VOL. XXXI MARCH 1 No. 5
A.D. 1910--A.M. 6038
Views from The Watch Tower........................ 83
Zionists on to Canaan......................... 83
What a Wonderful Day is Ours!................. 84
King Edward the Storm-Centre.................. 84
A Great Mountain Melting...................... 85
Justification by Faith and Actually............... 85
God's Grace and God's Reward...................... 88
Healing All Manner of Diseases.................... 89
Power Over the Adversary.......................... 90
The Philosophy of the Ransom...................... 91
Questions on Justification........................ 92
Justified to Peace............................ 93
Ancient Worthies Not in the Court............. 93
Justified Fully to Human Rights............... 93
The Christian's Battle (Poem)..................... 94
Berean Studies on the Atonement................... 95
WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, PRESIDENT
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SERMONS IN THE NEWSPAPERS
How about renewing your subscriptions for newspapers publishing Brother Russell's sermons? Do your part! Be prompt! If a few narrow souls hating the good tidings of God's love try to discourage the Editors from publishing the sermons; the thousands who are being blest should tell of their profit and pleasure and thus encourage the newspaper men. Renew through us or direct, as you please. Use part of your "Good Hopes" thus if you think proper. You have our clubbing rates in the PEOPLES PULPIT--December issue.
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ONE-DAY CONVENTIONS TO BE ADDRESSED BY
THE EDITOR OF THIS JOURNAL:
BROOKLYN, N. Y., MARCH 6
Morning services at 10:30 o'clock in the Brooklyn Tabernacle, 13-17 Hicks street, two blocks from P.R.R. Annex Ferry and five minutes' walk from Brooklyn Bridge entrance. Question meeting in the same building at 8 o'clock, preceded by a half hour's song service. Discourse for the Public at 3 p.m. in Brooklyn Academy of Music, on Lafayette avenue, St. Felix street, and Ashland place. Subject, "Inferno."
WASHINGTON, D. C., MARCH 13
Morning and evening sessions, Masonic Temple, Ninth and F streets, N.W., 10:30 a.m. Praise, Prayer and Testimony meeting. 7:30 p.m. Brother Russell will address the friends. Discourse for the Public, National Theater, at 3 p.m. Subject, "The Overthrow of Satan's Empire."
ALLENTOWN, PA., MARCH 20
All meetings in Lyric Theater, 25 North Sixth street. Praise, Prayer and Testimony meeting at 10 a.m. Address for the interested at 11 a.m. Afternoon service for the Public at 3 p.m. Subject, "Man's Past, Present and Future."
BOSTON, MASS., MARCH 27
Praise, Prayer and Testimony meeting at 10:30 a.m. Evening meeting for the interested at 7:30 p.m. Location of morning and evening meetings later. Afternoon session for the Public in Tremont Temple, Tremont street, between School and Broomfield streets, at 3 o'clock.
BROOKLYN, N. Y., APRIL 3
Discourse for the Public in Brooklyn Academy of Music at 3 p.m. Subject, "Overthrow of Satan's Empire."
BROOKLYN BETHEL HYMNS FOR APRIL
After the close of the hymn the Bethel Family listens to the reading of "My Vow Unto the Lord," then joins in prayer. At the breakfast table the MANNA text is considered: (1) Vow; (2) 313; (3) 145; (4) 123; (5) 9; (6) 114; (7) 284; (8) 273; (9) 278; (10) 289; (11) 209; (12) 113; (13) 157; (14) 130; (15) 105; (16) 155; (17) 193; (18) 60; (19) 87; (20) 8; (21) 32; (22) 176; (23) 4; (24) 164; (25) 93; (26) 119; (27) 293; (28) 191; (29) 221; (30) 383; (31) 325.
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VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER
ZIONISTS ON TO CANAAN
NEWS from all parts of the civilized world interested in Zionism have come face to face with the Kingdom question. The reform government of Turkey has treated the Jews very favorably and proffered them full privileges in Palestine, reminding them that Turkey is one of the few nations that have not persecuted the Jews. This liberal offer would have been seized with avidity a short time ago, but, with the improvement of prospect, some of the leading Zionists are insisting that Palestine shall be made a Jewish State with a government of its own, but subject to Turkey, after the manner of the Balkan States. Scripturally we have reason to believe that such a concession will not be granted nor attained before 1915--following the close of "the times of the Gentiles."--`Luke 21:24`.
The Zionist Congress, which closed its session in Hamburg, Germany, on the last day of 1909, had this Kingdom question as its principal issue. Its President, Dr. Max Nordau, threw all the weight of his great influence against undertaking any special work in Palestine, until Turkey should grant the Jews an autonomous government. We quote a portion of his address. He said:--
"What we desire is to form a nationality within the Ottoman State like all the other nationalities in the empire. True, we demand the recognition of our nationality; there must be no doubt about that. It will be our ambition to earn the reputation of being the most loyal, the most reliable, and the most useful of the Turkish nationalities, to contribute the most zealously to the weal, the progress and the power of the empire.
"But let it be understood that we will do all this solely as a nationality, as a Jewish nationality. That is our frank reply to certain Turkish utterances. We have been told: 'Come to Turkey as much as you like. You shall be welcome. You will find everything you desire, fertile, cheap, possibly free land, security against persecution, all the liberties accorded to every citizen of the Ottoman Empire. But you must become Turkish subjects, adopt the Turkish language, merge with the Turkish people so that you cannot be distinguished from other Turks.'
"In the face of such views we are impelled by pride and self-respect to refer to our original programme. On this point concessions are impossible. If the Jews want to assimilate they can do it nearer home and more cheaply; they can do it where they are and save the fare. You are Zionists, however, just because you do not wish to disappear as Jews. You wish to go to Palestine, the land of your fathers, to live and develop there as national Jews.
"Our ideal is to see a Jewish people in the land of its fathers, ennobled by a 2,000-year-old firmness of character, respected on account of its honest, cultural work, an instrument of wise progress, a champion of justice, an apostle and personifier of brotherly love. Of this ideal I will not surrender an iota. On this point there can be no concession.
"This ideal I would not exchange for all the treasure in the world, let alone for a dividend. If Turkey today opposes the realization of my ideal, I must wait. To wait long is a misfortune, but no disgrace. Vacillation is a disgrace. My ideal is eternal. It embraces every hope. To abandon hope is to commit suicide. Therefore, I exclaim as loudly as I can: Back to the Basle programme! Let us never forget that we aspire to the creation of a publicly recognized, legally assured home for our people. Let us never forget that we have to cleanse the shield of the Jewish people from all the mire with which a hatred that has lasted for 2,000 years has begrimed it."
THE WORK NOT TO BE DELAYED
Notwithstanding their great respect for their President, the Zionist delegates took an opposite view, claiming that further delay in the realization of their hopes must not be considered--that they must go up at once to possess the promised land, availing themselves of the "door" which Providence had opened before them. A correspondent pictures the sentiment of the Congress as a whole in the following graphic language:
"Long before the Zionist Congress convened there seemed to be a feeling pervading every activity connected with the Congress that the Zionist movement had reached a decided turning point in its progress. Every delegate, no matter where he hailed from, appeared to carry with him the sub-conscious conviction that unless all the stored-up energy and accumulated substance of Zionism is at once turned to practical uses in Palestine something might be missed.
"If any single word could aptly characterize the mental attitude of the majority of the delegates in that respect that word would have been 'impatience.' An irresistible desire was noticeable to do things, and to do them at once. There seemed to exist the apprehension that with the signs of Palestine's awakening before the eyes of the world the Zionist movement was not quick enough to take advantage of the situation."
THE DECIDING VOTE
The test of the question--whether the Zionists would accept the dictum of their leader and President and abstain from further efforts to reoccupy the land of Canaan, perhaps for years, perhaps forever--was decided against him by a majority vote. At the close of an all-night session
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it was resolved that all Zionist capital should be gradually transferred to Palestine, making it the only center of its financial and industrial operations. In a word, the rank and file of the Zionists have outrun their leader. Otherwise stated, God's time having come for the rehabilitation of Palestine, even the most influential man amongst the Jews today was unable to hinder it. Within another year great things may be expected in Palestine. When six months ago the Turkish reformation threw open the door of Palestine, we wondered that there was no apparent haste made to enter. Now we see that Dr. Nordau for a time was the influential hindrance. We shall expect that so broad-minded a man, so able a leader, will join heartily with his co-religionists in a movement which is fulfilling prophecy and which will proceed and prosper with or without his assistance.
WHAT A WONDERFUL DAY IS OURS!
Prophecies thousands of years old are fulfilling before our eyes. The wilderness is being made to blossom as the rose, not only in the arid regions of our far Western States, but in the supposed cradle of the human family in the land of Mesopotamia, where Abraham lived. The power which is accomplishing these things, in fulfillment of God's Word, is human. The force behind the energy is not spiritual, but financial. The motive is not the fulfillment of the Scriptures, but selfishness--the desire for wealth. The project of the Turkish Government to revive Mesopotamia has already been referred to; nevertheless the following account, which is going the rounds of the newspapers, will be read with interest:
TO RESTORE THE GARDEN OF EDEN
"To restore the Garden of Eden sounds like a bold enterprise, yet a plan suggested by Sir William Wilcox, the English engineer, who built the Assouan dam, makes the project sound entirely feasible. It is Mesopotamia, 'the land between the rivers' Tigris and Euphrates, with which he is dealing, and he purposes to turn the surplus waters of the Euphrates into the River Pishon, and to carry down the delta a great canal which would not only bring back the productiveness of several million acres of land, but would guard the region from the overflows of the Tigris. It marks a definite step in the world's progress that the work of reconstruction should now be taken up by the Turkish government, which thereby demonstrates its real reform to broader views and more intelligent ambitions.
"To build this canal, which will double the cultivable area along the Euphrates, will take three years and cost $2,000,000 or less. Supplementing it, Sir William proposes a railroad from Bagdad to Damascus, costing $11,000,000, which would open the way to the Mediterranean, the natural commercial outlet of Mesopotamia. Such a road seems to be demanded because the irrigation scheme will impair the navigability of the river. And even before the increased wheat harvests are ready for transport there will be freight to carry and passengers to convey--Mohammedan pilgrims visiting holy places and tourists who will feel, probably, more interest in 'Arabian Nights country' than in the 'cradle of the race.'
"There may be some question that the railroad is indispensable, though Asiatic enterprises of this kind have generally met with astonishing success, and have been profitable to the projectors as well as valuable to the
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territory through which they pass. Of the economic importance of the canal there can scarcely be a doubt. The transformation wrought in the valley of the Nile can probably be duplicated along the Euphrates. Great cities may never again arise in that region where the archaeologists have long been busy among the ruins of historic capitals, but the land may once more become a 'garden'--not an Eden perhaps, but far removed from the desert that later generations have known as the shame of its rulers."
An Englishman, Sir William Wilcox, an engineer of the Turkish Board of Public Works, is to have the management of this improvement. He suggests that an oasis called Harlah, northwest of Bagdad, marks the site of the once flourishing Garden of Eden. The Euphrates river runs through it, dividing into four arms, corresponding to the four rivers of Eden.
KING EDWARD THE STORM CENTER
The British House of Lords has very much charged up against it--probably more than is strictly true. Doubtless amongst the Peers of the Realm are to be found noble characters, as well as some debased by wealth and idleness. Doubtless as a whole the lords have been slandered to a considerable extent. The result has been the turning of many of the common people who once reverenced them into enemies who now hate them. During the recent election time members of Parliament considered it unsafe to be out after dark unaccompanied by a bodyguard.
The cry is that the House of Lords should be abolished, but it is very doubtful if this can be accomplished legally. The next step is an appeal to the King to appoint a large number of prominent Britains to the Peerage. The thought is that thus the present lords would be outweighed in influence, and a vote of the House of Lords would more nearly represent the public sentiment in all matters of legislation. Should the King do this he would, of course, incur to some extent the enmity of the lords. Should he decline to do it, he would be considered a sympathizer with them and be correspondingly unpopular with those who take the more democratic stand. Doubtless an evil time for kings and potentates is near at hand. Thank God for the glorious prospect that just beyond the time of trouble the world will experience the dawn of the Millennium!
MUCH DEPENDS ON THE VIEWPOINT
All classes of people seem to be amazed at the increasing preparations for war, and these, notwithstanding the cry of "Peace! peace!" and the realization on the part of all that warfare has become more terrible than ever before, by reason of the advancement made in the production of destructive explosives and every conceivable device for hurling them at opponents. Statesmen seem to be impelled by an unseen but dreadful power to almost bankrupt their governments in adding battleship to battleship, device to device, for the destruction of those whom they profess to recognize as fellow-Christians. We quote the words of two of Great Britain's most prominent men, as follows:
(1) "It is the deepest reproach upon the present-day civilization that preparation for war should be the dominant concern of the two most powerful nations of the Old World at the close of the first decade of the new century. England and Germany are not alone in pouring treasure into the construction of armaments at a rate never before contemplated. Every great power is compelled by their example--all in the interests of peace, forsooth --to do likewise. The legislatures of three countries, Great Britain, Germany and the United States, have been engaged during the past summer in imposing great burdens of taxation upon their constituents, amounting roughly to $125,000,000 per year in each case. National defence has been the impelling cause in every instance. There is no sign that the end has been reached.
(2) "That is a sign which I confess I regard as most ominous. For forty years it has been a platitude to say
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that 'Europe is an armed camp,' and for forty years it has been true that all the nations have been facing each other armed to the teeth, and that has been in some respects a guarantee of peace. Now, what do we see? Without any tangible reason we see the nations preparing new armaments. They cannot arm any more men on land, so they have to seek new armaments upon the sea, piling up these enormous preparations as if for some great Armageddon--and that in a time of profoundest peace."
A GREAT MOUNTAIN MELTING
Many of us are watching with keen interest the political struggle in progress in Great Britain. An Oxford College Professor, travelling in America, declared recently that Great Britain is facing a more serious crisis than at any time since the civil wars of Cromwell--along political lines. He summarizes the situation briefly as follows:
"The great English crisis is the French revolution done over in the English way. Here is the real issue: The Conservative party stands for a strong, parental, imperial and patriotic government, such as exists in Germany; the Liberals stand for social reform at home. They want to give the poor, down-trodden people a chance. They want justice to be given, in a socialistic sense, to the lower classes, who have for years been oppressed by landlords and capitalists. The question is, which policy is to be adopted?"
The Scriptures, referring to our time, symbolically picture the Kingdoms of earth as mountains, and, describing our day, tell that some of these mountains will melt like wax and flow down to the level of the people, and others, retaining their rigidity, will be overwhelmed with the tidal wave of social strife and be cast into the midst of the sea--into anarchy. (`Psa. 46:2`.) Russia recently melted a little and yielded the Douma to the demands of the people. Great Britain and France are now melting --yielding to popular demands and, in so doing, preserving law and order the longer.
The melting process will evidently go hard with the German Emperor. His conception of the Divine right of kings to rule and the Divine mandate to the people to obey them will make him slow to yield, even for the preservation of his Empire. He desires to rule actually and not as a mere figurehead. He has said as much. The floods of Socialism are rising about him gradually day by day, year by year. Before very long a crisis of some kind must be faced in Germany--and in every land, because the masses are gradually learning to appreciate their power; because superstition respecting the authority of kings and priests is waning; because the same selfishness which has made the rich keen to watch their interests is making the poor keen to turn every precedent, theory and law to their own advantage.
UNGODLINESS AND DISCONTENT
Below we print a clipping from an unknown paper, which gathers its facts from the London Spectator. It confirms what we have more than once called attention to in these columns, namely, that the spread of education and increase of wealth are not tending to make humanity happier, holier or more content, but rather the reverse. It says:
FACTS RESPECTING SUICIDES
"From an article in the Spectator, it is evident that suicides are increasing at an alarming rate, especially in the larger cities. In fact, the rate has increased within the past ten years from fifteen to twenty-one per one hundred thousand of population. That is to say, ten years ago there were fifteen suicides to every hundred thousand of population of the cities, while last year there were twenty-one.
"But there are other features of the suicide statistics that are even more interesting than the per cent. of people who take their own lives. For instance, according to the Spectator article, we find that the average rate for ten years was 15.9 per 100,000 for the North Atlantic States; 23.3 for the North Central States; 14.5 for the Southern States; 27.7 for the Western States.
"An analysis of the statistics also shows that the increase is most noticeable with the well-to-do, prosperous and better educated classes. There has been no increase among the poor, unfortunate and illiterate classes. There is also seen to be, frequently, a connection between suicide and crime, many of the cases being those of prominent people who held responsible positions and who had 'gone wrong' in one way or another.
"The greatest number of suicides took place in the cities among people who were country bred, showing, to some extent, that the excitement or strenuosity of the cities was too much for many of those who were attracted by the glare."
"One of the really startling statements made in the article is this:
"'A study of any considerable number of individual cases of suicide does not confirm the view that real progress is being made as the result of modern educational methods and the vast increase in material prosperity, well-being and comfort, but it leads rather to adverse conclusions and the conviction that there is a positive increase in the so-called diseases of the will.'
"Can it be possible that all of our educational efforts, and our great accretions of wealth--our better understanding and our greater comforts--have not tended to prevent self-destruction? Or does the increase in the number of persons who commit suicide tend to show that we have acquired our knowledge and our wealth at a cost greater than human life itself? There are a good many questions that one might ask in face of the figures, and until a more thorough study is made of the question of suicidal mania, and until the human mind is better understood, we shall probably have to take it out in asking questions."
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JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH AND ACTUALLY
THE Lord through the Prophet declared that his message would be presented "Line upon line and precept upon precept." (`Isa. 28:10`.) Some questions received imply that the important subject of Justification is not yet fully and clearly grasped by all. Although the all-important matter is the keeping of the heart, nevertheless it is proper for us to utilize every item of knowledge furnished us by the Lord, that we may keep our heads right, that we may be able to view matters from the Divine standpoint.
A narrow or a broad view of justification may be taken and both be true. For instance, we say that "Abraham was justified by faith," and say so truly. Yet this implies three different steps, two of which were Abraham's and one the Lord's. And the latter is not fully accomplished yet. God called Abraham to leave Haran and to come into the land of Canaan, promising that then he would make a Covenant with him. Abraham believed when he started from Haran and continued to believe after he had come into Canaan. In due time God made the Covenant as promised, assuring him that "in his Seed all the families of the earth would be blessed." The making of this Covenant
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implied a fellowship between God and Abraham on the basis of his faith-justification. But Abraham at that time was not justified to human perfection and life everlasting --but to fellowship merely. He needed to go on, to demonstrate that he had a strong faith. After many years of faith-testing Isaac was born. Abraham had thus an evidence of the Lord's favor and that the promise would be fulfilled. But still he was not justified to life and human perfection. Long years after Isaac's birth God put a final test upon Abraham's faith, saying, "Take now thy son, thine only son, Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt-offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of."--`Gen. 22:2`.
Not until Abraham had shown his absolute heart-loyalty could he be counted of God as worthy of a "better resurrection" than the remainder of mankind --resurrection to human perfection--actual justification, actual rightness or righteousness. Even when Abraham's tests were all passed satisfactorily he could not still be actually justified or made actually perfect; because he needed to be redeemed with the precious blood of Christ. As a member of Adam's family he was under a death sentence which must be annulled before he could be actually justified to the perfection of human life. Abraham had done his part to the Divine pleasement, but he must wait for his perfecting until the great Mediator, the Second Adam, Head and Body, would be complete and the New Covenant be sealed with Abraham and his natural seed, giving them earthly restitution and perfection at the hands of their Mediator.--`Heb. 11:38-40`.
When our Lord Jesus at his First Advent died some one might have said, Now Abraham and all the Ancient Worthies are justified. But that would not have been strictly true. It would have been true only in the sense that an unconscious, half-drowned child had been caught by its rescuer. An on-looker might shout, Hurrah, the child is saved! Yet really the rescuer must get the child into the boat and the work of resuscitation must be accomplished before the child would be fully saved.
Even when our Lord Jesus "ascended up on high, there to appear in the presence of God for us," and made satisfaction for our sins, as did the typical priest, sprinkling the blood of Atonement on the Mercy-Seat--even then Abraham and the other Ancient Worthies were not saved --not actually justified or made actually right--nor legally right. Why not? Because the precious blood was not then applied on behalf of Abraham and the other Ancient Worthies, nor on behalf of the world in general. The Apostle declares, "He appeared in the presence of God for us." We are not finding fault with those who lump matters and in a general way say, "Christ died for the whole world." We heartily assent to that. He did die for the whole world in the sense that in God's "due time" the whole world will have the full benefit of the merit of his sacrificial death. Thus again, "He is a propitiation (satisfaction) for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." His death had as its ultimate object not only the cancellation of the Church's sins, but also ultimately the cancellation of the sins of the whole world. But when he ascended up on high he made application "for us" and not for the world. As already shown he will make a fresh application of his own blood for the sins of the whole world at the close of this Gospel Age--this antitypical Day of Atonement.
Notice how distinctly the Scriptures differentiate between the Church class (the "Little Flock" of Under-Priests, and the "Great Company" of antitypical Levites) and the remainder of mankind. "Ye," "we" and "us" are terms Scripturally applied to those "called" during this Gospel Age to be sharers with Christ in the high or heavenly calling--on the spirit plane like unto the angels. These are "not of the world," nor are they styled the children of Christ, but "his brethren," of whom he is the Elder Brother--Christ's members over whom he is the Head--the Bride class, of whom he is the Head or Bridegroom. On the contrary, Israel and the whole world must get their life, and restitution rights and perfection from The Christ, the Mediator. Thus our Lord will be the Father or Life-Giver to the world. He is not the life-giver to the Church, his Bride, his members. Although we were "justified through faith in his blood" we never received earthly life and human perfection from him actually. We received merely an imputation of earthly life-rights for the purpose of permitting us to offer ourselves "living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God," that we might become members of the Body of Christ, the Mediator, the Priest, the King of glory. "The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ hath begotten us." Ours is a spirit-begetting similar to that of our Lord Jesus and from the same source and for the same reason--because of our obedience, even unto sacrifice-- made acceptable through our great Redeemer's merit.
Of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob it is written that they shall be the children of The Christ; they will receive the earthly life and its full restitution privileges directly from the Redeemer--"in due time." The world has not received life in any sense as yet. Hence the Apostle says, "The whole world lieth in the Wicked One." Jesus, the appointed Mediator between God and the world of mankind, has not yet taken up his work for them. They must wait until he shall have finished a preceding work "for us"--the gathering of the elect little flock from the world as his "members," "his Body," his Church.
When the time shall come for our Lord to make application of his merit on behalf of the world of mankind in general--for all not included in the household of faith, "us"--Abraham and all the Ancient Worthies will constitute the first-fruits on the earthly plane. Their justification will be made actual, vital, by a "better resurrection" than the remainder of mankind will enjoy. Having been approved of the Lord in the past they will be granted restitution instantly; whereas the world will come up to that plane of actual justification or human perfection by the slower processes of the Millennial Age. But the Ancient Worthies, like the remainder of mankind, reaching human perfection (actual justification) will be the children of Messiah. "Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth." (`Psa. 45:16`.) Hearken to the Apostle, They without us cannot be made perfect (actually justified to life), God having provided a superior thing for us first.--`Heb. 11:38-40`.
OUR JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH
As there are three steps to Abraham's actual justification --two of these his own and one the Lord's--so also in our justification we may see three steps. As Abraham heard the call of God to leave his father's house, so the household of faith during this Gospel Age is called of God to leave the world, to turn aside, to become his people under such experiences of joy and sorrow as he may see best for them. From the time we took the first step (or even as children of those who had taken the step of obedience), we were counted justified by faith, as Abraham was when he left Haran and entered Canaan.
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But as he was not yet justified to life, neither were we, until after we had come to the point of test and had proven faithful. As Abraham's faith was tested in the demand that he offer up Isaac as a sacrifice, our faith and loyalty were tested when we heard the message, "Present your bodies living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God, and your reasonable service."
Our justification by faith holds thus far, but, after reasonable time, if we decline to make the sacrifice, it demonstrates that our faith was insufficient, that our loyalty was insufficient, that we could not attain the glorious things to which we had been invited--that we were not worthy. Such, the Apostle implies, receive the grace of God in vain. After a reasonable time their justification to fellowship with God lapses and their peace and joy correspondingly diminish. They had an opportunity of attaining the great favor or high calling of this Gospel Age, but they failed to improve it. Their relationship to God thereafter will be the same as that of the remainder of mankind. They will be held over to be dealt with by the Redeemer under the New Covenant, to be blessed by its Mediator under his Mediatorial Kingdom.
But some who, during the time of the call of this Gospel Age, left the world behind and came into relationship with God through faith and were "justified by faith," were courageous to the degree of presenting their bodies living sacrifices, after the Redeemer's example. These,
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during "the acceptable time," were accepted and got Divine evidence in their begetting by the holy Spirit to membership in the New Creation--sons of God on the spirit plane, as members of Messiah's Body, the Church. These did not receive actual justification--they were not made actually perfect, yet their rights to human perfection all terminated when God accepted their sacrifice. Their reckoned justification was vitalized at the moment of consecration. By this we mean that at that moment God treated them exactly as he would have done had they been like Jesus, actually "holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners."
Let us illustrate this matter. Suppose that A__________, as a reward, gave to B__________ a note calling for a New York draft for $1,000 at any time before January 1, 1910. Let that note represent the justification by faith which becomes ours upon believing in Christ and turning from the world and from sin. The New York draft in the illustration would represent the begetting of the holy Spirit to spiritual sonship. As the draft could be secured only by the surrender of the note, so the spirit nature will become ours only through the surrender of all earthly rights--our own and those imputed (not given) to us by the Lord. As the note is good only for exchange for New York draft, so our justification is good only for the purposes designated--to enable us to "present our bodies living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God." As the note would lose all value if not used before January 1st, so our faith-justification will lose all value if not used in time. As the note presented in time would secure to the holder the New York draft, it signifies that that moment it ceased to be a promisory matter of faith and became an actuality. The New York draft would represent the begetting of the holy Spirit. The later cashing of the draft "in due time" at the bank would illustrate the making of our calling and election sure by faithfulness even unto death, when the coin value of the draft would come fully into our possession.
Whoever, after receiving the New York draft, should lose it or destroy it could not go back to the bank and claim the original note. So those who have received the begetting of the holy Spirit, if they misuse it or lose it entirely in the Second Death, can have no claim upon the Lord for human restitution. Their full share of Christ's merit has already been granted such, and "Christ dieth no more."
We have shown the different features of faith-justification and the necessity of a full test of obedience before the justified could be acceptable to God, either for the "better resurrection" to human perfection of the Ancient Worthies, or as the ground or basis of the Church's acceptance to the new nature. Next let us notice that if our Lord, when he ascended on high, had appeared in the presence of God for the whole world instead of merely "for us," then the whole world would have been brought into relationship to God just as we have been--at once, and not at the close of a thousand years of uplifting. Would such a cancellation of the world's sins that are past and such an introduction of them to the Father as imperfect beings have been to their advantage? We answer, No. No more would have been advantaged than are advantaged now--the comparatively few.
All of Adam's children are weak, imperfect, and only such of these as turn to the Lord with all their hearts and exercise faith and obedience could possibly be acceptable to him--even through Christ. Consequently, all the remainder, thousands of millions, would have been unacceptable and their justification through Christ's merit from the original sins would merely have put them on trial afresh for everlasting life or everlasting death. They would have been condemned as enemies of God and of righteousness--not merely enemies through wicked works of the flesh, which they could not control, but enemies at heart, "carnally minded--not subject to the will of God." What the world needs is something entirely different from what is now, by God's grace, accorded to the Church, the household of faith. Blessed are our eyes, for they see, and our ears, for they hear, and our hearts, for they are desirous of fellowship with God; otherwise he would not accept us as living sacrifices and justify us through the precious blood and sanctify us through our covenant of death. What the world needs is just what God has provided for them.
(1) A strong Kingdom to crush the power of Satan and set mankind free from his blinding and enslaving influences.
(2) It needs further the establishment of a Kingdom of righteousness to mete out rewards and punishments promptly.
(3) It needs also a merciful high priest, not only sympathetic, but backed by a merit then applied on their behalf, giving them fully into his control to be uplifted mentally, morally and physically.
(4) In order to comply with the Lord's promise to natural Israel, all these blessings of the New Covenant must reach the world through Israel as the channel.
(5) This Mediatorial Kingdom will begin at the close of this Gospel Age, when the members of the Body of Christ shall all have been found, and all have been glorified. The New Covenant will then be inaugurated with Israel through the Ancient Worthies. Their sins will then be atoned for by the same precious blood which now atones for ours. As a result, the Ancient Worthies will come forth perfect and to them will gather, not only their own Israelitish kindred, but all nations. "This is my Covenant with them when I shall take away their sins." (`Romans 11:27`; `Jer. 31:33`.) Sodom and Samaria and all the nations shall be given unto them for daughters, but not by their old Law Covenant, but by a New Law Covenant.--`Ezek. 16:60-63`.
Under the new regime of the New Covenant and its
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Millennial Kingdom (in the hands of the antitypical Moses, the Mediator of the New Covenant), the Law will go forth from Mt. Zion (Spiritual Israel) and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem (Natural Israel). The result will be wonderful blessings--mental, moral and physical uplift, freedom from pests, the elimination of disease, etc. The start on the highway of holiness will there be made and the blessings of the Lord will fill the whole earth. Many nations will perceive and take note and desire to share those earthly good things with Israel. But the New Covenant will be made only with Israel. And the only way in which the other nations can receive a share of those restitution favors will be by becoming Israelites--coming under the laws, regulations and disciplines of the New Covenant. The restitution blessings will be so attractive that we read, "Many nations shall go and say, Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord's house; he will teach us (as well as the Jews) of his ways; and we (like them) will walk in his paths."-- `Isa. 2:3`.
Thus the highway of holiness will be opened up through Israel, through the Ancient Worthies, through the New Covenant made with them. That highway of holiness will lead from imperfection to perfection, justification, restitution of all that was lost in Adam and redeemed at Calvary. Thus gradually, as the famine drew the Egyptians to Joseph for the bread of life, so those Millennial conditions will draw all nations to Israel to obtain perfection and everlasting life.
The justification of the Millennial Age will not be a faith-justification, but an actual-justification, gradually attained under the New Covenant conditions, "Do and live;" but also under the merciful provision arranged through the Mediator of that New Covenant. During that Mediatorial Reign all refusing to come into harmony with the Kingdom arrangements will first of all fail to receive the special blessings that will then be given to the willing and obedient; and, persisting in their wrong course, they will ultimately be cut off in the Second Death without hope of recovery. With the conclusion of the Millennium all mankind will have reached the condition of actual justification, or perfection through the merit of Christ applied as Mediator of the New Covenant through Israel. And all the world of mankind then perfected will be Israelites, just as all nationalities come to the United States and here become citizens. Thus all nations during the Millennium will gradually flow to Israel and come under obedience to the New Covenant regulations and thus become Israelites indeed on the earthly plane.
When our Lord at the close of his Mediatorial Kingdom will deliver over the control to God the Father, he will deliver only Israelites--the seed of Abraham; as it is written, "I have constituted thee a father of many nations"; "Thy seed shall be as the sand of the seashore" for multitude. (`Hosea 1:10`.) Later on that great host of Abraham's seed, after having been delivered over to the Father perfect and thoroughly able to keep the Divine Law (without any allowances), will be tested by the liberation of Satan for a little season. The Adversary will go up on the breadth of the earth to deceive all--the number of all being "as the sand of the seashore." How many will prove unfaithful and fall into the snare he will be permitted to lay for them is not indicated; but God will not fully and completely receive any into eternal life without first testing them as respects their loyalty to himself and the principles of his righteousness. One of the very tests which he puts to the Church in the present time--testing us, however, not according to the flesh, but according to the spirit, according to the intents of the heart--is our obedience to his Word and Providences. Only the submissive will pass the inspection. All the heady and high-minded and self-willed will surely be rejected. "Let us, therefore, humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt us in due time." --`I Pet. 5:6`.
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GOD'S GRACE AND GOD'S REWARD
"The grace of God which bringeth salvation hath appeared for all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly desires, we should live soberly, righteously and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope and the glorious revelation of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ."--`Titus 2:11-13`.
GOD'S grace or favor relates primarily to the mercy which he purposes to extend to Adam and all of his posterity through our Lord Jesus Christ. It is grace or favor because it is a thing not merited--it is not a reward. It has appeared for all men in the sense that it has been manifested to some and the information has been given that ultimately it will be extended to all, so that all may have a share in it. It bringeth salvation in the sense that the opportunities afforded by grace make possible our salvation from sin and death conditions. It has many teachings or lessons, but one of these is paramount, namely, that in God's sight sin is exceedingly sinful and must become so also in our sight. It teaches that we should forego the weaknesses, the tendencies of the flesh, and should resist them and show our preference for righteousness by our zeal in fighting against sin. All who will eventually get God's blessing and perfection on either the earthly or the heavenly plane must come to this standard of loving righteousness and hating iniquity, else the blessings of God's grace will not continue with them.
And, contrariwise, when the sinners shall have been fully lifted out of their weakness and imperfection and fully established in righteousness, grace or favor toward them will be at an end; because they will no longer have need for it. They will, however, to all eternity, assuredly acknowledge with gladness the grace which saved them and lifted them to full salvation and accord with the Divine Law.
During this Gospel Age God's grace is manifested in a variety of ways, whereas during the Millennial Age his grace will be manifested merely through the operation of the Millennial Kingdom and its influences. Now, God's people have his grace through Christ in the arrangement provided for the justification from their sins and weaknesses on the basis of obedient faith to the extent of ability. To abide in God's grace we must turn from sin to serve the Lord. Then we were brought to a knowledge of a second step of grace--the privilege of using our faith-justification as a basis for sacrificing with Christ and becoming partakers of his Divine nature, glory and Kingdom. After we had taken the step of consecration, a third step of grace was opened to us--the begetting of the holy Spirit and the induction
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into the School of Christ to take his yoke upon us and learn of him. Grace still pursued us. After cancelling our share of Original Sin and imperfection, grace provided also for our continuance in the love of God, after we became New Creatures. The "New Creature" has need of grace and mercy because it has for its expression only the "earthen vessel," which is frail and prone to sin, weakness and error.
The New Creature cannot sin--wilfully--and it never had "Original Sin"; but it could be strangled by the old nature, if the latter were allowed to revive and regain the control. God recognizes the flesh as dead and deals only with the New Creature, which never knew sin and which never could love sin. Nevertheless the New Creature has a responsibility for its earthly tabernacle, the body, just as a man has responsibility for the conduct of his dog. If he knows the dog to be vicious he must muzzle him. If he does not encourage the dog to do mischief, he is still responsible for him and liable for his depredations. So the New Creature is responsible for his body of flesh. Because he cannot fully control thoughts, words and actions, there are sure to be trespasses. And these must not only be fought against, but must be repented of--taken to the Throne of the Heavenly Grace for forgiveness. Here again the voice of grace is heard speaking peace through Jesus Christ the Redeemer, for the Redeemer through Divine arrangement is our Advocate. As such he is both able and willing to apply all that may be needed to make good our errors of weakness or ignorance. God's grace continues thus with us to the end of the journey, lending assistance at every step.
But there are certain things which are not of grace. While justification, the basis of our sacrifice, is of grace, our presentation of our bodies living sacrifices is not of grace. The knowledge of our privilege is by grace, but our sacrificing is of our own volition. It is this spirit of sacrifice and its manifestation in the spirit of loyalty to God and to righteousness which God purposes to reward with association with the Redeemer in his kingly glory, honor and immortality. In this we are copies of God's dear Son. "If we suffer with him, we shall also reign with him." Notice well the rewards promised: "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne." (`Rev. 3:21`.) "They shall walk with me in white, for they are worthy." (`Rev. 3:4`.) On the other hand, it may be truly said that all of our blessings and favors are of God's grace, because we could never have merited any of them ourselves--because the foundation of all our blessings, honors, glory and immortality rests upon the grace of God in Christ, without whom we could do nothing and would be nothing.
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HEALING ALL MANNER OF DISEASES
--`MATTHEW 8:2-17`.--MARCH 6.--
Golden Text:--"Himself took our infirmities
and bare our weaknesses."--`V. 17`.
ALTHOUGH the Great Teacher healed all manner of diseases, it is a mistake to suppose that this constituted his mission as a whole or one of its most important features. His healings were performed with three ends in view:
(1) To draw attention to his message.
(2) To be illustrations of his great Work of the future when in Kingdom power and glory he shall heal all diseases, uplifting mankind out of sin and death conditions completely.
(3) They were tests of the Master's own faithfulness to his Consecration Vow. Throughout his healing ministry he laid down his life, so that after three and a half years of ministry, the Perfect One had so exhausted his vitality that he could not carry his own cross, as could the thieves who accompanied him. His great sacrifice was thus partially laid down before he reached Calvary, where it was "finished." Thus our Lord's miracles were performed, as the prophet declares, at his own expense, his own sacrifice--"Himself took our infirmities and bare our diseases." Every healing performed, to a proportionate extent decreased the Lord's vitality. So we read, "Virtue (vitality) went out of him and healed them all."--`Luke 6:19`.
Leprosy, very prevalent in the East, is used in the Scriptures symbolically to represent sin, and the cleansing of it to represent purification from sin. It was classed as incurable and hence our Lord's curing it demonstrated his supernatural power. In the case under consideration, as in others, Jesus directed that the miracle be not specially blazoned forth amongst the people; for so doing would tend to make him too popular, as in some cases it led to the demand that he should be recognized as King. But he did direct that the miracle be duly reported to the High Priest. This was the demand of the Law. And furthermore Jesus wished that his miracles should be "a testimony unto them"--unto those who sat in Moses' seat as the rulers of the people, and who would ultimately pass sentence upon him. They must at least know of his miracles.
Not much religion might be expected from Roman soldiers, yet our Lord testified of the one whose servant he healed that his faith was greater than any he had found amongst the Israelites. The Roman entreated favor for his servant, and when our Lord promised to go to his house to heal him, the centurion answered the Lord that a visit was entirely unnecessary, that he would be fully satisfied if he spoke the word of healing. Jesus dismissed the centurion saying, "Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee." And his servant was healed.
There is a lesson for us in these words--our Lord's ability was unlimited. And his blessings to us are proportionate to our readiness to receive them by faith; for "without faith it is impossible to please God." And those who cannot exercise faith cannot have share in the blessings offered under the Gospel call, but must wait for the demonstrations of the Millennial Kingdom.
The circumstance served as a text, and prophetically the Lord declared what must have seemed peculiar to his hearers--that many would come from the East and West --Gentiles--to be associated with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the Kingdom, while Israelites would be cast out of Divine favor into outer darkness of disfavor and there have distress. The "outer darkness" of God's disfavor has been upon them especially since the destruction of Jerusalem.
The Jews fully expected the setting up of the Millennial Kingdom, but supposed none other than Jews would be in or of it. The nucleus of the Kingdom class was
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Jewish--from the day of Pentecost for three and a half years, to the time when Cornelius was received as the first Gentile accepted. Since then "the middle wall of partition" between Jew and Gentile, which previously hindered the latter from a full share of God's favors, has been broken down. During the eighteen centuries the Lord has gathered or "called" disciples from all nations. The faithful of these will constitute the Kingdom class. In connection with these Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will have an honored place for the blessing of Israel regathered and through them the blessing of all the families of the earth during the Millennium, which, we believe, will shortly be in evidence.
While the faithful of the Jews will share that Kingdom, the nation as a whole was rejected from Divine favor and cast into "outer darkness"--the same darkness which covered the Gentiles, the world in general. They have had weeping and gnashing of teeth for eighteen centuries and, according to the Scriptures, will suffer further yet before the time shall come when God will graciously forgive their sin and save them from their national blindness and make them, in connection with the Millennial Kingdom, his instruments for blessing all the families of the earth.
No miracle of healing was ever wrought by the Savior upon any of his disciples. The same is true of the apostolic healing--the healing blessings were all wrought upon those outside of the discipleship. This was because the "call" of the disciples was not to human perfection, restitution and health; but to self-denial, self-sacrifice, even unto death. Their blessings and privileges, above those of the world, were along spiritual lines. The awakening of Lazarus and of Dorcas were not in violation of this rule, neither was the healing of Peter's mother-in-law, for we have no evidence that she was a believer and a disciple.
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POWER OVER THE ADVERSARY
--`MATTHEW 8:23-34`.--MARCH 13.--
Golden Text:--"What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?"--`V. 27`.
SEVERAL of the apostles were fishermen on Lake Galilee. Apparently the Master launched out with them occasionally in order to obtain rest and quiet; for while he was ashore he was constantly active in his mission, teaching the people, healing the sick, etc. Today's lesson includes an account of such a drawing aside from his busy activities. Exhausted, he was asleep in the hinder end of the fishing smack. Suddenly a great storm arose, as is frequently the case on that lake. The mighty waves threatened the destruction of the ship. The violence of the storm may be judged from the fact that even the apostles, who were experienced, were alarmed. The account very briefly tells us that as the disciples awakened the Master, saying, "Save, Lord, or we perish," he arose and rebuked the wind and the sea and there was a great calm. And he rebuked the apostles with the words, "Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?" Many since have read these words with great comfort and profit; not that many have been in perils by sea, but because all are subject to the storms of life, in which mighty billows threaten our destruction. The manifested power to deliver from literal waves gives confidence that the same Mighty One is able to deliver from every trouble. The rebuke of the apostles for lack of faith has come home to the hearts of many of the Lord's people, chiding them and encouraging them to be more faithful, more courageous, more trustful, in the providential care of our Almighty Friend.
Well might the apostles marvel, "What manner of man is this, that even the winds and sea obey him." Not until they had learned that lesson were they prepared to trust him with all their trials, difficulties and interests. And likewise not until we have learned the same great lesson of Jesus' Messiahship, and that to him at his resurrection was granted "all power in heaven and in earth," can we fully trust him and rest by faith in his loving care.
Evidently the apostles all understood that Satan is a spirit being, invisible and powerful, and that, to some extent, he has power over human affairs under certain Divine limitations and regulations. Thus St. Paul designates him the "Prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience."-- `Eph. 2:2`.
We remember the case of the Prophet Job and the Bible testimony that God permitted a trial of his faith and allowed the Adversary to have great power over his affairs. We recall that some of that power was exercised through a cyclone, which destroyed the house in which Job's children were gathered.
Possibly the Adversary was permitted to develop the storm on Lake Galilee for the very purpose of the lesson it gave to the apostles. The "Prince of the power of the air" may have thought to destroy the Savior in this manner, as later he evidently had to do with his crucifixion between two thieves. In the one case his effort was thwarted by the word of Jesus. In the other case it was permitted to reach success--because "his hour had come." We may well remember, too, the declaration that Satan, who had been working with Judas previously, fully entered into him, according to the account, on the night of our Savior's betrayal.--`Luke 22:3`; `John 13:27`.
This study tells us of our Lord's encounter with some of the inferior fallen angels, of whom we read that Satan is the "Prince of devils." We must not forget that the Scriptures deny that these demons are disembodied men and that they teach most distinctly that they are fallen angels.--`2 Pet. 2:4`; `Jude 6`.
The Bible tells that these fallen angels at one time were holy, but that in the period before the flood they became contaminated with sin through association with humanity. Since the flood, cut off from association with the holy angels and from liberty to materialize and appear as men, they have, nevertheless, sought to break down the barriers. Not permitted to materialize, they have sought to control, to obsess and to possess humanity-- using the human body as their medium, their body, to the extent of their ability to break down the barrier of the human will. The Scriptures continually guard us against having anything to do with necromancers, wizards, witches, mediums, or others, who claim to represent and speak for the dead. The Bible assures us that "The dead know not anything," and that the only hope for them is in the resurrection and that not dead humanity, but fallen angels, strive to communicate with us and through us. We are not in this blaming spirit mediums with being in collusion with the fallen angels knowingly. We believe that they are deceived, as are others. Indeed, the Bible alone gives light on this subject, as we have been able to point out to many mediums whom we have recovered from their delusions.
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The two maniacs of `verse 28` were crazy because many demons possessed them and attempted to control them in different ways. Intelligent physicians recognize that probably more than one-half of the inmates of insane asylums suffer from this same terrible trouble, demon possession.
Another account tells us how our Lord questioned the obsessed ones and how the evil spirits answered through them that they were legion--that is to say, a multitude of demons were in possession. They besought the Lord that if they could not remain they might at least be permitted possession of the herd of swine. The permission was granted them. The result was that the entire herd of probably hundreds stampeded, rushed down the face of the hill, and were drowned in the sea. When we consider the nature of the hog, it would appear that there were enough demons to supply one for every hog, because, unlike sheep, a hog will stand still while his fellows in the same herd may become greatly excited. Each hog is independent in his action. The number of demons was indeed legion. Unable to break down the barrier of the human will in a general way, they crowd into poor human beings whose will-barriers have been let down.
Continually we warn people, in harmony with the Scriptures, against Spiritism and everything occult, as being of the Adversary. We warn them also that hypnotism and everything which breaks down the human will is injurious and leaves the person the more subject to the invasion of these fallen angels into his mind, his affairs, who, if yielded to, endanger his sanity through obsession.
The result of this miracle shows the power of selfishness. The multitude came to see the miracle--two men who had been crazy, clothed in their right minds. "But," said they sordidly, "What a cost! See the hogs floating in the sea!" And they besought the Lord to leave their country, which he promptly did. The same principle of selfishness may be noted everywhere today. The multitude are moved specially by their temporal interest, while the great blessings of the Lord they pass by comparatively unnoticed. Let so many of us as are disciples of the Galilean Prophet take a different view of matters and have our hearts in harmony with his glorious work of the deliverance of humanity and the destruction of everything obnoxious to the Divine will--even as swine were contraband of the Jewish Law.
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THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE RANSOM
WATCH TOWER readers can bear witness of the fact that this Journal has always encouraged the study of the Scriptures and the attainment, so far as possible, of an intellectual appreciation of God's Word. We have, however, always insisted that Divine Revelation was intended, not to puff us up with mere knowledge of Divine mysteries, but to build us up in the character-likeness of our Redeemer and of our Father. Hence our frequent reiteration of St. Paul's words, If I had all knowledge and understood all mystery, yet had not love, it would profit me nothing.--`I Cor. 13:2`.
We should steer clear of the two extremes:--
(1) Of those who lay all stress upon the heart and feeling and ignore a study of the Divine Word and its mysteries.
(2) Those who study the Bible from curiosity, or from a desire to shine before their fellows, and who ignore heart-development and a sympathetic entrance into the spirit of the Divine Plan.
Doubtless many of our readers understood fundamentals of the Gospel of Christ before they came in contact with the DAWN-STUDIES and their elaboration of the philosophy of the Divine Plan. We are sure that many would be inclined to say, "No, I never understood anything whatever respecting Ransom, Restitution, Justification and Sanctification until I read THE WATCH TOWER publications; my previous Christian experience seemed hazy, like a dream in comparison with present realization of the length and breadth and height and depth of Wisdom, Justice and Love Divine."
But no, dear Brother, we remind you that even your hazy ignorance of the philosophy of the Ransom did not hinder you from mentally grasping and appropriating to yourself the great general fact that "Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures" (`I Cor. 15:3`), and that we have "redemption and remission of sin through his blood." On the basis of that faith and without philosophizing you had "peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." More than that: you possibly had some appreciation of having made a consecration to the Lord, turned over a new leaf, etc.--however vaguely you realized this. And you had learned lessons in the School of Christ along certain lines, even though you did not know that you were in School preparing for the great work of the future-- the judging of the world. You knew something about self-sacrifice, too, even though you did not appreciate the philosophy of how you were to share "in the sufferings of Christ" as a member of his Body.
It is well that we call these things to mind for two reasons:
(1) The remembrance of them will make us more considerate of fellow-Christians, whose eyes of understanding have not yet opened to the philosophy of the Divine Program.
(2) It will keep us from becoming excited when some poor fellow-traveler, falling asleep, has the nightmare and shouts, "Wake up! Wake up! THE WATCH TOWER has denied the Ransom, the Mediator and the New Covenant, and has been doing so for thirty years." The poor brother who is thus excited should consider his own mental state and realize that he has never seen a philosophy of the ransom presented in any other publication. If he can produce it we will be glad to have him cite it to us-- volume and page. The difficulty has been superficiality. He never comprehended the philosophy of the ransom-- or possibly he did and has become blinded to it.
Faith in the Atonement is the important matter. But the more accurate our knowledge, the stronger and firmer and more intelligent will be our faith. If the brother who thinks he is waking up when he is really going to sleep will sit down and connectedly attempt to put together a philosophy of the Atonement he will do himself a great service, for he will soon discover that in picking out a few threads of argument from our presentations, he has spoiled his philosophy entirely. He will find himself unable to lay down systematically, logically, reasonably, the Divine Plan of the Ages, tracing it from the promise made to Abraham to the close of the Millennial Age.
It is one thing to pick a quarrel, to dispute and object and to quote a text here and there on a subject, and to "throw dust"; but it is quite another thing to systematically map out the Covenants, their mediators, their time, their place, the types, the antitypes, etc. Any of us may
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take a narrow or a comprehensive view of a subject such as the Ransom. One time we might say broadly and truthfully, "Everything was secured by the death of Christ." Or, more accurately and minutely we might proceed along the Scriptural lines to note the various steps of the Divine Program in our Lord's leaving the glory of the heavenly condition to be born a babe--in his boyhood experience; in his consecration at Jordan; in his death at Calvary; in his ascension; in his appearing as the Advocate of the Church before the Father; in his pouring out of the Pentecostal blessing; in his dealing with the Church during this Gospel Age, developing an elect "little flock" and also a "great company" to the spirit plane; in his Second Coming; in the uniting of his members, his Bride, to himself; in his sealing the New Covenant for Israel--and for the world through the privilege of becoming Israelites; in his Millennial reign of glory and the end thereof, when "he shall see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied."--`Isa. 53:11`.
Similarly we might speak of the Ransom--that "Jesus gave himself a Ransom for all, to be testified in due time." Undoubtedly that was the Divine intention. But the application of the Ransom during this age to the Church and during the next age to the world is a further elaboration, showing the relationship of the "due time" to the great fact of a Ransom Price and its broad application, ultimately for all.
What constitutes a faith in the Ransom, and what constitutes a denial of it, are proper questions, proper studies. Irrespective of perfect or imperfect philosophy, a true believer in the Ransom is one who acknowledges--
(1) That the reconciliation to God has already been effected and that the basis of that reconciliation lay in the merit of Christ's sacrificial death.
(2) To deny the Ransom is to deny one or both of those propositions directly or indirectly. For instance, for anyone to claim relationship with God on the ground of his own perfection or meritorious works, aside from Christ's sacrifice, would be a denial of the second proposition. For anyone to claim that he is not reconciled to God through the death of his Son is to claim that he has not yet had experience with the blessings secured through the ransom. It means a denial or rejection of his share in the ransom--a denial of At-one-ment between him and the Father. Hence those who claim that they need a mediator are denying the At-one-ment as between God and themselves--and this means, so far as they are concerned, a denial of the effectiveness of the ransom. A ransom which did not at-one for sin and bring the sinner back into full fellowship with God would not be a ransom.
We are not hereby claiming that those who say that Jesus is their Mediator are knowingly denying the ransom. We assume that many of them are merely confused and will ere long, under God's providence, see matters more distinctly. We are merely pointing out that theoretically and logically such deny the finished work of Christ on their behalf, when they claim that he is the Mediator between them and God. It seems remarkable that any could become so confused as to imagine that, as New Creatures, they ever sinned or were ever alienated from God. It was not as New Creatures that we needed ransoming. It was the natural man fallen through sin whose sin needed to be atoned for by the death of the Man Christ Jesus and the application or imputation of the merit of that sacrifice.
The application of our Lord's ransom merit "for us," when he ascended up on high, had the effect of immediately cancelling all of our sins and bringing us into direct at-one-ment with the Father the moment we by faith accepted the Lord's terms and presented ourselves living sacrifices. Not even for one moment did Jesus stand between us and the Father. The very moment that he applied to us his merit was the same moment in which the Father received us as New Creatures begotten of the holy Spirit, "Sons of God without rebuke." (`Phil. 2:15`.) Our Lord Jesus was made unto us wisdom, justification, sanctification and will yet be made unto us deliverance; but it was God that drew us, that called us. "It is God that justifieth." (`Rom. 8:33`.) It is God that sanctifies us to himself and that will by and by raise us up also by Jesus to the glorious perfection of the divine nature. Our Redeemer is our Advocate who, covering us with the robe of his own merit, presents us at once and directly to the Father, without any one between.
Note, in contrast, how differently the Ransom merit will affect the world of mankind during the Millennium. It will not similarly cancel their sins and instantly turn them over to the Father. To do so would mean their ruination, for the Divine Law would instantly condemn them to death again; because, carnally minded, rebellious, not subject to the Law of God. The merit of the Ransom will be applied for the world indirectly in the sealing of the New Covenant with Israel, so that all the world under that Covenant provision and under the great Mediatorial Kingdom of Righteousness, for a thousand years may have fullest opportunity for the opening of the eyes of their understanding, for the changing of their stony hearts to hearts of flesh, to human love and sympathy. During that age none will be introduced to the Father; the Mediator will stand between God and man until he shall have perfected the willing and obedient--until he shall have actually justified them. All will be under the judgment of the Royal Priesthood after
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the order of Melchizedek for disciplining and uplifting. During that age all those who refuse to heed that Great Prophet, Priest, King, "Mediator between God and men" will be utterly destroyed from amongst the people in the Second Death. (`Act. 3:23`.) Not until the end of the Millennial Age (not until mankind shall have reached absolute justification or perfection) will the full results of the ransom be theirs. Then they will be introduced to the Father blameless and unreprovable.
In a word, then, the efficiency of the Ransom Price of our Lord's sacrifice comes instantly to the consecrated believer through faith-justification and obedience of sacrifice, while the merit of that ransom will properly be gradually bestowed upon the world during the entire Millennial Age.
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QUESTIONS ON JUSTIFICATION
Question.--(1) Did the Court of the Tabernacle represent justification by faith merely, or did it represent justification to eternal life rights?
Answer.--In seeking for the lessons of the Tabernacle types we should remember that they represent both progress and completion. In reality, all those saved during this Gospel Age are called to be priests--no one is called to be of the "great company," the antitypical Levites. Those who will become members of the "great company," the antitypical Levites, will be such as have been called to the priesthood and who took certain steps in harmony with that call, but failed to make their calling and election sure. Eventually, as shown in the type, only a "little flock" of priests, will attain the condition typified
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by the Tabernacle itself. Eventually a large number, begotten of the holy Spirit, will fail to manifest sufficient zeal as sacrificers and will be accounted only as Levite helpers. Their place will be in the Court, as shown in type.
Now let us view the processes by which the antitypical priests and Levites reach their fixed positions represented by the Tabernacle and the Court. All who are feeling after God and righteousness may be said to draw near to the Tabernacle. To such the great altar and its sacrifice will be manifested. By faith they may then enter in through the gate and be behind the curtain in the Court. They are in the Levite attitude or position, but are not yet really Levites in the finished sense. Passing the altar they proceed to the Laver and see its water and their privilege of washing, putting away the filth of the flesh. As faith alone did not determine them to be Levites, neither does the washing or putting away of sin. They must additionally approach the Veil, which symbolizes consecration--they must stoop to this Veil and pass under it before they can belong to the spirit-begotten class.
Inside the Veil they are nominally priests. And if they will, they may proceed to enjoy the privileges of the shewbread and of the light from the golden lampstand and proceed to the Incense Altar antitypically by responding to all the opportunities and privileges granted them of laying down their lives for the brethren--presenting their bodies daily, hourly, living sacrifices in the Lord's service, "a sweet odor." If faithful even unto death they then will pass beyond the rent Veil into the Most Holy condition. As members of the High Priest's Body they will then have free course, full privilege to the Tabernacle condition forever. Or rather, as shown in the other type, they become living stones in the glorious spiritual Temple.
But those who made the consecration and who fail to burn the incense on the Golden Altar may not remain in the Tabernacle--they must go out again into the Court. They lose the priestly privileges, but not their Levite privileges and right to remain in the Court condition. Only a willful, deliberate rejection of the Lord's grace and turning to sin--anger, malice, hatred, envy, strife, etc., works of the flesh and of the devil, which would mean their utter destruction in the Second Death--would exclude them from the Court of favor. Those who pass the Gate and the Altar, some of them going, perhaps, so far as to use the Laver but refuse to make consecration of themselves, will be ultimately rejected from the Court condition. They will be thrust out and become parts of the world, to be dealt with by the Great Redeemer during his Mediatorial Reign--to have all the privileges of the remainder of the world and no more.
JUSTIFIED TO PEACE
Question.--To what stage of our justification does the Apostle refer saying, "Being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ"?
Answer.--From the time we first approach God we begin to have a measure of this peace. (`Romans 5:1`.) It continues with us as long as we are walking in the right direction, growing in knowledge and in obedience. Those whose faith or obedience stops find their peace with God diminish. If the faith and obedience extend to the point of full consecration and the begetting of the holy Spirit it becomes the "Peace of God which passeth all understanding, ruling in our hearts." (`Phil. 4:7`.) The latter text refers to the perfected peace imparted by the holy Spirit, resulting from a full consecration to the Lord.
To illustrate: Imagine a person not in harmony with God, but feeling after him. Typically he recognizes the Divine Presence as represented in the Tabernacle. He draws near to God. He finds but one "gate" for entrance from the camp to the court. There he beholds the brazen altar with its sacrifice representing the Redeemer's meritorious sacrifice. Passing the altar implies faith in the redeeming work. From the time of entering the court condition of faith, the peace continues to increase with each onward step of obedience. When the Laver is reached and its lessons of cleansing mind and heart are applied the peace with God increases, because of the obedience. Next, the First Veil is seen, representing consecration to death. If the stoop of full consecration to pass under the Veil be made, the result is full or perfect peace, such as our Lord referred to when he said, "My peace I give unto you." Our peace is no longer merely through faith in our Redeemer's work, but more than this; it has become peace, the gift of God's love, the begetting of the holy Spirit, which passeth all understanding, ruling in our hearts. But if, when the first Veil is reached and seen to represent the sacrifice of all earthly interest, then that step be not taken, the result will be a lessening of the peace and possibly a more or less rapid retrograde movement back toward the "gate"--toward the world.
ANCIENT WORTHIES NOT IN THE COURT
Question.--Were the Ancient Worthies in the condition represented by the Court of the Tabernacle? If not, why not?
Answer.--No. In their day the Priest had not yet come and the antitypical Tabernacle and its Court had not been established; hence they could not be in it. According to their hearts, as expressed in their conduct, they must have been members of the household of faith. It is our understanding that ultimately they may be granted a place with and as a part of the "great company," the antitypical Levites of the antitypical Court condition.
JUSTIFIED FULLY TO HUMAN RIGHTS
Question.--Are all who are justified freely from Adamic death the recipients of life rights on the human plane?
Answer.--If in the word freely is signified fully our answer is, Yes. Whoever is fully justified out of Adamic death is fully justified to human restitution. This will be the case with the world during the Millennium. During that thousand years the world will gradually rise out of its unjust and imperfect condition--gradually attain perfection or justification.
Applying the question to the present time--to faith-justification: A full justification would be attained only at the moment when Christ would accept the sinner as a disciple and that is at the moment of consecration. He does not spurn the sinner who is approaching him, exercising faith and evidencing a desire to forsake sin. All such are justified to their measure of faith and obedience, to have his fellowship, his aid; as it is written, "No man cometh unto the Father but by me." He invites the sinner to have confidence in him as a burden-bearer, saying, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me." (`Matt. 11:28,29`.) All thus approaching have a measure of peace and a measure of justification, but neither complete. The full or complete justification and peace are obtainable only at the moment when the sacrifice is fully tendered and accepted. At that moment our great Advocate and Elder Brother imputes to us his merit, so that our consecrated sacrifice can be accepted.
For our Lord to impute his merit to us in the full sense sooner than that moment of consecration and spirit-begetting
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would be to do injury to the interests of those who would fail to go on to consecration and discipleship: because if Christ's merit were fully imputed to them, canceling the sins that are past and presenting them to the Father, they would not be acceptable to the Father during this age unless they did consecrate to death. And, being unable to maintain themselves in Divine relationship as justified humans, they would be amenable to the Second Death, because the provision of the Mediatorial Kingdom, etc., has not yet gone into operation. Without that New Covenant arrangement under the better Mediator no imperfect human being would have any opportunity for attaining perfection. If Christ's merit were now applied (to any except the actually justified and sanctified), it would put them directly into the hands of Jehovah and under the jurisdiction of his Law, and the result would be failure, Second Death. Only the sanctified can say, "The righteousness of the Law is fulfilled in us." (`Rom. 8:4`.) On the other hand, note the Divine arrangement that the Father does not deal with us as men, but as New Creatures. The Redeemer becomes our Advocate and applies his merit at the instant of our consecration. The Father's approval by the impartation of the holy Spirit is the evidence of the acceptance of our sacrifice under the imputed merit of Christ. As the Great High Priest is a Spirit Being, so must all his members be. And it is only with the spirit-begotten ones, therefore, that the Heavenly Father deals in any sense of the word.
CAN ANY PASS FROM THE COURT?
Question.--Is there any way to retreat from the antitypical Court condition without going into the Second Death?
Answer.--Yes, and no. For any of the antitypical Priests and Levites to abandon the Court would mean to leave the condition of membership in the "little flock" or in the "great company" to go to some other condition. There would be no other condition for them to go to, except as suggested, the Second Death.
On the other hand, let us keep in memory the fact that there are at present prospective or tentative Levites. We refer to those who are approaching through the Gate of faith past the Altar and the Laver and before the first Veil, but who have never taken the consecration step, fully renouncing their earthly rights. These have had justification-peace only, and that conditioned upon their obedience to the sacrificing terms of the "high calling." When they ceased to go forward, ceased to obey, their justification to peace began to die. These gradually go out of the Court, but not into the Second Death condition--because their justification had never reached the point of vitalization in sacrifice.
THE CHRISTIAN'S BATTLE
Your brother has offended you.
Must you forgiveness show
When he has not forgiveness asked?
I really do not know
That you are called to go that far--
He's very much to blame.
Of course, I would not slander him,
Nor injure his good name;
But then, I think, I'd show him, too,
That he has quite offended you.
How can I be a child of God
And not forgiveness show?
Why, he has covered all my sins,
And I must surely grow
In that sweet grace, which from the heart
Forgives by word and deed.
I would be like the blessed Lord;
For in his Word I read
That he left all the joys of heaven,
To die that I might be forgiven.
Your brother has imposed on you;
Says, "All that's thine is mine."
It is not right; what shall you do?
Where will you draw the line?
Why should you share your earthly goods
Which you by thrift acquired?
That which you toil for is your own;
And you are not required
To give to every one who comes
To seek your help, your bread, your home.
I've often wished that I had lived
When my Lord left his throne,
And trod this earth in human form,
That I might then have shown
My love to him, in service sweet;
But still the suffering Christ
Walks by my side each day and how
Neglected, poor, despised,
Still needing ministries of love--
Now here's the chance, my love to prove.
Your brother shows no gratitude
For all your kindly deeds.
He surely should express some thanks,
When you supply his needs.
You've loaned, you've given, you've gone without;
You've helped him all you could;
I really think, in counting up,
You've done more than you should.
I'd call a halt, till he has seen
How very kind you've always been.
What! work for thanks! then I should lose
A future rich reward;
All service to my brother, now,
Is done to my dear Lord.
Each little sacrifice I make,
Is precious in his sight.
To see my love and zeal abound,
I know is his delight.
For all the wealth beneath the sun,
I would not miss his sweet, "Well done."
Your brother slandered you, I hear,
And tried on you to throw
Suspicions base to injure you;
Told things that were not so;
Surmised that you had evil done;
Tells others of his fears,
With coolness meets your looks of love,
And costs you many tears.
You do not owe him in return
A love which he will only spurn.
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'Tis not my brother you hold up;
'Tis not his faults you show.
It is my brother's enemy,
Like you, a deadly foe.
My brother does not do the things
That you lay at his door;
'Tis his old creature that one day
Shall trouble him no more.
The New Creation is my kin,
The New Creation does not sin.
Your brother claims he walks in love;
Then why is he so mean?
In many people of the world
There's more goodness seen
Than he shows in his daily life;
You know you're vexed with him,
He has such ugly little ways,
And such besetting sins:
He sorely lacks in Christian grace--
Now, how can he win in the race?
The way is getting narrower,
More steep and rough it grows;
And fewer they who walk therein.
Lord, I would be of those
Who walk on to the very end
Through good report or ill--
My chief desire to know and do
Thy blessed holy will.
Complete in me thy work of grace,
That I may see thee face to face.
REBECCA FAIR DONEY.
BEREAN STUDIES ON THE ATONEMENT
THE TEXT-BOOK USED FOR THIS COURSE
IS SCRIPTURE STUDIES, SERIES (V)
Man for Whom Atonement Was Made.
(1) What is the signification of the word ransom in the English and in the Greek? Cite the Scripture. P. 427, last par.
(2) What light does the meaning of the word ransom throw upon the work of Atonement? P. 428.
(3) Does the word redeem have a somewhat similar signification to the word ransom? And have the translators of the English Bible helped or hindered the student, and how? P. 429-431.
(4) What about the word lutroo? Explain its significance and use. P. 431, 432.
(5) Explain the word lutrosis, also rendered redemption, and cite Scriptures. P. 432, 433.
(6) Explain the meaning of the Greek word poieolutrosin and its uses in the Scriptures. P. 433, par. 3,4.
(7) About the word apolutrosis: explain it and refer to its use and its meaning. P. 434-437.
(8) Cite the uses of the words redeem, redeemer, redeemed, redemption in the Old Testament. Examine these and show their proper application. P. 438.
(9) Is the commercial idea involved in the words describing man's redemption and its cost? P. 439, par. 2.
(10) How does this commercial thought harmonize with the substitute thought and with the signification of the word ransom? P. 439, par. 1.
(11) What object is served by the teaching of this Scripture that the "world is bought"?--that the penalty of man's sin was death, under the Divine arrangement? P. 439, par. 2.
(12) So far as the redeemed are concerned, what does it matter by what process God satisfied the demands of his own Justice, if to them it comes as a gift? What purpose, then, is served in the Divine explanation as to how we were redeemed and how the Divine Justice was satisfied before we could be delivered from the power of sin and death--curse or sentence of the Divine Law? P. 439, par. 3.
(13) Mention some of the Scriptures which show that our Redeemer gave all that he had; that he kept nothing back, but made a full sacrifice of his every talent, power, position and right, that thereby he might become man's Redeemer and eventually have a right to be the Mediator of the New Covenant between God and mankind in general? P. 440.
(14) Cite some Scripture showing what ransom was paid for man. P. 441, par. 1.
(15) Cite some Scriptures showing what was the penalty for sin and what the price paid in offset or cancellation of that sin. P. 441.
(16) Did the payment of the ransom price effect the forgiveness, and release all mankind or any number of them from the death sentence? P. 442, par. 1.
(17) When our Lord ascended on high, was he possessed of a sufficiency of merit which, if applied, would have effected the cancellation of the sins of the whole world? And did he so apply it? And if not, what did he do with it? P. 442, par. 1.
(18) Who are included in the term us? For whom did the Lord make application of his merit when he ascended on high and what proof was furnished to the Church showing that the Father accepted the merit thus applied?
(19) What can we say respecting the meaning of the words hilasmos and hilasterion? What Scriptures refer to these and what do they teach?
(20) When we read that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins, did it mean any blood? If not, what blood? And did it mean that shedding of the blood remitted the sins or that the blood must be shed and then be used as a basis for sin remission? P. 442, last par.
(21) Explain how and why the shame and ignominy of the cross, etc., were necessary to our Lord, whereas the penalty of sin as originally stated to father Adam was merely death without stipulations respecting shame and ignominy. P. 443.
(22) What Scriptures particularly show that mankind is in a wrong condition, alienated from his Creator, and nothing but the sacrifice of Christ could be effective for his reconciliation, either by justification by faith now or actual justification by and by during the Millennium? P. 444, 445.
(23) Cite some Scriptures which teach that our Lord's sacrifice was not for the Church alone, but also for the sins of the whole world. P. 446.
(24) What Scriptures directly state that mankind were bought with a price--the blood of Christ? P. 446, last par.
(25) By whom was the purchase made? P. 447.
(26) Of whom was the purchase made? P. 447-449.
(27) Why, for what purpose, was the purchase made? P. 450.
(28) What part did love and wisdom have with justice in this arrangement for human sin? P. 451.
(29) May we then say that although man be released from sin and death only by the satisfaction of Justice, nevertheless the triumph of Justice was preeminently a victory of Divine Love through Justice? If so, show it. P. 452, par. 1,2.
(30) Who sold the race into sin and what compensation did he receive? P. 452, par. 3.
(31) Is this matter of the purchase of our race by the Lord Jesus Christ a mere figure or theory, or is it bona fide, actual, and does it carry with it actualities of progression and control? P. 452, par. 4.
(32) Is it by virtue of this purchase that the Redeemer has the right to be the restorer of the race, and by giving to it the purchased life, does he become its Life-Giver or Father, and is this term Father Scripturally applied to him? Explain the process of the philosophy. P. 453, par. 1.
(33) Our Lord laid down the price of the race when he died. Did he take it back again when he arose from the dead on the third day? If not, why not? Explain the entire transaction and show positively that the ransom for sin remained and will always remain and that thus our forgiveness and reconciliation are upon a firm basis. P. 453, last par.; P. 454, par. 1.
(34) What would have been implied had our Lord risen from the dead a human being--thus taking back the ransom price? P. 454, par. 2.
(35) Could the man Jesus possibly be referred to as the new Father of the race--the Second Adam? Why not? Explain the matter fully. P. 454, par. 3,4.