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VOL. XXXVII OCTOBER 1. No. 19
A. D. 1916—A.M. 6045
Baptism for the Remission of Sins for Jews Only . . . . . 291
Object of John’s Baptism . . . . . . . . . . 291
No Sins Actually Remitted by Baptism . . . . 292
Improper Baptism of Twelve Ephesians . . . . 293
Was the Baptism of John Christian Baptism? . 294
Rest (Poem) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .294
Temptations Peculiar to the New Creation . . . . . . . . 295
Temptations to Selfishness . . . . . . . . . 295
Shipwrecked on Melita (Malta) . . . . . . . . . . . . . .296
The Power of the Will—Self-Control . . . . . . . . . . . 298
Importance of Strong Will Power . . . . . . .298
Interesting Questions Regarding Types . . . . . . . . . .299
Type a Stronger Word Than Figure . . . . . .299
Antitypes follow Types at Once . . . . . . .300
The Epistle of Christ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .301
Interesting Letters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .302
Photo-Drama in Newfoundland . . . . . . . . 302
“Wars and Rumors of Wars” . . . . . . . . . 303
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BETHEL HYMNS FOR NOVEMBER
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 November follow: (1) 14; (2) 12; (3) 165; (4) 233; (5) 125; (6) 235; (7) 18; (8) 280; (9) 224; (10) 78; (11) 104; (12) 93; (13) 20; (14) 7; (15) 133; (16) 149; (17) 299; (18) 179; (19) 22; (20) 222; (21) 291; (22) 154; (23) 176; (24) 181; (25) 65; (26) 145; (27) 166; (28) 60; (29) 208; (30) 313.
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BAPTISM FOR REMISSION OF SINS FOR JEWS ONLY
“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance; but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”—Matthew 3:11.
WE SHOULD make quite a marked distinction between the Atonement Day arrangement for Israel with its cancellation, and any other arrangement for cancelation of sin. The sacrifices of the Day of Atonement typified the “better sacrifices” for the putting away of Original Sin. Original Sin was Adam’s sin, which has descended to all of his children. The entire race is by nature under the dominion of that Original Sin and under its penalty. God purposes to do away with both the sin and its penalty, through the great High Priest, Jesus. Jesus has already died and has now nearly completed the offering of the “better sacrifices” than those offered by the typical high priest of Israel. We see that the time is coming when there will not be a mere imputation of the merit of Christ, as there has been during the Gospel Age for the Church; for during the incoming Age His merit will be applied absolutely for the sins of the whole world, and the sins of the world—the Adamic sin—will be canceled forever. The condemnation of Original Sin will be no more upon any one, anywhere; and all who will may be assisted up to all that was lost by Adam and redeemed by Christ Jesus.
But there are other sins besides Original Sin, and the culpability of these is proportionate to the amount of knowledge enjoyed. Those which are unintentional are in our Lord’s prayer called “trespasses.” But prayer to God would not set aside Original Sin—only the death of Jesus as a Ransom could set this aside. There are certain ones who through faith in His redeeming blood and by consecration of heart and life to the Lord have become children of God. Because of inherited imperfections these children of God commit trespasses. When they recognize these trespasses, they should come to the Throne of Heavenly Grace “that they may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Others than those who have become children of God have no standing with Him and have no right to make petitions. The only ones who have a hearing with God are those who have become disciples, or followers, of Christ and who have been accepted by Him as His followers. For such He has become the surety and has inducted them into a blessed relationship with the Father—the relationship of sons.
The Israelites were God’s people, in covenant relationship with Him through typical arrangements. The time had not then come for Christ to die for sinners, so God gave them a system of types, pointing forward to the real Sacrifice for sins to be offered “in due time.” He arranged that those who came into this covenant relationship with Him should be treated as though their sins had been actually forgiven and canceled. “Year by year continually,” as the Apostle Paul says, they were to repeat these Atonement Day sacrifices, and thus have, typically, a fresh cancellation of Adamic sin for another year, for the sacrifice was good only for one year. Because of this arrangement their unwitting transgressions were typically set aside, and they continued to be God’s Covenant people. During each year, however, they might through more or less weakness fall into errors of thought, of word and of conduct. These would be trespasses.
THE OBJECT OF JOHN’S BAPTISM
When John the Baptist began his ministry, he came preaching that the time was now at hand when Messiah would appear, and the invitation to come into the real Kingdom of God be given. His exhortation was that all the people should get ready for this, otherwise they would not be prepared to receive Messiah. He said in substance, Examine your life. Are you living to the best of your ability according to the Law? If not, if you are living according to a lower standard than the best of which you are capable, you are guilty. To whatever extent you are not living up to your highest possibilities, you are in disfavor
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with God and untrue to your covenant. If you desire from now on to do your best, show this by being baptized in water. This will be an acknowledgment that you repent of sins, and you will thus wash away your sins.
The people washed away their own sins, typically. John the Baptist did not wash them away. Those who had not been living in harmony with their Law Covenant, but who heard John gladly and turned from sin, were largely the very ones to whom the Message respecting the coming of Messiah appealed. Thus they became, with those who had kept themselves in God’s favor and blessing, “Israelites indeed, in whom was no guile.” This washing away of sins was not an actual cleansing from guilt; for only the blood of Jesus, the merit of His Ransom-sacrifice, could actually take away sin.
SAUL OF TARSUS BAPTIZED WITH JOHN’S BAPTISM
Some have asked, With what baptism was Saul of Tarsus baptized? with Jesus’ baptism or John’s baptism? Saul had lived “in all good conscience” before God during his previous life; how, then, did he have sins to wash away on the occasion of his conversion to Christ? We recall the incident of his conversion. While engaged in persecuting the Christians, Saul, on his way to Damascus,
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had been stricken down, and the Lord had manifested Himself to him. Then as St. Paul afterward said, he saw Jesus shining above the brightness of the sun at noonday and, as the result of this glorious manifestation, his eyes were blinded. His companions then led him to Damascus, where for three days he neither ate nor drank. Then Ananias, a servant of God, was sent by the Lord, to restore Saul’s sight. After Saul recovered his sight Ananias said to him, “And now, why tarriest thou? Arise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins.”
St. Paul apparently never entirely recovered from this injury to his eyes. The Lord refused to fully restore his sight. Certain Scriptures seem to imply that his weakness of eyes was what he called his “thorn in the flesh.” But the Lord declared that He would give him what would be more than an offset to his poor eyesight—the riches of His grace. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10.) Although He was highly honored by revelations, this affliction served to keep him humble, and to remind him that at one time he had been injurious to the Lord’s people.
The Apostle declared that what he did was done “in all good conscience,” verily thinking that he was doing God service when he persecuted the followers of Jesus. He said that he had received mercy because he “did it ignorantly through unbelief.” He declared, “I am the least of saints, not worthy to be called a saint, because I persecuted the Church of God.” In his previous life he had been very careful to keep the outward forms of the Law, being, as he said, “a Pharisee of the Pharisees.” But he had neglected the spirit of the Law—mercy and justice. In his zeal for the Law he had energetically persecuted those in harmony with God. He was, therefore, a sinner, without having been conscious that he was doing wrong. But his sin was declared by the Lord through Ananias, who reproved Saul and called on him to realize his sins and wash them away by baptism.
NO SINS ACTUALLY REMITTED BY BAPTISM
This leads us to consider in what way baptism could wash away sins. The Scriptures show us that there is no baptism that washes away sins so far as the Gentiles are concerned. All of us who were Gentiles have had our sins washed away, not by water, but by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. To us baptism signifies something different from the washing away of sins, as was the baptism of John; namely, a burial into, an induction into, the Body of Christ, the Church.
However, this does not signify that St. Paul and other Jews were not properly inducted into Christ. The Jews were “baptized into Moses, in the sea and in the cloud.” Moses was the mediator for the whole nation of Israel; he stood between God and the people. Because this was so, God entered into a covenant with them; and Israel entered into a covenant with God, declaring that all His commandments they would keep. Throughout the Jewish Age some of them kept these commandments without any serious break. Amongst these were a number of the Apostles, we believe. They had been living good, honest, upright lives, in harmony with the Lord, so far as they were at that time able to live.
Others of those who came to Jesus were such as realized that they had been sinners; but they had repented. We remember that this was the very object of the Father’s plan in sending John the Baptist. John taught the Jews that the Messiah was about to come to them, and that all who desired to be found in harmony with the Kingdom He would proclaim, should see to it that they were in harmony with the Law. Some had nothing to repent of and nothing to wash away by baptism. Many of those who realized that they had been unfaithful to their covenant with God were baptized in water, symbolically washing away the sins they had committed. This act of repentance brought them back under the blessings and favor of their Law Covenant. But although the blood of bulls and goats shed according to their Law did not actually take away sin, yet properly received by faith these sacrifices kept the people in covenant relationship with God. So likewise, neither could water baptism remit sin; but it restored them to full harmony with God’s arrangement for Israel.
So the Jews who recognized that they had been living out of harmony with God, took the opportunity of being baptized by John. Washing away their sins symbolically in water, they publicly declared that they intended thenceforth to live in accordance with God’s Law. Others, the religious leaders, were hypocritical. They were sure that if God purposed to bless any of His people at the coming of the Messiah He would bless those who had kept themselves in harmony with His Law—themselves. The Scribes, the Pharisees, and the Doctors of the Law of that time, as well as the Sadducees, all had a light opinion of John’s work. Jesus said that this was because they were unwilling to repent and wash away their sins, unwilling to acknowledge that they had any sins to wash away. Therefore, as they received not John, they were equally unready to receive the One of whom John was the forerunner, the One who came to take away sin actually by making His own life the Sin-Offering.
HOW JEWS WERE TRANSFERRED FROM MOSES TO CHRIST
Gentiles could not by repenting get back into relationship with the Mosaic Law; for they had never been under that Law. Moses was a type of Christ. As the Jews were all baptized into Moses, so when Jesus took the place of Moses, the baptism into Moses was counted as baptism into Christ to all who accepted Jesus as the Messiah. As the Apostle pointed out (Acts 3:22), “A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me. Him shall ye hear in all things.” Christ was this Prophet like unto Moses, only far greater—like unto him in that He was to be the Representative of God to “all the people,” the world of mankind, as Moses was His representative to all the people of Israel.
Any Jew who was in proper relationship to God through Moses was brought over into Christ upon the exercise of faith, so that he was in Christ as soon as he recognized Christ as the antitype of Moses and realized that his baptism into Moses meant typically his baptism into the great Antitype of Moses. In referring to the typical relationship of Israel to Christ, the Apostle Paul declared that when they drank of the water from the smitten Rock, “they drank of that Spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.” They drank of it in type. Hence when in due time the faithful ones of Israel accepted the Messiah by faith, they died to that typical relationship, and thenceforth drank actually of the Spiritual Rock—Christ Jesus. They came into vital relationship to Messiah.
Baptism for the remission of sins is no longer effective for the Jews, because their opportunity is closed, the way by which they might have a preference over the Gentiles. There is no provision now by means of which the Jews are privileged to come into Christ by any easier way than are those of any other nation or people. As a nation the Jews were left desolate five days before the crucifixion of Christ, until their “double” of disfavor should be fulfilled. See SCRIPTURE STUDIES, Volume 2, pp. 216-228. We understand that special favor even to individual
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Jews ended three and a half years after the Cross, at the close of their seventieth week, as foretold by the Prophet Daniel. (Daniel 9:24-27.) See SCRIPTURE STUDIES, Vol. 2, pp. 63-71.
The Apostle explains Romans 11 (Romans 11:1-36) that while the Israelites had been the natural branches in the olive tree, of which the Promise to Abraham was the root and the Lord Jesus Christ was the Antitypical trunk, nevertheless the time came when many of these branches were broken off. A broken-off branch could not be restored by any different process than that by which a wild branch could be ingrafted. These branches had already been broken off when the Apostle referred to the matter in his letter to the Church at Rome. Hence any Jew coming into Christ then would have to be grafted in the same as a Gentile. He would have no precedence.
IMPROPER BAPTISM OF THE TWELVE EPHESIANS
We note the case of the Ephesians mentioned in Acts 19 Acts 19:1-41. Apollos had preached at Ephesus and had baptized twelve brethren. But Apollos himself had not then been clearly informed as to the difference between the baptism of the Jews and that of the Gentiles; and he performed on them the baptism of John, which was for the
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remission of the sins of the Jews against their Law Covenant, including later their sin of rejection and crucifixion of Messiah. But God would not recognize this baptism for a Gentile. The Gentiles had never been in covenant relationship with Him.
When St. Paul came to Ephesus and perceived that these men had none of the gifts of the Spirit then common to all believers, he inquired what baptism they had received. They answered, “John’s baptism.” Then he required them to be baptized again, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. This brought them into full relationship with God, as were the remainder of the disciples. The Lord probably permitted this mistake in order that the Apostles might more clearly understand, and that thus the truth of the matter might come down to us. These things give us a clear conception of how particular God is in all His dealings. There is a definite way in which we may come into covenant relationship with the Lord, and He insists on the recognition of the conditions which must be observed to this end.
NATURAL BRANCHES BROKEN OFF
The Jewish people have been broken off from favor and fellowship with God for a long time, a period of disfavor equal to the former period of their favor—1845 years, as we have shown in SCRIPTURE STUDIES. They are severed from the original olive tree. But God is able to “graft them in again,” as the Apostle declares. So during the Gospel Age the Jew has had the same privilege of coming into the Body of Christ as the Gentile. The fact that one is a Jew does not hinder him from entering into the enjoyment of all the privileges of Gentile Christians. The only thing that has hindered is the great gulf of prejudice and misconception of God.
The Jewish nation are cast off from favor “until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.” We believe the “fulness” is now about completed. St. Paul declares that the Jews, Israel after the flesh, shall be restored to favor with God. “They shall obtain mercy through your [the Gospel Church’s] mercy,” he assures us. They shall be brought back through the ministration of the glorified Church. As a nation they failed to avail themselves of the privileges of this Gospel Age to have their sins put away by accepting Christ; but the Jews will come into favor under the most favorable conditions when the New Order of things shall be established—when by the application of the merit of His sacrifice Christ shall have made atonement for the whole world. This will include the sins of the Jews. Their “double” of disfavor having ended, as we understand, in the spring of 1878, God’s favor is gradually being manifested to the Jews, and will continue to increase until their full restoration, though their chastisement is not yet fully completed.
SPECIAL PRIVILEGES FOR NATURAL ISRAEL
At the inauguration of the New Age of blessing Natural Israel will be granted a special place and privilege; “for the gifts and calling of God are not things to be repented of.” We see how in another way, also, this special privilege will come to them; namely, in that the Law has been more or less of a restraint upon them in their daily lives as a people. They have had more or less of loyalty to God, which has kept them separate from other nations. This special privilege of preeminence in the Messianic Kingdom, however, will not be granted to all who are Jews by blood; but only to those who prove loyal to the Law and the Prophets—those who are Jews at heart, and not merely outwardly. All others are merely Gentiles.—Romans 2:28,29.
The earthly phase of the Kingdom will be composed of the Ancient Worthies of the ages preceding the First Advent of our Lord. Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Job, and the Hebrew Prophets and other faithful ones will be in power as “princes in all the earth.” (Psalm 45:16.) The orthodox Jews will be more ready to receive the blessing of the New Dispensation promptly than will any other people. Therefore they will have the first blessing—not by reason of partiality on God’s part in showing favor to these people, but by virtue of the fact that He made a covenant with them as the posterity of faithful Abraham.
BAPTISM IN THE NEXT AGE
We have no reason to think that baptism will be practised in the New Dispensation. We have no Scriptures that tell us it will be introduced. Yet it will not be surprising if it shall be reestablished; for baptism is a very beautiful picture of consecration to God, the full giving of the life to His service. It may be introduced as a symbol of washing away sin or as a symbol of consecration. What we do not know we think it best not to discuss. We do see that the Church was baptized into Christ by being baptized into His death; and that baptism is, therefore, to the Christian, a symbol of death. But it need not be a symbol of death always. This beautiful figure might be transmuted to signify a baptism into the family of Christ, a manifestation of the adoption of this new Father, in contradistinction to the old father, Adam—a rising to newness of life through the Lord Jesus Christ. We should not be surprised if this would be the case, but it is not wise to speculate in advance. It is better to leave those matters not yet clear, until the Lord shall open them up fully.
John’s Baptism was called by that name because John was the first one who used baptism; and he, as the forerunner of Christ, used it to do a preparatory work. Not only John and his disciples, but also Jesus and His disciples, practised this baptism among the Jews. (John 4:1-3.) This rite called to repentance of sin and the getting into harmony with the Messiah who was about to come. It was very necessary that Jesus should be recognized as the great Anointed One; for although His baptism was to bring the Jews back into accord with Moses, into harmony with the Law, nevertheless it was to prepare them to accept the Messiah.
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The baptism of Jews after Pentecost was the same—for the remission of sins; but they had charged against them, in addition to their other sins of unfaithfulness, the crucifixion of the Prince of Life. Many acknowledged their guilt when they realized what had been done. They saw that the whole nation was guilty of what the people had done through their rulers, the high priest, the under priests, the Sanhedrin, the Scribes, the Pharisees and the Doctors of the Law.
Those Jews who were contrite of heart were prompted to ask what they should do to escape the condemnation which was upon the whole people. St. Peter answered, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” In a measure extenuating their sin of crucifying the Messiah, he said, “I wot, brethren, that in ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory.” (Acts 2:37,38; Acts 3:13-15,17.) He reminded them that they were the children of the promises; and that as Israelites they had a special claim on this arrangement which God had made through His Anointed Son, in that it must come to them first; and that their repentance would bring them forgiveness and remission of sins.
The Apostle was not speaking, however, of a new immersion into the Body of Christ which would be applicable only to Gentiles; for Gentiles could not be received in the same way, by remission of sins and a restitution to God’s favor under the Jewish Law arrangement to which they had never been subject. Gentiles had never sinned against the Law; therefore they could not be dealt with as the Jews.
WAS JOHN’S BAPTISM CHRISTIAN BAPTISM?
Again, it is asked, Was the baptism of John Christian Baptism? If not, when did Christians begin to baptize with the Christian baptism? We reply, John’s Baptism was not Christian baptism, but merely a baptism for the washing away of sins, as we have shown. Few of those baptized by John knew anything about Christ. It could not, therefore, have been a Christian baptism. However, it would amount to Christian baptism to the Jews who observed it, because by coming back into Moses and recognizing Christ as the antitype of Moses, they would thus be transferred into Christ after Pentecost.
But Christian baptism to the Gentiles was a new thing. It symbolized the grafting of wild olive branches into the Israelitish olive tree. It was an immersion of aliens into the Body of Messiah, making them fellow-members with the Jews of the twelve tribes of Spiritual Israel, whose entire number was to be 144,000—twelve thousand from each tribe. (Revelation 2:9; Rev. 3:9; Rev. 7:1-8; Rev. 14:1-5.) Those taken from among the Gentiles were the wild olive branches grafted into the good olive tree, making up the number which lacked to complete this Body of Christ.
SHOULD WATER BAPTISM BE PRACTISED NOW?
Some friends seem to have been in doubt as to whether it is proper to practise water baptism since October 1st, 1914, and if so, as to what words should be used by the administrator in immersing the candidate, especially if he has but lately made a consecration.
To this we reply; firstly, Just when the membership of the Body of Christ will be consummated is not a matter that we are capable of determining with positiveness. Up to that time we may be sure that any one presenting himself in the proper way was eligible. Secondly, Some of those who now present themselves for immersion have made a complete consecration previously; they may be symbolizing a consecration made five, ten or twenty years ago. Thirdly, Even if we were sure that the Body of Christ is now completed, we see no reason why consecration
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to God should not be symbolized by water baptism; for this rite represents the surrender and burial of the individual will into the will of the Lord, and this is the proper course for every one to take. We could not imagine a different course for all to take during the Millennial Age. The difference will be that the Lord will not accept them then to a change of nature, but to His favor under the Restitution privileges of that Dispensation—an uplift to perfect human nature on the earth.
Those who will come into harmony with God’s arrangements for the world during the Millennium, now about to dawn, are to be the children of Christ—He is spoken of as their “Everlasting Father”—their Life-giver. He is not the Father of the Gospel Church, but their Elder Brother. They are the children of God. The life that will be given to the world will be the earthly life, the kind which Jesus surrendered on their behalf. They are referred to in 1 Cor., chapter 15 (1 Cor.15:1-58), as they that are His, who become His, during the thousand years of His presence.
The Common Version rendering is obscure. Verse 23 (1 Cor. 15:23)should read, “But every man in his own order: the anointed First-fruits; afterward, they that are Christ’s in His presence”—during His Parousia, the thousand years of Christ’s Reign. “Then cometh the end, when He [Christ] shall have delivered up the Kingdom to God, even the Father,” “that God may be all in all.” (1 Cor. 15:24-28.) All of the restored world will belong to the general family of Christ. Jesus the Bridegroom and the Church His Bride will have the regenerated human family as their children on the earthly plane of being. Mankind will become Christ’s children by the consecration of themselves. The Father’s will for them will not be the spirit nature, but human restitution to all that was lost in Adam.
For all these reasons we see that it is proper that we should make no change at this time either in the symbolic baptism or in the language used in connection with the same. We think it a fitting picture of consecration to God and His service on whatever plane of life one may spend eternity, whether spiritual or earthly.
“For we which have believed do enter into rest.”
The rest of faith! How wondrous sweet,
Each trial and each grief to meet,
Upheld by that sufficient grace,
That trusts Him where it cannot trace.
The rest of peace! With mind so stayed,
That as the sea-birds, unafraid,
Upon the stormy deep do sleep,
My soul an inmost calm doth keep.
The rest of love! What holy bliss,
That He is mine, and I am His!
It sweetens every bitter cup,
It bids my tear-dimmed eyes look up;
It satisfies my hungry heart,
And makes this life of Heaven a part;
Oh! blessed rest of faith and peace,
Oh! rest of love that ne’er shall cease.
GERTRUDE W. SEIBERT.
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TEMPTATIONS PECULIAR TO THE NEW CREATION
“We have not an High Priest who cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the Throne of Grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”—Hebrews 4:15,16
IN HIS discourse, as given in this Epistle, the Apostle Paul has led his readers up to the point of appreciation that although the Lord Jesus was not a priest according to the Jewish arrangement, not being a member of the tribe of Levi, nevertheless He was a Priest according to special Divine appointment. He entered upon His priestly office at the time of His begetting and anointing of the Holy Spirit, which He received at His baptism by John. His work as High Priest still continues, and will not be complete until the close of His Reign of a thousand years. He is now a Priest on the highest plane, the Divine plane. Although at His resurrection He became so great, so highly exalted above mankind, nevertheless this great High Priest, the highest of all the House of Sons, is One who can be touched with the feeling of our human infirmities. He realizes our imperfection, our trials, our difficulties; for in the days of His flesh He had similar trials, similar difficulties.
The question arises, How could Jesus have had the same kind of difficulties that a mother would have? How could He be tried in all points as a mother? He never was a mother. How could He be tempted as a father? He never was a father. How could He be tempted as a drunkard, or in many ways as fallen humanity are tempted, when He was perfect?
We answer, The Apostle was not referring to the temptations of fallen humanity. He says, “He was tempted in all points like as we are.” He was speaking of New Creatures. We know of no temptation that came to our Lord except those which came to Him as a New Creature. He was tempted as we are tempted as New Creatures in Christ. He was not subject to every temptation which assails us from the fallen tastes, appetites and tendencies, which come to us as members of the degenerate race of Adam. These are not temptations to the New Creature. Those who have enlisted under the banner of Jehovah should love righteousness and hate iniquity. This was our Lord’s mind.
Whoever in his mind loves the wrong and approves the wrong gives evidence of not having the mind of Christ, and would not properly be one of the “we” class referred to here, since his temptations would not be like those which spirit-begotten New Creatures have, like those which Jesus had. Those who have formerly lived in sin should sufficiently know of its undesirability. Those who have practised sin should have had satisfactory evidence of its unholy nature, of its pernicious and destructive effects. So we who have fled from sin and come into God’s family do not wish to return to its bondage, like a dog to his vomit or a sow to her wallowing in the mire. Those are not our temptations at all. Our temptations are much more subtle.
TEMPTATIONS TO SELFISHNESS
Looking back at our Lord’s life after His baptism in Jordan, we see how He was tempted. One of His temptations was in respect to the use of His God-given power. He was very hungry, and was in a place where no food could be secured. The Adversary suggested that He use His miraculous power to produce food for Himself by commanding the stones to become bread. This He could have done; for we remember that on more than one occasion He miraculously created food to feed the multitudes, and at another time He turned water into the choicest wine. But on this occasion He refused to use this power to satisfy His own appetite. The spirit of devotion to the Father led Him into the wilderness for prayer, meditation and study of God’s Word, preparatory to beginning his sacrificial service.
We have not the power to turn stones into bread or water into wine. But we have certain privileges and opportunities; for instance, the opportunity of speaking in the name of the Lord and of telling of His goodness and of His wonderful Plan for human salvation. All these things are privileges to us who are following in the footsteps of Jesus. In these the temptation is to do these things for our own special advantage. For example, we might undertake to proclaim the Truth with the thought of obtaining great honor or a large salary. This temptation frequently comes to those who are God’s ministers—to use this power of God and the Truth of God for personal aggrandizement. To whatever extent any would do these things to that extent he would be falling into temptation.
Another way in which Jesus was tempted was in the suggestion to cast Himself down from the pinnacle of the Temple, and thus call the attention of all the people to Himself. This act would prove Him to be possessed of superhuman power and would seem to imply that He was under the special protection of God. He could thus make a marvelous demonstration of Himself and He would be considered some great one. The Adversary, true to his usual methods, misapplied a Scripture, endeavoring to convince the Master that God had promised to protect Him in just such an instance, to uphold Him lest He should dash His foot against a stone. But Jesus resented this misinterpretation of Scripture, and answered, “It is written, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” He refused to tempt God, to try Him through a misapplication of His promise. The written Word was His refuge and strength in each temptation.
So some of Christ’s disciples are tempted to do things in a spirit of foolhardiness, hoping that God will shield them from the evil results of a course which would be contrary to the laws of nature or save them from consequences
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which would be the natural result of certain actions. This would be presumption on the part of a child of God. Such a course is saying by implication, “God will protect me, He will not allow me to come to harm.” To presume to do what God has never authorized in His Word, and then expect a miracle to prevent evil from resulting, is entirely wrong and unjustifiable. If we should presume to go out in cold or stormy weather improperly clad, when it is not necessary to do so, and thus risk contracting illness thereby, we would be doing a wrong and unwarranted thing. Our bodies belong to the Lord and we have no right to do anything unnecessarily which would be a risk of injury or death. Only duty or necessity would excuse such a course.
TEMPTATIONS TO COMPROMISE
Another temptation which was presented to our Lord was that He look out over the Kingdoms of the world, and then be assured that all these should be given over to His control, without His having to submit to suffering, without taking the painful course marked out by God, if He would just fall down and worship Satan, acknowledge his authority instead of that of Jehovah. Satan’s words implied that he would not require such suffering and sacrifice as God required; that if Jesus would only cooperate with him, all would work smoothly and prosperously. Our dear Lord replied, “Get thee hence, Satan!
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for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.” So on every point the wily Adversary was foiled. Jesus had as a panoply the Word of God, and was safe from every attack.
So temptations may come to us. We might have suggestions that if we would only not be too straight-laced, but would cooperate to some extent with the world and its spirit, we might get along better and have a greater influence over people. This was the Adversary’s argument with the Master: “Cooperate with me, and we will bring the whole world where you can give them great blessings.” But Jesus would not swerve from the Father’s way. Temptations and suggestions of this kind often come to the Lord’s people. We fear that many of His professed followers have compromised with the world and the Adversary. The church systems have fallen into this very trap of the Devil. This has surely been a grave and costly mistake. Temptations and suggestions of this kind come often to the Lord’s people.
TEMPTATIONS TO RETURN EVIL FOR EVIL
We also have temptations to return evil for evil and railing for railing. Our Lord was so tempted just before His crucifixion. When He was delivered to the chief priests and taken before the Jewish Sanhedrin, He did not show them up, as He might have done. Jesus might have delivered a very scathing criticism of the high priest at that time; He might truthfully have made caustic remarks about the high priest’s character. With the power of eloquence which He possessed, He might have made a great stir. Perhaps He felt an impulse in this direction, but He held His peace, and allowed Himself to be led as a lamb to the slaughter. And so we have temptations of a similar kind—temptations to render evil for evil, to keep square with people, to give them what they deserve.
OUR THRONE OF MERCY
When we realize that we are not always successful in resisting these temptations, we are to remember that we have a Throne of Grace, to which we may come and find mercy and grace to help in time of need. We may come to our great High Priest. The high priest of old held a very high and honorable position. Our High Priest is far more highly exalted. In considering this, we might at first be inclined to think of Him as very austere, not easily approached. But the Apostle says that we are to remember that this is the One who is our Savior, the One who died for us; and that although He is so greatly exalted and seated upon the Throne of Glory, yet His Throne is also a Throne of Mercy.
Coming to the Savior’s Throne is not the same as coming directly to the Father’s Throne. Jehovah’s Throne is a Throne of Justice, but Jesus’ Throne is a Throne of Mercy. Here we may obtain mercy if we fail to come up to the highest standard. We are to remember that our merciful High Priest knows just what kind of trials we have. If we have tried to do our best, and have been overtaken in a fault, He knows how to make allowance for us and to be very sympathetic. We are to remember that this Mercy Seat is for this very purpose—to show mercy to us.
Thus as we realize that in our temptations and trials the Lord is for us as He sees our earnest struggles and endeavors, it makes us the stronger in resistance another time. “He knows, and loves, and cares.” Therefore we should never grow discouraged, but come to Him again and again, remembering that He is never weary of our coming and that He will not turn us away empty.
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SHIPWRECKED ON MELITA—(MALTA)
—NOVEMBER 5.—ACTS 27:38-44.—
ST. PAUL A MAN AMONGST MEN—HIS EXAMPLE EVER WORTHY OF EMULATION—HIS TRANSFORMATION OF CHARACTER A WITNESS TO THE POWER OF GOD—HIS COURAGE DURING THE HURRICANE—HIS THWARTING THE SAILORS’ PLAN TO ABANDON THE VESSEL—HIS INFLUENCE WITH THE CENTURION—HIS EXPERIENCES ON THE ISLAND.
“Jehovah redeemeth the soul of His servants; and none of them that take refuge in Him shall be condemned.”— Psalm 34:22. R.V.
OUR STUDIES for the current year show us St. Paul from various standpoints—a bigoted persecutor; a humble penitent crying, “Lord, what wouldst Thou have me do?”; a courageous witness to the Truth amongst his own people; a self-sacrificing missionary in foreign lands. We have noted his conduct in the presence of kings and nobles. We have admired his courage in the presence of danger while on his voyage to Rome as a prisoner. Today we view him as a man amongst men in contact with the duties of life and in the midst of a great disaster—a shipwreck.
From the time when he became a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, St. Paul’s deportment was noble, humble, reverential, faithful, devout, saintly, worthy of emulation by all the followers of the Master. The transformation wrought in St. Paul is possible in all who have the hearing ear and who receive the Gospel Message into good and honest hearts. Of itself such a transformation is a witness to the power of God—to the reality of the religion of the Bible. What a changed world we should be in if all mankind underwent such a transformation!
But not all are in the condition of heart to be thus influenced, thus drawn by the Gospel. Some will need the strong arm of Messiah—will need the authority and the force of the Millennial Kingdom—to bring them into subjection and to show them the advantages of right over wrong. Thank God that with faith we may pray, “Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth, as it is done in Heaven”! expecting the realization soon.
ENCOURAGING HIS COMPANIONS
Scudding before the storm of fourteen days and nights, the vessel finally reached a place where the trained ears of the seamen in the night caught the sound of the surf, they knew not where. Then they cast four anchors out of the stern of the vessel, and waited for the morning.
By this time St. Paul, the Jewish prisoner, had risen in the estimation of all on board the ship; for God was with him. Throughout the storm all but the Apostle had lost both courage and hope; and his cheerful attitude was due to his submission to God’s will and partly to the fact that in a vision the Lord had showed him that he should yet preach the Gospel at Rome, and that for his sake Divine Providence would care for every life on board the ship. A heart at peace with God and instructed through His Word is prepared for whatever may come of joy or sorrow.
The Apostle exhorted his companions to be of good cheer. He reminded them of his vision, and assured them of his absolute faith therein. Then he urged them to take food in order that they might be strengthened for the strenuous exertions of the coming day. His cheerfulness and his example were contagious. As the light
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of the Lord was his peace and joy, so he in turn was the light of the ship and the comfort of those thereon. He illustrated what he taught—that God’s people should do good unto all men as they have opportunity, especially to the Household of Faith. He exemplified his own words to the Corinthian Church: “God comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them that are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”—Galatians 6:10; 2 Cor. 1:4.
ESCAPING FROM THE WRECK
With the morning light they discerned the shore and a little bay which is now known as St. Paul’s Bay in the Island of Malta, then called Melita. The sailors cut loose from the anchors, hoisted sail and sought to beach the boat. But before reaching shore, the vessel grounded on a mudbank; and the forepart holding fast, the rear began to go to pieces with the force of the waves; for it was a meeting place for two sea currents. In the night the life boat had been cut adrift, because the sailors had attempted to desert the ship. St. Paul had advised this course. Having discerned the evident intention of the sailors to escape in the small boat, he communicated the facts to the centurion, and pointed out the necessity of compliance with reasonable precautions to insure the fulfilment of the Divine promise.
So we all should understand that we have something to do in realizing the gracious promises of God to us. In connection with the affairs of this life He has promised that our bread and our water shall be sure. But this does not imply that we shall neglect reasonable opportunities for securing these. He has promised us a share in the coming Messianic Kingdom. But it is for us to make our calling and election sure. God is thoroughly capable and willing to perform all of His part in connection with every matter; but it is to our advantage that He calls upon us to show our faith by our works—by our cooperation with Him in various ways.
Seeing that only by swimming or by floating on wreckage could the shore be reached, the soldiers proposed that the prisoners be killed; for under Roman law they were answerable with their lives for the security of those committed to their charge. But the centurion had learned to esteem the Apostle, and for his sake spared all the prisoners, doubtless remembering the vision which had inspired them all with the hope and the courage which had brought them this far toward safety. It turned out as St. Paul had foretold—that every human life was spared, but that the ship alone was lost with her cargo.
THE APOSTLE FROM A NEW VIEWPOINT
On the shore we get a new picture of St. Paul. He neither stood on any dignity nor assumed superiority to be served. On the contrary, he promptly assisted in serving the interests of the entire company. We find him gathering sticks for a fire, at which the company might be warmed and dried. The barbarians of the island—so-called because they spoke neither Greek nor Latin, but Phoenician—showed them various kindnesses.
But when the natives saw a viper, warmed to life by the heat of the fire, fasten itself upon the Apostle’s hand, they reasoned that this prisoner was doubtless a murderer who, having escaped the perils of shipwreck, was still pursued by Divine Justice and bitten in order that he might die. They supposed that St. Paul’s arm would swell with the poison from the viper, and that soon the prisoner would be writhing in agony and die in torture. But when he shook off the serpent and suffered no injury, they concluded that he must be a god.
Here a fresh opportunity was afforded for the honoring of the Gospel Message; for St. Paul soon afterwards found that the father of the governor was sick, and he miraculously healed the man and other sick people of the island. Thus was the knowledge of Christ and His minister spread abroad to a considerable extent, although as far as we have any information the Apostle did not attempt to preach the Gospel Message, either to his companions on shipboard or to the people of the island. Evidently he did not consider them to be “good ground” in which to sow the seed of the Kingdom—did not consider them to be of those whom the Lord our God has called to be of the Bride class now being selected and tested. Doubtless their experiences will prove profitable to them in the due time when the glorified Christ shall draw all men unto Himself (John 12:32), granting them blessed opportunities for knowledge, for blessing and for Restitution.—Acts 3:19-23.
We notice that the Apostle was not bent upon exciting men’s minds, but was practising the same Gospel methods which the Master had taught him; namely, of counting the cost of discipleship, and then, if willing to pay the price, of taking up the cross and following the Lord. If this, the Master’s method for gathering His people from the world (Matthew 16:24; Luke 14:27-33), were still pursued, there would be many fewer nominal Christians; but we believe that there would be no smaller number of the genuine ones.
The time for bringing the world in is not yet come. Hence the Master prayed not for the world, but for those whom the Father had given Him out of the world. His words were: “I pray not for the world, but for them whom Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine. … Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also that shall believe on Me through their word; that they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us; that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.” (John 17:9,20,21.) The gathering of the Elect is under disadvantageous conditions, which will thoroughly test them, making their way so narrow that few will find it, and still fewer progress in it. But when God’s due time for dealing with the world shall come, the powers of Heaven and earth will cooperate with the glorified Church in making the Gospel so plain that a wayfaring man, though a fool, need not err therein.—Isaiah 35:8-10.
As far as the record shows, the Apostle and his companions did no mission work amongst the barbarians of the island on which they were wrecked, nor amongst the soldiers and the sailors who were their companions during that winter. They left no Church there. Therefore we may safely presume that they found no hearing ears. The lesson to us from this fact should be that we are not to expect the conversion of the world nor anything akin to it. But we are to expect that the Lord will find with the Truth a sufficient number to complete the elect Church, and then, with the power and authority of the Kingdom, will establish righteousness and cause the knowledge of Himself to fill the earth and to bless the whole world, through The Christ.—Galatians 3:8,16,29.
“When the storms of life are raging,
Tempests wild on sea and land,
I will seek a place of refuge
In the shadow of God’s hand.
“So, when here the cross I’m bearing,
Meeting storms and billows wild,
Jesus for my soul is caring:
Naught can harm His Father’s child.”
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THE POWER OF THE WILL—SELF-CONTROL
—NOVEMBER 12.—ROMANS 14:13-15:3.—
THE EVILS OF INTEMPERANCE—RESTRAINT OF LIBERTY FOR THE SAKE OF OTHERS—A WORD OF WARNING IN REGARD TO PROPER INTERPRETATION OF SCRIPTURE—SELF-DENIAL FOR CHRIST’S SAKE—FAITH VS. CONDEMNATION—APPLICATION OF THE ROYAL LAW OF LOVE.
“It is good not to eat flesh, nor drink wine, nor to do anything whereby thy brother stumbleth.”—Romans 14:21.
AGAIN the International Sunday School Committee requests Christian people in general to consider the evils of intemperance and the importance of moderation in all things on the part of those professing godliness. Such lessons seem to be all the more important when we perceive that the rush, the push, the hurry, the consumption of nervous energy which characterize our day seem to be the cause of nervous and mental disorders and a lengthening of the lists of the insane.
Certainly no one claiming benevolence of heart and soundness of judgment could possibly advocate or encourage intemperance, realizing that it is a fruitful source of crime, depravity, immorality, etc. We note with pleasure the spread of local option and total prohibition in these United States and elsewhere—not that such restraints are the highest ideals of liberty, but that those who love liberty are willing to share the bondage of restraint for the sake of their fellow-citizens to whom full liberty is admittedly injurious.
Either climatic variations or else financial and social changes account for the fact that in the days of our Lord and the Apostles there was less tendency to drunkenness than there is now; and probably for this reason the Scriptures have less to say respecting this vice, which is one of the chiefest evils of our day.
But no amount of interest in the temperance question should permit us to read into the Divine Word that which was not intended by its inspired writers, although we may properly enough draw inferences and conclusions. First of all, we must take the lesson provided for us as we find it. Today’s Study is a part of the Apostle’s discussion of law and liberty, custom and conscience, on questions that were prominent at the time of writing. With his accustomed vigor St. Paul is marking out the path of proper Christian conduct, in harmony with the second great commandment of the Divine Law—”Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Although the lesson may be applied in a measure to every intelligent being, yet strictly, particularly, peculiarly, it applies to every consecrated member of the Church of Christ.
THE IMPORTANCE OF STRONG WILL POWER
All men have wills; and it is important that all should learn to use them. As a man willeth, so is he! The willless, the supine, are not truly men and women. To be a hero in the strife one must have a strong will; and in proportion to its correctness will be the influence and value of the personality. Children should not be trained to have no will, but, contrariwise, to have a will submitted to the proper rulers and guides of life—to parents, to earthly teachers and, later on, to the Divine will.
In our Study the Apostle is addressing those who submit their wills to the Lord—those who have accepted the Divine will as instead of their own. The noblest and best of the people of God are those who have iron wills, which they have fully submitted to the guidance and direction of the Lord—through the Bible, the Holy Spirit and Divine providences. “The Father seeketh such to worship Him as worship Him in spirit and in truth.”
Some are born with strong wills; others are naturally rather weak-minded. In the world the latter sink or swim, survive or perish, in the vicissitudes of life, often controlled by the law of supply and demand and the survival of the fittest. The inequalities of birth are frequently accentuated by life’s experiences, and often disastrously. Some of the strong-willed become merchant princes, managers of large enterprises, etc.; others become thieves, desperadoes, etc.—the outcome depending largely upon haphazard circumstances.
The only safe course for any mariner on the stormy sea of life is to take on board the great Pilot, the Lord Jesus Christ. While He will probably seldom guide into a haven of earthly riches or earthly popularity, nevertheless He will, if permitted, bring us safely to the desired haven. Under this Pilot the human will is like a strong vessel with mighty sails or a powerful engine. The greater the power, the greater the capacity and the more useful. The proper Pilot will guide us not only safely past the rocks of disaster and the shoals of sin, but into the haven of life, joy, peace and fellowship Divine.
Not merely the strong-willed need this great Pilot. The weak-willed naturally need Him just as much; for although they might not run upon the rocks with the same degree of force, and thus make equally bad shipwreck, yet they are quite as likely to be caught upon the shoals of sin and, in a purposeless manner, fail to achieve in life anything worth while.
NEW CREATURES IN CHRIST JESUS
Those who during this Gospel Age make a full surrender of their wills to the Lord and receive in return the begetting of the Holy Spirit are Scripturally termed New Creatures in Christ. (2 Cor. 5:17.) Their wills are brought into subjection to the will of God. The lessons of His Word and all the experiences of life under Divine provision are promised to work for their good—to strengthen their wills if too weak, to make them properly pliable if too rigid, and eventually to make of them the most that is possible in the present life and to prepare them for the life to come.
Such are addressed by St. Paul in today’s Study. They are exhorted not to judge the brethren in the sense of condemning them, but rather to judge themselves, criticize themselves, make of themselves shining lights, and thus to help the brethren by setting before them and the world a noble example. Sooner or later all must give an account to the Lord. Therefore our judging of others is unnecessary. Hence if we have judged or criticized each other in the past, we should avoid so doing in the future and should criticize only our ownselves—our words, our deeds, our thoughts—that nothing in us shall put a stumbling-block in the way of another.
The ceremonial cleanness or uncleanness of food is nothing to the Christian, who is free from all law except the Law of Love. But this Divine Law controls, and forbids us to stumble or even to grieve a brother less well-informed than ourselves. How could one who is controlled by love either eat, drink, act or speak in a manner that would cause injury to another? It is good to have liberty, but let us so use it as not to injure those less advanced than ourselves.
The Call of the Gospel Age is to joint-heirship with Christ in His Millennial Kingdom. Those who are thus called are not under the bondage of the Jewish Law, but have greater liberty in Christ. But shall we say that the advantage of our relationship to the Lord as prospective heirs of the Kingdom consists chiefly in the liberty to eat and to drink what we please? Surely not! These
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are but the lesser advantages of our blessed relationship to Christ and the Kingdom. Our chief blessing consists in our justification and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Let us appreciate these our chief blessings and privileges of the present time; for in so doing we shall be well pleasing in the sight of God, and men also will approve our conduct. So, then, let us follow after the things which make for peace, and the things whereby we may build one another up. Let us not even risk injury to the Cause of Righteousness and the work of God’s grace in others by using our liberties in any manner contrary to their welfare. Rather let us count it a privilege to void our rights, if thus we can glorify God and bless our fellow men.
FAITH VS. CONDEMNATION
“The faith which thou hast, have thou to thyself before God.” That is to say, our outward conduct need not necessarily show all the depth of our knowledge, faith and liberty. God knows the heart. He sees the progress which we have made; and He will be the better pleased with us if for the brethren’s sake we do not declare all our liberties at a time and a place where the knowledge might prove injurious to others of His dear family.
The Apostle proceeds to point out that if we are critical in examining our own conduct and our own motives we may find therein something very similar in kind to that which we are disposed to criticize in others, although perhaps in relation to a different subject. (Romans 14:22.) For instance, whoever judges another allows, or concludes, that the other’s conduct is inspired by pride, ambition, etc. If he were to turn his criticism upon himself, he might find something of the same kind in his own heart. Whoever concludes that his neighbor is a slanderer and condemns the neighbor for it should turn his criticism upon himself, to see that his own words are always above reproach—never upon the slanderer. Happy and blessed the person who after careful self-examination finds himself to be entirely free from faults he discerns in others. Such are exceptional characters.
With the wrong conception before the mind, the Apostle’s words in Verse 23 (Romans 14:23) sound extremely harsh. To many minds laboring under the delusions of the Dark Ages the idea is conveyed that whoever defiles his conscience by eating meat which he mistakenly thinks to be unclean would thus be sent to an eternity of torture. But no such thought was in the Apostle’s mind, nor could it be properly understood in his words. He there emphasizes the fact that any person eating meat, however clean, but thinking that in so doing he was committing a sin, would as a consequence be under condemnation for having violated his conscience, his judgment of the Lord’s will; and that this condemnation of conscience would act as a barrier between himself and the Lord, who judges the heart and not merely the outward conduct. Such an alienation might ultimately lead to the loss of the great Prize of our High Calling, and thus lead one into the Great Company or possibly into the Second Death.
PRACTICAL APPLICATION OF THE PRINCIPLE
The Apostle explains why this condemnation would hold, saying, “because he eateth not of faith”—not in harmony with his conscience; and whatsoever is not in harmony with faith and conscience is a sin.
The application of this principle to the question of using or not using spirituous liquors would certainly be profitable to all of God’s people. Whoever uses these liquors when he believes that their use is a sin is violating his conscience. Whoever uses them with full knowledge that another will thereby be affected unfavorably is violating the Law of Love—”Love thy neighbor as thyself.” In our day this matter becomes more important than ever before, for today the question of conscience in the matter of using spirituous liquors is more pronounced than ever before.
In the Body of Christ the members have their various inherited weaknesses, against which they must wage a life-long warfare; and sometimes these weaknesses are of such a nature as to interfere to some extent with the rights and the comforts of others as well as those of their possessors. Along this line the Apostle offers a word of counsel, saying, “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.” Such patient, forbearing love is one of the most beautiful adornments of Christian character.
This does not imply, however, that we should not expostulate with such a one, and endeavor to help him to get rid of his infirmity. This we should do in the spirit of meekness and kindness, while we cheerfully endure the trial of our patience, not seeking to please ourselves, but rather to help a weaker brother or sister. “Let every one of us,” as the Apostle counsels, “please his neighbor for his good, to edification”—not by simply ignoring his fault as though we considered it of no consequence, but by humbly and patiently submitting to the discomfort, even while kindly urging him to strive against it.
If this spirit prevails, there need be no division in the Body of Christ; for all the members will have a mutual care and a mutual love for one another—a care which seeks to encourage all that is good and to discourage all that is unbecoming; a love which throws its mantle over the deformity, and which endeavors to conceal a fault rather than to expose the weaker brother to the reproach of others. Thus in the true Body of Christ, which is knit together in love, if one member suffer, all the members suffer with him in proportion as they are more or less directly associated with him; or if one member be honored, all the members rejoice with him and to some degree share the honor—just as when in an earthly family one member rises to honorable distinction all the members partake of the honor and the joy.
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INTERESTING QUESTIONS REGARDING TYPES
TYPE A STRONGER WORD THAN FIGURE OR PICTURE
QUESTION.—What is the difference between the words “type,” “figure,” and “picture”?
Answer.—There is a very strong relationship between these words. To some people they would all mean the same; to others there would be a slight difference of meaning. A type is a figure, and is also a picture, designed to bring out certain important matters and details as Divinely appointed. A figure is a much less exact representation or statement of matters than a type. Abraham received Isaac from the dead in a figure (Hebrews 11:17-19); that is, there is a pictorial illustration connected with the matter, but it is not so sharp as in a type.
A parable is a figure; it is a word-picture, but not a type. It has not the exactness of a type. We would use the words parable and picture in the same way; for we see no difference. A type is an exact pattern of its antitype, just as a printer’s type corresponds to the matter printed therefrom. Isaac was a type of Christ; Rebecca, his wife, a type of the Bride of Christ; Ishmael, Abraham’s son by Sarah’s bondmaid, was a type of the nation
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of Israel, developed under the Law Covenant, which was typified by Hagar, the bondwoman.
A picture, a figure or a parable would have weight and value according to the character of the person who made the picture or the parable, and in proportion as it had intrinsic merit. A type would be beyond all this, in that it is very clearly defined and implies Divine foreknowledge and arrangement. God gives types. Men may give pictures, figures or parables.
ANTITYPES FOLLOW TYPES AT ONCE
Question.—Is the type always followed by the antitype at once or not?
Answer.—Our thought is that we should expect a type to be followed by its antitype; and we would rather look for it to follow immediately. For instance, after the type of the eating of the Passover lamb was recognized for the last time by Jehovah, it was followed immediately by the Antitype, Jesus, the Lamb of God, who was crucified on the very same date as the annual Passover Supper. The type of the bullock and the Lord’s goat, offered as
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sin-offerings on the Jewish Day of Atonement, was followed at once by its antitype, as soon as the typical sacrifices were repudiated by the Father, when the Jewish House was left “desolate,” just before Jesus’ death.—Matthew 23:37,38; Luke 13:34,35.
Again, in thinking of Isaac as a type of Christ, we think of him as the typical heir to the Promise God made to his father Abraham. God declared to Abraham, “In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” Isaac was the natural seed of Abraham according to this Promise; and Isaac continued down the Jewish Age in that he was represented in the children of Israel, his natural posterity. Thus he was the recognized seed of Abraham down to the time when Jesus became the Spiritual Seed. There the natural seed was cast off. The real Seed of Abraham, in whom the Promise centered, was not the natural seed, but the Spiritual Seed.
Jesus was not the antitypical Seed of Abraham when He was born into the world—not until He had been begotten of the Holy Spirit. Jesus began to be the antitype of Isaac at that time. Ever since Christ’s spiritual birth on the Divine plane of being, the members of His Body have been in process of development. So this Spiritual Isaac began to fulfil the type as an antitype in the person of Jesus when He became the Spiritual Seed, and is continuing, in the persons of His Body members, to take the place of the type. Thus the type is merged into the antitype.
Question.—How would the above answer apply in the cases of Adam and of Melchizedek?
Answer.—The Apostle Paul explains in the case of Melchizedek that his priesthood had no beginning and no ending, the order of his priesthood was to be perpetuated; consequently his priesthood did not pass away until the antitypical Priesthood came. The Apostle particularly points out that he was without father or mother in the priesthood—”he abideth a priest continually,” he continued a priest to the conclusion of the type in its antitype. He was a type of the greater Melchizedek, which is The Christ, Head and Body. Jesus was “made a High Priest forever [literally for the Age] after the order of Melchizedek.”—Hebrews 6:20.
As for Adam, we are not sure that the Lord’s Word speaks of him as a type. The Apostle does not contrast Adam and Jesus, but speaks of the first Adam and the Second Adam. Christ is very unlike Adam. Adam disobeyed God, while Christ was wholly obedient. Adam failed while Jesus succeeded. St. Paul says (1 Corinthians 15:47) that the Second Man is the Lord from Heaven. The first Adam continues to be the head of the human family. We still speak of him as Father Adam. The Second Adam will not begin His work until the Millennial Age, when He will become the second Father to the race, taking the place of the first Adam. He is not the Second Adam as yet. He is to be the Second Adam.
The various titles that belong to our Lord Jesus include that of The Everlasting Father. And the Everlasting Father will be the successor of Adam, who was only the temporary father of the race and who failed to give his posterity life. In due time the Second Adam will be the regenerator of the human family.
Question.—1 Corinthians 10:11 reads, “Now all these things happened unto them [the Israelites] for types.” (See marginal reading.) Please explain.
Answer.—We understand the Apostle’s thought to be that all these things happened to this people as typical Israel. They were the types, and Spiritual Israel are the antitypes. They, the type, had these experiences; we have experiences to correspond. They, the type, did not pass away—that is, cease to be the type—until we, the spiritual antitype, began our career. When our career began, our antitypical experiences began. The whole nation of Israel was this type, with their experiences, testings, etc.
WILL GLORIFIED CHURCH HAVE LIFE-GIVING POWER?
Question.—In the Millennium will Jesus alone be the Life-giver to the world, or will the Church also be associated with Him as members of the Life-giver, and have power to awaken the dead?
Answer.—The subject of giving life may be viewed from different standpoints. In a certain sense the mother as well as the father of a child is its life-giver—in the sense that the child could not have attained individual existence without the mother. And yet, strictly speaking, the father alone is the life-giver; for the life-germ comes from him.
So the Bible uses this natural illustration of an earthly father, or life-giver, to picture a great spiritual truth. The world is dead in Adam—under sentence of death. Jesus has laid down the Ransom-price which will offset that sentence. By virtue of so doing He will have the right, as soon as the merit of His sacrifice is applied for the world, to become the Life-giver of Adam and his race. The human life-rights which He will give will be those which He Himself laid down in death.
But as Jesus by the will of God has associated the Church with Himself, both in the sufferings of this present time and in the glory that is to follow, she will have to do with the giving of life to the world. Her work is illustrated in Mother Eve and in womankind in general. It will be the work of the Church to nourish the world of mankind—to nourish the spark of life which they will receive from the Redeemer. Under this nourishment and care, as many of the world as will cooperate will rise up out of sin and death conditions to perfection.
Thus the Bride of Christ will have to do with the life-giving, but merely as the associates of the great Life-giver. The Ransomer, Jesus, alone is the One who can dispense His own life-rights. And Jesus Himself said, “All that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God and shall come forth.” (John 5:25,29.) Any work which the glorified Church may do in connection with the restoration of the world will be as His assistants.
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THE EPISTLE OF CHRIST
ALL are familiar with the fact that we have in our Bibles epistles, or letters, by various ones of the Apostles—St. Paul, St. Peter, St. John, St. James, St. Jude. But not many, perhaps, have heard of the Epistle of Christ. St. Paul tells us that it was written in his day. He describes the writing of it, how it was done, and declares that he was one of the instruments used by the Lord in connection with the writing of the Epistle. Here are his words: “Ye are manifestly declared to be the Epistle of Christ, ministered [written] by us; written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in the fleshy tables of the heart.”—2 Cor. 3:3.
How beautiful and poetical is the thought here expressed! It is a compliment to both the Apostle as the Lord’s faithful servant, and also to the Lord’s people at Corinth. It is in line with the Apostle’s statement elsewhere, “We are God’s workmanship.” (Ephesians 2:10.) Wherever there is a true Christian—not merely spirit-begotten, but spirit-developed in the character-likeness of the Savior in meekness, gentleness, patience, long-suffering, brotherly-kindness and love—we have the evidence of the power of God at work in him to will and to do His good-pleasure, not arbitrarily, but in cooperation with the will of the individual. And wherever there is a Church, an Ecclesia, a class of Bible students who show these evidences of the Lord’s Holy Spirit working in them and developing them, we have the Epistle of Christ, declaring and showing forth the praises of Him who called them out of darkness into His marvelous light.
In the context, the Apostle gives the same thought in words a little different, declaring the Lord’s true people to be living epistles, “known and read of all men.” (2 Corinthians 3:2.) Bibles are invaluable, indispensable. So are books that are really helpful in Biblical interpretation; so are hymn books and tracts. All of these show forth the Lord’s praises, and assist in pointing in the right direction those of the world who are feeling after God if haply they might find Him. But the best Epistle—even more valuable than the Bible, as respects reaching the hearts of men—is the life of a true Christian, a New Creature in Christ Jesus, to whom old things are passed away, and all things are become new.”—2 Cor. 5:17.
And yet, in a previous letter from St. Paul this same Church at Corinth was criticized sharply because of its carelessness as respects proper standards of morality. The Apostle assures us, however, that his words of reproof did much good, working in the Church a repentance toward God, and proved to be of lasting benefit to them. Thus in God’s providence, He overruled for their good a mistake made by these followers of the Master, by using a faithful and courageous Apostle, who gave the proper rebuke in a proper, loving manner.
THE SECRET OF ST. PAUL’S POWER
What is by inspiration thus declared of the Church at Corinth, we see to be true also respecting the Lord’s people today; and we may suppose that it has not been without faithful witnesses, living epistles, throughout the Gospel Age. We are especially interested, however, in conditions today. The Editor and all of the Pilgrims and the Elder Brethren in the Church have in St. Paul a noble example of faithfulness and loyalty. He did not preach himself; he did not preach enticing words
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of men’s wisdom and science, falsely so called. (1 Corinthians 2:1-5; 1 Timothy 6:20.) Giving himself up to the Lord’s service, and seeking not his own glory, but to do the Lord’s will, the Apostle became more and more an able and qualified minister, or servant, of the Lord. The Lord used him more and more in the presentation of the glorious Message of God’s Love, as revealed in the great Divine Plan of the Ages.
St. Paul’s faithfulness is manifest to us in the words, “This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before [in the promises of God’s Word], I press toward the mark for the Prize of the High Calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13,14.) That was the secret of the Apostle’s power. That is the reason why the Lord, by His Holy Spirit, has used him so much and so efficiently in the blessing of the Church since that time—through the streams of Truth which have come down through his Epistles.
What a zeal the Apostle had! Hearken to his words, “Woe is unto me, if I preach not the Gospel!” (1 Cor. 9:16.) This does not signify that the Gospel was preached for fear of being tormented after he would die, but that he felt that he could not be satisfied except when doing all in his power to make known to all who have the “hearing ear” the Message of God’s grace centered in Christ Jesus. Thus it was when he was giving his time exclusively to preaching. Thus it was when he was obliged for a time to be a tent-maker to support himself—while preaching evenings, holidays, and at his work. Thus it was that he preached with special liberties while still a prisoner at Rome. Anyhow, anywhere, under God’s providence, St. Paul was ready and glad to preach the “good tidings” to all who had hearing ears.
WHY ELDERS SHOULD BE CAREFULLY CHOSEN
This should be the spirit, not only of the Pilgrims, of the Elders of the Church of Christ, but the spirit of every member of it; for in a large sense each one of us is privileged to be a minister, or servant, in writing the Message of God’s grace in the hearts of others.
But let us not forget that we shall not know how to write in the hearts of others what we have not already had written in our own hearts. Hence the propriety of great caution in the choosing of Elders—to find those who already have the writing of the Lord in their hearts, and who therefore will be competent assistants, under the Holy Spirit’s guidance, for the writing of the Lord’s character-likeness in the hearts of the younger brethren.
And what is the Message, what is the Epistle, that is written in our hearts by the Holy Spirit through various agencies? Is it the knowledge of chronology? Is it the unraveling of types and shadows? Is it the cracking of hard theological nuts in respect to differently understood passages of Scripture? Is it the knowledge of the history of the Jews, the history of the world, the history of the Church? Is it the understanding and appreciation of the different Covenants, past, present, and to come? No, it is none of these.
All of these subjects have more or less of value, and are more or less used of the Lord in connection with this writing that is to be done in the hearts of His people. But writing the Epistle of Christ is different—the writing, the tracing of the character-likeness of the Master in the hearts of His people—His meekness, His gentleness, His patience, His long-suffering, His brotherly-kindness, His love, His joy, His peace.
We might have all knowledge respecting chronology and history, might be able to quote every text in the Bible, and to cite it, too; and yet not have the Epistle of Christ written in our hearts. It is the Epistle of which the Apostle Peter says, “For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren [idle, inactive] nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ”; for knowledge will have its place.
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And thus with these characteristics of the Master deeply engraved upon our hearts, we shall be granted an abundant entrance “into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”—2 Peter 1:8,11.
THREE VALUABLE LESSONS
The three great lessons which will be required of those who will be heirs of the Kingdom are: (1) A proper, thorough appreciation of JUSTICE, and a manifestation of that appreciation of justice by an endeavor to comply with the requirements of the Golden Rule—to love our neighbor as ourselves. (2) A further lesson is that of LOVE, sympathy, compassion, mercy. However exacting we may be respecting ourselves, our own thoughts, words and deeds, we are not to exact from others, but be willing to take from them whatever they are pleased to give—as did our Savior. This will mean (3), suffering with Christ, having fellowship in His sufferings. It will mean the learning of valuable lessons to fit and qualify us for the work of being kings, priests and judges with our Lord in His coming Kingdom.
St. Paul emphasized the importance of having the Christ-character engraved on our hearts when he wrote that God’s predestination is that all who will be of the Church in glory must be copies of His dear Son—must have the Epistle of Christ written in their hearts. (Romans 8:28-30.) No matter how imperfect their bodies, how imperfect their attainment of their ideals, those ideals must be according to the Divine standard. And they must be so in sympathy with those ideals as to be glad to suffer for their attainment.
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PHOTO-DRAMA IN NEWFOUNDLAND
DEARLY BELOVED PASTOR:—
The little group that was privileged to operate the DRAMA in this faraway corner of the Harvest field are very desirous that you know of their keen appreciation of the privilege they have enjoyed, and that you know some of the details of their experiences in the service.
Under the Lord’s providence circumstances favored our getting British Theater in St. Johns on very reasonable terms, but the refusal of the first newspaper man we approached to accept even a paid advertisement did not look very promising; house-to-house distribution on a limited scale and window cards were all the advertising we had. Moreover, this newspaper man told us he might, instead, feel called upon to warn the people. We were pleased to find in the morning no criticism in his journal.
The President of the Red Cross Society had a proposition that interested us greatly. She wondered if it would be possible for us to release the Theater one evening for a patriotic lecture by a wounded soldier returned from the front. Could we have had a more marked providence while a suspicion of German sympathies was hanging over us? Two advertisements in evening newspapers were supplemented by a very nice acknowledgment by the Red Cross in all four of the evening papers, and next morning in the journal which had refused us. In the evening we turned away a lot of people—725 present, seating capacity 620. The third evening we turned away nearly 500. Attendance during the fourteen evening meetings was 7,795—average, 557; at the fifteen afternoon showings, 3,030—average, 202. A fine impression was made, and finale brought 240 cards. We could not have hoped for such results from any human standpoint. Other difficulties than those mentioned were overcome by the Lord.
Following right after the close of the St. Johns service came an anonymous letter in the opposing journal, suggesting that our service was possibly paid for at Potsdam; this was supplemented with an editorial item. While it sounded foolish to those who had seen the DRAMA, his paper carries prestige and the German suspicion pursued us everywhere, especially at our next opening, in Carbonear; but everywhere we turned away crowds, who realized the malice of the charge.
At Belle Island we showed in the Armory of the Church Lads’ Brigade (Episcopal), the Salvation Army cooperating in supplying chairs. Both the Episcopal minister and a Salvation Army ensign attended two of the sessions, with keen appreciation. Pleasant interviews followed with both. Brother Samuel Baker who has been doing splendid work with picture machine, secured the favorable arrangement there.
The Lord provided very efficient coworkers in the service, and all have worked in perfect harmony. There is great joy in satisfying the heart-hunger we are finding in these parts.
Follow-up work, including Colporteur Service, is being carried on in all places served by the DRAMA.
Because of the large number of dear friends in almost all sections of the American and Canadian fields who cooperated financially and otherwise in giving this witness in Newfoundland, few of whom we can reach personally, we are wondering if you might find it possible to get into THE WATCH TOWER a few fragments of this letter, that they may know we are carrying in our minds and hearts the remembrance of their labor of love, and that they may know a little of God’s loving care over us and for His work. The ministry of our dear Brother MacMillan brought us much blessing and added much to the effectiveness of the DRAMA witness.
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And now, dear Brother, we wish unitedly to express our appreciation of your untiring efforts in connection with the witness given in Newfoundland; also our love for you and for all the dear ones of the Bethel family.
Your brother by the Lord’s great favor,
ALL HER CHILDHOOD AND ADULT QUERIES ANSWERED
TO OUR BELOVED PASTOR:—
Greetings! I feel called upon to write you at this time just to assure you of our continued love and gratitude, and this is especially brought forth by the renewed attacks on the Truth and its Teacher. To me these attacks always show up the Truth, as such, to greater advantage.
You may be interested in reading one of the latest attacks by a prominent English clergyman. The Lord’s Spirit is nowhere manifest in it; but if it has done no one else good, it has me; for it has done much to strengthen me in love for our Teacher and His teachings. “Spiritual wickedness in high places,” indeed, is made manifest, and we are shown the need of a “new heavens.” You no doubt have many letters telling you of the blessings which writers have received through the STUDIES, and it is my privilege to add to them. For eighteen months my life has flowed in a channel of unceasing blessing and increasing light, joy and peace.
All my life has been a great, big Query: Why this? Why that? (And I am past forty years.) Now all my childhood and adult queries are answered. I comprehend it all now—the past, the future and the present. The “whys” are all explained—Why do men fight and kill? Why is sin in the world? If God hardened Pharaoh’s heart, why do we blame Pharaoh? These and hundreds of others all find a complete answer in your books. Again, I love the Word today and it is the greatest blessing to me—a living Book. I am so thankful that the dear Father has permitted the scales to fall from my eyes (so unworthy as I know myself to be)—blessed are my eyes for they see!
Each day seems to bring a Scripture truth with force, and I pass it on. I rejoice at all God sends me, and the tight corners only glorify Him all the more; for when I am weakest, God’s strength is made manifest. He calls us today for a firm faith at all costs, and I want to trust Him in the face of apparent impossibilities. Please send on THE TOWER.
I hope to greet you “in the Morning,” face to face; but the spirit of love from all our Class goes with this.
I am resigning my membership of the Society of Friends; and the only regret is that it will be a grief to my dear husband; but it may be a disguised blessing to him. We are all in God’s keeping, “whose we are and whom we serve,” and nothing happens to us by chance. We first see the Lord’s hand in everything and therefore in everything give thanks. As a result there is continuous joy and peace in believing; and in all these persecutions (of which I claim a share and deem it a privilege so to do) I rejoice, too; for we are thus persecuted for Truth’s sake. The Lord is all powerful and can use these attacks to glorify Himself and His Word, and this is being done. Praise Him! So, Brother, we await His orders; ready to go, ready to stay, ready His will to obey.
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BURNED SET OF “DAWNS”—SORRY NOW
My only apology for not writing to you before is a feeling of my unworthiness of being associated with the I.B.S.A. The Truth came to me as favor upon favor, flowing through and overflowing this leaky earthen vessel, made fit for the Master’s use through His precious blood.
I am now reading the volumes for the seventh time and they are precious to me, as they are truly an unfolding of God’s Plan of Redemption, without adding to or taking from His Word. I always preferred to know the Bible doctrine rather than the commandments of men, yet to show me my own weakness God permitted me to burn my first set of STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, at a minister’s bidding. Nevertheless, it was about that time that I began to see the difference between a Christian and a good citizen. After thirty years of drilling in Babylon I understood not the meaning of “the fruit of the Spirit”!
Many times I re-read the back WATCH TOWERS; the re-reading is just as sweet as though I had never read them, which makes me long for the time when we shall all be “clothed upon.”
I here extend my whole-hearted thanks to you, dear Brother, for the assistance you have given me, enabling me to enter “the valley of blessing, so sweet.” I also thank the co-laborers at the Tabernacle and Bethel Home through you, praying for you and all the “jewels” everywhere.
I have accepted all of your proffered helps—the Vow, etc.; am glad to have my name among those who do not trust to the arm of flesh. The dear brethren in Europe are in my prayers more than ever.
Relying on Jesus, hoping to see Him face to face,
Yours in the Master’s service, J.S. WATSON.—Calif.
“WARS AND RUMORS OF WARS”
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—
Reading Jeremiah 51:44-46 recently, it impressed me as possibly applying to the present, v. 46 (Jeremiah 51:46) measuring the limit of the present war—two years: “A rumor shall come in one year, and after that in another [a second] year shall come a rumor.”
This seems to be the same period spoken of by the Lord: “When ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars, be ye not troubled,” etc.—Mark 13:7,8; Luke 21:8,9.
Isaiah 8:9-14 seemingly indicates a season of comparative quiet after the nations have assembled themselves and been broken in pieces and the making of the Confederacy—v. 12 (Isaiah 8:12). Thus the ending of the war, say some time this year, might bring something like an armistice, during which the Federation would come into full life and do some of its work; when the “Earthquake,” running quickly into the “fire,” would cause great Babylon to be cast like a millstone into the sea.—Rev. 18:1-24.
I send this on under St. Paul’s counsel in Galatians 6:6 (Gal. 6:6), thinking this may be of some good.
Yours in the Redeemer, W.E. PAGE.—Mo.
NO WEAPON AGAINST US SHALL PROSPER
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—
Greetings in the Redeemer’s name! This is to assure you of my continued faith in you as Pastor of the Lord’s sheep in this Time of Trouble.
How wonderfully your interpretation of the Scriptures is being proved correct! The Adversary, in his latest effort here in Ontario, has only strengthened our faith. Truly, we are still in the enemy’s country!
However, we have the Word of the Lord that no weapon that is formed against us shall prosper, but that even “the wrath of men shall praise Him.” The Apostle declares that present sufferings are non-comparable to the future Glory of the Kingdom.
I shall sit with you in the Tower and watch the outcome of the recent episode in Ontario. Some of the worldly, since this episode, are doing some reasoning as to the moral law and its bearing on the war. May the Lord grant you continued wisdom at this time!
Your brother in Christ, ERNEST H. WALKER.—Ont.
ALL OF ONE MIND
About a year ago I wrote asking if you would consider it proper to buy the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES with my tithe-money. Receiving an affirmative answer I secured the complete set of STUDIES. I had read them almost through before I had opportunity to meet with a Class, as I have done since we came to this place.
I had not read far until I began to feel like a prisoner set free, though I never before realized I was a prisoner. Whenever I study I seem to learn a new point and can feel another shackle loosed; but I still have some points of early training to overcome.
My husband, son and daughter did not seem to get the Truth from reading the books as I did, but since our residence here they attend the Class and want the Truth as much as I. My husband and I have been Christians from youth and consecrated while in the Methodist denomination. I wish to symbolize my consecration at the first opportunity and am quite confident my entire family will wish to do so. We feel that you will approve of this, but would like to have your advice regarding the children, as they seem young for such a step, although manifesting interest as above described.
Perhaps I am over-anxious, but I am so pleased that we are all of one mind that I cannot allow the matter to remain incomplete. Thanking you in advance for your advice, whatever it may be, I am
Yours in Christ, MRS. AGNES A. ALLEN.—Calif.
WONDERFUL BLESSINGS SINCE FINDING THE TRUTH
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—
For a long time I have wished to write you of the wonderful blessings that have been mine since finding the Truth. Shortly after coming into the Truth my brother, who had just joined the Baptist church, became interested and came right along with me. He sent his letter of withdrawal, which caused quite a stir in the church above mentioned.
We are surely hated here; the Methodist minister told his congregation when they saw any of us in the church to run us out! They are certainly closing down on us!
A dear girl—junior in our Normal school—is coming into the Truth. She was offered a position as teacher, but the Board would not even consider her if she was one of us. She says she will plainly tell them that she will not submit to the “Beast” and accept his “mark” just to get a position; that her bread and water are promised her!
May the dear Lord continue to bless you!
Your sister in Him, NORA VOLES KEITH.—Okla.
FRENCH BRETHREN MILITARY PRISONERS
“Blessed are the people that know the joyful sound; they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of Thy countenance.” (Psalm 89:15.) How thankful I am to the Lord for so much goodness from Him! I am no more at Monheim, but at Dortmund since January 29th. Think of my joy! The Lord has permitted me to be His witness, guided by the writings of our dear Brother and Pastor Russell. We are now sixty-four Bible Students in our camp, and my heart rises to God in thanksgivings.
Many loving greetings to the dear brethren and sisters.
For two years I have been working among the two hundred families of my home town, distributing B.S.M.—one number at a time, about once a month. I have also talked with the people.
Of late I have used an EUREKA DRAMA in about thirty-five of the best homes—in some of these three times—with a full house. The Baptist preacher, who did his best two years ago to kill the work of the Truth here, seems now to feel kindly towards me, as I have always tried to show I feel towards him.
Recently I heard some of the leading men of this place contending that Restitution is what God has for the world; these men seem satisfied with this.
There are about twenty full sets of the STUDIES in the families here, and during the last two years I loaned about 100 copies of Vol. 1 in magazine form. A brother who has come into the Truth within the past eighteen months has been a true yoke-fellow, and we have visited other towns in the vicinity with the EUREKA DRAMA.
Just now the way seems closed, but we are waiting and watching for any and every opening. Pray for us.
Ever yours in the Truth, W.S. BUMPUS.—Ill.
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