ZWT - 1914 - R5373 thru R5599 / R5575 (337) - November 15, 1914
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VOL. XXXV NOVEMBER 15 No. 22
A. D. 1914--A. M. 6043
There Shall Be Showers of Blessings...............339
Bible Harmonious and Consistent...............339
Dawn of Hope for the World....................340
Restitution Not Change of Nature..............341
Scope of the Angels' Song.........................342
Progression of God's Great Plan...............342
Christ's Death a Blessing to Universe.........343
"My Presence Shall Go With Thee" (Poem)...........343
Smitten of God, Afflicted.........................344
Son of Man Lifted Up..........................344
The Risen Christ..................................345
Our Lord No Longer Human......................346
I.B.S.A. Bibles and Other Bible Study Helps.......348
Scriptural Proofs of Spirit-Begetting.............349
London Drama Experiences......................350
The Brethren in Switzerland...................351
I.B.S.A. Eureka Drama.........................351
Interesting Drama Experiences.................351
WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, PRESIDENT
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A WORD TO COLPORTEURS
The European War is causing many people to think seriously. It so closely agrees with what they have from time to time seen in THE WATCH TOWER publications or have heard from WATCH TOWER subscribers, that they are now wondering if there is not some Truth connected with our presentation respecting the Millennium and the great Time of Trouble with which the Millennial Age will be inaugurated.
Pastor Russell's sermons on "Armageddon," "Distress of Nations," "The Financial Outlook," etc., have also stirred many thinking people. They are wanting to know more about these things. The present is a very opportune time for calling to their attention the true Gospel of the Bible, as it is presented in the six volumes of STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES.
Colporteurs who a short time ago had difficulty in getting the attention of the more well-to-do people, are finding matters different now. They are selling the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES in complete sets (six volumes, and a year's subscription to THE WATCH TOWER, for $2.65) where formerly they sold a single volume.
Poverty or, at least, lack of wealth, has generally been a stimulant to Bible study. Now the wealthy are feeling themselves poor, or in danger of becoming poor by the depreciation of their stocks and bonds. These, therefore, are in a more favorable condition to hear the Word than they have been for a long time.
The STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES are still going forth. The October average sales amounted to over thirty-six thousand volumes. We mention this by way of encouragement to those who are in the Colporteur work, as well as for the benefit of those who are contemplating engaging in this most profitable section of the Harvest work. We have the Message which the people need. We have the heart to give it to them. And have we not confidence in God and courage sufficient to enable us to do all reasonably within our power in the Divine service?
CREATION-DRAMA AT HOME
Notice in our issues of August 1 and 15 the description of the Eureka Drama X. Many of our readers may like to buy for themselves, their families or their friends, one of these outfits as a Christmas gift. Records and all cost little more than an ordinary "Victrola" without records.
If you have a "Victrola" or graphophone we can supply the entire set of 96 Drama Lecture and 9 hymn records for $29.
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"THERE SHALL BE SHOWERS OF BLESSING"
"They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy Mountain [Kingdom]."--`Isaiah 11:9`.
ACCUSTOMED as all mankind have been to misrule and misgovernment, it was necessary that assurance should be given to Israel that the Kingdom of Messiah which God would one day set up in the earth would not only have good motives and intentions, but would also possess superior power of knowledge and judgment. And this is what the Prophet Isaiah pointed out. The new King will not need to rely upon the common channels of information in the giving of His blessings and in the administering of His reproofs and chastisements, but will have a superhuman endowment of power by which He will know the very thoughts and intents of the heart. He will not need to judge after the hearing of the ear or by the sight of the eye, as must all earthly rulers, however well intentioned.--`Isaiah 11:3,4`.
It was proper also that Israel and all others should know that the Kingdom of God to be established would be absolutely just and impartial; for their experiences have demonstrated that even the wisest and best of their rulers, lawmakers, judges, etc., have been largely governed by selfishness. The world's great ones have amassed wealth at the expense of their subjects, and have made their special friends wealthy and have granted them special privileges, often-times at the expense of the poor, the helpless, the despised. Hence the Lord through the Prophet assures us that earth's new King will administer equity toward all; that the meek, the backward, the modest and unassuming, those who are indisposed to press their claims and to assert their rights, will have His particular assistance; and that the poor, who have few to sympathize with them or to encourage or help them, will find in the new King a Friend.
MILLENNIUM NOT THROUGH EVOLUTION
Those who expect the Millennial Kingdom to come as a result of present efforts, under the order of society now prevailing, and who believe that the world is gradually approaching the Millennium by an evolutionary process, should carefully consider this Word of the Lord through the Prophet, as shown in our text and context. The Prophet declares that when Messiah shall take the reins of government, His first step will be to judge the poor, and to reprove the rich in equity, in the interests of the meek of the earth. How could this be possible, if equity had already prevailed by a gradual process, so that there were no poor and no rich, and so that all had become meek?
Other Scriptures in harmony with this testimony of the Prophet Isaiah, show that the very work which our Lord is to do at the beginning of His Reign will be to correct the wrongs then prevailing. Our Lord Himself implies that the earth will be far from being in a blessed condition at His Second Advent, when He asks the question, "When the Son of Man cometh, shall He find The Faith on the earth?" (`Luke 18:8`.) The Revelator also gives no uncertain testimony on this subject. He says: "And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in Heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He shall reign forever and ever....And the nations were angry, and Thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead that they should be judged, and that Thou shouldest give reward to Thy servants the Prophets, and to the saints, and to them that fear Thy name, small and great, and shouldest destroy them that corrupt the earth."--`Revelation 11:15-18`.
BIBLE HARMONIOUS AND CONSISTENT
Many Scriptures are of like import. The position of the Bible is throughout harmonious and consistent. It describes the present time, while sin is prevailing, as "the present evil world," in which "the prince of this world" rules, and in which the Lord's true people, the Body of Christ, the heirs of the Kingdom, "suffer violence," and declares that this violence is working out for those who are rightly exercised by it a character which will be approved by the Lord. The Scriptures point out that to
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God's faithful saints who suffer now will be granted this glorious new Kingdom in joint-heirship with Messiah. They shall be given the dominion "under the whole heavens," as declared by the angel to Daniel the Prophet. (`Daniel 7:27`.) This dominion Jehovah will wrest by force from the "prince of this world," Satan, and will give it to His Son, whose Bride will share her Bridegroom's Kingdom. This transfer will be accomplished in a great Time of Trouble, which is to end this present world, the present social order.
In our context the Prophet goes on to say, "He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked." It is very evident, then, that at the time of the establishment of the Kingdom there will not only be poor needing assistance and succor, but there will be the wicked also. The rod of Messiah's mouth signifies the judgments which He has already expressed, and which have very largely gone unheeded by Christendom. We remember His declaration:
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"He that rejecteth Me, and receiveth not My words, hath One that judgeth him; the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last Day" (`John 12:48`) --the Day of Judgment, now present, since 1874. Christendom in general has admitted the righteousness of the Lord's Word, but those who attempt to live in harmony with that Word are remarkably few. Consequently, when the time shall come that "judgment shall be laid to the line and righteousness to the plummet," and when this judgment shall begin at the nominal House of God, the nominal systems will fall--condemned by that Word.
Only the faithful few, the Lord's jewels, shall "be accounted worthy to escape those things coming upon the world," when, as elsewhere described, "He [The Lord] shall speak to them [the world] in His wrath, and vex them in His sore displeasure"--when He shall render vengeance to His enemies, and recompense to those who have known the Master's will, yet have done it not. "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, saith the Lord." "Wait ye upon Me, saith Jehovah, until the day that I rise up to the prey; for My determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them Mine indignation, even all My fierce anger; for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of My jealousy. For then will I turn to the people a pure language [message] that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one consent." (`Zephaniah 3:8,9`.) "Righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and faithfulness the girdle of His reins." (`Isaiah 11:5`.) The girdle represents diligence, service; and the proclamation here is that Messiah will be a faithful, diligent Servant of God, accomplishing all the work entrusted to His care.
GREAT CHANGES IN ANIMAL CREATION
The reference in this `11th chapter of Isaiah` to the change of disposition in the animal kingdom, so that the wolf and the lamb, the leopard and the kid, the calf and the lion, will dwell in harmony, is in full accord with the general Scriptural outlines of "the Times of Restitution of all things." Not only is mankind to be restored, to be brought back to his primeval condition of human perfection and harmony with his Maker, but the lower animals will also share in the blessing and the restoration of order to be accomplished by the Reign of Christ, now, we believe, very near at hand.
In the Genesis account there is no intimation that the animals over which Adam had control were wild, vicious, at enmity with man. On the contrary, the implication is that they were in complete subjection to their perfect master. We may reasonably suppose that while the race, under the disintegrating influence of man's death sentence, gradually lost more and more of the likeness of their Maker in which the first man was created, they at the same time lost the power of control over the lower animals.
The nature of the power possessed by the perfect Adam may still be imperfectly traced in the superior ability of certain of the fallen race to control the brute creation. Thus we see that some men can exercise mental force and control, not only over wild horses, but also over the ferocious beasts of the jungle. Adam was declared by the Lord to be the king of earth, and as such he was recognized by the lower orders of creation. After mankind had lost his original mental power to control the lower animals, a warfare sprang up between them, in which man has been compelled to pit force against force, as he has lost his hold upon the animal creation.
The restoration of mankind to that exalted position which was lost by sin implies naturally, therefore, a restoration of the brute creation to primeval conditions, such as is suggested in the prophecy which we are considering. The same thought is conveyed in the statement that "a little child shall lead," or control, the wild beasts, when these are brought into their proper relationship with mankind. In `chapter 65:25` of Isaiah's prophecy, it is stated of the Millennial conditions that "the wolf and the lamb shall feed together." The reference may be to men who were formerly of wolflike and of lamblike dispositions, or character; or it may refer to animals, or to both. The expression in either case signifies a blessed Reign of Peace. The Prophet continues, "And the lion shall eat straw like the bullock, and the dust shall be the serpent's meat." If this refers to literal lions, it would imply that they will lose their carnivorous dispositions, and that they will undergo some change which will make them herbivorous, as animals were originally created. (`Genesis 1:30`.) It would seem to imply that animals will not then prey upon one another.
DAWN OF HOPE FOR THE WORLD
The expression, "Dust shall be the serpent's meat," is similar to the statement in `Psalm 72:9`, regarding Messiah's coming dominion: "His enemies shall lick the dust," signifying the destruction of the serpent, or rather, of the great Adversary, Satan, whom the serpent symbolizes. "They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy Mountain [Kingdom], saith the Lord."
The birth of the true Zion, the Church of Christ, will be the cause of rejoicing among all who truly love righteousness; for, though it will at first dash in pieces all their long-cherished hopes, it will be the dawn of a real hope for all the world. It will humble their pride and despoil them of all their cherished possessions and of what they have come to consider their rights. It will break down their boasted institutions, civil, social and religious, and completely wreck the present social order. Yet it will be the necessary prelude to the establishment of the grand New Order, which will come to be "the desire of all nations," as soon as they shall see its vast superiority to the old order.
TWO CLASSES BORN OUT OF ZION
In describing the birth of the "Man-child," The Christ, whose Head was born more than eighteen hundred years ago, and the Body of whom is now soon to be born, the Prophet Isaiah exclaims (`chapter 66:7,8`), "Before she travailed she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a Man-child! Who hath heard such a thing? Who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion travailed she brought forth her children." The especially marvelous thing that the Prophet here records is that a "Man-child" is to be born out of Zion before Zion travails. This is a striking reference to the fact, elsewhere clearly taught, that the ripe "wheat" of the Gospel Church are to be separated from the unripe wheat and the "tares" at the end of this Age, that they are to be exalted and glorified before the burning, the consuming, trouble shall come.
This "Man-child," then, is the Little Flock, the Body of Christ, the true Zion. Out of nominal Zion will come this First-fruits class, before the nominal System will be overthrown; for she will die in her travail pains, and in dying, will bring forth her later children, the Great Company. In this great Day of the Lord, nominal Zion will bring forth the Man-child and these later children.
"Shall I bring to the birth and not cause to bring forth? saith the Lord. Shall I cause to bring forth and
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shut the womb? saith thy God." Ah, no! As surely as the Head was brought forth, so surely shall the Body also be born. The birth shall certainly be completed. The great composite Christ shall come forth entire, not one member lacking--and before Zion's travail has begun. But "who hath heard such a thing? Who hath seen such a thing?" And so, after the Man-child is delivered, the Mother System will give birth, when her travail pains come on, to a great company of children! This Great Company is described in the Apocalypse as coming up out of "the great tribulation," and washing their robes, spotted and soiled, and making them white, "in the blood of the Lamb."
Following the birth of these two classes of the Lord's people, will come the birth of the Jewish nation. They shall be awakened from the sleep of Hades, in which as a nation they have been for over eighteen centuries. All this will take place in the early dawn of the Day of Christ. O what rejoicing there will be! Fleshly Zion and Spiritual Zion will rejoice together! Then soon the poor, chastened world will begin to join in the songs of praise to the God of all Grace. What wonderful times are just before us! Though clouds and darkness for a brief time obscure the bright beams of the blessed Millennial Dawning, soon the glorious "Sun of Righteousness" shall rise in splendor, and its beams will rapidly spread over all the earth, scattering the darkness of sin, dispelling the fogs of error and superstition, and bringing the world into the light of the knowledge of the glory of God.
RESTITUTION NOT CHANGE OF NATURE
The entire testimony of Scripture in regard to the blessings to come to the world in the New Age show that
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they are all to be earthly. The declaration that even the brute creation shall be changed in nature is a promise that in that blessed Day there will no more be a condition of antagonism and enmity between mankind and the lower orders of God's creatures, but all shall be peace and harmony. It would be wholly unnecessary to change the disposition of the animals, to bring them into subjection to man, if all the race were to be changed into spirit beings, and become like the angels. Many prophecies speak of mankind in the Times of Restitution as human beings, adapted to the earth and enjoying the blessings of the earth. They are to "sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid." (`Micah 4:4`.) "They shall build houses and inhabit them. ...They shall not build and another inhabit;...they shall long enjoy the work of their hands."--`Isa. 65:21-25`.
These promises for the world in general have no reference to the class being chosen out of the world during this Gospel Age. The promises to these are all spiritual. They are to be made like Christ, and "see Him as He is." (`1 John 3:2`.) They are called to the obtaining of His glory. As they "have borne the image of the earthy," so shall they "also bear the image of the Heavenly." (`1 Corinthians 15:49`.) They are promised a share in Christ's resurrection--the First Resurrection. They are to reign as kings and priests in a Kingdom which earthly beings cannot inherit. "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption." (`1 Corinthians 15:50`.) They have been called with a Heavenly Calling. They are not of the world, even as their Lord and Head is not of the world.--`John 17:16`.
WHY MANY FAIL TO UNDERSTAND THE WORD OF GOD
With many the difficulty in understanding these distinctions is a failure to rightly divide the Scriptures, as St. Paul counseled Timothy, saying, "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth." (`2 Timothy 2:15`.) This process would enable them to discern that the Kingdom of God per se consists only of our Lord Jesus and His "little flock" of overcomers, to whom He says, "It is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom." (`Luke 12:32`.) These are to constitute the reigning class, as many Scriptures point out. At first the world of mankind will be subjects of this spiritual Kingdom, and afterwards become citizens, or members, if they come into harmony with its laws and regulations and into a condition of reconciliation with God, becoming the children of Christ, who will be the Age-lasting Father of the world during the Mediatorial Age. He will be the One who shall bring the entire race of Adam--both those who still have a measure of life and those who have gone down into the tomb--back from the condition of death into full perfection of life, if they then prove willing and obedient. Otherwise they shall be cut off in the Second Death--everlasting destruction.
KINGDOM EVIDENTLY NOT YET COME
The Prophet Daniel, in explaining Nebuchadnezzar's dream regarding the Great Image, shows that the Kingdom of God when first set up at the introduction of the Millennial Age will be but a small Stone, which has been "cut out without hands," but which will become a "great Mountain and fill the whole earth." (`Daniel 2:31-45`.) This Stone Kingdom is quarried out of the "earth" by the Lord. It is at first insignificant in size, and it seems to the world as powerless. But as soon as set up in power, this Kingdom will smite the "great image" of earthly rulership, and shall grind it to powder (in the coming Time of Trouble), and the wind shall carry it away. This Stone Kingdom is the holy Mountain referred to in `Isaiah 11:9`. A mountain is the Scriptural symbol of a kingdom. Hills seem to be symbolic of the smaller governments of earth.--See `Isaiah 2:2`; `40:4`; `51:5`; `59:18`; `Psalm 46:2,3`; `97:5`.
Nothing shall be permitted to do violence or to work injury throughout all God's holy Kingdom, after it shall have been established. Love will be the Law, and Divine Power will be the means which will enforce that Law. All who do not conform to it will be "cut off from among the people," as the Lord declared through the Apostle Peter. (`Acts 3:23`.) How evident it is that this Kingdom has not yet come, when we see that amongst mankind selfishness is the rule, individually and nationally, and that there are many influences of evil which hurt and destroy throughout the world today. So we continue to pray: "Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth, as it is done in Heaven." And we believe that this petition so long offered by the Lord's saints is very soon to be answered.
After Messiah has crushed the power of evil, after He has overthrown all the great systems of error and vice, and has set the people free, He will accomplish the blessing of humanity by the spread of the knowledge of Jehovah's character. The Apostle Paul also assures us that it is the will of God that all men shall come to a knowledge of the Truth in order to be saved. He assures us that there can be no salvation without knowledge. None will ever be saved by ignorance. As yet only a comparatively few of earth's millions have come to such a knowledge of God as to be able to exercise faith in Him and in the great Sacrifice which He has provided for the whole world.
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COMPREHENSIVENESS OF PLAN OF SALVATION
But the fact that but few in the present life come to this saving knowledge shall in no wise thwart the great Divine Plan, nor make the death of Christ on behalf of the entire race of Adam of no avail. The Lord assures us in His Word that, in due time, the true Light shall lighten "every man that cometh into the world." (`John 1:9`.) This includes all the heathen and all those of imbecile mind, who could not in this life grasp the Truth, as well as all infants who have died before reaching the age where they could know of God and His Truth in Christ. It includes the dead, as well as the living. For "there is none other name given under Heaven among men whereby they must be saved," but the name of Jesus. God has thus made ample provision for all.
Nor are we to suppose that the knowledge which is to become world-wide during Messiah's Reign is merely a little sprinkling of knowledge, such as has come to a very limited portion of the world here and there in spots, up to the present time. The Lord's people have received the droppings of grace and Truth, but the provision for the next Age will be abundant and universal. The knowledge of the Lord shall be ocean deep--like the fulness of the sea. Showers of blessing shall come down upon the world in copious measure. The effect will be "like rain upon the mown grass." (`Psalm 72:6`.) When the grass has been freshly cut and its roots are thus the more accessible, how quickly it responds to the refreshing showers! And how rapidly does it spring up in renewed vigor! So it will be with mankind, after they have been shorn of all that has encumbered them and prevented the showers of grace from reaching their hearts. How quickly they will respond to the refreshing rains and showers of blessing so copiously bestowed upon them, and will spring up into life and beauty as they drink in the rich supplies of grace!
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THE SCOPE OF THE ANGELS' SONG
"Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men!"--`Luke 2:14`.
THE song which the angels sang at the birth of the Savior has been seized upon and misapplied by some who do not see the Plan of God for the salvation of the world. Becoming discouraged by the seemingly poor prospect for the world's conversion, these have put forth a version of this passage more in harmony with their own doubts and misconceptions. To these the prayer which our Master taught His disciples to pray, "Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth, as it is done in Heaven," has lost its meaning; for they see no hope of its fulfilment except in a very limited sense. Hence they prefer to translate the latter part of the verse, "And on earth peace, among men of good will." Were this the proper rendering, our hopes for the ultimate good of all, as far as this passage is concerned, would surely suffer eclipse; for very few thus far in the history of the race have been "men of good will," men who unselfishly endeavored to any appreciable degree to bring about the good of their fellows.
But we do not believe this to be the thought of the original. It is not in harmony with what we have clearly seen to be the Plan of God for mankind. Such a translation eliminates the thought of God's eventual good will toward all the world, and greatly minimizes the scope of this glorious song. It implies merely that men who have a feeling of good will are or will be at peace among themselves. How utterly barren of hope for all men would such an expression be! And how little the song of the angels would mean if this were its burden!
On the contrary, this song was a prophecy of God's purpose to bring about through the newly born Child the abrogation of the curse and the establishment of peace and sinlessness among mankind, in which God and man would become at-one. It was an expression of God's good will, His good purpose, to bring man back to the image and likeness of Himself, in which Adam was created. When this shall have been accomplished, then peace will dwell in all the earth; for the causes of inharmony will have been eliminated.
The world of mankind came under the curse, or sentence, of death because of the sin in Eden--because our first parents disobeyed God's righteous command. All humanity, therefore, are members of an accursed race-- under penal servitude, which ends in the tomb. The race has been learning the lesson of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and its terrible effects. But God has promised to take away the curse and to bring a permanent blessing in its place. This will mean a return to His favor, to full harmony with Himself.
PROGRESSION OF GOD'S GREAT PLAN
We speak of this song as a prophecy because the peace has not yet come, nor the good will, in the sense that God's face is as yet turned toward man. It is a declaration of what God purposes to do. He has not good will toward the present sinful, rebellious attitude of the race. He has never good will toward sin. We are not to understand that God was expressing His good will toward man when He pronounced the sentence of death upon him. God's curse indicated His ill-will toward man--in other words, His displeasure because of man's sin. He wished man to suffer ill as a just punishment for his wilful disobedience. God cut him off from fellowship with Himself. He was not bound in justice to do anything more for the race. But in His infinite mercy He provided a deliverance for mankind. He foreknew man's fall, and planned His redemption from before the foundation of the world.
Through all the ages since the fall of Adam God's Plan has been slowly, steadily progressing. While men have been learning in pain and tears and trouble the nature and results of sin, God has been selecting His saintly ones, His Elect--first, the Elect who are to be the earthly princes in His Kingdom of Blessing; lastly, the Elect who are to reign over all as kings and priests of God on the highest plane of existence. The chief of all the Elect is His well-beloved Son, the Savior of the world, whose birth the angels proclaimed to the shepherds watching on the plains of Judea, nearly nineteen centuries ago. (`Isaiah 42:1`.) When all the elect ones are chosen and prepared, then the blessing of the world at large will be inaugurated. "For the earnest expectation of the creation waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God [the Church]. For the creation was made subject to frailty, not willingly, but by reason of Him who hath subjected the same in hope; because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God." --`Romans 8:19-21`.
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The coming of the Son of God to earth was only preliminary to His offering of Himself as a Ransom for the forfeited life of Adam, the father of the race, in whom all his posterity fell. But even when our Lord had died as man's Ransom-price, God's favor did not come to the world. Jesus was next raised from the dead a glorious, Divine being. Then He ascended up on High, and appeared in the presence of God for those who were to be of the spiritual Elect. Thus the last became first in God's Plan. The merit of Jesus' death was utilized first on behalf of these. It has not yet been applied for any others. The Church of Christ now have this promised peace and good will. It is granted only to those who have come into vital relationship with God through Christ--the fully consecrated ones.
The Scriptures show that after these are all selected, prepared and glorified, the next step will be the application to all men of the merit which has been imputed to these Elect, and through whom it is to go to the Worthies of old and to the entire world of mankind. This spiritual class have been chosen to be members of the Body of Christ, joint-associates with Him in the Messianic Kingdom. All of these who prove entirely faithful are to attain this exalted position. As soon as all the spiritual class have been glorified, the sins of all the world, those living and the dead as well, will be legally canceled by the application of the virtue, the merit, of the sacrificial death of Jesus. Then they will be freed from the condemnation of the sentence of death. The death penalty will be lifted. They will be turned over to The Christ, Head and Body, the Great Mediator. The curse will be removed.
The great work of the Millennial Age will then begin. It will be a work of gradual uplift during the entire thousand years of the Reign of The Christ. The dead will be gradually awakened and brought to a clear knowledge of the salvation of God in Christ. All will then have the opportunity of coming into the blessed condition of peace and good will proclaimed by the angels. By degrees they will be brought, if they will, to where they will be ready to be received by the Father, to be introduced to Him. This will be the blessed experience of all who will be obedient to the rules and requirements of the Kingdom. If they prove unwilling and disobedient, after being brought to a clear understanding, they will be "cut off," destroyed, as not worthy of further effort on God's part for their reclamation.
CHRIST'S DEATH A BLESSING TO THE UNIVERSE
We understand that the sacrifice of the Son of God will be a blessing also to the inhabitants of worlds not yet peopled, who will not have had any personal experience with sin. God apparently purposes that after mankind have been restored, and all the incorrigible destroyed, He will allow no further infringement of the Divine Law. Indeed, we can see that if at the beginning of his deflection Satan had known the results of his own course, he would probably not have taken the step which he did. We are not to think of Satan as being foolish by nature. He was a glorious being, Lucifer, "the son of the morning." If Father Adam and Mother Eve had foreseen the results of their disobedience, they would not have taken such a course; for to have done so with foreknowledge would have meant that they were very unwise, foolish, of unsound minds, whereas they were created perfect, in the image of their Creator.
We believe that if the angels who kept not their first estate had known the end from the beginning--if they could have looked down the ages and seen the direful consequences of their course of sin and disobedience-- they would have been appalled, and would have taken no such disastrous step. The fact that they have gotten into sin, and have developed such sinful tendencies, proclivities and preferences, is no proof that this would have been their course if they had known as much in advance as they now know. It is our hope that some of these may yet be reclaimed, if they are properly repentant, in their great Judgment Day, now at hand.
God seeketh such to worship Him as worship Him in spirit and in truth. Our thought is that all these worlds surrounding us are designed to be homes to many intelligent beings yet to be created. We believe that it is God's delight to give joy and blessing to many creatures, on various planes of existence. And God is making of this experience of mankind with sin a valuable lesson, a lesson that will be beneficial, not only to themselves, but to all the worlds that will ever be populated. These might be instructed and informed in advance of their developing any sinful tendencies just what the nature and tendency of sin is. They will probably be told the story of the tendency of sin--what it did for the people of earth, what it cost to redeem and restore them. They will be told, probably, that sin degrades mind, body and morals; that its influence is only deteriorating; that once deteriorated, one learns to prefer sin, notwithstanding all the misery and degradation it brings; and that God will never grant everlasting life to any except as they gladly co-operate to that end--that He will never influence any against their own will.
It would seem, then, that the great work accomplished at Calvary will have an influence as wide as the Universe. And this thought might be applied to the
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first part of the song of the angels, "Glory to God in the Highest!" God will be glorified by all the angels, by every rank of spirit beings. He will be glorified by His exalted Church, then of the Divine nature; by restored humanity, by all the intelligent creatures on every plane, in every Age! Yea, more and more glorious will be His honor as the years of eternity roll on, and as other peoples of other planets are brought into being and brought to know Him and to share His wonderful bounties and blessings, and to learn the blessedness of loving and serving Him.
"MY PRESENCE SHALL GO WITH THEE"
Almighty God, the Lord of Heaven and Earth,
O, Thou, the Source and Centre of each sphere,
The Lord of Being, throned afar, whose hand
Upholds the weight of worlds, yet, wondrous thought!--
Nor day nor night too occupied to note
E'en when a sparrow falls to earth, whose eyes
A watch-care keep o'er every child of Thine;
Whose guardian angels daily shape the course
Of those who love Thee more than life itself;
Whose chastening rod doth guide them in the way
That leads to endless life! How sweet to feel
Thy presence ever near, to know that Thou
Dost never sleep nor slumber while Thy child
In time of need doth cry for help from Thee!
O, Thou, in Whom no shade of turning lies,
Thou changeless and unvariable One!
Though all unfaithful prove; yea, though the earth
And heavens depart, by faith we clasp Thy hand,
We calmly rest our weary hearts on Thee,
Assured that Thou wilt ne'er forsake, that we
Shall be forever precious in Thy sight!
October 19, 1914 G. W. SEIBERT.
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SMITTEN OF GOD, AFFLICTED
--NOVEMBER 29.--`MARK 15:22-37`.--
"Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted."--`Isaiah 53:4`.
THERE is no room for dispute respecting the facts associated with the crucifixion of Jesus. The only room for contention is in respect to the Divine limitation and reason for the crucifixion. The Prophet Isaiah gives the Divine explanation to us.
The Savior was greatly weakened by His three years of ministry, in which He had given forth His vitality freely to the people in the healing of their diseases. Besides this, He had been on a constant strain, without sleep, from the time He had sent His disciples to prepare the Passover. This period had included the trying experiences connected with the Passover and the institution of the Memorial Supper, the journey to Gethsemane, the hours of agony and weakness there, the experiences following, the trial of the Sanhedrin by the high priests, the trial before Herod and before Pilate, the scourging, etc.--all had been a constant strain on Him. Now, condemned to crucifixion by those for whom He had sacrificed His Heavenly home and glory, He was additionally required to carry His own cross. He did so until finally His weakness under its weight hindered, and a passing farmer was compelled to assist--whether by carrying the cross entirely or by walking behind Jesus and carrying a portion of the weight is not made very clear by the original text.
Where were Peter, John, James, Thomas and the other Apostles, that they did not volunteer assistance? Doubtless they were deterred by fear. But oh, what a blessing they missed! Tradition has it that the Cyrenean farmer who bore the cross by compulsion afterward became one of the followers of the Nazarene, through having the Truth of the Savior's Message borne in upon his heart by the experiences of that hour.
Crowding around were weeping women, and we wonder that none of them lent a helping hand. Turning to them, Jesus said, "Weep not for Me. Weep for yourselves and for your children." The Master's words in this connection, respecting their seeking the mountains and hills for covering and protection, are assumed by some Bible students to belong in part to the great trouble which came upon the Jewish people thirty-seven years later in the destruction of Jerusalem. And it is assumed that that destruction of Jerusalem and this trouble were types which foreshadowed the greater distress which will occur in the closing time of this Age.
Certain it is that the same expressions in respect to the mountains and hills is used in respect to the end of this Gospel Age. When at His Second Advent Christ shall be revealed in flaming fire of judgments, it will consume the present order of things and prepare the way for the new King. We are not to assume that any one would pray for mountains to fall upon him when he could take his own life in a much easier way. Rather, the thought seems to be that many will seek and desire and pray for hiding, for protection against the raging troubles. The rocks of society are its social organizations, each of which seeks to protect its own membership.
"If they do these things in the green tree, what shall be done in the dry?" said Jesus. He here seems to liken the Jewish nation to the fig-tree which quickly withered away under His curse, or sentence. So, five days before His crucifixion, Jesus, riding upon the ass to Jerusalem and weeping over it, had said, "Your house is left unto you desolate." Now, in so short a time, while the fig-tree was still green, its rulers had reached a desperate place, so that they were willing to violate all law and set aside all conscience in His crucifixion.
If so quickly the evil worked to such a horrible outrage of justice, what might not be expected later on, when that Jewish fig-tree had thoroughly dried and all the sap (spirituality) had gone out of it? Similarly, in the end of this Age we may expect that the Church, the Body of Christ, the saints, will suffer violence, that thus the salt of the earth will be removed, and that quickly thereafter a general putrefaction will set in--anarchy.
THE SON OF MAN LIFTED UP
Jesus had foretold His crucifixion, saying that "as Moses lifted up the brazen serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up"--be crucified. The brazen serpent was thus used as a type of Jesus. He was actually holy, harmless, undefiled; but He took the sinner's place--He was treated as the sinner. The severest penalty under the Law was crucifixion--"Cursed is every one that hangeth upon a tree." And so, says the Apostle, Jesus was made a curse for us. (`Galatians 3:13`.) Although He knew no sin, He took the place of the sinner. Jesus died for our sins, according to the Scriptures.
The words of our text that say, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do," are not to be taken into account, because they are not found in the oldest Greek manuscripts. Besides, Jesus must have known that the sin of the Jews would bring a penalty. He had foretold in His parable that God would punish them and burn up their city. (`Luke 20:14-16`.) In the context the statement, "Weep for yourselves," implied a punishment upon the Jews for their sins, and that this sin would not be wholly forgiven them. As a matter of fact, we know that the Jews have been cut off from Divine favor for now eighteen centuries. It is proper for us to assume that Jesus was in full harmony with the Father in respect to all this Divine arrangement, and that He did not ask something contrary to the Divine will.
St. Paul refers to this matter also, saying respecting the trouble which came upon the Jews at the time of the rejection of Jesus, "Wrath is come upon them to the uttermost, that all things written concerning them should have fulfilment."--`1 Thessalonians 2:14-16`.
On the other hand, we may well be assured that Jesus, who was giving His life for the Jews, would not wish that they should not have punishment that would be due to them for the great sin of destroying the One whom Jehovah had especially sent to them, as His representative, His Son. A just penalty for such wilful sin would undoubtedly be utter destruction. But the Apostle points out that "the blood of Jesus speaketh better things"--not justice. (`Hebrews 12:24`.) His blood speaks forgiveness of sins, not only for the remainder of the world, but also for the Jews. It speaks a full opportunity for reconciliation with God during the Messianic Kingdom.
St. Peter corroborates the thought that the Jews were not wholly responsible for their course because of (at least) a partial ignorance. Addressing some of them afterwards he said: "I wot that in ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers"; for if they had known they would not have crucified "the Prince of Life." (`Acts 3:15-17`.) The Prophet Zechariah shows us that in God's due time the eyes of understanding of the whole world will be
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opened. All will see things differently enough, and the Jews are especially mentioned--"They that pierced Him." Then the Lord will pour upon them the spirit of prayer and supplication, and they shall look upon Him whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him (`Zechariah 12:10`), realizing that they maltreated their best Friend, their Redeemer.
THEY PARTED MY GARMENTS
The stony-heartedness of the Roman soldiers is indicated by the fact that while Jesus was dying they cast lots for His seamless robe, dividing His other garments amongst them. We have God's promise that the result of the Millennial Kingdom will be to take away the stony heart out of the flesh and to give instead tender hearts. Oh, how much all mankind need full restitution to the image and likeness of God, originally represented in Adam and subsequently represented in the Man Jesus!
The attitude of the world is further represented in the two culprits who were executed at the same time, one on each side of Jesus, who by the inscription over His cross was styled King of the Jews. One of these companions in tribulation railed at Jesus as a fraud, bantering Him to manifest any power He had by saving Himself and His associates. Little did he realize that if Jesus had saved Himself He could not have been the Savior of the world!
The other thief befriended Jesus, declaring that He had done nothing amiss and was unjustly accused. Then, turning to Jesus, he expressed his faith in Him by asking a reward for his kind words. He said, "Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy Kingdom." The poor thief knew that Jesus claimed to be a King. He was standing near when Jesus was asked the question, "Art Thou a King," and heard the answer, "My Kingdom is not of this Age." The thief recognized that Jesus was worthy to be a King, so noble of character and of appearance was He. What if He were really what He claimed to be? What if finally, in the great Beyond, this One should prove to be the Messiah? He would at least tell the truth and declare a word in His defense, and he would at least ask kind remembrance if this One ever reached His Kingly Power.
The answer of Jesus seems to have been very generally misunderstood by us all in the past. We thought that He promised the thief to be with Him that same day in the Kingdom. Yet we knew that, according to other Scriptures, Jesus Himself was not in the Kingdom that day, but in Joseph's new tomb; that He did not rise from the dead, from Sheol, from Hades, the tomb, until the third day; and that even then He said to Mary after His resurrection, "I have not yet ascended to My Father and your Father, My God and your God." Evidently, then, Jesus could not have said that He and the thief would be together in Paradise that same day.
The true explanation is at hand. Paradise, lost through the fall six thousand years ago, is about to be restored by Messiah in His glorious Kingdom. It was then that the thief asked to be remembered--"when Thou comest into Thy Kingdom." The thief has been sleeping in death since, waiting for the time for Messiah's Kingdom to come. The answer of Jesus was in full accord with this: Amen. So be it. "Verily, I say unto thee, this day [this day when I seem not to have a friend, and when nothing seems more unlikely than that I would ever have a Kingdom, I tell you today], thou shalt be with Me in Paradise."
Jesus' Kingdom will quickly begin the work of turning the world into a Paradise. And, in the resurrection of the hosts who have fallen asleep in death, that thief will be remembered by the Master. Undoubtedly a great blessing will be his in Paradise, because of his comforting words spoken on the cross, and especially because those words indicated that he had a tender and contrite heart, such as will be the first to have blessings in the Kingdom.
Jesus commended His mother to His disciple John, which implies that the husband, Joseph, was no longer living. It shows us, too, the Master's careful thoughtfulness of the interests of His loved ones in His own hour of extreme suffering.
The Master's dying cry, "My God! My God! why hast Thou forsaken Me?" attests to us the fact that He did not claim to be the Heavenly Father, but the Son of God. It also shows us how the Master endured to the very limit the penalty of the sinner. The penalty of sin was not merely to die, but also to be cut off from fellowship with God. Jesus, in taking the sinner's place, must for a moment at least have the full experience of the sinner's alienation.
The Master's cry, "It is finished," reminds us of His statement of the day previous, "I have a baptism [into death] to be accomplished, and how am I straitened [in difficulty] until it be accomplished"--until it be finished.
"Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit," reminds us of the fact that Jesus was laying down His life, that the spirit of life which He possessed was that which had been transferred from a previous condition. He had not forfeited His right to life, as had Adam. He might therefore still speak of it as His own spirit, His own right to life--merely surrendered for the time, merely laid down under the Divine promise that it should be given to Him again in the resurrection.
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THE RISEN CHRIST
--DECEMBER 6.--`MARK 16:1-8`; `MATTHEW 28:11-15`.--
"Why seek ye the living amongst the dead? He is not here, but is risen."--`Luke 24:5,6`.
THE resurrection of the dead is an astounding proposition. Its accomplishment will be the greatest manifestation of Divine Power ever made to angels and to men. The awakening of Jairus' daughter, of the son of the widow of Nain, and that of Lazarus the friend of Jesus, are nowhere styled resurrections of the dead. They were merely awakenings, the last of these being the most wonderful because, Lazarus had been dead four days, and putrefaction had set in.
The resurrection of the dead promised in the Bible is to bring back the personality and the consciousness of thousands of millions of humanity who have died, who have gone to dust under the Divine sentence, "Dying, thou shalt die." "Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." There could be no resurrection--no escape from that Divine sentence--except in the way God has arranged; namely, that Jesus took the place of the original sinner, Adam. Purchasing him back from the death sentence meant the purchase of all who died in him. Thus we read that Christ died, "the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God."--`1 Peter 3:18`.
Fallacious ideas have gone abroad to the effect that it will be the body merely that will be resurrected--that God will collect from the four winds every particle of dust which once composed a portion of a human body, and will reorganize the race out of the same particles of matter which once composed it. The absurdity of this proposition grows upon us as we consider that the carcases
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of the dead have more or less gone into vegetation, and thus into other animals and other humans. This is well illustrated by the story of the apple tree, the roots of which penetrated a coffin and assumed the shape of the corpse. The apples were eaten by various people, and some of them by swine, which in turn were shipped to various parts of the country.
This anecdote well illustrates the unreasonableness of the common misunderstanding of the Bible teachings. The difficulty has been that we lost sight of the fact that the Bible declares that it is the soul which dies. "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." (`Ezekiel 18:4,20`.) Our bodies are being changed and renewed, Science tells us, every seven years. The body in which Adam sinned, therefore, passed away--and many other bodies--during the nine hundred and thirty years of his experience. But his soul, his personality, himself, died but once, nine hundred and thirty years old. It is the soul that dies, that has been redeemed, and that is to be resurrected. "Thou sowest not that body which shall be."
OUR LORD NO LONGER HUMAN
Christ, as the Logos with the Father, was a living soul, or being, on a high spirit plane. For man's sake He humbled Himself and became a bondsman--"took a bondsman's form, and was found in fashion as a man" --a human soul. As a human soul, or human being, He died--"He poured out His soul unto death." He made "His soul an Offering for sin." "He shall see [the reward of] the travail of His soul and shall be satisfied." --`Isaiah 53:10-12`.
It was Jesus the human soul that died, but He was raised from the dead a Soul of a higher order. At that time, as He foretold, He ascended "where He was before"; that is to say, on the spirit plane. He was "put to death in flesh, but quickened [or made alive] in spirit." (`1 Peter 3:18`.) He took the fleshly nature merely for the great purpose of giving man's redemption-price; and after He had surrendered that ransom-price by giving Himself up to death, the Father raised Him up to glory, honor, the Divine nature--"far above angels, principalities and powers, and every name that is named." (`Philippians 2:9`.) He that ascended thus in His resurrection was the same that had previously descended from the Heavenly to the earthly condition, as St. Paul says.
Because in His resurrection Jesus was so different, from this viewpoint we are prepared to understand why He conducted Himself so differently after His resurrection
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from what He had done before. After His resurrection He appeared and disappeared, we read. He showed Himself to His disciples for a few moments at a time, and then vanished from their sight. Never before had He done anything of the kind. After His resurrection He appeared in different bodies, different forms, different clothing. To Mary He appeared as the gardener. To the two walking to Emmaus He appeared as the stranger. He appeared not only as a different person, but also in different clothing; for His clothing had been parted amongst the soldiers.
How evidently He was put to death in the flesh, but quickened in spirit! It was the Spirit Jesus who showed Himself, assuming different human forms and clothing, as best suited the occasion. This Spirit Being could, and did, come into the assemblies of the disciples when the doors were shut and fastened for fear of the Jews. He created, or materialized, a body and clothing in their presence; and after a few moments He vanished out of their sight, dissolving the body and the clothing, while He, the Spirit Being, remained invisible. Thus He was with the disciples for forty days before He ascended; yet they saw Him not, except a few minutes at a time on seven different occasions.
Those forty days were very necessary for teaching the Jewish disciples, and all of the Lord's followers since, two great lessons:
(1) That He was no longer dead, but alive;
(2) That He was no longer a man, but a Spirit. "Now the Lord is that Spirit."--`2 Corinthians 3:17`.
IMPORTANCE OF OUR LORD'S RESURRECTION
That our Lord was no longer flesh, but a Spirit Being with celestial glory, is clearly established by St. Paul's narrative of his own experiences. He explains that it was necessary that the twelve Apostles should be able to bear witness to the fact that Jesus had risen from the dead. There could have been no Gospel Message of hope of Divine favor through a dead Savior. If Christ had not risen, then who would there be who could ever establish the Messianic Kingdom? Who would there ever be who could give to the Church a share in the First Resurrection and make them sharers in His Heavenly glory? If Christ had not risen, who would there be who could call forth from the tomb the sleeping billions, awakening them, through the Voice which speaks peace through Jesus Christ, to the opportunities of everlasting life through obedience to the Kingdom?
The Apostle calls all this forcibly to our minds, saying, "If Christ be not risen from the dead, your faith is vain; and all who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished." (`1 Corinthians 15:16-18`.) From this we see that St. Paul in no way shared the views of those who unscripturally claimed that Jesus, while dead, was really alive; and that the resurrection of the dead is a mere formality, quite unnecessary to the carrying out of God's Plan. The Divine teaching is that the dead know not anything, and that the resurrection of the dead is an absolute necessity to any future life or hope or blessing.
The fact that Christ has risen from the dead is a guarantee of God's power to raise the dead. Additionally, it is a guarantee that Jesus accomplished the work which He came into the world to do. It proves to us that He must have kept the Divine Law perfectly; else He would not have been worthy of a resurrection from the dead. It proves, additionally, the value of His death --the efficacy of it as the offset of Father Adam's sin, and thus as the Ransom-price for the sins of the world.
St. Paul tells that he saw Jesus after His resurrection. He tells us that our Lord's appearance to him was as that of a bright light shining above the brightness of the sun at noonday. He tells us the effect that it had upon his character and upon his eyesight--that one glance at the glorious Jesus destroyed his sight, which was afterwards partially restored by Divine mercy. This was the eighth appearance of Jesus to His disciples. In seven of them He appeared in flesh; in one He appeared in glory above the brightness of the sun. He was the same at all times, but the manifestations were different.
The manifestations in the flesh during the forty days correspond exactly to those manifestations which Jesus had made long previously, one of which was to Abraham. He ate and talked with Abraham; but Abraham knew not that he talked with the Lord, and thought of Him only as a man, because He appeared in human form and ordinary clothing. He vanished from Abraham's sight as He vanished from the Apostles' sight and from Saul's. He was a Spirit Being when He appeared to Abraham; and He was a Spirit Being after His resurrection, when
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He appeared to His Apostles. It was in the meantime that He was made flesh for the very purpose of suffering, the Just for the unjust.
Having accomplished the suffering, there was no further reason why our Lord should remain flesh. The Lord of Glory in Heaven is not flesh, not a man. If He were, He would be "a little lower than the angels." But the Apostle assures us that in His resurrection He has ascended far above the angels.--`Phil. 2:9-11`; `Heb. 1:3,4`.
It was just as easy for Jesus to appear in one form as another, in one kind of clothing as another. He appeared in various forms, that the double lesson might be impressed that He was not dead, and that He was no longer a man. His second appearance with the wounds to convince St. Thomas is especially noteworthy. He was ready to give any demonstration that was necessary, because, unless His disciples really believed in His resurrection, they could not do the work that was before them, nor could they even receive the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. The Holy Spirit was not given except to those who believed in Jesus--who accepted the fact of His death as the Sacrifice for sins and who trusted in Him as the Savior through whom would come the Divine blessing, begetting them of the Holy Spirit and restoring them to fellowship with God as children of God.
FURTHER SCRIPTURAL PROOFS
If further evidence be necessary that Jesus is not a flesh being--that He is no longer a man--that evidence can be found in the Apostle's assurance that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God, and that therefore every member of the Church must be changed before he can enter into and share Christ's Kingdom. The change will be from earthly state, or condition, or soul, to spirit condition, or soul, or being. The Apostle declares that we must all be changed, that we may be like our Lord. If our fleshly body must give place to a spirit body in order that we may be like our Lord, it is manifest that He is a spirit body, a spirit being, a spirit soul. This also agrees with St. Paul, respecting the resurrection of the Church. He says, "It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown an animal body, it is raised a spirit body."
A totally different thing, however, is brought to our attention by the same Apostle in `Philippians 3:21`, where he declares that the Lord Jesus will "change our vile Body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body." The thought here is in respect to the Church as a whole, and not the individual bodies of the Church. The Apostle is speaking of our vile Body, in the singular. The thought is that Jesus, the Head of the Church, had His experiences of humiliation prior to His death and His resurrection. The Head of the Church was exalted, was glorified, more than eighteen centuries ago. Since then, all who have espoused His Cause have become identified with a Body, or company, that is despised of men, a humiliated Body, of which St. Paul says, "We are counted as the filth and offscouring of the earth." But at the Second Coming of Christ the humiliation of the Church, His Body, will cease, because the Lord will gloriously change His Body in the First Resurrection. Thereafter it will no longer be a Church, or Body, reviled but glorified.
OUR gifts should in some sense of the word always represent ourselves. All who recognize themselves as New Creatures should have this in mind at this season of the year. We refresh your memories by the following brief announcements of items we carry in stock, additional to our general stock of Bibles and Bible Study Helps mentioned on the reverse side of this page.
"Studies in the Scriptures." India paper edition, fine sealskin binding, gold edges, light, small, beautiful, $4.80 (L1).
"Studies in the Scriptures." Morocco, over boards, gold edges, but on paper the same as the ordinary cloth edition, suitable for book-shelf $3.60 (15s) of six volumes, postpaid.
"Studies," Volume I., with Pyramid Chapter added. This special edition is very suitable for presentation to uninterested friends. Many have had their interest awakened by the reading of the Pyramid Chapter. We recommend this Volume for gift purposes. Postpaid 50c. (2s 1d), but, to stimulate its wide circulation, ten copies for $2.50 (10s 10d).
Scenario of the Photo-Drama of Creation. The ninety-six short, pithy lectures of the Creation Drama can be supplied in print in four styles:
(1) A free edition with one picture to each page.
(2) A pamphlet edition with four times as many illustrations. Price 10c. each part--three parts complete 25c.-- postage included.
(3) The same in cloth binding under one cover complete for 50c., postage included.
(4) The same de luxe, gilt edges, finer paper, $1 each, postage included.
This should be in every home. Its lessons are most entertaining and instructive for old and young. It has no peer.
Wherever the Drama has been shown should be excellent territory for colporteuring these Scenarios. Terms in lots of one hundred copies by freight or express, charges collect-- one-half the above retail prices.
Classes bunching their orders are entitled to colporteur rates on similar quantities.
"Poems of Dawn." Nearly three hundred very choice poems topically divided, the very thing each should have near him for a leisure moment. The value of these as spiritual stimulants is inestimable. They can be appreciated by all Christians, though of course especially by those possessing a knowledge of Present Truth. Postpaid in cloth binding 25c. (1s); leather-bound 50c. (2s 1d).
"In the Garden of the Lord." This little booklet is a choice poem from the pen of Sister Seibert. It contains sixteen colored illustrations, twenty-four pages. Postpaid 6c. (3d) each; per dozen 65c. (2s 8d).
Choice Motto Cards for home embellishment and spiritual refreshment.
Packet Mz, containing fifteen small cards with different texts, postpaid 50c. (2s 1d).
Number Ma, containing fifteen small and six a little larger sized cards, $1 (4s 2d).
Number Mc, containing six small and six medium-sized cards, $1 (4s 2d).
Number Me, containing two large and two medium cards. $1 (4s 2d).
Where $5 (L1 10d) worth of these are sent to one address the saving in package and expressage would be 50c., making the price $4.50 (18s 9d). Order by number only.
Postcards. Assorted mottoes and designs, 15c. (7-1/2d) per dozen; two dozen, 25c. (1s 1/2d); 100 for $1 (4s 2d).
Memory Cards. We have two different sets of these-- No. 1 and No. 2. Colors of the cards indicate the topic. As for instance, purple represents royalty and the Kingdom, garnet represents the redeeming blood, etc. On one side of the cards are texts appropriate to the color. On the reverse side of the card is the citation of where it is found. Fifty cards to the pack, 25c. (1s 1d) per pack, postpaid. These can be used personally or with a company of friends. The design is to commit the text to memory and its citation. Many have found these very useful.
Jerusalem Remembrancers of Olivewood. Brother Russell purchased a quantity of these on the occasion of his last visit to Jerusalem. We still have some paper weights remaining-- made of olivewood highly polished. Postpaid 10c. (5d) each. In quantities, 80c. (3s 4d) per dozen.
Write your letters and correct P.O. address very plainly; also give name of nearest express company.
Write your orders on a separate sheet of paper from your letter. If answering a letter marked File A, File R, or otherwise, refer to it in the opening paragraph of your letter.
"I.B.S.A." BIBLES AND OTHER BIBLE STUDY HELPS
First in this list we mention the several volumes of
"STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES" SERIES
We commend also, as aids, the following publications (not all our own), which we supply at specially low prices because of the assistance they lend to the study of God's Word. We mention these somewhat in the order in which they seem to us to be desirable aids.
OUR SPECIAL "I.B.S.A." BIBLE
Hereafter to distinguish our own special edition from other Bibles, we will refer to it as the "I.B.S.A." Bible. This Bible is becoming more and more indispensable to all readers as they learn how to use it. The translation, of course, is not at all different from that of other Bibles of the Common Version. We specially recommend it for its smallness of size, lightness of weight, and good-sized print, and above all for the helps to Bible students and teachers bound with it; printed on India paper; excellent press work. Its special feature, distinguishing this Bible from all others, is
BIBLE TEACHERS' MANUAL. Part I.
Biblical Comments from Genesis to Revelation, with references to the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES and others of our publications showing the page where the text is more fully discussed and elaborated. We can scarcely imagine anything more helpful than these for Bible study. It is so easy to turn to the reference and ascertain if the matter has been treated and where and how. It represents four hundred and eighty-one pages of matter.
Part II. INSTRUCTORS' GUIDE TEXTS.
This is a topical arrangement of Bible subjects specially convenient for those who have opportunity for teaching others the Divine Plan of the Ages. Its various Topics are arranged under distinct headings and the various texts bearing upon the subjects are collated. With this help a novice has at his command, well-furnished, "the Sword of the Spirit." It is in condensed form, very convenient, and consists of eighteen pages solid matter.
Part III. BEREAN TOPICAL INDEX.
The Berean Topical Index, alphabetically arranged, presents a large variety of subjects showing references to the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES and others of our publications treating the same. This feature covers twenty-eight pages.
Part IV. DIFFICULT TEXTS EXPLAINED. SPURIOUS PASSAGES NOTED.
In this, specially difficult texts are brought to the attention and references given showing where they are treated in our publications. Following this is a full list of various interpolations and spurious passages of the Scriptures not in the original MSS., as proven by the oldest Greek MSS.--fifteen pages.
These four features, representing five hundred and forty-two pages, are not to be found in any other Bibles on earth and, in our opinion, they are of almost priceless value. One of our interested readers if he could not procure another would not sell his copy for a hundred dollars--many of them surely would not take thousands for it.
All of our "I.B.S.A." Bibles contain the above, and some of them, the numbers of which end with a nine, contain additionally Bagster's Bible Study Helps, including an alphabetical index of proper names and Bagster's Bible Concordance and Maps--a total of one hundred and eighty-six pages.
We not only supply these Bibles at cost price, but, because of the large quantities ordered at a time, we are enabled to secure a cost price which is really phenomenal. The very low prices must not lead you to think that these are manufactured in any slipshod manner. They are first class in every particular. The prices are, many of them, less than one-half of what you pay for such books almost anywhere else.
So great is the demand for these "I.B.S.A." Bibles that hereafter we purpose carrying no others in stock except pocket Bibles and large type Bibles for the aged. We will still, however, be pleased to serve anyone who desires other Bibles. We can procure for these wholesale rates, usually twenty-five per cent. off, plus postage.
DESCRIPTION AND PRICES--"I.B.S.A." BIBLES
1918, price $1.65, postage prepaid, is a beautiful book. It is small and light. Size 4-3/4 x 6-3/4 inches. It has minion type, red under gold edges, divinity circuit, French Seal. Looks like the genuine sealskin, but it is in reality good sheepskin.
Number 1919, price $1.75, postage prepaid; the same book, the same Bible; the same every way except the addition of Bagster Helps, Concordances, etc., making this size a trifle larger.
Number 1928, price $2.65, postage prepaid. This is the same book exactly as number 1918, except that it has genuine morocco binding; leather-lined.
LITTLE LARGER, IONIC TYPE, SELF-PRONOUNCING
Number 1939, price $1.95, postage prepaid. This is the same book as 1919, the same binding and contents, but it has a coarser print and is a little larger book. Size, 5-1/2 x 7-1/2 inches.
Number 1959, price $3.65, postage prepaid. This is the same book as 1939 except that it has splendid morocco binding, is calf-lined and silk-sewed. Bibles similar in quality and finish are listed in many catalogues at $8.
The sale of these books is not restricted to WATCH TOWER readers. They are valuable aids in Bible study, and open to the public.
Remit with order. We can secure such prices only by paying spot cash and must sell on the same terms. Insurance, 5c. additional.
Anyone ordering patent index on any of these Bibles should so state and should add twenty-five cents to the price.
Should any desire other Bibles we will be pleased to supply publisher's catalogue, giving full description and prices. We are usually able to secure a discount of 25 per cent. on the publishers' list prices.
DAILY HEAVENLY MANNA
FOR THE HOUSEHOLD OF FAITH
The demand for this publication increases year by year.
Our present edition of the "Manna" contains the same texts and comments as all former editions. Every alternate leaf is blank-ruled, for use as an autograph and birthday record. Its value increases as additional autographs of friends are secured. It is printed on fine bond paper. We now have it in three different grades of binding, at very reasonable prices, considering the class of workmanship.
The following wholesale rates postpaid are granted to all WATCH TOWER subscribers:
Purple cloth, silver embossed....................................$0.35
Dark blue cloth, silver embossed, German......................... .35
Leatherette, blue edges, Swedish and Norwegian................... .35
Leatherette, gold edges, Swedish and Norwegian................... .65
Genuine Morocco, gold edges, English and Norwegian............... 1.10
We hope this little book will find a place at every breakfast table; that spiritual refreshment may thus be enjoyed with the natural food.
THE EMPHATIC DIAGLOTT
This very valuable work, published under the author's copyright by Fowler & Wells Co., New York City, has been sold by them at $4 in cloth and $5 in half leather binding. For several years a friend, an earnest Bible student, desirous of assisting the readers of our Society's publications, has supplied them through us at a greatly reduced price; now he has purchased the copyright and plates from the Fowler & Wells Co., and presented the same to our Society as a gift that the poor of the Lord's flock may have this help in the study of the Word.
REDUCED PRICES.--This will be sold with THE WATCH TOWER only. On thin paper, in full morocco leather, divinity circuit, red under gold edges, silk sewed, leather lined, $2.50 (10s. 6d.) includes postage and one year's subscription to THE WATCH TOWER.
THE TISCHENDORF NEW TESTAMENT
This is the ordinary Common Version in cloth binding. As footnotes it gives the reading of the three oldest Greek MSS., Sinaiticus, Vaticanus and Alexandrine, wherever these differ from the Common Version. This is a very valuable little work, published in Europe, which we specially import. Price, 50c., including postage.
LEESER'S TRANSLATION OF THE OLD TESTAMENT
This is the standard translation amongst English reading Hebrews, by one of their own rabbis. It is not perfect, but is a valuable aid in critical study of the Old Testament. Our special price, in leather binding, including postage, is $1.10.
ANALYTICAL CONCORDANCE TO THE SCRIPTURES
In English, Hebrew and Greek, by Prof. Young (Presbyterian). A valuable work for all critical students. We are not permitted by the publishers to cut their price, but we may and do give in addition, postage free, any four volumes of STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, cloth binding, with each Concordance, or six volumes if purchaser pays expressage. Postpaid, cloth binding, $6.
EXHAUSTIVE CONCORDANCE TO THE SCRIPTURES
In English, Hebrew and Greek, by Prof. Strong (Methodist). This is also an able work and useful in critical study. It has some advantages over Young's; after getting used to it we prefer it. Special reduced prices in cloth binding, $3.96; half leather, $5.96.
CRUDEN'S CONCORDANCE TO THE SCRIPTURES
A valuable work, but scarcely necessary to those who have either of the above mentioned. English only. Cloth binding, $1, delivered.
SMITH'S BIBLE DICTIONARY
This is one of the most desirable editions of Prof. Smith's work. It is a large volume of 1,020 pages. Cloth binding, $1.30, including postage.
"BIBLE TALKS IN SIMPLE LANGUAGE"
This is the best book of its kind we have ever seen. It presents the Bible stories in simple, but not childish language, and seems remarkably free from the bad theology so common in this class of books. All Christian parents should have a Sunday Bible lesson with their children, and this book furnishes interesting topics, to which may be added as much concordant "Present Truth" as the age of the children will justify. Parents are responsible for their children's training in theology as well as in morals.
624 pages, 250 illustrations; cloth sides, leather back and corners, gilt edges. A subscription book at $3. Our special price, $1, postpaid.
Hymns of Dawn, with music (cloth)................................$0.35
Hymns of Dawn, without music (flexible).......................... .06
Poems of Dawn (leather) 50c.; cloth.............................. .25
Memorizing Text-Cards (100 in pkg.--two assortments, Nos. 1 and
2), per pkg..................................................... .25
CHARTS (Blue Prints, soft cloth):
Plan of the Ages, 5 ft., $1.00; 8 ft............................ 1.50
Chronology of the Bible, 8 ft................................... 1.50
Tabernacle of the Wilderness, 8 ft.............................. 1.50
BINDERS for THE WATCH TOWER:
Spring Back (holds 1 yr.)....................................... .50
CROSS & CROWN PINS (Gold, with red enamel):
1/2" and 5/8" (ladies' or gents' style) each..............$1 and 1.15
5/8" celluloid, per doz. 25c.; each............................. .03
Missionary Envelopes, per hundred, 25c.; per M................... 2.00
Vow Bookmarks (paper) 25c. per 100; (silk) each.................. .05
Booklets (on Hell, Spiritism, Evolution, Tabernacle Shadows, Our
Lord's Return), also Berean Question Booklets on each volume
of SCRIPTURE STUDIES each 5c.; per doz.......................... .50
Report on Foreign Missions, each................................. .05
Tracts in all languages.......................................... FREE
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SCRIPTURAL PROOFS OF SPIRIT-BEGETTING
"Of His own will begat He us with the Word of Truth."--`James 1:18`.
THE SCRIPTURES tell us that our Lord left the glory which He had with the Father before the world was and came to earth, becoming a man, "for the suffering of death," that He might give Himself "a Ransom for all." At the age of thirty, we are told, He went to Jordan and presented Himself as a Sacrifice to God. After His baptism, as He came up out of the water, the Holy Spirit descended upon Him, "the Heavens were opened unto Him." He was then led of the Spirit (this newly begotten Spirit) into the wilderness for forty days, to commune with the Father, to study the types and prophecies of the Scriptures, and to be tested of the Adversary. Thereafter, He was able to see clearly the course which the Father had marked out for Him, as shown in these types and prophecies.
In inviting His disciples to follow Him, our Lord made it very plain that in so doing they must of necessity be baptized into His death and partake of His cup of suffering, that they might live and reign with Him. Throughout the Scriptures it is pointed out that the Church are to be members of the Body of Christ, of which He is the Head. They declare that He is our Forerunner, the Captain of our salvation; that "as He was, so are we, in this world"; that His experiences are to be our experiences. They declare that He is "leading many sons"--His brethren--to God, to glory.
The steps that we are to take, then, are exactly the steps that He took whom we are to follow. He is our great Pattern. We are enabled by faith to see, under Divine guidance, the redemption which Jesus accomplished
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for us, and our opportunity of becoming His disciples, of being baptized into His death. Baptism into death would be far from desirable, unless there were some way by which it might be made a gateway unto life; and this way was provided by God. It was opened first for His Son.
JESUS' HUMAN AND SPIRIT NATURES TYPIFIED
In the type of the Atonement Day, our Lord's human nature was represented in the bullock, which was offered for sacrifice. The high priest, clothed in the white linen garments of sacrifice, represented Him as a spirit-begotten New Creature, after His human sacrifice was accepted, and while the actual consuming of His human body was in process. The high priest, clothed in the "garments of glory and beauty," represented Him after His resurrection to the Divine nature, after He was born of the Spirit and highly exalted to glory, honor and immortality by the Father, as a reward for His faithfulness.--`John 3:3-8`.
So at the time when we present ourselves to God in consecration, and our sacrifice is accepted of Him, we die as men; but we are likewise begotten to the new nature, the new life. And this new life, begotten from above, continues to grow by the assimilation of spiritual nourishment, until it will, in due time, be born a fully developed spirit being, like unto our Lord. (`1 John 3:2`; `Romans 8:29`.) This process and its outcome are brought to our attention in the Scripture which declares of our Lord that He was "the First-born from the dead." And this word born [gennao, in the Greek] is the same word which is translated begotten. It relates to the entire process of bringing forth. This is a progressive matter; first there is the begetting, then the period of gestation, then birth.
Our Lord's baptism to the new life was at the time He made His consecration unto death at His baptism. The New Creature there begun was growing during the three and a half years thereafter. This period, as before mentioned, was represented in the high priest in the type. At His baptism He was begotten as a Son of God on the highest plane--the Divine. John the Baptist here bore witness of Him, saying, "I saw the Spirit descending from Heaven like a dove, and it abode upon Him." The record of the Scriptures is that only those who are begotten of the Spirit can see spiritual things.--`1 Corinthians 2:9-16`.
DEEP TRUTHS NOT VISIBLE ON THE SURFACE
It is asked: Why is it that a fact of so great importance as the Lord's begetting of the Spirit is not stated in so many words, but must be proven by deduction? We reply: To those who are spiritually minded there is very strong evidence indeed, yet it might be passed over by others and not recognized at all. This is likewise true of other important Scriptural doctrines. There is one Scripture which declares that through the exceeding great and precious promises we may be made partakers of the Divine nature. Other Scriptures state that the followers of Christ shall share His glory, honor and immortality. These latter Scriptures imply the same thing as the first, though only the one text (`2 Peter 1:4`) states the matter in just those words.
In respect to our Lord's resurrection, it is declared that "He was put to death in flesh, and made alive in Spirit." (`1 Peter 3:18`--Diaglott.) This Scripture does not say that He was raised a Spirit, but this is the evident meaning; and we know that this was the case: "Now the Lord is that Spirit." (`2 Corinthians 3:17`.) In `Colossians 1:18` we read of our Lord: "And He is the Head of the Body, the Church, who is the beginning [of this New Creation], the First-born from the dead." As our Lord was born from the dead a spirit Being, He must have been previously begotten of the Spirit, as birth is always preceded by begetting.
In speaking of the resurrection of the Church, which is declared to be Christ's resurrection (`Philippians 3:10`), the Apostle Paul says: "It is sown an animal body, it is raised a spiritual body." So it is "here a little and there a little" that we must find these precious truths. This seems to be the way in which the Lord has prepared the Bible--giving here a little and there a little of these jewels of Truth. Those who are superficial in their search will overlook the most important features of Truth, to find later that they have only a small part.
CLEARER LIGHT NOW SHINING
As we search the Scriptures, and learn how to rightly divide and rightly combine its various elements, now that the dawning light of the New Dispensation is shining on the Word, making it more luminous to our view, we see the wonderful whole--the great Plan that we and others had previously passed over and failed to discern. Those who are not of the right class will not be able to see the Truth in all its wondrous clearness, beauty and harmony. If we have the right spirit as children of God, we shall want to know what God has in reservation for His people.
This gives an opportunity for the operation of the Spirit of the Truth upon our hearts and minds. This desire leads us to come together for Bible study, when the worldly would say: Let us play billiards or chess or pool. They complain to us: You have already read that Bible several times. We tell them that we have and with a great deal of blessing.
Thus, as we are desiring to know the Lord's Plan and His will concerning us, He reveals it to us more and more; and thus, little by little, we gain a great aggregate of Truth, which greatly rejoices our hearts, gives us an intelligent understanding of the wonderful day in which we are living, and gives us calmness and confidence, while the hearts of others are failing them for fear.
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LONDON DRAMA EXPERIENCES
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
We feel sure you will be glad to hear of the splendid witness that is being given by means of the PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION at The London Opera House, Kingsway. The guiding hand of the Lord has been so wonderfully manifest in every detail of this exhibition that the brethren are rejoicing greatly in the privilege of having a share in it. In fact, they are realizing that the message of the PHOTO-DRAMA is the only one that can bring comfort to the hearts of the people in these distressing times.
It had always been our desire to secure the Opera House for a presentation of the PHOTO-DRAMA, as it is, without doubt, the most suitable building in London for that purpose; but the state of our treasury did not admit of the payment of the large sum required to rent the place. We had, however, given the Solicitor of the Opera House to understand that we should be glad to enter into negotiations for the house if he could make a more favorable offer. About the beginning of October a letter was received from the Solicitor, stating that they had a period free from October 12th to October 27th which they could offer us. On receipt of this we immediately called upon them and told them that we had spent most of the money allotted for this particular purpose, that their offer had come too late. Upon going thoroughly into the matter, an offer was made of L100 for the hire of the building. Mr. Wylie, the Solicitor, who has lately evinced considerable interest in our work, closed with the offer. He has since visited the exhibition on two occasions, and states that the interest aroused in him has led him to read his Bible after many years of neglect.
It was resolved to advertise this presentation by means of a distribution of 400,000 DRAMA tracts. Although only a week elapsed between the definite booking of the Opera House and the commencement of the exhibition, the brethren entered into the work of distribution with such a zeal that practically all the tracts were given out before the opening day. In addition to the ordinary means of advertising by posters, circulars, etc., a large number of window-cards were produced and these proved very effective. Some of the brethren called upon large business houses, warehouses, stores, hotels, hospitals and all places likely to engage a large staff, with the show-cards and supply of tickets, which they were generally pleased to accept. Some houses desired as many as 500 tickets, which they guaranteed to distribute amongst their staff. In the same manner they called upon P.S.A.'s, Men's Bible Classes, Sunday Schools, etc., requesting them to announce the DRAMA to their members and providing them with tickets; it was reckoned that 90% of the places thus visited co-operated with us in this matter. As there were a great number of boxes available in the Opera House, special invitation cards for these were sent out to the aristocracy and persons of good address in London; and, as a result, our boxes were nearly always filled by a class of people that the DRAMA has not hitherto touched to any extent.
Having done our utmost to make the presentation public, we anxiously awaited its first exhibition on the afternoon of Monday, October 12th. A large number of brethren were required for ushering, stewarding and other duties connected with the exhibition; and all realized their great privilege of service and fulfilled their duties faithfully and well. Many of the public commented on the orderly and gracious manner in which everything was carried out. One gentleman who attended was so greatly impressed by the dignified and courteous manner in which the sisters performed their duties, that he particularly asked his mother to come to see how the DRAMA was conducted, as he felt sure that all who were taking
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part in it were Christians. At his suggestion she came the next day and enjoyed a time of fellowship with several of the ushers, and also on the succeeding Sunday at the Tabernacle. Another gentleman stated that he had been grossly misinformed regarding Pastor Russell and his teachings; for he saw the effect they had upon those who were helping to present them. He is a leader of a large Men's Bible Class, which he intends to bring to the DRAMA. Another stated that the spirit of the workers showed him that it was not a theatrical display, but that the work was being done for the glory of God. Each day, before the commencement, the brethren assembled to sing a hymn of praise and to request the Lord's blessing upon all the proceedings.
The audiences on the first day were not large, but the two following days noted good increases, while on the evening of the fourth day our house was completely filled, as was the case almost every subsequent evening. The public seemed so eager to witness the DRAMA that many hundreds waited in a queue outside for a long time, in order to gain admission and even then, because of the limitations of the house, we were compelled to turn away a great many. Quite a crowd, however, waited at the door for nearly an hour in the hope that some of the audience might come out at the intermission, when they would take their places. It was deemed wise not to admit children; but on Saturday and Sunday afternoons they were permitted to come in if attended by adults.
Our audiences were made up from all classes and kinds of people; we have noted many of the clergy in attendance. One vicar wished to know the object of the PHOTO-DRAMA. When we explained this to him, he seemed intensely interested and expressed his joy that this beautiful building should be used for such a worthy purpose. He asked for tickets that he and his wife might come and see it again. A Church of England Rector has attended the DRAMA several times, and found it so interesting that he has purchased five bound scenarios and has brought many of his friends to witness it. Two bishops have also been present, and several titled people.
Each day we receive, by mail, a great number of requests for tickets; and many of the applicants express their appreciation of the PHOTO-DRAMA. The following letter is from a gentleman who sends us a donation for the work: "I beg of you to accept the enclosed token of my appreciation of the beautiful pictures being shown by you at the London Opera House. I am convinced of the vast amount of good that is being done by the films and lectures. Let me add that I cannot but admire the disinterested spirit in which this good work is being carried out, especially in this self-seeking, commercial age." We had a letter, too, from a minister who, after seeing the DRAMA, writes, "While I could not see eye to eye with all Pastor Russell's views I must testify to his faithful Scriptural delineations. As a Biblical student I feel bound to wish him and his workers God-speed in their attack on the anti-Scriptural and God-dishonoring doctrine of eternal torment." He further requests that, if possible, one of our speakers come and address his Bible Class on the topic, "Pastor Russell's Message to the World."
We have been impressed by the manner in which the public assist us in advertising the DRAMA with the least expense. Many apply for window-cards that they may exhibit them in their shops, etc.; and others take supplies of tickets to distribute amongst their friends. Practically all who attend seem to be deeply interested in what they see and hear. The serious times in which we are living seem to be preparing the hearts of some to receive the truth. At the conclusion of one session a lady came to one of the stewards and said, "I have been to all the pictures and lectures, and I feel I must thank somebody. I do not know whom to thank; there seems to be nobody; so I want you to convey my message of thanks and appreciation to the right quarter." Another lady told us she had inquired at the Religious Tract Society's office respecting the PHOTO-DRAMA, and was strongly urged not to go; but she was evidently so impressed by the advertisement that she decided otherwise. She was delighted with the Message and considered it the finest thing that had yet been done to bring the people back to the Bible--which fact she did not fail to impress upon the R.T.S. officials.
At the intermission the lady ushers give opportunity of purchasing the Scenario to any who desire to do so; and, as a result, a great number of these have been sold. Altogether we have disposed of nearly 2,300 scenarios during the fifteen days. We enclose a detailed report of the attendances and scenarios sold for each day, from which you will see that very few of the latter were sold on the Sundays. The reason for this is that we did not mention the sale on Sundays, as a great many Christian people object to the sale of books on Sunday, and this might prove a stumbling-block to some who might otherwise have received the truth, as well as giving a better impression to the people in general.
Remarks regarding the beauty and acceptableness of the exhibition are frequent, and surprise is often shown at the generosity of so good a show being free. Expressions of appreciation have been offered by people of standing. One such lady stated, after the Finale, that it was good to come in touch with those who had a message of comfort and hope. Another expressed her intention of attending the Tabernacle. Both had signed cards.
These, and many other evidences of interest amongst those who were attending the DRAMA, gave us great encouragement and reason to suppose that we would have a most successful Finale. This took place on Tuesday, the 27th of October; and our hopes were realized in every way. In the afternoon, over a thousand people were present, while in the evening, the house was completely filled and hundreds were turned away, being unable to gain admission. Brother Hemery
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gave the lectures on both occasions; and at the conclusion many seemed eager to sign their cards, a total of twelve hundred being received.
Owing to the increasing interest in this particular presentation, we have arranged to continue at the Opera House for another twelve days, report of which will follow later.
Truly, the people appreciate the Message that the DRAMA has to give. It demands even the respect of openly avowed agnostics and is making many realize that Jehovah is their Rock and their Fortress, their Strength, in whom they will trust. With much love in the Lord as ever, we are,
Your brethren and fellow-laborers,
INTERNATIONAL BIBLE STUDENTS ASSN.
THE BRETHREN IN SWITZERLAND, ETC.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
After a long, but unintentional silence, I will write to you again, hoping these lines will find you in good health, as they leave me.
Many things have happened over here since I last wrote to you. The newspapers in America must keep you posted about them. Respecting our personal experiences I can tell you, dear Brother, that the Lord has kept us wonderfully; we cannot thank Him enough for His goodness toward us.
Our dear friends at Muelhausen have passed through dreadful times; the city and surroundings have been twice the scene of very hot battles, where thousands of French and German soldiers have lost their lives. Within four weeks Muelhausen has been twice in French and three times in German possession, and even today the fights about Alsace continue. As the border between Switzerland and Germany, e.g., between Basel and Muelhausen, was closed for several weeks, we were left entirely without news from them. Lately, venturing to cross the border in order to visit the brethren, I learned of their wonderful preservation--for not one was hurt. They send you special greetings and ask you to continue to remember them in prayer that they may be kept faithful unto the end.
Our dear friends in Belgium and North France must have suffered much, too; I am sorry to say it is quite impossible to communicate with them.
Here in Switzerland, and especially in Basel, there was very great excitement; many people thought the "end of the world" was coming. All our army was called in and still guards the borders against invasion. Spiritually we had a good season, for very many who didn't believe our Message before are now on our side. The meeting halls are always overcrowded, and we have to look for larger halls. All public lectures are under the military censor; but they are not so strict here as in Germany.
By all these practical experiences we are more than ever convinced that the end of the present order of things is at hand and the Messianic Kingdom will soon be established. How we all do long for the realization of this grand hope and sure expectation! How true is the chronology and how precise its fulfilment! We are glad that we never gave up our expectations for 1914.
Re PHOTO-DRAMA: As the slides came so late, we were only ready for public presentation in Berne the very day the mobilization decree came out, disturbing the whole arrangement. Brother Krull will no doubt have given you an oral report of our experiences.
The first two weeks in August everything seemed upside down; but when the people became a little more quiet we profited thereby and started the Drama--though still under many difficulties. While all other cinematographic shows were shut by the Government, I succeeded in getting a permit for two weeks, but we were allowed to operate only four times a week. We had the large, magnificent hall on the Exhibition
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grounds packed full every time (1,400 visitors), so that more than 12,000 people saw and profited thereby.
Tomorrow we start again in Zurich (largest city in Switzerland). As we have no phonograph records I must read the lectures.
In France we were not able to do anything. Many of the brethren are in military service, and I might be called in any day.
The bank in Berne, where you sent the money, and which was, under normal conditions, a safe one, shut its doors, like all other banks, allowing only very small sums to go out. I succeeded, however, in getting more than half of the money by the following transaction: As the Government had put its hand over the banks, and as the brethren needed food, we put up a large stock of the most necessary articles, and the merchants, presenting their bills for this cause to the bank, received payment, as this was in the interest of the Government. As the social conditions will be still worse in winter we may be glad to have this lot of rice, dried bread, beans, condensed milk, etc.
I hope you approve this action, and would be glad if you could advise us of other good means for ameliorating the great tribulation which came so unexpectedly upon Europe. Many people have no work and many brethren in the Truth have lost their positions. We tried to employ some as Colporteurs, but the people of the cities have little money and cannot buy books. In the country the people are in better circumstances and the Colporteurs sell a few books every day. So we are trying to continue the Harvest work until our Master calls us to the Harvest beyond the veil.
We may not be able to communicate with each other much longer, and I take this opportunity to say again how much I love you, including with myself my wife and many other dear friends, all of whom appreciate the love and interest you have always manifested toward us.
Soon you will hear the blessed words, "Well done, good and faithful Servant! Thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will now make thee ruler over many things, enter thou into the joys of thy Lord."
With hearty greetings to you and the Household of Faith at Bethel, I remain,
Your thankful brother in the Lord,
I.B.S.A. EUREKA DRAMA
DEAR BRETHREN:--Greetings in the name of the Lord! Enclosed find report to date. The beginning of our Drama was on Thursday. We did not have time to advertise it, or we should have done so; but the Lord permitted us to be greatly blessed in an advertising that we knew not of.
A lady had advertised a Lodge meeting for the same night and at the same hall, not knowing we had rented the hall. She had secured a number of new members to be initiated. When she came she found the "picture-show" in progress, and began to devise means of getting the people out of our meeting.
She sent the Town Marshall to notify them to come out. He saw the pictures and sat down and stayed until the close. Finding the Town Marshall did not return, she asked our doorkeeper to help her. He replied that he could not see how he could get the people out; so she sent another man up. After looking over the shoulders of about thirty who were standing, he returned to the lady and said, "Lady, you had better go home; they have the finest pictures I ever saw, and there is the 'talkiest' man up there I ever heard!"
She had six gallons of ice cream to treat her crowd, but she didn't get a chance to use it. "God moves in mysterious ways His wonders to perform."
Our prayers go up daily for the Heads of the various departments of the Tabernacle Office, that they may have more grace and wisdom in the work that remains to be accomplished. Love to all.
Yours by His grace, B. A. GARR.--Ky.
INTERESTING DRAMA EXPERIENCES
We are having some glorious encouragements in the work. There are wonderful crowds out here in Demorest. One man said, "It disgusts me to see how some of the very people who have misrepresented you folks are on hand early, and crowd forward to get the best seats."
The Methodist minister was present on Sunday when part three was shown. During the crucifixion scene the power was temporarily shut off. While waiting for its return he got up and spoke of the wonderful impression made by the pictures, and told the people that they ought to have a deeper realization of what the Savior had done for them as a result of the PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION.
Truly our God is a wonder-working God. What faith these things should develop in us!
A brother was telling at Convention about some ministers at a certain place where Drama was being shown, who were worrying for fear people would think they had something to do with it. A merchant present remarked, "There is no danger people will connect you with it, because it is conspicuously announced there will be no collection."
Yours in Christian Love, B. H. BARTON.