ZWT - 1915 - R5600 thru R5819 / R5783 (305) - October 15, 1915
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VOL. XXXVI OCTOBER 15 No. 20
A. D. 1915--A.M. 6044
Views From The Watch Tower........................307
The Millennium of Peace.......................307
Decline to Promote War........................307
Revolution and Anarchy Coming.................308
"God Manifest in the Flesh".......................309
God Manifest in Perfect Humanity..............309
Our Lord's Beauty of Holiness.................310
Incarnation Theory Not Scriptural.............311
Meditations in the Night..........................311
To Serve, Not to Be Served........................312
Profitless and Profitable Service.................313
Murders Her Grandchildren.........................314
Too Much Money....................................315
Scriptural Method of Giving...................315
Eureka Drama--Class Extension.....................316
No National Prejudices............................317
"Blessed Are They That Trust in Him"..........318
"Beware of Wolves"............................319
As Moments Pass, the Kingdom Nears (poem).........319
WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, PRESIDENT
"BROOKLYN TABERNACLE," 13-17 HICKS ST.,
BROOKLYN, N.Y., U.S.A.
Foreign Agencies:--British Branch: LONDON TABERNACLE, Lancaster Gate, London, W. German Branch: Unterdorner Str., 76, Barmen. Australasian Branch: Flinders Building, Flinders St., Melbourne. Please address the SOCIETY in every case.
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Terms to the Lord's Poor as Follows:--All Bible Students who, by reason of old age, or other infirmity or adversity, are unable to pay for this Journal, will be supplied Free if they send a Postal Card each May stating their case and requesting its continuance. We are not only willing, but anxious, that all such be on our list continually and in touch with the STUDIES, etc.
ALSO FRENCH, GERMAN, SWEDISH AND DANISH EDITIONS. SAMPLE COPIES FREE.
ENTERED AS SECOND-CLASS MAIL MATTER AT BROOKLYN, N.Y., POSTOFFICE. ENTERED AS SECOND-CLASS MATTER AT THE POSTOFFICE DEPT., OTTAWA, CANADA.
The friends at various places where Brother Russell will be addressing the public are arranging for little, quiet, local conventions. Places intending such gatherings have sent us the particulars named below.
For information respecting board and lodging at economical rates address the class secretaries.
DETROIT, Mich., October 16, 17.
Dr. E. A. McCosh, Sec'y, 309 Broadway, Market Bldg.
ADRIAN, Mich., October 17.
H. Sillaway, Sec'y, 134-1/2 E. Beecher St.
BAY CITY, Mich., October 18.
A. E. Hendricks, Sec'y, 512 Ketchum St.
ERIE, Pa., October 19.
O. R. Frederick, Sec'y, R.F.D., No. 5.
CHICAGO, Ill., October 23.
A. L. Seeley, Sec'y, 7150 Langley Ave.
DES MOINES, Ia., October 23, 24.
J. A. Irving, Sec'y, 1548 11th St.
DUBUQUE, Ia., October 24, 25, 26.
E. C. Mahon, Sec'y, P.O. Box 155.
DAVENPORT, Ia., October 24, 25, 26, 27.
Miss L. M. Albertson, Sec'y, The St. James.
ROCKFORD, Ill., October 26.
E. A. Gleasman, Sec'y, 413 N. Winnebago St.
PARSONS, Kans., October 28.
R. R. Wilson, Sec'y, 2521 Grand Ave.
JOPLIN, Mo., October 29.
J. P. Hemphill, Sec'y, 527 N. Wall St.
WEBB CITY, Mo., October 30.
Mrs. W. A. Van Sickle, 1018 W. Aylor St.
ST. LOUIS, Mo., October 31.
J. H. Hoeveler, Sec'y, 6126 Waterman Ave.
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VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER
THE MILLENNIUM OF PEACE
--A PROMINENT NEW YORK BANKER'S OPINION--
THE cost of the war is now around $50,000,000 per day, and the amount spent thus far for a year of war is estimated to have been about $15,500,000,000. The wealth of the United States has been computed to be something in the neighborhood of $189,000,000,000. The first year of war has cost about one twelfth of this vast amount. At this rate of destruction a sum equal to the total wealth of the United States would be wiped out in twelve years.
"But to this money cost of a year's war must be added the value of manufacturing and other buildings in villages, towns and cities, all or a large part of which have been destroyed, of crops devastated, of goods and household properties ruined, and of vast further losses sustained in the communities, which are being fire-and-shot-swept in the path of the contending armies. Nothing is included here of the industrial value of human lives which have been destroyed by the millions. Not taking into account the agony and grief which engulfs all Europe, the contemplation of the economic waste of war is appalling. And it is no wonder that the minds of many millions turn to the problem of how peace can be brought about. It is a fact, however, that these problems occupy the thoughts of people in this and other neutral countries more than they do those of the belligerent nations. The National City Bank, in its August circular, says that the appalling destructive results of the year of war signify practically nothing as to when the conflict will end; that there are no signs that either side is running out of men or money or that the people of any of the warring countries are weakening in resolution or confidence.
"For many people on this side it is impossible to understand this, but when it is thoroughly appreciated that a patched-up-peace would mean merely a deferring of further fighting until recuperation could be effected and that then the whole bloody conflict would have to be fought out over again to an even bitterer end, the determination of the belligerents will be better understood. There is only one result which can now be accepted as an outcome of this world war, and that is a result which will mean disarmament of the nations and a peace of a thousand years. With every country stripped of its fighting organizations, and safety in the keeping of an international police force, the vast sums wrung by taxation from the various people for keeping up prodigious armies and navies would be turned to the arts of peace and commerce and relieved from the terrible burden and anxiety which has increasingly oppressed Europe for years, the countries of the world would devote themselves individually to the winning of prosperity and happiness.
"The national debts of the warring countries have nearly doubled since the war began, and carrying these will entail added taxation in the years to come. If a peace were now concluded which did not make later conflict impossible, this added taxation for paying interest on an enormously increased National debt besides the immense sums for which the countries would be taxed to establish new and larger military organizations, would make the life of individuals unbearable. Repudiation of National debts might, and would, be very likely to follow.
"The war must be fought to a conclusion which will positively prevent a recurrence of conditions that will
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make it possible for any nation to attack another. Death of militarism is the only hope of peace. And this country is as much interested in such a conclusion as are any of the combatants.
"If we look at our own position selfishly, it will be seen that any other result would place us in the ring of nations which must defend its rights by preponderating military and naval power. By the course of events we are already placed in that position and must now take up at once the task and enormous expense of placing ourselves in readiness to meet with powerful equipment of men and munitions, near or remote contingencies on land or sea.
"In the meantime the influence of the United States must be used in whatever way may be most efficient to bring about world disarmament as the only means of preserving civilization, the very existence of which is now threatened."--Bache Review.
DECLINE TO PROMOTE WAR
Editorially the New York American says: "Very soon after the war broke out it became evident that each of the belligerents would be short of money before many months had elapsed. It was also evident that sooner or later loans would be sought in America. The prevailing opinion was that Germany and Austria would be first to seek loans, since England, France and Russia had piled up nearly twice as much gold in preparation for war as had the Teutonic empires.
"In no long time it turned out that a German loan was sought to be floated in this country. Under these circumstances
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--the Germans actually seeking a loan and England and France being probable loan seekers--certain American bankers inquired of the Administration whether the Government would look with tolerance upon the making of war-loans by Americans to foreign belligerent powers. The answer was an emphatic negative. In the exact words of Mr. Wilson these bankers were told that any effort to finance loans for belligerents during the war 'WOULD BE INCONSISTENT WITH THE SPIRIT OF NEUTRALITY.'
* * *
"The Administration no longer deems it the 'best practise of nations in the matter of neutrality' to discourage the exportation of arms and munitions to foreign belligerents. It believes in encouraging not only the ordinary manufacture and sale of weapons and ammunition, but the most EXTRAORDINARY efforts to supply belligerents with these means of murder in IMMENSE QUANTITIES. It no longer believes that floating foreign war loans in the United States is 'inconsistent with the spirit of neutrality.'
"The Administration has just let it be known through the Secretary of State that the Government looks with favor upon the efforts of the British Commission to negotiate in this country the unprecedented war-loan of a thousand million dollars.
"That the Administration is no longer in favor of praying for peace we will not affirm. But we do affirm that a prayer for peace is an insult to the ear of God when the Administration employs its power to promote the shipments of arms and the loans of millions which alone make the prolongation of war possible and which alone prevent the early making of peace.
"These statements are not partisan political declamation. They are plain statements of 'INDISPUTABLE AND UNDISPUTED FACTS.' If the people of the United States want the European war prolonged, they can prolong it for months, possibly for years. All they need to do is to supply the European Governments with ammunition and money. The European Governments will supply the men to be butchered. They will supply the victims of wholesale murder, if we will make the weapons of wholesale murder and lend the money to continue the murderous use of those weapons in the full force of their destructiveness over a sufficiently protracted period.
"What else can be said of the attempt to borrow one thousand millions in this country save that it is an attempt to prolong the war, and to make the war even more hideously murderous and destructive than it is?
"The exact truth is that Mr. Morgan and his foreign allies ask the neutral people of the United States to supply four civilized nations of Europe with the money and weapons to destroy two other civilized nations.
"The people of the United States are asked to do for England, France, Italy and Russia exactly what the Japanese are doing. The Japanese Premier told the Japanese Diet last week that at the peace conference Japan would certainly insist on her share of the spoils if the allies were victorious, BECAUSE JAPAN HAD RENDERED MORE EFFICIENT AID TO HER ALLIES BY MANUFACTURING WEAPONS AND AMMUNITION THAN SHE COULD HAVE DONE BY SENDING HER ARMY AND NAVY TO THEIR HELP. And what Japan, a confessed ally and declared belligerent, is doing is exactly what we are told it is our neutral duty to do.
"A plain-thinking, honest man is hard put to it to distinguish the difference between hostility and neutrality, WHEN BOTH RENDER EXACTLY THE SAME SERVICE TO THE SAME BELLIGERENTS, THOUGH ONE IS A DECLARED ALLY AND THE OTHER A PROFESSED NEUTRAL.
"As things are going, and with no guilt of blood on our hands, the financial domination of the world is surely within our grasp. The British pound, the French franc, the German mark are all falling in value compared with the American dollar. Thus a great and favorable exchange profit comes to the legitimate manufacturer and producer of the United States.
"Wall Street financiers propose that we shall actually strip ourselves of the one huge innocent advantage of the war, in order to secure the payment of blood-money to the makers of the weapons of murder and to prolong indefinitely the grief and guilt of the war.
"Against this unpatriotic, this unprofitable, this unneutral, this inhuman course of proposed conduct we protest in the name of neutrality, in the name of patriotism, in the name of humanity, and, finally, in the name of civilization itself, thus menaced and imperilled and rapidly being brought face to face with the destruction of all its gains through so many wonderful centuries of the white man's struggles and achievements."
REVOLUTION AND ANARCHY COMING
In some of the statements following, the Editor of the New York American, probably without the slightest knowledge of the Editor of THE WATCH TOWER and his presentations, has used language that is almost identical in respect to the outlook--that, after the present war will come the greatest revolution ever known and that it will be followed by anarchy. What the Editor of THE WATCH TOWER discerns from the teaching of the Bible and has expressed for the last forty years the Editor of the American now sees without the aid of prophetic information. Doubtless before long the entire world will begin to see the same thing with the eyes of their understanding and, later on, with their natural sight. THE WATCH TOWER is not to be understood as endorsing the New York American or its presentations, past, present or future, on all subjects. We have quoted from it, and are quoting again in this issue, matters which show that its Editor is awake and approximating facts and experiences that soon will be manifest to all. We quote as follows:--
FROM THE NEW YORK AMERICAN SEPTEMBER 28TH:
"The Wall Street promoters of the European war loan have told the English and French Commissioners that they are unwilling to murder the manhood of Europe, to make widows of the women, orphans of the children and mourners of the mothers for five per cent, BUT THEY WILL DO IT FOR FIVE AND ONE-HALF PER CENT.
"They have said they would not be responsible for the protraction of this wicked war, the further destruction of inestimable treasures in Europe, the inevitable and possibly disastrous complications in our own financial and political and diplomatic situation here in America for five per cent, BUT THEY WILL FOR ONE-HALF OF ONE PER CENT MORE.
"They have sternly declared that they will not repudiate America's high political principles and abandon America's lofty humanitarian ideas and imperil America's material progress and prosperity for anything less than that additional ONE-HALF OF ONE PER CENT.
"The measure of the conscience, the humanity and patriotism of Wall Street is now clearly defined and mathematically expressed.
"The probabilities now are that the loan will be made, the additional pound of flesh, or half pound of flesh, having been guaranteed, but the punishment for America's evil participation in Europe's wicked war will duly and deservedly come through the revolution and repudiation which are very likely to follow this war.
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"The first rumblings of revolution are already discernible in Russia, and discontent among the working classes is beginning to spread to a considerable extent in Great Britain.
"If the war is sufficiently prolonged there will undoubtedly be revolution and probably red anarchy in most of the nations involved in the war.
"In the wake of revolution will follow repudiation of public obligations or depreciation so great that it will amount to repudiation.
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"If any reader, accustomed to the security of peace, imagines that such depreciation is impossible, let him recall the fact that in French Revolutionary times assignats depreciated to less than three per cent of their value, and assignats, too, were better than treasury notes, for they at least had the value of the land behind them.
"Perhaps even FIVE AND ONE-HALF per cent. interest is insufficient inducement for a loan which in the eventualities of war and revolution may become worth less than three cents on the dollar.
"If any reader, accustomed to the sound and stable government of this country, believes that revolution is not now possible in any European State, let him ask himself frankly how long he believes the strong-bodied, stern-minded, plain people of Europe are going to endure the immeasurable misery of this unnatural war into the hellish depths of which they have been precipitated by the vanities and inanities, the enmities and jealousies of their arrogant and ambitious rulers.
"Revolutions are not respectful of royalty, nor of constituted authority, nor of the established order. Revolutions are not regardful of the financial obligations of a deposed and discarded system. Revolutions exhibit no such soft and suave consideration for money and the money power as calm and conservative governments do.
* * *
"To evade their humanitarian obligations, and avoid heavy and harrowing responsibilities, the loan promoters of Wall Street say that the particular marked dollars of this loan shall not be used for the purchase of arms and ammunition. Such a statement, however, is insincere and inconclusive.
"We are increasing the financial resources of the countries to which we make this loan by the exact amount of the loan, and their additional financial resources enable them to buy additional arms and ammunition."
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"GOD MANIFEST IN THE FLESH"
"Great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels."--`1 Timothy 3:16`.
GOD, the great Origin, or Fountain of Life, is pleased to manifest Himself in various creations. And all of His intelligent creations which He recognized as sons, were of His likeness. The Logos, the beginning of God's creation, was in the Divine likeness. Not only was He a spirit Being (and God is a Spirit), but more than this, He was a spirit Being in the character-likeness of His Father, His Creator.
Moreover, when the Logos became the active Agent of the Father in creating the various orders--angels, cherubim, seraphim--they were all created in the image of the Father. The angel sons of God sang together and shouted for joy as they saw the different creations. When it came time to make a still different order of creatures, an order that had never before existed; namely, human beings, God carried out through the Logos, His purpose of creating man in His own image, His own likeness. And God declared Himself well pleased with man.
A description of the first man is given us in the `Eighth Psalm`: "Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of Thy hands; Thou has put all things under his feet; all sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field, the fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea." Adam was the master, or king, of all these. He represented something that the angels did not represent; for none of them were ever set over anything. God Himself is Ruler of all things, and Adam and the Logos were the only ones who were in any sense of the word set over anything.
When God made man, He made him like Himself in this particular--that he had a dominion. When the angels were created, they were God manifest in different orders of beings--cherubim, seraphim and the lower orders of angels. When it came to the creation of man, he also was made in God's image. God was manifest in flesh. But we cannot say that God is manifest in the flesh now. The original likeness to God has been obliterated by sin. The reign of Sin and Death has to a considerable extent erased these traces of God's image. And the Scriptures plainly show us that we have lost this image and likeness of the Creator.
Adam was called a son of God because he was in covenant relationship with God; but when he became a sinner, he lost this relationship. None of the Jews were sons of God. Abraham was styled a friend of God. Although God had approved of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the Prophets and others in Israel, and indicated that a great blessing would be theirs, they could not be treated as sons. God said, in substance, when speaking to Abraham, My friend, I will show to you My Covenant. "In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed."
GOD MANIFEST IN PERFECT HUMANITY
Everything must wait until that great antitypical Seed of Abraham should come. We have the record of how this One would come who was to be the Deliverer, the Antitypical Seed of Abraham. After reasoning about the Logos--how He was made flesh and dwelt amongst men --St. John declares that Jesus had the glory of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace, full of truth. This was the way above all others in which God was manifest in the flesh.
When the lower animals saw Adam, they saw the very best representation of God possible to them. Nothing could be made in the flesh that would be more like God. And when the time came for God to send His Son into the world, He set before Him the great privilege of being man's Redeemer. And when He was made flesh, all those who beheld Him saw the glory of the Only Begotten of the Father. When any looked upon Him, they saw the Father in the most absolute sense in which it would be possible for them to see Him.
God said to Moses, "No man shall see My face and live." Saul of Tarsus merely had a glimpse of Jesus glorified, and yet the glory was so great that if he had had a full look he would not have lived. Jesus was the express image of the Father. Jesus is the express image of the Father. And if no man can see God and live, then he cannot see Jesus and live.
GOD MANIFEST IN THE PRINCES
But God has made a provision that when Christ's Kingdom shall be established amongst men, there will be
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earthly representatives through whom Messiah will govern and uplift mankind during the thousand years. God has just such a class prepared and ready for this work-- Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the other Ancient Worthies. These are to be counted worthy of an instantaneous change to human perfection. These experience no change of nature in their resurrection, because they were not begotten of the Spirit. There was no one begotten of the Spirit until Pentecost, except our Lord at Jordan. "The Holy Spirit was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified." Therefore those Ancient Worthies had merely the testimony that they pleased God. Because of their loyalty to God and the principles of righteousness, some of these Ancient Worthies were stoned; some were sawn asunder; some were tempted; some were slain with the sword; they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; of whom the world was not worthy." --`Hebrews 11:37-40`.
These, although they had received God's Promise, received not the things promised them. For instance, God had promised Abraham, "All the land which thou seest will I give unto thee." Abraham must have a resurrection in order for God's Word to come true. He must get that land. But there was no suggestion to Abraham of glory, honor, and immortality--no suggestion to him of becoming a partaker of the Divine nature and a joint-heir with Jesus. See `Acts 7:5`; `Hebrews 11:17-19`.
This change of nature began with Jesus. Christ has brought to men not only the knowledge of life and immortality, but also that there is a privilege of gaining this life with Him: "Which salvation began to be spoken by our Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard Him." (`Hebrews 2:3`.) But the Ancient Worthies had the faith to believe God, to trust His Promise and to wait for the fulfilment of that Promise. They merely had the intimation that God would roll away the curse. And Abraham's Seed was to be the glorious channel of God's blessing--"In thee and in thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." So St. Paul tells us that they received not the things promised them, "God having provided some better thing for us [the Gospel Church], that they without us should not be made perfect."--`Heb. 11:40`.
The Ancient Worthies cannot get their blessing before we get ours. The Bride must be glorified before any of the faithful of the past can come in and get their blessing. Then forthwith the Kingdom will be established. And then Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the other Worthies will be the first children of Christ. Instead of being the fathers, they will be the children, and He will make them princes, rulers, in all the earth. (`Psalm 45:16`.) Being resurrected perfect men, they will be the perfect images of God. In each one of these Ancient Worthies God will be manifest in the flesh. They will be princes at that time and rule the earth, under Christ's Kingdom.
Jesus corroborated this thought when He said, "Ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the Prophets, in the Kingdom of God." (`Luke 13:28`.) Of Himself He said, "Yet a little while, and the world seeth Me no more." (`John 14:19`.) If we should not be changed to spirit-conditions by the power of our resurrection, we would not see Him any more than will others who will continue on the human plane. The dead in Christ rise first (`1 Thessa. 4:16,17`), and those "who are alive and remain," will, at His manifestation, be made like Him, be "changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye." At the moment of our change we shall see not only our Lord, but all the holy angels, all on the spirit plane, who are now invisible to us. They can see humanity, but humanity cannot see them.
God was manifest in the flesh; first, in the case of Adam; second, in the case of Jesus; and third, He will be manifest in the flesh of those Ancient Worthies, who will be reckoned deserving of a better resurrection than the rest of the world.
OUR LORD'S BEAUTY OF HOLINESS
When in derision the soldiers placed upon the head of our Lord a crown of thorns and arrayed Him in a purple robe, and led Him into the judgment hall, Pilate looked upon Him in admiration, and exclaimed, "Behold the Man!" or (see Strong's Concordance) "Behold the countenance!" I am a Gentile and not of your race. But here you have sent to me for sentence the most glorious Jew on earth! None can have a really beautiful character without the inner beauty being reflected in the face. If a man be a vicious character, he cannot hide it from his features. If he be of a loving disposition, it will show in his face. What then, shall we think of our Lord! His face must have been one of marvelous beauty! No wonder the people flocked to see Him because of His graciousness of speech and His wonderful beauty--the image of God!
The Psalmist has asked, "What is man, that Thou art mindful of him? and the son of man that Thou visitest [carest for] him? For Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, Thou hast crowned him with glory and honor." (`Psalm 8:4,5`.) But man has fallen into sin, alienation, darkness! The Satanic influence works sin and has brought about man's fall from the image of his Creator. It is God's great purpose to bring humanity back from sin and imperfection. He will uplift all those who desire to be righteous.
"We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor [the perfection of human nature]; that He by the grace [favor] of God should taste death for every man." (`Hebrews 2:9`.) We see the broad basis of God's Plan laid in the redemptive work at Calvary. We see that it must be the Redeemer's life that would be the price of human redemption. "For since by man came death, by man comes also the resurrection of the dead. For as all in Adam die, even so all in Christ shall be made alive. But every man in his own order; Christ [The Anointed, The Messiah], the first fruits; afterwards they that are Christ's at His Coming [Greek, during His presence]." (`1 Corinthians 15:21-23`.) Jesus says, "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the First Resurrection." Such shall be kings and priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
So, then, "God manifest in the flesh" was clearly exhibited in the Man Christ Jesus in His perfection. But God was specially and more particularly manifest in the flesh of Jesus when He presented Himself to John at Jordan as He reached the period of thirty years of age, and there gave Himself sacrificially. "Lo, I come (in the volume of the Book it is written of Me) to do Thy will, O God." There He offered Himself without spot, in harmony with God's will. And the Divine acceptance was indicated in the form of a dove coming upon Him-- not that the Holy Spirit is like a dove, but that God gave the outward manifestation so that John would have some means of identification of the Messiah, so that he could say, "I saw the Spirit descending from Heaven like a dove, and it abode upon Him."
From the time of Jesus' baptism God dwelt in Him in a peculiar manner. As the Apostle John says of the
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Church, God dwelleth in us and we in God. (`1 John 4:16`.) The Father took up His abode in Jesus, and qualified Him to make known the Divine Plan. Our Lord said, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord."--`Luke 4:16-21`.
OUR LORD'S TEMPTATION IN THE WILDERNESS
From the time Jesus received the Holy Spirit, we read that the Heavenly things were made known unto Him. For as the Apostle says, "the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God...neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." When Jesus, therefore, received the begetting of the Holy Spirit, He received spiritual discernment. He came to see how the types of the Old Testament fitted to Himself. He saw that the serpent in the wilderness represented Himself.
When He saw these things, we remember that He was in the wilderness. He had the entire Scriptures in His mind. From childhood He had been in the habit of attending the synagogue; and with His perfect mind, the Scriptures would be thoroughly engraved there. He could quote Scripture ad libitum. And when Satan quoted the Scriptures, Jesus understood them.
At the end of the forty days, when Jesus was weak from fasting, was the most favorable time for the Adversary to tempt Him. When He had before Him the thought of all the shame and ignominy connected with His sacrificial death, it would be enough to make any one's heart quail! The moment when he realized that He was to be counted as a blasphemer, and contrary to God, was the most opportune moment for Satan. And the Father permitted Him to be tempted--permitted the Adversary to tempt Him at this particular time.
Then Satan addressed himself to the mind of our Lord: I know you very well. We had a long acquaintance in the past, and I know the mission on which you have come. You do not realize, I know, the power that came upon You when You were baptized. I beheld how the power of God came upon You. You have need only to command these stones to be turned into bread. I realize that You can do a great work, and I would like to join with You in the matter. But first of all, You should have something to eat.
Jesus knew Satan--He knew that Satan was Lucifer, who had rebelled against the Divine Government, and who was imprisoned on this planet. When Satan appeared to Jesus, we may be sure that he tried to appear as an angel of light, and to pretend that he wished to be on God's side, and that he now wished to cooperate with God. But Jesus knew that His power was not given Him for the purpose of sustaining His life, and He would not yield to the temptation.
Therefore Satan next took Him to a high mountain-- this was in the spirit of their minds--and showed Him how he--Satan--was "the prince of this world" and all the kingdoms thereof. And he said, You see, then, that I have the power to help You. Can You afford to be without such assistance? I am in sympathy with You. You will save mankind and deliver them all from death. Instead of Your having to suffer, as God's Plan is, we will work together, and You shall not have to suffer. But first, You must acknowledge me. That was the way I started out. I wanted to show what kind of a kingdom I could set up. I said, "I will ascend into Heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High," I will have an empire of my own. I advise You to come in and share with me. I will give You all the glory You could ask. I intend to be the prince of this world. Do You not see that everything is in my hands?
But in these temptations Jesus conquered. And the victory was so complete that Satan thought it not worth while to tempt Him again! He thought that if he could not move Jesus when He was on the verge of starvation, it was of no use to try any further. So he never made another attempt, so far as the record goes.
THE INCARNATION THEORY NOT SCRIPTURAL
After this, as Jesus went about doing good, healing the sick, and preaching to the people, everything was in perfect conformity to the Father's will. If the Father had been there incarnated in a fleshly body, He could not have done His own will more perfectly. But Jesus was not incarnated. The incarnation of our Lord is only a theory invented during the Dark Ages. For He humbled Himself to become a man, and "He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow [both in Heaven and in the earth],...and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."-- `Philippians 2:8-11`.
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MEDITATIONS IN THE NIGHT
"My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise Thee with joyful lips, when I remember Thee upon my bed, and meditate on Thee in the night watches."--`Psalm 63:5,6`.
BY THE expression as to satisfying his soul with marrow and fatness, the Prophet David evidently referred to the abundance of God's favor and blessing which had come to him. He had a large portion, a fat portion, and appreciated God's goodness, God's favor toward him, taking him as a shepherd boy from among the flocks, and privileging him to engage in His service and finally bringing him to the throne as the king of Israel. For all this he was very grateful to the Lord. He appreciated all of God's blessings. It was appropriate that his mouth should give praise, that he should be joyful, that he should speak of the Lord's loving-kindness. So we find in the `Psalms` of David many beautiful expressions in which he gives great praise and thanksgiving to the Almighty. He speaks also of God's majesty, of His wondrous power and might, and refers to the heavens as His handiwork.
The Prophet certainly used his tongue to praise the Lord. When we consider that he lived in a time when schooling was limited and that he got very little of it, we realize that he certainly made good use of what he obtained. The fruit of his labor has come down to bless the world all through the centuries. He intimates that he did this singing or praising God to some extent in the night--"when I remember Thee upon my bed and meditate upon Thee in the night watches." In ancient
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times the people were more dependent upon the moon and stars for light at night, not having as we have today full provision for illumination by means of refined oil, gas, electricity, etc. Mr. Rockefeller had not yet been born, nor modern inventions dreamed of. They were dependent for artificial light upon olive oil, and that was not very plentiful. As a consequence, the people went to bed early. So King David was thinking upon the Almighty as he lay upon his bed, meditating upon God-- he was not thinking foolish thoughts, not planning foolish doings. When we think of this, we are not surprised that his mind was full of beautiful thoughts.
NOBLEST SUBJECT FOR MEDITATION
Whoever has time for meditation, will receive a great blessing if his thoughts shall turn toward the Almighty, acknowledging His goodness, seeking to give praise to God for all His manifold mercies, meditating upon God in the night watches. As far as this verse is concerned, we see no reason for thinking it prophetic; yet it represents any who are seeking to be in harmony with God. There are millions of people in the world who have never heard of God's wonderful Plan; therefore our mouths should be used in praising God. We should be continually remembering the Lord in all of our moments of rest, whether upon a bed, or wherever it may be. We should cultivate the habit of meditating upon Him. We think very few people meditate upon the Lord; and it is to their disadvantage that they do not.
The great and holy Laws of God find expression in Him. We should think of God as the personification of all that is just, loving, kind, wise, in character and principle. This should stimulate us to be like Him. The more we appreciate a noble character the more we desire to emulate it. The more we see of God's mighty works in nature and His mercies toward us, in that same proportion our hearts and lips will praise Him. If there is a prophetic thought connected with this passage, it is that all through the Dark Ages, all through the night time of this Age, God's faithful people have been praising Him. All of His true people have been praising Him and have done so with joyful lips. Those who have not been doing this are not of this class. We should, therefore, render praise to our God. We should meditate more and more upon His Holy will and ways, and strive to conform ourselves thereto. Thus shall we become more and more like unto our Father in Heaven.
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TO SERVE, NOT TO BE SERVED
"The Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many."-- `Matthew 20:28`.
THE Master was impressing upon His hearers the difference between Himself and other great kings. He had come to be King of Israel, in fulfilment of Scripture prophecy. Unlike earthly rulers He was not seeking to learn how much He could get out of the people, but how much He could do for the people. He was not selfish. He was not trying to see how little He could serve and how much others could serve Him; but on the contrary, how little others might do for Him and how much He could do for others. And this is His expectation in respect to His followers. He and His disciples, called with a Heavenly Calling, called to a Heavenly Kingdom, are not called to be selfish or to appropriate honors to themselves for their own gratification; but they are called to service--especially to the service of the people of God. This is the true meaning of the word minister; namely, one who serves.
It is especially appropriate that all who are followers of the Lord Jesus should remember that we have each been called to service; and that those who are ministering in spiritual things, those who are especially known by the name of "minister," should bear in mind that theirs is an office which calls for service, not to themselves, but to others; and that they have consecrated their lives thus to serve. Our Lord entered upon His ministry at His consecration. Of His life previous to His baptism at Jordan, the Scriptures say very little, so that the more attention may be attracted to His three and a half years of ministry in the Truth, when He was laying down His life for others--for His friends and also for His foes.
The same is true of all His followers. Our ministry begins at the time of our consecration. We are not authorized to minister, or serve, in holy things until we have entered upon the way which the Lord has pointed out to us. We are not today, however, obliged to wait until we have reached the age of thirty before we begin our ministry; but at as early an age as we can comprehend what we are engaging to perform, we may give our lives to the Lord and to the service of the Truth and of the brethren. This is because we are not under the Law covenant.--`Romans 3:19`.
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ONLY A SON OF MAN COULD SERVE AS RANSOMER OF MAN
Our Lord speaks of Himself as the Son of Man, who came to "minister, and to give His life a Ransom for many." He was indeed the Son of God, even while He was the Son of Man. The perfect man Adam, before his fall into sin, was a son of God. Our Lord in calling Himself the Son of Man was emphasizing the fact that He was no longer on the spirit plane, but on the human plane. He came to earth for a specific purpose--as He explained, to minister, to serve. He could not have done the necessary service for man as a spirit being. The requirement was that He should become a man in order to ransom mankind. He could ransom man only by becoming man. He could purchase life for the perfect Adam and the race who lost life in him only by becoming a perfect man.
"An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a man's life for a man's life," was the demand of the Divine Law. Adam had sinned, and must be redeemed before he could be restored, either physically, mentally, or morally, or could be returned to God's favor. Jesus had come to make possible this full restoration. His life was devoted to the service of others, and He completed this great service in His death on the cross. Throughout His earthly sojourn He gave us a noble example of the proper life of those who would be followers in His footsteps.
OUR SERVICE PARTICULARLY FOR THE NEW CREATION
Many misunderstand the Bible and think that now is the time to save the world. Hence they are spending all their time and energies to comfort and uplift humanity. They are indeed engaged in laudable efforts; for every good work or effort is to be commended. But to those who are rightly informed respecting the Divine Plan there is another, a far higher work, to be done now. The work of God in the present Age has not been the reformation of the world, but the development of the New Creation. This work is not yet fully completed. If we would work the work of God, our works must relate to the New
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Creation preeminently. We may do good unto all men as we have opportunity, as the Apostle says, but especially are we to serve the Household of Faith.
Jesus was in line for this work of ministry. Although there were no New Creatures as yet, while He was here in the flesh, His work was to prepare for these New Creatures. His work was the gathering out of some who would be faithful footstep followers of Himself, and the laying down of His life on their behalf and on behalf of the whole world.
In the context we note the fact that two of Jesus' disciples were especially desirous at this time of sitting upon the Throne with the Master in His Kingdom, one upon His right and the other upon His left. Jesus did not condemn them for this desire, but pointed out to them how difficult were the conditions, and asked them whether they were able to comply with these conditions. They replied, "We are able." They were willing, at least. That their answer was pleasing to Jesus was manifested by His words, "Ye shall indeed drink of My cup, and be baptized with My baptism." They asked for places in the Kingdom very near to Him. Jesus informed them that He was not Himself able to give them such places--that the places would not be given according to favor, but according to justice; and that the Father would dispense these.
ARE WE MEETING THE NECESSARY CONDITIONS?
The place that we occupy in the Kingdom will depend much upon the extent to which we become ministers, or servants. And if we simply try to get as much as possible out of others and to give as little as possible, we shall not be such characters as the Lord is seeking for rulership in the Kingdom; in fact, we would not gain the Kingdom at all. He is seeking a very choice class. This class will all be servants, willing and glad to serve, esteeming it a great privilege to lay down their lives in the service of the brethren, to the extent of their ability and opportunity; for the service of the brethren is the service of God, to whom they have rendered themselves in consecration, to whom they have professed to devote their lives.
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PROFITLESS AND PROFITABLE SERVICE
"Though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and have not love, it profiteth me nothing."--`1 Corinthians 13:3`.
THE Apostle has been discussing the gifts of the Holy Spirit. In `chapter 12` he has shown that the Lord gave one or more miraculous gifts to each one of the early Church who accepted the Gospel Message and became a follower of Christ. These gifts were for two purposes; for the benefit of the person himself, and also for a testimony to outsiders. The Gospel Message was new, and some effective and convincing methods were necessary to the starting of the infant Church. After pointing out these various gifts and intimating that the gift of public teaching, oratory, was the most valuable, St. Paul says, "And yet I show unto you a more excellent way." He then assures them that the fruits of the Spirit are far more important; and that Love is the most valuable fruit, without which all gifts, all zeal, would be valueless.
There are Christian people today who greatly lament that the Church of our time does not have the gifts possessed by the early Church. They feel sure that the absence of these gifts of the Spirit at present denotes a great lack of faith and faithfulness among God's people. But these seem not to have noticed that the Apostle Paul assured the Church of his day that these gifts would pass away. Hear him: "Love never faileth; but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge [miraculous knowledge or ability to understand], it shall vanish away....And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love." (`Vs. 8,13`.) We see that these miraculous gifts passed away gradually. They were conferred only by the Apostles, and hence after the death of the Apostles and of those upon whom the Apostles had laid their hands in conferring the gifts, no others could receive them. The possession of one or more of these gifts, however, did not signify acceptance in the Kingdom of Heaven. A man might have some of those miraculous gifts at that time, and still be a castaway.
To whatever extent the Christian cultivates faith, hope, and love, to that extent he is cultivating that which will be eternal. Among these three Love stands first. There is an important sense in which Faith will fail; for when Faith shall be swallowed up in sight, there will not be the need of its exercise that now exists. There is also an important sense in which Hope will cease. For when that which is perfect shall have come, when Hope is lost in full fruition, we shall not need to hope as now. As St. Paul says, "For what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?" We shall continue to have hope in that we shall always be looking forward to glories to come; and we shall exercise Faith in that we shall never lose confidence in the Lord and His goodness and faithfulness or in one another; but Faith and Hope will not be necessary in the same sense as now. Love, however, will never fail in any sense or degree, but will only enlarge and deepen. "Love never faileth"; it is a characteristic of God Himself, and every perfect being will be an embodiment of this glorious quality. Those possessing the Divine nature will have it to the fullest degree, in its highest attainment.
It is in connection with this contrast between the gifts and fruits of the Spirit that the Apostle uses the language of the text under consideration. Who would give all his goods to feed the poor but from love? We reply, There might be less worthy motives for so doing, as the Apostle intimates. If there be no love, it profiteth nothing. If there be much love, it profiteth much. If there be a little love, it profiteth a little. We believe that the most of those who give to the poor have some love. We believe that many of the benefactions of today are prompted by love. To whatever extent an act of benevolence is thus prompted it will bring a blessing. To whatever extent it is prompted by selfishness and a desire for vainglory it will bring no blessing. This is true either of the Church or of the world.
The giving of the goods to feed the poor might be done with a view to popularity or to selfish advancement. The Pharisees made a great show of their holiness; but love was not the mainspring of their actions. Our Lord said that they had their reward--which was the praise of men. If a politician running for an office were to give his goods to feed the poor and those poor voted for him at the polls, he would have his reward. Why should he have two rewards? He got his votes, and that was his
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object in his distributions. But the reward which the Lord gives is both a present and a future one.
As to private charities, there are public provisions made today which to a large extent make private donations to the poor unnecessary and often unwise. But there is another way to feed the poor which is still more important. We may feed the spiritually hungry, and may assist in clothing the spiritually naked. So we may spend our money and give our goods to feed the poor in the very best way possible, though the feeding and the
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clothing of the body may not be ignored when necessary. But even this spiritual feeding and clothing would not be acceptable to the Lord unless we do it from genuine love for Him and His and all men. To whatever extent any Christian gives to the Lord's Cause for outward show or because he thinks it may be expected of him, or from any motive save that of love for the Lord, to that extent he would receive no reward. If it is done from love it will be rewarded in Heaven; and it "profiteth" also in his character development for the Kingdom.
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MURDERS HER GRANDCHILDREN
--OCTOBER 31.--`2 KINGS 11:1-20`.--
JEZEBEL'S DAUGHTER BECAME QUEEN OF JUDAH--HER BANEFUL INFLUENCE AS QUEEN DOWAGER--SERIOUS RESULTS OF
DEVIATION FROM THE DIVINE LAW--POWER OF PRIDE --SELFISHNESS LEADING TO MURDER--THE BOY JOASH CROWNED KING AT THE AGE OF SEVEN YEARS--THE WICKED ATHALIAH SLAIN.
"The house of the wicked shall be overthrown; but the tent of the upright shall flourish."--`Proverbs 14:11`.
JEZEBEL'S DAUGHTER, Queen Athaliah, on the death of her husband became queen dowager of the kingdom of Judah, her son Ahaziah becoming king. In oriental lands the king's mother is still the highest authority in the kingdom; as, for instance, in China. This was the custom with the Jews. As queen dowager, Athaliah exercised a powerful and baneful influence against the true God and His worship and in favor of Baal worship. This is not the only instance in which the intermarriage of the kings of Israel with the daughters of foreign royal houses brought great injury. Athaliah's mother Jezebel was another notable illustration. We remember also that it was King Solomon's foreign wives who ensnared him.
In line with all this we remember that the Divine command to all Israelites was that they should not intermarry with other nationalities. Every deviation from the Divine Law seems to have brought with it serious penalties. This is strictly in harmony with God's arrangement with that one nation alone, that they should be His people in a peculiar sense; that other nations were not His people; and that obedience to His Law would bring them blessings; but that disobedience would bring them adversities. (`Deuteronomy 7:6-11`.) That Law is still binding upon the Jews, but it is not upon others.
A proper recognition of the antitype, or spiritual significance of that item of Jewish Law, should be observed by all. It is applicable to Christians, who constitute, from the Divine standpoint, "a holy nation, a peculiar people." (`1 Peter 2:9`.) Christians are not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers. (`2 Corinthians 6:14`.) Christians are to come out from the world and be separate. This, however, does not apply to nominal Christians, but only to the spirit-begotten class, who have made a full consecration of themselves to the Lord. These are counselled to marry "only in the Lord"--only the consecrated. Those who disregard this Divine injunction endanger their own spiritual development, as well as their own happiness and that of the worldly person with whom they become yoked.
MURDERING FOR POWER
When King Ahaziah was slain by Jehu (`2 Kings 9:27,28`), his mother, the queen dowager, realized instantly that this meant her loss of rank and power--the power, the honor and the riches which her selfish, proud heart so loved. She realized that the moment her grandson ascended the throne she must vacate her position in favor of her daughter-in-law. Her selfish, proud heart resolved that on no account should this be. Rather, she would be a murderess. Forthwith she caused her grandchildren to be slain, except one, an infant, who was hidden by his aunt in a room used for the storage of sleeping mats, and styled in our lesson a bed-chamber. Subsequently he was nursed until his seventh year, in one of the rooms connected with the old Temple, which was in disuse during Queen Athaliah's reign, as she favored and upheld the worship of Baal.
One lesson for us here is the power of pride. We may well hope that not many could be influenced to become murderers, even with such inducements. But not many of us will ever have such a temptation either to grasp a throne or retain hold upon one already possessed. Other illustrations of the power of pride leading to murder in the interest of a throne are mentioned in history. For instance, King Herod's murder of all the infants of Bethlehem of two years old and under was to preserve to himself and his heirs the throne of Israel. History tells us that Laodice poisoned her six sons, one by one, that she might be Empress of Constantinople. Another mother named Irene, which name signifies peace, gouged out the eyes of her own son that he might be incapable of ruling the empire over which she sought to reign.
No wonder the Bible declares that the heart of man in his fallen condition is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked! (`Jeremiah 17:9`.) No wonder the Bible tells us that the blessing of the New Covenant which God will establish with the world through Israel, during Messiah's Reign, will operate to the taking away of the stoniness of the human heart and to the return to mankind of a heart of flesh--a proper human sympathy, such as the perfect man had when he was created in the image and likeness of God! (`Ezekiel 11:19`; `36:26`; `Jeremiah 31:31-34`.) How glad we are that Messiah's Kingdom will not merely restrain sin and sinners, but by restitution processes will take away the stoniness of heart and bring as many as are willing of mankind back to tender-heartedness and to harmony with the Divine Law of love for God and for the neighbor!
Since we are not kings and queens and do not have their temptations, let us note that the same principle of hard-heartedness operates in the business world, in the social world and in the family. In the business world it operates to the destruction of a rival concern. In the social world it cuts rivals, prompts to misrepresentations, slander, etc. In the home, as between parents and children, brothers and sisters, it frequently means injustice. The correction for all this is a love of righteousness which will lead each to love and to obey the Golden Rule,
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and to comply as nearly as possible with the Divine will --"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy mind and with all thy being and with all thy strength; and thy neighbor as thyself."
CROWNING THE BOY KING
The young king's name was Joash. He was kept in hiding for six years, and in his seventh year was crowned. Jehoiada, the high priest, whose daughter had rescued Joash, superintended the coronation ceremonies. With great wisdom he called together the chiefs of the nation at a time of festival, when their assembling would not be thought strange. Likewise the guards were so disposed as to give every protection to the young king and to leave the palace without protection.
The ceremony passed off successfully. The queen dowager heard the shouts, "Long live the king!" and came forth from the palace to the Temple to investigate. Realizing the situation, she cried, "Treason! treason!" So it is that sometimes injustice becomes so intrenched and fortified in human minds that an attempt to establish righteousness is considered treason, rebellion, outrage. To all the Lord's consecrated children the lesson is, "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life."--`Proverbs 4:23`.
When the crown was placed upon the young king's head, on top of it was laid the parchment scroll of the Ten Commandments. Thus was indicated the fact that the Divine Law was superior to the crown. Such should be the estimation of the matter in every well-balanced mind. Divine Law comes first; human laws second. And human laws are usually up to as high standards as the people who make them are worthy.
Judah must have been considerably sunken in the qualities of patriotism and manhood to allow the queen dowager to usurp the throne by murder for six years. Similarly, states and cities that permit and recognize the domination of frauds and combines against the public interests are usually getting as good treatment as they deserve. It is the heart, the intellect, the mind, that is to be educated up to the higher standards. Then those higher standards will be attained by the body politic.
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TOO MUCH MONEY--FURTHER OFFERINGS REFUSED
--NOVEMBER 7.--`2 KINGS 11:21-12:16`.--
A LESSON FROM THE FAR PAST ON GIVING FOR RELIGIOUS PURPOSES--TREASURERS WITHOUT BONDSMEN--THE TEMPLE REPAIRED--TYPICAL APPLICATION OF THIS EVENT--NECESSITY
FOR A RETURN TO BIBLE STUDY--DOING OUR PART IN THE REBUILDING OF THE WALLS OF SPIRITUAL ZION.
"God loveth a cheerful giver."--`2 Corinthians 9:7`.
SIXTEEN years passed after the incidents of our previous Study and found King Joash in his twenty-third year. Already he had made suggestions to the priests respecting the repairs of the Temple, which was considerably dilapidated; for the people were still half-hearted in the worship of Jehovah. The influence of the idolatry of the surrounding nations was yet upon them. Some of them continued to burn incense upon the altars for Baal worship.
PRIESTS POOR BUSINESS MEN
King Joash found that allowing the priests to collect the money wherewith to repair the Temple showed no results. Not every good-hearted man has executive ability. The record does not tell that the priests were dishonest in the use of the money collected for their affairs; nor does it say that they spent the money unwisely. Possibly the people did not have confidence in the priests, and did not give so freely on that account.
However, the king noted the fact that the Temple continued to be dilapidated. He called for the priests and said to them, "Why repair ye not the breaches of the Temple?" The answer of the priests is not given. But the king's mandate was, "Now, therefore, take no more money from your acquaintances." The king passed over the matter as lightly and courteously as possible, without charging the priests with embezzlement or neglect.
A new procedure was to have an especially prepared money-chest inside the Temple Court, convenient to the worshipers who passed in and out, and under the care of the priest who served as doorkeeper. This method proved successful. The money speedily accumulated. Ere long there was a sufficiency to make the repairs and more. Further donations for this purpose were refused. The Temple was put into good order, and a general blessing followed the experience.
There is a lesson in this matter for us. People like to see results. They wish to know that moneys donated for benevolent purposes are not all absorbed for office expenses. Volunteer offerings have the approval of both God and man, rather than offerings that are importuned, coaxed, begged, wheedled from saints and sinners. Whoever gives to the Lord's Cause is advantaged thereby. He not only forwards a benevolent Cause, but cultivates generosity in his own heart. Our Lord said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive"--where the giving is willing and voluntary.
Church begging is undoubtedly doing great harm. Some one has remarked that in some churches the chief item of religion is begging for money--private solicitation, and also public solicitation, by the passing around of the collection box. Church fairs, church suppers, grab-bags, etc., are still more reprehensible than the collection box and private solicitation. Some one has called such efforts "the milking of the goats." The Lord's people are supposed to be sheep; the world's people, goats.
SCRIPTURAL METHOD OF GIVING
The proper thought seems to be what the Scriptures inculcate; namely, that each Christian should give according to his ability and his interest in the work; and that non-worshipers should not be expected to give nor requested to do so. But who does not know that a large proportion of the money collected for church purposes is unwillingly given by people who are not only often uninterested in the projects, but sometimes even opposed thereto! Thus Protestant business men often give to Catholic charities, rather than offend good customers. Likewise Catholic business men donate to Protestant enterprises with which they have no sympathy.
It is a good time to return to the Gospel admonition. (`1 Corinthians 16:2`.) Let each one of you lay by in reserve on the first day of the week according as God has prospered you--for religious and charitable objects. Only such voluntary giving has any merit whatever in the sight of God or in the sight of good men. Only such will receive the Divine blessing upon it, whether it be the widow's mite or the rich man's munificence.
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BREAKS IN THE TEMPLE WALL
Viewing the spiritual Temple, we perceive that outwardly, as represented by the magnificent churches of metropolitan cities, nothing more could be desired than what is now enjoyed. Describing the church conditions of our day, the Scriptures portray these conditions under the figure of the Laodicean Church, saying, "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see."--`Revelation 3:15-18`.
It is from the spiritual standpoint, therefore, that the Temple of today needs to have repairs. Outwardly, the Church is rich; spiritually, she is poor. The majority of her educated, including ministers, have abandoned all faith in the Bible as the Word of God. Yet they are not known as infidels, but by the less harsh terms, Higher Critics, Evolutionists. With many even the faith in a personal God is shaking; and they incline to wonder whether, somehow or other, we have not an unintelligent god-- Nature--and whether mankind and all other intelligences are not merely evolutionary products.
The cause and foundation of this disastrous condition is not far off. The absurdities of the creeds formulated during the Dark Ages are so great that intelligent people can no longer accept them. We have made the mistake of supposing that these absurdities are based upon the Scriptures and well supported thereby. The truth is that the creeds of the past not only contradict each other, but contradict the Bible. To learn this, to believe it, signifies a return to Bible study with the colored spectacles of our fathers removed and with our hearts uplifted to God that He may give us the light promised to His faithful people in the end of this Age. Of this we read, "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the Day dawn, and the Day Star arise in your hearts."--`2 Peter 1:19`.
THE DUTY OF THE HOUR
Noting the spiritual impairment of the House of God, the Church, all who love the Lord and who worship Him should do their part, should make their contribution, toward the improvement of these spiritual conditions. The work is not to be left wholly in the hands of the clerical or priestly class. The people in general are to appreciate the situation; and each is to delight to do his part in the rebuilding of the spiritual walls of Zion. Those spiritual walls consist of "the faith which was once delivered unto the saints."--`Jude 3`.
Each Christian should ask himself, "What am I doing toward these repairs? How am I manifesting to the Lord my zeal for Truth and righteousness and my hatred for sin and untruth?" And as an answer to these questions, each should redouble his efforts to understand the Truth and to help others to an understanding of it, whatever the cost to the creeds and systems of the Dark Ages.
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EUREKA DRAMA--CLASS EXTENSION
THE PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION was greatly blessed of the Lord and, we believe, accomplished a great work. Many new Classes and many enlarged Classes are amongst the fruits. While we know much of the fruitage of this service in the Lord, a wide-spread, general impression, favorable to the Truth, was made; and what good this has accomplished only eternity will show. The majority of our DRAMAS, both here and in Europe, are idle because the funds necessary to their free presentation have been exhausted. We are not soliciting money, but merely stating facts.
Meantime, the EUREKA DRAMA, described in our issues of August 1st and 15th, 1914, has been accomplishing great success under the Lord's blessing. Not only have thousands been permitted to hear the Good Tidings, but the brethren who have given the exhibitions and have conducted the follow-up work, have received great blessings in their own hearts as a part of their reward for faithfulness to their opportunities. Exhibitions have been given in many small cities and towns in competition with moving pictures, and with good success. However, we recommend, brethren, that the EUREKA outfit be used in places where there are no moving picture theatres. We have the most complete combination of slides of a religious kind to be found anywhere in the world, and we have the finest phonograph presentations of the human voice to be found anywhere. Everybody is astonished at the clearness, at the distinctness of tone with which the lectures and hymns are rendered.
RECORDS IN MANY LANGUAGES
Besides the English, we have the DRAMA records in German, Swedish, Danish and Finnish; and we have in prospect Italian, Spanish and Polish. The latter three, however, we may not be able to supply this year. The foreign records are double price. The hymns can be furnished only in English.
We know of no better way in which to serve the Truth and to interest the public than by the use of the EUREKA DRAMA. After the giving of the three DRAMA exhibitions there comes an opportunity for follow-up work --Class Extension work. We urge nothing; we are merely mentioning the facts so that those who desire and have the opportunity may avail themselves of these privileges. For new readers we will here repeat, briefly,
A DESCRIPTION OF OUTFITS, PRICES, ETC.
"EUREKA DRAMA" OUTFIT NO. X
Any of our readers desiring to purchase for his own use the full set of 96 DRAMA lectures (three PARTS, two hours each) with nine choice introductory, intermission and closing hymns and a portable phonograph, with a carrying case, can have the entire outfit for........... $38.50
The full set of records without phonograph.. 29.00
Carrying case for records................... 1.25 extra.
"EUREKA DRAMA" OUTFIT NO. Y
This outfit is the one especially intended for the CLASS-EXTENSION work. Its three PARTS require only the same number of lecture and music records as foregoing; but, to use to full capacity--the THREE PARTS showing three places at once--each PART should have its own Phonograph, each PART its own Stereopticon, etc. We therefore show each PART complete in itself, as follows: One PART includes one Primo Stereopticon for electric
current--Oneida Lens (three for varying distances);
special price....................................... $20.00 Variable Rheostat (five amp., ten amp., or fifteen amp.)
may be effective for house current or for heavy
current arc lights.................................. 6.00 Attachment for Acetylene Gas or Presto Light (useful
in places where there is no electric current, but
where gas can be taken from an automobile tank)..... 4.00
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DRAMA stereopticon slides, beautifully tinted, with
special carrying box and carrying case............. 38.00 One portable Phonograph, one Operator's Book, Lecture
and Hymn Records for one PART, and carrying
------ Total cost per PART, "EUREKA DRAMA," No. Y............. $87.50
Additional would be the expressage from Brooklyn.
The Society would furnish posters, window-cards and free SCENARIO, and would supply the bound SCENARIO for sale in any quantity at one-half retail prices.
PARTS II. and III. would cost exactly the same
as the above, the entire THREE PARTS amounting
to......................................... $262.50 With only one Stereopticon, one Rheostat, one
Acetylene burner and one Phonograph........ 185.00 Expressage extra. Foreign records............ 25.00 extra.
Any Class of Bible Students desiring it may obtain the Y DRAMA by paying $100.00 down and agreeing to pay the remainder in monthly instalments.
BIBLE STUDENTS' FAMILY OUTFIT
This consists of a phonograph and a choice selection of records from the DRAMA and some musical records. A few of these records might be said to be a little shop-worn, but none of them are bad--most of them are strictly new. They are priced so as to bring them within reach of many of our readers who could not afford to purchase the regular DRAMA, but who would like to have some of the records for their own family use and for such of the public as might choose to hear our most wonderful records.
The entire outfit represents a choice selection of twenty of the short lectures of the SCENARIO, four beautiful hymns and a disc-phonograph (concealed horn)--all for $12, or if all new, $15. Expressage extra.
Carrying case for phonograph..................$1.50 extra.
" " " records..................... 1.25 "
DRAMA MUSIC RECORDS
The musical records used with the moving pictures of CREATION DRAMA were greatly admired. We have some on hand that were slightly used and some quite new. We will supply these, while they last, at half price.
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NO NATIONAL PREJUDICES
MY DEAR PASTOR RUSSELL:--
It is after several months of considering and praying over the matter, that I have decided to write these lines: In advance I wish to say that I am writing as a Christian brother, and that there is no malice or ill-will in my action. I would surely not add to your burden. I am going to write of what appears to me unfairness and injustice in your articles in THE WATCH TOWER about the war. It is incomprehensible why I should find this in a man who is not merely a Christian, but, as I believe, that "faithful servant," of whom Christ spoke.
In many articles since the beginning of the war, now 14 months ago, you have referred to this event, which I consider not only proper, but necessary, as it again shows the accuracy of the Word of the Lord. You have shown that human civilization is a hollow boast. So it is. You have drawn attention to the horrible perversion of Bible texts. To all this a Christian can only most emphatically agree. You have adduced, in showing this, the offenses of Great Britain, the hypocrisy of British and Canadian ministers. This is right. I have read of other perversions by the Bishop of London and other chaplains at the front, which have made me sick to the heart. The more fearlessly you do this, the better.
But even before the war you were in the habit of citing British sins as illustrations of evil. The oppressing of Israel by the Philistines and other Gentile nations is constantly made clear by references to British rule in India, for instance.
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The Lord probably does not approve of that rule as it is carried out. Does He approve of American rule in the Philippines or in the Indian reservation in the States? And what about the oppression of the natives in German S. W. Africa and East Africa? The methods in German S. W. Africa, which finally drove the Herreoos into rebellion, were so atrocious, as was the war of extermination that followed, that even so patient a body of slaves as the German Reichstag could not swallow it. Were these matters not equally illustrated or were they perhaps too fiendish?
Although Count von Bulow has publicly declared that war is one of the fundamental principles of the scheme of God, it is not so according to the Bible. It is purely a human affair, and as such I would waste no time to discuss it. But it is not wrong to mention its various features, as you do, in connection with the Word of God. And here, month after month, you continue as before the war. Poor old England has to supply the proof; noble Germany is persistently not mentioned. Could you not possibly draw occasionally upon German crimes and German perversions of the Bible to illustrate points? Is there any doubt in your mind that Germany not only started this war, but even engineered it? Did she really create such a war machine and glorify war, merely for parades at Potsdam? You dwell on the "frightfulness and destructiveness" of this war; but you never mention the demon who started it. Why not? With love in Christ,
Your fellow servant, W. M. HAHNNEMANN.--Canada.
REPLY OF EDITOR
We appreciate the above letter, and promptly explain that any apparent unfairness was quite unintentional. We are far from thinking of Great Britain as the worst nation in the world. On the contrary, we esteem the British and the North American peoples at the head of the list for human progress and civilization. American by birth, British by ancestry, it is only natural that the Editor should appreciate highly the standards of his own race. But this does not, and should not, blind him to injustice and perfidy. If he has sought more to correct these than the evils of other nations, it is because THE WATCH TOWER, published in the English, has less opportunity of reaching or of assisting people of other tongues.
It is far from our thought that the German Kaiser and the Russian Czar are the Lord's mouth-pieces and agents, and their warriors soldiers of Christ. We know that this is their claim. We have already pointed out the fallacy of such claims, and have shown that the delusion came from the Dark Ages. First the clergy separated themselves from the people, whom they styled laity. Having thus exalted themselves, they claimed that the Kingdom of God had been set up and that the Church was reigning. First through the Popes, and afterwards through the Protestant denominations, the kingdoms of earth were told that they were God's Kingdoms, whose duty it was to defend the Church and to oppose heresy. For centuries the domination of the Church has been growing less; but the kingdoms have maintained their power; and doubtless many of the rulers believe that they are God's appointees in His Kingdom.
Each nation in this war seems to believe itself God's favored people, whose ultimate mission is to rule the world. They are all in error. They are all on the verge of collapse. They are all to go down speedily, as soon as Messiah shall take to Himself His great power and begin His reign. As the Bible declares, they shall be broken into shivers as the potter's vessel, ground to powder, as pictured in Daniel's vision, and no place ever afterwards will be theirs; they shall be as though they had not been.
We are not without sympathy for all these peoples; for we perceive that they are all blinded by the Adversary, as are also their rulers. We have no sympathy with their atrocities, however; and we recognize war in general as devilish anywhere, everywhere, and as having a brutalizing effect upon all engaged in it.
We are glad that in this war personal atrocities (aside from the legalized atrocity of war) have not been proven against the British and the French, although substantiated against the Russians, who, besides devastating everything, deliberately shot non-combatants, gouged out the eyes of German soldiers, and put buttons into the sockets, etc., etc. Quite possibly those barbarous Russians were incensed by something that the Germans had done against them. For instance, it is well authenticated that the Germans decoyed a Russian army of thirty thousand into a swamp, from which they could not extricate themselves. The narrative declares that nearly three hundred of the German soldiers went insane that night from the hearing of the cries and curses of the poor Russians floundering and dying in that swamp.
We have no apology to make for the semi-barbarous Turks either, and think quite probable that atrocities reported against them are true. At the beginning of the war, the Germans were charged with atrocities in connection with the Belgians--with destroying an entire town and many of its non-combatant inhabitants. But the answer came, showing that there was a measure of excuse; that the people of that
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town had in the night in various ways sought to poison, to stab and to maim the Germans, who were in full possession. The Germans, in self-defense and by way of teaching a lesson, retaliated.
We sympathize, too, with the Belgians, for they realized that their little kingdom was suffering from an unlawful invasion on the part of a stronger neighbor. They did not understand the rules of war, and felt justified in doing anything for the protection of their national liberties. They were unwise in this, and suffered.
We do not defend Germany's invasion of Belgium. It was no more right than all the land-grabbing practised by other nations previously. What European nation has thoroughly clean hands in Africa, India, China? Each nation, in stealing the government and the liberties of other peoples, has been violating the Golden Rule of Justice; but each has claimed that in so doing it not only advanced its own welfare, but really brought greater blessings to the conquered people. And we presume that Germany would make a similar claim. In reality, it is pride and selfishness which is behind all the land-grabbing of the great nations, and not a benevolent influence and a benevolent attempt to bless the families of the earth. It will be Messiah's Kingdom that will really bless all people unselfishly and for their highest welfare.
THE REAL CAUSE OF THE WAR
The present war, as all well-informed people know, has been brewing for forty years. Ever since Germany defended herself successfully against the French and took two French Provinces as part of her indemnity, the French have been bent on reprisal--revenge. With but half the population of Germany a French army has been maintained for forty years on a war footing, sometimes in greater numbers than the German army, which also has been kept in a state of high military efficiency necessary to its defense. Meantime, Russia, as the friend of France, organized an immense army. Well-informed people have known for years that these two nations were intent upon crushing Germany at the first favorable opportunity.
The Germans felt that their very existence depended upon maintaining a strong military organization, capable of combating foes on both sides. Meantime economy, and efficiency and wisdom controlling wonderfully, has cemented the German people and made them a rich and powerful nation. The once rude, clumsy, stupid German youth not only served his term drilling as a soldier, but at the same time, got his schooling. This has lifted the German people out of the rut of centuries and made them one of the brightest peoples of the world. The eyes of the world are only opening to these things which the war is demonstrating.
Meantime, as German thrift and management brought prosperity, German commerce increased, German merchant vessels and steamship lines all over the world were practically the only rivals of the British, who, for centuries, have been masters of the sea. With a growing commerce, Germany not unnaturally craved a proportionate navy. Her ambition for commerce and for a navy have brought on this war. France and Russia feared to undertake a war, and have procrastinated for years. Great Britain feared to lose her proud place as mistress of the sea, and considered it necessary that Germany be not allowed to become a greater rival. British diplomacy encouraged Russia and France, and led them to believe that they would have British support in the war.
Germany recognized that the mobilization of the Russian army in defense of Serbia was the beginning of the national plot of forty years' standing for the destruction of Germany. She realized that if she waited until the French armies had mobilized on her western border, and the Russian army on her eastern border, she would be at a disadvantage. Her predetermined plan in self-defense was that she would smite one of her foes first and then the other. Her railways, etc., had all been arranged with this in view. She hoped in British assurances, yet, nevertheless, was fearful of what came--British declaration of war, ostensibly in defense of Belgium, but really in fear of Germany's growing greatness --in fear that Britain might some day lose her boasted rule of the seas.
While we deprecate the German method of submarine warfare and its exposure of neutrals and non-combatants, we should not forget that the Germans in turn are in desperate
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straits--surrounded by nations three times their size and these nations seeking, additionally, to cut off Germany's food supplies and thus to starve the German non-combatants. What is there commendable about war anyway, even if it could be staged as a prize-fight with the usual prize-ring rules and regulations!
SEEN FROM THE BIBLICAL STANDPOINT
So, dear Brother, understand us as sympathizing with the purblind peoples engaged in this terrible war--each fearful, each jealous, each envious of the other, and none of them knowing, understanding, the Gospel of the Kingdom--of Messiah's Millennial Reign, now at the door. Understand us also to be fully out of sympathy with submarines, dreadnoughts, armored biplanes and Zeppelins, mines, rapid fire guns, great and small. It is time, however, that the whole world recognized that much of our boasted civilization is not Christianity, nor built upon the foundations of Christianity; and that, therefore, it is giving way to the better conditions of Messiah's Kingdom. Soon the resurrection "change" will perfect the elect Church of Christ, and qualify them as kings and priests and judges of the world. Soon Messiah's Empire will begin its sway. Soon all these Gentile kingdoms will pass away forever. And this is what we mean --the passing of earthly empires--when we pray, "Thy Kingdom come!"
There is nothing kind, loving or Godlike about war. It is fiendish, devilish. The men now at the front are being hardened, brutalized and prepared for the revolution and anarchy which the Bible points out will follow the war. Whoever thinks of war as a kid-glove affair, and expects great politeness from the belligerents, is unwise and will continually be disappointed. Moreover, it is to be remembered that all officers and great men will, publicly at least, throw their influence against all forms of barbarism; but in the rank and file of every army are to be found individuals who continually need watching, that they should not bring their comrades to disgrace. And even such discipline cannot always be enforced when men of the dare-devil kind are needed, and when entire regiments need to be plied with intoxicating liquors in order to make them sufficiently reckless to undertake a charge in the face of almost certain death.
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"BLESSED ARE THEY THAT TRUST IN HIM"
OUR BELOVED PASTOR RUSSELL:--
The September 1st WATCH TOWER has just arrived and I do not know how to express the encouragement I feel in the reading of the first article on the "Christian's Duty and the War." As you know, no doubt, there has been a form of Census taken here in England, and many of the dear friends have been very much exercised as to what they ought to do if Conscription should come.
In reference to those of military age, my dear husband (who with myself has had the glorious knowledge of the Truth of God's Word for nine years) is of military age, and I have assured him that I should be proud of him (if he were compelled to go) to know he had been shot as a traitor (according to this world's opinion) rather than feel he had taken human life, because I should know he had been faithful to "His King"--the King of Glory. The knowledge that he had finished his course and entered into the joys of his Lord would be just another link to draw me closer to the Lord, although the extent of the loss of his companionship only the Lord would know.
So strong do I feel, dear Brother, about having no part or lot if I can help it with this war, that when our son, a lad of 16, kept pressing the matter to us of going to sea on a passenger liner, I gave way very willingly, whereas not long ago I had been very much opposed to the thought on account of the great risks they are running; for I feel I would rather know he had gone down by a torpedo, etc., than know he had taken human life, for although so young he was continually being badgered to join the army and told he could say he was 19, and when the news came that there was to be a registration and that he might be taken for making ammunition, I looked away from the present things and thought of the glorious beyond, when all should hear His voice and come forth from Sheol.
When I tell you, dear Brother, that he is our only son, and very, very dear to us both (our other one, a dear little lad of 5-1/2 years, the Father has graciously hidden--"until the wrath be overpast"--for four years now), you may know that we needed the Lord's strength to let him go; but if we never meet again we are assured that "All things are working together for good."
I feel so glad you have made it clearer as regards the actually going into the trenches and firing, because I felt all along that if I were a brother I could not agree to the thought of accepting the uniform, taking the oath, etc., and
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then, if one was refused a place at the base or hospital and compelled to go into the trenches, to refuse to fire. To my mind it would not be rendering to Caesar the things that are his. I felt it would be more honest to say, "No, I refuse to take human life"; and then if they said I should be shot-- well I would take it that it was the Lord's will.
The present happenings in England are calculated to unnerve many, for one never knows when he goes to bed at night whether a bomb will strike the house. But we that have put our trust in the Lord can rest peacefully, knowing that He is in charge. One dear sister who rents a room and lives alone had the awful experience of a bomb striking the house she was in, and the whole of the room, except where her bed stood, was utterly destroyed, and she herself came through without a scratch. On the following day (Sunday) she gave a splendid testimony to the friends, and told them that the same God who had cared for her would also take care of them, and if it was His will they should finish their course that way, what matter; they were only going Home to see their dear Father and elder Brother. Poor dear! Her face showed the strain of her ordeal; but she had not a bitter feeling towards the Germans; she just said she had dropped them over into the Millennium for Judgment.
Now, dear Brother, I am afraid this is a very lengthy letter, but I felt I wanted you to know how the Lord is blessing your labor of love in ministering to His people. May He give you grace and strength to press on until you see Him face to face. With our united love,
I am your sister by His grace,
"BEWARE OF WOLVES"
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
For some time it has been on my mind to write you respecting a matter which I believe properly claims your attention, but other interests of the work have delayed the matter.
Just before crossing the State line of Illinois, heading westward, I learned that a man representing himself to be a brother in the Truth had visited some of the classes in the country, stating that he was formerly an attache of the Headquarters in Brooklyn, but had been "sent forth with the seventy." I do not remember the name, but undoubtedly it was fictitious. He wanted assistance to get further westward, where he had friends and where he could find work, etc. The "loan" was made, but that was the last seen or heard of this individual in the form of a man.
In western Kansas I learned of an almost identical case, save that there were somewhat more details given, which enabled me at once to detect the fraud. In each case it was the isolated who were "worked." In the Kansas incident the individual stated that he had put all the money that he had into the work; but that everything was closing down at Brooklyn, so he had been "sent forth," and without money. The story he told did not correspond with the facts as I knew them to be at Headquarters, so I quickly detected that it was a confidence game that was being systematically worked. Among other misstatements was one to the effect that he had worked in the "bindery" at Brooklyn, but the Society was no longer publishing the STUDIES, so the "bindery" had closed down, and he among others had to be set adrift, etc. Like the Illinois case he too wanted to get further west, where he had friends and where he expected to find work. He made the "touch" and got away.
Now none of the friends who assisted these individuals were in a position to do so; but out of their goodness of heart they denied themselves to help, as they supposed, a Truth brother. Besides, what they have is consecrated to the Lord. So it was really the Lord's money that these frauds
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obtained. It occurred to me that you might consider this of sufficient importance to sound a warning through THE WATCH TOWER.
Again I wish to report that I find the general conditions in the field most encouraging. While the friends are restful, they are not sleepy, but rather are "waiting on the Lord," with "full assurance of faith" that He who has begun the good work is still at the helm and will finish the same in His own "due time." I find the friends growing in grace, zeal and love, and in joyous expectancy of a glorious change soon --very soon. The class conditions, as I have noted them, are an inspiration to me, spurring me on to renewed zeal and more determined efforts to have my sacrifice consumed, while it is called Day.
I cannot close without again assuring you of my ever increasing love and abiding confidence in you as the Lord's specially chosen servant to bring forth meat in due season for such as have partaken sufficiently of the "bitter herbs" to have their appetites sharpened so they can relish the "table prepared by the Lord."
By His kind favor, your brother and fellow servant, with warmest love in the Lord, W. M. WISDOM.
ABOUT DIVIDING CLASSES
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
In June 1 WATCH TOWER, 1915, page 2, you speak of the division of the Berean Classes, when they number more than twenty, and say that this same rule, you believe, would be found advantageous for the Prayer meeting. A few of our Class want the Wednesday meeting divided, but have said nothing as to the other classes being divided. I am sure that we all want to do the will of our dear Lord. Was it your thought that the classes should be divided regardless of the will of the majority?
REPLY BY THE EDITOR
Everything in THE WATCH TOWER and in the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, etc., should be understood as advice--nothing as commanded. We hold that only the Lord and the Twelve Apostles (St. Paul taking the place of Judas) have the right to command the people of God. Others, including the Editor, have merely the right to advise. And such advice should always be accompanied by either a Scriptural citation or an explanatory reason.
In recommending to the classes of Bible Students throughout the world that classes be divided when they number over twenty, we were following this rule--merely giving advice. There being no Scripture for this, we submitted our reasons: That large classes cannot so efficiently participate in the lessons and, therefore, cannot be expected to reap as large a blessing from them. We hold that in every Wednesday evening Testimony meeting a special blessing comes to all who participate; and very similarly, that in the Berean classes participation sharpens interest and deepens the impressions, and thus enlarges the blessings to be derived.
However, in every case it is for the class itself to decide, and that by a majority vote, whether in their case the class shall be divided or not. There might be reasons why a general rule might not apply in some particular cases because offset by other conditions. Be it always understood that according to the Divine arrangement as given us in the Bible, the class itself decides every question. And only the consecrated ones constitute the class proper, although the pleasure of the unconsecrated who may attend might well be considered by the consecrated when voting.
While each class might be considered an Ecclesia, or Church, by itself and entirely independent of every other class, nevertheless unity and fellowship are very desirable, and the various classes in one city may very appropriately be united in one Ecclesia, or Church, thus deriving the benefits of occasional joint meetings, joint fellowship and participation in the joint arrangement in the selection of servants-- Elders and Deacons. In thus uniting, each class, as well as each individual, sacrifices independence for the benefits of cooperation.
AS MOMENTS PASS THE KINGDOM NEARS
Men may sorrow in distress,
Sin-cursed, blind and weary,
Death may rule supreme today--
All things may look dreary:
Make haste, O time; speed on, ye years!
As moments pass, the Kingdom nears.
Saints may "groan within" and suffer
Outward shame, distress, defeat;
Trouble may test faith and patience--
Fiery trials, "furnace heat":
But stop your sighing, dry your tears;
As moments pass, the Kingdom nears.
Men for earth and saints for Heaven;
God's decree will surely stand.
Shout for joy, give God the glory!
Safe deliverance is at hand.
Ah, no more doubtings, no more fears,
As moments pass, the Kingdom nears.
J. G. KUEHN.
International Bible Students Association Classes
STUDIES AND LECTURES UNDER THE AUSPICES OF PEOPLES PULPIT ASSOCIATION