ZWT - 1916 - R5821 thru R6024 / R6024 (385) - December 15, 1916
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VOL. XXXVII. DECEMBER 15 No. 24
A. D. 1916--A.M. 6045
1915--Annual Report--1916 . . . . 387
The Colporteur Work. . . . . 387
Pilgrim Service. . . . . . 388
Free Literature. . . . . . 388
The Pastoral Work . . . . . 388
Harvest Work Continues . . . . . 390
Organization of the Work . . . 390
"Ecce Homo!" (Poem). . . . . . 391
The Holy City . . . . . . . 392
The New Jerusalem . . . . . 392
The Glorified Temple . . . . 393
Blessings to be Shed Upon Mankind . 394
"Unto Us a Son is Given" . . . . 394
The True Light of the World. . . 395
The Antitypical Gideon's Band . . 395
Interesting Items . . . . . . 396
1917 Year Text Motto . . . . 396
Your Good Hopes for 1917 . . . . 397
Ministries of the Truth. . . . . 399
Index to The Watch Tower for 1916 . . 400
WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY
"BROOKLYN TABERNACLE," 13-17 HICKS STREET,
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.
This journal is published under the supervision of an Editorial Committee, at least three of whom have read and approved each and every article appearing in these columns. The names of the Editorial Committee are: W.E. VAN AMBURGH, J.F. RUTHERFORD, H.C. ROCKWELL, F.H. ROBISON, R.H. HIRSH.
---------- 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, POLISH AND DANO-NORWEGIAN 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.
BROTHER RUSSELL'S CHRISTMASTIDE GREETINGS
Shortly before his death Brother Russell gave instructions for the publication of a beautiful little card conveying his Christian greetings and best wishes to the New Creation, together with references to five recent WATCH TOWER articles which he considered particularly timely and helpful, also announcing the Year Text for 1917, over his signature. On the other side of this card is a rotogravure reproduction of the famous painting, "Christ Stilling the Storm on the Sea," as selected by our Pastor. According to his request, these cards are now being enclosed in all regular mail sent out from this office in acknowledgment of orders, etc. By this means practically all of our interested readers will receive one. Any who fail to receive a copy, may have one upon request.
Anticipating a continued demand for this picture, he ordered an edition in regular post-card form, with space for message, which may be had at 10c per doz., postpaid. We have also a quantity of the same picture in post-card size, printed on heavy coated paper, with "Our Morning Resolve" on the reverse side. These may be had for 6c per doz., postpaid.
::R6024 : page 386::
CONVENTION AT PITTSBURGH
THE WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY is arranging for a Convention at Pittsburgh, Pa., to be held Saturday and Sunday, January 6th and 7th, 1917. Several of the brethren from the Brooklyn Tabernacle will be present and address the Convention. The Saturday sessions will be held in CARNEGIE HALL in Allegheny, and those on Sunday at the Lyceum Theatre, in Pittsburgh.
Any one desiring to make reservations for accommodation will please address Dr. W.E. Spill, 2509 Perrysville Ave., N.S., Pittsburgh, Pa.
EXAMINATION OF ANSWERS TO V.D.M. QUESTIONS
The Examining Board expects to complete its work before the end of the present month; but if for any reason its work should be delayed a little, we would advise that the election of any to represent your Class as either Elders or Deacons could be done on the same condition as that of the New York Congregation--subject to a successful examination of the answers to the questions.
MEMOIRS OF PASTOR RUSSELL
The Society is contemplating the publication, in book form, of Memoirs of Brother Russell, together with a number of his sermons. Further announcement will be made in due time.
[CONTINUED ON PAGE 396.]
My Morning Resolve
My Earliest Thought I Desire Shall Be:
"What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward me? I will take the Cup of Salvation and call upon the name of the Lord [for grace to help]. I will pay my Vows unto the Most High."--`Psa. 116:12-14`.
Remembering the Divine call, "Gather My saints together unto Me, those that have made a Covenant with Me by sacrifice" (`Psa. 50:5`), I resolve that by the Lord's assisting grace I will today, as a saint of God, fulfil my Vows, continuing the work of sacrificing the flesh and its interests, that I may attain unto the Heavenly inheritance in joint-heirship with my Redeemer.
I will strive to be simple and sincere toward all.
I will seek not to please and honor self, but the Lord.
I will be careful to honor the Lord with my lips, that my words may be unctuous and blessed to all.
I will seek to be faithful to the Lord, the Truth, the brethren and all with whom I have to do, not only in great matters, but also in the little things of life.
Trusting myself to Divine care and the Providential overruling of all my interests for my highest welfare, I will seek not only to be pure in heart, but to repel all anxiety, all discontent, all discouragement.
I will neither murmur nor repine at what the Lord's providence may permit, because
"Faith can firmly trust Him,
Come what may."
::R6021 : page 387::
[Together with a Resume of the work of the various Branches of the service of the Society.]
WE feel sure that the dear friends everywhere are eagerly awaiting the Report for 1916. Our fiscal year ends October 31st. It may appear to some quite significant that it was on this very date that Brother Russell passed away, thus closing his earthly ministry with the end of the Society's business year. What more appropriate time could there be for us to turn aside for a little season and survey the Field!
In the heat and excitement of battle one cannot take much time to look about or to inquire what others may be doing or who may possibly be falling. Each soldier is on the alert to carry out the commands given by the great Captain of our Salvation; but the Lord loves all the true soldiers, and occasionally calls them aside for a little breathing spell and refreshment, thus preparing them for the next and more vigorous campaign. The Lord's people will greatly rejoice over the progress made during the year--Nov. 1, 1915, to Nov. 1, 1916.
Our Covenant with the Lord calls for a walk by faith. We are therefore not to expect to see the full results of our labors while on this side the veil, but our Lord is so loving and considerate that He frequently draws the curtain aside a little, that we may have a glimpse of the results following some of our labors of love. How such views rejoice our hearts!
The year 1916 has been a very eventful one in many ways. We need not mention here those events particularly connected with the falling of the "kingdoms of this world." They are written by the world's historians. Our interests are centered in the establishment of "the Kingdom of God," for which the Church has so long been praying. At the beginning of the year we were in a more or less expectant attitude, not knowing what new experiences the Lord might have in store. We were certain that He would supply us with the waters of Truth and lead us to certain victories, if we but followed closely. There was much polishing and buckling on of the Armor of God, and preparing for whatever might be ahead. No one thought of faltering--the prize appeared brighter, and the goal nearer. Those inclined to criticize us had prophesied that, as 1914 had passed, and as their interpretation of our understanding of the Scriptures had failed to come to pass, the work would soon come to naught. How little do they realize the power of the Spirit of God in the hearts of the consecrated! And how far short of the reality is their knowledge of our glorious hopes and prospects! Considering the conditions--the comparatively small army of thoroughly consecrated and the great tension under which the whole world is straining --the results seem but little short of miraculous. But very few have become discouraged or have returned to their former pursuits.
THE COLPORTEUR WORK
Every well-equipped army is composed of several branches. The main branch is always the Infantry. It is the heavy fighting body, and the main reliance of every commander. So we might think of the Colporteurs. They are the soldiers who do the hard fighting at the front. Though each year since war-conditions prevail notices a change in the numbers, yet these noble soldiers of the Cross "close up ranks" and move on steadily and unfalteringly. We doubt not that the Lord will greatly reward this noble band. They have stormed many a redoubt of the enemy, and have been mighty in the Lord's hand to the pulling down of strongholds of evil and prejudice and planting the good Seed of the Kingdom.
Owing to the fact that financial conditions were greatly strained in many localities, and that labor difficulties and local disturbances existed in others, the number of those who were able to devote most of their time to the work has been considerably less than in 1915. However, those who have remained have done better work on the average. For 1915, the average sale per Colporteur was a trifle over 406 STUDIES and 23 SCENARIOS. For 1916, the average sale per Colporteur was a little over 430 STUDIES, and 166 SCENARIOS. An average of 372 Colporteurs were in the field for the year.
The general advance in prices on all commodities hit this branch of the work very hard in some respects. During a number of months we were greatly hindered by not being able to secure sufficient cloth STUDIES to fill the Colporteurs' orders. Then the DE LUXE SCENARIOS ran short, and also the supply of Karatol volumes. The printers were unable to obtain delivery of the materials necessary to their manufacture. The paper shortage has greatly hindered the printers. Many of the Colporteurs made a specialty of the SCENARIO in territory which had already been canvassed a number of times for the STUDIES.
Total output of STUDIES for year........... 265,495
Total output of SCENARIOS.................. 70,000
Total output of Booklets................... 110,000
Total ................................ 445,495
Moreover, these faithful workers were careful to encourage the reading of the STUDIES, where they found them already in the homes. A number were thus awakened to the import of present conditions, and some to active co-operation.
::R6021 : page 388::
Who can say what the yield may be when the Master of the Harvest shall show forth all the increase? May the Lord richly bless the dear Colporteurs!
THE PILGRIM SERVICE
We might liken the Pilgrim force in some respects to the Cavalry division of the army. It is much smaller than the Colporteur list, and covers more territory, and the force must be moved more quickly. Its work for the past year compares very favorably with any other year of the entire Harvest campaign. Note the following figures:
Number of Pilgrims...................... 69
Miles traveled.......................... 552,498
Towns visited........................... 6,575
Public meetings held.................... 1,507
Semi-public meetings held............... 3,124
Parlor meetings held.................... 9,221
Total attendance........................ 809,393
We might term this the Grenadier Department of the army. It seeks out the hiding places of the enemy, and endeavors to leave little "bombs" in every available place. The output for 1916 has not quite equaled that of 1915. We cautioned the friends to be much more careful that each "bomb" be properly placed, so that no waste be made. The amount of free literature thus distributed is almost beyond our comprehension. The total output for the year was 22,158,000 BIBLE STUDENTS MONTHLIES. To print these took over 598,000 pounds of paper, or 16 carloads. Who can estimate the number of strongholds of error which these "bombs" may have overthrown? But that is only an incidental feature of the work. The principal thing was the reflex action upon our own hearts. How we have rejoiced as we sought to carry the Message of Good Tidings to others and to free them from the shackles of error, even as we ourselves have been freed!
The friends will be glad to know that we have some very excellent Volunteer matter for 1917, prepared by Brother Russell. On page 396 of this WATCH TOWER will be found an item especially upon this subject. We desire to make a word of explanation here: It is not so much a question of how many shots are fired as of how many are hits. Note the cost of this year's output in the financial report. The paper for next year will cost us more than twice as much as formerly. In other words, we were fortunately able to purchase paper last year at 3-3/4c per pound. Next year it will cost us over 8c. This means that a dollar will not go so far now as fifty cents have gone heretofore. Therefore, it behooves us to be very careful to make every shot count and not to waste any. Better fire only five shots and make three hits than to fire twenty shots for the same number of hits. Noise or number does not count. The shots only are effective. Therefore judge cautiously as to your needs, and be sure to use all that you order. We shall be pleased to have your orders as quickly as possible. The matter will be ready Jan. 1. "The World on Fire" is the leading article.
THE NEWSPAPER WORK
This had become greatly curtailed, owing to our dropping from the list many papers of small circulation, and further, to our policy of retrenchment necessitated by
::R6022 : page 388::
conditions produced by the war. Now that Brother Russell has passed beyond, the sermon feature will be discontinued entirely. The blessing of the Lord has rested upon this work far beyond our highest expectations. We remember when we thought if we could secure fifty newspapers to publish the sermons it would be a wonderful witness. About twenty years ago Brother Russell saw the great advantage of reaching the people by means of the public press. At that time the large sum of nearly half a million dollars seemed within his reach. He planned to use this for having the Truth spread broadcast through the magazines. Just as he expected to receive the money, the death of one man blocked the way. It was a great disappointment for awhile, but he knew that the Lord was still at the head of the Harvest work. Later, with an astonishingly small sum, the Lord opened another way, and at one time about 2,000 papers were publishing the sermons simultaneously and altogether over 4,000 papers published weekly reports. We asked for showers, and the Lord gave us rainfalls almost amounting to floods. What an evidence of His might and power to open doors whenever it may please Him and best serve His cause!
Now that part of the work is past. Has He anything else to take its place? We think so. We believe that even a greater work is just at our doors, and that it will prove to be a richer blessing to the Church itself. The way is opening for thousands to enter into the work "while it is yet day," and they are hastening before the "night cometh when no man can work." The Colporteur work, the Pilgrim work, the Volunteer work, the PHOTO-DRAMA, and the "lightnings" of the Lord now observed on every hand have prepared the soil of the hearts of men. Each loyal soldier not already enlisted in some branch will be asking for the privilege to be a participant in the great battle of victory for the overthrow of Babylon. Already Babylon is gathering her hosts. We can hear the rumbling of the companies and the divisions as they are being assembled; and we think that it will not be long before she will have her army in full battle array. Hence we, like David of old, wish to have our slings loaded with pebbles from the Brook of Truth and to hurl them while Babylon is preparing for the battle. Let each remember that before one can enlist under the lead of our glorious and victorious Captain, it is well to take the oath of full allegiance to Him--to make a whole-hearted consecration and take up the cross and follow Him, else we cannot expect to share the glories of the Kingdom, soon to be established. We refer to
THE PASTORAL WORK
This seems to us to be another great forward movement against the embattlements of the Adversary. The campaign is opening up so rapidly that it is difficult to keep up with the rush. We can almost hear the noise of the gathering of the companies all over the country. Letters are pouring in from all sides asking for information, and many are already in the thick of the battle. We have been hindered by not being able to secure the needed "ammunition" to equip all the companies. The "munition factories"--our printers--have been greatly delayed in filling our orders; but we have promise now of speedy delivery, and soon we hope to see the battle being waged along the entire front.
We wish we could tell you many of the interesting and encouraging incidents taking place in this service. We give one: In one of the larger cities the sisters had loaned a book to a gentleman. He read it, became very much interested, and said that he would be glad to pay for as many books as the Class could loan. When informed that they could use 700, he promptly gave his check for the needed amount. A letter now going out to the Pastoral workers gives other interesting and helpful information to these dear colaborers.
The PHOTO-DRAMA and the EUREKA DRAMA are still a valuable means of reaching many. The country districts are glad to have the opportunity of seeing the beautiful
::R6022 : page 389::
slide-pictures, even though they may not see the "movies." As a result we are receiving many inquiries from rural districts, which show a considerable interest. We are able to furnish the PHOTO-DRAMA to Classes in the following foreign languages: Armenian, Dano-Norwegian, French, German, Greek, Italian, Spanish, Polish and Swedish.
There are twenty-one DRAMAS in active service, exhibiting mostly on Sundays; very few working during the week. These twenty-one are being operated mostly by the Classes of the larger cities, even where the DRAMA has been previously exhibited with success. We are receiving some glowing reports. One of these, from Toronto, Canada, informs us that in a hall seating 1,000, frequently hundreds are turned away at a single exhibition. Those attending are showing marked interest and are leaving many cards of inquiry. The PHOTO-DRAMA has also been shown upon several of the large American battleships, and many have manifested marked interest. It was also shown to the soldiers down upon the Mexican border, and good reports are coming from there. We have two more DRAMAS ready for use. If any of the large Classes are so situated that they could handle the PHOTO-DRAMA for a season, the Society will be pleased to hear from them; and if they do not have local operators arrangements could probably be made to supply them on short notice. Our latest information is that the DRAMA has witnessed to about twelve millions. Many classes have in this way been doubled, and prejudice against the Truth has been dispelled as perhaps could not otherwise have been accomplished.
THE WATCH TOWER
We are not printing so many extra copies for samples and for supplying back numbers as formerly, but we are printing about 47,000 each issue, except in the case of the Memorial Number, for which we are expecting a wide circulation. Orders for large numbers of these continue to come from Classes and friends. We do not know of a better issue to allay prejudice against Present Truth. It is very cheap at 5c. for 32 pages. THE WATCH TOWER is also published in the German, Polish, Swedish, Dano-Norwegian and French languages, but the Memorial Number in only English, German and Polish.
We have long considered THE WATCH TOWER list the best criterion in regard to the general interests of the Harvest work, but there is still good reason to believe that the list does not include more than half the names it should. We are dependent upon the brethren to make known to others the merits of this publication and to urge all to send in their subscriptions. We remind them again of our willingness to cancel the debt of any receiving THE WATCH TOWER on credit who will advise us of their inability to pay.
It must be gratifying to all to observe in THE WATCH TOWER columns the letters of sympathy and expressions of continued loyalty to the Society and to the Harvest work. These letters cover every section of the country, and incoming mails from foreign lands show the same spirit of sympathy and confidence--that He who began the good work is both able and willing to complete it.
SUMMARY OF THE WORK
The foreign branch of the service has been to some extent hindered, especially in Germany and France. The work in England has gone on without much change, and we have good reports from the dear brethren there. We hope to publish some very interesting letters soon.
As this is the report for the last year our dear Brother Russell was connected with the work, we feel sure that all have an added interest in it.
Our mail for the past year has been very encouraging:
Letters received........................ 134,849
Letters and cards sent out.............. 152,944
You will observe that last year's report closed with a loan to balance the account. Therefore the report for the year just closed commenced with no balance on hand:
Good Hopes and Tract Fund
Pilgrim service.......... 30,967.71
Free literature, Lecture
Bureau, etc........... 60,596.74
For the Blind............ 845.00
For the various Conventions 1,985.36
Pastoral work............ 269.60
For the Foreign Fields... 32,850.23
Paid on loan............. 20,000.00
Leaving a balance on hand to
commence the year...... 2,211.57
As we see the vast possibilities opening up before us for the incoming year, we trust that each will carefully consider what share he or she may have in the work. As has been customary for a number of years, in order that the Society might outline its work with as much definiteness as possible--lay plans and make contracts-- we give the friends an opportunity of advising us as soon as possible how much they estimate they will be able to give to the work for the coming year. Please remember that this is in no sense a solicitation. We know that all are glad to give to the best of their ability; that many have local expenses for Class and other needs; and yet that all desire to assist the general work as much as possible--as the Lord hath prospered them.
We are glad to show a safe balance on hand and to report that the receipts during the past month are encouraging.
::R6023 : page 389::
We are governing ourselves accordingly-- making preparations for the wisest and most judicious use of our stewardship. We doubt not the Lord's continued interest in the Cause which we all love so much, and His intention to carry to completion that which we believe He began. Continue to pray for us, as we always do for you.
Finally, as expressed in the motto text of Brother Russell's selection for 1917: "The Lord bless thee, and keep thee; the Lord make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee; the Lord lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace."--`Numbers 6:24-26`.
REPORT FROM 1886-1891
We feel sure that all will be greatly interested in a quotation from the first published report--extending from 1886 to 1891--published in THE WATCH TOWER in the latter year. We append the part as follows:
"PREACHING THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM"
"The handful of Harvest laborers and the money at our disposal seem insignificant in contrast with the hundreds of missionaries and the millions of dollars spent by Catholic and Protestant societies in their support and in publishing abroad the doctrinal errors handed down from the Dark Ages, which tend to pervert and subvert the teachings of the Scriptures. But such is the zeal which the 'present truth' inspires, that 'a little one is able to chase a thousand, and two to put ten thousand to flight.' (`Deut. 32:30`.) Although few and untitled, and generally without great worldly learning --in these respects resembling those sent out by our Lord with the Kingdom Message at the First Advent--the faithful band of Harvest workers is busily engaged (some giving all their time and others able to give only a portion of it) in seeking out the 'wheat' class--the sickle of Truth which they bear separating 'the wheat' from the 'tares.'
"Few know these Colporteurs as the Lord's real representatives, or recognize that dignity which the Lord sees in
::R6023 : page 390::
their humility and self-sacrifice. Missionaries? No, say the world and the nominal Church, ours are the missionaries, who go to foreign lands. Yes, says the Lord, these are My missionaries, charged with a grand mission--to 'gather My saints together unto Me; those that have made a Covenant with Me by sacrifice.' They shall be Mine, saith the Lord, in the day when I come to make up My jewels.'
"Ministers? No, say the world and the nominal Church, only ours who wear clerical garments and preach from our pulpits are God's ministers. Yes, says the Lord, My servants (ministers) they are because they serve Me, dispensing Present Truth to My household. I have sent forth the Message which they bear. He that despiseth them despiseth Me, and he that receiveth the sealing in the forehead which I send by them will know the doctrine, that it is of Me. 'My sheep know My voice.'
"During the past six years, annual reports of the work have not been made, for the reason that the reports would not have shown so well as we would have liked, and might have been discouraging rather than encouraging, some years. But the past year has been so favorable, and the responses already received to the suggestion in a recent TOWER have been so encouraging, that we have concluded to report each year hereafter, good or bad. We accordingly report now the TOWER MISSIONARY WORK in spreading the Gospel of the Kingdom for the six years past:
"WATCH TOWER TRACT SOCIETY
"FROM JANUARY 1, 1886, TO DECEMBER 1, 1891
"Paid balance, debt, owing January 1, 1886. $516.17
"Expended in publishing and circulating
Tracts and sample copies of WATCH
TOWER and in sending TOWER to the
Lord's poor ............................ 8,625.03
"From Old Theology Tract subscriptions..$1,113.63
"From Tract Fund Donations................. 8,027.57
"It will thus be seen that we started Dec. 1st, 1891, with an evenly balanced ledger. But since figures are not apt to come out so exactly, it may be proper to remark that we had expended considerably more than our receipts, which would have shown a debt owing; but five friends of the Cause subscribed the balance so as to permit us to start the new fiscal year, beginning Dec. 1st, free from debt.
"Tracts published and distributed.......... 841,095"
::R6023 : page 390::
HARVEST WORK CONTINUES
"Gather My saints together unto Me; those that have made a Covenant with Me by sacrifice."--`Psalm 50:5`.
IT WAS the Lord who said that the gathering-time would be in the end of the Age; that He would then be present as Master of the Harvest; that His colaborers in the Harvest field would be His truly consecrated followers, acting as His messengers. He furthermore stated that during the Harvest time He would make one "faithful and wise servant...ruler over His household to give them meat in due season."--`Matthew 24:45`.
Since "that Servant" has been gathered into the Garner of the Lord, should we expect the work of the Harvest to cease immediately? Surely not! We should expect it to continue until every member of the Kingdom class is fully gathered unto the Lord! The Harvest work consists of two distinct parts: (1) The promulgation of the Kingdom Message, which serves as a trumpet to call the people of God out from Babylon and to draw them closer to the Lord; and (2) the ripening and perfecting of the saints in character-likeness to the Master, and their entrance finally into the Heavenly Home.
"That Servant" means a special messenger to the Church as this time. "Meat in due season" means the Message of the Kingdom to the Church, given at the time the Lord intended it should be given. The fact that the messenger has been gathered into the Kingdom should in no wise affect the Message, which remains with the Church as food and to be handed out to other hungry ones, until every one of the Lord's little ones has been gathered into the Kingdom.
Who, then, will proclaim the Message? We answer, Every truly consecrated child of God who appreciates his or her privilege. All who are begotten and anointed of the Holy Spirit are commissioned to do this work. (`Isaiah 61:1-3`.) The Message of the Kingdom has been put in such form that everyone who possesses the Master's Spirit may use it for his own blessing and for the blessing of others. Our full consecration to the Lord means that all of our money, our time, strength, influence, everything, is devoted to His Cause. Whatever natural qualifications we thus have for serving the Lord provide an opportunity for us to serve in whatever place we are best situated for service.
The Volunteers will continue to hand out the precious "meat in due season" which the Lord has furnished through His chosen Servant, that thereby some of His people yet in Babylon may be awakened.
The Colporteurs will continue to bear to the hungering ones the precious Food contained in the Six Volumes of SCRIPTURE STUDIES. Evidently such food is all-sufficient for anyone to make his calling and election sure.
The Pilgrim brethren will continue to make their usual visits to the Classes to aid, to teach and comfort them, and to serve the public as opportunity affords.
Pastoral Workers will find much to do in searching out those who have heard the Truth at some public meeting and who may be needing further assistance in the way of getting out of Babylon before her downfall.
The Elders of the various Classes who have the Spirit of the Lord will earnestly cooperate with the members of their respective Classes and in helping them to better understand the Berean lessons. Serving in humility and love and walking circumspectly, they will contribute much to the development in others of the character-likeness of the Master.
The PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION will continue to perform the portion of the work the Lord intends it to do.
Every truly consecrated child of God will, by his or her ability and opportunity, daily preach the Message. The world cannot intelligently read and understand the Bible, but can read and understand the daily life of Christians with whom they come in contact. "Actions speak louder than words." As the Lord continues to provide the money, so shall the Society continue to use it for the promulgation of the Gospel, looking for and expecting Divine wisdom and guidance in the proper use of it.
ORGANIZATION OF THE WORK
It is recognized that everything must be done decently and in order; that there must be a regular organization to properly carry on any work. How, then, may the Harvest work be thus conducted since Brother Russell is no longer in our midst? Many of the friends throughout the country are asking this and other questions, and we take pleasure in answering:
::R6024 : page 390::
THE WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY was organized in the year 1884 as a means of putting forth the Message of the Kingdom in an orderly and systematic manner. The Corporation is controlled and managed by its Board of Directors and officers. The Board of Directors is composed of seven members. The Charter of the Corporation provides that the Board of Directors shall be self-perpetuating; that is to say, when a vacancy occurs by death or resignation the surviving members are empowered to fill such vacancy. Brother Russell was a member of the Board of Directors. Two
::R6024 : page 391::
days after his death the Board met and elected Brother A.N. Pierson as a member of the Board to fill the vacancy caused by Brother Russell's change. The seven members of the Board as now constituted are A.I. Ritchie, W.E. Van Amburgh, H.C. Rockwell, J.D. Wright, I.F. Hoskins, A.N. Pierson and J.F. Rutherford.
The Board of Directors thereupon provided for an Executive Committee of three, and elected as that Committee Brothers A.I. Ritchie, W.E. Van Amburgh and J.F. Rutherford. This Executive Committee has general supervision of all the work of the Society, both in America and abroad, subject to the control of the Board of Directors of the Society.
The Charter of THE WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY provides that the officers shall be elected annually by those who have contributed to the funds of the Society, and that those officers must be elected from among the Board of Directors. Brother Russell was the President of THE WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY from its organization until his death. The next annual election, as provided by the Charter, will be held Saturday, January 6th, 1917, at Pittsburgh, at which time officers will be elected; viz., a President, Vice President, and Secretary and Treasurer.
THE WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY is the most wonderful and unusual Corporation on earth. It is the strongest corporation, not financially, but strong because it has been, and still is, used of the Lord for the carrying on of His work. It is unusual in this: that all who are in any wise connected with it gladly render their services without salary; those giving all of their time taking only the bare necessities of life. It will continue in the same manner as in the past to spread the Gospel, so long as the Lord indicates this as His will.
THE WATCH TOWER
This publication is the medium through which the Kingdom Message is brought regularly to the members of the "Household." "That Servant" used this medium to give out the "meat in due season." By his last Will and Testament he provided for the continuance of THE WATCH TOWER by a duly constituted Editorial Committee. The names of the members of this Editorial Committee appear upon the title page of each issue of THE WATCH TOWER. It is the province of this Committee to put in proper form and publish, twice each month, that which goes to the Church. THE WATCH TOWER is not the organ of the Editorial Committee. It is the official organ of the Church. It is the only publication in the world declaring the presence of the King and announcing the nearness of His Kingdom. Therefore, dear brethren, THE WATCH TOWER is your journal. It is the journal of every one in harmony with Present Truth, and its publication is for the benefit of all such. It will continue to publish only that which is in harmony with what "that Servant" has heretofore given to the "Household of Faith."
Shall we, then, continue to recognize in our Class-studies the Berean Bible lessons prepared by Brother Russell? Shall we continue to speak in our Class-studies of Brother Russell as the Lord's Servant who brought "meat in due season to the household of faith." Yes, indeed! Why not? If the Lord was pleased to use him for many years to give the "meat in due season" to the Church, then it is still "meat in due season," and the Berean lessons are essential for the development of those who shall be made partakers of the Kingdom. Should we now disregard the food contained in the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES and other publications of THE WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY, it would mean that we were repudiating or disregarding that which the Lord has graciously provided for our benefit. We must make the distinction between Brother Russell as a creature and his official capacity as "that servant" of the Master to give out the "meat in due season." To disregard the Message would mean to disregard the Lord.
Let us be courageous and faithful, dear brethren. Let us remember that in unity there is strength. The Lord will continue His work until it is finished. He will gather all of His true children into the Garner in due time. Shall we be of those thus gathered? That will depend upon whether or not we hold fast to that which we have; whether or not we remain loyal to the Lord and to His Message of the Kingdom.
The Lord's "faithful and wise servant" finished his work and left with us his message. His last words to the Church, as set forth in his Will and Testament, show how essential it is for every one who would enter the Kingdom to continue loyal, and faithfully develop the fruits and graces of the Spirit. He said, "I entreat you all that you continue to progress and to grow in grace, in knowledge, and above all in Love, the great fruit of the Spirit, in its various diversified forms. I exhort to meekness, not only with the world, but with one another; to patience with one another and with all men, to gentleness with all, to brotherly-kindness, to godliness, to purity. I remind you that all these things are necessary for us--necessary that we may attain the promised Kingdom; and that the Apostle has assured us that if we do these things we shall never fail, but that 'so an entrance shall be ministered unto us abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.'"
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[In loving remembrance of Pastor Russell and his Ministry.]
"Loved and hated! Revered and reviled! Spurned and courted! Flattered, defiled! With never a falter and never a frown He kept to his moorings, and laid his life down In the place where God put him. What more can be said For soldier or hero? For living or dead? He wept with the anguished; he smiled with the glad: He lifted the fallen; he heartened the sad; He pitied the sinner, inspired the saint; He strengthened the feeble, recovered the faint. God gave him a Message--he gave it to men: He patiently told it again and again.
"When men's eyes were blinded and ears could not hear, And men's souls were stunted by folly or fear, When minds were beclouded by dullness or doubt He maneuvered the Message and turned it about Till 'the wayfaring man, tho a fool,' could behold And hear the glad Gospel he patiently told. And yet will like rabble as stood by the Cross, Not knowing their folly, not sensing their loss, Flouting and scouting and wagging their head, Stand by in contempt while we weep o'er our dead, Dishonoring the prophet of this, their own time, And crowning him saint when the World sees their crime.
"Behold now the Man?--Or wait world-old way To pay him the tribute we owe him today? Stand reverently now, with uncovered head, And look on 'that Servant' and honor the dead! A Man has gone from us, leaving none in his place, Yet his Message of Truth men can never efface. He'd the mind of a master, the heart of a child, The courage of Caesar, a soul undefiled. He'd the love of a father, a shepherd's kind care, The faults of a human and sympathy rare. He lifted a standard and held it up high. He lived--ready to live and ready to die!"
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THE HOLY CITY
--DECEMBER 17.--`REVELATION 21:1-4,22-27`.--
THE NEW JERUSALEM--THE NEW SPIRITUAL GOVERNMENT OF THE MILLENNIAL AGE--THE NEW HEAVENS AND EARTH SYMBOLIC EXPRESSIONS INDICATIVE OF NEW CONDITIONS TO PREVAIL UNDER MESSIAH'S RULE--THE NEW SPIRITUAL
GOVERNMENT TO BE INVISIBLE--IN ANOTHER FIGURE CALLED THE TEMPLE OF GOD--THE EARTHLY REPRESENTATIVES
OF THE MESSIANIC KINGDOM--THOSE WHO
WILL CONSTITUTE THE HEAVENLY PHASE.
"Behold, the Tabernacle of God is with men, and He shall dwell with them, and they shall be
His peoples."--`Verse 3`. R.V.
PARADISE, the Garden of God, was applicable as a name to Eden, where our first parents resided while they were still in harmony with God--before their disobedience. The same name is Scripturally applied to the new earth when Restitution blessings shall, during the Millennium, have brought it to perfection as the abode of those who under Divine favor shall then prove worthy of life everlasting.
It was to this Paradise that the Apostle Paul was in vision "caught away" when given a glimpse of various features of the Divine Plan, not then due to be understood by the Church in general--"things not lawful to be uttered." (`2 Corinthians 12:4`.) The Apostle St. John was similarly caught away in vision, and shown some of the wonders of the Paradise epoch. But these were only in symbols, which he was permitted to report, and which have been comparatively misapprehended, until now, in the Lord's due time, the Holy Spirit is guiding His people into the Truth of this subject, as well as upon others; for "the time is at hand," and the information is "meat in due season" for the Household of Faith.
Elsewhere this Paradise of the future is referred to by the Apostles as "the third heaven," and as "a new heavens and a new earth." (`2 Corinthians 12:2`; `2 Peter 3:13`.) They are not referring to new planets, nor to heavens ranged one above another, as many have supposed, but to the third of three great periods of time, beginning with man's creation and extending into the illimitable future. The first of these periods, termed the first heavens and earth--the old order of things--passed away with the Deluge of Noah's day. The second period, "the heavens and the earth which are now," the present order of things, are reserved of God to pass away with a great symbolic fire of trouble--revolution, etc.--which will utterly destroy the present spiritual powers and the present social arrangements.--`2 Peter 3:6,7`; `Galatians 1:4`; `Zephaniah 3:8,9`.
The third great period is to be a "world without end," under Divine administration. This will be the third heavens and the third earth, or the new heavens and the new earth, which will differ from the present condition of things in that they will be righteous! whereas the present arrangement is imperfect, unrighteous. The "new heavens" will consist of the new spiritual ruling powers of the future--Christ the Head, and the Church His Body. The present heavens consist of the nominal religious systems which, while claiming Christ for their Head, nevertheless bow in a very large degree to Antichrist, "the god of this world," "the prince of this world," "who now worketh in the children of disobedience," and who is captivating and blinding the whole world, with the exception of the few whose eyes of understanding have been opened, who are under special blessing and leading, who are taught of God--the Little Flock, "heirs of the Kingdom."--`Ephesians 2:2`; `2 Cor. 4:4`.
"THE PARADISE OF GOD"
It is to this new heavens and new earth condition, this Paradise of God, that today's Study introduces us. As the "new heavens" do not mean a new place for God's Throne, so the "new earth" does not mean another planet. The "new heavens" are a new condition, the spiritual power and control of Christ and His glorified Church; so the "new earth" means a new social order on this planet--"the new heavens and earth"--constituting the world to come--"wherein dwelleth righteousness." (`2 Peter 3:10-13`.) The declaration of our lesson is that the former heavens and the former earth--which are now--will then have passed away and will be no more. All present institutions are to perish utterly in the great Time of Trouble with which this Age is very shortly to end.
"And there shall be no more sea." As we have already seen, the sea is a symbol for the masses of people in a restless and unstable, anarchistic condition--just as the land represents the social order, and as the mountains represent the kingdoms of the present time. As there is no reference to the physical earth and the physical heavens being destroyed, so there is no reference to the physical sea being obliterated. The symbol signifies that under the new arrangement, under the control of the new Heaven--spiritual powers--the reconstructed social order will be so satisfactory, so complete, so thorough, that there will be no more sea class--no more restless people, no more dissatisfied masses, no more anarchists. Everything will be reduced to law and order; and under the new regime law and order will secure justice to every creature, obliterating the differences of wealth and power as they now exist.--`Isaiah 2:12-22`.
THE NEW JERUSALEM
In the symbolism of Scripture a city represents a government; as, for instance, symbolic Babylon is denominated "that great city [government] which ruleth over the kings of the earth." (`Revelation 17:18`.) The New Jerusalem symbolizes the new spiritual Government of the Millennial Age. It is not earth-born; it is not reared by men; but, as pictured in today's Study, it descends from God out of Heaven. That is, it is spiritual in every sense of the word--of God and not of men. It is for this Kingdom, this Government, that our Lord taught His disciples to pray, "Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth, as it is done in Heaven."
The declaration that the City is adorned as a bride for her husband implies its beauty, grandeur and perfection, as a bride's adornment on such an occasion is particular and elaborate to the last degree. Additionally, the statement reminds us that in the government of the future the world's judges are to be the saints selected throughout the Gospel Age and qualified through faithfulness in trial and tribulation. (`1 Cor. 6:2`.) In the Scriptures these are frequently called "the Bride, the Lamb's Wife" and Joint-heir in the Kingdom.
We are not to think of this Holy City as being composed of literal stones, coming down through the air. On the contrary, we are to remember that the saints of the Gospel Age are "living stones," as the Apostles explain. (`1 Peter 2:4-7`; `Ephesians 2:19-22`.) This glorious City will not be visible to the natural eye. Neither Christ nor the saints in glory can be seen of men. Only those who are changed from human to spiritual nature will see these matters in full. But the whole world will quickly be made aware of the fact that a new Government has been instituted--a government of righteousness and all power--and that thereafter whosoever doeth righteousness shall be blessed, but that whosoever doeth evil shall be punished proportionately.
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The entire Gospel Age has been devoted to the preparation of this New Jerusalem. As a whole, it comprises all of the saints, from our Lord Jesus Christ down to the last member of the Church. Not until all of the members of the Body of Christ have been chosen, found faithful, fitted and prepared for their places will this City of God descend to earth in power and come into possession or control of the earth. The coming of the New Jerusalem to the earth is the symbolic representation of the establishment of God's Kingdom in the earth; for a city is a well-known symbol representing government, control. Thus Washington City represents the United States government; Petrograd, the Russian government; Paris, the French government; Rome, the Italian; Berlin, the German; London, the British; etc.
THE GLORIFIED TEMPLE
The `third verse` of today's Study associates this City with the other figure of a symbolic Temple which the Lord is now preparing, and of which the saints will constitute the "living stones" and "pillars." It is declared that the Tabernacle of God [His Dwelling] shall be with men in this City [Government or Kingdom]. It will be His Temple; and the world of mankind will approach God in it, to receive the Divine blessings, just as Israel approached the typical Tabernacle and the Temple in their typical religious services. Thus God, represented in His Church--The Christ, Head and Body--will dwell with the world of mankind during the Millennial Age, and they shall be His people; that is to say, all mankind will be treated from the standpoint of reconciliation. The Propitiation-price for the sins of the whole world having been paid, and the due time having come for the manifestation of Divine favor, all peoples shall be treated as the Lord's people. None of them shall be treated as aliens, strangers, foreigners from God and His promises.
While the Millennial Kingdom will be the Kingdom of God's dear Son, it will also be the Kingdom of God; for God's dear Son and His Joint-heir, the Church, will be in absolute accord with the Father; and all that shall be done under their control will fully and completely represent the Divine will respecting men. Nevertheless, it will be a Kingdom separate from the remainder of the Universe, as the Apostle Paul indicates. (`1 Cor. 15:24,25,28`.) "He must reign until He hath put all enemies under His feet....And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also be subject to Him that did put all things under Him....Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the Kingdom to God, even the Father"--at the close of the Millennial Reign.
THE WORK OF THE KINGDOM
Since God is the Author of all the blessings of Redemption and Restitution, and since every good and every perfect gift cometh down from Him, the record appropriately declares that "God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes"--the eyes of mankind. Though Christ and the Church will do it, nevertheless the Heavenly Father will be recognized as the First Cause, the Fountain of Blessings. The wiping away of tears implies a gradual work, such as we see shall be the process of that glorious time. At the beginning of the Messianic Reign mankind will not be exempt from weakness, trial and difficulty; but as they conform to the laws of the Kingdom all cause for distress will gradually pass away; and the Restitution blessings will gradually lift them out of death into perfect life.--`Acts 3:19-23`.
In `verse 4` the work of the whole Millennial Age is summed up in a few words. What a glorious sunburst of blessing is in these words! What a grand fulfilment of St. Peter's declaration respecting the Times of Restitution! This declaration, however, applies to the very end of the Millennial Age rather than to any previous part of that Age; for other accounts show us unmistakably that there will be imperfections, chastisements and stripes throughout that Age, while mankind are being lifted up As our Lord expressed it, the raising up of mankind throughout the Millennium will be a "resurrection by judgment" --chastisements, disciplines.--`John 5:28,29`. R.V.
Even at the close of that Age, as we are shown in another pen-picture of that time, there will be a severe trial and testing to demonstrate to what extent the enforced obedience of the Messianic Reign shall have rightly affected the hearts of those who experience its blessings, so that they shall love righteousness and hate iniquity. (`Revelation 20:7,8`.) In that final test any who shall manifest that his heart contains anything aside from loyalty to God and to the principles of righteousness shall have his part in the Second Death.
`Verse 5` comprehends the entire Millennial Age. Our Lord Jesus Christ, then in the Throne of earth's dominion, declares, "Behold, I make all things new." This expression does not relate merely to rocks, trees, etc., but to the great work which our Lord undertook; namely, the regeneration of humanity--of as many of Adam's race as will, under favorable conditions of knowledge, develop characters in full accordance with the Divine will. The end of the Millennial Age will see the work completed. All of the wicked--all who will not hear the voice of that Prophet, Teacher, King--will be cut off from amongst the people in the Second Death. But all the willing and obedient will be made new, brought to the complete perfection contemplated in the original Divine Plan.
THE HEAVENLY CITY RESPLENDENT
Here our Study turns to a consideration of the City, the glorified Church, the Kingdom class, those who during the Millennial Age will be "Kings and priests unto God, and reign upon the earth" for "a thousand years." (`Revelation 1:6`; `5:10`; `20:4,6`.) This City class, the glorified Church, it is declared will have need of neither sun nor moon. Nothing in this statement indicates that the world will not both need and have sunlight and moonlight during the Millennial Age and subsequently.--`Psalm 72:5`.
While it will be true that the Church, as spirit beings, will not need the literal sunlight and moonlight, nevertheless this is not the thought of `Verse 23`. Both sun and moon here are symbolical, as in `Revelation 12:1`. The sun signifies the light of this Gospel Age. The moon signifies the typically reflected light of the Gospel in the Law and the Prophets of the Jewish Dispensation. The glorified Church will have no need of the light which in the present time she so much enjoys through the Word and the Spirit. Instead, she will have a much more excellent glory. To this St. Paul refers when he says, "Now [with all the light, privileges and opportunities which we enjoy, as respects the representations of God through the Law and the Prophets and through the instructions and leadings of the Spirit in the present Age] we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face; now we know in part; then we shall know even as we are known."--`1 Corinthians 13:12`.
The Church, the Temple of God, will be so filled with all the fulness of God, when made like her glorious Lord (`1 John 3:2`), that nothing could add to her blessings of knowledge and Divine favor. She will be so filled with the glory of God that from her, as from her Lord and Head, shall proceed the light of the glory of God, which shall heal and bless the world during the Millennial Age. This is the Sun of Righteousness to which our Lord referred in `Matthew 13:43`: "Then shall the righteous
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shine forth as the Sun in the Kingdom of their Father"-- our Lord Jesus, the Head of the Church, of course being included. The Prophet mentions the same Sun of Righteousness, saying, "The Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His beams." (`Malachi 4:2`.) Nevertheless we are not to lose sight of the fact that Christ is the Head of the Church, even as the Father is the Head of Christ Jesus. (`1 Cor. 11:3`.) Hence the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb will always be an inner Temple in this great Temple which God has provided for the world's blessing during Restitution Times.--`Verse 22`.
THE BLESSINGS SHED FORTH UPON MANKIND
When this Sun of Righteousness shall shine forth, its blessings of healing, refreshment and life--mental, moral and physical--shall fall upon all mankind; and the nations shall walk in the light therefrom. Old MSS. do not contain the words "of them that are saved" (`Verse 24`). Indeed, it is because the nations are NOT SAVED that they need this special light during the Millennial Age, in order to their enlightenment, their salvation, their Restitution. Nor do the words "and honor" occur in old MSS. "And the kings of the earth do bring their glory into it."
The expressions, "nations" and "kings," are not to be understood as signifying that during the Millennial Age the world of mankind will be divided into nationalities and kingdoms as at present. The word "nations" here signifies peoples, and is intended to show that all peoples, not merely the Israelites, will be thus favored under God's Kingdom. The word "kings" represents those princes, or chief ones, who during the Millennial Age will be the representatives of the Heavenly, spiritual, invisible Kingdom of Christ.
These princes, as we have already seen, will be Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all the faithful Prophets of the previous Ages, who loved God before the Call to the Kingdom and to the Bride class went forth. Therefore they cannot be of the Bride class; but because of their faithfulness they will be the princes whom the Lord will establish in all the earth. First, however, He will make them perfect human beings and will qualify them for their office, as a reward for their faithfulness to God in the dark times in which they lived--their manifestation of love for righteousness and their trust in the Omnipotent One.--`Psalm 45:16`; `Hebrews 11:39,40`; `Luke 13:28`.
The bringing of their glory into the City, the Kingdom, signifies their acknowledgment of this Heavenly Kingdom, their rendering of tributes of praise, thanksgiving, worship and obedience to it as God's Agency. This rendering of glory to the Kingdom will continue throughout the entire Millennial Age; for the princes throughout the earth will make known to the peoples that not in their own name or authority do they rule and execute judgment and establish righteousness, but in the name of the glorified Christ, Head and Body, whose representatives they are. The result will be that all peoples will ascribe honor, praise, majesty and glory to the Lord's Anointed, through whom Redemption and Restitution is being accomplished.--`Verse 26`.
Then, in consideration of the fact that this book of symbols, while relating to the future, is addressed to God's consecrated Church of the present time--The Elect --and in view of the fact that this message would be more or less understood by those who would seek to make their calling and election sure to a part in the glorious New Jerusalem, `Verse 27` is added, declaring that "in nowise shall there enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination nor maketh a lie; but they which are written in the Lamb's Book of Life."
The Lamb's Book of Life we must understand to include only those who attain to the position of joint-heirship with Christ, those whose names are written in Heaven during this Gospel Age and who are faithful to their Covenant. (`Psalm 50:5`.) What an incentive we have here to faithfulness! What a warning against the slightest sympathy with anything unclean, untrue, or in anywise contrary to the Divine standard of holiness! If we appreciate the glorious Divine provision for the Church and for the world, these promises will have their influence upon us; and under that influence we shall strive to keep our garments unspotted from the world, to be without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that thus we may abide in our Lord's love, and in the due time be "meet for the inheritance of the saints."--`Col. 1:12-14`; `Heb. 4:14-16`.
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"UNTO US A SON IS GIVEN"
--DECEMBER 24.--`ISAIAH 9:2-7`.--
A PICTURE OF MESSIAH AND HIS MILLENNIAL KINGDOM--DARKNESS
STILL MEASURABLY COVERS THE WORLD--THE LIGHT
OF THE WORLD SHINING FROM CHRIST AND HIS FOLLOWERS --THE RISING OF THE SUN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS TO SCATTER
THE DARKNESS--THE WORLD TO BE CLEANSED FROM
ALL OPPOSITION TO THE DIVINE GOVERNMENT--MESSIAH
TO BE THE AGENCY THROUGH WHICH EARTH'S CLEANSING
AND LIGHTING WILL BE ACCOMPLISHED.
"For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the Government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall
be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."--`Verse 6`.
WE AGREE with Leeser's translation of the Old Testament that the `first verse` of the chapter from which today's Study is taken should properly be the `last verse` of the preceding chapter--that the `second verse` of our lesson begins a new topic. With it, therefore the Study for today properly begins.
`Verse 2`. After the Hebrew idiom this statement pertaining to the future reads as if it related to something in the past--just as in `Verse 6` we read, "Unto us a Child is born," whereas Jesus was not born at that time nor until several centuries later. The promised great Light is not yet shining upon the people. Mankind still dwell in the land of the Shadow of Death. The shadows of the demoralized, sinful, dying condition of Adam's race affect all of life's interests for the whole world of mankind. As the Apostle explains subsequently, "The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now."--`Romans 8:22`.
We are still in the time when "darkness covers the earth [civilized society], and gross darkness the people [the heathen]." True, there is a measure of light in the world. True, also, that light emanated from our dear Redeemer, His words and His works; and it still shines forth from all who are truly His, all whose hearts are illuminated by His promises and His Spirit. But this is not the light which is to scatter all of earth's darkness and to cause all mankind to appreciate the glory of God. It is merely "the light that is in you"--in believers. It is a light of faith, a light of hope, a light of love ignited in the hearts of the Little Flock, who shine as lighted candles in the world and who are admonished to shine brightly.
Our Lord's light shone into a little corner of the world called Palestine: and from His lamp many followers have
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lighted their lamps. To these the Master's instruction is, "Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven"; "Put not your light under a bushel, but upon a lampstand, that it may give light unto all in the House." But He adds, "Every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds be reproved."-- `Matthew 5:15,16`; `John 3:20`; `2 Cor. 4:4`.
THE TRUE LIGHT OF THE WORLD
That the True Light is not now shining, that the Sun of Righteousness has not yet arisen with healing in His beams, is fully evidenced by the gross darkness of heathendom and by the lesser darkness of Christendom. In proportion as Jesus' true followers have kept their lights trimmed and burning, in that proportion a measure of light has spread throughout the world. But all this is merely the shining of light in the midst of darkness and at the present time and under present conditions a light wholly inadequate to dispel the night and to bring in the glorious Day for which the whole creation groans and waits. That glorious Day cannot come until the Lord shall first have found the members of His Body, who together with Himself shall constitute the Sun of Righteousness. --`Malachi 4:2`; `Matthew 13:43`.
The glorious prospect is that very soon the Church of Christ will be completed, that soon the Sun of Righteousness will shine. Soon its rays will light the uttermost parts of the earth. Then ultimately every child of Adam, sharer in his curse, shall be a sharer in Messiah's great work of blessing by being brought under the influence of that great Light which will constitute the Millennial Age a Day of glory and of knowledge of the Lord--the Golden Age of prophecy.
The prophecy of `Verse 2` of our Study goes beyond the living of that time and assures us that the Light will shine to those who are in the shadow of death--those who are in Hades, in darkness. Upon every member of Adam's race the light must shine; for Christ hath tasted death for all. As all of Adam's children were condemned before their birth, so Christ died for all, and the majority before their birth. As surely as they shared in the curse that came upon Father Adam, so surely will they receive a blessing from the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ.--`Romans 5:17,18`.
MULTIPLICATION BY RESURRECTION
`Verse 3`. "Thou hast multiplied the nation, thou hast increased their joy; they joy before Thee according to the joy in harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil." This, the Revised Version rendering, is evidently the correct one. This pictures the world of mankind during the Millennial Age, brought forth from the bondage of death, released from the Adamic curse, rejoicing as those who are dividing a spoil--sharing in something which is not theirs, something which has fallen to them. It will be just so. The blessings of the Millennium will be distributed as Divine bounty; the curse will be rolled away; the Sun of Righteousness will shine for all with healing in His beams, bringing Restitution to all; and none will forfeit the blessings except those who wilfully refuse them and who do despite to God's favor.
The same is true now to those who receive Divine mercy. It is a gift; they can do nothing for it; they are merely assured that they are forgiven. The difference is that now only a very few have the eye to see, the ear to hear and the heart to appreciate God's mercy as it is told us in the Good Tidings which can be understood only by the hearing of faith. By and by, after the selection of the elect class, the Church, sight and knowledge will largely take the place of faith. The world will then realize the grace of God in Christ Jesus, forgiving their sins and providing them with life everlasting if they will accept it; and they will rejoice to divide the great spoil, the great gift of God.--`Romans 6:23`.
`Verse 4` delineates the cause for this rejoicing. It will be because the great oppressor, Satan, will no longer have control. His yoke of sin, sorrow, pain and death, his rod and his staff of affliction and slavery, will be broken forever, as the Lord explains. (`Revelation 20:1-3`.) The victory over the Adversary is not to be a slow and gradual one, not to be accomplished by missions or any human power; but the Lord Himself will interpose His Power, "as in the day of Midian."
THE ANTITYPICAL GIDEON'S BAND
The day of Midian was the day when Gideon and his little band of Israelites met the hosts of Midian. (`Judges 7:15-22`.) Suddenly, at the breaking of the pitchers and the blowing of the rams' horns, the Lord overwhelmed the powerful enemies of His people and granted them a miraculous deliverance. Gideon evidently prefigured our Lord Jesus; and his little band prefigured the Little Flock of Christ--the saints, the Very Elect. It was after the testing, the sifting, of Gideon's little band that the Lord granted the great deliverance. Thus will it be at the end of this Age. As soon as the antitypical Gideon's Band, the Royal Priesthood under the captaincy of their Lord Jesus Christ, shall have given their Message and shall have let their feeble lights shine out, the Lord will grant the great victory for truth and righteousness through a Time of Trouble which will eventuate in the binding of Satan and the release of all the oppressed.
We read of the grand consummation, the end of sin and trouble, in `Verse 5`, which Leeser translates thus: "For all the weapons of the fighters in the battle's tumult and the garments rolled in blood shall be burned, become fuel for the fire." The interpretation of this figurative statement is that all of the weapons of Satan, all the accessories of sin and death, everything that pertained to this great conflict between righteousness and unrighteousness which has prevailed in the world for centuries, shall be utterly destroyed. The picture shows us the world cleansed from every evidence of opposition to the Divine Government and the Law of Righteousness, and accords well with the statement in `Revelation 5:13`.
HOW WILL IT BE BROUGHT ABOUT?
`Verse 6` gives us the explanation of the process by which the foregoing prophecy of blessing and release from the oppressor shall be accomplished. The Lord would draw the attention of all having the hearing ear to the fact that no such blessing and enlightenment could be possible until first Messiah should come. He would also show that Messiah would be born after the manner of mankind, but would nevertheless be the Son of the Living God.
How beautiful, how simple, is the entire statement from the standpoint of faith! Yet how possible it is for the wisdom of this world to stumble over even such simple statements as these, and to claim, as Higher Critics do, that this prophecy was wholly to the Israelites of Isaiah's day, and that the promised one was King Hezekiah! Blessed are our eyes if they see, and our ears if they hear, the true meaning of this prophecy and thus permit us to recognize in it the Messiah, the Sent of God, Immanuel-- "God with us"--to be the great Deliverer and to accomplish for us all the wonderful things which God hath promised by all the holy Prophets since the world began, confirming His Promise made to Abraham: "In thy Seed
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shall all the families of the earth be blessed."--`Acts 3:19-21`; `Genesis 12:3`; `Galatians 3:8,16,29`.
Continuing, the prophecy pictures the Child grown to manhood, and the government placed upon His shoulders --the responsibility falling upon Him as a royal mantle from the Heavenly Emperor, Jehovah. The prophecy steps over the earthly trials and sufferings of our Redeemer, the Head, and of the Church, His Body, throughout this Gospel Age. It ignores the names Beelzebub, Prince of devils, Man of Sorrows, etc.; and it points us to the complete and glorified Messiah at His Second Advent, as viewed from the standpoint of Jehovah and from the standpoint from which ultimately the whole world shall recognize Him, when every knee shall bow and every tongue confess to Him, to the glory of the Father.
"HALLOWED BE THY NAME"
A name stands for or represents the character, disposition, qualities or powers of an individual. Thus all these names, these titles, given to our Lord in `Verse 6`, represent His majesty, dignity, power and glory. Our Lord is already recognized by His true followers, who know Him as the most wonderful Counselor. No other counsel, no other teaching is like His. The world in general has yet to learn this fact respecting Him; but before the close of the Millennium it will be generally known. If after mankind shall have confessed Him as the wonderful, wise Counselor, Guide, Teacher, any of them shall then wilfully and deliberately ignore and reject His teachings, and shall sin wilfully and intentionally, such must die the Second Death.
Our Lord Jesus is recognized now by His true followers as the Mighty Lord, the Mighty God, but not as the Father. (`1 Cor. 8:6`.) He is the Father's Representative, Voice, Mouthpiece, the well-beloved Son whom the Father has clothed with glory, honor and immortality, and given all power in Heaven and in earth necessary to the accomplishment of the great work entrusted to Him, His fitness for which He demonstrated by His love and His loyalty even unto the death of the Cross.
Our Lord Jesus will be the Everlasting Father of the human race in the sense that Adam, their father, failed to give them life, and that our Lord redeemed Adam and all his posterity, thus becoming the Author of everlasting life to all who will obey Him. This will include all of the human family that will attain to everlasting life, except the Church class of this Gospel Age, who are chosen from out the world and begotten of the Heavenly Father to a new, spiritual nature. (`1 Peter 1:3`.) These spirit-begotten ones are separate and distinct from the world, and are Scripturally designated the New Creation. They are spoken of as the brethren of Christ in one figure, and as His Bride and Joint-heirs in another, but never as His children. To the world, however, He will be the Everlasting Father, or Life-giver through whom they may have everlasting life--life to all eternity--if they will become obedient to Jehovah's arrangements.
Another of our Lord's titles shall be that of the Prince of Peace. While His Kingdom will be introduced by the great Time of Trouble such as never before was, the trouble will not be of His producing. It will be the legitimate result of the wrong course of sin and selfishness fostered by the great oppressor, Satan. The Prince of Peace will subdue all enemies, all sin, all unrighteousness, all insubordination to the Divine will. He will neither fail nor be discouraged. Nothing shall hinder the accomplishment of this great mission entrusted to Him by the Father. His love of peace shall not hinder Him from dashing the nations to pieces as a potter's vessel, in order that righteousness shall be established upon a firm and sure foundation.--`Psalm 2:9`; `Revelation 2:26,27`.
"UPON THE THRONE OF DAVID"
`Verse 7`. The word David signifies beloved; and the kingdom entrusted to King David was God's Kingdom in a typical form, which was never to pass away. (`1 Chronicles 29:23`; `2 Samuel 7:16`.) It was maintained by the Lord down to the time of Zedekiah, when we are told that the crown and the scepter of authority and power were removed to be overturned until He should come whose RIGHT it is.--`Ezekiel 21:27`.
Our Lord in the flesh, as a descendant of King David, was the legitimate Heir to that Kingdom of David which was to have no end. But instead of establishing His Kingdom at His First Advent, He declared, "My Kingdom is not of this world"--not of this Age, not of this Dispensation--and began the selection of the Little Flock who in the world to come--the Millennial Age--will be His joint-heirs and associates in the Millennial Kingdom. This work of selecting the Church--the kings, rulers, priests--has since been in progress; and we have the assurance of God's Word that it will reach a final and glorious consummation worthy of our God.
When Christ and the glorified Church shall reign over the earth, their Rule will be the continuation or exaltation of the Kingdom of God which was begun in King David and Natural Israel. This greater David, this greater Beloved of the Father, full of grace and truth, will establish righteousness in the earth with judgment-- with punishments for wrong-doing and rewards for right-doing. "The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this."
INTERESTING ITEMS [CONTINUED FROM SECOND PAGE.]
1917 VOLUNTEER LITERATURE
The Society will have this ready for shipment about January 1. It was prepared by Brother Russell, and is specially appropriate for the times in which we are living. The leading article is: "The World on Fire." When ordering please mention B.S.M., Vol. 9, No. 1.
Classes are requested to place their orders as soon as possible that the Society may be able to estimate the quantity to be printed. In ordering do not figure on more than one copy for each English-speaking home. Where there are no Ecclesias, individual orders will be received. Volunteer numbers are supplied free of charge, transportation charges collect.
HYMNS OF DAWN--KARATOL EDITION
We now have the MILLENNIAL DAWN HYMNAL (with music) bound in black karatol, round corners, red edges, embossed in oriental gold leaf: price 50c; postpaid. We also have a good supply of the regular cloth-bound Hymnals, on which the price has not been advanced; 35c postpaid. Small flexible edition, without music, 10c each.
1917--YEAR TEXT MOTTO--1917
As our Year Text Brother Russell chose these words, "The Lord bless thee, and keep thee; the Lord make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee; the Lord lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace." (`Numbers 6:24-26`.) Price, postpaid, 60c per dozen; 10c each.
ADVERTISING PUBLIC MEETINGS
Owing to the very high price of paper the BIBLE STUDENTS MONTHLY will not hereafter be used to advertise public meetings for Pilgrims and others. We would suggest the use of cards and newspaper columns instead. We will be glad to furnish cuts of the speakers as usual.
WATCH TOWER RENEWALS
The friends are now so accustomed to looking at their WATCH TOWER wrapper for acknowledgment of receipt of renewal of subscription that we will not longer send post-card acknowledgment as heretofore. When a dollar is sent for renewal of your subscription the date on the outside of your wrapper will be advanced one year.
"POEMS OF DAWN"
Many of the friends are not aware that since the first edition of "Poems of Dawn," a second has been issued containing two indexes-- alphabetical and topical--and twenty-one additional poems--Karatol, 50c; Leather, 75c, postpaid.
The publishers advise us that there will be no more of these at prices on our former list. We are able, however, to secure a larger Leeser Bible, 7x10, at $2.25, cloth, postpaid.
YOUR "GOOD HOPES" FOR 1917
[The plan here proposed we designate "GOOD HOPES," because nothing is actually promised--only your generous hopes expressed, based upon your future prospects as they now appear to you. The plan has proved not only so beneficial to the cause of Truth but also so blessed to the hopers, for some years past, that we again commend it to all as Scriptural and good. Those who desire to make use of this plan can fill out both of these memoranda. One should be kept for the refreshment of your memory; the other mail to us.]
"WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY."
Dear Friends:--I have read with interest of the openings for the STUDIES and Tract work in foreign lands and here at home. I need not tell you that I am deeply interested in the spread of the Glad Tidings of the lengths and breadths, the heights and depths of redeeming love expressed for us in God's great Plan of the Ages.
I am anxious to use myself--every power, every talent, voice, time, money, influence, all--to give to others this knowledge, which has so greatly blessed, cheered and comforted my own heart and placed my feet firmly upon the Rock of Ages.
I have been considering carefully, and praying to be instructed, how to use my various talents more to my Redeemer's glory and for the service of His people--those blinded by human tradition who are, nevertheless, hungering for "the good Word of God," and those also who are naked, not having on the wedding garment of Christ's imputed righteousness, the unjustified, who stand, at best, in the filthy rags of their own righteousness. I have decided that so far as my "money talent" goes, I will follow the rule so clearly laid down for us by the great Apostle Paul (`1 Cor. 16:2`), and will lay aside on the first day of each week, according to my thankful appreciation of the Lord's blessings during the preceding week. Out of this fund I wish to contribute to the several parts of the Lord's work carried on by our Tract Society. Of course, I cannot in advance judge or state particularly what the Lord's bounty may enable me to set apart weekly, and hence you will understand the sum indicated to be merely my conjecture or hope, based upon present prospects. I will endeavor to contribute more than I here specify; and should I not succeed in doing as well, the Lord will know my heart and you, also, will know of my endeavors.
My only object in specifying in advance what I hope to be able to do in this cause is to enable those in charge of the work of publishing and circulating the Tracts, etc., to form estimates, lay plans, make contracts, etc., with some idea of what I will at least try to do in the exercise of this, my highly appreciated privilege.
My present judgment is that during the coming year, by self-denial and cross-bearing, I shall be able to lay aside on the first day of each week for Home and Foreign Mission Work (to assist in circulating SCRIPTURE STUDIES in foreign languages, and in publishing the BIBLE STUDENTS MONTHLY in various languages, and in supplying these gratuitously to brethren who have the heart and opportunity to circulate them widely, and in meeting the expenses of brethren sent out as Lecturers to preach the Divine Plan of Salvation, and in general to be expended as the officers of the Society may deem best), the amount of........................per week.
To comply with United States Postal Laws, all or any portion of my donation may be applied as subscription price for WATCH TOWER sent to the Lord's poor or others, as the Society's officers may deem advisable.
That the work be not hindered, I will endeavor to send you what I shall have laid aside for this cause at the close of each quarter. I will secure a Bank Draft, Express Order or Postal Money Order as I may find most convenient, and will address the letter to
WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY
BROOKLYN TABERNACLE, 13-17 HICKS ST., BROOKLYN, N.Y. or, London Tabernacle, Lancaster Gate W., England; or,
Flinders Building, Flinders St., Melbourne, Australia.
(Post Office)....................... (State).............
WATCH TOWER SUBSCRIPTIONS
ON "GOOD HOPES" ACCOUNT.
The friends who contribute to the "Good Hopes" (described on the reverse of this sheet) at times desire to send THE WATCH TOWER to friends who are not yet interested enough to subscribe for themselves, or to deeply interested friends who are too poor to subscribe and backward about accepting our Lord's Poor offer. They are invited to give us such addresses below--the expense to be deducted from their donations. Give full name and address, and write very plainly, please, mentioning the length of the subscriptions:
WATCH TOWER SUBSCRIPTION RENEWALS
Most of our subscriptions end with the year, so we take this opportunity to remark that we shall be glad to hear promptly from such as desire the visits of THE WATCH TOWER continued. The Lord's Poor friends have been requested to send their applications in May. When names are dropped and afterward renewed it makes us unnecessary trouble. When desiring to know date of expiration look on your TOWER wrapper. Date is given in lower left-hand corner.
A PRIVILEGE AND A SERVICE
We are convinced that THE WATCH TOWER lists do not contain the names of many of those deeply interested in its teachings. The total is small enough surely, and we are not content that the name of any should be missing. We believe that all such will be stimulated and encouraged on the "narrow way" by its semi-monthly appearance on their table, reminding them afresh of spiritual matters which the world, the flesh and the Devil continually tend to crowd out of mind and heart.
We have at times required that all desiring THE WATCH TOWER on credit, or free, as "the Lord's Poor," should make personal application; now we request every subscriber to inquire among those whom he knows to be interested in Present Truth, and to obtain the consent of all such to send in their subscriptions either on credit or free, as their circumstances may necessitate. Any getting it on credit may at any future time request that the debt be canceled, and we will cheerfully comply. We desire that as nearly as possible THE WATCH TOWER lists shall represent all deeply interested in its message.
Our object is not the gain of "filthy lucre," but "the perfecting of the saints for the work of ministry"--present and to come. (`Eph. 4:12`.) We offer no premiums, desiring the cooperation of such only as appreciate the privilege of being coworkers with us in this ministry.
*CREATION DRAMA SCENARIO
This is a condensed statement of the Divine Plan of the Ages--profusely illustrated--much information in little space. The ninety-six short, pithy lectures of the CREATION DRAMA can be supplied in print as follows: De Luxe, gold edges, embossed, 400
illustrations ........................... $1.00 postpaid Cloth, burnished edges, embossed, 400
illustrations ........................... .65 " Paper in three booklets, complete, per set.. .25 " A Newspaper edition in 4 Parts................ .05 " IN GERMAN, SPANISH, ITALIAN, GREEK, POLISH,
ARMENIAN: Cloth bound, complete....................... .65 " Paper " " ....................... .25 " Newspaper edition, 3 Parts, 2c ea.; per set. .05 " IN SWEDISH: Cloth bound....................... .65 " Newspaper edition, 2c ea.; per set.......... .05 "
CHOICE MOTTO CARDS--1916-1917
We have, as usual, very choice sorts. These cards are made in Europe, hence subject to heavy expenses for freight and duty, especially since the war began. Nevertheless, we can supply them in the United States and Canada at less than retail European prices, because we supply them at about cost price--that is to say, about one-half the usual American prices. Besides this, we prepay postage or express charges. Our object is to encourage the embellishment of the homes of the Lord's people with faith-stimulating and courage-inspiring texts tastefully prepared. To facilitate the handling of these motto cards we assort them in packets, carefully packed, at the following prepaid rates:
Packet Ma--Twelve mottoes, small and medium, 50c.
Number Mb--Fourteen medium and small cards, $1.
Number Mc--Thirteen large, medium and small cards, $1.
Number Md--Four large and medium cards, $1.
Where $5 worth of these are sent to one address the saving in packing and expressage would be 50c., making the price $4.50. Order by number only.
*DAILY HEAVENLY MANNA
Those who use this book as we recommend are surely being blessed. Thousands testify to the help thus received. Its daily text should be read and commented on freely by all. Then the MANNA comment should be read. This book contains the same texts and comments as all former editions. Every alternate leaf is blank-ruled for use as an autograph and birthday record. Its value increases as additional autographs of friends are secured. It is printed on bond paper.
The following wholesale rates postpaid are granted to all WATCH TOWER subscribers: Purple cloth, gold embossed, gilt edges; English and Polish............................................ $0.60 Dark blue cloth, silver embossed, German............ .60 Leatherette, blue edges, Swedish and Norwegian...... .60 Leatherette, genuine gold edges, Swedish and Norwegian......................................... 1.10 Genuine Morocco, gold edges, English, Polish and Norwegian......................................... 2.00
We hope this little book will find a place at every breakfast table, that spiritual refreshment may thus be enjoyed with the natural food.
Hymns of Dawn, with music (Karatol)................. $ .50
Hymns of Dawn, with music (cloth)................... .35
Hymns of Dawn, without music (flexible)............. .10
Poems of Dawn (Karatol)............................. .50
Poems of Dawn (Leather)............................. .75
Bible Talks in Simple Language (half leather)....... 1.25
Memorizing Text-Cards (100 in pkg.--assortments,
No.1 and 2), per pkg..................................30
Scriptural Post Cards (assorted), doz. 15c; per 100. 1.00
CHARTS (Blue Prints, soft cloth):
Plan of the Ages, 5 ft. $1.85; 8 ft............... 2.50
Chronology of the Bible, 7-1/2 ft................. 2.00
Tabernacle of the Wilderness, 7-1/2 ft............ 2.00
BINDERS for THE WATCH TOWER:
Spring Back (holds 1 yr.)......................... .60
CROSS & CROWN PINS (Gold, with red enamel):
5/8"--No. 1 Ladies' Style, No. 2 Gents', each..... 1.15
1/2"--No. 3 Gents' Style, No. 4 Ladies', each..... 1.00
5/8" celluloid, per doz., 25: each............... .03
Missionary Envelopes, per 100 .30: per 1000......... 3.00
Vow Bookmarks (paper) per 100 .25; (silk) each...... .05
*Booklets (on Hell, Spiritism, Evolution, Tabernacle
Shadows, Our Lord's Return)....................... .10
*Question Booklets on each Vol. of SCRIPTURE STUDIES
and on THE TABERNACLE, each .07; per doz........ .84
Report on Foreign Missions, each.................... .05
THE WATCH TOWER (semi-monthly), per year............ 1.00
The Divine Plan of the Ages (Za), WATCH TOWER
form, ea.......................................... .10
What Say the Scriptures about Hell (Hz.), WATCH
TOWER form, ea.................................... .05
Judge Rutherford's Defense of Pastor Russell, each 10c,
per 100........................................... 8.00
THE BIBLE STUDENTS MONTHLY, per year................ .12
Tracts in all languages............................. FREE
*Colporteurs and Class Secretaries may deduct one-half from above prices on MANNAS, BOOKLETS and SCENARIOS if shipment consists of 50 or more volumes, charges collect.