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To the King of Kings and Lord of Lords
IN THE INTEREST OF
HIS CONSECRATED SAINTS,
WAITING FOR THE ADOPTION,
"ALL THAT IN EVERY PLACE CALL UPON THE LORD,"
"THE HOUSEHOLD OF FAITH,"
THE GROANING CREATION, TRAVAILING AND WAITING FOR THE
MANIFESTATION OF THE SONS OF GOD,
THIS WORK IS DEDICATED.
"To make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery which from the beginning
of the world hath been hid in God." "Wherein He hath abounded toward
us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known unto us the
mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which
He hath purposed in Himself; that in the dispensation
of the fulness of the times He
might gather together in one all
things, under Christ."
The Birth of This Question Book
AFTER waiting nearly all summer, for the friends to let me know whether or not they desired copies of the 1916 Souvenir Convention Report, I placed an order with the printer for what I thought would be an ample supply, based upon the orders on hand.
The presses started and about one half of the book was printed and the type disposed of when Pastor Russell died.
Immediately the friends began to send in their orders for the Reports, stating they MUST have Brother Russell's words, especially the reports of the various Question Meetings.
The result was, that all the available supply was quickly exhausted, and no prospect of another edition.
What to do for the friends was the question, until we believe, the Lord impressed upon our mind to compile all the questions and answers as they have appeared in the various Souvenir Convention Reports for the past twelve years, with other questions answered by Pastor Russell, making a classified list of all, according to the year answered, and binding them in a substantial book form.
The result is the birth of this present volume of about seven hundred pages, which we pray, and trust will be to the glory of God, to whom it is dedicated, and for the blessing of His consecrated children, for whose use it has been prepared.
Several of the friends have assisted in the work of preparation; in connection with which our hearts have been greatly blessed.
If others get the blessing from the use of this book, which we believe is in store for them, we will feel well repaid.May the Lord's blessing go with it.
Yours in HIS service,
L. W. JONES, M.D.
WHAT PASTOR RUSSELL SAID
This Book Consists of Hundreds of Questions Answers by
Pastor Russell Only, Covering about Twelve Years
of the Convention Reports and Several Years of
the Watch Tower. Wherever a Question is
from the Watch Tower the Letter (Z)
Follows the Year. Otherwise it is
from a Convention Report
AARON--Re Antitype When Blessing.
QUESTION (1911)--1--When Moses and Aaron came out to bless the people, who did Aaron represent?
ANSWER.--I presume that Moses would there stand for and represent God's divine law, blessing the people, and that Aaron was standing for or representing the high priest who had performed the sacrifice. Moses the law-giver stood there as the representative of justice, and the priest who had made the sacrifice stood there to bless also. So Christ will stand as the antitype of Aaron in that picture to bless the world during the thousand years, and right beside him will be the divine law, as represented by Moses. God's whole law and every power of God will be there to bless and put into operation the arrangements that have thus been effected.
AARONIC PRIESTHOOD--Should Be Applied Antitypically.
QUESTION (1911-Z)--2--Have we any Scripture to show that the Aaronic priesthood will exercise their priestly office in the Millennial Age?
ANSWER.--One Scripture that might be understood so to teach is found in the book of Malachi, which says that when the Lord shall come into His Temple, "He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; and He shall purify the sons of Levi and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness."--Mal. 3:3.
Some might apply this Scripture to the sons of Levi in a literal way. But we think that it is antitypical, that the Church constitutes the Levitical system and that these are the spiritual Levites whom the Purifier will make ready, that they may offer unto God an acceptable sacrifice, as antitypical Levites and a Royal Priesthood.
QUESTION (1912-Z)--3--Will there be accidents and death during the Millennium aside from those of sinners going into the Second Death?
ANSWER.--While the reign of Christ will be a reign of righteousness unto life, we are not to understand that Adamic death will be at an end as soon as Messiah has begun His reign, for it is stated that He must reign until He has put down all enemies. (1 Cor. 15:25,26.) It is understood that people will be more or less in the Adamic death during the [Q6] thousand years and will rise gradually out of Adamic imperfection and death to the perfection of the human nature. We should remember that the Kingdom as it will be established in the beginning of the Millennial Age will consist of the New Jerusalem--that is, the glorified Church, of which Christ is the Head. (Rev. 21:1-8.) During the thousand years the world will be coming into accord with this arrangement. For all such as will come into harmony there will be a blessed arrangement by which they will be protected from any penalty for imperfections. We may reasonably suppose that after perfection is reached there will be no more accidents, just as we have reason to suppose that in heaven there is no necessity for surgeons, doctors, ambulances, etc. "Nothing shall hurt or destroy in all God's holy mountain (Kingdom)." (Isa. 11:9.) God's will shall be done on earth as it is done in heaven. We read that there shall be no more sighing and no more crying and no more dying.
ADAM--The Tree of Life, the Tree of Knowledge.
QUESTION (1907)--1--Did Adam eat of the tree of life before eating of the tree of knowledge? If so, why did he not live forever?
ANSWER.--I answer that the word "tree of life" is in the plural. All the trees of Eden were trees of life. They were all good for food, beautiful to look upon. They were trees, the eating of which would have maintained the life which God had given to Adam. They were not trees to give some kind of a charm to him, which would hinder him from ever dying. That is not the thought. They were trees of life in the sense that their fruit, partaken of, would have permitted our first parents, if they continued to eat, to live, and would have supplied all of the wastes of their systems so that they would never have needed to die. They had been eating of these trees, so far as our understanding of the Scripture goes, for a little over a year before they were led into temptation by the Adversary and ate of the forbidden kind of trees. We understand this tree of the knowledge of good and evil was not one tree, but one kind of trees, and of that particular kind of trees, they were not to eat. And when God, therefore, would have them die, He drove them out of the garden, away from the trees of life, and into the unprepared earth, where they must till the ground and battle with the thorns and thistles, until they were to return to this earth from whence taken. The penalty was death and the intimation is that if the Lord had allowed them to remain in Eden, they would not have come into a dying condition, but would have remained in full vigor and strength of their human nature, notwithstanding their being sinners.
ADAM--Why Given Second Trial?
QUESTION (1909)--2--If Adam has had a trial and failed, will he have another and if so, what for? Why should he be resurrected if he failed in the first trial?
ANSWER.--The reason that he is to have a resurrection and another trial is because God willed it so, and that is the very best reason. Now, if you want to know why, we may do some guessing, perhaps, to our advantage. I think the reason God willed it so is that in some respects Adam did not have a trial under the most favorable conditions that God could have arranged, although his trial was a just trial. He was fully equipped mentally, [Q7] but a great temptation came to him, and because of the lack of experience he failed. What was the trial or temptation?
You remember that the Apostle tells us that Adam was not deceived; he knew what he was doing, that he was eating the forbidden fruit, violating God's command, and that it meant death. There was no ignorance about it. Why did he do it? I think the narrative bears out the thought that he did it because of sympathetic love. He had been without a wife, and while the various kinds of birds could twitter, and the other animals make some commotion, such were not satisfactory to man, so after God gave him a wife, bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh, and he had enjoyed that sweet companionship, and he realized that he would lose her and that he would be alone again after she disobeyed, he said, I will eat with her and die with her. If she must go out in the unprepared earth and die, so will I. So, really this is a very noble feature of the first man's character, and the condition of his trial, you will see, made it a very severe trial. Now, then, I think it would be just like our Heavenly Father to say: Adam, at the time you did that, you did not know fully what I could or would do for you, and what you might have had at that time if you had been obedient. Now, Adam, I intend to redeem you and all your race. You will have a demonstration of my love, and after you have learned of the height and depth and length and breadth of my love, I will expect you to fully and perfectly keep my law and live forever, but if you do not obey, then you will die the second death and will never have another opportunity for restitution.
ADOPTION--To Whom Does Spirit of Adoption Apply?
QUESTION (1912)--1--"But ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba Father." Does this expression, "spirit of adoption" apply to our Lord Jesus?
ANSWER.--No. Our Lord never was anything else than a Son. In no sense was He an adopted Son. God sent His Son into the world. When in the world He was a Son. His Sonship never ceased. He remained a Son, faithful, unto the death of the cross. When God raised Him from the dead, He still was a Son, raised up to the highest glory. Nor does this word adoption fit well to the Church's experience. God does not adopt us in the flesh. He only has to do with us as New Creatures. And we become New Creatures not by adoption, but by the begetting of the Holy Spirit. The Diaglott gives the preferable translation.
ADVERTISING--What Name to Use?
QUESTION (1909)--2--By what name would you suggest that the local classes advertise their meetings, so as to avoid the confusion of a multiplicity of titles, such as: "Millennial Dawn, "Believers in the Atonement," "Believers in the Precious Blood, "Bible Students," etc.
ANSWER.--It is a difficult matter to know how to advertise, not for ourselves, but difficult to keep from being misunderstood by the people. "Church of God"; "Church of the Living God"; "Church of Christ." Any of those names would suit us very well, and we would have no objections to them, but we find that there are various denominations who have appropriated those titles, not that we think they have a right to apply them to themselves, but we would like to [Q8] live in peace. It is a difficult matter to decide, and each class will have to do that for themselves.
ADVERTISING--Attitude of Elders and Deacons.
QUESTION (1910)--1--What should be the proper relationship between the duties of elders and deacons as to advertising small conventions and pilgrim meetings?
ANSWER.--As to advertising, who should supervise the matter--where should instructions be looked for? My thought is, that the proper course would be for the instructions on advertising to come from the home office, because there we have the largest amount of experience; not because we are wiser than other people, but because those who are entrusted to the work there are supposed to be and ought to be persons of exceptional ability and of wide experience, and since we have to do with so many advertising schemes and arrangements in so many parts of the world, it gives us an opportunity of judging that people otherwise might not enjoy. Therefore my thought would be that they would do well to look for special advice from Brooklyn on this subject. As to who would have it in charge: An elder is elected specially for spiritual things and to look out for the spiritual interests of the Church, yet the advertising is a part of the spiritual interests of the Church; it is so closely identified with the spiritual interests of the Church as to be worthy of the very best ability you have in any class. You cannot give it into too good hands; and indeed the right spirit would be that all should join in together, and if the one who has the best ability be found, not amongst the elders, but amongst the deacons, then all ought to be glad to rather favor his taking the more prominent part in connection with the work. In other words, we ought to sink all personality in every service of the truth and try to get at the best methods and in the shortest and most satisfactory way, as far as our judgment will direct us and guide us, and look for more wisdom.
ADVERTISING--Proper and Improper.
QUESTION (1915)--2--It is showing the spirit of Babylon to solicit advertising contracts from merchants for space on Photo Drama announcements?
ANSWER.--It would not be proper to say to a merchant, "Advertise with us and thus contribute something to a good cause." That would not do. It would be begging for the Lord's cause, a thing we are not authorized to do. But if I were a merchant and had an opportunity to put an advertisement into a Photo Drama announcement, I would think it would be one of the best chances of advertising I ever had. I would think I was receiving a benefit. If for $1 or $2 I could have my business card circulated all over the neighborhood, I would say, "These little leaflets showing about the Drama will interest the people; and while reading the notes about the pictures, they will also read about my business." I would think I had good value for my money. If any man thought that he was not getting good value he ought not to put his advertising in. It is a purely business transaction.
In soliciting the advertisement, one should not mention the religious feature. We do not do this at all. It is purely business, so far as the merchants are concerned; and I would let them advertise all that they choose. The fact that we [Q9] do not permit advertisements in The Watch Tower does not signify that to do so would be wrong. I see nothing wrong in a merchant's advertising his wares. If I were publishing a daily newspaper, I would expect to sell advertising space.
A brother who owns a newspaper consulted me a little about his advertising. He said that the merchants in his vicinity were accustomed to advertise, and that some of the best advertisers were dealers in liquor and tobacco. I told him that I would not put any liquor advertisements in. I would put in advertisements of shoes or clothing or groceries or hardware, and would solicit such advertising, if I were running a newspaper. I see nothing wrong in advertisements in newspapers. I would see nothing wrong in putting six or eight pages of advertisements into The Watch Tower, if the articles advertised were staples that every one wanted to buy. But since The Watch Tower goes into the home and represents me in a special way, I like to have all the space used for religious matter--not, however, because the advertisements would be wrong.
Once we put into The Watch Tower a notice about Miracle Wheat. Many of you saw it. We believe we did right in putting that notice in. We also put in a notice about some kind of beans and one about some special cotton. Some of the friends were benefited by each of these notices. We also put in a notice recently about a cure for cancer. We have had hundreds of letters come in from Truth friends, and hundreds from others; and a great many have reported good results. To some extent this has helped forward the Truth. People saw that we were not trying to get their money, saw that we were trying to do them good, and became interested.
AFFECTIONS--Crucifying the Affections of the Flesh.
QUESTION (1907)--1--And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh and the affections thereof." Does this include unnecessary affections between consecrated brothers and sisters? Is this not part of our sacrifice?
ANSWER.--In taking such a passage as this, we must be careful to take other passages of Scripture with it, so we may be sure we are within the proper limit. If one passage of Scripture could contain the whole message of God, we would not have the entire Bible. Therefore the importance of the matter, if we would understand the way of the Lord, and the will of the Lord in many things, that we should have a comprehensive view of all the Scriptures that might bear on the subject.
Now the apostle in his letter to the Corinthians lays down certain relations that should obtain between husbands and wives. He there specifies that the one should not defraud the other, and then he gives an intimation of certain limitations both ways in respect to relationship between husband and wife in the Lord. But I think that it is a proper enough thought to say that while it does not signify the entire elimination of everything that might belong to the natural man and the natural woman, it would mean that, having crucified these, having given up the affections and the lusts of the flesh, they are seeking to live on a higher plane, and should spend their time and energy in that which would be most profitable to themselves and most to the glory of the [Q10] Lord, and for the greatest good to others with whom they may have contact. Therefore, to have thus given up our affections, and ourselves to the Lord, would mean that according to our limitations--and these are not the same with any two persons, but each one according to the limitations of his own flesh--each shall seek to bring himself into that degree of subjection so that the very thoughts of his mind may be in harmony with the Lord, as well as all the acts of life. It is a general principle. It is not a principle that you could apply to another brother or to another sister; they must apply that for themselves, and you must apply it to yourself; and let each to the best of his ability do what he believes will be to the glory of the Lord and for the good of himself and others. And this is the moderation of which the Scriptures speak.
AFFLICTIONS--To Whom Do Christ's Apply?
QUESTION (1910)--1--If St. Paul's filling up the afflictions behind of Christ, for Christ's body's sake, were on behalf of the Church, how can this Scripture be used to mean that the Church suffers on behalf of the world as the antitype of the Lord's goat, while Paul said his sufferings were for the sake of the Church? Does the text apply to the Church or to Paul only?
ANSWER.--The Church and Christ all suffer the same suffering and for the same purpose. We are to be sharers in the sufferings of Christ and not in any other kind of suffering. You are not suffering for the world, and the goat did not suffer for the world--not at all. The sufferings are merely the killing. The goat had nothing to do with what was done with the blood. Some forget that. We are very apt to forget that all this typified back there was the killing of the bullock and the killing of the goat. Who did the killing of the bullock? The high priest. Who did the killing of the goat? The high priest. Then the goat did not kill itself, did it? No. The point to be seen is this: Our heavenly Father told Jesus he would be pleased to have him lay down his life in the interest of the Lord's cause and the Lord's people, and Jesus showed his loyalty in so doing; and Jesus told you and me that we might go and do likewise and lay down our lives in showing our loyalty for the brethren. Now that is all you have to do with it. You haven't anything to do with how God shall reward that. The reward that God promises you if you lay down your life for the brethren, is, that you shall be a member of the Body of Christ, which is the Church. The promised reward to Jesus was that if he would lay down his life for the brethren, he should be the great Messiah, the King of Glory; the promise to you and to me is that we shall be members of his Body. It was not God's promise to him that certain things should come to the world as a result. The blood of Jesus is going to bring forgiveness of the world's sin, and what may be done with your sacrifice may be counted in by him really to the world, but you have nothing to do with that; that is not your part; you are laying down your life in the sense of sacrificing your life as the Lord commanded; you have nothing whatever to do with what he will do with the blood afterwards; that is not your concern. Your part is to do your part, and my part is to do mine. We are filling up the afflictions of Christ, the same afflictions that he had and for the same purpose; all of them go for the Body of Christ, which is the Church. [Q11] You and I are serving the Church; we are not to serve the world. What God will do with the merit of that sacrifice is another matter altogether.
ANCIENT WORTHIES--Re The Second Death.
QUESTION (1907)--1--Would it have been possible for any of the Ancient Worthies to have entered the second death?
ANSWER.--I think not. In the time of the Ancient Worthies, God had made no offer at all to the world, and since they had not been released from the Adamic death, they could not have gotten into the second death. So, you see, not until Christ had died for Adam's sin, not until He had risen from the dead to be the judge of the quick and the dead, not until then would it be possible for anybody to get out of the Adamic death, and not until they got out of the Adamic death could they get into the second death.
ANCIENT WORTHIES--How Receive Spirit Life?
QUESTION (1908)--2--If it is true that only those begotten of the spirit, who must live in the gospel age and have their trial in this dispensation in order to have a begetting and consequent birth as a spirit being; if it be true that only those begotten of the spirit can expect to have spirit bodies and spirit life, how can the Ancient Worthies who lived and died before the gospel age ever receive anything more than human perfection? How can they ever be given a spirit nature at or following the close of the Millennial age?
ANSWER.--In writing a letter to Brother Woodworth about a year ago, I incidentally mentioned something that led me to this conclusion, that the Ancient Worthies would receive spirit natures at the end of the Millennium; it is not positive, but what I think is reasonable, and satisfactory to my mind, though it may not be to everybody; I did not attempt to argue the matter or present it in force to Brother Woodworth, but he grasped the thought and in a letter he wrote back to me he incidentally referred to the matter, and that letter was published, and I forgot to strike out that part. Now I will say that it is my intention to treat that subject in an article in the Watch Tower soon. I have intended it for some little while; I have received a good many letters asking for the evidence, and before very long you will get it in better form than I could give it now in answer to this question. So I hope that will satisfy.
ANCIENT WORTHIES--Their Test.
QUESTION (1910)--3--Have the Ancient Worthies been sufficiently tested to assure us that none of them will go into the second death? Will they be only mentally and physically perfect?
ANSWER.--We do not know that they have been sufficiently tested as respects character. Apparently the Lord, according to St. Paul's declaration in the letter of Hebrews, has a very high estimation of these Ancient Worthies and their faithfulness, and God has indicated that they are acceptable to him. Now if you and I were to use our judgment--which we are not to do--but if we were to use our judgment, for instance, in a case like that of Samson, we would be inclined to wonder whether Samson had really developed a character of sufficient likeness to the divine character to be beyond the necessity for further testing. A meager account of his life, and the slaying of several thousands with the jawbone of an ass, and afterwards [Q12] getting his hair cut short, etc., would not be proof to us that he had the character; and yet, that the Lord saw something about Samson's character that pleased him is the record, and you and I are evidently not competent to judge in the matter. But what we do find is this; that God in his arrangement places the entire number of Ancient Worthies under the New Covenant arrangement, and we think that that is very blessed for them, because if there were any lapses on their part they would be still under the covering power of the Great Mediator of the New Covenant, and their indiscretions or imperfections or failures to properly exercise the proper spirit in every matter would all come under the review of the Great Mediator, who would have full power to treat with them as well as with others. We think, therefore, that it is very well and very nice to know that the Ancient Worthies are under the New Covenant arrangement and under the Great Mediator.
ANCIENT WORTHIES--Re Trial For Life?
QUESTION (1910-Z)--1--Were Ancient Worthies on trial for life?
ANSWER.--The Ancient Worthies were not on trial for life or death; they were never brought to that condition of intelligent opportunity for eternal life which would make them amenable to a sentence of death. Such a condition of knowledge and opportunity did not obtain in the world until our Lord came. "Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ;" "he brought to light, life and immortality." These were never disclosed before our Lord's time, and consequently no such responsibility, as now exists, had come.
In a certain sense the Jewish nation had been typically justified and was typically on trial for life or death, but this was not an actuality so far as life and death eternal were concerned, because God knew in advance that they could not keep the law, and that they could never have eternal life under it; and he had arranged in advance that they should be redeemed from the curse of the law irrespective of anything they might themselves do in the matter. Hence it was only in the typical, or figurative sense, that they were on trial for life or death.
The Ancient Worthies "had this testimony that they pleased God." They pleased him in that when they ascertained his will they set about doing it, even before he gave it to them as a law or obligation, even before he could ask them to obey him and promise them eternal life for their obedience. Abraham manifested his faith in God although there was no redemption yet accomplished in the world. Christ had not yet come. And although Abraham was not on trial for life or for death God granted Abraham his favor and declared that he pleased him; and his word tells us that "a better resurrection" is to be not only to Abraham, but to all these Ancient Worthies--a resurrection to human perfection. But since human perfection will come only under the mediatorial reign of Christ, the Ancient Worthies will not be introduced to the Father in the complete sense until the close of the Millennial Age.
Hence, they will not have life, in this fullest sense, until that time, when, at the close of the Millennial Age, the Kingdom shall be delivered over to the Father. What they will have in the meantime will be the perfection of human nature [Q13] and all the blessings that God provides for mankind, through the great Mediator. But they will not come into actual and personal relationship to God, so as to be determined worthy of eternal life, until the completion of the Millennial Age, because that age is set apart for the very purpose of determining who of all mankind may have eternal life, aside from the spirit-begotten ones of the present time. At the close of the Millennial Age, when all mankind shall be in perfection of being, they shall be tried of the Father for their worthiness or unworthiness of eternal life--just as Adam, while enjoying perfection, was tested as to whether or not he was worthy to have life made perpetual or eternal.
Since the Ancient Worthies will be a part of the world under the New Covenant arrangements, it follows that they will not have this decision of the Divine Court, Divine Justice, respecting their worthiness of eternal life until the completion of the Millennial Age, until the conclusion of the trial at the end of that age, which will bring to them, as it will bring to all others who are faithful, the great reward of life eternal.
ANCIENT WORTHIES--Relationship to God in Millennial Age.
QUESTION (1911)--1--Will the ancient worthies be in relationship with God during the millennial age?
ANSWER.--Yes, we answer, the ancient worthies will be in covenant relationship with God through this new covenant, through the Mediator of the new covenant, throughout the millennial age; but they will not be in any personal, direct relationship with God until the end of the millennial age. All those who receive the blessings of the millennial kingdom must obtain them through the great Mediator, and through the new covenant which he sealed with his blood on behalf of every nation, people, kindred, and tongue. The ancient worthies who have already demonstrated their loyalty to God will have a special blessing in that they will come forth perfect in the flesh and not attain perfection by gradual processes; they will come forth with perfect human bodies; as their minds were already fully in accord with God's, so their bodies will be in full accord with the divine law at the very beginning. However, it will be very fortunate, we believe, for those ancient worthies that they will still be under that new covenant, and still be under that Mediator; because they might, with all their past experiences, make some failures. Why? How? Because, so far as we may judge, while they had considerable experience, they did not have that full experience which must come to the church. Amongst those ancient worthies that are mentioned in the Scriptures, we note the name of Samson. We have no reason to suppose that Samson was, in any sense of the word, disloyal to God; he was loyal, he was obedient, he was full of faith in God. Because of these qualities he is counted an overcomer, and will be one of the sharers in the special blessings of that time; but, to say that Samson had a full, wide, diversified knowledge of all these things which will be required of a perfect man, is quite another proposition. And so, we think it will be entirely possible that with limited experience some of these ancient worthies might still make some mistake unintentionally during Messiah's reign. If so, being under the blood of the covenant, with the Mediator between them and divine justice, they would have a necessity for this, and get a blessing from this very condition. [Q14]
ANCIENT WORTHIES--Re Spirit Nature.
QUESTION (1911)--1--Is it your thought that the ancient worthies receive spirit nature? If so, will they occupy a higher nature than the Great Company?
ANSWER.--I have no private information on this subject, dear friends. The Lord has not told me anything about it. You know there are always people to whom it would seem as though the Lord is always talking so much that they would have to neglect nearly everything else. I am not one of that kind. I am only a plain man who knows what is written. I have told you all I know on the subject, and that is, that, so far as I can see, the ancient worthies will come forth human beings, perfected in human nature to be princes in all the earth for the thousand years of Messiah's reign, and at the end of that time, certain things that I have already indicated to you seem to my mind to be implied; but I am not sure; it seems to be implied, I think, that God will then grant them the reward of a higher nature. That is all I can say. And I don't know whether it will be any higher than the great company, but I think not. I do not know. You see it is good to be able to say you do not know, sometimes. Some people try to make out that I claim I am infallible, and know everything. You are all witnesses that that is not true.
ANCIENT WORTHIES--Spirit Plane Vs. Second Death.
QUESTION (1911)--2--How will the ancient worthies be on the spirit plane at the end of the millennium without going into the second death?
ANSWER.--Well, the brother does not understand it. We believe there is an intimation, a hinting, as it were, a suggestion that those ancient worthies of the past, after serving a thousand years as perfect men in the flesh, princes in all the earth, earthly representatives of the heavenly kingdom, will be granted a share in the heavenly phase, and will be granted a change from the earthly nature to the heavenly nature. I do not know how to say it any plainer than that, and I will leave it just there.
ANCIENT WORTHIES--Re Covenant Relationship.
QUESTION (1911)--3--When will the ancient worthies be in covenant relationship with God?
ANSWER.--Just as soon as they are resurrected under the new covenant arrangement they will be in covenant relationship with God through the new covenant; but they will not be in any direct and personal relationship with the Father until the end of the thousand years, when the mediator of that new covenant will turn all things over to the Father, and the new covenant will be no more. Then they will be in personal covenant relationship with God--just the same as you and I enter into personal relationship with God through Christ now.
ANCIENT WORTHIES--Their Resurrection.
QUESTION (1911)--4--When do the Ancient Worthies get their resurrection?
ANSWER.--Their resurrection will be due as the first amongst the world--the first of earthly nature to receive resurrection. The church will get her resurrection first, like her Lord, on the spirit plane, to the spirit nature, to the heavenly condition; then will come the other part of the [Q15] salvation, the world's salvation; and the Ancient Worthies will be the first to get their blessing, and their resurrection on that plane; and that will be after the establishment of the kingdom, because it is that kingdom which is to bless the world and lift them up.
ANCIENT WORTHIES--Not Represented in Court.
QUESTION (1911-Z)--1--Were the Ancient Worthies in the condition represented by the Court of the Tabernacle?
ANSWER.--In their day the antitypical priest had not come and the antitypical tabernacle and court had not been established; hence, they could not be in it. But according to their hearts, as expressed in their conduct, they must have been members of the household of faith. It is our understanding that, ultimately, they may be granted a place with, and as a part of, the Great Company, the antitypical Levites of the antitypical court condition.
ANCIENT WORTHIES--Spirits of Just Men Made Perfect.
QUESTION (1913)--2--Heb. 12:23. "...and to the spirits of just men made perfect." To which class does Paul here refer?
ANSWER.--There might be two ways of viewing this matter, but we will only mention one, which is the correct view. We will not quarrel with one who may take a different view, for the Apostle does not explain what he meant, but we think he meant the Ancient Worthy class, and our reason for thinking that he refers to these in this verse is, that he seems to have referred to the Church class elsewhere. He seems to refer to the Church by "the firsts born whose names are written in Heaven." That would seem to take in all the Church of the first borns just the same as the tribe of Levi were counted in as altogether representing the first born of Israel, not only the priests, and so that statement "the Church of the first borns whose names are written in Heaven" would include both Church and Great Company. So if both are included, what other class could be referred to? Our thought would be, then, that he refers to the ancient worthies and to the fact that their lives, their spirit of life, would be made perfect when in the resurrection they would come forth perfect beings, not imperfect beings as they went down. The majority of mankind will come forth to be gradually perfected, but the just men whose lives will then be perfect will have their grand share because their hearts were already tested in that previous time.
ANCIENT WORTHIES--Re Resurrection Of.
QUESTION (1914 )--3--Brother Russell, will the Ancient Worthies be resurrected before the last member of the Great Company has passed beyond the vail?
ANSWER.--I am rather inclined to think not. But I am not sure. The reason why I would not expect them to be resurrected before the Great Company have passed beyond the vail is this: The whole Church of the First Born, including the Little Flock, the priestly class and the Great Company, all of these are the first fruits and have the imputation of the merit of Christ, and so far as my judgment would go, the giving of the merit of Christ for the sins of the world would not take place until the special imputation of it to the whole Church would all have had its effect and all to be gathered beyond the vail would be gone. That is my opinion.