ZWT - 1907 - R3913 thru R4118 / R4065 (289) - October 1, 1907
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VOL. XXVIII OCTOBER 1 No. 19
A.D. 1907--A.M. 6036
Views from the Watch Tower........................291
A Denunciation of University of Chicago.......291
R. J. Campbell's Admirers.....................292
Roman Catholicism in Italy....................292
A Great Convention of Truth People................293
Knowledge and Faith Regarding Chronology..........294
The Judgment of the Great Day.....................296
Christ's Sermon to the Fallen Angels..........297
"My Soul, Be on Thy Guard"........................298
Berean Bible Study in "Tabernacle Shadows"........300
The Fall of Jericho...............................300
"I Surrender All" (Poem)..........................301
Our New Watch Tower Bibles........................303
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A WORD TO BRITISH FRIENDS
The Editor is always pleased to have your personal letters, but as for business communications (including TOWER subscriptions) we are sure that your interests will be served best and most quickly if you will address our British Branch, London, as above.
All new publications announced in these columns can be expected at the London office about a month later, as that is the length of time usually required for ocean freight service.
The above message to the friends in Britain will apply to the friends in Australasia by substituting Melbourne for London and remembering that ocean freights from here to your coast require about three months.
MORE ABOUT NORFOLK CONVENTION
Brother W. E. Van Amburgh will be the Convention Chairman until Wednesday. Brother A. E. Williamson will be Chairman from Thursday until the close. Brother C. T. Russell expects to be present the forepart of the Convention, but cannot remain to its close. Baptism services will be on Wednesday. Tuesday will be "Colporteur Day." The friend who assisted some needing Colporteurs to get to the Niagara Convention now proffers through us the same aid, of one-half their expenses, to all colporteurs who have been to no convention this year and who have ordered books and sent in reports during the past two months and who would be unable to attend without the aid.
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VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER
A DENUNCIATION OF CHICAGO UNIVERSITY BY REV. J.
B. CRANFILL OF TEXAS
"NOBODY in Chicago now claims that the University of Chicago is a Baptist institution, either in a general or a special sense, and it may be gravely doubted whether or not it is even a Christian institution," writes Rev. J. B. Cranfill to the Texas Baptist Standard, giving his estimate of the Baptist life of Chicago. In many Baptist quarters the university on the Midway stands in great disfavor, but probably never before has such bold expression been given that disfavor.
Dr. Cranfill says that "the University of Chicago is the greatest organized enemy of evangelical Christianity on the earth today." He doubts if Standard oil has ever worked or can ever work such harm as has the university which Mr. Rockefeller founded and fosters.
"During my short stay here," he writes in his letter, "I have spent most of my time in South Chicago, near the university. In 1895, when it was my pleasure to interview President W. R. Harper for the columns of the Baptist Standard, it was believed that the University of Chicago was a Baptist institution. Indeed, that was one of the points elicited in the interview. That pleasing delusion has long since vanished, and nobody in Chicago now claims that the University of Chicago is a Baptist institution, either in a general or in a special sense. It may be gravely doubted whether or not it is even a Christian institution, but there is a semblance of Christianity of a kind in some phases of the university work.
"The worship of the university is carried on at Mandel hall. This hall was built largely by a Jew, Leon Mandel, one of the most enterprising citizens of Chicago. The hall is a long building, nicely seated, with an elaborate gallery, and will accommodate perhaps three thousand people. I have attended several of the Sunday services in this building. During the time of my stay here I have heard sermons by Dr. O. C. S. Wallace, chancellor of McMaster University; Dr. W. J. McGlothlin, of the Louisville Theological Seminary, and Dr. H. L. Stetson, who is one of the teachers in the Chicago university divinity school. Some of the other sermons I did not hear. One was delivered by an Episcopal rector, and another by a Roman Catholic priest. I understand that this 'pulpit' has also been filled by Unitarians and Jews. The 'worship' is rather peculiar to a Southern Baptist. It is a hybrid service, but it is chiefly Episcopalian. It begins by the incoming of a male choir, who enter the building singing some kind of hymn or chant. They are all capped and gowned after the university style, and are followed as they come in by the preacher of the day, who also has the regulation university uniform. The preliminary service is responsive, after the style of Episcopalians. A Psalm is read in responsive reading, and after the conclusion of the morning prayer the choir chants the Lord's prayer. At the conclusion of the morning service the choir marches out again, singing, followed by the preacher. After they go away somewhere on the outside they finish their song in the distance, and the audience feels relieved and rises for departure. The sermon usually is twenty to twenty-five minutes long; the entire service takes up about an hour and a half. There is no evening service.
ENEMY OF CHRISTIANITY
"Without in anywise meaning to be unkind or unjust, I believe that the University of Chicago is the greatest organized enemy of evangelical Christianity on the earth today. The whole Chicago religious atmosphere is surcharged with infidelity and skepticism, which is masquerading in Christian garb. At a place where I boarded for awhile, one of the instructors in the University of Chicago, a very bright and intelligent woman, informed me that she never attended Church, and that she had no use for either religion or preachers. I think this feeling among the teachers is
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the rule. In many ways I highly esteem Mr. John D. Rockefeller, and have never joined in the crusade that has in certain quarters been made against him, but I believe profoundly that the money he has devoted to the establishment of this misnamed Baptist and Christian institution is doing, and will do, the world far greater harm than all he ever put into the Standard Oil Company or any other trust. The situation here is such that every preacher within the radius of the university has to kow-tow to it, or he will find himself out of a job. The powers that be, humanly speaking, are ordained of the University of Chicago, and the man who has the hardihood to stand out for orthodox Christianity takes his life, denominationally speaking, into his hands, and is marked for early elimination.
"In this connection I hope I will be pardoned for saying that the sort of Baptists I have come in contact with here are not the same type as our southern Baptist people. I recently attended the services at the Hyde Park Baptist Church, where Rev. J. L. Jackson is pastor. He devoted his entire morning sermon to a discussion of the recent Shanghai missionary conference, which he made the basis of an appeal for the obliteration of all denominational lines and the union of the entire Christian world under some kind of a non-descript, ecclesiastical organization. He referred to the Baptist view as 'narrow and selfish,' and placed the emphasis of his discussion entirely upon the importance of the obliteration of the lines that have in the past divided the various Protestant denominations. It was rather a crude piece of irony that, following his discourse, he received for baptism a young man who had formerly been a Lutheran, but who said that through his study of the Scriptures he had come to believe in immersion. The logic of Dr. Jackson's sermon would eliminate immersion and establish in place of our Baptist churches a kind of spineless, jellyfish ecclesiasticism that would be like the original universe --without form and void."
Dr. Cranfill summed up his impression by saying that he had "become convinced that the really sound, aggressive and effective Baptists of the country are found in the Southern States."--Houston Post.
R. J. CAMPBELL'S ADMIRERS
If Mr. Campbell by his "New Theology," which seems a fresh way of spelling "Old Infidelity," has lost some of his friends and admirers, he has gained others. The most energetic and uncompromising antagonist of Christianity in England, and probably in the world, is Mr. Blatchford, of Clarion fame, who, in commending the recently published book, says: "Mr. Campbell is a Christian minister, and I am an infidel editor; and the difference between his religion and mine is too small to argue about." For once Mr. Blatchford expresses the views of many Christians when he says that the difference between the "New Theology" and infidelity "is too small to argue about." Theosophists also press forward to express their appreciation of Mr. Campbell's teaching. The Indian Daily Telegraph claims that the "New Theology" is simply Theosophy. "This Indian newspaper," says the A. C. World, "shows how Mr. Campbell, by denying the virgin birth, joins hands with Theosophic inquirers, and with them sees in this 'myth' the materialization of a great spiritual event-- the virgin birth of the universe.'" Mr. Campbell may well say, "Save me from my friends." He must feel embarrassed, though he has no right to be surprised, at the anti-Christian hosts so enthusiastically rallying around, but he should soon feel at home among them. --Australian Christian.
ROMAN CATHOLICISM IN ITALY
The Italian liberal press teems with detailed descriptions of the alleged immorality and corruption of religious and educational institutions, and a fresh campaign favoring the suppression of all convents and monasteries throughout the country has been initiated.
Recently a so-called clerical scandal was discovered by the Milan police. One old woman, who called herself a nun, had a home for destitute young girls in Milan, which turned out to be a den of filth and iniquity. It was found that the children's earnings were increased by means too horrible to relate. The home was closed and the soi-disant nun and her accomplices, two priests were arrested.
The liberal papers blamed the ecclesiastical authorities, but these proved that they had repeatedly warned the police against the woman and her work, and that they had denied the sacraments to the woman, protested against her and exposed her home to no avail.
Though the calumnies recently printed against the monks and nuns are so loathsome and horrible that they are not fit to be read, not a single proof has been adduced to show that they are based on a particle of truth. It is no exaggeration to say that open acts of violence against religious communities are momentarily expected and these may lead to wholesale suppression by the government. It is difficult to predict what may happen.
The French people were indifferent and rather sympathized with the nuns and monks, but here the situation is different, as popular feeling is hostile to religion and the anti-clerical parties are so well organized that if a movement against the Church once begins they will not stop before they have overthrown religion and perhaps attained a Church war in Italy, which might mean a revolution.--Chicago Tribune.
BRITAIN BECOMING MORE SOBER
"Last year the 43,000,000 inhabitants of these islands spent L.164,167,941 on drink, or some L.3 16s. each. But a steady decrease is going on, Dr. Dawson Burns points out in his annual exposition of drink bill statistics in The Times. Great as last year's total was, it
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was L.21,759,286 less than the amount spent in 1899. Every year since that one has shown a decrease. Had there been an increase proportionate to the increase of population, our drink bill for 1905 would have reached L.198,012,495. London spent over L.18,000,000 in liquor last year."--English Journal.
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A GREAT CONVENTION OF TRUTH PEOPLE
THE Convention held at Niagara Falls, August 29th to September 5th, stands at the head of the list as respects numbers and enthusiasm. As for spiritual profit and manifestation of the Master's love we cannot imagine how it could have been improved upon--but this was true also of the Indianapolis Convention and others. It seems true of our conventions-- as many of the friends write us of the Pilgrim visits-- that "The last always seems the best." From start to finish the Convention surely was a season of delightful spiritual fellowship, most favorable to Christian development.
The printed program was carried out, but had to be supplemented because the crowd was too large for the auditorium so kindly provided free by the Natural Food Co. However, we secured the Opera House for Sunday forenoon and afternoon. Its capacity (over 1700) with that of the auditorium (capacity 1000) and a reception room holding several hundred, made us quite comfortable. In consequence two sets of speakers were kept busy serving two audiences. The following speakers gave longer or shorter addresses, and some of them several: Brothers W. M. Hersee, I. Hoskins, R. E. Streeter, J. Harrison, W. E. VanAmburgh, J. F. Rutherford, P. S. L. Johnson, F. W. Williamson, O. L. Sullivan, G. Draper, J. H. Cole, L. W. Jones, T. E. Barker, S. Walker, J. Hutchinson, W. J. Mills, W. E. Page, C. A. Dann, J. G. Kuehn, A. C. Wise, and the Editor of this journal.
The total number in attendance was over two thousand--some of whom were present only for Sunday and Monday. However, at least 1542 were present on Saturday, for that number of heads appear in a photograph taken on that day. Notwithstanding the larger crowd than we had expected there was no excitement, no confusion. This was doubtless due in part to a very careful preparation for the friends by those who looked out for their comfort, secured lodgings in advance, etc. However, the principal source of the calm and peace and joy so manifest undoubtedly was the "new mind," which the Apostle calls "the spirit of a sound mind." Indeed we rejoice that this spirit of love and confidence in divine supervision is growing among the Truth people everywhere. Nothing encourages us more as we witness it at the One-Day as well as the General Conventions. There is of course plenty of room for further growth, but let us appreciate what we already discern and encourage it and be encouraged by it.
"THERE IS A RIVER"
It would be difficult to decide which feature of the Convention was the most interesting and impressive. It was all good; the speakers and subjects were quite distinctly different. It was surely inspiring to the writer to look into the earnest faces of about 600 who were present at a special meeting of Colporteurs and intending Colporteurs. The sunrise prayer meeting at 5.30 a.m., attended by approximately one thousand, was also inspiring. But we believe that the baptism services were the most impressive of all, to many.
No Church edifice in that city had accommodation for our numbers, and so it was decided to use a lagoon or bye-water off the Niagara River for the water immersion, and hold the service on the bank where the hillside formed a natural amphitheatre. An audience of about 1500 gathered at the appointed hour, and after an address explanatory of the true baptism and its water symbol 241 were immersed.
The service was very impressive from every point of view. The preaching reminded one of the Scripture narratives of our Lord's discourses and those of the apostles, and the baptism in the lagoon reminded one of the account of our Lord going down into the Jordan and coming up out of it. The lagoon or side stream is formed by a small island connected with the mainland by a stone bridge at its upper end. Those desirous of immersion crossed over the bridge, receiving the right hand of fellowship and a word of cheer. On the island were two robing tents, one for the brethren and one for the sisters.
Nature has arranged the spot so that it taught several symbolic lessons in connection with our use of it, as several remarked. Above the island for about 200 feet the side channel, there about 100 feet wide, was separated from the river proper by a row of stones which rise up out of the water; but when the island is reached the channel narrows to about 30 feet in width, and just there, above the bridge, all of the water being unable to enter the narrow channel, some of it turns back through a cut into the river proper.
THE SYMBOLIC PICTURE
If the Niagara river be considered as symbolic of the course of the world, the picture is impressive, for is not the whole world rushing swiftly in mad competition and boisterous glee toward the great time of trouble with which this Gospel Age will be consummated, even as those waters hastened more and more swiftly and madly toward the famous cataract? And did not the narrow and placidly-gliding little lagoon correspond well with the statement of the Prophet--"There is a river the streams whereof make glad the city of our God"? (`Psa. 46:4`.) The wider intake of water seemed to picture the path of the many "justified" who are "called"; the narrowing of the channel represented the "narrow way" of consecration; the turning aside there of much of the water represented the testing, the sifting
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of the Gospel invitation to sacrifice and enter the narrow way. The bridge and those who passed over it represented well the point of decision for God and not for Mammon, and the right-hand of fellowship the encouragements and assistances proffered to all who become disciples in the narrow way of baptism into Christ's death.
Those who witnessed from the shore declared the scene most impressive. Before them in the clear, quiet water one after another was buried into Christ's death in symbol, while just beyond them could be seen and heard the wild, rushing, laughing, moaning waters, representing the whole creation groaning and travailing in pain together.
"BEEN WITH JESUS AND LEARNED OF HIM"
Major Butler, one of the officials of the Natural Food Co., said this to a representative of our Society:
"I want to tell you, on behalf of the company, that it has afforded us the greatest pleasure to have your convention here. The influence of so many happy people, with smiling faces, evident sincerity, earnestness and zeal for what they believe to be right has been greater than I can express. To see so many people who really believe what they say and practice what they preach has been a revelation to us. I never saw anything like it before. While we have tried to do all that we could for your convenience and comfort and to make your stay here a pleasant and profitable one, you have done more for us than we possibly could have done for you."
The policemen who had charge of the streets in the vicinity of the opera house and the officers of the State reservation where the immersion service was held, were very much impressed by the order maintained, and said they had never seen so large a crowd without the necessity of handling.
Those who entertained our friends spoke in highest terms of them and were anxious that they come again. The janitors of the Auditorium also remarked the quiet orderliness of all, and that no cigar stumps nor tobacco quids nor even banana peels needed to be gathered up. We were glad of this evidence of the love of God, which does good to all and injury to none. "What manner of persons ought we to be in all holy living and godliness?"
The testimony of all, we believe, would be, It was good to be there! Our prayers unite with others, that under the Lord's blessing the privileges and inspirations and encouragements and resolves of the week at Niagara may mean blessings to other thousands than those that were present, and that thus the work of grace may abound more and more to the praise of our Lord and the comfort of his people.
The end is not yet, we trust and believe. The influence from all these conventions (one-day and general) is carried home to those who cannot attend them and both the relating and the hearing of these seasons of refreshing from the presence of the Lord bring fresh love and joy and zeal.
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KNOWLEDGE AND FAITH REGARDING CHRONOLOGY
A DEAR Brother inquires, Can we feel absolutely sure that the Chronology set forth in the DAWN-STUDIES is correct?--that the harvest began in A.D. 1874 and will end in A.D. 1914 in a world-wide trouble which will overthrow all present institutions and be followed by the reign of righteousness of the King of Glory and his Bride, the Church?
We answer, as we have frequently done before in the DAWNS and TOWERS and orally and by letter, that we have never claimed our calculations to be infallibly correct; we have never claimed that they were knowledge, nor based upon indisputable evidence, facts, knowledge; our claim has always been that they are based on faith. We have set forth the evidences as plainly as possible and stated the conclusions of faith we draw from them, and have invited others to accept as much or as little of them as their hearts and heads could endorse. Many have examined these evidences and have accepted them; others equally bright do not endorse them. Those who have been able to accept them by faith seem to have received special blessings, not merely along the line of prophetic harmonies, but along all other lines of grace and truth. We have not condemned those who could not see, but have rejoiced with those whose exercise of faith has brought them special blessings--"Blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear."
Possibly some who have read the DAWNS have presented our conclusions more strongly than we; but if so that is their own responsibility. We have urged and still urge that the dear children of God read studiously what we have presented;--the Scriptures, the applications and interpretations--and then form their own judgments. We neither urge nor insist upon our views as infallible, nor do we smite or abuse those who disagree; but regard as "Brethren" all sanctified believers in the precious blood. On the contrary, it is those who differ who smite us and speak evil of us, because we do not welcome them as, with hammer and tongs, they seek to remove a mote which they think they see in our eye of understanding. They are our critics who always claim the infallibility. We go humbly onward, following the Apostle's example and words, "We believe and therefore speak";--whether others hear or forbear to hear. Is not this in accord with the Spirit of Christ? Is it not in accord with our Lord's instructions also,--"Forbid him not" (`Mark 9:39`); and again, "What is that to thee? Follow thou me." (`John 21:22`.) But some of those who come to a trifling point on which they disagree seem to imagine that the entire harvest work must be overthrown or at least stopped until they get their little jot or tittle satisfactorily adjusted. Such evidently make mountains out of mole hills, and forget that, if the present movement among
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the Lord's people is the harvest work or under the Lord's supervision at all, the Lord is responsible, and not they, and can be trusted to accomplish his own ends in his own best way without the violation of either the letter or spirit of his commands.
Recurring again to the query on Chronology we quote from DAWN-STUDIES, Vol. II., page 38, last paragraph, as follows:--
"In starting with the question, How long is it since man's creation? we should and do feel confident that he who gave the prophecies, and said that in the time of the end they should be understood, has provided in his Word the data necessary to enable us accurately to locate those prophecies. However, any who expect to find these matters so plainly stated as to be convincing to the mere surface reader, or the insincere skeptic, will be disappointed. God's times and seasons are given in such a way as to be convincing only to those who, by acquaintance with God, are able to recognize his characteristic methods. The evidence is given "that the man of God may be thoroughly furnished." (`2 Tim. 3:17`.) These well know that in all the paths by which the Father leads they must walk by faith and not by sight. To all who are prepared to walk thus, we expect to be able to point out at every step solid statements of God's Word--a sure foundation for reasonable faith."
In the same chapter we proceed to point out that many of the links of chronology in sacred and profane history are "broken, lapped and tangled so much that we could arrive at no definite conclusion from them, and should be obliged to conclude, as others have done, that nothing positive could be known on the subject, were it not that the New Testament supplies the deficiency." (Page 49, first paragraph.) Thus we sought to prove that chronology cannot be built on facts, but can be received only on faith. But again we urge a fresh reading of Vol. II. entire. If with these suggestions some shall lose their faith in our chronology, others and many more we believe will have their faith in it strengthened greatly.
We remind you again that the weak points of chronology are supplemented by the various prophecies which interlace with it in so remarkable a manner that faith in the chronology almost becomes knowledge that it is correct. The changing of a single year would throw the beautiful parallels out of accord; because some of the prophecies measure from B.C., some from A.D., and some depend upon both. We believe that God meant those prophecies to be understood "in due time"; we believe that we do understand them now-- and they speak to us through this chronology. Do they not thereby seal the chronology? They do to faith, but not otherwise. Our Lord declared, "The wise shall understand"; and he told us to "Watch" that we might know; and it is this chronology which convinces us (who can and do receive it by faith) that the Parable of the Ten Virgins is now in process of fulfilment --that its first cry was heard in 1844 and its second cry, "Behold the Bridegroom"--present--was in 1874. It is this chronology and none other which awakened us to trim our lamps, in harmony with the Lord's promise through the Apostle, "Ye brethren are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief." If our chronology is not reliable we have no idea where we are nor when the morning will come. Bishop Ussher's chronology, as we have pointed out (DAWN II., p. 51) puts the end of six thousand years nearly a century future and would destroy every prophetic application as we have seen and profited by it. And when we say "our" chronology we merely mean the one we use, the Bible chronology, which belongs to all of God's people who approve it. As a matter of fact it was used in practically the form we present it long before our day, just as various prophecies we use were used to a different purpose by Adventists, and just as various doctrines we hold and which seem so new and fresh and different were held in some form long ago: for instance --Election, Free Grace, Restitution, Justification, Sanctification, Glorification, Resurrection.
The work in which the Lord has been pleased to use our humble talents has been less a work of origination than of reconstruction, adjustment, harmonization. God's Word, the great harp from which now comes such wondrous music, was unstrung. One denomination had one string, another denomination had a different one--Election, Free Grace, Baptism, Second Coming of Christ, Time Prophecies, etc. They had twanged away, each on his own string, until all were disgusted at the discord and about ready to quit for relief--as they since have done, practically. Then came the Lord's time for putting the old harp in order again, for the use of his most faithful followers. To whatever extent the great Master has used any of us either in restringing and tuning the harp, or in calling to the attention of his "brethren" the harmony and the beauty of the melodious paeans therefrom in honor of the Almighty, let us praise him for the great privilege enjoyed, and use it.
The fact that we have reached this harmony just at the right time according to our chronology--just at the time promised by our Lord when he declared that, to those who would be ready and open to his knock promptly, he would "come in and sup with them," that he would "gird himself [become their servant] and come forth and serve them" (`Luke 12:37`)--is an evidence to us that the time features of the prophecies as we understand them are correct. To this great Chief Servant of his Church then we render thanks for the harmonious light of Present Truth--and are we not to consider that the chronology which has had so much to do with this light is also of him?
But let us suppose a case far from our expectations: suppose that A.D. 1915 should pass with the world's affairs all serene and with evidence that the "very elect" had not all been "changed" and without the restoration of natural Israel to favor under the New Covenant. (`Rom. 11:12,15`.) What then? Would not that prove our chronology wrong? Yes, surely! And
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would not that prove a keen disappointment? Indeed it would! It would work irreparable wreck to the Parallel Dispensations and Israel's Double, and to the Jubilee calculations, and to the prophecy of the 2300 days of Daniel, and to the epoch called "Gentile Times," and to the 1260, 1290, and 1335 days, the latter of which marking the beginning of the "harvest" so well fulfilled its prediction, "Oh, the blessedness of him that waiteth and cometh unto the 1335 days!" None of these would be available longer. What a blow that would be! One of the strings of our "harp" would be quite broken!
However, dear friends, our harp would still have all the other strings in tune and that is what no other aggregation of God's people on earth could boast. We could still worship a God so great and grand that none other could compare with him. We should still see the grandeur of his salvation in Christ Jesus--"a ransom for all." We should still see the wonders of "the hidden mystery," our fellowship with our Redeemer in "his
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death" and also "in his resurrection" to "glory, honor and immortality"--"the divine nature."
If, therefore, dearly beloved, it should turn out that our chronology is all wrong, we may conclude that with it we have had much advantage everyway. If the attainment of our glorious hopes and present joys in the Lord should cost us such disappointment as our friends fear, we should rejoice and count it cheap! If the Lord sees it necessary for the arousing of the "Virgins" to permit a false note upon the time bugle, let us take it joyfully as one of the "all things" working together for good to those who love him,--to the called ones according to his purpose. But let us not forget that the parable shows that the second awakening of the Virgins was no mistake! The Bridegroom came! The "wise virgins" had the necessary faith to follow; the others, too worldly-wise, lacked the faith and missed the high honors accorded to the Bride class, though privileged later to be her companions at the "marriage supper of the Lamb."
The best medicine, the best antidote for a poisoned faith in Present Truth, is a careful review of the presentations of the DAWN-STUDIES. If that fails we know nothing to recommend. But let us not forget that there were conditions precedent to our admission into this light, and that those conditions must be maintained if we would stay in the light. If, therefore, all or any portion of the light becomes darkened, our first query should be, "Am I living up to my covenant conditions --self-denial, self-sacrifice?" If we discover a coolness there we may know that we have found the real secret of our trouble and should at once "take it to the Lord in prayer."
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THE JUDGMENT OF THE GREAT DAY
"The angels which kept not their first estate, but left their proper habitation, he hath kept in everlasting chains under darkness until the judgment of the great day."--`Jude 6`.
WE HAVE already discussed at considerable length the test or trial which came to the angels of God through the fall of man.* Such a testing of the loyalty of the angels of God was appropriate, yet would have been, we may say, impossible had it not been for man's creation under conditions practically what they were. This testing of these perfect beings existing under perfect conditions should have found them all loyal to the Lord and to his various arrangements, realizing that they were every way beneficial, the wisest and the best. We have seen how sin as a disease is figuratively represented in the Scriptures by leprosy; and that the temptation came along the lines by which humanity was different from other intelligent beings of God's universe in that humanity possessed the power of propagating its own species after the manner of the lower animals. This power was seductive, and the Scriptures show us that many of the angels preferred to leave their own estate or habitation that they might associate with humanity and participate indirectly in this human power of propagation. They should, of course, have settled it in their own minds that the divine programme for them was far better than they could have devised for themselves. They should have relied upon God's assurance that their plane of being was still higher than that of humanity: they should have been contented, happy in the exercise of the powers and qualities and blessings given them by the Father richly to enjoy. And this was true of many of them, but as the Scriptures show it was not true of all. The fall of these angels is referred to by the Apostle Peter (`2 Pet. 2:4`) and again in our text, and still more particularly in `Genesis 6:1-5`.
Having already discussed this phase of the subject we will not further elaborate it, nor will we go into detail in respect to the sentence upon them--that they were restrained in Tartarus, the atmosphere of our earth--and thus separated from the holy angels. Nor will we take time specially to discuss the chains of darkness which have since the flood hindered them from materializing in human form, and obliged them, if they would have anything to do with humanity, to do so secretly or through agents, mediums, witches, etc. Nor will we here repeat the evidence elsewhere given that these fallen angels, "wicked spirits," as the Apostle calls them, otherwise called in the Scriptures "demons," "lying spirits," have been operating from the time of the flood to the present time under these restraints of darkness and inability to materialize. They seek and very largely accomplish the ensnarement of the human family by the propagation of false doctrine --amongst others that the dead are not dead, but alive as spirit beings--by pretended communications with these, in which the evil spirits personate the dead and communicate matters unknown to other humans. Thus they seem to corroborate their claim, that the dead
*DAWN STUDIES, Vol. V., pp. 115 and 428; Spiritism, pp. 106, 111, 113.
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are alive, and thereby to corroborate Satan's original lie, "Ye shall not surely die," the very reverse of God's plain declaration, "Ye shall surely die."--`Gen. 3:3,4`.
We shall not here repeat the evidence that these wicked spirits--not content with operating through humanity as mediums--seek to "possess" or "obsess" them so as to use their bodies as if they were their own, succeeding in this largely in proportion as the subjects will yield their minds to the influence brought to bear upon them. We shall not here give the proofs that the human organization is such, by divine arrangement, that these evil spirits can be resisted, and only intrude into human privacy of thought as mankind may disregard the divine warning and give ear or heed or attention to the various tricks and devices for arousing curiosity of which they make use. We shall not repeat the proofs that in some instances, the will becoming broken down, a number of these fallen spirits get possession of an individual who, by their simultaneous communications and suggestions to his mind, becomes what we call deranged, insane. It is claimed that one-half of the inmates of the insane asylums are there by reason of such obsession, corresponding to the instances mentioned in the New Testament, in one of which the Lord inquired the name of the unclean spirit and got the answer "legion," for there were many possessing the afflicted one--the legion which, afterward permitted to go into the swine, crazed them so that the entire herd ran into the sea of Galilee and were drowned.
Our present inquiry is more particularly respecting the judgment of these fallen spirits, concerning which we read, "Know ye not that the saints shall judge angels?" (`I Cor. 6:3`.) Our text also refers to their judgment, saying, that their restraint in chains of darkness would be unto or until the "judgment of the great day."
CHRIST'S SERMON TO THE FALLEN ANGELS
We have already discussed the hope of these angels, and have seen the manner in which Christ preached to them by his death and resurrection--preached to the spirits in prison which were disobedient in the days of Noah--the angels which kept not their first estate. We have seen that our Lord did not orally preach during the time he was dead, and that he was dead the three days he was in the tomb, and that he rose from the dead on the third day. We have seen that his preaching to these fallen spirits was after the manner that the proverb suggests when it says, "Actions speak louder than words." We may be sure that Satan and all these fallen angels knew the Lord and observed closely everything pertaining to his early life, death and resurrection. Did they not declare, "We know thee who thou art, the holy One of God"--the Messiah? (`Mark 1:24`.) While the holy angels watched every procedure, these fallen angels had a special interest in this manifestation of God's love for humanity, which brought the Redeemer from the heavenly plane to the earthly one, and then cost his death to redeem Adam and his race, because the penalty was death. They had known God's character for justice; their own experience was an illustration of it, and the experience of mankind likewise testified to it. But here was taught a manifestation of divine love and compassion, bringing aid to the degraded race of Adam. They perceived, too, in our Lord's resurrection that his obedience had brought him a great reward and high exaltation, so that he arose from the tomb a mighty God, a partaker of the divine nature, while they wondered in amazement. Can we doubt that these circumstances, as the Apostle suggests, were a great sermon, a great lesson to them? Bright, intelligent, wise, they doubtless reasoned that if God had done so much for Adam and his race in their degradation, he might not be unwilling also to show them some favor at some time. Indeed if we will but allow our minds to reason along this line we may suppose that forthwith some of those fallen angels, inspired by hope of a reconciliation to God at some time in the future, began to mend their ways and to seek to live more in accord with righteousness. We may assume that these no longer exercised deception and wiles against humanity, but that, though still restrained, they are hoping and waiting for some leniency of the Lord in the judgment of the great day.
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WHAT WILL THEIR JUDGMENT BE?
With the facts of the case before our minds--that there is to be a judgment, and that this implies a trial --we inquire what kind of a trial or judgment will it be? The word translated judgment in our text is in the Greek krisis, its primary signification being decision, determination, hence trial in order to reach such a decision. This implies that the decision in the case of these fallen angels is not yet rendered, and that some test or trial must come to them which will determine results. The word of the Lord gives us to understand clearly that, whatever God's dealings may be in the interim, the finality of his judgment is that none shall have eternal life except those who are fully in accord with himself and the principles of righteousness, and that all others shall be destroyed utterly and without hope of recovery. There can be no doubt then as to the result of the trial. Both the Apostolic statement that the fallen angels are reserved unto judgment, krisis, testing, and the further statement that the saints shall judge angels, show that the matter is not yet settled as respects all of these--shows that there is hope for such of these fallen ones as may heartily recognize their wrong course and return to obedience to the Lord.
When will this judgment take place?--at the beginning of the great day or at its further end, or throughout the day of Christ? We answer that the judgment of mankind requires and has appointed to it the entire period of a thousand years, because man--ignorant and deluded and impaired under the reign of sin and death and by the machinations of these evil spirits--will need to have the counsel and instruction and assistance of the various agencies which God has provided for his
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social, mental, moral and physical uplifting during the Millennium, and his trial or testing will be all the way along--as to his willingness to accept of and use and profit by the various blessed agencies which will then be in operation for his aid. So then the entire Millennial day is Scripturally called man's day of judgment,-- as the Apostle declares, "God has appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness." But as for the fallen angels, it is not said that the Millennial epoch as a whole is set apart as their judgment day, and indeed we can surmise that this would be neither necessary nor proper, because, never having come under the sentence of death, we are to understand that those spirit beings are as much alive and perfect in their organization as they ever were--that all the change possible to them has been in their mentality, their wills. Their knowledge is great, and not, like man's, confined to a knowledge of sin and evil things, for they had previously a knowledge of goodness, holiness and purity, and throughout all the various epochs of human history they have seen the divine dealings, first with Israel under the typical mediator Moses and the typical covenant, the Law; second they have seen Christ, the antitypical Moses, and have been witnesses of the proclamation of the Gospel throughout this age and of its influence upon those who are rightly exercised thereby, leading them to sacrifice and to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. It would appear then that these fallen spirits have little to learn of either good or evil, and that any judgment or trial coming upon them would not need to be long drawn out, as in the case of humanity.
Their judgment would signify the bringing of them to a decision, a crucial testing of their hearts, their wills, as respects righteousness and sin--harmony with God or with Satan. In order to have such a testing, such a krisis, a peculiar condition of things would be necessary--a condition in which they would have an opportunity to do the evil or to resist the temptation and to do good. As we have suggested, no doubt some of them have acted upon the sermon of Christ's death and resurrection, and its manifestation of God's loving character and the hope that it inspires respecting their future. Such might be said to be in a condition of trial all through this Gospel Age--whether or not they would stand firm in their opposition to sin and to those around them, or succumb and yield and participate in the sins. But evidently, according to the Scriptures, we would expect that some crucial point of testing would be reached which would decide matters for all these fallen spirits--the "krisis of the great day."
In view of all these conditions and considerations we hold that we are now living in this krisis time--that the restraint of darkness placed upon these fallen angels was to last only until the crisis or judgment of "the great day." Our understanding is that this great day of the Lord began chronologically in October, 1874, and from what we can learn it is since that date that "materializations" have become more and more common. Admitting that there are many frauds along this line, we consider that the evidence is too strong to be disputed that there have been numerous genuine manifestations --materializations--in which the spirit personating the dead has assumed a material body, possessing weight and various qualities similar to a human. Not only have such cases been reported in the public press, but some friends of the Truth who at one time were identified with Spiritism have corroborated these. A sister in the Truth who was at one time a spirit medium assures us that not long since in the parlor of her own home, the door being shut, a spirit materialized before her in the form of a man who spoke to her. His request being refused he threateningly caught her by the arm with a firm grasp, but at that instant her brother opened the parlor door and the materialization instantly dissolved.
Another sister in the Truth, who had been less directly connected with Spiritism, informed us that recently one of the demons personating her deceased sister, opening the spring lock, walked into her room while she was wide awake and tried to choke her, afterwards leaving, as she had come, through the door.
Another case was that of a brother who at one time had made some slight investigations of Spiritism, but ceased when he obtained light as to its demon origin. An apparition representing his wife appeared to him in his room as he was walking toward his bed, and reached out a hand while walking by his side. He, recognizing the source of such manifestations, and remaining firm to his resolution to have nothing further to do with the spirits in any sense or degree, refused to take the hand, and instead turned his heart to the Lord in prayer for deliverance from the Adversary's power; then the apparition vanished. It would appear that, for some reason we cannot explain, these evil spirits have special power and liberty with those who have at any time yielded to curiosity in connection with spirit manifestations. Here we have a fresh reason for our repeated advice that the Lord's people totally refuse to have anything to do with spirit mediums, seances, hypnotism and clairaudience--this latter a development of the powers of the ear whereby the spirits may be heard without the ordinary sounds of speech. Attempts of the demons to intrude upon us are usually associated with something or other to excite our curiosity, and our advice is that the Lord's people restrain their curiosity and resent such intrusions as dangerous beginnings, the end of which we cannot surmise.
"MY SOUL BE ON THY GUARD"
The proper course to pursue, when these evil spirits attempt to intrude upon us, is to look to the Lord with faith and confidence, and in the name of the Lord Jesus to command the evil one to depart. We need have no fear of their power against us so long as we are the Lord's and are walking in our daily life not after the will of the flesh but after the Spirit. Remember our Lord's words to Pilate, "Thou couldst have no power at all against me except it were given thee from above" (`John 19:11`); and again the Apostle's assurance, "We
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know that all things work together for good to them that love God--to the called ones according to his purpose." (`Rom. 8:28`.) Greater is he who is on our part than all they that be against us. If the Adversary had power to injure us he would have done so long ago-- "The angel of the Lord encampeth about them that reverence him, and delivereth them."--`Psa. 34:7`.
Our surmise is that this loosing and liberating from the chains of darkness will increase, perhaps very rapidly; that these fallen spirits are permitted to gradually invent a method by which they can accomplish such materializations, and that the knowledge of this and their proficiency in it will be permitted to develop during the remaining seven years of this harvest time, and constitute not only a trial for them, but have much to do also with the perilous times for the Church and the world which the Scriptures indicate should now be expected.
These fallen angels (demons), still in opposition to God, will doubtless ignore the Lord's restraints and use their discovery of the new power or new method of materialization. Those having respect to the Lord and his will would of course refuse to use such powers as he had condemned and forbidden and restrained, and thus their loyalty to the Lord would be demonstrated. Indeed we may be sure that whichever of these fallen angels have repented of their wrong course have abstained from all attempts to communicate with humanity in harmony with the Lord's prohibitions. We may be sure, then, that when spirit mediums tell us they communicate with both good and bad spirits this is not the case, that none of the good seek to communicate
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with mankind, and that those who do represent themselves as good spirits are, as the Scriptures declare, "lying spirits," who sometimes use the "cloak" of good admonitions for the purpose of trapping mankind and deceiving them. In a word, then, all of the demons who communicate with mankind are wicked spirits, and as these become conscious of their power to materialize and become proficient in the use of the same we may expect that their vicious natures will lead them to beset mankind with the grossest immoralities and every evil work. Neither should we forget the Apostle's declaration that one of the delights of these demons is to personate the pure, the good, as an "angel of light" (`2 Cor. 11:14`), that they might thereby the more effectually accomplish injury: for it seems to be one of the delights of the evilly disposed to entrap others into sin and wrong doing. When we remember Christendom in respect to these matters we almost tremble for the results that may follow the permission of such materializations:
MANY UNPREPARED FOR "STRONG DELUSIONS"
(1) They do not understand about these demons; they make light of the casting out of devils by the Lord and the apostles, and think that they erred and called diseases demons.
(2) On the other hand they do not believe that the dead are dead, but that they are bodiless spirits.
For a long time Christian people have been deterred from any intercourse with the demons personating their dead by an undefinable fear, but now Christian Science has taught many of them to fear nothing, but to say, "Everything is good, there is no evil, there is no devil, there are no demons," and additionally some of the lights of science have lately been investigating psychic phenomena, as it is called, and able professional theologians have declared that there is truth connected with it somewhere and that it is worthy of investigation. Looked at from this standpoint, is not Christendom in general standing on the brink, as it were, of terrible delusions and ensnarements? To this picture we must not forget to add the Apostle's testimony respecting this very time. He declares that because Christendom has not received the truth in the love of it, but has preferred a lie--preferred to believe that the dead are alive when the Scriptures declare that they are dead and without hope except in a resurrection from the dead-- therefore God will send them strong delusion that they may believe a lie because they had no pleasure in the truth--that they all may be condemned--shown to be unworthy a place amongst the Elect of the Kingdom. Respecting this time the Lord also through the Prophet declares that "because this people draw near unto me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment of men which has been taught them, therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work amongst this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder; for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid."--`Isa. 29:13,14`.
Our conclusion then respecting the judgment time for the fallen angels is this--that during the Millennial Age, when righteousness shall be laid to the line and justice to the plummet, and when nothing shall be permitted to hurt or to injure in all God's holy Kingdom, it would be impossible for those fallen angels to have any special trial in connection with mankind--indeed their trials would then seem to be over--surely they will then have less opportunity and therefore less temptation than at present. We reason therefore that their judgment in this great day is in the immediate present and within the next few years--that the permission for them to find and use means of materialization and communication with mankind will furnish the special trial and testing of these angels which is called their judgment, their krisis, their testing time, and that it will prove which of them are sorry for sin and at heart now loyal to God, and which are otherwise. And at the same time this matter has been so gauged as to bring it within the period of man's day of trouble--"the day of wrath."
The declaration that the saints shall judge angels must not be forgotten. We are to remember that the majority of the saints have already passed beyond the vail into the condition of heavenly glory and wisdom, and that with their Lord they would represent the entire
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Church, including those of us who are on this side the vail. What they will have to do with the judging, with the bringing of this krisis time upon the fallen angels, we know not, but we believe them to be entirely capable for any work that the Lord may assign to them. Furthermore it is possible that the saints on this side the vail may have something to do with the judging of these fallen angels. In this very article we are endeavoring to set forth their responsibility and how the repentant ones will be distinguishable from the unrepentant, the evil. The coming of this very matter to their attention will serve the more particularly to test them--to show them the krisis or decision time into which they have come. Furthermore it is possible that in the period of their expected activities the saints on this side the vail who know the truth respecting the nature of man and the deceptions of these demons may have more to do than we at present know of in the way of reproving them, exposing them, condemning them, judging them.
BEREAN BIBLE STUDY IN TABERNACLE SHADOWS
OTHER SIGNIFICANT TYPES
1. What was represented by the "posts" which stood in the "Court" and upheld the white curtains? T.113, par. 2 (1st 3 lines).
2. Why were they constructed of "wood," instead of "copper"? T.113, par. 2 (4th to 9th lines).
3. What does their being set in sockets of copper typify? T.113, par. 2 (9th line on).
4. What was illustrated by the "white curtain"? And should we hold up before the world the "pure linen"--Christ's righteousness? T.114, par. 1.
5. What was symbolized by the "silver hooks"? T.114, par. 2, `Ex. 27:11-17`.
6. What was represented in the "door-posts" at the entrance of the Tabernacle--under the "vail"? T.114, par. 3 (1st 12 lines).
7. Why were these posts, also, set in sockets of "copper"? T.114, par. 3 (13th line on); `2 Cor. 4:7`; `Ex. 26:37`.
8. What was represented by the "door-posts" within the second "vail"? T.115, par. 1; `Ex. 26:32`.
9. What did the "golden table" symbolize? T.115, par. 2; `Phil. 2:16`; `Rev. 19:7`.
10. Explain the meaning of the "golden candlestick." T.115, par. 3; `Rev. 1:20`; `1:11`.
11. Describe its workmanship and explain the beautiful symbolism of its various features. T.116, par. 1.
12. What supplied the light for this "golden lampstand"? And of what was this a symbol? T.116, par. 2 (1st 4 lines).
13. For whom alone did this light shine? T.116, par. 2 (4th line on); `I Cor. 2:14`; `Heb. 9:6`.
14. How often were these lights trimmed and replenished with oil? And what important lesson is taught us in this symbol? T.116, par. 3; `Ex. 27:20,21`; `30:8`.
ANTI-TYPICAL PRIESTS AND LEVITES
15. Why cannot some Christians see spiritual things? T.117, par. 1; `I Cor. 2:9`.
16. What three classes have always been represented in the Church nominal? T.117, par. 2; `Gal. 5:24`.
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THE FALL OF JERICHO
--`JOSHUA 6:8-20`.--OCTOBER 20.--
Golden Text:--"By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were compassed about seven days."--`Heb. 11:30`.
LONG before the Canaanites had been accursed! Long before their land had been promised to the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! The Lord's time had now come to give possession; and the place of entrance was close to Jericho. Jericho was accursed or condemned: its time of judgment had come as that of Sodom four centuries before in the same rich, fertile valley. But God would vary the method for a purpose. As he had made of the Sodomites an illustration of those who would suffer everlasting destruction or Second Death (`Jude 7`), so he would now illustrate another thing in the Jerichoites: he would show in their slaughter how the "old man" of our fallen nature is to be utterly destroyed by us as New Creatures under the lead and instruction of the real Joshua--Jesus.
Nothing could be done--none could fight against Jericho--until they had been circumcised; which typified the circumcision of the heart, the putting away, the cutting off, of the love of sin from the hearts of the true Israelites. The next lesson to be typified was that our power over our natural desires (represented by the Jerichoites) must come from God. The natural desires and appetites are protected by strong walls, the will of the flesh, which first must be broken down before we as New Creatures can conquer our natural selves, our depraved appetites or desires.
This power of God in the type was shown in the fall of Jericho's wall; but before it fell the faith of the circumcised ones was made active as shown in the seven days marching around the city and seven times on the seventh day, representing completeness. The slaughter of the Jerichoites, then, represented the victory of true Israelites over self-will, self-love, self-indulgence, and over every enemy of the new nature--for the two are contrary one to the other and one or the other must die. --Compare `Gal. 5:16,17`.
Everything in Jericho was accursed, condemned or devoted; and so everything in and of our carnal nature is condemned or devoted--every living creature must be
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put to death. This represents that every active influence and principle of the fallen nature must be destroyed, "Mortify [kill], therefore, your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence [desire], and covetousness [greed], which is idolatry."--See `Col. 3:5-10`.
Yet the deliverance of Rahab (who afterward married into the tribe of Judah and became an Israelite, and has the honor of being one of the ancestors of our Lord Jesus) shows in type that some of our members, once enemies of the new nature, may be so transformed that instead of becoming the servants of sin they may become servants of righteousness, through full consecration. For instance, talents for speaking, writing, teaching, etc., once used in the service of Satan and sin, may be reckoned dead and quickened to newness of life and activity in God's service. But as such a transfer could only be through a reckoned death and quickening through faith in the great sacrifice for sin, this too must be illustrated in the type. And it was illustrated in the act of faith which displayed the scarlet cord.
The inanimate valuables, the gold, silver, brass and iron vessels, etc., were all consecrated, too, but not to destruction; they were to be devoted to the Lord's service. So with the truly circumcised Israelites indeed: not only are all their carnal powers to be destroyed as servants of sin, but all that they possess is to be consecrated
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to the Lord's service, their treasures of gold and silver and their ordinary possessions represented in the vessels of brass and iron. All must now be considered as belonging to the Lord: and any appropriation of these to their own selfish uses brings a curse, as was illustrated by the sin of Achan, who appropriated of the spoils of Jericho some gold and silver and a fine Babylonish garment. The result of his covetousness was his own destruction, and for a time he troubled all Israel.
So, amongst Spiritual Israelites, covetousness of gold, silver and the fine Babylonish garments is a most fruitful source of spiritual weakness and in many leads to destruction. "For the love of money is a root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith and pierced themselves through with many arrows. They that will [to] be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness."--`I Tim. 6:9-11`.
The blowing of the trumpets by the priests may well be understood to typify the proclamation of God's Word against sin and his assurance to his people that he is able and willing to give the circumcised New Creatures victory over their carnal propensities. Not until we understand the assurance of the Word of the Lord and have faith therein are we able to blend the shout of victory with the shout of trumpets and see the obstacles to self-mortification fall before us.
"I SURRENDER ALL"
One thing alone, dear Lord, I have,
I may to thee resign;
All else is thine that thou hast formed;
Their use alone is mine.
Tho' I should offer lands or gold,
What profit to me there?
For thou hast always owned them all,
I but thy bounty share.
But thou hast placed in mortal frame
A will to do or not,
As I may list and, uncoerced,
I may pursue my lot.
This will may lead me down to death,
Or to a rich reward.
I tremble, Father, at the thought
Of that I have to guard.
But, blessed Savior, thou hast said,
The weak thou wilt sustain;
Surrendering my will to thee,
I can no more refrain.
Resigning this, my fears now flee.
All I can give is thine;
To chasten, polish, guide, that in
Thy glory I may shine. --A. J. Morris.
* * *
For years, no wisdom, no renown,
Only my life can I lay down;
Only my heart, Lord, to thy throne I bring; and pray
A child of thine I may go forth
And spread glad tidings through the earth,
And teach sad hearts to know thy worth!
Lord, here am I. --C. Whitmarsh.
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--`JOSHUA 14:5-14`.--OCTOBER 27--
Golden Text:--"He wholly followed the
Lord God of Israel."--`Joshua 14:14`.
IN all the promises to the faithful prior to the Gospel Age there were no intimations of spiritual things,--of the high calling to joint-heirship with Christ, of the privilege of being transformed New Creatures, partakers of the divine nature, etc. Thus, for instance, Caleb wholly followed the Lord God of Israel and received as his reward a choice portion of the land of Canaan.
We observe also many similar promises made to Israel as a nation conditioned on their obedience to God and their faith and loyalty:--They should eat the good of the land; their days should be long upon the land which the Lord gave them; their enemies should not triumph over them; they should be blessed in basket and in store, etc., etc. These were the immediate temporal rewards of earthly things promised to the obedient. But the promises to be realized to them even beyond the grave were also of an earthly kind. To
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Abraham God said, "Lift up now thine eyes and look from the place where thou art, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it and to thy seed forever." And Stephen and Paul, referring to this earthly promise to Abraham and to his seed according to the flesh, remind us that this promise was never fulfilled to Abraham in his past life (nor has it yet been fulfilled to his posterity--"for an everlasting possession"); but that he died in faith believing that when he should be awakened from death in due time the promise would be verified.--`Acts 7:5`; `Heb. 11:8-10`.
These observations suggest several important questions. (1) May the Christian expect the temporal rewards of earthly prosperity as a present reward of faithfulness to God? (2) Shall the Spiritual Seed of Abraham share the earthly inheritance with the Fleshly Seed? or (3), vice versa, If the higher promises were made to the Spiritual Seed, the Gospel Church, can they apply also to the Fleshly Seed?
Considering the second question first, we answer, No; for the saints of the Gospel Age are to be changed from the human to the spiritual, divine nature. They are to be made like unto Christ's glorious body, who is now "the express image of the Father"--"the King immortal, invisible and dwelling in light which no man can approach unto, whom no man hath seen nor can see"; and with Christ they are to inherit all things. (`I Cor. 15:51-53`; `Phil. 3:21`; `2 Pet. 1:4`; `Phil. 1:5`; `I Tim. 1:17`; `6:16`; `Rev. 21:7`; `Rom. 8:17`.) While the Fleshly Seed of Abraham will rejoice to sit, each man, under his own vine and fig tree with none to molest or make them afraid (`Micah 4:4`), the Spiritual Seed will be reigning with Christ in glory, and from their exalted position will be able to bless all the families of the earth; and not only so, but even to judge angels.-- `Gen. 28:14`; `Gal. 3:16,29`; `I Cor. 6:3`.
Nor can the Fleshly Seed of Abraham, even the most worthy and faithful prophets and martyrs, inherit the "exceeding great and precious promises," which belong to a subsequent dispensation of divine favor; for it is written that "flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God,"--the spiritual plane of that Kingdom being here referred to,--though they will inherit its earthly phase, as it is written: "Ye [unfaithful Jews] shall see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God [the earthly phase], and ye yourselves thrust out." (`Luke 13:28`.) These two phases of the Kingdom will be in communication and cooperation during the Millennium--the one, the higher, spiritual and invisible, and the other, perfect, human and visible among men. Thus it is written, "Out of Zion [the spiritual phase] shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem [the human, visible phase]." (`Isa. 2:3`.) And while the promise to Abraham, "In thee and in thy Seed ['which Seed,' says Paul, 'is Christ'--Head and Body] shall all the families of the earth be blessed," shall be fulfilled in the Spiritual Seed primarily, yet the exalted earthly phase of the Kingdom is to be the blessed channel or agency through which the blessing shall flow to all the kindreds of the earth. And thus, as the Apostle declares, the promise of God--"In thee and in thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed"--shall be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law (the Fleshly Seed), but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham. And if ye be Christ's then are ye Abraham's Seed and heirs according to the promise.-- `Rom. 4:16`; `Gal. 3:16,29`.
This calls to mind the two phases of the Kingdom of God as presented in MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. I., Chap. XIV., and the separate and distinct inheritance and office of each. We are also reminded of the Lord's teaching that not all the natural descendants of Abraham are to be heirs with him of the promise, but only
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such as Abraham would be honored in owning as sons --such as partake of his spirit or disposition.--See `John 8:39,44`.
While to the Natural Seed of Abraham is promised all the land which Abraham saw, and the privilege of dwelling in it in safety, and while the inheritors of the earthly phase of the Kingdom are to be princes in all the earth (`Psa. 45:16`), to the Spiritual Seed of Abraham, which Seed is Christ--Head and Body--are given the "exceeding great and precious promises."--`2 Pet. 1:4`.
This brings us to the consideration of our first inquiry, May the Christian expect the rewards of earthly prosperity for his faithfulness to God, either in the present life, or in that which is to come?
We have already shown that Christians, members of the Body of Christ, have beyond this life "an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven" for them (`I Pet. 1:4`); consequently the earthly inheritance of human perfection and a peaceful home, each under his own vine and fig tree, could not confine to earth the immortal spirit beings, partakers of the divine nature, the scope of whose powers must necessarily extend to the utmost bounds of creation.
Nor can the rewards of present temporal prosperity in worldly things be expected by those who are running for the prize of this high calling to glory, honor and immortality as kings and priests unto God; for the way to the crown is the way of the cross, the way of sacrifice, as well to every member of the Body of Christ as it was to our Head and Lord, Christ Jesus. He was "a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief"; the reproaches of them that reproached God fell upon him; though he was rich, for our sakes he became poor; so poor that he said, "The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head." There was no reward of earthly prosperity for the Lord's faithfulness, but the reverse--privation and persecution were realized, even unto death. And the servant is not above his Lord: if they have persecuted him they will persecute us also; and the reproaches of them that reproached him will also fall upon us. The only present reward for which the followers of Christ may look is the heartfelt manifestation of the Lord's
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love and approval. "In the world," said he, "ye shall have tribulation, but in me ye shall have peace."
It should be observed also that while rewards of temporal prosperity were promised and given to Fleshly Israel as a nation and as individuals, yet the very cream of that nation, the faithful patriarchs and prophets received no such temporal rewards, but like the Gospel Church, they endured hardness as good soldiers and nobly fought the good fight of faith; and their abundant reward will be in the glory of the earthly phase of the Kingdom of God. Note the account of their faithful endurance as recorded by Paul in `Heb. 11`.
The temporal rewards and punishments and general discipline of Fleshly Israel were typical of the Lord's similar discipline of the world in the age to come; while his selection out from among that people of a worthy class of overcomers for the earthly phase of the Kingdom was typical of his selection during the Gospel Age of a class of overcomers for the spiritual phase of the Kingdom. In any case, it pays to wholly follow the Lord God of Israel, who is a rewarder of all them that diligently seek him to walk in his ways.-- `Heb. 11:6`; `Prov. 8:32-36`.
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OUR NEW WATCH TOWER BIBLES
SOME months ago we gave notice of the preparation of a new Bible which possesses various features of special interest to WATCH TOWER readers. The edition is ready for delivery and orders may now be sent to our office. Some features have been added since we first announced, so we will describe the book afresh.
(1) This is the Common Version Bible, but printed on India paper; it is very light in weight. (2) It is small-- less than 1 in. thick, 4-3/4 in. wide, 7 in. long, convenient for an overcoat pocket. (3) The type is quite large for so small a book--the same used in books three times its bulk and four times its weight, namely Minion type. (See illustration of types in our issue of Dec. 1, 1906.)
The above features commend the book to every Bible user, but now we come to our special features. (4) It contains 220 pages of brief DAWN-STUDIES COMMENTS from Genesis to Revelation, with references to the DAWN volumes treating the subjects more fully. This was the work of our dear Brother C. J. Woodworth, and cost him six months' time, seven hours per day. He declares it to have been the most enjoyable and most profitable work he ever did. He began the matter for his own use and subsequently called it to our attention as an arrangement of incalculable value to all the dear Brethren--enabling all to accomplish two or three times the amount of studying in their study hours and with better success. We are sure that all the dear Brethren will thank the Lord for this labor of love and in their hearts thank Brother Woodworth also.
AN EPITOME OF THE FAITH ONCE DELIVERED UNTO THE SAINTS
(5) The above is the title of the second section of these Helps. It was prepared for our use by our dear Sister G. W. Seibert, and will surely be much appreciated by us all. Again we render thanks to our Lord and to the Sister who has thus been used as his servant. This will be found very helpful to all who attempt to explain the divine plan to others. It cites not only the Scriptures, quoting them in part, but it refers to DAWNS and TOWERS, etc., in which these subjects are treated. Many quite familiar with the Truth are unable to locate the desired passages and this will aid them. By its aid every WATCH TOWER reader will become, we trust, an "able minister" of the Truth, capable of vanquishing any opponent. We trust, however, that all will remember our Captain's command that we "speak the truth in love," and again, "that nothing be done through strife or vainglory."
BEREAN TOPICAL INDEX
(6) This feature of these Helps, also prepared by Sister Seibert, is a revision merely of a similar index which appeared in our previous "Watch Tower Bible" (too bulky for carrying). This Index will be found very helpful as it gives both TOWER and DAWN references on subjects of special interest to us all.
DIFFICULT TEXTS AND SPURIOUS PASSAGES
(7) This section of our Helps will commend itself to all Bible students immediately. Coming across an obscure or difficult passage this will direct you at once to the exposition of same in DAWNS or TOWERS. The spurious passages found in our common version Bible, but not found in the original Greek MSS., are all shown. These valuable arrangements are also the work of Brother Woodworth, as well as
(8) AN INDEX TO SCRIPTURES TREATED AT CONSIDERABLE LENGTH IN ZION'S WATCH TOWER.
A SPIRITUAL ARSENAL
(9) The having of these helps all together and under one cover with the Bible and of convenient size for carrying to meetings, will be apparent to all at a glance. We will all soon feel, no doubt, that we shall want this spiritual arsenal always at hand wherever we go. Let us never forget, however, that the Truth without its spirit of love would be vain.
ABOUT BINDINGS AND PRICES
The Bibles and Helps will be all exactly alike except the bindings, which are of three grades. The best is the cheapest really, but knowing that many of our readers are far from rich we have done our best to serve them all. All such Bibles are stamped so as to look much alike whether made of split sheepskin, split cowhide, goatskin, or genuine sealskin. The latter is the best book-leather in the world. We selected it for our best edition. The cowhide is the best of the cheap leathers and is styled "French Seal"; we chose it for our cheaper editions. The below prices are actual cost. No discount to anybody nor on any quantity: No. W. 138--French Seal (cowhide), divinity circuit, red under gold edges..................................... $1.38 No. W. 150--French Seal (cowhide), linen lined, divinity circuit, red under gold edges............................ 1.50 No. W. 300--Genuine Sealskin, calf lined, divinity circuit, red under gold edges..................................... 3.00
Any of the above with patent index on edge, 25c extra, but this is not recommended. Postage, 10c. each. Order by number.