ZWT - 1909 - R4301 thru R4536 / R4301 (001) - January 1, 1909
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STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES
"MILLENNIAL DAWN" THESE STUDIES ARE RECOMMENDED TO STUDENTS AS VERITABLE "BIBLE KEYS" PRICES ARE NET AND BARELY COVER COST OF PRODUCTION, WHEN DELIVERED BY COLPORTEURS THE COST AND PRICE ARE INCREASED.
SERIES I., The Plan of the Ages, gives an outline of the divine plan revealed in the Bible, relating to man's redemption and restitution: 386 pages, in embossed cloth, 25c. (1s. 1/2d.). India paper edition, 75c. (3s. 1-1/2d.).
This volume has been published as a special issue of our journal-- at the extremely low price of 5c a copy, in any quantity, postage included. (To foreign countries, 9c.) This enables people of slender purse to herald far and wide the good tidings in a most helpful form.
SERIES II., The Time is at Hand, treats of the manner and time of the Lord's second coming, considering the Bible Testimony on this subject: 370 pages, in embossed cloth 25c. (1s. 1/2d.). India paper edition, 75c. (3s. 1-1/2d.)
SERIES III., Thy Kingdom Come, considers prophecies which mark events connected with the "time of the End," the glorification of the Church and the establishment of the Millennial Kingdom; it also contains a chapter on the Great Pyramid, showing its corroboration of the dates and other teachings of the Bible: 384 pages, in embossed cloth 25c (1s 1/2d.). India paper edition, 75c. (3s. 1-1/2d.).
SERIES IV. The Day of Vengeance, shows that the dissolution of the present order if things is in progress, and that all the panaceas offered are valueless to avert the predicted end. It marks in these events the fulfilment of prophecy, noting specially our Lord's great prophecy of `Matt. 24`, and `Zech. 14:1-9`: 660 pages, in embossed cloth 30c. (1s. 3d.). India paper edition, 85c 93s. 6-1/2d.)
SERIES V., The At-one-ment Between God and Man, treats an all-important subject--the hub, the center around which all the features of divine grace revolve. Its topic deserves the most careful and prayerful consideration on the part of all true Christians: 507 pages, in embossed cloth 30c. (1s. 3d.). India paper edition, 85c (3s. 6-1/2d.)
SERIES VI., The New Creation, deals with the Creative Week, `Genesis 1 and 2`, and with the Church, God's "New Creation." It examines the personnel, organization, rites, ceremonies, obligations and hopes appertaining to those called and accepted as members of the body under the Head: 740 pages, in embossed cloth 30c. (1s. 3d.). India paper edition, 85c (3s. 6-1/2d.)
The above prices include postage.
IN FULL LEATHER BINDING, gilt edges, the set (6 vols.) $3.00, (12s. 6d.), plus postage 60c (1s.).
MILLENNIAL DAWN is published in foreign languages as follows: in German, five vols., in Swedish, Vols. 1, 2, 3 and 5; in Dano-Norwegian, three vols., in French, two vols.; in Italian, one vol.; in Greek, two vols.; bound in cloth, uniform with English edition, prices the same.
The volumes in English are bound in two styles, MILLENNIAL DAWN in green cloth binding and SCRIPTURE STUDIES in maroon cloth. Specify which you desire.
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VOL. XXX JANUARY 1 NO. 1
A.D. 1909--A.M. 6037
Views from the Watch Tower........................ 3
Opening the Doors of Opportunity.............. 3
The Basis of Our Confidence................... 3
"Pay Thy Vows Unto the Most High"............. 5
He Ascended Up On High............................ 5
Wait for the Promise.......................... 6
The Pentecostal Blessing.......................... 7
The Significance of Pentecost................. 8
Save Yourselves From This Generation.............. 9
Joel's Prophecy of Pentecost.................. 10
The Word Mediator Used Differently................ 11
Three Great Covenants......................... 11
"Help From the Lord".............................. 13
Berean Studies on the Atonement................... 15
THIS JOURNAL AND ITS SACRED MISSION
THIS Journal is one of the prime factors or instruments in the system of Bible Instruction, or "Seminary Extension," now being presented in all parts of the civilized world by the WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY, chartered A.D. 1881, "For the Promotion of Christian Knowledge." It not only serves as a class room where Bible Students may meet in the study of the divine Word, but also as a channel of communication through which they may be reached with announcements of the Society's Conventions and of the coming of its traveling representatives styled "Pilgrims," and refreshed with reports of its Conventions.
Our "Berean Lessons" are topical rehearsals or reviews of our Society's published "Studies," most entertainingly arranged, and very helpful to all who would merit the only honorary degree which the Society accords, viz., Verbi Dei Minister (V.D.M.), which translated into English is, Minister of the Divine Word. Our treatment of the International S.S. Lessons is specially for the older Bible Students and Teachers. By some this feature is considered indispensable.
This Journal stands firmly for the defence of the only true foundation of the Christian's hope now being so generally repudiated,--Redemption through the precious blood of "the man Christ Jesus who gave himself a ransom [a corresponding price, a substitute] for all." (`I Pet. 1:19`; `I Tim. 2:6`.) Building up on this sure foundation the gold, silver and precious stones (`I Cor. 3:11-15`; `2 Pet. 1:5-11`) of the Word of God, its further mission is to--"Make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery which...has been hid in God,...to the intent that now might be made known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God"--"which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men as it is now revealed."--`Eph. 3:5-9,10`.
It stands free from all parties, sects and creeds of men, while it seeks more and more to bring its every utterance into fullest subjection to the will of God in Christ, as expressed in the Holy Scriptures. It is thus free to declare boldly whatsoever the Lord hath spoken;--according to the divine wisdom granted unto us, to understand. Its attitude is not dogmatical, but confident; for we know whereof we affirm, treading with implicit faith upon the sure promises of God. It is held as a trust, to be used only in his service; hence our decisions relative to what may and what may not appear in its columns must be according to our judgment of his good pleasure, the teaching of his Word, for the upbuilding of his people in grace and knowledge. And we not only invite but urge our readers to prove all its utterances by the infallible Word to which reference is constantly made, to facilitate such testing.
TO US THE SCRIPTURES CLEARLY TEACH
That the Church is "the Temple of the Living God"--peculiarly "His
workmanship;" that its construction has been in progress throughout the
Gospel age--ever since Christ became the world's Redeemer and
the chief corner stone of his Temple, through which, when finished,
God's blessing shall come "to all people," and they find access to
him.--`I Cor. 3:16,17`; `Eph. 2:20-22`; `Gen. 28:14`; `Gal. 3:29`.
That meantime the chiseling, shaping and polishing of consecrated believers
in Christ's atonement for sin, progresses; and when the last of these
"living stones," "elect and precious," shall have been made ready,
the great Master Workman will bring all together in the First Resurrection;
and the Temple shall be filled with his glory, and be the meeting
place between God and men throughout the Millennium.--`Rev. 15:5-8`.
That the Basis of Hope, for the Church and the World, lies in the fact that
"Jesus Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man," "a ransom
for all," and will be "the true light which lighteth every man that
cometh into the world," "in due time."--`Heb. 2:9`; `Jno. 1:9`; `I Tim. 2:5,6`.
That the Hope of the Church is that she may be like her Lord, "see him
as he is," be "partaker of the divine nature," and share his glory as
his joint-heir.--`I John 3:2`; `John 17:24`; `Rom. 8:17`; `2 Pet. 1:4`.
That the present mission of the Church is the perfecting of the saints for
the future work of service; to develop in herself every grace; to be God's
witness to the world; and to prepare to be kings and priests in the
next age.--`Eph. 4:12`; `Matt. 24:14`; `Rev. 1:6`; `20:6`.
That the hope for the World lies in the blessings of knowledge and opportunity
to be brought to all by Christ's Millennial Kingdom--the restitution
of all that was lost in Adam, to all the willing and obedient,
at the hands of their Redeemer and his glorified Church--when all the
wilfully wicked will be destroyed.--`Acts 3:19-23`; `Isa. 35`. CHARLES T. RUSSELL, Editor.
LETTERS FOR THE EDITOR SHOULD BE SENT TO ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.
BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS AND REMITTANCES
WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY, "BIBLE HOUSE," 610, 612, 614 ARCH ST., ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.
--OR TO-- BRITISH BRANCH--24 EVERSHOLT ST., LONDON, N.W. GERMAN BRANCH--MIRKER STR., 45, ELBERFELD. AUSTRALASIAN BRANCH--EQUITABLE BLDG., COLLINS ST., MELBOURNE PRICE, $1.00 (4S.) A YEAR IN ADVANCE. MONEY MAY BE SENT BY EXPRESS, BANK DRAFT, POSTAL ORDER, OR REGISTERED. FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES BY FOREIGN MONEY ORDERS, ONLY. TERMS TO THE LORD'S POOR AS FOLLOWS:--
All Bible Students who, by reason of old age, or other infirmity or adversity, are unable to pay for this Journal, will be supplied FREE if they send a Postal Card each MAY stating their case and requesting its continuance. We are not only willing, but anxious, that all such be on our list continually and in touch with the Studies, etc.
ENTERED AS SECOND CLASS MAIL MATTER AT ALLEGHENY, PA., POST OFFICE.
THIS JOURNAL IS PUBLISHED IN THE FRENCH, GERMAN, SWEDISH, DANISH AND ITALIAN LANGUAGES. SAMPLE COPIES FREE.
ENTERED AS SECOND-CLASS MATTER AT THE POSTOFFICE DEPT., OTTAWA, CANADA
VOLUNTEER MATTER IN OTHER LANGUAGES
Volunteer matter is now ready in the following languages: French, German, Swedish, Norwegian and Polish. The German matter is folded, two quadruple numbers together, and needs to be separated. Extra copies of the Polish TOWER may be used for distribution; these will not be ready for two months.
We now have a condensed edition of the "Plan of the Ages" in Polish, which may be had for ten cents per copy.
Order as many tracts in any language as you can judiciously use--free--before our removal.
INDIA PAPER "STUDIES"
Volumes IV and VI out of stock. It will be some time before we can secure new supply. Notice will be given when they are ready.
WHEN SENDING POSTAGE STAMPS
If necessary to make small remittances in stamps kindly send 5, 10 or 15 cent values, when possible. We cannot use foreign stamps; we must return them for redemption.
MOTTO CARDS, MISSIONARY ENVELOPES, ETC.
Order at once what you have need of to save the trouble of removing them. THE NEW BIBLES are ready for your orders. Back orders are all filled.
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VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER
NEVER before has the prospect for the successful spreading of Present Truth had so favorable an outlook as that for 1909. Although vast preparations are under way for the conversion of the heathen, and the Federation of Churches is expecting to increase the strength and effectiveness of all the Federating Denominations, nevertheless there is a considerable element outside, as well as inside, those Systems, which is quite dissatisfied. It hungers and thirsts for something different, for something more than mere church organization, salaried ministers and paid choristers. This class feels a desire to get nearer to the Lord, rather than to be bound in a denominational bundle. It feels that there is an emptiness and formality connected with much that is called Christian, and that many apparently are drawn nigh to the Lord with their lips, while their hearts, their affections, are far from him and really fixed upon earthly things, good and bad.
The said class is ready for the Truth, but is in danger of falling into Christian Science, Theosophy, the Emmanuel Movement, or something of the kind. Alas, poor sheep! It is true of them, as the Master expressed it of a similar kind at his first advent, that "He beheld them as sheep and no shepherd"--needing guidance, needing help. We may be sure that the Adversary is on the lookout for these and that none the less the Good Shepherd cares for them. And surely he expects that we, who have already tasted of his grace and obtained some knowledge of his plan, will be interested also in their welfare, because we have his spirit. We may expect that he will use us in reaching these in considerable number, because, by his grace, we have the only message that can bring them the true blessing of grace and peace, through the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour and of his perfect work, past and to come.
OPENING THE DOORS OF OPPORTUNITY
Our opportunities for the New Year seem to be superior to those of any previous year.
(1) Because the WATCH TOWER readers are more than ever awake to their opportunities and responsibilities and privileges of service. Our Volunteer force is larger and more zealous, we believe, than ever before, and our new Volunteer matter is in a new and attractive form, which, we believe, will be blessed of the Lord in reaching many, both inside and outside of the various denominations. We hope to hear from the dear friends in every direction promptly, as to what they propose to do--how many of these they can and will judiciously use. United effort is advantageous. Each one spies another, and each one who labors receives a special blessing from the Lord in his own heart, besides the blessing which he may confer on others as an instrument of the Truth.
THE NEWSPAPER SERMONS
The publication of the sermons in many newspapers has begun, and appearances are that it will continue, under the Lord's blessing and guidance, and that thus millions of readers will be reached, including many on farms, whom we could not hope to reach otherwise. It is largely for this department of the work that arrangements have been made for the transfer of the WATCH TOWER headquarters to Brooklyn, New York. We expect to give all of our subscribers in the United States and Canada an opportunity for cooperation, in connection with this department, some time during the year. You will receive a letter indicating how you can cooperate advantageously. Meantime be active in other departments of the service. Our British friends also may have opportunity of sharing in this work later.
THE BASIS OF OUR CONFIDENCE
Some of the dear friends are expressing surprise; but for several years we have anticipated increasing numbers becoming interested in the work. Our expectations have been so largely realized that it seems proper to rehearse the matter, and to give the reason why these openings of Divine providence for the spreading of the Truth seem to us to be in fullest harmony with what we should expect, from our view-point, concerning the Harvest Field. Let us take a hasty re-survey. It may enlarge our expectations, and thus lead to an increase of energy for others, and thus to an increase of our own blessings.
We still believe that in the year 1881 the special call of this Gospel Age ceased as a call. Our understanding still is that at that date a sufficient number had made consecration to complete the predestinated figure, and that God would not permit others to be called, for whom there would be no place; that, instead, he arranged that others consecrating since that time, should, like the servants in the parable, wait for an opportunity to enter the vineyard--peradventure it might come, even at the eleventh hour. We still understand that all the consecrated and accepted ones in 1881 will be subject to testings, proving, and that as one will be found unworthy, his name will be blotted out and his crown set aside
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for another, and that thus vacancies have occurred and been filled from time to time without a formal call-- merely the consecrated being admitted to the privileges of the service and blessed with the begetting of the Spirit and the knowledge of the Truth.
Looking back to 1881 we find that in the few years preceding that date a considerable work of evangelization took place--Moody and Sankey and, later, Whittle and Bliss revival meetings from 1875 up to 1881. Their work appeared to be of a more substantial kind than that of revivalists generally since. They made prominent Justification by Faith through the merit of the precious blood of Christ, and urged a full consecration to the Lord, to a degree that has seldom been equaled by evangelists. Large numbers professed thorough conversion, under their labors, and the depth of their work and of its hold upon the people is witnessed by a large sale and use of their Gospel hymns. It is our thought that the Lord used these men, and through their ministry the fore-ordained number was completed at the fore-ordained time, 1881.
A SUPPOSITIONARY CASE
Let us suppose that in 1881, when the call closed, there were altogether 40,000 justified and consecrated believers in the precious blood. Some of these had been, perhaps, a long time in the way, and their day of trial was nearly ended. But if our supposition respecting the Moody work be correct, a considerable majority of that 40,000 were in 1881 mere babes in Christ, freshly accepted of the Lord and subject to the message, testings and provings. Seeing the Lord is very patient and
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long-suffering to usward, it should not surprise us if many of those would have from five to twenty-five years of testing and proving, before their crowns would be declared forfeited. If these suppositions be measurably correct, it implies that, as usual, only a little flock of the consecrated make their calling and election sure, and that the great majority of them have lost their crowns and had their names blotted out, as respects a share in the Bride Company.
Taking the whole number as 40,000 and taking the overcomers to number one-fourth of these, and counting the three-fourths as going into the Great Company, it would mean the vacating of 30,000 crowns, and hence, mean opportunity for a similar number to enter in to possess those crowns.
A preference would surely be given to the justified ones, who, exercising faith in the blood and consecrating themselves to the Lord, would be represented by the Parable of the Vineyard, as waiting and bidden to enter at the eleventh hour, without a specific promise of reward. It is our conviction, in harmony with the foregoing, that there is now a large number of crowns vacated and awaiting new claimants. This is more than a groundless surmise, for have we not the fact before us that a considerable number have lately come from worldliness and sin into the light of Present Truth, into the privileges of the Vineyard, and evidencing by their fruits of the holy Spirit that they have been begotten of the Spirit? Since the Divine methods are unchangeable, and since the justified and the children of the justified hold first place in the Divine opportunities of this Gospel Age, the inference is plain that a large number of crowns are now unportioned. And in full accord with this is the wider scope being granted for the circulation of Present Truth.
These are our grounds for our great expectations in connection with the opening year. Additionally we might remark that it is only to be expected that those who have come into the light of Present Truth, and who have, as it were, been gathered as wheat from the tares, should begin to receive their threshing, to separate fully and completely the wheat from the chaff. So, then, while anticipating great progress for the Truth, we must also anticipate sore trials and, perhaps, disappointments, in respect to some of whom we had expected better things--even joint-heirship in the Kingdom.
"A THOUSAND SHALL FALL"
"A thousand shall fall at thy side; ten thousand at thy right hand," is the prophetic picture of the testing time that is now upon the Church. We see the tens of thousands already falling into Higher Criticism, Evolution, Theosophy, Christian Science and various other delusions. And closer to us, at our side, consecrated like ourselves, some are falling. The question seems not to be, Who will fall, but, as Scripturally put, "Who shall be able to stand?" In the `ninety-first Psalm` the Prophet tells who will stand, namely, Those whose habitation is the Lord; those who abide under his shadow; those who trust under his wings for protection. The picture is that of a mother hen, who, when the hawk is about, clucks for her brood, calling them under her shadow, under her wings, under her special protection. Corresponding to the cluck of the hen in this picture seems to be "the Vow," or solemn Resolution to great faithfulness of living, in harmony with our original vow, in thought, in word and in act.
As a result of obedience to this warning call, numbers of us have been drawn very close to the Lord, under the shadow of his protecting care, where no harm can come nigh us and only with our eyes shall we see what will come upon others, who refuse this refuge-- others who will stumble in this evil day, and be snared and taken by the great Fowler and his demon hosts. It is painful to write, or even think of some, who, twenty and thirty years ago, were with us heart and hand climbing up Zion's Hill, fighting the good fight of faith, laying hold upon eternal life, developing the fruits and graces of the holy Spirit, and anticipating shortly sharing with the Redeemer the glorious work of the Kingdom, but who have since become weary or faint in their minds, or turned aside to strife or vain-glory. It is both our duty and our privilege to do all in our power to recover such from the power of the Adversary. But after doing all that we can on their behalf, it is not for us to question the wisdom and love of God in connection with the matter, but rather, with full reliance, to know that the Lord is supervising the affairs of all who are his sheep, and will not suffer us to come under greater temptations and trials than, by his assisting grace, we shall be able to withstand. Let us set to our seal that the Lord is true, faithful. Whether we or others shall fail of gaining the promised prize, it will not be the result of Divine negligence or inefficiency, but our own.
While considering this subject we take the opportunity to point out that our trials and testings as spirit-begotten New Creatures in the Truth will surely be on three points:
(1) Faith. (2) Humility. (3) Love.
To fail in any of these will mean disaster. To come off conquerer in all three of them will mean energy and devotion to know and to do the Father's will. The time is short. The tests will be severe. But he who is on our part is greater than all that be against us and ready to render every assistance needful, if our hearts be but loyal along the points mentioned; and if not loyal, then it would not be the will of God that we should be
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numbered amongst the Elect, because we would not be of the fore-ordained class, "Copies of his Son."
PAY THY VOWS UNTO THE MOST HIGH
These thoughts lead us up to the propriety of good resolutions, holy vows, and the opening of the year is a most excellent opportunity for the beginning of these. Whoever is of a really and properly thankful heart will feel at this season particularly like saying, with the Psalmist, "What shall I render unto the Lord, my God, for all his benefits to me?" Then comes the response, "I will take the cup of salvation (which is the cup of sacrifice), calling upon the name of the Lord (for grace to help me). I will pay my vows unto the Most High, in the presence of all the people." Those following this course, whether they call it a Vow or Resolution, and whether they report it to others or keep it to themselves instead, have a blessing. But to acknowledge and pay the vows in the presence of the brethren and sisters of the Lord's family is Divinely indicated to be our proper course. And the more fully we comply with this arrangement, the more complete, we believe, will be our blessing, and the greater our progress toward the Heavenly Inheritance.
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HE ASCENDED UP ON HIGH
--`ACTS 1:1-14`.--JANUARY 3.--
Golden Text:--"And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and was carried up into heaven."--`Luke 24:51`.
THE Sunday-School Committee has arranged lessons for 1909 on the expansion of the early Church. Accordingly, our lessons for the year will be drawn principally from the book styled The Acts of the Apostles. St. Luke is the author of this, which some have described as the best of all Church histories. As the record closes abruptly, before the death of St. Paul, it is but reasonably supposed that the Book was finished about A.D. 63. The first verse of our lesson alludes to his previously written work, the Gospel by St. Luke, in which he set forth what Jesus began to do and to teach. There is a bare suggestion that the writer had in mind that his present treatise related to a continuation of our Lord's work by his holy Spirit through his apostles and followers. This standpoint of view given is a glorious sweep or vista and connects up the work which our Lord began at Jordan and finished at Calvary, and has since been carrying on by his Spirit and through his Church, and will continue to the consummation of the Church, which is his Body, and its glorification in the Kingdom, and the Kingdom blessing then to go forth to the blessing and uplifting of man. The small beginning, the trials and triumphs of the work, are yet to yield the abundant fruitage expressed in the declaration that unto Jesus every knee must bow and every tongue confess to the glory of God, the Father. And whosoever will not thus bow and confess and yield obedience to the Messianic Kingdom, will be utterly "destroyed from amongst his people"--in "the Second Death."
"St. Luke, a poet, and more than a poet, tells us how the beacon light of Christianity flashed from Jerusalem to Antioch--from Antioch to Ephesus, and to Troas, and to Philippi--from Philippi to Athens and Corinth, until at last it was kindled in the very palace and pretorium of the Caesars at imperial Rome. The light of the world dawned from the little Judean village and brightened in the Galilean hills, and then it seemed to set upon Golgotha in the midst of a disastrous eclipse. The Book of Acts shows us how, rekindled from the embers in the brief space of thirty years, it has gleamed over Aegea and over Hadria, and has filled Asia and Greece and Italy, with such Light as has never shone before on land or sea."--Farrar.
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This is a beautiful description, yet we need to modify it to the extent of remembering that the Son of Righteousness did not dawn there, but is only now dawning. Our Lord's expression was the truer one, namely, that each one of his followers was a lamp or candle lighted from his, which must not be put under a bushel, but elevated, that the darkness might be dispelled. It was the lighting of fresh candles, so to speak, that carried the enlightening blessing. God's Word is the Lamp for his people, to guide their steps and, as they become illuminated, the world is proportionately blessed. "Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." (`Psa. 119:105`.) "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn."--`2 Pet. 1:19`.
HE SHOWED HIMSELF ALIVE
Briefly the historian reminds us of the forty days between our Lord's resurrection and his ascension, that he showed himself to his apostles and gave them certain instructions respecting the holy Spirit; that they should wait for its endowment, as the Father's seal of their acceptance to membership in the Royal Priesthood and to the ministries of the Truth as his ambassadors. All of these instructions, etc., were "pertaining to the Kingdom of God." This central thought needs to be kept in mind. God's Kingdom has been promised-- that it may overthrow the kingdom of Satan and deliver mankind from the bondage of sin and death. Messiah was to be the King, and Israel, the seed of Abraham, to be his assistants and joint-heirs in that Kingdom and its work. Natural Israel had proven unworthy of the favor, as God had foretold through the prophets, and the privileges taken from them were to be given to the remnant of "Israelites indeed," and a sufficient number from amongst the Gentiles to complete the number Divinely intended and foreordained. Properly, therefore, everything said and done, directly or indirectly, appertained to the Kingdom.
As St. Luke, in his Gospel, has set forth the personality of Jesus as the Magnet to draw the hopes and establish the confidence of the "Israelites indeed," so in the Acts he uses it to still point to our Lord as the central figure, the Magnet. Indeed, seen from the standpoint of the Resurrected, the Glorified One, highly exalted, far above principalities and powers, the magnetic qualities of the Messianic personality are greatly enhanced. While never forgetting his earthly life and sacrifices, our hearts and minds look to him now as the one who ever liveth, the Head of the Church, the King of Glory, waiting for the completion of his Bride, and in due time to take possession of earth's dominion, and to begin the great work of Restitution.
It is as important today as ever that we keep before our minds the thought of our Lord's personal relationship to every feature of his work. If it was his message to the early Church to remember his words, "Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the Age," the
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thought of the Lord's personal presence now in the harvest should be still more impressive to us. If he kept a supervision or control of all the affairs of his people throughout the Age, does not the thought of his Second Coming and still more intimate association with every little detail of what is planned make us rejoice to be more careful, more zealous? To the extent that we are able to keep this clearly before our minds, it will make us happy in respect to right fighting and right doing. For instance, should the Adversary make suggestions to us of discontent or dissatisfaction with the manner in which things pertaining to the Lord's people have been progressing, let us answer him that we know he is mistaken, because the Lord himself is present and is supervising his work. If at any time matters seem to be going contrary to our hopes or expectations, let us not think the Lord has neglected the supervision of his work and is allowing the Adversary to dash it to pieces. On the contrary, let us establish our hearts in the fact that the Lord is too wise to err and is as able as he is willing to make all things work together for good to us and to all the called ones, according to his purpose. If tempted to intermeddle with matters that the Lord has put into the hands of another, let this thought restrain us and counsel us to give closer attention to that which the Master has committed to our care, and that "To his own Master each servant stands or falls," and it is for him to approve or disapprove. It is not, therefore, for us to grasp management or control or in any degree to force our views upon others, but rather to do our part as faithfully as possible, and to leave the results to the Lord, realizing his presence and his care, his wisdom and his love.
WAIT FOR THE PROMISE
The holy Spirit had been promised and must be waited for as the realization and beginning of the new work, the development of the Christian Church. This was pictured to them as a baptism and immersion with the holy Spirit, and contrasted with John's baptism or immersion in water. This baptism of the holy Spirit would represent to them the fact that he died for human sin, had been received into the Father's presence and had offered of his merit on behalf of those who believed in him and accepted him. It would constitute the sign, evidently, or mark, not only that their sins were forgiven, but that their consecration had been accepted, and that they were now adopted into God's family, begotten of him as spiritual sons, who, if they would develop in harmony with their covenant, in the School of Christ, would, in due time, be born of the spirit in the resurrection to the divine nature.
It was while they were with him and being instructed in things pertaining to the Kingdom, and regarding the necessity for tarrying for the spirit baptism, that they asked the Lord an important question: "Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the Kingdom to Israel?" But he replied, "It is not for you to know the times or seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power," or authority.
The disciples understood well enough that the restoration of Israel to a place of influence and power as a nation would be an incident of our Lord's great triumph in taking the dominion of earth, but they did not fully comprehend, for this Gospel Age, has been, as it were, a parenthesis, in which the Bride Class has been in course of selection from amongst all mankind. They perceived that the Master was leaving them and were anxious for information, but in substance they were told that they could see but one step in advance and that they must walk by faith and not by sight. Elsewhere we are informed that our Lord told his followers that not only no man knew the day and hour marking the developments of the Divine Purpose in connection with the opening of the new dispensation, but neither did the angels in heaven, nor our Lord Jesus; that the Father had kept the whole matter in his own hands, in his own power. This is better illustrated in the symbolism of Revelation, fifth chapter, where the Divine Plan is represented as sealed, and given to our Lord after his demonstration of his faithfulness at Calvary and his ascension to glory. Nothing in the statement, however, implies that our Lord and his disciples and the angels of heaven would never know of the times and seasons. In due time each feature will be revealed to those for whom it would be "meat in due season," for "To you it is given to know the mystery of the Kingdom of God, but to outsiders all these things are spoken in parables."
But while the due time had not come for the apostles to understand the particulars of the restitution of Israel, etc., other knowledge and other work were awaiting, as soon as the Father marked them by the outpouring of the holy Spirit. It was not due time then to discuss matters that were a long way in advance. The thing immediately in hand was their work of witnessing for Jesus, of telling out all that they knew about him, that others might know and be blessed through their ministries. In due time they would not be confined to Jerusalem and Judea, but might go to Samaria, yea, and to the uttermost parts of the earth; for eventually the message would be for every creature.
The word here rendered witnesses is in the Greek, martyres, from which comes our English word martyr, signifying those who witness at a cost of suffering or death. It may have seemed strange to the apostles that the telling of the good tidings would cost them suffering, and it may seem still more strange to us today that the proclamation of the true Gospel of Christ should bring persecution and call for martyrdom. But it is true, and the Master explained the reason, saying, "The darkness hateth the light." The world in general, including Christendom, is more or less under the Adversary's delusions, and whoever is faithful in telling the message of the Lord in its length and breadth will speedily find opposition where least he might have expected it. The goodness of God, his love, and the length and breadth and height and depth of his Plan of Salvation are so foreign to the benighted mind that it induces persecution, because the Truth is stranger than the fiction. A lesson here for us is that this witnessing is not yet finished, and that to meet our Lord's approval as his representatives we must be martyrs to one degree or another. The more faithful we are, probably the more we shall have opportunity for suffering and correspondingly will be our share in the eternal weight of glory, which God has in reservation for those that thus love him and serve him.
SO COME IN LIKE MANNER
While speaking our Lord began to ascend and soon a cloud had enveloped and hid him from their sight. They waited, looking as though expecting him to descend again, but instead two angels appeared and said, "Why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is received up from you into heaven shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." (`Acts 1:11`.) The statement is not that they would see him coming as they saw him go, for surely they did not. They died. And not until after he had
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come again could their awakening, their resurrection, take place. Nor did the angels say that any one would see him coming. They merely declared a great fact, that he would so come, and that his coming would be in like manner to his going. Noting this carefully we ask ourselves, What will be the manner of his second coming? The answer is that as his departure was quiet, secret, unknown to the world, known only to his most intimate and dear followers, so his second coming will be in like manner--not with shouts and voices and trumpets, but secretly, quietly, "As a thief in the night."
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THE PENTECOSTAL BLESSING
--`ACTS 2:1-11`.--JANUARY 10.--
Golden Text:--"I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another comforter, that he may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of Truth."--`John 14:17`.
OUR Lord's message to his disciples when leaving them was, that they should return from the Mount of Olives to Jerusalem and tarry there until endued with power from on high. To many the ten days of tarrying would be considered a serious waste of valuable time. Think of it! One hundred and twenty of the Lord's consecrated people idle for ten days--not preaching, nor healing, nor engaging in any special religious work--neglecting business and money-making, and all earthly interests as well. What were they doing? The record implies that their special employment during those ten days was prayer and supplication to God. What did they want? They already were in relationship to God through faith, and permitted to pray to him as their Father. They already knew of Jesus and had already been blessed by him in various ways, some of them having been his mouthpieces. Why tarry? Why pray? Why not go out at once into the Vineyard and labor? If they had been left to guide their own steps, doubtless they would have been at work, but they were following their Master's Word, remembering the testimony, "Obedience is better than sacrifice." They knew not what qualifications they needed for their future service. They were merely trusting all to their Lord and obediently waiting for the promised blessing and preparation.
The necessity for their tarrying was threefold:--
(1) They were incompetent for the work designed for them, until empowered for it.
(2) They could not receive the blessed anointing until first the Redeemer has ascended into heaven, "There to appear in the presence of God on our behalf," on behalf of believers. Members of the fallen race, they had already been privileged, like their father Abraham, to return to favor with God as his friends, being "Justified by faith." They could, as justified ones, address him in prayer, "Our Father, which art in heaven." They were not enemies at heart, but loyal, even though, to use the Apostle's language, they had been "enemies through wicked works," through inability to keep perfectly the divine law. They were not rebels needing a Mediator, but loyal, though imperfect, friends who needed a Redeemer and Advocate. Their Redeemer testified, "The Father himself loveth you." And again, in prayer to the Father respecting them, he said, "Thine they were, and thou gavest them me." Still, before divine justice could accept them as living sacrifices upon the Lord's altar, it was necessary that their ransom price should be definitely set over to justice by the Redeemer. This was done during the ten days of their "waiting for power from on high." The outpouring of the holy Spirit evidenced the presentation and divine acceptance of the merit of Christ's sacrifice on their behalf. This permitted their recognition as New Creatures, their begettal to the new spirit nature as sons of God, their anointing of the spirit as members of the Royal Priesthood.
(3) These ten days of prayer were necessary also to fit and prepare the Lord's disciples for the reception of the holy Spirit. The human mind resembles a room, the door of which must be opened before treasures can be put therein. The door in this picture would symbolize the will, which must first give consent to whatever enters the mind, the heart, the life. Furthermore a room that is already stocked and overcrowded has little space wherein to place new valuables--the old must be removed that place may be found for the new. Our hearts need to be emptied of their earthly hopes, aims and ambitions in order to make place for the new riches of God's grace. The ten days were probably none too long for the testing of the faith and loving obedience and zeal for the Lord and his cause, which they had undertaken to serve. As they prayed and fasted and waited expectantly for the promised blessing from on high, doubtless worldly ambitions, hopes and aims dissolved and vanished from their hearts, leaving them ready for the blessing the Lord intended, and which he poured out.
SOUND OF A MIGHTY WIND
We are not to understand that a mighty wind blew upon the praying and waiting company on Pentecost Day, but there was merely a sound which resembled that of a mighty wind. It was the more miraculous that there was no wind. From the reading of the Greek it is inferable that the tongues of fire or blaze of light which appeared over the head of each were not split or cloven flames, but that the expression, "Cloven tongues of fire," implies that a larger flame was first manifest, which was cloven or split or divided into these smaller flames, which appeared over the head of each. But no matter what the particular form of manifestation, its object was quickly discerned. It was the promised blessing from on high, from the Father's throne, through the Son; as St. Peter explained, "As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another." (`I Pet. 4:10`.) We are not to understand that the multitude, being of one mind, produced this manifestation, but rather that the Lord, by his providence, brought them into the condition of full accord, preparatory to the giving of this blessing. Similarly he says that special blessings may be expected when two or three unite in their petition--not that their uniting effects anything, but that the Lord is pleased to reward the united efforts of his people, and thus to encourage them to forsake not the assembling of themselves.
The entire house was filled with a wonderful power, and every believer was apparently, as it were, electrified, vivified, and they were all filled with this holy Spirit, this hallowed influence, and began to speak in
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foreign tongues under the influence that had come upon them. We are not sure now, but it is our opinion that this special manifestation was to the eleven apostles only, because the subsequent record is that Peter and the others of the eleven apostles addressed the multitude in these foreign tongues. We know no evidence that others of the one hundred and twenty preached in the unknown tongues on the occasion, nor that they had the power to do so.
For centuries the Lord's people have been more or less in strife respecting the holy Spirit--what it is, etc. We will not attempt here an elaboration of the subject, but refer our readers to DAWN-STUDIES, Vol. V., Chapters 8-11, where the subject is treated in great detail. Incidentally we merely notice that the holy Spirit is not a person, but the spirit, the will, mind, energy, power or disposition of a person. It is the Spirit of the Father. It is the Spirit of the Son. And it is the spirit of all who are in full harmony with these. The masculine pronoun is used because our Father and our Lord Jesus are both spoken of in the masculine gender and their spirit would properly be so referred to. Nothing has much more confused the mind of Christendom than the unscriptural theory that the holy Spirit is one of three gods, equal in power and glory. It is one of the manifestations of the one living and true God. He manifested himself in Jesus, who was "God manifest in the flesh." He manifested himself in this holy influence or power at Pentecost and since to those who received the begetting or anointing of that holy Spirit, the spirit of the Truth, and indirectly to those of the world who discerned its operation in the children of Light, and who were reproved and rebuked because of being out of harmony with the divine will.
As some erred in speaking of the holy Spirit as a "third person," so others err in the opposite direction in claiming that there is nothing of the holy Spirit except a spirit of the truth. The proper thought, we hold, is that the term holy Spirit stands for the divine will and divine power and divine truth, exercised how and when and where the divine will purposes. The power which came upon the waiting disciples was not merely a field for the Truth, nor merely a knowledge of the truth, nor was it a person that fell upon them, nor could we think of a person being divided up and inhabiting either eleven apostles or one hundred and twenty brethren, or thousands and tens of thousands of the Lord's people in all parts of the world.
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"HE SHALL GIVE YOU ANOTHER"
Our Golden Text represents the matter in clear light and in harmony with all the other Scriptures on the subject when it declares that the holy Spirit must come from the Father, not from the Son; when it declares that the Son would petition the Father to send the Spirit; when it declares that this special power or spirit of the Father would be another Comforter, instead of our Lord Jesus himself, whose going away was necessary and expedient. Had our Lord remained as a person in the flesh, he would have been hampered by the fleshly and earthly conditions, much as we are, because he could not be everywhere at once. It was preferable or expedient, therefore, that he should personally leave his disciples and appear before the Father as their Advocate, and thus secure to them the holy Spirit, which would not only represent the Father and himself, but would also represent all Truth, all righteousness, and be a channel for every one that needed blessing.
Following the miraculous sound and the electrical influences pervading the room and the manifestation of the lights upon their heads, we may be sure a considerable degree of holy joy and excitement manifested themselves amongst the believers, and this soon spread abroad and attracted a large concourse of people through curiosity, because it was stated that they were "Continually in the temple."--`Luke 24:53`; `Acts 2:46`.
It has been surmised by some that the large upper room occupied on this occasion was one of the numerous apartments connected with the temple, and that the quick gathering of 3,000 people might thus be accounted for. It was one of the annual festivals which drew the devout Jews, not only from all parts of Palestine, but also from neighboring countries. Most of them were Jews by birth, but some of them were proselytes or converts to Judaism. At first these heard various languages spoken and hastily concluded that the speakers were intoxicated, but later they discerned that the various tongues spoken represented the dialects of various people in the vast throng, so that each might hear in his own native tongue the message that was being circulated respecting Jesus, his death, resurrection, ascension, and now this miraculous outpouring of the Father's blessing at his hands, to qualify his service, to declare his message.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF PENTECOST
The day itself is an important one. According to Jewish tradition it was the anniversary of the Law Covenant at Mt. Sinai. It therefore by contrast would be a reminder of how Christ makes free from the Law and admits to the benefits of the original Covenant all who approach the Father through him. It was a day of free giving to all in need, "According as the Lord thy God hath blessed thee." (`Deut. 16:10`.) Thus the Lord's followers dispensed to all who were in readiness to receive the blessings granted to them through Jesus.
The flames of fire beautifully symbolize the light of Truth, the enlightenment of the mind, which comes through the begetting of the holy Spirit. This power divine was remarkably manifested in the eleven apostles, for while the multitude still recognized them as "ignorant and unlearned men," nevertheless they took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus and learned of him; that they had a certain kind of enlightenment of mind and heart, which could come from no other quarter. And is not this same true of all those who have been begotten of the holy Spirit? Only a few days ago, in talking to one of the dear friends, a carpenter, in respect to the knowledge of the Truth enlightening his mind and refreshing his heart, he added, "Yes, Brother Russell, and that is not all! Not only are my head and heart refreshed with respect to spiritual things, but without boasting I can say that the Truth has made me brighter and more proficient in every way. It gives me a better balance of mind and soundness of judgment, even in my trade as a carpenter." We believe that this is true in general. Those appealed to by the Truth are not more than ordinarily bright naturally. Indeed, according to the Scriptures, we might infer that they would be below the average, for the Apostle declares that not many wise, rich, great or learned hath God chosen, but chiefly the mean things of this world. Nevertheless it is noticeable that those who are deeply interested in Present Truth, who study it, who love it, under the guidance and instruction of the Lord's Spirit and the various helps which God hath provided for our time, are far above the average of their fellow-laborers in general intelligence. Indeed, whoever has a knowledge of the Truth has an education,
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whether he has ever taken a college course or not. On the contrary, it has recently been noticed that a large number of those who enjoy special earthly advantages of education gain comparatively little therefrom. For instance, note the following clipping from the New York World a few days ago. Evangelist E. C. Mercer, himself a reformed drunkard, addressing the students of the Northwestern University, said:--
"During the last few years I have been working in the Water Street Mission in New York, and I have learned that one-third of the men that came there ragged and dirty and begging for food were college-bred. I have found them on the Bowery making up beds or waiting on tables, and I have even met them in the street-cleaning brigades. During February of last year more than 400 of them stood in the 'bread line' at our mission. Seventy-five per cent. of the prisoners at Sing Sing Prison are college-bred men."
Beyond question "the wisdom that cometh from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits," and is, as the Apostle declares, the "spirit of a sound mind."--`Jas. 3:17`; `2 Tim. 1:7`.
THE LESSON HERE FOR US
Although we cannot agree with those who teach that repeated Pentecosts and spirit baptisms are to be expected and prayed for, we do believe that the Lord's people need to come into a similar attitude to that of the brethren who were blessed on Pentecost Day, in order to enter the favors and privileges which are ours through Christ. There was to be but one Pentecost. There never will be another, so far as the Church is concerned. The holy Spirit which there came to the Church has abode with us still, and its blessing is the privilege of those consecrated ones whom the Lord accepts and adopts into his family. But before anyone is prepared to get a proper blessing of the Lord's Spirit, he must first have the justification by faith and a heart free from the love of sin, and must present his solemn resolution to be, to do, to serve the Lord, the Truth, the brethren--his vows before he could be in the right attitude to receive a blessing and the enlightenment, the comfort, the fellowship of God's holy Spirit. Even though he be inflamed with desire to serve the Lord, the Truth and the brethren, he will do wisely to follow the course of the early Church and tarry and study and pray--that he may himself be filled with the Spirit, before he attempts to act as God's ambassador to others. Indeed, no one is authorized, from the Scriptural standpoint, to preach the Gospel much or little, except first he have received this anointing and authorization of the Spirit from above. "The Lord hath anointed me to preach the good tidings unto the meek."--`Isa. 61:1`.
While opposing the unscriptural view with respect to praying for New Pentecosts, let us not lose sight of the important fact that until we have received our share of the blessing of that first Pentecost, we cannot have the perfect peace of God, nor be properly and actively and successfully his servants and ambassadors. Would that, at the opening of the New Year, all of the Lord's people would seek earnestly a larger measure of the holy Spirit--watching and praying thereunto, watching their words, their thoughts and deeds, the leadings of the Lord's providence, the opportunities for his service, and praying, "Abandon us not in temptation, but deliver us from the evil one." And let us ask him to grant us more and more the emptying of worldly ambitions, desires, and filling more and more with the mind of Christ, the disposition of Christ. Many are finding "the VOW" very helpful along these lines, and we still commend it to all of the sacrificers in Christ Jesus, as a helping hand to keep us watchful and nearer to the Lord--under the shadow of the Almighty.
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SAVE YOURSELVES FROM THIS GENERATION
--`ACTS 2:32-42`.--JANUARY 17.--
Golden Text:--"They continued steadfast in the Apostles' doctrine, and fellowship, and in prayer."--`Acts 2:42`.
LESS than two months had elapsed since the Apostle Peter denied his Lord with cursing. But today's lesson shows him the leader of the apostles and the special mouthpiece of the Lord in the opening work of the New Dispensation at Pentecost. How marvelous is the change from weakness to strength, which may come to those who are rightly exercised by life's experiences, as he was! His very stumbling strengthened his character, by arousing him to the necessity of taking the right stand at any cost. Each of God's children should learn this lesson--and should be helped by his defeats, as well as by his victories.
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One of the Apostle's promises is to this effect--that "all things shall work together for good to those who love the Lord" with loyal hearts.
St. Peter preached a most direct sermon, taking for his text the miraculous events of Pentecost, which had drawn the crowd together. He had no apologies to make, but declared himself and his brethren disciples of Jesus the Messiah. Jesus' claim to the office had been abundantly demonstrated by his mighty works and words, "Never man spake like this man." Did they query if this were not the same Jesus that had been crucified, less than two months before? The query was answered most pointedly. Yes, with wicked hands you crucified and slew the Lord of glory. Did they ask how could a Messiah thus ignominiously suffer and how could a dead Messiah be of any use--of whom they preached? The Apostle's answer was a ready one, that it pleased God that a suffering Saviour should be provided and that his death should be the redemption price for Adam and his race; and on this account forgiveness of sins might now be preached. Proceeding he declared that our Lord was not a dead Messiah, but a living one, for, although put to death in the flesh, God had raised him from the dead, and that his disciples were witnesses of the fact, and of his ascension.
The account given us is a meager one, but we can imagine the Apostle saying, "Let me prove to you from the prophets, whom you acknowledge, that these very things were foretold of the Messiah, Jesus; for instance, the most remarkable thing of all, his Resurrection. Did not the Prophet David foretell of the same, 'Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell (sheol, hades the grave); neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption'! This, "said Peter," was not true of the Prophet David. He died. His soul was not saved from sheol. He still awaits resurrection. But all of this was apparently true of Messiah, whom David, in the figure, represented. Christ's soul was not left in hades. God raised him from the dead the third day. Now he is highly exalted--a Prince and mighty Saviour, able to save you, able to save all who come to him; for the Father hath highly exalted him, that he might be the
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Saviour of you and of the world, not only as respects spiritual interests, but our temporal interests as well."
JOEL'S PROPHECY OF PENTECOST
Proceeding, the Apostle quoted Joel's prophecy and showed that a portion of it foretold the Pentecostal blessing. He was not led of the spirit to show that there were two parts to that prophecy, and that only one part was fulfilled at that time, and that the other part was to be fulfilled afterward. "I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh" will be fulfilled in the future, after the second coming of Christ. That was not yet "meat in due season." However, the quotation was sufficient for its intended purpose. His hearers were pricked to the heart--cut to the heart. They felt terribly, as they thought how true were his words, and how apt his Scripture quotation. They saw themselves as members of their nation red-handed murderers of the Messiah, for whom they had been looking for centuries. The great trouble which would certainly come upon their nation, and to which their prophets referred, they saw would be a reasonable penalty for their great sin. What must they do?
Contrition and repentance must necessarily precede any thoroughgoing reformation of character--then or now. If, therefore, any one shall read these words and realize that he himself has been living carelessly, as respects his blessings of God and his faithfulness to the Truth, it is well that he should awaken from his lethargy with a start, knowing assuredly that the end of that way will not have the divine approval. Such should cry out to the Lord for help from the weaknesses of his own nature, and from the delusions and snares of the Adversary; peradventure he may be delivered. In answer to their query the Apostle declared most graciously, "Brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers." For if they had known, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory. The matter is bad enough. The guilt is great as it is; but surely the Lord knows that those poor men who cried "Crucify him!" and those who helped to do it were, to a large degree, under the influence of our great Adversary, through ignorance and superstition and blindness, into which he had led them. Doubtless the number of those who have sinned wilfully against clear light and knowledge and opportunity, on the contrary, is small, especially if we exclude those sins attributable to weaknesses through the heredity of sin.
THE GOSPEL OF MERCY
The Pentecostal message was a Gospel of mercy, of forgiveness, of sympathy, even for those who had crucified the Lord. Like the other sermons of this Apostle, and like the sermons of all the apostles, this sermon contained not one suggestion of eternal torment, but was full of mercy and grace--"speaking peace through Jesus Christ our Lord." The result was that three thousand were prompt to accept Jesus as the Messiah. They were convinced by their reason and by the evidences presented in the sermon by the Apostle and others of the brethren; thus they complied with the advice of the Apostle. Temporarily their sins were covered by the merit of the Lord's sacrifice, but for the full blotting out of those sins, they, with others, must wait for the second coming and the resurrection. The new bodies of all the faithful in Christ will be without spot or blemish. All sin will have been blotted out. Thus, as the Apostle Paul says, "It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body."--`I Cor. 15:43,44`.
St. Peter's message to them was, "Repent ye therefore, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the holy Spirit; for the promise is unto you and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord your God shall call."
Christ's sacrifice for sins was not intended to justify people living in sin, but to justify those who, renouncing sin, sought to live separate from it and to come into harmony with God. This is still our message. No one has a right to alter or amend it in any degree. The divine law condemns sin in the flesh still. The divine provision for the covering of the sins of those who believe in Jesus applies only to such as seek to put away sin, and to strive for righteousness. For such alone are all the divine arrangements and blessings. Baptism for the "remission of sins" was to the Jew only, to those who had already been baptized into Moses in the sea and the cloud. The sins thus figuratively washed away did not include original sin, with its death penalty, but merely minor transgressions against the Mosaic Law on the part of the Covenant of the people. The symbolic washing represented a return to loyalty, to obedience to God, to the extent of their ability, so far as their hearts were concerned. Thus coming into accord with Moses, the typical Messiah, they would be by faith transferred to his antitype, Christ.
This washing or cleansing of the Jews, preparatory to their acceptance in Christ, continued until the middle wall of partition was broken down between Jew and Gentile, until the natural branches, those who did not receive fellowship in the Body of Christ, were broken off. Since then, baptism for the remission of sins, John's baptism, is entirely wrong, according to the Scriptures. (For details on this see DAWN-STUDIES, Vol. VI., Chapter 10.)
The Apostle pointed out that the promise of the great blessing through Messiah belonged to Israel according to the flesh, and that those promises had not yet lost their vitality--had not yet lapsed. Hence it was for them and their children, as well as for all mankind,
"EVEN AS MANY AS YOUR GOD SHALL CALL"
Everywhere the Scriptures remind us that no man taketh this honor to himself--the honor of being a member of the Body of Christ, the honor of being a member of the Royal Priesthood, etc. Only those called of God, drawn by the Father, can now come unto the Son and receive all of these blessings. This remains true to this day. The pity is that even some of those who have received and accepted the call are not sufficiently awake to rightly receive it. Our lesson assures us that this is but a small portion of the population. With many other words St. Peter exhorted and testified, saying, "Save yourself from this untoward generation." How successful was this message which was backed by the holy Spirit may be readily seen from the statement that three thousand gladly received the message and were baptized and continued steadfast in this teaching, and in fellowship and prayers.
"SAVE YOURSELF FROM THIS GENERATION"
Again we are in a Harvest Time. The Harvest Time of this Gospel Age is now in progress, as then was the Harvest of the Jewish Age. Now, as then, there are tests and stones of stumbling, purposely permitted of the Father for our proving, testing, development. Not the Head of the Body is now to be crucified, but the members--especially the feet of the Body of Christ, yet
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upon the earth. The great Adversary has blinded in a most marvelous manner some, of whom better things might have been expected. Our Lord's words are proving true--that his message would cause a measure of strife, which would thus reveal, manifest, those who are of a wrong spirit, but indirectly bring blessings to the faithful, who are willing to suffer with him and to lay down their lives for the brethren. The persecutors number amongst them some of the great and noble and religiously prominent of the world. What is our attitude? Are we sympathizing with this condition of
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things, or are we standing loyally, firmly for the Truth, the Lord?
As it was then, in the Lord's providence, that he drew the attention of those in a wrong attitude to the true conditions of things, that they might recover themselves from the snare of the Adversary, so he is now doing here. He is willing and able to expose the wrong doing, and to call the attention of the honest-hearted to the true situation. It then remains with themselves, as free agents, either to continue to endorse the wrong, or to stand out distinctly for the right. The Scriptures clearly indicate that the present generation is an untoward one--one that is unfavorable to righteousness. The Scriptures give delineations of the selfish spirit of our day, the loveless spirit, with its anger, malice, hatred, envy, strife, backbiting and slandering tendencies, and they tell us to what these will ultimately lead--to the great time of trouble, with which this Age will end.
What should we do? The Apostle Peter's words are appropriate: "Save yourselves." Do not wait to try to save Christendom. Let each one of us get his own heart right with God. It is an individual matter-- who will stand and who will fall. According to the Scriptures and according to Israel as a type, the many will fall to the few who will remain standing. To save ourselves, we must take prompt, energetic action. Our repentance must be full. Our turning from the wrong ways must be positive. The promises are unto you and to your children, and to many afar off.
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THE WORD MEDIATOR USED DIFFERENTLY
YOUR attention is called to our use of the word Mediator in the seventh line of the article, "Homing the Ark," page 308, October 15th issue. We there speak of the "officiating priest who acted as the mediator between God and the nation." It would have been better had we used a different word on this occasion; for instance, Advocate. Strictly speaking the Law Covenant constituted the bond of union between God and natural Israel, and Moses was the Mediator of that Covenant. The priest, strictly speaking, was not the Mediator, but, under the terms of the Law Covenant, which Moses mediated, the officiating priest was the Advocate, friend and representative of the Israelites before the bar of Divine Justice.
This well illustrates the too careless manner in which we, and nearly all Christians, have been accustomed to use this word Mediator. For instance, repeatedly in DAWN-STUDIES, Vol. V., we refer to our Lord as the "Mediator of the Atonement." This is entirely correct, if judged by the ordinary standards of our language as generally used by us all. Of late, however, this Journal has endeavored to draw the attention of the Lord's people to the fact that the Bible uses the word Mediator in a restricted sense and has urged that all Bible Students endeavor to take the Bible viewpoint only and to use the word Mediator from that standpoint alone.
The correction above made shows how difficult it is for any of us to rid himself of a habit. The use of the word Mediator in the Scriptures is restricted to the mediating of Covenants between God and man. The assumption is that God, being holy and unwilling to sanction sin in any degree, not only condemned it in father Adam and his race, but cut off all fellowship with the sinners, whom Justice had condemned to death. Nevertheless, God in mercy had already purposed a reconciliation between himself and such of the human race as might desire fellowship with him on a basis of righteousness.
THREE GREAT COVENANTS
The Divine purpose was outlined in three great Covenants. The first, or all-comprehensive one, was made with Abraham. The second, or Law Covenant, was made with Israel at Mount Sinai. It did not abrogate or set aside the first Covenant, but was merely an addition to it, which curtailed in a measure richer blessings, so far as Israelites were concerned. Their Law Covenant, which they thought to be unto life, they found to the contrary condemned them to death as unworthy of life. God allegorically illustrates these two Covenants by Abraham's two wives, as St. Paul explains in `Galatians 4`. The original Covenant was represented by Sarah, Abraham's wife; while the Law Covenant was represented by Hagar, a bond-servant, and not the married wife. As Sarah was barren for a long time, so God's Covenant with Abraham was barren. The Law Covenant of bondage, represented by Hagar, brought forth first the Jewish Nation, represented in the allegory by Ishmael, who could not, however, be heir of the original Covenant. As by and by Hagar and her son were punished for pride and controversy, and cast off, so the Jewish nation, developed under the Law Covenant, was cast off from Divine favor, as represented by the Master's words, "Your house is left unto you desolate."
As Sarah was long barren, until after Hagar's son was born, and became persecutor, so the Abrahamic Covenant, which was to produce the Messiah, was long barren. That Sarah Covenant has meantime produced the Lord Jesus and the various members of his Body, who have already passed into glory. "The Seed of Abraham," "The Seed of Promise," will be fully born shortly now, when the last member of the Elect Church, which is the Body of the Messiah, shall have stood the tests and been received beyond the veil, completing the First Resurrection of "Christ the First Fruits." Let us make no mistake on this point, but hear the Apostle's words, "We, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise," the promised Seed through whom, with our Lord and Head, God will "bless all the families of the earth."-- `Gal. 3:29`.
A NEW COVENANT--KETURAH
Keep the matter clear before your mind and note that thus far there have been only two Covenants, the old, or original one, and the Law Covenant, which was added four hundred and thirty years afterward.--`Gal. 3:17`.
There have been just two classes developed under these, natural Israel and spiritual Israel. But the allegory continues: "For Sarah died" and Abraham took another wife, Keturah, which represented another Covenant, called in the
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Scriptures the New Covenant. Abraham had many children by Keturah, typifying the many children of God by the New Covenant during the Millennium, but none of them as an heir. As it is written, "All that he hath, he hath given unto Isaac." The children of Keturah, therefore, received their blessing through Isaac, and represent the restitution class of the Millennium, who will be blest by the antitypical Isaac, namely, The Christ. Two matters should be borne in mind here: First, Keturah did not become a wife, or Covenant, until after Isaac's marriage, which typified the marriage or union between Christ and the Church in the end of this age. Second, Abraham did not marry Keturah until Sarah was dead. In other words, this New Covenant typified by Keturah does not become a wife or Covenant, until after the original Covenant, represented by Sarah, shall have brought forth the Seed, the Messiah, through which the children of Keturah, the subjects of the New Covenant, are to receive their blessing. It should be evident, then, to all that the Messiah, the Christ, Head and Body, is not the offspring of the New Covenant, Keturah, but the offspring of the old, the original Covenant--Sarah.
The first mention of the New Covenant (`Jer. 31:31`) was prophetic--a declaration to the Jews that God intended to give them a better Covenant than the Law Covenant, which they had found a bondage and unto death. That the New Covenant promises did not refer to the original one represented by Sarah is evident, not only by the fact that it is called a new one, but also by the fact that it was to bring them earthly riches, blessings, Restitution, etc., whereas the original Covenant was to bring forth a Spiritual Seed.
The promise of the New Covenant is, "I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh and will give you a heart of flesh, and your sins and iniquities will I remember no more." This will be grand for Israel and subsequently for the world of mankind. It will mean for them Restitution and will operate throughout the Millennial Age, by the close of which stony hearts will be no more; but mankind will have been uplifted out of sin and death conditions back to the full perfection of manhood, the image of God in the flesh, with a heart of sympathy and love and kindness, a heart of flesh.
Another distinction between our Covenant, the original one, and the other two, is that both the Law Covenant and the New Covenant have Mediators, while our Covenant, the original one, had no Mediator--needed none.
St. Paul points out that Moses was the Mediator of the Law Covenant and that there was no Mediator necessary in the original, or Sarah Covenant. (`Gal. 3:19,20`.) The New Covenant, however, is to have a Mediator; as the Scriptures distinctly declare, "Christ is the Mediator of the New Covenant." (`Heb. 9:15`; `12:24`.) This New Covenant is contrasted with the Law Covenant, and Christ, the Mediator of the New Covenant, is contrasted with Moses, the Mediator of the Law Covenant, showing that the New Covenant is better than the Law Covenant, because it has the better Mediator (`Heb. 8:6`), and that it supplants the Law Covenant; but is not better than the original or Sarah Covenant.
Before we discerned the Scriptural teaching of the "Plan of the Ages," showing the Law Age, the Gospel Age and the
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Millennial Age, and their several works, we knew no future place to apply the promises respecting the New Covenant, and hence, in common with others, we applied them to ourselves and this Gospel Age, entirely overlooking the various Scriptures to the contrary. It was very inconsistent for us to quote in one breath the Apostle's statement that we are members of the Isaac Seed, the children of the old, original Covenant, and then in the next breath to class ourselves as beneficiaries of the New Covenant. The difficulty all along was our failure to clearly discern the "mystery hidden from past ages and dispensations, but now revealed unto the saints."--`Col. 1:26`.
Had we studied the Lord's Word in a more saintly fashion, we might the sooner have gotten rid of the errors of the Dark Ages and have apprehended afresh the Apostolic teaching, namely, that the "Mystery" is that the Church, selected from both Jews and Gentiles to be the Body of Christ, are joint-heirs with him in the Abrahamic Covenant and in his entire inheritance. Only those who discern the truth of this, which is still a "Mystery" with the world and the nominal Church, are prepared to understand the "Divine Plan of the Ages" as a whole.
THE BLOOD OF THE NEW COVENANT
When our Lord set before his disciples the first Memorial Supper he declared of the cup, "This is the blood of the New Testament, shed for many for the remission of sins." Notice that the blood of the New Covenant was shed for the many, the world of mankind; but only a few, the "little flock," the disciples, "the Body of Christ," were invited to drink of it, to participate with him in that cup. For 1800 years that cup has been passed to all of the consecrated. Those who have refused to drink of it have their names blotted out from the roll of the Elect, the Bride Class, the Royal Priesthood. Those who drink of it have the promise that they shall share with their Lord and Head in all of his great work as the Seed of Abraham. Thus our Lord said to his disciples who asked to sit on his Throne, "Are ye able to drink of the cup that I drink of, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?" (`Mark 10:38`.) Will you carry out fully the covenant of consecration to death which you made and on account of which you are reckoned as members of my Body? If this is your will, I will test you, to make your calling and election sure.
Those to whom it is given to know the "Mystery" of the Kingdom of God (and no others) may see that this entire Gospel Age, from the time of our Lord's baptism at Jordan to the present time and to the completion of the Church, is the one great Day of Atonement, the one great Day of High Calling to the Kingdom, the one great Day of sharing the Sufferings of Christ, that we may have part also in his glory to follow.
All of our work, therefore, is merely the "filling up of that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ." (`Col. 1:24`.) When all of those afflictions shall have been filled up, the glorious work of the Millennial Age will follow. That work comes under the New Covenant, Israel being first to participate and subsequently all nations. The world in the next age will not be blessed under our Sarah Covenant, the Seed of which is spiritual--no more than we are now blessed under the Keturah Covenant, the New Covenant, whose seed is natural, earthly.
When our Lord said, "This cup is the blood of the New Covenant," we should understand that, primarily the cup is his, and secondarily it is ours, who are his Body, sharing it and drinking it with him. There will be none of it left for others to drink of afterwards, for his command is, "Drink ye all of it." It was, therefore, primarily, our Lord's blood or
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death which was necessary to the sealing of the New Covenant, but by Divine arrangement the blood or death of his Church is also made necessary. Hence the New Covenant cannot be sealed, finished, made operative, until all the "members of the Body" shall have died, when the Great High Priest's "better sacrifice" shall be finished. It is, therefore, quite proper that our Lord's death or blood should be mentioned as the blood of the New Covenant, even though it be not applied until all the members of his Body shall have been sacrificed by him. Then he will apply all the blood, all the sacrifice, all the death merit, as his own on behalf of the world and seal the Covenant with God on behalf of men. After having sealed the Covenant with the Father, Christ with his Church will at once enter upon the great work of reconciling the world, restoring the world to harmony with the Father.
In this connection notice that only the sins of the Church have yet been cancelled; for, although our Lord's death contained quite sufficient merit for the sins of the whole world, that merit has not yet been applied to any but believers. Hence we read that our Lord ascended up on high, there to "appear in the presence of God for us"--believers. It is because he did not apply the merit of his sacrifice to unbelievers that we read that the "whole world lieth in the wicked one." This is in full accord with these Day-of-Atonement sacrifices for sins; the first for the household of faith, the Church, the Royal Priesthood, and the second for all the people, representing mankind in general, the world. Let no one get the misapprehension that the Church does any offering to God. We, according to the flesh, are dead, and as New Creatures only are we members of the High Priest's Body. It is the High Priest who does all the offering, and of that Priest the Head represents the entire Body. "We have an Advocate with the Father."
Bear in mind that our Covenant, the original one, had no Mediator. It needed none, because it did not attempt harmonizing rebels with the Divine Covenant, as the New Covenant proposes to do. The "world, lying in the wicked one," as declared in the lines of the parable, "We will not have this man to reign over us," will need strong restraints and coercions and stripes during the Millennium to force them to obedience. As it is written, "Every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess," this being merely a preliminary, to the intent that the reign of righteousness may be inaugurated, so that all may taste of the blessings of the Divine government; so that as many as will may come into harmony with it. A Mediator is necessary, and the Messiah, Head and Members, will be that Mediator in whose hands of control the entire world will be placed during the Millennium, so that even the willing and obedient will not be directly introduced to the Father until the end of that Mediatorial reign.
But how different now! As soon as our eyes discerned "The Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world," and as soon as our ears heard the message of God's love, we needed no compulsion. On the contrary, it was the Father himself who drew us to Christ, and, accepting Christ and being justified by faith in his blood, we are at once introduced to the Father by him and exhorted to present our bodies to the Father. So doing, these sacrifices were accepted in the Beloved, and we were begotten of the holy Spirit, and at once become children of God, joint-heirs with Jesus Christ our Lord to an inheritance incorruptible.
It is these New Creatures whom God has accepted that need no Mediator. We did need the blood of the Everlasting Covenant, and we still need an Advocate with the Father, because of our unwilling weaknesses of the flesh. Let us continually rejoice with our Redeemer and Advocate, without whom we can do nothing, and let us rejoice that in the Lord's provision the Man Christ Jesus, the Mediator between God and men (the world), has associated us with himself as his members, to be participants with him in his great work of reconciling the world. Let us rejoice that the Lord has made us "able ministers of the New Covenant," that we with our Lord may now be permitted to minister or serve, to the laying down of our lives and thus be prepared to be ministers or servants of that New Covenant to the world in general at the Second Coming of our Lord.
Then will come the antitype of Moses--inauguration of the Law Covenant. Moses came down from the Mount in the Lord's presence with a vail over his face, and sprinkled of the blood upon all the people. So we, having been changed to the glorious plane of spirit beings, shall be vailed from human sight, and, operating through the ancient worthies and others, we shall show to all men, the whole world, the fact that Divine Justice has been satisfied, and we shall sprinkle them, cleanse them, justify them and bring them into harmony with the Lord during the Millennium.
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"HELP FROM THE LORD"
OUR year text for 1909 is, "MY HELP COMETH FROM THE LORD." (`Psa. 121:2`.) We have just received a large importation of most beautiful cards bearing this text and supplemented with a Calendar, the top leaf of which records "The Vow," which can be torn off by those who so prefer. The cards are dark green, with a velvet finish, embellished with a spray of pansies. The white letters of the text embossed upon the velvety ground stand out beautifully. We have filled all orders to date, but still have a good supply. The usual price of such cards is 35 cents, postpaid; our price is 15 cents, by reason of getting amounts in so large a quantity and supplying them to our readers at cost price. We trust that this beautiful text will be very impressive and helpful to all of us throughout the year. It is full of meaning, from whatever standpoint considered. If we mistake not, the Lord's dear people never needed help more than at the present time. The difficulty with some, however, is that they do not realize their need. "When they are strong, then they are weak." "Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall." "Let us fear, lest a promise being left of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it."--`Heb. 4:1`.
The text reminds us further that those who need help and who realize it should look to the Lord for it--not relying upon their own strength or wisdom nor upon the assistance of their fellows. We are not to despise assistance from any quarter, but our chief reason for receiving any assistance should be our conviction that it has come from the Lord, whether through the ear or through the eye and the printed page or however. We are to remember that we are contending against a great Adversary and wily foe, and that we are not sufficient of ourselves to conquer, but that our only hope is in abiding in the Lord's love, by seeking to do those things which are pleasing to him and heeding the counsel of his Word and the leadings of his providence. A little carelessness along these lines, and the Adversary might readily entrap us and ensnare us and then lead us captive at his will. Ah, yes! we have the assurance of the Lord that there is but one place of safety at this time--into which more and more deeply we penetrate day by day. This place of safety is under the shadow of the Almighty, which figuratively signifies very close to the Lord. "No harm can come nigh that dwelling place," so far as the New Creature is concerned. Trials, tribulations, slanders may be exercised against us
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according to the flesh, but these cannot harm us as New Creatures, nor even disturb our peace of soul, while we are close to the Lord.
WE ARE NOT IGNORANT OF SATAN'S DEVICES
Recently we called attention to the fact that the evil spirits, the fallen angels, are to be permitted special liberties in this "evil day"; and that we might expect from them intrusions and deceptions from materializations. But while guarding that point we omitted to note another, perhaps equally dangerous, or more so, because more subtle. This we must consider now. Undoubtedly the fallen angels have had more or less power throughout the past, not merely to obsess or physically possess those who yield their wills, but power to measurably influence the minds of those who would resist them, and always by putting darkness for light. As a notable illustration of this, remember Judas, who, after brooding over the fact that our Lord's cause was not bringing him great honor and wealth, premeditated shaking matters up, incidentally gaining thirty pieces of silver and arousing our Lord to practically assert himself and take a stand, in harmony with his power.
It was after this brooding that he was still further offended, while he ate at the Lord's table and said, "Is it I?" And when the Lord had intimated that it was he who would betray him, he became more determined to do so. We read, "Satan entered into him." His does not seem to be the case of obsession, but rather of domination of the mind. Satan, who had been striving to gain control, got the mastery when Judas was angry with the Lord's reference to him as a traitor.
Our thought is that the evil spirits have been restrained in considerable measure from intruding upon the minds of men. Otherwise the world would have become Bedlam long ago. But our thought now is that their liberties with the saints will be increased, with a view to the closing test or decision in respect to character, which is now due. "Judgment must begin at the house of God," but it is to extend in this hour of temptation or trial to "all them that dwell upon the face of the whole earth." That which will begin with the Church will end with the world, producing the most awful state of affairs imaginable, "A time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation." (`Dan. 12:1`.) This power of intrusion will contain, we believe, evil suggestions, promoting slanders and back-biting and temporarily, at least, derange the judgment and lead to violences of various kinds, of which the same person, under other circumstances and conditions would not have thought. In a word, the difficulty will be a dementia of passion, strife, hatred and unreason.
We see evidences along this line at the present time and it is our duty to sound the warning for the benefit of those not already so twisted as to be unable to appreciate the situation. Such manifestations of evil spirits--malice, hatred, envy, strife, evil-speaking, back-biting, slanders, etc., circle around the VOW and those who have taken it, with violence and opposition for which we cannot otherwise account. Those under this influence seem impervious to argument, to reason, but open to every imaginable suggestion of evil. They seem to lose entirely the spirit of love, the spirit of Truth, the spirit of a sound mind. At first we were dazed by such conditions, affecting some whom we had highly esteemed, but at last the solution above stated has come. In the light of it the whole situation is clear. It bids us have sympathy for the deluded ones and be on guard for ourselves.
To illustrate: One dear Brother, to whose violent letter of opposition we adverted in our issue of October 15, afterwards came dangerously near a mental collapse, in connection with which he received spirit messages by raps, yet was so off guard that it did not occur to him to question the source. His mind, though previously humble, was led to aspire to the management of the WATCH TOWER, and he found types and evidences in the Bible which led him to assume that God purposed a change in the management of the Harvest Work. It was under the influence of this erroneous sentiment that this dear Brother, whom we have dearly loved, and still love, wrote us a terribly bitter letter, for which he has since apologized in most kindly terms. He now freely acknowledges that he was under demoniacal influence and inspiration. He has recovered his balance; praise the Lord! But we regret that he has not yet taken the VOW or RESOLUTION to God; that he apparently does not yet see that it was this very item by which the Adversary gained an entrance to his mind. Ah! if the dear Brother had taken the VOW, how it would have proved a power of the Lord for his protection, along the very lines of his besetment:--
(1) Desiring God's rule more and more in his own heart, he would have asked God to keep him humble and in fear lest he should attempt to grasp something which the Lord had not put into his hands.
(2) Would not the Resolution to more carefully than ever, if possible, guard every thought and word and deed have helped this dear Brother to avoid every high imagination and have kept him from saying with his tongue and writing with his pen the acrimonious words which he has since retracted?
(3) Would not the declaration of the VOW to remember daily the harvest laborers and to consider his own privileges in the harvest work have helped this dear brother, by filling his mind and hands with the work the Lord had already committed to him, and thus have kept him from hankering after, and endeavoring to grasp, what the Lord had not committed to him?
(4) Would not the Resolution to be on guard against Spiritism and Occultism in every form have warned the brother against the spirit-rappings, visions, etc., which almost worked his ruin? We believe that it surely would have done so and we are hoping yet that the Brother will heartily put himself under that VOW to the Lord--whether calling it a VOW or a RESOLUTION.
Dear brethren, we cannot express to you our deep love for you all, and interest in your welfare, nor can we express our sorrow that our endeavor to help you by suggesting the VOW, or RESOLUTION, to the Lord should be so unkindly received by some, and awaken in them such opposition and animosity. The more often we read the VOW, the less do we see in it to cause offense to any sound-headed or sound-hearted brother or sister--the less do we see that any one could reasonably oppose, unless his judgment were misguided by the evil spirits, as in the case above cited. We are not, by any means, condemning those who have not taken the VOW. That is a matter of their own business. And if otherwise they are children of God and manifest his spirit, we should recognize and treat them and love them in every sense of the word as brethren. If they do not yet see the importance of this safeguard, we believe that they will see it later. Our urgency on this subject is similar to that of the Apostle, when he says, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy acceptable to God, which is your reasonable
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service." (`Rom. 12:1`.) And "Make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way."
After what we have witnessed of the power of evil operating in the minds of some and producing characteristics which the Apostle denominates "Works of the flesh and the devil," we can scarcely be surprised at anything which the Adversary might accomplish along these lines. But while we fear lest we should come under any such influence ourselves, and while we watch and pray lest we enter into temptation, we should not be cast down, nor hindered in any measure or degree, in respect to the service of our King. He
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is able and willing to keep in perfect peace those who are trusting him, those who are following his leadings and coming close to him, even "under the shadow of the Almighty." The VOW has helped many to take this stand, thank God! And in proportion as it is taken, we believe that it will still further help, not only those who have taken it, but also those who have not taken it, but have heard and appreciate, in a measure, its warning voice. The words of the Apostle, "Who shall be able to stand in that evil day," never seemed more full of meaning to us than now, and never have we felt more than now our need of every piece of the Divine armor, and of every cord at our disposal to bind the sacrifice securely to the altar.
So then, while still expecting the attacks of the Adversary along the lines of materialization, hypnotism and occultism in general, we perceive that from inoculation of our minds with evil surmisings, saints have probably the most to dread. An important question is, How can we be on guard against this insidious snare? The reply is, By keeping very close to the Lord. Apparently the least deviation from the principles of righteousness in our thoughts, the least violation of justice or love in our thoughts, would open the way for the enemy to inject poison, leaven, malice, envy, hatred and strife.
We still urge the VOW as a great help in this time of stress, and one that you will appreciate more and more as you discern how the Lord is using it for your blessing and protection. But if, for fear that you cannot keep it, or for any other reason, you fail to take it, we counsel that you at least have its various provisions in mind, and seek to shape all of your various affairs day by day along those lines. But do not forget that our help comes from the Lord and that the VOW is of assistance to us only as it helps us to approach near to him, and to abide in his love, and in harmony with his divine Word, in thought, in word, in deed.
BEREAN STUDIES ON THE ATONEMENT
THE TEXT-BOOK USED FOR THIS COURSE
IS SCRIPTURE STUDIES, SERIES V. (E)* Questions on Study V.--The Channel of the Atonement.
(10) Is the term holy Ghost the same in meaning as holy Spirit? Why the two translations? Which is preferable? Cite standard authorities on the subject. P. 168, par. 2.
(11) What authority is there for speaking of the holy Spirit as a separate person from the Father and the Son--the "third person" of the Trinity? Cite Scriptures showing that it signifies, not a person, but the spirit of a person. P. 169, par. 1.
(12) When the pronouns he, whom, him and his are used in respect to the holy Spirit, what is the signification? Does this teach or imply personality? P. 170, par. 1,2.
(13) Do other translations use the same terms? Cite some illustrations where the same Greek word is rendered in the feminine and others in which it is rendered in the neuter gender. P. 170, par. 2,3; Pp. 171, 172.
(14) What is the meaning of the term holy Spirit, as used in the Scriptures? What qualities or powers are represented by the term? Give illustrations of the use of the Hebrew word ruach and the Greek word pneuma. Pp. 173, 174.
(15) What sense attaches to the word spirit, when we say that God is a spirit? P. 174, last par.
(16) What is signified by the statement that "the spirit moved on the face of the waters," in the account of creation? (`Gen. 1:2`.) Was this an intelligent moving? P. 175, par. 1.
(17) The Apostle says that "Holy men of old spoke and wrote as they were moved of the holy Spirit." In what sense did it move them? P. 175, par. 3.
(18) Give an illustration of the spirit of God working in the hearts of cunning craftsmen and explain the nature of the operation. P. 175, par. 2.
(19) When the Lord put his spirit upon Moses and subsequently upon the elders of Israel, what did it signify? What was its operation? Is there anything to indicate that it was a person that was distributed amongst them? P. 176, par. 1.
(20) Was the holy Spirit manifested in the same manner before Pentecost as subsequently? Cite some Scriptures in proof of the answer. P. 176, par. 2.
(21) In what sense was the holy Spirit granted at Pentecost different from any previous presentation? To whom and for what purpose was it granted? P. 177, par. 1.
(22) In what respect does this manifestation differ from the previous manifestations of the Spirit? Give Scriptural citation in proving answer. P. 177, par. 2; P. 178, par. 1.
(23) Does the holy Spirit as it now operates in the Church always manifest itself in the same manner? Demonstrate the answer from the Scriptures. P. 178, par. 1.
(24) Is there a difference between the holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit, and what relationship do they bear to each other? Give Scriptural quotations proving the answer. P. 179, par. 1.
(25) Were the gifts of the Spirit such as would vanish away? Does this signify that the Spirit would cease to operate, or that thereafter it would be differently manifested? P. 179, par. 2.
(26) Is there a difference between the gifts of the Spirit, which were miraculous, and the personally developed fruits of the spirit? Explain the difference with Scriptural references. P. 180, par. 1.
(27) What are the fruits of the Spirit and how do they differ from its gifts? P. 180, par. 2.
(28) Explain the different manifestations of the Spirit and the different objects served. P. 181, par. 1.
(29) Is the term, Spirit of God, sometimes used in a similar manner as we use the expression, spirit of man, or mind of man? Give some instances. P. 182.
(30) Give three senses in which the term Spirit of God may be understood, and some illustrations. P. 183.
(31) The Spirit of God is said to be given sometimes in measure and again without measure. What do these statements imply? Could they be applied to a person or only to the spirit of a person? P. 184, par. 1.
(32) Can any but consecrated believers receive the holy Spirit at all? And how may these increase their measure? P. 185, par. 1.
(33) Quote a number of uses of the word spirit and explain, if possible, how these could possibly be used in reference to a person--spirit of truth, spirit of the Father, etc. P. 186, par. 1.
(34) If the Spirit of the Father means another God, how should we understand the words spirit of the world, spirit of error, spirit of Satan, etc.? P. 186, par. 2.
(35) What is meant by the term Spirit of Anti-Christ and how should we be on guard against it? P. 187, par. 1.
(36) Do the holy and unholy influences or spirits at work in the world imply that there is no personal God or no personal Satan? P. 187, par. 2.
*Five years ago DAWN-STUDIES, VOL. V., was reset, and unfortunately the type was not exactly same size as before; and hence page for page they differ. The references given in these Berean Studies apply to the present edition, a copy of which postpaid will cost you but 30c. But keep your old edition, for unfortunately the new Bible Helps refer to its pages.
STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES
PUBLIC MINISTRIES OF THE TRUTH
UNDER THE AUSPICES OF THE
WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY
THESE SERVICES ARE WITHOUT CHARGE, AND NO COLLECTIONS ARE TAKEN UP. THE CLASS AT EACH PLACE GENERALLY PROVIDE THE MEETING PLACES AND ARE PLEASED TO ENTERTAIN THE LORD'S SERVANTS (AND NOTHING UNUSUAL OR ELABORATE IS EXPECTED). AT LEAST ONE BEREAN LESSON IS PROVIDED FOR EACH APPOINTMENT.
BIBLE STUDENTS' SOUTHERN CONVENTION
JACKSONVILLE, FLA., FEBRUARY 12-16, 1909
Ask for receipt on "Certificate Plan" when purchasing your one-way ticket; account, Bible Students' Convention.
All sessions will be held in Board of Trade Auditorium on Main Street.
Lodging at 50 cents and up, per night; meals, 25 cents and up.
The surrounding territory and immediately adjacent states are expected to furnish most of the attendance, though some from more distant parts will be present also.
Pilgrim brethren will be present, including also Brother Russell.
Come all who can, and let those who cannot join us there in person join in spirit and in prayers, and thus participate in the showers of refreshing which the Lord will surely pour upon us.
ONE-DAY LOCAL CONVENTIONS ADDRESSED BY THE
EDITOR OF THIS JOURNAL AS FOLLOWS:
PITTSBURG (N.S.), PA., JANUARY 3
Session for the public at 3:00 p.m. in Allegheny Carnegie Hall, corner Ohio and Federal Sts. Visiting friends heartily welcomed. Baptismal services at 10:30 a.m. for those desiring same and notifying thereof, at Bible House Chapel, 610 Arch Street.
CUMBERLAND, MD., JANUARY 10
Morning session for Rally, Praise and Testimony at 11:00 o'clock, at 21 South George St. Afternoon session for the public in Maryland Theatre, North Mechanic Street, at 3:00 o'clock. Subject, "Where are the Dead?" Evening meeting for the interested at 7:30. Visiting friends will be made very welcome.
MIDDLETOWN, CONN., JANUARY 17
All sessions in the Middlesex Opera House. Morning meeting for praise and testimony at 11:00 o'clock. Afternoon meeting for the public at 3:00 o'clock. Subject, "Where are the Dead?" Meeting for the specially interested at 7:30 p.m. Visiting friends cordially welcomed.
CLEVELAND, OHIO, JANUARY 24
BROOKLYN, N.Y., JANUARY 31