated you"; and we see that He meant the religious world in our case also.

DRINK YE OF THE SAME CUP

The lesson to us, then, is not to be surprised if the opposition to the Truth and the persecutions of the light-bearers walking in the footsteps of Jesus shall come from the most prominent exponents of Christianity. This, however, should neither cause us to hate our opponents nor those who persecuted our Lord to the death. Rather we are to remember the words of the Apostle Peter – "I wot that in ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers." Ah, yes! ignorance, blindness of heart and mind, are at the bottom of all the sufferings of Christ – Head and Body. And the Father permits it to be so now, until the members of the Body shall have filled up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ. With the completion of the membership of the Body of Christ, the very elect, and the completion of their testing as to faithfulness unto death, will come the conclusion of this Gospel Age – the resurrection change of the Church to be with and like her Lord. Then, as our Master declared, those who [R5643 : page 71] now partake of His broken body and are broken with Him in the service of the Truth, those who now participate in His cup of suffering and self-denial, will by and by drink with Him the new wine of joy in the Kingdom – beyond the veil. – Matthew 26:29.

"LET US KEEP THE FEAST"

With that glorious Morning of the New Dispensation will begin the great work of the world's release from the bonds of sin and death – the great work of uplifting. The Apostle Peter calls that great Epoch "The Times of Restitution of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy Prophets since the world began." (Acts 3:19-21.) The thought before the minds of those who participate in this Memorial should be that expressed in the Apostle's words, "If we suffer with Him we shall also reign with Him"; "If we be dead with Him we shall also live with Him"; "for the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us." – Rom. 8:17,18; Rom. 6:8; 2 Timothy 2:11,12.

With these thoughts respecting the passing over of the sins of the First-born through the merit of the precious blood, we may indeed keep the Feast of the Passover with joy, notwithstanding trials and difficulties. So doing, and continuing faithful as the followers of Jesus, very soon we shall have the great privilege of leading forth the Lord's hosts – all who ultimately shall hear and know and obey the great King – out of the dominion of sin and death, out of Egypt into Canaan. Yes, dear brethren, in the language of the Apostle, "Christ our Passover is slain for us; therefore let us keep the Feast."

THE CUP OF JOY IN THE KINGDOM

On the occasion of the institution of the Memorial of His Death, the Master in His conversation with the Apostles, said: "But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of the fruit of the vine until that Day when I drink it new with you in My Father's Kingdom." (Matthew 26:29.) Our Lord was here contrasting two great Days – the Day of suffering and the Day of glory. This Gospel Age has been the Day of suffering. The Millennial Age will be the Day of glory, and is especially spoken of as "the Day of Christ."

The fruit of the vine, the literal cup, represents two thoughts. The cup of wine is produced at the cost of the life of the grape. The grape loses its own individuality. The juice is pressed out, and thus the fruit of the vine is made ready for use. The cup of wine – the juice of the grape – represents, however, not only the crushing of the grape, but also the exhilaration that comes as the result. So in our drinking of this literal cup. To us it symbolizes our Savior's sufferings and death, and our own participation with Him in these sufferings. But wine also represents joy, gladness, and is thus used in the Scriptures. So in the sense in which the Lord used the words "fruit of the vine" in the text just quoted, it represented the joys of the Kingdom.

The Father marked out for our Lord Jesus in His earthly experience a certain specific course. This course constituted His Cup of suffering and death. But the Father promised Him that after He had drunk this Cup faithfully, He should be given a different Cup, a different experience – glory, honor and immortality. And then the Savior was authorized by the Father to make the same proposition to those who might desire to become His followers – that if they would suffer with Him, would drink His Cup of death with Him, then they should participate with Him in His future Cup of Joy.

BY WAY OF THE CROSS

"Whosoever will save his life shall lose it." We are all to pass through the trying experiences represented by the wine-press. We are to lay down our lives in the Divine service. We are to submit ourselves to the crushing experiences, to be obliterated as humans, and to become New Creatures. "If we suffer [with Him], we shall also reign with Him" – not otherwise. So we joyfully accept the invitation to drink of His Cup. And not until the Cup has been drained to the last shall we receive the other Cup – the Cup of Kingdom joys. While our Lord had a great blessing in the obedience which He rendered to the Father, yet it was a trying time for Him down to the last moment, when He cried, "It is finished!" And so with the Church. We must drink all of the Cup. We must endure all of the experiences. None of the Cup is to be left.

All the sufferings of Christ will be complete when the Body of Christ shall have finished its course. The new Cup of Joy was given our Lord when He was received up into glory. Then all the angels of God worshiped Him. Soon our Cup of Joy will be given to us. Surely there was a joyous time when the sleeping saints were awakened and entered into their reward and received the Cup of Blessings! (See STUDIES, Vol. III., pp. 233-240; Vol. IV., p. 622.) And one by one those who were alive and remained at the Coming of the Master are being gathered Home. Undoubtedly we shall all partake of this joy with them soon, if we are faithful. We believe the fulness of joy will not be reached until all the members of Christ are with Him beyond the veil. Then we shall share His Throne and partake of His glory. Then with our beloved Lord we shall drink of the new wine in the Kingdom; for the promise is to all His faithful saints.

"Not all the blood of beasts
On Jewish altars slain
Could give the guilty conscience peace
Or wash away the stain.

"But Christ, the Heavenly Lamb,
Takes all our sins away;
A Sacrifice of nobler name
And richer blood than they.

"My soul looks back to see
The burden He did bear,
While pouring out His life for me;
And sees her Ransom there."

[R5643 : page 72]

SACRIFICIAL LOVE VS. DUTY LOVE<%=R5643%>

"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind...Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." (Matthew 22:37-39.) "This is My commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." – John 15:12,13.
T
HE qualities of Wisdom, Justice, Love and Power are fully harmonized and unified in the character of our Heavenly Father, our Creator. In Him these qualities are supplemental to each other, and in the fullest harmony. And we are to strive to incorporate into our own characters these same qualities. When we use these terms in reference to mankind, we are bound to recognize in how comparatively small a degree these character-qualities are possessed by humanity.

We use the terms justice and love as representing characteristics which are more or less imperfect in all mankind. We speak of charity, or generosity. This quality, a certain manifestation of love, goes beyond mere justice. Here is a person to whom we owe a dollar. It is not charity for us to pay him that dollar. It is duty, justice. A certain course would be right, and nothing less than that would be right. Certain things are obligatory. Beyond obligation would be mercy, compassion, love.

What is our duty toward our neighbor? Suppose that the neighbor has fallen into debt or that his life has been forfeited. What ought we to do for him? Shall we give our lives for his life? Shall we assume his obligation? To do so would be a very loving deed. It might also be just, but it would go beyond the line of mere justice; for justice would require merely that we do for our neighbor just as we would have him do for us, if our positions were reversed. The Golden Rule would measure what we should do for our neighbor. If after we have done this, we wished to do a little more, this would go beyond the demands of justice; it would be love, favor.

But we should notice that the Law of God demands not only justice, but also love – love supreme to God, and love to our fellowmen. It demands mercy, kindness. Let us note the injunctions along this line which God gave to natural Israel under the Law. Let us see how far-reaching they were. "If thou meet thine enemy's ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again. If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee lying under his burden, and wouldest forbear to help him, thou shalt surely help with him." "If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; if he be thirsty, give him water to drink; for thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord shall reward thee." (Exodus 23:4,5; Proverbs 25:21,22.) If love so broad and so comprehensive as this is demanded by God's Law, and was obligatory upon Natural Israel, to what degree should Spiritual Israel possess and manifest this noble quality!

JUSTICE PRONOUNCED MAN'S SENTENCE

The penalty that God placed upon our sinner race involved humanity in crying, sighing and death. It was not a special exercise of Love that pronounced the death penalty. It was a special exercise of Justice. However, there was no violation of the principle of Love in this death sentence; it was in full harmony with Love. In due [R5644 : page 72] time God manifested His Love for man, even in his fallen condition, by the gift of His choicest treasure – His Only Begotten Son. He was not deficient in Love during all those four thousand years before He sent His Son to earth. His Love remained as far as compatible with the perfection of His character. It was no longer a love of fellowship, as with a perfect being; but it was a love of pity, of compassion.

Love was not obligated to make provision for the redemption of fallen man. The act was one purely of grace; and if redemption was of grace, it was not of Justice. In sending His Son, then, to be man's Redeemer, God took a step beyond anything that Justice could require. Herein was manifested the Love of God, the compassion of God, superabounding over what was His duty. No duty-claim could be pressed by man; for he had forfeited all his rights, and had become a convict before God's righteous Law. But God's great mercy in providing a deliverance for this convict race illustrated His glorious and beneficent character. In this was manifested the Love of God for us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us; and this was Jehovah's own Plan. So Love can go beyond Justice, and even beyond the measure of love demanded of a perfect character.

The Love of God and of Christ, as manifested in the great Plan of Redemption, was a sacrificial Love. So those who are invited to become members of Christ's Body are to have this same love. It is not merely the love demanded by God's perfect Law, which is incumbent upon all His intelligent creatures on whatever plane; but it is more. It is a love which will gladly lay down the life purchased for them by the death of Jesus. This life is laid down as a sacrifice with their Lord and Head. We lay down our lives in service for the brethren, and this sacrifice is acceptable because the merit of Christ is imputed to us, making us reckonedly perfect before God. As the Apostle says, "We ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." The brethren could not demand this of us, nor we of them; but we should all do so gladly, as we have opportunity. – 1 John 3:16.

LET US HAVE THE MIND OF CHRIST

As Christ redeemed us by laying down His life as a willing sacrifice, so let us have this same mind, this same disposition, this same will. This is the special Covenant of the Church – the Covenant of Sacrifice. (Psalm 50:5.) This is the Covenant which our Lord made with the Father, and we are to follow in His footsteps. The world will gain everlasting life if they come up to the standard of justice required by God's Law. But as for us, we must have a still higher standard.

So when the Apostle declares that "Love is the fulfilling of the Law," he is not limiting those who are so governed by love as to do the Father's will even unto death, to the mere keeping of the Law given to Israel. To be of this elect class, a member of the Royal Priesthood who covenant to lay down their lives as a sacrifice, requires more than merely fulfilling the demands of the Law. It requires love to a self-sacrificing degree. And so by gladly carrying out our Father's will for us, we shall prove ourselves worthy of glory, honor and immortality, the Divine nature – which has been promised to the overcoming class – the "more than conquerors."

"Love is the filling from one's own another's cup,
Love is a daily laying down and taking up;
A choosing of the stony path through each new day,
That other feet may tread with ease a smoother way.

"Love is not blind, but looks abroad through other eyes;
And asks not, 'Must I give?' but, 'May I sacrifice?'
Love hides its grief, that other hearts and lips may sing,
And burdened walks, that other lives may buoyant wing.

"Brother, hast thou a love like this within thy soul?
'Twill change thy name to saint when thou hast reached this goal."

[R5644 : page 73]

OUR PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY TO GOD<%=R5644%>

"See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men." – 1 THESSALONIANS 5:15.
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HIS text is a part of the counsel of the Apostle Paul to the Church at Thessalonica, in connection with his message on the subject of the Second Coming of our Lord. He reminds them how carefully and faithfully they should live, who had such hopes of glory, such hopes of being gathered to Christ at His appearing and Kingdom. He exhorts them that they "warn the unruly," that they "comfort the feeble-minded" [faint-hearted], that they "support the weak" [those not strong in the faith, comparatively undeveloped]. Then in the words of our text, he urges that "none render evil for evil unto any."

We do not understand the Apostle to mean that no one in the Church should be permitted to render evil for evil. It would not be in the power nor in the jurisdiction of any one to see that none others do evil. The only ones who have such power or authority would be God Himself and His great Representative, Christ Jesus. In fact, if we undertake to see that no man renders evil for evil, we shall be busybodying in every man's matters; we shall cultivate the habit of evil-surmising, and shall have no time for our own business. The Apostle means, Let each one see to it that he does not return evil for evil. This principle is to govern each; each is to exercise care in his own case.

The thought seems to be that we should be critical of our own motives, of the principles underlying our own conduct. We should reason, "I am about to do so and so. Is this course right?" We should judge our actions in advance. We should not go blundering along, failing to take ourselves in hand, and then say, after the thing is done, "Well, I intend to make amends." Of course we should make amends if we have done wrong. But we should get into the habit of so controlling our mind that it would preclude our doing what we should not do.

While in the flesh, of course we shall never attain perfection in action or words, but we should earnestly endeavor to do our best to attain this. We shall not do our best unless we set ourselves very diligently about it, and determine that we will by the help of the Lord attain as full control of our flesh as is possible. If we make up our minds that we will conquer, much can be accomplished.

ALL THE SAINTS STRONG CHARACTERS

The Savior so loved to do right that He laid down His life for righteousness' sake. Thus it is to be with all who are under His banner, fighting a good fight. But there is a natural tendency to retaliation, especially in persons who have the disposition of conquerors – the very class that God is now seeking. These are the ones who have the qualities of an overcomer. They have a strong individuality; they have a will. They are not supine; they are not merely placid. Those to whom Truth appeals are strong characters; and people of naturally strong character are inclined to carry out the Law of Moses – "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth" – in the cases of those who have done wrong.

But the Lord's injunction to the Church is to the contrary, for this is the way of the sinful world. God has not yet forced the world into obedience to righteousness; in the Millennial Age He will do this. The special people who have followed Jesus from the world into consecration to God are pledged to do the will of God, to support the right. Being strong characters, they wish to correct that which is wrong. That is a natural impulse and a good one. But we must remember that it is not the time now for us to judge and discipline the world. The Scriptures say, "Judge nothing before the time." We are therefore to await God's time. If the matter is a legal one, and we are personally wronged by process of law, we are to yield to it in the right spirit, even though it be unjust. Let us wait for the Lord's time and way to set things straight.

THE CHRISTIAN NOT A GENERAL POLICEMAN

If you receive a double injury, there would be a double reason why you would wish to correct it. The inclination to try to do so would rise, but there should be nothing like retaliation. We are not to return evil for evil. We are under responsibility to do evil to none. The expression, "See that none render evil for evil," has been understood by some to signify that the Christian should be a kind of general policeman, to see that his brethren, his neighbors, and everybody else, do no one harm. This is a mistaken idea. There seems to be a certain exception, however, in the case of the head of a family. As the head of the house, one would be responsible to the civil law, as well as to the Divine Law, for the conduct of his household.

Some have supposed that this injunction of the Apostle means: Let the Elders of each congregation see that the members of the congregation do no wrong. This likewise is not the right thought. This Scripture does not give an Elder any more right to see that none render evil in return for evil than it does any one else. The passage seems to mean this: Let each of you see that you do not yourself render evil for evil.

There might be some ways in which it would be proper for any member of a family to render help to another member who was being wronged. If, for instance, one [R5645 : page 73] saw another doing injustice to a third, he might remonstrate. He might say, Brother (or Sister), do you not think so and so about this matter? And so with the Church. But the Elders are charged more especially with looking after the interests of the Church. If they should see some one in the Ecclesia not living up to the Scriptural standard, it would be quite proper to make a suggestion to that one about the matter. But we must not be busybodies in other people's affairs.

We are to build one another up; for thus the Bride makes herself ready. These matters should be approached only after prayer and in the very wisest way possible, lest we do more harm than good. Let us remember that we are consecrated to righteousness, to follow that which is good. Let us also remember that not merely in the Church are we to render no evil for evil, but amongst all men; for we have pledged our lives to follow that which is good under all conditions and circumstances.

According to the standard of God's Word, the disciples of Christ should be the most polished, the most courteous, the most refined, the most generous, the most kind and considerate, of all people. Theirs should not be merely an outward appearance of these graces, so common to the world, but should be a kindness, a gentleness, which springs from the heart, because of the possession of the Lord's Spirit, the spirit of justice, of mercy and of love. Thus they are to let their light shine in their lives.

DIFFERENT INSTRUCTIONS DURING JEWISH AGE

Under the Jewish Law it was different in some respects. Every Jew was an avenger of God, to render just punishment for any crime. He who sins shall suffer, was the principle; and this is a right principle. During the period of the Law Dispensation it was very necessary, [R5645 : page 74] evidently, that these lessons of just retribution for sin should be deeply impressed upon the people of Israel. So during that time it was commanded that if a man shed blood, by man should his blood be shed. (Exodus 21:12; Leviticus 24:13-20; Numbers 35:9-33.) If they saw their neighbor do a wrong, they were to help adjust that wrong. They were to have this principle of justice thoroughly ingrained, because it is a principle of God's character. This rule held good from the days of Noah. (Genesis 9:6.) It is right, too, that laws of justice be enforced by the world at the present time as far as they are able.

When Christ's Kingdom is set up, The Christ will know how to make all due allowances for those who are weak. But we are instructed from the Scriptures that the Lord's people in the present time are not to judge the heart nor to be the avengers of justice. Neither are we to attempt to exact justice for ourselves; but we are to learn and to practise the principles of kindness, mercy and love. The Church are to live on a different plane, a higher plane, than any others, not rendering evil for evil, but, contrariwise, returning good for evil.

We are to bear in mind that we are ourselves imperfect. We are to learn, as disciples of Christ, the great lesson of compassion. We are to show mercy by and by, when exalted to positions of power, wherever conditions shall present themselves as needing mercy; and such conditions will abound; for all will be imperfect and weak until they can progress up out of their fallen state. So if we would be fitted for that responsible and honorable position of judges of the world, we must develop the qualities of love, mercy, compassion, now. We must learn to be very pitiful with the brethren and with the world of mankind, but must take heed to ourselves. Remembering our personal responsibility to the Lord, we are to judge our own course, and see that we ever "follow that which is good," both among the brethren and with all men.

[R5645 : page 74]

GOD'S MERCIES TO DISOBEDIENT ISRAEL<%=R5645%>
– MARCH 28. – QUARTERLY REVIEW. – READ NEHEMIAH 9:26-31. –

THE PERIOD OF THE JUDGES – DIVINELY APPOINTED LEADERS – THEIR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES – ONLY ONE LAW-GIVER AND ONE LAW – TWO PICTURES OF ISRAEL'S NATIONAL LIFE UNDER THE JUDGES – MANIFESTATIONS OF DIVINE LOVE AND CARE FOR GOD'S CHOSEN PEOPLE – LESSONS FOR THE SPIRITUAL ISRAELITES.

"Righteousness exalteth a nation; but sin is a reproach to any people." – Proverbs 14:34.
I
SRAEL'S history from the time of the division of Canaan amongst the tribes until the anointing of Saul to be their king, a period of 450 years (Acts 13:19-21), is called the Period of the Judges – Joshua being the first Judge and Samuel the last. These Judges were evidently not elected to their position, but raised to it providentially. But as these Judges had no power nor authority, collected no revenue and held no office which they could entail upon others, it follows that any power, or influence, they possessed was a personal one; and to give it weight or force implied a proper acknowledgment of them as Divinely appointed, or "raised up."

This arrangement led the people continually to look to God for their helpers and leaders rather than to engage in an ordinary claptrap of politics, in which personal ambition and spoils would dominate and control. God did the nominating; and the people, in proportion as they came into harmony with Him, took cognizance of His choice (and practically endorsed it or voted for it) by their acceptance of the Judge. There may have been a more methodical procedure in some instances; for the elders of Israel who had witnessed God's miraculous interposition on their behalf and who outlived Joshua seem to have constituted the Judges in the different tribes during the remainder of their lifetime. – Judges 2:7.

This arrangement by which God gave Israel their Judges is in considerable harmony with His dealings with Spiritual Israel during the Gospel Age – raising up for them from time to time special counselors, deliverers, ministers. Similarly Spiritual Israelites are not to caucus, wire-pull and decide for themselves who shall be their spiritual leaders, but are to regard the Lord as the great Chief Captain and to look to Him to raise up from time to time such spiritual chieftains as He may please. The acceptance of the leadings of these as God's appointees does not necessarily mean their selection by ballot, but may be indicated merely by giving ear to their teachings in harmony with the Word of the Lord.

The lead of such spiritual lieutenants of Divine appointment will always be marked by spiritual victories and the bringing of the Lord's people into closer heart-relationship with Him. Any leadership which does not produce such fruits is evidently not of the Lord, for the Spirit of the Lord leads not to bondage, ignorance or strife, but to love, joy, peace of heart, liberty of conscience.

Israel needed no congress or legislature; for it had one Lawgiver – the Lord – and the Law given at Mt. Sinai was to be perpetually the guide of the nation. The priests and the Levites, under the Law, were the appointed helpers of the people in things pertaining to God – to instruct them in the Law and to represent them in the typical sacrificing, atonement work, etc. In each tribe, also, the Elders, according to their capacity, had charge of the civil affairs of the tribe. As for soldiers and a war department they had none. The Divine Law was to separate them from other nations; and if they would remain faithful to the Lord, He was to be their Protector against all antagonists.

Similarly, Spiritual Israel in every congregation are to look out amongst themselves for fit men for the services needed. God's Law is to keep them separate from the schemes, and warfares and entanglements of the world. They are to be His peculiar people, and His pledge to them is that all things shall work together for their good so long as they abide faithful to Him. Therefore they need no armies armed with carnal weapons, although they are all soldiers of the Cross, pledged to fight against sin, especially each within himself, and to lay down their lives for each other – "the brethren."

TWO PICTURES OF NATIONAL LIFE

If the Book of Judges be read as a fully complete history of Israel during those four and one-half centuries, it would be a discouraging picture and to some extent would give the inference that they were continually in sin and idolatry, and suffering punishment therefor. But this would be an unfair view to take. On the contrary, the record passes by the happy period of Israel's prosperity, and especially points out their deflections from God, the punishments for such transgressions, and the deliverances from their troubles through the Judges, or deliverers, whom God raised up for them. [R5645 : page 75] That this was in many respects a favorable time for the Israelites is implied in the Lord's promise, "I will restore thy Judges as at the first, and thy counselors as at the beginning." – Isaiah 1:26.

Incidentally the story of Ruth and that of the parents of Samuel give us little glimpses of the other side of the matter – of the God-fearing piety prevalent amongst many of the people, the happiness and contentment enjoyed. In our own day, if we judge of the affairs of the world wholly by the daily history and details in the newspapers, we might get the impression that crimes, strikes, accidents and imprisonments constitute the whole life in our land; for the great mass of the people attending to the ordinary affairs of life are scarcely mentioned. [R5646 : page 75]

In accordance with this are the following lines from the poet Whittier, in which he rejoices in this land of liberty and blessing, notwithstanding the unfavorable reports thereof which go out to the world daily through the press:

"Whate'er of folly, shame or crime
Within thy mighty bounds transpires,
With speed defying space or time,
Comes to us on the accusing wires;
While all thy wealth of noble deeds,
Thy homes of peace, thy votes unsold,
Thy love that pleads for human needs,
The wrongs redressed, but half is told!"
THE FRUITS OF DISOBEDIENCE

The Israelites had been instructed by the Lord to utterly exterminate the people of the land, which extermination we saw, in a previous lesson, prefigured our conquest as Spiritual Israelites over the desires of the fallen nature. Israel, however, settled down to enjoy the Land of Promise without fully exterminating the condemned ones; and later on the false religions of the latter contaminated the Israelites through friendship and fellowship. Thus those whom God had condemned gradually alienated the hearts of many from their full, proper loyalty to the Lord, seducing many of them into a lascivious idolatry.

So with the Spiritual Israelites who do not wage a valiant war against the natural desires of their own fallen flesh – they find shortly that the flesh prospers at the expense of the spiritual life, and that truces with the flesh mean that their love for the Lord is gradually cooled until some form of idolatry creeps in – the love of money or of praise of men or of self, etc., dividing with the Lord the love and reverence of their hearts.

We are not to suppose that all of the Israelites fell away into idolatry; we are rather to understand that repeatedly a considerable number of them became alienated for a time from the love and worship of the Lord, and thus repeatedly brought upon them the Lord's disfavor. Applying this to Spiritual Israel, we are not to expect that the Lord's displeasure with His people would delay until they had fully and completely gone into idolatry to self or wealth or fame; but rather that when some of the affections of the heart begin to go out to other things, the Lord's chastisements would be sent to reprove, rebuke and correct while still there is in our hearts something of obedience and love toward Him – before the world, the flesh and the Adversary should have time to capture us completely.

These records of Divine chastisements and of Israel's subsequent repentance and the Lord's deliverance are all proofs of the Divine love and care for that consecrated people. So far as we have information the Divine power was not thus exercised upon the other nations for their reproof, correction, etc. They were left as strangers, foreigners, aliens from God and from His promises.

So now the Lord's corrections in righteousness, His chastisements, etc., are evidences of special protection, care and relationship to the House of Sons. It is because of our acceptance in Christ and our consecration to the Lord that He in turn has accepted us as sons and gives us the experiences, trials and difficulties needful to our testing and character-development. This is to the intent that we may realize the treachery and the seductive influences of our own fallen natures, represented by the Amalekites, the Canaanites, etc.; and that we may utterly destroy these, and thus come eventually into the condition mentioned by the Apostle when he declares that the consecrated should bring every thought into captivity to the will of God in Christ. – 2 Corinthians 10:5.

When Natural Israel learned one lesson after another and, as fast as each was learned, sent a cry of loyalty up to God, His power was exercised on their behalf, and their deliverance was effected. So with the Spiritual Israelite; when he recognizes the true situation and with thorough repentance turns unto the Lord and cries for deliverance from his own weaknesses and imperfections according to the flesh, his prayer is heard, and his deliverance is provided for with the assurance that the Lord's grace is sufficient. Such a cry to the Lord implies that the sins and weaknesses of the flesh were contrary to the transgressor's will. It implies that in some manner he was seduced or entangled by the world, the flesh or the Adversary; but that his heart is still loyal to the Lord and to the Truth. All such who cry to the Lord in sincerity and faith shall be heard, shall be delivered; for His grace is sufficient for us.

ISRAEL'S WRONG COURSE

The government of Israel was different from every other government in the world. God was their King; and in His providences, according to His Covenant with them, He supervised their affairs – whether by permitting them to go into temporary captivity because of unfaithfulness to Him, or by prospering the nation and guiding their efforts favorably when they lived in obedience to Him. In many respects their condition was most happy.

But in the days of the Prophet Samuel as the Elders perceived that his sons were not to be relied upon to follow in their father's steps and be faithful, impartial Judges, they forgot – or perhaps had never fully realized – that God was their real Judge, their King; and that Samuel was only His representative and mouthpiece. They forgot that although Samuel was growing old, the Lord was "the same yesterday, today and forever," and able to raise up for them, in His own due time, a Judge of the kind best suited to their necessities. Doubtless, also, they did not realize that personally and nationally they were on a higher plane than the nations round about them that had kings. On the contrary, they felt that they were "out of style"; and, as people are very apt to do, they concluded that the majority must be right.

Influenced by this servility to custom, the Elders of Israel petitioned Samuel that he as God's representative would anoint for them a king – make them a nation of servants to one of their own nation. It is hard for us to sympathize with such ignoble sentiments, such prayers for their own degradation. Samuel seems to have viewed the matter from this standpoint, and perhaps he also regarded it as a personal slight to himself. However, he very properly took the matter to the Lord in prayer; it was not for him to decide – he was merely the Lord's [R5646 : page 76] mouthpiece and representative, to speak to the Israelites whatever message he should receive.

How grand it would be if the whole world could be under such rule – Heavenly Wisdom directing, and incorruptible earthly Judges communicating and enforcing the Divine Message and Law? The Scriptures inform us that this is what will eventually come to pass. (Isaiah 1:26.) However, before that grand condition can be realized, it will be necessary for the Messiah to take His great power and reign. Then the people will be ready to hearken to the voice of the Lord through those whom He will appoint and recognize as His mouthpiece. As it is written, "Thy people shall be willing in the Day of Thy power." – Psalm 110:3.

THE MESSIANIC REIGN AUTOCRATIC

In recounting to Israel the manner of a king, neither the Lord nor the Prophet Samuel meant that the description given would be the proper one for a model king, but rather that it would be the general course of any man raised to such imperial power as the kings of olden time enjoyed. The wrong course of kings in general may be traceable to three conditions: (1) All men are imperfect and fallen, and hence in the case of any king it would be merely a question of the degree of imperfection and the tendency to pride, selfishness and abuse of power; (2) The imperfection of those over whom a king reigns makes possible, and to some extent reasonable, the usurpation of great power; (3) The Adversary's derangement of all earthly affairs, putting darkness for light, often makes it seem to both ruler and subjects that an abuse of power is really to the advantage of those ruled.

The question then arises, How will it be with Messiah's Kingdom? We reply that the Scriptures teach that His Rule will be autocratic in the extreme; nevertheless, no one who understands the matter need have any fear; for He who is to take the Throne of the world is the One who so loved the world as to give Himself a Ransom for all mankind. Instead of His Kingdom being one of selfishness, which would ruin its subjects for its own aggrandizement, He has shown His Spirit to be the very reverse of this, in that He left the glory of the Heavenly Courts and humbled Himself to a lower nature, in order to become man's Substitute – He "tasted death for every man." It is this One who is now highly exalted and appointed Heir of all things.

Let us also remember that the Church, now being selected from the world, is composed of those only who have their Master's Spirit and who delight to lay down their lives in co-operation with their Lord and Head. Let us remember that according to the Divine predestination none shall be of that elect class save those who are copies of God's dear Son; and that the tests of discipleship are such as to prove their love and loyalty to God, to Christ, to their brethren, to the world, yea, to their enemies also.

Who need fear an autocratic government in the hands of such a glorious King! Indeed, such a Government will be the most helpful, the most profitable, that the world could possibly have – wise, just, loving, helpful. Let us, therefore, who have been called to this High Calling lay aside every weight and every besetting sin, and, by the Lord's assisting grace, gain this great prize of joint-heirship with Him in His Messianic Kingdom, to have a share with Him in the blessing of all the families of the earth, in the recovery of whosoever will from sin and death.

[R5647 : page 76]

SAUL REJECTED BY THE LORD<%=R5647%>
– APRIL 4. – 1 SAMUEL 15:10-23. –

DISOBEDIENCE TO THE HEAVENLY KING COST SAUL THE THRONE – HIS FIRST SEVERE TEST – LESSON TO SPIRITUAL ISRAEL – SAUL'S SECOND SEVERE TEST – WHY THE AMALEKITES WERE DESTROYED – WAS THEIR CONDEMNATION JUST? – SAUL'S WRONG ATTITUDE OF HEART – BEAUTY AND STRENGTH OF SAMUEL'S CHARACTER.

"Behold, to obey is better than to sacrifice." – 1 Samuel 15:22.
T
HE words of the Golden Text of this Study are the Lord's rebuke to King Saul by the Prophet Samuel, in connection with the announcement that Saul, by disobedience to the Heavenly King, had forfeited his privilege of representing God on the throne of Israel. The rending of the kingdom from the hands of Saul meant more than his own displacement; it meant that his son and his successive heirs should not continue as the Lord's representatives in the kingdom.

For a number of years Saul seems to have prospered fairly on the throne, and the people of Israel prospered with him. It was several years after his coronation that his first severe testing, noted in our lesson of two weeks ago, came to him. At that time a war was instituted against the Philistines, who apparently dominated Israel. Saul waited several days for the Prophet Samuel to come to offer the sacrifices of the Lord, previous to the beginning of the battle. Samuel was providentially hindered; and Saul himself, after waiting for a time, offered the sacrifices to the Lord, contrary to the Divine arrangement, and then proceeded to battle, the result being a considerable defeat to his forces.

Apparently King Saul was not evilly intentioned, but lacked proper respect and reverence for the Lord and His arrangements. This incident may be said to have been the beginning of Saul's rejection by the Lord. The Prophet Samuel's words to him were, "Thou hast not kept the commandment of the Lord;...now thy kingdom shall not continue. The Lord hath sought Him a man after His own heart." – 1 Samuel 13:13,14.

APPLICATION TO SPIRITUAL ISRAEL

The lesson of this incident is as applicable to Spiritual Israel today as it was to King Saul and to Natural Israel in their day – "Obedience is better than sacrifice." In how many ways we may see expressions of this same condition amongst many who profess the Lord's name today? Many are workers in the Lord's Cause in the various denominations of Christendom, and many are their sacrifices of time and money; but inasmuch as they are not obedient to the Lord, they fail of the blessing they would have and, indeed, in a considerable measure cut themselves off from greater privileges and opportunities. Yea, many of them, we fear, are cutting themselves off from the Kingdom, from glory and from joint-heirship with our Lord in that Kingdom.

From this lesson, given us in King Saul's experience, we should learn that our Heavenly Father wishes us to be very attentive to His Word, and not to think for a moment that we can improve thereon, or that times and circumstances will alter the propriety of our obedience to Him. Had King Saul been obedient and the results disastrous, he would at least have had a clear conscience; he could have said that he had been obedient to God and was not responsible for results. But if he had been [R5647 : page 77] obedient, God would have been responsible for results; and we know that Divine Power would have brought about the proper results. Let us apply the lesson to ourselves in respect to our daily conduct in every matter of life. Let us hearken to the Word of God and keep close to it, not fearing the results, but having faith that He who keeps us never slumbers nor sleeps and is too wise to err, as well as competent to meet every emergency that could possibly come upon us as a result of our obedience.

How many of the Lord's people in Babylon would be blessed by following the instructions of this lesson! Time and again they have said to themselves, "I see that present institutions and arrangements are contrary to the simplicity of the Gospel of Christ and the practise of the early Church; but what can I do? I am identified with this system and am engaged in sacrificing for its upbuilding. If now I withdraw my hand, it will mean more or less disaster. I wish I were free from human institutions, and that I had my hands filled with the Lord's work along the lines of His Word; but I cannot let go, for necessity seems to be upon me. I must perform a sacrifice, and this seems to be my most convenient place for so doing."

The Lord is not pleased with such arguments. His message to us is that to obey is better than sacrifice; that we leave the matter of our sacrifice in His hands; for unless He accepts it, our sacrifice will amount to nothing, and He accepts sacrifices only from those who are first obedient. "Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and receive not of her plagues." – Revelation 18:4.

Although the Lord announced the rejection of King Saul, the prediction was evidently not fulfilled for several years after – perhaps for ten years. The decree stood as if it were a dead letter; for quite possibly King Saul was properly exercised by his rejection and became more attentive and more obedient to the Divine will, and David, who was probably anointed about this time, was not yet sufficiently developed to be the Lord's representative in Saul's stead in the kingdom.

KING SAUL'S SECOND TEST

King Saul's next severe trial was in connection with the Amalekites – a fierce nomadic people who on several occasions had done injury to the people of Israel. In sending the message to the king, the Lord gave special instructions that the Amalekites should be destroyed, saying, "Utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass." Without mentioning other of Amalek's transgressions, He specifies that the destruction here was on account of Amalek's opposition to Israel in the way when the Israelites came up out of the land of Egypt, several centuries previously.

This narrative is seized upon by skeptics to prove either one or the other of two things: (1) That it was the imagination of either Samuel or Saul or of some one writing fictitiously in their names; or (2) That if it be accepted as being the command of the Lord, it would prove Him to be a monster – lacking in justice, pity, sympathy and love – that He should thus command the wholesale slaughter of human creatures and dumb animals. There is but one answer to make to this matter, and it should be satisfactory to all who understand it. It is this:

(1) The slaughter of the Amalekites did not mean, as is usually inferred, that being admittedly wicked they went forthwith to eternal torture. Death had the same meaning to the Amalekites that it had to their cattle – a termination of whatever was desirable in the present life; and the desirable things of the present life were probably not more to the Amalekites than to their herds. Slaughtered by the sword, the Amalekites suffered far less than if they had been made the subjects of famine or pestilence, and had died of hunger or disease – the ending of life with little pain to themselves or trouble to others – the ending of comparatively uneventful lives, anyway.

They all went down to the great prison-house of death – Sheol, Hades, the tomb. God foreknew and had already arranged a great redemption, not only for them, but for all mankind. And that redemption, secured by the great sacrifice of Christ centuries after their death, will by and by secure to them release from their imprisonment – an awakening from the sleep of death. They will be amongst the class mentioned by our Lord, saying, "All that are in their graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God and shall come forth." They will come forth under much more favorable conditions, to learn of the grace of God in Christ and to be amongst the families of the earth who shall be blessed by the Seed of Abraham – Spiritual Israel. The Amalekites will not be in the Chief Resurrection, but will be awakened unto the privileges of Restitution by judgments – corrections in righteousness.

(2) It is quite true of the Amalekites, as it was of the Amorites, that they would have been cut off sooner, but that their iniquity was not yet come to the full. One lesson to be learned from this is that even though those nations may not be under special covenant relationship with God, there is a certain Divine supervision – that their iniquities go not too far; and that, when these iniquities have reached their full, punishment is to be expected. We know not the particulars respecting the Amalekites; but, knowing the character of God, and His justice and mercy, we may be sure that in some particular sense of the word their iniquities had come to the full and running-over measure before this order for their execution was committed to King Saul.

KING SAUL'S WILFUL DISOBEDIENCE

Saul's error in this trial was his failure to carry out the command of the Lord explicitly. He slew all the Amalekites, old and young, except the king, whom he kept alive, possibly thinking to exhibit him in some kind of triumphal display. But as for the flocks and herds, he consented with his people to spare all that were desirable.

It was at this juncture that the Prophet Samuel came to him and the colloquy of our lesson ensued. The general narrative – Samuel's indignation and the Lord's positive statement – clearly indicates that King Saul had not misunderstood his instructions, but had with considerable deliberation violated them. Consequently we must understand his words addressed to the Prophet Samuel to have [R5648 : page 77] been to a great extent hypocritical. He first salutes the Prophet with blessings and with assurances that he had performed the commandment of the Lord successfully.

Immediately the Prophet replied, "What meaneth, then, this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?" The Prophet understood at once that the work of destruction had not been complete – that King Saul and the Israelites were anxious to take a spoil. This was wholly contrary to the Divine direction. They were not to destroy their enemies to their own advantage, but to act simply as the agents of the Lord in thus executing His decree, the sentence of Justice. They were not to take booty and thus to become like the nations about them – a robber nation, profiting by the troubles which they inflicted upon the enemies of the Lord. This is in full accord with the Lord's character and the foregoing explanation of it. [R5648 : page 78]

Seeing that the Prophet was not likely to sympathize with his violation of the command, King Saul began hypocritically to represent that all the sheep and oxen captured from the enemy were to be sacrificed to the Lord; and incidentally this would have meant a great feast for the Israelites; for the flesh of animals so sacrificed was eaten by them. The Prophet stopped the king in his explanation, and told him of the Lord's words of the night preceding, which in Jewish reckoning would be "this night," because their day began in the evening.

The Divine message calls attention to the fact that Saul was humble when he was chosen as the Lord's representative upon the throne, and that at that time he was very willing to give strict obedience to the Heavenly voice; but the intimation is that he had grown more self-confident, and therefore less reliant upon the Lord and less attentive to the Lord's commands. Getting into the wrong attitude of heart, he had failed to execute properly a very plain, specific direction. Knowingly and in violation of the Lord's command he had the spoil separated, and had spared the best when the Lord had commanded the reverse.

If, in applying the principles of this lesson to the Lord's people today, we think of the Amalekites as representing sins and remember that the Lord's command comes to us to put away sin entirely, we may get a good lesson. Like Saul, many are disposed to destroy the vilest things connected with sin, but to save alive the king sin, merely making him a prisoner. Many are disposed, also, to seek out the things which they realize to be condemned of the Lord to destruction – such things as would be choice and desirable to their taste; and frequently, like Saul, they claim that even these sins of the less obnoxious kind are held on to for the purpose of sacrificing them in order thus to honor God. How deceitful above all things is the heart! How necessary it is that all who would be in accord with the Lord should be thoroughly true-hearted, thoroughly sincere; and that under the Lord's direction we should seek to take away the life of every sinful principle, evil teaching, evil doctrine and all unholy words, deeds and thoughts!

OBEDIENCE VERSUS SACRIFICE

King Saul sought to defend his course, to put as good a face upon the matter as possible and to lay the responsibility for the saving of the spoil upon the hosts of Israel, who with himself were very desirous of offering sacrifices to the Lord. The Prophet's answer is the pith of this Study and contains its Golden Text. He clearly pointed out to the king what the latter should have known and what all should recognize; namely, that offering sacrifices is far less pleasing to the Lord than is obedience to His Word. No one could offer an acceptable sacrifice to God unless he was obedient in his heart and unless the sacrifice represented that obedience.

So with God's people today. It is not so much of ill-gotten wealth that we may sacrifice to the Lord; it is not so much the proceeds acquired directly or indirectly by wrong doing that we may sacrifice acceptably. Our sacrifice must be from the heart. First of all must be the will. He who gives his will, his heart, to the Lord gives all; he who gives not his will, who comes not into heart obedience unto the Lord, can offer no sacrifice that could be acceptable to the Lord. "Behold, to obey is better than to sacrifice," is a lesson which should be deeply engraved upon the hearts of all the sanctified in Christ Jesus.

It is also necessary to have the spirit of obedience. Whoever has that spirit will not only obey the Divine will, but will seek to know the Divine will more and more that he may obey it. It is of this class that the Scriptures declare, "Thy words were found, and I did eat them"; and again, in the words of our Redeemer, "I delight to do Thy will, O my God; Thy Law is written in my heart."

King Saul had been very diligent in his opposition to witchcraft and idolatry throughout the land of Israel, and in so doing was accomplishing a good work in accord with the Divine plan, the Divine will; but the Prophet calls attention to the fact that his energy in such matters would not prove an offset to his deliberate, wilful neglect of the Divine injunction. The Lord's commands against sin and every evil thing are to be executed to the very letter, no matter how highly exalted the sin may be in dignity and place, and no matter how precious or valuable or desirable or toothsome the sin may be to our fallen natures. Though it be as dear as a right hand or as a right eye, there is no course open to the Lord's followers but to be obedient – obedient even unto death.

Although fully rejected, King Saul was not removed until the due time. The Prophet Samuel associated himself with the king in a public sacrifice, commemorating the victory over the Amalekites; and on this occasion he slew Agag with his own hand, and then departed to his home. He never afterward saw King Saul; yet the Scriptures declare, "Nevertheless, Samuel mourned for Saul" – thus again showing us the beauty and the strength of the Prophet's character. He was ever ready to do the command of the Lord in any and every particular, yet was not without a feeling of compassion for those who were out of the way – not a compassion which would make them his friends and lead him to co-operate in their wrong course, but one which would have been glad to co-operate with them at any time in a righteous course.

"ARE YE ABLE?"
Are ye able to walk in the narrow, strait way,
With no friend by your side, and no arm for your stay?
Can ye bravely go on through the darkening night?
Can ye patiently wait till the Lord sends the Light?

Are ye able to crush your soul's longing for Love,
Will ye seek for no friendship save that from above?
Can ye pass through this world, lone, unnoticed, unknown,
While your faith faintly whispers, "He knoweth His own"?

Where the feet of the Blessed One stood, can ye stand?
Can ye follow His steps to a wilderness land?
Are ye able to cast aside pleasure and fame?
Can ye live but to glorify His precious name?

Can ye smile as His dear voice says tenderly "No,"
When "the field is so white," and your heart yearns to go?
Can ye rest then in silence, contented and still,
Till your Lord, the Chief Reaper, revealeth His will?

Are ye able to lay on the Altar's pure flame
That most treasured possession, your priceless good name?
Can ye ask of your Father a blessing for those
Who see naught in your life but to scorn and oppose?

When the conflict 'twixt Error and Truth fiercer grows,
Can ye wield the strong "Sword" against unnumbered foes?
Can ye lift up the "Standard" e'en higher and higher,
While His praises ye sing in the midst of the fire?

When ye see the Lord's cause going down to defeat,
Will your courage endure in the seven-fold heat?
Will your faith keep you steadfast, though heart and flesh fail,
As the New Creature passes beneath the last Veil?

Ah, if thus ye can drink of the Cup He shall pour,
And if never the Banner of Truth ye would lower,
His beloved ye are, and His crown ye shall wear,
In His Throne ye shall sit, and His glory shall share!

G. W. S.

[R5648 : page 79]

INTERESTING LETTERS
MIRACLE WHEAT TAKES PRIZE

GREATEST WHEAT STATE SENDS MIRACLE WHEAT AS ITS BEST PRIZE WHEAT TO THE WORLD'S FAIR.

DEAR FRIENDS AND BRETHREN: –

A copy of the Chicago Daily Tribune recently came to my notice containing articles, the object of which was an attack upon the Association and especially upon Pastor Russell. Among other points of attack was Miracle Wheat, and thinking that some information on the subject might be of value to you in meeting this attack, I enclose herewith picture and data relative to a field of Miracle Wheat I grew last year. This picture, among thousands of others of the best fields raised in the State, was sent to the Secretary of the State Board of Agriculture, J. C. Mohler. From this collection was to be chosen the one which would represent the State at the World's Fair, which convenes February 20th.

Now the judges in this matter did not know that this was Miracle Wheat, hence they had nothing to bias their decision. So Miracle Wheat received the award.

I grew 70 acres of this wheat and planted and cared for it in the regular, ordinary way, and had no trouble in disposing of it to my neighbor wheat-growers last fall for seed, at $2 per bushel.

In this section of the country we have to sow more to the acre than in some localities, hence we could not follow the 20 lb. to the acre rate of seeding, but some we seeded at the rate of ½ bu. and some at the rate of ¾ bu. per acre, and we found the three pecks to be the better. If we were going to sow again we would sow rather more than this.

My field yielded 49 bu. to the acre – more than twice the average yield of wheat in this vicinity and in many instances more than three times as much. If this information is of any value to you or any of the friends who may have charge of the matter of setting these things straight before the public, I am thankful for the opportunity to furnish the same. With Christian love and best regards, I am

Your brother and fellow-servant,

W. A. JARRETT.

403,000 SEE CREATION DRAMA IN LONDON
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

On Sunday, the 13th inst., we completed the first seven days at the Royal Albert Hall, London. Two Sundays are included, as we have no presentation on Mondays. The following are the figures:

                                                   Sale
                                  Attendance.  of Scenarios
First seven days Opera House......   19,767         967
First seven days Royal Albert Hall   24,192       1,066

We count it a privilege indeed to be enabled to send reports of the Lord's work here that are an encouragement to you, and to our beloved colaborers in the U.S.A. All the [R5649 : page 79] time we are mindful of the great blessings which have come to us through you, His honored servant, and the great incentive we have received from time to time by the noble example of our dear brethren laboring by your side. It will probably never be our privilege to witness to eight millions, as in America; in fact, so far as London is concerned, the witness seems to be drawing to a close for lack of funds, although we have not as yet reached a half million of its population – only some 403,000. We are truly thankful for the opportunities which have been granted us, however, and realize that these are of the Lord's provision.

The Royal Albert Hall was somewhat of a surprise to us. On inquiry regarding it we found the Manager quite willing to do everything in his power to meet us. He evidently had a good impression of our former visits to the Hall, when you gave the Lectures which were so greatly used of the Lord for the opening up of the work in Great Britain. The actual net out-of-pockets was suggested by him as a fee, but exceeded our limit as to cost. Ultimately he agreed upon a figure of £200 for thirteen days, and accepted the risk of selling £10 in reserved seats per night to make up the necessary difference. A sum of £20 will easily cover the balance for "extras," and this we hope to provide from the sale of Scenarios.

It would seem to be the Lord's purpose for the DRAMA to be held back for awhile, possibly over the holiday season. We have no funds, and no serviceable applications at present. In the meantime the Eureka DRAMA is claiming our attention.

At a prayer, praise and testimony meeting held at the Royal Albert Hall last evening, after the big public meeting was over, the Brothers and Sisters expressed their gratitude to the Lord for all the privileges bestowed. All felt uplifted and full of fervor for the Truth.

Since the above was written Brother Hemery has received a letter from Sister Seibert enclosing a draft for £100. This generous gift is intended for the PHOTO-DRAMA, we understand; but Sister Seibert does not make it clear whether it is to be divided between the provinces and London, or whether it is intended for London only. The money is most welcome, and every care will be exercised to use same wisely as the Lord may direct. With much fond love,

Your brother in the Lord,

H. J. SHEARN.

"THE LAND OF THE MIDNIGHT SUN"
DEARLY BELOVED BROTHER RUSSELL: –

Some time has passed since we left you all at dear "Bethel," and nothing have you heard from us, but now as we are in Sweden's northernmost city, we want to send a message of love to you and all the Bethel family from one of Sweden's Drama groups, in which we have the privilege of laboring for our Master.

What a wonderful privilege we have to be able to help spread the "Tidings of Great Joy" amidst the world's tumult, and also what a privilege to be able to present the Drama up here, where it is so dark and cold just now! The sun is invisible fifty-two days during the winter months! Truly we have seen God's power and the manifestation of His love so wonderful that we have, oh! so much to rejoice over.

Wherever the Drama has been presented so far, much interest has been shown, and not once has the theater or hall been large enough for all to gain entrance, and many times have more been turned away than have been able to get in.

One evidence of God's power was manifested in Lidkoping. It had been snowing for two days, and during one of the afternoon performances it began to snow still harder, and half an hour after the performance was over the electric power was cut off and the whole city was in darkness, with the exception of a few gas lights here and there. The two hours before the 8 o'clock performance were trying ones for us. Shortly before 7 o'clock people began to gather. All the light we had was a candle held by a sister at the book table. People kept gathering more and more, and in spite of the storm and no power, waited patiently to get in. The brothers helped to line up, and in our hearts we were sorely troubled. We prayed silently, "O God, if it be Thy will and the Drama is of Thee, give us power, for Jesus' sake."

Seven volumes of STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES and twenty-five SCENARIOS were sold, with the light of the candle. It was fifteen minutes of 8; the candle was still giving its faint light; the people were invited in, and in but a few minutes the house was filled to its uttermost capacity. We intended to play a few records on the graphophone and then tell them something about the Drama work. We had played two pieces, and it was 8 o'clock. I came to the platform and was ready to speak to the people when the power came with a wonderful flash! The people rejoiced with us, and loud applause rang through the whole theater. We learned so much through this experience. We had no need of power before 8 o'clock, but it came just when we needed it. God wants us to be patient and to trust Him.

"Simply trusting every day,
Trusting through a stormy way.
Trusting Jesus – that is all."

This is only one incident, and we have experienced so many. God is love. His Truth proclaims it; day by day His Truth we prove.

* * * *

With greetings of Christian love to you and all the dear friends, we are

Your humble servants for the Master's use,

BROTHER AND SISTER UNDEN. – Sweden.

SURELY THE TRUTH DESERVES BETTER HANDLING
BIBLE STUDENTS MONTHLY, Brooklyn, N.Y. GENTLEMEN: –

When one of our firm was about to leave his residence today, he noticed a man passing along the street throwing folded papers from the sidewalk without any pretension of walking up to the doorstep. The one thrown at the residence above referred to landed in snow and water on the front porch 25 feet from the door. Upon being unfolded it was found to be a copy of the BIBLE STUDENTS MONTHLY. Our point is this: We are supposed to be the only distributors in the city of Oswego. One of our distributing advertisers might come out of his house and find a folder such as yours thrown in the snow. He would naturally think it was some of our work, become disgusted with this method of advertising and stop doing business with us and we would never know the reason.

WALLACE POSTER ADV. CO. – Oswego.

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

page 81
March 1st

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

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

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

VOL. XXXVIMARCH 15No. 6
A. D. 1915 – A.M. 6043
CONTENTS
Patient Endurance the Final Test 83
The Patience of God 83
The Necessity for Patient Endurance 84
Trials Absolutely Essential 85
"The Hour of Temptation" 85
One of Satan's Special Deceptions 86
St. Paul's Picture of Present Conditions 86
The Importance of Self-Control 87
David Anointed King 88
"Jehovah Is My Shepherd" 90
Interesting Questions 92
Many Christians Not Yet Enlightened 92
Shall We Sacrifice Legitimate Pleasures? 93
Preachers Back of Malicious Attack 93
Interesting Letters 94
More Valuable Than Year in College 94
Saved by Creation's Photo-Drama 94
A "Truth" Baby 94
The Faith That Overcomes (Poem) 95
Conventions of 1915 82

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1915 – GENERAL CONVENTION ARRANGEMENTS

Many of our dear readers used their money talent quite liberally last year in connection with Pilgrim Public Meetings, Class Extension Work, the Drama Work, Eureka Drama Work, etc. We are sure that they have no regrets, but are equally sure that many of these will have less opportunity in these directions during the present year. In view of these conditions our present thought is to omit our usual large mid-summer Conventions, which, aside from the cost of preparation, involve all who attend in considerable outlay for railway fare, hotel accommodations, etc. Our Conventions last year must have cost those who attended one hundred thousand dollars at least, notwithstanding the fact that we scattered the Conventions considerably, with a view to shortening the railway journey and the incidental expenses.

We believe that it will be quite to the pleasement of the majority of the friends that a still more economical plan be followed this year, namely, the holding of One-Day Conventions in various convenient localities. We purpose one hundred such Conventions. Indeed, we have already commenced the plan. The Editor makes a loop-trip, taking in a number of places and consuming about ten days for each trip, serving at different cities each day, as far as possible. The Classes thus served communicate with friends in their neighborhood as to the date and place for the assembly. A meeting for the public is arranged usually in the evening, while other services are held throughout the day. In some cases the meetings are prolonged, either beginning the day before or continuing the day after the one on which the Editor gives a public address.

This less expensive plan not only affords cheaper facilities for the friends and permits some to be in attendance who could not take an expensive trip, but, additionally, it gives opportunity for a public witness all over the country, which seems to be well received and to be yielding good fruitage. Those Classes which have made application for public services are always given the preference. Information and inquiries by mail or by wire determine the route (in harmony with the possibilities as respects auditoriums, etc.). It is hoped that by this means the Editor will meet the friends and address the public this summer in places never before visited by him, as well as in others where he has previously been.

SAN FRANCISCO, CAL., EXPOSITION CONVENTION
MAY 29-JUNE 7 – OAKLAND AND SAN FRANCISCO

The Panama Expositions at San Diego and San Francisco, California, are arousing considerable interest, especially on the Pacific Coast. The friends at these points are very desirous of having Conventions, believing that they will be convenient for some who may have business as well as spiritual interests calling them in that direction. In harmony with their requests the Editor is laying out a lengthy loop which will have San Francisco as its furthest limit. Incidentally he proposes to stop at quite a number of cities, both going and returning. The following is his proposed itinerary – subject, of course, to the acceptance or rejection of the Classes at the places named: –

May 11....East Liverpool, Ohio.         May 19....Denison, Texas.
 "  12....Pittsburgh, Penna.             "  20....Dallas, Texas.
 "  13....Cincinnati, Ohio.              "  21....Waco, Texas.
 "  14....St. Louis, Mo.                 "  22....Houston, Texas.
 "  15....Sedalia, Mo.                   "  23....San Antonio, Texas.
 "  16....Kansas City, Mo.               "  24....El Paso, Texas.
 "  17....Coffeyville, Kans.             "  26-29.Los Angeles, etc.
 "  18....Oklahoma City, Okla.           "  30....San Francisco, Cal.

June 7th will be Bible Students' Day at the Fair, where Festival Hall has been set apart for their use that day. Brother Russell expects to deliver a public address on Sunday, May 30th, at San Francisco and on Sunday, June 6th, at Oakland. He also expects to be with the Conventioners at Festival Hall, June 7th. Convention arrangements are not fully perfected; but as Brother Russell will have editorial duties and correspondence needing his attention, he will probably speak only once at the Oakland Convention, aside from the two public Sunday addresses here mentioned and the address at Festival Hall, June 7th.

Address communications for information respecting room and board at reasonable rates to I.B.S.A. Committee, Box 473, Oakland, Cal.

THE RETURN JOURNEY IS OUTLINED AS FOLLOWS – Subject to acceptance or rejection by the Classes:

June 8....Sacramento, Cal.              June 18....Cheyenne, Wyo.
 "  10....Portland, Ore.                 "   20....Pueblo, Colo.
 "  11....Tacoma, Wash.                  "   21....Colorado Springs, Colo.
 "  12....Everett and Bellingham,        "   22....Denver, Colo.
             Wash.                       "   23....Omaha, Neb.
 "  13....Seattle, Wash.                 "   24....Chicago, Ill.
 "  14....Spokane, Wash.                 "   25....South Bend, Ind.
 "  15....Helena, Mont.                  "   27....Cleveland, Ohio.
 "  16....Butte, Mont.                  July  4....New York City Temple.
DOCTOR JONES PROPOSES EXCURSION

Learning of the above proposal for a series of One-Day Conventions and of the San Francisco-Oakland Eight Days' Convention, Brother Jones inquired whether or not we would like company. Assured that the companionship of God's people is always welcome, he notified us of his intention to form a Convention Party. He proposes to charter one or two sleeping cars and to accommodate such of the friends as may be disposed to make this journey. Whoever has any thought of joining Brother Jones' Excursion Party should address him on the subject at once for full particulars respecting Excursion ticket over this run, sleeping car accommodations and meals en route.

So far from urging any of the friends to take this Convention Trip, we on the contrary suggest that each sit down first and count the cost; that each one considering it make the matter a subject of prayer, that special opportunities for serving the Lord through Eureka Drama, Pilgrim service and otherwise be not neglected, unless for what is believed to be excellent reasons, pleasing to the Lord. Whatever is done should be done speedily, as Brother Jones must negotiate with the railroads, etc. Address Dr. L. W. Jones, Chicago Temple, 700 Wabash Ave., Chicago, Ill.

[R5650 : page 83]

PATIENT ENDURANCE THE FINAL TEST<%=R5650%>

"Let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." – James 1:4.
T
HE Scriptures everywhere represent patience as an important element of character. In every phase of human experience we can see its need. To be just under present conditions, one must be patient, not rash; for it would be unjust to be impatient and severe with the unavoidable imperfections and weaknesses of our fellowmen. Therefore the spirit of a sound mind demands that we be patient in dealing with fallen humanity. God Himself possesses this quality of patience, and has long exercised it. In dealing with the world in the next Age the Church will need to have much patience, and under our present environments we need it constantly in order to develop the character necessary for a place on the Throne with our Lord.

Patience is closely allied to love and mercy. If God were unloving, unmerciful, He would be without patience. In man's present blemished, fallen condition, patience is sadly lacking, although it is often exercised outwardly for policy's sake. This Godlike quality, like all the other qualities of character inherent in God and in all perfect beings created in His likeness, has been largely obliterated in humanity by the fall of the first pair.

In the New Testament there are two Greek words translated patience. One of these words signifies forbearance, longsuffering. The other carries the thought of cheerful or hopeful endurance. The latter is the word used in our text, and has a much deeper significance than attaches ordinarily to our word patience. This constancy – the endurance of evil in a cheerful, willing manner – represents an element of character, and not merely a temporary restraint of feeling or of action. It signifies a development of heart and character which manifests itself in an endurance of wrong or affliction with contentment, without rebellion of will, with full acquiescence in the requirement of Divine Wisdom and Love, which, while permitting present evils, has promised in due time to overthrow them.

It will surely be profitable for us to cultivate carefully this element of Christian character of which our Lord speaks in such high commendation, and without which, His Word assures us, our character cannot be perfected. The Christian requires patient endurance to put on the whole armor of God, and having put it on, to keep it securely buckled. We need it in dealing not only with others, but also with ourselves, with our own blemishes. We should always take into account the various circumstances and conditions surrounding ourselves and others. As we look around, we see that the world is in a condition of blight, of sin. This knowledge should give us great sympathy with humanity, without which we would have but little patience. All of our brethren in Christ, like ourselves, are by nature members of this fallen human race. Therefore we should have a great deal of patient endurance with the Lord's people, as we would have them exercise this grace toward us.

THE PATIENCE OF GOD

As the quality of justice will always persist, so will the quality of patience, though not in the sense of patient endurance of evil. God patiently works out His own glorious designs, in perfect equipoise of mind. At present this requires the exercise of patient endurance with evil, sinful conditions; and in the Ages of glory to come God will, we believe, still work out His purposes in perfect patience, probably in worlds yet uninhabited.

But in the exercise of patience under present evil conditions, Wisdom must have a voice. God has declared that in His Wisdom the time will come when He will cease to exercise patience toward the world. That is to say, He will no longer bear with the world in their present sinful, imperfect condition. That time has almost arrived. The great cataclysm of trouble, now about due, will sweep away the entire present order preparatory to the establishment of the Kingdom of God under the whole heavens. Then God will give men the fullest opportunity of coming into harmony with Himself and righteousness before He will deal with them summarily.

The time is coming when there will be no more sin. God will have a clean universe by and by. But He will first give everybody an opportunity to rise out of sin. If they will not avail themselves of the opportunity, then God's patience, longsuffering, will cease to be operative toward such. This will not mean that God's patience has ceased, but that its activity has ceased in that direction.

God's patience has arranged the thousand years of Messiah's Reign for man's blessing, and His Wisdom has decided that those thousand years will be sufficient for the elimination of evil. Whoever will not learn to live righteously under those favorable conditions would never learn, and it would not be the part of Divine Wisdom longer to exercise patience with such. Likewise also, in [R5650 : page 84] our dealings with ourselves and others, there is a limit to the proper exercise of patience – longsuffering. We should not be patient with ourselves beyond a certain point. There are circumstances in which we would properly feel that we should have known better and should have done better than we did.

LET US JUDGE OURSELVES

If a child of God realizes that he has been derelict with himself, he should say, I will not be patient with myself any further. I will take myself in hand and conquer this weakness which I have permitted in a measure to assert itself to the weakening of my own character and probably to the discomfort and pain of others. I cannot do this in my own unaided strength, but by the grace of the Lord I am determined to overcome in this matter.

Parents require much patience, forbearance, in dealing with their children. The limit of patience might differ in regard to different children. Therefore the wise parent will judge how nearly each child has been doing the right thing, and how well each has received and profited by instruction. If he finds that any child of his is wilfully doing wrong, he should not continue to be patient, but should administer the rod. This would not mean that the parent had ceased to be patient. He might have patience the next day with the same child, and subsequently the application of the rod might come again. We are rather to be too patient, too sympathetic, than to have too little patience, too little sympathy. Remembering our own weaknesses, we are to exercise patience toward others who are seeking to overcome their imperfections, even as we are seeking to overcome our own. We all need that patience, forbearance, be exercised toward us.

OUR LORD'S LESSONS ON PATIENT ENDURANCE

Recurring to the word patience as used in our text, let us glance backward to our Lord's Parable of the Sower, as recorded in Luke 8. In verse 15 we read, "That on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the Word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience," patient endurance, constancy. The thought here is that to be of the fruit-bearing class which the Lord will approve and accept in His Kingdom we must do more than to receive the Word of His Testimony, even though we receive it with joy. It means more; for the stony ground class at first thus received it. For a brief time these seemed to give evidence of fruitfulness and vigor; but when the hot sun of persecution arose, they withered away, because of lack of depth of soil.

In this parable the Lord shows that patient endurance, constancy, is the final test of character. It follows after the receiving and the sprouting of the seed; it follows after love, hope, joy and faith have caused the seed to spring forth and begin to bear fruit. Patient endurance, then, is necessary in order that the fruit may be developed and thoroughly ripened, that the grain may be made ready for the garner. Ah, how important this grace is seen to be, in the light of God's Word! But remember that the endurance must be cheerful. We cannot suppose that He who judges the thoughts and intents of the heart would be pleased with His children, even when He saw them bearing much for His sake, if they endured it in an impatient or dissatisfied or unhappy frame of mind.

Those who thus endure surely would not be copies of God's dear Son, whose sentiment found expression in the words, "I delight to do Thy will, O My God!" All of the Royal Priesthood are sacrificers, as was our great Chief Priest; and God who accepts our sacrifices through the merit of our dear Redeemer, informs us that He loves a cheerful giver – one who performs his sacrifices gladly, with a willing heart. This does not mean that our bodies will never grow weary; but that our spirit will rejoice in the privilege of suffering weariness of the flesh in so noble and wonderful a service. But if our Father should see best to lay us aside from active work for a time, when our hearts are longing to serve, this too will be an opportunity to endure cheerfully His will for us. It may also be a test of our full submission of our wills to His, and thus be an important stepping-stone upward toward the Kingdom glories and privileges.

The other instance in which the Lord used this word patience, or patient endurance, is recorded in Luke 21:19. He had just been telling His followers that they must expect tribulations as the result of being His disciples during the present time, when sin abounds, when Satan is the prince of this world. They must expect opposition from various quarters; but He assured them that nevertheless [R5651 : page 84] they would be fully under Divine care and protection, even though persecutions would be permitted to reach and to affect them. Then follow the words, "In your patience [patient endurance, cheerful constancy] possess ye your souls." – Luke 21:19.

Our faith and our trust in the Lord and His gracious promises should be so strong and unwavering that they will far more than counterbalance the oppositions of the world, of false brethren, and of Satan's blinded servants. So implicit should be our faith in our Father's love and care that all these persecutions will be recognized and rejoiced in as the agencies of His providence in chiseling, shaping and polishing us as living stones for the glorious Temple which He is constructing, and which is now so soon, we believe, to be set up.

Viewing our trials from this standpoint, we can indeed rejoice and can possess our souls, our lives, as New Creatures, even amidst tribulations, with cheerful endurance. Yea, we may realize that the soul, the real being, to whom God has given the "exceeding great and precious promises" of the future, cannot be injured by the persecutions of the flesh, or by anything that man can do unto us, so long as we are faithful to the Lord, accepting every experience that He permits to come to us as ministrations of His providence for our ultimate good and His glory.

THE NECESSITY FOR PATIENT ENDURANCE

Let us here examine carefully into the reason why it is necessary for us to develop this grace of patient endurance. It appears that the development of this quality is one of the conditions which God has attached to the call to joint-heirship with our Lord in the Kingdom, and one of the same conditions required of Him. The wisdom of this is manifest when we consider the work to which we are called – the work of blessing all the families of the earth, as God's Millennial Kingdom, in joint-heirship with the Only Begotten Son of God, our great Redeemer. That will be a mighty work; and it is eminently proper that Jehovah should require that those whom He shall account worthy of that exalted position shall not only appreciate His goodness and His glorious character, and prefer His service to sin and iniquity, but demonstrate their thorough loyalty to the principles of righteousness and to His will to the extent of a joyful willingness to suffer on behalf of these principles. A transitory endurance of one or two or three brief trials would not prove the individual to have an established character for righteousness; but a patient, cheerful, endurance even unto death would be necessary to demonstrate such a character.

We might illustrate this with the diamond. Suppose [R5651 : page 85] that we were able to make diamonds out of some plastic material with the brilliancy of the real diamond; and suppose that they became hard, but not so hard as the genuine diamond. Would these imitation diamonds have the value of the true diamond? By no means. If they were subjected to severe pressure, they would be crushed. And so with the Christian. If we supposed him possessed of every grace of character that could belong to the sons of God, save this one of firmness, endurance, he would not be fit to be amongst the Lord's jewels. Hence we see the necessity of the Lord's demand that patient, cheerful endurance shall be a characteristic of each one who shall be accepted to a place in His Royal Diadem.

The importance of this quality in the Christian character is again emphasized by the Apostle Paul. In His Epistle to Titus (2:2), when enumerating the character-qualities of an advanced Christian, he declares that they must be "vigilant, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience." The final test of patient endurance must be passed before we can be accepted as of the Very Elect.

The same Apostle in writing to Timothy, thus reminds him, "Thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, patient endurance." We need this important grace more and more as we speed along on our race course and near the end of the way. Feet grow weary; trials and testings abound; therefore we need to "gird up the loins of our mind" and, looking to our great Exemplar for the needed inspiration and strength, to set our faces like a flint for the home stretch.

TRIALS ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL

Our ability and strength to patiently endure should increase as we progress in the narrow way. We should grow "strong in the Lord and in the power of His might." But we cannot possibly develop this essential trait of character without trials – experiences intended to call for the exercise of cheerful endurance. So let us not think it strange if we are called upon to pass through protracted trials which make necessary the nerving of ourselves to bear. But let us repeat that the virtue is not merely in the bearing; for the world has much to bear, but it is particularly in the manner in which we endure. At heart we must be sweet and submissive – in fullest harmony with the Lord's processes of development. This may be hard at times; but His grace will be sufficient, if we constantly apply for it. "Having done all," let us "stand!"

Ah, yes! We can see a new reason for the Lord's arrangement that we should have our trial as our Master had His – under an evil environment – that we might not only have all the necessary qualities of Christian character, but have them rooted, grounded, fixed, established.

The Apostle James likewise draws our attention to the importance of this quality. He says, "The trying of your faith worketh patience"; that is to say, if our faith stands the trial, it will work out in our character this patient endurance. On the other hand, if we do not attain this development, it will mean that our faith has not stood the test satisfactorily, and that we are not fit for the Kingdom. Thus we see clearly what a great mistake has been made among Christian people in general in supposing that religion is a thing to be gotten suddenly as an answer to prayer, or by going to the mourner's bench, or by standing up for prayers, or in response to some Divine or human appeal – just as one would get a dollar and put it into his pocket. On the contrary, the step of repentance from sin and justification is only the beginning, and not the end, of the Christian way. The next step is consecration of ourselves and our all to God. But this also is far from the end. Not only must we go on and on, to the attainment of faith, fortitude, self-control, meekness and love, but having attained all these, we must patiently endure. We must "run with patience [cheerful endurance] the race set before us." Or, to use another figure of speech, it is merely starting in the School of Christ; merely having our names enrolled as pupils, to be taught of the Lord.

"THE HOUR OF TEMPTATION"

The Church of the Philadelphia period were promised of the Lord that because of their faithfulness, because they had "kept the Word of My patience," they should be kept from "the hour of temptation" which was to come upon all the world a little later. The Church of Laodicea – the Church of our day – is not kept from entering into the "hour of temptation"; but we may be sure that we will be kept while in it, if we are faithful and true. Our dear Lord's special message to the Laodicean phase of the Church has been, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear My Voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me. To him that overcometh, will I grant to sit with Me in My Throne." – Revelation 3:20,21.

Though we are not spared from this hour of temptation, we have a counterbalancing blessing as a result of living in the time of our Lord's parousia.* We may have His instruction, His dispensing to us of spiritual food, "meat in due season," in a manner and to a degree never before enjoyed by His saints. And, as we might expect, this greatest favor is offset by the subtle and severe trials and testings of this special "hour of temptation." If there was ever a time when patient endurance was needed by the Lord's faithful, it is now. If ever they needed the counsel, "In your patience possess ye your souls," they need it now. Those who are able to patiently endure will stand in this evil day. All others will fall. As the Apostle forewarned us, the fiery ordeals of this day "will try every man's work, of what sort it is."

*Any one interested in the Scriptural evidences that our Lord has now returned in the manner foretold, as "a thief in the night," will be sent the "Parousia" booklet, upon receipt of 6c in stamps with name and address. Direct request today to THE WATCH TOWER, Brooklyn, N.Y.

We find this quality of patient endurance lacking everywhere throughout Christendom today, even among the majority of the professed followers of Christ. It is becoming more and more scarce. Few wish to endure anything – for righteousness' sake, for Christ's sake, or for any one else's sake; and if endurance of anything unpleasant is absolutely necessary, the trial is borne with much of impatience, complaint and chafing. Moreover, a spirit of defiance and rebellion against everything like self-denial or resignation, a spirit of intense bitterness, is daily growing in the hearts of mankind.

This general tendency of the civilized world today toward non-endurance, impatience and rebellion against restraint necessarily has its influence upon those who are seeking to walk in the narrow way. Only by Divine grace can this tendency be successfully resisted, and progress be made toward the development of the likeness of Christ. This special grace, needed today by the Lord's children, will be withheld from those who are not walking close to the Lord, following in the footsteps of Jesus. It is because the professed followers of Christ are living so far from Him that we see today the tendencies are developing which we have noted amongst those who profess His name.

This spirit so prevalent is at the bottom of mob violence which is kept down largely by military force, in the outbreaks against law and order which we hear of so frequently. [R5652 : page 86] We may expect this spirit to continue to grow. There is a feeling amongst the masses that in the past they have been too patient, not sufficiently aggressive – the feeling that if they had taken things into their own hands long ago present conditions might have been averted. But those who have kept the Lord's Word of patient endurance, who have sought from Him the wisdom from on High, which is "first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy of entreatment, full of mercy and of good fruits," have learned that He has a due time in which His purposes shall be accomplished, and they are willing to abide His time patiently, knowing that it is best. They have learned that

"God's plans, like lilies white, unfold;
We must not tear the close-shut leaves apart,
Time will reveal the hidden heart of gold."
ONE OF SATAN'S SPECIAL DECEPTIONS

The Apostle counsels us respecting this "hour of temptation" which is now upon us. Its besetments and trials will be many, and some of them will be so subtle and deceptive that all who are not thoroughly rooted and grounded in the Truth will be carried away by the false arguments of those whom Satan is now permitted to use as his agents in trying all those who dwell upon the face of the whole earth.

Amongst these subtle theories of the Adversary, none seems more deceptive than Christian Science, falsely so called; for it is neither Christian nor scientific. Backed by the power of the Evil One, it is able to promise its dupes that if they will affirm an untruth, and stick to it, they shall have relief and cure of certain ailments and bodily afflictions. Those who have not learned to endure patiently all that the Lord permits them to experience in the way of pain and sickness – all that cannot be relieved by rational and reasonable methods – will be ready to accept almost any relief which the Adversary may bring to their attention. And as they learn to deceive themselves in respect to pain and sickness, and gradually to pervert words from their real meaning, and to ignore and deny facts, they become in time so confused in their minds that truth appears to them to be falsehood, and falsehood appears to be shining Truth.

SOME BEING FREED BY THE TRUTH

These deluded ones are led into this deception partly through curiosity. It seems so strange to them to hear one say, "There is no death; all is life! There is no pain; all is health! There is no evil; all is good!" They say to themselves, "These statements are certainly very inconsistent, yet I am curious to know how people reason them out. What is their philosophy?" This is just what the Adversary desires. He wishes thus to attract their attention, that step by step he may lead them from one falsity to another, until the whole brain and conscience are subverted. They have accepted darkness for light, lies for truth. For this they are rewarded with physical relief – small recompense!

This is the reward of selfishness, of unwillingness to suffer anything they could escape by any means. They preferred their own way, the way most attractive to the fallen flesh. They chose this rather than the Truth, which did not appeal to their flesh. They were ready to exchange the testimony of the Lord for the sake of physical ease and comfort, or to satisfy morbid curiosity. Thus they escaped troubles and pain which, if endured patiently and joyfully, would have worked out for them blessing and strengthening of character. Some who have been thus enslaved by the great Adversary, a very few, are being freed by the power of the Truth at this time. But it is a very difficult task to be thoroughly accomplished. In some cases the experiences undergone in the efforts to break the bonds so tightly binding them have been very painful, and accompanied by buffetings from the Evil One and his hosts, who have so long held them in bondage. But it is well worth the struggle and the pain to be free from all such slavery.

ST. PAUL'S PICTURE OF PRESENT CONDITIONS

The hour of trial is not coming alike upon all, for all of Christendom are not upon the same plane – mentally, morally or physically. The trial as it is coming upon Christendom in general, however, is pictured by the Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 3:1-5. He here enumerates certain characteristics of this "hour of temptation." He says, "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come; for men shall be lovers of their own selves – covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers [enticers to strife], incontinent [not under restraint, impetuous], fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors [those who cannot be trusted, would sell out their best friends for selfish considerations], heady, highminded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof."

This is a graphic picture of present-day conditions in the Christian world, so-called. Because they received not the Truth in the love of it, therefore God has sent them "strong delusions, that they should believe a lie," and should be condemned thereby. This hour of temptation has not yet reached its greatest intensity, but we believe this stage will be reached in a very short time. Blessed are all they who have made the Lord, "even the most High, their Habitation." These shall not be moved; yet many of them will pass through most severe trials and temptations. Through the mails we learn of the struggles and prayers of many of God's children – some because of their own imperfections and frailties, and some because of the imperfections of others; and still others are tried because of earthly cares and burdens which they seem unable to fully overcome or to cast upon the Lord.

LET US HAVE THE PROPER FEAR

We sympathize with these dear ones, and counsel them as best we can, remembering the Master's words, "Blessed are ye that weep now; for ye shall laugh." (Luke 6:21.) Our heart is especially solicitous for those whose letters give evidence that they are in temptation, but realize it not – who are being swallowed up of ambition or business or other "cares of this life and the deceitfulness of riches" – whose love for the Truth seems to be growing cooler instead of hotter, and who seem to feel less and see less than they did years ago. These seem to be sleeping when they should be watching and praying; and this hour of trial, we fear, is finding them unprepared; while some who are weeping, praying and striving are more like our dear Master in Gethsemane; and like Him, they will be strengthened for the final trial.

Let us each, dear brethren, be very solicitous for ourselves and for each other, and counting the prize held out to us as far dearer and more precious than all else beside, "Let us fear, lest a promise being left to us of entering into His rest, any of us should seem to come short of it." Let us so love all the Lord's dear children that their welfare will be our chief concern; and this will mean our own spiritual health. Yet we must not allow our love even for the brethren to hinder our fullest confidence in the Lord's love and wisdom in the choice of His Bride, even though siftings should take from us some whose fellowship we have cherished. [R5652 : page 87]

Let us patiently hold on our way – this blessed way! Let us do with our might what our hands find to do. Soon will come the Harvest Home! Soon, if faithful, we shall gather, as a glorious company, to go out no more forever. We shall come with rejoicing, bringing our sheaves with us! But let us remember that "we have need of patience, that after we have done the will of God, we might receive the promise!" – Hebrews 10:36.

"How light our trials then will seem!
How short our pilgrim way!
The life of earth a fitful dream,
Dispelled by dawning Day!

*                         *                         *

"Then peace, my heart! and hush, my tongue!
Be calm, my troubled breast;
Each passing hour prepares thee more
For everlasting rest!"

[R5652 : page 87]

THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF-CONTROL<%=R5652%>

"He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city which is broken down and without walls." – Proverbs 25:28.
T
HE word "spirit" is used in a variety of ways. We speak of a horse as having a fiery spirit or as having no spirit. We speak of the angels as being spirits. We sometimes speak of the spirit of life. We also speak of the spirit of the human mind – that is evidently the thought that is here presented. The words of the text are equivalent to saying, He that hath no rule over his own mind, his thoughts, is like a city that is broken down.

What would a broken-down city be like? In olden times, when civilization had not reached the degree to which it has now attained, there was but little police protection, and marauders were numerous. Those who were disposed to get their living by stealing had excellent opportunities. [R5653 : page 87] It was necessary that cities be surrounded by walls as a protection against enemies. Any city with broken-down walls would have great reason to fear such marauders. It would invite attack and be certain to meet with disaster some time.

The wise man has here likened such a city to a broken down human will. The will is to be continually on guard over the mind and to allow nothing to enter there except through the regular gates – Conscience and Judgment. These gates are to be watched so closely that they may admit only such thoughts as would be non-injurious, profitable, wise – in harmony with the Word of God. Every human being should have a will and should keep it in good repair, should see to it that it does not get broken down; otherwise shipwreck of character will follow.

By the will is not meant merely a wish. There is a decided difference between a wish and a will. Some wish that they possessed a million dollars, but they have not the will even to try to get it. Some have a wish to get up at a certain hour in the morning; but the wish does not get them up, because the will is broken down. They say to themselves, "Oh, a little more sleep, a little more slumber, a little more folding of the hands in sleep!" They have no control of themselves. They may think they will gain this control by setting an alarm clock. By and by the alarm clock does no good; they do not hear it at all.

CONTROL IN SMALL THINGS GAGE OF CHARACTER

Whoever allows his will to become broken down as to the time he will arise in the morning has a more or less weak will in all matters. We should make reasonable regulations for our time of rising and of retiring. Having used our best judgment as to what should be done, we should see that it is done. Unless the doing of this should be found harmful to ourselves or to someone else, it should be carried out.

It is important to carry out the dictates of our best judgment so that the will may be strong, so that the individual may not be a vacillating character. The same principle applies to our choice of food. Some will say, "I know that this dish does not agree with me; but it comes to the table, and it seems to agree with others. I cannot eat it without subsequent discomfort; but I like it. I wish it would not come to the table!" So he partakes of it and suffers the consequences. He has the desire for the food, but not the will to resist taking it. The proper course for each one is to see to it that he does not eat what he knows is injurious to him, whatever others may be able to do or may choose to do.

Indecision and lack of character in little things affect all the greater things in life. The person who gets up irregularly is apt to be irregular in business. The person who cannot determine what he should eat is likely to be subject to caprice, to be weak in all his decisions. Such a one will be likely to let some salesman influence him as to what he will buy. Some are too largely subject to the control of others.

A FIRM WILL – NOT OBSTINACY – ESSENTIAL

An old adage has it that "A wise man sometimes changes his mind – a fool never." Ruling our own spirit does not mean that we are to go to extremes and say, "Well, I said I wouldn't; and I won't!" There may be good reasons for changing our mind, and then it would be our proper course to make that change. God is seeking for the class of people who properly rule their own minds. If they learn to rule their minds before they come into the family of God, it will be that much the better for them. But at any rate, the only way they can get into the Kingdom will be by developing character.

The Bible tells us particularly what things are of the flesh, and what are of the Holy Spirit, the holy mind, of God; what things, therefore, constitute the holy disposition we should have. It tells us that we should put away anger, malice, hatred, bitterness, wrath, anger, strife; and that we should put on meekness, gentleness, patience, long-suffering, brotherly-kindness, love. These lessons must be learned. We cannot say that the flesh will ever be brought under complete control; but the will must be there, and as much control of the flesh as is possible by Divine help should be added day by day.

The Lord is seeking people of strong will, strong character. Therefore there must be a positive turning to the Lord and a definite covenant with Him at the first, or else we are not acceptable to the Father. Then after we come into His family we find that some things that we thought all right are all wrong and must be corrected; and in proportion as we have in our past life ruled our own minds, controlled our fleshly appetites and impulses, in that proportion we shall make slow or rapid progress in the new way. How much of consecrated time may we use for business, for pleasure, or in one way or another? How much of consecrated money shall we spend on ourselves? All this is to be regulated by our Covenant with God. We must seek first the interests of the Lord and His Kingdom. These must be first in all our arrangements, and earthly things must be secondary. Hence the importance of fixed character, a will prompt and unflinching for God.

[R5656 : page 88]

DAVID ANOINTED KING
– APRIL 11. – 1 SAMUEL 16:4-13. –

A MAN AFTER GOD'S OWN HEART – ANOTHER PHASE OF SAMUEL'S

CHARACTER – SAMUEL SENT TO BETHLEHEM – ANOINTING THE SUCCESSORS OF PRESENT INSTITUTIONS – DAVID A TYPE OF THE CHURCH IN THE FLESH – DIVINE METHOD OF SELECTION OF THE ELECT.

"Man looketh on the outward appearance, but Jehovah looketh on the Heart." – 1 Samuel 16:7.
K
ING SAUL'S rejection by the Lord because of disobedience meant not only his own ultimate removal from the throne, but that his sons should not succeed him in it. Furthermore, it meant also the Lord's selection of another man, another family, for the office of ruler in Israel and representative of the Lord upon the throne. The Lord's choice was David, to whom the Prophet Samuel had indirectly referred, saying, "The Lord hath sought Him a man after His own heart, and the Lord hath commanded him to be captain over His people, because thou [King Saul] hast not kept that which the Lord commanded thee." – 1 Samuel 13:14.

At the time of the events of today's Study, David was about twenty years old; consequently the Prophet's words must have been uttered about the time of David's birth. Thus we have another illustration of God's foreknowledge and design in respect to those whom He especially uses in His service. Similarly God's choice of Jacob was declared before he was born; and similarly the Apostle Paul was chosen from before his birth. We are to separate from this declaration any false thought respecting the Divine choice, and note that none of these was chosen to eternal life, but each of them, all of them, chosen and fitted for special service.

This gives us a suggestion of the possibility of paternal and maternal influence affecting the natural disposition of a human being from before his birth. He still has a will, however; and even though favorably endowed, it remains with himself to determine, to will, whether or not he will walk in the Lord's ways and to what extent he will be obedient. There is no coercion of the will; for the Lord seeks such as worship Him in spirit – willingly, heartily – and in truth.

David's great-grandmother was the gentle Ruth, who gleaned grain probably in the very field with which David was familiar. His great-grandfather's name was Boaz, a page of whose history is recorded in the Book of Ruth. Like Boaz, David's father Jesse was doubtless one of the Elders of the city of Bethlehem, respected and honored as a noble man. Of his mother we know little, except that David twice mentioned her as a handmaid of God.

SAMUEL'S FAITH TESTED

The Prophet Samuel mourned and prayed for King Saul, and apparently was disappointed that this man, of whom he had expected such great things and under whose guidance he had anticipated great prosperity for Israel, should be rejected. Quite probably fearful forebodings of a civil war to result from the installation of a new king perturbed the Prophet's mind. He knew that Saul would not quietly submit to laying down the scepter which he had taken up with so great modesty, in obedience to the Divine arrangement. The Prophet's mental eye could see the probability of civil strife, which might rupture the nation and cause great trouble. He should have had greater trust in the Wisdom and the Power of the Almighty, but his trouble was more or less like that which assails all of the Lord's people even today.

The lesson to our hearts should be that we will implicitly trust the Lord to manage His own affairs; that we will trust Him where we cannot trace Him and will be obedient to His directions; and that so far from mourning at the execution of His plans we will rejoice, knowing that all things are working together for good to them that love God – that all things will ultimately work blessings for those who are in accord with the Lord – blessings for the future life, if not for the present.

When sent to anoint David, the Prophet Samuel exhibited a fear not elsewhere noticeable in his character. He did not hesitate to perform the Lord's bidding, but intimated that he clearly understood that it meant the risk of his own life – that King Saul would kill him as a traitor if he should anoint a successor to the kingdom. The Lord made it clear to him that it was not the intention to make the matter known at once, and directed him to go to Bethlehem and make a sacrifice there and, incidentally, to improve the opportunity of finding and anointing the one who in due time would be made known and exalted to the throne. At the time, he was merely to perform the initial work, which David's father and brethren would not understand, thinking perhaps that the anointing meant a special blessing or a commission from the Lord to engage as a member of the school of the prophets or something else of this kind. Quite probably, however, the Prophet informed David privately of the meaning of the anointing, just as he had privately informed Saul when he secretly anointed the latter to the office of king of Israel.

GOD'S CHOICE OF KING

Our Study begins at the point when the Prophet Samuel had arrived at Bethlehem. The Elders were in fear, thinking that his presence signified some sin on their part, or on the part of some of their fellow-citizens, which God had sent him to reprove and to punish. Hence they inquired whether or not he came peaceably – whether or not his presence meant a blessing or the infliction of a penalty. Their fears were allayed when they heard that his mission was a peaceable one – to offer a sacrifice unto the Lord.

Some time before this, the Ark of the Covenant had been captured by the Philistines. The Tabernacle services, thus discontinued, had not yet been reestablished, and for this reason this sacrificing was performed by the Lord's especially appointed servant. The command to the people of Bethlehem to sanctify themselves if they would be participators in the blessings of the sacrifice signified that they should wash their persons, put on clean clothes and draw nigh to the Lord with their hearts. Thus they typically represented that justification and sanctification which the Church of this Age has enjoyed.

The Prophet seems to have taken supervision of the family of Jesse to the intent that he might without public display find the man whom the Lord had chosen, and might anoint him to the office and give him the Divine blessing in preparation of it. Jesse properly introduced his sons to the Prophet according to the order of their birth – his eldest, Eliab, first. As he was of fine appearance the Prophet naturally assumed that he was the Lord's choice; but as he looked to the Lord for direction in the matter he got the response – in what manner we know not – which constitutes the Golden Text of this Study.

Judged from the human standpoint of appearance, age, ability, etc., Eliab was the most suitable person in Jesse's family to be the king over the nation, but not so in the [R5656 : page 89] Lord's sight. The Lord was looking at the heart, and had already selected David as a man after his own heart, although, at this time being under age, his father had not thought worth while to send for him to be present at the feast. As one after another of Jesse's sons appeared, the Prophet found not him whom the Lord's Spirit indicated as the one to be anointed. Then he inquired, "Are all thy children here?" Jesse suddenly remembered that he had another boy, his youngest, who was in the field with his sheep, and sent for him.

THE ANTITYPICAL LORD'S ANOINTED

Our Golden Text appeals to all Christians in connection with the High Calling of the Gospel Age, and year by year experience shows us its general applicability. We, too, as the Lord's messengers, are seeking for those to be anointed with the oil of gladness, the Holy Spirit, that they may be kings and priests unto God in the Kingdom which He is about to establish and which will supersede present kingdoms. We too, like the Prophet Samuel, might feel afraid to proceed with this work of anointing the successors of present institutions, did we not realize that the work of sealing the Elect of the Lord, which is now in progress, is a secret work, which the world cannot understand. Indeed, none understand this matter of the sealing, the anointing of the Holy Spirit, except those who have received it; and they are all of the David class.

The name David signifies Beloved; and as it applied especially to our Lord and Master, of whom it was said by Jehovah, "This is My beloved Son," so also it applies to all the members of His Body, each of whom must be beloved, else he cannot be acceptable as a member. Of such the Head says, "The Father Himself loveth you"; and again, He says that we should love one another as He has loved us. It is not too much to say that all who receive this anointing of the Lord must ultimately be of this David, or beloved, character. The spirit of love must be in them – love for the Lord and love one for the other; else they are none of His.

In seeking the Lord's anointed, who shall by and by reign in Millennial glory for the blessing of the world, as antitypes of David, we notice that as he was counted by his brethren as too insignificant to be considered in this connection, so also are those whom the Lord is choosing and anointing for His Heavenly Kingdom. Our Lord Jesus was disesteemed of His brethren, and when the suggestion was made that He should be the Lord's Anointed, His people hid, as it were, their faces from Him – disdained Him, despised Him, and considered Him hopeless respecting anything great or glorious – "a root out of a dry ground." The same has been true respecting the members of His Body, the elect Church. They also have been despised and rejected of men; and of them the Apostle declares, "We are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things" – for Christ's sake, for the Truth's sake. – 1 Corinthians 4:13.

WHO CAN READ THE HEART?

Again he declares, "Ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called." St. James asks, "Hath not God chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith and heirs of the Kingdom which He hath promised to them that love Him!" This principle of the Divine selection of things that are not esteemed amongst men, to bring to naught the things that are esteemed by men, is noticeable throughout this Gospel Age. Often have we, like the Prophet Samuel, looked about amongst men seemingly eligible to a place in the Kingdom – socially, intellectually, morally, educationally – and in the esteem of men, and have expected that surely the Lord would sanction their anointing with the oil of gladness and grant them a knowledge of the Truth pertaining to the Kingdom, only to find ourselves mistaken and to get a fresh lesson on the fact that God looketh not on the outward appearance, but on the heart.

We concede that we are unable to read the heart; but we are fully satisfied to accept the Divine decision in such matters and to trust that when in due time all the secrets of this present life shall be disclosed we shall then be able to understand the meaning of the Lord's selections more completely than we do now. We shall then be able to see what a difference there was between the hearts of those whom the Lord accepted and the hearts of those, outwardly humble, whom He did not so highly favor in respect to the Kingdom call. Meantime, we must simply wait and trust the Lord and accept His decisions, as expressed by our dear Redeemer when He said, "I thank Thee, Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, because Thou hast hidden these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes; even so, Father; for so it seemed good in Thy sight."

Instructed respecting the Divine methods, we are not to despise the least, the most ignoble or illiterate of those who give evidence of a purity and honesty of heart toward God, and to whom He seems to give the anointing of His Spirit and the "ear to hear." Rather, while making known the Message to all as we have opportunity, we are to rejoice especially with those upon whom the Lord's favor is manifested, regardless of their earthly surroundings, etc. ("The Lord knoweth them that are His"); and it is for us to recognize, to honor and to co-operate with all such, as the ambassadors and representatives of our Lord and Master.

Often have we thought, as we have looked over a congregation of the Lord's people and beheld some not prepossessing in personal appearance, some not well educated or refined, some ignoble – but nevertheless bearing the marks of the anointing of the Lord, the light of the Truth shining in their faces, the confidence and hope of the Truth inspiring them, and their lives indicating a transformation from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of God's dear Son – often have we thought that had the Lord sent us forth to seek His Bride, we might have ignorantly passed by some of His choice jewels and have gathered in some whom He rejects as unworthy – because we are unable to read the heart. This thought should make us very humble, gentle and meek toward all, and very trustful of the Lord and very much inclined to look for His leading in respect to our labors as His servants – just as the Prophet Samuel looked to the Lord in connection with the anointing of David.

A PICTURE OF THE MILLENIUM

Samuel's words, "We will not sit down until he come hither," referred to the feast of which they were about to partake. It was the custom that, after the sacrifice had been offered, the sanctified persons present and those in spirit sharing in the sacrifice might join in a feast, eating the flesh and thus celebrating a communion with the Lord. It was this feast that the Prophet decided should not be commenced until David's arrival. Indeed, by reason of being the Lord's anointed, he would be the most important person present at the gathering.

Perhaps in this also we can see a figure of the Lord's blessing in the Divine Plan. A feast of fat things has been designed for the whole world of mankind. But the feast cannot be participated in until the justifying and sanctifying sacrifice has been killed. More than this, the feast [R5656 : page 90] cannot be commenced until first the Anointed One shall come and shall receive the anointing. The anointing began with our Lord, the Head of the Church, and throughout the Gospel Age has been flowing down upon the members of His Body, the Church. The Sacrifice has been killed; and we, as members of Christ, have been participating in the sacrifice. Shortly the whole matter will have been accomplished; and then, as the Lord's anointed, the feast of fat things will be spread – the Anointed One, Head and Body, being the principal in that great antitypical feast.

The blessing and power of the Lord accompanied David's anointing in some manner – just how we may not understand; for the manifestation of the Spirit was not the same then as it is with the Church, since Pentecost. (John 7:39.) However, in some manner God's blessing and power were with David, enabling him to progress in knowledge, etc., and preparing him for the duties of the office to which he had been anointed. May we not consider as an antitype to this, the anointing which comes upon the Church from the time of her acceptance with the Lord? Ours is not a physical anointing nor are the blessings conferred of a temporal character. It is as New Creatures that we are anointed, that we grow in grace, knowledge and love; and it is as New Creatures that by and by we shall be perfected in the First Resurrection and come to the Throne with our Lord and Master as our Head.

[R5653 : page 90]

"JEHOVAH IS MY SHEPHERD"<%=R5653%>
– APRIL 18. – PSALM 23. –

THE INFLUENCE OF THE PSALMS – THE MOST TOUCHING OF THEM ALL – DAVID A SHEPHERD – HIS INTEREST IN HIS SHEEP – SUGGESTIVE OF THE HEAVENLY SHEPHERD'S INTEREST IN HIS FLOCK – HIS SHEEP SHALL NOT LACK – HE GIVES THEM REST – HE FEEDS THEM – HE REFRESHES THEM WITH THE WATER OF LIFE – HE RESTORETH MY SOUL – HE LEADETH ME – EVEN THROUGH THE DARK VALLEY I WILL FEAR NO EVIL – HIS ROD AND HIS STAFF – HIS TABLE FOR HIS PEOPLE – THE ANOINTING HE GIVES – GOODNESS AND MERCY EVER.

"Jehovah is my Shepherd." – Psalm 23:1.
I
T IS safe to say that no other collection of poems has accomplished as much good as the Book of Psalms. Its sentiments seem to touch the soul at every turn – in joy, in sorrow. Referring to the Twenty-third Psalm, Beecher wrote, "It is the nightingale among the Psalms. It is small, of a homely feather, singing shyly out of obscurity; but it has filled the air of the whole world with melodious joy"; and Spurgeon said, "This is the Pearl of Psalms, whose soft and pure radiance delights every eye."

Only the people of God, in covenant relationship with Him, can properly appreciate this Psalm and apply its gracious sentiments to themselves. The Psalmist David could do this, because he belonged to the favored nation which God had taken into covenant relationship with Himself at Mount Sinai. The Israelites had covenanted to walk in the Lord's way and to obey His statutes; and God in turn had covenanted with them that He would, in proportion as they would do this, bestow His blessing upon their every interest. And perfect obedience to that Covenant and its Law would have been rewarded with everlasting life. We see, as the Apostle explains, that such a complete obedience was impossible. "By the deeds of the Law shall no flesh be justified in Thy sight."

Comparatively few of the Jews even did their best to live up to the requirements of the Law; but the Prophet David evidently was one of these, however far short he came of perfection; for the Lord declared him "a man after His own heart." If he made failures, he confessed them, repented, received his punishment, and rejoiced in restoration to the Lord's favor, striving the more in the future to maintain his fellowship with God. It is interesting for us to note the kind of man with whom the Lord is well pleased – the kind of sheep in which the Great Shepherd is interested. And of this same class, of course, were others – the Prophets and lesser personages – all who endeavored to live godly.

THE GREAT SHEPHERD AND HIS FLOCK

In an important sense this Psalm is applicable to our Lord Jesus and His Church. All the features of the Psalm are applicable to our Redeemer Himself as well as to His followers, whom He styles the sheep of His flock. To His Church He is the Representative of the Father, so fully, so completely, that He could say truthfully, "He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father." No human being could see the Heavenly Father and live, as the Scriptures declare; and those who saw and understood Jesus to be the Son of God, caught the best possible glimpse of the Heavenly Father. And so we all see Jesus as the Representative of the Father, the Son of the great King, the Son of the great Shepherd, Jehovah.

Jesus and His Church are more particularly the sheep of Jehovah's flock than were the Israelites of the Jewish Age; for the relationship of the Jews was through Moses, while the relationship of the Church is through Christ and the superior Covenant which centers in Him. It is well that we see this clearly; else how could we know whether or not we might apply the gracious sentiments of this Psalm to ourselves? It would not be right for a worldly person to apply this Psalm to himself. He would be deceiving himself; for he is not one of Jehovah's sheep. Nothing is more clear than this. Jesus declared that there is only one way of entering the sheepfold; namely, through [R5654 : page 90] the door. And He declared Himself to be the Door.

HOW TO BECOME A TRUE SHEEP

By nature we are sinners under Jehovah's sentence of death, and not His sheep. He has purposed a great Plan for the world in general, which will begin to operate as soon as Messiah's Kingdom is established. However, in the interim He is receiving special sheep – during this Gospel Age; and Jesus tells how, saying, "If any man will come after Me [be My disciple, My follower, My sheep], let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me." Self-denial is the first step – self-renunciation, giving up of the will to God. The Covenant reads, "Gather My saints together unto Me; those who have made a Covenant with Me by sacrifice." All who would be the Lord's sheep must make this Covenant of Sacrifice; it is the condition under which they may be accepted.

Moreover, as the Jews could come only through their appointed mediator, Moses, so we can come into this higher sheepfold only under the antitypical, greater Moses, Christ. There is none other name given. Once having taken this step, once having come into the sheepfold by the Door – in the approved manner – we have the Message of God, saying, "All things are yours; for ye are Christ's [R5654 : page 91] and Christ is God's." What this means is described in this Psalm. – 1 Corinthians 3:22,23.

ALL WANTS ABUNDANTLY SUPPLIED

The Lord's sheep, abiding in perfection of relationship with Him, will lack nothing. Their every need will be supplied. This may not mean greater earthly wealth or name or fame or luxury. The Lord's sheep are New Creatures, spirit beings, who are temporarily dwelling in the flesh like other people, but who really are waiting for their change, to be completed by a share in the First Resurrection. The Lord's blessings to Natural Israel were earthly blessings, supplying their every earthly need; but His blessings to Spiritual Israel are spiritual favors. "No good thing will He withhold" from these – yea, even chastisements and sorrowful experiences that may be necessary for their spiritual development.

The Psalm assures us that, as the Lord's sheep, we shall be provided with green pastures and the cool, refreshing waters of Truth. Moreover, while thus being spiritually fed and refreshed, we shall have the peace of God, as is implied in the suggestion that the sheep will lie down in the green pastures. But alas! Not all of the sheep have full confidence in the Shepherd and are fully resigned to have no will but His. Some are continually getting into difficulty, because they neglect the green pastures and cool, refreshing waters of Truth found in the Word of God – because, goat-like, they sometimes wander off into the desert, straying far from the Shepherd and attempting to feed themselves on the indigestible things of the present life, on which no spiritual nature can thrive.

Yet even such straying sheep the Shepherd will not leave, if they have become truly His. He goes after them, as the Psalm represents. His rod and His staff are their comfort. With the rod he beats off their enemies, the wolves that would injure; and with the crook of His staff He wisely and carefully assists the entangled sheep out of its difficulties – out from amongst the cares of this life, the entanglements and deceitfulness of riches, and the besetments of sin and of Satan. Many of the sheep of the Lord's flock thus can sing, "He restoreth my soul" – He brings me back to Himself; He makes me again to know, to appreciate, to enjoy His provision for me and to see how much better it is than anything I could have provided for myself.

A further experience is next brought to our view – the Shepherd's leading. "He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness." He causes me, even by my own stumblings and difficulties, to learn to appreciate the desirableness of His ways and the undesirableness of every other way. All His ways are perfect, are righteous. He leads us not contrary to our wills, but in harmony therewith, to prove what is the good, next the acceptable, and finally the perfect will of God. – Romans 12:2.

THE VALLEY OF DEATH'S SHADOW

All of our lives we have been in the shadow of this great Valley of Death. Only father Adam was ever on the mountain-tops of life. He lost his footing there, and descended gradually the slopes into this Valley of the Shadow of Death. We, his children, were all born here. We are dying daily; we are surrounded by dying conditions. We have merely the hope that the Lord will lead His sheep back to the heights of life. He is now leading His sheep of this Gospel Age – the Church, the Body of Christ. By and by He will lead the world, during His Millennial Kingdom; as He declared, "Other sheep I have, that are not of this fold; them also must I bring,...and there shall be one fold and one Shepherd." – John 10:16.

"Oh, sometimes the shadows are deep,
And rough seems the path to the goal!"

The end of this Valley of Shadow is near, not merely in the sense that we shall soon reach the end of life's journey, but especially in the sense that the New Day is about to dawn, of which the Lord, our Shepherd, declared the result: "The Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His beams." (Malachi 4:2.) The final result will be that there shall be no more sighing, no more crying, no more dying; but the whole world will begin to emerge from the Valley of the Shadow of Death. For a thousand years they will be rising again to the glorious heights of human perfection from which Adam fell, and the right to return to which is secured for all by the death of Jesus, "the Just for the unjust."

THE CHURCH'S BETTER TABLE

But this precious Psalm seems especially to apply to the Church, as we have said. Thus we appropriately read that the Lord's people of the present time have an especially prepared table, where they may partake even in the presence of their enemies. That will not be true in the future; for no enemies nor anything to hurt or injure shall then be permitted. (Isaiah 11:9.) But how true it is that the Lord's consecrated people, even when misunderstood, misrepresented, defamed and opposed, are still privileged to feast at the Lord's Table! The table represents God's provision for their needs – the promises of God, the assurances of His favor, etc.

Another evidence that the Psalm belongs especially to the Church of this Age is the statement, "Thou anointest my Head with oil." Jesus, the Head of the Church, was anointed with the oil of gladness above His fellows. That holy anointing oil used on the priests and kings of Israel typified the Holy Spirit, which came upon the Church representatively in Jesus. And this same anointing oil has come down over all the members of the Church, which is the Body of Christ, as we read in Psalm 133:2.

THE CUP BOTH SWEET AND BITTER

"My cup runneth over." The word cup is used in the Scriptures to represent a draft, sometimes sweet, sometimes bitter, sometimes both. The intimation is that the Lord's Cup signifies bitter experiences and trials in the present time; as Jesus said, "The Cup which My Father hath poured for Me, shall I not drink it?" And this was the Cup – His Cup – which He offered to His disciples and which we, in becoming His disciples, propose to share with Him, and which is symbolically represented in the Communion Cup. – 1 Corinthians 10:15-17.

It is sweet and precious, in many senses of the word to be privileged to participate in the sufferings of Christ, in any sacrifices or services for the Lord and His Cause. The sweet mingles freely with the bitter. But the Lord promises that in the future the Cup of new wine in the Kingdom shall more than compensate for any bitterness of the present time. Our Cup is full, but we would not wish it one drop less.

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life." How precious the thought – God's goodness, God's mercy, with all those who are truly His in Christ – following us day by day, moment by moment, and according to the Scriptures making all things work together for our good! Then the grand finale is signified, "I shall dwell in the House of the Lord forever" – in the Heavenly House, of which the Redeemer said, "In My Father's House are many mansions;...I go to prepare a place for you," and "I will come again and receive you unto Myself." Then, at His Second Coming, with our glorious change, we shall enter the Father's House in the [R5654 : page 92] fullest sense of the word, on the spirit plane, which flesh and blood does not inherit.

This shall be the everlasting portion of God's Elect – the Church. The great blessings subsequently to come to the world – earthly blessings – will in no sense interfere with, but enhance, the glory of the Church; for she will be engaged with her Lord in dispensing blessings to the earthly sheep. – Galatians 3:29.

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INTERESTING QUESTIONS
"HE SHALL COME FORTH AND BLESS THE PEOPLE"

QUESTION."Unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time." Who are these who will look for our Lord?

Answer. – The Apostle is here (Hebrews 9:28) tracing the work of Christ as the great High Priest. He represents our Lord as having offered the Sin-offering, on the Day of Atonement, in its two parts – the bullock and the goat – and as being now in the Most Holy.* When He has accomplished His work, He will appear the second time – not to repeat any of the offerings of the Gospel Age, not as a Sin-offering – but He shall appear unto salvation, to all those who look for Him. We can see that His words might apply to the Church. They will know of His second appearance. They will have an appreciation of that fact before He will be revealed to the world. He will appear to them that look for Him.

*THE TABERNACLE SHADOWS OF THE BETTER SACRIFICES, an illustrated booklet of 131 pages, explains fully the interesting rites and ceremonies of the Hebrew Tabernacle in the wilderness and also throws a new refulgent light upon their typical signification. Send 6c in stamps for sample copy. Address THE WATCH TOWER, Brooklyn, N.Y.

But we are to remember that our Lord's going into the Most Holy at the close of the antitypical Day of Atonement with the blood of the Lord's goat class, would indicate the death of that goat. The under priests will be with Him, as members of Himself. Then He shall come forth the second time, after this second presentation of the blood, not to offer a sacrifice – for the sacrificing will all be finished – but to bless the people.

Who then are these who look for Him and to whom He will appear the second time, unto salvation? We answer that in the Time of Trouble, and subsequently, the whole world will begin to look for the Deliverer. All nations will be desiring Him – not as a Sin-offering again, but for their salvation. As mankind will get their eyes open to their need of salvation, they will be looking for this deliverance by The Christ in glory. They will never see Him with their natural eyes. But they will look for Him in the same sense that we now see Jesus – they will see Him with the eye of faith.

THEY SHALL "FALL UPON THEIR FACES"

At that time many nations shall say, "Come, let us go up to the Mountain of the Lord's House. He will show us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths." (Isaiah 2:3.) Another Scripture assures us that, when He shall appear, we also, the Bride class, shall appear with Him in glory. It is after the sacrificing is all finished and the Church glorified that He comes forth the second time unto salvation, saving and blessing all the people. The high priest in the type did not return into the Most Holy again, but lifted up his hands and blessed the people. [R5656 : page 92] Then the glory of the Lord appeared unto all the people, and the people gave a great shout and fell upon their faces. (Leviticus 9:23,24.) So the people of the world will prostrate themselves before the great Messiah. And this will be the work of Christ during the thousand years – uplifting mankind and giving them the benefit of the Atonement Sacrifice.

MANY CHRISTIANS NOT YET ENLIGHTENED

Question. – Is there any one at the present time outside of Present Truth who has the Holy Spirit?

Answer. – There are various degrees of the Spirit of holiness which may be possessed by the child of God at various times in his experience. We may ourselves have more of the Holy Spirit now than we have ever had before, implying that there was a time when we did not have so much. Or there may be some who have less, implying that they have not been growing spiritually, and are grieving the Holy Spirit with which they were sealed.

We are not to think that all who are begotten of the Holy Spirit are exactly on the same plane, in either their spiritual appetites or their development or their knowledge of God's Plan. We grow in grace as we grow in knowledge. If our measure of grace lessens, the knowledge begins to fade. The more grace we have, the more understanding is ours. As a matter of fact, the whole world has been laboring under such delusions that we are surprised, when we "wake up," to see how little we did know – to see how ignorant we were of some of the precious messages God has given us.

And as we were children of God before we received full knowledge, so we believe it is possible for others to be children of God without having the full knowledge. We are living in the end of the Harvest time, when, we believe, the Lord is causing the knowledge of the Truth to encircle the world. And yet the Adversary is raising "dust," calumny, to hinder the people from appreciating it.

It is in very rare cases that God does as He did with Saul of Tarsus – strike him down with a great light, brighter than the sun at noonday. And it is because we believe that there are still children of God attempting to live on husks and skimmed milk – that there are such brethren in Christ who need the assistance we are able to give them – that we are trying to help them. Otherwise we would abandon all special effort at propaganda, knowing that there will be favorable conditions for all as soon as the Kingdom shall be established.

The Bible speaks of the Great Company class as the "great multitude," as though the foolish virgin class were larger than the wise virgin class. And the Scriptures indicate that the Great Company class will not all have fled from Babylon before its overthrow. "Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." This call has been going out for now thirty-seven years. It is God's call.

The Scriptures show us that some will come out, and others will not come out, will not be released from Babylonish fetters. These foolish virgins will see that their lack of love and zeal has lost them a place in the Bride class. But they are virgins, nevertheless, and will have a place, or portion, as the companions of the Bride. They will follow her into the King's Palace. They will be bridesmaids, if you please – a position of lesser honor; but they will attain everlasting life. So we have reason to believe that the numbers of God's people begotten of the Holy Spirit and still in Babylon are considerable. If we were in their place and they in our place, we feel sure that they would make heroic efforts to help us out of Babylon; so we are doing likewise. [R5656 : page 93]

HOW FAR SHALL WE SACRIFICE LEGITIMATE PLEASURES?

Question. – What are the rights and privileges of the flesh – not sinful – which are to be sacrificed by the New Creature in Christ Jesus?

Answer. – There are certain rights and privileges which belong to all human beings. There are tastes and desires that are not sinful. It is not sinful to eat and enjoy that which is wholesome and nutritious; not sinful to have preferences as to what one shall eat. It is not sinful for one to have strawberries in the winter when that fruit is expensive, if one has the money to buy them and if he obtained the money rightfully. It would not be sinful to pay fifty cents or a dollar a box for them. It is no crime to have a fine house, servants, a pleasure yacht, an automobile, etc. If there are entertainments, concerts, operas, and these are of good moral tone, one has a perfect right to engage a seat for the same at five dollars, and to employ a taxicab in going. One as a natural man has a perfect right, if he is able, to any of these things, which are not sinful in themselves. Things that are sinful should, of course, always be avoided.

But when one undertakes to become a follower of Christ, he accepts instead of his own will the will of God. And as Christ pleased not Himself, but used His time, His influence, His life, for the good of others, so those who become His disciples will forego their rights and privileges, whenever these would conflict with their service to God. The Christian could not reason the same as he did before he made his consecration. He could not say, I will spend five dollars to go to the opera; but he will be obliged to say, My means are consecrated to the Lord. The same principle will control his judgment as to whether he shall have an automobile or not; whether he shall have a fine house or shall own any house; whether he shall have the finest food; whether he shall wear fine clothing, or plainer clothing, etc. It will control his judgment as to his use of consecrated time.

But no one is to judge another in regard to the use of money or time in his possession as the Lord's steward. It is for the individual himself to decide how he will use these. And it is the Lord who will decide whether he has been a faithful steward or an unfaithful one. The Lord will decide that those who, like Jesus, shall sacrifice the enjoyable earthly things, that thereby they may the better glorify God, shall have the more than compensating spiritual blessings, and shall receive the reward of the Kingdom and its positions of honor.

[R5654 : page 93]

PREACHERS BACK OF MALICIOUS ATTACK
A
TTACKS now being made upon Pastor Russell in various newspapers were intended to have commenced November 1. However, the war, so closely coinciding with the presentations of STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, temporarily intimidated those intent upon the assassination of his reputation. The great war threatened disaster here through financial complications which pressed everybody for awhile. The National Banking Reserve arrangement gave temporary relief, and shipments of grain at high prices have greatly stimulated business. Pastor Russell's enemies no longer fear in "looking after those things coming." Instead, they say, "This is only what the world has had before, but is on a more gigantic scale; it is not the prelude to Armageddon that Pastor Russell claims. All things will continue as they were. Our institutions will prosper and will not be swamped in anarchy, as he declares the Scriptures to teach."

This boldness of feeling leads to aggressiveness. The preachers have approached some of the prominent newspapers. Newspaper men, not specially religious, are deceived by the preachers into supposing that there is something substantial in their claims. They wish to curry favor with the preachers, and improve the opportunity of hitting somebody when there is a religious excuse for so doing. As the Master foretold, they are saying "All manner of evil falsely" against the Pastor. This is for Christ's sake in the sense that it is to injure the Pastor's work, to hinder it – because he is telling the Truth; because the people are hearing the Truth, and therefore their shackles of ignorance and superstition are falling, their eyes of understanding are opening, and the lost key of knowledge is coming into their hands.

We need not repeat explanations of matters nineteen years old and every way honorable and creditable to the Pastor, when rightly understood. But we should, perhaps, explain the latest device of the Adversary. It has been published and re-published everywhere that the Pastor had "abducted Ruth Galbraith," seventeen years old; that he was holding her from her freedom; that a Judge of a Philadelphia Court had issued a writ of Habeas Corpus commanding the Pastor to bring Ruth before him; Ruth being heir to some money that the Pastor sought to get control of.

The whole matter is absolutely false from first to last. No Judge ever issued such an order. Ruth Galbraith was neither abducted nor restrained of her liberty. With her mother's consent she visited her sister, Mrs. William Hollister, who is a member of the Bethel Family. For a while she boarded and lodged in the neighborhood, but not in Bethel. Later, Pastor Russell was asked if Ruth might take her meals at Bethel. The explanation was made that Ruth was anxious to stay for a while in Brooklyn – that her health was not the best; that her brother had consumption; that Ruth's health demanded the change; that her mother had permitted her to come to Brooklyn on a visit; that meantime her monthly allowance from her father's estate had entirely stopped, and that she was without money to pay her board. The request was granted, she staying as the guest of her sister. Meantime Ruth's mother desired her return home, but Ruth refused to go. Called to Philadelphia in an endeavor to get her monthly allowance from the Executor, Ruth was accompanied by her sister and brother-in-law, William Hollister. Thereupon the mother's Attorney obtained a writ of Habeas Corpus on Mr. Hollister, requiring him to produce his sister-in-law in a Philadelphia Court.

The Pastor at no time had anything to do with Ruth's leaving home, nor with her remaining away from home, nor with any of her affairs.

Seeing how wonderfully the Adversary can accomplish evil purposes, circulate falsehoods and find agents for these services, proves to us that Satan is not yet bound; and that he has little difficulty in finding human servants. (2 Corinthians 4:4; Romans 6:16.) This fact should make us extremely skeptical respecting whatever we hear that is uncomplimentary to anybody. How do we know but that one-half, or more, of all the disreputable things mentioned in newspapers are as absolutely false and foundationless as this and other matters that appertain to Pastor Russell? We think it due to Pastor Russell and to the readers that this statement should appear in these columns, much as we dislike anything of a personal nature – always seeking to reserve these columns sacredly for the dissemination of the Divine Word and its interpretation.

The slandering of God's people for righteousness' sake is represented in the burning of the "Lord's Goat" on the typical Atonement Day. Whatever ignominy befalls one member of the Body is shared by all. Whatever shame the Lord thus permits He could hinder; hence it must serve some good purpose – in testing our patience, love, loyalty, obedience, humility or what not. Let us not forget for one moment the Text for 1915 – "The Cup which My Father hath poured, shall I not drink it?"

[R5656 : page 94]

INTERESTING LETTERS
MORE VALUABLE THAN A YEAR IN COLLEGE
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

The EUREKA DRAMA is now being shown here in one of the best halls of the city. Parts I. and II. have been shown already to a packed house each time, and an appreciative audience. Part III. is to be given tonight, D.V.; and request has been made for the hall, to give the three parts over again next week. Then later we expect to visit Trinidad, Grenada and other places of the West Indies. Follow up work is being planned for here, and a one-day Local Convention to be held next Sunday. I enclose a clipping from the Advocate. With much Christian love,

Yours in the Master's service, by grace,

ADDISON B. BLAKE. – Barbadoes, B.W.I.

The clipping follows:

"THE PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION"

The beautiful PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION, being now exhibited in all the large cities of America and Great Britain, presents, in startling and instructive motion and colored pictures – scientific, historical and Scriptural – the results of years of labor. The DRAMA begins with pictures showing this world's creation and preparation, including Edenic scenes and Adam's transgression. Step by step the ages are traversed, and in marvelous imagery, in pictures based on Bible prophecies, is portrayed the perfect man of the future, in full possession and full enjoyment of the promised unending Earthly Paradise.

The PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION is shown free of all cost, under the auspices of the Associated Bible Students. This Association is backing and financing the DRAMA, which is supported by voluntary contributions. It has been well said that the four parts of the DRAMA and their lectures are more valuable than a year's course in college. Part I. traces Creation from star nebulae to the Deluge and its causes, and onward to the time of Moses. Part II. begins with Moses and carries us down through the Bible record of Israel's experiences to Jesus' miracles. Part III. leads our minds from Hosanna, through the Dark Ages of ignorance, superstition and cruelty, down to and into the future Age. The fame of the beautiful slides and films has reached far and wide.

There are so many loud calls for the DRAMA it is impossible to meet them all immediately. Therefore Stereopticon views, in three parts taken from the DRAMA, are also being used at present in connection with the phonograph, in the smaller cities and villages. We are glad to welcome the visit of the latter form of the DRAMA to Barbadoes, and hope to see the complete DRAMA in the near future.

Barbadoes Advocate.

page 94

COLPORTEURING WITH CREATION SCENARIO
DEAR BRETHREN: –

Early in the summer I took up sale of the SCENARIO, amid the hills and dales of this mountainous country. Used a bicycle first, for several hundred miles, then horse back; but in the hot weather Brother Cossar and I traveled together in his motor car. We had some happy experiences, telling to those who appeared to have the listening ear the wonderful story of God's love for the human family, His gracious provision for our redemption and recovery from the fall. We found some who were indeed Truth-hungry; and the Lord was pleased to use our imperfect service in bringing Truth blessings to some dear children of God.

Stopping at a house where I had sold a SCENARIO and had induced the woman to buy a copy of Volume I. as well, a woman of beautiful character saw the little karatol volume and began to read it. Finding out who sold the book and the SCENARIO, she determined to come on to Penticton and seek a personal interview. I was rather surprised when I returned, to find her as a guest of my wife, but expecting to leave in a day or two, as the declaration of war in Europe had completely upset her business. A delayed letter compelled her to remain with us for about two weeks. This gave her just the opportunity she needed for reading the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES. She really had nothing else she could do. Of course, she met with us in the class and in devotional exercises. Her visit was a blessing, for we rejoiced to note how readily our dear Sister came into the light of Present Truth. This is one of several very happy experiences we have had during the past summer.

A remarkable thing about the Sister's experience, which is a valuable lesson to "Truth people," is that she had lived with her married cousin in Seattle, who had read most of the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES and professed to accept and rejoice in the Truth, but who retained her connection with her own Church (Congregational). Her influence for the Truth appears to have been nil while she retained her Church connection.

When those who are connected with the nominal Church systems get a measure of light on Present Truth, I believe one of the first duties is to completely and quickly get out of Babylon. What our Lord has rejected should be rejected by His followers.

Permit me to express my deepest gratitude for the ministrations of our beloved Pastor through THE WATCH TOWER, as well as the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, and also the PHOTO-DRAMA, and my confidence in our Pastor's faithfulness to the end of the race. When the Chief Shepherd shall be manifested, ye shall receive the Crown of Glory which fadeth not away. I am sure that many of the Lord's faithful followers will be filled with joy when they see Brother Russell honored in reward for faithful service on earth.

Praying daily for our Heavenly Father's blessing and guidance to rest upon you all at Brooklyn, and the dear saints of our Lord Jesus everywhere,

Your brother in Christ,

THOS. C. WANLESS. – B.C., Canada.

SAVED BY THE PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: –

As I advance farther and farther into the Light, I feel that I must write and tell you of the wondrous blessing that has come into my life through your instrumentality and that of all the Brothers and Sisters in the Truth whom I have been privileged to meet personally.

I had almost been drawn into the quicksands of infidelity and feel that I was saved by the PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION, which was shown here last summer. I feel as though the DRAMA was sent here for my special benefit; and how I do thank and praise the Heavenly Father for it! I now have that peace which the world cannot give and which I would not part with for all its riches.

I have the six volumes of STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES and have read them, a veritable feast, after starving so long. Am searching the Scriptures daily and my Bible has become the dearest book in the world to me, whereas before it was never looked at.

I have had a great desire to write and tell you what joy and peace have come into my life through your instrumentality, but have refrained because of the thought of the tremendous amount of work you are doing. But I feel sure you will be glad to hear that another soul has found peace through your efforts.

God bless you and all the workers, and may we all stand steadfast in the Faith till we hear our blessed Master say, "It is enough; come up higher"!

Yours in His service,

MRS. LOIS GARDNER. – Mo.

[R5657 : page 94]

A "TRUTH" BABY
MY VERY DEAR PASTOR: –

I am sending my baby's photo to wish you the very happiest of new years; I hope and believe that the year will indeed "Ring in The Christ that is to be."

I think you may be interested in this baby's history, as it seems to prove your theory that "Truth" babies are better than other ones. When my other children were born, my surroundings were much as you advocate in Volume VI. They are very good children, and the girl has recently consecrated herself to the Lord.

I think it was about fifteen months before my last dear child's birth that I read THE DIVINE PLAN OF THE AGES, rejoiced greatly and immediately gave myself to the Lord – as did my husband. During the interval before baby's birth, we moved twice – the second time into a tent, as no houses were available. City street improvements exposed me to the most terrific and incessant noises, and once, in blasting, the tent was thrown down without warning. Then we had a heavy snow which bore down our tent, compelling us to go out into two feet of snow, in the night! I tried to be "worth while" and smile when everything went wrong. The power of the Truth was greater than I knew, for baby has the best nature of any of my children – he is really unselfish; people have remarked upon it to me.

When he was born I had another trial; his arm was paralyzed and hung helpless. I knew Restitution was coming and although I found it hard to say, "Thy will be done," when I said it from my heart, that night the arm distinctly moved. It is now as the other. Hoping I have not taken too much of your time, I remain,

Your sister in Christ,

ELEANOR I. CHILDE. – B.C.

[R5657 : page 95]

"TOILS OF THE ROAD WILL SEEM NOTHING WHEN – "
DEARLY BELOVED BROTHER RUSSELL: –

Greetings in our Redeemer's name! Ever since I read THE WATCH TOWER of Dec. 1. I have felt that I must write and tell you how much I appreciate it. THE WATCH TOWERS are all rich, but this one seemed to impress me so much, and especially the first two articles – "SPIRIT-BEGOTTEN SONS OF GOD AND THEIR DEVELOPMENT," and "TEMPTATIONS, PECULIAR TO THE NEW CREATION."

Oh, how the dear Lord is blessing us with meat in due season for the Household of Faith, through that honored Servant! I have so many things to be thankful for. Not long since husband and the children opposed me in the Truth, thought mamma was foolish and really cranky about her religion; but now they are in sweet accord and are learning to love the Lord, the Truth and the Brethren, and you may know that I greatly appreciate the fact.

My trials have seemed very crushing of late, but I consider them all as blessings, and thank the Lord for all my experiences. It seems so natural for us to want every one to love us and to think and speak well of us. But we know that when we earnestly contend for "the faith once delivered to the saints" it cannot be. But how glad I am that I can suffer a little for Him! The sufferings of this present time are nothing to compare with the glory that shall follow.

My only fear is that I shall not do my duty to the Lord. I know He is going to do His part. There are times when it seems He has hidden His face from me, but I know He is only seeing if I will trust Him where I cannot trace Him. And if I did not get my polishing in this way, it would have to come in some other; and the Lord certainly knows best.

Yours in His Service,

MRS. HOMER GRUVER.

EUREKA DRAMA SUCCESS
DEAR BRETHREN: –

We are indeed rejoicing in the blessed privilege of service in the Eureka Drama work. The Heavenly Father is surely blessing us, and the public is very appreciative. We have been in the work about four weeks, and have served thirteen places and about 4,000 people.

At one place, after the third part, a dear brother's wife stated that she had made a full consecration of her all and desired to be immersed. This was a cause of rejoicing for the dear brother, and all rejoiced with him.

Of course, we are having some trials, but that only makes us the more determined to press on. With much Christian love to all,

I am your servant in Christ,

JOS. ISAAC, JR. – Texas.

"I HAD SOUGHT THE WORLD AROUND, PEACE AND COMFORT NOWHERE FOUND"

A WATCH TOWER reader sends us the following interesting letter from a leading educator of Kentucky – a further evidence that a gleaning work is in progress: MR. JAMES H. WARE,

__________, Ky.

DEAR FRIEND: –

Hardly could you have more effectually surprised me, or more thoroughly pleased me, than you have in presenting me with this handsomely bound set of Bible Students' Helps.

I read (tried to read) the Bible through at 14 years. I tried it again at 44, and again made a prayerful effort at 55 to read the Bible and Apocrypha.

I also have studied ten of the great Religions, read many infidel authors and much materialistic philosophy; yet these six little volumes are clearly exhibiting to me more truth than I had discovered in all this study.

I can read any of the poets, philosophy, or deep-laid allegory; but I had failed to read the Bible so as to agree with current orthodoxy. And you may know how rejoiced I am that finally you have placed me in company with Truth-Seekers who discover to me vividly and fearlessly the ways of God that I in much fear had seen, because it seemed that no other corroborated my discovery.

I think I prize your present more highly than any gift I have ever received. Thanking you,

W. H. PEPPER. – Ky.

AS TO SECURING HALLS FOR EUREKA DRAMA
DEAR FRIENDS: –

It may interest you to know of the method we have adopted for securing halls for the EUREKA DRAMA work. When we first started, some one would go ahead and secure halls in advance and advertise. This method, we found, had difficulties and was expensive.

Now we have adopted a different method, which seems thus far to have worked well, at small expense. We now make arrangements for halls by telephone, which costs, in most cases, not more than fifteen cents, and is sometimes free, according to distance. These arrangements are made not more than a few days in advance; then we move to our town or village in the morning and the first thing we do is to put up our posters and window cards, and advertise from house to house and in the rural districts through the schools. In the evening we have our show, and usually have crowds.

Yours, in the Master's service,

C. F. DUWE. – Ohio.

[R5661 : page 95]

THE FAITH THAT OVERCOMES
When peace, sweet peace, enfolded me,
When darkness turned to light,
When, by Faith's miracle, I stood
All blameless in His sight,
What more, O soul of mine, couldst ask;
Is not the wonder done?
Lord, justifying Faith is much –
Grant Faith to overcome!

Then as I passed beyond "the door,"
And paused beside "the bread,"
And by the light of "candlestick"
My Father's counsel read;
Then crossed in "wedding robe" and stood
Where Love's pure incense burns,
Here still, my heart in need, cried out
For Faith that overcomes.

And when the brighter light did shine
And God's "own servant" led
With kindly hand, and seated me
At "feast of fat things" spread,
What more, O heart insatiate?
Dost longing still return?
Yes; wisdom from on High is good,
But Faith must overcome.

And when the fiery darts fell thick
And trembling heart and hand
Could scarcely bind the sacrifice
With Love's unyielding band;
While mental anguish scarce could bear
The fire that needs must burn,
With streaming eyes I plead for Faith,
For Faith to overcome.

And when in "pastures green," I lay
Me down by "waters still,"
To read and pray and gather strength
For coming good or ill,
Yet still a note of warning rang –
The journey ne'er is done;
Improve the time, build up thy Faith,
The Faith to overcome.

Ah! ever thus it must be so;
The Bride's Gethsemane;
The Bridegroom trod this way before;
Wouldst thou more favored be?
Nay, Father, nay! Thy will be done,
His course my feet would run;
But Father, dear, I pray Thee, hear;
Give faith to overcome.

So on I go, through weal and woe,
His faithful child to be,
To tell the Story, ever new,
To poor humanity.
With one hand wide I'll scatter Truth
From morn till set of sun,
And keep the other lifted high
For Faith, to overcome.

And O, some day I'll enter in,
His beauteous face I'll see;
Somewhere within the Father's House
He has a place for me.
And as I bow low at His feet
And hear His sweet "Well done!"
I'll say, Dear Lord, for every step
Thou gav'st Faith to o'ercome.

MARY SANGSTON.

page 96

International Bible Students Association Classes
MEMORIAL SUPPER AT NEW YORK CITY TEMPLE.
West 63rd Street – Nr. B'way.

Last year the Memorial Supper was celebrated on its anniversary at the Brooklyn Tabernacle; but this year we propose to celebrate it at the New York City Temple, which has nearly double the capacity. While we would gladly welcome all Christian believers who acknowledge the value of the death of Christ as the redemption-price for the world, and who have fully consecrated their lives to walk in His steps, nevertheless we do not urge the present at the Temple of those who can conveniently meet with their local Classes on this occasion. It is a family celebration; and, while all of the Lord's people are of one family, there is a particular sense in which each little group or class of Bible Students is a family in the Lord – an Ecclesia. In celebrating this Supper, each should do his part in making the home celebration an impressive, soul-satisfying one – not forgetting the presence of the Lord; as He said, "Where two or three of you are met in My name, there am I."

The Associated Bible Students of New York City will, of course, feel perfectly welcome to bring any of their Christian friends with them, but it is hardly an occasion for inviting in those who have not yet made a consecration of their hearts to the Lord. We hope to meet, as usual, at 7:45 p.m. and to begin the service proper at 8 o'clock, Sunday evening, March 28th.

I. B. S. A. BEREAN BIBLE STUDIES
VOL. 2, STUDY 7
Week of April  4......Q. 14 to 19     Week of April 18.....Q. 28 to 30
Week of April 11......Q. 20 to 27     Week of April 25.....Q. 31 to 37
Question Manuals on Vol. II., STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, 5c. each.