VOL. XXX JULY 15 NO. 14
A.D. 1909--A.M. 6037
Views from The Watch Tower........................211
Evolution and Character.......................211
An Unsectarian Presentation...................212
"I Will Call for the Grain and Increase It".......212
"My Grace is Sufficient for Thee".................213
Wresting the Scriptures...........................215
The Things no Longer Seen.....................216
The Blood of the Covenant.....................217
The Dual Feature in Rachel........................219
Proper and Improper Statements....................220
Like Unto Jannes and Jambres......................221
"Weep Not for Me," but "Watch and Pray"...........222
Abraham's Three Wives.............................222
Samples of Interesting Letters....................223
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VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER
EVOLUTION AND CHARACTER
IN his book on "The Wonderful Century," published ten years ago, Alfred Russel Wallace, the distinguished scientist and co-discoverer with Charles Darwin of the theory of Evolution, asserted his conviction that, in the matter of mechanical discovery, the human race had made more progress in the nineteenth century than in all the preceding eighteen centuries. It is somewhat difficult to reconcile this statement with the attitude he takes in his latest article on "Evolution and Character" in The Fortnightly Review. He has evidently grown more pessimistic. He declares now that it is doubtful if there has been "any considerable improvement in man's average intellectual and moral status during the whole period of human history"; and he says further:
"In comparing a savage with a civilized race, we must always remember that the amount of acquired and applied knowledge which we possess is no criterion of mental superiority on our side, or of inferiority on his. The average Zulu or Fijian may be very little lower mentally than the average Englishman; and it is, I think, quite certain that the average Britain, Saxon, Dane and Norseman of a thousand years ago--the ancestral stocks of the present English race--were mentally our equals. For what power has been since at work to improve them? There has certainly been no special survival of the more intellectual and moral, but rather the reverse....When we consider further that the effects of education and the arts are not hereditary, we shall be forced to the conclusion that we are today, in all probability, mentally and morally inferior to our semi-barbaric ancestors!"
The Romans and the Greeks, Mr. Wallace reminds us, looked down on their ancestors with just as much contempt as we look down on Kaffirs and Red Indians. It is quite superficial to conclude that because people are in a savage or barbarian state as regards knowledge and material civilization, they are necessarily inferior intellectually or morally. "I am inclined to believe," says Mr. Wallace, "that an unbiased examination of the question would lead us to the conclusion that there is no good evidence of any difference in man's average intellectual and moral status during the whole period of human history at all corresponding with differences in material civilization between civilized and savage races today.... There is good reason to believe that some of the lowest savages today (perhaps all of them) are the deteriorated remnants of more civilized peoples."
MENACE OF YELLOW JOURNALISM
One of the severest and keenest indictments of yellow journalism ever written has lately appeared in The American Magazine from the pen of Prof. W. I. Thomas, of the University of Chicago. He takes the ground that the yellow papers published and spread broadcast in our American cities today are "a positive agent of vice and crime," making for all kinds of immorality. Our failure up to the present time to regard the yellow press as an immorality and to take steps to exterminate it is due, he thinks, in part to the fact that we have been reluctant to lose a time-honored faith in the printed page, and in part to the slowness with which we carry generalizations into practice. In connection with this last point he writes:
"Moral exactions never, in point of fact, reflect the most advanced states of consciousness. Our practices run behind our judgments by a generation or two, but that we do slowly and surely carry our generalizations into practice is indicated by the fact that society has since the beginning been constantly changing the content of its commandments, and practices which at one time were not the objects of moral judgment (slavery, polygamy, blood-vengeance) have come to be classed as immoral. At the present moment there is a focus of consciousness containing commandments in the making. In it are located questions of political graft, monopolistic manipulation, the tyranny of labor, patent medicine fakes, impure foods, the race question, the woman question, and the question of the yellow journal. These are now being agitated and revalued by public opinion and the legitimate press, and when we have made our reconstruction we shall have some new commandments and some new crimes; and among them will be: Thou shalt not have the perversion of truth for a gainful occupation."
Professor Thomas' first and fundamental objection to yellow journalism is based on its appeal to what he calls the "hate attitude" in men. This attitude exists in all
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of us. It dates back to the days when human beings spent most of their time killing animals or fighting with their fellow creatures. It partakes of the nature of impulse or appetite, and is almost as blindly elemental as hunger itself. During centuries of civilization this hate instinct has been modified and controlled, but under the surface it slumbers yet. A murder trial, a prize fight, a slanderous bit of gossip, an exciting game, have still the power to call it into play.
In the light of these facts, says Professor Thomas, it becomes plain that the yellow journal owes its existence to the persistence in men of a primitive feeling of essentially anti-social character, and to the fact that a revival of this feeling brings a sense of pleasure. He continues:
"Pleasurable shocks may be classified with some reference to their social significance. We have, first, the emotional interest of the reflex type represented by the whole gamut of competitive games from marbles to chess, which are pleasant, recreative and valuable--to the child,
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in developing a normal organism, and to the adult (in a society where the division of labor prevails), in taking the strain off certain overworked nerve centers and equilibrating the organism. A second form of shock is associated with horrors, misfortunes, detractions and slanders. Railroad wrecks, fires, murders and domestic scandals are types of this interest, which, as in games, is primarily of the nature of a blind reflex. Artistic presentations, of which tragedy is an example, are conflict situations of a generalized and reflective type, presented with such technique and perspective as to give an added significance to life. Scientific and business 'pursuits' are really of the hunting pattern of interest, involving the same emotional strains as the chase, though the emotion is subordinated to the reflective processes involved."
TURKEY ASKS JEWS TO COME
Offers to Confer Full Citizenship Upon Immigrants on Arrival.
"They shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations."--`Isa. 66:20`.
The Jewish Morning Journal gave out recently a special cable dispatch from Constantinople saying that the Turkish Government had invited the Jews of Russia and Roumania to settle in Turkey, agreeing to remove all restrictions and to grant full citizenship to them. Here is the text of the cablegram:
"Ahmed Riza, President of the Chamber of Deputies visited to-day Hahm Pasha, the ritual head of the Jews in Turkey, and on behalf of the Turkish Government extended an invitation to the Jews of Russia and Roumania to migrate to Turkey. As proof of the good faith of the Turkish Government Ahmed Riza informed Hahm Pasha that the Government would abolish all restrictions against Jewish immigration, and, what is still more significant, will confer full citizenship on Jewish immigrants immediately on their arrival in Turkey."
AN UNSECTARIAN PRESENTATION
Dr. H. S. Pritchett, President of the Carnegie Foundation for the advancement of teaching, speaking recently on Leadership in the Colleges, said:--
"Church membership is no test as to whether a man is a religious man or not; nor is it any criterion by which religious men may be chosen. The constant use of this criterion has served to impose upon young men both in and out of college the idea that the obligations of the religious life are binding only on those who have assumed membership in religious organizations. No more unhappy impression could have been created. The obligations of the religious life are the same upon every human being. The idea that he can escape the working out of the great laws which the Maker of the Universe has set up by declining to belong to a human organization is a grotesque one, and yet this is an idea common among young men. I believe, therefore, that the man of sincere religious life, outside any formal organization, has a notable opportunity today for religious leadership in college, and that he escapes some of the limitations which lie in the way of his brother who is part of a definite religious organization. No man has the right to evade the duties of leadership or of service by reason of his belonging to, or of his not belonging to a religious organization. To advance such a claim is like insisting that a man is not an American unless he belongs to the Republican or the Democratic party."
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"I WILL CALL FOR THE GRAIN AND INCREASE IT"
OURS is the "day of God's preparation" for the glorious abundance of the Millennium and its blessings. Fresh proofs of this come to us daily. The electric light has superceded the tallow dip; the steamship, 1000 feet long, has succeeded the canoe; the railway train has succeeded the pack-mule and the stage-coach. Already we live in a new world, which, in many respects, would be Paradise were it not for our fallen condition--our mental, moral and physical imperfections--our dying state. Still, however, the necessities of life require labor, toil, sweat of face; but how great a blessing is in this fact few seem to appreciate. Without necessity, idleness would soon breed vice and crime still more abundantly.
Statistics tell us that the wood supplies of the world are running short and that already there is little to spare for fuel. They tell us also that the coal supply will last only about one hundred and fifty years more. They wonder whether or not mankind will soon freeze to death. God's people, however, looking from the standpoint of the Divine promises, may have full assurance of faith that the Divine foreknowledge has provided for every emergency. Already we know that the air that we breathe contains the very elements necessary to supply us adequately with heat, if we could but learn how to separate its component parts. Science has long been striving to accomplish this end. Faith tells us that when the Father's due time shall have arrived the problem will be solved simply enough, furnishing oxygen for fuel and nitrogen for the enrichment of the soil.
Similarly scientists tell us that the earth cannot much more than provide food for its present number of inhabitants. They are in trepidation as to what kind of farming will be necessary to feed the world five hundred years hence. Through the Word of God the eye of faith may see that the time for human productivity is drawing to an end, that soon after the inauguration of the Millennium, conditions will change gradually--until finally human propagation will cease entirely. Still, however, according to the Scriptures, the world will gradually become filled with people; as our Lord's words declare, "All that are in their graves shall hear the voice of the Son of man and come forth." "Every man in his own order," says St. Paul.
There will be an abundance of room for all of this population, but where their food supply will come from would be an astounding proposition to scientists. The child of God, whose eye of faith has already seen some of Jehovah's mighty power, may rest assured that he who planned all this has made necessary provision for the successful carrying out of its every feature.
In the light of God's Word the eye of faith has assistance, and perceives that humanity's present fallen condition involves a great waste of food, which will be rectified as the race rises out of its imperfection and learns more thoroughly how to use blessings which are now comparatively wasted. Then again the eye of faith sees in the divine promise at the head of this article, and in other assurances of the Scriptures, that "the earth shall yield her increase"--sees the Divine provision for the needs of humanity. Already we have evidences of how these Scriptures may be fulfilled. In the once arid deserts of the United States artesian wells and irrigating canals are causing "the wilderness to blossom as the rose and the solitary places to be glad." Similar developments will doubtless later on extend to other desert lands. Contrariwise the marshes are being drained, and the eye of faith can see how the world will eventually be made all that is implied in God's promise of Paradise restored; that Jehovah "will make the place of his feet [his footstool] glorious."
MIRACLE WHEAT--MIRACLE CULTIVATION
A year ago we called attention to the miracle wheat, which was developed in Virginia, seemingly by accident. We know not to what extent it has been sown elsewhere, nor whether any wonderful results have been obtained. However, it gives to the eye of faith a suggestive lesson
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as to how God could "Call for the wheat-corn and increase it" many fold. Now we learn of some wonderful experiments which have recently been made by the Russian Government, which serve to show that in soil that is at least twenty inches deep a new method of cultivating wheat, gives promise of almost miraculous results. Even if only one-tenth of the results claimed can be obtained the advantage seemingly would be considerable. Even if the method be at present found impracticable for any reason, the suggestion to the eye of faith would be valuable everyway as showing God's people something of the hidden powers Divine, which are held in reservation for man's time of need.
PLANTING WHEAT INSTEAD OF SOWING IT
The new method of cultivating wheat, based upon these experiments, is the making of pits or trenches, twelve to twenty inches deeper than the surface level and forty-two inches wide. One grain of wheat planted at the bottom of each pit or forty-two inches apart in the trenches is
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covered lightly with two inches of soil. Every three weeks the covering process is repeated about two inches more each time, until ten coverings have been put on. The grain gives forth three shoots with the first covering. With the second covering each of these shoots "bushknots" and gives forth three more shoots, so that with the final covering the total amounts to 59,049 stalks or heads of grain.
The ten coverings will require about thirty weeks or less, according to the climate. It is said that this method of cultivation requires no watering, that the air, having free access to the roots, provides the moisture and gases necessary for the growth of the plant. It is difficult to believe all this--that a single seed could thus produce seventy pounds of grain, and that at the same ratio an acre of land be made to produce forty-five tons of grain. Assuredly, as our text suggests, when the Lord's time shall come he will be well able to call for the increase of the grain for the benefit of the world of mankind, whom he so loved as to redeem and for whom the blessings of restitution are shortly to be made available.--`Acts 3:19-21`.
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"MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR THEE"
--`ACTS 19:23`; `20:1`.--AUGUST 22--
Golden Text:--"And he said unto me, my grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect
in weakness."--`2 Cor. 12:9`.
FOR two years and three months St. Paul had actively engaged in the service of the Truth at Ephesus, the Gateway or Eye of Asia Minor. He was about ready to leave and had already sent word to the Churches enroute, which he had established, informing them of his journey and of the fact that a famine had recently prevailed in Palestine and that he purposed taking to the Christians at Jerusalem a present of money from their fellow-believers in the Gospel and fellow-members in the Body of Christ in Gentile lands. However, the Lord was pleased to permit the great Adversary to stir up persecution and riot against the Truth and especially against the Apostle just on the eve of his departure. As the Apostle declares, "We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to the called ones according to his purpose;" hence, we may be sure that God saw some good that could be accomplished by permitting this panic of persecution and that otherwise he would not have permitted it.
"FAITH MAY FIRMLY TRUST HIM, COME WHAT MAY"
Ephesus was one of the greatest cities of that time. This may be judged from the fact that just at the entrance of the harbor stood one of the "seven wonders of the world," an immense statue of "Diana of the Ephesians"--the deity of Ephesus and indeed of Asia Minor. To her shrine thousands of people came, as opportunity offered, believing that they received a special blessing from her, which affected favorably the prosperity of their homes. Her blessing was supposed to greatly increase the flocks and herds and the birth of children. Unlike the other (virgin) Diana, this one was represented to be the mother of all things living, fecundity being her special blessing. Of course, the fame of this great idol attracted general attention, and those who could not go to Ephesus to worship at the shrine of this image were pleased to purchase from merchants certain charms or amulets, which consisted of small copies of her shrine wrought in silver. The business of making these shrines grew as the people of that region learned to desire her blessing and to offer her worship. In the Apostle's day the business of making these shrines of various sizes out of silver was immense, employing hundreds, perhaps thousands.
A man named Demetrius was the representative or head of a silversmith's guild or union. He, becoming incensed against the propaganda of the Apostle and the early Church at Ephesus, aroused his fellow-craftsmen by a stirring speech, in which he pointed out the great prosperity of their city through this idol, and how they themselves had prospered by the making of her shrine. Then he painted a black picture of how the prosperity would shortly die, as a result of the preaching of this man Paul. He called attention to the fact that it was not merely at Ephesus that this new religion, opposed to the worship of Diana, was spreading, but that it prevailed throughout all Asia Minor amongst people who might be expected to place orders with them for shrines. With a wonderful cunning, he combined with this thought of the duty of supporting their city religion that of the duty also of looking out for their pocketbooks. Who can think of stronger grounds of argument with people in general? That he was successful in arousing the prejudices and creating a riot causes us no wonder. The whole city was in an uproar in the very tenderest spots, religion and worldly prosperity.
The Adversary, no doubt, helped on the matter, with the result that the people were shortly in a frenzy of despair, as though the feared collapse for their religion and their prosperity were already upon them. The home of Paul was known; so thither the mob rushed, seeking the chief factor in the impending troubles. In the Lord's providence St. Paul was absent. Aquilla and Priscilla, who kept the home, were there and, although not arrested, evidently were loyal to the Apostle and to the cause to the very last degree. Thus the Apostle, subsequently writing respecting them, remarked that they endangered their necks for the sake of the Truth. As working people and home-keepers they were not molested; but two assistants of St. Paul found in the home were taken by the mob. They hurried them to the theatre, or place of public entertainment, whose capacity, we are told, was 56,000 persons, indicating that Ephesus must have been an immense city. St. Paul, learning of the commotion, would have courageously entered into the thick of the trouble in defense of his friends and, above all, in defense of his Master and his message. But wiser counsels prevailed and St. Paul remained away. The brethren suffered him not, believing that his presence would have accomplished nothing with people in so unreasonable a state of mind and St. Paul agreed with them, because no other course would have been the wise or proper one.
The Lord, however, did not neglect the two brethren who were arrested, Gaius and Aristarchus. The town clerk came to their assistance and with words of wisdom dispersed the mob. This official was not interested in the Gospel of Christ and its service, but he was interested in the doing of his duty as an officer of the city. He pointed out to the mob that they had become unduly excited; that they and everybody knew the greatness of Diana, and that one Jew or many Jews could not injure her great fame. And then he concluded, Seeing that these things cannot be
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gainsaid, ye ought to be quiet and to do nothing rash, for ye brought hither these men, which are neither robbers of temples nor blasphemers of our goddess. If, therefore, Demetrius or his companion have any matter against these men, the law courts are open. Let them accuse one another. In other words, let us mind our own business and not allow ourselves to be unduly excited over a matter of no moment. Besides, he pointed out to them that, while there were lawful assemblies provided for them, the present one was an unlawful one, which if it were reported to the Government at Rome, might bring disrespect to the city and perhaps cause it to lose some measure of its eminence. With this he dismissed the assembly.
PRINCIPLE AND LACK OF PRINCIPLE
Notice the contrast between the chief actors in the account of this lesson and those mentioned in the preceding one. In that case many people, realizing that they had been working in conjunction with the powers of evil-- of demons--brought their books of magic, etc., and burned them, as a result of the influence of the Gospel message upon their hearts. They not only stopped the practice of the black art; they not only refused to use the books of magic; but they refused to sell them to others, lest they should do injury to them. They were willing, glad, to suffer financial loss and be thought foolish by their neighbors, rather than to do injury to others, after they had come to a true realization of the situation. On the contrary, the chief actors in this lesson were moved to a frenzy and to riotous conduct by their love of money--their fear lest they should suffer loss. Evidently it was not their respect for religion, but their love for filthy lucre which prompted their actions. Moreover, the religion of this goddess was a demoralizing one. Hence we see the stronger contrast between those who raised a riot in order to perpetuate idolatry and sensuality and to bring money to their own purses and those, on the contrary, who are ready to sacrifice their earthly interests rather than do harm, and in order that they may do the more good. Verily there is a power, a wonderful power, in the religion of Jesus, our Redeemer.
It is to be noted that the Apostle and his co-laborers were not guilty of the charge of which they were accused --blaspheming the goddess of Ephesus. Here we have a point of importance and a valuable lesson. St. Paul elsewhere said, "Let none of you suffer as an evil-doer nor as a busy-body in other men's matters." It was not necessary for the Apostle to say one unkind word in reference to the goddess Diana. His commission was to preach the good tidings of great joy--not to quarrel with false gods, or their worship. The persecution was therefore for right-doing. There is a lesson here for us, too. It is not necessary
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for us to do or say a single unkind word or act towards our friends in Babylon. It is not necessary for us to tirade against their systems or doctrines. We have plenty to do in setting forth the Gospel message. Of course, the Apostle did not fail to call attention to the fact that Diana was merely the work of men's hands and not, as claimed, a divinity. So we may properly enough set forth to our friends that there is but the one true Church, which was organized by our Lord, established at Pentecost, and that all other churches, therefore, are merely human systems. But it is not our privilege to tirade against these churches, as we learn some of the dear friends are inclined to do. The command, "Speak evil of no man," may properly be applied also to religious systems. Particularly those who recognize the foundation of Christianity in the redeeming merit of the death of Christ, and that favor and teach morality, if nothing more, should be let alone by us. In Divine providence the appointed hour will come, the Scriptures assure us, when everything which can be shaken will be shaken and overthrown in the great "time of trouble." Against that evil day we warn men that they repent and develop meekness and righteousness; "it may be that they shall be hid in the day of the Lord's anger." Undoubtedly the Lord has permitted sectarianism for some wise purpose, even as he has permitted the Gentile governments to hold sway until the end of the times of the Gentiles. Let us not interfere with the fulfillment of the Divine purposes. Let us be content to fulfil our mission of assisting the brethren, building them up in the most holy faith and telling the good tidings to the meek and such as manifest an ear to hear.
THE LESSON OF OUR GOLDEN TEXT
This is a wonderful text. Our Lord's words therein expressed applied, we may be sure, not only to St. Paul, but to all of us who are of the one Body and energized by its one spirit. Doubtless St. Paul's experiences in connection with his thorn in the flesh were given to him and recounted in the Scriptures largely for the benefit of ourselves and of all who, from his day until now, have been suffering under peculiar experiences, trials, whose necessity and value were not clearly discerned.
When St. Paul, blinded by the great light which accompanied his conversion, finally received the Lord's forgiveness and the restoration of his sight in considerable measure, he doubtless bore patiently with the continued weakness of his eyes, considering it a proper chastisement for his wrong course as an opponent of the Anointed One and an injurious person in respect to the Body of Christ, which is the Church. The measure of his afflictions which remained helped the Apostle, doubtless, to appreciate very distinctly how close is the relationship between the Church and her Lord, as members of the one sacrifice, as explained in the Lord's Words, "Why persecutest thou me?"
However, as weeks and months and years passed, and the Apostle found his defect of vision a great burden, he doubtless wondered why the Lord should permit any measure of the ailment to continue. Well did he know that it would be as easy for Divine power to give him perfect sight as not. Indeed, he had evidence along this line continually--the power of God in healing the sick-- so that handkerchiefs and napkins which he had blessed were sent for from far and near, and carried with them Divine blessing and healing. Evidently the Apostle reasoned that after he had suffered awhile in this affliction it would be removed. He may even have surmised that God wished to bring him to the point of humbly asking for its removal.
St. Paul explains to us that he did request healing--the removal of this grievous affliction or "thorn." He tells us that he did this three times. There is a point in connection with the matter which apparently up to that time he had not discerned clearly, namely, that the healing of his eyes would be so much of restitution blessing. But St. Paul, like the others of us, had been called of the Lord not to restitution, but to sacrifice; as he himself explained the matter to others, "I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." (`Rom. 12:1`.) Knowing that the blessings of God were passing through him to others, he wondered that some might not have been for himself. He had yet to learn that the gifts conferred to him were for the worldly and not for the saints, who had consecrated to sacrifice. He had yet to learn that, if permitted of the Lord to take back his consecration to sacrifice, it would mean his letting go proportionately of the spiritual blessings and favors which God bestows upon us when we sacrifice earthly things.
TWO WAYS OF ASSISTING US
It would not have been right for St. Paul to have been encouraged in a wrong course, in harmony with his prayers for healing. Hence, those prayers were refused. True, the Lord has granted similar requests from many who knew no better than to ask such favors. But with the great Apostle the matter was different. Like his Lord he was an example to the flock and hence it was not appropriate to grant his petition. However, what God did do not only furnished a lesson to St. Paul, but a blessed lesson to us, his brethren, throughout the Gospel Age.
While it was not proper to remove the burden from the Apostle in answer to his prayer; while God saw a special way in which this thorn in the flesh would be specially
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helpful to him in the development of the holy Spirit, nevertheless his prayer could receive an answer still more effective, still more blessed, in a different way. Instead of removing the difficulty, the Lord promised the more grace, the more strength, the more endurance to meet the difficulty, to overcome it, to compensate for it. This was really much better for St. Paul in every way than if his prayer had been answered. We do not know, neither did he know, how necessary to the preservation of his humility and usefulness in the service was that "thorn in the flesh." We may know assuredly, however, that the giving to him of more grace was the greater blessing; because the grace of the Lord is helpful in all things, in all of life's interests, while the taking away of the thorn would have been merely a relief in the one line. No wonder the Apostle, when he understood the situation, cried out, "Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."--`2 Cor. 12:9`.
There have been blessed lessons for all of the Lord's dear people throughout the Gospel Age in these experiences of St. Paul. We have various thorns in the flesh, various difficulties, various trials; some of them mental; some physical; some well understood by others; others unknown except by ourselves. What a comfort it has been to many to have the Lord's assurance that what trials and difficulties he does not remove from us, he permits for wise and loving purposes. These, he assures us, will all work together for our good. Of these he declares, "My grace is sufficient for thee; my strength is made perfect in weakness."
Taking this, the Apostle's viewpoint, dear fellow-servants of the cross, let us take all of our experiences in good faith, realizing the truth of these words, that our weaknesses, our imperfections, our frailties, so far from working injury to us, will, under the Lord's supervising care, enable him to supplement the more our willing endeavors with his strength.
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It takes great strength to train
To modern service your ancestral brain;
To lift the weight of the unnumbered years
Of dead men's habits, methods, and ideas;
To hold that back with one hand, and support
With the other the weak steps of new resolve!
It takes great strength to bring your life up square
With your accepted thought, and hold it there,
Resisting the inertia that drags back
From new attempts to the old habit's track.
It is so easy to drift back--to sink--
So hard to live abreast of what you think!
It takes great strength to live where you belong
When other people think that you are wrong;
People you love, and who love you, and whose
Approval is a pleasure you would choose.
To bear this pressure, and succeed at length
In living your belief--well, it takes strength--
Courage, too. But what does courage mean
Save strength to help you face a pain foreseen;
Courage to undertake this life-long strain
Of setting yourself against your grandsire's brain;
Dangerous risk of walking alone and free,
Out of the easy paths that used to be;
And the fierce pain of hurting those we love
When love meets truth, and truth must ride above.
But the best courage man has ever shown,
Is daring to cut loose, and think alone.
Dark are the unlit chambers of clear space
Where light shines back from no reflecting face.
Our sun's wide glare, our heaven's shining blue,
We owe to fog and dust they fumble through;
And our rich wisdom that we treasure so,
Shines from a thousand things that we don't know.
But to think new--it takes a courage grim
As led Columbus over the world's rim.
To think--it costs some courage--and to go--
Try it--it taxes every power you know.
It takes great love to stir a human heart
To live beyond the others, and apart;
A love that is not shallow, is not small;
Is not for one or two, but for them all.
Love that can wound love for its higher need;
Love that can leave love though the heart may bleed;
Love that can lose love, family and friend,
Yet steadfastly live, loving to the end.
A love that asks no answer, that can live
Moved by one burning, deathless force--to give!
Love, strength and courage; courage, strength and love--
The heroes of all time are built thereof.
--C. P. S. Gilman.
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WRESTING THE SCRIPTURES
"They that are unlearned and unstable wrest...the Scriptures to their own destruction."--`2 Pet. 3:16`.
AN instance in point is found in the columns of a journal, the editor of which was once an earnest co-laborer with us in the promulgation of the Harvest Truth. While still assenting to the fact that we have been in the Harvest for thirty-five years and that it will shortly end, he tells his readers that he apologizes to God that for nearly eighteen years he has been preaching what he now believes to be serious error, namely, that the Church of Christ has a share in her Redeemer's sufferings, a share with him in his sacrifice as members of his Body, filling up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ--suffering with him that they may also reign with him, becoming dead with him that they may also live with him on the spiritual or heavenly plane.
This Editor now calls all this darkness, and evidently thinks that just at the close of the Harvest he has struck the match and lighted a fresh lamp which shows that the path he was previously traveling was a wrong one and the light which previously shone on his pathway was of the Adversary. He has not yet given up all of the beautiful Harvest Truths, but we may reasonably expect that with this repudiation of the foundation of all spiritual hopes he will shortly conclude that everything that he saw on coming out of Babylon was a delusion, and that he will return fully to the "outer darkness" of Babylon. "If the light that is in thee become darkness, how great is that darkness," said our Master.
Said Editor seems to have become sour towards us personally, for some reason unknown to us. The alienation or bitterness of spirit presumably led to a desire to find fault with us. And since our personality is sunk in the service of the Truth, personal antagonism finding no other course led to an attack upon the truths which we present. How much the Adversary had to do with twisting and warping of judgment we do not know. How much others may be responsible by reason of over-encouragement or evil suggestions we do not know. But
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we do believe that the Lord will not allow any outside influence to separate from himself and his Truth any whose hearts are loyal to him.
This case is not parallel to the one of which our Lord said, "Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. For he that is not against us, is on our part." (`Mark 9:39,40`.) This is a case of direct opposition--a direct attack upon the Harvest Work, which he had been serving for years--a direct attack upon the very doctrine which, next to the Ransom, lies close to the foundation of our hopes. This erstwhile Brother is now seeking to disrupt the Harvest Work to the best of his ability. He would have the Lord's people everywhere follow him into outer darkness under the delusive cry, "We were all blinded and misled by 'The Watch Tower;' but now, Eureka! I have fortunately found the true light which
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the Lord was anxious to give us earlier in the Harvest but did not succeed in getting to us until now near the close."
But, dear readers, we need have no fear of any disruption in the Lord's work from that quarter, or from any other. If this Harvest message and its service be of God it cannot be overthrown. If it be not of God we would be glad to have it overthrown, that we and others might be delivered from error. Oh, how the Adversary would like to convince us that our present Lord had served us with poisonous food and that we should straightway leave his table and go elsewhere to satisfy our hunger and thirst for righteousness and Truth. These and other efforts will be successful merely to the extent of sifting out those not worthy of the Truth. The others who remain will be stronger than ever, by reason of the agitation of the subject of the Covenants, Sin-offerings, etc.
THE COMMUNION CUP
Twenty-nine years ago we were publishing some features of Present Truth respecting the Second Coming of our Lord, the time of Harvest, the Millennial Age, the Times of Restitution; but up to that time we had been in a measure of confusion, darkness, respecting the heavenly and the earthly promises. We saw that the Church had promise of heavenly and spiritual nature and glory. We saw also that the promises to the world were seemingly of an earthly nature, that they would build houses and inhabit them, plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them, etc. We had not fully discerned why this distinction of natures and were inclined to wonder why we could find nothing in the Scriptures to intimate that at the close of the Millennium the world would be granted the heavenly nature.
It was about that time, 1880, that the Lord drew our attention to other features of his plan previously unseen by us and, so far as we are aware, unseen by others since the days of the Apostles. We realized that this further light was Harvest light for the ripening of the wheat, and by no means an evidence of greater wisdom or ability in Bible interpretation on our part. The due time had come and the unfolding came with it. The Master who had already been serving us brought forth from the storehouse "things new and old," respecting the Covenants and the Atonement sacrifices. We were astonished at the length and breadth and height and depth of the Divine Plan and set them forth in a pamphlet entitled Tabernacle Shadows of the Better Sacrifices.
It was through those Tabernacle Shadow blessings that the Lord showed us how and why the Church of this Gospel Age has been called to heavenly glory while the Divine purpose respecting mankind in general is restoration to human perfection with everlasting life to all the willing and obedient--to be granted to the faithful in the close of the Millennial Age, when they shall have reached human perfection and the "paradise restored" shall have been extended to the whole earth.
We then understood for the first time the meaning of the Apostle's words respecting the "Hidden Mystery," namely, that close, intimate relationship between Christ and his faithful followers, the "more than conquerors." It was then that we understood the Apostle's words, "God hath given Christ to be the Head over the Church, which is his Body," and "We are members in particular of the Body of Christ." "This is a great mystery; but I speak concerning Christ and the Church." Oh, yes, this is indeed a hidden mystery--that the Church is completely separated from the world and offered a great prize of glory, honor and immortality, the Divine nature. But we came to see, also, that this prize was offered on certain sacrificing conditions--not merely upon condition of faith, though faith is the basis of all our hopes. This "high calling" proffered is justification from sin as the reward of faith, but it additionally held out the promise to the justified that if they would suffer with Christ as his members, they should also be glorified together with him in his heavenly Kingdom and be with him and sit upon his throne and share his glory.
Now we began to understand why the way during this Gospel Age should be made so "narrow," so difficult, while the Lord promised to make the way to eternal life a broad, "high way" during the Millennium. Ah, yes! all is clear from this standpoint, and the Apostle's words were full of meaning to us as we read, "I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." (`Rom. 12:1`.) Now we saw the two steps; first, justification by faith, and secondly, an entrance into this grace of the "high calling" by being begotten of the holy Spirit. As expressed by St. Paul, "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God," which is to be revealed in our Lord and in us as his members in his Kingdom. Now we know why St. Paul was so anxious to fill up a measure of the afflictions of Christ and we were stimulated also to follow his example, filling up a share of Christ's afflictions, which he left for us. Now we know what St. Paul meant when he said, "Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach."--`Heb. 13:13`.
We perceived from this last text that he referred to the sacrifices of the Day of Atonement mentioned in the context and in which he says that the bodies of those beasts whose blood accomplished sin atonement were burned outside the camp. The type shows that the first of these sacrifices was the bullock and the second the Lord's goat (`Levit. 16`); that the priest first killed the bullock provided by himself, and afterward killed the goat provided by the Congregation of the Children of Israel. We saw clearly enough that the bullock represented our Lord's sacrifice and that the only other sacrifice burned outside the camp was the goat, and hence that the Apostle must have referred to us, the Church, the members of the Body of Christ.
This has been the basis of our presentations to the Church for these twenty-nine years. We consider it the only key to all the wonderful harmonies of the Divine Word, as they are now in our possession by the Lord's favor. We have no doubt whatever that our great Adversary would like to take from us this valuable key to the Divine Plan, which alone explains the "mystery" of this Gospel Age, which is the Church and her special call --to the privileges of sacrifice now and the privileges of glory by and by. The Apostle made no mistake.
Not anything of the merit belongs to us. Now, and first and last and all the time we have shown that the merit belongs to our dear Redeemer, who, by reason of the "body prepared" for him for the sacrifice of death, was able to become the justifier of all who trust in him. Our justification came by faith in his blood, and hence any merit and all merit would be his, not merely on that account, but also because our begetting of the holy Spirit was based upon our full consecration to be dead with him.
THE THINGS NO LONGER SEEN
These are the things said Editor tells us that he no longer sees--that our sufferings as members of the Body of Christ are part of His sufferings. All this he now claims is a mistake. That we are to reign with him because we suffer with him is claimed to be an error. Some day if he will tell us we shall be glad to know any other reason why we do suffer and with whom else we suffer; what we do sacrifice and for what we sacrifice and what useful purpose our sacrifice will ever accomplish. Possibly some may find ways of applying these Scriptures, but we are sure they will find no interpretations satisfactory to our minds other than that we have already found connected with the "mystery." Our friends in the nominal churches have wrestled with these Scriptures for centuries in a kind of hazy bewilderment, not knowing
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how to intelligently apply them and not understanding the "mystery," because the due time for its unfolding did not come prior to the Harvest.
THE BLOOD OF THE COVENANT
This erstwhile co-laborer now assaults us and charges that we have committed the sin unto death, in connection with this application of the Scriptures--because we claim that we suffer with him; that we share in his sufferings (Christ's) and not some other suffering. If this position is true we have been under the Second death condemnation for twenty-nine years and this co-laborer has been under it for eighteen years. Yet those years were the most blessed of our experience and, we presume, also of his. And this doctrine during these years has been the "key" to the "Mystery of God," which has brought more Christians to a full and deep consecration to the Lord than anything else ever known since the Apostle's day.
There certainly is plenty of inconsistency connected with the position of this Brother, and with that of all others who ever leave the light of Present Truth. For instance, the Scriptures intimate clearly enough that any who ever commit this sin unto death cannot be renewed
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unto repentance, seeing that they have crucified the Lord afresh and put him to an open shame. (`Heb. 6:6`.) If, then, this doctrine of the Church's participation with our Redeemer in his sacrifice as his "members" is the "counting of the blood of the Covenant an unholy thing," how could this Brother claim that, after eighteen years of such delusion and Second Death worthiness, he has now escaped such a condemnation and obtained a special blessing from God and a special privilege to light a new torch and to call the Lord's sheep in an opposite direction?
But let us examine the ground of this serious charge respecting which this Editor waxes eloquent, saying, "We do not know any consideration on which we would occupy their position. Oh, that we had ten thousand trumpet tongues to warn those who accept this latest of the last-day delusions. It is a test! Who will be on the Lord's side?" We agree that it is a test and that it will fully discover those who are on the Lord's side; those who will share of his cup, share in his sufferings--none others will share in his glory.
Notice the Scriptures which this new light-bearer assures us condemn all who have been believing that they were sharing the sufferings of Christ as the condition by which they might hope to share his glory future. It reads, "If we sin willingly after that we have received a knowledge of the Truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment, and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses; of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the Covenant wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace."-- `Heb. 10:26-29`.
This marvelous exegete lifts his hands in horror and, pointing at this Scripture and then at us and the thirty thousand or so who similarly believe, he intimates that he has gotten out of this Second Death condition and that he is willing to help all of us out, if we will follow him, and subscribe for his Journal. On the contrary, the very Scripture he quotes tells that there is absolutely no hope for the class described in these verses, because "there remaineth no more sacrifice for their sins." They consumed their share in the merit of Christ's sacrifice.
The Apostle speaks of wresting or twisting the Scriptures and it may easily be surmised that a considerable amount of wresting and twisting of this Scripture needs to be attempted in the endeavor to make it serve this Editor's purposes. He lays all his stress upon the words, "Counted the blood of the Covenant wherewith he was sanctified an unholy thing." To serve his purpose he has twisted the Scripture thus, "Has counted the blood of the Covenant wherewith he was sanctified a thing shared by a number." The attempt is to prove that all who claim to have fellowship with Christ in his death or, as the Apostle says, "to be dead with him," "to be baptized into his death," thus participate in the blood of the New Covenant, which Jesus is sealing with his own blood and in which he invites us to be partners and share--all these are guilty, according to this indictment, based upon this Scripture, of "treading under foot the Son of God and counting the blood of the Covenant wherewith they were sanctified an unholy thing."
This expositor has lost his bearings altogether. The Apostle tells us that we were justified through faith in the blood of Jesus and he here speaks of those who had gone on after justification through the blood of Jesus to sanctification through the blood of the Covenant. What is the difference between justification and sanctification and between the blood of Jesus which justifies and the blood of the New Covenant which sanctifies?
We answer that there is a great difference--two distinctly separate transactions are thus brought to our attention. Nowhere in the Scriptures are we said to be justified by a New Covenant or by any Covenant; nor by the blood of the New Covenant; nor by the blood of any other Covenant. We are justified by faith--faith in the blood of Jesus as our Redeemer. Our justification comes as soon as we accept the great fact that we were sinners and that Jesus gave his life for our redemption and accept our share in that redemption by faith. It is only those who are thus justified by faith in his blood that are invited to become his disciples, his followers, his joint-sacrificers and his joint-heirs in glory, as members of the great Prophet, Priest, King, Judge and Mediator, who will come in power with great glory as soon as the last member of his Body shall have been perfected through a participation in the sufferings of Christ. Let us keep in memory the fact that only the justified are called to this "high calling," this great privilege of participation in Christ's Covenant, the blood of the New (Law) Covenant. This being true, it will be readily seen that the Apostle is referring to this consecrated class--"sanctified through the blood of the Covenant."
Get the thought that our Redeemer, "the man Christ Jesus," laid down his life that he might seal the New (Law) Covenant with Israel and through Israel with the world. He consecrated his earthly life and laid it down in death with this in view. His ignominy and death are symbolically called his cup, of which he drank. He offers a portion during the Gospel Age to justified believers, proposing that if they drink the cup with him, if they suffer with him, he will accept such as "members of his Body." The Father will beget them of the holy Spirit and in due time they shall be born from the dead in "his resurrection," as his glorious Body and sharers with him in the work of dispensing the New (Law) Covenant blessings to Israel and to the world.
All who accept his proposition are counted in with him as messengers of the Covenant or servants of the Covenant--those whose lives have been devoted, consecrated, sacrificed with a view to the establishment of this New (Law) Covenant, by which the Christ, including the Church, as the Seed of Abraham, will bless Israel and all the families of the earth. The Apostle says, "We are made able ministers of the New (Law) Covenant"--that is to say, qualified servants of that Covenant. Part of our service we perform at the present time in serving our great Head and the fellow-members of his Body, "edifying one another and building one another up in the most holy faith." (`Jude 20`.) But in a larger sense of the word we are being qualified or made able servants of the New (Law) Covenant by present experiences, which we shall put to effective service when the New (Law) Covenant shall go into force and the Millennial Age be inaugurated.
We trust that we have made clear the fact that our consecration, our sanctification, our acceptance of the Lord, our sacrificing with him, and our final glorification with him, are all in connection with the great Work
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which he has undertaken, namely, the mediating of the New (Law) Covenant between God and mankind in general. We were called out from mankind in general, from the world, for these very purposes--that we might be made members of this "mystery" class, the Mediator's Body. Hence our sanctification was in connection with "the blood of the New (Law) Covenant." Had it not been for the New Covenant and our invitation to share in its mediation with our Redeemer, there would have been no present Call to glory and honor and immortality and joint-heirship in the Kingdom. Hence, when the Apostle is speaking of those who "count the blood of the Covenant a common thing," we should understand that he meant that some who desert the Lord, renounce his teachings, renounce their consecration, do disrespect to this special call to joint-heirship. The Apostle explains that this is because they do not sufficiently appreciate the value of this consecration, the value of this "blood," the privilege of sharing with Christ in his sacrifice. They count the statement, To be dead with him, an ordinary thing. They lose sight of its real value. They lose sight of what they really undertook to do when they made a consecration unto death. They lose sight of what it meant to present their bodies living sacrifices. Having changed towards the Lord, they no longer count their covenant to be dead with him as a sacred obligation, but rather as an ordinary matter, a common thing.
PROVING IT BY THE GREEK
The Brother whose inconsistency of argument we are criticising tells us that his contention is supported by the Greek text--that the Greek word rendered unholy in `Heb. 10:29`, koinos, really should be translated "a thing shared by a number." He would apply this to us and all who see with us; because we say that the blood of Christ, the cup of Christ, is shared by a "little flock" of Christ's disciples, who become dead with him, suffer with him during this Gospel Age. Our answer is that the Brother has not dipped deeply enough into the Greek. The Greek word which would have suited his purpose is koinonia, which signifies partnership, or literally, participation, as defined by Strong's Unabridged Dictionary. The same dictionary defines koinos to mean common, defiled, unclean. In other words, while the thought of participation is in both of these words, the one has the unclean thought connected with it, while the other has the clean and pure thought of partnership. Manifestly the thought we present of participation with Christ in the sufferings of this present time and his glory to follow is not the common or unclean thought of koinos, but the partnership and participation thought of the other Greek word, koinonia. This is our answer to the charge and to the misinterpretation of the Scriptures to support it.
But let us look a little further in the same direction and see what we find. We turn to `1 Cor. 10:15-17` and hearken to the Apostle saying, "I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which
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we break, is it not the communion of the Body of Christ? For we, being many, are one bread and one Body; for we are all partakers of that one bread." This passage is very plain and clear as it stands in the English, but when we point out the Greek word twice rendered communion, in respect to the blood and in respect to the Body of Christ, the passage becomes doubly forceful. This Greek word is koinonia, which signifies partnership, literally, participation.
Here the Apostle tells us that all the members of the Body of Christ have koinonia, participation in the blood of Christ, of the one cup, and in the Body of Christ, the one loaf now being broken, that through the operation of the New (Law) Covenant sealed with his blood, Israel and the world may be fed with the bread of life. Of course no one can be convinced against his will, but we hold that all of the Lord's people enlightened under his Spirit should be able to see that the Apostle commends, approves, endorses, that which said Editor condemns and by twisting of the Greek, endeavors to make out to be the basis of his own Second Death condemnation and yours and ours.
BLINDED BY WILFULNESS
We have pointed out for years that on the same night in which our Lord was betrayed he instituted a Memorial of his own death, substituting it for the Jewish Passover Supper and setting forth the bread and cup, as representing his flesh and blood, as instead of that of the passover lamb, saying, This do as often as ye do it in remembrance of me--not in remembrance of the lamb, nor of the type, as in Egypt, but looking forward and recognizing the antitype. He wished them to realize him as the lamb and the Church as the first-born saved during the night of this Gospel Age, and ready to go forth in the morning of the Millennium, typified by Aaron, the high priest, his sons, the under-priests and the tribe of Levi, their servant-associates, typified on the other hand by Moses, the great Law Giver and Mediator. As it is written, "For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things, whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people."-- `Acts 3:22,23`.
God raised up Jesus to be the Head of this great antitypical Mediator. And during this Gospel Age he is raising up the Church of the First-borns as members of his Body. Shortly the whole will be complete, and then, as the great Mediator of the New (Law) Covenant, this antitypical Mediator will seal that Covenant with his blood, with the merit of his sacrifice, which he is now passing through the Church, which is his Body, permitting us to share in his sufferings, that we may also share in his glory.
This share of Christ's sufferings is symbolically represented in his "cup," styled the blood of the New Covenant, New Testament, New Will. By his death the Lord surrendered his earthly rights to seal that New Covenant and by permitting justified believers to join with him in his sufferings, he permits us to share as his Body members in this sealing of the New (Law) Covenant.
Consequently when he passed the disciples the "cup" he did not mean them to understand that the drinking of that cup meant their justification. They were already justified. Already he had said to them, "Now ye are clean through the word I have spoken unto you." "Ye are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." By passing the "cup" to them, saying, All of you drink of it, and, Drink ye all of it, he meant, I thus symbolically give you the privilege of sharing in my sufferings, which are symbolically represented in this cup. I am laying down my life to seal that New (Law) Covenant long promised of the Father and, if you would be members of the Spiritual Seed of Abraham, now is your opportunity. You are already justified by faith. My death will make that effective to you and you will be sprinkled from all consciousness of evil. All that was preparatory, and with a view to giving you this opportunity of sharing in my cup of ignominy, of death, of woe, of sacrifice. If you suffer with me, if you drink of my cup, you shall sit with me in my throne. If you do not drink of my cup you shall not sit with me in my throne.
All Christ's faithful members who partake intelligently of the bread, understand it to mean not only our Lord's broken body, but also the broken body of his Church, as St. Paul explains. And similarly the "cup" was both Christ's blood or sacrifice and ours if we accept it at his invitation and partake with him. As to our argument in respect to our sharing the Lord's cup, this Brother was apparently so anxious to get rid of it that he declared in so many words that our Lord did not drink of it. Let us see whether Jesus drank of one cup representing one set of sufferings and gave his followers another cup representing a different kind of sufferings. Is this true?
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What say the Scriptures? We read particularly, "The Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat; this is my body, which is broken for you; this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the New Testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me."-- `1 Cor. 11:23-25`.
The records in the four Gospels leave the matter of our Lord's drinking of the cup indefinite, though they clearly intimate that he first drank and then gave to his disciples. But the Apostle Paul, as above, makes the matter positive.
Furthermore, notice our Lord's words to the two disciples who requested special nearness to himself on his Throne in the Kingdom. He said, "Can ye drink of the cup that I shall drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?" When they assented their willingness he assured them that he would see to it that they should have the opportunity and thus gain a seat in the Throne, though he could not tell them how near to himself they would be, since this would be arranged of the Father. Have we any doubt as to what cup he meant and what baptism? Surely not, because the Master's cup was that of suffering, ignominy and death. Ours must be the same "cup," his cup, else we shall have neither part nor lot in his Kingdom glory.-- `Mark 10:38-40`.
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THE DUAL FEATURE IN RACHEL
IN our February 15th issue, page 63, questions re the Covenants, 6-8, we did not, it seems, express ourself so that all could understand our meaning; hence we now add a few words.
The Sarah Covenant represents the Divine promise in its entirety as a Grace or Faith Covenant. As St. Paul explains in `Gal. 4:22-28` her child of promise represented The Christ, Head and Body, the great antitypical Prophet, Priest, King, Judge and Mediator between God and men-- the world of mankind in general. Sarah had but the one child, and hence the earthly seed of Abraham or any other could not be represented by her. But God had promised Abraham an earthly seed, as well as a heavenly. His seed was to be "as the stars of heaven and as the sands of the sea," the Apostle explains: "that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not to that only which is of the Law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham." Abraham's seed according to the Law was cut off entirely, and must get its blessing through the spiritual seed--The Christ, Head and Body. The Spiritual Seed lays down in sacrifice all earthly rights, bequeathing these or willing them by testament or covenant to natural Israel--thus sealing for natural Israel the "New (Law) Covenant." This was in order that the natural seed may, during the Millennial Age, become the Seed of Abraham--as the sands of the seashore. And into the same Covenant as members of Israel, may come whosoever will of the Gentile nations. Thus the Apostle declares that eventually, according to Divine promise, Abraham will be "a Father of many nations." All of these will be blessed by The Christ, the Mediator of the New (Law) Covenant, under which they will be permitted to come back into harmony with God and obtain eternal life through obedience to its Law. It is in accord with this that we read in the same epistle, `Romans 11:27-31`, that fleshly Israel, under that New (Law) Covenant, will "obtain mercy through your mercy" --the mercy of The Christ, the mercy of the Spiritual Seed of Abraham.--`Gal. 3:29`.
The Apostle gives us to understand that after the Abrahamic Covenant was confirmed through Isaac, his two sons became in a measure typical characters, Esau, the elder, representing natural Israel, and Jacob, the younger, representing spiritual Israel of this Gospel Age, to whom the Abrahamic blessing has come. Similarly Jacob in due time had the Abrahamic Covenant confirmed to him; and his two children, by his wife Rachel, seem to typify the fact that there will be two classes of spiritual Israelites, represented by Joseph and his younger brother Benjamin. We need not rehearse the various evidences that Joseph was a type of The Christ, Head and Body. We remember how he was hated of his brethren, sold into captivity, suffered various abuses for righteousness sake, yet took all of his trials faithfully. We remember how he was taken from the prison to be next to Pharaoh in the throne, and there became the dispenser of the food which kept the Egyptians and the Israelites alive through the seven years of famine. We have already noticed how beautifully many of these features fit as types to the antitype, which will
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soon be revealed. Christ, both Head and Body, must be brought out of the great prison-house of death before the exaltation to the Kingdom and glory and honor will be effected and the work of feeding the world with the bread of life will begin. Joseph, the life-giver of Egypt through that bread of life, was unquestionably a type of the greater Life-Giver, The Christ, Head and Body.
Joseph had but one brother of the same mother, but he had ten half-brothers. Our thought is that those ten half-brothers represent the Jewish people, who will very shortly be brought before the exalted Christ and be given a share in the great feast which will come to them from his table. It will be remembered that Benjamin, Joseph's full brother, was with the other ten when the feast was made, but that Joseph sent to Benjamin as his portion five times as much as any of his brethren received. Benjamin, to our understanding, represents the "great company," the foolish virgins, otherwise called the virgins, the Bride's companions, who will follow her into the presence of the King.-- `Psa. 45:14,15`.
There is another reason for considering Benjamin a prefigure of the "great company." It is this: his name, Benjamin, signifies "son of my pain." He was born in sorrow and travail, even as the "great company" will "come up out of great tribulation." His mother died in giving him birth, as we expect the spiritual feature of the Abrahamic Covenant to pass away entirely with the change of those who will constitute the "great company." It is our thought that the Ancient Worthies belong to this same class and, as already suggested, that they will reach the spirit plane in the time of trouble at the end of the Millennial Age.
We are loath to give any explanation of types not directly or indirectly referred to in the New Testament. These types seem to us to be not directly but indirectly implied by the New Testament teachings already referred to. Those who cannot receive this interpretation are entirely welcome to have as their own any better interpretation, or none at all, as they see fit. Indeed, we might remark that this is true of all that we write. Hence, should any cease to see eye to eye with us, they have full right to their own opinion, without any need for a quarrel with us. If they find new and better light our sentiment towards them is, God bless you. We are glad if you have something that will do you more good than that which we present. If we thought that there were anything better, we, too, would want it. But, on the contrary, we are fully content with the leadings and blessings, the enlightenments, the spiritual food and refreshments which our present Lord has spread before us as his family. It is so satisfactory a portion that we could not think of looking for anything more or different. For long years we hungered and thirsted and searched and finally, when we found the satisfactory portion, we knew it. It satisfied our longings as nothing else could do. The time we have to spare from the eating of such food and the dispensing it to others we have full use for in giving thanks to the Father of Light, who has brought us out of darkness into his marvelous light, wherein we greatly rejoice.
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PROPER AND IMPROPER STATEMENTS
A subscriber to this Journal writes us inquiring, Is this right? and quotes a recent utterance of one of the Pilgrims in the following words:
"I can endorse Brother Russell's views on the New Covenant, but cannot see that the term 'Mediator' has the restricted significance he attaches to it. He probably thought the term applicable only to one who would mediate a Covenant, whereas the Greek word really means one in the middle. Thus Young gives it, 'a middle man,' and Strong, 'a go-between.' This surely describes Christ's position towards us in justification. (`Rom. 5:1,2`; `Heb. 7:25`.) It even looks to me as if an Advocate was a mediator, a go-between.
"However, Christ does not mediate a Covenant for his Church. He mediates the matter of making their sacrifice a possibility, just as the Jewish priest acted as a mediator when the sacrifice was brought to him; he stood between God and offerer in the presentation.
"I really think Brother Russell has the thought in his mind this way, even though he limits the meaning of the term. And I cannot but believe that if the broad meaning of the word mesites was brought to his attention he would acquiesce."
We answer, No! such a statement was not right! It was wrong! It produced a false impression! We are much surprised that any Pilgrim would so express himself. Such an expression would certainly have the effect of arousing the suspicion of our friends, while no doubt the opponents of the Harvest Work would appreciate it. Instead of stating himself as opposed to Brother Russell's presentations on the Mediator and being sure that by and by Brother Russell would see his expressed position and surely agree with it, the Pilgrim should have realized that this was neither the wise nor the truthful presentation. What he hoped to gain by such an expression we know not.
According to his own statement he should more wisely and more truthfully have expressed himself about as follows:--
"I fully agree with Brother Russell's presentation in the 'Watch Tower' respecting the Mediator. He therein stated that our English word Mediator is quite broad enough to cover the work done by our Redeemer for the Church; but that the Scriptural usage of the word Mediator confines it to a mediator of a Covenant. Hence, to be in accord with the Scriptural usage we will do wisely to use the word Mediator in the same restricted sense--only in connection with a Covenant. It is wise for us to use the Bible term Advocate when referring to our Lord's work for the Church. See the 'Watch Tower' April 1, '09, page 106, column 2, paragraph 3."
Again we repeat that the usage of a word in the Bible should guide us in our use of it. If the word Mediator were loosely used in the Bible in respect to any and all kinds of service between God and the Church, then we, too, might so use it. But as soon as we find out that it is not so used, we should desist from such a use of it and use it only in harmony with the Biblical usage. This is why we no longer use the word Mediator in respect to our Lord's various and valuable services for the Church, and refer to him as the Bible does--as "the Mediator of the New (Law) Covenant," but as our "Advocate with the Father."
That New (Law) Covenant is for natural Israel and the remainder of the world, and not for the Church of this Gospel Age, which Church is the Body of Christ, the Body of the great King, Mediator, Judge and Priest.
Only one text containing the word Mediator could be in doubt, and it only until the right interpretation is suggested. The text is--"There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time."-- `1 Tim. 2:5,6`.
The Apostle does not here refer to the Church, but to the world. Of the Church Jesus said, "Ye are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." The Apostle tells us that Jesus is the Mediator between God and the world--men. He is not mediating now, but, as the Mediator is getting ready to deal with the world in the Father's stead. He is now performing the sacrifice of atonement--accepting the willing offerings of believers and counting their sufferings as his own, even unto death. Shortly, with these his members, added, this great Mediator will present the blood which will seal the New (Law) Covenant. And then the blessing of Israel and all the nations by restitution opportunities will begin. Note the context. The Apostle is not discussing the Church, but the world--"kings and all in authority."
When did our Lord become the Mediator of the New (Law) Covenant or a mediator in any sense? Not when he was born the babe of Bethlehem! Not when baptized at Jordan! but when he had sacrificed to the finish and was raised from the dead to be a Prince and a Savior, as the Head of the Spiritual Seed of Abraham. That entire Seed will be the Mediator when all the sacrificing will be finished and the entire Church glorified.
But look again! In the Old Testament this "Messenger of the Covenant" is mentioned in `Malachi 3:1`. And the mention of a New (Law) Covenant in `Jeremiah 31:31` implies a mediator for it. Nevertheless the scroll of Divine purpose was still sealed and in the hand of Jehovah, up to the time that the Lamb had been slain. Not until after he was slain was it proclaimed, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive glory and honor, etc., and the scroll.-- `Rev. 5:1-12`.
The explanation is that God prophetically foretold that he would find one worthy of this great honor of being Abraham's Seed and Mediator of the New (Law) Covenant. However, it was left to our Lord still to demonstrate his worthiness to be that one--that Mediator. Nor was his trial a mere farce! He was in an agony in Gethsemane lest he had failed to make his calling and election sure. Do we not read, "He offered up strong crying and tears unto him who was able to save him out of death, and was heard in regard to the thing which he feared"? (`Heb. 5:7`.) And is it not the same with his members--the members of the Mediator? He who foreknew Jesus foreknew us also by Jesus. Were we not "chosen in him from before the foundation of the world"? Hence the exhortation to us, also, to make our calling and election sure.
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Nor does the Church need either a mediator or a Covenant for her justification. She is justified by faith, not by works of the Law either under the Old Law Covenant or under the New (Law) Covenant. As it is written, "Abraham was justified by faith"--and so were all the Ancient Worthies, of whom it is written, "They had this testimony, that they pleased God." This testimony to their justification was given long before Jesus was born. And similarly, before Jesus died, he testified, "The Father himself loveth you." If God loves us and we love God, what need is there for a mediator between lovers? See how we were justified. --`Rom. 4:22-24`; `Gal. 3:14`.
Indeed our Lord's testimony is that all called during this Gospel Age come first to the Father and then to the Son. We read: "No man can come unto me, except the Father which sent me draw him."
Let us settle the matter in our hearts that our call is to become members of the Mediator between God and the world--the antitype of Moses, the mediator of the Law Covenant. This antitypical Moses has been in process of raising up for nearly nineteen centuries. (`Acts 3:22,23`.) Our Redeemer's death is the "surety" for us, his members, and for the New (Law) Covenant.--`Heb. 7:22`.
If our correspondent is in communication with the Pilgrim Brother whom he quotes, we trust that he will call his attention to this, our reply. We prefer not to inquire for his name.
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LIKE UNTO JANNES AND JAMBRES
"NOW as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest to all men, as theirs also was. But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, long suffering, charity, patience, persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecution I endured; but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and leaders astray shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them."--`2 Tim. 3:8-14`.
We are asked whether or not this Scripture is applicable to the present time; and, if so, how we shall understand the expression, "Men of corrupt minds"? Shall we look for these amongst moral reprobates?
We reply that we should understand this Scripture to be applicable at the present time. We should be able to find classes today corresponding to Jannes and Jambres. The Apostle distinctly says in introducing these words, "This know also that in the last days [of the age] perilous times shall come." Undoubtedly the Apostle meant that we should look for the fulfillment of his declaration in the "harvest" or end of the Gospel Age.
We are not to expect these leaders astray in the Church to be moral lepers, reprobates. Assuredly Satan would be too wise to use such as his tools, knowing that he could effect his purposes better through those who outwardly, at least, would be moral and religious. Notice that the Apostle did not say reprobate as respects morals, but reprobates as respects the faith. It does not say men of corrupt morals, but does say men of corrupt minds--men whose minds have become perverted, changed, altered, as respects the Truth. He who does not see any fulfillment of this prophecy and who yet believes that we are living in the close of the Gospel Age should certainly at once begin to look for them and endeavor to locate them.
This passage, in harmony with many other Scriptures, assures us of the trials of faith to be expected in this, our day. Remember the Apostle's words respecting the fire of this day, which shall try every man's work, of what sort it is--gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble. Remember the Prophet Malachi's declaration that in this time the special Messenger of the New Covenant would sit as a refiner and purifier of silver. Remember the Prophet David's explanation of our day with its arrows, pestilences, stumbling blocks, etc., and the declaration that a thousand would fall at our side.
Let us not forget either our Lord's positive assurances, that he would keep his very own, his elect--those making their calling and election sure. Remember the declaration respecting this elect Body of Christ that a thousand shall fall at thy side, ten thousand at thy right hand, but it shall not come nigh thee, because thou hast made the Lord thy refuge and habitation. The shielded ones will be those who live very near to the Lord--not only outwardly, but in their heart experiences. These very elect have the assurance that God will give his messengers charge concerning them, so that the feet shall not be dashed against the stumbling stone, but be borne up, lifted higher by the Divinely appointed agencies of Jehovah.--`Psalm 91`.
Remember again the assurance of the Apostle that although this day shall come upon many "as a thief and as a snare," and that they should not escape the snares, nevertheless the faithful would not be in darkness. Remember our Lord's assurances that although trials and difficulties are to be expected which would deceive, if it were possible, the very elect, yet it will not be possible to deceive the very elect. So close will they be in sympathetic fellowship with the great Shepherd that they will discern his voice and not be deceived by others, of the Jannes and Jambres class.--`Mark 13:22`.
Remember also the Apostle's words, "Take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand." (`Eph. 6:13`.) He pictures the armor, the protection that would be granted to a certain class--the helmet, the breastplate, the shield, the sword of the spirit. He expressly indicated that these defences would be provided for "the evil day" with which our age would close. He specially advised that while this armor was available to all of God's people and to be had
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for the putting on, nevertheless only those who will put it on will be safe. Why so, is it asked? We reply that this is one of God's tests by which he would prove our love, our devotion, our loyalty to him. Those of little love will be careless respecting the details of the Divine Plan of the Ages. "They will not have time" to search the Scriptures. They will not be disposed to make use of the agencies which God will use for providing this armament in this evil day. They will have preference for some sectarian brand of armor or insist that it must come from some particular quarter, or refuse to wear any armor that they have not manufactured for themselves, or refuse assistance in putting on the armor of light.
All such objections, we may be sure, would mean to the Lord disloyalty, headiness, self-will, lack of humility, etc., incompatible with the conditions of his "call." He is looking for those who humble themselves, and who are glad to have his Truth at any cost, and whose hearts, long famished, hunger and thirst for the Truth, and who know the Shepherd's voice, and who find in his message that which "satisfies their longings as nothing else could do." These will gladly accept the armament and by becoming faithful students will make it their own--will put it on. These will be kept while others will fall at their side.
Those who fall away after once having been partially enlightened, for the most part, are those who never properly applied themselves to know, to understand the Divine Plan. Their disobedience to the words of the Lord through the Apostle, their neglect to put on the armor, proved that they are not of the class whom the Lord prefers in the present "election."
On the other hand it must not surprise us either, that some, after wearing the armor, they tell us for eighteen years and preaching to others its value and necessity, should put it off now, in the closing hours as it were. And now, while the Enemy is about and the fight in progress, they assure us that this armor is proving unreliable, that they themselves have been deceived and have deceived others and that they now have taken it off, exchanging it for a new kind of their own make and brand. We are sorry for such.
Doubtless there were many people in Moses' day who were not at all in sympathy with him and his presentations, but who let him alone and hindered him not. Jannes and Jambres, on the contrary, specially opposed Moses and sought to bring to naught the force of his presentations to Pharaoh and the Egyptians, by imitating his doings to a certain degree. It is not known if these two men were Hebrews or not. Their names are nowhere else mentioned in the Scriptures, though they are mentioned in the Jewish Talmud, where the Hebrew names given justify the inference that they were Hebrews who, to curry favor with Pharaoh or to add to their own fame, resisted Moses and his presentations of Divine Truth, seeking to nullify the influence of the latter. Have we not some similarity in the conditions of the present day? Are there not some whom St. John describes as having gone out from us because they are not of us? Do not these, instead of assisting with the Harvest Work, now seek by every power they possess to oppose it, to nullify it, to belittle its influence? But St. Paul declares that they shall not go far in this opposition until "their folly shall be made manifest," as that of Jannes and Jambres was--by their failure to hinder the Lord's work.
Let us leave such matters with the Lord to reward and to rectify in his own time and way. Let us seek by patient perseverance in well-doing, loyalty, faithfulness, to make our calling and election sure.
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"WEEP NOT FOR ME," BUT "WATCH AND PRAY"
We give an extract from a letter just received from a brother who was active in opposing the Vow, and our answer, for the benefit of all our readers. We are glad to note the loving solicitude of our friends on our behalf, and surely deeply appreciate the fact that more prayers ascend for us daily than probably were ever received at the throne of heavenly grace for any other person who ever lived. The knowledge of this is a constant source of strength and encouragement for which we continually thank God, making mention of all of his dear Israel in our prayers. However, dear friends, do not become so absorbed in thought and prayer for us that you will neglect to follow the Master's advice to also Watch and Pray for yourselves.
EXTRACT FROM A LETTER
(a.) A Test of Faith--that this time of inspection was being delayed;
(b.) A Test of Brotherly Love--a tendency to smite or lord it over his fellow-servants;
(c.) A Test of Loyalty--eating and drinking with the drunken, becoming drunk as Luke says.
Brother, are you being tested along those lines? If that is too blunt or embarrassing a question, I rescind it, but the matter weighs pretty heavily upon my heart, and if you are, I want to let others know and exhort them to special prayer along those lines.
We replied as follows: DEAR BROTHER KELL:--
Your favor of the 11th reaches me on my return. Thanks for its words of caution and kindness. I occupy a peculiar position, dear brother--opposed by the hosts of Babylon and surrounded by a small company of friends who, by reason of the Truth, have their senses exercised to such an extent as makes them the most critical people in the world. The world, the flesh, the devil and Babylon I make no particular effort to please. I am delighted to use every legitimate opportunity to serve and to please the "brethren." But I must not wonder at it if I fail to please all of them all the time. My resolution, therefore, is and has long been, to do my best to please the Lord and to leave it to him to keep all his true sheep from stumbling over my imperfections or through their own awkwardness and combativeness.
I note your three queries and am happy to tell you that none of them is embarrassing. My faith, my brotherly love and my loyalty to the Lord and his Word, I would not boast of, though I rejoice that, by the grace of God, I am what I am in this respect.
Having so little trouble along these lines myself, yet having them brought to my attention frequently by dear and well-meaning brethren, has led me to philosophise upon the subject. My conclusion is that these dear brethren are judging me by themselves and that, knowing their own trials and difficulties, they sympathetically suppose that I am similarly afflicted. Indeed some of them have plainly intimated that if they occupied my position they would surely be away off on all of these points, and hence marvel if I would not be.
I take no credit to myself, dear brother. I had the good fortune to be born with the organ of self-esteem very small and, whatever my character is, I am pleased to credit any good to the grace of him "who loved us and bought us with his precious blood."
Hastily your brother and servant in the Lord.
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ABRAHAM'S THREE WIVES
A CORRESPONDENT objects to our suggestion that Keturah, Abraham's third wife, represented the New Covenant, as his secondary wife, Hagar, represented the Law Covenant, and his primary wife, Sarah, represented the Covenant of Grace, "the New Jerusalem, the mother of us all," the mother of the promised seed, Isaac, typical of Christ Jesus the Head and the Church his Body, as the Apostle declares in `Galatians 3:29`; `4:28`.
The objection is that Keturah was not a wife, but a concubine or secondary wife, and that Abraham had several of these, according to `Genesis 25:5,6`, where we read, "Abraham gave gifts to the sons of his concubines." The claim further is that Abraham was already old at the time of Isaac's birth and that the probabilities are that he had several concubines while Sarah was still living.
We reply that there is always room to speculate in contradiction to the plain statements of Scripture; so that the worldly-wise and all who lack faith in the Divine record will have abundant opportunity to stumble themselves. The Scripture record is clear to the effect that Abraham's companion, fully recognized as his wife and joint-heir, was Sarah, and that her son was specially recognized as Abraham's heir. As for Hagar and Keturah, the record is similarly explicit--that they bore children to Abraham--the former with Sarah's consent and as her special representative, the latter after Sarah's death. Whether these two women be termed secondary wives or concubines matters nothing and we need not quibble over a point of no consequence. Evidently concubine is the name which preferably describes the relationship of these two women to Abraham. And this was eminently proper, since it was
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evidently the Divine intention, as declared by the Apostle, that Abraham himself should be a type of the Almighty, Sarah a type of the Abrahamic Covenant, and her son Isaac a type of The Christ, the Messiah, the Prophet, Priest, Mediator, King, Judge, through whom the blessing of the Almighty should ultimately proceed to all the families of the earth. The Apostle carries out this figure by showing that Hagar, the bondwoman or concubine, represented the Law Covenant, and that her child Ishmael represented the Jewish people, born under that Law Covenant. The Apostle shows that they could not be both children of the bondwoman and children of the free woman. He shows that the Jews, in order to become united to Christ and members of the spiritual Isaac, the heir of all, must become dead to the Law Covenant and be married to Christ, begotten of the holy Spirit; otherwise they could have neither part nor lot in the spiritual Seed of Abraham. The Apostle does not carry the figure on and declare that Keturah typified the New (Law) Covenant. We believe that this omission was of Divine intention, because the time for this particular feature of the Divine program to be clearly understood was not yet due.
One thing, however, can be clearly seen by all who have the eyes of their understanding open and their spiritual senses exercised, and that is that Isaac did not have two mothers. It was the same Sarah who from the first was recognized by Abraham as his mate and only full and proper wife, who for so long was barren, but who finally bore Isaac, the seed of promise. Similarly the Sarah Covenant, which was barren for centuries, at our Lord's First Advent bore him as the Antitypical Seed of Abraham. Then also the Hagar or Law Covenant and her child, the Jewish nation, were "cast out." In the Apostle's figure of `Galatians 4:28` he represents the spirit-begotten, faithful overcomers of the Church, as members of the Antitypical Isaac, the Spiritual Seed of the Sarah Covenant. "We, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of the promise." In the picture he gives us in `Galatians 3:29` the Apostle presents the Church as the Bride of Isaac and his joint-heir --now betrothed and in the end of the age to be married to him, and to enter into his mother's tent--to enter into all the blessings and privileges that belong specially to this great Covenant which God made with Abraham and which he confirmed with an oath.
The record in `Genesis 24:67` and `25:1` shows that after Sarah's death Abraham took Keturah as his wife--not, however, as taking the full place of Sarah as his joint-heir, as the word wife in olden times evidently signified. She was accepted as his companion in a secondary sense without
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disparagement to the first wife Sarah and her son Isaac, to whom Abraham "gave all that he had." We submit that Keturah is a very proper figure of the New (Law) Covenant, as Hagar was of the old Law Covenant. It is not the Oath-bound Covenant, which relates to the Spiritual Seed, which becomes heir of all. As the Law Covenant was no part of the original one, but merely an addition to it-- so likewise the New Covenant is an addition to the Oath-bound Sarah Covenant. As the children of Hagar and the children of Keturah did not inherit the original promise, so neither will those who inherit the New Covenant be fellow-heirs with those who inherit as members of Isaac or as his bride and joint-heir.
We therefore deny that it is possible for anybody to be logically, truthfully or Scripturally a child of two Covenants or two mothers at the same time. And on the other hand we urge the reasonableness of the proposition that if the Law Covenant was represented as a mother and a concubine wife the New (Law) Covenant, to take its place, should also logically appear as a concubine wife. We also urge upon the attention of all that the word "New" implies, as the Apostle suggests, that another had become old and ready to vanish away. It was not the original Oath-bound Covenant which vanished away, but the Law Covenant. Hence the New Covenant did not take the place of the original or Sarah Covenant, but is to take the place of the old Law Covenant as a New (Law) Covenant under a new Mediator, superior to Moses.--`Acts 3:22,23`.
The query is raised, Was not our Lord the child or seed of two Covenants or two mothers, since we read that he was "born under the Law (Hagar) Covenant" and the Apostle teaches that he was the Seed of the original or Sarah Covenant?
We answer, No! If our Lord Jesus had kept the Law Covenant merely and had not consecrated his life, had not sacrificed it, he might thus have had eternal life as an earthly being. Then truly he might have claimed to be Abraham's seed and heir of all earthly things. But, then, he could not have been the promised seed; for the promised seed was to "bless all the families of the earth"--implying the resurrection of the dead. This blessing ability could be our Lord's not by keeping the Law and becoming Hagar's wonderful son, but by sacrificing all of the earthly blessings proffered by the Hagar Covenant, accepting instead the spiritual privileges of the Sarah Covenant. Let us get clearly in mind that it was not the "man Jesus," but the "new creature" Jesus who became heir of all and who liveth to bless Israel and all nations. Similarly only such believers as have become New Creatures, begotten of the holy Spirit, are members of the great Prophet, Priest, King, Mediator and Judge which God is now raising up as the Seed of Abraham to bless the world.
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SAMPLES OF INTERESTING LETTERS
BELOVED BROTHER RUSSELL:--
I want to express to you the rejoicing in my heart in that you are safely back from your European trip, and that you were so richly blessed amongst our dear brethren across the water. I could almost fancy myself there with you from the vivid presentations of your letters as published in "The Watch Tower."
Also I want to tell you of the great blessing I have experienced from the renewal of the Vow. When I took that Vow last year I had not given much thought to the matter and consequently took it in rather a half-hearted way. I took it more in the sense of a resolution on my part than as a promise or covenant. I read in the "Tower" of great blessings coming to the hearts of those who had taken the Vow and wondered why I was not much happier too. Thinking over the matter carefully and prayerfully, it occurred to me that there is a difference between a resolution and a promise; that a resolution involved only myself, whereas a promise involves two parties--the Lord and myself. As I have said, I had taken the Vow with more or less half-heartedness, thinking I did not need to concern myself about certain parts of it, which I felt quite confident did not apply in my case.
Dear Brother, it was those certain parts I needed most to be on guard against and did not know it. Where I felt especially strong there was I weakest, and I thought of the similarity in Paul's case. The Lord allowed me to come into a severe mental chastisement. For days I was most miserable, most unhappy. Finally it dawned on my mind that I had not rightly taken the Vow. I prayed earnestly for divine guidance and took the Vow anew, and this time with whole-heartedness and went to sleep peacefully. Early on the morrow--before breakfast--my prayer received answer. God's blessing came suddenly and pronouncedly. My heart gave as it were a mighty bound. My soul filled with rejoicing. I felt like shouting aloud. I never was so happy in my life. There is now in my heart a peace that passes all previous comprehension of heavenly bliss. I know of a surety now that God wants his children to take that Vow. Nothing in the nature of argument or reasoning to the contrary could have any effect on my mind. As Paul of old has said, "I know." My experience in this connection is wonderful. Such a change of blessing from comparative misery I could not have believed possible. Oh, that all the dear saints could realize the blessedness resulting from the proper taking of the Vow that I have realized from its renewal in the proper attitude of heart.
Pray for me, brother, as I pray for you and the Bethel family and all of like faith. The Lord bless you for giving me the opportunity to get so close to the Lord. Thank God for the Vow.
Your brother in Christ,
J. A. BOHNET.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
I have been feasting on the fat things God has been providing for the "household of faith" out of his storehouse, things both new and old in this harvest time. When I first came to the table which God has been pleased to appoint you steward of I was spiritually starved. I had sat at many other tables, and while I had been stimulated by the wine of Babylon I was hungry for solid food, and, thank God, I found just what I was hungering for when I received Present Truth. I am now able to "give a reason for the hope that is within me."
Dear Brother, the spiritual food God has empowered you to provide the "household of faith" in due season satisfies me fully, and I have come to realize that God is using one channel through which he is serving us who have made a covenant with him by sacrifice.
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So when the Vow came out, although I had never realized any danger to myself from the fallen angels, I did not hesitate in making it mine, knowing that it must be "meat in due season"; and so it has proved to me. Within a month after taking the Vow I was tried along those very lines, and if it had not been for my Vow I should very likely have had my curiosity awakened and perhaps have fallen into a snare of the Evil One.
Although I may not fully understand some of the deep spiritual things being served us, I know God is providing the food through his own appointed way and it must be good and wholesome.
Dear Brother, there are thousands like myself who are feasting and growing strong on the good things God is providing us through you; many you may never hear from or of until we all meet beyond the vail. We pray for you.
I am your brother in his service,
FRANK W. MAIN,--Mich.
PUBLIC MINISTRIES OF THE TRUTH
UNDER THE AUSPICES OF PEOPLES PULPIT
ASSOCIATION OF BROOKLYN, N.Y.
ONE-DAY LOCAL CONVENTIONS ADDRESSED BY THE
EDITOR OF THIS JOURNAL AS FOLLOWS:
RE RATES TO ST. JOSEPH (MO.) CONVENTION
As yet the railroads have declined to grant any reduction in the fares to St. Joseph, but we still hope to receive some concessions from the Southwest. If none is granted in the end, we suggest that friends in parties purchase mileage books which will give them a two-cent per mile rate. This will be equivalent to fare-and-one-third in three-cent per mile territory.
TOLEDO, OHIO, AUGUST 3-5
Sessions in Memorial Hall, Cor. Ontario and Adams Sts. Program provided for Tuesday and Wednesday; Brother Russell to be present on Thursday the 5th, with meeting for the Public at 8 p.m. Subject, "Man's Past, Present and Future in the Light of the Bible."
BROOKLYN, N.Y., AUGUST 8
SANDUSKY, OHIO, AUGUST 15
SYRACUSE, N.Y., AUGUST 22
WATERTOWN, N.Y., AUGUST 29
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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 THE COST OF PRODUCTION. WHEN DELIVERED BY COLPORTEUR 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 restitiution: 386 pages, in embossed cloth, 25c. (IS. 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. (IS. 1/2d.). India paper edition, 75c. (3S. 1-1/2d.).
SERIES III., Thy Kingdom Come, considers prophesies 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 (IS. 1/2d.). India paper edition, 75c. (3S. I-1/2d.).
SERIES IV., The Day of Vengeance, shows that the dissolution of the present order of 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. (IS. 3d.). India paper edition. 85c (3S. 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. (IS. 3d.). Indea 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. (IS. 3d.). India paper edition, 85c (3S. 6-1/2d.).
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