VOL. XXXIV DECEMBER 15 No. 24
A. D. 1913--A. M. 6042
Our Most Successful Year......................371
Class Extension Work..........................371
Year's Pilgrim Service........................372
The Gospel in the Newspapers..................373
Financial Showing for 1913....................373
Knowledge and Faith Regarding Chronology..........374
The Good Samaritan................................376
"His Servants Shall Serve Him"....................377
"Let Me Bury My Father".......................377
Salvation--Universal and Limited..................378
God's Will is Best (Poem).........................378
Your "Good Hopes" for 1914........................379
"Blessed are the Meek"............................381
Loving Rules and Parliamentary Rules..............381
The Hope of The Gospel Age........................382
Public Ministries of the Truth....................383
Index to The Watch Tower--1913....................384
WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, PRESIDENT
"BROOKLYN TABERNACLE," 13-17 HICKS ST.,
BROOKLYN, N.Y., U.S.A.
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Terms to the Lord's Poor as Follows:--All Bible Students who, by reason of old age, or other infirmity or adversity, are unable to pay for this Journal, will be supplied Free if they send a Postal Card each May stating their case and requesting its continuance. We are not only willing, but anxious, that all such be on our list continually and in touch with the STUDIES, etc.
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THE TEMPLE--NEW YORK CITY
December 7th was "Dedication Day" at THE TEMPLE. It is conveniently located at Nos. 22-26 West 63d St., near Central Park, Columbus Circle Entrance.
The 10.30 a. m. service, besides praise and prayer, consisted of a sermon from `1 Corinthians 3:17`: "The Temple of God is holy, which temple ye are." At 2.30 p.m. there was a Symposium of twelve speakers who ably discussed the topic "Gratitude"--Thankfulness. At 4 p.m. about 850 participated in a grand Testimony Meeting. At the evening service Pastor Russell gave another discourse. All seemed to enjoy the day; and so far as heard all expressed pleasure with THE TEMPLE.
1914--MOTTO TEXT CARDS--1914
Our Motto Text for the New Year is "Be Strong and of Good Courage." (`Joshua 1:9`.) These are promised by December 15. Price, on neat cards, 6 cents each postpaid. In quantities for classes, postpaid, 40 cents per dozen, or $3.00 per hundred.
LARGE MOTTOES FOR MOUNTING
We have secured some new large mottoes, size 15x20 inches, for framing. They are of four designs of beautiful flowers, and still greater variety of texts. We have put these up in tubes for safety--four for $1; postage prepaid.
DO YOU DESIRE THIS JOURNAL FURTHER?
The postal laws are strict. Our subscription list must contain only bona fide subscriptions. Please advise at once if you wish THE WATCH TOWER for 1914 if your subscription has expired. Do this even if you cannot send the subscription price at the same time. Friends have provided a fund from which subscriptions may be paid for poor brethren, interested enough to request the journal on these terms. Hence, none need be without the regular visits of THE WATCH TOWER.
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WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY
--DECEMBER 1, 1912--DECEMBER 1, 1913--
TO PERMIT the balancing of our accounts and the rendering of them before the first of the year, it is our custom to start each financial year on December 1st. The sum total of the work reported a year ago was so large for us that we doubted if it would not be our banner year. Additionally, the threats of our enemies were heard on every hand. They boasted that before another year our Society's work would be stopped. The basis of this threat was their intended and already started campaign of slander, abuse, misrepresentation --anything to stop us. In closing our last year's Report we said: "Let us not be fearful of the great Adversary's roar, when like a roaring lion he would seek to intimidate us. 'Be of good courage, and the Lord shall strengthen thine heart.'"
Without judging the majority of the ministers of Christ of various denominations we may surely say that the experiences of the past year have abundantly demonstrated that some very mean men are wearing the livery of Heaven, professing to be the mouthpieces of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our kindest thought respecting them is that the great Adversary is blinding them, much as he did the great Saul of Tarsus. And our hope for them is that, like Saul, they will ere long be smitten down by a great light from Heaven, and hear in their consciences a voice saying, "I am Jesus, whom thou persecutest"; and that then some of these rabid foes of the Truth may become its staunch servants.
OUR MOST SUCCESSFUL YEAR
We are sure that our readers are awaiting this Report with keen interest. Wonderful as it may seem, it is our privilege to report that the past year has been in every way our most successful one. The more the Lord permitted our enemies to assail us, the more did He strengthen and comfort our hearts with evidences of His favor. He demonstrated that He who is on our part is mightier than all that be against us.
Indeed, we have had various evidences that the vicious attack of certain ministers has had an effect the very reverse of what they intended. The public have seen the Adversary's spirit manifested; and even worldly people know the difference between the Spirit of Christ --the spirit of meekness, the spirit of love--and the contrary spirit of Satan--the spirit of malice, hatred, envy, evil-speaking, strife. If God sees best to awaken some of His children to thought by the wolfish growling of some who pose as representatives of the Great Shepherd, it is not for us to question the Divine Wisdom, but to say with the Master, "The cup which My Father hath poured, shall I not drink it?"
Nor is the Editor alone in these experiences. While he is the chief target, all identified with the work in a public way are also marks for those described by the Psalmist: "The wicked...shoot their arrows, even bitter words, that they may shoot in secret at the perfect." (`Psalm 64:3,4`.) Surely we may all rejoice in the privilege granted us of sharing in the sufferings of Christ. "For if we suffer with Him, we shall also reign with Him." And if our sufferings be the way by which the Lord would attract and bless others of His true sheep, we may surely, with the Apostle Paul, "glory in tribulations also."--`Romans 5:3`.
CLASS EXTENSION WORK
One of the most encouraging features of the work is the zeal manifested in various quarters in the CLASS EXTENSION WORK. Hundreds of dear brethren, backed by the Classes with which they are associated, have gone forth as evangelists. They have held meetings in cities, towns and villages in the vicinity of the Class home. They have broken a good deal of new ground in this way, have corrected misapprehension in respect to our Gospel Message, and have brought a considerable number to full consecration to the Lord and to great joy and blessing in the knowledge of the Truth.
It is now two years since this work started; and this year, for your encouragement, we must give some figures. The friends in thirty States have joined in this work. The average number of speakers per month throughout the twelve months was 105; 3,050 meetings were reported, with an attendance of 91,881. The cost of these meetings as reported by the Classes was $8,546.61. This amount does not appear in our Report, except about 10 per cent. The Classes rejoiced in the privilege of financing their meetings, and only in a few instances was the Society's help needed. Of course, the Society furnished the literature used at these meetings, which with freight and expressage was no small item.
We trust that this noble work will go on, and that the
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Lord's blessing will continue with it. We sometimes term it the "Layman's Home Missionary Movement." We observe that the Classes participating in this work most vigorously are usually the most blessed of the Lord spiritually, as well as numerically. And undoubtedly all who thus serve as evangelists receive a great blessing in their hearts from the Lord. In the interests of those Classes that feel that a repetition of the Class Extension Work would not be wise, or that feel that they have speakers or financial strength which they can furnish for Sunday work at greater distances from their homes, we have recently proposed an "Auxiliary Pilgrim Service." We trust that this may prove a means of blessing and furtherance of the work during the year just begun.
OUR CORRESPONDENCE DEPARTMENT
With literature in thirty different languages, distributed in large quantities, it is not surprising that we have a large correspondence. Our Brooklyn office keeps thirty typewriters busy, besides our Multigraph machines.
Total letters received during the year............ 184,825
Total number of letters dispatched during the
These figures do not represent the correspondence of the various branches. More and more the dear friends are learning to separate the business part of their letters,
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and so to write the letters that business items will be together, and separated from doctrinal questions, requests for Pilgrim service, etc. This aids us greatly in handling the mail satisfactorily, because our work is divided into different departments, for its greater efficiency.
The Editor receives very many letters which he greatly enjoys, but does not answer. In the interest of the general work he seeks to confine his replies to matters and questions which seem really important. Please accept this excuse, and ordinarily address all correspondence to the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society. Where convenient, you may mark the envelope in care of whichever department your letter is especially concerned with; as, for instance, Pilgrim Department, Colporteur Department, etc. Ordinarily, mail respecting subscriptions and questions should be addressed to the Society merely. This applies to the various branch houses also.
Nevertheless, wherever there are questions of deep importance you are still welcome to address the Editor personally. Rest assured that he will do his best to give you a prompt reply.
THE COLPORTEUR DEPARTMENT
We still regard the sale of the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES one of the best indications of the progress of the work. Our total sales of the six volumes for the year amounted to 692,598 copies. Only one year ever exceeded this number--1908--when our total was 718,474. However, the difference is probably fully offset, or more, by the fact that last year numerous editions were published in foreign lands for cheapness or convenience, and these do not show in this year's Report.
We still continue to regard the dear Colporteurs as amongst the most efficient servants in the Harvest work. They are a noble band. Additionally, they are learning better how to do effective service--they are becoming more courageous. With the ripening of their own characters, they are enabled to speak the Truth more forcefully than ever, and yet more gently, more lovingly. They are learning the meaning of the Apostle's words--"Speaking the Truth in love, grow up into Him."
Some of the dear Colporteurs are so efficient that there is pretty sure to be a class of Bible students started, to meet regularly, in every town they canvass. They note, as they canvass, those who seem to indicate that they are true children of God, begotten of the Spirit, or hungry to know the Lord. These they nurse by repeatedly visiting them, encouraging them to read the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, helping them over misunderstandings and counteracting the evil influence of those who seek by slander to hinder them from reading and from true Bible Study. May the Lord's blessing be richly with the dear Colporteurs during the year beginning, encouraging, strengthening, blessing them!
THE YEAR'S PILGRIM SERVICE
No other year will at all compare with the one just closed in respect to the amount of Pilgrim work done and the apparent results. You know the dear Pilgrims-- their devotion to the Lord and His Cause, and their willingness to endure hardness and to spend their strength to the glory of God and the blessing of His people. Their services are free; and as nearly as we are able the Society responds to requests for public and private services of these Pilgrims. Much, of course, must depend upon the size of the city from which the call comes, the convenience of reaching it, and the promises made in respect to a suitable auditorium.
The Society has found that it is a waste of time and money to send Pilgrims to places where only second or third class auditoriums are promised. In our day, when churches, theatres and lodges are all bright, clean, attractive and comfortable, we must not expect the public to be attracted to very inferior places; for before hearing they do not know, they cannot realize, that we have for them a Message transcendently superior to anything else they have ever heard.
Remember that the expenses of the Pilgrims are all borne by the Society, and that donations or collections are neither requested nor expected. We do, however, expect that these servants of the Lord will be esteemed by those whom they serve as worthy of food and clean, comfortable lodging. They expect no feasting nor special preparation, however.
Incidentally, we advise all the brethren taking part in public meetings to give considerable attention to their apparel. Black clothing is always appropriate to the platform, and generally a skirted, or frock, coat. Only a white shirt and collar and a black or a white tie should be considered suitable. By this we do not mean that God is a respecter of persons and of clothing; but we believe that our Message carries more weight if delivered by those who are plainly, modestly, but appropriately dressed. Everything loud, crude and commonplace should be eliminated. The Truth should have a respectable presentation; for it attracts chiefly those of respectable mind.
A WORD TO THE WISE
Another thought: The introduction of the Pilgrim should be considered so important that unless well done, it should not be done at all. It should be very brief and in well-chosen, grammatical language. The introductory prayer should also be very brief--merely an invocation-- a request for the Divine blessing upon the audience and the speaker, with thanks for the mercies of the occasion. All language implying a division of the audience should be avoided--"we" and "you." It should be taken for granted that all present are Bible students, and no suggestion to the contrary should be offered. The meeting to follow should be announced briefly before the speaker is introduced. Where announcement cards are used, they should be distributed with the hymn slips, while the audience is being seated.
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The following summary of this branch of the work speaks for itself and needs no comment:
Total number of ministers serving................. 80 Cities and towns visited.......................... 7,491 Total number of public meetings................... 3,626 Total number of attendance........................ 808,851 Semi-public meetings held......................... 3,913 Total number in attendance........................ 230,218 Parlor meetings held.............................. 9,373 Total number in attendance........................ 213,884 Total number of miles traveled.................... 882,713
Grand total meetings held......................... 16,912 Grand total attendance............................ 1,252,953
THE GOSPEL IN THE NEWSPAPERS
Divine providence is still favoring the presentation of the Gospel in the public press. The efforts of the enemies of the Gospel of the Kingdom to misrepresent our teachings and to prejudice editors and publishers against them have not prevailed. In this also we perceive that He that is for us is mightier than all they that be against us. The day may come when the Truth will be crushed to the earth by slander and misrepresentation, but that day has not come yet. Indeed, in quite a number of instances the editors, although worldly men, have appreciated the situation, despised the unjust principle manifested by some preachers in their opposition, and have given space and prominence to our Message.
The latest figures given us by the Newspaper Syndicate which handles the Sermons and Bible Study Lessons in the United States and Canada show 1,424 papers publishing weekly. About 600 papers in Great Britain, South Africa and Australia publish weekly. This in round figures represents 2,000 newspapers. How many millions of readers are thus reached by these papers we know not, nor can we tell how many of those reached are reading and being influenced. We do know, however, that the whole world is waking up, and that the truths we are presenting are gaining adherents and exerting influence everywhere. We trust that the Lord's name is being glorified thus, and that many of His consecrated people are being ripened for the Kingdom.
We still recommend that Bible Students support their home paper or the papers nearest them which publish the sermons, rather than those at a distance--even though the latter might be cheaper in price.
GOD'S MESSAGE FOR THE PEOPLE
Our papers for free circulation amongst the people are titled EVERYBODY'S PAPER, PEOPLE'S PULPIT, and the BIBLE STUDENTS' MONTHLY. These have a subscription price of twelve cents a year, but our list is comparatively small. The vast majority are circulated as sample copies --free. On the average they contain three attractive sermons each. The January 1st issue is generally used Volunteering --for a nation-wide free circulation. Other numbers through the year are used for the announcement of Pilgrim meetings, Class Extension meetings, etc. Many of them are used for circulation instead of tracts. They are more attractive than tracts.
The wise distribution of these on street cars, trains, boats, etc., as the friends go from place to place, is recommended. This is a form of service in which all can engage. And these little newspapers have all the rights and privileges of the larger newspapers devoted to politics, sports and advertisements. Quite a good many people come into a knowledge of the Truth through this ministry. The friends everywhere are invited to send for these free, in such quantities as they can and will use faithfully in three months. There should be no dead stock wasted in cupboards or garrets. As a part of the Gospel Message each number should be considered too valuable to lie idle.
Our total output of these various papers, issued free, and express or freight or postage prepaid, is represented by such large figures as to be beyond the comprehension of the majority of people; namely, 36,143,500 copies, representing
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approximately 100,000,000 of sermons or a thousand million tract pages. This does not represent the Society's work in foreign lands, but merely in America.
Of course, the Higher Critics are disturbed. Having lost all vital faith in the Bible themselves, they have been injecting the poison gradually into the minds of their hearers, and collecting salary for destroying the faith that they have been professing to conserve. To them it seems too bad that the public should be awakened, and that they should appear in the uncomplimentary role of deceivers. They are angry, because not only their incomes, but their reputations are at stake. If slander and misrepresentation will do anything to hinder us from giving the people the Truth, many of these false shepherds are apparently ready to assist.
Let us go forward with good courage, remembering that God is at the helm, and that no weapon formed against His Cause and the ministers of His Truth shall prosper--eventually--even though they might seem to prosper for a time--just as when Jesus was crucified, when St. Stephen was stoned, etc.
THE WATCH TOWER SUBSCRIPTION LIST
The one discouraging feature to us is that THE WATCH TOWER subscription list seems to grow very slowly. We are obliged by the postal regulations to keep pruning off the addresses of those who do not renew their subscriptions, either in money or by request, as of the Lord's poor. We print forty-five thousand copies per issue; but, for the amount of interest which prevails, we should be printing at least one hundred thousand. However, we content ourselves with the thought that we are doing our best to set forth the Message. The increase of the subscription list lies with our readers.
THE FINANCIAL SHOWING FOR THE YEAR
After reading the foregoing statement respecting the number of ministers engaged in the Pilgrim service and the miles they have traveled, respecting the ten hundred millions of tract pages distributed free and express prepaid, and concerning the large amount of correspondence attended to, all with business experience would be inclined to expect that the cost of this work would run up to a million dollars. The one thousand million tract pages alone at ten pages for one cent would be a million dollars. Our office force of one hundred and fifty people, at one hundred dollars a month each, would amount to $180,000.00. And some of our helpers, before coming to us, have earned more than this amount and could obtain more now.
We have paid out for postage stamps, expressage and freightage $34,278.26. The Pilgrim service cost the total of $77,559.10, and the foreign branches a total of $53,832.52. This work, which ordinarily would have cost a million and a half of dollars, has been accomplished for very little more than a quarter of a million dollars. The figures below speak for themselves. They are possible only because all of the dear brethren everywhere live economically and labor faithfully, giving time, energy--their best--to the service of the Lord, the brethren and the Truth.
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Financial statement follows:
Balance cash on hand from last year's
Tract Fund, etc., receipts........................107,822.04
Expended for the work above mentioned:
In the United States and
In Great Britain...................... 23,422.69
In Germany............................ 4,709.25
In India.............................. 2,394.35
In South Africa....................... 1,193.42
In Scandinavia........................ 2,705.17
For the Polish........................ 2,130.31
In West Indies and South
In China, Japan and Korea............. 10,636.73
For Spanish, Arabic, Italian,
French, etc., etc.................... 2,503.76
Cash balance on hand Dec. 1........... 1,333.95
The above figures do not include moneys expended in preparation for the PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION, which has been advanced by dear friends deeply interested in that work--the amount may appear in our accounts for 1914, should these friends turn over that work to our Association as a donation. Neither do the above figures include THE TEMPLE. Friends of the Cause are financing that work in our interest, on a second mortgage.
Should it eventually be demonstrated, either that some mistake was made in the expiration of the Gentile Times (October, 1914), or that we had expected more to happen at that date than was due, or that the fulfilment of our expectations beginning there would be consummated more slowly than we expected--no matter which--we all surely shall be glad if the fiscal year begun shall show as grand results for the enlightenment of God's people and for the honoring of God's name as this Report witnesses for the year just closed.
The Editor wishes all of his readers a very joyous and a very prosperous New Year. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen!
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KNOWLEDGE AND FAITH REGARDING CHRONOLOGY
[By request we here republish an article from our issue of October 1st, 1907.]
A dear Brother inquires, Can we feel absolutely sure that the Chronology set forth in the DAWN-STUDIES is correct?--that the Harvest began in A.D. 1874 and will end in A.D. 1914 in a world-wide trouble which will overthrow all present institutions and be followed by the reign of righteousness of the King of Glory and his Bride, the Church?
We answer, as we have frequently done before in the DAWNS and TOWERS and orally and by letter, that we have never claimed our calculations to be infallibly correct; we have never claimed that they were knowledge, nor based upon indisputable evidence, facts, knowledge; our claim has always been that they are based on faith. We have set forth the evidences as plainly as possible and stated the conclusions of faith we draw from them, and have invited others to accept as much or as little of them as their hearts and heads could endorse.
Many have examined these evidences and have accepted them; others equally bright do not endorse them. Those who have been able to accept them by faith seem to have received special blessings, not merely along the line of prophetic harmonies, but along all other lines of grace and truth. We have not condemned those who could not see, but have rejoiced with those whose exercise of faith has brought them special blessings--"Blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear."
Possibly some who have read the DAWNS have presented our conclusions more strongly than we; but if so that is their own responsibility. We have urged and still urge that the dear children of God read studiously what we have presented--the Scriptures, the applications and interpretations--and then form their own judgments. We neither urge nor insist upon our views as infallible, nor do we smite or abuse those who disagree; but regard as "Brethren" all sanctified believers in the precious blood.
On the contrary, it is those who differ who smite us and speak evil of us, because we do not welcome them as, with hammer and tongs, they seek to remove a mote which they think they see in our eye of understanding. They are our critics who always claim the infallibility. We go humbly onward, following the Apostle's example and words, "We believe and therefore speak," whether others hear or forbear to hear. Is not this in accord with the Spirit of Christ? Is it not in accord with our Lord's instructions also--"Forbid him not" (`Mark 9:39`); and again, "What is that to thee? Follow thou Me."-- `John 21:22`.
But some of those who come to a trifling point on which they disagree seem to imagine that the entire Harvest work must be overthrown, or at least stopped, until they get their little jot or tittle satisfactorily adjusted. Such evidently make mountains out of mole hills, and forget that, if the present movement among the Lord's people is the Harvest work or under the Lord's supervision at all, the Lord is responsible, and not they, and can be trusted to accomplish His own ends in His own best way without the violation of either the letter or spirit of His commands.
Recurring again to the query on Chronology we quote from DAWN-STUDIES, Vol. II., page 38, last paragraph, as follows:
"In starting with the question, How long is it since man's creation? we should and do feel confident that He who gave the prophecies, and said in the time of the end they should be understood, has provided in His Word the data necessary to enable us accurately to locate those prophecies. However, any who expect to find these matters so plainly stated as to be convincing to the mere surface reader, or the
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insincere skeptic, will be disappointed. God's times and seasons are given in such a way as to be convincing only to those who, by acquaintance with God, are able to recognize His characteristic methods. The evidence is given 'that the man of God may be thoroughly furnished.' (`2 Tim. 3:17`.) These well know that in all the paths by which the Father leads they must walk by faith and not by sight. To all who are prepared to walk thus, we expect to be able to point out at every step solid statements of God's Word--a sure foundation for reasonable faith."
In the same chapter we proceed to point out that many of the links of chronology in sacred and profane history are "broken, lapped and tangled so much that we could arrive at no definite conclusion from them, and should be obliged to conclude, as others have done, that nothing positive could be known on the subject, were it not that the New Testament supplies the deficiency." (Page 49, first paragraph.) Thus we sought to prove that chronology cannot be built on facts, but can be received only on faith. But again we urge a fresh reading of Vol. II. entire. If with these suggestions some shall lose their faith in our chronology, others and many more, we believe, will have their faith in it strengthened greatly.
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We remind you again that the weak points of chronology are supplemented by the various prophecies which interlace with it in so remarkable a manner that faith in the chronology almost becomes knowledge that it is correct. The changing of a single year would throw the beautiful parallels out of accord; because some of the prophecies measure from B.C., some from A.D., and some depend upon both. We believe that God meant those prophecies to be understood "in due time"; we believe that we do understand them now--and they speak to us through this chronology. Do they not thereby seal the chronology? They do to faith, but not otherwise.
Our Lord declared, "The wise shall understand"; and He told us to "Watch" that we might know; and it is this chronology which convinces us (who can and do receive it by faith) that the Parable of the Ten Virgins is now in process of fulfilment--that its first cry was heard in 1844 and its second cry, "Behold the Bridegroom"--present-- was in 1874. It is this chronology and none other which awakened us to trim our lamps, in harmony with the Lord's promise through the Apostle, "Ye brethren are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief."
If our chronology is not reliable we have no idea where we are nor when the morning will come. Bishop Ussher's chronology, as we have pointed out (DAWN II., p. 51) puts the end of six thousand years nearly a century future and would destroy every prophetic application as we have seen and profited by it. And when we say "our" chronology we merely mean the one we use, the Bible chronology, which belongs to all of God's people who approve it. As a matter of fact it was used in practically the form we present it long before our day, just as various prophecies we use were used to a different purpose by Adventists, and just as various doctrines we hold and which seem so new and fresh and different were held in some form long ago: for instance--Election, Free Grace, Restitution, Justification, Sanctification, Glorification, Resurrection.
The work in which the Lord has been pleased to use our humble talents has been less a work of origination than of reconstruction, adjustment, harmonization. God's Word, the great Harp from which now comes such wondrous music, was unstrung. One denomination had one string, another denomination had a different one--Election, Free Grace, Baptism, Second Coming of Christ, Time Prophecies, etc. They had twanged away, each on his own string, until all were disgusted at the discord and about ready to quit for relief--as they since have done, practically. Then came the Lord's time for putting the old Harp in order again, for the use of His most faithful followers. To whatever extent the great Master has used any of us either in restringing and tuning the Harp, or in calling to the attention of His "brethren" the harmony and the beauty of the melodious paeans therefrom in honor of the Almighty, let us praise Him for the great privilege enjoyed, and use it.
The fact that we have reached this harmony just at the right time, according to our chronology--just at the time promised by our Lord when He declared that, to those who would be ready and open to His knock promptly, He should "come in and sup with them," that He would "gird Himself [become their servant] and come forth and serve them" (`Luke 12:37`)--is an evidence to us that the time features of the prophecies as we understand them are correct. To this great Chief Servant of His Church, then, we render thanks for the harmonious light of Present Truth--and are we not to consider that the chronology which has had so much to do with this light is also of Him?
But let us suppose a case far from our expectations: Suppose that A.D. 1915 should pass with the world's affairs all serene and with evidence that the "very elect" had not all been "changed" and without the restoration of natural Israel to favor under the New Covenant. (`Rom. 11:12,15`.) What then? Would not that prove our chronology wrong? Yes, surely! And would not that prove a keen disappointment? Indeed it would! It would work irreparable wreck to the Parallel dispensations and Israel's Double, and to the Jubilee calculations, and to the prophecy of the 2300 days of Daniel, and to the epoch called "Gentile Times," and to the 1260, 1290 and 1335 days, the latter of which marking the beginning of the Harvest so well fulfilled its prediction, "Oh, the blessedness of him that waiteth and cometh unto the 1335 days!" None of these would be available longer. What a blow that would be! One of the strings of our "harp" would be quite broken!
However, dear friends, our Harp would still have all the other strings in tune and that is what no other aggregation of God's people on earth could boast. We could still worship a God so great and grand that none other could compare with Him. We should still see the grandeur of His salvation in Christ Jesus--"a Ransom for all." We should still see the wonders of "the hidden mystery," our fellowship with our Redeemer in "His death" and also "in His resurrection" to "glory, honor and immortality" --"the Divine nature."
If, therefore, dearly beloved, it should turn out that our chronology is all wrong, we may conclude that with it we have had much advantage everyway. If the attainment of our glorious hopes and present joys in the Lord should cost us such disappointment as our friends fear, we should rejoice and count it cheap! If the Lord sees it necessary for the arousing of the "Virgins" to permit a false note upon the time bugle, let us take it joyfully as one of the "all things" working together for good to those who love Him, to the called ones according to His purpose. But let us not forget that the parable shows that the second awakening of the Virgins was no mistake! The Bridegroom came! The "wise virgins" had the necessary faith to follow; the others, too worldly-wise, lacked the faith and missed the high honors accorded to the Bride class, though privileged later to be her companions at the "marriage supper of the Lamb."
The best medicine, the best antidote, for a poisoned faith in Present Truth, is a careful review of the presentations of the DAWN-STUDIES. If that fails we know nothing to recommend. But let us not forget that there were conditions precedent to our admission into this light, and that those conditions must be maintained if we would stay in the light. If, therefore, all or any portion of the light becomes darkened, our first query should be, "Am I living up to my covenant conditions--self-denial, self-sacrifice?" If we discover a coolness there we may know that we have found the real secret of our trouble and should at once "take it to the Lord in prayer."
"Mine eyes can see the glory of the presence of the Lord; He is trampling out the winepress where His grapes of wrath
are stored; I see the flaming tempest of His swift descending sword:
Our King is marching on.
"The seventh trump is sounding, and our King knows no
defeat. He will sift out the hearts of men before His Judgment Seat. O! be swift, my soul, to welcome Him, be jubilant, my feet;
Our King is marching on."
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THE GOOD SAMARITAN
--JANUARY 18.--`LUKE 10:25-37`.--
"Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."--`Mark 12:31`.
OUR Studies since the first of the year relate to the last six months of our Lord's ministry. He knew that His death was approaching --that He must, as the antitypical Passover Lamb, be put to death the following Spring, on the fourteenth day of the first month. His ministry had only begun to awaken the people.
The seventy, whose ordination or commission we considered a week ago, were sent across Jordan into the district known as Perea. And Jesus Himself went thither shortly afterward. The purpose of His ministry was to thoroughly awaken all the Jews to a knowledge of the fact that the time of their visitation had come. We are informed by the Apostle Paul that at the time of the Lord's death there were about five hundred that could be called brethren. But besides these, the witnesses above mentioned subsequently bore other fruit--after Pentecost.
Later, the seventy returned expressing joy and confidence, and remarking that even the demons were subject to them in the Father's name. The Master took occasion to tell them that they were overlooking their chief cause of joy, saying, "Rejoice, rather, that your names are written in Heaven"--than that demons are subject to your command. So it is with all of us. Salvation is a personal matter with us, and works and preaching are merely incidentals connected with that work of personal salvation. The great time for works will be future. Then, if faithful, we shall be privileged to be associated with the Redeemer in His work of regenerating the world of mankind, breaking the shackles of Sin and Death, granting deliverance to the captives, even as the Prophets foretold.
No matter how praiseworthy are the social uplifts of the present time, they are as nothing compared with the great social and moral uplift which God has planned and which Messiah will institute with His Kingdom. Hence the first work of all of God's consecrated people is a personal one--the preparation of their own hearts and characters for Divine approval, that they may have a share in the sufferings of the present time and in the glorious work of the future.
At this point our Study for today opens. A lawyer thought to entrap the Master by asking the question: "Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" In those days, when the only law of Israel was God's Law, a lawyer was one well versed in the teaching of the books of Moses. Jesus therefore said to this theological Doctor: How do you understand the matter? You know what is written in the Law. The lawyer replied: We shall love the Lord with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength, with all our mind; and our neighbor as ourselves. Jesus approved this, saying that it was true. Do this--keep the Law--and you shall live. You will never die.
The lawyer was caught before he knew it. He knew that the people of Israel had been dying for centuries, notwithstanding the Law; yet himself and others were outwardly claiming that they were keeping the Law. Jesus showed him out of his own testimony that he was not keeping the Law, as he pretended to do and as the Pharisees in general pretended to do. The fact is that no imperfect, fallen human being can keep the perfect Law of God; for it is so comprehensive that only a perfect man could keep it thoroughly.
The lawyer sought to make the best of a bad argument and, instead of acknowledging his defeat, turned the question to Jesus again: "Who is my neighbor" whom I am to love as myself? This was one of the points which Jesus had particularly made against the Pharisees --that outwardly they were pious, religious, they prayed, fasted, etc.; yet in their hearts they were unjust and would take unjust advantage of widows and orphans-- not loving them as themselves. The lawyer sought to imply that God's Law did not include everybody as his neighbor, but only certain special ones.
Jesus, however, again out-generaled him, saying, I will give you a parable. A certain man went down to Jericho; and on that lonely mountain road he was beset by thieves, who stripped him, wounded him and left him half dead. There happened that way a priest, one of the highest representatives of the Law; and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. Likewise there passed by a Levite, next in relationship to the service of the Law, the service of God. He went a little nearer and looked at the poor man, but did nothing. Then came along a Samaritan, an outsider, not a Jew at all; and he was filled with compassion. He bound up the wounds, put the man on his beast, brought him to an inn and took care of him, sacrificing his own time and strength in the wounded man's interest. He did more than this. He paid for the man's keep until he should return from Jerusalem.
Now, said Jesus to the lawyer, I put the question to you, Which of these men acted the part of the neighbor to this man who fell among the thieves? Which one of these treatments of the case would fulfil the requirements of the Law, according to your judgment? The lawyer answered that the one who showed mercy on the man was the one who had surely done the neighborly act. Jesus replied that this should be an example to the lawyer, that he should do likewise--that he should be kind, thoughtful, generous, toward any human being who was in affliction--in need of help.
LOVE FULFILS THE LAW
We do well to remember God's real object in giving laws, commandments, etc. He is not taking pleasure especially in the number of times that we bow the knee or bow the head, nor in the number of times that we attend Divine worship, nor in anything that we can do along the lines of worship. The Lord especially delights to see us cultivate His own spirit of love and kindness and generosity. "God is Love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God." (`1 John 4:16`.) As the Apostle says, He that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he claim to love God whom he hath not seen? How could he know that he would love God? (`1 John 4:20`.) Well does the Apostle Paul tell us that love is the fulfilling of the Law.--`Romans 13:10`.
We are not to understand the Apostle to mean that simply to have love would fulfil God's Law and give us everlasting life. No! It is only for those who have accepted Christ that love fulfils the Law. For all those who become disciples of Jesus, God has made a special arrangement, that the merit of Jesus' sacrifice shall cover their blemishes, so that if they cultivate and possess the heart quality of love (God-likeness) it will be acceptable--because Jesus' sacrifice makes good all deficiency. We are "accepted in the Beloved." "The righteousness of the Law is fulfilled in us who are walking, not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."
St. Paul remarks that love is the principal thing in our character in the Divine estimation. He tells us that if
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we should give all of our goods to feed the poor or even if we should give our bodies to be burned in some worthy cause, and yet not have love--not do these things from the spirit or prompting of love--it would all count for nothing in God's sight. (`1 Corinthians 13`.) Evidently the great lesson for Christian people to learn is to put away all these--anger, malice, envy, hatred, strife, and to put on all these--meekness, gentleness, long-suffering, brotherly kindness, love. St. Peter declares that if we do these things we shall never fall, but that an entrance into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be granted to us.--`2 Peter 1:10,11`.
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"HIS SERVANTS SHALL SERVE HIM"
--JANUARY 25.--`LUKE 8:1-3`; `9:57-62`; `10:38-42`.--
"Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of these My brethren, even these least, ye did it unto Me."--`Matthew 25:40`. R.V.
THE opening verse of this Study furnishes us the key to all the preaching that Jesus did, so far as the record goes. His one Message was the Good Tidings of the Kingdom of God. This is still the Good Tidings, and any of the Lord's people who have not yet learned that the Kingdom of God is the very center and essence of the hope of the Church and the hope of the world, have not profitably read and believed the Bible. The Jews, not being ready for the Kingdom, were as a nation rejected from being Messiah's associates in that Kingdom. But not all were rejected; hence we read that to as many as received Jesus, to them gave He liberty to become sons of God--by the begetting and anointing of the Holy Spirit, which first came at Pentecost.
SURELY THIS IS GOOD TIDINGS
Those sons of God, if faithful, are to be with Jesus by and by--heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ their Lord in this Heavenly Kingdom. Their honor and blessing shall be great; for they shall be like their Master and see Him as He is and share His glory. But this will not be all. If they develop this spirit of love, they will thereby be qualified for association with the Master in His great work of blessing mankind, rolling away the curse and uplifting humanity out of sin and death conditions.
Surely this is Good Tidings, as stated in this lesson! And the same Good Tidings were heralded by those angels who proclaimed the Master's birth, saying, "Behold, we bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be unto all people!" Thus far it has been Good Tidings only to God's servants and handmaidens, the Church. But it shall be Good Tidings to all when all the deaf ears shall be unstopped and when all the blind eyes shall be opened, and they shall see the glories of Messiah's Kingdom.
While Jesus was thus declaring the Kingdom, He was not begging His way. We have no suggestion that He ever took up a collection or in any manner solicited money. Many think that this is a suggestion that the followers of Christ should likewise make no appeals for money, but merely use of their own substance and such other moneys as shall voluntarily be given unto them. However, this is for each to decide for himself.
Amongst the healed ones was Mary of Magdala, out of whom the Lord had cast seven demons. In other words, the poor woman was in the condition in which many are who are in insane asylums. Her trouble was not organic, but caused by the harassing of the seven fallen angels who had taken possession of her. Whoever believes the Bible Message must believe that there are fallen angels --spirit beings who have a malevolent influence upon humanity to the extent that they can gain control, and who must be resisted by the will. Mary, apparently, was a woman of wealth. Released from the power of the demons, she was so grateful to Jesus that she did her best to serve Him on every occasion. Other honorable women are also mentioned as having contributed to the maintenance of the Lord.
"LET ME BURY MY FATHER"
Some were attracted to Jesus, evidently, with the thought that one so gifted and so well supplied with the necessities of life must be wealthy. One such said to the Lord, "I will follow Thee whithersoever Thou goest." But apparently his ardor was cooled when Jesus informed him that He had no property, no home of His own, although there were numerous homes to which he was welcome. Foxes have holes of their own and birds have nests of their own, but the Son of Man had no home that He could call His own. None but the very sincere would likely be attracted to follow a leader under such circumstances. Wealth attracts many, poverty few.
Another said to Jesus, in substance, Lord, you may count me as one of your disciples; but I have a father, and I feel as though I must stay with him until his death.
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The reply of Jesus shows us the importance He attaches to every service we can render to the Heavenly Father's Cause. He said to him, "Let the dead bury their dead, but go thou and preach the Kingdom of God."
IS IT NOT TIME TO AWAKE?
The whole world is already dead from the Divine standpoint. The sentence of death that passed upon Adam involved all of his children. The only ones whom the Scriptures recognize as possessed of any life at the present time are those who become related to the Life-Giver, Jesus. The Master intimates that all such should take a different view of life from others. There are plenty in the world who can attend to the earthly things; few who can attend to the greater and more important work of proclaiming the Kingdom and gathering the Kingdom class.
This is the most important work in the world, because it is God's work. And those who engage in it are co-laborers with God. Be it noticed again that it was the Kingdom of God that was worthy of this preaching and this sacrifice. Alas, how strange it is that so little of the preaching of later times is along this line! In other words, the Gospel Message that Jesus and His disciples delivered has been lost, forgotten, neglected. Is it not time for all Bible students to awaken to the great privilege of preaching the same Message that the Master and His appointed ones at the First Advent preached?
LESSONS TO BE LEARNED
Another came to Jesus, saying, I will follow You, but I wish first to go and bid farewell to those who are at home. I will spend a little time with them; and before long I will be with You in the work. It was not heartlessness on Jesus' part that suggested the answer: "No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God." According to these searching words, who then, even amongst the Lord's consecrated people of today, is fit for the Kingdom?
We are not to judge others, but each to judge himself.
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And yet, in a general way, are we not confident that many not only are looking back and making special provisions for the social amenities of life, but additionally are plunging into many of the luxuries, pleasures and frivolities of the world? The question is a searching one. How many of us will the Lord consider fit for the Kingdom--fit for a place with Himself in that glorious Messianic Empire, which we trust is nigh--at the door? There seems to be a principle involved. Those who are not absorbed with interest in the Kingdom, desiring its blessings and desiring a share in conferring blessings upon others, would probably not be qualified by the resurrection change to accomplish the work which He has designed shall be done for humanity.
The story of Martha and Mary concludes the lesson. Both loved the Savior, but they manifested their love differently. Jesus did not disapprove of Martha and her carefulness as a cook in providing for His comfort; but He especially appreciated the spirit of Mary, which drew her to His feet to hear the wonderful words of life. Hers was the better part, Jesus said. So, then, in our service for the Master let us have this in mind, that He is especially pleased when we give earnest attention to His words and seek to be filled with and guided by His Holy Spirit.
Today's Study represents special services which were rendered at different times during our Lord's ministry. Acceptable service, like acceptable praise, must come as a fruitage of love to the Lord. He who loves much will serve much. Salaries cannot purchase this kind of service, and persecutions cannot hinder it.
Whoever was privileged to serve the Lord Jesus personally was certainly highly privileged. And yet we may be sure of the general principle laid down in our text, that whoever serves any whom the Lord classes as His brethren is really serving Him. He accepts the same as service to Himself. How precious this thought, and how valuable it is! What wonder that all who truly believe the Lord's Word should be zealous in their service of their brethren! As the Apostle suggests, we ought also to lay down our lives for the brethren, even as Christ died for all.
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SALVATION--UNIVERSAL AND LIMITED
"Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the Truth."--`1 Timothy 2:4`.
WHILE this Scripture teaches a universal salvation, yet there are other Scriptures which speak of the ultimate destruction of a certain class. In seeking to harmonize these Scriptures we note that there are various salvations. For illustration: A man might be saved from a burning building in the morning, and in the afternoon from drowning in a pond of water. The next day he might be saved from financial disaster, from bankruptcy, and later from something else.
There is one general trouble in the human family. The whole human race were sold under Sin. St. Paul, writing on this subject, says: "By one man's disobedience Sin entered into the world and Death by Sin; and so Death passed upon all men, because all are sinners." This, then, is the great disaster. The Scriptures tell us that God has provided Jesus to be a Life-giver to all mankind, and that He died, the Just for the unjust. "Since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead." "The hour is coming when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live....The hour is coming when all that are in the graves shall hear His voice and shall come forth." (`John 5:25,28,29`.) This awakening from death is what the Apostle had in mind, evidently, when he said that God is "the Savior of all men."
But if we should imagine the whole human family brought back to the same condition in which Adam was, it would not necessarily mean everlasting life. Adam was perfect, yet he fell into death; and his race, when fully recovered from the penalty, will be placed on trial as was he. And any one who will then be disobedient to God will not be granted everlasting life. The Scriptures show us that Christ, having redeemed the world, will at the beginning of the Millennial Age establish His Mediatorial Kingdom, which will be for the very purpose of liberating man from the bondage of Sin and Death. Then whoever chooses Sin will be choosing the wages of Sin-- death. And whoever chooses righteousness will be choosing the reward that goes with it--everlasting life. Each will be granted the opportunity of everlasting life, because saved by Christ from the condemnation upon Adam. But first he must be set free before having either a punishment of everlasting death, or a reward of everlasting life.
God "will have all men to be saved [recovered, out of the death state, the tomb], and to come to an accurate knowledge of the Truth; for there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men; namely, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a Ransom [corresponding price] for all, to be testified in due time." The due time for the world in general, here spoken of, will be during Messiah's Reign. The knowledge of the Lord will cover the whole earth as the waters cover the great deep. But there is in this Age a class being specially blessed-- "Blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear." Having this blessing now, we have the gracious opportunity of attaining joint-heirship with our Lord in glory, honor and immortality--the Divine nature.
GOD'S WILL IS BEST
"God's will is best; faith's vision may be darkened,
And tangling influence our feet arrest;
Yet to our cry for guidance One has hearkened;
God's will is best.
"We raise our tear-dimmed eyes with eager longing,
To pierce the clouds that crown the mountain's crest;
And watch the chill mists round the pathway thronging,
With hearts distrest.
"God's will is best--oh! tired heart and weary;
Each footfall finds you nearer to your rest;
And God prints on your pathway, lone and dreary,
'God's will is best.'
"Why seek to know the secrets of the morrow;
Or what new dangers may your way infest?
'Tis Providence apportions joy or sorrow
To be your guest.
"God's will is best--seek not to do God's planning;
Nor of the future make untrusting quest;
He only of your whole life has the scanning;
God's will is best.
"Enough, for mortal feet, the step before them;
Enough, for mortal hands, life's next behest;
Enough to know Immortal Love is o'er them;
God's will is best.
"God's will is best--your first dawn may be over;
Life's noon be past, its sun low in the West,
And night full nigh; but Heaven's morn will discover,
God's will is best."
YOUR "GOOD HOPES" FOR 1914.
[The plan here proposed we designate "GOOD HOPES," because nothing is actually promised--only your generous hopes expressed, based upon your future prospects as they now appear to you. The plan has proved not only so beneficial to the cause of Truth, but also so blessed to the hopers, for some years past, that we again commend it to all as Scriptural and good. Those who desire to make use of this plan can fill out both of these memoranda. One should be kept for the refreshment of your memory; the other mail to us.]
"WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY."
Dear Friends:--I have read with interest of the openings for the STUDIES and Tract work in foreign lands and here at home. I need not tell you that I am deeply interested in the spread of the Glad Tidings of the lengths and breadths, the heights and depths of redeeming love expressed for us in God's great Plan of the Ages.
I am anxious to use myself--every power, every talent, voice, time, money, influence, all--to give to others this knowledge, which has so greatly blessed, cheered and comforted my own heart and placed my feet firmly upon the Rock of Ages.
I have been considering carefully, and praying to be instructed, how to use my various talents more to my Redeemer's glory and for the service of His people--those blinded by human tradition who are, nevertheless, hungering for "the good Word of God," and those also who are naked, not having on the wedding garment of Christ's imputed righteousness, the unjustified, who stand at best in the filthy rags of their own righteousness. I have decided that so far as my "money talent" goes, I will follow the rule so clearly laid down for us by the great Apostle Paul (`1 Cor. 16:2`), and will lay aside on the first day of each week, according to my thankful appreciation of the Lord's blessings during the preceding week. Out of this fund I wish to contribute to the several parts of the Lord's work specified on the back of this letter. Of course, I cannot in advance judge or state particularly what the Lord's bounty may enable me to set apart weekly, and hence you will understand the sum indicated to be merely my conjecture or hope, based upon present prospects. I will endeavor to contribute more than I here specify, and should I not succeed in doing as well, the Lord will know my heart, and you, also, will know of my endeavors.
My only object in specifying in advance what I hope to be able to do in this cause is to enable those in charge of the work of publishing and circulating the Tracts, etc., to form estimates, lay plans, make contracts, etc., with some idea of what I will at least try to do in the exercise of this, my highly appreciated privilege.
My present judgment is that during the coming year, by self-denial and cross-bearing, I shall be able to lay aside on the first day of each week for Home and Foreign Mission Work (to assist in circulating SCRIPTURE STUDIES in foreign languages, and in publishing the BIBLE STUDENTS MONTHLY in various languages, and in supplying these gratuitously, to brethren who have the heart and opportunity to circulate them widely, and in meeting the expenses of brethren sent out as Lecturers to preach the Divine Plan of Salvation, and in general to be expended as the officers of the Society may deem best), the amount of__________per week.
To comply with United States Postal Laws, all or any portion of my donation may be applied as subscription price for WATCH TOWER or BIBLE STUDENTS' MONTHLY sent to the Lord's poor or others, as the Society's officers may deem advisable.
That the work be not hindered, I will endeavor to send you what I shall have laid aside for this cause at the close of each quarter. I will secure a Bank Draft, Express Order or Postal Money Order as I may find most convenient, and will address the letter to
WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY,
BROOKLYN TABERNACLE, 13-17 HICKS ST., BROOKLYN, N.Y., or, London Tabernacle, Lancaster Gate W., England; or, Flinders Building, Flinders St., Melbourne, Australia.
(Post Office)................. (State)......................
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WATCH TOWER SUBSCRIPTION RENEWALS
Most of our subscriptions end with the year, so we take this opportunity to remark that we shall be glad to hear promptly from such as desire the visits of THE WATCH TOWER continued. The Lord's Poor friends have been requested to send their applications in May. When names are dropped and afterward renewed it makes us unnecessary trouble. When desiring to know date of expiration look on your TOWER wrapper. Date is given in lower left-hand corner.
A PRIVILEGE AND A SERVICE
We are convinced that THE WATCH TOWER lists do not contain the names of one-half of those deeply interested in its teachings. The total is small enough surely, and we are not content that the name of any should be missing. We believe that all such will be stimulated and encouraged on the "narrow way" by its semi-monthly appearance on their table, reminding them afresh of spiritual matters which the world, the flesh and the Devil continually tend to crowd out of mind and heart.
We have at times required that all desiring THE WATCH TOWER on credit, or free, as "the Lord's Poor," should make personal application; now we request every subscriber to inquire among those whom he knows to be interested in Present Truth, and to obtain the consent of all such to send in their subscriptions either on credit or free, as their circumstances may necessitate. Any getting it on credit may at any future time request that the debt be canceled, and we will cheerfully comply. We desire that as nearly as possible THE WATCH TOWER lists shall represent all those deeply interested in its message.
Our object is not the gain of "filthy lucre," but "the perfecting of the saints for the work of ministry"--present and to come. (`Eph. 4:12`.) We offer no premiums, desiring the co-operation of such only as appreciate the privilege of being co-workers with us in this ministry. Our list is now about 40,500; but, we think, it should be at least 50,000. We have been confidently expecting the above program to bring it to that figure. Let as many as appreciate it as a privilege join in this service.
CHOICE MOTTO CARDS--1913-1914
We have, as usual, very choice sorts. These cards are made in Europe, hence subject to heavy expenses for freight and duty. Nevertheless, we can supply them in the United States and Canada at less than retail European prices, because we supply them at about cost price--that is to say, about one-half the usual American prices. Besides this, we prepay postage or express charges. Our object is to encourage the embellishment of the homes of the Lord's people with faith-stimulating and courage-inspiring texts tastefully prepared. To facilitate the handling of these motto cards we assort them in packets, carefully packed, at the following prepaid rates:
No. Mz.--Fifteen small cards, different texts, 50c. pk.
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No. Md.--Six small, six a little larger, and three large mottoes, $1.00 pk.
No. Me.--Four large mottoes, $1.00 pk.
Where a Class or several individuals choose to order together to one address we can save a little in the expressage, justifying the offer of five of the One Dollar packets and one of the Fifty-cent packets for Five Dollars, or more, at the same rate, assorted, as you please.
Make your selections carefully, write out your order plainly, stating exactly what is wanted, have money order or check accompany order and be sure to clearly indicate the address to which you desire shipment to be made.
DAILY HEAVENLY MANNA
Those who use this book as we recommend are surely being blessed. It should be on your breakfast table regularly. Its daily text should be read and commented on freely by all. Then the MANNA comment should be read. Introduce it to your friends as a help toward godly living.
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Hymns of Dawn, without music (flexible).................. .06
Poems of Dawn (leather) 50c; cloth....................... .25
Memorizing Text-Cards (100 in pkg.--two assortments,
Nos. 1 and 2), per pkg.................................. .25
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Shadows, Our Lord's Return, Jewish Hopes); also
Berean Question Booklets on each Vol. of SCRIPTURE
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"BLESSED ARE THE MEEK"
"The meek will He guide in judgment; and the meek will He teach His way."--`Psalm 25:9`.
EVEN a perfect man would need Divine guidance in respect to his judgment of matters, in respect to his decisions, in respect to his course, in respect to his ways. And if a perfect man would need Divine guidance and oversight, in order to make no mistake from his limited degree of knowledge, because of not knowing fully the Father's will respecting Him, much more would an imperfect man need this! The good and the bad, the wise and the foolish--all classes of mankind-- need such instruction. But there is only one class now in the proper attitude of mind to receive it, and that class is Scripturally called the meek.
We cannot say that the meek are those who feel themselves inferior and that there are superiors to be looked up to, necessarily. Adam in that event could not have been meek; Jesus could not have been meek; the Heavenly Father could not be meek. While it is not Scripturally stated that the Heavenly Father is meek, yet Jesus was meek, and He was the express image of the Father's person in the flesh. Hence we would assume that the Heavenly Father possesses meekness, in distinction from haughtiness.
GOD RESISTS THE PROUD
Our Lord said, "I am meek and lowly of heart." Our Lord was meek in that He was teachable. He realized that even in His perfection there were things to be learned; and He learned obedience through the things which He suffered. It was because He had this quality of meekness or teachableness that the offer was made to Him to be our Savior. Without this He never would have been our Redeemer, we may assume. Without this quality He would have been self-assertive and proud, not ready to do the Father's will. And as with the Master, so with the Church.
Even small talents that are rightly directed are more valuable than larger talents that are misdirected. The pathway of life shows much large talent misdirected for lack of proper knowledge and guidance. And this lack of guidance, we may assume, has resulted from the lack of the spirit of teachableness--the lack of desire to know the best way, the Father's way. We can see that even a heathen man, if he were meek, would have much more opportunity to learn about the Lord's will than would one who thinks that he is above instruction. Whoever knows it all to begin with, is not apt to be in a condition to receive any instruction.
The Lord declares that He resists the proud. Even if they become His children they would be kept at a distance. If the proud were permitted to come nearer to the Lord, it would make them more proud; whereas, if they are kept at a distance, they may become meek and teachable and humble. We see then that all need instruction. But the only ones who are in a position to receive it are those who recognize their need and who are in the attitude to avail themselves of the Lord's offer of guidance of their judgment, of their way, of their course in life. Such as avail themselves of the privilege get a proper estimate of everything--of the things of the life present, and also of the things of the life to come.
These are the ones whom the Lord is pleased to instruct and guide in the knowledge of His Son, and into all His blessings. If they continue to be meek, He is able to make of them heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ their Lord. We read in the Scriptures that the meek shall inherit the earth. They will inherit it under the terms of the primary and original Covenant. These will be the Seed of Abraham. From these the blessing will go to all mankind who will be obedient during the Millennial Reign. After the final test at the end of the Millennial Age, the whole world will be teachable. They will have learned the great lesson that God is the Fountain of all Wisdom; and they will have profited by this instruction.
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LOVING RULES AND PARLIAMENTARY RULES
THE dear friends of the I.B.S.A. properly feel a responsibility in respect to their voting for Class Elders and Deacons and for everything that they do especially in the name of the Lord. We have already suggested that it would be unwise, perhaps unkind, to enforce parliamentary rules in respect to Church meetings, when perhaps only a few are really acquainted with such rules. The rules are, of course, good, wise and generally profitable. The spirit of parliamentary rules should apply everywhere; for they are built on the Golden Rule basis of protecting the interests of all and getting through with the business with the least friction and delay.
With the Lord's people, however, love is always to have the first place. While love is always in accord with the Golden Rule, it is always at liberty to do more than even-handed justice. So all of the Lord's brethren should be quite willing to deny themselves a little preference in the interest of another where no principle would be involved.
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Love, joy, peace, should prevail in every Class. Everything tending toward these and in fullest harmony with loyalty toward God and His Word should be cherished.
Several recent letters make further inquiry respecting Church elections, methods of nominating, etc., and inquire whether or not it would be improper to follow a little different method of nominating than that suggested in STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, Vol. VI. We answer that in all such matters the will of the Class is the law. The Lord left the matter in the hands of the Church; and each little section, or part, of the Church has fullest authority to follow the Divine arrangement, according to its judgment.
In certain cases we believe it a very good plan to nominate Elders and Deacons by ballot, first deciding how many are desired for the term. Suppose that two Elders and five Deacons were considered a proper supply for the Class. Then, in balloting, each consecrated person should consider the Lord's will in respect to the nomination he would make. He may write the names of two nominees for Elder and five nominees for Deacon. Or, unless there were objection to it, he may give his two votes for one Elder and his five votes for one Deacon, or divide those votes in any way that he may choose. In this way, minorities in the Class would have an opportunity of being represented among the Elders.
When the balloting is finished and the account made up, the two Elders who have received the largest number of nominating ballots should be considered the choice of the Class; and similarly the five Deacons. Then it would be in order to have a vote. It is usually both pleasant and appropriate to make elections of those receiving
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the highest number of ballots unanimous by a vote with the outstretched hand.
Do not forget that the object always sought after is not how you can accomplish your will, but how you can give to every brother and sister the fullest opportunity for representation and have the same for yourself, especially with a view to doing the Lord's will. No matter how the results are reached, if they express satisfactorily the judgment of the majority, or all or nearly all of the Class, the matter is thoroughly legal, and in harmony with the principles laid down in the Bible.
"Let brotherly love continue." Let us seek to lay down our lives for the brethren. We cannot serve the Lord directly, but can serve Him indirectly, by serving the brethren and by manifesting our patience and sympathy and love for them.
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THE HOPE OF THE GOSPEL AGE
"To them who by patient continuance in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life."--`Romans 2:7`.
THE call of this Gospel Age is a call to glory, honor and immortality. As the Apostle Peter says, God has "given unto us [the Church] exceeding great and precious promises, that by these ye might become partakers of the Divine nature." (`2 Peter 1:4`.) St. Paul says that we were called in the "One Hope of our Calling"--this is the Hope that is set before us. Shall we all get this great reward? No. Some will draw back. "But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe [and go on] to the saving of our souls [our lives]." (`Heb. 10:39`.) Those who draw back go into the Second Death. For them there is nothing reserved but everlasting destruction. They will perish as brute beasts.--`2 Peter 2:12`.
We have been redeemed from Sheol, the grave, the tomb. God will later deliver also all mankind, and give them an opportunity to come to a knowledge of the Truth. Only a comparatively small portion have as yet been made partakers of the Holy Spirit. Only the spirit-begotten ones are able to see these things now offered; therefore, "Blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear." This is the only class with which God is dealing at the present time--those who have been begotten of the Holy Spirit.
BOTH OVERCOMERS AND "MORE THAN CONQUERORS"
But there is a difference between these that have been begotten of the Holy Spirit. Every man's work shall be tested "as by fire." The Apostle tells us that some will build with gold, silver and precious stones of the Divine promises. He declares that others will build with wood, hay and stubble, and that this latter class will suffer loss, but will themselves be saved, "yet so as by fire." (`1 Cor. 3:12-15`.) Eventually only those of the Wise Virgin class, who have copied the Lord's character, will be counted as "more than conquerors." The "more than conquerors" are those who go into this self-sacrifice voluntarily, as did our Savior. Others will not be counted as "more than conquerors." "To him that overcometh will I give power over the nations." These are more than merely overcomers--these that become the Royal Priesthood. These are the ones who will inherit immortality, who will receive the highest blessing.
We see two classes brought to our attention in `Revelation 7:4,9`. In the first class are twelve thousand from each of the twelve tribes of Israel--one hundred and forty-four thousand in all. These are they "who follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth." These are the ones who will stand with the Lamb on Mt. Zion, and who will sit with Him in His Throne. As many from the different tribes of Israel as were worthy at the First Advent were received and given the begetting of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. But the full number were not found in Natural Israel. "Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the Election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded."--`Rom. 11:7`.
During this Gospel Age God has been completing the Elect, filling up the number lacking to complete the one hundred and forty-four thousand, and apportioning, to each of those that come in, one of the places that were vacant.
The Apostle says, "I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits: that blindness in part is happened unto Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in." "The Deliverer shall come out of Zion, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob," my people. (`Rom. 11:25,26`.) The Deliverer is Christ the Head and the Church His Body. And this Deliverer will be the One who will bless all who become Israelites.
The picture in `Revelation 7:9` shows us the Great Company. And we read that John saw a great company, out of all nations and kindreds and peoples and tongues--not an elect number, not a fixed number, but one which no man could compute, being a number which no man knoweth. In the treatment that they must undergo, it is shown that these must wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb, and they will stand before the Throne, instead of sitting in the Throne. They will have everlasting life, but not immortality. Only the Little Flock, the Bride class, will have immortality. The Bride class will be counted worthy to escape the trouble coming on the world. They will keep their garments unspotted from the world. If there comes a spot or wrinkle, they go immediately to the Throne of Heavenly Grace, and find mercy and help and cleansing in time of need.
TWO CLASSES IN THE CHURCH
Thus we see that there will be two classes--the Little Flock and the Great Company. All of these were typified in the first-borns of Israel, who were spared, or passed over, in the night when Israel left Egypt. So all these will be of the Church of the First-borns. But a part of these will attain the Divine nature as the Bride of Christ, and a part will attain everlasting life, similar to the everlasting life that the angels possess.
Only the Father originally had immortality. The First-begotten of the Father was the Logos. He was the Beginning of the Creation of God, the First-born of every creature, by whom all things were made that were
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made. St. John tells us that "In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with the God, and the Logos was a God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made." Hence we understand that angels, principalities and powers, cherubim and seraphim, as well as man, were all the direct creation of this Logos, though not by His own power.
All things are of the Father, and all things are by the Son, and we by Him. First, Jehovah Himself is of the Divine nature; secondly, our Lord Jesus; and thirdly, the Church, the Lamb's Wife, will be of the Divine nature. The Great Company will be on the spirit plane, because begotten of the Spirit.