VOL. XXXIV MARCH 1 No. 5
A. D. 1913--A. M. 6041
The Coming Memorial Supper........................ 67
Ye Do Shew Forth the Lord's Death............. 68
"Till He Come"................................ 69
Who May Partake?.............................. 70
How to Partake................................ 72
The Sacrificial Loaf and Cup (Poem)............... 73
The Church's Part in the Sin-Offering............. 73
Holy Spirit Evidence of Acceptance............ 74
Sacrifice of Earthly Rights................... 74
The Work of The Advocate...................... 75
Blemishes, Spots and Wrinkles Defined......... 75
Necessity of a Tender Conscience.............. 75
The Sale of a Birthright.......................... 76
Earthly Loss Spiritual Gain................... 77
The Lesson of the Lost Birthright............. 77
The Gate of Heaven................................ 77
Jacob Have I Loved............................ 78
Neither a Jew nor a Christian................. 78
What the Dream Meant.......................... 78
Berean Questions in Scripture Studies............. 79
WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY
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THE HARVEST IS GREAT
The Master said, "The Harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the Harvest that He would send forth laborers into His Harvest." (`Luke 10:2`.) These words, applicable nearly nineteen centuries ago, seem very applicable today also. We have more opportunities for using unencumbered brethren filled with the Spirit than ever before. If any such brethren believe themselves reasonably well developed in meekness, gentleness, long-suffering, brotherly-kindness, love; and if, in addition, they have had some considerable experience with Present Truth and are fully consecrated to the Lord, we should like to hear from them.
Such desiring to co-labor under the Society's auspices might give us a brief history of their life-work thus far, and send their photograph. Let them tell us also to what extent they have had and used opportunities for presenting the Truth in public, and to what extent God has blessed their efforts in bringing others into a fulness of consecration and mental enlightenment.
Or if their talents run more toward stenography than toward public speaking, we should be pleased to know of that. But do not mention stenography to us unless you are thorough-going in it, as a poor stenographer is a hindrance rather than an aid.
MEMORIAL CELEBRATION APRIL 20th
In our issue of February 1st the Memorial Celebration was noted for March 20th, after 6 P.M. This was an error. It should have been April 20th. The March date would have been right according to the Episcopalian and Catholic reckonings of the first full moon after the Spring Equinox marking the Passover. However, it has been our custom to follow the Jewish reckoning, which makes it, this year, Sunday evening, April 20th, after 6 P.M. If any thereby memorialized a month in advance they will have a good opportunity to celebrate a second time, if they choose.
An additional typographical error appeared in the Sunday School Lesson of March 9th, stating, "When Abraham was ninety-nine years old--about the year 1900 B.C.," when it should have read, "When Abraham was ninety-nine years old --in the year 2021 B.C."
MILLENNIAL COTTON PLANT
The finest specimen of cotton plant we have ever seen has come into our possession. It is a little tree, an inch in diameter a foot from the ground, and seven feet high. It contains about three hundred bolls. This seems to be a specially thrifty and prolific new variety. We have no knowledge respecting its pedigree or the kind of soil on which it grew. It is our thought that such phenomenal plants should be specially cared for and their seed kept carefully separate from other seed, with a view to improving the general yield. Apparently this cotton should be grown one stalk to the hill, with the hills two feet apart.
If any WATCH TOWER readers are cotton-growers, we shall be pleased to send them samples of this special seed for special planting separate from all other seeds. We will supply the seed free, on condition that the seed from one-half the crop shall be kept for us and be at our disposal when picked and ginned. The other half would be for the experimenter in extending his acreage next year.
POEMS OF DAWN
This book of 286 pages contains nearly three hundred beautiful poems of consecration and encouragement for Christians. It makes an excellent gift for any friend or relative not in the Truth, although most appreciated by the saintly. It is topically arranged, but you could not open at random and read without being refreshed, comforted, drawn nearer to God. The Karatol-bound edition is exhausted, but we still have a good supply on hand of the cloth-bound edition, 25c., and the India paper, leather bound, 50c.
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. Hymns for April follow: (1) 239; (2) 120; (3) 47; (4) 274; (5) 208; (6) Vow; (7) 332; (8) 168; (9) 78; (10) 160; (11) 38; (12) 175; (13) 293; (14) 56; (15) 58; (16) 166; (17) 12; (18) 130; (19) 110; (20) 313; (21) 260; (22) 75; (23) 229; (24) 107; (25) 108; (26) 103; (27) 251; (28) 94; (29) 279; (30) 109.
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THE COMING MEMORIAL SUPPER
"This do in remembrance of
Me."--`1 Cor. 11:24,25`.
THE SUPPER which our Lord instituted as a remembrancer of His great sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world, is striking in its appropriateness and its simplicity. The world's great men have always sought very different means of perpetuating their memories. In whatever way they would remind their followers of their merits and their greatness, it surely has not been by a reminder and commemoration of their death--especially if, as in our Lord's case, it was a death of ignominy and shame, a death as a malefactor and criminal. Another, more probably, would have left instructions for medals to be struck commemorating some of his mighty works-- such, for instance, as the awakening of Lazarus, or the stilling of the tempest on the sea, or the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, while the multitude strewed the way with palm branches, and cried, Hosanna to the King!
But our Lord chose as His remembrancer that which represented what was, in His and in God's estimation, His mightiest work--His Sin-Offering on our behalf; and that which His real followers, and they alone, would appreciate more than any other feature of His mission. True, His followers would have appreciated something commemorative of His wonderful words or works, but the worldly also could have appreciated those things. But not so the value of His death as our Ransom-Sacrifice, the basis of our reconciliation and at-one-ment, which has never yet been fully apprehended by any but the consecrated Little Flock--the Elect. And it was for these that the remembrancer was arranged and instituted. And though a Judas was present, he was given a sop, and went out from the others before the supper was ended; thus no doubt representing that in the close of this Age, before the Little Flock will have finished their part of having fellowship with their Lord in His sufferings, the sop of Truth will have become so strong as to drive forth from the company and communion of the faithful all who do not rightly appreciate and value the Ransom accomplished by the Lamb of God for the taking away of the sins of the world.--`I John 2:19`.
DATE OF THE PASCHAL SUPPER
The date of the Paschal Supper at which the Jews ate a lamb, commemorative of their deliverance from Egyptian bondage and of the sparing of their first-born at that time, was of course calculated by the Jewish method of reckoning time, viz., lunar time. (`Exod. 12:2-14`.) Instead of dividing the months as we do, they allowed the new moon to mark the beginning of a new month; and the difference between the sun time (solar time) and moon time (lunar time) was equalized by always beginning the new year with the appearing of the new moon about the Spring Equinox. In celebrating their religious festivals the Jews still maintain this method of reckoning. And since our Lord, the Apostles and the early Church followed this same rule for determining the date for the annual celebration of our Lord's Last Supper, we also follow it.
The first new moon after the vernal Equinox is reckoned in Hebrew almanacs this year (1913) as being April 8th--probably Jerusalem observation. At 6 p.m. the day before begins the first day of the Jewish month Nisan, the first month of the Jewish sacred year. Beginning with the 1st of Nisan the Hebrews counted, and on the tenth day the Paschal lamb was chosen or selected from the flock. On the fourteenth day (the full of the moon*) "between evenings" (at any time between 6 p.m. of the 13th and 6 p.m. of the 14th of Nisan) the lamb was to be killed and eaten. On the fifteenth day their Passover Feast began, lasting seven days, the first and the seventh days being observed as specially holy, as Sabbath days, or "high" days. (`Exod. 12:16`.) On the sixteenth day, the omer of the first-fruits of the barley harvest was offered to the Lord, and fifty days after (Pentecost Day) they offered before the Lord two wave loaves.--`Lev. 23:17`.
These things done by the Jews every year were, as we have already seen, types of greater and grander occurrences. The choosing of the lamb on the tenth day typified how, if Israel would be blessed and recognized as the Church of the First-born in the antitypical Passover, they must accept Jesus then, five days before that Passover Feast, and four days before His crucifixion. And it evidently was on that very date that our Lord offered Himself finally to that nation--when, as their King, He rode into the city on the colt. (Compare `John 12:12-16`.) They,
*As the Sun is a symbol of Christ's kingdom, so the Moon symbolized Israel as a nation. (`Rev. 12:1`.) The 12 and sometimes 13 lunations symbolize the tribes of that nation. The moon was at its full at the time of Christ's crucifixion. There it immediately began to wane and waned for as long as it had previously increased. So Christ's death was the turning point between the two equal parts of Israel's history. See STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, VOL. II., p. 218.
As those Jews who were unclean, and hence could not keep the Passover properly in its proper season, were permitted to do so on the 14th of the second month (at the full of the next moon--`Num. 9:8-13`), the lesson taught seems to be that all prevented (by ignorance) from accepting Messiah as their Redeemer, when offered to them, will have an opportunity of doing so when, in the Times of Restitution of all things, their nation (moon) shall again be full of blessings, in the latter Harvest.
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however, neglected to receive the Lamb of God, were at once rejected, and ceased from being the typical first-born.
The 14th day (which this year  will begin at 6 o'clock on the evening of Sunday, April 20th, and last until 6 p.m. of the 21st) was the day in which the Paschal lamb was to be killed and eaten; and the Hebrew counting of time (doubtless Divinely arranged for this very purpose) permitted the eating of the "Last Supper" upon the same day that the Lord was crucified. The Passover supper of lamb and herbs and unleavened bread (fulfilling the Law, which was not ended until the cross) was eaten shortly after 6 p.m. Then followed the institution of the Memorial Supper of bread and wine, representative of the body and blood of the antitypical Lamb. This thereafter, as often as the occasion returned (yearly), was to be observed by His followers instead of the eating of the literal lamb--as the commemoration of the antitypical Lamb and the greater passing-over of the antitypical First-born, which His blood effects.
The waving of the barley sheaf of first-fruits, on the 16th of Nisan ("the morrow after the Sabbath" or Passover Feast of the 15th--`Lev. 23:5,6,11,15-17`), typified the resurrection of Christ our Lord, as "the first-fruits of them that slept."*--`I Cor. 15:20`.
The two wave loaves offered on the fiftieth day, Pentecost, represented the presenting of the Church before God and its acceptance through the merit of the great High Priest, indicated by the anointing of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. The Church really is but "one loaf" (`I Cor. 10:17`), the two loaves representing the same thing as the two goats presented on the Day of Atonement. It indicated that although all presented were acceptable to God through Christ Jesus, He yet knew that all presented would not come up to the condition of faithfulness to the end. The two loaves represented, therefore, the two classes of the consecrated--the overcoming Little Flock, and the Great Company of the consecrated servants of God who do not make the "high calling" theirs, by overcoming the world as they might and should do.
The method of calculating the date for Good Friday and Easter Sunday in vogue among Episcopalians and Roman Catholics differs from the foregoing in this: They celebrate as Easter Sunday the first Sunday following the first full moon after the Spring Equinox, and the preceding Friday is recognized as Good Friday. This method of counting was instituted by the Council of Nice, A.D. 325, as instead of the Jewish method which we recognize. But the name "Passover" continued to be used (not Easter+ Sunday) for a long time; it was after Papacy had become established in political influence, and the ignorant pagans began to flock to the system which enjoyed the favor of the Government, that the name "Easter" was substituted for "Passover," because about the same time as the Passover the pagans had been in the habit of celebrating the festival of their Easter goddess (Germanic
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Ostara)--Estera--goddess of Spring. This was one of the many methods adopted by an ambitious "clergy" for gaining numbers and influence.
Sometimes the two methods of counting, Jewish and Roman Catholic, indicate the same days, but not often; occasionally their results are nearly a moon or month apart.
The Jews will celebrate the Passover week as a "feast" beginning April 22nd (at 6 o'clock p.m., April 21st), the 15th of Nisan. We in the Memorial Supper do not celebrate the feast-week, but the day previous, the 14th of Nisan, beginning on the evening of April 20th, 1913, which is the anniversary of the proper date for killing and eating the Paschal lamb-- the anniversary of the death of our Lord Jesus, the true Lamb of God, because of whose sacrifice the "Church of the First-born" passes from death unto life--to be completed in the First Resurrection. The antitype of the Passover Feast-week is found in the rejoicing of heart of all the First-born of true Israel--the seven days signifying the perfection or completeness of the joy and the salvation.
We have given the details as to the counting as a general answer to many questions on this subject, and not because of any weighty importance or bondage attaching to the exact anniversary day. We recognize no such bondage upon those made free by Christ. For though desirous of observing the Memorial Supper properly, upon its proper anniversary, as intended by our Lord when He said, "This do ye [every time you celebrate this yearly memorial] in remembrance [lit., for commemoration] of Me," we esteem it more as a privilege than as a duty; and if we should err in the matter of selecting the day, through ignorance or misunderstanding, we believe the Lord would accept our good intentions and forgive the error and grant His blessing. Indeed, we believe that the Lord owns and accepts the good intentions of many of His children who, because of erroneous teachings and human traditions, select various other times and seasons for celebrating this memorial of His death, instead of its anniversary, which He designated. Similarly we would sympathize with the patriotic intentions of the man who should "celebrate" the independence of the United States three, four, or fifty times a year, forgetful of the date, or ignorant of the fact that the Fourth of July is the anniversary of the event, and was appointed as the appropriate date for celebrating it.
This, like other truths long buried under the rubbish of the Dark Ages, God is now making clear to His people. And all who are truly His people are anxious for the truth and the right upon this, as upon all other subjects revealed in God's Word.
YE DO SHEW FORTH THE LORD'S DEATH
"For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you--that the Lord on the night in which He was delivered up took a loaf, and having given thanks, broke it and said, 'This is that body of Mine, which is broken on your behalf; this do ye in My remembrance.' In like manner also, the cup, after the supper, saying, 'This cup is the New Covenant in My blood; this do ye, as often as ye may drink, for My remembrance.' For as often as you may eat this bread or drink this cup you declare the death of the Lord till He come."--`I Cor. 11:24-26`.
There is no necessity for discussing with honest minds what is and what is not meant by the expression--the Lord's death. Some, in an anxiety to get away from the doctrine of the Ransom, or rather, in their anxiety to get
*Here is the strongest possible confirmation of the correctness of the position taken in STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, VOL. II.--that our Lord was not three full 24-hour days in the tomb, but only parts of the three days and nights; that He was crucified on the day corresponding to our Friday afternoon, and arose on what corresponded to our Sunday morning. The showing of this type, that the Paschal lamb was to be killed sometime during the 14th of Nisan, and the wave-offering of the sheaf of first-fruits was to occur on the 16th, should settle the matter for all. It agrees with the repeated statement (`1 Cor. 15:4`; `Luke 24:46`) that our Lord rose on "the third day, according to the Scriptures." This Scripture concerning the first-fruits is the only type which we recall as in any way pointing out the time of our Lord's resurrection. Then, too, the fact that history, as represented in the traditions and customs, points out Good Friday and Easter Sunday as celebrations of our Lord's death and resurrection, should have some weight on so trivial a matter, unless some motive or reason for misstating the dates can be assigned. The only Scripture seeming to oppose all these facts is the declaration that our Lord would be three days and three nights in the earth; and the only explanation that can be offered to this is, that the expression is used in a general and not in a specific manner, the nights being mentioned to preclude the idea of any cessation of death until the third day. Thus understood, the expression would signify that during portions of three days and nights our Lord would be in the tomb. At all events the evidence is overwhelming that He died on the 14th of Nisan, and rose on the 16th-- the third day after.
+The use of the word Easter in `Acts 12:4` is a mistranslation; it should be rendered Passover.--See Revised Version.
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away from the logical deductions associated with the doctrine of the Ransom, are claiming, regardless of all Scripture to the contrary, that our Lord Jesus had two deaths, one when He came into the world, and the other at Calvary; and that the death of "The Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a Ransom for all," at Calvary, was of small importance as compared with the other. They seem willingly ignorant of the fact that the Scriptures declare, "In that He died, He died unto sin once"; and that that one death, and the only one ever referred to by our Lord or His Apostles, was the death at Calvary.
The Apostles declare that He spoke of the death which He should accomplish at Jerusalem. This one and only death of our Redeemer is what is symbolized by this remembrancer--His body, His flesh, broken for us, and of its merits and life all who would have life everlasting must partake. "Let no man deceive you by any means," on this important question.
But as water-baptism is not the important baptism, but only the symbol representing the real, so partaking of the emblematic bread and wine is only the symbol of the more important feast--our appropriation of the merit of Christ, which secures to us eternal life through His broken body and shed blood. Thus by faith accepting His finished sacrifice, and by similar faith, as instructed by Him, appropriating to ourselves all the merits and perfections and rights which The Man Christ Jesus possessed and laid down in death for us, we really feed our hearts upon the Bread of everlasting Life, the Bread which God sent to us from Heaven. This is the true Bread, the eating of which gives everlasting life. This is, primarily, what the literal bread symbolizes and signifies to all who partake of it rightly and intelligently. It is a memorial of the ransom of Adam and his family from the bondage of sin and death.
THE BREAD AND THE CUP
Another thought: the bread was unleavened. Leaven is corruption, an element of decay, hence a type of sin, and the decay and death which sin works in mankind. So, then, this symbol declares that our Lord Jesus was free from sin, a Lamb without spot or blemish, "holy, harmless, undefiled." Had He been of Adamic stock, had He received His life in the usual way from any earthly father, He, too, would have been leavened with Adamic sin, as are all other men; but His life came unblemished from a higher, Heavenly nature, changed to earthly conditions; hence He is called "the Bread from Heaven." (`John 6:41`.) Let us then appreciate the pure, unleavened, undefiled Bread which God has provided, and so let us eat of Him--by eating and digesting the Truth, and especially His Truth--appropriating to ourselves, by faith, His Righteousness; and let us recognize Him as both the Way and the Life.
The Apostle, by Divine revelation, communicates to us a further meaning in this remembrancer. He shows that not only did the loaf represent our Lord Jesus, individually, but that after we have thus partaken of Him (after we have been justified by appropriating His righteousness), we, by consecration, become associated with Him as part of the one, broken Loaf--food for the world. (`I Cor. 10:16`.) This suggests the thought of our privilege as justified believers to share now in the sufferings and death of Christ, the condition upon which we may become joint-heirs with Him of future glories, and associates in the great work of blessing and giving life to all the families of the earth.
This same thought is expressed by the Apostle repeatedly and under various figures, but none of them more forceful than this, that the Church (which is Christ's Body, see `Col. 1:24`), with their Head, is the "one Loaf," being broken, during the Gospel Age. It is a striking illustration of our union and fellowship with our Head.
We quote: "Because there is one loaf we, the many [persons], are one body; for we all partake of the one loaf." "The loaf which we break, is it not the participation of the body of the Anointed One?"--`I Cor. 10:16,17`. --Diaglott.
The "fruit of the vine" represents the sacrificed life given by our Lord. "This is My blood [symbol of life given up in death] of the New Covenant, shed for many, FOR THE REMISSION of sins." "Drink ye all of it."-- `Matt. 26:27,28`.
It was by the giving up of His life as a Ransom for the life of the Adamic race, which sin had forfeited, that a right to LIFE may come to men through faith and obedience, under the New Covenant. (`Rom. 5:18,19`.) The shed blood was the "Ransom [price] for ALL," which was paid for all by our Redeemer Himself; but His act of handing the cup to the disciples, and asking them to drink of it, was an invitation to them to become partakers of His sufferings, or as St. Paul expresses it, to "fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ." (`Col. 1:24`.) It was the offer to us that if we, after being justified by faith, voluntarily partake of the sufferings of Christ, by espousing His cause, we will be esteemed by God members of the Body of Christ, as well as sharers in the sufferings of Jesus. (`2 Tim. 2:12`; `Acts 9:1-5`.) "The cup of blessing, for which we bless God, is it not a participation of the blood [shed blood--death] of the Anointed One?" (`I Cor. 10:16`. --Diaglott.) Would that we all might realize the value of the "cup," and could bless God for an opportunity of sharing with Christ His "cup" of sufferings and shame! All such may be assured that they will be glorified together with Him.--`Rom. 8:17`.
Our Lord also attached this significance to the "cup," indicating that it signified our participation in His dishonor, our share in His sacrifice--the death of our humanity. For instance, when asked by two of His disciples for a promise of future glory in His Throne, He answered them: "Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of?" On their hearty avowal He answered, "Ye shall indeed drink of My cup." The juice of the grape not only speaks of the crushing of the grape till blood comes forth, but it also speaks of an after refreshment; and so we who now share the "sufferings of Christ" shall shortly share also His glories, honors and immortality--when we drink the new wine with Him in the Kingdom.
"TILL HE COME"
What is the full significance of this expression?
Since our Lord who instituted the Memorial Supper placed no limit upon its observance, this expression by
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the Apostle is not to be understood as limiting the length of time in which it will be appropriate to commemorate the death of our Lord Jesus, our Ransom-Sacrifice, and our consecration with Him to sacrifice. Rather, he is showing that it was not to be considered a limited arrangement, for a few years, but was to be continually observed until the Lord's Second Coming. Looking down to and speaking of the Second Coming of our Lord, the Apostle includes in his expression the gathering and exaltation with Christ of His Church, or Kingdom, to rule and bless the world. This is even yet a common and proper way of speaking of matters so closely identified and so dependent one upon the other. The Christ, Head and Body, is coming, to rule the world in power and great glory. The presence of the Lord or Head is necessary first; then comes the change of the sleeping members of
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His Body, the sifting of the living members, and their gradual gathering together unto Him.
Even though the Kingdom may be considered as begun from the time the King began the exercise of His great power (`Rev. 11:17`) in 1878, it will not be "set up," in the full sense of the word, until the last member of the Kingdom has been changed or glorified--until the breaking of the Loaf, The Christ, Head and Body, is completed. While one member suffers, the Body suffers; while one member is unglorified, the Kingdom is not fully come into power and dominion.
It is the Coming of Christ, as including the full exaltation of His Church or Kingdom, that the Apostle evidently meant when he said, "As often as you may eat this [Passover] bread and drink this cup, you declare the death of the Lord [as your hope and confidence] till He come." The same thought of the Kingdom glory being the end of the symbol may be gathered from our Lord's own words on the occasion of the institution of the Memorial --"I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that Day when I drink it new with you in My Father's Kingdom."--`Matt. 26:29`.
And surely, if it were ever proper and expedient for those who believe that our Lord's death was the Ransom-Price to confess it--to show it forth as the basis of all their hopes--it is now, when this foundation doctrine of God's Word is being traduced and misrepresented.
APPRECIATING THE PRIVILEGE
We urge that none neglect this annual privilege, for any reason. There is a special blessing in its observance. If you incline to feel discouraged, go partake of the broken loaf, asking the Lord for a fresh realization of your justification, and a fresh appreciation of your consecration to be broken (sacrificed) with Him, as members of the one Loaf--His Church, His Body.
Let us not forget that the Memorial is meaningless or worse unless thus accepted and appreciated. But let nothing hinder us--neither sins, nor coldness, nor feelings of unworthiness. Go to the Lord and make a clean breast of all your shortcomings. Go to your brethren, or any whom you have wronged--make full acknowledgment, whether they acknowledge faults toward you or not. Get yourself right with your Lord, and so far as possible with every man, and then eat--yea, feast upon the rich provision the Lord has made for all who accept, now or in a later "due time."
Such a heart-searching and cleansing, we remember, was shown in the Passover type given to the Jews. Before they gathered to eat their Passover lamb they searched everywhere throughout their habitations, for anything containing leaven or putrefaction, bones, crusts, everything. These all were burned--destroyed. So must we fulfil the antitype, and "put away the old leaven" of anger, malice, hatred, strife.--`I Cor. 5:7,8`.
But remember that this kind of leaven of sin cannot be thoroughly put away unless it be burned; and only love can burn it out--Heavenly love, the Love of God. If we have that love shed abroad in our hearts, it will consume everything of the opposite character--jealousy, hatred, evil speaking, etc. Put off all these, urges the Apostle, and put on Christ and be filled with His Spirit. Do not be discouraged. But learn the lesson and start again with fresh resolutions and increased appreciation of the fact that of yourself, without the Master's aid, you could never gain the prize. He knows this better than do we, and says, "Without Me, ye can do nothing." It was because of our need that the Father thus arranged for us. "Be of good courage!" is the Master's word to all who are longing and striving to be of the class called "conquerors."
YOUR ADVERSARY THE DEVIL
Temptations seem to be specially permitted at this season of the year. "Roots of bitterness" seem to sprout and grow always, but at this season with ten-fold vigor. Let us remember that Love, not Knowledge, is the final test of our discipleship. "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another." It was because the Apostles had not enough love for one another that they disputed as to which should be the greatest in the Kingdom, and were so determined not to stoop to one another that they neglected also to wash the Master's feet, and gave Him the opportunity even in menial things to be servant of all. It was this wrong spirit--this lack of the Lord's Spirit--that made them susceptible to the Adversary's power, and led Judas to betray, and Peter to deny the Lord's Anointed.
Let us then take heed to ourselves, and watch and pray and be very humble and very loving, lest we fall into temptation. Not since that time, probably, has our great Adversary been more alive than now to do injury, or to entrap or to stumble the followers of Jesus.
Let all who hold fast the confidence of faith in His precious blood [His sacrificed life] as the Propitiation [satisfaction] for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world, be more zealous and fervent than ever before in confessing this great truth; "for even Christ our Passover [Sacrifice] is slain; therefore, let us keep the feast." None of the nominal first-born shall be passed over and become members of the Church of the First-born in glory, none except those who, during this night, abide under the blood, and partake of the merits of the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world--just as in the type.
WHO MAY PARTAKE?
The Lord's Supper is not for the world, not for merely nominal believers, but only for those who, (1) accepting of Christ as their Redeemer and Sin-Bearer, are (2) consecrated to Him and His service. But it is not for us --nor for any man or set of men--to decide who may and who may not partake. It is our duty to point out from the Word of the Lord what are the proper qualifications for participation in the "cup" and in the "loaf," and then to say as did the Apostle, Let every man examine himself, and then, if he think proper, let him partake.--`I Cor. 11:28`.
Now that God's people are emerging from the errors of the Dark Ages, when this Memorial can be more clearly understood, the judging or examining of one's self can be more thorough than ever before. Let each ask himself:--
(1) Do I believe the Scripture teaching that I, as a member of the human family, was under that condemnation to death which passed upon all because of original sin?
(2) Do I believe that my only hope of escape from that condemnation of sin and death was through the Ransom-Sacrifice of The Man Christ Jesus, my Lord?
(3) Do I believe He gave Himself--His flesh and blood, His humanity--as my Ransom-Price, pouring out His soul unto death, making His soul a Sin-Offering (`Isa. 53:10,12`) on our behalf?
(4) Do I see that the consecration to death, made at Jordan when He was baptized, was fulfilled by His sacrifice of Himself for mankind, which, beginning there, was finished on the cross when He died?
(5) Do I see that the rights under the Law, which He secured by obedience to it (the right of lasting life and the dominion of earth), were what He through that same sacrifice bequeathed to the fallen, dying race--to as many as shall ultimately accept the blessings under the conditions of the New Covenant?
(6) Do I see that His flesh and blood, thus sacrificed,
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stood for, represented, those blessings and favors which they purchased?
(7) Do I see that the partaking of the bread and wine, symbols of His flesh and blood, signifies my acceptance of those favors and blessings which the flesh and blood of my Lord bought for me and for all?
(8) And if I do thus heartily accept the Ransom thus memorialized, do I consecrate my entire being--my flesh and blood, justified through faith in that Ransom --to the Lord, to be broken with Him, to suffer with Him, to be dead with Him?
If we can answer these questions affirmatively, we clearly or fully discern the Lord's body, give credit to His meritorious Sacrifice, and may eat--should eat--"Eat ye all of it."
Those, however, that deny that a Ransom for sin and sinners was required and given, who feel that they need not to partake of Christ's merit, who deny that the merit of one can be imputed to another, who have cast off the Wedding-Garment of Christ's Righteousness, who feel "happier" and "freer" in the filthy rags of their own righteousness, and who now consider the precious blood wherewith they were once sanctified a not-holy, or an ordinary thing--such we advise to stay away from memorializing that in which they no longer believe; for they would merely be adding hypocrisy to unbelief. For such to partake, is to add condemnation to themselves and their no-ransom theories.
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THE WORD OF GOD, THE TRUTH
But, better still, let us advise all who have merely been entrapped into this error, by the sophistries promulgated through various channels by the great Adversary, to reject all vain human philosophies, and to receive again the simple Word of God, the truths therein set forth-- that all are fallen, and that the only way open for our reconciliation and restitution consistent with the Divine Law and sentence was the giving of the full and exact corresponding Price or Ransom for our sins; that in no other way could He be just and yet justify sinners. Let them recognize the fact that our Lord Jesus, as the Lamb of God, bore the full penalty for our sins in His own body on the tree--that He gave a full Ransom for all.
The philosophy is very plain, but if some cannot grasp it, at least let such grasp the fact that God declares it to be so, and let them return unto the Lord, and He will abundantly pardon. Let them ask for the guidance of the Spirit, and the anointing of the eyes, that they may be able to comprehend, with all saints, this, the Foundation of all the Grace of our God in Christ. Thus in true acceptance of the broken body and the shed blood--realizing that the Sacrifice was for their sins, and that the blood shed [life given] seals the pardon for all--let them commemorate the greatest event of history, the shedding of the precious blood, the sacrifice of the precious life of God's dear Son for our sins. Nevertheless, we know from God's Word that these words or any words will not succeed in turning back to the Way, the Truth and the Life those who have wilfully and knowingly gone out from under the "blood of sprinkling." There will be no pass-over for them. "It is impossible to renew them again unto repentance." (`Heb. 6:4-10`; `10:26-30`.) We well know that even these words of loving admonition and these faithful references to the words of Inspiration will be attributed to hatred, malice, envy and every wicked feeling on our part, instead of to the real motive--a desire to serve the Lord and the Truth, and any brethren or sisters unwittingly stumbling.
Many in the past have partaken of the emblems of the Lord's body and blood without fully appreciating the philosophy of the Ransom, who nevertheless did so with reverent appreciation of the fact that the death of our Redeemer had purged us from our guilt and relieved us from its penalty. Such discerned the real significance of the Memorial, though, because of gross errors associated with the Truth, they did not discern its simple philosophy as many of us may now do.
ONLY THE BAPTIZED
But some Baptist brother will perhaps remark: You have forgotten to mention baptism as a necessary qualification to partaking of the Memorial Supper.
No, we have not forgotten baptism. We agree with you that the baptism is necessary--that the Memorial Supper is only for the Church; and that baptism is necessary before one can belong to the Church. But we differ with you as to what the Church is. We hold that the Baptist church is not the Church. Like all other churches organized and governed by fallen men, the Baptist church contains "tares" as well as "wheat"; but the Church contains wheat only. Surely no one will claim for any sect of Christendom that his sect contains all the "wheat" and no "tares." But the Church, "whose names are written in Heaven," includes all the "wheat," and has not a "tare" on its roll. This is the one Church which our Lord established, and of which all the Elect must become members-- the Church passed-over--"The Church of the First-born ones, whose names are written in Heaven."--`Heb. 12:23`.
Nor can we admit your claim with reference to baptism. The Scriptural view is still more exclusive than yours. You have in the membership of the Baptist church some who would be far from acceptable as members of the "Church of the First-borns." They passed your test of water-baptism, but they have not passed the test of the greater baptism which is required of all members of the Church whose names are written in Heaven. The real baptism is a baptism into Christ's Body--the Church--by a baptism or immersion into Christ's death, and a resurrection therefrom in His likeness. Water immersion is a beautiful symbol of the real immersion of the human will into the will of Christ, a beautiful illustration of a full sacrifice even unto death; but it is only an illustration or symbol--just as the bread and wine of the Supper are not the real life-giving elements of our Lord's sacrifice of which we are to eat, but merely their symbols.
We agree, therefore, that none but the Church, the immersed, should partake of the Supper; but we recognize as really immersed all whose wills are dead and buried in the will of Christ, and who, as New Creatures in Him, are risen to walk in newness of life, while waiting for the consummation of their course in literal death, and their awakening as actual new beings in the First Resurrection. All such, whoever and wherever they may be, are the real members of Christ's Body, the Church, whether they have performed the enjoined water-symbol or not. Of course, when such consecrated ones, dead to their own wills and alive only to the will of Christ, come to see that our Lord's admonitions include the symbol of water immersion or burial, as well as the burial of their wills, they will be glad to follow and to obey their Head and Lord in all things--especially when as infants they were not "believers," and they now know that a drop of water could not in any degree symbolize burial and resurrection. Such as see the value and beauty of this injunction of God's Word should, if possible, be buried in water also (as our Lord and His Apostles showed us) before partaking of the Memorial Supper. See STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, Vol. VI, Study X, "The Baptism of the New Creation."
Of course, we cannot hope that only true "wheat" will present themselves at the Lord's table; we expect that some "tares" will come also, as Judas was present at the
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first gathering. But since we cannot judge the heart, nor separate the "wheat" from the "tares," we fulfil the whole duty when we "declare the whole counsel of God" as revealed in His Word on this subject, and should leave the decision as to whether or not he partake to each individual who professes faith in the atoning blood and consecration to the Redeemer.
HOW TO PARTAKE
If there are in your neighborhood others of God's consecrated people besides yourself, you should know it. Your faithful love for them and for the Truth should have led you to seek them out to bless them with the Truth shortly after you yourself received it. If there are such with whom you can have communion and fellowship, invite them to join you in the Memorial, but not if you know them to be deniers of the Ransom, lest you assist in bringing additional condemnation upon them.
Meet with few or many, as circumstances will permit, but better far with a few who can enter with you into the spirit of the Memorial, than with a throng devoid of that spirit of fellowship and union in Christ.
Provide for the occasion, if possible, unleavened bread (or crackers), such as the Lord used, and such as Hebrews now use; because the pure, sweet, unleavened bread best symbolizes the sinless flesh of the Lamb of God, who knew no sin (of which leaven is a symbol), who was holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from the race of sinners. Provide some drink from "the fruit of the vine," as the Lord directed. Undoubtedly He and the disciples used light wines, and we regard wine as unquestionably the more appropriate symbol. But since our Lord did not stipulate wine, but merely the "fruit of the vine," we can conceive no objection that can be urged against the strained juice of boiled raisins, which are dried grapes. And surely this would be "the fruit of the vine" as really as wine is.
We do not urge this raisin-liquor upon any who feel a conscientious desire to use wine; we merely remind all that our circumstances, climate, habits, etc., differ greatly from those of the early Church, and we very much doubt if our Lord would have us symbolize His blood with many of the intoxicating wines of our day--especially in view of the fact that some of the saints may have inherited weakness of the flesh, which one taste might re-enkindle into a great temptation. "Let each judge not to cast a stumbling-block before his brother." If wine is conscientiously preferred, choose a light wine, or mix a little wine with the raisin-juice.
The Memorial service should be very simple--it is chiefly a season of communion. Have a table in the midst of the assembly for the bread and wine. After the singing of a hymn, one of the brethren should, in a few chosen words, express the object of the service and read a few verses from the Scriptures on the subject. Another might then give thanks for the Bread of Life, the broken body of our Lord; after which the unleavened bread (or soda biscuit if more convenient) should be passed to all the communicants. An opportunity for remarks on the Bread of Life might here be given, or an extract from STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, Vol. VI, Study XI. Then a prayer of thanks for the "cup," and for the precious blood symbolized in it, should be offered, and the cup of "fruit of the vine" passed. Here an opportunity might be given for remarks on the precious blood. But avoid discussions at this meeting. However appropriate to contend earnestly for the faith on other occasions, this is not such an occasion. This is a meeting for fellowship and communion with the Lord, our Redeemer and present King. If any seem contentious, let him have his say, and let the others refrain from discussion, that the holy moments of special communion with Himself, which the Master
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appointed for our blessing, be not marred.
Those who celebrate the Memorial with guileless, earnest hearts receive a great and refreshing blessing, and for this it is well to have seasons of quiet in the midst of the service, when no one will be speaking audibly and when the hearts of all can come very close to the Master in communion--in realization of His love, past and present, in renewing the pledge made to be His faithful follower even unto death, in considering how that pledge has been kept or violated during the year preceding, and in resolving afresh to run with patience the race for the prize of joint-heirship with our Lord, to which we are invited.
A beautifully appropriate hymn for closing the Memorial is No. 276 in our hymn-book. And it will surely add to our joy to realize that some of like precious faith in all parts of the world are celebrating the same great Sacrifice, thinking of the same gracious Lord, being comforted and encouraged by the same exceeding great and precious promises, resolving by the grace of the same gracious King to do greater service and to make greater sacrifices in His service and in the service of His people thenceforth, and closing with the same song of praise and worship.
"Sweet the moments, rich in blessing,
Thus before the cross we'll spend;
Life and health and peace possessing
From the sinner's risen Friend."
Of the first Supper it is written: "They sang a hymn and went out." Let us do the same. Let each go to his home with his heart full. We suggest the omission on this occasion of the usual, general and proper after-meeting greetings, and all commonplace remarks and thoughts. Thus we may prolong our communion and fellowship with the Master. Keep within sight of Him throughout the next day. Hear the clamor of the people against the guileless One. See them incited by the clergy of Jerusalem. See Him before Herod and his soldiers. See Him arrayed in robes of mock-royalty and crowned with thorns, then buffeted and spat upon.
See Him crucified as a criminal, and taunted with the very gracious deeds which He had performed--"He saved others, Himself He cannot save." Remember that He could have saved Himself; that He could have asked for and would have received, "more than twelve legions of angels," to deliver and protect Him; that He could have destroyed His enemies and vilifiers, instead of dying for them; and that our hope of a resurrection and everlasting life depended upon His willing offering of Himself as our Ransom-Price. Considering His love for us and for all, it will surely strengthen us as His followers to endure more and more hardness as good soldiers of the cross. Aye, let us consider Him who endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest we become weary and faint in our minds, under the light afflictions now permitted for our trial and discipline, which, if faithfully endured, will work out a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
THE CELEBRATION AT BROOKLYN, N.Y.
As usual, the Church at Brooklyn will celebrate "Christ our Passover slain for us." The service will be in the Brooklyn Academy of Music (Lafayette avenue, near subway and all car lines), because Brooklyn Tabernacle is not of sufficient capacity. The services will begin at 8 p.m. sharp, Sunday, April 20.
All devoted believers in Jesus' great Sin-Atonement are cordially invited to meet with us and partake of this Memorial
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--no matter how baptized, and no matter to which denomination they are attached, or whether free from all. The Lord's Table is for all who are His.
Disabled or sick brethren can be supplied with the emblems at their homes by sending post-card request to the Brooklyn Tabernacle.
THE SACRIFICIAL LOAF AND CUP
A broken loaf--a cup of crimson wine,
On snowy table laid,
Ah! emblems these of wondrous sacrifice--
The costly price, He paid!
That precious body, broken once for me,
That precious blood once spilt--
For me, that I through Him might be made free,
Aye, free--from death and guilt!
And has this broken loaf, this crimson wine,
A further meaning still?
Ah, yes! thro' grace I am a part of Him,
His sufferings to fulfil.
My body to be broken with my Lord,
My blood with His be shed,
And as I die with Him, with Him I live,
My ever glorious Head!
O wondrous mystery! O glorious thought!
Thro' death with Him I rise!
Suffering with Him, I with Him too shall reign,
Triumphant in the skies!
Yet on this night--before this snowy board,
Spread with this bread and wine,
Canst thou say truly, O my soul, my soul,
"These promises are mine"?
Is all thy will completely blent with His,
Whate'er may be that will?
Art willing to be crushed, that thy life's wine
May thus flow out to fill
And bless and nourish other lives than thine,
That they may bud and flower?
Art glad and thankful that thy broken life
Shall have vicarious power?
And canst thou to His precious will say "Yes,"
E'en tho' with tear-dimmed eyes
And quivering lips of pain and throbbing heart?
And when His love denies
What thy poor heart had thought its very own,
And brings to thee instead
Experiences thou canst not understand--
A pathway hard to tread--
Wilt thou still say "Amen," and trust Him still,
And wait in patient love,
Till He shall say, "It is enough, My child,
Come to thy Home above"?
And when His Truth is ridiculed and scorned,
And His dear "Servant," like his blessed Lord,
Is spat upon, and crowned with thorns, dost thou
REJOICE yet more to own His Word?
"Yes, yes!" my glad heart answers, "I REJOICE
This privilege sweet to own!
And I will kiss my cross, and wait Thy time,
Dear Lord, to share Thy Throne."
Then, oh my soul, these emblems are for thee--
This broken loaf, this wine--
And thou may'st claim His precious promises,
For they are truly thine.
The hour is late--the end is drawing nigh--
And as we gather here,
Brethren beloved, to share this holy feast,
We know the time is near
When all His loved ones shall be gathered Home,
Our tears all wiped away,
And all the shadows that oppress us here
Shall yield to perfect day.
Then with rejoicing let us now partake,
Our journey's almost o'er;
The light is breaking o'er the Heavenly hills!
Our King is at the door!
ALICE G. JAMES.
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THE CHURCH'S PART IN THE SIN-OFFERING
"Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that ye should follow His steps."--`1 Pet. 2:21`. R.V.
HUMANITY is imperfect, unsatisfactory to God, condemned to death. In one sense of the word, therefore, it has not merit; for God would not condemn that which has value. In another sense, however, God must perceive something in the fallen race which can be made acceptable to Himself, else He would not have made provision for the redemption of mankind. The very fact that He has provided a Redeemer for the human race is a proof that mankind are not totally depraved, although
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there is not a sufficiency of good qualities to make any one of them worthy of everlasting life. But each one has a little merit of his own, and this God intends to preserve and make valuable.
The process of making valuable what little of the original perfection any human being may have retained, is called justification. In God's Plan of the Ages, a thousand years are apportioned to the work of bringing mankind up to perfection, so that God can accept them and give them everlasting life. This period is the Millennium. Meantime, during the Gospel Age, a certain class called out from the world have a different provision made for them, by which they are now reckoned perfect through the imputation of the merit of Christ.
Even an unjustified person has some inherent merit. It would seem that the quality which God values most is an honest heart. Indeed we may say that one's worthiness is in proportion to his honesty, his truthfulness. Whenever an honest-hearted person begins to realize his sinful condition and to long for reconciliation with God, he will find that the Word of God directs all such to look to the Savior of mankind.
The Lord Jesus does not spurn sinners who evince a desire to forsake sin and to approach Him. By their measure of faith and obedience all such are justified to fellowship with Him; as it is written, "No man cometh unto the Father, but by Me." (`John 14:6`.) He invites sinners 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 God have a measure of peace and justification, but neither in full; so they may be said to be tentatively justified; that is, justified for a purpose. To all such God says, "If you will believe this message of My grace to the extent that you will consecrate whatever of the original perfection you possess, I will deal with you as if you had the full amount of human perfection. If you by faith will present your body a living sacrifice (`Rom. 12:1,2`), even if that body is not worth more than one-third or one-half the full value of human perfection, nevertheless, I will impute enough of Christ's merit to supply your deficiency. Thus you may be counted as possessing the whole--as if you actually had one hundred per cent. of perfection."
Only during the Gospel Age is this wonderful offer made. The amount of merit necessary to bring the believer up to the standard of justification, or righteousness, where he will be acceptable to God, is exactly in proportion
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to his deficiency. If the one presenting himself in sacrifice possesses but thirty per cent., our Lord will impute to him seventy per cent. to make up one hundred per cent. which represents perfection. If he has sixty-five or forty-five per cent., there will be imputed thirty-five or fifty-five per cent., as may be required to bring him up to the full standard of righteousness.
In other words, when one enters into a contract that he will lay down his life in sacrifice, our Lord indorses him to the extent of his inability, or imputes to him enough of His merit to make up his deficiency, that his offering may be acceptable. This deficiency is not made up actually, but reckonedly, for the purpose of enabling him to present his sacrifice and of permitting Justice to accept it. Our Lord, who now has become the Advocate, makes up to each of the Church what he lacks of being a perfect human being.
THE HOLY SPIRIT THE EVIDENCE OF ACCEPTANCE
Complete peace and justification are obtainable only when the tentatively justified enter into a definite contract, or covenant, with God and present their bodies as living sacrifices. Of each who resolves to do thus, Divine Justice says, "That person is imperfect and therefore incompetent to enter into a contract of this kind; but if the Lord Jesus Christ will indorse him, the contract may be made." "Very well," says the Lord, "I indorse his note. If he does not die voluntarily, according to his agreement, I guarantee that he shall nevertheless die; for I will see that the contract is carried out. If he resists the enforced destruction of his flesh, and thus proves his unworthiness of life, he will go into the Second Death."
As each consecrated believer presents himself for sacrifice, the great Redeemer imputes to him the merit of His own sacrifice, in order to make him acceptable to the Father. After the Father has accepted the offering, He immediately imparts to him the Holy Spirit, by which he is begotten to a new nature. This impartation of the Holy Spirit is the evidence that the sacrifice has been accepted.
Thus the merit of Christ is imputed to every one who presents himself in full consecration during the "acceptable time"--the Gospel Age. Those who offer themselves through the great Redeemer are not, however, accepted in the full sense of the word, until they reach the end of the journey of life; for they may fail to make their calling and election sure. Their standing, therefore, is one of faith, not of works. Whatever there is of good in them is acceptable to God through the merit of Christ, their Advocate.
The basis of this reconciliation arranged by God is the death of our Lord Jesus Christ as a Ransom--a corresponding price--for Adam, who forfeited his life through disobedience. This price our Lord has already placed in the hands of Justice to be applied for the world in due time. Meanwhile this merit, which is to bring Restitution to the world eventually, is now imputed to the Church, to cover our imperfections and shortcomings and thus to permit us to get rid of the earthly nature and to come into the Heavenly nature.
In this transaction our Lord accepts us as New Creatures, members of His Body, and our flesh as His flesh. Therefore the sacrifice of the flesh of the Church is a continuation of that of His own flesh. As human beings we have to give up our wills altogether; and under this arrangement we are henceforth members of His Body. From this standpoint He counts our blood, our death, as a part of His own, and associates us with Him in the glorious promises.
Let us get the thought well established in our minds that while no sacrifice on our part is necessary to the salvation of the world, as all the merit is in our Lord Jesus, yet according to the Divine Plan, which the Lord is working out, the Church is permitted to share with her Lord in the sacrifices of the present time--not as individuals, not in a personal sense, but as members of His Body. All the while, however, it is our Lord's own merit which makes the Church acceptable.
THE CHURCH'S SHARE IN THE SIN-OFFERING
The question may be asked, What has the Church to do with the Sin-Offering? We reply that we would not know what part they have if God had not shown us by making a picture in the Atonement Day sacrifices. Israel's Atonement Day prefigured typically the work to be done by The Messiah--the reconciliation of God and mankind. The Day of Atonement had various features. It began with the sacrifice of a bullock, which typified the offering of the Lord Jesus Christ on behalf of the Church. The blood of the bullock was sprinkled on the Mercy Seat for the priest and his house, typifying the entire Household of Faith.
Then the Household of Faith was represented by two goats. One of these goats went through experiences exactly similar to those of the bullock. This goat represented that class of believers who daily follow in the footsteps of the Lord, who are sharers with Him in His sufferings and who will also partake of the glories to follow. --`Rom. 12:1,2`; `Heb. 13:11-13`.
The other goat represented that class of consecrated believers who do not go voluntarily to death, but who, without turning to sin, fail to make a willing sacrifice. Therefore this class is treated as the scape-goat and driven into the wilderness condition for tribulation experiences. St. Paul seems to refer to this class when he says that some are thus dealt with that the spirit may be saved in the Day of the Lord Jesus.--`I Cor. 5:5`.
Because the Scriptures picture the Lord and the Church as the Sin-Offering, therefore we believe it. St. Paul addresses the Church as the antitypical goat class when he says, "The bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the Sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth, therefore, unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach."--`Heb. 13:11-13`.
What beasts were thus treated? Only the bullock and the Lord's goat. The Apostle plainly states that Jesus was typified by one of these beasts, and urges the Church-- the "Us" class--to go forth unto Him without the camp, thus antityping the Lord's goat. Let us then go forth; let us walk in His footsteps, bearing His reproach with Him; for "if we suffer [with Him] we shall also reign with Him"--shall be glorified together.--`2 Tim. 2:11,12`.
THE CHURCH'S SACRIFICE OF EARTHLY RIGHTS
The merit of our Lord's sacrifice resides in the fact that, having maintained His righteous standard throughout His earthly ministry, and having sacrificially given up His life, He has that right to life on the human plane at His disposal. That right He has given into the hands of Justice, to constitute the basis of the imputation to the Church of whatever each member may need to make up for his deficiency. As soon as the Church has completed her sacrifice, and has passed beyond the veil, this merit will be released for application on behalf of the world.
The Church's part in the Sin-Offering, therefore, is that she receives, as a reward for her faith and obedience, the privilege of sacrificing with her Lord. Her share is thus accomplished when she presents herself a living sacrifice. The Lord's part begins when He accepts the
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offering. He stands sponsor for His Church and, as the Advocate, becomes responsible for those under His care.
Those who are called the Church are privileged to participate in the sacrifices of the present and in the glorious work of the future. A part of that future work will be the sealing of the New Covenant. The Church will have a share in this sealing in the same sense in which she has a share with her Lord in His glory. The entire merit is in the Lord; and by His grace we are what we are and have part in the glorious work. By virtue of membership in the Body of Christ in glory, the Church have part in the Sin-Offering and are sharers of all that is Christ's, including the work which He will accomplish.
When we present ourselves as living sacrifices, we make consecration unto death and consequently, if accepted, lose forever all right to life on the human plane. We present our bodies that we may become priests of the new order, or profession, under the great High Priest, to whom we have given our lives. If He accepts them, we have nothing more to do with them. He has all title to our earthly rights. We do not hold over those rights. In other words, we cease to be; we are beheaded, so far as all earthly hopes or aims are concerned. By virtue of His perfection, our Lord has a right to everlasting life. We never had a right to everlasting life, but are enabled to present ourselves because of His acceptance of our sacrifices as His own.
Our thought, then, in presenting ourselves must be that we are presented for sacrifice--not that we can compel the Lord to accept our sacrifice, but that we are willing, desirous, that He should accept it. It does not follow, however, that He must accept it, nor that we have anything to do with the ultimate results. We do not set ourselves apart merely to serve righteousness--to do right and to deal justly with our neighbor. This is true of the Jew, whose Law Covenant binds him to do this. But it is not so with us; for "flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God." (`I Cor. 15:50`.) Therefore we purpose that by the assisting grace in Christ we will present our bodies sacrifices even unto death, that according to His covenant with us, He may exalt us in due time. (`I Pet. 5:6`.) We do not merely forsake sin, but give up that to which we have a right in earthly interests.
THE WORK OF THE ADVOCATE
It may be said that the Lord Jesus becomes the Sympathizer to those who believe in Him, even before they present themselves in consecration. But this sympathy is a very different matter from the Advocacy, a term which bears the thought of rendering assistance from the store of grace to enable the individual to come into the spirit begotten condition and to maintain his standing there.
The term Advocate signifies a friendly and competent representative. If we employ an attorney, he goes into court for us and puts himself down as our advocate, to appear for us in any case that might come up against us. If we should need his assistance, we would cause word to be sent to him, as our attorney.
Our Lord's work as Advocate for the Church began when He appeared in the presence of God and made application of His precious blood on behalf of all those who come unto the Father by Him throughout the Gospel Age. (`Heb. 9:24`.) Individually, He becomes our Advocate when we come into the acceptable condition by presenting ourselves as living sacrifices. This matter of the imputation of the merit of Christ to us and of our demerit to Him is, strictly speaking, one with which we have nothing to do. It is the Father's arrangement. God does not recognize us at all; for we are by nature sinners. He could not accept our sacrifices except as He imputes to us merit which we do not possess, but which our Head has provided. In this sense, our Lord's merit is said to be imputed to us and our demerit to Him.
If A pays something on B's account, B's account is credited with the amount and A's is debited. Whatever is imputed to one in the way of merit is counted to the other by way of demerit. The merit of our Lord, which is to go ultimately to the world, is to this extent temporarily charged with our shortcomings, and will not be released until we shall have fulfilled our part of the covenant.
BLEMISHES, SPOTS AND WRINKLES DEFINED
The Robe of Christ's Righteousness, otherwise termed the Wedding Garment, is a very beautiful figure of speech illustrative of a certain great truth. Since only the New Creatures, only those begotten of the Holy Spirit, are granted this Robe, and since these are not under condemnation and are not reckoned according to the flesh, it would not be an improper form of statement to say that they have no sin. "Whosoever is begotten of God doeth no sin."--`I John 3:9`. R.V.
If the New Creature were to sin, the penalty of death would be incurred. Sin on the part of the New Creature would signify a change of will, a change of mind; and the New Creature would cease to be. The Robe of Christ's Righteousness does not cover the imperfections of the New Creature; for the New Creature never had any imperfection. In God's sight the New Creature has a standing, and is pure, spotless. The flesh is not the New Creature, but the old, which is reckoned dead, and then, as St. Paul says, is also reckoned alive as revived or quickened. --`Eph. 2:1-7`; `Col. 2:13`; `Rom. 6:4`.
Our quickened flesh, then, by the grace of God is represented as pure, desirable in His sight, and in proper condition for the marriage--the union with Christ. Whatever spots might appear on this Robe would, of course, be as figurative as the Robe itself, and would represent blemishes. These would not be ours as New Creatures, but would result from the fact that for the time being the New Creature must tabernacle in the flesh, until it is given its new body.
Blemishes are the weaknesses and imperfections of the flesh. Spots are not those wrong-doings of which we are unconscious, but those which we seem to recognize as contrary to the will of God. These spots may be of different sizes, representing discrepancies, or various degrees of imperfection. In addition to these weaknesses, failings, faults and mistakes, there may be some little carelessness, indolence, neglect of using an opportunity. These may be considered, not as blemishes or spots, but as wrinkles on the Robe of Christ's Righteousness.
St. Paul seems to wish to give us the thought of the absolute purity of the class that will ultimately be presented to the Father by our Lord, when he says that the Church will not have a spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but will be "holy and without blemish." (`Eph. 5:27`.) This figure, of course, represents perfection of mind; for our bodies cannot be brought to that condition, because of the fall of Adam. All mankind are born in sin and shapen in iniquity.--`Psa. 51:5`.
THE NECESSITY OF POSSESSING A TENDER CONSCIENCE
It is the duty of the New Creature to detect the imperfections, errors and shortcomings of the flesh, and to go immediately to the Throne of the Heavenly Grace with them, to obtain mercy and forgiveness. Only those with tender consciences will keep their garments unspotted. The failure to do this seems to be the reason why many
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fail to make their "calling and election sure." They are not particular about these little things; they are careless of opportunities, etc. Thus their robes become spotted and quite unfit for the marriage ceremony.
The Scriptures show us that this class will go through a time of great trouble, during which they will do what they failed to do at the proper time--"wash their robes and make them white in the blood of the Lamb." (`Rev. 7:14`.) By this process of purification, they will come up and will bear palm branches instead of wearing crowns of glory. Instead of being members of the Temple class, they will be servants in the Temple.
The Robe of Christ's Righteousness, the figurative expression which means the imputation of the merit of Christ to those who are accepted as members of His Body, is not only styled "the Wedding Garment" (`Matt. 22:11-14`), but is also beautifully pictured as the Bridal Robe. (`Psa. 45:13,14`.) There we read that the Bride will be brought before the great King in garments of needlework. Thus we get the thought that while this Robe is provided for us when first we become members of the family of God and of the prospective Bride of Christ, nevertheless, there is an individual work for each to accomplish.
This special work is represented as embroidery. The design we as Christians are to trace with painstaking zeal; for it requires great skill, close attention. This Robe of Christ's Righteousness, which is represented as being ours in the sight of God, will continue to be ours throughout the everlasting future. It will no longer be ours by imputation, but by right of possession. By that time we shall have made our characters, by the grace and assistance of the Lord, copies of the character of God's dear Son, our Redeemer. Then we shall no longer need the imputation of Christ's merit to cover our blemishes; for the new body which we shall receive in the Resurrection will be without spot or wrinkle--without blemish. It will be perfect.
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THE SALE OF A BIRTHRIGHT
--APRIL 6.--`GENESIS 27:22-34`.--
"Esau...for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected."--`Hebrews 12:16,17`.
IN OLDEN TIMES, and still in some countries, the birthright belonged to the firstborn son. At the father's death the oldest son took his place at the head of the family; and the property, usually consisting of flocks and herds, became his possession. But today's lesson introduces us to a birthright which included much more than the earthly possessions. It included the inheritance of certain great Divine promises.
Abraham's estate went to Isaac, the others of the family receiving portions of it of and through him. Abraham was very rich, but the possession which he prized more than all earthly things was the Divine Promise, or Covenant, made with him--that the blessing of the Lord would specially be upon his seed, his posterity; and that eventually all nations of the earth would be blessed and favored of God through them.
This great promise Isaac had inherited. At the time of our lesson he was more than a hundred years old, and blind. He realized that the time had come for him to give his blessing to his heir, which blessing served as instead of a written will--the custom of today. He therefore instructed Esau, the hunter, to prepare him a special dinner of venison; thus to prepare to receive his blessing.
Isaac had two sons, Esau and Jacob--twins, Esau being the elder by a few moments only. But these twins, contrary to what is usual, were very dissimilar. Esau was hairy and ruddy, full of vigor, athletic, a hunter. Jacob was the reverse of this--smooth-skinned, dark-complexioned, a tent-man, or home-keeper, as in contrast with a hunter. Jacob seems to have inherited the qualities of his father, Esau more the vivacity of his mother. As temperamental opposites agree best, Isaac loved Esau most; while Rebecca, the mother, loved Jacob best.
The quiet, studious Jacob thought frequently of the great blessing God had promised to his grandfather Abraham, a share in which he apparently had missed by an accident of birth--by a few minutes only. The more he studied, the more he realized the value of that great Promise. Esau, on the contrary, full of animal spirit, thought more of the pleasures of the present life, and considered the Divine Promise as quite secondary and rather visionary.
These two men had passed thirty years of age, we know not how much. Esau was looking forward to his inheritance of the bulk of his father's property. Jacob, humiliated by his misfortune of birth, was downcast. He was fond of lentil soup, and had made some for himself. Just as he was about to partake, his brother Esau arrived on the scene hungry, having just returned from a chase, and begged to have Jacob's soup.
Then Jacob said to Esau, in substance, "You have every advantage. I have nothing but this soup. If you are willing, we will change places. You can have the soup and I will take the advantages." Esau replied, "I am tired to death, anyway. Give me the soup." Jacob answered, "I mean it, though, solemnly. If you swear that you will transfer the birthright to me, we will settle this matter; and the soup will be yours." Careless Esau swore away his birthright for a mess of pottage, and thus signified that he had no particular faith in God or in His promises.
Time passed. Esau married heathen wives when he was forty, and his father Isaac a hundred years old. A little later than this came the denouement--the imparting of the blessing to the one who bought, to the chagrin and anger of the one who most solemnly sold it.
Rebecca, the mother, had heard Isaac's instruction to Esau, and remembered that the birthright had been sold under oath to Jacob, her favorite. She explained the situation to Jacob and assured him, as his mother, that he would be right in personifying his brother Esau and receiving the blessing as his proxy or representative. She prepared the kind of stew which Isaac preferred, using the skins of kids to cover Jacob's neck and hands, that thus his father might mistake him for Esau. As he had bought all of Esau's rights, she thought it not improper to clothe him with Esau's garments, and instructed him that any blame coming from the deception would be hers. She took the entire responsibility. Jacob carried out the program and got the chief blessing.
Esau came in later with his venison stew, prepared to violate his contract made under oath, and was greatly disappointed to learn that the blessing was gone. It seemed more valuable then than when he had sold it. Although he received an inferior blessing from his father, he had the spirit of murder toward his brother for carrying out the terms and conditions incident to the birthright sale.
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EARTHLY LOSS SPIRITUAL GAIN
The account shows that Jacob's interest in the birthright blessing was not in the temporal or earthly inheritance, but in the spiritual Promise with which he was connected. He left his home and all the property to which he was heir, and went penniless to work for his uncle. Esau might have all the earthly possessions. Jacob carried with him, wherever he went, the birthright privilege of the Promise made to Abraham. This could not be alienated from him. With this he was rich.
St. Paul calls our attention to the fact that all these results were foreknown to God; and that at the birth of these two men it had been specifically declared that the elder should serve the younger. (`Romans 9:10-13`.) No doubt this Divine prophecy guided Rebecca in opposing and thwarting Isaac's love for Esau, which impelled him to give the blessing to the elder son, notwithstanding the Divine prophecy to the contrary.--`Genesis 25:23`.
JACOB LOVED--ESAU LOVED LESS
It is not for us to defend Jacob and his mother in their misrepresentation of the facts--in the deception of Isaac. It is not for us to recommend any others to follow his course. Nevertheless, it is proper that we should notice that the Bible distinctly tells us that God's loving favor was with Jacob. "Jacob have I loved." He was loved because of his reverential love for God and the great Oath-bound Promise.
Not a word of condemnation is given to Jacob anywhere in respect to this matter. No teacher in the name of the Lord, therefore, has the right to be wiser than what is written in God's Word. On the contrary, Esau is roundly denounced, and is called profane and wicked, because he would sell his birthright for a mess of pottage, or any other consideration. The love of Jacob for the birthright is held up for our emulation. Esau's carelessness is held up as a warning that if any of us are careless of our birthright, we shall not only lose it, but lose the favor of God.--`Hebrews 12:15-17`.
THE LESSON OF THE LOST BIRTHRIGHT
The Apostle calls our attention to the fact that the experiences of these two men in the long ago were designed of the Lord to be typical. Abraham's natural seed is indeed to have a blessing, represented by Esau's blessing; but Abraham's Spiritual Seed is to have the greater blessing, typified by Jacob's inheritance. The earthly seed inherit the earthly blessings. The Spiritual Seed give up all their earthly rights, that they may be possessors of the spiritual promises, which the natural man cares not for.
The Apostle points out that this does not apply merely to the Natural Israelite, but to all who, after having had the privileges and opportunities of becoming joint-heirs with Christ in His Messianic Kingdom, love the pleasures of this world. These are represented as selling their birthright on the spirit plane for a mess of pottage-- earthly advantage.
The Abrahamic Promise is still the one, and the only one, held out by the Almighty. Messiah is the Seed of Abraham, through whom all of God's blessings must come. Jesus is the Head and the Church are the members of the Body, as St. Paul points out: "If ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's Seed, and heirs according to the [Abrahamic] Promise."--`Gal. 3:29`.
To the Jew first, came the opportunity for constituting this Spiritual Seed; but the vast majority loved and trusted more the things of the present life. The few loved and trusted Jesus and became His followers. Since the door to this "high calling" has been thrown open to the Gentiles, the results have been the same; the majority have loved the present life; the few have appreciated the things unseen as yet.
To the saintly few represented by Jacob, the obtaining of this life-right means self-sacrifice, the loss of earthly favors--the surrender of these to others who love the present world. To others it means the getting of a mess of pottage--earthly advantages of the present time--and the losing of a great prize, which Jesus likened to a "pearl of great price," to obtain which we should be willing to sell all we possess--to obtain a share in Messiah's Kingdom, which shortly is to bless Israel and all the world.
No one can sell his birthright until he has a birthright. Hence the application of this in antitype is merely to the consecrated people of God. Only those who have been begotten of the Holy Spirit have a birthright in the highest sense. And only these could sell it for the mess of pottage. The world may strive for its various prizes and pearls, and is measurably justified in so doing, because it has nothing else.
But the spirit-begotten heirs of the Divine Promise became such by promising absolute loyalty to the Lord and
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to the principles of Justice and Mercy. These must self-sacrificingly continue to walk in the Master's footsteps; else they cannot share with Him the glorious outcome. Only those who attain a share in the Kingdom will have a share in its wonderful work of blessing and uplifting humanity. Let us, then, as the Apostle exhorts, lay aside every weight and every besetting sin, and run with patience the race set before us in the Gospel, looking unto Jesus, the Author of our faith, until He shall become the Finisher of it.--`Hebrews 12:1-3`.
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THE GATE OF HEAVEN
--APRIL 13.--`GENESIS 28:10-22`.--
"I am with thee and will keep thee, whithersoever thou goest."--`V.15`.
OUR LESSON relates to the Patriarch Jacob. He was something over forty years of age at the time he left home, forsaking all the family possessions which belonged to his purchased birthright. He counted all earthly possessions as insignificant in value compared with the great Promise made to Abraham, of which he had become heir. That his brother Esau cared nothing for the spiritual Promise and was quite content to get possession of the earthly inheritance of Isaac, is manifest from the subsequent story.
In his journey toward Haran, Jacob lighted upon the little town of Luz. Following the custom of many in Palestine today, he did not ask for lodgings, but merely placed a stone for his pillow, wrapped himself in his outer mantle, and lay down in a quiet place to sleep. He had always been the home boy, the philosopher, his mother's pet; and although he was now a man in years, we are to remember that the race was longer-lived at that time and slower of maturity, by about one-half. Practically he was just entering manhood's estate. His deep religious convictions, his faith in the God of his father and his grandfather, his desire for a share of the Divine blessing, had made him an outcast. Doubtless he felt lonesome and heart-sick. He was leaving the only friends he had in the world, and going forth practically penniless, to find some kind of service.
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"JACOB HAVE I LOVED"
This is the Scriptural statement and is borne out by the Lord's dealings with Jacob. He had shown his courage, his devotion, his faith. God would reward him. At this time he was needing encouragement, and therefore was given a dream of beautiful import. In the dream he saw a ladder extending from his side clear up into Heaven. It was crowded with angels going and coming.
At its further end, in his mind he saw the God of Glory and heard Him speak; and the words were wonderful --full of interest and encouragement. God here gave Jacob the assurance that not only had he secured his father Isaac's blessing, but that God recognized the transfer --recognized him as the legal heir to the great Abrahamic Promise, which is the basis of all hopes, Jewish and Christian, for themselves and all the kindreds of the earth.
God's message was: "I am the Lord God of Abraham and the God of Isaac, thy father; the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; and thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the east, and to the west, and to the north, and to the south; and in thee and in thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken."
This phraseology is much the same that was given to Abraham and was confirmed to Isaac. Now it was confirmed to Jacob. He was thenceforth in Covenant relationship to God. Better than he knew, all his efforts would be so supervised as to work together for his highest welfare.
NEITHER A JEW NOR A CHRISTIAN
Jacob was not a Christian; and we are not to think for a moment of the Lord's providences over him as being of the same kind as those of the Church of this Gospel Age. He was not invited to be a sharer of the "high calling." He was not promised a change of nature to Heavenly condition by resurrection, or in any other way. All of the promises to him were earthly, as were those made to Abraham.
Neither was Jacob a Jew. There were no Jews yet. The nation subsequently called Israel and afterwards known as the people of the Jews were Jacob's children; but they were not yet born. They became a distinctive people and nation not merely by being Jacob's children, but by being brought into Covenant relationship with God through Moses and the Law Covenant of Sinai.
Thus we see that the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, not under the Law Covenant, and not under the Gospel arrangement, constituted a class by themselves. To them especially (and in conjunction with them some of the noble Prophets and worthies of the Jewish Age) belonged certain great promises of God in respect to the land of Canaan and the blessing of the world. Not being a part of the spirit-begotten Church of this Gospel Age, they can have no share with Messiah in His Spiritual Kingdom, which shortly is to bind Satan, overthrow sin, scatter darkness and superstition and flood the world with a knowledge of God. They were not invited to share this "high calling."
However, a special call, or invitation, or promise, was made to them, not made to any others. In fulfilment of that Promise, these patriarchs are to be granted human perfection in the resurrection; and being made superior to the remainder of humanity, they will be qualified to be the princes or rulers of all the earth, representatives of the Spiritual, Heavenly, invisible Kingdom of Messiah.
Thus instead of any longer being recognized as the fathers, or patriarchs, they will by and by be recognized as the first children of Messiah, as the first ones to whom He will give the perfection of earthly life. Thus reads the prophecy: "Instead of Thy [Messiah's] fathers, shall be Thy [Messiah's] children, whom Thou mayest make princes [rulers] in all the earth."--`Psalm 45:16`.
It will be noted that Jesus, speaking of His glorious Kingdom to come, said, "The Kingdom of God cometh not with observation" [outward display]. (`Luke 17:20`.) He also said to the disciples, "Yet a little while and the world seeth Me no more." (`John 14:19`.) And when describing what would be seen and recognized at His Second Advent and the establishment of His Kingdom, Jesus said not one word about any one seeing Himself or any one of the Apostles in Kingdom glory. But He did say, "Ye shall see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the Prophets."--`Luke 13:28,29`.
Jesus and His Bride Class--the Apostles and saints of this Age, from every nation and denomination--will indeed be the real Kingdom and have the real supervision and power; but they will be invisible, as the Scriptures declare. All these will "be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye," by the First Resurrection power. No longer earthly beings, they will be spirit beings, the Elect, being "made partakers of the Divine Nature." (`2 Peter 1:4`.) As St. Paul again declares, the Resurrection change must come before the Church can enter the Kingdom glory; for "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God."--`I Corinthians 15:50`.
WHAT THE DREAM MEANT
In order to rightly appreciate this dream or any part of the Gospel Message, it must be remembered that man, originally in covenant relationship with God, was cut off therefrom by disobedience in Eden. The covenant of everlasting life could not stand with any who were sinners. "The soul that sinneth, it shall die."
But God had planned from the beginning a redemption of Adam and his race from this death sentence, this curse of destruction. He could not take Abraham back into His family, having purposely so arranged the condemnation that it could be set aside only by the work of a Redeemer. The Covenant made with Abraham, confirmed to Isaac, and now to Jacob, was merely a promise that God in due time would through their posterity send the Redeemer, the Deliverer, and through these bless all the families of the earth with the privilege of return to harmony and fellowship with God, as sons of God.
The ladder represents this thought of direct fellowship between Heaven and earth, between God and man. The foot of this ladder was close to Jacob. Through his Seed this great work of opening up relationship with God and men would be accomplished. The vision of God at the further end and His encouraging words were to stimulate Jacob to faithfulness and appreciation of this great Promise as a pearl of great value--worth much more than the mess of pottage which he gave for it; yea, worth much more than home and its comforts. The dream had its intended effect. Jacob was encouraged, not only for that time, but through the remainder of his days. More than this, that dream has been a comfort and refreshment to all of God's people made aware of it through the Bible.
And this lesson applies to Christians of today also. With the fuller light of the Apostolic teaching and the guidance of the Holy Spirit we understand that before Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the Holy Prophets of the past can bless the world as the honored seed of Abraham in the flesh, another work must be done. That other work will be done by our Lord Jesus. The death of the holy, harmless, undefiled Lamb of God constituted the entire
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foundation for the complete outworking of the Plan of God's Mercy for our race.
During this Gospel Age a secondary feature has operated; an elect, select company, a Bride class of joint-heirs with the Master, has been called out of the world from Jews and Gentiles, to constitute the Spiritual Seed of Abraham. If this ladder of intercourse and communion came down to Jacob, still more does it come down to and center in The Christ, of which Jesus Christ is the Head and the Church His faithful members.
When Jacob awakened, he felt overwhelmed. To have the Almighty thus indicate His care and blessing and approval, and to assure him of His protecting care in the future, seemed wonderful to the friendless man. He said, Surely this place may be called God's House and the Gate of Heaven! And so ever since, the Church has delighted to be known as the House of God--Bethel. By and by as the great Temple of God, composed of living stones, Jesus Himself being the Chief Corner Stone, this Bethel will be the Gate of Heaven, through which will come to mankind all the glorious things which God has promised-- Restitution, perfection, Paradise--for all the willing and obedient.
Jacob took the stone he had used for a pillow, set it up as a monument and poured oil upon it, as signifying its sacredness to God. His example since has been imitated by the Egyptians, in setting up great columns pointing heavenward, and also imitated by the Babylonian steeples, and by Christians in the cathedral steeples and church spires. All of these, however, unwittingly point to Heaven, and prefigure the fact that there is by and by to be a ladder, a communication between Heaven and earth. That ladder will be the Messianic Kingdom.
Tradition tells us that subsequently Jacob's stone was taken to Jerusalem, and there used in conjunction with the crowning of the Jewish kings. Tradition says that that stone was taken by Jeremiah when the Babylonians overthrew Jerusalem. Tradition further says that it was carried to Ireland and for a time used there for crowning their kings. It says also that this same stone is now in Westminster Abbey, and forms the seat of the throne on which the British sovereigns are crowned.
BEREAN QUESTIONS IN SCRIPTURE STUDIES
Series VI., Study XIII.--Parental Obligations of the New Creation.
Read p. 557, par. 1, to p. 559, par. 1.
MARRIAGE OF THE CHILDREN OF THE NEW CREATION.
(57) Does the Apostolic advice to the New Creation concerning marriage apply to their unconsecrated children? P. 557, par. 1.
(58) How do many of the New Creation err in this respect? P. 557, par. 2, 3, 4.
(59) At what ages respectively would it seem best for natural men and women to marry? P. 558, par. 1.
(60) How may wise parents assist their children in mating properly? P. 558, par. 2.
STEWARDSHIP OF OUR CHILDREN'S HEALTH
(61) What is the close relationship between clean and healthy minds and bodies? P. 559, par. 1.
Read p. 559, par. 2, to p. 562, par. 1.
(62) To this end, how should ventilation, clean surroundings and proper physical and mental exercise receive careful inspection by the parent? P. 559, par. 2.
(63) Into what three classes may foods be divided? And what is the proper proportion of each to be partaken of during the day? P. 560, par. 1 to 4.
(64) How may a purely vegetable dietary be satisfactorily arranged, if necessary for economy? P. 561, par. 1.
(65) Explain the injurious results of an uneven balancing of foods, especially of starchy variety? P. 561, par. 2.
(66) Should we be careful not to make diet "a fad"? P. 561, par. 3.
(67) Why is cheerful and profitable conversation a desirable accompaniment of the family table? P. 562, par. 1.
Series VI., Study XIV.--Sundry Earthly Obligations of the New Creation.
Read p. 563, par. 1, to p. 565, par. 2.
(1) Does the transforming of their minds release the New Creation from responsibility toward their fellowmen? P. 563, par. 1.
(2) Why should New Creatures be much more alert than others to recognize the principle of justice? P. 563, par. 2.
(3) What is the Divine injunction with respect to indebtedness, as expressed by the Apostle in `Romans 13:8`? P. 564, par. 1.
(4) What should be the rule for every member of the New Creation as respects money matters? P. 564, par. 2.
(5) Why should all New Creatures aim to keep their expenses below their income? P. 565, par. 1.
(6) If we have in the past unwisely contracted debts, what should be our course? P. 565, par. 2.
Read p. 566, par. 1, to p. 568, par. 1, last half.
(7) What Scriptural precedent may be found for taking advantage of modern bankruptcy provisions? P. 566, par. 1.
(8) If the debt were an obligation of friendship and not a business one, how should it be considered by a New Creature? P. 566, par. 2.
(9) Are widows and orphans responsible for debts of the former head of the family? P. 567, par. 1.
(10) How should we consider the matter of borrowing and lending, as between "brethren"? P. 567, par. 2.
(11) If a brother be so situated that he could give no security for a loan, how should the tender of it consider the matter? P. 568, par. 1, first half.
(12) In case the brother wished a loan with the intention of making profit, would it be proper to take security and require interest? P. 568, par. 1, last half.