ZWT - 1915 - R5600 thru R5819 / R5650 (081) - March 15, 1915
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VOL. XXXVI MARCH 15 No. 6
A. D. 1915--A.M. 6043
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
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.
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PATIENT ENDURANCE THE FINAL TEST
"Let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."--`James 1:4`.
THE 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
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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
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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
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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."
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.
*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.
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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.
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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!"
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THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF-CONTROL
"He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city which is broken down and without walls."--`Proverbs 25:28`.
THE 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.
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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.
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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`.
KING 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
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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
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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.
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"JEHOVAH IS MY SHEPHERD"
--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`.
IT 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
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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
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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
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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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"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.
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.
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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.
*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.
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.
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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.
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PREACHERS BACK OF MALICIOUS ATTACK
ATTACKS 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?"
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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.
COLPORTEURING WITH CREATION SCENARIO
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.
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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.
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"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
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,
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
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.
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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.
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.