Question Book / Qb687 - T Thru Z
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TABERNACLE--Re Outside Camp. ::Q687:2:: QUESTION (1909)--2--The camp represents the world. Our sufferings are caused by our actions while among those of the world. What is represented by the expression, "Outside the camp," if the camp represents the world?
"And the flesh and hide he burned with fire outside the camp." (`Lev. 9:11`.)
"Wherefore, Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp bearing his reproach." (`Heb. 13:12,13`.)
ANSWER.--We understand it signifies that Aaron and his sons, and the Levites who served with them in the Tabernacle service had a two-fold life; one while serving the Tabernacle, and the other living outside the Tabernacle, for they went home to their own families, etc., and only served in the Tabernacle at times, and they had their life in the camp with the rest of the world. So, you and I, according to the flesh, are still in the world, but we are not of the world. As new creatures we have our service toward God in connection with holy things, the spiritual things. So far as our flesh and earthly lives are concerned, we have our relations still. You live in the same time, and live next
door to a worldly neighbor, and you must bear the reproach of those living as a consecrated priest of the Lord. These things separate you from the world and lead you to do things in a sacrificial way, and sacrificing worldly interests cause you to suffer, and that is so much of the burning of the carcass outside the camp. You count yourself as dead, so that which happens to you happens to your dead body; as the Apostle said, "Let us go to him outside the camp."
Who is the High Priest of our profession? Christ Jesus our Lord. What did He suffer? He suffered all manner of contention and opposition from the world and from the nominal people of God against himself. He said, If they call the Master of the house Beelzebub, what shall they call the servants. If they crucified him, do you expect that they would receive you very favorably? He tells us that the servant shall not be above His Lord, but that he should be as His Lord. They cast out His name as evil, and called Him the prince of devils; said He had a devil, was mad, that He was a deceiver and was deceiving the people. If they say such things of you today you need not be surprised.
Outside the camp means rejected of the people. Why outside the camp, why not inside? Because there is a great stench of the burning flesh. Get a lot of flesh, hair and hones and burn it in your back yard and notice how much stench there is from it. Thus your sacrifice and mine are not appreciated by those who are in the camp and not of the Church; they do not appreciate the laying down of your lives in sacrifice, and if you should spend your time and gain in the service of the truth, they would speak evil of you and consider you foolish, and for the same reason that they did Him. It is the reproaches that fell upon Him that fall upon us, in like manner and for similar reasons.
TABERNACLE--Re Beginners for Study. ::Q688:1:: QUESTION (1910)--1--Do you think Tabernacle Shadows study would be too deep for a class just coming in? And do you count the first volume study as being a Berean study?
ANSWER.--I would not think a Tabernacle Shadow study would be too deep for a beginner. That is to say, my thought is that anybody coming to a Scripture study and likely to be interested at all would be a person who had some knowledge of God and some knowledge of his Word generally; and in taking up Tabernacle Shadows as a study I would think they were getting into a good place for anybody that was spiritually minded. And if they be not begotten of the spirit, then I suppose they would not be profited and would not understand; but neither would they understand very far in some of the other studies.
And so far as the first volume is concerned, I would certainly understand that to be a Berean study. They are all Berean studies. The term Berean studies comes from the fact that in olden times we read that Paul went down to Berea and preached to the people there, and that the Bereans were more noble than those of Thessalonica in that they searched the Scriptures daily to see whether or not these things were true. So then a Berean study is a study by those who have the Berean spirit to search to know the truth of the matter that is before them, those who want to investigate with an honest heart ; and I think that will apply
to all we have to present, because these are the only terms on which we present anything. Come and try, come and see, come and investigate to see whether or not it agrees with God's word or not. If you find it in disagreement, do not believe it. If you find it in agreement, receive it and be blessed with us.
I wished to say a moment ago, but forgot that feature, that there is another slight bit of Berean study, you remember, in the back part of our new Watch Tower Bible; there are certain Berean helps, and in those there are certain topics taken up. Some of the Lord's people, in some of their studies, would like to study a topic, and there are a number there, if you feel disposed to take up a variety of topics. If you will take up any one of them it will make a fine Berean study. The reference to the Towers and to the Studies is good, and also the Scripture reference, so that you have the whole matter there concisely stated, and might have a splendid Berean study, topically. All of these are Berean studies. We have nothing special to urge, except we think they are all good, and perhaps where there are a variety of meetings it might be well to take one style of Berean study for one meeting, and another style for another meeting; as, for instance, for one meeting we might take up the studies as they are appearing in the Watch Tower, and then for another meeting we might take up the studies as outlined in the back part of the new Bible, and perhaps for another one we might take up the first volume of Scripture Studies, or the fifth volume, or Tabernacle Shadows. You know we now have the questions on the fifth volume in pamphlet form. Also the questions on Tabernacle Shadows in pamphlet form. And it is our thought, by and by, to get questions out on all the volumes, because that seems to be so helpful a manner of study, and so many of the dear friends are being blessed by it.
TABERNACLE--Re Anointing Underpriests. ::Q689:1:: QUESTION (1905)--1--What about the statement on page 37 of Tabernacle Shadows that the underpriests were not anointed when it states in `Ex. 40:16` that they were?
ANSWER.--Well, it seems to be stated that way. The thought is this : there was only one high priest at a time. Christ is now the high priest and we are the underpriests, yet we have no standing with God, except as we are in Christ. In `Ex. 40:16` it speaks of anointing them as they anointed Aaron; it means that when the time comes for another to take Aaron's place they shall deal with him as they did with Aaron.
TABERNACLE--Reconciling Tabernacle, Altar, Etc. ::Q689:2:: QUESTION (1910)--2--`Lev. 15:20`. After speaking of the sacrifice of the bullock and the goat, we read "And when he had made an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, shall he bring the live goat." What does this typify?
ANSWER.--The holy place here represents the Court, and the tabernacle of the congregation represents the tabernacle proper, the Holy and Most Holy. After the priest with the blood of the bullock and of the goat had made reconciliation, atonement, satisfaction, for the Court and for the Tabernacle ; it does not mean for those places, but for those
people who are in those conditions. As, for instance, all whom we call the household of faith belong in the court condition, the holy place; and all who belong to the Royal Priesthood are in the Tabernacle condition, the Holy or in the Most Holy. Our Lord himself, and some of his brethren have already passed into the Most Holy, and some others are in the Holy, or first of these apartments. It would seem to be after the satisfaction of justice, in respect to all of these, the full offering of the Lord's merit, and the full acceptance of the whole matter, that then the sealing would take place with the live goat. The teaching of the type would seem to be that the tribulation that will come upon the Great Company will not come upon them in this official manner until after this dealing with the Little Flock has been completed. While the Great Company may be sharing in the tribulation of the past, yet this special dealing at the end of this age would seem to be after the Church had gone beyond the vail. Yet we must say this, dear friends, that every feature of type and prophecy belong to the future and is more or less uncertain until it is fulfilled. In other words, God did not give prophecy and type in advance for us to speculate upon, but so that when due we might know it. Just as our Lord said of himself at the first advent, that when they would see certain things fulfilled then they would know they were the fulfillment of the things written. So as we come down to the beginning of the time of trouble those who would then be living and witness the dealings of the Lord with the Great Company class would see something in that which would be helpful to them--perhaps more than you and I see now. The sacrificing of the Lord's goat has not yet been finished, and this dealing with the Great Company is something that takes place after the killing of the Lord's goat and the sprinkling of its blood.
TABERNACLE--Re Blood of Bullock Sprinkled on Goat. ::Q690:1:: QUESTION (1910)--1--If the Lord's goat of `Leviticus 16` represents the church being sacrificed for the world, why was not the blood of the bullock sprinkled on the goat?
ANSWER.--I will have to ask the Lord why he did not do it your way.
Paul the Apostle says, "Who hath known the mind of the Lord and who hath been his counsellor?" Well, he did not ask counsel of you or me, dear friends. That is the reason.
::Q690:2:: QUESTION (1910)--2--This would have shown a little better the typical significance.
ANSWER.--Well, perhaps the next time the Lord will ask you.
TABERNACLE--Interpretation Regarding Animals Sacrificed. ::Q690:3:: QUESTION (1910)--3--In regard to the `16th chapter of Leviticus`, please say what is your basis of interpretation regarding animals sacrificed on this day as sin-offerings and burnt-offerings?
For instance, why do you say the bullock is a type of Christ Jesus?
ANSWER.--Because I see it to be so. Why do I say that this is a gas lamp? Because I see that it is a gas lamp.
There are plenty of people who do not know that this is a gas lamp.
Why do you say the Lord's goat is a type of the Church? Because I see it is.
Why that the scape-goat is a type of the Great Company?
The same reason.
Can you give me the Scriptural usage for your interpretation?
Well, then, if all these things were explained in the Scriptures you would not need the pamphlet "Tabernacle Shadows," and God would not have given it to you. They are not all explained in the Bible. There came a due time for God to make clear the meaning of these types and he has made them clear to those who have an eye to see and an ear to hear. By this, we do not mean any unkindness to those who do not see. They have the majority on their side, all the Methodists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Lutherans, etc., etc.; all these friends are on the side which do not see these things--we are quite in the minority.
TABERNACLE--Re The Ram Representing a Class. ::Q691:1:: QUESTION (1910) --1--According to your interpretation of the bullock representing a class, and the Lord's goat a class, should we not expect that the ram would also represent a class?
ANSWER.--We have explained what we think the ram typifies, in Tabernacle Shadows. I might say that the Lord in his providence guided us to see that the bullock represented Christ; the goat meant the Church; we saw this from the Scriptures, not through any special voice or any other marvelous thing that happened. We have already explained it. The Apostle, you remember, speaking of this day of atonement, tells us about the bulls and goats which constituted the sin-offering, and whose blood was brought into the Most Holy to make an atonement for sin. Now there is only the one offering whose blood was brought into the Holy to make atonement. That offering was on the day of atonement and was in two parts; first, the bullock to make atonement for the high-priest's house; second, the Lord's goat to make atonement for the sins of all the remainder of the people. They were the only ones that could be meant. In that same condition, after telling about the matter, the Apostle says that the bodies of those beasts whose blood was taken into the Most Holy to make atonement for sin were burned outside the camp, and they were the only two who had this experience, whose blood was sprinkled to make atonement and whose bodies were burned outside the camp. When I saw this, I was sure I had the right thought. Then the Apostle said, Let us go to him outside the camp, and I saw that that represented the Lord's goat that went to the bullock outside the camp. Let us not have any quarrel with any who cannot see; that is to their disadvantage.
TABERNACLE--Re Begetting and Quickening. ::Q691:2:: QUESTION (1911)--2--At what point is the begetting and quickening typified in the tabernacle?
ANSWER.--The same difficulty again. We must not mix these different thoughts, any more than you would mix different parables. Take any two of the parables and if you mix them together you have confusion. And so here. To think
about the quickening and begetting, etc., in the tabernacle is not the correct thought. There was no quickening done in the tabernacle, there was no begetting done in the tabernacle. It is altogether a different thought. In harmony with the previous question the answer would be, then, that at the moment of passing into the Holy the person must be a Spirit-begotten one. There is nothing in the tabernacle to indicate anything about the quickening.
TABERNACLE--Re Levites Looking Into Holy. ::Q692:1:: QUESTION (1911)--1--In the tabernacle services, the Priest only entered the Holy; there was a penalty of death against the Levite, typical of justified believers, looking into the Holy. What was typified by this death penalty?
ANSWER.--I do not know that anything was typified by it, merely that no one was permitted to look in. All I see indicated there is, the death penalty was put there as indicating that nobody should look in.
TABERNACLE--Re "Basketful." ::Q692:2:: QUESTION (1911)--2--What is the significance of the word "basketful" in the text which speaks of the three cakes taken from the basketful which were laid on the hands of the priest by Moses?
ANSWER.--I presume that basketful means basketful; I do not know of any other meaning.
TABERNACLE--Two Altars Contrasted. ::Q692:3:: QUESTION (1911-Z)--3--"We have an altar whereof they have no right to eat which serve the Tabernacle." (`Heb.13:10`.) What is meant by this passage?
ANSWER.In this passage the Apostle is contrasting the Levitical priesthood, their services in the Tabernacle, and the table in the Holy at which they ate the shew bread, with the antitypical Tabernacle and its better table. In this connection he points out that, so far as the priesthood of Aaron was concerned, not only could the Church not be priests, but our Lord Jesus could not be; for this priesthood sprang from Levi, and Jesus was from another tribe, Judah. Therefore, if Jesus was on earth he could not be a priest. But now God had intended another order of Priests, namely, the Melchizedek Order, saying to David, "The Lord hath sworn and will not repent: Thou art a priest forever after the Order of Melchizedek." (`Psa. 110:4`; `Heb. 5:6`:) It is evident, then, that if Christ was to be a priest after the Order of Melchizedek, He would not be a priest after the order of Aaron.
When the Apostle has proved that we, as priests, have no right to intrude into the typical Holy or Most Holy, he then shows that they, of the house of Aaron, have no right to our place. They have no right to come into this antitypical Holy, which we enter. If they become members of the Royal Priesthood, they may enter; but their standing as members of the Aaronic priesthood does not give them the privilege. Thus he shows a discrimination between these two priesthoods, the Aaronic and the Melchizedek. We have the "better sacrifices"; we have the better services. We have, on the higher plane, everything that they had, typically, on the lower plane.
TABERNACLE--Incense in the Most Holy. ::Q692:4:: QUESTION (1911-Z)--4--Was it necessary that the incense should precede the high priest into the Most Holy when he went in to offer the blood of the goat?
ANSWER.--The offering of the incense originally on the Day of Atonement by the high priest gained for him recognition by the Almighty, and manifested his worthiness to appear in the presence of God. Therefore, there was no need of his offering any other sacrifice than this. All the work of Atonement was divided into two parts. If the type had shown the under-priests as going into the Most Holy, then it would seem to have been necessary for each to stop and offer incense before entering.
We are represented, not individually, but as members of the Body of Christ. So it would not be necessary for the incense to be offered more than the one time. It would seem, however, that the incense abode in the Holy and Most Holy. The sacrifice is still appreciated by the Heavenly Father, and always will be.
TABERNACLE--Blood and Incense--Both Had to Do with Justice. ::Q693:1:: QUESTION (1911-Z)--1--In the type, was the incense that which satisfied Divine Justice? If not, how is the satisfaction of Justice accomplished, and why was incense burned?
ANSWER.--Both the incense and the blood had to do with the satisfaction of Justice. We read that the incense must cover the Mercy-Seat. (`Lev. 16:13`.) In other words, unless the incense had gone forth the high priest would not have lived. This shows that unless our Lord had rendered up His human life satisfactorily He would have forfeited His right to life. In consecration He had agreed to this and had surrendered His earthly life-rights. If He proved faithful to His engagement, He would receive a higher life beyond the vail. So the satisfaction of Justice, represented in type by the incense preceding the high priest beyond the vail, would be a satisfaction for Himself and would testify that He had faithfully fulfilled the required conditions.
But as for the satisfaction of the sins of the Church and of the world, this is accomplished subsequently, not by the incense, but by the blood.
TABERNACLE--Levites Typical. ::Q693:2:: QUESTION (1911-Z)--2--Who were typified by the Levites?
ANSWER.--The Levites typified the "Church of the First-born, whose names are written in heaven." This statement--their "names are written in heaven"--implies that they are recognized as a spiritual class--have come into Divine favor.
We are given the history of the Levites as a typical tribe specially representing the first-born; and this history of the first-born refers us back to the time when the first-born of the tribe of Israel were spared on the night of the passover. That night symbolizes this Gospel Age, the time of darkness on the earth, when the Lord is taking out His Jewel class. This "Church of the First-born" have passed from death unto life-- all of these first-born, representing the entire "Church of the First-born," are represented in the tribe of Levi. Out from amongst these Levites were selected the priestly few, typifying our Lord and those who are faithfully walking in His steps. So the entire "Church of the First-born" will include a great multitude--more than the Body of Christ. The virgins who follow her (`Psa. 45:14`), all belong to this "Church of the First-born, whose names are written in heaven." The work of the Levites in
connection with the Tabernacle service is, undoubtedly, a symbolical one.
The high priest "went alone once every year" on the Day of Atonement--into the Most Holy. Apparently the under-priests did not go into the Most Holy on this day (`Heb. 9:6,7`), but into the first Holy, where were the candlestick and the table of shewbread and the golden altar of incense. They, doubtless, typified those who are seated with Christ in the heavenly (`Eph. 2:6`), and are thus much in advance of the general household of faith. The under-priests were the sons of Aaron, and, being of the priestly family, or household, occupied a higher position and had greater rights and privileges than were enjoyed by the remainder of the Levites. The picture of the under-priests going into the Holy seems to correspond to our experiences of the present time and not to our experiences of the future, when we expect to enter into the Most Holy through the rent vail.
The experiences of the antitypical Levites at the present time are different from what they will be in the future. At the present time they are in the Court condition, because only the members of the Body are privileged to go into the Holy and to know "the deep things of God." But when the articles of the Holy had been wrapped up, the typical Levites bore the precious things--were allowed to carry them. They could feel that they had a right to touch them in a general way, but not in the same way as the priests. This would seem to imply that none except those who are walking in the footsteps of Jesus could have a deep, full appreciation of the Divine Plan. Others might understand these things in a comparative degree, but not in their fulness.
We are to consider, then, that as the Levites performed a service in connection with the Atonement Day sacrifices, so they will have a special service after the Day of Atonement. On the Day of Atonement, when the people were waiting for the priest to come out and bless them, was not the particular time for the Levites in general to teach the people or for them to learn their important lesson; but, after this Day of Atonement, the Levites were the general teachers of all the people, explaining the Law to them. And so we see that this will be a part of the work of the antitypical Levites in the future. They will have no inheritance in the land and its blessings. They will be associated in the Kingdom work and in the instruction of the people. But just how this will be done we may not now definitely know.
We might also understand that the Levites in the Court very fittingly represent all those who desire to turn from sin and approach God and who are making progress toward complete justification. They are in a justified attitude from the moment they turn from sin and come into the Court. This implies faith and obedience. And so all who are in harmony with God in any sense of the word are, tentatively, Levites; but as to whether they will become actual Levites depends on whether they make entire consecration. If they do not make this consecration they will not receive the special blessings which would entitle them to the spirit plane. We all were in this sense of the word Levites--in the sense of approaching justification, desiring justification, desiring harmony with God and seeking it, putting away the filth of the flesh, etc.--but we did not reach that justification until
we presented our bodies living sacrifices and were begotten of the Holy Spirit and the new life was begun by which we passed from death unto life, by which we became the "Church of the First-born" and had our names written in heaven. Any who turn back before presenting their bodies living sacrifices fail to reach the fulness of justification, fail to have the justification to life--they fail in degree of faithfulness to right principle and in degree of harmony with God.
While the Court condition seems to represent at the present time all those who are approaching God and loving righteousness and desiring harmony with Him, it appears as though, with the closing of this Age, there will be an adjustment of matters by which all those who have not come to the point of full consecration and to the point of Spirit-begetting, who would not belong to the household of faith and to the "Church of the First-born," in the absolute sense, will go out and cease to be recognized as in the Court. Meantime, the class who have already made consecration, "presented their bodies living sacrifices," and received the begetting of the Spirit and enjoyed for a time the privileges of being members of the Body of Christ--these, failing to maintain their standing, are represented as separate from the "little flock" class, at the end of this Age. Their condition apparently is represented by the Court condition thereafter.
TABERNACLE--Significance of the Bullock's Blood. ::Q695:1:: QUESTION (1911-Z)--l--What did the blood of the bullock represent?
ANSWER.--The blood presented in the Most Holy represented the life, or life-rights of the one sacrificed; but the blood itself was a symbol of death. When blood is in the veins it is a symbol of life. The blood of the bullock, and, subsequently, the blood of the goat, in the hands of the priest, symbolically said, This animal is dead, and here is a proof of it. So the presentation of the blood meant the presentation of this sacrificed life with all the rights appertaining thereto.
Our Lord had certain life-rights when He died. The expression life-rights may properly be used also in connection with an individual who does not have life in the full sense, but who has made a full consecration and has been accepted by the Lord. Such a one is reckoned as having passed from death unto life. In the moment of his having righteousness imputed to him, he passes from death unto life. The Advocate has imputed to that one a sufficiency of His merit to compensate for any deficiency: He is thus rendered acceptable and is then in a reckonedly complete condition. He then has life-rights; and it is those life-rights that are said to be sacrificed, or presented to God. In this manner the person may be said to become a member of the great High Priest's Body. Christ imputes to him a sufficiency of merit to compensate for his demerit; and having been made acceptable to the Father by this imputation, he becomes a member of the Body of the great High Priest.
There is a difference between offering our sacrifice and presenting ourselves. Not we, but the High Priest, does the sacrificing. Before the High Priest accepts one as a member of His Body, He imputes to that one a sufficiency of
His merit to give him life-rights. By virtue of being reckoned perfect one has life-rights, a condition which permits him to be a sacrifice.
All those life-rights which our Lord possessed when He died were symbolically represented in the blood of the bullock; and with that blood the sprinkling was done in the Most Holy.
There was just one moment when the knife in the hand of the high priest smote and slew the bullock. That moment represented the moment when our Lord, at Jordan, became dead as a man and alive as a New Creature, when "He, through the eternal Spirit, offered up Himself without spot to God." But it was not as a New Creature that He offered up Himself, but as the man Christ Jesus. His spotless humanity was what He there offered. This He did through the eternal Spirit of Sonship and loyalty to God; and this was the opportune moment, the moment foretold in prophecy. Then He was acknowledged a Priest. If Christ were on earth, on the earthly plane, He could not be a priest according to the flesh, not being of the family of Aaron. The only Order of Priesthood, therefore, to which He belonged was a spiritual Order, the one mentioned in the Scripture which says: "Thou art a Priest forever after the Order of Melchizedek." (`Psa. 110:4`.) He was not a Priest according to the flesh, but as a New Creature.
The High Priest came into his office by virtue of his work of sacrifice. The bringing of the bullock into the Court meant its presentation for sacrificial purposes. So with Jesus. When He came to John at Jordan, He made a surrender of Himself. This the Father acknowledged. The disciples of the Lord presented themselves, but they were neither accepted as sacrifices nor begotten of the Spirit, until Pentecost. On that day, while they were waiting, God accepted the sacrifice, and made them priests at that moment.
TABERNACLE--All in the Court in Favor with God. ::Q696:1:: QUESTION (1911-Z)--1--Could any one be in the Court condition without being in God's favor?
ANSWER.--The Court of the Tabernacle represented a condition of Divine favor. But the Tabernacle represented Divine favor in a still higher sense and degree.
In the present time the Court represents the condition of all those who, exercising faith in God, are approaching nearer and nearer to Him and His service. Such are in favor with God because of their spirit of loyalty to Him, which leads them to go on step by step to know and to do His perfect will. God's perfect will respecting all those called in this Age is that they shall present their bodies living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to Him through the imputed merit of their Advocate--their Redeemer. But if, after full opportunity to know and to do His will, these hold back and refuse to make a consecration, from that time onward theirs will be a backward course in which there will be less and less Divine favor, until they will be back again in the world. But even then God's purposes for them are generous, for they may share with mankind in general the gracious provisions of the New Covenant for the thousand years of Messiah's reign.
Those who make the covenant of sacrifice and thereby
pass from the Court into the Holy enter into the highest favor with God, as children of God and joint-heirs with Jesus. But if, later, they fearfully hold back and neglect to complete their sacrifice, they may not remain in so close a fellowship, but will eventually be expelled into, the Court. There they will, indeed, be in God's favor as the Great Company class, unless they entirely draw back, in which event their portion will be the Second Death.
TABERNACLE--Nothing Specific About Urim and Thummin. ::Q697:1:: QUESTION (1912-Z)--l--Is there any revealtion as to what the Urim and Thummim consisted of, or how the priests were answered?
ANSWER.--There is nothing specific known on this subject. In some manner or other, it is supposed, the breastplate that was worn by the High Priest was used as the Urim and Thummim--that is, to give definite answer, Yes or No, to the questions that were propounded. For instance, if the question were asked, Shall Israel go out to war with this nation? or, Shall Israel enter into alliance with that nation? the Lord's answer was indicated by the breastplate. How these questions were answered, we are not informed. Nothing in the Scripture tells us, and we have no tradition even that gives any very clear answer. We know that they had the Urim and Thummim and that the answer was indicated in some way with the precious stones of the breastplate, but just how, nobody knows.
TABERNACLE--Great, Company and Second Death. ::Q697:2:: QUESTION (1912)--2--Does the Tabernacle show that there is a place in the Holy, beyond which one cannot pass as priest, and fall back into the Great Company, but if such fail as priests, is there nothing for them but Second Death?
ANSWER.--Only those who pass the Second Vail into the Most Holy, by the power of the First Resurrection, will be secured to the Royal Priesthood beyond the danger of failure. The Lord will decide whether we will be priests or Levites. I have seen some who apparently took great interest, and then for a time became inert, did not become great sacrificers, and then years afterwards became very fervent and sacrificed their very lives. One such was St. Paul. He was not only a persecutor of the Church at first, but after that he was three years in Arabia, then went to see St. Peter. Thirteen years later Barnabas hunted him up, found him at home in Tarsus Cilicia and got him started in preaching at Antioch, where they chose him one of the Elders. (`Gal. 1:17`; `Gal.2:1` and `Acts 11:25-30`.) If Paul had stayed in Arabia all the rest of his life merely studying and nursing his sore eyes, doubtless he would have been of the Second Company class. Barnabas said, Brother Paul, don't you want to be actively engaged in the Lord's service? Barnabas did much to encourage St. Paul and to start his activities, and once started there was no keeping him back. He was the greatest of all the Apostles in sacrifice--next to His Lord.
Suppose St. Paul had died during those years of inertia, what evidence have we that he would have made his calling and election sure? None. Was he meantime thrust out into the Court? No, he was still enjoying priestly privileges in the Holy. We do not know how much studying he did in
Arabia, nor do we see that he did much sacrificing during those years.
Now, if God could give him those years to determine what he would do, then He might do the same with anybody else, so far as we may know. The fact that one might be in an inert condition for a while does not mean that God had rejected him from the Holy condition. The decision of the Lord is at the end of our course. But now, perhaps, in the end of this age, conditions may be different. The Lord could not give us fourteen years, because all the sacrificing, so far as we know, will be accomplished in a very short time. And not only so, if we have not the spirit and disposition of sacrificing, He may set us aside sooner than that, because He wishes to complete the whole elect class before that time. Therefore it is a little different now.
TABERNACLE--Are Spirit Begotten in Court? ::Q698:1:: QUESTION (1912)--1--Is everyone who enters the Court condition during this Gospel Age spirit begotten?
ANSWER.--No. Nobody is spirit begotten when he enters the Court condition, as it is not a condition of spirit begetting. We have no quarrel with those who have a different opinion. Our opinion is given in Tabernacle Shadows, to the effect that the Court represents the condition of justification, and that those who are in that are in a so-called justified condition.
Justification means to be actually or tentatively justified What is the difference? Actual justification would be the bonifide or real thing; as, for instance, Jesus was actually perfect, approved of God, as being perfect. Not because of anything done to Him, nor because of anything reckoned to Him. He was actually perfect, just, or right in God's sight, because in Him was no sin. But none of us, His followers, are in that condition, because we are all "children of wrath, even as others" therefore, we cannot speak of ourselves as being in this condition.
We look back to Abraham and read that Abraham was justified through faith. Was this an actual justification of Abraham? Could he become actually right with God, by exercising faith? Then we remember the other Scriptures that, No one could be justified by works of the law, and that the only justification that could come to any would be by faith in Christ. Therefore, Abraham was not actually justified.
What way, then, was Abraham justified, and to what?
He was justified to receive God's favor, and justified to be treated as God's friend, and to be told secrets that God would tell to a friend and not to an enemy. Abraham believed God and he was counted as being a friend and as nearly right as possible, considering the fact that Christ had not died for the sins of the world.
Now, coming down to ourselves: Take somebody who has been a sinner, worldly, living after sin, and that person says, I would draw near to God, I have a hungering after God. I learn that eternal life is possible and that God is willing to give it to some. I am weary and heavy-laden with sin, and imperfect; I want to get to God. Such a desire would be the first step toward justification.
I remember a German sister who said, Brother Russell, when I went to school in Germany I was thrown with people
who were not at all religious, and I lost my God, and I would like very much to find Him. I am not happy and I see other people who are happy, and feel themselves as children of God. I would like to feel myself a child of God and that God so considered me. What steps shall I take?
(Have in mind the Tabernacle construction, with its Holy and Most Holy, the Court, curtains, etc. In the front of the Tabernacle was a brazen laver, filled with water. Still in front of that the brazen altar, upon which the fat was burning, near the front, by the gate).
Now suppose this young German woman in the Camp of Israel, saying, God is represented in that Tabernacle and I would like to draw near to God; He is represented there by the Shekinah glory, and I am living here. Will He allow me to draw near?
I said to her, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." From the time she began to take her first step toward God she began to come into a justified condition. She took her first step. Jesus spoke of the two men who went up to the Temple to pray--one a Publican and one a Pharisee. He said that the Publican went down to his house justified rather than the Pharisee. What does that mean? Why, he was more nearly in a justified condition than the Pharisee. They were both in a condition of partial justification, like all the Jews--they were in a relationship to God, through the Atonement Day sacrifices. They were using their privilege and coming to God in prayer, and one was more nearly justified and acceptable to God. That is what is meant by justification--approved of God. Abraham was approved of God because of doing the best he could. Both of those men were in a condition of tentative justification.
So, with this young woman, she was coming into a condition of tentative justification; she was turning to God. I pointed her to the gate and said, Go right in there by faith in to the Court.
The only way to draw near to God is to recognize that you are a sinner, and that God Himself has provided a sin- offering, represented by that Brazen Altar, right at the Gate of the Court. So, to draw near to God means to exercise faith in the sacrifice of Christ. I pointed to the antitypical Gate to the Court.
I asked her if she believed, and she said, Yes, I believe in Jesus, that He died and rose again from the dead for my sins and the sins of the whole world. Thus she passed through the Gate Antitypically.
When next I asked, Are you seeking to live separate from Sin? I was asking if she were going to the Laver, which was for the washing away of the filth of the flesh. She replied, I am seeking so to do. Her answer showed that she was washing at the Laver and getting the benefit of it, and putting away those outward things displeasing to God. She was not justifying herself thereby, but trying to cooperate with God-- she was in a condition of tentative justification. According to God's arrangement, justification cannot be complete until we take a further step. Upon noting the sacrifice, noting the laver and washing there at, we must do something more.
I said the best thing for you to do is to give your heart entirely to God in consecration, keeping nothing back. That was represented in the Tabernacle picture by the tying of the goat at the Tabernacle door. No one could do more! The next thing in order would be for the High Priest to accept her as a member of His and as such to be her Advocate before the Father. The Divine acceptance was next in order. She had done all that she could do. The Lord must do the rest. But I believe that yet there is room, and that the Lord is pleased to receive you. Accept that as a fact, and look for the evidences that God has received you. The evidences will be a clearer spiritual perception, a desire to lay down your life in His service, and some opportunity to suffer for righteousness sake.
The picture in the Tabernacle Shadows is that the Priest slays the goat, takes its life, making it a part of His own sacrifice. The moment that sacrifice was made it represented Jesus' acceptance of her consecration. At that same moment she was begotten of the Holy Spirit and reckoned as a New Creature by the Father. Thus she passed beyond the First Vail into the Holy. This passing under the First Vail represents the death of the will, just as the passing the Second Vail represents the complete death of our bodies. We go down under the First Vail when our wills are baptized into His death; we are buried with Him by baptism into His death, and rise the other side as New Creatures. So the First Vail of the Tabernacle represents our death, so far as our wills are concerned, and represents God having accepted us as New Creatures, through faith, that we may have access to the spiritual things as New Creatures. Everyone who takes that step is represented as a member of the Body of the great High Priest, the Church, of which He is Head, and so, says the Apostle, we are seated in the heavenlies--that is in the Holy. But be it noted that our justification did not reach completion until the High Priest accepted our offering and imputed to it of His merit, making it Holy and acceptable to God.
Everyone who passes beyond this First Vail, so far as you and I know, is a royal priest--that is, it is not for you and me to say as to who shall be counted unworthy. In going under this vail you take the step that should make you a priest, it is the only step you are invited to take. There is no way for you to take any other step. So the Apostle Peter says, "Ye are a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people." St. Peter did not attempt to discriminate and say, that is what you started out to be, but you are of the Great Company. That is to be decided by the Lord in His own time, when He will show that some who have not been sufficiently faithful will not be of the little flock of priests, but will be of the Levite class. That will be determined at the end of this age, and it is not for you or me to decide.
A brother might be very energetic, so far as our observation may go, but God might see that it was for some unworthy motive or, he might, seemingly, not be very energetic, but God would see that he was doing the best he could. Hence, we are not to judge, but leave the whole matter with the Lord, and strive to do the best we can ourselves, and to help each other win, and in the end of the age the Master
will show which is worthy to be seated with Him in the Throne as priests, and which will be of the Levite class before the throne.
TABERNACLE--Sacrifices Before and After Atonement Day. ::Q701:1:: QUESTION (1912)--1--In the Tabernacle Shadows we read, "we must distinguish between the sacrifices of the Day of Atonement and the sacrifices which were following the Day of Atonement, and that the first were presented for the sin of Adam, while the following were for the private or individual faults committed by ignorance or wilfulness." But it has caused me a great anxiety. In `Heb. 9:7` the Apostle teaches that the sacrifices of the Day of Atonement were for all the sins which were committed, for the sins of the whole people.
ANSWER--In the English Bible it reads, "But into the second went the High Priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people."
There is no conflict between this statement and the other. The Apostle is here speaking about the Day of Atonement sacrifices, and not about any of those sacrifices following the Day of Atonement. He explains in harmony with the account in the Old Testament that the arrangement was in two parts. In one sense of the word the Day of Atonement sacrifices were all one sacrifice and one work on behalf of all the people, but in another sense of the word it was divided into two sacrifices, the first one for the priests and Levites, and the second for all the remainder of the people, and the Apostle is speaking of this phase of it in this verse. He is here speaking of the second, which he is offering for himself and for the errors of the people. The first, the blood of the bullock, was for himself and his house, and the second was for the errors or sins of all the people. These errors of the people for which the High Priest offers atonement are not wilful sins, but those which are committed through ignorance, superstition, blindness, etc.--through heredity. In other words, God proposes to forgive and to cancel all sins for humanity that has come to us directly or indirectly as a result of Adam's disobedience. But if after getting that blessing and knowledge then we sin with any measure of wilfulness that measure which is wilful is not covered by the atonement.
TABERNACLE--What Were Day of Atonement Sacrifices for?
::Q701:2:: QUESTION (1912)--2--Were the sacrifices on the Day of Atonement offered for the sins of the people committed through ignorance?
ANSWER--This was a complete cancellation of all sin up to that date. It is merely a representation of the first Atonement Day, showing that when we once come and get our blessings from the sacrifice of the day of atonement it cancels all so far as we ever had recognition and ability.
TABERNACLE--What Sacrifices Are For Sins of Ignorance? ::Q701:3:: QUESTION (1912)--3--What is the difference between the sacrifices afterwards, following the Day of Atonement, and
the sacrifices during the Day of Atonement, both being for the sins of ignorance?
ANSWER--We must consider what the Apostle is speaking about, and he evidently here is not talking about the sacrifices after the Day of Atonement. So he says in the sixth verse, Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first Tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. But into the second went the High Priest alone once every year (the Day of Atonement). (`Heb. 9:6-7`)
TABERNACLE--Where Was the Golden-Altar? ::Q702:1:: QUESTION (1912)--1--How explain the verse in `Heb. 9:4` in which the Apostle Paul writes that the golden altar was in the Holy of Holies? Some present the solution for this difficulty, saying that we must acknowledge or accept that the Apostle in saying golden censor meant one of the little golden censors by which the priests would carry the fire from the brazen altar.
ANSWER--There is unquestionably a difference between the statement of the order of things in the Tabernacle as given by the Apostle here, and the statement as given in the Old Testament. But we must hold steadfastly to the account given in the Old Testament, because the Apostle's own argument supports the Old Testament. He says that it was necessary for the High Priest to offer the incense upon the golden altar before he would enter the Most holy. This means, too, the golden altar could not have been in the Most Holy, according to the Apostle's own account, and according also to the Old Testament account. The only explanation we could think of would be this, therefore: Either that the Apostle had a lapsus linguae, a slip of the tongue, or that his amanuenses to whom he dictated this put in the wrong word, saying behind the vail instead of before the vail. It is not a matter of any importance, anyway. Nothing serious depends upon it. We see what was the real intention at all events. The golden altar was in the Holy and not in the Most Holy, and, therefore, whatever slip was made in this record has no bearing or special importance.
TABERNACLE--Altar At Which Not Privileged To Eat. ::Q702:2:: QUESTION (1908)--2--Please explain `Heb. 13:10`: "We have an altar whereof they have no right to eat which serve the Tabernacle." What altar does it refer to in type or antitype?
ANSWER--I answer that the Apostle here is introducing a contrast between the Jewish priesthood, the Aaronic priesthood, and the antitypical priesthood, Christ the high priest, and the church the royal priesthood, the members of his body. Now the Jews, you see, and those who had had this Jewish idea in their minds, had difficulty to understand how we could be spoken of as priests: how all believers, all who come to the Father through Christ, and make a consecration, presenting their bodies a living sacrifice, are as the Apostle Peter says, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people. Now they had difficulty. How can we be a priesthood? We do not belong to the priestly tribe. You see Paul is carrying this same line of thought. We belong to the Melchisedek priesthood; that is our order, not the Aaronic priesthood. The Aaronic priesthood is a type of certain features, but this priest is of a higher order of priesthood
than Aaron. They have the literal sacrifices; we have the better sacrifices. They had the killing of the literal bullock, and the literal lamb, and we have the killing of Christ, the antitypical bullock, and we have the sacrifice of the Church, the antitypical goat, upon an altar that is superior to theirs. Their altar of incense was only typical. The offering of the prayers of saints, and the merit of Christ ascending before God is the real incense that is acceptable to him. There is type and antitype all the way through. Now we have an altar of which they may not eat. What is our altar? Why, dear friends, our altar is Christ, and his consecrated sacrifice. The priest of the typical system ate the meat that was offered to God on the altar. Let me remind you that when a sacrifice was brought to the priest, not on the atonement day, but others, he took the fat and put it on the altar and burned it, but he took the flesh and the priests all ate it. Now, then, they were all partakers of the altar. The altar consumed the fat, etc., but the priests all ate the flesh. Now, says the Apostle, they can eat of that flesh, and can offer on that altar, but we have a superior offering, and we have a superior altar. We eat of this flesh of our altar. "Except a man eat of my flesh and drink of my blood he shall have no life in him." He was speaking to the Church. As a matter of fact, all of us are to be partakers of his flesh. Of course that opens up a still larger question. What does he mean? You remember at that time many people said, This is a hard saying, who can hear it? Why it seems foolishness. Can this man give us his flesh to eat? And many went away and walked no longer with him. They said, These dark sayings are getting too abstruse, we cannot have any more of them; we drop the matter here; he is talking in riddles to us. What does he mean by talking about eating his flesh? When we come to understand the real meaning, as we may now during this Gospel Age, it is that his flesh represented his sacrifice which he gave for us, and which he finished at Calvary, and you partake of it, you eat it, you feed upon that which Christ sacrificed, you feed upon the merit of Christ's sacrifice, and you appropriate it to yourself; you have justification through faith in him, you have eaten of that flesh; you have partaken of that which he sacrificed for us. So have I. And in this way we have justification to life. This is the picture and the meaning of it as you and I come to see it through God's Word.
TABERNACLE--Aaron Re Head and Body. ::Q703:1:: QUESTION (1916)--l--Does Aaron represent both the head and body members of The Christ during the sacrifices of the bullock and the goat on the day of Atonement?
ANSWER--Aaron did not represent the body of Christ when he sacrificed the bullock because the bullock represented Jesus only, and you and I were not represented in the body at all until Jesus had first finished His sacrifice and had appeared in the presence of God for us, covering our blemishes, that we might be acceptable to God as members of His body. There was not a single member of the body at the time He offered Himself, even as the prophet Isaiah declared, "I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the peoples there was no man with me."
TABERNACLE--Two Tables of The Law. ::Q703:2:: QUESTION (1916)--2--Why, and for what purpose, were
there two tables of the law? Tabernacle Shadows Question Book, page 37, question 48.
ANSWER--We are not told why there were two tables of the law, and so we can only have our opinion or surmise. My guess is that, these two tables probably represent the two parts of God's law: one pertaining to us, and the other pertaining to our fellow men. Jesus stated the two parts of the law. The first that which was on the first table: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind," "This is the great and first commandment." "And a second like unto it (in sympathy with it, in harmony with the same principle), is this. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hangeth the whole law, and the prophets." The one tells us of our duty towards God, and the other of our duty towards our fellow men, and these were written, the one on one table, and the other on another table. Thus there were two tables
TEACHING--Women Keep Silence. ::Q704:1:: QUESTION (1909)--1--"Let your women keep silence in the churches; for it is not permitted unto them; to speak, but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home, for it is a shame for women to speak in the church." (`1 Cor. 14:34,35`.)
Please explain and harmonize these Scripture statements with the statement of `1 Cor. 11:5`, which reads:
"But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoreth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven."
ANSWER--You will find those Scriptures treated very elaborately, very perfectly, and a lot more on the subject in the Sixth Volume. I do not think you have been studying the Sixth Volume enough. Some want to know when the Seventh Volume is coming out, but I do not think the Lord will allow it until the Sixth Volume is more thoroughly digested.
TEACHING--Enduring Unsound Teaching. ::Q704:2:: QUESTION (1909)--2--To what extent should the brethren endure unsound teaching on the part of Elders or others, and how remedy such conditions?
ANSWER--Well, dear friends, there are some things to be endured, but the Apostle intimates that to endure unsound teaching is to participate in the wrongdoing, that we should not endure unsound teaching at all. If there are any enduring such, we feel that it is their duty to protest. Now, that does not mean that his view is right and everybody else's view is wrong. But, suppose I was here in a class in Denver, a member of the class, and suppose somebody, either in public or private, was teaching certain things which I believed were wrong and injurious to the household of faith, it would not be proper for me to sit by and simply say, "I am not teaching the error." My silence would be giving consent to it. It would be proper for me to see an opportunity to kindly, and patiently, and clearly, and positively to set forth what I believed to be the error and the Bible teaching on the subject, etc. After I have done my duty in that matter, it would not mean that I must insist
that everyone must come to my view of the matter. I have had my say and if somebody else wishes to have his say, he should have his say also. The Church of Christ is not to be hidebound, but all should have the privilege to have the truth, but all things should be done decently and in order. My duty should end at the time of expressing my convictions and reasons for them, so that I should not need to get up half a dozen times. I should give Scripture reasons and they should give theirs. All the Lord's people should recognize those as the highest teachings. Suppose, then, that the majority of the class decided against my view of the matter, what then? Should I say: Here is a teacher that is not Biblical; shall I absent myself from the class and not meet with them? No. I would say, "I have done my duty thus far to the class, I will continue and perhaps another opportunity will come in which to present my views. If another opportunity came, I would hold to my position as long as I thought it was right, but I would not make myself obnoxious.
What about others not in the class? I would say, "Friend, neighbor, I thank you for your words, we have given them consideration and we have dismissed the matter, and you will please not trouble us again.
How remedy it? If the unsoundness was on the part of the Elder, if near the time of election, wait and see that you did not elect anybody that was not sound. If you knew it at the time you elected him, then you are at fault. You have no right to vote for anyone you do not know to be clear in the truth. You will find everything on that subject in the sixth volume.
I have found that sometimes the Lord's people feel a hesitancy, and say, "Now, I don't like to vote for so and so, yet I do not think so and so is fit for the position of Elder." You are doing wrong in keeping quiet and voting for him. God wants to have in His Church those who have character, recognizing principle, and who will act in accordance with that principle. It takes some overcoming on your part to overcome your timidity, and that is all the more reason why you should do your duty; because, none but overcomers are to be of the elect class. I admire that character that does not like to be quarreling and disputing and hurting others' feelings; we ought to have that disposition, and there is a kind and gentle way of saying things that are pretty plain, and you should let all know that you have nothing but the kindest intentions when doing your whole duty. The Church should take time and deliberate as to who should be your Elders. You are representing the Lord and you are representing Him in your vote. We want to feel the responsibility of our vote in the Church of Christ more and more.
TEMPTATION--Method Used by Serpent. ::Q705:1:: QUESTION (1911)--l--Eve was tempted by a snake. Could this snake talk, or did it merely walk on its tail? What language did they use?
ANSWER--I was not there, and I am not, therefore, in some respects, a competent witness but I will tell you how I think it was done. You need not think the way I do; I am liberal enough to allow you to believe it any way you like. But to my understanding, the temptation by the serpent was a very simple one. I do not know whether it
walked on its tail or how, but the Scriptural proposition is that Satan operated through that serpent for the beguiling of mother Eve. Mother Eve, with father Adam, saw all the trees of the garden, and they were all beautiful, and their fruit was good for food; they all looked good, and one kind was forbidden. Now, the serpent talked by signs, I am going to suppose. Satan, acting through the serpent, led it to go into the garden and take off that very kind of fruit that God had forbidden father Adam and mother Eve to eat, and the serpent ate that and did not die, and thus the serpent said to our first parents, "You would not die, either." And they observed that it was one of the most crafty and most subtle of all the animals, and they said, "It must be the eating of that fruit there that makes him wise. Oh, if we would eat that fruit, we with our superior talents and powers, how much we might know!" And the more mother Eve thought on it--for we read that father Adam was not deceived--the more she said, "I wish I could get some of that; I would like to be wise." Then the thought came, all through the serpent, "God is trying to keep you in ignorance, he does not want you to know too much, you would be a kind of competitor. God does not want you to eat of that fruit for that very reason, and he would like to keep you in ignorance and superstition. Go take and eat of the fruit." So she took of the fruit and ate, and she was a transgressor. The Apostle says that the woman was beguiled; she was tempted and deceived--deceived by the actions of the serpent; as we often say, actions speak louder than words. I do not suppose the serpent talked any, but in his actions he gave the suggestions, and the woman obeyed them. Saint Paul says that Adam was not deceived; he knew that God had put a penalty of death on the eating of that food, and knew that God's Word would come true, and therefore he surmised that his much beloved wife would die, and this was his thought: he had lived for some time without her; there was no companionship for him in all the animals of all the creation of God, no companion that was meet for him; he was a lonely man without a companion and now the thought came to him that the companion God gave him, the bone of his bone, must die, and he would be left alone. Poor Adam's heart sank as he thought of it, and he said, "I will eat with my wife." And he deliberately committed suicide in the eating of the forbidden fruit.
TEMPTATIONS--Jesus' Temptations. ::Q706:1:: QUESTION (1916-Z)--1--How could Jesus have had the same kind of difficulties that a mother would have? How could He be tried in all points as a mother? He never was a mother. How could He be tempted as a father? He never was a father. How could He be tempted as a drunkard, or in many ways as fallen humanity are tempted, when He was perfect?
ANSWER--The Apostle was not referring to the temptations of fallen humanity. He says, "He was tempted in all points like as we are." He was speaking of New Creatures. We know of no temptation that came to our Lord except those which came to Him as a New Creature. He was tempted as we are tempted as New Creatures in Christ. He was not subject to every temptation which assails us from the fallen tastes, appetites and tendencies, which come to us
as members of the degenerate race of Adam. These are not temptations to the New Creature. Those who have enlisted under the banner of Jehovah should love righteousness and hate iniquity. This was our Lord's mind.
Whoever in his mind loves the wrong and approves the wrong gives evidence of not having the mind of Christ, and would not properly be one of the "we" class referred to here, since his temptations would not be like those which spirit-begotten New Creatures have, like those which Jesus had. Those who have formerly lived in sin should sufficiently know of its undesirability. Those who have practiced sin should have had satisfactory evidence of its unholy nature, of its pernicious and destructive effects. So we who have fled from sin and come into God's family do not wish to return to its bondage, like a dog to his vomit or a sow to her wallowing in the mire. Those are not our temptations at all. Our temptations are much more subtle.
Looking back at our Lord's life after his baptism in Jordan, we see how He was tempted. One of His temptations was in respect to the use of His God-given power. He was very hungry, and was in a place where no food could be secured. The Adversary suggested that He use His miraculous power to produce food for Himself by commanding the stones to become bread. This He could have done; for we remember that on more than one occasion He miraculously created food to feed the multitudes, and at another time He turned water into the choicest wine. But on this occasion He refused to use this power to satisfy His own appetite. The spirit of devotion to the Father led Him into the wilderness for prayer, meditation and study of God's Word, preparatory to beginning his sacrificial service.
We have not the power to turn stones into bread or water into wine. But we have certain privileges and opportunities; for instance, the opportunity of speaking in the name of the Lord and of telling of His goodness and of his wonderful Plan for human salvation. All these things are privileges to us who are following in the footsteps of Jesus. In these the temptation is to do these things for our own special advantage. For example, we might undertake to proclaim the Truth with the thought of obtaining great honor or a large salary. This temptation frequently comes to those who are God's ministers--to use this power of God and the Truth of God for personal aggrandizement. To whatever extent any would do these things to that extent be would be falling into temptation.
Another way in which Jesus was tempted was in the suggestion to cast Himself down from the pinnacle of the Temple, and thus call the attention of all the people to Himself. This act would prove Him to be possessed of superhuman power and would seem to imply that He was under the special protection of God. He could thus make a marvelous demonstration of himself and He would be considered some great one. The Adversary, true to his usual methods, misapplied a Scripture, endeavoring to convince the Master that God had promised to protect Him in just such an instance, to uphold Him lest He should dash His foot against a stone. But Jesus resented this misinterpretation of Scripture, and answered, "It is written, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." He refused to tempt God,
to try Him through a misapplication of His promise. The written Word was His refuge and strength in each temptation.
So some of Christ's disciples are tempted to do things in a spirit of foolhardiness, hoping that God will shield them from evil results of a course which would be contrary to the laws of nature or save them from consequences which would be the natural result of certain actions. This would be presumption on the part of a child of God. Such a course is saying by implication, "God will protect me, He will not allow me to come to harm." To presume to do what God has never authorized in His Word, and then expect a miracle to prevent evil from resulting is entirely wrong and unjustifiable. If we should presume to go out in cold or stormy weather improperly clad, when it is not necessary to do so, and thus risk contracting illness thereby, we would be doing a wrong and unwarranted thing. Our bodies belong to the Lord and we have no right to do anything unnecessarily which would be a risk of injury or death. Only duty or necessity would excuse such a course.
TEMPTATIONS TO COMPROMISE.
Another temptation which was presented to our Lord was that He looked out over the Kingdoms of the world, and then be assured that all these should be given over to His control, without His having to submit to suffering, without taking the painful course marked out by God, if He would just fall down and worship Satan, acknowledge his authority instead of that of Jehovah. Satan's words implied that he would not require such suffering and sacrifice as God required; that if Jesus would only cooperate with him, all would work smoothly and prosperously. Our dear Lord replied, "Get thee hence, Satan!"
So temptations may come to us. We might have suggestions that if we would only not be too straight-laced, but would co-operate to some extent with the world and its spirit, we might get along better and have a greater influence over people. This was the Adversary's argument with the Master: "Co-operate with me, and we will bring the whole world where you can give them great blessings." But Jesus would not swerve from the Father's way. Temptations and suggestions of this kind often come to the Lord's people. We fear that many of His professed followers have compromised with the world and the Adversary. The church systems have fallen into this very trap of the Devil. This has surely been a grave and costly mistake. Temptations and suggestions of this kind come often to the Lord's people.
We also have temptations to return evil for evil and railing for railing. Our Lord was so tempted just before His crucifixion. When He was delivered to the chief priests and taken before the Jewish Sanhedrin, He did not show them up, as He might have done. Jesus might have delivered a very scathing criticism of the high priest at that time; He might truthfully have made caustic remarks about the high priest's character. With the power of eloquence which He possessed, He might have made a great stir. Perhaps He felt an impulse in this direction, but He held His peace, and allowed Himself to be led as a lamb to the slaughter. And so we have temptations of a similar kind
--temptations to render evil for evil, to keep square with people, to give them what they deserve.
When we realize that we are not always successful in resisting these temptations, we are to remember that we have a Throne of Grace, to which we may come and find mercy and grace to help in time of need. We may come to our great High Priest. The high priest of old held a very high and honorable position. Our High Priest is far more highly exalted. In considering this, we might at first be inclined to think of Him as very austere, not easily approached. But the Apostle says that we are to remember that this is the One who is our Saviour, the One who died for us; and that although He is so greatly exalted and seated upon the Throne of Glory, yet His Throne is also a Throne of Mercy.
Coming to the Savior's Throne is not the same as coming directly to the Father's Throne. Jehovah's Throne is a Throne of Justice, but Jesus' Throne is a Throne of Mercy. Here we may obtain mercy if we fail to come up to the highest standard. We are to remember that our merciful High Priest knows just what kind of trials we have. If we have tried to do our best, and have been overtaken in a fault, He knows how to make allowance for us and to be very sympathetic. We are to remember that this Mercy Seat is for this very purpose--to show mercy to us.
Thus as we realize that in our temptations and trials the Lord is for us as He sees our earnest struggles and endeavors, it makes us the stronger in resistance another time. "He knows, and loves, and cares." Therefore we should never grow discouraged, but come to Him again and again, remembering that He is never weary of our coming and that He will not turn us away empty.
TERAH--Re His Age. ::Q709:1:: QUESTION (1911)--1--Terah, Abraham's father, was 205 years old when he died. How could Abraham be only seventy-five years old when he left his father's house, when his father was only seventy years old when he was born? Was not Terah 130 years old when Abraham was born?
ANSWER--We answer that the way in which it was written, it puts Abraham's name first when giving the list of Terah's sons, and the inference might be not unreasonably drawn that Abraham would be the eldest son of Terah. But on the contrary he was Terah's youngest son. The account says, Terah was so many years old and he had three sons. The first of them was born at that time and the other two were subsequently born; but Abraham was the third of those sons. I cannot take time to go into the matter here in detail, but you have it all in Watch Tower publications with full particulars.
TESTIMONIES--Should Weak-Voiced Brethren Testify? ::Q709:2:: QUESTION (1915)--2--Would it be selfish for a brother or sister to take up time in testifying at a meeting when he or she cannot be heard, and when there are others desiring to speak who can be heard? (Laughter.)
ANSWER--That is quite a little rap on those who do not speak loudly enough. I think this would be a proper way of putting it. We should consider it to a certain extent selfish
ness to arise and merely whisper a testimony, especially of any length, and which can be heard by only a few and perhaps by none. When the dear friends have gathered together at considerable expense from all parts of the country for the purpose of getting a blessing, it seems too bad to have any time wasted. This same principle holds good also in the home meetings. We might sympathize with those who do not make themselves heard, but they might just as well whisper to the Lord in private; the friends would be just as much benefitted as when they don't talk loud enough to be heard. You know the Apostle Paul said that he would rather speak five words and be understood than to speak ten thousand words that no one could understand (`1 Cor. 14:19`). That is a good lesson. We should speak language that can be understood; and we suggest that all try to learn to lift up their voice like a trumpet. Some need to put on three or four trumpets.
But, dear brethren, nothing that we are saying is with the thought of discouraging any of you; for we believe that a great blessing comes to the Lord's people from giving a testimony. Therefore it is our hope that every one will find some opportunity of giving a testimony. But if you cannot speak so as to be heard, speak about six words and sit down, would be our advice. Then you will have the opportunity of standing up for Christ and thus receiving a blessing, and also will know that you did not hinder someone else. Give your testimony, but make it brief.
TESTIMONY--Not Exhortation. ::Q710:1:: QUESTION (1911)--1--Should the brethren exhort one another to good works at a testimony meeting, or confine themselves to their own experiences, blessings, etc.?
ANSWER--Well, I think exhortation is one thing, and testimony is another thing. A testimony meeting is not to be strictly intended as a meeting for exhortation; a testimony is more given with the supposition that when you have told your testimony that the testimony itself would constitute, without saying so, an exhortation to others to strive in the right way. And this is one of the most forceful testimonies that can be given. The man who lives his religion, and whose experience testifies to that religious life, is giving one of the best exhortations possible to others to live a good life. At the same time I do not think that any could properly find fault with one who, after giving his testimony, should just add a word or two of exhortation. But I think it is true, as the question seems to imply, that a great many err, supposing that exhortation is testimony when it is not, and err in giving too much exhortation. Testimonies, I think, are better.
THANKS--Re Asking Blessing in Restaurants. ::Q710:2:: QUESTION (1909)--2--When several Truth people are taking a meal at a restaurant and all seat themselves together, would it be a duty or privilege to return thanks as in our own home?
ANSWER--There is nothing in the Bible that tells us specifically. We can only use our judgment. It would be very nice if you were around a table with others, to give thanks if circumstances made it appropriate, if otherwise, to do so in silence. If it would in any sense of the word be
seemingly hypocritical to those about us it would not be appropriate. You remember the Pharisees who said their prayers on street corners.
THIEF ON CROSS--This Day. ::Q711:1:: QUESTION (1911)--1--Our Savior's assurance to the thief, "This day shalt thou be with me in Paradise," what is the meaning of this?
ANSWER--We answer that that statement is generally misunderstood. Take the whole circumstance and get it clear before your mind. Two thieves were there, one on either side of our Lord. He was being crucified, they also. One was reviling him saying, "Why don't you save yourself and save us? If you are as you claim, something more than a human being, why don't you demonstrate it and save yourself, come down from the cross and save us also; show your power." And he was saying this in a derisive, scoffing manner. The other thief answered him saying, "How strange that you should act and speak in this way! You know that we are here justly. We are suffering the appropriate punishment for our sins; this is the penalty against us; but here is a poor man between us who has done nothing amiss and he is suffering unjustly, and instead of deriding him, we should be speaking words of comfort to him. And I will speak a word to him now."
Then turning to Jesus, he said (I am paraphrasing it), "I know you; you are a great personage; I have come in contact with you before and heard a good deal last night and this morning, as I was near by when your trial took place, and I heard those falsifiers bearing false witness against you and I sympathized with you all the time. I knew there was no evil character in you, and I have just answered this other thief and you have heard what I have said to him. Now I do not know what there is in your claim of being a King, but you are a great enough person to be a King. If you are a King, and after you have come into your office of King, and have your kingdom, then remember this poor thief, and do something for me, will you?" Jesus said, "I will do something for you when I come into my kingdom; you will get a blessing. Did Jesus come into his kingdom this day? Why no; he has not come into his kingdom yet; it is more than eighteen hundred years, and we are still praying, "Thy kingdom come." Is not that true? Sure. Did he deceive the thief? Did he say, I am going into my kingdom today? No, he did not. What did the thief ask, anyway? He said, "Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom." And what did Jesus say? Jesus said, in the Greek, "Amen"--so be it. Be it as you have asked it, namely: to be remembered when I come into my kingdom. I will be there; and I will remember you when I come into my kingdom. And I am sure that he will. But what about "this day?" That was put in this way: "Verily, verily, I say unto thee today"--this day that looks as though I had no kingdom, this day that looks as though I was a blasphemer against the great Creator, this day that looks as though I had neither friend on earth nor in heaven, this day in which I seem to be the most pitiful object in the world--nevertheless, I say unto thee this day, "Thou shalt be with me in Paradise."
THIEVES--What Classes Represented by The Two? ::Q712:1:: QUESTION (1908)--1--What two classes were represented by the two thieves an the cross?
ANSWER--I do not know.
THIRD PART--Through the Fire--Who? ::Q712:2:: QUESTION (1908)--2--"And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and try them as gold is tried." Who is this third part?
ANSWER--We cannot know certainly that the Lord was speaking this prophetically of our time. He might have had in mind a certain dealing with Natural Israel. We incline to think that He refers to our time, but we are not certain of that. Some of the prophetic statements seem to apply merely to the time in which they were given, and others seem to have a double application--part application there and part application down here. Now supposing this has application down here to the time of trouble into which we are coming: to which class would it refer there? The prophecy speaks of three different parts; it does not say three equal parts; one of them might he a very numerous class, and the other a very insignificant number, but they are merely divided into three classes. There are different ways in which we might understand that, and all of them in harmony with the Scriptures. For instance, we might say that the first class are those who will be of the very elect; secondly, those who will go into the second death; and, thirdly, the Great Company and all mankind who will go into the time of trouble. We can make three classes of them. Or, we might make three classes another way: You might say the little flock, and the Great Company, and the world, and leave out the second death class altogether. Both of these applications would be correct, and in harmony with other Scriptures. Therefore we need not quarrel at all with anyone who takes one or the other view of it. Whatever is in harmony with the Scriptures we agree has a right to be applied. So this may refer to the world of mankind who will go through the great time of trouble, and to whom the Lord will give a refining influence in that time; that time will wake them up in a wonderful degree and have a very refining influence on them, teaching them a great many lessons which they are unwilling to learn at the present time--just as the Church is being taught many lessons which the world does not receive now. For instance, the Lord represents that those who are His now have certain fiery trials; He represents that He is refining us as gold and silver is refined. That is true of us, and so that great time of trouble will have a refining influence on the world and on the Great Company also.
TORMENT--Trying to Get Away From. ::Q712:3:: QUESTION (1913)--3--Why do you make so much of the torment question, Pastor Russell? Have not we ministers thrown it away long ago?
ANSWER--I am not making much of the torment question; I am trying to do away with it. Now it is true, dear friends, that some ministers still hold to the doctrine of torment, and others do not. The number who preach eternal torment after the old style is small. If they would preach it their congregations would be still smaller. People can no longer believe such things. They are getting more intelligent
every day, and the ministers know it; besides, not many ministers believe in eternal torment. They may not say anything about it in the pulpit, and many teach it in this manner; they preach about "second death," bringing it down in a solemn voice, and let the audience imagine flames, devils, etc., out of second death. But you know second death does not mean eternal torment. Those set free from the first death may be in danger of second death. Some are contentious and some are not. It is not for us to judge. It is for us to present the truth. Many ministers would like to be free from their denominational restraints, but lack the courage to face the issue. Some say, we believe, the wages of sin is death. The Church of England decided its membership could believe in either fiery hell or death.
TRANSFIGURATION--Vs. Unconsciousness If Dead. ::Q713:1:: QUESTION (1911)--1--If the dead are in a state of unconsciousness, how do you account for the presence of Moses and Elias at the mount of transfiguration.?
ANSWER--Very simply, my dear friends. In the book of Revelation you have a number of symbols. John, the revelator, says, "I saw this, and I saw that, and I saw the other," and he heard a trumpet, and he heard one angel saying to another angel, etc. That was all a vision, wasn't it? Yes. He saw visions; he saw beasts, and saw the woman sitting on the beast, and all of those things. Now just so with this transfiguration scene. Jesus said it was a vision. We read that he took Peter, James and John and went up into this mountain, and was transfigured before them. His garments put on a shining appearance, and became part of the vision, and there appeared unto them Moses and Elias, in a vision. They saw Jesus, Moses and Elias, and the garments of Jesus were seen to shine, and they did not know very much about it; they were on their faces asleep part of the time. And then Peter, as he discovered that the vision was lasting for some time, said, "Lord, it is good to be here; let us build here three tabernacles," etc., not knowing what he said. He was not very clear on the matter, but as they came down from the mountain we read, Jesus charged them straightly, particularly, saying, "See that ye tell the vision to no man until after the Son of Man be risen from the dead." And Saint Peter afterwards, in writing his epistle, said, "We have not followed cunningly devised fables when we declared unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, for we were eye witnesses of his majesty when we were with him in the holy mountain." Saint Peter tells us, therefore, that that vision in the mount of transfiguration was a picture of Jesus' kingdom, Elias typifying one class in the kingdom, and Moses symbolizing or typifying another class in the kingdom.
TRANSLATION--Enoch and Elijah. ::Q713:2:: QUESTION (1909)--2--Were Enoch and Elijah quickened and glorified to the spiritual plane in their translation, preparatory to the restitution work?
ANSWER--Of Enoch, we are told that he was not because God took him, and that he did not see death. That is all we know about it. I am not at liberty to use my bump of imagination and tell you of things that are not written. Did not God take him to heaven? No. How do I know? Because Christ said (`John 3:13`): "No man has ascended
into heaven." The Lord will take care of Enoch and he will not get the restitution blessings until the full Christ is complete, as you will notice from the 11th chapter of Heb. (`Heb. 11`), which includes all of these and states that they all died in faith, not having received the promised things, that they apart from us should not be made perfect. Then the blessings will come from the spiritual to the earthly. Through your mercy they shall obtain mercy. Enoch was counted as one of the fathers before, but now Christ has become the father as we read in one of the Psalms, which states that the fathers will be the children, because they will all get their life through Christ. Whoever is a life-giver is a father, and whoever receives life is a son. When He is the great life-giver in the Millennial Age, he shall be the father to the
TRANS-SUBSTANTIATION--Re Participants Being Cannibals. ::Q714:1:: QUESTION ( 1911)--l--Do you consider Roman Catholics who take the wafer, after it has been blessed by the priest, and eat it, are cannibals?
ANSWER--I do not think, dear friends, there is any change in the bread and wine. I do not believe it is any flesh at all. I think our Catholic friends are just as sincere as we Protestants, and I do not know that they have been any more hindered by superstition than the rest of us, and I do not see that I have any stones to throw at Catholics. I think they are ahead of us on some points. They at least have the merit of believing and acting up to their belief. We Protestants cannot claim that. I hope you and I are determined by the grace of God that we will be thoroughly honest with ourselves and with the Bible hereafter. The Catholics will get up at five o'clock in the morning and go to mass, but you and I, because we do not believe in the same, do not go to mass. And so, in various ways, I see much to admire in them. I will admit that they are in superstition, and I will admit that I have been in superstition. and we have all been. But the pot need not call the kettle black, either.
TRAVELING--Motive Power Of in Millennial Age. ::Q714:2:: QUESTION (1909)--2--What will be the motive power for traveling during and after the Millennial Age?
ANSWER--I'll tell you better in a few years. I would not be surprised if it would be electricity or something like that.
TREASURE--In Earthen Vessels.
::Q714:3:: QUESTION (1911)--3--We have this treasure in earthen vessels--what is the treasure? Is it the Gospel message?
ANSWER--No. The treasure that we have is our own spirit-begetting--the start of the new nature. That is the treasure that you have. That is the treasure that you must care for. You have this treasure in your earthen vessel. The body is imperfect. The new creature can only exercise itself through the earthen vessel, and our Lord's merit stands ready to assist each one of us in our imperfections, that the new creature may be kept perfect and developed, and that the old nature may be mortified, or deadened. But we have this treasure of the new nature in our earthen vessel.
TREES--Literal and Figurative. ::Q715:1:: QUESTION (1913)--1--Was the tree of life literal or figurative? If literal, please explain.
ANSWER--I see no reason for thinking that the serpent was not a real serpent; or that there was not a real garden; or that our parents were not real man and woman; or that the trees were not real, and bearing literal fruits. It was not anything about the tree that constituted the sin, but an act of disobedience. If obedient to God they would have learned righteousness first, and then have been brought to a knowledge of what sin would be afterward. But they were permitted to take their course and learn about sin first by plunging into it. After 6,000 years of sin and evil they are to be permitted to learn righteousness. They learned sin first and will learn good afterward, whereas, by obedience they would have learned good first and then had a secondary, or indirect knowledge of evil. That is to say, after coming to a knowledge of righteousness, He would have explained to them the tendencies of sin, without participation on their part, as you might learn about drunkenness without becoming drunk.
TRIBULATIONS--Must All Have Them? ::Q715:2:: QUESTION (1909)--2--If we must enter the Kingdom through much tribulation, what is the matter where one that is fully established in the doctrine, not considered a babe in understanding, striving to do the Lord's will, has no trials, or at least of no consequence? Please do not say, Just wait for they will come, for everyone answers me thusly.
ANSWER--Well, I would say, Don't wait, if you would be better pleased with that; go out and get some right away. I would think, dear friends, our wisest plan is that which the Scriptures set before us that the Lord shall choose our inheritance for us. He knows the way I take. It is mine to offer myself, and the Lord's protection to accept and make use of that offering. It is not my business to attend to His work. He has given me my part to attend to and I am going to see to it that by His grace I shall so appreciate it that I will keep the sacrifice on the altar, and have more love for Him and the brethren, and be seeking fresh opportunities for service and laying down my life, it is my part to do, and I could not do more if I tried. If the Lord is pleased to accept this sacrifice at once and give me opportunities for service and laying down my life, it is my part to accept and go promptly on. If no such opportunity comes, it is my opportunity to learn patience in waiting for trials. That is a peculiar kind of patience. The Lord knows better than we do, for He is our teacher, so let us learn whatever lesson He sends us and not try to tell Him what to teach us. I think of one dear sister who asked me this very question with a great deal of concern. I replied, Perhaps you have had trials already and you do not appreciate them because your joy is so great. Perhaps they would be very painful if you did not have the joy, just as the Apostle Paul, when in prison, sang and rejoiced in tribulation. She replied: Brother Russell, I would like to believe that that was true, but I am afraid it is not true in my case. If that is not true, all I can encourage you to hope for is that later on He may give you the privilege of suffering with Him, for if we do not, we will not reign with Him. He may be testing you
and giving an opportunity for the roots of faith to strike down deeply, so that when the trouble comes you will not be swept away. Leave all in the Lord's hands, but make the best use of every moment you have. Learn whatever lesson the Lord has for you, patience, gentleness, kindness, etc. Well, she thanked me and said she would look and wait. I saw the lady about a year afterwards. "Well, Sister, do you remember the last conversation we had; have you had any trials?"
"Yes, I have had some heavy trials and I never thought I would be able to stand such tests, and I believe He was giving me time to get strength. I want you to know that I am rejoicing in trials as one of His children, being fitted and prepared as a member of the Body of Christ."
TRINITY--Pastor Russell's View. ::Q716:1:: QUESTION (1911)--1--Please give your views of the Trinity?
ANSWER--I wish the brother had quoted the text of Scripture. But I will say that I have never found any text of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation that mentions the Trinity, and if anybody has found one, it would be worth something to me to know where it is. I would give ten dollars for it right away. I cannot find any reference to the Trinity in the Bible. You will find it in the hymn books, and in all kinds of theological books, but you will never find it in the Bible. There is just one text of Scripture which implies it--it does not say it--in `1 John 5:7`, where we read that there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word and the Spirit, and there are three that bear record on earth, the water, the spirit, and the blood, and these three agree in one, and the other three agree in one. What does it mean? Well, it would be very foolish the way it reads. That is one of those things where they tried to make a trinity in olden times, and not having any text of Scripture for it, they tried to manufacture one, and, as usual, they made a botch of it. Now, what does it say? "There are three bearing record in heaven." What are they bearing record to? That Jesus is the Son of God? Who is bearing record in heaven that Jesus is the Son of God? The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit bearing record in heaven that Jesus is the Son of God? What do they need to bear record of that kind for? Are the angels in need of it? The idea of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit going through heaven testifying to the angels that Jesus is the Son of God! It is ridiculous! These words are interpolated. It reads without these words, "There are three that bear record, the water, the Spirit and the blood, and these three agree in one testimony." That is the way it reads without the interpolated words. These words were interpolated, so far as we know, about seven hundred years after the words were supposed to be used. Do not misunderstand me. I fully believe in the Bible kind of a trinity. The Bible tells about the Father, and I believe that; the Bible tells about the Son, and I believe that; and the Bible tells about the Holy Spirit, and I believe that, too. I believe whatever the Bible says. And if anyone finds any text that tells about the Trinity, I will believe that too.
TROUBLE--How Long Will the Great Last? ::Q717:1:: QUESTION (1908)--l--Do you concur with the thought that the severity of the trouble will last from 1914 to 1915--one year?
ANSWER--I concur with this thought, that according to our understanding of the matter, the severity of the trouble, the anarchistic part of the trouble, should be expected about October, 1914. I concur with the thought that while there is nothing in the Bible to say it will last one year, I do not understand how it could last much more than one year; it seems that one year would be almost the limit of human endurance, but I do not know of any Scripture that says it will be just one year.
TROUBLE--Will Any Live Through? ::Q717:2:: QUESTION ( 1909)--2--"As it was appointed unto men once to die"--in view of this text how can it be possible there will be some go through the time of trouble and live?
ANSWER--The questioner has not understood this text of Scripture. It has no reference to mankind dying. It was appointed unto the high Priest to die, representatively in the bullock--after this he could go into the holy and most holy and come out again and bless the people. (Brother Russell referred then to the types in Tabernacle Shadows.) Taking the question from another standpoint, we read another text: "As by one man sin entered into the world and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. For as by one man's disobedience many were made righteous." If this sentence of death passed upon the whole world because all are sinners and imperfect, how could it be some would not need to pass into the tomb? From the divine standpoint the world is spoken of as dead. As Jesus said to the young man who wished to become His follower and he asked, "Lord, may I wait until my father dies?" "Let the dead bury their dead." Who were the dead? The dead world. You have become alive through having justified life. The others who have not passed from death unto life are already dead. At the second coming of the Lord they will still be dead. As they come into harmony with Him they will rise out of death. It will take all of the Millennial Age to get out of death. All will not get fully out until the end of the Millennial Age.
TROUBLE--Hiding in the Great Trouble. ::Q717:3:: QUESTION (1911)--3--Would it be wise to try to hide during the great time of trouble, and wouldn't it be safer in the country than in the city?
ANSWER--I advise you to hide before the time of trouble. We want to he hidden in the Lord, my dear friends. If Noah and those who were with him had waited until the time of trouble came before they got into the ark, they might not have gotten a chance to get in. And so here the Lord likens the time of trouble to the flood and our getting into Christ is likened unto Noah getting into the ark; and we want to get into Christ without any loss of time and to abide in him, and then we will have nothing to do with hiding from any trouble, because the Lord will overrule matters for those who are his and cause all things to work together for their good. Do not forget you engaged to go into a time of trouble. Did not Jesus have a time of trouble? Did not
all the apostles have a time of trouble? Did you not consecrate with the very understanding that you would be ready to lay down your life any time and in any manner? Then do not think it will be any different from what the Lord says, "Through much tribulation shall ye enter into the kingdom." But our tribulation will be of one kind, and this trouble coming on the world will be of another kind. So we are to expect our kind of tribulation for faithfulness to the Lord, and righteousness, and his Word, and we are to count then that the Lord will let us escape the other kind of tribulation which will come upon the world.
TROUBLE--Number of Slain in Time of. ::Q718:1:: QUESTION (1911)--1--Is there any information in the Scriptures as to what proportion of the earth's inhabitants will be slain during the great time of trouble?
ANSWER--I know of nothing. We merely assume from different Scriptures that a great many people will die in that time of trouble, and yet we know of nothing that intimates that half, or anything like half, of the world's population will be destroyed. It would not seem to me to be necessary to expect very large numbers to die. We can have a great time of trouble without so many people dying. We look at the French revolution, and we have there an illustration of a good many people who died, and of others of whom it is said their names were slain; that is to say, their titles, their offices, their honorable stations, were destroyed; they were destroyed in the sense of their dignity, their office, their position. But if we look to the type of the Jewish time of trouble we find the record that a great many lives were lost in the siege of Jerusalem. So we will have to wait and see; and we hope we will be of those who see from the other side the vail. "Watch, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape those things coming on the earth, and to stand in the presence of the Son of Man."
TROUBLE--Length After Establishment of Kingdom. ::Q718:2:: QUESTION (1911)--2--How long will the trouble last after Christ sets up his kingdom? Or, will the bulk of the trouble be over when his kingdom is set up?
ANSWER--It all depends on what you have in mind when you use the words, "sets up his kingdom." In one sense of the word, the kingdom of Messiah will be set up when it begins to exercise power; that will be before the trouble; but in another sense of the word, Messiah's kingdom will not be set up, in the sense of having the dominion, and having things in the right and proper way in the earth until after the time of trouble.
TROUBLE--Applies to Those Not Spirit-Begotten. ::Q718:3:: QUESTION (1912-Z)--3--"Therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned and few men left." (`Isa. 24:6`.) Who are these few men? And how were the others burned?
ANSWER--In the great burning day the "heavens" will be on fire, and "the earth and the works therein shall be burned up." This time of trouble will involve the whole world, practically everybody. The Lord speaks of some who will be preserved in the midst of this trouble. Just as the three Hebrews were preserved in the fiery furnace, so we expect that some will be spared in the time of trouble.
"Seek righteousness, seek meekness; it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord's anger." (`Zeph. 2 :3`.) This invitation seems to be to others than the spirit-begotten. It would not apply to the Church, for her deliverance will be over before the culmination of the trouble. It would not apply to the "great company" class, for it is incidental to their deliverance that they shall suffer in this time of trouble the destruction of the flesh, and come up to honor out of "great tribulation." This, therefore, would seem to apply to a class of the world who are not spirit-begotten.
TROUBLE--Length of Great. ::Q719:1:: QUESTION (1913)--1--How long will the time of trouble last?
ANSWER--My dear friends, it will last with some people a good while. The time of trouble lasts according to the degree of the disposition of God in the heart of man. The Scriptures speak of the fire of that day, which shall burn up the wicked and leave them neither root nor branch. What does it mean? I presume that the fire of God's indignation will burn against unrighteousness during the day of Christ, until every root and branch of sin is thoroughly consumed. If anyone holds on he himself will be destroyed in the second death. But as to the time of national trouble, such as has not been before, no one knows how long it will last. I may guess, and you may also. You may take in more things than I. My thought would he that the severest period could not last more than a year. How suddenly it may come upon the world, or how gradually it may pass away, I do not know, and I think no one can.
TRUTH--The Church the Pillar and Ground of Truth. ::Q719:2:: QUESTION (1908)--2--How is the Church the pillar and the ground of the truth as stated in `1 Tim. 3:15`?
ANSWER--The word "ground" is used in a general way. This is not an improper translation, but we could have a superior one as given in the Emphatic Diaglott. The thought is, pillar and support of the truth, the ground-work of the truth, is that on which the truth is based, and by which it is supported. The mission of the Church here in the present time where error prevails, and sin prevails, is to be a supporter of the truth, to be those who will uphold the truth. We are, therefore, in this sense of the word acting as pillars and as the ground-work or foundation on which the truth of God is now resting in the world, and we shall ultimately be the foundation and agencies of God's truth throughout the whole world in the Millennial Age, because we shall be associated with the Lord Jesus Christ.
TRUTH--Held in Unrighteousness. ::Q719:3:: QUESTION (1911)--3--What is it to hold the truth in unrighteousness?
ANSWER--I presume that to hold the truth in unrighteousness could be done in a variety of ways. The Lord does not propose that the truth shall belong to any except those who are consecrated people. As we read, "Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart." So the truth is only intended for God's consecrated people. "The secret of the Lord is with them that reverence him, and he will show them his covenant." But it might be that some might get a measure of truth--not the full truth, but a measure of
truth--and might use that measure of truth in an improper manner. As, for instance, Satan had certain knowledge respecting the Lord, and misused that knowledge. He knew about Messiah's kingdom, and made use of his knowledge respecting that kingdom by trying to tempt our Lord to take some other course. He was thereby using his knowledge of the truth in an unrighteous, or an improper, manner. It might be that some having received a partial knowledge of the truth might become enemies of the truth, and servants of sin, and opposers of the truth. We remember some who are mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles. There was Simon Magnus, who held the truth in unrighteousness and misused what knowledge he had of the truth. So, it might be possible for any of us to depart from the spirit of the truth, and still hold something of the letter of the truth, and to use this letter of the truth injuriously to ourselves and to others. This would be holding the truth in an unrighteous, or an improper manner.
TWENTY-FOUR ELDERS--Meaning of. ::Q720:1:: QUESTION (1912)--1--What is the meaning of the twenty-four elders which we read about in the book of Revelations?
ANSWER--I think it is in the seventh volume.
TYPES--What Euphrates Typified. ::Q720:2:: QUESTION (1908)--2--The city of Babylon being a type, what did the river Euphrates represent?
ANSWER--We have already suggested in print that Babylon represented in type the great system, mother and daughters, and that the Euphrates river represented in type the people supporting the system. Babylon is said to have been built over the river Euphrates; the river flowed through the center of it, and it was through the drying up of the river, by turning aside of the channel, you remember, that Cyrus entered in under the gate. That is the record of history. So the Scriptures tell us that the water shall be dried up from symbolical Babylon. Now just what that means we will find out better when it is fully accomplished, but it would seem as though the Lord puts water as representing two things: in one place water represents the truth, the river of water representing the river of truth; and in another place, especially in Revelation, right in this same connection, it says, "The waters that thou sawest are people." Now whichever way you may apply that, whether it means that the truth will be turned aside and no longer flow through Babylon, or whether the people shall be turned aside and no longer support Babylon, both seem to be true. It is true that the truth is already turning aside, and our Lord has already declared that the voice of the Bride and of the Bridegroom shall be no more heard in her at all. We are not to expect truth in Babylon. There may be certain elements of truth still held by the dear friends there, because some of the Lord's dear people are still in Babylon, and wherever they are they must speak for the Lord and for the truth; but the time is rapidly approaching when the voice of the Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus, and the voice of the Bride, the Church prospective, to be the Bride of Christ, will not longer be heard there. "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and receive not of her plagues." This is the turning aside, then, of the truth, and of all these people who represent the truth, and the consequence is the fall of Babylon.
TYPES--Antitypes Follow Types at Once. ::Q721:1:: QUESTION (1916-Z)--1--Is the type always followed by the antitype at once or not?
ANSWER--Our thought is that we should expect a type to be followed by its antitype; and we would rather look for it to follow immediately. For instance, after the type of the eating of the Passover lamb was recognized for the last time by Jehovah, it was followed immediately by the Antitype, Jesus, the Lamb of God, who was crucified on the very same date as the annual Passover Supper. The type of the bullock and the Lord's goat, offered as sin-offerings on the Jewish Day of Atonement, was followed at once by its antitype, as soon as the typical sacrifices were repudiated by the Father, when the Jewish House was left "desolate," just before Jesus' death.--`Mat. 23:37,38`; `Luke 13:34,35`.
Again, in thinking of Isaac as a type of Christ, we think of him as the typical heir to the Promise God made to his father Abraham. God declared to Abraham, "In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." Isaac was the natural seed of Abraham according to this Promise; and Isaac continued down the Jewish Age in that he was represented in the children of Israel, his natural posterity. Thus he was the recognized seed of Abraham down to the time when Jesus became the Spiritual Seed. There the natural seed was cast off. The real Seed of Abraham, in whom the Promise centered, was not the natural seed, but the Spiritual Seed.
Jesus was not the antitypical Seed of Abraham when He was born into the world--not until He had been begotten of the Holy Spirit. Jesus began to be the antitype of Isaac at that time. Ever since Christ's spiritual birth on the Divine plane of being, the members of His Body have been in process of development. So this Spiritual Isaac began to fulfil the type as an antitype in the person of Jesus when He became the Spiritual Seed, and is continuing in the persons of His Body members, to take the place of the type. Thus the type is merged into the antitype.
TYPES. ::Q721:2:: QUESTION (1916-Z)--2--How does the principle of antitype following type apply in the cases of Adam and of Melchizedek?
ANSWER--The Apostle Paul explains in the case of Melchizedek that his priesthood had no beginning and no ending, the order of his priesthood was to be perpetuated; consequently his priesthood did not pass away until the antitypical Priesthood came. The Apostle particularly points out that he was without father or mother in the priesthood-- "he abideth a priest continually," he continued a priest to the conclusion of the type in its antitype. He was a type of the greater Melchizedek, which is The Christ, Head and Body. Jesus was "made a High Priest forever (literally for the Age), after the order of Melchisedek."--`Hebrews 6:20`.
As for Adam, we are not sure that the Lord's Word speaks of him as a type. The Apostle does not contrast Adam and Jesus, but speaks of the first Adam and the Second Adam. Christ is very unlike Adam. Adam disobeyed God, while Christ was wholly obedient. Adam failed while Jesus succeeded. St. Paul says (`1 Cor. 15:47`) that the Second Man is the Lord from Heaven. The first
Adam continues to be the head of the human family. We still speak of him as Father Adam. The Second Adam will not begin His work until the Millennial Age, when He will become the second Father to the race, taking the place of the first Adam. He is not the Second Adam as yet. He is to be the Second Adam.
The various titles that belong to our Lord Jesus include that of The Everlasting Father. And the Everlasting Father will be the successor of Adam, who was only the temporary father of the race and who failed to give his posterity life. In due time the Second Adam will be the regenerator of the human family.
TYPES--For Examples. ::Q722:1:: QUESTION (1916-Z)--1--`1 Cor. 10:11` reads, "Now all these things happened unto them (the Israelites) for types." (See marginal reading.) Please explain.
ANSWER--We understand the Apostle's thought to be that all these things happened to this people as typical Israel. They were the types, and Spiritual Israel are the antitypes. They, the type, had these experiences; we have experiences to correspond. They, the type, did not pass away--that is, cease to be the type--until we, the spiritual antitype, began our career. When our career began, our antitypical experiences began. The whole nation of Israel was this type, with their experiences, testings, etc.
TYPES--A Stronger Word Than Figure or Picture. ::Q722:2:: QUESTION (1916-Z)--2--What is the difference between the words "type," "figure," and "picture"?
ANSWER--There is a very strong relationship between these words. To some people they would all mean the same; to others there would be a slight difference of meaning. A type is a figure, and is also a picture, designed to bring out certain important matters and details as Divinely appointed. A figure is a much less exact representation or statement of matters than a type. Abraham received Isaac from the dead in a figure (`Heb. 11:17-19`); that is, there is a pictorial illustration connected with the matter, but it is not so sharp as in a type.
A picture, a figure or a parable would have weight and value according to the character of the person who made the picture or the parable, and in proportion as it had intrinsic merit. A type would be beyond all this, in that it is very clearly defined and implies Divine foreknowledge and arrangement. God gives types. Men may give pictures, figures or parables.
A parable is a figure; it is a word-picture, but not a type. It has not the exactness of a type. We would use the words parable and picture in the same way; for we see no difference. A type is an exact pattern of its antitype, just as a printer's type corresponds to the matter printed therefrom. Isaac was a type of Christ; Rebecca, his wife, a type of the Bride of Christ; Ishmael, Abraham's son by Sarah's bondmaid, was a type of the nation of Israel, developed under the Law Covenant, which was typified by Hagar, the bondwoman.
UNBELIEF--Vs. Sin. ::Q722:3:: QUESTION (1913)--3--It is claimed that unbelief and lack of faith is sin, and is the sin spoken of by the Apostle Paul
in `Heb. 12:1`, the sin which doth so easily beset us. Is this the proper view?
ANSWER--I think that is not the proper view of the Apostle's language. I think the Apostle has in mind that there may be one sin or weakness that would especially beset you; there might be another one which would especially beset your brother or sister. There might be still another one that would beset me. Whatever sin it is that would easily beset you, and is, therefore, close to you, ever present with you, and always seeking to trammel you, cast it aside; it is your special danger. Be sure to lay it aside and run with patience the race set before us.
UNITY--Speaking the Same Things. ::Q723:1:: QUESTION (1908)--1--Please harmonize `1 Cor. 1:10`: "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing." Please harmonize this with this other Scripture: "For there must also be heresies, sects, divisions, among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you."
ANSWER--I think in the first Scripture the Apostle is speaking of the ideal condition for which we should strive; namely, that all who are truly the Lord's people ought to try to get the mind of Christ, and we ought to know that it will not be contradictory; that if you and I have different theories, there is something wrong, and we should not be satisfied to have anything wrong. There is only one way that is right, and we ought to be anxious to have that one way. If we all have the mind of Christ, we would all have the same mind; and if God has given us His Word, He has given it with that in view, that you might lay aside your personal views, and various peculiarities and tendencies of reasoning, and I might lay aside mine, and that all others might do the same, and take His Word. As I look over this congregation, and see how many different shaped heads there are, and the many different peculiarities of character there are, I might say, You people could not agree on anything; you have different kinds of heads altogether. But you see we can be all of one heart and of one mind, because whatever the processes of your natural brain organs are, you have agreed that you do not know anything about it, and that He knows all about it, and you will take His Word for it. And the other one agrees to the same, and I have agreed to the same; so now we all come together, and we have one common basis from which to work, and we ought to be able, by the grace of God, to do right. Our heads ought to be able to be in reasonable harmony on the Word of God. Let this be so, and let us strive to this end. Now it is possible, in fact it is probable, that amongst the Lord's people, as Apostle says, Grievous wolves will come in amongst you, and even among your own selves will some arise to draw away disciples after them, having a certain amount of pride and ambition. If this is so, what can you expect? Can you have one mind, one heart, one thought, under those conditions? No. Then it will be necessary for something to come in order that there may be a division, or that the wrong may be manifested. And there may be such a separation, because it will be better if there are any of that class in, that they should be out. So there are two Scriptures: the
one shows the ideal condition, and the other shows the actual working out of it. Sometimes these wrong conditions will come in, and it is God's will that there shall be an outworking, so that there will be a gradual separation, that that which is true and loyal to the Lord, and approved by Him, may be made manifest among you, that you may be able to see which is the wrong.
UNIVERSALISM--Pastor Russell's Belief. ::Q724:1:: QUESTION (1909)--l--Do you believe in universal salvation?
ANSWER--I believe that the world was universally lost through Adam. I believe in a universal redemption, that Christ by the grace of God tasted death for every man.
I believe in a universal opportunity, for this is the very reason that God gave His son to die for the world, and all, whoever will have it on God's terms of a perfect heart and love for God and man, may have it. Whoever will not have it on God's terms cannot have it at all, but will be destroyed from the presence of the people.
UNIVERSALISM--Re Salvation for Wilfully Wicked. ::Q724:2:: QUESTION (1909)--2--I understand there are three classes, first the Church; second, those who have tried but failed; and third, the wilfully wicked. Will the third class finally be saved?
ANSWER--A question like this shows that the one asking it has not thoroughly grasped the situation. We have been told if a person heard a church bell ring, or saw a Bible, it meant that he was in danger of going to heaven. Many people sell and handle Bibles who never knew what they teach. You see that the wilful sinners are not only those who have a will, but those who have it enlightened. Those who get the true light are those who have their eyes of understanding open. God is going to bless all the eyes soon so that they shall all see, for "All the blind eyes shall he opened and the deaf ears unstopped." Wilful wrongdoing will mean second death.
UNIVERSALISM--Re God Author of Sin. ::Q724:3:: QUESTION (1911)--3--Does the doctrine of Universalism by logical inference make God the author of sin?
ANSWER--I presume it would depend upon the kind of logic that was used. I think that one way of reasoning on the subject, this might be true, but I presume that our Universalist friends would not so think, and would have a different logic.
UNJUST STEWARD--Interpretation of The Parable. ::Q724:4:: QUESTION (1911)--4--Please give your interpretation of the parable of the unjust steward, referred to in the sixteenth chapter of St. Luke's Gospel? (`Luke 16`)
ANSWER--The Lord gave this parable in the hearing of his disciples, and also in the hearing of the Pharisees. He tells about a certain man who had been a steward and to whose care goods had been intrusted with all the responsibility and privilege that belonged to a steward of olden times. A steward in olden times was fully authorized to do with the goods just the same as the master himself would have done; he represented the master, fully and completely. This unjust steward had been reported to his master as having been unjust and not satisfactory. And he understood that
he was to be called to an account for the injustices of the past, and he said, "In view of this matter that I am about to be put out of this stewardship, I will make good use of the time I have left and the opportunity that is left to me." So he called his master's debtors, and said, "How much do you owe?"
"Well, I owe so much."
"Very well, I will discount that, make it less. I have the authority to do this; I am still steward."
If he had waited until he was put out of the stewardship he could not have reduced the bill; but he reduced the bill.
And then he called another, "what do you owe?"
"Well, I owe so and so."
"Very well, cut it down."
And so he did with several of those who were debtors to his master, and his master said, "That is a cunning, wise steward that I have. He saw that I was about to put him out of office, and he made good use of his time to 'feather his nest' and make things right, so that when he would be put out of the stewardship, he would have some friends amongst those people; because he did them kindness and reduced their accounts, they would think very kindly toward him." His master commended him. And then our Lord said that there was something of this kind that was due to be understood and appreciated in his time. So likewise those to whom he was speaking should have this same thought in mind. How is that? The Pharisees were the representatives of Moses, and as Jesus had said, the Scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. They therefore were the exponents of Moses, the exponents of the law, and when any of the people came to them, it was with them to say whether this thing should be a very severe application of the law, or a very slack application of the law; and Jesus said they went to the extreme of exacting the very last item and exaggerating the law to the people.
How did they do this? Well, Jesus said they would bind heavy burdens on the poor people without sympathy for them--burdens that they themselves were unable to carry, that they would not pretend to carry for themselves; but they would bind these burdens on the poor Jewish people. And the intimation of Jesus in this parable is, that those Scribes and Pharisees who have taken a different course and instead of trying to make out that the law was so very severe, they should have been making some sympathetic allowances for the people and should have been saying to the people, "Now you cannot keep that perfect law: I know that you cannot keep that perfect law, but now how nearly can you keep that law?"
"Well, we could not keep more than one half of it."
"Very well, keep one half of it then."
And to another one, "How much can you keep of the law?"
"Oh, maybe three-fourths."
"Very well, go and keep the three-fourths."
But instead of doing that, these Scribes and Pharisees were inclined to say, "If you do not live up to the very scratch you are no good. We Pharisees and Scribes live up to the scratch." Jesus made fun of them, saying, "You are hypocrites; you know that you do not keep that law any
more than those people do; you know you are just as bad as they are, and in the sense of being hypocritical, you are worse off than they are."
Now Jesus was telling them that the end of their age was at hand, and whatever they had been doing in the past, the time was here when they ought to be making friends instead of turning the people against them; they should be coming into the sympathy of the people instead of casting off the masses of the people saying, "You are sinners, we would not eat with you, or have anything to do with you." They should have been sympathetic, and trying to help the people, and saying, "Do the best you can; this law of God is a perfect law, and no man can keep it absolutely, but come in and try to do the best you can and God's blessing will be with you proportionately. You see, there was one lesson to the Scribes and Pharisees of what they should do in view of the fact that they were about to be put out of the stewardship. The law dispensation was about to come to an end, that is one reason why they should have been coming down and doing the very best that they could to be sympathetic with the people. But turning to his disciples, he gave a lesson to them, and to you and to me, saying, "make to yourselves friends with the mammon of unrighteousness." You have some of what may be termed the mammon of unrighteousness in your possession--that is, some of the things that are prized by the world in this present time, and where ever you can use earthly blessings, money, influence or anything else, to make friends, do so; do not try to make enemies out of the people in general. The very one lesson that you as my disciples should have in your minds, is, that you want to do good to the people and you want to bring, as my disciples, my message to all the people possible. Therefore, use every other thing as subordinate to this that you may have more power and influence and accomplish more good along this line. Count your earthly interests as secondary in every way and if by sacrificing a dollar, or a hundred dollars, or a thousand dollars, you can thus increase your influence and ability to serve the Lord and righteousness, be very glad of the opportunity. You are to seek, in the first place, chiefly, the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and leave all those other things, all your earthly interests, to God to take care of, and do not worship mammon, do not worship money, do not worship earthly interests, but worship God and his righteousness, and these things will take care of themselves.
UNRIGHTEOUSNESS--Holding The Truth in Unrighteousness. ::Q726:1:: QUESTION (1905) --1-- What is it to hold the truth in unrighteousness?
ANSWER--I would take that expression to be a very broad one, and that it would mean to have a knowledge of the truth that we did not live up to. Everyone is responsible for whatever degree he possesses. There is a degree of knowledge, such as we had in the Nominal church, to the extent that Christ died for our sins, even though we did not understand the philosophy of it. Now, not to live according to that truth would be to hold it in unrighteousness. Then we see, the sacrifice and therefore have an increase of
responsibility, and so every additional feature the truth brings will increase our responsibilities. From my point of view, all of us here who have been favored with the light of present truth have the greatest responsibility of any people in the world and therefore our lives should be according to the best standard of righteousness. That does NOT mean that we, by reason of truth, have a body made perfect, so that it would be possible for us to live more nearly perfect than the people of the world. There are some very fine people naturally that do not have the same degree of light, and they might be naturally more nearly righteous than those who have been blessed by the light. Often men like Robert Ingersoll are naturally very fine men. I did not know him personally, but I have heard that he was well born and naturally had the advantage over others. Sometimes among the Lord's people there are those who are naturally very mean. Some time ago (1898, page 179), we published an article in the Tower on the subject of "Mean Christians and Noble Unbelievers." How does the Lord view it? According to the thoughts and intent of the heart. Men are prone to judge by the outward appearance, but God by the heart. God's scale is 100 points of character--a perfect man. None have 100 points. See `Rom. 3:10,23`. Some may have as high as 50 points, others 40, 38, 35, 30, 25, 20, or even only 10 points of character. To judge them according to the flesh they would all fall short. How does God judge them? He does not judge them as coming under His notice at all until they come under Christ. The world has no standing at the present time. God has provided a redemption price and is going to let the world know about it in "due time." Until then they have neither part nor lot in the matter and are not counted at all. If Ingersoll was the finest man on earth God is having nothing to do with him at all. Reason would say that all the fine people would become the Lord's people, but the Scriptures say, "Not many wise, not many noble, chiefly the mean things of the world," mainly the mean things. God has made a plan and arrangements, and he is judging those who come into harmony with those arrangements, and it is chiefly the mean ones that come into harmony with him. Why is it? Because those naturally well born and having high ideals, etc., see others mean and contemptible, they say they are on a lower plane. They begin to say he is a mean fellow and needs a Savior, but God needs me, he needs a few such persons as I am to grace his place. But the Father will not let any come except by Jesus, which means coming by the cross, realizing that he is a sinner and needs the cross to pay the price of the sin. Stuck up people do not like to take something for nothing. The best man in the world is not worthy of everlasting life; there is only one way, and the best man in the world needs to come by that way as well as does the worst man. Referring to the 100-point scale. What is our hope if 100 points are needed? The 10-point brother might think that the 50-point brother had a better chance than he had, but the 50-point man, if he looked at the matter right, would realize that he cannot of himself reach the 100-point mark, and that he will need to apply the merit of Christ. God's plan is elastic enough to suit each one of these. Well, the 50-point man might ask, Is God going to give the 10-point
man more than he does me? Yes, the meaner the man the more the Lord will make up to him. He has arranged for the meanest one as well as for the others. "Where sin abounds there grace abounds the more." How does the Lord accomplish this? Does he just turn the matter over to us? Not exactly. One hundred points--the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us who are walking not after the flesh but after the spirit. They cannot walk up to the mark, but they can walk after it, walk in the direction of it, to the best of their ability. That does not take in the world because they are walking after the flesh. God counts us according to the intention of our minds on the 100 points, and Christ's death makes good to us the difference.
URIM AND THUMMIM--God's Answer. ::Q728:1:: Question (1911)--1--How did God answer by the Urim and Thummim?
ANSWER--Nobody knows exactly how this was done. The breastplate of the high-priest, which bore twelve precious stones, the name of each tribe on a stone, it is supposed, was taken by the High Priest into the Most Holy when some question was to be asked. For instance: Shall we go out to war, or refrain from war? Shall we do this, or the other? It is supposed that something in the Most Holy indicated the answer on this breastplate, either by making certain of the stone to shine with special brilliancy, or something of that kind; but it is all guesswork, nobody knows anything about it. It was supposed to be a yes or no. If it would be dark it would be no; if it would be light it would be yes, to whatever question was asked. If it was with reference to one particular tribe, the stone which represented such a tribe would either be light or dark in connection with that particular tribe. But it is all guesswork.
US--Went Out Because Not of Us. ::Q728:2:: QUESTION (1909)--2--Please explain `1 John 2:19`. "They went out from us, but they were not of us, etc." Were they not of us at one time?
ANSWER--I think this question might he viewed from two standpoints. If we were speaking of the Great Company and those who during this age go into the second death, we might say they went out from us before they had known of us. They certainly were of us or otherwise they could not have gone into the second death, but they were not of the very elect class that God foreknew.
Again, we would say of the Great Company. They are not of us. Well, they were of us, because we were all called in the one hope of our calling, and they failed to make good their High Calling, and therefore got into the Great Company, but they are not of us in the sense that they are not of the class that will attain unto the kingdom that God foreknew and foreordained as the elect, for He foreordained, as the Apostle said, only those who shall become copies of His Son. Therefore, the others are not of us if we are of those who are of the "us" class. It is merely according to the way you use the word.
VAIL--The Same Vail Untaken Away. ::Q728:3:: QUESTION (1910-Z)--3--Please explain this text "And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face that the children of Israel could not steadfastly look to the end of that which
is abolished; but their minds were blinded, for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the Old Testament, which vail is done away in Christ." --`2 Cor. 3:13,14`.
ANSWER--It was the intention that the Law Covenant should not be perpetual, because of the imperfections connected therewith. It has not yet been abolished, however, in the sense of being totally set aside. It is still operating and is still a condemnation upon those who are under it. But " to those who are in Christ Jesus," there is now no further condemnation; it is abolished so far as they are concerned.
The thought, then, would be that the Apostle is here speaking of the Law Covenant being abolished in the sense that it is condemned or that its passing away is arranged for. "Christ has become the end of the Law for righteousness to every one that believeth," not to every one who has given merely an intellectual assent, but to all who believe in the Scriptural sense--to all those who become his followers, all those who so thoroughly believe his message as to accept the wonderful provisions he has offered; for it; may properly be said that no one is fully a believer who does not accept God's offer of glory, honor and immortality--a proposition so wonderful that any one whose faith truly grasps it would sacrifice every other thing imaginable that he might avail himself of its offer.
If, therefore, some obey partially, the inference is that they believe only partially; but if they believe fully, then all the arrangements are made for them whereby they may make their "calling and election sure"; hence the frequent statements that "all things" are for believers--those who believe in the proper, full, thorough sense. So "Christ is the end of the Law," to all these, and the arrangement is that all the world shall yet have the opportunity of coming to a full knowledge and full belief, during the Millennial Age. The whole Jewish nation will be granted an opportunity of transfer from the [Law] Covenant, under Moses to the New Law Covenant, under the glorified Christ, in his Mediatorial Kingdom.
VISIONS--"It Will Surely Come--It Will Not Tarry." ::Q729:1:: QUESTION (1915)--1--What does `Hab. 2:3` mean? "For the vision is yet for an appointed time but at the end it shall speak and not lie. Though it tarry, wait for it: for it will surely come; it will not tarry."
ANSWER--This is explained on the first page of every issue of The Watch Tower. God has provided in His Word a great vision, a great revelation. It is a picture, so to speak. He has given this picture of His plan more or less clearly through the prophets and through the Law. The jubilees prefigured restitution to all the world. Other features of the Law, such as the Atonement Day sacrifices, etc., pictured other features of God's plan. The passover represented still other parts. These pictures were all harmonized into one great picture, or view--God's great plan to bless the world. "In thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed," God declared to Abraham. All this went to make up the great vision, or picture, that God purposed to give His people.
In proportion as we come to have the mind of God, we can understand more and more clearly what these things mean. The most important part of the picture was that Messiah would come, and that He would set up His kingdom. All of these promises would be parts of that great view, or vision. Its fulfillment would seem to tarry long. Does it seem as though God had forgotten that promise to Abraham? the prophet seems to query. It has sometime seemed as though God had forgotten it. "But," declares the prophet, "it will surely come; it will not tarry." It does not really tarry. There might be various times when we would expect to see more than we do see. We may have expected to see more of the trouble upon the world before this. The year 1915 is now more than half gone, and I think it very doubtful whether we shall see all we had expected in this year. It looks as though we were trying to hasten the fulfillment of the vision.
But the vision is still for an appointed time; and we are not to give it up. We trust ourselves to God's arrangement. It was not the Lord's way to have everything go off in October, 1914. I do not know how much may yet happen between now and October, 1915. If I were to give a guess, I would not be able to see how our expectations could all be realized between now and October, 1915. I hope they will. I shall wait longer than October, if necessary. The vision is sure. All these blessed things are positively certain to come; it is simply a matter of His time and of our understanding of His time. When you and I have fully grasped the main feature of all this matter, we are surely close to it. It was a very close hit that this great time of trouble began near October, 1914; and it is going on now at high speed. None of the prayers that it may stop are being answered. If the time of the world war had been merely a guess, it would certainly have been a great hit. It would have been a miracle. We have come very close to it, if not exactly.
VOLUME SEVEN--Re Issued in Time for Little Flock This Side.
::Q730:1:: QUESTION (1910)--1--Have we reason to expect Volume 7 in the popular published form in time to be of service to any of the Little Flock this side of the vail?
ANSWER--I do not know whether you have or not. I believe that it will be published in time to do some good this side of the vail to the Little Flock, for I understand it will be specially for the Little Flock and not for any others except the Little Flock and the Great Company. It is not for the world.
VOLUME SEVEN--Re 1913. ::Q730:2:: QUESTION (1913)--2--Volume 7 of Scripture Studies be published before 1913 A.D.?
ANSWER--Now that is more than I know.
VOLUNTEERING--Answering An Objection. ::Q730:3:: QUESTION (1906)--3--I have had people object to delivering tracts on Sundays, and I answer their objections "that this is Sunday reading."
ANSWER--Very good brother.
VOLUNTEERING--Objections to Sunday Morning Work. ::Q730:4:: QUESTION (1906)--4--There has been some objection
offered to distributing tracts early on Sunday morning. What would you advise?
ANSWER--I should say that was not a well founded objection.
WAR--Should Saints Go to? ::Q731:1:: QUESTION (1915)--1--Would it be committing suicide to refuse military service, if by so doing one knew he would be court-martialed and shot?
ANSWER--Each person has the right to think about this matter according to his own judgment. In my judgment, it would not be. I would consider it an opportunity for giving a very forceful witness for the Truth. We stand for righteousness, we stand for justice, and for everything that makes for peace. Hence for us to say, "Our King whom we serve has instructed us not to take life, and we cannot, therefore, engage in warfare, and if you think on that account we should be put to death, we are willing to die," would be a noble witness. We are willing to be such witnesses.
The word "witness" is in the Greek marturos, from which our word "martyr" comes. This Greek word means witness, many of God's children witnessing by their death; and our word "martyr" has this thought--one who witnesses by his death. Therefore to die as the result of refusing to engage in military service, to give our influence to war in any way, is one way by which God's people can become martyrs. The world's people will say, "If you do what you are told, you would not have any reason for losing your life." But we remember that the three loyal Hebrews who were cast into the furnace of fire said, "Be it known unto you, O King Nebuchadnezzar, that we will not bow down to the image which thou hast set up." (`Dan. 3:18`.) So it is well that God's children today should refuse to bow down to the image of war.
WAR--Re Compulsory Enlistment. ::Q731:2:: QUESTION (1916-Z)--2--I find myself confronted with a problem in which I feel sure you will help me. As you know, we shall have compulsory military service: I am seventeen years of age, and if the trouble be not over by the time I reach my nineteenth year, I feel that I would rather be shot as a "traitor" than to disobey God's command. Is there any way in which we could defend our loved ones without murder? I am greatly perplexed and anxious to do what is right. I shall follow your advice, so great is my belief that God is using you to enlighten those who are willing to learn. Hoping I have not interrupted too long, I am.
ANSWER--We rejoice to know that the Truth is thus being spread in every direction, and that the Lord is using the consecrated talents of His servants everywhere for the sealing of His saints in their foreheads--intellectually-- `Rev. 7:1-3`.
We are glad to note that you are in full agreement with what we said recently in The Watch Tower to the effect that God's consecrated people can have no interest in the war. If there be any excuse for violence and bloodshed anywhere, it would he in the actual defense of the home. The Bible, however, does not lay down laws for the world, but merely for God's consecrated people. To these the
Master's own example and words would seem to teach that although they may invoke every legal protection, barricade their homes, etc., against the enemy, such saints would not be disposed to take the lives of others--even in self-defense. And yet we confess that this would he a very serious test upon nearly all of them.
WEEPING--WAILING--GNASHING--To Whom Applies? ::Q732:1:: QUESTION (1916)--1--What is meant by "weeping and gnashing of teeth", "wailing and gnashing of teeth," and could this apply to the great company class?
ANSWER--There is certainly a great deal of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth--much of this going on now in the countries where there is war. There has been plenty of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth all the way down. We are all familiar with the weeping and wailing, but we are not accustomed to the gnashing of the teeth. This means chagrin, disappointment. "O God! I don't see why I should have done it." "I have failed." It signifies disappointment--sharp disappointment. It adds to the figure of weeping and wailing. We have seen much of this. Jesus in describing matters at the close of this age indicates that various classes will have sharp disappointment in connection with them. One would be a class of people who would be hypocritical, and the nominal church systems will have this experience also. The Scribes and Pharisees in the first advent who saw His works and heard His words, and yet treated Him as they did, when He shall come in power and great glory and they who pierced Him shall see Him, will be very sorry and disappointed, and will be found weeping and wailing. So with the nominal church of the present time who think they are heirs of everything that God has that is good, when they shall ultimately see what the Lord really is and does, I am sure that, at that time many people who have been so prominent in religious circles, when they see what the Lord will do, they will have keen disappointment and gnashing of teeth. This does not mean in any wise hell-fire or eternal torment. In regard to the man who had not on the wedding garment when the King came in to see the guests, unto whom he said, "Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment?" the inference is that he did not come in without a wedding-garment, because every one had to have one in order to get in, but the inference is that he had taken it off. The question was, why have you taken it off? The wedding garment represents Christ's merit, the imputation of His righteousness, the covering which He provides for His own. This man could say nothing, because he had taken it off. Everything had depended upon this covering at the first, and now, those who take this off, have nothing from the Lord. "Bind him hand and foot and cast him out into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth" is the Word for all such. Not into hell with fiery torments--it would not be very dark there. The outer darkness is the darkness the world is in now; the same darkness that we were in and which we left when we came into the light of the present truth, and we consecrated ourselves and received the holy spirit. If we go out of this light we will then go into that outer darkness in which we were before, and will share in
the weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth which the whole world is to have. After this war comes the symbolical earthquake, then the fire and there will be plenty of weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth during that time--that great time of trouble. The whole world will have a share in this. They will have so many disappointments. Anyone who has been in the light of the truth and then repudiated it will have his share with the outsiders in that great time of trouble. Won't some of the saints be there? If any shall be there they won't have any of this weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth, because the plan of God will be so clearly before them that they will lift up their heads and rejoice for the reason that the things occurring will presage their deliverance which is now so near at hand. It will be in the midst of these troubles that the great company will have their flesh destroyed.
WEDDING GARMENT--By Whom Worn? ::Q733:1:: QUESTION (1910-Z)--1--Is it your thought that only those who consecrate are ever really justified--have the robe of Christ's righteousness imputed to them, covering their sins and reckoning them perfect; that other believers have only the blessing of the knowledge of provision of justification which will be freely given then only on condition that they sacrifice in the footsteps of our Redeemer?
ANSWER--We understand the Scriptures to teach that there is a difference between a faith-justification and an actual-justification. The world during the Millennial Age under the processes of restitution will have full, grand opportunities for advancing from sin and death conditions to actual justification, righteousness--Covenant relationship with God. In the past the Ancient Worthies, because of faith in God, were esteemed by him and treated as in harmony with him, in Covenant relationship by faith, as though they were perfect. But more than that faith-justification they could not attain until after the merit of Christ's sacrifice would be appropriated for them. Christian believers of this Gospel Age are in a still different position. They are justified by faith in the same manner as were the Ancient Worthies, but additionally, Christ, having now made a special application of the merit of his sacrifice on their behalf under agreement that they will not keep it in a restitutionary sense, but that they will sacrifice it--after the manner shown us in our Lord's example.
So, then, at the beginning of our Christian experience we are granted fellowship with God through a faith- justification, which continues available for a reasonable time to permit us to come to a knowledge of the grace of God. It permits our coming to a knowledge of our privileges of sacrificing with our Redeemer; in becoming dead with him to all earthly interests, as well as dead to sin. The taking of this stand of consecration--self sacrifice--brought to us Divine acceptance, manifested by the begetting of the holy Spirit, and from that position as New Creatures we must progress and make our calling and our election sure. Those who, after coming to a knowledge of the Truth and to an opportunity of consecration to sacrifice unto death, and then fail to respond obediently, lose their justification, in the sense that it fails to become vital--divinely approved. Such receive the grace of God in vain--they receive a knowledge
of God's mercy and of their own privileges without profiting thereby--without accepting the only "call" of this age.-- `Eph. 4:4`.
Our conclusion or summary, then, is this: There is a justification by faith, which for a time gives a reckoned standing with God in his favor, during this age; but in order for this to become vital justification, it must be followed sooner or later by a full consecration. It is to those who consecrate to sacrifice, "those who have made a covenant with me by sacrifice" (`Psa. 50:5`), and who thus by faith become betrothed to Christ as members of his Body through fellowship in his sufferings--it is to these that the wedding garment is given. At a Jewish wedding, we cannot imagine the offering of robes to passers-by, who merely have knowledge that a wedding is in prospect. The parabolic picture applies to such persons as have heard of the wedding and believed in it and have turned from other works and pleasure with a desire to enter and participate in the matter. Their desires would extend to the taking of the first steps, of entering the door, before they would be handed the wedding garment. So with us. We had a reckoned justification from the time we first believed in Christ, trusted in his merit and heard something of the conditions upon which we could become his joint-heirs. It was not until we had counted the cost and fully decided to enter in, that we were reckoned as members of the Church of the First-born--members of Christ's Betrothed.
It follows, then, that the taking off of the wedding garment would properly enough symbolize either of two acts:
(1) Repudiation of the sacrificial work of Christ; or,
(2) Repudiation of our nuptial contract--to suffer with him; to be dead with him; to drink of his cup; to be baptized into his death; to go to him without the camp, bearing his reproach.
WILFUL SIN--To Whom Is Application for Forgiveness Made? ::Q734:1:: QUESTION (1912)--1--When we commit a partially wilful sin, do we apply to God through Christ for forgiveness, or to Christ our Advocate alone. "If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous."
ANSWER--If we commit a partially wilful sin do we apply to the Father, do you ask? "If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the Righteous." Jesus directed His followers to pray to His Father, for He Himself directed His prayers to the Father in Heaven. Our sins are against God, the Heavenly Father, and His Law is thus ignored and broken, but we have an Advocate through whose merits we can come to the Father, but this Advocate does not stand in the place of the Father. "No man cometh unto the Father but by Me." If we merely come to the Advocate and do not proceed further we are not going to the Father. We must come to the Father in the Name and through the merit of the ONE who redeemed us. At the same time, I cannot imagine how there can be any objection of the Father or anybody else to our offering a petition or thanksgiving to our Savior for all that He was so willing to do for us. The Scriptures clearly tell us: "All men should honor the Son as they honor the Father." To come to the Son and to respect Him and to offer him a petition
and to give Him our praise and thanksgiving would not be to come to Him and seek His forgiveness for sins we had committed. He Himself gives us this injunction : "OUR Father, forgive us our trespasses."
WILL--Death of As Illustrated in Tabernacle Shadows. ::Q735:1:: QUESTION (1910) --1-- Please give some illustrations of the yielding of self-will to death only by subjection as mentioned in Tabernacle Shadows page 71.
ANSWER--I don't remember the matter in Tabernacle Shadows. I do not understand the question exactly. Self-will is what we had at first when we came to God, and what we gave up when we presented our bodies living sacrifices. If we do not give up our wills then God does not accept us at all. Whoever did not give his will did not give anything, because the will carries all with it and God would not accept anything else. Now suppose we gave up our wills when we made our consecration to the Lord and suppose we proceed along the pathway of life, and trials and difficulties come to us, and we fail to maintain this submission of our wills; and suppose the will of the flesh is strong, and the will of the New Creature does not conquer the will of the flesh--what then? Then we are not walking after the spirit properly. That means we are yielding something to the flesh, and the Apostle says, if ye walk after the flesh ye shall die, but if through the spirit ye do mortify the deeds of the body ye shall live. So every one of the overcomers will have to mortify the will and the deeds of his flesh and bring it into subjection. Is it possible, for us to conquer the flesh? In our minds it is possible and that is what God is speaking about. He is speaking to your mind and to your heart. You must not consent to sin, you must not be servants of sin. The New Creature cannot take its orders from the Old Creature. The New Creature must be an overcomer. It may be sometimes a hard struggle between the two, but if you have been faithful in putting up a strong fight against the flesh, even if you failed in it, God might count you nevertheless as having been faithful to the extent you were able and give you a blessing, and really make that a strength for you in the future, if you remember that weak point the next time. You would say, There is the place I slipped before. Do you remember ever passing along a street where there was a slippery place and you fell? As you went past that place again you would say, There is the place I fell once. You would remember the spot where you slipped before, where the snow was over it, and how you fell down. I have had that experience several times. Now in spiritual matters it is the same way. Perhaps some place you slipped and fell down and that slip in God's providence may make you very strong on that particular point, because every time you go near there, you say, "Here, beware!" And it will strengthen your character on that very point. So by various experiences our Lord is teaching us in the School of Christ. And what he is looking at, let us never forget is the heart; and if your heart came off a victor, even if you failed in the particular trial at the particular moment, and if when you got up out of the difficulty you went to the Lord, in the name of the great Advocate, and apologized to him, and told him how sorry you were, and how you would endeavor in the
future to do better, then you know that you were forgiven, and a victory was thus gained. You did not count it all when you slipped and fell, but you counted it afterwards when your character was made stronger by following the directions of the Lord's Word and came with courage to the throne of heavenly grace that you might obtain mercy and find help in every time of need.
WILL--How to Determine the Lord's Will. ::Q736:1:: QUESTION (1910-Z)--1--Suppose some one has in mind an undertaking which he believes is of the Lord's leading, and yet others who are as consecrated to the Lord as himself, seem to think it may not be of the Lord's leading, is there any way whereby he can assure himself that he is right?
ANSWER--We think that it is a good rule, when one is uncertain as to what is the right course, to simply stand still and wait, if the matter can be dealt with in that way. But if it is a matter that cannot be delayed but must be determined at once, it would not do to stand still; but it would be well in many instances to merely stand and wait.
For instance, a gentleman asked us as to whether he should build a house or not. We were not hasty in giving him advice, and he urged us to tell him our thought. After he had told us all the conditions, we advised him not to build, and gave our reasons. We did not attempt to urge our views upon him at all, but left them there. It is well for us to remember not to give too much concern about things that are not in our hands to decide; we would thus save ourselves a deal of trouble. In everything, however, that is in our hands to decide, we should use a great deal of care and judgment and try to find out the Lord's will in the matter.
In the case of people having different opinions about things, we think it well for one, if the responsibility rests with him, to hear what others may have to say and then consider the matter with as much wisdom and judgment as possible, and proceed to act according to his best judgment, taking into consideration the reasons advanced by his friends, bearing in mind, however, that the responsibility of decision is with himself.
WILL--Human Will vs. Nature. ::Q736:2:: QUESTION (1913)--2--Do you understand that there is any difference in the depraved will and the human nature?
ANSWER--The human nature has not a depraved will. The human nature is that which Adam had. The depraved will in us now is because we have merely the depraved human nature. Adam's will as a perfect man was a perfect human will, and the will of the natural man today, because depraved, is a depraved will.
WILL--New Will Antedates Spirit-Begetting. ::Q736:3:: QUESTION (1915)--3--Will you please explain the meaning of the new human will, or the difference between this and the New Creature?
ANSWER--The new human will--I am not sure whether we would best call it the human will. Call it the new will! The new will comes in before we become New Creatures. You must have a will to do the will of God before you seek to do it. And when you seek to do the will of God you will remember that He has directed that you should go to the
Lord Jesus Christ for instructions. Then as you go to Him for instructions, He becomes your Wisdom and shows you the way. But you willed to do this before you came at all. That was a new will, but altogether your own. No matter what gave you the impulse to have a change of attitude toward God and righteousness, it was first your will that willed to do God's will. It was not the New Creature; for no New Creature begins until the spirit-begetting takes place, and that does not take place until after you have your new will.
This will accepts the terms of justification, i.e., it makes a full consecration. When the earthly will--the new earthly mind--accepts the terms of justification, by submitting itself in entire consecration to the Lord, the individual is begotten by the Holy Spirit. Then he becomes a New Creature. We may then still speak of this will as the new will, because the new will does not die in our sacrifice, but it becomes now the will of the New Creature, and is even more conformed to God by reason of its possessor's being begotten of God's Spirit. This new will now begins to dominate everything. It has full control, and only then is it recognized of God. The individual has a new standing from the time when he receives the begetting of the Spirit.
WINDS--Re The Four of Heaven. ::Q737:1:: Question (1911)--1-- In Revelation we read about the four winds of heaven being holden by four angels that they should not blow upon the earth nor hurt the trees and grass, etc. What do we understand these winds to signify and how soon may we expect them to be let loose?
ANSWER--It is a symbolic expression, of course, dear friends. All the book of Revelation is symbolic. The four winds we understand to represent the completeness, as we speak of a square as being complete, and as the four corners of the earth; and again we speak of north, south, east and west, thus giving the four corners of the earth, figuratively. And it is represented that the angels are holding the winds. What winds? Well, certain winds are represented in symbolic language as being false doctrines --as, for instance, "be not carried about by every wind of doctrine." Here false doctrines are symbolically spoken of, winds that carry about some that are unstable, that do not understand the divine plan; they never get settled as to what anything means, because they have never had a right understanding of the matter. They have never had the solidifying influence of the truth upon them. Then again winds are used to represent strife. And winds again are used to represent war and trouble and confusion. And four winds let loose would represent a whirlwind, you see, as the four would come together; and so the Scriptures represent that in the end of this age, the time of trouble that will come on the earth will be as a whirlwind from the four corners of the earth. Now what will cause this whirlwind of trouble? I will remind you that Satan is said to be the prince of the power of the air, and otherwise he is said to be the prince of demons. These powers of the air, we believe, are the demoniacal powers, the powers of the evil spirits, and our thought respecting the letting loose of those four winds is that it will mean a time of the breaking loose of the fallen angels from the restraint which has been upon them for now about four thousand three hundred years, since the time these fallen
angels sinned, as Saint Peter says, when the ark was preparing--going back a long ways to the days of Noah; they were then shut up on account of their disobedience to God; they were restrained in chains of darkness, Saint Peter says, and Saint Jude also, and this restraint of chains of darkness was to be until a certain time, namely, until the judgment of the Great Day. Our thought is that this text of Scripture has reference to this same power of the air. The same fallen angels; and the breaking loose or letting loose of these from restraint means that the time will come when God will no longer restrain these evil spirits, and that there will be a great time of trouble come upon mankind as a consequence of their being permitted to interfere with the human race. We cannot doubt that certain spirits that worked havoc back in the days of our Lord would have done still worse if they had had an opportunity. We cannot doubt they would do the same today if they were permitted. Evidently, to my mind, the fallen angels have been restrained for all these centuries. The wind has not yet been allowed to blow, the great storm which they willingly would brew has not yet been allowed to come to pass, and will not be allowed to come to pass until the 144,000 shall have been sealed in their foreheads; that is, until the elect shall all have been recognized of God and identified and completed. Then suddenly these evil influences will be allowed to come upon the earth, and a time of trouble will ensue such as never was since there was a nation. Jesus says, "Neither will there ever be again such a time."
WISE AND FOOLISH VIRGINS--Re Great Company and Serving at Marriage. ::Q738:1:: QUESTION (1911)--1--If the wise and foolish virgins represented the Little Flock and the Great Company, how is it that the Great Company get in to serve at the marriage of the Lamb after the door is shut and the bridegroom says, "I never knew you?"
ANSWER--I would advise the questioner to read that chapter of studies in the Scriptures which deals with this particular parable in an extended manner. You will get it much more satisfactorily than I can hope to answer it here in the time at our disposal. I could merely say that this parable of the wise and foolish virgins is applied to the end of this age--not to the entire age, but to the end of the age; at about the time that Messiah is to be expected to gather his Bride Class, the wise virgins will go in to the wedding with the Lord. They had the light, they had the blessing, and after all of them have gone in the door to the wedding, the door to the Bride Class, will be closed; and then we read that the other class, the foolish virgins--just as much virgins, you see, both classes were virgins, and "virgins" stand here for pure, or that which is in harmony with God. We are not to suppose these foolish virgins went to eternal torment because they did not have the oil, and we are not to suppose they go to some terrible end because they do not get into the marriage. It is a great privilege to get into the marriage, it is a wonderful privilege to become members of the Bride, the Lamb's wife, only the more than conquerers will get that blessing; then this other class that were over- charged with the cares of this life, and did not take the proper time to examine and get the light, to get the oil--what happens to them?
Here we read that after the wise virgins had gone in, these foolish virgins having gone to buy oil, and finally getting the oil, getting the light, getting the information, become wise then, but by the time they got wise, and had the light the door was shut, the full number, the complete number of the elect had gone in, and there could not be any more come in as the elect. Whatever would come to those would be outside of that special privilege of joint heirship with Christ. Other Scriptures show us that blessings will go to that class, but they will be obliged to prove their loyalty by passing through the great time of trouble and symbolically washing their robes and making them white. When the Lord says, "I never knew you," the translation should properly be rendered, I do not recognize you. That is to say he recognizes only the one class as his Bride Class, he cannot recognize these others as his Bride Class, because they were not found worthy. The pictures in the Scriptures show us that they are to come in and be associated with the Bride Class, in the sense of being bridesmaids or attendants, or servants of the Bride Class, colaboring and co-operating with them; as, for instance, we read in, I believe,--the forty-sixth Psalm, (`Psa. 46`) where we have a picture given us of the Bride Class, that the Bride is all glorious within; she shall be brought before the King in raiment of fine needlework of gold. Then the virgins, her companions that follow her, shall also be brought in before the King.
WOMAN--What Does She Symbolize? ::Q739:1:: QUESTION (1908)--1--In `Luke 15:8`, we read: "Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?" In an article in the Tower, this woman is shown to represent "divine energy." Is there any other place that woman symbolizes anything but the Church?
ANSWER--I doubt that a little. I do not remember writing that a woman represents divine energy; if I did I have forgotten it. We would have to have the quotation from the Tower before we would ever believe that women represented divine energy. I have great regard for the sisters, but I did not know that woman was ever used to symbolize divine energy. I don't think I ever said so; if I did, I was thinking of something else. The reference is not given and the quotation is not given. The fact that something in the Tower might be misunderstood would not surprise us any. Why, we find a whole lot in the Bible that has been misunderstood.
WOMAN--Woman the Glory of Man--The Church the Glory of Christ. ::Q739:2:: QUESTION (1910-Z)--2--In the Scripture which says that woman is the glory of man, is the intimation conveyed that the Church is the glory of Christ?
ANSWER--We understand it is. We are not to understand by this, however, that woman is the glory of the man in the sense of being more glorious than the man; nor that the Church is the glory of Christ in the sense of being more glorious than Christ; nor that the Son is the glory of the Father in the sense of being more glorious than the Father; but we do understand that the Father is especially glorified in the Son because of the closeness of the relationship existing between them and because of the honor that the
Father has shown the Son. Similarly Christ will be glorified in the Church because the wonderful glory that will be manifested through the Church will be a reflection of the glory of Jesus--all as a result of the Father's grace through him.
WOUNDS--Wounded in House of Friends. ::Q740:1:: QUESTION (1910) --1--In `Zec. 13:6`, we read, "And one shall say unto him, what are these wounds in thy hands? Then shall he answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends." The above text has been offered as proof that our Lord, at his second advent, will have a body of flesh. Kindly throw a little light upon it.
ANSWER--Well, I do not know that I can throw any particular light upon it, except that we know that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven. He is to be the King and therefore he cannot be flesh and blood. Therefore, to my mind that settles the matter. I would suppose that this was the way God was pleased to state the matter through the prophet, so as to call attention to the fact that our Lord would be wounded in the hands in the house of his friends. As we read, "He came unto his own and his own received him not," but wounded him, crucifying him.
ZEAL--Re Reproach. ::Q740:2:: QUESTION--2--In order for the saints to do their duty, is it necessary for them to be so zealous for the Lord and His work as to bring bitter reproach upon themselves?
ANSWER--Well, it would depend. There is a mild way of doing things that will avoid much of the bitterness and much of the reproach, and that is the better way. You will notice the Apostle Paul's method, when addressing some of the notable men before whom he was called, Felix, Festus, Agrippa, etc. He might have said something in a very braggadocio style that would have aroused the opposition of everybody present. He might have said, What are you? What is the Roman Empire? The Lord Jesus is greater than you all. All that would have been true, but he did not say it. He said, I am glad, most noble King Agrippa, that I am privileged to make my defense in your presence, because I know you are familiar with the things in the Law and in Jewry. You see, he was very complimentary. He did not bring opposition because of foolishness, and that is the lesson that you and I want to learn. The Lord is not going to bless you much for doing foolish things. Be as "wise as serpents and as harmless as doves." Whenever you have done the best you can, don't be surprised if the world, even after you have done them a kindness, should hate you. Our Lord said, "Marvel not if the world hate you and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake." You will get plenty of it then. You are to be prepared then, dear friends, for plenty of opposition, and this will be a time for your faithfulness. The Scriptures tell us that whosoever will live godly in this present age shall suffer persecution. If you do not have any persecution, it is a sign that you are not living godly, and you had better hurry up and live godly, so as to have a chance of getting into the Kingdom--only do not make the mistake of acting foolishly. I do not mean to say that I myself have not done things that were not done in the wisest manner, but I hope we are all learning to be as wise as we can.