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PASTOR RUSSELL'S

   SERMONS

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   PASTOR RUSSELL'S
              SERMONS
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       A CHOICE COLLECTION OF HIS MOST IMPORTANT
           DISCOURSES ON ALL PHASES OF CHRISTIAN
                     DOCTRINE AND PRACTISE
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                            100,000 Edition
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       "Times of Refreshing Shall Come From the Presence of the
        Lord; and He Shall Send Jesus Christ, Which Before Was
       Preached Unto You, Whom the Heavens Must Retain until
           THE TIMES OF RESTITUTION OF ALL THINGS
     Which God Hath Spoken by the Mouth of All His Holy Prophets
      Since the World Began." "Ye, Brethren, Are Not in Darkness,
     That That Day Should Overtake You as a Thief."--Acts 3:19-21;
                          1 Thessalonians 5:4.
                International Bible Students Association
         BROOKLYN, LONDON, MELBOURNE, BARMEN,
         COPENHAGEN, OREBRO, GENEVA, CAPE TOWN
                                  1917

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                         To the King of kings and Lord of lords
                                IN THE INTEREST OF
                           HIS CONSECRATED "SAINTS,"
                          WAITING FOR THE ADOPTION,
                                         AND OF
            "ALL THAT IN EVERY PLACE CALL UPON THE LORD"--
                           "THE HOUSEHOLD OF FAITH,"
                                         AND OF
     THE GROANING CREATION TRAVAILING AND WAITING FOR THE
                     MANIFESTATION OF THE SONS OF GOD,
                                This Work is Dedicated.
                                         ----------
   "To make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery which from the beginning
      of the world hath been hid in God." "Wherein He hath abounded toward
       us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known unto us the mystery
         of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed
                   in Himself; that in the dispensation of the fullness
                    of the times He might gather together in one all
                      things under Christ."--Eph. 3:4,5,9; 1:8-10.
                                         ----------
                                 COPYRIGHT, 1917,
                         PEOPLES PULPIT ASSOCIATION,
                              BROOKLYN, N.Y., U.S.A.

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                                          PREFACE

PASTOR RUSSELL is known the world around as "the most celebrated preacher of modern times. When a young man of about twenty years of age he began to preach the Gospel of Christ Jesus, and continued faithfully to do so until his death, October 31, 1916. His explanatory writings on the Bible are far more extensive than the combined writings of St. Paul, St. John, Arius, Waldo, Wycliffe and Martin Luther--the six Messengers to the Church who preceded him. His sermons and other writings have been translated into many languages and are read appreciatively everywhere.

 All Christian people will concede that St. Paul was the

greatest of the Apostles of Jesus Christ. He was the Apostle who averred to the Church of his day, "I have not shunned to declare to you all the counsel of God." (Acts 20:27.) St. Paul's greatness was due to the fact that the Lord used him most wonderfully to enlighten others concerning God's great Plan of Salvation for mankind. Since the days of the Apostle Paul there have been other great reformers in the world, other great exponents of the Scriptures. But when the history of the Church of Christ is fully written, it will be found that the place next to St. Paul in the gallery of fame as an expounder of the Gospel of the great Master will be occupied by CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL.

 In the first three chapters of the Revelation we are informed that to

the Gospel Church have been sent seven special Messengers. Of these St. Paul was the first, and Pastor Russell the last. To him, as the Seventh Messenger, was granted the wonderful privilege of clearly presenting to the minds of the people the magnitude and the vital importance of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ our Lord, and of explaining how that sacrifice will ultimately bring a blessing to every man. Through the Pastor's preaching multitudes have come to know that Jehovah God is not a fiend, as many of the creeds of Christendom imply, but a mighty God of Love.

 For a period of forty-two years Pastor Russell preached the Glad

Tidings of great joy--a Message which must yet be heard by all, from the least unto the greatest. Those who heard him and had their hearts made glad by his Message passed it to others; and in time a public demand was created for Pastor Russell's sermons. The public press furnished the medium through which this demand could be met. Then followed that which has never been duplicated in the history of the world-- approximately three thousand newspapers published the Pastor's sermons weekly. Approximately ten million people were reached every week by these newspapers; and doubtless many thousands read the sermons. The good thus accomplished will never be fully known until all things are revealed.

 For many centuries the world had been deprived of the opportunity

of Bible study. That period has well been styled the Dark Ages, during which there prevailed great darkness in the world and gross darkness upon the people. The clergy of both Romish and Protestant churches had induced the laity to believe the God-dishonoring doctrine of eternal torment--that the soul of man is immortal, that therefore death does not mean death, but only a change of condition, and that all except a very few would spend eternity in a hell of fire and brimstone. The Lord has used Pastor Russell to remove from the minds of thousands this foul stain upon the name of Jehovah.

 His discourses have made luminous many of the dark places of the

Bible. They throw a flood of light upon the Word of God, making it a new Book to the faithful and prayerful student. In simple and beautiful SM4 language these sermons disclose God's dealings with man from the dawn of creation to the blessed days of restoration of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy Prophets of Israel. They show why God has permitted evil in the world, how long evil will persist, and who will profit by experiencing it. They also show God's wise provision for the redemption, enlightenment and complete blessing of all who accept the Divine blessings upon the terms proffered. In these sermons the Pastor points out why this great Time of Trouble upon which we have entered has come upon the world, what its result will be, and what blessings will accrue to all peoples and nations that are properly exercised thereby. Thus they are indeed a balm for the broken-hearted and a comfort for those that mourn. Blessed is he who reads them with unbiased mind!

 During the term of his ministry CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL was

pastor of a large congregation at Allegheny, Pa.--now a part of Pittsburgh; London Tabernacle, London, Eng.; and of The New York City Temple; and was elected pastor of over 1200 other congregations. His reputation was international. His sermons were published in more than thirty languages. He was indeed the world's ubiquitous preacher.

 On October 31, 1916, after a most eventful career, Pastor Russell finished

his work on earth. Suddenly the order-loving peoples of the world learned that a great force for good had been removed from their midst. An aching void was left in many hearts, and thousands of people have continued to hunger for more of that precious mental and spiritual food which his discourses had supplied. To meet this demand, and as a lasting monument to the memory of Pastor Russell, we issue this selection of his sermons in book form. Some of these have never before been published.

 St. Paul under inspiration wrote that at the end of the Age would

come greater light. Pastor Russell was privileged to live in the close of the Gospel Age; and as a chosen vessel of the Lord he was permitted to point many thousands to the illuminated pages of the Divine Word. In fulfillment of St. Paul's prophetic statement, and as a result of Pastor Russell's preaching, thousands of people today are enabled to see that God has a great Plan which He is working out in an orderly manner, and which will culminate to His glory in the blessing of mankind.

 In these sermons Pastor Russell gives clear proof from Scripture that

the Secrets of the Lord can be understood by those who, trusting fully in the merit of Christ Jesus, have made a consecration to do the will of God, who have been accepted by the Heavenly Father and who then apply themselves studiously to understand the Divine Plan. Christian people have long been confused upon many questions; such as, What is the condition of the dead? Is there hope of salvation for any aside from the truly consecrated? What will be the office of the Church in the ages to come? The reader of these sermons will see that Pastor Russell makes these questions clear, answering them to the satisfaction of all honest minds. He magnifies the merit of Christ Jesus' sacrifice, and shows that in due time every man will receive the benefit accruing from the Ransom-price and will be given one fair, impartial trial for life.

 Long before the great international war began, Pastor Russell fore-showed

in his sermons the coming trouble upon the earth, made clear from the Scriptures the cause of the war, and pointed out what would he the result and what would follow after the trouble had subsided. Both Christians and those who have never claimed to be Christians will find much satisfaction in reading these sermons. Order-loving Christians will desire to leave a copy of these discourses as a heritage to their children, that they may better understand God's great Plan. It is our prayer that these sermons may prove a blessing to all who read them. THE PUBLISHER. SM5 WHO MAY KNOW GOD'S SECRETS

 "None of the wicked shall understand; but the wise

shall understand."--Dan. 12:10.

 In heathen lands as well as throughout Christendom

secret societies include large proportions of the human family. Outsiders know something of their general motive and object, but their particular methods, hopes, endeavors, ambitions are kept secret. To effect this secrecy, to protect and conserve the interests of their association, obligations to profound secrecy are fastened and clinched with oaths, some of which are reputed to be almost blood-curdling, the endeavor being to fetter liberty of expression on such matters not only by the obligations of honor but also by those of fear. It is no part of my mission to attack any of these orders nor to inveigh against their procedures. I merely refer to them here; I merely call your attention to the fact that this is a common method amongst men which evidently has the sanction of many, because I wish to draw to your notice the fact that the Almighty God Himself is the

       FOUNDER OF A SECRET SOCIETY
 Moreover, while there are certain correspondencies

between the human secret orders and the one of Divine origin, we shall find as we should expect that the latter is in every way superior to all others. Its aim and object are wider than all, embracing the entire human family, promising good, blessing and assistance to every member of the race--"in due time." (1 Tim. 2:6.) Again, although its methods of operation are secret, this is not because they are in any measure or degree sinful, disreputable, injurious or underhanded, but merely because secrecy is to the advantage not only of the members of the society; but also specially because present secrecy SM6 as respects the work now being accomplished will be beneficial ultimately to the masses of mankind. This is in full harmony with the Divine statement. "As the Heavens are higher than the earth so are My methods higher than your methods and My thoughts higher than your thoughts."--Isa. 55:9.

 As in some secret societies there are different steps

or grades--for instance, all Masons are familiar with the secrets pertaining to the first degree yet not all Masons are familiar with the secrets, etc., pertaining to the thirty-second degree, so in God's Secret Order there are first principles of the doctrines of Christ which must be known to all who belong to the order, and are also "deep things of God," which may be known only to those who have made advancement by growth in grace and knowledge and love. (Heb. 6:1; 1 Cor. 2:10.) To some unfamiliar with the facts but having a knowledge of earthly secret societies it may seem strange to say that the secrets of the Divine Order of the Sons of God are so abstract, so impenetrable, that they may be discussed freely in the presence of others and not be comprehended at all. Indeed, so far from laying restrictions upon the members of this Order not to communicate its secrets they are authorized, yea, urged to make these known to all who may be able to comprehend, understand them, with many assurances that only the right class will be able to comprehend. Our text is one of these assurances, "None of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand." Another assurance is, "The natural man receiveth [understandeth] not the things of the Spirit of God, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned"; and again, "The secret of the Lord is with them that reverence Him, and He will show them His covenant." (1 Cor. 2:14; Psa. 25:14.) The only restrictions in respect to the telling of the secrets of this Order of the Melchizedek Priesthood are, "Cast not that which is holy before dogs," "Cast not your pearls before swine, SM7 lest they turn again and injure you." (Matt. 7:6.) These secrets would be injurious to them; and, misunderstanding them, the swinish, the groveling, might be incited to violence through disappointment, recognizing no value in pearls nor appreciating anything that would not give earthly satisfaction.

       THE FOUNDING OF THIS ORDER
 The Scriptures assure us that our Creator purposed

the founding of this Order of the Melchizedek Priesthood before the foundation of the world. In due time Melchizedek, a kingly priest, constituted its type in the days of Abraham--and then, too, a preparatory or Junior Order was inaugurated, Abraham being chosen of the Lord as its Grand Master. To him the whole secret of the Order was communicated in few words saying, "In thee and in thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." The meaning of this was but partially grasped by Abraham himself and all of his posterity, the Jewish nation, who with him became members of that Junior Order during a period of two thousand years. They understood this to signify that at some time Messiah would come and establish a new order of things with the result that Abraham's posterity in particular and the nations of mankind in general would receive through Him a great blessing.

 These hopes of the Junior Order proved very encouraging

and helpful to such of them as properly entered into the spirit and designs of the Order and sought to appropriate the blessings and privileges of Divine relationship thus accorded them. In proportion as by faith they entered into this Order they took degrees of knowledge and of love and had more of the Divine approval. But as for the other nations of the world they were not admitted in any sense of the word to this Order. It was exclusively for Abraham and the Jews; and all others were strangers, aliens and foreigners from the Commonwealth of Israel, without God and having no hope. SM8

 It was at our Lord's First Advent, or more particularly

at Pentecost following His redemptive work and ascension to the presence of the Father, there to appear on our behalf, as our Advocate, that the present Order of the Melchizedek Priesthood was organized--"the Church of the Living God, whose names are written in Heaven." (Heb. 12:23.) It is not an earthly organization, but a Heavenly one, and hence properly it is not composed of those whose names have been written on earth, but those whose names have been written in the Lamb's Book of Life. The earthly organization, called by various names, represents many misunderstandings of the Divine arrangement and unintentionally does violence to principles of the Order; and, whereas these sectarian lines separate some of the true members of the Melchizedek Priesthood, they also receive as members many whose names are not written in Heaven, many who have not the credentials of the true Order, who do not understand its secrets, because they have not been properly initiated by the Holy Spirit.

 You will understand, therefore, dear friends, that in

our view of the matter the division of the Church of Christ into various bands and companies under various banners--Wesley's, Calvin's, Luther's, the popes', etc., --represent so many mistaken ideas, represent so much of confusion and misunderstanding and bewilderment and contention and error. These organizations are not only not necessary but wrong, in that they tend to distract and divide the true members of the Divine Order who should know each other not by outward badges and names but by their acquaintance with the Lord and with His secret, which is with all those who fear Him.

 The first principles of the doctrine of Christ should

enable any of these who are truly the Lord's, to make themselves known and well acquainted with others without any earthly introduction or distinguishing name. Indeed, all these do know each other when they meet; but SM9 the Adversary's effort has been to keep them apart and thus if possible to hinder the progress and growth of the Divine Order. But he has not really hindered it; instead, his methods have merely assisted in making the Order the more secret and unknown to the world, including those merely nominal Christians, not spirit-begotten. So great has been the deception that the Lord Jesus, the grand and everlasting Head and Master of this Order of the Melchizedek Priesthood, was crucified by some who belonged to the Junior Order and who were in one sense earnestly waiting for the establishment of the new Order and for an opportunity to enter it! They were not permitted to enter because they were unworthy--except the few of whom we read (John 1:11,12): "He came unto His own and His own received Him not; but to so many as received Him, to them gave He liberty to become the sons of God"--to join the Order of Spiritual Sons, the Melchizedek Order of Priesthood.

        "THE WORLD KNOWETH US NOT"
 Similarly all down through the Gospel Age there has

been an outward Church of God and a true, the inward one. The world has seen the outward one, but not the inward. It has applauded and reprimanded the outward, but has uniformly disallowed the true and considered its members to be merely foolish. Thus the Apostle Paul assures us that himself and others, zealous in the service of the Lord and doing the work of this higher Priesthood, were counted fools all the day long for Christ's sake (1 Cor. 4:10); and St. John says, "The world knoweth us not, even as it knew Him not." (1 John 3:1.) Similarly all who live godly in Christ Jesus have, as the Apostle advised, suffered more or less of persecution and ignominy because they were not recognized of the world--so impenetrable are the secrets of this Order and its message that others cannot know them. Nevertheless, the Order has been growing, increasing, and its fixed or limited SM10 membership will soon be completed. Then no further additions will be accepted.

 Let it be understood clearly that membership in this

Order does not mean injury to those who are not members of it, but contrariwise it means ultimately a blessing to come to them all through the Melchizedek Priesthood, as it is written of this spiritual Seed of Abraham, of which Christ is the Head and the Church the Body, "In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." (Gal. 3:29.) The selection of the members of the Order is accomplished under present conditions because they must all become over-comers, willing and able to count it all joy to be in tribulation and to suffer loss for the sake of the Order its interests, its present workings and membership and its future work. Whoever is not willing to suffer for the cause is counted unworthy to be a member --in a word, every member of the Melchizedek Priesthood must sacrifice his life in the interest of the Order, in support of its glorious Lord and Head and His teachings and in serving in general the interests of the Order and its members--"We ought also to lay down our lives for the brethren." It will thus be seen that the gateway into this Order is a very narrow one and the pathway of membership in it a very narrow one--"Strait is the gate and narrow [difficult] the way, that leadeth unto life," the special immortality and associated glory which God has provided as the eternal portion of this elect Melchizedek Priesthood.--Matt. 7:14; 1 John 3:16.

        BONDAGE AND LAWS OF THE ORDER
  Briefly I might say that in one sense every member of

the Order is in bondage, and that in another sense every member is free. Let me explain this strange expression. Each is free to leave the Order, renounce it, denounce it and count the precious blood wherewith he was sanctified a common thing and to despite the spirit of favor which initiated him into this Order. In doing so he incurs no SM11 threat of eternal torture. He merely brings himself under death sentence, similar to the one under which he was before he was reached with the grace of God through the precious blood, excepting that it means the Second Death, from which there is no remedy, no ransom, no recovery by resurrection or otherwise--an eternal death similar to that experienced by the entire brute creation. While, therefore, each member of this Royal Priesthood is at liberty to go back to wallowing in the mire, like the sow that was washed, yet if he choose to remain he is also at liberty to follow this course--none shall be able to pluck him out of his Father's hand nor to separate him from this grace.--John 10:29; Rom. 8:38,39.

  However, as already stated, those who abide in Christ,

who abide in this new Order of the Royal Priesthood, can have its blessings and privileges fully only upon the most exacting terms and conditions; namely, their full surrender to the Law of the Order so far as their intentions are concerned. "Ah!" I hear you say, "the laws of that Order must be very voluminous. Doubtless many volumes of Divine statutes and regulations would need to be studied by the members of this Royal Priesthood." We answer, No! The entire law of the Order is briefly comprehended in one word--Love. It is demanded and required of every member of the Order that love shall be the test, not only of his deeds, but also of his words--yea, of his thoughts. Love is the fulfilling of the Law.

 True, those initiated into this Order are persons of

like passions with ourselves, as the Apostle said. (Acts 14:15.) Some of them naturally are more fallen than others, and have less of love and more of selfishness than others; but all who join the Order are required to make resolution in their hearts as respects this law of Love-- and all the internal workings of the Order are with a view to the perfecting of its members in love. They must learn to love the great Founder of the Order supremely, and in turn to trust to His Love as well as to His Wisdom SM12 and Power, so that in obedience to His will they consecrate to spend time, talent and influence, yea, all that they possess, in His service.

 Secondly, He admonishes that to love those who love

them is not the test which He will apply; but that they will be expected to sympathetically love all mankind, to do good to all men as they have opportunity, especially the Household of Faith. (Gal. 6:10.) It is required of them that they shall especially love the brethren, the members of the Order, and be ready and glad to lay down their lives for the brethren. Tests along this line are continually necessary to weed out of the Order all who are not approximating its standard of Love Divine, that all delinquents may be cast into the outer darkness, in which the whole world is, and have share with the world in its tribulations present, and especially in those which will come upon it in the closing of this Age and the inauguration of the new one, when the Melchizedek Order of Priests shall take possession of the empire of earth for its blessing and uplifting. It will be seen, then, that the statement that love is the bond of perfectness with this Royal Priesthood has a deep significance. The members of this Order need not be constrained by oaths of allegiance one toward another, as they have a stronger bond by far, the bond of love--and if any man have not this spirit of Christ he is none of His.--Rom. 8:9. THE WICKED SHALL NOT UNDERSTAND

 It is at times really amazing to note how the unconsecrated

mind, attempting to understand the Mystery of God, designed only for the members of this Order, falls into such egregious blunders and makes such peculiar misstatements respecting what we endeavor to set forth as plainly and as consistently as our abilities will permit. Nor need we think that the fault is ours, since we find that the words of our Lord Himself and of His inspired Apostles were similarly misunderstood, and that they have explained to us that God hides these things from SM13 others than His devoted ones. Mark our Lord Jesus' words in His prayer, "I thank Thee, Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, because Thou hast hidden these things from the wise and prudent and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Thy sight."--Matt. 11:25,26.

 But how absurd it would be to think that our Lord

would thank the Father for hiding things from any, if we were to associate with that thought the one which the world and the nominal Christian associate with it; namely, that all from whom God thus hides these special things or secrets of the Lord are in consequence appointed to an eternity of torture! What a travesty it would be upon Divine Love and Justice and upon the character of the Father and our Redeemer! But this is not the thought. None of the wicked understand, because for them to understand would not only mean a greater measure of condemnation upon them but would also mean an endeavor on their part to oppose and circumvent the Divine arrangement.

 As for the worldly-wise they may not understand; for

not many great, not many wise, not many learned are chosen of the Lord as worthy of membership in this secret Order of Melchizedek. He explains to us elsewhere the reason for this; namely, that He is seeking only the meek, the humble-minded, those who will be willing to learn of Him, and to have their minds transformed and conformed to the pattern most pleasing to the Lord. This, under present conditions, is impossible to the worldly-wise, who feel their own superiority, etc., and seek not the wisdom that cometh from Above and the Divine approval. In a word, then, our Lord's testimony shows us that the wise who will understand the things of God and be initiated into the mysteries of the kingdom of the Melchizedek Priesthood are not the worldly-wise or great--with few exceptions. They are chiefly the poor of this world, rich in faith, who shall be heirs of the Kingdom SM14 which God has promised and for which we still pray, "Thy Kingdom come."--James 2:5; Luke 11:2.

 This is another reason why the world knoweth us not

even as it knew Him not. Had our Lord been one of the worldly great and bright, haughty and domineering, wealthy and influential, yet possessed of His talents and powers, no doubt the very ones who crucified Him would have hailed Him King. It was His humility, His poverty, etc., that led to His rejection and His crucifixion as a false prophet. Much the same is true of all of His followers who are members of this Royal Priesthood Order. And they are to be content with such a rejection by the world--content because of their realization of acceptance with the Father and with the Grand Master; content with the assurances granted in the Scriptures and confirmed by the Holy Spirit in their experience. They are to wait patiently and the better to cultivate under these conditions the fruits and graces of the Holy Spirit.

        THE ORDER'S ULTIMATE PURPOSES
 We are not hindered from telling the ultimate purposes

of this grand Secret Order which our Lord organized and of which, I trust, many of you are members through faith in and consecration to the Lord. We may tell of these mysteries, knowing that none of you will be able to appreciate or thoroughly to comprehend all of these mysteries except such of you as have taken several degrees in the Order, passing from grace to grace and from knowledge to knowledge. We remind you here of the Master's words when approached by the disciples who asked, "Lord, why speakest Thou unto the people in parables?" Jesus answered and said unto them, "To you it is given to know of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God, but unto all outsiders these things are spoken in parables and in dark sayings, that hearing they might hear and not understand." (Luke 8:10.) To our understanding the total number of members in this Order of the Melchizedek Priesthood will be 144,001, the one being SM15 our Grand Master and Lord and Redeemer, the others being those of whom He says,"All ye are brethren," and of whom the Apostle declares they are members in particular of the Body of Christ, the Church of the Firstborns, whose names are written in Heaven. (Heb. 12:23.) Under another figure our Lord is spoken of as a Bridegroom, and these 144,000, now espoused to Him, covenanted to Him, are ultimately to be united to Him as His Bride, to become the Lamb's Wife and associates in His Throne and work of the future.--Rev. 21:9.

 With the completion of this elect class, all shaped and

polished as the Lord's Jewels by present trials, difficulties, etc., etc., the time will have come for the inauguration of the work of this Royal Priesthood. The Kingdom class will then all be in glory--Jesus their Head glorified nineteen centuries ago, the Church His Body glorified with Him by a share in His kind of resurrection, at His Second Coming. Then the Law shall go forth and the Word of the Lord; then Satan shall be bound; then every evil thing shall be plucked up by the root! What a turmoil this will mean at the beginning may be better imagined than described. But so far as the uprooting and upturning is concerned, the Lord has a peculiar way of accomplishing this; namely, by simply allowing present institutions to "run amuck," to overthrow themselves, to develop anarchy which will sweep the world as with a besom of destruction and produce a Time of Trouble such as never was since there was a nation! It will be at the conclusion of this period of awful anarchy toward which the world is now heading rapidly and from which it cannot be held back by human wisdom and prudence because selfishness has blinded the minds of the masses. The Scriptures tell us that when that plowshare of trouble shall have passed through the world and finally the new Order of things shall have developed, the poor world will begin to have saner ideas in respect to life, justice and righteousness; and we read that many nations shall SM16 then say, "Come let us go up to the Kingdom of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we shall walk in His path." (Micah 4:2); and again, "The desire of all nations shall come." All nations will by that time be so thoroughly weary with the awful trouble that they will be glad to welcome the Reign of Righteousness then due to be inaugurated.

 The reforms of that time will be thorough-going.

Justice will be laid to the line and righteousness to the plummet, and the lies will all have been swept away, Satan shall be bound for a thousand years, his deceptions shall cease, and instead the light of the knowledge of the glory of God shall fill the whole earth. (Isa. 28:17; Hab. 2:14.) When thus the judgments of the Lord shall be abroad in the earth (rewards for well doing and stripes or punishment for evil doing), the inhabitants of the world shall learn righteousness. Then the wilful, persistent evil-doer shall be cut off in the Second Death.

 Ultimately the blessing of the Lord through this

Melchizedek Priesthood shall accomplish all that its Divine Founder outlined in the first statement of the good news to Abraham, namely, "In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." As a result we read that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess to the glory of God, and that Christ shall reign until He shall have put down every opposition and evil, the last enemy that shall be destroyed being death. (Isa. 45:23; 1 Cor. 15:25,26.) The whole world shall thus be uplifted from the power of sin and death, and be brought back to allegiance to the Heavenly Father. And then, saith the Scriptures, The Christ, the Melchizedek Priesthood, shall deliver up the Kingdom to God even the Father, that He may be all in all. (1 Cor. 15:28.) However, the Scriptures clearly indicate elsewhere that the great honor of God upon Christ, His beloved Son, and upon the Church, the Bride of Christ, will be an everlasting honor; but the details of the Father's purposes for the Church are still SM17 held as an unrevealed mystery, even to those who have the secret of the Lord and to whom He has shown the signification of His Covenant made to Abraham respecting the blessing of all the families of the earth.

 In conclusion, dear friends, I exhort that we who have

become members of this Secret Order of the Lord, including also those who under the leadings of the Lord's Spirit, may yet become members of it, shall appreciate more and more fully its wonderful privileges and gladly conform more and more to its requirements, that we may thus make our calling and election sure to the glorious fruition of our hopes in the Kingdom of God and its gracious work under the whole heavens! We shall best do this by studying our Manual, which our Lord has given us, His Word, and by developing the various fruits and graces of the Spirit, all of which are elements of the one general law of our Order, namely, love to God and to our fellows. I remind you of St. Peter's words, "If ye do these things ye shall never fall; for so an entrance shall be administered unto you abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."-- 2 Pet. 1:10,11; Psa. 119:97-104.

   "A little while;" with patience, Lord,
      I fain would ask, "How long?"
   For how can I, with such a hope
      Of glory and of Home,
   With such a joy awaiting me,
      Not wish the hour were come?
   How can I keep the longing back,
      And how suppress the groan?

SM18

        WHERE ARE THE DEAD?
  "Men and brethren, let me freely speak to you of the

patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day....For David is not ascended into the Heavens."--Acts 2:29,34.

  Accepting the recognized fact that the whole world is

rapidly going down into death and the estimate that twenty thousand millions of our neighbors and friends have already gone thither, our topic will be recognized by all as a most pertinent one. To be without thought on this subject or to discuss it lightly should be esteemed a mark of insanity, signifying as little reasoning capacity respecting it as that possessed by the brute creation. Whatever our previous thoughts on the subject have been, we are all inquirers for the truth, and as such endeavoring to have our minds as free as possible from superstition and error. More than this I trust that, living in this blessed land so highly favored of God, and having some acquaintance with His Blessed Book, the Bible, we have learned to appreciate it as a Divine Revelation, able to make us wise in the wisdom which cometh from Above.

  We hope, dear friends, that the growing spirit of scepticism

has not seriously attacked our faith in this Blessed Book. We are well aware, however, that today the intellectual world, under the lead of so-called Higher Critics, is rushing madly onward into infidelity, into disbelief of the Bible as an inspired revelation from God. True, this infidelity is not the foul-mouthed kind of Thomas Paine or Robert Ingersoll, but it is all the more forceful in its undermining of Christian faith because its advocates include some of the brightest members of the Christian ministry and nearly all the professors in nearly all the colleges and seminaries of all denominations. I hope that as I shall present to you the true Bible SM19 teaching of "Where are the Dead?" you will see that this Blessed Book has been maligned and misrepresented even by its friends, and that rightly understood, reasonably interpreted, it presents the only tolerable view of our subject, the only satisfactory explanation.

                "DOCTRINES OF DEMONS"
 The Apostle calls our attention to the fact that the

heathen in his day labored under the delusion of "doctrines of demons." (1 Tim. 4:1.) We know what those doctrines were, for they are still prominent throughout heathendom. Plato, one of the philosophers whose teachings were widely accepted at that time and which Were set aside by the Apostle as vain philosophies, the wisdom of men as compared with the wisdom of God, taught the theory of human immortality. (Col. 2:8.) He claimed that man received from the gods a spark of Divine quality which could never be extinguished, and that hence his portion must be to live on and on throughout all eternity. The Grecians took hold of Plato's theories, and they-- being the most intelligent people of that time aside from the Jews--spread this theory wherever their literature went. It is not surprising, therefore, that it not only tinctured the views of the heathen but also to some extent those of the Jews--though comparatively few, known as the Essenes. These in accepting Plato's philosophy really ceased to be Jews in the religious sense. This Platonic theory, starting before Christianity, was in many respects its competitor, until gradually in various parts the Christian faith became tinctured with it.

 We wish you to notice that this theory is responsible

for the world-wide opinion that a human life once begun can never be extinguished. With this theory the people of the East supported their view of the transmigration of souls--claiming that a human soul is separate and distinct from a human body, and that when the latter dies the soul passes out and in due time will be born again in another body--perhaps, again as a man, or a woman SM20 or as a dog or a donkey or an elephant or a mouse. The labors, the privations, the difficulties of all the lower animals are thus looked forward to by these poor people as being their own future state. No wonder their faces, indexing their heart conditions, are woeful and sad! Others of the heathen have beliefs nearer to those entertained by many in Christendom--that the tortures of the life they cannot get rid of will be with fire or ice or other torments at the hands of demons.

        THE VIEWS OF CHRISTENDOM
 Accepting the recognized fact that Christendom leads

the world in thought today we note that the philosophy instituted by Plato--not by Moses, not by the Prophets of Israel, not by Jesus, not by His Apostles--has taken a firm hold upon Christian faith, and left its terrible impress upon nearly every item thereof. Practically all oft he larger denominations of Christendom hold to the Platonic theory, though the majority are quite unaware of the origin of the doctrine, many of them supposing that it is the Bible teaching--that it is supported by every writer on the Holy Scriptures. Quite the contrary of this is true, however; and, as we shall shortly show, the testimony of the Scriptures is radically in opposition to this theory from first to last, and without the exception of a single writer or a single text.

 As the oldest of the denominations, Catholicism should

be heard first as to its views on the subject--Where are the dead? Its answer is that it ignores the heathen theory of the transmigration of souls, but that it holds to the feature of Plato's philosophy which declares that the human soul is immortal--that a human existence once having started can never cease--hence that the twenty thousand millions of Adam's race who have died are not really dead, but more alive than ever before, and that notwithstanding the appearance of death they have been experiencing either joy or sorrow, pleasure or pain. In answer to our more particular inquiries it tells us that the SM21 dead are in one of three places: (1) A very few saintly ones went to Heaven directly at death; (2) a comparatively small number who died outside the Roman Catholic faith, in wilful opposition thereto and hence called heretics, have since their death been enduring a hell of torture which will be never ending; (3) the great mass-- all others than those enumerated above--they claim go to Purgatory. Their claim is that nearly all of the heathen go there because they were not counted worthy of the blessing of knowledge before they died, and because on the other hand they had done nothing to merit either the eternal torture of hell or the eternal peace of Heaven. To Purgatory they assign practically all the members of their own Church also--including bishops, archbishops, cardinals and popes.

  Dante was one of their prominent theologians, whose

description of the Inferno gives the Roman Catholic view of Purgatory. The artist Dore, also a good Catholic, used his remarkable skill in the illustration of Dante's Epic. We advise you all to notice, in some public library or bookstore, this remarkable work--Dante's Inferno, illustrated by Dore. The artist has faithfully depicted the descriptions of the teacher, and his work would surely touch the most calloused heart with sympathy. Every conceivable form of torture is depicted, from roasting and boiling to freezing and mangling--horrible, terrible. No wonder our dear Catholic friends and neighbors, as they have these pictures before their mental vision as their prospect after death, have not only sad countenances but a terrible fear of death and thereafter.

  Neither should any think that these Catholic doctrines

of the past have in any degree changed at the present time. In this very day Catholics have tracts for their children which describe in vivid language the most excruciating tortures awaiting those who in any sense or degree are disrespectful or disobedient to the priests and the teachings of the Catholic Church. One of these brought SM22 to our attention recently was published in Ireland, and described a little girl who had done wrong and whose fate after death was to be obliged to live in a room whose floor was red hot. In solemn language the tract exhorted other little boys and little girls to love and serve God lest such a fate should await them. It is not imaginable that any human being could love a God who would provide such tortures for any of His creatures.--Isa. 29:13.

  It is no wonder, then, that Catholics make no pretensions

to a love for God. They fear and dread. The hope held out to these is that any good deeds of theirs will be credited up and serve to shorten the period of their sentence to suffering, the period of their stay in Purgatory, the period of their deliverance to Heaven. This doctrine of life in Purgatory is the basis for the many exhortations from Catholic pulpits and Catholic books that faithfulness be manifested by penances and masses. A certain number of attendances at Church in the Lenten season constitutes a penance to which is attached a blessing and the remission of so many years of purgatorial suffering. Those who have money are exhorted to set apart a good portion of it to defray the expenses of masses for their own soul or for those of others. The calculation seems to be that all the penances and all the masses imaginable would still leave long years or decades or centuries to be suffered before deliverance to Heaven. And this rule is applied indiscriminately to rich and poor alike, high and low.

 To illustrate, when Pope Pius IX died, masses were

said for the repose of his soul throughout all the Roman Catholic Churches of the world. Likewise when Pope Leo XIII died, the same command for masses for the repose of his soul went forth, and was executed in all Catholic Churches. This implied the belief that these men, while the highest functionaries of that Church, were not sufficiently holy or pure or good to be admitted to Heaven; for surely those gaining access to Heaven have no need SM23 of masses for the repose of their souls. The expression "repose of the soul" implies the tortures of that soul in Purgatory, and supplication and endeavor to have God remit a measure of those sufferings and shorten the period of the tribulations.

 We are not making light of those matters. We are

merely stating them, not because they are unknown, but because they are not realized and appreciated. All Catholics then, we believe, will assent to our declaration that their faith is that the great mass of mankind are now in Purgatory, a comparatively small number in eternal torment, which they call Hell, and a small number, comparatively, in Heaven. It should be remembered, however, that on a Papal Jubilee it is the custom for the Pope to exercise a power he claims is his, of setting free from Purgatory certain thousands of its inmates who have not fulfilled all of their term of punishment, though it is to be supposed that it is not his intention to admit them to Heaven insufficiently purged.

        PROTESTANT CHRISTIAN VIEWS
 Protestants claim to be much in advance of Roman

Catholics in respect to their religious faith. They often, we know, speak of Roman Catholics as ignorant, superstitious and deluded. What shall we say then if we find that the Protestant view on the question of our discourse is much more unreasonable than that of Catholics? We at least would be obliged to say that they have no room for boasting.

 Protestant creeds, almost without exception, agree

to the Platonic theory that no human being can die-- that when men seem to die they really become more alive that same instant than they ever were before. We ask, Where, then, do they go? They reply that they cannot tolerate the Roman Catholic view of a Purgatory, that they have looked into the Bible sufficiently to find that there is no such teaching in the Scriptures. They tell us, therefore, that they believe that there are just two places SM24 for the dead, Heaven or Hell. We inquire of them, Who go to Heaven? They answer, The saintly, the holy, the pure in heart, the Little Flock, the Elect, those who walk in the footsteps of Jesus. We inquire respecting the rest, and hear the Protestants (to their credit be it said) balk at the teaching of their creeds even while they affirm them, and declare that all not begotten again of the Holy Spirit, not sanctified in Christ, not saints, go to hell.

 We inquire the kind of hell they have gone to, and get

various replies. Some assert that it is a place of literal fire and excruciating pains at the hands of fire-proof demons, and that this will be the fate of all who enter there to all eternity, without any hope of escape. Others, without being able to give particular reasons, tell us that in their great wisdom they agree with all the foregoing except as to the kind of punishment, which they conclude must be a mental anguish or suffering. But lest we should think of them as being tender-hearted, they hasten to add that this suffering will really be more intense, "worse" than that of the literal fire believed in by others. The whole race, we are told, was started on the broad road for this eternal torment by Father Adam's disobedience, and in consequence of that we are all born in sin, shapen in iniquity. Those who ever get to Heaven will get there because of Divine mercy and aid extended them to overcome the world, the flesh and the Adversary. "COME, LET US REASON TOGETHER"

 In the Bible the Lord appeals to our reason, saying,

"Come, let us reason together." (Isa. 1:18.) He does not intimate that we should reason without Him and without His Word; but He distinctly implies that His Word should be reasoned upon, be considered by our minds. Whoever possesses any measure of reasoning faculty must conclude that the Catholic view of our question-- Where are the Dead?--is in some respects worse than the heathen view; that the Protestant view of death is SM25 still worse; that none of these views seem to be God-like, but that all of them condemn themselves as being devilish. Reasoning power on religious subjects seems to be a scarce commodity. Many Christian people seem to understand the invitation to reason with God to mean that He wishes them to tell Him just what are their preferences; and that if they remain obdurate, holding to their preferences, He will finally give in and say that their wills shall be done in Heaven and in earth.

 Let none of us make this mistake. Let us on the other

hand remember the greatness of God--His Wisdom, Justice, Love and Power. Let us remember our own insignificance and lack of knowledge. Then, in harmony with the Master's precepts, let us become as little children, anxious to be and to do in harmony with the Divine Plan, as God has revealed it. So doing, dear friends, each one of us is assured of the Divine blessing--assured of a growth in grace, in knowledge, in love, toward God and toward our fellows.

 Let us begin with our text. It declares that David

is dead. Hence he is not alive in any sense. It declares that he is not in Heaven, and we are not bound to accept either the Catholic or Protestant view that he is in hell or eternal torment. What does the inspired Apostle Peter say respecting David's present whereabouts? He says in our text,"His sepulchre is with us." It could be his sepulchre only in the sense that he was still in it, that it still represented him. If he had begun a new existence elsewhere that sepulchre in no sense of the word would be his. We are using the Apostle's words in the very sense in which he himself used them. Saint Peter had just quoted from the Psalms, "Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell [Hebrew, sheol; Greek, hades]." He points out that David spake not these words concerning himself, respecting his own soul, but respecting the soul of Christ--that Christ's soul would not be left in hell. The Apostle's argument is that David's soul SM26 is still in hell, but that Christ's soul was delivered from hell--raised from the tomb, from the state of death, on the third day after His crucifixion. CHRIST'S SOUL DELIVERED FROM HELL

  Here, dear friends, we have a declaration sure enough

that the dead go to hell--not to Purgatory. Furthermore it is a declaration that the Prophet David and Christ Jesus Himself went to hell--that the latter had been delivered from hell, but that the former was still there. Had we the time it would be an easy matter to bring evidence from the entire Scriptures proving that all who die, both good and bad, go to hell; and that the only means by which they can be delivered from Sheol, Hades, is through a resurrection of the dead. This Scriptural presentation not only differs from the heathen view but differs also from the Catholic and Protestant views. And with the ordinary idea of hell before our minds, it would seem more awful than any other theory that both good and bad alike should go down to Sheol, to Hades.

  But wait a moment, dear friends; let us not too hastily

decide that the Bible is unreasonable in its presentations. Let us not prove or test it by human theories. The poet has truly said:

   "God is His own interpreter,
   And He will make it plain."
 Investigation shows that our difficulty arises from attaching

a wrong meaning to these Scriptural terms Sheol and Hades (hell). The unreasonable view of the fire-and-torment hell which we all received with so much credulity came from the Dark Ages, not from the Bible. Dante's "Inferno" is as different from the hell of Scripture as darkness is from sunlight. We must not carry forward the demonology of the Dark Ages and attach it to our interpretations of the Bible. If we do, we shall be quite confused. We should remember, too, that these lurid pictures of the Dark Ages were painted by the very class of men who, with a devilish spirit, burned one another at SM27 the stake or tortured one another with the rack, the thumbscrew or other devilish inventions. We do not approve the moral character of those men, and we should not expect their doctrinal teachings to be much superior to themselves, nor much in harmony with Divine truth and revelation. Let us then examine hell from the Scriptural standpoint. Let us hear what God has said.

 As is well known, our Bible was not originally written

in the English language. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew and the New Testament in Greek--ours is but a translation. Going to the Old Testament in the Hebrew we find that it contains more than twice as many mentions of hell, Sheol, as does the English translation. In the English the word occurs thirty-one times, in the Hebrew, sixty-six times. How has this Hebrew word sheol been translated in our English Bible? We answer that the thirty-one times the word hell occurs are from this word sheol, that it occurs twice more in our common version where it is rendered "pit," and that it occurs thirty-three times more in our common version and is rendered "grave." Furthermore, in two of the places where it is rendered hell in our common version, it is interpreted by the marginal reading, "Hebrew, the grave."

 The fact, dear friends, is, as every Hebrew scholar

knows, that the word sheol is never used to refer to a place of fire or of torture. In every instance, whether used literally or figuratively, it refers to a death state. Furthermore, as we have already stated, both good and bad are reputed to go thither. David went to Sheol, our Lord Jesus went to Sheol, according to the Scriptures. We might quote you from the words of the patriarch David, also from the various other Prophets, how they all expected to go to Sheol--to the tomb, the state of death. Not only so, but they assure us also that Christ redeemed us and the world from Sheol. For instance, we read in the prophecy of Hosea, "I will ransom them from Sheol: O Death, I will be thy plagues; O Sheol, SM28 I will be thy destruction." (Hosea 13:14.) Furthermore, we have the Scriptural declaration respecting Sheol that it contains no fire, no suffering. We read, "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in Sheol, whither thou goest." (Eccl. 9:10.) In other words, we should be actively engaged in doing some good according to our talents and opportunities because we are all hastening to Sheol--to the tomb--to death, and there is no wisdom nor device nor knowledge there; we can neither help nor hinder, do good nor do harm, when we have reached the "land of forgetfulness." (Psa. 88:12.) Realizing this should make us all the more diligent in the present life.

        REDEMPTION FROM SHEOL
 We have already seen that through the Prophet the

Lord declared that He would redeem our souls from Sheol, and that Sheol should be destroyed. What is meant by this? We answer that Father Adam by his disobedience involved himself and all of the race in what the Scriptures designate a "curse" or penalty--not an eternal torment penalty, but a death penalty. Not "Roasting thou shall roast," but"Dying thou shalt die," was the Divine statement of Adam's penalty. Again, "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread until thou return unto the dust from whence thou wast taken. For dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." It does not read, "unto eternal torture thou shalt be remanded." God has explained the matter expressly enough, but our poor heads were befogged with the doctrines of devils handed down from the Dark Ages, often by very good and well-intentioned people, amongst others our parents.

 Hear the Apostle's statement of the same matter, and

let us notice how closely it corroborates the Old Testament pronouncement. He says, "As by one man's disobedience sin entered the world and death as a result of sin; and thus death passed upon all men, because all are SM29 sinners." (Rom. 5:12.) How plain that is! Not a word about eternal torment as the penalty for our sins inherited from Father Adam. Quite to the contrary, it was a death penalty, a just, reasonable penalty. God, who gave the opportunity for life eternal, had the full right, the full power, to terminate that life when used contrary to His Divine injunction.

 Had it not been for God's mercy the infidel's view of

the matter would have been true--that a man's death is the same as that of the brute beast--that there would be no beyond, no future. But while telling us this (Eccl. 3:20), the Lord graciously informs us that He has found a Redeemer for Adam and his race. The Scriptures point us to Jesus and the work that He accomplished on our behalf. He died, the Just for the unjust, that He might reconcile us to God. (1 Pet. 3:18.) As we all came under death conditions through Father Adam, so when Jesus by His death paid Adam's penalty it was accounted as a sufficiency of price for the sins of the whole world. Thus the Apostle declares that Jesus"gave Himself a Ransom for all" and"tasted death for every man." (1 Tim. 2:6; Heb. 2:9.) Mark well he does not say that Jesus tasted eternal torment for every man. Eternal torment was not the penalty. The Bible has it right. Death is the penalty, and it is upon the whole race. But the whole race has been redeemed, and therefore when God's due time shall arrive a blessing of resuscitation, of awakening from death, shall come to every member of our race. It is thus that Sheol shall be destroyed--that is, that there will be no longer a tomb or death condition; for all will be taken out of that condition, awakened from the death sleep.

        HADES TO BE DESTROYED
 The equivalent of the Hebrew word sheol, as we have

already stated, is the Greek word hades, which is found in the New Testament written in the Greek. In proof of this take our context and note the words of St. Peter that he quoted from Psalm 16:10--"Thou wilt not leave SM30 My soul in Sheol," and in the Greek rendered it, "Thou wilt not leave My soul in Hades." (Acts 2:31.) In a word, the Old Testament says that Jesus went to Sheol, and that His soul was not left there, but raised from the dead; while the New Testament declares these things of Hades. What we are saying is new to the majority of the so-called laity, but not at all new to the educated of the clergy, who all know, if they would admit it, that Sheol and Hades contain no thought of fire or torment or trouble, but merely represent the state or condition of death--what we would express by the word "tomb."

 This great underworld of the dead, the tomb, Sheol,

Hades, has many cities of the dead called cemeteries. But according to the Scriptural symbolization it is a great prison-house. In it are estimated twenty thousand millions who have died. They are called in the Scriptures" prisoners of hope," because the Lord has promised that ultimately the great prison-house shall be broken up and all these prisoners shall be released, brought back to consciousness again under better conditions than now prevail. This assurance of resurrection the Apostle tells us is "both for the just and the unjust." Not all will have the same degree of blessing when they come forth from the tomb in the Millennial Morning; for the Scriptures declare that some shall come forth to the life-resurrection and others to the judgment-resurrection--to be subject to disciplines, corrections, that if rightly received will help them up, up, out of their degradation and back to a condition in which God will be pleased to permit them to live everlastingly.--Zech. 9:12; 1 Peter 3:18.

 The Scriptures are very clear in declaring that all this

hope of a resurrection is based upon the fact that Christ died for the sins of the world, and that without His death there could be no resurrection--the prisoners would all remain in the great prison-house. Indeed, they would not be said to be in a prison-house at all were it not fort he Divine provision for their re-awakening. Hearken SM31 to the Prophet telling of this coming blessing upon the prisoners. Speaking of Christ and His work during the Millennial Age, he declares that the Lord shall say to the prisoners, "Go forth!" to them that are in darkness, "Show yourselves!" (Isa. 49:9.) Their coming forth will be that they may manifest their real sentiments either for righteousness or for unrighteousness, when they will have a full, complete opportunity for choice. Those who choose righteousness will thereby be choosing eternal life, according to God's provision, and they that will choose unrighteousness will be choosing the Second Death, extinction, from which there will be no hope of recovery ever. "Christ dieth no more." (Rom. 6:9)-- there will be no resurrection from the Second Death.

 All are redeemed from the first or Adamic death because

Christ took Adam's place and bought the whole race, with a view to giving each member of the race an individual opportunity for returning to God's favor. Mark again the Prophet's declaration. (Isa. 61:1.) There Christ's mission is declared to be to"bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound."

 How beautiful the picture! Twenty thousand millions

of prisoners, slaves of sin! The great Deliverer has provided their ransom by going into death on their behalf. Because of His faithfulness He was rewarded with life on a still higher plane, and has thus become the Author of salvation to all them that will obey Him. (Heb. 5:9.) A few have the hearing ears in the present time, and theirs is the great privilege of hearing the Redeemer's voice and becoming His faithful Bride by suffering with Him for righteousness' sake, that they may in the Millennial period, with their Lord and Master, pour out upon the whole human creation the Divine blessing of forgiveness, restitution, reconciliation. Notice further that Jesus applied this same figure to Himself, quoting this very passage in the synagogue at Nazareth. We are SM32 all witnesses that He did not open prison-doors of any kind at His First Advent, except as figuratively, he, through the awakening of Lazarus and a few others, showed forth His coming glory and His coming work, which will bless all. Hearken also to His words in his final message to the Church, "I am He that liveth, and was dead, and, behold, I am alive forevermore; and have the keys of death and of Hades"--the grave, the tomb. (Rev. 1:18.) Ah, yes, the keys are in good hands! They are rightfully His who has bought all the prisoners. In due time He will use the key and bring all forth from the great prison-house, that under the blessed conditions of His Kingdom they may all come to a knowledge of the Truth and, if they will, by obedience, come back into harmony with God and possess eternal life--or, acting otherwise, die the Second Death. HELL IN THE REVISED VERSION BIBLE

  There is an excuse for the rendering of the words

Sheol and Hades by the English word hell. In old English literature we find that the words hell, pit and grave were used interchangeably; and that while grave and pit have maintained their original significance, the word hell has gradually changed, until now by that word is generally understood a place of torment. In old English a farmer writing to his friend says, "I intend to hell my house this fall, and we have already helled 150 bushels of potatoes." What does he mean? Simple and plain enough! He means that he is about to thatch his house with straw, covering it over, burying it after the old style almost down to the ground. He means that he has pitted or put away for winter and spring use the potatoes, which will keep better thus than otherwise. So, then, the translators of our Bible are not to be blamed for the indiscriminate translation referred to.

  But how about the Revised Version? says one. Ah!

we answer, the revisers were educated men, who knew well the significance of hell, Hades--who knew that in no SM33 sense of the word did they refer to a place of torment, but that they do signify the death state. How then did they translate these words Sheol and Hades? We reply that they were too honest to translate them with the word hell, but not honest enough to give the English reader the truth on the subject; and hence they gave no translation at all, but merely introduced the Hebrew word sheol in the Old Testament and the Greek word hades in the New Testament without translating them. The public, thoroughly deluded on the subject, at once declared that their course was one of leniency, and that Sheol and Hades were just as hot as when translated hell. The fact is, dear friends, as we have already stated, that there is no fire connected with either of these words in any proper interpretation of them.

        "ALL THAT ARE IN THE GRAVES"
 We have set before you the Scriptural presentation

on this subject. Where are the dead? It may be disappointing to some of your minds as you think of the saintly ones of your friends and relatives. But they surely have not been very many. On the contrary, the great mass of our friends and those who have died have given no evidence of being spirit-begotten, pure in heart, saintly. Hence if there be a measure of disappointment on the one hand there is a corresponding measure of relief on the other. However, no matter what our friends may have been, I hope you and I are amongst those who desire to know the Truth and to whom the Lord has promised that they shall know the Truth and the Truth shall make them free. Let us be free then from these awful dogmas of the past, free to love God, free to believe His Word, free to trust in and understand how Jesus tasted death for every man, free to believe that He who redeemed will restore, free to believe that the resurrection of the dead is the salvation which God has provided, and that "in death there is no remembrance of Thee," as the Prophet has declared--Psa. 6:5. SM34

  We remind you again of our dear Redeemer's words,

speaking of the resurrection. He not only said, "I am the resurrection and the life," but He also declared, "The hour is coming in the which all that are in their graves shall hear the voice of the Son of Man and shall come forth." (John 11:25; 5:28.) Those of you who are Christians will not doubt the Redeemer knew where are the dead. And in this Scripture which we have just quoted it distinctly says that they are in their graves, not in Purgatory, not in a hell of torment, not in Heaven; they are in the tomb, in the death state, and from the death state He will call them forth in the Resurrection Morning. What more could we ask than this positive statement? Who dares to contradict Him, who spake as never man spake? What theologian would have the temerity? Note how complete is the harmony between His statement and that of our text. St. Peter, one of the chiefest Apostles, declares that David was still in his sepulchre, had not ascended into Heaven; Jesus Himself declares, "No man hath ascended into Heaven," and again, "All who are in their graves shall come forth." The next verse tells that in the coming forth there shall be two classes, the one perfect in life, glory, honor and immortality; the other still imperfect and to receive chastisements, judgments, disciplines, with a view to their ultimately attaining a full resurrection out of sin-and-death conditions if they will. With these clearer thoughts on this important subject, dear friends, I trust that you and myself will more and more seek to make our calling and election sure, that we may have a blessed part in the First Resurrection, of which it is declared"Blessed and holy are all they that have part in the First Resurrection; on such the Second Death hath no power; but they shall be kings and priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years."--Rev. 20:6. SM35 "LAZARUS, COME FORTH!"

 "When they heard of the resurrection of the dead,

some mocked."--Acts 17:32.

 As some who heard St. Paul preach the resurrection

of the dead mocked, so quite likely many have mocked as they read these sermons. Nevertheless, the Word of the Lord standeth sure:"There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust." It was the great Teacher Himself who said, "All who are in their graves shall hear the voice of the son of Man and shall come forth; they that have done good unto the resurrection of life--"perfection"--they that have done evil unto the resurrection of judgment," crisis, trial.--John 5:28,29; Acts 24:15.

 To those that believe that the dead are more alive now

than when they were alive, the doctrine of the resurrection must, of necessity, be foolishness. And whoever logically believes in the resurrection of the dead must, of necessity, consider the popular views on man's condition in death absurd in the extreme. There is no middle ground. Either man is dead when he is dead, as the Bible declares, and can have no further knowledge or hope, pleasure or pain, until awakened from death; or else man does not die at all when he seems to die--a theory with which the Bible is at war and which we claim has no foundation in fact or reason. It is a mythology. The entire heathen world believes this theory today. The doctrine came into the Christian Church in opposition to the "resurrection" doctrine long centuries ago--about the fourth century, when hordes of heathen were baptized and called Christians, with but slight appreciation of "the faith once delivered to the saints."--Jude 3. SM36 RESURRECTION A STUPENDOUS MIRACLE

 Numerous objections to the resurrection are raised. It

is claimed that it would be impossible for God to resurrect the dead, if they were really dead. It is claimed that, if our Lord's words were fulfilled and all that are in their graves should come forth, the earth would be so densely populated that if stood on each other's heads several rows deep all over the earth, there would not be room for them. It is claimed that it would be impossible to provide food and raiment for so many. The resurrection is denounced as contrary to the laws of nature, according to all the history of the past.

 The latter claim we admit. The resurrection of the

dead will be something out of keeping with anything in man's experience. Only those who have an implicit faith in the Creator and in His promise will be able to receive this doctrine, which credits the Almighty with a Divine power exceeding anything else that could be imagined.

 As to the other points, let us see: Many wise men in

public positions are very unscientific, even when called scientists. They sometimes jump at conclusions in an astounding manner. For instance, we all know how some of these scientific gentlemen laugh at the Bible's records and declare that humanity has been upon the earth millions of years. If we ask for the proof they are astonished that their omniscience should be questioned. They knock a chip from a block of stone, look at it wisely, and declare it so many millions of years old. But a new school of geologists is arising which takes note of the fact that many of the rocks were evidently formed just as we today set our concrete blocks and turn them to stone within a few days.

 Let us take the Bible as our authority. Let us believe

what it says: that man was created about six thousand years ago. Let us note the gradual progress of the race.

reasonable and, we believe, liberal estimate of the

entire number of the race since Adam is twenty thousand SM37 millions. Let us figure out how many square feet it would require to lay them each full length in graves. Then turn to the atlas. Look at the number of square miles in the State of Texas. Divide this into square feet, and what do we find? We find that more than twice the number of our large estimate of all who have ever lived could be buried in separate graves in Texas alone. CAN THE AWAKENED BILLIONS BE PROVIDED FOR?

  As for clothing, Mr. Edison tells us that new inventions

are in progress which, ere long, will make clothing wonderfully cheap--"dirt cheap." "Mineral wool" is the first step in this direction. It sells cheaply by the ton. Further development is expected to make this fit for man's use as clothing. The supply is inexhaustible. The Scriptures declare respecting the Divine provision for the human family during the Messianic Reign that "the earth shall yield her increase" and "the wilderness shall blossom as the rose," etc.--Psa. 67:6; Isa. 35:1.

  From every direction information is coming of new

species of wheat and corn much more prolific than what we have been using. Additionally, there is recently an announcement of a method of magnetizing grains before they are planted, which will permit the raising of at least three crops a year in the temperate zones. Additionally, nitrogen is being extracted from the atmosphere and used to enrich the worn-out soils.

  Furthermore, we may be sure that He who provided

Eden for our first parents is abundantly able, as He has promised, to make of earth a Paradise, in which the blessing of the Lord will be upon humanity; and the earth, as the Divine footstool, shall be made glorious. Moreover, be it remembered that the Scriptures distinctly declare that the propagation of the species is intended merely for the present time and that those who will attain, in the New Age, to the resurrection will "neither marry nor be given in marriage." The propagation of the human race is intended to proceed only SM38 until the earth shall be filled. But over and above all this, the great Creator, whose Plan is being worked out in man's creation, man's redemption and man's restitution, knows the end from the beginning and is fully able to do all that He has promised. If necessary, how easy it would be for Him to still further sink the bed of portions of the oceans and to raise up continents in the Atlantic and Pacific larger in extent than the present land surface!

 However, we have nothing to say to those who

"mock" at the Divine promise of a resurrection of the dead and who, because of a lack of faith in the Almighty, prefer the vain imaginations of the human mind to the positive promises of the Creator. We have merely thrown out some suggestions helpful to the faith of those who are really seeking Divine wisdom and who are in danger of being side-tracked by "science falsely so-called."

        "SLEPT WITH HIS FATHERS"
 It is in full accord with the promise of a resurrection

that in the Bible teachings we read that "Solomon slept with his fathers," and similarly of other kings, good and bad; and of Prophets, Apostles and others. Thus St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr stoned to death, we are told, "fell asleep." St. Paul tells us that some will be alive and remain to the coming of Messiah; and he remarks, "Behold, I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed." (1 Cor. 15:51.) Again he tells us that we may comfort ourselves and each other as respects our dead friends and neighbors, that they all "sleep in Jesus" and are to be brought forth from the dead by Him. The whole world sleeps in Jesus, in the sense that their resurrection hope--their hope of awakening in the Resurrection Morning, is based upon the work which Jesus accomplished as the world's Redeemer.

 No one will dispute that the Bible declares that the

dead are asleep. It is, therefore, a proper and pertinent question that every Bible student should be prepared SM39 to answer: Where do the dead sleep, waiting for an awakening? Surely not in Heaven, where all is life and happiness! Surely not in the Purgatory which our Catholic friends feel so confident is somewhere. And surely not in the fiery hell of which Protestants generally tell us. Surely the dead sleep in the Bible hell--sheol, hades, the tomb, the state of death. Thus it is written, "Many that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake."--Dan. 12:2; Ezek. 37:12-14.

 Hearken to the Master. Mary, Martha and Lazarus

of Bethany were His particular friends. Lazarus took sick and the sisters sent word to the Master, "He whom Thou lovest is sick." Jesus gave no outward heed to the matter until the third day after, and then said to His disciples, "Our friend Lazarus sleepeth." They replied," Lord if he sleep he will do well." Then Jesus said plainly (coming down to their ordinary use of language), "Lazarus is dead." With His disciples He then went to Bethany.--John 11:11-16.

 The sisters were greatly disappointed. They had not

thought of the possibility of their brother's dying, because they so thoroughly believed in the power of Jesus. Mary did not even go to meet her dear friend, the Lord, when He came. Martha met Him with the chiding remark "If Thou hadst been here [if You had come when we informed You] our brother had not died." Jesus did not dispute that Lazarus was dead, nor tell her that he was more alive than ever. He merely promised that her brother should rise again.

 Martha replied that she knew that Lazarus would rise

in the resurrection, at the Last Day. Jesus assured her that He would be the One who would resurrect the dead, and that He was then present with her, intimating that she might ask even then for her brother to be revived. But Martha's faith was insufficient. When the Master asked, Where have ye laid him? she replied that it was now too late, because putrefaction had set in--it was SM40 now the fourth day since his death. When Jesus finally went to Lazarus' tomb, He did not call him from Heaven, nor from Purgatory, nor from a fiery hell, but from the tomb. And the dead one came forth.

 This wonderful exhibition of His power the Lord

gave, to the intent that His disciples then and since might realize that in Him is vested the resurrection power, by Divine arrangement, and that there is to be a resurrection of the just and of the unjust; that all who are in their graves are to hear His voice and come forth. The Church class will come forth to perfection of life on the spirit plane. The world of mankind will come forth from the tomb imperfect, as they went into it, and will all have a test, to prove whether they are worthy or unworthy of restitution and eternal life in the earthly Paradise.

        "WITH WHAT BODY DO THEY COME?"
  St. Paul held an imaginary discussion with doubters

of the resurrection in his day. He has them inquire, With what body will the dead return? He replies that, as each kind of seed that is planted reproduces its own kind, so it will be in the resurrection of the dead. Whatever kind of seed is planted in death, of the same kind and nature will be the resurrection crop. The Apostle elaborates, showing that the whole world of mankind are of one kind of seed--human stock--and that therefore, in the resurrection time, they will come forth the same-- humans. And they will come forth in practically the same condition in which they died.--1 Cor. 15:35-41.

  But if we shall suppose rye to represent the human

stock and can imagine a special treatment of some of that rye grain before sowing--changing it into wheat, then we would know that those changed grains would sprout and develop, not as rye, but as wheat. Thus the Apostle illustrates the resurrection of the dead--the Church. All are of Adamic stock, but some, a few--the spirit-begotten Church--experience a change of nature from earthly to SM41 Heavenly. Hence they, in the resurrection, will come forth Heavenly or spirit beings. He says, Some, the world at large, will be members of the earthly Adam; others, a few, a "little flock," will be members of the second Adam --the Heavenly Lord. The standard to which the world may expect to be awakened and, later, raised, will be the earthly standard represented in the perfect Adam. THE FIRST RESURRECTION DESCRIBED

  It was not necessary that the Apostle should more

particularly describe, at that time, the resurrection opportunity provided for the world of mankind, but it was very appropriate that he should give to the Church a more detailed explanation of the Divine provision for the resurrection of the Bride. Explaining this, St. Paul says, "Thus is the resurrection of the dead: It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown an animal body; it is raised a spirit body. For there is an animal body and there is a spirit body. As it is written, The first man, Adam, was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit."--1 Cor. 15:42-52.

  The resurrection of the Church is called a "life-resurrection,"

because all those experiencing it will be perfected in life--will be instantly and completely lifted out of death conditions. The world in general, on the contrary, will not come forth to a life-resurrection, but will come forth still partly dead, as mankind in general are today. The coming forth or awakening to them will be merely the beginning of their resurrection, their anastasis. In the Divine appointment the thousand years of Messiah's reign are set apart for their resurrection-- their gradual raising up to human perfection. The experiences of Messiah's Kingdom will all be helpful whether they be chastisements or rewards. They will all be reformatory. Only deliberate and wilful transgressors will be annihilated in the Second Death. SM42 TWO DISTINCT SALVATIONS

  "So great salvation, which began to be spoken by our

Lord, and was confirmed unto us by those who heard Him."--Heb. 2:3.

  In the past many of us misunderstood these words--

"so great salvation"--and have thought them to apply merely to an "elect" few of the saintly followers of our great Redeemer. Surely it should not be thought strange if a closer examination of God's Word would demonstrate to us that as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are His ways and plans higher than ours. (Isa. 55:9.) It should not surprise us to find that our forefathers were generally in considerable darkness in respect to "the length and breadth and height and depth of the love of Christ, which passeth all understanding." (Eph. 3:18,19.) It should not surprise us to find that our Savior will yet see the fruitage of the travail of His soul and be satisfied (Isa. 53:11), and that this satisfaction will result from the salvation of more than the "little flock," who walk in His steps and who, like Him, "present their bodies living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God," in the service of Truth and righteousness. --Rom. 12:1.

  There are several ways of treating this thought, that

more than an"elect" few are eventually to reach eternal life through the Redeemer of mankind. One way, which many adopt, is to claim that our Lord and the Apostles did not really mean to establish so high a standard of saintship as their words imply, and then to conclude that the unsaintly will gain eternal life as well as the saintly-- all except the degenerately wicked. This view of matters, which is the common one, is undoubtedly prompted by sympathy for friends, relatives, neighbors and the heathen; but it is wholly contrary to God's Word. SM43

  Another view still held by some is that everybody but

the saintly will suffer torture eternally and hopelessly.

  The third theory which I desire to present here is the

one I believe to be in accord with every text of Scripture, and in accord with Justice, Wisdom, Love and Power Divine, and in accord with sanctified common sense. I have time for only an outline of this Plan, which is most comprehensive, as follows:

        THE SAINTLY NEW CREATION
 Salvation in no sense began before the Redeemer's

birth, forty-one hundred and twenty-eight years after the fall of our first parents. In all that long period nobody was saved. The Apostle declares in our text that salvation began to be preached by Jesus. Again we read that Jesus brought life and immortality to light through His Gospel. (2 Tim. 1:10.) So, then, life and immortality and the Gospel Message began to be preached by our Lord and was not preached before His day. Indeed we can see that if there is "none other Name given under Heaven or amongst men whereby we must be saved," than the name of Jesus, then it could not have been preached; nothing could be preached previously except the Divine declaration that God purposed in due time to redeem mankind from sin and death through a Savior and a Great One--One able to save unto the uttermost all that would come unto the Father through Him.

 This reasoning is surely true to the facts. Search

all through the Old Testament, and you will find no promise of eternal life set forth except by the Law given to the one little nation of Israel. That Law declared that he that doeth these things shall live by his obedience thereto (Rom. 10:5); and the Apostle assures us that Jews died because none of them kept the Law--because no imperfect human being could possibly meet the requirements of God's perfect Law. "By the deeds of the Law shall no flesh be justified in His sight."--Rom. 3:20. SM44

 The Apostle, further explaining the matter, says,

"Wherefore, then, serveth the Law?" He replies to his question, "It was added because of transgression until the promised Seed should come."--Gal. 3:19.

                THE PROMISED SEED
 The Apostle's words direct our thoughts back to

Eden, when God declared that the Seed of the woman would at some future time bruise the Serpent's head. But that Seed did not exist for over four thousand years after, and has not yet crushed the Serpent's head--destroyed sin and the works of Satan.

 The Apostle's words again remind us of God's promise

to Abraham, "In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." (Gen. 12:3.) Abraham was not thus blessed, nor were any others thus blessed, however faithful they were. All the blessing was to come through Abraham's Seed and could not be dispensed before His coming. Hence the Apostle, referring to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the faithful of past time, declared, "All these died in faith, not having received the promise" (Heb. 11:13)--the blessing--reconciliation to God and eternal life.

 And when Jesus came He did not attempt to bless

the world, but on the contrary, in His prayer, declared, "I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given me" (John 17:9)--the saintly, the "Very Elect." (Matt. 24:24.) These He called; these He taught-- "Israelites indeed." These He directed to give the same message to others, not for the conversion of the world, but for the calling, instruction and edification of "the Church, which is the Body of Christ." The message to these from first to last was that they were called to suffer with Him, that they might also reign with Him.

       "THE CHURCH, THE BODY OF CHRIST"
 In the past many of us have overlooked the fact that

the Church is, figuratively, "the Body of Christ"--to be hereafter, as the Apostle declares, "The Church which SM45 is His Body." And again, we are members in particular of the Body of Christ, which is the Church. (1 Cor. 12:27.) In a word, then, the entire Christ includes the members of the Body with the glorious Head of the Body. And this glorious Christ, which will be completed by the close of this Gospel Age, will as a whole be the promised Seed of Abraham.--Gal. 3:8,16,29.

 From this viewpoint we can see why God's long-promised

blessing has not yet reached the world, but furthermore we can also see that He is merely selecting or electing the Church, the Seed of Abraham. The promise to Abraham is, "In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed," and, as we have seen, the Seed of Abraham is "Jesus the Head and the Church His Body." In a word, our previous view of the Divine Plan was too narrow. We saw the election of the Church, but did not see God's gracious purposes for "All the families of the earth." The Church, as the Scriptures declare, is merely a "first-fruits" unto God of His creatures and is not, by any means, the entire harvest. Let us here remember St. Paul's explanation of this matter. He declares, "We, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of the promise" (Gal. 4:28)--the heirs of the promise--through us all the families of the earth are to be blessed.--Gen. 26:1-4.

       NO SECOND CHANCE IN THIS
 It might indeed be said in one sense of the word that

since Father Adam was placed on trial in Eden with a reward of eternal life before him or a penalty of death, and that since he lost his chance of eternal life by disobedience, therefore any chance of eternal life coming to him or to any member of this race would, of necessity, be a second chance. This is undoubtedly true. From this standpoint every member of the human family must eventually have a second chance for eternal life, because it was for this very purpose that our Redeemer left the Heavenly glory, was made flesh, dwelt amongst us and SM46 "died, the Just for the unjust." Whoever enjoys this second chance must expect no more, because "Christ dieth no more." But, as we have already seen, nobody had a second chance for eternal life prior to the coming of our Redeemer into the world. "He brought life and immortality to light." He died, the Just for the unjust, to make reconciliation for iniquity--and this message of so great salvation began to be spoken by our Lord.

  The comparatively few who have heard the Gospel

since Jesus' day--"Good Tidings of great joy, which shall be unto all people"--these, the comparatively few who have heard of "the only name given under Heaven or amongst men whereby we must be saved"--are the only ones who in any sense of the word have had their second chance. Indeed we might, Scripturally, limit the matter much further and say that the Gospel has been hidden from the majority of those who heard it; their mental eyes and ears being deaf and blind, they did not comprehend the Message, and therefore could not reject it.

  The "high calling" and "so great salvation" which

so few have really heard and seen is referred to by our great Redeemer saying, "Blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear." "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, neither can he know them; because they are spiritually discerned. ...But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit." (1 Cor. 2:14.) In other words, only the spirit-begotten ones are now on trial for life everlasting or death everlasting. And only the faithful footstep followers will gain the glory, honor, immortality and joint-heirship with Him in His kingdom. These are the "Elect," the "Very Elect." These are such as make their calling and election sure by so running as to obtain this great prize of membership in the Body of Christ.

  These elect ones experience a change of nature, and in

the future will not be human beings, but partakers of the Divine nature. (2 Pet. 1:4.) They will be inducted into SM47 the perfection of the Divine nature in the First Resurrection, the Chief Resurrection, in which they will be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, because flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.

       HUMAN SALVATION IS RESTITUTION
  We all gagged at the thought that the heathen and

everybody except saints would be consigned to an eternity of torture, yet we all recognized that Heaven is not a place of development but a condition of perfection. We were perplexed, mystified. We did not follow our Bibles with sufficient care. Many of us twisted the Scriptures, wrested them from their plainly obvious import, and always to our own injury. Some went in the direction of Universalism; others halfway, and still others abandoned the Holy Book. Now we see where we erred.

 God has two salvations; one for the Church and a totally

different one for the world. The salvation for the Church is to Heavenly nature, spirit bodies, and joint-heirship with the Master in His Kingdom, which flesh and blood cannot inherit, as we have already seen. The other salvation, for mankind, is an earthly one, called in the Scriptures "Restitution." Man was not an angel originally, not a spirit being, but, as the Scriptures declare, "The first man was of the earth earthy."

 It was that earthy man, perfect, in the image of his

Creator, for whose happiness Eden was specially prepared. By obedience to God he might have continued to enjoy his Eden home everlastingly. By disobedience he first lost his fellowship with God, then his Eden home, and after nine hundred and thirty years of toiling with thorns and thistles in sweat of face, the death penalty upon him reached completion--he died. Adam's race, sharing his weaknesses by laws of heredity, have also shared death with him. "WORLD THROUGH HIM MIGHT BE SAVED"

 The Scriptures tell us that God's real purpose in

sending Jesus into the world was that "the world through SM48 Him might be saved"--not the salvation of the Church; that was an incidental feature. The Church is selected that as the Bride or Queen during the Messianic Kingdom she may be associated with her Lord, the King, as the Seed of Abraham in the blessing, the saving, of Adam and his family, or so many of them as shall be willing, from sin and death conditions. We remember the Master's words to the effect that He "came to seek and to save [recover] that which was lost."--Luke 19:10.

 We have just seen that it was a human life, human

perfection and an earthly home that were lost. It is these, then, that Jesus proposes in due time to recover for Adam and his family. The Messianic reign of Jesus and His Body--The Anointed, The Christ, The Messiah-- will be for the purpose of blessing Adam and all of his race with glorious opportunities of an earthly salvation. The uplifting, restoring influences of Messiah's Kingdom will affect not only Adam and his race, but also the earth itself. Gradually Paradise Lost, as a little garden of Eden, will become Paradise Regained, as the world beautiful. Then the wilderness shall blossom as a rose and the solitary place shall be glad.

       "TIMES OF RESTITUTION"
 At our Lord's First Advent the "acceptable time"

began--the time when God, having accepted the sacrifice of Christ Jesus, became willing through Him to accept the sacrifices of all who desire to become His disciples --to take up their cross and follow Him through evil report and good report even unto death. The entire Gospel Age antitypes Israel's Day of Atonement, and the sacrifices of our Lord and the Church, His Body, are the "better sacrifices," foreshadowed by the bullock and the goat offered typically by the Jews. This is the acceptable year of the Lord which Jesus declared. (Isa. 61:2; Luke 4:19.) God's faithful people of this acceptable day are glad to be invited to "present their bodies SM49 living sacrifices, holy and acceptable unto God." (Rom. 12:1.) In the end of this acceptable day will come the end of all opportunity to thus sacrifice the human nature and become joint-heirs with Christ and partakers of the Heavenly nature.

 Then will be introduced a new period styled, in the

Scriptures, "Times [or years] of Restitution." The acceptable day for the Church's sacrifice has lasted for nearly nineteen centuries. And we know how long the "Times of Restitution" will last--nearly a thousand years. St. Peter tells us just when these "Restitution Times" will begin. They did not begin in his day. They have not begun yet. They will begin as a result of the Second Advent of Jesus, the Messiah, and the establishment of His Kingdom and righteousness, "Times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord and He shall send Jesus Christ, as before was preached unto you, whom the heavens must retain until the Times of Restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all the holy Prophets since the world began. For Moses verily said unto the fathers, A Prophet like unto me [of whom I am but a type or figure] shall the Lord your God raise up unto you from amongst your brethren. Him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever He shall speak unto you. And it shall come to pass that the soul that will not obey that Prophet shall be destroyed from amongst the people" (Acts 3:19-23)--in the Second Death, from which there is no recovery.

 This great Prophet has been in process of raising up

for now nearly nineteen centuries. And when the last member of His Body shall have passed beyond the veil, He will stand forth in the glories of His Kingdom to rule, judge, instruct, restore and bless all the families of the earth with opportunity for restoration to all that was lost in Eden and redeemed at Calvary. SM50 MESSIAH'S SHARP ARROWS

 "Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the King's

enemies; whereby the people fall under thee."--Psa. 45:5.

 With a strange and unaccountable perversity we often

find that the very people most given to figurative and symbolical language are the very ones who when they come to the Bible are disposed to take it literally, to ignore the beautiful figures of speech with which it abounds! So persistent is this habit that even when considering that book of symbols, the Apocalypse, they are disposed to take its statements literally--although in its very introduction the declaration is made that our Lord sent and signified--made signs or symbols to illustrate the things which would shortly come to pass. We are not urging such an interpretation of the Scriptures as would ignore their true significance and make them say the reverse of what they mean, as some are disposed to do; we merely urge that symbolical, metaphorical and hyperbolical language be given true and proper recognition, as we would be disposed to do were the same figures and symbols used in connection with the affairs of our daily life. Surely none can claim that this is an unreasonable position.

 When friends tell us that certain words cut them to

the heart or that certain experiences broke their hearts they are merely using metaphors in the same manner in which the Scriptures use them. (Acts 2:37; Isa. 61:1; Luke 4:18.) And similarly, when considering our text, we are not to think of literal arrows being shot forth by Messiah and that these will cause the world of mankind to fall wounded literally before Him with these arrows in their hearts. In another Scripture we read, "The wicked shoot out arrows, even bitter words," that they may SM51 injure the righteous. (Psa. 64:3,4.) So here also the arrows of Messiah would represent the words of His mouth; but as a bitter fountain sends forth bitter water and a pure fountain sends forth sweet water, so the arrows of Messiah, instead of being bitter words such as the wicked shoot forth, will be forceful words of truth and grace. The symbolism is analogous to that of Revelation, where Messiah, in His coming glory of the Millennial Age, is pictured as having a sword going forth from His mouth with which He smites the nations.--Rev. 19:15.

 The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. (Eph. 6:17.)

The Sword of Messiah's mouth will be the message which He will send: "My Word that goeth forth out of My mouth shall not return unto Me void, but shall accomplish that which I please, and shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." (Isa. 55:11.) Our Lord Jesus, as the Mouthpiece of Jehovah, was commissioned not only to redeem the world but to uplift it out of sin, degradation and death conditions and to restore the willing and the obedient to all that was lost in Adam and redeemed by Christ, by His obedience and sacrifice at Calvary. As the "Lamb of God" our Redeemer has already "tasted death for every man," dying "the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God." (John 1:29; Heb. 2:9; 1 Pet. 3:18.) But it is not enough that He thus prepares the way by bringing mankind back to God; it is not enough that God's Justice has been appeased now on our behalf. It is necessary further that the Redeemer should grant the required assistance to the redeemed for their deliverance from the chains of ignorance, superstition, sin and death into the liberty of the sons of God. "NOW ARE WE THE SONS OF GOD"

 This deliverance of humanity according to the Divine

purpose is divided into two parts: First, a special class who hunger and thirst after righteousness and are out of harmony with sin, are being blessed during this Gospel Age through the appreciation of the good tidings of SM52 God's love and favor in Christ. These are dealt with by faith, and include only such members of the race as have the hearing ear of faith--"He that hath an ear, let him hear"; for "without faith it is impossible to please God." This small company of the race, willing and able by the Redeemer's assistance to walk by faith and not by sight, now receive special truth in the School of Christ and a special testing as respects their loyalty to righteousness, in advance of the world's blessing and trial. The faithful of these, at the close of this Gospel Age, by a share in the First Resurrection will be "changed" from human nature to Divine nature and be made sharers with the Redeemer as His "Bride," His "Body," in the great Millennial Age work of blessing, uplifting the world from sin to righteousness, of bringing them out of degradation and wrath up, up, up to human perfection and eternal life in an earthly paradise restored.

 Our text does not refer to our Lord's dealings with the

Church; for we are not His enemies. The enemy class will be dealt with after the Second Coming of our Lord. This He showed in one of His parables, saying, A young nobleman went into a far country to receive for Himself a Kingdom and returned and took possession of it. Before starting He called His own servants and delivered to them pounds and talents, saying, Occupy until I return. On His return, invested with the majesty, authority and power of a Kingdom, He first called His own servants (the Church class) and reckoned with them, rewarding the faithful saying, "Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things. I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord"--have dominion over five cities. Then the King will say, "As for those Mine enemies, who would not have Me to reign over them, bring them hither and slay them before Me." (Luke 19:12-27.) The slaying of the enemies in the parable corresponds perfectly with the Revelation picture of the Sword of Messiah's SM53 mouth, which will smite the nations; and it corresponds also with the expression in our text respecting the sharp arrows of Messiah which shall be in the hearts of His enemies and cause the people to fall before Him. Not literal arrows, not a literal sword, not literal carnage are here represented, but a great triumph of the Word of the Lord over all during the reign of the Millennial Kingdom, following our Lord's Second Coming.

 Those who are now invited to become of the Lord's

"Little Flock," the "Very Elect," the "Bride, the Lamb's Wife," the "Royal Priesthood," the "Body of Christ," are not smitten down with the Sword of His mouth. Instead, they are those who through various experiences in life are already become heart weary, heavy laden, looking to the Lord in faith and desiring His assistance. The message of the Lord's lips at the present time is not arrows; not the sword to those who are invited to be His followers. On the contrary, inviting them, He says, "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden; and I will give you rest!" Again He tells us that His Message is intended to bind up the broken-hearted, to give the oil of joy in exchange for the spirit of heaviness. --Isa. 61:3; Matt. 11:28-30.

 The Apostle, speaking of the matter, declares that it

has pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save those who now believe. (1 Cor. 1:21.) Not that the Message is a foolish one; for on the contrary the Message of God's grace is the noblest, the grandest, the most wonderful one that could come to the ears of mankind. But from the worldly standpoint it seems foolish on God's part to address the world when He Himself declares that the vast majority are deaf, and that only here and there can any be found who have the hearing ear. Again, the Gospel Message of reward to the obedient seems foolish to the world; for it would say, "If God had all power why does He not enforce His commands and send forth judgments to compel obedience rather than send forth a message SM54 of love and an invitation to obedience?" Our answer is that God is now seeking a peculiar people; and that after He shall have gathered this specially called, specially chosen, specially blessed, specially tried class, after He shall have glorified these, blessing them with the great reward of glory, honor and immortality, then will be His time for using force, compulsion. MESSIAH SHALL BE CONQUEROR

 The Apostle Paul, discussing the work of Christ during

His Millennial reign following His Second Advent, declares, "He must reign until He hath put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death." Again,..."Then cometh the end, when He shall deliver up the Kingdom to God, even the Father, when He shall have put down all [antagonistic] rule and all authority and all power....And when all things shall be subject unto Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject to Him that put all things under Him that God may be all in all." (1 Cor. 15:24-28.) The Apostle introduces this statement in his argument on the resurrection of the dead. He is proving that the resurrection is for all mankind, that as "all in Adam die, even all in Christ shall be made alive"--every man in his own order, "The Christ [Head and Body, Jesus and the Church] the first-fruits; afterward [during His presence at His Second Advent in the Millennium] they that are Christ's at His coming."

 It will be during that Millennial period of Messiah's

Reign that force will be used instead of preaching; that His rebuke will smite into the hearts of His enemies, and that all shall fall under Him. Every knee must bow, every tongue must confess. Happy will it be for the world when Messiah shall take unto Himself His great power and reigns. Blessed will it be for the people when His sharp arrows shall smite them and when His judgment as a hammer shall break the hard, stony hearts; for, as SM55 the Scriptures declare, He wounds to heal. (Hos. 6:1.) The healing process will be coincidental to the wounding and breaking; for the great Messiah, Christ and the Church, will be not only the King, the Ruler, but also the Priest of that Millennial time to heal, to console, to forgive, and the great Prophet to instruct the thousands of millions of Adam's race who have gone into death during the reign of Sin and Death and under the blinding influences of the Adversary. No wonder the Scriptures speak in glowing terms of that glorious Millennial Day, when the knowledge of the Lord shall fill the whole earth! No wonder they picture this symbolically as the rising of the Sun of Righteousness with healing in its beams.--Mal. 4:2.

        "IN THY MAJESTY RIDE ON"
 Note our context: The first verse declares that the

Message relates to the King, not to the Lord, not to Messiah waiting to be invested with the authority of the Kingdom, but to Him after He shall have been thus invested, after He shall have taken to Himself His great power and begun His Reign of Righteousness. Hearken to the prophetic description of the King in His beauty, "Thou are fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into Thy lips." This well pictures our dear Master's condition of humiliation when the Man Christ Jesus was demonstrated to be pure in heart, absolutely loyal to the Father and in this respect fairer than all the children of men, all of whom were sinners and out of the way. The grace of our Lord's lips is manifest to us in the message which He left. "Never man spake like this man." "They all bare Him witness and wondered at the gracious words that proceeded out of His mouth."-- John 7:46; Luke 4:22.

 It is because of the faithfulness, the loyalty, the grace

which our Lord demonstrated as the Man Christ Jesus that the Father glorified Him, raising Him from the dead to far more than the human nature and glory--to the highest SM56 plane, the Divine nature and its glory, honor and immortality. As the Prophet declares, God blessed Him forever. (Psa. 45:2.) His exaltation is perpetual; far above angels, principalities and powers and every name that is named. Our Lord's trial and exaltation have been followed by the call and testing of the "Little Flock," invited to be His joint-heirs in the Kingdom; and soon these will be changed in the First Resurrection, that they may participate in His glorious work of the Millennial Kingdom.

 Then the time having come for the establishment of

the Kingdom, Messiah, Head and Body, will take to Himself His great power and His Millennial Reign will begin. This is represented in Verses 3 and 4, "Gird thy sword upon Thy thigh, O Mighty One, with Thy glory and Thy majesty. And in Thy majesty ride prosperously, because of truth and meekness and righteousness." What a noble, inspiring picture of Divine knowledge as it shall go forth in due time for the binding of Satan and the liberating of all the slaves of sin and death--not only those who have not gone down into the tomb, but the liberation of those who are in the great prison-house of death, the grave! Messiah shall not reign for the oppression of the world nor for the enslavement of the people. On the contrary the power of the Kingdom will be exercised on behalf of truth, meekness and righteousness. This however, will necessarily mean a reign of force, a reign very different from the present dispensation and its Gospel invitation to righteousness.

  We read elsewhere that the "judgments of the Lord

will be abroad in the earth"--His righteous dealings. In other words, His power exercised on behalf of the cause of truth, meekness and righteousness, will mean His forceful opposition to error, to pride and all inequity, all unrighteousness. No longer will men be invited to abandon sin. The judgments, the punishments for wrong doing will be promptly and vigorously applied. The world, deaf to the Lord's Message, blind to His goodness, SM57 out of the way, degraded through sin, will learn righteousness in another way--by being made to feel a judgment, a punishment for every wrong deed and wrong word. And by the end of the Millennial Age the testing will have become so crucial that even the favorable entertainment of a disloyal thought as respects the Almighty and His rule of righteousness will lead to the Second Death.

  We have no thought of suggesting that the Millennium

will be entirely a time of peace, joy and blessing. It will be all of this all the time to all those who love righteousness and hate iniquity and are in accord with the Lord; but the Lord's indignation, even His fierce anger, will from the very beginning of the Millennial Age burn hotly against all unrighteousness, against all iniquity, all falsehood, to the intent that these may be thoroughly removed, completely eradicated, and that thus mankind may be most truly and most absolutely blessed. It is in harmony with this that the fourth verse of our context declares, "Thy right hand [Thy Power] shall teach terrible lessons," lessons for eternity to many, lessons which will be most salutary to the race as a whole, lessons which would be awful to humanity in some respects at the beginning of the reign. For be it remembered that the Scriptures everywhere declare that the Millennial Kingdom, although a reign of peace, righteousness and love, will be introduced by a Time of Trouble such as was not since there was a nation, by which trouble present institutions will be overthrown because they are all unrighteous, imperfect and built upon lines of selfishness contrary to the law of love, which shall be made to prevail in the interest of all. This is the same thought that is brought to our attention in connection with the symbolical picture of Revelation. The Sword of Messiah's mouth is there declared to smite the nations; and we are told that He will rule the nations with a rod of iron, and that as potters' vessels they shall be broken to shivers.--Rev. 2:26-28. SM58

 We are to differentiate, however, between the nations

which are to be broken--the great systems of selfishness which are to fall and rise no more--and the people, into whose hearts the words of the Lord will enter and who will be smitten down before Him. They will acknowledge that they are sinners, and that His reproofs are just and His judgments upon systems of error and iniquity are true and righteous altogether. They will fall before Him; they will acknowledge the Divine power and its rightful control of human affairs; every knee must bow and every tongue must confess. As the Apostle Peter, referring to this time, declares, "It shall come to pass that the soul that will not hear [obey] that Prophet, shall be destroyed from amongst the people."--Acts 3:23.

 The picture of the coming Time of Trouble and of the

glorious epoch of blessing which will follow it is graphically depicted by the Prophet Zephaniah (3:8), through whom the Lord says, "Wait ye upon Me, saith the Lord, until that day when I rise up to the prey: for My determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, that I may pour upon them Mine indignation, even all My fierce anger: for the whole earth [social structure] shall be devoured with the fire of My jealousy." So terrible will be the Time of Trouble, so sweeping the overthrow of present institutions, that the Lord here symbolically pictures it as a fire consuming everything of the present social order.

 But that it is not a literal fire, and that it will not consume

or destroy mankind but prepare for their greater blessing, is shown by the next statement of the Prophet: "Then will I turn unto the people a pure Message [in contrast with the confused message that is now being promulgated by all the various sects of Christendom-- Babylon] that they may all call upon the name of the Lord to serve Him with one consent." They will no longer call upon themselves the names of sects and parties, heathen or Christian. All will call upon the Lord, all will SM59 recognize Him as the great Teacher; for the Lord shall be King over all the earth in that day. (Zech. 14:9.) And the Kingdom under the whole heavens shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High.--Dan. 7:27.

       "HIS MOUTH IS MOST SWEET"
 In contrast with the sharp words of rebuke which will

be administered to the world and which they will need and which will be most favorable to them, we have the gracious words of the Master in the present time speaking to all who have ears to hear. His Message is represented as one that binds up the broken hearts and administers the oil and wine of refreshment and joy and peace and consolation. What wonder, then, that we appreciate the statement, "Blessed are your ears, for they hear." Not only have we heard the Message of our Lord Jesus, of His love for us, and that He gave Himself a Ransom for our redemption, but we have heard the Father saying that He has spoken peace to us through Jesus Christ our Lord. He tells us also, "The Father Himself loveth you."

 Hearkening we not only have heard the Message of

God's love and favor for our race, and how a Ransom has been provided, and that in consequence a preparation is being made for the blessing of all the world, but we learn that we may appropriate this blessing to ourselves now by faith in advance of this general application, and that being justified by faith we may have peace with God. And, furthermore, after we had thus been accepted, we heard the voice of the Master inviting us to become His disciples, to walk in His steps, to share now in the cross and sacrifice with Him and by and by in the crown.

 Ah, yes! He brought life and immortality to light

through the Gospel--life everlasting, life which we now see is possible of attainment by all the families of the earth, and immortality is attainable by those who now have the hearing ear of faith and the heart desire to follow in the footsteps of their Redeemer. SM60

       "WONDERFUL WORDS OF LIFE!"
 The character of Him who is to ride prosperously as

the conqueror of the world assures us respecting His treatment of those who shall fall down before Him and accept His righteous Reign and Law. He who loved them so that He gave His life as their Redemption-price establishes His Reign, not for their injury, but for their blessing, for their uplifting, for the destruction of their real enemies. All the weaknesses and depravity of the fallen conditions are our enemies, if we love righteousness; and we are glad to have our Lord's co-operation in fighting a good fight against these. And so will all the right-minded of the Millennial Age be glad to have all the assistance He can render them. And the Church of this Gospel Age, now gaining experience through trials and disciplines, will also be fitted and prepared to co-operate with her Redeemer and King in the work of blessing our race, instructing them in the ways of the Lord and teaching them to go up on the Highway of Holiness, at whose further end, by perseverance, they may have eternal life.

 Let us continue to pray, dear friends, for this Kingdom

of Messiah, when His sharp arrows shall pierce many hearts and cause the masses to fall under Him and to confess Him and to adore Him. Let us continue to pray, "Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is done in Heaven." Yes, let us be glad that in the consummation of the Plan of God all who rejoice to learn righteousness and to love it, and to hate iniquity, shall be utterly destroyed, so that God eventually will have a clean Universe.

   He's come! Let all the earth adore Him!
      The path His human nature trod
   Spreads to a royal realm before Him,
      The Life of life, the Word of God!

SM61 DIVINE JUSTICE IN THE DELUGE

 "The Flood came, and took them all away."--

Matt. 24:39.

 Heretofore we considered the physical causes which

led up to the Deluge, and found them every way reasonable and in full harmony with history and geology. Today we consider the Deluge from a different standpoint. We will attempt to show from the Bible why God permitted the Deluge at all, and that He was fully justified in the arrangement which blotted out the human family, except eight persons--righteous Noah and his family.--2 Peter 2:4-10.

 To begin with, we should remember that God's Covenant

with Adam, granting everlasting life, was based upon the fact that he was perfect (an image of his Creator), and on condition that he would maintain this image and likeness by continued obedience to his Maker. When Satan obsessed the serpent and guided it to eat the very fruit of which our first parents were forbidden to eat, he produced thereby a temptation.

 Mother Eve saw that so far from the serpent's being

poisoned by that fruit, it was the wisest of animals. She reasoned that humanity was so far superior to the brute that the increased wisdom would make her husband and herself like gods. She thirsted for knowledge and power. Only the Divine command seemed to stand between her and the highest ideals. She partook of the fruit and recommended it to Adam--who was not so deceived, but who knew that death would surely follow disobedience. Nevertheless he disobeyed, thinking that he would rather perish with his wife than spend eternity without her. SM62

 The disobedience led to expulsion from Eden and the

beginning of the gradual execution of the sentence, "Dying, thou shalt die." Adam died within the thousand-year Day in which he ate "of the tree"--nine hundred thirty years old. His race inherited his dying conditions and tendencies. Thus all humanity are under the Divine curse, or sentence of death, and have been going down to the tomb, Hades, for six thousand years. Whatever, therefore, may cut short human life is no injustice to humanity, because whatever life is enjoyed is just so much more than it has title to. Hence the Deluge was merely a quick means of executing against the race the death sentence already expressed sixteen centuries before.

       THE DELUGE A DELIVERANCE
 When the Bible account of the cause of the Deluge

is properly comprehended, we see that it was indeed a blessing in disguise. The human family had gotten into slavery, and would shortly have been wiped out by a new race which most peculiarly had intruded upon humanity. The Bible tells us that this new race consisted exclusively of males, propagated through the human female. We read, "The same were mighty men... men of renown"--"giants."--Gen. 6:1-4.

 The fallen race of Adam was unable to cope with the

superior mental and physical strength of the intruders. Robbed of their wives and daughters, and compelled to do the drudgery of their new masters, their lives were a burden. Not only so, but the new race was vicious, brutal, violent, as well as immoral. The Bible account declares, "The earth was filled with violence." The general moral corruption went so far that we read, "Every imagination of the thoughts of man's heart was only evil continually." What a terrible arraignment! What a mercy in the sight of all intelligent beings that such a terribly immoral, strifeful, and enslaved condition should be brought completely to an end! This description is found graphically recorded in Genesis 6:1-11. SM63

       WHENCE THE RACE OF GIANTS?
 In the past we have not studied the Bible with sufficient

care, and therefore have not appreciated properly its wonderful, harmonious story. The origin of the invading race of giants is clearly told. Satan, a glorious angelic being of a high order, named Lucifer, the Morning Star, deflected to sin, because of ambition. He had said in his heart long before, "I will be as the Most High"-- an independent sovereign. (Isa. 14:12-14.) Satan thought that he saw his opportunity to establish a separate empire in the earth. He thought that if he could become master of the first pair, all of their children would be his subjects. Knowing of his own undying nature, and that man was created for everlasting existence, he counted not on death as the Divine penalty for sin.

 When Satan perceived his human subjects growing

gradually weaker under the curse, a new plan was formulated. To the angels who were given permission to help and to instruct humanity, a temptation was presented. They possessed the power of materialization, and could appear as human, to help and instruct humanity. The Satanic suggestion was that they could help humanity best by begetting a new race, using the human females as mothers for that race, to which they would impart their own virility. Although this was recognized as being contrary to Divine Law, it was perceived that Satan had not been punished for his deflection. The inference was that God was unable to punish Satan for this rebellion. Thus by refraining from punishing Satan, God left open the door by which all the holy angels were exposed to temptations to disobedience and disloyalty.

 Thus we may know that all the angels of Heaven in

harmony with God are loyal to the core; for they withstood temptation--permitted for the very purpose of their testing. That this testing continued for centuries we know from the context, because the children of the illicit union were not babes, but men--giants--and renowned SM64 at a time when manhood was rarely reached earlier than one century. The simple record of Genesis is, "The sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.... When the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children unto them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown."

 In due time these bestial giants filled the earth with

violence, oppressing and enslaving Adam's posterity. As for themselves, they had no right to existence, since they were born contrary to the Divine will, or Law. Nor can we suppose that in any sense of the word they would be included in the redemptive work of Jesus, who died only for Adam and his posterity. "As all in Adam die, even so all in Christ shall be made alive, every man in his own order"--the Church in the First Resurrection. --1 Cor. 15:22.

        HOPE FOR THE ANTEDILUVIANS
  There is the same hope for the antediluvians as for

all the remainder of the human family--the hope of the resurrection of the dead. This means not merely a hope of being awakened from the sleep of death, but a resurrection hope, a hope of Restitution, a hope of return, if they will, to the full measure of human perfection, the image of God in the flesh. This hope, as we have seen on previous occasions, rests first of all on God's gracious promise that all the families of the earth shall be blessed in Abraham's Seed. Secondly, it rests in the Bible assurance that Jesus is the Head, and the Church the members of that Spiritual Seed of Abraham, which soon, as the Elect of God, will be completed and glorified.

  In the Messianic Kingdom this great "Seed" will

accomplish the blessings foreordained. St. Paul emphasized this, saying, "If ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's Seed, and heirs according to the promise" made to Abraham: "In thy Seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed."--Gen. 22:18; Gal. 3:29,16. SM65

        DIVINE PATIENCE MANIFESTED
  As we review the situation, we are amazed at the

exhibition given us of Divine patience. We are reminded of St. Peter's words that God is not willing that any should perish. How easily He could have blotted out of existence our first parents and have created another pair! How easily He could have hindered Satan from presenting the temptation! How easily He could have warned the angels against a course of disobedience and, if necessary, have shown them His Power at any time!

  These incidents illustrate to us a general principle of

Divine Character and dealings. God wishes not to have the heavens and the earth populated with evil beings. Creating angels and men in His own image and likeness, on different planes, He desires them to maintain their own station, and in loving loyalty to learn to trust His Wisdom, Justice, Love and Power. Moreover, He does not wish to have any children or servants in all His domain obedient merely because of fear, merely because of ignorance. Jesus' words give us the key to the Heavenly Father's Character in this respect. He says that God seeketh such to worship Him as worship Him in spirit and in truth.--John 4:23.

 God had indeed a glorious Dominion before sin entered

the world. And He could, of course, have hindered any spread of the disloyal ambition of Satan by destroying him, or He could have coerced him into obedience as a slave. But such He desires not. God most evidently has the very highest ideals in respect to His Government and all His subjects. All His work is perfect, and He will not allow it to get away from the perfection in which He created His intelligent creatures. Every variation from that perfection, therefore, must be the result of disobedience; and the unalterable Law is that the disobedient shall perish. Whoever does not learn to love righteousness and hate iniquity will be counted unworthy of life everlasting, will be cut off from among the people. SM66

        MAN'S EXPERIENCE A LESSON
 We may say, then, that God not only foreknew that

the conditions under which man was created would result in temptation, in sin; but without causing the temptation, and without giving any excuse for the disloyalty, He determined to permit it. Some suppose that the permission is to be everlasting, but the Scriptures assure us to the contrary. The reign of Sin and Death He purposed to permit for six thousand years. Then by bringing in the Messianic Kingdom, He purposes to abolish sin and death, lifting to human perfection the willing and obedient and destroying in the Second Death all the unwilling and disobedient.

 The sending of His Son was a part of God's Plan.

He put the death penalty upon humanity, knowing at the time that it would require the death of an obedient Sacrifice for human redemption, and purposing in advance that He would provide such a Redeemer as would willingly, gladly, become man's Surety, man's Ransom-price. Thus the permission of evil has resulted in the manifestation of God's Love in a manner that otherwise would hardly have been revealed. The infliction of the death sentence for so long has, likewise, demonstrated the persistence of Divine Justice and its penalty.

 The recovery of the dead by a resurrection will demonstrate,

as nothing else could, the Power of God. And when the entire Plan of God shall have been outworked, and shall have been made known to angels and men, as a whole it will demonstrate the Wisdom of God as it never could have been known, had He not adopted the plan He did of temporarily permitting a reign of Sin and Death.

               "MANY SONS TO GLORY"
 Another thing made possible by the permission of sin

has been the special call of an Elect Church during this Gospel Age. The Bible declares that the Elect Church are begotten of the Spirit throughout this Age, and must SM67 be born of the Spirit in the Resurrection. "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God." The need of a Redeemer opened the way for the Logos to leave the Heavenly nature and become a man. This opened the way for Jesus to demonstrate His love and loyalty by obedience unto death, "even unto the death of the cross." (Phil. 2:8.) And this great sacrifice and the obedience constituted not only the Ransom-price for Adam and his race, but also the basis on which the Heavenly Father highly exalted His Son far above angels, principalities and powers, to His own right hand--to the Divine nature.--John 5:26.

 Similarly the exaltation of the Church to be the Bride

of Christ, His Joint-heir in the Kingdom, and partaker with Him of the Divine nature, was made possible by the permission of sin. The Heavenly Father could justly permit members of the fallen race, of the same disposition as Jesus, and justified and sanctified through Him, to sacrificially lay down their lives as members of the Body of Christ, and by thus suffering with Him to be accounted worthy also of reigning with Him in glory, honor and immortality in His Kingdom.--Rom. 8:17; 2 Tim. 2:11,12; Rev. 20:6.

        "HALLELUJAH! WHAT A SAVIOR!"
 "What a God! Infinite in Wisdom, Justice, Love and

Power!" Surely, to know Him is life eternal!

 Is it any wonder, in view of this work that God has

outlined for His Son and the Church, that He should consider it necessary to give us lessons and tests in faith, in loyalty, in obedience! Is it any wonder, in view of the work which He has for us to do for mankind, that the Redeemer Himself was given experiences in suffering, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in the things of God in relation to humanity?

 The better we understand the Bible, the more clearly

we see that the redemption which God has provided SM68 through Jesus' sacrifice is to be world-wide in its effect. The race was not condemned individually, but as a whole in one man, Father Adam, on account of sin. Similarly, the race has been redeemed as a whole by the "Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a Ransom for all."-- 1 Tim. 2:5,6; Heb. 2:9; 1 John 2:2.

 The fact that God did not deal with any of the human

family except the Hebrews for four thousand years does not mean that He loved the Hebrews only, nor that the Hebrews only will ultimately receive the Divine blessing and a share in the redemptive work. It means that during that time God dealt with the Hebrews in a special way to select from amongst them some especially loyal characters to be sharers in His future work, when He would deal with the world in general.

 The fact that all this work--of selecting one class of

servants from Hebrews, and another class from all mankind during the Gospel Age--has required a long time-- six thousand years--is no argument against God's purpose to bless all Adam's children ultimately. The fact that a long time has been consumed in getting ready the instruments of Divine Mercy shows, on the contrary, the greatness and the thoroughness of the Divine Plan in respect to the race as a whole.

 Let us avail ourselves of our glorious opportunities

for Bible study and for growth in knowledge, grace and love. Let us walk worthy of the light, and rejoice in Him who bought us with His own precious blood!

  The wrath of God is love's severity
     In curing sin--the zeal of righteousness
  In overcoming wrong--the remedy
     Of justice for the world's redress.
  The wrath of God is punishment for sin,
     In measure unto all transgression due,
  Discriminating well and just between
     Presumptuous sins and sins of lighter hue.

SM69 BLOOD ATONEMENT WAS NECESSARY

  "Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission

of sins."--Heb. 9:22.

  When God called Israel as a nation out of Egypt, it

was under the provision that He would make a covenant with them through Moses. That covenant was that if they would keep the Divine Law they should be released from all condemnation and have everlasting life. The alternative, failure, meant punishment with death. If they would obey the Law they should not only live everlastingly, but be qualified to be Abraham's specially promised Seed, through whom all nations would be inducted into the keeping of the Law and into the attainment of everlasting life.

  But God foreknew that they could not keep His Law

because they, like the remainder of the race, were imperfect through the fall and His Law is the measure of a perfect man's ability: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy strength, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind; and thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Surely none but a perfect man could fully live up to this requirement! Hence the Israelites continued to die the same as other people, notwithstanding their Law Covenant.--Matt. 22:36-40.

  But foreknowing their inability to keep this Law, God

arranged for their continuance in His favor under that covenant by reviving it every year on the tenth day of the seventh month, the Day of Atonement. On that day the year of their relationship to God terminated.

  Before looking for the antitype, let us understand

the type. The sacrifice for sins occurred on the Day of Atonement, and consisted of two parts: first, a bullock was slain and its blood sprinkled in the Most Holy, and through it Atonement offered for the sins of the priestly SM70 tribe only; then the high priest took his secondary offering, a consecrated goat, and treated it as he had treated the bullock. And its blood subsequently was sprinkled in the Most Holy, "on behalf of all the people," all the remaining tribes of Israel.--Lev. 16:15.

  Why were these animals killed? What is the thought

which lies behind this death of an animal? What lesson did God wish to teach in type? The condemnation on the Israelites for the violation of the Mosaic Law was not a sentence to eternal torment, nor to Purgatory, but a death sentence. This is clearly stated. By Divine commandment the people were called up between Mt. Ebal and Mt. Gerizim and God's Law was read in their hearing. Certain blessings were read, which were to be the rewards of obedience. Contrariwise, curses were read, which were to be the penalty for violation of that Law. The curses related to death, sickness and disease.

  These condemnations on Israel for failure to keep

God's Law given at Sinai agree perfectly with the condemnation imposed upon Adam and, through him, upon his race, for failure to obey the Divine Law originally given, which was written in his heart, his character, when he was a perfect man in the image of God. Hence Israel under the Law Covenant was merely condemned afresh to death--not to eternal torment, nor to Purgatory.

  Then, as Israel typified the world, the Atonement Day

was arranged for them as it will be on a larger, grander scale applicable eventually to all of Adam's race. The death of the two animals, the bullock and the goat, specially consecrated by the priest, effected a covering for the sins of the people for another year, while they tried afresh to demonstrate their loyalty to God and His righteousness by obedience to the Law; but only failure could and did result: "By the deeds of the Law shall no man be justified in God's sight"; for all flesh is imperfect, weak, degenerate.--Rom. 3:20.

  Thus year by year continuously for over sixteen hundred

SM71 years the Israelites kept up their attempt to gain Divine favor by obedience to the terms of their Law Covenant. And year by year they failed afresh, until Jesus came to be the antitypical Priest, in order that He might eventually become the antitypical King of Israel and the world. His priestly office was necessary to lay the foundation for His kingly office. As a King he could not uplift to perfection Adam and his multitudinous race contrary to the Divine sentence of death which rested upon all, because all are sinners. It was necessary, therefore, that, in order to become the Messianic King, Jesus must first be the Redeemer of men. He must first provide the sacrifice for sins. Then, applying it to the satisfaction of Justice, afterward, by virtue of the right and authority thus secured, He could undertake the uplifting and blessing of all mankind. THE ANTITYPICAL BLOOD ATONEMENT

 The great lessons taught by Israel's experiences of

more than sixteen centuries were:

 (1) That all are sinners;
 (2) That no sinner can justify himself;
 (3) That an Atonement for Sin is necessary before

Divine favor can be fully obtained for all mankind;

 (4) That since the penalty is death, only by a sacrificial

death can sinners be released from the death penalty.

 We all know the arguments used by those who oppose

the Bible doctrine of Blood Atonement for Sin. They claim that it is unnecessary, that God could just as easily as not cancel all sin without requiring the death of either a bullock or a goat, or of Jesus or anybody else.

 But are not such arguments illogical? Is it not illogical

to suppose that the great Supreme Judge of the Universe would make a law and a penalty for it, inflict the penalty justly, and afterwards set aside the penalty without a reason? Surely no earthly judge would do so, and surely a Heavenly Judge could not do so without infracting the principles of His own Government; for if it is SM72 right to impose a death sentence as a penalty for sin, and to allow that sentence to be in effect for four thousand years before Christ, and to allow our entire race to suffer under it for that time, would it not be unjust to afterwards institute a change, set aside the Law, the Curse, the penalty for sin? Surely we all agree to this!

 Some, however, will say, Surely God never made such

a penalty. Why should He make a penalty which would cause the death of His Son, or the death of anybody, to eradicate it, to set it aside? We answer that God did make such a penalty; for it is manifest that our entire race is a dying one, which has been under the Reign of Sin and Death for Six Great Days of a thousand years each. Moreover, the Bible declares that God pronounced the penalty--inflicted the death penalty as we have it-- for the very purpose and object of the death of His Son, that thus He might give evidence, both to angels and to men, that His Law is inviolable, but that His Justice is fully equaled by His Love.

         "CHRIST'S BETTER SACRIFICES"
  If the Jewish Law gave a hint that a sacrificial death

would be necessary for the cancellation of human sin, it also gave a hint that the death of bulls and of goats was not sufficient for the cancellation of human sin; because the sacrifices of the Jewish Atonement Day merely covered sin for one year, and did not actually cancel it at all.

  The sacrifice was of a proper kind--a life--but the

life was not of sufficient value. Why? Because the Law of Justice would not be satisfied to accept the death of a bullock and of a goat as the equivalent for the forfeited life of Father Adam. If an angel had sinned and been condemned to death, only the death of an angel of the same grade and state would have constituted a full offset or Ransom for his life; for the very meaning of the word Ransom is antilutron--a corresponding price.

  So neither could an angel's death redeem a man, because

it would not be the giving of a price to correspond. SM73 Neither could our Redeemer, in His pre-human condition, as the Logos, the Word, have given His life for Father Adam and the race, because that would not have been a corresponding price--a Ransom-price (Greek--antilutron). To redeem Father Adam the death of a man was required; nothing more, nothing less, would do. Therefore it was that the Son of God left the glory which He had with the Father as the Logos and was made flesh, and became the Man Christ Jesus, "that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for every man."

  In harmony with this, St. Paul writes to Timothy

(1 Tim. 2:5,6) that the Man Christ Jesus gave Himself a Ransom for all. Thus the Apostle again declares, "As by a man [Adam] came death [not eternal torment], by a man also [Christ] comes the resurrection of the dead; for as all in Adam die, even so all in Christ shall be made alive."--1 Cor. 15:21,22.

  In this last text notice carefully (and also everywhere

else in the Scriptures) that the contrasts are not Heaven and hell, not joy and suffering, but life and death--resurrection life through Christ, death by Adam. Notice also that the penalty paid for Adam's sin by the Man Christ Jesus is not an eternal torment penalty, nor a purgatorial penalty, but a death penalty. "Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures."--1 Cor. 15:3.

  We notice again that it was only the one man Adam

who was tried, who sinned and who was sentenced to death; that all of our race suffered death and its degradation by heredity and not by virtue of a death sentence; hence it was possible that the death of the Man Christ Jesus should constitute a full offset to the demands of Justice against Father Adam, and would incidentally include all of Adam s race.

  God arranged Israel's typical Atonement Day as a

type of the real Atonement Day, which began at Jesus' baptism and has continued ever since, and will continue for another thousand years in the future. The killing SM74 of the bullock on behalf of the priestly family found its antitype in the death of Jesus, which began with His consecration at Jordan and was completed at Calvary, three and a half years later. As a man, Jesus offered up sacrificially His human nature, the body which He had taken for the special purpose of sacrifice. That sacrifice was satisfactory to God, as was indicated by His raising up Jesus from the dead.

  Moreover, we are assured that our Lord was not only

raised up out of death, but raised up as a New Creature, to a still higher nature than that which He had before He undertook the Father's commission to be the world's Redeemer, Prophet, Priest and King. His resurrection was (Phil. 2:10) to glory, honor and immortality, far above human nature, angelic nature, principalities and powers and every name that is named.--Eph. 1:21.

  The risen Son of God remained forty days with His

disciples, and when He had ascended on High He appeared in the presence of God, and according to the type made application of the merit of His sacrifice for the Household of faith--the antitypical Levites. The acceptance of His Atonement Sacrifice, and incidentally the acceptance of His waiting followers, was manifested by the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. ADDING MEMBERS TO HIS BODY

 As Aaron in the type, by Divine direction, accepted

his sons to be members with him in the priesthood, under his headship, so in the antitype Christ Jesus during this Gospel Age has been accepting members to the Royal Priesthood, of which He is the Head. And these are taken from the Levites, for which class the Atonement was made by Aaron in type and by Jesus in antitype.

 Aaron in the type, after sprinkling the blood of the

bullock and making Atonement for the House of Levi, came forth and slew the goat. So Christ, having finished making Atonement for the sins of the antitypical Levites, SM75 came forth at Pentecost to bless them and to accept them as joint-sacrificers and as joint-heirs. The goat, which Aaron slew as the second portion of his sin-offering, represented all the faithful footstep followers of Jesus in the nearly nineteen centuries that have elapsed since Pentecost. Respecting these Jesus prayed, saying, "I pray not for the world, but for those whom Thou hast given Me;...neither pray I for these alone, but for all those who shall believe on Me through their word, that they all may be one, as Thou, Father, and I are one."-- "I in them and Thou in Me."--John 17:9,20-23.

 Incidentally, Jesus as the High Priest in glory began

at Pentecost the sacrificing of the goat class, His faithful followers. The work has continued ever since. The sufferings of Jesus have thus been prolonged for centuries. As St. Peter declares, the Prophets spake of the sufferings of Christ and of the glory that should follow. (1 Peter 1:10,11.) The sufferings have not yet been completed, and hence the glory has not come. When the full number foreordained of God shall have faithfully finished their course in death the sacrifices of the antitypical Day of Atonement will be at an end. The great High Priest with His Body will pass beyond the second veil into the Heavenly glories, the First Resurrection completing the transfer. The blessing of the people will follow. "I AM JESUS, WHOM THOU PERSECUTEST"

 That Jesus thus recognizes His followers as His

members is clearly attested by the Apostle. In their flesh they are counted as members of Jesus; as New Creatures spirit-begotten, they are counted as members of The Christ. Thus Jesus said to Saul of Tarsus, speaking of His followers, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?" "I am Jesus whom thou persecutest." (Acts 9:4,5.) The same thing is true of any truly consecrated follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. SM76

 While such are in the world and suffer, the sufferings

of Jesus are not completed. And the glory of Christ can be fully attained only in proportion as the sufferings of Jesus are completed. In the type, all this was pictured in the things which happened to the Lord's goat, which typified the faithful, sacrificing members, the flesh of Jesus. As the goat passed through all the experiences of the bullock, so the footstep followers of Jesus are to have similar trials, difficulties, oppositions, persecutions, to those which came to the Master.

 With the completion of the Priest of Glory at the end

of the sufferings of the flesh will come the effusion of the blood on behalf of Israel and all of Adam's race of every nation. In the type Aaron took the blood of the goat, his secondary sacrifice, and sprinkled it on the Mercy Seat on behalf of all the people of Israel, representing all who will become the people of God of every nation. Forthwith Divine acceptance of these sacrifices spoke the forgiveness of the sins of all.

 So in the antitype. When our Lord the second time

sprinkles the blood in the Most Holy, the sins of all the people--the whole world--will be canceled. At the same instant the Redeemer will take them over as a purchased possession and, under the Divine arrangement, He will establish over them His Kingly power. He will reign for their blessing and uplifting. As the great Prince of Glory He will bind the Prince of Darkness, Satan, and destroy all his works, of evil and lift poor humanity back into harmony with God--all the willing and obedient.

 Oh, how this should thrill our hearts and cause us to

appreciate the Wisdom as well as the Justice of God and His great Love manifested in the Plan which has required Ages for development, but which was in the Divine Purpose from before the foundation of the world! SM77 GOD'S PLANS vs. MAN'S PLANS.

 "We know that all things work together for good to

them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the First-born among many brethren. Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called."--Rom. 8:28,30.

 By every process of logic and human reasoning we

should suppose that the Almighty God would be by far the superior of every human being, in that His sentiments and plans would be higher than ours. True, we are informed that man was created in his Maker's moral image, and that this enables him to reason and think on moral subjects on a higher plane than does the brute creation. But the same Scriptures inform us that the entrance of sin has wrought havoc with the likeness of God in the human race, blurring and in considerable measure obliterating it. While disagreeing with those who claim that "total depravity" has overtaken our race, we are all witnesses to the fact that the moral sense of the race is variant, that some have very little--idiots none--and that its brightest representatives have their limitations, which are recognized by themselves as well as by their friends. For the highest standards and conceptions of justice, love and wisdom we look beyond ourselves and all our fellow-creatures to that which is perfect, which believers are hoping to attain in the resurrection. That perfect condition of heart and mind will signify our renewal in our Creator's likeness, He being the perfect standard before our minds.

 The Scriptures admonish us that Satan, moved by

selfish ambition, rebelled against Jehovah and His Government; and that he has since sought to use his every SM78 opportunity and ability to ensnare our minds, to poison them against our Creator, to make His goodness appear in a false light, to put light for darkness and darkness for light. Looking over the world we perceive that to a large extent he has been successful. Our race has followed his misleadings, as the Apostle points out in Romans 1:28, where he assures us that man originally in accord with God became alienated and forsook the Lord, who gave men over to a reprobate mind and evil works, by which they have degraded themselves more and more. As a consequence we see members of the race who are almost devoid of the original likeness of God and proportionately blind to the Truth--"the god [Satan] of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not."

        MAKING AND SERVING IMAGES
 Nevertheless, amidst all the darkness that prevails respecting

God and His true character and plan the organs of reverence and worship persist in the human brain. Hence, we find amongst all people a tendency to worship, to acknowledge responsibility; and this, combined with a realization of their own imperfection and unworthiness, leads them to fear the God whom they do not know. To assist them in the worship which they feel they should render they make images of earth and stone and metal or with silk batting and gold thread. These images are as different from each other as the conceptions of their makers. Nevertheless, they illustrate three things: (1) Power, strength, ability; (2) intelligence, wisdom, knowledge of us and our whereabouts and doings; (3) anger, malice, hatred, vengeance, cruelty.

 Most evidently the poor heathen do not know the true

God, hence do not worship and serve Him. They need a revelation that will remove from their mental eyes the delusions which now prevail and give them a glimpse of the true God--gracious, merciful, kind, loving, as well as wise, powerful and just. Alas! The poor heathen we see need to learn the Message of God's love exemplified SM79 in the gift of His Son, who died for our sins and thus opened the way for our return to harmony with the Father. We send missionaries, we give millions of money and thousands of prayers for the breaking of the bonds of ignorance and the opening of the blind eyes of the heathen. We thank God that so many have this degree of appreciation of God and of sympathy for the heathen.

 But let us come nearer home. Let us look about us

in the lands of highest civilization where Christian doctrine has prevailed for centuries, where from the least to the greatest should have had an opportunity to learn of the grace of God in Christ and to become reconciled to God. What do we find in so-called Christendom? We find scores of sects of Christians possessed of the same mental organ of veneration, exercising it to some degree in worship. We find that more intelligent than the heathen, they realize the impropriety of making images of God out of wood, stones, metal, etc. But we find also that each sect or party has made a mental image of God, and described this mental image until the disciples of each cult may worship the same mental image. We are not finding fault with these, for without some mental appreciation of God worship would be impossible.

        "WORSHIP YE KNOW NOT WHAT"
 We are reminded of our Lord's words to the woman

at Samaria, of the true God. Our Lord said to her, "Ye worship ye know not what." And undoubtedly this is true of the majority of worshipers of all various sects and creeds. They worship, they exercise the organ of veneration, partly under the impulse of fear, but without particular knowledge of whom they worship and without any particular desire to become acquainted with Jehovah, that they might know the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom He has sent to be our Redeemer. (John 17:3.) This is true undoubtedly of the majority of worshipers of all the sects of all Christendom. But on the other hand in all the sects are to be found those who have a different SM80 creedal image of God before their mental vision. We are interested in the comparison of these various mental images of God. Let us take a glance at a few of them as presented to us in the creeds of some of the most prominent Christian denominations.

        THE CALVINISTIC IMAGE OF GOD
 One of the highest conceptions of the Almighty, one

of the most noble that prevails to a large extent in Christendom, is the Calvinistic. It pictures the Almighty as the high and lofty One possessed of all wisdom, knowledge, power; that He is grave, dignified, commanding reverence and worship. There is much in this image to attract our attention; it is so much nobler than any of the images of the heathen we have ever seen. It inspires us with awe, with reverence. But there is something lacking. A cold chill of fear comes over us as we gaze upon the august majesty. His face is serene and calm, but cold and unsympathetic, ungenerous; stern justice and uncompromising firmness are there. But love! oh, love is lacking! We tremble before this image, and the more so as we hearken to the message which this God of Calvinism has sent to those who have the ear to hear Him. He has declared His omnipotence, His justice and unchangeableness; He has declared an election and predestination of a little handful of our race to wondrous glory in His presence and equally foreordained and predestinated that the vast majority of our race shall have none of His loving favor, but shall die in heathen ignorance--non-elect, predestinated before their birth not only to ignorance of the only name in the present life but to an eternity of suffering in the ages to come.

 To the inquiry respecting the justice of this program,

the answer comes that those heathen not favored with a knowledge of Christ were foreknown of God to be unworthy, and that they would not have received Him if they had heard His message. If we ask respecting the SM81 masses of Christendom who have heard of the only name but have rejected it and failed to become His footstep followers as saints--if we inquire what hope there is for these, the answer is that there is none. Alas! we say, as we turn away to seek for a still higher ideal, a still more glorious image and a still more blessed Message!

 This Calvinistic image, glorious in many of its features

and details, can never satisfy the longings of our hearts; for while its pictures of justice and of power are satisfactory, its lack of love and sympathy makes us fear that it is deficient of the most important element of a truly noble character. We say to ourselves that with all of our weaknesses and faults we would love even our enemies too much to torture them, especially to torture them to all eternity hopelessly, uselessly. We would say to ourselves that if we possessed the wisdom and power of the Calvinistic God, the love in our hearts and sympathy would have co-operated with our wisdom and power and would have hindered us from creating a soul that could not be destroyed, could not be blotted out of existence. For this is the claim made in the name of this image of God; that He so made man that he must live forever, that God Himself could not destroy him; that man being unworthy of a place in glory God has no alternative but to perpetuate his existence in misery. Our reply is that this implies a lack of either power or wisdom on the part of the Calvinistic God.

        THE ARMINIAN IMAGE OF GOD
 Arminianism offsets Calvinism. While the latter is

held by almost all the various branches of the Presbyterians and by almost all Baptists, Congregationalists, etc., Arminianism is most particularly represented today by our Methodist friends of different branches. The celebrated "five points" of Arminianism are in substance:--

 (1) Conditional Election. (As in opposition to the

unconditional election held by Calvinists.) SM82

 (2) A Universal Redemption, or that Christ died for

all alike, though only those who accept His atonement by faith will be actually saved. (As in opposition to the Calvinistic theory that atonement was only for the Elect.)

 (3) That Salvation is by Grace; or man can exercise

true faith only by the regenerating grace of the Holy Spirit, with which, however, he can co-operate. (As in contradiction to the Calvinistic view that the grace of God--His mercy, His forgiveness, His assistance--was destined only for the Elect and applies to none others.)

 (4) That God's Grace is not irresistible. (As in

contrast with the Calvinistic theory, that it is irresistible --that the Elect cannot resist God's grace but must yield to it.)

 (5) That to fall from a state of Grace is possible.

(As in contrast with the Calvinistic view, that for the Elect to fall from grace is impossible.)

 Looking at this mental image, which has appealed to

an increasingly large number of Christian people during the past century, we perceive that while it is a less dignified image than the Calvinistic one it has more warmth, more love, more grace. This draws our hearts sympathetically toward this image, to a considerable degree. But as we look and hearken to its message we are impressed with the thought that it, too, is lacking in some particulars. It seems deficient in the qualities of wisdom and power. Its message is really no broader than that of the Calvinistic image; the same "Little Flock" alone will reach the Heavenly Kingdom, the same thousands of millions will be condemned to an eternity of torture. The only difference between these two images seems to be not in the result of their work, but in the method pursued therein. Unlike the Calvinistic image the Arminian one does not elect, does not foreordain, does not predestinate, but gives to every member of the race all the blessings, all the opportunities, all the knowledge, all the assistance it can render them, so that if they are lost it SM83 is in spite of the best endeavors of the Arminian image for their aid. And so when the vast majority of mankind are lost in Eternal Torment it will not be because God willed it so, not because He predestinated it so, but because He could not help it; because with His very best endeavors He was unable to bring about a more favorable condition either in civilized or in heathen lands, because the great Adversary, Satan, had more power for evil than God could control for good.

 Alas! Alas! The benevolent designs of this image

can never reconcile us to its weakness, its inability, its unwisdom to foreknow and to forearrange and to accomplish its good and loving purposes. We need a God who is not only loving, generous and just, but who is wise enough and powerful enough to make His love of practical benefit to our race. These deficiencies in wisdom and power are the very point in which the Calvinistic image displays such grandeur. But the Arminian image possesses the love which the Calvinistic lacks. Alas! Neither image can fully satisfy our hearts. The proper mental image of the true God to be satisfactory to our hearts must be complete--perfect in justice, in love, in wisdom, in power. And this can be said of neither of these. We must look further. Surely the Bible is the Divine revelation of the Divine character, and surely an error has been made by which some of God's people have shown Him from one side, ignoring the other, while others have shown Him from the opposite side. It should be the ambition and effort, dear friends, of every true child of God to formulate before his mental vision that proper image of God which would be complete in all respects, which would be in harmony with every declaration of the Bible--the image of God before which we could bow and worship and adore, the image of God which would awaken in us that grand conception of the Almighty as superior in every particular to all of His creatures, infinite in Wisdom, Justice, Love and Power. SM84

        THE SCRIPTURAL IMAGE OF GOD
 Since the two mental images thus described are worshipped

by all Christendom as the best and grandest imaginable, and since these have been entertained for centuries by some of the best minds, we might naturally enough be deterred from even attempting to formulate before our minds and hearts a superior image. But, then, we remember that the time was when these images were novelties and had few adherents. We remember that these were vast improvements upon the grosser misconceptions of those who burned each other at the stake and otherwise tormented one another and were esteemed to be most particularly copying the Divine character, method and program. We take courage, too, when we remember that we are not left to the resources of our own imagination in formulating the proper image of God.

 We remember that God has revealed Himself in His

Word, in the Bible, and properly we go to it for guidance lest in our imagination we should be equally unsuccessful as others. We are encouraged again when we find that these two most prominent images before the minds of Christendom had both been constructed with the aid of the Bible. We say to ourselves: "If the Bible presents one of these images to some minds and the other image to other minds it surely proves that there has been some mistake in interpretation, because as the Word of God it cannot be yea and say nay. It cannot contradict itself as these two creedal images contradict and oppose each other in vital points."

  Let us, therefore, give the more earnest heed as we go

to the Bible. Let us be sure to cast away all of our preconceived ideas, notions, opinions, etc. Let us build afresh our image of God from the very foundation, accepting nothing in respect to it that is not in full accord with every other portion of that Revelation. Let us expect that the true God must be as perfect in His Love as in His other qualities, and that He must be as perfect SM85 in His Wisdom and in His Power as He is in His Love. Surely any other image of Him must be defective.

  Coming thus to the subject of the Bible our text meets

us as a consoling and encouraging message and declares in one breath not only the Justice of God and His Love, but also His Wisdom to foreknow, prepare and plan for the execution of His Justice and Love. It tells us further of His Divine Power to carry out all that His Wisdom, Justice and Love have planned. How encouraging the statement, "My Word that goeth forth out of My mouth shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. For ye shall be delivered with joy and brought home in peace"; "For My plans are not your plans, neither are your methods My methods, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My methods higher than your methods and My plans than your plans." (Isa. 55:11,12,8.) How Divine Mercy shines through these declarations of Divine Foreknowledge and Power!

  And be it noted that the context is in full accord with

this, showing that the deliverance with joy and home coming in peace is future during the Millennial Age--when Christ, who redeemed the world, shall be its Deliverer from the power of sin and death, its Deliverer from the prison-house of death--Sheol, Hades. The home coming will mean the restitution to the former estate of harmony with God, lost through Father Adam's disobedience, but redeemed for all the willing and obedient by the precious blood of Christ. In our Father's house are many mansions, many stations; one is for the angels, another for the "Little Flock" of the Elect, and still another for the world in general, who will be brought into harmony with God as a result of the Millennial blessings, during times of restitution of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy Prophets since the world began--to all cursed by the fall, but redeemed by the precious blood. SM86

 The picture continues. Our context declares that instead

of the thorn and the briar there will then be the fir tree and the myrtle tree. The thorn and the briar are here used to typify the wicked, the injurious, who now flourish. The fir tree represents the evergreen, whose balsamic influence is healthful, giving a refreshing effect, while the myrtle tree, also an evergreen, yields sweet perfume and berries that are a delicacy. These two trees represent mankind under the favorable blessing of the Lord during the Millennium, yielding good influences and themselves possessed of everlasting life, symbolized by the evergreen qualities of these trees.

        THE WORD OF GOD'S MOUTH
 The difficulty with God's people for centuries has been

that they have not given sufficiently critical heed to the Word of God's mouth. They have been contented too frequently to take the words of men, or, as our Lord declared, the traditions of men instead of the Word of the Lord. The lesson to us is that we must give heed to the Word of the Lord if we would have true Wisdom, and that the words of man must be hearkened to only as they are found to be in close alignment and assistances to us in the study of the Divine Word, which alone is authoritative. As an illustration of how we have added man's word to the Word of the Lord and thus have perverted the teachings of the Scriptures, we remind you of the Scriptural declaration that "the wages of sin is death," and "the soul that sinneth it shall die," and again, that "all the wicked will God destroy."--Rom. 6:23; Ezek. 18:4; Psa. 145:20.

 These plain statements taken at their proper valuation

leave no room for misunderstanding the mind of the Lord. But we are not content thus to do. We add to the Word of the Lord and say that the wages of sin is not death, and hence the word death here must be understood to mean life--life in torment. And again we said, "It cannot be true that the soul that sinneth it shall die; SM87 for we have often heard the theory that the soul cannot die. Hence we must twist and wrest this statement of God's Word to mean its opposite. We must say, "The soul that sinneth it shall never die, but shall live forever in an eternity of woe and God Himself cannot destroy it." Again we said, "There must be a mistake about the statement that God will destroy the wicked; for we have been taught from infancy that He will preserve the wicked by miraculous power, so that the fires of torment will not consume them but merely cause pain." And again, "Have we not heard that matter is indestructible?"

 Thus we have beclouded our reason and made void

the Word of God through the traditions of our elders and seniors, our ancient and honorable ones--Doctors of Divinity. And how silly the only real argument here adduced--that matter is indestructible, that it passes from one form to another! We are not considering the indestructibility of matter; it is not in question that if you burn a man up his entire body will pass into gases. Undoubtedly there was as much matter in the world before Adam was created as afterward, and as much today as there was then. But matter is not conscious, matter cannot suffer, cannot enjoy. Hence the argument is merely a sophistry. When the Lord says, "All the wicked will be destroyed," let us accept this statement as the very truth and know that when the wicked are destroyed they will be no more, even though the matter which once composed their bodies shall have been turned into various gases. Let God be true though it proves every creed to be a lie. Let us go back to the Word of the Lord that from its standpoint we may have the true image of God's character before our minds and may worship Him in spirit and in truth.

  If then the Bible written by various pens, guided by

the Holy Spirit, or Spirit of God, is God's Word or Message to His people, let us hearken to it. What say the Scriptures? They tell us that man was created in God's SM88 image and likeness, that he was intelligent, upright and worthy of trial for eternal life; and that he was placed on trial in Eden. They tell us that he was disobedient, not through ignorance or deception; and that he thus came under the Divine sentence--a death sentence. Not a word do they tell us of his being condemned to an eternity of torture with devils some place beyond the bounds of space and time. Not a word do they tell us of his being condemned to Purgatory to expiate his guilt. They not only declare that the penalty for disobedience was announced to him in advance of his trial, but that after his trial he was cast out of Eden so that the penalty might take effect, so that he might die; and they reiterate the penalty saying, "Dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return." How plain! How simple! No one could misunderstand this simple statement without the assistance of trained theologians, skilled in the art of handling the Word of God deceitfully or wresting the Scriptures, as St. Paul terms it.

  The Bible record goes on to show that from that time

onward sin and death prevailed; and that their reign has since continued we all can testify. God's only word on the subject was, "Dying, thou shalt die," and "Dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return." He did, however, give a glimmer of hope when pronouncing the sentence upon the serpent. He declared that ultimately an offspring from the woman should bruise the serpent's head. This was a dark saying to our first parents, but to us it is luminous by reason of what has since transpired. We see that the Seed of the woman is Christ--Jesus the Head and the Church His Body. The clear intimation is that eventually this glorified company shall have a victory over Satan which in some manner will inure to the benefit of the entire race of Adam.--Gen. 2:17; 3:19.

  In the light of other scriptures we see that the

death of Jesus was necessary as the very foundation of any blessing of forgiveness toward our race; and we see SM89 that those who have accepted Jesus and received forgiveness have during this Gospel Age been invited to become of the elect Church, His joint-heirs in the Messianic Kingdom which is to crush Satan, destroy evil and release mankind from bondage to the reign of Sin and Death, delivering so many as will "into the glorious liberty of the sons of God" freedom from death, everlasting life.

 For nearly eighteen centuries God was silent, giving

no word, no message of hope except the glimmer which came from Enoch's prophecy, "Messiah cometh with myriads of holy ones." (Jude 14.) After eighteen centuries God revealed His purpose further and more particularly to His servant and friend, Abraham. After testing the loyalty of his faith God declared to him, "In thy Seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." (Gen. 18:18.) Although this Word of God could not be broken, could not return unto Him void but must be accomplished in its due season, nevertheless, the time for its accomplishment being long, God added His oath and swore to Abraham the certainty of this promise, "In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." For centuries this was more or less a plain promise which the nation of Israel hoped they would inherit. For eighteen centuries more they waited for Messiah to be sent to them to exalt them, to use them as the Seed of Abraham in blessing the world with a Divine law and government, stamping out sin and lifting up the slaves of sin from the prison-house of death and from the power of sickness.

 "In due time God sent forth His Son." The time

seemed long from the human standpoint, but through the Prophet the Lord reminded them that a thousand years in His sight are but as yesterday. Jesus at His first Advent accomplished a different work from that which His nation expected; it was necessary that He should first redeem Israel and all the families of the earth before He could give them the permanent blessing of life eternal. The penalty upon them was death, and they had gone SM90 down to Sheol under it. And so we read that Christ died for our sins, that His soul descended to Sheol, and that He was not left in Sheol, in Hades, but was raised therefrom on the third day. (Acts 2:27.) He did not pay an eternal torment penalty, for no such penalty had been announced. He paid a death penalty, the one the Scriptures declare that God had announced and inflicted.

 Thus the basis was laid for the general blessing of

every creature; for Christ died as the Substitute or Ransom for Father Adam; and in Adam's redemption all of his race were involved, just as through his transgression they were all involved. Jesus the Messiah first offered the privilege of joint-heirship with Himself in the sufferings and in the glory that should follow and a share in the Heavenly nature to His own people, the Jews; and when few of them accepted the proposal we are told that the remainder were blinded until His Second Coming. (Rom. 11:7.) Thus it came that in God's providence, after selecting the remnant of "Israelites indeed" to be members of the Spiritual Seed of Abraham, joint-heirs with Himself, our Lord subsequently turned to the Gentiles to take out from them a people for His name. (Acts 15:14.) He has been finding and gathering these for over eighteen centuries; and soon, we believe, the work will be completed, the last member of the Body will have been called, accepted and found faithful. Then this election or calling of the Seed of Abraham will be at an end.

 What will follow? We answer just what God's Word

declares. He said, "My Word that goeth forth out of My mouth shall not return unto Me void, but shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." He sent it forth to Abraham and all who would believe, announcing the blessing of all the families of the earth. But that has not been accomplished yet. He sent forth a further Message through Jesus to all who would accept of Him that thereby He might gather out the Spiritual Seed of Abraham. This Message will not return void but will find a suitable SM91 class, a Seed of Abraham class, which God can use in conjunction with our Lord Jesus for the blessing and uplifting and restitution of mankind in general. It has prospered in the thing whereto it was sent. It evidently was not sent to convert the world, neither is such a statement to be found in the Word of God. It was sent to gather out a people for His name, both from the Jews and from the Gentile nations. It will accomplish this, the Seed of Abraham will be found, and just so surely as that occurs the other part of the promise will also be fulfilled; namely, that in and through that Seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. ELECTION AND FREE GRACE HARMONIZED

 Here we find supplied by the Scriptures the very feature

which was lacking in the Calvinistic view or image of God. We see the Election of the Church during the present time, an Election according to favor; and we equally see that the great mass of the world are non-elect, not called, not chosen, and that they consequently could not be faithful to a calling they did not receive nor even hear about. But so far from the Election of the Church signifying the condemnation of the remainder of mankind, the world, the word of the Lord to Abraham tells us that the elect class will be God's instrumentality for the blessing of the non-elect. And through the Prophet, in our text and elsewhere, the Lord repeatedly draws attention to the Millennial Kingdom, which will be established under the whole heavens for the breaking down of sin and the exaltation of righteousness and the assistance of all who under that enlightening influence will go upward to perfection on the Highway of Holiness.

 Now we are beginning to see in the proper image of

God not merely the dignity of His Foreknowledge, His Wisdom, His Justice, His Power, but also in Him the Love which so draws our hearts and which calls upon us to bow before Him and adore Him, because His righteous dealings are being made manifest to us, because we are SM92 learning gradually that His Plan must be considered as a whole, because we are applying in their proper places those promises which belong to the world and which assure us that they shall be brought into Divine favor and have glorious opportunities for gaining eternal life.

 In this view also we find the elements of character,

lacking from the image of God as given to us by our Methodist friends of the Arminian view. Here is the very God of Love they were looking for, all-loving, all-generous, all-kind, yet just, not sparing the guilty from the punishment He had meted out to them--death--not purposing in any sense of the word their torture at any time. Here we see the qualities lacking in the Arminian image; we see God's Justice, Wisdom and Power, as well as His Love. We see that He has the Millennial Age for the purpose of granting Free Grace to every member of the race under much more favorable conditions than now prevail. We see that the Election of the present time is not to the disadvantage of the world, but that ultimately it will be to their great advantage, when the elect Seed of Abraham, as the agents of God, shall bless all the families of the earth. THE PROMISE AND OATH OF GOD SECURE

 But can we be sure of this, can we be sure that after

the Election of the Church the world will not be destroyed or tormented but will receive Divine blessings? Are there other proofs? Yes, dear friends, when once you get the eyes of your understanding turned in the right direction and away from the hobgoblins of eternal torture and fireproof devils, when once you get the eyes of your understanding rightly focused upon the Word of God, you will see that it is full of exceeding great and precious promises not only to us, the Church, respecting the Millennial Kingdom and joint-heirship in it and a fellowship with the Lord in the glory, honor and immortality of that blessed state on the spirit plane, but also to the world-- SM93 rich provisions for the entire race of Adam redeemed by the precious blood--"In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed."--Gen. 12:3; Heb. 6:13-20.

 Let us quote another Scripture pertinent to this subject.

The Apostle declares that the Church is this Seed of Abraham, joint-heir with her Lord, saying, "If ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's Seed, and heirs according to the Promise." (Gal. 3:29.) The Promise is not yet fulfilled and cannot be until the Elect, the Seed of Abraham, is completed. We are heirs of that Promise; and our inheritance of it will mean our glorification and our authorization to begin and to complete the work of blessing the world of mankind by releasing them from the bondage of sin and death and helping them onward through faith and obedience back to harmony with God and life everlasting.

  Let us then, dear friends, have full confidence in the

Word of God that it will be accomplished, that it will not return void. Let us co-operate with this Word and thus make our calling and election sure. To this end let us lay aside every weight and every besetting sin and run with patience the race set before us, the race for the crown of life, for joint-heirship with our Lord, for a share with Him in the great work of blessing all the families of the earth.--Heb. 12:1,2.

   All hail the power of Jesus' name!
       Let angels prostrate fall;
   Bring forth the royal diadem,
       And crown Him Lord of all.
   Ye chosen Seed of Israel's race,
       Ye ransomed from the fall,
   Hail Him who saves you by His grace,
       And crown Him Lord of all.
   Let every kindred, every tribe,
       On this terrestrial ball,
   To Him all majesty ascribe,
       And crown Him Lord of all.

SM94

        THE BINDING OF SATAN
  "He laid hold of the dragon, that old serpent, which

is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the abyss, and shut him up and sealed it over him that he should deceive the nations no more until the thousand years should be finished; and after that he must be loosed for a time."--Rev. 20:2,3.

  The unscriptural views we once held respecting hell

naturally led us into unscriptural views respecting Satan. When we held the thought that hell was a vast furnace of fire--we knew not where, "beyond the bounds of space and time"--we were deluded into believing that Satan was in that far-off place, master of ceremonies, and chief over a host of fire-proof demons employed chiefly in causing indescribable pain and anguish to thousands of millions of the human family who passed into his control by Divine foreknowledge and intention, the number of new arrivals approximating ninety thousand per day. But with Satan afar off and more than busy, we could not think of him as giving any particular time and attention to the comparatively small number of humanity still living.

  But when we get the Scriptural idea of hell, that

Sheol and Hades are the names for the state of death and unconsciousness into which all mankind, good and bad, go at death and from which both the just and the unjust are to be resurrected at the Second Coming of Christ, it throws a different light on the whole subject. As for the term Gehenna fire, symbolically used to represent the Second Death--the utter destruction of the incorrigible-- we find that rightly understood its flames are no more literal than those of the "fiery trials" which the Lord promised should come upon all of His faithful to consume SM95 their dross and under Divine supervision; to prepare them for the Heavenly Kingdom. Since then we see clearly that Satan and the fallen angels, his associates and servants, are not engaged in furnace stoking, it prepares us to note what the Scriptures have to say respecting them and their present occupation and their relationship to mankind and their future. We do well, too, to remember that we have no personal knowledge on this subject--that we are confined to the Scriptures for every whit of the information on this subject.

        "A COVERING CHERUB"
 Most distinctly do the Scriptures teach the personality

of Satan and his malevolent character. Moreover, they show clearly that he is not another god who has existed from eternity, but a creature subject to Jehovah. Since the Scriptural declaration is that "God's work is perfect" (Deut. 32:4), it follows that He could not have created Satan in the condition in which he now is, an adversary to God and to righteousness. In harmony with this thought the Scriptures assure us that he was created an angel of a very high order--a cherub; that he was beautiful, high in authority and wise, but that he allowed ambition, pride, to enter into his heart and to seduce him from loyalty to his Creator. The time when his ambitious designs began to take shape undoubtedly was when he beheld our first parents in Eden and set about to capture them as his subjects. He is represented as saying in his heart, "I will ascend above the stars [be higher than the other angels--captain and leader]. I will be like the Most High" [similar to the Most High in the sense of being an independent ruler not subject to him].--Isa. 14:12-14; Ezek. 28:16.

 When Satan beheld our first parents possessed of

the quality of procreation, the power of developing a race like themselves, he discerned that this was something that neither he nor the angels of the spirit plane possessed, and that by capturing the hearts of SM96 the first human pair he could become the ruler of the world. The success of his deception need not be told. The disobedience of our first parents and the fulfilment upon them of the Divine sentence, "Dying thou shalt die," has involved a race whose numbers now approximate probably twenty thousand millions, a groaning creation, suffering under the sentence of death through its effects upon their minds, their morals, their physical systems. Thus our Lord Jesus declares of Satan, "He was a murderer from the beginning and abode not in the Truth." (John 8:44.) He lied to our first parents, and through that deception he brought them under the Divine death sentence. Thus Satan is the murderer of the entire race.

 It is not necessary for us to determine that Satan's

original lie was of full determination to misrepresent. He told our first parents that he would be their real friend and guide them to greater knowledge; that God, their Creator, was selfish and that the prohibition of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil was a deliberate attempt on God's part to keep them from useful and profitable knowledge because He did not want them to so closely approximate His own wisdom. It is possible that as the human mind, getting out of accord with the Lord, might deceive itself, so Satan's mind, poisoned by pride and ambition, may have reached the false conclusion that God was really working against the best interests of our first parents and their race. It matters not which view we take, in either event Satan was a liar and deceiver and thereby was our murderer, as our Lord pointed out.

        "THE ANGELS THAT SINNED"
 Satan risked everything when he took the course that

he did, which not only alienated him from God as an adversary, but separated him also from all who were loyal to the Creator. Thenceforth his entire time and energy were devoted to the building up of the human empire which he had designed. He had no authority from God SM97 to rule mankind; but by involving humanity in sin, by alienating them from their Creator, he was able more and more to gain control; for no sentence of death had been passed upon him and no impairment of his personal powers and vitality had been experienced. Mankind, on the contrary, under the death sentence, rapidly lost mental, moral and physical ability to cope with him.

 During the 1656 years from Adam's creation to the

Flood, a certain amount of intercourse was permitted between humanity and the angels. God's design in permitting this was to teach a great lesson, and to test the loyalty of the angels. The lesson taught was that sin is very contaminating. So far from the intercourse between angels and men tending to uplift mankind, the course was downward. The influence of evil taking hold upon many of the angels, of whom the Scriptures say that they left their own habitation--that is to say, permitted to materialize and to associate with mankind-- some of them through lustful temptation preferred the human plane, thus sinning and transgressing the Divine arrangement of their angelic nature.

 The account in Genesis very briefly tells us that these

angelic sons of God, beholding the fair daughters of men, were enamored of them and took them for wives, with the result that a new race began to spring up in the world--"giants," "men of renown." The lesson having been taught and the angels having been tested as to their loyalty to God, that dispensation ended, the Flood of Noah's day wiping out the hybrid race and all of the human family except Noah and his family. Of Noah we read that "he was perfect in his generation." (Gen. 6:9.) He and his family were of pure Adamic stock, not contaminated.

 It was at this time, according to St. Peter (2 Peter 2:4)

and St. Jude (6), that God placed a ban upon the disloyal angels, consigning them to Tartarus, the atmosphere of this earth, mistranslated hell in our common SM98 version. The Divine sentence against these angels which kept not their first estate was not, however, a death sentence, as in the case of man; it was that they should "be confined in chains of darkness until the judgment of the great Day." Thus the Apostle indicates that in due time there is to be a future judgment or decision rendered of God respecting those angels--in connection with the inauguration of the Millennial Day, the seventh thousand-year epoch of man's history. Meantime, isolated from fellowship with God and the holy angels and hindered from materializing and thus having no intercourse with mankind as previously, these fallen angels--called in the Scriptures demons (mistranslated devils)--have undoubtedly had an unhappy time of it for now more than four thousand years. Satan is spoken of as their prince or leader, though nowhere are they mentioned as being of as high rank or order as is he, nor as responsible as is he.

  It is fair to suppose that some of these fallen angels

are of repentant mind and sorry for their sins, and that they no longer strive against the Divine regulations. Hence they have special opposition from Satan and the others. The Apostle distinctly shows us that the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus became a great sermon to these fallen angels, instructing them respecting the love and compassion of God for His human creatures and of His Power even to raise the dead and His willingness to reward our Lord Jesus with high exaltation because of obedience. This lesson respecting the true Divine character became to some of these fallen angels a lesson of hope, and gave them room to anticipate that if they would turn from sin and manifest their loyalty to God He might in their judgment day grant the blessing of forgiveness. The Apostle Peter speaks of these in his Epistle, saying that Christ preached to the spirits in prison who once were disobedient in the days of Noah, while the ark was preparing. (1 Peter 3:19,20.) The sermon was not one of audible words but a pantomime SM99 discourse. As we sometimes say, "Actions speak louder than words." So the facts in our Lord's case--His death as a sacrifice and His resurrection by Divine Power on the third day--constituted a great lesson, a great sermon for those who hitherto had been without much foundation for hope of deliverance.

         "DOCTRINES OF DEMONS"
  However, without knowing the proportions of those

favorably inclined, we do know of the fact that there are legions of these fallen angels who, under the leadership of Satan, are the direct enemies of the human race, tempting, misleading, deceiving, putting light for darkness and darkness for light. Seemingly they enter fully into Satan's spirit and work as his associates. Not permitted to materialize in the past they have sought intercourse with mankind, have preyed upon humanity. Realizing that they would be dreaded if their real character was recognized they have personated the human dead, thus helping to further and corroborate Satan's original falsehood--"Ye shall not surely die."

  By various delusions humanity has been taught that

its members, instead of dying when they appear to die, really become more alive than ever. This view was successfully propagated amongst the heathen nations. But to the Israelites God gave special instructions, that the dead were dead, that they must not be worshipped or prayed to; and the Israelites were commanded not to allow a witch or wizard or necromancer to live in their midst. They were told that their dead were really dead, and that the hope for their living again lay in the resurrection, which the promised Messiah would accomplish. They were distinctly told that the "dead know not anything," that their sons come to honor and they know it not, they come to dishonor and they perceive it not of them. (Eccl. 9:5; Job 14:21.) They were told to do with their might what their hands found to do, because there is neither wisdom nor knowledge nor device in SM100 Sheol, the grave, the state of death, Hades.--Eccl. 9:10.

        JESUS CAST OUT DEMONS
  Notwithstanding the protection of the Lord's Word,

the fallen angels, demons, succeeded in gaining considerable influence over the Israelites, so that in our Lord's time that form of insanity which results from obsession-- from these evil spirits getting possession of the mind, the brain--was common. Many of our Lord's miracles and those of His disciples consisted in the casting out of such demons, in one instance a legion possessing one poor man and making him crazy. The teachings of our Lord and the Apostles in the New Testament respecting the dead are in full harmony with those of the Jewish Ages in the Old Testament. Our Lord tells us that at His Second Coming all that are in their graves shall hear His voice and shall come forth. The approved of God will come forth perfect by a life resurrection; but the disapproved will come forth imperfect, that they may have a resurrection by judgments, chastenings and stripes for assisting them up, up, up to full perfection if they will. There is no intimation here that the dead are alive, but that they are in their graves, that they are dead. Similarly when our Lord awakened Lazarus He told the sisters first that in Him were the resurrection and the life power; and He did not call Lazarus from Heaven or from Purgatory or elsewhere, but merely from the tomb.

  It was our Lord Himself who declared that no man

has ascended into Heaven. (John 3:13.) It was the Apostle Peter who when pointing out our Lord's resurrection and how it had been foretold by the Prophet David saying, "Thou wilt not leave My soul in hell [Sheol, Hades, the grave]," incidentally mentioned that "David had not ascended to the heavens" but was still in his sepulchre. (Acts 2:34.) It was the Apostle Paul who declared that if there be no resurrection of the dead all mankind are perished--even those who have fallen asleep in Christ. (1 Cor. 15:17,18.) Thus the united voice of SM101 the Scriptures is in harmony with the facts as we see them, that God's sentence upon our race was a death sentence, which has affected all, and that the hope is that as a result of our dear Redeemer's Sacrifice there shall yet be a resurrection both of the just and of the unjust. A resurrection of the dead implies that they are dead, and not alive.--Acts 24:15.

  Satan and the demons have worked against this truth

of the Scriptures, deceiving mankind and thus fostering doctrines of Purgatory and of masses for the dead, in this way leading us to blaspheme God's holy name by believing that the dead are in torment somewhere, and thus blinding the minds and hearts of the vast majority, even in civilized lands. Even the civilized fear God, and because of the misrepresentations cannot love him. Thus has the work of Satan and his demon hosts progressed; and the wonder is that demonism has not accomplished more than even the dreadful things that we perceive. It has fostered sin of every kind; and of the immense numbers in insane asylums it is not unreasonable to believe that fully half are there because of obsession by evil spirits, the other half suffering from softening or decay of the brain and physical derangements which affect the mind.

         A REIGN OF SIN AND DEATH
 Looking over the heathen world and noting their

benighted condition of mind--the belief of some of them in numerous hells, the belief of others in the transmigration of souls, etc.--and then looking over Christendom with its multitudinous errors, indicating the effort of mankind to get free from the ignorance and superstition of the Dark Ages, we may well be appalled. What a power Satan has exercised! How weak man has been in his hands! Only in proportion as the Word and Spirit of God have given enlightenment and strength has a measure of freedom from the Adversary's toils been acquired. The Apostle reminds us of our Adversary's SM102 cunning, saying, "We are not ignorant of his devices" and of his cunningly devised fables. (2 Cor. 2:11.) He declares Satan to be the god or ruler of this world by virtue of the deception which he has accomplished in the blinding of the minds of men as respects the light of truth. He assures us that as Christians we are not merely contending with flesh and blood, with human beings, but that beyond the adversaries of the true Church are the wisdom and cunning of the Adversary himself and his many agents. He says we wrestle not with flesh and blood, but with wicked spirits in high positions.-- Eph. 6:12; 2 Cor. 4:4.

 Ever since the Lord began to lift the veil of ignorance

and to grant enlightenment, bringing forth the invention of printing and later steam and electricity, our Adversary has been kept more busy than formerly. As he is the Prince of Darkness and all of his work of deception upon the human family is favored by ignorance, by darkness and benighted conditions, so everything that has tended to lift the pall of the Dark Ages has tended to liberate mankind from the snares of Satan's ignorance, superstition and deception. We may well believe then that our Adversary is extremely active and increasingly so in civilized lands and that even amongst the heathen he is necessarily more active, more vigilant.

        "BINDING THE STRONG MAN"
 In one of His parables our Lord represents Satan as

being the householder at the present time; that the whole world is his household, or dominion, over which he has control. This is a similar picture to that used by the Apostle when he describes Satan as the prince of this world, and the god or ruler of this world. Our Lord, referring to His Second Coming and the gathering of the Church and the breaking up of present institutions in the end of this Age, says that if the householder (Satan) knew in what hour the thief would come he would be on the alert and take means to prevent the despoiling of his SM103 household and goods. Hence many things connected with the Second Coming of our Lord have been kept secret until the due time of their fulfilment.

 Our Lord, however, does show that at the time appointed

of the Father He will come and will first of all bind the strong man, Satan, and then He will spoil his goods, overthrow his arrangements and institutions that are in so many respects deceptive, so that in the overturning our Lord, as the new King, the Prince of Light, may bring to all the slaves of sin, superstition and darkness the light and the blessings so long foretold in the Word of God and hoped for and prayed for by all the saints--"Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is done in Heaven."--Matt. 6:10.

 It is our opinion, dear friends, that we are living in

this particular juncture at the present time; that the Prince of Light has already begun the work of binding the Prince of Darkness. We are not to expect that Satan will meekly submit. Instead, we should understand that while this name Satan applies to our personal Adversary, the Devil, it covers in a general sense all the influences for evil and unrighteousness in the world, however ignorant some of his dupes. Hence when we read of the binding of Satan, that old Serpent, the Devil, we should have in mind properly all the evil influences, all the sinful tendencies, all the injustices and untruths whereby mankind have been enslaved for centuries.

  Whatever sets free the light of Truth incidentally

binds in similar proportions the darkness. Hence we might say that to some extent this loosing of the light and binding of the darkness has been in process for three centuries, but only in our day is the matter reaching a climax. That climax has not yet been reached by any means, but we believe will be attained in a very few years. The whole world is waking up to the evils which have oppressed it. As, for instance, opposition to intoxication is spreading not only in this land but abroad. A wave SM104 of opposition to all injustice is also spreading, favoring the interests of all the people as in opposition to those of the few disposed to exploit the many for their own personal advantage.

  In Russia, for instance, one of the darkest of the

so-called civilized lands, a Jubilee Trumpet is heard, and the masses are awakening and grasping for their human rights and liberties. We do not mean to say that all that is said in favor of total abstinence is true, that all that is said and done in favor of the people and against wealthy magnates, aristocrats, bureaucrats is true. We do not mean to dispute that many liberties are sought and desired to be grasped for which many people are not yet prepared. But we call attention to these things as indicating that the power of darkness is losing its hold, its shackles are breaking from the human minds. We do not say that this means eventually what the Scriptures describe as a Time of Trouble such as never was since there was a nation. (Dan. 12:1.) We do say that the strong man, the Adversary, and his numerous allies entrenched in power and privilege, will hold on like grim death; and that this will mean much suffering to all concerned. Thankful we are, too, that we can see beyond that awful time of anarchy which the Scriptures so clearly outline, the Golden Age, the Millennial Kingdom, the Reign of righteousness, peace and love--the blessing of all the families of the earth.

  Not only might we expect that the Adversary and his

various agents would be exceedingly active in this present time, but the Scriptures particularly admonish us that this will be the case; and that the Lord, who could crush the Adversary otherwise, will permit his activity for a special purpose, partly for the testing and sifting of the Church for the selection of the Very Elect, and partly for lessons of discipline to the world in general. As, for instance, the Apostle, speaking of the present time, says, "God will send them strong delusions that they may SM105 believe a lie: that they all might be condemned who believed not the Truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness [untruth]."--2 Thess. 2:11.

 As we near this time we realize that no one is secure

from the Adversary's power, from the influence of the demons, except as he is on the Lord's side, consecrated to Him and under His promised protection. We realize that His protection will be in large measure through the impartation of knowledge, light, which will guard from the darkness. Thus those who know that the dead are dead and will remain dead until the resurrection, and who know that those who represent the dead through spirit mediums, etc., are the demons--these are specially protected by their knowledge from many of the deceptions which are ensnaring thousands and which ultimately will cause thousands to fall into hurtful errors. Moreover, the Scriptural intimation is that in some manner in this present time the Lord will permit the fallen angels to find a manner by which they may circumvent and avoid His prohibition to materialization. So, then, we may expect that materializations will occur on the part of many of these demons, and that these will be an active agency, a pernicious influence. It is consoling to know that the Lord guarantees that in the end of the struggle Satan will be fully bound, shut up, sealed, that he can deceive the nations no more-- "UNTIL THE THOUSAND YEARS ARE FINISHED"

 The blessedness of the Millennial Day, so graphically

portrayed through the prophecies and the New Testament, could not be imagined except as we grasp the thought that Satan, the deceiver, will be restrained, will not be permitted further to deceive humanity. Instead the glorious light of the Millennial Day, the Sun of Righteousness, Christ and His elect Church in glory, will shine forth for the scattering of all darkness and superstition, and that the light of Divine Truth will illuminate the whole world and cause the knowledge of the Lord to SM106 fill the earth as the waters cover the sea.--Isa. 11:9.

  How blessed! How glorious! Shall not we who have

been called to this High Calling of joint-heirship with Christ as His elect Church, His Bride, His joint-heirs in the Kingdom--shall not we rightly value the things of darkness and the things of light and cast all of the weight of our influence and time on the Lord's side, the side of the Truth? May we not thus to some extent be used of the Lord in the shining forth of the light which will bind the Adversary, restrain the evil? Let us, as the Apostle suggests, lay aside every weight and every besetting sin and run with patience the race for this prize of our High Calling in Christ Jesus.--Heb. 12:1.

  The clear declaration of the Scriptures is that at the

close of the Millennial Age the Lord will permit a brief period of liberty to Satan for the purpose of testing those who will have received knowledge and uplift to perfection throughout the Millennial Age, to the intent that none of the human family or others shall go beyond that time or have eternal life except as they shall be in heart obedience to the Lord and His righteous requirements. The verses following our text tell not only of the First Resurrection of the Church and of their reign with Christ for the thousand years, but also tell us how the world during the thousand years may come up to perfection of life and live in the true sense of the word at the close of the Millennium. Then will come the testing time already referred to, and such as will be found disloyal to the Lord will be counted as the messengers and co-laborers with Satan and with him will be destroyed in the lake of fire, which is the Second Death--utter destruction.

   Haste ye along, ages of glory;
       Haste the glad time when Christ appears.
   Oh, that I may be one found worthy
       To reign with Him a thousand years!

SM107

       A COVENANT WITH DEATH
 "Ye have said, We have made a covenant with death,

and with hell [Sheol, the grave] we are at agreement.... Your covenant with death shall be disannulled and your agreement with Sheol will not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then shall ye be trodden down by it."--Isa. 28:15-18.

 The Prophet, in the language of our text and its

context, gives us the Divine foreview of present-day conditions and their results. In the preceding verses he has pictured symbolically a description of intoxication with false doctrines to such an extent that the teachers of Christendom are represented as being all out of the way, confused, confounded, and disposed to vomit forth the various creeds and theories of the Dark Ages which have produced this intoxication. This is in full accord with the declaration of Revelation that all nations would be made drunk with the doctrinal wine from the cup of the woman who sat upon the beast. (Rev. 17:4.) The fulfilment of the prophecy is with us. Confusion prevails amongst religious teachers of every denomination. They loathe their doctrines, and fear to discuss them, as well they may; for although their doctrines contain some elements of truth, yet the mixtures as a whole are an abomination to reason, to justice, to love, and in violent opposition to the proper understanding of God's Word.

 As if looking about amongst the people of our day, the

Lord inquires through the Prophet, "Whom shall God teach knowledge? Whom shall He make to understand doctrine?" The answer is given, "Them that are weaned from the milk and drawn from the breasts." In a word the difficulty with Christendom today is that a large proportion are not and never were Christians in the real SM108 sense of that term, are not and never were believers in Jesus as the Redeemer of the world, through whom alone is forgiveness for sin, are not and never were consecrated followers of Him, earnestly desiring to know and to do the will of the Father--Isa. 28:9.

 And even amongst these comparatively few who are

true Christians through faith and consecration, few have gone beyond the infantile stage of development. As the Apostle says, "For when for the time ye should be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God, and are become such as have need of milk, and of strong meat." (Heb. 5:12-14.) The Lord points out (v. 9) that none may expect to understand His doctrine, the Truth, except those who will progress from the position of babes in Christ, that they may become strong men in Him; and that the course of procedure to attain this development is a feeding upon the Truth of the Divine Revelation. Let us, dear friends, be of this class who will not be satisfied with babyhood in Christ, but who will go on to perfection and to a realization of the privileges that are ours, both in the present life and in that which is to come. STAMMERING LIPS AND FOREIGN TONGUES

 The Lord proceeds to show how and why the Divine

Revelation has been given in its present disconnected and broken form in the Scriptures. He informs us that He has a two-fold purpose in this: first, that His true people may the more particularly learn to depend upon Him and be strengthened through their search for the Truth, here a little and there a little, line upon line and precept upon precept, with stammering lips and in a foreign language, instead of plain statements in our native tongue. These conditions are really helpful to those who are of the right attitude of heart in that they learn lessons which otherwise might escape them. And in the end the harmony of the fragments of Truth from Genesis to Revelation, SM109 often disconnectedly stated, becomes a demonstration and power to those who come to see their relationship, harmony and beauty. To such they have perhaps a greater strength, which would not come through a more plain and direct statement. The Lord tells us that this arrangement which He had made is quite sufficient to cause all the weary to rest and to be refreshed. And all of the proper class, all of the Lord's "little flock," we may be sure, will rest in these promises and will be refreshed by them.

 Secondly, the matter was stated in this fragmentary

form, so that all others than the Israelites indeed (John 1:47) might be confused, might fall away, might be stumbled, broken, ensnared, entrapped, just as the Lord says here in Verse 13. The Word of God contains a bountiful provision of milk of the Truth and of strong meat of the Truth, covering every knowledge necessary to the man of God that he may be thoroughly furnished unto every good word and work.--2 Tim. 3:16,17.

 But these things are not intended for all. As our Lord

declared to the disciples, "Blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear" (Matt. 13:16); and again, "To you it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of God; but to others [outsiders] in parables; that seeing, they might not see, and hearing, they might not understand." (Luke 8:10.) But to outsiders, to all not Israelites indeed, the precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little and there a little, served not for their upbuilding, but for their ensnarement with error, that they "might go and fall backward and be snared and taken." (v. 13.) Thank God, this breaking and snaring do not mean that they will be turned over to eternal torment at the hands of demons! No! It refers merely to the present life, and indicates how those who profess Christianity, but have not the spirit of it, will in this Harvest time, the end of this Age, become ensnared in errors which will both separate them from the Truth SM110 and the Israelites indeed, and cause them great perplexity in the Time of Trouble now begun.

         THE DEAD MORE ALIVE
 The secret of the deflection and stumbling which is

now due and already considerably begun, lies in the false teaching respecting the death penalty that rests upon our race. A wrong view of this subject has done incalculable injury, while the pendulum swung to one extreme and then to the other, passing the central truth and scorning it. Satan, the father of lies, has been at the back of the systematic delusions respecting death which have troubled humanity in all ages and in all climes. This first step in the delusion was to contradict the Almighty by telling Mother Eve in Eden that there is no death, and that God's declaration that a death penalty would come upon Adam and herself if they should eat of the forbidden fruit, was a falsehood. Satan declared, "Ye shall not surely die," whereas God had already instructed them that disobedience would bring upon them death-- "Dying thou shalt die." Subsequently, when the dying process had set in and the race was becoming weaker and shorter-lived, the Adversary, pursuing the line of his original lie declared to humanity that when they seem to die they do not really do so, but become more alive than when they were alive. Strange to say humanity of every grade and language has accepted Satan's deceptive statement, and thus the old Serpent, the Devil, Satan has deceived practically all who dwell upon the earth.

 The next step in the delusion was to tell humanity

that not only are the dead more alive than they were before they died, but that the vast majority of them are in torture. At first it seemed to the Adversary that there was danger of making this doctrine of devils too strong for the human mind to receive; and hence not only with the heathen did he make a succession of heavens and of hells, with opportunity for passing from one to the other, SM111 but also amongst Christians he first introduced the subject of future punishment by a purgatorial place of torment, in which practically all of the human family would suffer untellable torture according to the will of God; teaching that since only a mere handful were so saintly, so finished, so ripe for eternal life in glory as to be permitted to go to Heaven, all the rest must necessarily get their chiseling and polishing and preparation for Heaven in the flames of Purgatory. Upon this erroneous doctrine, that the dead are alive, the doctrine of Purgatory is built, and upon the doctrine of Purgatory rises as a superstructure the doctrine of masses for the dead, of prayers for the dead, etc.

 Later on the Protestant arose, rebelling against the

doctrines of Purgatory and protesting in general against the theories and claims and works of Papacy. Then a change became necessary to suit the new conditions, and we can almost fancy with what a smile of sarcasm the Adversary concluded that he would try upon boastful, intelligent Protestantism the sternest doctrines, which he had previously feared to present even to the heathen mind. To these he declared that they are quite right in supposing that only the finished saints will attain the glory and that there is no Purgatory, but assured them that all the remainder of the race, except the little handful fit for Heaven, are destined to an eternity of misery without hope of ever escaping therefrom, in a place called hell, the location of which he did not think it necessary even to lie about.

  It must have been to Satan's surprise that intelligent

people should accept this, the grossest form of his great deception; that they would so far lose their balance of mind as to suppose that a God of Justice, Wisdom, Love and Power would have created a race of thousands of millions, had He nothing better in store for the innumerable mass than an eternity of suffering; and that the joy of the handful of the Elect who would reach the SM112 Heavenly glory would be no just compensation for the suffering of the multitudes of their kith and kin. Surely surprised at the success of his most extreme venture, the Adversary next so twisted certain texts of Scripture to the minds of some of these Protestants that they believed and taught that the Almighty Creator had created hell before He created mankind; and that He had predestinated that merely a handful should go to glory and that the great mass should go to eternal misery, predestinated this before Adam's creation. It is no wonder that under these circumstances death and the grave have such terrors that many noble Christians on their death beds are in agony to know whether or not they are of the Elect and whether or not their loved ones were of the same class.

        AN AGREEMENT WITH THE GRAVE
  In the long ago people attended funeral services

largely with the view to hear what hope the minister would hold out in respect to the deceased; and many were the anxious inquiries as to whether or not the deceased had given any manifestation of the peace of God in his heart during his dying moments. But all this is changed. It has become the custom, within the last forty years, for ministers to comfort all the friends of the deceased, and indirectly if not directly imply that he is much better off in the spirit-land. It is often indeed stated that he is present; and that if he could speak he would say, "Weep not for me, but for yourselves. I am far better off." What means this change, except as explained by our text? The pendulum has swung to the opposite side. Rationality has in some degree asserted itself and declared monstrous and unreasonable many of the doctrines presented in the Protestant creeds.

 The doctrine that the Lord predestinated that 999,999

out of every million of the race should go to eternal torment, and that one alone should go to glory, is now properly considered too horrible for acceptance by any rational mind. The doctrine is quietly buried; and without SM113 a qualm or quiver the very reverse is taught by implication; namely, that nearly everybody is going to Heaven, regardless of what kind of life he or she may have lived in the present time. Do not the flowers on the coffin imply this? Do not the presence of the minister, the singing of the hymns, the discourse and the prayer all teach it? Is it ever known that any except occasionally a murderer is otherwise treated amongst Protestants? The gates of eternal torment are considered closed and the gates of heaven flung wide open. From the one extreme the Adversary has led them to the opposite extreme. But both positions are thoroughly untenable, not even so reasonable as the Roman Catholic purgatorial one, which also is quite unscriptural, as we shall see.

 The views of Protestants, the most intelligent people

on earth on other subjects, are the most incongruous, unjust, unreasonable that well could be imagined. Instead of the old theory that all the heathen and nearly all of the civilized pass directly at death to eternal torment irrevocably, they now tell us that comparatively few of even the most vicious and villainous of our race go there; that all the remainder go to Heaven. What must be their conceptions of Heaven? Surely not that glorious presentation which the Scriptures give us of a place in which God's will is absolutely done! How could the heathen, the idiotic, the insane, the undeveloped in mind and morals, the unprincipled masses of mankind--how could they do God's will in Heaven? How could they be fit companions of the saints or of the angels? And if they are there for schooling in a kind of probationary school, then who shall say that to go to Heaven means an eternity of bliss and happiness, and who may know what to expect for himself or anyone else? Is it not a fact that Protestants, repudiating the Purgatory of Roman Catholics as an antechamber to hell, have made a purgatory in Heaven as an anteroom to eternal bliss? And is it not true that neither the Catholic SM114 nor the Protestant view of Purgatory finds any ground whatever in the Scripture?

 In harmony with what we have just seen of this great

change of Protestant teaching, which lands practically everybody in Heaven at death, is the statement contained in our text. With death they are at agreement. They tell us that it is an angel sent to bear us to the Lord. The office of the minister is to instruct the people that they need not sorrow for their dead, but must rejoicingly think of death as being the work of the Lord; that they must rejoice therein so far as they are able and consider that their friends are better off; and that they should seek to join them, and be glad when their death comes.

        A CAUSE FOR SUICIDES
 This false doctrine, this agreement with death, this

teaching that the dead are so much happier and better off and more alive than before they died, this bestrewing the casket with flowers, this weeping tears of sympathy and joy on their behalf, is inducing the great tide of suicide which is spreading over the whole world and which, as statistics show us, is rapidly increasing year by year.

 From press reports we have every reason to think

that the poor deluded creatures came under this worse form of Satan's delusion, which has held Protestantism; and that they all expected to better their condition by death. Therefore they hastened to end their unhappy lives.

 Notice that one extreme error generally and naturally

leads to its opposite, and hence that the false doctrines respecting eternal torment have worked a double injury: (1) By representing God as the very devil of devils and the worst foe that humanity ever had; and (2) by now misrepresenting Him reversely as being pleased to take to Heaven and Himself all sorts and conditions of humanity in all their various gradations of mental, moral and physical degeneracy and obliquity. Before examining the truth respecting this subject, let us point out SM115 that the vicious character ascribed to God by our forefathers was not only a blasphemy against the true God and His true character of Justice, of Love and Wisdom and Power, but also a great injury to the minds of men; for rarely can a man's mind rise higher than, superior to, his own conception of a god. Because our forefathers believed that God had made great preparation for the eternal torment of the race, they thought it proper to copy Him and to begin the tormenting in the present life. Indeed they tell us that they were striving to copy God and to prevent heresies which would carry others to an eternity of torture. As that picture of God was unsatisfactory, so the more modern picture is equally reprehensible and unsatisfactory--a God without principle, without justice, without character Himself, who does not insist upon having character development in those whom He would bless. TRUTH ABOUT DEATH AND THE GRAVE

 The Scriptures nowhere represent death as a friend,

but as an enemy. Thus it was death that our first parents were threatened if they were disobedient; and this was the sentence which God pronounced against them when He had them cast out of Eden. Not a word in the record refers to a place of eternal torment after death; but the Scriptures everywhere declare that all mankind go into this death and that the dead know not anything. (Eccl. 9:5.) "There is neither wisdom nor knowledge nor device in the grave"--in the state of death, sheol, "whither all go." (Eccl. 9:10.) In harmony with this the New Testament also declares that a redemption from death was necessary; that Christ died for man's sin in order that the claim of justice against the race might be satisfied; and that thus a resurrection of the dead be made possible. The Scriptures consistently tell us that the resurrection of the dead is the real hope, and assure us that if the dead rise not, all our faith and hope and teaching are vain.--1 Cor. 15:13,14. SM116

 The Scriptures assure us that except Christ had died

for mankind, had given His life as the offset or Ransom-price for the life of Father Adam, man's death condition would have been as hopeless as that of the brute. They assure us that God's mercy was afterwards manifest in sending His Son to die, the Just for the unjust, to bring us back into harmony with God and to the eternal life which God is pleased to give to all His intelligent creatures in harmony with Him. They tell us that the time for this resurrection of the dead is fixed in the Divine purpose; and they call it the New Day, the Day of Christ, the Millennial Day of a thousand years. They assure us that during this epoch Immanuel shall reign, Satan shall be bound, the powers of darkness shall be overthrown, and the whole world shall be flooded with the light of the knowledge of God and His goodness and His truth. Christ and His elect "little flock" are pictured as this Sun of Righteousness, which shall heal the world's troubles and chase away all of its shadows and darkness.

 This is the good hope of the Gospel of Christ. It

does not compromise with death and the grave. It plainly states that death is an enemy, and that the "grave is cruel." But it assures us that the Lord has laid help upon One who is mighty to deliver us from the power of death and of the tomb. (Cant. 8:6; Psa. 89:19.) Of our Lord it is written, "He shall reign [in His Millennial Kingdom] until He shall have put all enemies under His feet [in full subjugation]. The last enemy to be destroyed is death."--1 Cor. 15:25,26.

 So, then, dear friends, we have no Gospel to preach

that is in common with that which is preached today. We cannot tell you that the dead are more alive than when they were alive. We must tell you the message of God's Word--that the whole race is dying; and that this condition was caused by original sin and the original sentence upon Adam. We must tell you, however, that the glorious hope of a resurrection of the dead is true. SM117 We must tell you that the words and conduct of humanity now will have their bearing or influence upon their future, whether they be of the few called during this Gospel Age to be of the Heavenly class of the Elect, or whether they belong to the masses of mankind. There is no injustice with God. He will neither over-punish nor under-punish. A "just recompence of reward" is what the Apostle specifies and what appeals to our judgments.--Heb. 2:2.

  In proportion as much light or little has been given,

much or little will be required in the resurrection. Hence it is to the advantage of every one to have in mind God's provision of a future life, and to reflect that his present course in the use of light, knowledge and opportunity has a very practical bearing upon his future welfare, and is helping him either upward or downward as respects character, and that no one will reach the place of life eternal and full perfection as he shall under the Lord's guidance be developed in heart and ultimately changed by resurrection power to the likeness of God.

         "THE OVERFLOWING SCOURGE"
  The Apostle points us to the great Time of Trouble

with which this Age shall end and with which the New Era of the Millennial Kingdom shall be introduced. Everywhere throughout the Scriptures this is specially indicated as a time of very severe trial, not only to the world, but to the Church. Who shall be able to stand, queries the Prophet and also the Lord, the hour of temptation which shall come upon the whole world to try all them that dwell upon the face of the whole earth? (Rev. 6:17; 3:10.) This epoch of trouble the Prophet in our context declares shall take hold upon and cause tribulation to all those who have made a covenant with death and an agreement with the grave, and in so doing are doing violence to their own reason as well as to the Word of God. And this he declares will continue until they learn doctrine, until they shall understand and accept the truth of the matter that the dead are dead; SM118 and that the only hope of consciousness and life is by resurrection through the power of the Redeemer.

 We believe that one of the most serious aspects of this

overwhelming scourge will be the power of the evil spirits, the fallen angels. For six thousand years having operated with their prince, Satan, in deceiving humanity and perpetuating his lie in various ways throughout the past through witches, wizards and necromancers as well as by obsession and mediumship, these angels have confirmed Satan's lie that a dead man is more alive than when he was alive. They have personated the dead, have answered for them, and in every way sought to deceive and delude humanity and to contradict the Divine sentence, "The wages of sin is death."--Rom. 6:23.

 These demons have been restrained from the liberty

of materializing and appearing as men for more than 4,000 years, by Divine decree; as the Apostle says, "Restrained in chains of darkness until the judgment of the great Day." (Jude 6.) Now, however, through spirit-mediums, who are as deceived as the remainder of mankind and know not that they are mediums of the fallen angels, the demons are telling that shortly they will have power to materialize, as of old. There are reasons, too, for thinking that when they do regain this power many of them again will use it in an immoral manner, as they did before the Flood, as recorded in Genesis 6:1-5. Of that time we read that these angels, sons of God, materialized, and "saw the daughters of men that they were fair and took them wives of all that they chose." As a result of this illicit intercourse children were born that became giants on the earth, men of renown; and on this account the Flood came and swept away all these. The Lord made sure that none of the mongrel race should escape that destruction; and in harmony with this fact we read of Noah and his family that "he was perfect in his generation"--that there was no admixture of this angelic stock in him and his. SM119

 If now it be true, as several Scriptures seem to indicate,

that these will regain a considerable measure of their former liberties, it will indeed mean an overflowing scourge upon humanity. But alas, how poorly are mankind prepared for that scourge! Speaking of that time the Apostle says that the Lord will permit strong delusion to come upon men; that He will allow them to believe a lie because they have no pleasure in the Truth. (2 Thess. 2:3.) As an illustration of how the lie may operate to generate confusion we note the fact that a Methodist sister of good reputation and doubtless of honest intentions has reported that a child has been born to her after the same manner that Jesus was born, without an earthly husband, and that the spirit being who is the father of her child so presented the matter to her, and in support of the contention, even quoted Scripture "Thy Maker is thy husband." Another has reported that the father of her child is her dead husband, who appeared to her when she went to put flowers upon his grave.

 These are but two of several instances which have

come to our attention, but they are suggestions to show what an overwhelming scourge may be before us through the neglect of the Truth on this subject that the dead are dead and through the general acceptance of Satan's lie that they are alive. If it be true, as the Scriptures seem to corroborate, that these fallen angels, demons, will obtain special liberties within a few months, it is high time that as many as have an ear to hear should be made aware of the difficulty and should be safeguarded with the Truth that all such manifestations are of the evil spirits and are merely deceptions as respects the dead, who cannot be resurrected until after the Gospel Church shall have been fully developed and glorified in the First Resurrection. SM120

        THE TRUE CHURCH
 "The Church of the First-borns, whose names are

written in Heaven."--Heb. 12:23.

 This subject should be approached prayerfully and

honestly, that all who see that there was but one Church in the beginning, established by our Lord, may also see that there will be but the one Church in the end, the Church Triumphant in glory, "the Bride, the Lamb's Wife." For the same reason that there have been doctrines many amongst the followers of Jesus, there have been churches many, as representing those doctrines.

 We have found the true Gospel more or less scattered

in all the various creeds, and none of them the pure and unadulterated Gospel; so we should be prepared to find that the one true Church of Christ for the past eighteen centuries has been scattered here and there amongst various denominations, and that not one of these denominations is the true Church. Not one of them can claim to contain all the "wheat" and none of the "tares." Not one of them can claim to contain all of the saints and no hypocrites. The time was when the various divisions of the Christian Church severally laid claim to being the one and only Church. But that time has passed, as far as the people and the majority of the clergy are concerned.

        "THAT THEY ALL MAY BE ONE"
 I shall not charge intentional wrong-doing on the part

of any of the divisions of the Christian Church. On the contrary, I shall assume that the framers of the various creeds were sincere, honest men; and that the original followers of those creeds were sincere, and that a few today may be equally sincere. I shall assume, however, that the majority of Christians, ministers and laymen, realize that the sectarian fences are largely composed of SM121 misconceptions of the Divine Word and Plan, and that the causes which originally led to Church divisions have considerably disappeared. If we can now recognize one true Gospel we may all reunite, in harmony with our Master's prayer, that "All may be one, as Thou, Father, and I are one."--John 17:21.

 I remind you again of the simplicity of this Gospel

which recognizes the broad outlines of the Divine Plan and allows each individual to see as many of the finer lines of the same as his spiritual development will permit. On that broad basis of Christian union the early Christians were one and reprobated any division. St. Paul rebuked those who said, "I am of Paul; I am of Apollos; I am of Peter."(1 Cor. 1:12.) As only Christ died for us all, He alone must be recognized as our Savior. As He is the Head of the Church and the only Head, He only must be recognized. As all ye are brethren, so the class distinction as between clergy and laity must be abrogated that we all may be one Church with one Lord, one Faith and one Baptism and one God and Father over all. --Ephesians 4:5. "BABYLON THE GREAT, MOTHER OF HARLOTS"

 How the divided Church, with clashing creeds, appears

to the Almighty, He tells us, calling it Babylon-- which signifies confusion. And who can deny the appropriateness of the name? In times past Catholics have applied this name to the Protestant sects, and the Protestants in turn have applied it to the Church of Rome. But when we come to examine the Scriptures on the subject they seem to include all--the Church of Rome being represented as the Mother Church and the various Protestant Churches as her daughters. The charge of harlotry which the Lord makes against mother and daughters must be acknowledged, although with some this harlotry is more pronounced than with others.

 Using the Jewish marriage ceremony as the basis of

the figure, all Christians, as members of the true Church, SM122 are declared to be "espoused to one husband, which is Christ." (2 Cor. 11:2.) Under the Jewish custom the espousal brought the woman under the same obligation of chastity as though the marriage had taken place. Thus the Church, by her vow to her Lord, is obligated to the full, although the marriage with the Heavenly Bridegroom will not take place until His Second Advent and the change of the espoused from earthly to Heavenly conditions; for "flesh and blood" cannot inherit the Kingdom of God."--Rev. 19:7; John 14:3; 1 Cor. 15:50.

 Spiritual harlotry is the condition in which the espoused

of the Lord becomes affiliated with and joined to the world. Thus the Church of Rome became affiliated with or united to the civil government of Rome; and when the Roman Empire went to pieces, the Papal Church entered into covenant relationship with various divisions of the civil government; and some of these paramours she still has, while others have left her. France is gone, Portugal also, and Italy. Spain is moody; Austro-Hungary is her chief reliance at the present time. She is well treated in America, but not joined to the American Government. She is well entertained and given every liberty in Germany and by many in Great Britain, but these countries are not her paramours. "LIKE MOTHER, LIKE DAUGHTERS"

 The Greek Church is joined to the Russian Government;

the Church of England to the British Government. The Lutheran Church is married to several European governments. Others of our Protestant Churches, having no opportunity for affiliation with earthly governments, have become united to worldly systems, worldly organizations of their own, in which, as a rule, Wealth, Mammon, sits at the head of the table. "Like mother, like daughters" is an old saying. Instead of charging this whole matter upon others, let us each recognize and take to heart our own share, for which we are responsible.

 As the doctrinal errors which caused our divisions

SM123 gradually developed during a long period of darkness, so our development along the lines of spiritual harlotry were gradual. It is not for us to quarrel with the facts, which are undeniable, but to sincerely repent of the wrong condition and renounce it. Coming back to the one faith, we should come back also to the one Lord. So doing He will graciously receive us and thenceforth His name alone will be quite sufficient. We shall no longer need to style ourselves Roman Christians, English Christians, Lutheran Christians, Calvinistic Christians--but all such names will be abhorred as reminders of the unfaithfulness which we now deplore. As the name Christian was sufficient for the early Church it is sufficient today for all heartily glad to abandon errors of the past and to come together as the one "Church of the Living God."

 As for the one baptism, let us concede what the

Scriptures claim and declare, namely, that the water immersion is merely a symbol or picture of the burial of the individual's will and interests in death--like unto and in fellowship with our Lord's self-renouncement, even unto death. Thus all of the consecrated, of whatever denomination, can be recognized as members of the one true Church if they are dead with Christ to the world, its hopes and aims--buried with Him by baptism into His death, which death to the flesh (accepted by the Father) constitutes us members of the one Body of Christ, the true Church. If thus baptized into His death, we shall share also in His resurrection.--Rom. 6:4,5. THE CHURCH IN THE WILDERNESS

 Is it asked, Where has the true Church been during all

the eighteen centuries since the Apostles died? We answer that the Scriptures picture her as going into the wilderness condition, out of public view, for twelve hundred and sixty years of this time. As pride, pomp, arrogance and error came into prominence, meekness, gentleness, love, simplicity, gradually retired. Through the long period of the Dark Ages no history of the true SM124 Church was written, just as no such history or record of her can be written today.--Rev. 12:6,14.

  Since none of the various denominations is the true

Church, therefore the history of none of these gives her history. As her members are Scripturally declared to contain not many wise, not many learned, therefore scattered amongst all the various creeds and churches, and some outside of them all, the espoused, chaste "virgin" of the Lord is not a prominent feature in church affairs and is wholly unknown to the world. Indeed, these, while in the world, are not of it and usually are disesteemed. As the Master said, "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love its own."--John 15:18,19.

  If, then, the spirit-begotten ones, constituting the

Lord's betrothed virgin Church, are few, and if that few be scattered amongst the four hundred millions nominally styled Christendom, it follows that they are greatly in the minority and could have comparatively little influence today even if they were ever so determined and energetic. The masses and classes rule. Wealth, learning, earthly interests and earthly power are better pleased with present conditions than with those which God's Word promises will be established when Messiah shall take to Himself His great power and begin His Reign.

  Babylon, as the Scriptures declare, is great, influential,

powerful--mother and daughters. She will never consent to a recognition of the saintly few in her midst, whom she considers foolish in claiming to be "the Elect" and true Church. To apply the Apostle's words, She esteems the saintly class "fools all the day long," "the filth and off-scouring" of the earth. To her they are the impracticables. To her they are insurrectionists always crying out for the simplicities of the Gospel, the rights and liberties of the individual in person and conscience, for holiness unto the Lord, not merely in name, but in deed and in truth. For this true Church class, so small SM125 a minority in Babylon, to wait for the conversion of the worldly masses of the various systems to see "eye to eye" with them in this matter and to reform all these various systems would be to confess folly and to be led of unreason.

       "COME OUT OF HER, MY PEOPLE"
 In such a matter we need the wisdom which comes

from above and the faith and courage to follow it. The Lord's prayer must be our guide respecting His will concerning us--us who have by faith and consecration and begetting of the Holy Spirit been adopted into the One True Church "whose names are written in Heaven." He prayed for us and not for the nominal mass, who are really parts of the world and thoroughly deceiving themselves in supposing that they have either part or lot or inheritance with the Church. Thank God that we now see that this does not mean that all except the saintly will be eternally tormented, but merely that none except the saintly, "copies of God's dear Son," can be members of the glorious "little flock," which God predestined to gather from every nation, people, kindred and tongue.

 Of this faithful Church the Lord declares, "My sheep

know My Voice and they follow Me." We hear His Voice assuring us that it is His will that we who belong to His chaste, espoused virgin class should all be one-- should no longer be separated into sects and parties by creedal fences. The Lord declares that He gave Babylon time for repentance and she repented not. He declares that His sentence against the Babylonian system has already gone forth--that, from the Divine standpoint, already "Babylon is fallen! is fallen!" from Divine favor. What would be the wish of our Beloved, to whom we are betrothed? What is His message to us? It is written, "Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins and that ye receive not of her plagues"--her troubles--Rev. 18:4; John 10:27. SM126

 Since the nominal systems are not in that consecrated

condition of heart, hungering and thirsting for the Truth and for righteousness, and dead to self-will, therefore it is hopeless to think of their surrender of their interests, theories, etc. The very most they could think of doing would be to federate--to agree not to war with each other. Far better would it be to have some theological battles and air their inconsistencies before the wiser public of today. But whatever Babylon may do, mother and daughters, the course of the saintly few, the real Church, which is shortly to come from the "wilderness" leaning upon the arm of her Beloved Bridegroom, is clearly set forth. The saintly should unite in heart on the principles and doctrines of God's Word, and should stand free in the liberty wherewith Christ has made them free from all human bondage and sectarianism.

 Why should the Lord permit the formation of these

great wards and divisions in Mystic Babylon? He has permitted only such things as He is able to make work out blessings for His Very Elect, His "little flock," who soon shall be joint-heirs with Christ in His Kingdom. Babylon's strong sectarian walls, styled "orthodoxy," and the great brazen gates of worldliness will afford the saintly few the very test they need to demonstrate themselves "overcomers"--"more than conquerors"; for such overcomers only will constitute the members of the Bride class. All the promises are made to the "overcomers," and there must needs be permitted subtle evils for their testing, that those approved of God may be manifested.

        UNION OF THE ONE TRUE CHURCH
 In a word, our Lord's prayer will be realized by the

"overcomers." They will be one with Himself and with the Father; there will be "one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, one God, the Father." But as for the nominal systems their future will be destruction as systems, though many of God's dear people in them, failing to overcome, will be "saved so as by fire" in a great Time of Trouble SM127 with which this Age will terminate and the New Age will be ushered in.--1 Cor. 3:15; Eph. 4:4-6.

 You have my plea, Christian brethren, for the fulfilment

of the Master's prayer in the union of "the Church which is the Body of Christ," "the Church of the First-borns whose names are written in heaven." This union will not necessitate any reorganization as a new sect or new Church. It is the true Church, the only one which God has ever recognized. Babylon, without it, would not be in any sense of the word recognized of God; and as soon as the "overcomers" shall have escaped from Babylon, Babylon will come in remembrance before God that He may give to her the cup of the wine of His wrath, and suddenly, in one hour, her fall will occur. (Rev. 16:19,18,10.) To the true Church the Lord all along intimated that their oneness is as members of Christ, and not in earthly organizations. We do not read, Gather together unto Calvin, Luther, Wesley, Paul, Apollos or Peter, but, "Gather together My saints unto Me, saith the Lord, those who have made a Covenant with Me by sacrifice." "They shall be Mine, saith the Lord, in that day when I come to make up My jewels."--Mal. 3:17.

 When all of the sanctified shall have been delivered,

the clock of the Universe will strike the hour which closes the present Dispensation and opens the New; and "the salt of the earth" having been removed from Babylon, corruption will swiftly ensue. Flee out of Babylon! Deliver every man his soul! Let us use the light of "Present Truth" to the extent that each enjoys it. It will guide us in respect to all the affairs of life--into closer fellowship with God and the Savior and the brethren; and into separateness of mind and heart and service from Babylon. Let Babylon proceed with the good works in which she takes pride. The work of the saints, the Lord declares, is to "build one another up in the most holy faith," that eventually it may be said, "The marriage of the Lamb has come; for His Wife hath made herself ready." SM128

       HUMANITY DELUDED BY
            DEMON DOCTRINES
 "The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them

that believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ...should shine unto them."--2 Cor. 4:4.

 During the Dark Ages doctrines of demons were

foisted upon the Church by Satan's hosts of fallen angels. Millions were driven into the Church, but driven away from God and from the Bible. The theory was that all not members of the Church would surely go to eternal torture, but that by joining the Church they would have a chance of Heaven, even though the path led through Purgatory. Under these unscriptural teachings, Christianity has enrolled its hundreds of millions, very few of whom know anything about the real Christianity of the Bible--true discipleship of Jesus Christ.

 We see them in Europe today--of all creeds--doing

their best to destroy each other--to send each other to Purgatory or to eternal torture. About five per cent are estimated to be Mohammedans, Jews and infidels, and the remaining ninety-five per cent Christians. What a farce! What a hypocritical deception! The fact is that probably less than one per cent of all those millions would make any claim to be followers of Christ or of seeking to cultivate His Spirit of meekness, gentleness, patience, long-suffering, brotherly kindness, love. The great majority manifest the reverse spirit of anger, malice, hatred, envy, strife--works of the flesh and of the Devil.-- Col. 3:8; Gal. 5:19-23; 1 John 3:8.

 How few anywhere profess to be disciples or followers

of Jesus and His teachings! Christian standards have been so lowered that today a Christian is not one who has surrendered his whole being to God and His service, and who has devoted himself to following the SM129 Master's example, but merely one who refrains from profanity and such gross sins as murder and immorality. This change has come about as a revulsion against the thought that everybody except a mere handful of saints is enroute to eternal torture. Kind-hearted people could not think of their friends and relatives as suffering thus. They had the thought of eternal torture firmly fixed and let it remain, but moved down low the standard of worthiness for everlasting life.

        DEMONOLOGY AND THE FIRST LIE
 Lucifer, the cherub, through ambition became Satan,

God's opponent. He deceived our first parents into sin by his great falsehood, "Ye shall not surely die." (Gen. 3:4.) Since then he has supported that lie personally and through his demon hosts of fallen angels. These are not far off stoking fires in Hell and Purgatory, but right with humanity, perpetuating the original lie and convincing the world that Satan told the truth when he said, "Ye shall not surely die"; and that God lied when He said, "Thou shalt surely die." The doctrines of demons have so far succeeded that now practically everybody believes that lie, and the claim is made that the dead are more alive after death than before.

 On this original foundation-falsehood Satan has built

up various theories, all of which tend to delude humanity and to drive them away from God and from the promises of the Bible. He tells them that the dead are alive somewhere, and that at death the good and the bad immediately enter their rewards and punishments without resurrection. The errors are so skillfully framed as to teach that Heaven can be entered only through a number of passage-ways; such as baptism in infancy, confirmation, holy water, holy candles and holy burial, prayers, Eucharist and masses. Satan enlists on his side all who are interested in these various Heavenward helps. These have been reverenced; money has been paid to them freely; SM130 they have made the success already suggested, and claim four hundred million Christians. But how few of these really know the true God or really love Him!

        "GATHER MY SAINTS TO ME"
 In the Bible, however, God sets forth the True Church

of the First-borns, whose names are written in Heaven. Jesus is the Head over these; and they all are brethren, and not divided into clergy and laity. They are called saints. (Psalm 50:5.) God could indeed use force in gathering His Elect Church, but He will not do so. He will now gather merely those who have the hearing ear and the responsive heart. Of these He says, "They shall be Mine in that Day when I make up My jewels."

 Then a New Epoch will open; and under the Headship

of Jesus these jewels will constitute the Messianic Kingdom. Then the blessing of the world will begin. The first step in that blessing will be the binding of Satan, that he may deceive the people no more. Next will come the sweeping away of the ignorance and superstition which have been his web for entangling humanity. Thus all the blinded eyes will be opened, and all the deaf ears unstopped--all will see; all will hear; all will know of the Love of God, which passes all human understanding. (Isa. 35:5; Rom. 8:38,39.) Then the knowledge of the glory of God will fill the earth; and as a result every knee shall bow and every tongue confess, to the glory of God.--Isa. 11:9; Hab. 2:14; Phil. 2:10,11.

 The outcome will be that all wilful sinners will be destroyed

in the Second Death, while all others will be ushered into the perfection of life in a world-wide Eden. Then there shall be no more sighing, no more crying, no more dying; for all the former things shall have passed away. "And He that sat upon the Throne said, Behold, I make all things new."--Rev. 21:4,5.

 Is it not strange that we ever believed the monstrous

falsehoods taught us by these doctrines of demons--that the dead are more alive than ever; that nearly all of them SM131 are suffering untellable tortures, while the remaining small remnant look over the battlements of Heaven and rejoice in the misery of the unfortunates? Assuredly no human brain ever concocted such a Satanic theory! We challenge the ability of any man to sit down and deliberately concoct anything worse than what has been described to us as the Plan of the great Heavenly Creator, the Father of mercies, from whom cometh down every good and every perfect gift, and whose very name is Love. We have never found man or woman so fiendish as our God has been described to us.

 Herein we see the Satanic cunning of our great Adversary:

By establishing great religious institutions he has satisfied a certain mental craving, bound to assert itself in humanity. Yet by these false doctrines which blaspheme the Divine character and the Bible by misrepresenting them, he has driven far away from God nearly all, even of those who have professed church membership --"They profess that they know God; but in works they deny Him."--Titus 1:16.

 Some may be disposed to say Satan would never teach

about eternal torment; for it would be contrary to his interests and would keep people away from him. We reply that after eighteen centuries this theory is proven to be wrong, and Satan is proven to have been wise in his method. Mankind do not wish to serve Satan and sin. Naturally they would be, as the Apostle declares, feeling after God and desirous of finding Him; for every man has inherently some degree of reverence for a supreme Creator. Let me illustrate how Satan's lie operates:

 A Christian lady who has become a Bible student, and

who now dearly loves God and the Bible, told me her experience thus: "I was a Presbyterian, trusted that I was one of the Elect, and felt serene, but not without sympathy for the non-elect, who were to be tortured eternally. Then came the thought, Are you sure that you are one of the Elect? In distress I went to my pastor. In SM132 substance he said, 'You are all right; you are one of the Elect. Do not bother your head about such questions.'

 "But still I was troubled. Finally I feared that I

would land in an insane asylum; for I could not lift my thoughts from my danger of eternal torture. To escape insanity I plunged into society, gave and attended social functions, and made my life one busy whirl, in which I had no time to think of God or Satan or the Bible. Oh, how changed everything is now, Pastor Russell! My heart always yearned for God, and now I know Him. I read His Book, and see its great Divine Plan of the Ages, showing a gracious blessing for the Elect on the Heavenly plane and a grand Restitution for the non-elect to perfection on the earthly plane. I ever thank God for the 'Studies in the Scriptures.'"

 Have we not driven away from God and from the

Bible some of the very best minds of the world, plunging them into business, pleasure, society, novel-reading, theater-going or intoxication--anything to stop themselves from thinking about the terrible possibilities of the future related to them by you and me who have been deluded by these doctrines of devils.

        "SPEAKING LIES IN HYPOCRISY"
 St. Paul describes Satan's work concisely in the statement

which forms our text. If the true light of God shines into any heart, it begins a transformation work at once; hence Satan's anxiety to keep people from thinking of God as a reasonable and adorable Creator and from studying His gracious plan for human redemption. We see how the eyes of all have been much holden--the world seeing nothing at all, and Christians seeing little enough of the goodness of God. Thus St. Paul prayed for Christians that the eyes of their understanding opening, they might be able to comprehend the lengths and breadths, the heights and depths, and to know the Love of God, which passes human understanding.--Eph. 1:18; 3:19.

 This Love of God was completely obscured by the

SM133 dense darkness of the medieval period, when the doctrines of demons got full hold upon the minds of the people, because the Bible was reprobated and out of use for twelve hundred years, while the people were misguided into thinking that so-called Apostolic bishops had the same authority as the original Twelve Apostles whom Jesus ordained. The creeds made by these bishops took the place of the Word of God until the beginning of the Sixteenth Century; and since then, it has been a battle for the Bible to get into the hands of the people and for the latter to realize their privilege of Bible study. Protestant bishops, in front of St. Paul's Cathedral, London, set the example of burning the New Testament, because those who would study it would thereby be ignoring these false apostles, who styled themselves Apostolic Bishops, and of whom Jesus said, "They are not Apostles, but liars."--Rev. 2:2.

  Finally the people, feeling after the True God and

His true Message, and wondering why the bishops kept it from them, made such a stir about the matter that both Protestant and Catholic bishops gave them the Bible in English, but with dire threats that if in reading they got anything different from the creeds that the bishops had made, they would roast to all eternity. Ever since, the Bible has been obliged to fight for every inch of ground it has gained--fighting against bishops and clergy who, if they could not keep it from the people, did their best to make it support the doctrines of demons--the clergy themselves being deceived also, and verily thinking that they were doing God service. DIFFERENCE IN THE PAST FIFTY YEARS

  During the past fifty years general education has

come. Satan realized that he must adopt a new course. As St. Paul foretold, he affected to be an angel of light, a leader into new light. (2 Cor. 11:13-15.) He got hold of the colleges and seminaries, and now sees to it that practically everybody of college education has his religious SM134 faith entirely destroyed, so far as a Divine Revelation is concerned. Surely not five out of every hundred ministers and others graduated make any pretense of believing in the inspiration of the Bible, when they are speaking privately and confidentially! They are too intelligent to believe in eternal torture, and experience a revulsion of feeling against the Bible, which they mistakenly believe teaches these Satanic delusions.

  As a result, we have thousands of ministers drawing

salaries totalling millions of dollars annually, who outwardly pose as God's servants, ministers of His religion revealed in the Bible, but who in reality are hypocrites. Privately they will confess that they do not believe that man was created in God's image and fell from it. Neither do they believe that Jesus redeemed man from the fall; for they say, There was no fall. Neither do they believe in a coming Time of Restitution, which the Bible declares is the great hope for the world. (Acts 3:19,23.) They are hypocrites pure and simple. As the Apostle Paul declares, they "speak lies in hypocrisy, having their consciences seared with a hot iron."--1 Tim. 4:1,2; Isa. 56:11.

 There are exceptions to this general rule. They are

found amongst the less educated ministers, whom their educated brethren style "mossbacks." There are others whose consciences are not entirely seared, and who are in great distress, wishing to be honest, but fearing the cost. They say little about the future, occasionally work in a little Truth, and are generally very unhappy. I have hope for many of these yet, that they will get right with God and take their stand for truth and righteousness, casting all their cares and fears upon the Lord--fears respecting their living and provision for their families, respecting their good names, which will be cast out as evil, as mine has been, if they will firmly stand. The time of decision is here. Whoever is not for God and for the Truth is against the same. SM135

 The great leaders of Ecclesiasticism seem to have

no conscience. If approached by their confiding flocks, they dodge the questions with deceptive phrases, fearing not God, neither regarding man, but merely looking for gain, each from his own quarter--his denomination.

 It is the duty of all who see the Truth clearly to act

positively. (2 Cor. 6:17,18.) Whoever lends financial aid or moral support to the great systems which are opposing the true teachings of God's Word, and assisting in the perpetuation of Satan's lie, is a partaker of the evil deeds and will share in the woes soon to come.

   BLASPHEMY THE GREATEST CRIME
 Recently a young business man told me of his experience.

He inquired of his pastor, "Is there a Hell of eternal torture for all except the saintly?" The cheerful answer was, "Yes, certainly." The young man had been reading and thinking, and told the pastor his conclusions. As he left the study, the pastor put his hand on the young man's shoulder, saying, "George, I do not believe in eternal torture, either. But, you know, we must preach it; otherwise, what would become of the world? They would go from bad to worse."

 What does that young man think of his pastor now?

--a liar, a hypocrite, a blasphemer of God--all to hold his place in the religious firmament--justifying himself by saying, "Let us do evil that good may come; let us blaspheme God's name, that we may lead the people, and drive them away from God and the Bible!" We know of no worse crime that humanity could commit than that of blaspheming God's holy name. In the Jewish Law this sin was placed ahead of all sins relating to fellowmen. That minister is merely a sample of about nine-tenths of the entire clergy, so far as we are able to know from their creed professions and their private denials of these. St. Paul's words surely appeal to every true Christian when he declares that the Love of God and of Christ --not fear--constrains us. SM136 THE MELCHIZEDEK PRIESTHOOD

  "Whither the Forerunner is for us entered, even

Jesus, made an High Priest forever after the Order of Melchizedek."--Heb. 6:20.

  Melchizedek was the name of a remarkable person

who lived in the days of Abraham, and of whom little is recorded in the Old Testament except that he was a king and a priest at the same time--a "priest upon his throne" --"King of Salem," which signifies king of peace, prince of the Most High God. He is brought to our attention in connection with Abraham's battling with the kings of the North, who had taken captive Lot and his family and his household stuff, at the time of the sack of Sodom. As Abraham returned from the battle he called upon this king-priest and presented to him a tithe of the spoil taken and received his blessing, partaking also in conjunction the symbolical bread and wine. It remained, however, for the Lord in His own due time, nearly two thousand years afterward, to explain to us by inspiration through the Apostle Paul the real significance of this event--that Melchizedek in this procedure typified the glorified Christ.--Gen. 14:18-20.

  The Aaronic priesthood, instituted by Moses, of which

the head was Aaron, having continued for more than sixteen centuries, was so well established at the time of the Apostle's writing that the Jews considered it the only priesthood. Hence, when Christ was preached to them as the real Priest of God, who alone had power to forgive sins through the merit of His own Sacrifice, the objection was raised that Jesus did not even belong to the priestly tribe, and hence that no power to offer sacrifice to God or to make atonement for sin or to forgive sin could reside in Him. Before the logical reasoners of the Jewish people SM137 could rightly appreciate the work of Christ on behalf of their nation and all the families of the earth, it was necessary that the Lord through the Apostle should point out to them that in the Divine Plan a still higher order of priesthood than the Aaronic was recognized; that, as our text declares, Jesus from the time of His resurrection and ascension to God has been the Chief Priest or High Priest of a new Order of Priesthood--styled by the Apostle Peter the Royal Priesthood.--1 Pet. 2:9. "AFTER THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK"

  Every heathen religion has its priests; and so also

amongst Christians, each denomination has its own priest. So strictly are the lines drawn that no Protestant would be allowed to preach from a Roman Catholic pulpit; and if by any inadvertence one did occupy it, a purification and reconsecration of the pulpit would be deemed necessary before it would again be used by a Catholic priest. The same rule holds with the Episcopal church-- a pulpit would be considered desecrated if occupied by a Protestant member of any other denomination, and a similar purification and reconsecration would be demanded by Episcopal law and usage. But God and the Scriptures recognize none of these priesthoods--neither the heathen nor the Christian; they are of men and by men. The Divine arrangement takes cognizance only of the Aaronic and the Melchizedek priesthood. Whatsoever is more than these or outside of these is more than God has predestinated, and outside the Divine ordination, and consequently improper, misleading, dangerous.

  Following the Apostle's discourse, we hope to make

clear to you that the Melchizedek Order of Priesthood, of which the Apostle declares that Jesus is the High Priest, has for its underpriesthood the true saints of God from Pentecost to the present time, of various nations, peoples, kindred and tongues, but in all a "little flock." We hope to show that although this priesthood may include SM138 preachers and public servants of God, it includes also the very humblest of the Lord's followers, who have His Spirit and are now laying down their consecrated lives in His service.

  Going back we hearken to the Apostle's statement to

the Jews in which he admits that Christ was not of the tribe of Levi, but of the tribe of Judah, and could not have been an earthly priest under the Divine arrangement; for the earthly priesthood was confined to Aaron and his sons. But, says the Apostle, the priesthood of Jesus is not an earthly one, but a Heavenly one. It is the risen, glorified Christ who is the High Priest of this higher order than Aaron's--this Order of Melchizedek.

  PURPOSE OF A NEW PRIESTHOOD
 The Apostle points out that the priesthood of Aaron

repeated the typical sacrifices year by year, but that this evidently could not be all that God designed; for these repeated sacrifices did not abolish original sin, but merely covered or condoned it for the year for which they were offered, and the purpose of God as everywhere set forth was evidently larger and broader than this, eventually a complete cancellation of sin. Hence the Aaronic priesthood could not have been the end of the Divine purpose. The Apostle proceeds to point out that God had already decreed a new priesthood to be established in His own due time, and that this Divine purpose was plainly stated through the Prophet David, who, as the Lord's mouthpiece, declares, "Jehovah hath sworn and will not repent, Thou art a Priest forever, after the Order of Melchizedek." This is a part of the Messianic Psalm which opens with the statement, "Jehovah said unto my Lord, Sit Thou at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool. Jehovah shall send the rod of Thy strength out of Zion; rule Thou in the midst of Thine enemies. Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power."--Psa. 110:1-3. SM139

 The Apostle's logic is conclusive with all whose eyes

of understanding are opened. The priesthood of Aaron, which had lasted for over sixteen centuries, was some day to terminate, and a new priesthood after the Order of Melchizedek was to be introduced, and the Chief of this order was to be Messiah Himself. The Apostle shows therefore that the Divine purpose was that "better sacrifices" for sin should be offered, and that this meant the passing at the proper time of the typical Aaronic priesthood. He proceeds to argue that the Lord Jesus, having come as the High Priest of this new Order, has already offered Himself a sacrifice to God well pleasing, and that on the strength of this sacrifice all who believe on Him, all who accept Him, all who seek to flee away from their sins and to return to harmony with God, are privileged so to do. And not only so, but an invitation is given to the repentant believers whose sins are covered that they may become members of this antitypical priesthood-- members of the Body of Christ, the antitypical Melchizedek. --Heb. 10:19-25.

  Along this line the Apostle admonishes the consecrated

Gospel Church, saying, "Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the Heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our Order, Christ Jesus." (Heb. 3:1.) And in harmony with this the Apostle Peter, so far from claiming himself a pope, and so far from acknowledging any special clergy class in the Church, assures us that the entire Body of Christ, the entire company of consecrated believers, is a "Royal Priesthood." And be it noted that this royal feature differentiates the Melchizedek Priesthood from the Aaronic. Aaron and his sons had nothing whatever to do with the royalty of the typical Kingdom.--1 Pet. 2:9.

        "A PRIEST UPON HIS THRONE"
  In the case of Melchizedek as a type nothing is shown

respecting sacrifice. He was not a sacrificing priest, but a blessing priest, empowered by his kingly office to give SM140 his priestly blessing. So Christ, as the High Priest of the Melchizedek Order, does no sacrificing, but is merely a blessing Priest. True, He sacrificed in the days of His flesh; as the Apostle declares. "He offered up Himself." It is true also that the followers of the Lord sacrifice themselves, as the Apostle suggests: "I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God [in the forgiveness of your sins through faith in Christ] that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, and your reasonable service." (Rom. 12:1.) But this sacrificing of Jesus and His followers is not a part of the Melchizedek type. As the Apostle points out of our Lord Jesus Christ, "though He were a son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered. And being made perfect [in the resurrection as a New Creature] He became the Author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him; called of God, a High Priest after the Order of Melchizedek." --Heb. 5:7-10.

 Similarly the Church, who will be the Royal Underpriesthood,

are called upon now to prove their loyalty, their sincerity, by the things which they will suffer for righteousness' sake and in obedience to God in the present time when sin prevails. Not until these shall have proven their worthiness will they be glorified by the First Resurrection to become the Royal Priests, in association with the High Priest of the Melchizedek Order, to bless all the families of the earth during the Millennial Age. It is in accord with this that the Scriptures declare that this Melchizedek Order of priests shall be "kings and priests unto God, and reign on the earth."--Rev. 5:10.

 The Apostle proceeds to show that both the Aaronic

Priesthood and the Melchizedek Priesthood are of Divine appointment. He points out that Aaron was called of God to be the head of the Aaronic Priesthood, and likewise Christ was also called of the Father to become the High Priest of the Melchizedek Order. "No man taketh this honor to himself but he that is called of God, even as SM141 was Aaron." So also Christ glorified not Himself to be made a High Priest; but His High Priesthood came from God, who said unto Him, "Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten [born] Thee;" and again, "Thou art a Priest forever, after the Order of Melchizedek." As the Head of this Melchizedek Order came through Divine invitation, so all the members of the Royal Priesthood must be called of God. Hence the Apostle sought to find and to influence, not the whole world of mankind, but "as many as the Lord your God shall call" to this Melchizedek Priesthood.--Acts 2:39.

        THE TYPICAL MELCHIZEDEK
 Lest his Jewish readers should think that the atonement

of Aaron was more pronounced and therefore more authoritative than that of the Lord Jesus, the Apostle points out that the contrary of this is true--that Aaron was appointed without Divine oath, but that in the appointment of Jesus as the antitype of Melchizedek and the High Priest of this Melchizedek Order, God had pronounced Himself more emphatically than in respect to the Aaronic Priesthood by giving His oath, "I have sworn and will not repent, Thou art a Priest forever after the Order of Melchizedek." Here, then, the Apostle notes five significant items: (1) That God indicated a change of priesthood from Aaron to Melchizedek. (2) The latter was to be a greater and more important priesthood, as implied by the Divine oath. (3) It would come after and supersede the Aaronic priesthood, inasmuch as the prophecy respecting it came after the Aaronic priesthood had been long established. (4) It would be a perpetual priesthood, which should not be transferred to another. (5) It would be a higher priesthood, in that it would combine the priestly function of forgiveness of sin and instruction of the people with the kingly function of dominion and power.

 Having established his argument that there must be a

Melchizedek Order of priests, and that it must be higher SM142 than that of Aaron because of God's oath and because it would be the successor which would endure, the Apostle proceeds to point out that much of this was typified by the man Melchizedek, who was but a type of The Christ of glory--Jesus the Head, and the Church His Body. The Apostle says, "Now consider how great this man was unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils." (Heb. 7:4.) The signification of this the Apostle amplified, showing that the Levites at that time were unborn, in the loins of Abraham; and that therefore Aaron and his sons, the Aaronic priesthood, acknowledged this higher priesthood of Melchizedek and gave tithes. The argument is a masterly one, and shows that as even in the type Melchizedek was higher than Aaron, much more would the antitypical Melchizedek be higher, more glorious, more powerful, more able to bless and to forgive sins. He proceeds to show that in other respects Melchizedek typified Christ. Would the Jews claim that under the Law every priest of the Aaronic order was obliged to show that he had a right to serve because of his genealogy, that his parentage must have been in the priestly family, and would they inquire then how could Jesus be a priest since He had no relationship with Aaron and had no parentage in that family?

 The Apostle's answer to such a query is that

Melchizedek was without father or mother in the priesthood, nor could it be shown when his priesthood began or that it ever ended. This, the plain import of the Apostle's language, is somewhat veiled in the statement that Melchizedek was without beginning of days or end of years and without father or mother or children (in the priesthood). Thus the Apostle argues that God made Melchizedek a most graphic picture of Christ, whose authority as priest was not derived from either father or mother, and whose priestly office did not descend to successors, whose term of office is not limited by years, but is everlasting.

 Thus he reasons that Christ's priesthood after the

SM143 Order of Melchizedek, a priest upon His Throne, is an unchangeable one--one that will be maintained in perpetuity, until it shall have served its full purpose. THE AARONIC PRIESTHOOD TYPICAL

 We have seen that our Lord was made a High Priest

after the Melchizedek Order in His resurrection from the dead, a Spirit Being, far above angels, principalities and powers, and every name that is named. We have seen that the elect Church, the Royal Priesthood, are to enter upon their priestly office after sharing with Christ in His resurrection (Phil. 3:10), and be made "partakers of the Divine nature," glory, honor, immortality. (2 Pet. 1:4.) Thus we see that the Melchizedek Priesthood is merely prepared during this Gospel Age and is to do its work subsequently--during the Millennial Age. Then, as a Priest upon His Throne, our Lord shall be King of kings and Lord of lords to rule, to subdue, to put down all sin and insubordination, and as Priest to lift up and bless the whole world and heal it of its sicknesses, mental, moral and physical. Furthermore, we call to memory our Lord's promise that His faithful will sit with Him in His Throne--share His Kingdom honors and glorious work of uplifting humanity.--Rev. 3:21.

  This beautiful picture of the Melchizedek Priesthood

therefore grandly confirms the whole teaching of the Bible, to the effect that God is now gathering out of the world a Little Flock, the Spiritual Seed of Abraham, which, in association with the Lord, shall bring to pass "Times of Restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all the holy Prophets since the world began." The world, the groaning creation, must needs wait in the Divine Plan for the "manifestation of the sons of God" in their Kingdom power and glory, the Royal Priesthood.--Rom. 8:22,19; Rev. 21:1-5.

  What, then, shall we say of the priesthood of Aaron?

Was it without typical signification? By no means. While it did not typify the glory of the Kingdom, it did in type SM144 set forth most distinctly the sufferings of this present time, necessary to precede the glory that shall follow-- "For if we suffer with Him we shall also reign with Him." Christ must needs suffer and enter into His glory as the Melchizedek Priest; and His faithful followers must walk in His steps and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ, "Laying down their lives for the brethren."--2 Tim. 2:12; Luke 24:46; Col. 1:24; 1 John 3:16.

  These "better sacrifices" of Christ and the Church

the Apostle contrasts with the sacrifices of the Aaronic priesthood, so that we are on safe ground when we assure ourselves that the typical Atonement Day of Israel and its typical sin-offering represent the Sacrifice of Christ followed by the sacrifice of the Church, accepted as members of His Body. We have already seen on a previous occasion that the minutest details of the Atonement Day sacrifices, in Leviticus 16, found fulfilment in the experience of Christ and His faithful during this Gospel Age. The Aaronic High Priest having sacrificed, representing the death of himself and his associates, and having represented his change to a new nature by passing beyond the veil into the Most Holy, came out again and blessed all the people--representing the blessings that are to come to mankind through the new Priest after the Order of Melchizedek--as soon as the sacrificing shall all be finished and accepted.

        THE GLORIOUS MORNING
 As the eye of faith looks back over the centuries

of this Gospel Age and perceives the Sacrifice made by our great High Priest and His entrance into glory, and as we perceive further the little thread of faithful, consecrated followers of the Lamb all the way through the centuries, and as we note in our day multiplying evidences that this Little Flock of called, chosen, faithful ones will soon have finished their sacrificing, and as we realize that soon they will experience their change from SM145 sacrificing priests, antitypical of the Aaronic, and "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye," be changed to priests of the Melchizedek Order, our hearts are glad for two reasons: (1) We trust that some of us will thus shortly hear the Master's welcome voice saying, "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joys of thy Lord," sit down with Me in My Throne--to bless all the families of the earth; (2) We realize that the glorification of the Church marks the time for the beginning of Divine blessing to return to Natural Israel, from whom in turn it shall flow to all the families of the earth.

 Who that loves God and his fellowmen would not

rejoice on learning of this gracious arrangement of the Divine Plan? Who that loves righteousness and hates iniquity would not be glad to welcome the New Dispensation, when Satan shall be bound and all the various deceptions by which he has enthralled the world shall be dissolved? Who would not be glad to know that the time is near at hand when the knowledge of the glory of God shall fill the whole earth so completely that none shall need say to his neighbor, Know thou the Lord, for all shall know Him from the least to the greatest? (Jer. 31:34.) Who would not be rejoiced that soon the confused Babel of various changing creeds will be silenced; and that, as the Prophet has declared, the Lord shall turn unto the people (the masses) a pure Message, and they shall all call upon the name of the Lord to serve Him with one consent? (Zeph. 3:9.) Ah, truly! As the Lord's people now love to sing, "O happy day, that fixed my choice on Thee, my Savior, and my God," so the poor world will soon have the opportunity of singing much after the same strain when the blind eyes shall be opened and the deaf ears unstopped and all shall be brought to an appreciation of the Lord and of His merciful Plan.

 Why not now? does some one ask. Because as the

Lord declares, "As the heavens are higher than the earth so are My ways higher than your ways, and My plans than SM146 your plans." As we come to understand and appreciate the Divine Plan we see that it is by far better than any earthly human plan. And, thank God! it is not in the power of either the friends or the enemies of the Lord to change His purposes one iota. He declares, "The word that has gone out of My mouth shall not return unto Me void, but shall accomplish that which I please and shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."

 The Message sent during the Jewish Age was merely

to take out a typical people, Israel after the flesh. The Message sent during this Gospel Age has been merely to gather the Elect, that they might participate in the sacrificing as antitypical priests like unto Aaron; and that thus they might be prepared to be, with their Lord, antitypical priests like unto Melchizedek for the work of the future, the blessing of the world. The Message of the future, as we have seen, will be "good tidings of great joy, which shall be unto all people"--restitution to human perfection, to all that was lost in Adam. But we remind you that while God has thus provided a great salvation and forgiveness of sins that are past for all mankind, His arrangement is for the punishment of every sin that is wilful, in proportion to its wilfulness.

 We have heretofore seen that this signifies that some

of the human family, having degraded themselves seriously with a measure of wilfulness, will have correspondingly the more steps to retrace in order to attain all that was lost and redeemed. It means a "just recompense of reward to every soul that doeth evil." It means an opportunity for a proportionate blessing, however, to each one who may have done the least kindness to any member of the elect Priesthood, even so much as the giving of a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple. We remind you further that in the Divine Word there is the assurance that those who continue wilfully obdurate and rebellious will ultimately die the Second Death, from which there will be no hope of recovery. SM147

 In other words, God is providing in Christ one full

redemption from the curse that came upon Adam and his posterity; and this redemption, secured by the precious blood of Christ, must be made available to every member of the race eventually--made available by each being brought to a knowledge of the Truth. Then the responsibility will rest upon himself; and his eternal destiny will be such as his course shall merit--either life eternal or death eternal. For ultimately the Lord will have a clean universe. As it is written, "Every creature which is in Heaven and on the earth and under the earth heard I saying, Blessing and honor and glory and power be unto Him that sitteth upon the Throne and unto the Lamb for ever and ever."--Rev. 5:13.

 In conclusion, dear friends, let us learn to abhor that

which is evil and cleave to that which is good, as being the very soundest policy for the life that now is and for that which is to come. And those of us who have accepted the Divine invitation for joint-heirship with the Lord as Royal Priests, let us appreciate the grand privilege which is ours; and laying aside every weight let us run with patience the race set before us. Let us be joyful partakers in the sufferings, trials and oppositions which go to make up the sacrificing of this present time; and while partaking by faith of the glory to follow let us wait in patience, hope and trust for a share in the First Resurrection, when we shall see our Redeemer's face and share His glory.--1 John 3:1-3.

   Kings for the promised Throne,
      Crowns we shall wear;
   Christ reigns, but not alone--
      We soon shall share.
   O ye despised ones, come!
   Pilgrims no more we'll roam:
   Sweetly we'll rest at home;
      Jesus is there.

SM148 THE WORLD'S JUDGMENT DAY [Preached in Corinth, Greece, March 10, 1912]

 "God hath appointed a Day in the which He will judge

the world."--Acts 17:31.

 True, it is not today fashionable in civilized communities

to worship images; and yet in another sense it is still fashionable. To a great extent idolatry still prevails throughout the civilized world, but in a different form from that of old. No longer do we bow before wooden images, but before inward images--the images of our minds, our mental aspirations--with some, wealth and fame; with others, ease and pleasures; and with still others, the creed idols of our forefathers--miserable misrepresentations of the true God.

 St. Paul on Mars Hill preached Jesus and the resurrection

--Jesus as the Redeemer from the death sentence, making possible the resurrection of the dead by satisfying the demands of Divine Law against the sinner--the resurrection as the means or agency through which the blessing of the Savior's death will reach Adam and all the families of the earth. As we follow St. Paul's thought we shall surely be blessed by his view of the Gospel.

 Addressing the Gentiles, the Apostle explains that

for a long time God had "winked" at polytheism and image worship, "but now," he says, "God commanded all men everywhere to repent." Let us note the meaning of these words. How did God "wink" at sin and idolatry? And does He still "wink" at it? And why did He change and when did He begin to command all men to repent?

 The answer is that for four thousand years idolatry

prevailed and God "winked" at or took no notice of it. He did not "wink" at the idolaters dying in their ignorance, and say to the devils, "Take these poor creatures SM149 who know no better! Roast them to all eternity!" Nothing of the kind. Our forefathers merely imagined that, and by false reasoning convinced themselves, and twisted some texts of Scripture which they did not properly understand in support of this theory; and then they handed it down to us to our perplexity and to the testing of our faith in God.

  God "winked" at idolatry and sin for four thousand

years in the sense of not noticing it, making no comment on it, sending no reproofs, leaving the heathen in their ignorance. The only exception to this was God's dealings with the little nation of Israel. To the Jews He gave a Law Covenant which offered eternal life on the condition of their thorough obedience to the Divine Law, the measure of a perfect man's ability, which they were unable to comply with; and hence they died the same as did the heathen. All went to the Bible hell--to the tomb--to sheol, to hades, the state or condition of death --an unconscious state, a "sleep."

                JESUS THE REDEEMER
  God was in no haste, however. Over four thousand

years elapsed before Jesus was born, and thirty years more before He began His ministry. Had it been true, as some aver, that millions for all those centuries were blindly stumbling into eternal torture for lack of a Divine revelation, we may be sure that our gracious God would not have left them without it. Who can think of a just and loving God as winking at the going of millions of His creatures to eternal torture? But since they merely "fell asleep" in death, He could very well "wink" at the matter in view of His future plans, as we shall see.

  The fact is that no release from death could possibly

be made until the Redemption-price had been provided for the original sin under which they were condemned to death. This is the Apostle's argument, viz., that "now God commandeth all men everywhere to repent." SM150 The now implies that He did not command men previously to repent; and the reason why He did not do so is manifest; for all the repenting they could do and all the righteous living possible to them would not have saved them. They would have died anyway. Hence there could have been no message sent to them; for if the messenger had come and had said, "Repent, and live contrary to your fallen tastes and appetites," the people might properly enough have said, "Why? For what reason should we practice self-denial, self-restraint? Would it bring us any blessing of everlasting life or harmony with God?" The truthful answer would have been, "No, because you are already under a death sentence and alienated from God as sinners."

  Hence God merely overlooked or "winked" at the

ignorance and superstition of the period from Adam to the death of our Redeemer. But as soon as Jesus had died, "the Just for the unjust," to make reconciliation for iniquity--immediately the message went forth--God offered forgiveness and reconciliation to those who would believe in Jesus and would accept the Divine terms. Such have their sins forgiven. Such may come back to fellowship with God. And, in the next Age, such may eventually attain full human perfection by restitution processes, up, up to all that was lost in Adam and redeemed at Calvary.--John 3:16,17.

                  GOD'S APPOINTED DAY
  Let us note carefully what the Apostle says respecting

God's appointed Day for the judging of the world. He says that the command to repent now goes forth to all men everywhere, "because God hath appointed a [future] Day, in which He will judge the world." The Apostle does not refer to that Day as already begun, but as merely appointed or arranged for in advance. He means that in arranging that "Jesus, by the grace of God, should taste death for every man," God was arranging that every man might have a judgment or a trial, SM151 to determine whether or not he will be worthy of this blessing which Jesus' death provides him an opportunity to secure. The Day was future in St. Paul's time, and it is still future, because God has other work which He purposes shall be accomplished first, before the world's Day of Judgment or trial shall begin.

  The world's Trial Day, or period of judgment, or testing

as to worthiness or unworthiness for everlasting life, will be one of the thousand-year Days mentioned by St. Peter, who said, "A Day with the Lord is as a thousand years." The same period is called elsewhere the "Day of Christ," the Day or period of Messiah's glorious reign. By the righteous ruling of His Kingdom, by the suppression of Satan and sin and the scattering of darkness, ignorance and superstition, by the shining forth of the Sun of Righteousness with healing in its beams, that glorious Day will bring blessing to the world in general--opportunity for each individual to come into judgment or trial, the result of which will be either the reward of life everlasting or the punishment of death everlasting--"everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power."--2 Thess. 1:9.

 That great thousand-year Day is still future; and,

meantime, the Apostle's words respecting mankind are still true: "The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together"--"waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God." (Rom. 8:22,19.) If the nineteen centuries delay in the introduction of this great Day seems long, let us not forget that it is less than half as long as the period which preceded--the period prior to the coming of Jesus and His dying, "the Just for the unjust." Nor is the entire period long from the Divine standpoint; for as the Prophet declares: "A thousand years in God's sight are but as yesterday," or even shorter, "as a watch in the night." The six great Days of a thousand years each, in which Sin and Death have reigned, are to SM152 be followed by a great Sabbath of rest from evil--a thousand years of refreshment, reinvigoration, upbuilding, restitution.--Acts 3:19-23.

        "THE MYSTERY OF GOD"
 The purpose of the nineteen centuries between the

time when Jesus died as man's Redeemer and the time when He will take His Throne as the Restorer of Adam and his race is spoken of as a Mystery, because the great work of grace herein accomplished is measurably hidden from the world. The Jews do not understand it; they expected that Messiah's Kingdom and their own national exaltation would have come long ago. They cannot tell now why they have been for eighteen centuries outcast from the Divine favor. It is a mystery to them.

 The Scriptures tell us who may know or understand

this Mystery and when it will be finished. They say, "The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him, and He will show them His Covenant." They tell us that "in the days of the voice of the Seventh Angel, when he shall begin to sound, the Mystery of God shall be finished," which He hath kept secret from the foundation of the world. St. Paul refers to this Mystery, saying that it was "hidden from past Ages and Dispensations," and that it "is now revealed to the saints." He explains what it is, namely, that we should be fellow-heirs and of the same nature with our Redeemer.--Eph. 3:6.

 This clearly means that the entire Church class, sometimes

called "the Body of Christ, which is the Church," and sometimes styled "the Bride, the Lamb's Wife," is to be sharer with the Redeemer in the sufferings of the present life and in the glories of the future. The nearly nineteen centuries of this Age, therefore, according to the Scriptures, have been for the purpose, not of giving the world its trial for everlasting life or death, but for the trying, testing, the electing or selecting of the Church, and her perfecting with her Lord as sharers in "His resurrection," "the First Resurrection." SM153

 We have in the past made two serious mistakes respecting

the Divine purposes. One was that we assumed without Scriptural authority that the whole world is now on trial for eternal life, failing to see that it is merely the elect Church, the consecrated class. The other mistake is that we reasoned as though the Church were part of the world and, therefore, that the trial of the Church meant the trial of the world. But hearken to the Scriptures respecting the Church: "Ye are not of the world, even as I am not of the world"; "I have chosen you out of the world"; and again, "Let your light so shine before men that they, seeing your good works, may glorify your Father which is in Heaven" "in the day of their visitation."--John 15:19; Matt. 5:16; 1 Peter 2:12.

        TWO DIFFERENT REWARDS
 We should notice also the wide difference between the

reward promised the Church and that proffered the world. In both cases the reward will be everlasting life. In both cases this will mean full harmony with God, because "All the wicked will God destroy." And again we read that "Whosoever hath the Son hath life, and whosoever hath not the Son shall not see life." So, then, the attainment of everlasting life, either by the Church class or by the world, will mean coming into full harmony with the Heavenly Father and with the Lord Jesus, by the merit of Christ's sacrifice. It will mean a full turning away from sin and a full devotion to God and to righteousness.--Psa. 145:20; John 3:36; 5:12.

 The difference will be as to nature. The reward for

the world will be earthly nature, human nature, with everlasting life in an earthly Paradise or Eden--worldwide. Mankind never lost a spiritual or Heavenly condition through Adam's disobedience, nor in any other manner. He never had such a condition or nature, or a right to it, that he could lose it. He was made man, "a little lower than the angels." His crown of glory and honor was an earthly crown. His dominion was over the SM154 birds of the air, over cattle and over the fish of the sea. This which he lost Jesus gave the Redemption-price for at Calvary; and these things lost are the very things which Jesus and His elect Bride will restore to mankind during the thousand years of the Messianic Kingdom. Thus we read: "The Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost."--Gen. 1:26; Psa. 8:4-8; Luke 19:10. PARTAKERS OF THE DIVINE NATURE

 The reward of the Church, eternal life, perfection and

harmony with God, will be on the spirit plane--wholly different from the human. Man in perfection will again be a little lower than the angels; but the Church, as the Body of Christ, will share with her Lord in His exaltation, "far above angels, principalities and powers and every name that is named"--the Divine nature. This reward comes to the Church under a special covenant of sacrifice, which the Bible specifies.--Eph. 1:21; Psa. 50:5.

 This Church class, like her Lord, must sacrifice the

earthly nature, earthly interests, hopes and aims, and must be begotten of the Father to a Heavenly, spiritual nature, in order to be a sharer in the First Resurrection; and she must enter into her reward before the Messianic Kingdom can be established for the blessing of mankind in general--the saving of the race from sin and death.

 Thus the Apostle wrote that the groaning creation

"waits for the manifestation of the sons of God." (Rom. 8:19.) "Now are we the sons of God, but it doth not yet appear what we shall be [how glorious, how great], but we know that when He shall appear we shall be like Him." Our resurrection change will make us like the Savior; as it written, "We shall all be changed, in a moment, in a twinkling," because "flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of Heaven."

 Come back again to St. Paul's words. He does not

say that God commanded the Church to sacrifice; for if sacrifice were a command it would cease to be a sacrifice. Nowhere are God's people commanded to present their SM155 bodies living sacrifices, nor to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, nor to take up the cross and follow Him. To the saintly these sacrificing features are set forth as a privilege --as an opportunity. If they do these things the Divine arrangement is that through the imputation of Christ's merit their sacrifice will be holy and acceptable unto God, and they will be granted a share with the Redeemer in His high exaltation--the reward of sacrifice, of self-denial, of loving, voluntary service to God, the Truth and the brethren.

       "COMMANDETH ALL TO REPENT"
 But to the world in general the Lord issues a command,

viz., Repent; turn from your sins; come back to Me; seek My face; seek to know and do My will. The basis of this command is the Divine declaration that God's grace has provided redemption in the blood of Jesus, a reconciliation through His blood, and that by and by the whole world will be on trial for life or death everlasting, in a great Day of trial, which God has ordained and over which Christ and the Church will supervise, as Judges.--1 Cor. 6:2,3.

 Whoever comes to a knowledge of this great Divine

arrangement through Christ has an incentive to live righteously, soberly and godly in this present time. Whoever hears and heeds this command is laying up for himself a good treasure of character and preparation for his life or death trial in the great Judgment Day of the Messianic Kingdom. Whoever ignores this knowledge and "sows to the flesh" will find himself reaping to the flesh further weakness, further degradation and severer stripes or punishments in that great thousand-year Judgment Day.

   When He who is our life
      Appears, to take the Throne,
   We, too, shall be revealed, and shine
      In glory like His own.

SM156

     THE DECEPTIVE WAY
 "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but

the end thereof are the ways of death."--Prov. 16:25.

 Selfishness should be considered the synonym of Sin.

Not that we could live under present conditions entirely forgetful of our own interests; but that these should be considered justly balanced with the interests of others, in harmony with the statement, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Originally sin was inspired by Mother Eve's unlawful spirit of acquisitiveness--her desire to secure knowledge in advance of the Creator's arrangement. This spirit of acquisitiveness led her into disobedience. Father Adam's transgressions against Divine Law was prompted also by self-interest. Believing that by her disobedience his wife had fallen under the sentence of death, he selfishly planned to be disobedient also, believing that all the pleasure of his life would die with his wife. He disobeyed, in order to die with her.

 The 6,000 years which have intervened between the

first disobedience and the present time have stimulated and developed selfish propensities of the human mind at the expense of its more noble, more generous, more refined qualities. Driven out of the Garden of Eden, where their wants had been supplied by the fruits of the life-giving groves, our first parents found themselves in the unprepared, unsuitable, "cursed" earth, which brought forth thorns and thistles, and variously demanded their time and attention for the procurement of the necessities and comforts of life. Thus the fertile valleys and their fruitage attained a value, as compared with human time and strength, such as the fruits of Eden would not have where plenty was obtainable by merely stretching forth the hand.--Psa. 107:10-12. SM157

 This labor with sweat of face was a part of the curse

or penalty upon the race for the disobedience, to the intent that the Divine verdict should be executed, "Dying thou shalt die," and that man should realize the difference between his condition in favor with God and his state out of Divine favor, and might thus the more fully appreciate the undesirableness of the same. We should notice incidentally, however, that this arrangement, that man should earn his bread by the sweat of his face, was designed of the Lord to be really a blessing. Without this necessity for toil the abundance of idleness which would have prevailed would have been very disastrous indeed to the human race, which had merely tasted of sin and was separated from Divine favor. The downward course of humanity would undoubtedly have been much more rapid had idleness prevailed. This was part, we remember, of the difficulty of the Sodomites. "Fulness of bread and an abundance of idleness were in her," and this led to various forms of degradation.--Ezek. 16:49. HOW SELFISHNESS HAS DEVELOPED

 Labor for food and raiment having become a necessity,

the hours of labor became proportionately valuable. Then came the inducement for some of the race to bring their fellows into slavery, that they might have their toil at minimum cost, thus not only securing their own leisure but laying up wealth to the extent of superior opportunity or ability. It led to bloodshed for the securing of slaves, and bloodshed again in endeavoring to rescue the enslaved. One of the earliest illustrations along this line in the Bible record is shown in connection with the capture of Lot and his family, and the Sodomites, by the army from the north, and the rescue of these by Abraham and his armed men. (Gen. 14:12-16.) However, the teaching of history is full of just such incidents. Indeed, it is only of very recent time that slavery has been abolished in civilized lands. Another manifestation of slavery along parallel lines was that of one nation conquering SM158 another and putting it under tribute. Thus an entire nation was enslaved and its people made bondsmen to another, and obliged to pay a certain proportion of the fruit of their labor for nothing--simply because the neighboring nation was the stronger or the better armed.

 Slavery in its old form still exists in certain parts of

the world. Elsewhere the form has been changed, though the principle of selfishness is considerably the same. In China and amongst the Malayans of India there is a servant class, really slaves to circumstances and conditions surrounding them, though not exactly the same kind of chattel slavery that fifty years ago prevailed in the United States. Wherever the Bible has gone the spirit of liberty has gone with it; for it teaches, as no other religious book in the world does, that all men stand on the same footing before their Creator--that all are sinners, that all are condemned with the same penalty, that all alike need the same salvation, and that entrance to eternal life is to all on the same basis--that class and caste make no difference whatever. Wherever the Bible has been read, this spirit of manhood has been inculcated, and the spirit of slavery correspondingly lost. However, the unbalance of the human character resulting from the fall and from the premium it put upon labor and leisure, and the consequent dwarfing of the higher qualities of the mind, because their cultivation was impossible except to those who could acquire the leisure. These conditions, continuing with us, have been ready to adapt themselves to new ones.

 When it became difficult or impossible to hold fellow-creatures

in slavery, financial usages were formulated and gradually organized and systematized, until today we see selfishness as rampant as ever in the world and as eager as ever to accumulate wealth, representing accumulated toil. The system under which this selfishness operates in our day has its elements of justice, its good qualities as well as its bad ones. It is the wage system. SM159 Under this arrangement those who have the largest degree of mental power in combination with selfishness have the opportunity for becoming financial kings and princes in the world. We are now operating under the so-called law of supply and demand for brains, skill and energy; for these as never before possess large possibilities for the accumulation of wealth. That the accumulated wealth of our day is far beyond that of any other time is well known to us all. A fortune of a hundred million dollars has fallen to the lot of quite a few. A very large number have one million dollars and upward; and many thousands possess fortunes of one hundred thousand or more. What these fortunes mean in accumulated labor it is quite difficult to estimate; but even counting labor at $2.00 per day, a man whose fortune is a million dollars has represented therein the earnings of 1500 years.

       THE DAY OF PREPARATION
 A factor in the great increase of wealth in our day is

the great stimulation that has come to inventive genius. This is attributed to the extra speeding of the wheels of evolution, bringing us into the "brain age." We, however, following the guidance of the Bible, and looking more carefully to the facts surrounding these inventions, disagree with this thought. We find that the inventors of our day are not all brilliant, and that in comparison to the whole population they are very few, anyway. We find evidences of as great mentality in the past as in the present. Shakespeare, Newton, Socrates, Plato, St. Paul, King Solomon, King David, Job, Moses, and the builders of the Pyramid, shine out brightly on the pages of history, and find few if any equals in our day. The Bible explanation of the inventions of our epoch is that it is the "Day of His Preparation"--preparing for the Millennium. --Nahum 2:3.

 So simple are some of the devices now common to us

that we cannot avoid wondering why they were not discovered before. The only reasonable answer is the Scriptural SM160 one, that the Lord did not until recently lift the veil and bring matters to our attention. We are not meaning to say that every inventor is inspired of the Lord; but we do mean to say that the Lord kept back the art of printing until the proper time to exert the influence which it is now having in the world--that the Lord did not favor general education until this Day of His Preparation; that He has allowed the world to take its own course in many of these matters until of late. The present running to and fro by which our race is commingled, and the interchange of ideas thus effected, and the increase of knowledge and education resulting, are all set down most distinctly in the Scriptures as marks or proofs that we are living in the time of the ending of the Present Dispensation--that the New Dispensation is nigh, even at the door. For proof along this line note the declaration to the Prophet Daniel, "In the time of the end many shall run to and fro and knowledge shall be increased ...The wise shall understand...and there shall be a Time of Trouble such as was not since there was a nation."--Dan. 12:1,4,10.

  KNOWLEDGE--LIBERTY--TROUBLE
  With a wise object the Lord held back the light, the

knowledge, the inventions of our day, knowing in advance what we are now learning from experience, that the effect of this upon our race, sold under sin, warped and twisted in favor of selfishness, would be to greatly increase the selfish propensities of the world in general. The inventions of our day, their labor-saving machinery, etc., all represents vast possibilities for the accumulation of wealth--accumulated toil. The most far-seeing of our race, the best and brightest minds, if they have thought of the advisability of throwing open to mankind in general all these advantages and blessings of our day, must have dismissed the thought; for all seem to be acting on the selfish plane--acquiring every advantage possible and using these for the accumulation of wealth. SM161

  True, the rush has come so suddenly that all mankind

have been advantaged to some extent, even the day laborer. But as these advantages go into the hands of the few, and as the natural increase of population multiplies the number of laborers, it is not difficult to foresee what would be the consummation of the present system of competition along the lines of supply and demand. The supply of laborers is continually increasing, the supply of labor-saving machinery represents still further increase, while the demand for labor will be only to the extent that it will yield profit to those who have come to be the possessors of the world's wealth.

  This is seen by many. The rich do not fear it; for they

feel secure, and hope that if ever a distress should come they also shall feel generous. But the outlook is dreaded by many of the thinking poor, who have little confidence in the generosity plan, and who are therefore crying out for Socialism the public ownership of the wealth-producing agencies which they hope would bring competency at once and by and by wealth to all.

 We are not advocating Socialism; for we believe it

to be thoroughly impractical. Our knowledge of human nature leads us to believe that those who now possess the wealth of the world hold it with such a tenacity and such selfishness that they would allow the entire social structure to go to wreck rather than release their hold upon the special privileges and opportunities which they now hold in their grasp. Although Socialists do not realize it to be so, their doctrines spell anarchy--the worst possible thing so far as human interests are concerned. We do not rest the matter with our opinions merely, but rather have formed our conclusions in accord with the Word of God, which distinctly tell us that the end of the Age is close at hand, that it will be followed by the Golden Age, the Millennial Kingdom, under the control of Christ and His glorified saints, the "little flock," from whom will proceed the blessing and uplifting SM162 of whosoever wills of all the families of the earth.

 We live in a day of rapid changes. A few more years

will show the wealth of the world still more concentrated, still more powerful, and the masses of humanity still more eager for Socialism--ignorant of the fact that it will result in anarchy. We expect, in harmony with our understanding of the Scriptures, that this great crisis will be upon the world within the next eight years--a Time of Trouble such as was not since there was a nation, no, nor ever shall be.--Dan. 12:1; Matt. 24:21.

   THE WAY THAT SEEMETH RIGHT
 This way of selfishness which has prevailed for six

thousand years is the way which seemeth right unto a man--the usual way, the natural way, approved by the standards of the world for centuries--opposed only by the few, who are not highly esteemed amongst men--by Jesus, the Apostles, the Prophets, and those who follow their course and teachings. We have indicated only one feature of this way which seemeth right unto a man, this selfish way; namely, the monetary. But selfishness takes hold of every affair of life. It affects the social standing and makes class distinctions along selfish lines; it affects the appetites and passions and seeks selfish gratification in every direction. Selfishness, we repeat, stands for and represents sin in its every form. Yet selfishness seemeth to a man to be right in his depraved condition; he was born with it--yea, in selfishness did his mother conceive him.--Psa. 51:5; Gen. 3:20.

 This selfish way the Scriptures alone show is a wrong

way, and results from the unbalance of the human mind, which originally was well balanced, the image and likeness of the Divine mind along the lines of justice and love. Only in the School of Christ is unselfishness taught; and in that School this is almost the only lesson and it is learned line upon line, precept upon precept, even in the principles of righteousness and godliness.

 The great Teacher, Jesus, instructs us respecting the

SM163 Divine Law that Love is the fulfilling of the Law, that the entire Law of Love is briefly comprehended in the one word, Love--love for God supremely and love for our fellow-men as for ourselves. This Teacher gave the greatest illustrations of this lesson in His own conduct of life. In harmony with the Divine will He laid aside His glory and dignity as a spirit being and was made flesh and dwelt amongst men, being born under the Law, a Jew. Still in harmony with the Divine arrangement, when He reached manhood's estate He made a full self-sacrifice of Himself, the benefit of which was to accrue to Adam and his race. For three and a half years He was laying down His life in deeds of kindness--virtue or vitality going out of Him for the healing of the multitude --until finally He finished his course in ignominy, a Sin-offering on behalf of our race.

 All the lessons that our Lord may teach, therefore,

along the line of love, are well exemplified in His own course. Having bought the world with His precious Sacrifice, His life, in harmony with the Divine Plan, He is about to bless the world by opening their eyes, giving them to know the difference between right and wrong, and by helping them out of their sin, selfishness and meanness back to the image and likeness of God as originally enjoyed. But this work according to the Divine Plan is reserved for the Millennial Age.

  In the meantime the world's Redeemer labors not for

the world nor even prays for the world (John 17:9), but in harmony with the Divine will labors and prays for His Church, a "little flock," to whom it is the Father's good pleasure to give the Kingdom, in association with Himself, the Redeemer. These are called or invited to separate themselves from the world and its spirit of sin and selfishness; and only so many as love righteousness and hate iniquity are drawn or desired in the present time. The vast majority of our race are left over for treatment during the Millennial Kingdom. SM164 THE NARROW WAY--THE BROAD WAY

  This "little flock" of believers, who turn from sin

to be followers in the footsteps of their Master and Redeemer, are shown a new way--a "narrow way." This is not the way that seemeth desirable or right to the natural man, to the masses of mankind. These called ones are given a special opening of the eyes of their understanding, and the ability to discern the right way of the Lord as in contrast with the way that seemeth right to fallen man. They are informed that the way is narrow, difficult, etc., and are advised to sit down first and count the cost before undertaking to walk in it.

  But those who undertake to walk in this way are

assured of the Master's favor and His continued presence with them, and His aid in all of life's affairs and are guaranteed that, whatever may happen to them, all things shall work together for their good, because they love God and have been called according to His purpose. (Rom. 8:28.) They are assured that while in the present time their following of the Master will lead to the disapprobation of the world, the opposition of Satan, the traducing of their reputation, nevertheless it will be their privilege to be exceeding glad, very happy in the present life, because of their enjoyment of the peace of God which passeth all understanding ruling in their hearts, and because of the exceeding great and precious promises of the future granted to them. These promises include the prospect of Heavenly riches, dominion, power in joint-heirship with the Redeemer Himself. Because of this close relationship these are frequently described in their future glory as the Bride, the Lamb's Wife--the marriage or union being represented as to take place at the Second Coming of Christ.

 This way of the world that seemeth right to mankind

in general--this way of selfishness which has become second nature to the race--our text declares leads into the ways of death. This seems astonishing! Apparently SM165 very few realize this fact. Evidently the death here referred to is not the usual or Adamic death common to all mankind, saint and sinner, but the Second Death. Let us examine the matter in greater detail: How does selfishness lead into the ways of death? We answer that selfishness is at the foundation of nearly every crime in the calendar. Is it murder? Selfishness, acquisitiveness, is the motive. Is it robbery or fraud, lying or cheating? Selfishness has been the mainspring. Is it covetousness, fornication or adultery? Selfishness is behind it. Is it pride, self-conceit or violation of another's rights in any sense of the word? Usually it is because of selfishness in the heart. Is it dishonor of the Creator? This is generally a result of too high an appreciation of one's self--a lack of proper humility and reverence. All of these paths selfishness leads into; and they are all in the direction of the Second Death, just as the narrow way in which the faithful are called to walk leads in the opposite direction to life eternal.

 We are glad to know from the Scriptures that only

those who have been begotten of the Holy Spirit, and under its guidance brought to a clear appreciation of the Truth, are really upon trial for life or death eternal at the present time. We are glad that God has provided through Christ and the Millennial Kingdom an opportunity for all the blind eyes to be opened and all the deaf ears to be unstopped, that all may come to a thorough knowledge of God and of His righteous will, and at the same time be granted the necessary assistance to come into harmony therewith if they will. We are glad of all these things; for evidently those who are walking in the broad road of selfishness, which leads into various paths and which ultimately would end in the Second Death, are so numerous that it would mean that the Divine Plan of Salvation would be almost a failure if there were no such provision for these in the future.

 It will not be questioned by the intelligent and reflective

SM166 that if God is Love, and is the Pattern for unselfishness, as exemplified to us in the character of His Son, this is the character which He desires and approves and will bless with everlasting life. Then the majority of mankind, the great mass, nine hundred and ninety-nine out of every thousand dying under present conditions, necessarily die out of Divine favor and unfit for eternal life and the better terms on which God purposes to give it. Indeed, we see that even the most saintly have such a selfish tendency in their flesh that if they were judged of the Lord according to the strict letter of His Law they, too, would be counted unfit for eternal life. It is the fact that they are covered with the robe of Christ's righteousness, imputed to them because of faith and obedience to the extent of their ability, which permits these to be counted meet for the inheritance of the saints in light-- reckoned as having passed from death unto life, to which they will be actually received in the First Resurrection.

        UNSELFISHNESS IN HEAVEN
 If we understand the teachings of the Scriptures

aright, those who are in accord with selfishness are wholly unfit for the Heavenly state. Our Roman Catholic friends, admitting this, claim that practically all, even their own clerics, go to Purgatory, there to be purged of this dross of character and to be made fit for eternal life. We agree to this proposition, but deny that there is any Purgatory in existence at the present time. We hold the Scriptures to teach that Purgatory is a condition of the future--that the entire Millennial Age will be the period of Purgatory and this earth the place. Neither can we agree to the Roman Catholic view of Purgatory, that it is manned with devils and composed of torture chambers. On the other hand we have the assurance of the Scriptures that during that time Satan will be bound, all evil influences be restrained and the whole world be blessed. Then, if they will, they will be lifted up out of their degradation, selfishness and sin back to the full perfection SM167 lost in Father Adam; or failing to respond to those glorious opportunities and privileges, they will be esteemed unworthy of any further blessing and be utterly destroyed in the Second Death.--Acts 3:23; 2 Thess. 1:9; Rev. 20:11-15.

               SOWING AND REAPING
  One of the points which we specially desire to impress

on this occasion is that this way of selfishness which seemeth right unto a man, but which leads to paths of death and on which the masses of mankind are traveling very composedly, is an evil pathway--injurious in every sense of the word. Some one may say, "Ah, but if there is a Purgatory, a school of opportunity in the Millennial Age, why may we not indulge in selfishness now and get our lessons then?" We reply that all the tare seed and weed seed that we sow in our hearts and characters in the present time are doing much injury to us, not only as respects the present, but also as regards the future. He that sows selfishness reaps the same and finds his crop continually increasing, so that at the close of a busy life the majority of people find themselves very much more selfish than they were at its beginning. In other words, they were nearer to an acceptable condition with God in their infancy than on their death bed in old age.

  We feel that even the consecrated of the Lord's people

have not appreciated the situation aright; that while even having nominally changed from selfishness to love, while seeking to cultivate the latter more and more in thought, word and deed, they have not fully grasped the situation and are therefore making less strenuous efforts than they might make. Let all these resolve that by the grace of God they will lay aside every weight and every besetting sin, and run with patience the race set before us in the Gospel--the race in the narrow way. Not to ourselves again,

 Not to the flesh we live;

Not to the world henceforth shall we

 Our strength, our being give.

SM168 GOD'S INFINITE WISDOM AND LOVE

           [Given in Shanghai, China, Jan. 7, 1912]
  "Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the

wells of salvation."--Isa. 12:3.

  China's hundreds of millions of patient, incessant

workers have had my sympathy from childhood. The philosophies of childhood are often as correct as those of mature years--sometimes more so. Well I remember as a child inquiring what would be the fate of the heathen, and the answer that I received--that only through faith in Jesus, the Redeemer, is there any salvation. Then I queried, What is the penalty of their ignorance of the Only Name given under Heaven or amongst men whereby we must be saved? The answer was the usual one of all of our "Orthodox creeds": that they would spend eternity in a hell of unutterable anguish. How my heart went out sympathetically toward every missionary movement on behalf of the heathen!

  Then came mature thinking and I said, Like others I

am imperfect in every way; my sympathy and love, therefore, cannot be as great as that of our Creator. How is it possible that God, with all the force of the Universe at His command, could look calmly on and see the operation of His own laws carrying thousands of millions to eternal misery and yet refrain from giving those creatures the necessary information? There is something wrong with the Bible and with our creeds which we have built upon it.

  I threw all away and began to reason--but, thank God!

not along irreverent lines. I reasoned that He who made the Universe also made man; that whatever noble qualities I could find in humanity were the work of the Creator. I said, Man's noblest qualities are justice and love, and hence the Creator must possess these unlimitedly. I bowed in worship before God, infinite in Wisdom, Justice, Love and Power.--Psa. 33:4-8. SM169

        HE THAT SEEKETH FINDETH
 I said, O great Almighty God, although unknown to

me, I worship Thee! I adore Thee! My whole being cries out for the pleasure of more intimate acquaintance with Thee, that I might know Thy will regarding me and Thy purposes respecting humanity. I said, Assuredly, as God is all-wise, He must have an all-wise purpose, of which I need not be ashamed! So surely as He is just and loving, all of His plans and purposes must accord with His attributes; and having made man capable of appreciating these qualities, He will surely be willing to bestow the information which I desire--information as to how I can best please and serve Him and as to what His purposes are respecting mankind.

 My prayers convinced me the more that there must be

a Divine Revelation somewhere in the world. I thought that I had searched the Bible faithfully and proved it unreasonable and contrary to every conception I could have of a Divine Creator and His purposes; hence my eyes turned toward this Eastern land and your sacred books. I studied them for a time, only to find them far less satisfactory to my intellect than the Bible I had already cast aside.

 I returned to the Bible. I asked myself, Might you

not have been prejudiced when you examined it before? Although I thought not, I made a fresh investigation, because I felt there must be a Revelation from the true God somewhere, and because the Bible thus far gave the best testimony. It, indeed, told of a God of Love, as no other religious books do; yet its teachings respecting the future of the non-elect staggered me, for I was sure that they were not Godlike, but the reverse.

 Disregarding the Old Testament Scriptures entirely,

I began with the New. I said, Was not Jesus a most wonderful character? Is it not true that "never man spake like this Man"? Both heart and head answered, Yes! SM170 His teachings are the noblest found on earth! His example fully comports with His teachings! I asked, Can I rely upon the evidence? My mind replied, Yes. If just such men today told you their observations you would believe them implicitly. These men confessed that they were ignorant and unlearned men, telling of their own weaknesses in a way that impostors would not do. Their Message abounds in "good tidings of great joy for all people," and not merely for their own nationality. My heart began to take courage. I began to feel that I had found a footing for my faith and that the Bible indeed differed considerably from the various and conflicting creeds which claimed it as their support and authority.

  However, I suddenly remembered that much of the

New Testament is composed of passages from the Old Testament and comments thereon. Alas! I said, for I cannot accept the Old Testament Scriptures. But the more I studied the matter the more convinced I was that if Jesus and the Apostles were at all what they claimed to be, the Old Testament must be as true as the New--as St. Peter declared, "Holy men of old spoke and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit."--2 Peter 1:21.

        THE BIBLE HELL IS THE KEY
  Then I began a more critical study of the Old Testament;

and to my joy, as I sought, I found; as I knocked the door of Truth opened for me. I found the Bible teaching very different from what I had supposed it to be, very contrary to that of all the creeds. The latter, indeed, each and all, contain truths taken from the Bible, but truths incrusted with various human credulities and misconceptions --the Bible message as a whole divided amongst many creeds and made to contradict itself.

  To my surprise I found the presentations of the Bible

not only more logical than anything else in the world, but absolutely the only logical presentation on earth. As interpreted by itself, and not by the creeds and theories SM171 of the Dark Ages, the Bible tells one beautiful, reasonable, harmonious story, from Genesis to Revelation. It tells nothing of a fiery hell manned by fire-proof demons, and supplied with fuel for all eternity, to which Adam and his race were sentenced on account of sin. On the contrary, it teaches that "the wages of sin is death."

  It tells that "the soul that sinneth, it shall die"; and

tells that Adam sinned and came under this death penalty and that all of his race by the laws of heredity are subject to frailty, weakness, mental, moral and physical--and that these have triumphed in a reign of Sin and Death for now six thousand years. It tells that this death is the death into which Adam and all of his race go--sheol, the hell of the Bible, for all mankind, good and bad. It tells that there is no pain or suffering there, no knowledge, no work of any kind.--Ezek. 18:4,20; Rom. 6:23.

  It tells that all, both good and bad, sleep, awaiting the

resurrection of the dead. It tells that man's death would have been an extinction as complete as that of the brute beast had God in His Wisdom and Love not arranged for human redemption and a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. It tells that the Divine arrangement whereby God could be just and not repudiate the rulership of His own Court and yet recover man from the death sentence, was arranged for. The arrangement was that Jesus, "by the grace of God, should taste death for every man"; that "as by a man came death, by a Man also should come the resurrection of the dead; for as all in Adam die even so all in Christ shall be made alive, every man in his own order."--Heb. 2:9; 1 Cor. 15:21,22.

  With God "a thousand years are as one day." (2 Peter 3:8.)

He has therefore arranged that six of these great Days shall constitute man's period of battling with sin and death and that the seventh of these great Days shall be the Day of Messiah, the Sabbath or Rest Day to the world, in which Messiah, as the Divine Representative, shall lift up all the willing and obedient, opening SM172 their blind eyes, unstopping their deaf ears and causing all to know the Lord, from the least to the greatest.

         "ALL SHALL KNOW THE LORD"
  As a result, some will refuse and die the "Second

Death"--utter destruction. No more than a century of trial is to be granted; for we read, "The sinner a hundred years old shall be cut off"--a child a century old in sin shall be accursed--to the Second Death. (Isa. 65:20.) But all who will accept Divine favor may then be brought to full, human perfection, similar to that which Adam enjoyed at the beginning, plus the knowledge of good and evil, which he lacked.

 Of these willing and obedient ones it is written,

"Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess, to the glory of God." Many of the Chinese, doubtless, will then be bowing before the great King of kings and Lord of lords, whom then they will know completely; for "the knowledge of the Lord shall fill the whole earth as the waters cover the great deep." And their forefathers, whom they reverence, will be there, too; their eyes shall be opened and their ears unstopped, as it is written, "All the blind eyes shall all be opened and all the deaf ears shall be unstopped." What a great reunion time that will be for the Chinese hundreds of millions! Yes, and still more! As the Scriptures declare, all the families of the earth shall be blessed similarly with a knowledge of God and with a full opportunity for restitution to all that was lost in Adam--to all that was redeemed at Calvary.

 Do the Chinese say to me, This news is too good to be

true? Do they say, No missionary ever told us of such a gracious God and such a mighty Savior! Had we heard such a gracious Message it would have attracted our hearts long ago, for our gods are non-sympathetic--they are great, powerful and vicious! But we thought as we heard the missionaries' message that the Christian God must be even more ferocious than ours, for the awful, SM173 burning hell of which we have heard through Christians is terrible beyond anything we heathens had ever heard of before or conjectured for ourselves!

        SATAN THE GOD OF THIS WORLD
 Alas! my dear friends, I know this very well and the

Bible explains the whole matter. It tells us that we have been believing "doctrines of demons." (1 Tim 4:1.) These vicious doctrines in the past, when more literally believed than today, led some noble Christian people into most atrocious conduct.

  We are all awaking from this sad condition, thank

God! We are emerging slowly from the darkness of the past. We are in the very dawning of the morning of Messiah's Kingdom; which is to bless the world. The rising of the Sun of Righteousness is to bring the New Day of emancipation from ignorance, superstition and death. The more awake we become the more clearly do we see the beauty of God's Word and the ridiculous inconsistency of things we once believed.

  St. Paul explains to us why Satan strives to put darkness

for light and light for darkness. He explains why Satan represents himself as an angel of light and endeavors to besmirch the Divine character and to make God the very personification of wickedness and injustice! It is a part of his general endeavor to thwart the Divine Plan, to mislead those who are seeking to know God. Hearken to the Apostle's words: "The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not, lest the glorious light of God's goodness, as it shines in the face of Jesus Christ our Lord, should shine into their hearts."--2 Cor. 4:4.

  In proportion as humanity misconceives God's character

and His Word, in that same proportion they will shun the Bible and its God, and thus get away from the faith and hope revealed in the Bible. As I have told you, I had my own bitter experiences along this line. How I SM174 thank God for the "eye-salve" and for the glorious vision of the Divine character and Plan which now stands out so distinctly before the eyes of my understanding!

        GOOD TIDINGS OF GREAT JOY
  The Gospel of the Bible, the Message of the great God,

Infinite in Justice, Wisdom, Love and Power, is a Message of grace, of mercy, as has emanated from no other quarter --such as no other religious book in the world presents. And what else should we expect than that the great Supreme Being would be a Fountain of grace, of blessing to His dependent creatures. It should not surprise us, then, to find the Bible clearly teaching that the God of all Grace has in store for humanity great blessings--"Times of Restitution of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy Prophets since the world began."--Acts 3:19-21.

 Another Message should not surprise us; it is the message

that was sung by the angels on the night of Jesus' birth, "Behold, we bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be unto all people"--the thousands of millions of the Chinese included! It is a joy to me to be permitted to tell this glorious Message to such as have the ear to hear it. It is a further joy to me that in the Divine arrangement the time is coming when "all the deaf ears shall be unstopped" and when the clear knowledge of God's goodness shall fill the earth as the waters cover the great deep.--Luke 2:10; Isa. 35:5; Hab. 2:14.

 God first told this Message of His benevolent designs

toward humanity about thirty-six hundred years ago, when He declared to His friend Abraham, I intend to bless all the families of the earth, and this shall be done through your posterity--"In thee and in thy Seed shall the families of the earth be blessed." The natural seed of Abraham was first developed and instructed, and consequently uplifted, under a Law Covenant. This arrangement prepared the natural seed of Abraham more than others of the world's peoples to receive Jesus; hence, SM175 when He presented Himself, and when afterward His Message was proclaimed by His twelve Apostles, approximately sixteen thousand Jews became His footstep followers, were begotten of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and after, and thus became members of the promised Seed. THE NUMBER IN THE FIRST RESURRECTION

 But this number was short of the Divine purpose--

"a hundred and forty-four thousand." (Rev. 14:1.) Hence, in due time, the Message of grace and the privilege of becoming members of the Spiritual Seed of Abraham was extended to one nation after another--to the Jew first, but also to as many as the Lord our God has called, of every nation, people, kindred and tongue. This "elect" number of spirit-begotten followers of Jesus will very soon be completely changed by the glorious First Resurrection, when this mortal and corruptible shall put on immortality. All those found faithful will be made partakers of the Divine nature, far above angels, principalities and powers--associates with the Redeemer. (Eph. 1:21.) Then the Seed of Abraham will be completed and qualified for its great work of blessing the race.

 St. Paul declares, "Know ye not that the saints shall

judge the world?" (1 Cor. 6:2) The judging will be in the nature of a trial or testing, to determine how many of humanity can be helped up to human perfection and harmony with God and everlasting life, and how many unworthy will be destroyed in the Second Death. God, who has elected these kings, priests and judges, has appointed a Day in which they shall rule, bless, instruct, judge mankind in general. It will be the thousand years of Messiah's Kingdom, for "a day with the Lord is as a thousand years."--2 Peter 3:7,8. SM176 NEED OF GREAT CONFIDENCE

              IN GOD'S WORD
  "Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath

great recompense of reward."--Heb. 10:35.

  There is a practical side to the Gospel. Everything

enjoined upon the followers of Christ and all their trying experiences in life are wisely designed to work out for them character-development of good, firm, fine texture. It is a mistake to think, as some have thought in the past, that it is the will of God that we should merely hear of Christ and give a nominal assent to the message of His death as our Redeemer and turn from outward forms of sin--and then, contented with our progress, help others to the same low standards.

        THE FATHER DOES THE DRAWING
  Quite to the contrary, the teachings of Jesus and His

Apostles ignore the world as a whole and merely seek for a special class with hearing ears and appreciative hearts. The Gospel Message set forth in the Bible knows nothing of the ordinary mission work of rescuing drunkards, harlots and the profane. While not refusing publicans and harlots it did not go about seeking them. It waited for them to seek for righteousness; and, as the Master said, "No man can come unto Me except the Father which sent Me draw him"; and "whosoever cometh unto Me I will in no wise cast out." (John 6:37,44,65.) As a matter of fact, those who came to the Master and those who have been interested in His Message ever since, have not, in any large proportion, been the rich, the great, the learned, the noble, according to the course of this world, but chiefly the poor, rich in faith toward our God.--1 Cor. 1:26-29; Jas. 2:5.

  Take as an illustration St. Paul's course when he

went to Athens. We do not find that he started a mission SM177 Sunday School and offered the children the prospects of a picnic or a Sunday School treat, in order to gather them for a half hour's talk about nothing, "to keep them off the street." Neither did he seek out the drunkards in the slums and establish a slum mission. On the contrary He sought the ear of the intelligent classes, the thinking classes, irrespective of their wealth or station; for He had a Message--a Message which children could not understand, a Message which drunkards were incapacitated from understanding, a Message which should appeal to the best people of Athens, whether rich or poor.

  Have we not had to a considerable extent the wrong

idea? Are we wiser than the Lord and the Apostles, and able to give them pointers as to methods instead of following their example, as we were instructed to do? They proclaimed the Second Coming of Messiah and the establishment of His Kingdom. They preached that the very object of His Reign of Righteousness for a thousand years will be the putting down of sin in its every form and the lifting up of poor, fallen humanity. They taught that there was danger of attempting to make a proselyte and really doing more harm than good thereby. They taught that the special work to which God's people are now commissioned as ministers or servants of Christ is the proclaiming of the Gospel--"the Good Tidings of the Kingdom"--not the proclaiming of eternal torment nor the attempt to drive the world of mankind from sin through fear. They taught that the work of this present Age is the selection from amongst mankind of the Bride class, to be Messiah's associates in His Kingdom, for the blessing of all the world. It is this Message of the goodness of God that our text declares should be proclaimed with courage, with boldness, with outspokenness.

  St. Paul is criticizing some who had for quite a time

been Christians and who had been granted large opportunities for growth in grace and knowledge. He says to these, "For the time ye ought to be teachers, but ye need SM178 that one teach you again which be the first principles of the doctrine of Christ." They had lost the first principles. They had gotten entangled with vain philosophies, and their spirituality was at a low ebb. Conditions are very similar today. After eighteen centuries of Divine instruction, and with the wonderful Bibles now at our command and with helps for Bible study, what manner of Christians ought we to be--in faith, in love, in obedience, in courage!--Heb. 5:12-14; 6:1-3.

        A MOST SOLEMN THOUGHT
 St. Paul points out the necessity for the Lord's people

to assemble themselves together for fellowship and for the study of His Word and to provoke one another to love and good works. The necessity for this, he suggests, is that sin on the part of those who have received a knowledge of the Truth and been made partakers of the Holy Spirit is a much more serious matter than the same conduct would have been before they came into the precious relationship of spirit-begotten children of God. He says, "For if we sin after that we have received a knowledge of the Truth, there remaineth no more a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of condemnation and fiery indignation which shall devour us as God's adversaries."--Heb. 10:25-27.

 Have we grasped the import of the thought? It

signifies that those of us who have accepted the Divine terms and entered the family of God will have no future opportunity in another life. We must either make our "calling and election sure" under the terms of the call, as accepted, or be rejected as unworthy of life everlasting --as fit for the Second Death--annihilation. He who despised Moses' Law died without mercy. But he who, having come to a clear knowledge of the Truth, shall be found a willing sinner, will not only be cut off from a further opportunity in the present Age, but be everlastingly cut off from life, destroyed. "God is able to SM179 destroy both soul and body"--the present life and our future hope. These thoughts should make very earnest, very diligent, all who have accepted Christ and been accepted by Him.--2 Peter 1:10; Heb. 10:28,29; Matt. 10:28. NEVERTHELESS BE NOT DISCOURAGED

 These things were written, not only for the Hebrew

Christians of St. Paul's day, but designed by the Holy Spirit for all the Household of Faith. We should not rock ourselves to sleep, nor give to each other opiates. While the world is not yet on trial for eternal life, the Church is now being tested--for life or death eternal. The thought should sober us. As the Apostle suggests, "Be diligent, be sober," be faithful, following in the footsteps of Jesus.

 But St. Paul or, rather, the Holy Spirit through him,

took cognizance of the fact that the Lord's people are in a world that is "no friend to grace to help them on to God." The Apostle recognized that we might become discouraged with our own faults and weaknesses. Hence, after earnestly exhorting to faithfulness and energy, and after pointing out the dangers of slothfulness and of being over-charged with the cares of this life and the deceitfulness of riches and thus losing the spirit of Christ, he turns from this threatening attitude and uses encouraging words.

 He says, "Call to mind the former days in which,

following your illumination of the Holy Spirit, you endured a great fight of afflictions." St. Paul's intimation is that at that time, while suffering persecutions, the brethren were really in a better, more alive, spiritual condition than later. The prosperity, privileges, freedom from persecution enjoyed, had made them slothful and less courageous. He would have them and us call to mind the victories won in the past, that we might have courage for the present and the future. How gracious, how helpful, are all the provisions of our God for those SM180 who now hear His call and seek to walk in Jesus' steps! To these He guarantees that every experience of life which His providence shall permit shall work for good, for blessing, for valuable experience and education along lines of righteousness and character development.

        TWO CLASSES OF THE FAITHFUL
  In time of war not all can go forth as soldiers. Some

unfit for such service may perform a useful part at home supporting, encouraging, sending supplies to those at the front, etc. And so it is in the army of the Lord; Jesus is the Captain of all those who voluntarily enlist as soldiers of the Cross to battle against sin, especially in themselves--fighting a "good fight of faith" and overcoming the spirit of the world, which surges all about them, threatening to overwhelm them as New Creatures in Christ.--2 Cor. 5:17.

  St. Paul intimates a strong persecution, openly manifested

by the worldly-spirited, Satan-deceived people of God. He says, "Ye endured a great fight of afflictions, partly whilst ye were made a gazing stock both by reproaches and afflictions and partly whilst ye became companions of them that were so used. For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods."--Heb. 10:32-34.

  St. Paul and others prominent amongst the Lord's

followers naturally would receive the brunt of Satan's attacks. It is presumed that the Epistle of which our text is a part was written while St. Paul was a prisoner at Rome. Fellow Jews, so far from being sympathetic for a countryman, reproached him as a traitor, unorthodox, seeking to tear down the work of God and to ignore the Divine promises belonging to Israel and their sacred traditions. By the Romans, too, be was regarded with suspicion, as one giving allegiance to another King, Jesus, and not therefore disposed to use his Roman citizenship especially for the pride and glory of SM181 the Empire. St. Paul declares that thus himself and those who espouse the cause of the Lord are despised and rejected by all. He says that we are counted as the filth and offscouring of the earth--that which nobody cares for or values, but which all would like to get rid of; for the darkness always hates the light and seeks to quench it and reigns completely only when all lights are extinguished. Christians, far and near, either by expressing sympathy for the Apostle or fellowshipping with him, or by defending him from the unjust and malicious slanders circulated against him, thereby exposed themselves to similar reproaches and their disesteem, opposition from their neighbors, etc.

  History tells us of various terrible persecutions of

the Christians by the Roman Emperors. It declares, for instance, that to gratify his depraved mind, Nero, the Emperor, caused a certain portion of Rome to be burned by incendiaries, and that when he found how angry the people were he blamed the entire matter upon the inoffensive Christians--partly, no doubt, because these had no friends, either at court or amongst the people. They could be blamed with impunity and the Emperor's own vicious criminality would thus be hidden. On this account many Christians were publicly and brutally put to death. "GREAT RECOMPENSE OF REWARD"

  Poor human nature finds it difficult to stand alone

with God and with the few who are on his side--the side of righteousness and truth. When, additionally, there comes persecution it tries their hearts, proves their loyalty. This is exactly what the Lord designs. He is now seeking a special class of overcomers to be joint-heirs with His Son on the spirit plane as the Bride of Messiah. Through these He designs shortly to grant to Israel and, through Israel, to all mankind glorious blessings of instruction and restitution. To be qualified to thus serve in the instruction and uplifting of humanity SM182 it is necessary that these called ones should be of strong character--copies of their Master, in the spirit of their minds. To these he says, "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My Throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His Throne."-- Rev. 3:21; Rom. 8:l6,17.

  We can readily see how some of the more prominent

followers of the Lord who suffered martyrdom because of their loyalty to the principles of righteousness and to the name of Jesus would be accounted overcomers and members of the Kingdom class. But sometimes it is difficult for us to discern clearly how the less prominent, less persecuted ones stand with God. St. Paul's argument proves that they stand well--that God counts them in as martyrs, as faithful unto death, if they have the martyr spirit, if they are loyal, courageous for the Truth, even though they never seal their testimony at the stake, even though they never are counted worthy of open or public opposition or persecution. Here is an encouragement for all; and this is exactly what St. Paul would stimulate us to in the words of our text.

        WE MUST LET THE LIGHT SHINE
 He says, "Cast not away, therefore, your outspokenness,

which hath great recompense of reward." The Lord has not promised a great reward to us for merely believing, merely trusting, and in a cowardly manner keeping our light hidden, lest its exposure should bring to us persecution or reproach. He seeketh not such. They will not be counted worthy of a place in the Kingdom which is to bless the world.

 St. Paul elsewhere declares, "If we deny Him, He

will also deny us" (2 Tim. 2:12). If we have accepted the Lord as our Counsellor, Guide, Captain, Teacher, Exemplar, Bridegroom, He expects of us courage to confess Him as such and on all suitable and proper occasions to "let our light so shine before men that they may see our good works and glorify our Father which is SM183 in Heaven." (Matt. 5:16.) Our good works are to so accord with the Master's teachings that, however we may be represented by others, all who know us intimately will take knowledge of us that we have been with Jesus and have learned of Him. They should also see that our courage, our boldness, our outspokenness, is not a desire to preach ourselves, not vainglory in ourselves, but that, on the contrary, we preach Christ and the glorious Message of His Word, which always has brought opposition and persecution from the Adversary and from all who are under his blinding influence.--1 Cor. 1:23.

 Every faithful follower of Jesus must be a confessor

--must show his colors. We do not mean by this that he must be belligerent and fight a carnal warfare, either with swords or spears or hands or tongue. On the contrary, like his Master, he must ever be alert to do good. His orders from the Captain are, "Speak evil of no man." What he must speak forth and show forth by his life is the doctrine of Christ--the Truth, the Light, in contrast with the prevailing Error and Darkness.

 The reward which the Scriptures hold before our eyes

of faith is so great that, to the worldly, it seems foolish to believe in it. It is to consist of a share with our Lord in His glory, honor and immortality, in His Mediatorial Kingdom soon to be established, in His great work as the Mediator of the New Covenant in granting Divine blessings, through the merit of the better sacrifices, to the people of Israel and eventually through them to all mankind. Not all have a knowledge of this great reward. Not all, therefore, have the encouragement to faithfulness which this knowledge inspires. Not all even have the ears to hear. It is written, "The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him, and He will show them His Covenant." --Psa. 25:14.

   Equip me for the war,
      And teach me how to fight:
   My mind and heart, O Lord, prepare,
      And guide my words aright.

SM184 GOD PREPARING FOR THE HARVEST

            [Given in Glasgow, October 29, 1911]
 "Of the times and seasons, brethren, ye have no need

that I write unto you, for yourselves know perfectly that the Day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night; for when they shall say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child, and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness that that Day should overtake you as a thief; ye are children of the light."--1 Thess. 5:1-5.

 The common tendency of the human mind is expressed

by St. Peter, who prophesies of the present time that the worldly will be saying, "Where is the promise of His presence!...All things continue as they were from the foundation of the world." Ignorance of God's Plan is to be expected of the world, but the true people of God have the promise of His special instruction so that they need not be in darkness respecting the Divine Program.

 Our world for six thousand years has been the battle

field between the forces of light and darkness, truth and error, righteousness and sin; the Prince of Darkness, otherwise styled the "Prince of this world," has led his forces in person, and has controlled the masses and is still controlling them. The Prince of Light is represented in a feeble way by ambassadors who are specially cautioned by Him that they must not use carnal weapons nor carnal methods, but must in meekness correct those who oppose them. They must be subject to "the powers that be" to the extent that their consciences will permit, and so far as possible live peaceably with all men.--Rom. 12:18.

 This experience of subjection to the powers of evil

has been a hard lesson, difficult to learn; a trial of faith as well as of endurance, the value of which has been difficult sometimes to appreciate. But these must walk by faith and not by sight if they would please the Captain of SM185 their salvation. For centuries the prayer has gone up to God from their hearts, "How long, O Lord!" Reason assures them that it cannot be the Divine purpose to forever permit the victory of sin and death.--Rev. 6:10.

       PLOWING, SOWING, REAPING
 God represents Himself as a great Husbandman.

Each Age is a "season" and bears its own crop. Each Age has its own time for the plowing of the field, the sowing of the good seed, and the harvest work. As Bible students we have already noted the work accomplished in the Age which ended with the Flood, the different work accomplished during the Patriarchal Age, and the still different work accomplished during the Jewish Age, which lasted from the death of Jacob, and particularly from the giving of the Law, down to the death of Jesus.

 Our Lord's ministry of three and a half years was a

harvest time to the Jewish people in the close of their Age in favor or "day of visitation." He said to His disciples, "I send you forth to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labor; other men labored and ye are entered into their labors." (John 4:38.) The plowing and sowing connected with the Jewish Dispensation was in the far past. The Egyptian bondage served to do a plowing work as also Israel's escape from that bondage and the forty years of wandering in the wilderness before they reached Canaan. The giving of the Law and the establishment of them as a people, the lessons of their sacrifices, and the exhortation of their Prophets, all constituted a seed-sowing, harrowing and cultivating experience. In the end of their Age Jesus gathered the ripe fruitage of that experience--those sanctified thereby and developed in character and obedience to God.

 The crop gathered by our Lord and the Apostles in

the Jewish harvest numbered thousands. These were gathered out of Judaism and from under the Law Covenant into Christianity--gathered under a covenant applying SM186 only to the "Church which is the Body of Christ." This covenant, under which they became associated with Messiah, reads, "Gather together My saints [holy ones] unto Me," saith the Lord, "those who have made a Covenant with Me by sacrifice." (Psa. 50:5.) All coming thus into relationship to Jehovah as members of the Body of Messiah came by way of the cross--through a recognition of their own imperfection, and of Jesus and His sacrifice as the satisfaction for their sins, a covering for their blemishes, by which alone their sacrifices were rendered "holy and acceptable to God."--Rom. 12:1.

        SOWING FOLLOWS REAPING
 The reaping work of the Jewish Age merged into the

sowing work of the Gospel Age as the invitation to become joint-sacrificers with Jesus was extended to those having hearing ears amongst nations aside from the Jews. For eighteen centuries this sowing work, with "harrowing" experiences and various cultivations, has been in progress. Now in turn we have arrived at the harvest of this Gospel Age--the reaping time, the time of gathering into the garner--beyond the veil--by the power of the First Resurrection.

 "None of the wicked shall understand, but the wise

shall understand" (Dan. 12:10), is the Lord's declaration. Our text declares that "Ye, brethren, are not in darkness" respecting this time. This implies either that the brethren are very few or that a considerable number of them have not yet become sufficiently awake to a discernment of the times and seasons in which we are living. Many of the brethren and many of the world and many of the "wicked" do realize that we are living in strange times and under peculiar conditions. These try to persuade themselves, however, that what we see today is merely a recurrence of what has repeated itself time and again during the past centuries. Thus they lull themselves, saying, "Peace and safety!"--1 Thess. 5:3. SM187

 This attitude is what the Scriptures foretold, "When

they shall say peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them." It is only "ye, brethren," who are privileged to have the clearer light respecting present and future conditions. We know that we are in the Harvest time of this Age--the reckoning time--the testing time--the time when the "wheat" is to be gathered into the Heavenly "garner" the time when the field is to be cleared of all "tares" in a fiery trouble--the time when the plowshare of trouble will be run through the world of mankind to prepare the whole world for the New Dispensation just about to begin. THE PLOWMAN OVERTAKES THE REAPER

 Illustrating the Divine methods and the rapid following

of events in the Divine Program, the Lord through the Prophet tells us that "the plowman will overtake the reaper." (Amos 9:13.) So accurately timed is every feature of the Divine Plan that part fits to part and work to work closely. The Harvest of the present time is the gathering of the fruitage of this Gospel Age--the gathering of "the Church of the First-borns, whose names are written in Heaven"--those who have made a covenant with Jehovah by sacrifice.

 The Head of the saintly Messiah, developed and glorified

eighteen centuries ago, is Jesus. The members of the Body of this Messiah have been gathered from every nation, first from the Jews and then from all nations. God's call and selection of saintly sacrificers in this Gospel Age ignore all sectarian, all denominational, all national lines--"The Lord knoweth them that are His." The winds of violence, "the powers of the air," which will shortly be loosed, and which will produce the terrific "storm," are being held back until the sealing of God's servants in their foreheads shall have been accomplished.

 This sealing in the forehead implies an intellectual appreciation

of Heavenly things, and is intimately associated with the Harvest work--the sealed are the ripe wheat SM188: being gathered for the Heavenly garner. As soon as the sealing work shall have been accomplished the winds of strife and trouble will be let loose according to the Master's declaration, and the result will be a "Time of Trouble such as never was since there was a nation"--no, nor ever shall be the like again. The awful lessons which will then be learned by humanity will be sufficient for all time. The strife, the hatred, the malignity, the anarchy of that day of trouble are depicted in various places in the Word of God.--Rev. 7:1; Matt. 24:21; Psa. 46:8-10.

 The trouble time impending is indeed declared to be

a time of Divine wrath, and we must not lose sight of that feature of it. Divine Justice has indignation against inequity and selfishness in general, for selfishness is but another name for sin. All sin is selfish, and all selfishness is sin. The captains of industry, the captains of education, and captains of wealth have today greater opportunities and therefore greater responsibilities than the kings of the earth for their dealings with their fellowmen.

 Similarly, there are leaders of the people, presidents

and secretaries of unions, etc., who are also captains, and who also have great responsibility. All perceive that the world of humanity is rapidly nearing a crisis. The almost miraculous opening of the eyes of understanding which God has recently granted has brought to the world mechanical inventions and chemical processes which are making the world rich with amazing rapidity.

 Although these blessings are in considerable measure

reaching the masses of mankind and uplifting all to a higher plane of comfort, nevertheless general education has opened the eyes of human understanding correspondingly. "The common people" are looking with amazement at the luxury of the rich as the barbarians of old looked upon the much lesser splendors of Rome. They are covetous, they are hungry for what they term their "share" of the bounties being dispensed by Providence with so lavish a hand. SM189

 Even if the vast increase of wealth through machinery,

chemistry, etc., were to be evenly distributed we doubt if it would satisfy these new-born minds.

        TWO POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS
 There seem to be two possible solutions: (1) To convert

all of the wealthy into saints, whose pleasure it would be to administer the flood of wealth now rolling in upon them for the general blessing of mankind, along the most benevolent lines imaginable; or (2) To convert into saints the masses of mankind and so imbue them with Heavenly hopes and prospects that they would not particularly care for earthly good things nor crave them, but rather rejoice to be "the poor of this world, rich in faith, heirs of the Heavenly Kingdom."--James 2:5.

 We confess that neither solution seems to be practicable.

We cannot believe that either can be accomplished; hence we must believe what the Bible teaches, that an awful conflict is about to be precipitated between these two classes, because neither one nor the other can be fully converted to the Lord's way. How glad we are that the Bible shows that the culmination of the conflict will bring everlasting peace a just, loving, equitable and satisfactory adjustment of earth's affairs, under Messiah's glorious Reign of a thousand years!

        THE DIVINE ARRANGEMENT
 Someone may ask, Would not these same difficulties

beset any new government which Messiah or others might institute? Will not the element of selfishness forever persist in the human heart, and will not this imply that to all eternity there will be a strife of selfish interests? We answer, No. The Divine Plan solves the problem perfectly. Jesus has demonstrated His unselfishness as respects earthly things. His laying down of His life not only proved His loyalty to righteousness and to the Father's will, but proved also His unselfishness--His SM190 love--"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man should lay down his life for his friends."--John 15:13.

 This friend of humanity is to be the great King of

the world in the New Dispensation, and His associates in the Kingdom, the Bride class, are to be such only as have His spirit and disposition of obedience to the Father's will--self-sacrifice and love for fellowman--unselfish love. Under present conditions these may not always be known, nor their true character and unselfishness be discerned, because they have the treasure in "earthen vessels," which do not always fully present their true benevolence of heart.--2 Cor. 4:7.

 The Divine provision is that such of these as shall

demonstrate their unselfishness of heart and loyalty to the Lord shall be given new bodies in the resurrection-- "sown in weakness, they will be raised in power; sown in dishonor, raised in glory; sown an animal body," with Adamic weaknesses and fleshly imperfections, they will be raised spirit bodies--perfect, complete, lacking nothing. --1 Cor. 15:42-44.

 These, in association with their Redeemer, will constitute

the Kingdom class which is to rule the world for a thousand years under the Headship of Jesus. Surely, we can trust these, we can have confidence in them. The fact that God has elected them, and that He is pleased to give over to them the rulership of the world for a thousand years testifies beyond peradventure their worthiness and capability.

 That Government will not be a republic, but a monarchy,

a theocracy, a Divine Kingdom. Christ and His Bride will be the King and Queen of the New Dispensation, supplanting Satan and the fallen angels, who for centuries have been in control. The Kingdom of God will be as invisible as the kingdom of darkness has been. It will operate through human agencies, as does the other. But even its human agents have been provided. The Scriptures inform us that the worthy ones of the Jewish SM191 Dispensation and before, will be the Princes in all the earth who will represent Messiah's Kingdom amongst men. Not only so, but they will be perfect men, made so by participation in the "resurrection of life." How grand the prospect!--Psa. 45:l6.

 The Time of Trouble, although it will be awful, will be

short, as typed in the terrible trouble which came upon the Jewish nation following the harvest work of their Age. Then will come the leveling process, which in the Divine order will prove to be a blessing to everybody. In other words, the socialists and anarchists are not so far from a correct conception of what must ultimately prevail, but they are far astray respecting the methods by which it will be obtained. Their attempt to grasp the rudder of the world's affairs shows an utter lack of appreciation of the mighty influences with which they seek to contend. Their efforts will merely precipitate upon themselves and upon others the terrible trouble which the Scriptures foretell.

 God's people are distinctly warned that they must

keep hands off, must not interfere with the powers that be--their reliance must be upon the Lord and not in the use of carnal weapons. St. James, writing on this subject, declares the coming trouble and tells that it will be specially severe upon the rich: "Go to now, ye rich men; weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you." (James 5:1-7.) No doubt the troubles will be equally upon the poor; but to them they will seem less severe since they have been accustomed to less. To God's people is the message, "Be patient, brethren, the coming of the Lord draweth nigh"; "Wait ye upon Me, saith the Lord." (Zeph. 3:8.) "Seek meekness, seek righteousness, it may be that ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord's anger."--Zeph. 2:3. SM192 PREACHING TO IMPRISONED SPIRITS

 "By which also He went and preached unto the spirits

in prison."--1 Peter 3:19.

 Much speculation has been aroused by our text. Some

have claimed that it signifies that Christ, after His death on the cross and before His resurrection, went to some place where human spirits are imprisoned in some kind of purgatory, and there preached to them. Not only is the Catholic theory in line with this suggestion, but many Protestants hold that the dead may be prayed for and thus be assisted to escape from eternal torment. All of this is wrong, as we shall show--quite contrary to the teachings of our text and its context.

 Those preached to were not human beings, but spirit

beings--not men, but angels. This is clearly stated in Verse 20, which tells us when these angels were imprisoned and why. They were imprisoned in the days of Noah at the time of the Flood. They were imprisoned for disobedience. So we read (Verse 19): "He preached unto spirits in prison, which sometime were disobedient, when once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing." Turning back to the Genesis account of that time we find quite a complete record of these disobedient spirits.--Gen. 6:1-5.

 Some time after Father Adam's disobedience and his

expulsion from Eden, the holy angels were permitted to visit humanity with a view to assisting men back to harmony with God. This doubtless was permitted for two reasons: (1) Had such an opportunity not been furnished, the angels might in the conclusion of God's great Plan, have been inclined to say, "Yes, God accomplished human salvation, but in a very roundabout way and at very great cost and trouble. Had He given us an opportunity to mingle with humanity we might have had SM193 an uplifting influence upon the people and have accomplished their reconciliation to God." Therefore God wished to forestall any such misunderstanding of the wisdom of the Plan which He had arranged and would, in due time, work out. (2) The angels themselves never had come in contact with sin of any kind. Hence they never had been tested or tried in respect to their obedience and loyalty to the Creator. They were permitted to attempt the recovery of humanity--partly in order to test their own obedience and loyalty to God.

        ANGELS PREFERRED TO BE HUMAN
 Our knowledge of spirit beings and the powers

granted to them by the Almighty is limited to our observation of the Bible record. The angels who appeared as young men at our Lord's sepulchre and again at His ascension and who, as soon as they had accomplished the purposes of their visit, vanished, are illustrations. We remember the account of how Abraham sat in the door of his tent and, behold, three men came to him. He received them as men, entertained them at dinner, and we read that they ate and talked with Abraham. They had human powers though still spirit beings. When they dematerialized, they vanished.--Gen. 18:1-15.

 Genesis 6:1,2, informs us that this privilege of materialization

for the assistance of mankind was eventually misused by some of the angels as an opportunity for sinful intercourse with humanity. The time at which this began is not definitely stated. The expression, "When men began to multiply on the face of the earth," might safely be estimated at about a thousand years after Adam's creation and fall. This would leave a period of 655 years to the Flood. It was approximately during that long period that the angelic sons of God, seeing the daughters of men, took to themselves for wives all that they chose of the fair daughters of men. "And they bare children to them. The same became mighty men which SM194 were of old, men of renown"--and giants. We remember that at that early day human life was much longer than now, that manhood was scarcely reached before a century, and that few became fathers sooner. When we remember also that the children of the angels are not mentioned as boys, but as men, mighty men, renowned men, it gives the thought that the angels, without Divine permission, had really started to propagate a new race, and that their progeny was much stronger than that of the poor, Adamic stock, weakened by the dying process.

 The disregard of Divine Law meant that the strength

of these giants would be used selfishly, and that the licentious example of the angels had a demoralizing effect upon the children of Adam, as well as upon their own children. All this is stated and implied in the words, "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." What a terrible picture of the condition of things before the Flood! But God was not astonished; for He had foreknown everything. Hence He had a great canopy of water in the sky which temporarily gave the earth an equable, temperate climate, but which He purposed should fall upon the earth and cause the great Flood in Noah's day. Then at the appropriate time God gave instructions to Noah to prepare an ark for the saving of himself and his house. Noah and his family were the only members of Adam's race in all the earth who were not more or less contaminated by those angels. How wide must have been that influence when we read as an exceptional matter, "Now Noah [and his family] was perfect in his generation"-- the disobedient angels had nothing whatever to do with generating them!--Gen. 6:13-22.

 While the angels preferred to live as men in human

bodies, they would not be overwhelmed like humanity in the Flood, but merely dissolve, by dematerialization, their human bodies and be, as originally, spirit beings. Satan SM195 was the first sinner against the Divine government, in his endeavor to set up a separate empire and to have humanity for his subjects. Although God had full power to destroy Satan and the other disobedient angels, He has not exercised that power. Instead He merely isolated them from Himself and the holy angels and imprisoned them, in the sense that He no longer permitted them to materialize, either as a serpent or as humanity for the tempting and injury of our race. In this sense they are imprisoned--restrained of liberty.

       FALLEN ANGELS CHAINED
 Now let us hear St. Peter's words respecting these

angels who sinned. He says (2 Peter 2:4), "God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment." The word tartaroo here rendered "hell" in our Common Version, is found nowhere else in the Bible. It refers to our earth's atmosphere and to the fact that those fallen angels, called demons or devils, are "the power of the air." Satan, who was originally an angel of much higher rank and nature, is their Prince, "the Prince of the power of the air," the Prince of demons. They are "cast down" in the sense of being treated ignominiously. They are "in chains of darkness," not in chains of iron. They can still go and come, and be sources of temptation to humanity who are in a sinful attitude of mind. They are restrained in chains of darkness in the sense that whatever they do must be done in the dark--until their judgment time at the Great Day--at the beginning of Messiah's thousand-year Day of the Reign of Righteousness.--Eph. 2:2.

 Turn to St. Jude's Epistle. There we read (Verse 6.)

"The angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, He hath reserved in agelasting chains, under darkness, unto the Judgment of the Great Day." Their first estate, in which they were created, was SM196 the spirit or angelic condition. They left their own proper condition of living and nature, in violation of the Divine will, that they might live on a lower plane--live in sin; for the angels are sexless, though always referred to as masculine. And our Lord declares that those begotten of the Holy Spirit, who during this Age shall attain to the resurrection of the dead, the "First Resurrection," will be "like unto the angels" in several respects--one of these being that they will neither marry nor be given in marriage, but be without sexual distinction. "WICKED SPIRITS," "LYING SPIRITS"

 In harmony with this note how spiritualists hold their

seances, either in absolute darkness or in a very faint light. They claim now that the spirits are getting more and more power of materialization, and that soon they will be able to materialize in broad daylight and to go about amongst humanity as members of the race. We do not question the power of God to restrain these fallen angels, these demons--His power to restrain them from materializing and thus doing great harm in the world. Nevertheless, we wonder if they will not be permitted by God to find some greater powers of materialization, contrary to the Divine decree, that their course in this matter may more particularly manifest to what extent some of them have changed and reformed--desire to be obedient, for instance--while others are as opposed to God and righteousness as ever. There is room for this understanding in the statement of the Apostle that the chains of darkness were to control them until the Great Day--not necessarily into that day--perhaps at its very beginning they may be permitted to gain certain liberties and do a certain amount of injury to humanity, to all who are not attentive to the Word of God, and who, therefore, will not know who these spirits are--that they are the fallen angels, the demons of the Bible.

 The above terms are used in the Scriptures in describing

the fallen angels, who from earliest days have attempted SM197 to deceive humanity--representing themselves as human beings who have died and who desire to communicate with their friends. And they attempt to do so through spirit mediums. This is their practise from of old. Their endeavor is to break down the human will and to more and more control it. The height of their ambition and success is to fully dominate the human will, so that they may use the human body as their own flesh, as when they had power to materialize. Those who come fully under their control become demented, often several spirits gaining possession of the one personality and attempting to use the same brains and body. It is estimated that one-half of all who are in insane asylums are merely victims of spirit-obsession. The great remedy against all this is the Truth of God's Word. Those who accept this cannot be deceived. But the masses of mankind are being deceived. The Scripture teaching is that when a man is dead he knows not anything, and will never know anything until the resurrection of the dead. Whoever knows this is fortified against all the deceptions of the evil spirits.--Eccl. 9:5,10; Isa. 8:19,20. JESUS PREACHED TO THESE SPIRITS

 There are no human spirits to be preached to. Human

beings are not spirit beings. The dead of humanity who have never heard of "the only name given under Heaven or amongst men whereby we must be saved" will hear that name in God's due time--in the resurrection--during the thousand years of Messiah's reign when He, as the true Light, shall lighten every man that cometh into the world."--John 1:9; Acts 4:12.

 But if Jesus died and in death knew not anything, how

could He preach to the fallen angels? We answer that it is a common expression that "actions speak louder than words." The great actions or facts connected with our Lord's death and resurrection constituted a most wonderful sermon to the fallen angels. As they beheld the SM198 Redeemer's faithfulness to God, even unto death, even the death of the cross, and as they then beheld God's faithfulness to Him in raising him from the dead to the highest nature--the Divine nature--"far above angels, principalities, powers and every name that is named"-- all this constituted a most wonderful sermon of love, loyalty, faith and obedience. The sermon to them meant, How serious was our mistake in being disobedient to God in any particular! It meant also, May not God, who has thus gone to so much trouble for the redemption of fallen men, have in His heart also a place of mercy for us, should we repent? The Apostle intimates that these angels, with the exception of Satan, are yet to have a testing or trial; for he assures the Church that God purposes that we, as the Bride of Christ, shall not only be entrusted with the work of judging or giving trial to the world of mankind during the Millennium, but also that we shall judge angels--not the holy angels, for they need no judging on our part--but the fallen angels.--1 Cor. 6:3.

 Quite possibly the hopes inspired by the great sermon

preached by our Lord's resurrection to the spirit beings led some of those fallen angels to repentance. If so, we may suppose that during the eighteen centuries since, they have suffered severely at the hands of the rebellious angels, who would be aroused to animosity by their reform, and who would mercilessly persecute them.

 The Scriptures seem to imply that "fallen angels,"

"wicked spirits," "lying spirits," "demons," will have much to do with bringing about the great Time of Trouble with which this Gospel Age will end, before the complete inauguration of Messiah's Empire and the binding of Satan. (Rev. 20:4.) The intimation is that the trouble here will be short and sharp, as in the days of Noah. The declaration of the Apostle that these evil spirits will be in chains of darkness until the Judgment of the Great Day leaves room for the inference that when SM199 the Judgment of the Great Day begins, the chains of darkness will be broken. If, therefore, we have the right understanding of this matter, great events are near at hand. Spirit mediums are already declaring that the spirits tell that they will soon be able to materialize in broad daylight. With the power to counterfeit and personate humanity what may this not mean in the way of deception mentioned by our Lord, who declares that it will be so strong that it would deceive even the "Very Elect" were they not specially protected and guided.--Matt. 24:5,6,23,24.

 We remind you also of the great stride which Spiritism,

Occultism and Psychic Science have made within the last few years. These now number among their friends and advocates some of the brightest scientific minds. One of these, Prof. James of Harvard College, before dying, declared that he would speedily communicate with his friends. Already the newspapers tell us that he has begun to communicate, but the mediums claim that he has difficulty in operating through them, because of the great force and power of his intellect and that they must gradually become able to act as his mediums. From the Bible standpoint all this is a fraud--a deception-- but not on the part of the mediums, who are themselves deceived, but on the part of the fallen angels, who are thus tricking humanity.--2 Tim. 3:13. SM200

        DIVINE PLAN HIDDEN IN
           ABRAHAM'S FAMILY
  "And Isaac brought Rebecca into his mother Sarah's

tent; and she became his wife and he loved her."-- Gen 24:67.

 When we sometimes speak of Abraham, Isaac and

others as types we should not be understood to mean that the Bible stories respecting them are fictions. A person or thing is a type when, in addition to the actual experiences, the Scriptures indicate that it prefigures and illustrates on a small scale some person or things yet future. For instance, in certain respects Adam as the head of the race, was a type of Messiah, the second Adam.

  The first Adam, the father of our race has failed to

give the eternal life desired. In God's providence Messiah is to be the second Adam, in the sense that He will regenerate, as His children, all the posterity of the first Adam. Messiah is thus declared in prophecy to be the Everlasting Father of mankind--the Father or Life-giver, who will give to our race everlasting life, instead of a heritage of weakness, imperfection and death.

  Similarly, Moses not only was a real character, the

leader of the nation of Israel, but additionally he was a type of a greater Mediator--Messiah. As Moses mediated the Law Covenant for Israel, so Messiah, the Prophet like unto Moses, or antitypical of him (Acts 3:22), is to be the Mediator of Israel's New Covenant, under which the Abrahamic blessings will reach them and through them reach all the families of the earth. (Jer. 31:31.) Similarly, Aaron was a type of the higher priesthood and its better sacrifices connected with the New Covenant. So, also, the under-priests and the Levites, additional to their own experiences, served, in God's providence, as types of the higher institutions by which the New Covenant will be inaugurated shortly. SM201

 On this occasion we ask your attention to Abraham,

known in the Scriptures as the Friend of God, as the Father of the Faithful, and to his son Isaac, the son of promise, born out of the natural order, miraculously, when his mother was old; also to Isaac's wife, Rebecca, selected by Abraham to be the companion and joint-heir with his son Isaac in his inheritance. These personages lived their lives wholly unconscious of the fact that God was using them and overruling their affairs so as to make of them prophetic pictures of His own great Plan of the Ages. These type-pictures are always to be read in full harmony with the inspired writings of the Bible and never to be understood in contradiction of the same.

        ABRAHAM A TYPE OF GOD
 Not everything that Abraham did, however, is to be

esteemed typical. In a general way this grand man of the past looms up before our minds as a monument of faith, integrity and justice. The blessings promised to go through him to his Seed, which would constitute him the father of many nations, made of him, as St. Paul points out, a type of the Almighty, from whom flows every good and every perfect gift--from whom proceeds the blessing which ultimately is to flow through Messiah, His Son, and through Israel, His people, unto all the families of the earth.--Rom. 4:16-25; Gal. 3:8,16,29.

 All Christians, presumably, are aware of St. Paul's

interpretation of Abraham and his family as types. As Abraham typified God, so his wife typified the Covenant through which the vitality of the promise ultimately develops the Seed of Promise--Isaac in a type, and Messiah in the antitype. St. Paul also explains that Sarah's servant, Hagar, at Sarah's wish, became for a time her representative with Abraham and brought forth Ishmael. Hagar, St. Paul explains, typified the Law Covenant, vitalized by the gracious arrangements of the same God and Father; and Hagar's son, literally Abraham's firstborn, SM202 typified the Jewish nation, the first development under the Covenant.--Gal. 4:22-31.

 As Abraham loved Ishmael and desired a blessing on

him, so God loved Israel and desired a blessing upon Israel, the offspring of the Law Covenant. Nevertheless, as Ishmael, the offspring of the bond-woman, was declared not to be the primary heir of the Abrahamic promise, but a secondary one, so the children of Israel, the offspring of the Law Covenant, were not designed to be the Spiritual Messiah through whom the promise declared that the blessing should first proceed.

 In the type, we see that Sarah, Abraham's wife, who

represented the original Abrahamic Covenant, brought forth a son of her own, Isaac, long years after the bond-maid, her substitute, had brought forth Ishmael. When Isaac was born, Sarah repudiated Ishmael and no longer acknowledged him as her son, but, instead, claimed everything for Isaac. The antitype of this is that from the time that God began the development of the Spiritual Israel and set forth the "Covenant by Sacrifice," through which this Spiritual Israel would be developed--from that time it began to be clearly manifest that the chief portion of the promise of God to bless the world was not to be fulfilled through the Ishmael Seed, Natural Israel, but through the Isaac Seed--Spiritual Israel. WELL-SPRING OF HOPE FOR THE JEWS

 From the first there was manifested a competition for

the Abrahamic blessing. And as Ishmael mocked at the infant Isaac, so the Jew, in his considerable development and strength, mocked at the Antitypical Isaac--Jesus and His comparatively ignorant and unlearned followers-- and persecuted them. In order to continue the type, that Abraham might typify God, he was commanded to send forth Hagar and her son into the wilderness. That sending forth typified the Divine disfavor which came upon the Jews eighteen centuries ago and which has made them SM203 outcasts from God's favor, as Hagar and Ishmael were cut off from Abraham's presence and family and care. The bread and water which Hagar took with her, by which she and Ishmael were nourished in the wilderness for a time, types the promises of God through the Law and the Prophets which still belong to the Jew and upon which for eighteen centuries he has been nourished, and without which the hope of the nation would have perished.

 Now we come to the dire moment pictured in Gen. 21:15-19.

The water provided by Abraham had been consumed. No more was to be had. Ishmael was dying. Hagar, his mother, separated herself from him. At the opportune moment the angel of the Lord appeared to her and pointed her to a spring of water, where she refreshed herself and Ishmael with new life.

 The antitype of this is now to be seen before us. The

Jewish people, separated more and more from the Law and the Prophets, are becoming weak and faint as respects hope. They are about to die! But no! The Lord graciously points out a well-spring of the Water of Life at this critical moment. As Ishmael was rescued from death by this water, so the nation of Israel, whom he typified, is now about to find in the providence of God that their portion of the Abrahamic Covenant is the earthly one, not the Heavenly one, not the spiritual. They are about to be refreshed and to enter upon a new career. That career, however, will not mark them as Ishmaelites, nor will their New Covenant relationship be symbolized by Hagar, the Old Law Covenant. Thenceforth they are represented under a new type.

            ISAAC WAS HEIR OF ALL
 If at first our Jewish friends might be inclined to feel

disappointed that they were represented in Ishmael and not in Isaac, by the Hagar Covenant, the covenant of bondage to the Law, instead of being formed free from the Law, there is a consolation. Their consolation is that SM204 Isaac typified the Messiah and that Israel is pictured as the nation on whose behalf Messiah will mediate the New Law Covenant. The Messiah must be spiritual, in order to be able to confer the great blessings indicated in the Covenant made with Abraham. The nation of Israel never expected to be spiritual and had no such promise in the Bible. To the Jews will come exactly what they have always been expecting--greatness as an earthly people, honor as the elect nation through whom the New Covenant blessings will be opened up to all mankind.

  As already pointed out, Isaac, the son of Abraham,

typified the Messiah of glory, the Son of God and Heir of all the promises--the One through whom alone eternal life may be obtained and restitution to that perfection which will enable Israel and the world to keep the Divine Law perfectly and to merit the gift of God, eternal life, according to their New Law Covenant, by and through its great Mediator--Messiah. ELEAZAR TYPE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

  In due time, Abraham sent his trusted servant Eleazar

(typical of the Holy Spirit) to select a Bride for his son Isaac. Eleazar might not go everywhere. He was directed to go only to those of Abraham's family, thus implying that none would be called to be the Bride of Messiah except such as were already in relationship to God through faith, obedience and justification. When the servant had found Rebecca he put upon her certain jewels, explained to her and her relatives the nature of his mission, and asked her if she were willing to come and be Isaac's Bride. He said, "My master, Abraham, is very rich; and all that he hath he hath given unto Isaac."

  Thus the great riches of God are again illustrated in

Abraham, and the fact that Messiah is His Son and the Heir of all the promises of God, the One through whom Israel and all mankind shall be blessed. Rebecca promptly responded, and thus betrothed herself to the unseen bridegroom and hasted with the servant to Isaac. As SM205 her kinsfolk bade her goodbye they wished her a blessing in these words, "Be thou the mother of thousands of millions." --Gen. 24:60.

  We read that "Rebecca arose and her damsels [maids,

servants], and they rode upon the camels and followed the man Eleazar."

  Here we find, in harmony with other Scriptures, a

picture of the Gospel Age, and its work of bringing to Messiah a special Bride class of saintly ones. First amongst these saints were some of the Jewish nation, according to the Divine Rule; as the Scriptures set forth --"to the Jew first." This Bride class has been selected from every nation, people, kindred and tongue yet in all will be but a little flock--"Fear not, little flock; it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom"--the spiritual, unseen Kingdom of Messiah--joint-heirship with Him in His Throne--not the earthly Kingdom which has been promised definitely to Israel.--Eph. 2:12-17.

 BRIDE CLASS AND GREAT COMPANY
 Other Scriptures have shown us that amongst these

saints there are two classes. A few, peculiarly devoted, will constitute the Bride class. A larger number, not so courageous for the truth and righteousness, will constitute her companions, her servants, as Rebecca travelled accompanied by her maidens. These two classes are particularly specified in the Scriptures (Psalm 45), where we read of the Messiah-Bride and Queen. In her resurrection glory she is pictured as the Queen robed in gold of Ophir with fine needlework--the glory representing the Divine nature which will be granted her, and the fine needlework representing her glorious righteousness, embellished with the fruits of the Holy Spirit. The Psalmist tells that she shall be brought into the presence of the great King Jehovah, and then adds that the virgins, or companions, that follow her shall also be brought into the presence of the King, thus showing that there will always be a difference of rank on the spiritual plane. SM206 These two classes are pictured in the Law as Priests and Levites, the Bride class being represented by the Priests, owing to their willing sacrifices of the earthly portion in favor of the Heavenly.

 We are not to identify the Bride class with the nominal

Christian Churches of today any more than we would identify the Apostles with the Jewish Church of their day. The Apostles were a select few; and similarly all the members of the Church throughout the Age have been a select few out of a nominal many. "The Lord knoweth them that are His." The true Church has been selected, not only from all of the twelve tribes of Israel, but from every other nation, people and tongue, even so many as the Lord our God has called.--2 Tim. 2:19.

  Rebecca's leaving her father's house typified the personal

consecration of each one who, led of the Spirit, accepts the Divine invitation to joint-heirship with Christ. The first jewelry given to Rebecca, when first she heeded the invitation and invited the servant to her home, represents the earliest blessing received by believers. The jewelry she received after she had decided to go to Isaac and become his wife represents the blessings of the Holy Spirit which come upon the fully consecrated, those who determine to walk in the footsteps of Jesus in the narrow way into the Kingdom, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

  Arrived at the end of her journey, she found herself

in the presence of Isaac, and immediately alighted from her camel and covered herself with a veil. Thus pictorially is represented the fact that the Church, when having experienced the change of the First Resurrection and having entered the presence of the Heavenly Bridegroom, will no longer need the guidance of the Holy Spirit, through the Scriptures. This part of the picture, of course, is yet future. The Scriptures, however, indicate, and outward conditions corroborate the fact, that the time of this glorious change is nigh at hand. SM207 MOTHER OF THOUSANDS OF MILLIONS

  Isaac immediately received Rebecca, and took her into

his mother's tent. Sarah had died, and Rebecca became her successor. Thus is beautifully pictured the fact that when the Bride of Messiah shall be complete on the plane of glory, the Sarah Covenant will be at an end, and its place, as a channel of blessing, will be taken by the glorified Church. Then will be fulfilled the prophetic blessing of her relatives, "Be thou the mother of thousands of millions." Those thousands of millions represent the world of mankind, which will be regenerated, or granted new life, by the great Messiah during the thousand years of His reign as the Mediator of the New Covenant.

  Messiah will be the Regenerator and His Bride will be

the nourisher, instructor, helper, of all mankind under the New Covenant; for it will be this antitypical Isaac and his Bride that will mediate for Israel, and through Israel for the world, the New Covenant of Restitution blessings. (Acts 3:19-21.) "In thee and in thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed," applies primarily, as St. Paul shows, to Messiah and His Church in glory--the sacrifices being past, the spiritual nature being attained as a reward for the sacrifices.--Gal. 3:16,29.

 Whoever will first receive Messiah and come into

harmony with the righteous laws of His invisible Kingdom will be the first to be blessed. There will be no partiality in this matter; for "God is no respecter of persons." However, because of their past experiences and earthly hopes and trust in the Law and the Prophets, the Jews will be the first amongst the nations to accept the new order of things and to ally themselves with it. Therefore, to them will the blessings go first and through them the blessings will extend to all mankind.--Acts 10:34.

 While thanking God for the glorious prospects of

that glorious time which is nearing, let us, dear friends, seek to make our calling and election sure to membership in the Body of the Bride of Christ. SM208

ISRAEL'S NEW COVENANT
 "The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His

Temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in. Behold He shall come, saith Jehovah of Hosts; but who may abide the day of His coming?"--Mal. 3:1-5.

 Six thousand years ago in Eden our Maker, in justly

sentencing His disobedient children to death, intimated that ultimately the Seed of the woman would bruise the Serpent's head. This hidden promise was the first intimation of the Divine mercy which our gracious Creator had purposed in Himself from before the foundation of the world. Ever noble, kind and gracious our Creator restrained His mercy for the good of His creatures--that they might learn to appreciate the exceeding sinfulness of sin. For the good of the angels also--that they might fully know of His justice, as well as of His Wisdom and Power--God insisted upon dealing with His creatures from the standpoint of exact justice. They had sinned, and thereby had forfeited all claim upon the eternal life which He had given them conditionally.

 Eternal torment, as we have already seen, did not in

any sense or degree enter into the Divine purpose. His sentence upon man, plainly stated, was, "Dying thou shalt die," not, Living thou shalt live in torment. "The soul that sinneth it shall die." (Gen. 2:17; Ezek. 18:4.) God purposed to exemplify in His dealings with our race a principle of Divine government to be made operative everywhere ultimately--amongst all His creatures on the spirit plane, as well as upon the earthly.

 Long centuries after, in the seventh generation of

Adam's children, God spoke prophetically through one of these, Enoch, saying, "The Lord cometh with ten thousands of His holy ones to execute justice in the earth" --to establish righteousness amongst men. Time passed SM209 on; but sin prevailed, and the coming of the Great Deliverer was still future.--Jude 14.

 Next God spoke to Abraham, after first having tested

his faith and loyalty. To him He mentioned the same great Deliverer who would bruise the Serpent's head and who would come in great glory with ten thousands of His holy ones. To Abraham He gave assurance that this One would, in some way, be identified with his posterity, so that He might properly be called the Seed of Abraham. God said, "In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed."--Gen. 12:3.

 The Divine Program was not changed, but more explicit

statements were given respecting it. Thereafter all taught of God would know to look for the Messianic blessing through Abraham's Seed. Besides, the Covenant was afterward confirmed with an Oath to Abraham; later to Isaac; later to Jacob. That Covenant Promise became the basis of God's adoption of the entire nation of Israel--all of Jacob's children. They were heirs of the Abrahamic Covenant--the Oath-Bound Covenant. If so great an honor from the Almighty God has made some of the Jewish people at times to appear arrogant and proud, let us not forget that to err is human--to forgive, Divine. Perhaps if we were in their stead our imperfections would similarly display themselves.

        GOD'S COVENANT OF THE LAW
 Israel's experiences of tribulation and bondage in

Egypt were probably necessary to prepare them for God's great proposition--that they should keep the Law and as a reward have life everlasting. As it is written, "He that doeth these things shall live by them." (Lev. 18:5.) Israel greatly rejoiced in this manifestation of Divine preference for them more than for all others of humanity. The Law Covenant was mediated. The sacrifice of bulls and of goats made a typical atonement for them for a year, so that they might enter into this covenant SM210 relationship with God. But when they attempted to keep the Law they were disappointed. They failed. The Law of God is the full measure of a perfect man's ability; and the Jews, being imperfect like other men, found that they had undertaken an impossibility.

 Not a Jew kept the Law perfectly. Not a Jew, therefore,

gained eternal life during the first year. But foreknowing this, God had made preparation for a repetition of the Atonement Day every year, so that the people might continue striving to attain eternal life. Year after year, century after century, they failed, and discouragement took the place of hope. God was teaching them a great lesson respecting the need of better sacrifices than those of bulls and of goats, and also teaching them that there is no other means of justification in His sight. They had blessings under this Covenant--educational blessings, but not the blessing hoped for, not life eternal. Hence they were not in a position to become, as they had hoped, a national Messiah, a national Seed of Abraham, for the blessing of all the nations. NEW COVENANT AND BETTER MEDIATOR

  For a time God gave them kings, but these were unable

to accomplish the great things hoped for. But the promise of a personal Messiah was made, who should be of the lineage of David, a great King, far superior to the great, wise and rich Solomon, Messiah would be David's Son and yet David's Lord. (Psa. 110:1; Matt. 22:42-44). Here, as God designed, Israel began to get the thought of a personal Messiah, a King of Glory, who would use their nation as His instrumentality for the conquering of the world, when every knee should bow and every tongue confess, to the glory of God.

  The next lesson for Israel to learn was that a change

of dispensation must come--that, as Moses had mediated the Law Covenant, so an antitypical Moses, a greater than Moses, would induct them into the blessings and SM211 privileges of a still better covenant, a covenant more favorable to them, one under which they could gain eternal life. This New Covenant was particularly set before them through Jeremiah's prophecy (31:31-34). And this, combined with the statement of Moses respecting a greater Mediator, helped their faith to take a fresh hold upon the Oath-Bound Abrahamic Promise--"In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed."

  If a great enough Mediator should come as the promised

Messenger of God, and should establish a better covenant, under which Israel could have eternal life, and if He, as the offspring of David, should become their King, then indeed Abraham's Seed, the nation of Israel under that great Mediator-King, would be fully qualified to bless all the families of the earth. The thought of this glory to their nation became a fresh inspiration, and around it gathered the fifty odd thousand of Jews, out of all the tribes of Israel, who returned from Babylonian captivity under the edict of Cyrus.

  Through the Prophet Ezekiel the Lord again made

mention of the fact that their Law Covenant made at Sinai must, before their great blessing of restitution, give place to a New Covenant, a better covenant. Speaking of the time when He would regather them out of all lands and would fulfil to them the promise made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and make them a great nation, and use them for the blessing of other nations, the Lord declares, "Not for your sakes do I this, O House of Israel, but for My name's sake." He then proceeds to tell them that at the time He would receive them back into His love and favor He would also humble their pride by restoring the Samaritans and the Sodomites--peoples whom Israel detested as inferiors and sinners.--Ezek. 36:22.

  God declares that neither of these peoples had ever

committed as serious sins against Divine goodness as had Israel, and that when He would again bless Israel He would bless also these other peoples in their midst. Let SM212 me quote His words: "When thy sisters, Sodom and her daughters, shall return to their former estate, and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former estate, then thou and thy daughters shall return to your former estate....Nevertheless I will remember My Covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting Covenant,...and I will give them [Sodomites and Samaritans] unto thee for daughters, but not by thy Covenant [not under the Old Law Covenant; but under the New Law Covenant of the future], and I will establish My Covenant with thee; ...[in order that] thou mayest remember and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more, because of thy shame, when I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done, saith the Lord God."--Ezek. 16:55-63. "ABIDE THE DAY OF HIS COMING"

 This new and better Covenant is to be mediated

through a personal Messiah--a still more glorious Mediator than Moses, a still more glorious King than David-- this One whom Israel began to look for and to long for. Can we wonder that they failed to identify Him in the lowly Nazarene who died at Calvary? We cannot! Nothing but a special assistance of the Holy Spirit would enable any one to trace the connection between the glorious pictures of the prophecies and the humble appearance of Him who came to fulfil those prophecies. We do see, however, that the great Messiah of Glory, Jesus, in His Second Advent as King of kings and Lord of lords, fills absolutely every demand of Jewish expectation and of prophetic outline. Some can see, but others cannot as yet, that He who was pierced is the same One who, as the Son of God, in great glory is shortly to bless Israel-- and all the families of the earth through Israel.

 Our text is from another prophecy speaking of this

same great Messiah, the Mediator of the New Covenant, King of kings and Lord of lords, who, as the Representative SM213 of the great Jehovah, His Father, is to reign until all enemies shall be put down--until Satan shall be bound and, ultimately, shall be crushed; until Adam and his race, released from Divine sentence, under the New Covenant provisions shall be uplifted from sin, degradation and death to perfection and everlasting life--the unwilling and disobedient being destroyed in the Second Death.

 The Prophet Malachi points out that the Messiah of

the New Covenant, whom he announces, is the glorious Mediator and antitypical King for whom they had waited long and of whom they delighted to think. He would come to the Temple--thus implying that He would be not only an antitypical Prophet, an antitypical King, but also an antitypical Priest--"after the order of Melchizedek."

 But after this joyful proclamation that their long-expected

and gloried-in Mediator of the New Covenant should be looked for, they were warned that His Day would be one of trial, one of special testing and proving, that the Lord might find the antitypical Priests and antitypical Levites to serve in the antitypical Temple. He would be like a refiner of fire to take away the dross and to leave only the pure metal--fiery trials and testings being implied. He would "be like fuller's soap," in the sense that a great washing would take place to make for the Kingdom the called, chosen and faithful.--Mal. 3:2.

 At that time the consecration of Judah and Jerusalem

unto the Lord will be accepted as in olden times. We may understand that this spirit of devotion is now reviving amongst the Jews, particularly amongst those who are identified with Jerusalem and the Zionist movement. Hitherto this has been a political movement in the interest of Jewish nationalization and a home for exiles. Now, however, the due time has come for a real movement of those who have the faith to draw near to God and to show that faith by helping forward in the restoration of earthly Jerusalem and her interests. SM214 WHY MESSIAH'S COMING DELAYED

 The First-begotten of the Father, as His glorious

Agent in the great work of creation, had the honor granted Him of becoming the great Messenger of the Covenant, the great Prophet, Priest and King of Israel, the great Michael of Daniel 12:1. But there were tests connected with His attainment of this high position: (1) By faith He must lay aside His Heavenly glory, in obedience to the Father's will, to become a man--not a sinful man, but a perfect man--holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners. (2) Thus prepared to become the Redeemer it was His privilege to make full consecration of His earthly interest, and the Father's pleasure to beget Him of the Holy Spirit at Jordan to the spirit nature on the highest plane. For three and a half years His sacrifice burned upon the altar. It was indeed better than the sacrifice of bulls and goats; for it was a corresponding price for Adam--an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a man's life for a man's life. (3) When Jesus had thus sacrificially parted with His earthly life He experienced a resurrection change from human nature to spiritual, like what He was originally, only higher and more glorious. Thus He was at once both a sacrifice and the spirit-begotten priest who offered that sacrifice. When He arose from the dead His personal sacrifice had ended, and His personal perfection as a spirit being was completed.--Heb. 10:1-14; 13:11-13.

 Then why did He not at once begin His great work

as Prophet, Priest, King and New Covenant Mediator for Israel and through Israel for the world? It was because there was to be more than one sacrifice in the Divine Plan on the Day of Atonement. Throughout this Gospel Age this risen, glorified High Priest, Mediator, Prophet and King has been waiting to inaugurate His glorious Kingdom of blessing--waiting while a little handful of saints should be selected from the world, SM215 tested and found worthy and glorified with Himself--a "little flock" out of all mankind, both Jews and Gentiles.

 When this Bride class shall have completed her sacrifice

in and under the merit of the great Priest, then every arrangement for the blessing of Israel as Abraham's seed, and of all nations through Israel, will have forthwith commenced. Thus seen, the revelation of Israel's great Messenger of the New Covenant is very important not only to the Jew, but also to the world of mankind, who must receive their blessings under Israel by a compliance with the same New Law Covenant. Moreover, the elect handful of saints drawn, called and gathered during the parenthesis period are also deeply interested in God's glorious Kingdom; for the Divine promise is that they shall be then changed to be like their Master and share His glory. JUDGMENTS WILL BE OF THE LORD

 Notice the further message of the Lord through the

Prophet, "I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those who oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right."--Mal. 3:5.

 Ah, do we not see here plainly stated that the Messianic

Kingdom means not only glory and honor to those whom He will accept as servants, but also requirements of faithfulness to the principles of truth, of purity, of harmony with God? And this lesson for the Jew, under his New Covenant arrangement, will ultimately apply to all nations. Under that new arrangement, under Israel's New Covenant, all the families of the earth will be privileged to become "Israelites indeed" through faithfulness to the great Prophet, Priest, King and Mediator of Israel and of all the families of the earth. SM216 THE CHIEF SOURCE OF PERSECUTION

 "Perils among false brethren."--2 Cor. 11:26.
 St. Paul was remarkable in many respects, but chiefly

for his loving devotion to the Master and His Cause. His faithfulness brought also many trying experiences. In our context he enumerated some of these. He served the Cause of Christ to such an extent that many thought him unwise, and counted him a fool. This service brought him stripes, whippings, as a disturber of the peace--not that he did disturb the peace, but that those who opposed his teachings raised a tumult and blamed him for it, in order to bring him into disrepute, hinder his service and forward their own interests. This at times brought him to prison, too, and even close to death's door.

 Nevertheless, the Apostle rejoiced in all such privileges.

He declared that five times he received whippings, stripes; once he was stoned, and three times he was shipwrecked. But none of these things moved him from faithfulness to his Master, whose servants he had persecuted before his eyes were opened. Then he recounts various perils experienced from waters, from robbers, from the Jews, from the heathen--in the city, in the wilderness, on the sea. He winds up the list of perils in the words of the text, "Perils among false brethren."

 One question which will arise in many minds is,

"Were these sufferings--stripes, perils, etc.--deserved?" If asked, the answer would surely be that they were not deserved; for St. Paul was a noble character and bore the Message of God's grace in Christ--"good tidings of great joy which shall be unto all people." The next question with some would be, "If his sufferings were not punishments, what were they?" SM217

 We reply that they were the same as were the Master's

--evidences of his loyalty to God and of the darkness of the world, which led them to oppose him. The declaration, "Whosoever will live godly will suffer persecution," was fully exemplified in his own experiences and in the Master's. The amount of suffering as a reward for well-doing marked the measure of loyalty and zeal, and the measure of hatred and malice aroused by the Adversary. The answer to the question as to why Jesus suffered is the answer to all such questions in respect to St. Paul and all other footstep followers.

        DARKNESS HATES THE LIGHT
  The Master declared that He stood for the principles

of light, righteousness, Truth; while Satan stands for the reverse--darkness, superstition, blindness. And so it is with the followers of Jesus. They must all be children of the light, must walk in the light, must be uncompromising in their attitude toward sin and all that is wrong. Therefore the world will hate them and say all manner of evil against them falsely. Yea, men will feel that they do God service when they slay the righteous, whether literally, as in Jesus' case and St. Paul's, or by "shooting out arrows, even bitter words," as is the more popular method of the present time.--Psa. 64:3.

  But some one will say, "Ah, times have changed! Today

our bishops and popes and preachers are all reverenced. No one thinks of persecuting them. Rather all men speak well of them. Any one not spoken well of today must be in some way unworthy." How strange that we should forget, and argue along these lines! Were there not Doctors of Divinity in Jesus' day? Were there not priests and chief priests and Levites then? And were there not Pharisees who made long prayers in the Temple? And were they not highly spoken of and reverenced? Did they not make broad their phylacteries? Did any one think of traducing them? No, indeed!

  But the Master was there and His disciples; and they

SM218 were not of the popular clergy. By their own record they were styled "the filth and off-scouring of the earth"; and, as the Master said, whoever persecuted them thought that he did God service. How apt we all are to think of our own day as being different from other periods! So it was in Jesus' day. As He told some of them, "Ye garnish the sepulchers of those whom your fathers slew, yet ye do their works." So today many extol the Lord and the Apostles, and denounce their persecutors, while they similarly persecute.--Luke 11:47,48.

 The climax of St. Paul's perils, the severest of them

all, was from false brethren. How strange that seems! One would think that however much the heathen or the Jews might have persecuted him, at least all professed followers of Jesus would have thanked God for his example and ministry, and have esteemed him. But this was not so; and as we look back to the Master before him, we see the same to be true. As He declared, "A man's foes shall be they of his own household."

 The Master was a Jew. The Jews were His brethren

according to the flesh; and it was they that hated Him without a cause--they that persecuted Him--they that said, "He hath a devil and is mad"--they that "took up stones to stone Him"--they that finally crucified Him. "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not," except a few saintly, elect ones.--John 10:20,31; 1:11.

 St. Paul also had persecution from the Jews, who

repeatedly sought his life. He lived after the establishment of the Church. He had also Christian brethren, begotten of the Holy Spirit and fellow-members of the Body of Christ. Jesus had none such. "Of the people there was none with Him."--Isa. 63:3.

 The Holy Spirit was not given until Pentecost; hence

Jesus could not receive Christian persecution. The nearest approximation was the case of Judas. But if St. Paul enjoyed the sweetness of Christian fellowship in his study, labors and toils, he also knew the bitterness of SM219 opposition and persecutions from false brethren--the climax of his perils. We may be sure that such experiences were more difficult for him to bear than any others, because they came closer home. They came from brethren of the closest imaginable relationship--fellow-members of the Body of Christ. THE GODLY SUFFER PERSECUTION

 As we glance down through this Gospel Age, from

St. Paul's day to the present, we find that all followers of Jesus have had experiences such as He foretold for them--persecutions. We find that these persecutions have come from every quarter, but none, apparently, more severe, more cruel, more perilous, than those which have come from Christian brethren. It is scarcely necessary for us to refer to history to demonstrate this fact. Disputes between Christians have been very bitter. Thousands have lost their lives at each other's hands. The word heretic became more obnoxious than any other term in the dictionary.

  Neither Catholic nor Protestant can deny the terrible

story of the pages of history. All true men are ashamed of the record. All are ready to say, "We would not so have done." Monuments stand in various parts of the world, marking places where sectarian strife has manifested itself in atrocious, barbarous acts. Our Catholic friends blush at the story of the Huguenots. Our Church of England friends blush at the story of the Covenanters and other non-conformists. Our Presbyterian friends, in turn, blush for atrocious acts of injustice, etc., done in the name of Calvinism.

  We might also say that each denomination in its turn

has been a subject of persecution from one and another. Baptists were publicly whipped--sometimes driven from their homes to exile. So were the Puritans, who afterwards became persecutors themselves. The Methodists also suffered from sectarian spite and jealousy, ignorance and superstition. Indeed, who will dispute that SM220 Christendom has good cause to be ashamed of her own record, no matter what her standpoint may be?

  Thank God for the advancement made along the line

of human sympathy! No longer can civilized people take pleasure in public executions, tortures, burning at the stake, as in former times. Whatever competition may remain between Christian brethren, the peril is not that of open persecution; for general sentiment has advanced beyond the point where physical torture could be tolerated by the masses.

  We have come to the time when Calvinists erect a

monument to Servetus, expressing dissent from their great leader's mistake in causing a Christian brother to be burned. We have come to the place where the "perils among false brethren" are of a different kind. Now whatever jealousies or rivalries there may be, either at home or in the mission fields, are recognized as improper and suppressed, so far as brethren connected with popular and influential bodies of Christians are concerned.

 But is it not true today that the Truth is unpopular?

Has this not always been the fact? Is it not true that in proportion as the denominations have become popular they have escaped persecution? But woe be to those who are unpopular, as were Jesus and the Apostles! If they indeed escape the cross, the guillotine, the rack and the fagot, they are amenable to other means of torture. Something can be trumped up against their personality. Insinuations can be given by word and look, and shrug of shoulder. More damage can be accomplished in this way than in any outward attack.

 Evil speaking, evil surmising, slanders, ambiguous

suggestions, etc.--all, as torture--can be applied to the followers of Jesus today. And all who today take such a course are sharers with the malefactors, even though they do not indulge in physical torture. Who can dispute that sometimes mental torture is equally severe? In our day there are other and more refined ways of persecuting, SM221 torturing, open to false brethren, than imprisonment or crucifixion or burning.

 And what shall we say of the false brethren who do

such things? And how shall we assure ourselves that we shall not be of them? Undoubtedly the Master is still of the same mind as St. John expressed when he declared, "Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer, and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him." (1 John 3:15.) Murderers may indeed receive severe stripes, and eventually learn better under Messiah's Kingdom; but no one of a murderous condition of heart, seeking to do evil to a brother, could possibly be of suitable character to be a joint-heir with his Master in the Kingdom.--1 Cor. 6:9-11.

       "ONE OF THE LEAST OF THESE"
 In every time, and now, the spirit of persecution naturally

would strike most prominently certain leading figures; nevertheless, even as Jesus' words implied, all lovers of righteousness are to have more or less share in such experiences of opposition. St. Paul mentions this, saying, "Ye endured a great fight of afflictions; partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock...and partly whilst ye became companions of them that were so used." (Heb. 10:32,33.) Jesus gives us the same thought in His declaration that whosoever shall offend one of the least of these, His disciples, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck and he were drowned in the depths of the sea.--Matt. 18:6.

 This, of course, is very highly figurative language,

and yet it must have a special meaning. It must mean that the Lord has a special care over all of His consecrated saints; and that no matter how poor, how weak, how ignorant, they may be, the very least of His followers are supervised, and injury to the least is punishable. Of course, there would still be an awakening from the dead for the one who was drowned in the sea; and so there are possibilities of help and recovery for those SM222 who would stumble the Lord's "little ones." Nevertheless, the intimation is that of drastic punishment. This would not mean anything like we once supposed--eternal torment--but some just recompense of reward for every evil deed.--2 Peter 2:9.

 From this standpoint we may readily assume that

considerable satisfaction of Justice is necessary; for surely a considerable number of the Lord's "little ones" have suffered persecution. And as we have seen, not all of this persecution lies at the door of the world. Much of it lies at the door of the professed Church of Christ-- "false brethren."--Isa. 66:5; Matt. 7:21-23.

 Speaking of some such, Jesus once declared that they

would have great disappointment when the time of rewards would come. He says, "Many shall say unto Me in that Day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name,...and done many wonderful works? And I will declare, I do not recognize you." They will not be worthy of the Lord's recognition as amongst His Elect Church, His Bride class. We shall be glad if they will be found worthy of some blessing under His Kingdom. But there will be great disappointment to them. They missed the greater point of the Gospel--Love.

        LOVE FOR THE BRETHREN
 The Lord's will concerning all His followers is that

they should love one another as He loved them. St. John expressed this sentiment, saying that as Jesus loved the Church and laid down His life for the Church, so also His followers should lay down their lives for the brethren. (1 John 3:16.) If this is the love standard that the Lord has sent for His people, how sorely some will soon be disappointed in respect to His will if they have ignored this requirement. If, instead of loving the brethren and laying down their lives for them, they say all manner of evil against them, etc., what then? Then they are false brethren. Then they are the peril of the true brethren.

 Oh, how much the true followers of Jesus need to

SM223 impress upon themselves this great lesson--that love does no ill to his neighbor, that love is sympathetic, suffereth long and is kind, vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, seeketh not merely its own interest and welfare, but seeketh the interest and welfare of others!

 The supreme test of our loyalty to God is our love for

Him. And this love is manifested by our desire to do those things acceptable to Him. There is little that we really can do for the Almighty. He is so great and we are so small! But if we have His spirit of Love, then we shall love all those who love Him. And our conduct toward them will demonstrate the real sentiment of our hearts. Thus seen, we are daily making our reward in the Lord's sight, daily showing Him to what degree we are worthy or unworthy of His great reward.

 Those mentioned in our text as false brethren were

perilous to the true brethren, but did not get into this position immediately. It was a growth, a development. The wrong spirit gradually supplanted the right. It is well that Christians note this insidious canker which gnaws at the root of brotherly love, tends to poison the spirit and to bring forth the evil fruitage mentioned. Apparently, in some cases, the spirit of pride, the spirit of sectarianism, the spirit of ambition, are the leading features of the wrong course, which, if permitted to go to the heart, will develop a bad fruitage, such as we are discussing. It will produce false brethren, persecuting brethren, blind to the real spirit of their Master, heady, high-minded.--Jude 11; Gen. 4:6,7.

 Let us then, beloved, be more and more on guard

against the encroachments of the Adversary upon us as New Creatures! Let us be more and more zealous for the Spirit of our Master and show forth the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light! In no way can we better show forth these praises than by exemplifying in our daily conduct the lessons we have learned of Him! SM224

        THE JUDGMENT DAY
        PICTURED BY JESUS
 "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of

these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me."--Matt. 25:40.

 This Scripture is generally misunderstood and misused.

If one has not studied it in its connections, one would quite likely think that the Lord is referring to those who have lived during the Gospel Age. But the context shows that He refers to those living in the Millennial Age. The principle, however, is helpful to us now. Whoever does a kindness for any one belonging to the Lord is counted by Him as doing it unto Him.

 In the parable of the Sheep and the Goats we read,

"When the Son of Man shall come in all His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the Throne of His glory; and before Him shall be gathered all nations"--peoples, not the Church. The Church will be with Him in His Throne. (Col. 3:4.) Those spoken of here as gathered before the Throne will be the whole world of mankind. These are sometimes called Gentiles, meaning those not in covenant relationship with God.

 In the past God made a covenant with the nation of

Israel alone. Therefore all other nations and peoples were outsiders. During this Gospel Age the Lord has made a covenant with the Church, through Christ, a special Covenant of Sacrifice into which you and I are privileged to enter. The opportunity to make this Covenant of Sacrifice has been open throughout the Gospel Age; and all who come to God through that covenant are said to be Israelites indeed.--Gal. 3:8,16,29.

 Our text refers, not to Christians, but to Gentiles--the

world in general. Before Messiah's Throne shall be gathered all people, all nations. "And He shall separate them the one from the other, as a shepherd divideth his sheep SM225 from the goats." It is not a class separation, but an individual one. Whoever, after trial, demonstrates that he is a goat will go over to the left hand. Whoever proves himself to be a sheep will go to the right. The whole picture refers to the thousand years of the Messianic Reign, the world's judgment, the world's trial. The sole object of that Reign is to prove who will desire to be God's sheep, to come into His fold and have His Son as their Shepherd, and who will not come into harmony with Him, but will have a goat-like nature. Then Christ will deal with them accordingly. A THOUSAND YEARS OF SEPARATING WORK

 Gradually all the goats are gathered to the left hand,

and all the sheep to the right hand. In figurative language the Lord thus designates the place of disfavor and that of favor. These two classes will not be aware of the fact that they are going to the right or to the left, as the parable shows. Not until the conclusion of the trial do they find out where they stand.

 The question arises, In what way will the people have

an opportunity of ministering to the Lord's brethren during the Millennial Age? We note that the Apostles were in prison sometimes because of their service to the Lord and were ministered unto; and that some of the Lord's followers since have been in prison or in need of assistance; but that probably not very many have been in prison or hungry or naked. Presumably it has been so all down the Gospel Age. Hence it is difficult to see how this parable could have any reference to us. Now we see what the parable means, and this is the explanation:

 Throughout the Millennial Age The Messiah will be

dealing with the world of mankind, the majority of whom are now in the great prison-house of death. The Apostle Paul, in speaking of the resurrection, says that the dead shall come forth "every man in his own order," or company or class. They will not all come forth at once. The SM226 Church class will come forth first; then the Great Company class; and early in the new order of things will come forth the Ancient Worthies, who will be the earthly representatives of God's Kingdom.--1 Cor. 15:21-23.

 As Jesus said to some in His day, "Ye shall see Abraham,

Isaac, Jacob and all the Prophets in the Kingdom of God." (Luke 13:28.) They will be the human representatives of the Heavenly Kingdom, which will be invisible. Jesus said nothing about their seeing Himself. Neither did He say, "Ye shall see these My disciples in the Kingdom." He did say, however, "Yet a little while, and the world seeth Me no more." St. John tells us that the Church shall be like her Lord. (1 John 3:2.) If the world will not see Him, they will not see the Church; for the Church will be spirit beings, that cannot be seen.

 So we have these orders, at least: The Little Flock,

the Great Company, the Ancient Worthies, and the world of mankind--"every man in his own order." Jesus said, "The hour is coming when all that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live." (John 5:25-29.) As the world return from the tomb, our thought is that they will come back in answer to prayer, very much the same as did Lazarus. The Lord, you remember, said, "Where have ye laid him?" Then He lifted up His eyes and prayed to the Father, after which He said, "Lazarus, come forth."--John 11:41-44. MINISTERING UNTO MILLENNIUM BRETHREN

 We do not understand that in the Millennial Age the

people will have power to command the dead to come forth from the tomb, but that our Lord Jesus will have that power. As He prayed for the restoration of Lazarus, not because of any service which Lazarus would do for Him, but because Lazarus was the brother of Martha and Mary, so we conceive that nearly all the world will come forth in answer to the prayers of their brothers, their sisters, their parents, children and friends. SM227

 To illustrate: Suppose that you and I were of the

Restitution class, and not of the Church class. Suppose that we were living down in the Millennial Age, and that Restitution had progressed so far that the world was in good shape--plenty of machinery for conducting affairs, more being produced than was needed, etc. Then the Lord would let us know, as a world, that we might have the privilege of co-operating with God, that we might join with Christ in the work of Restitution. We might say, "First of all, let us pray for father." We would not desire to have father get here and find that there was no place for him to eat or sleep or live; so we would make provision for him.

  Similarly, we would provide for mother and for other

relatives. Each would thus be brought forth, preparations being made to assist them when they would come back into life. This whole work of bringing mankind back into life will be God's work. It will be the work of the Lord Jesus Christ, the work of spirit beings, as God's agents. But human beings will be permitted to co-operate, through their interest in humanity.

  The "sheep" class of that Age will be those who

will have the Lord's spirit; and as the Lord's purpose will be to bring people back from death, to teach them and to prepare them for eternal life, all the sheep will feel the same way. This they will do gladly, because they have a love for this work. They will be feeding, clothing and helping those whom they have gotten out of the prison-house of death. Their prayers will go out continually after those in prison. This explains the whole work of the Millennial Age, and shows how all the people will come into harmony with God.

  THE INDIFFERENT, SELFISH CLASS
  But there will be some who will say, "I do not care

so much about this matter. I would rather go automobiling than to care for these people." The sheep class will be busy working, working right along; but the goat class SM228 will be showing their selfish disposition. God does not purpose that any who are selfish shall have everlasting life. Selfishness came in as a result of sin. You and I were born selfish, and could not help it; but we have better knowledge now. We are beginning to see God's way. All then in true sympathy with God and righteousness will be cultivating love in their hearts.

  After the sheep class have provided for those already

recovered from the prison-house of death, they will say, "Now let us ask for others to come back. Let us get back Uncle Jim." The others will say, "I do not see why we should bother about Uncle Jim. He was only a distant relative. He did not leave me anything when he died." But the one with the sheep-like disposition will say, "Poor old Uncle Jim! I shall try to give a good welcome back. He will wonder that conditions are so changed. He never saw these things which we now have. When He died, he thought that he was going to Hell. This will be his greatest blessing!"

    THE LOVING, UNSELFISH CLASS
  Thus the sheep class will take their pleasure along the

lines in which God and Christ will be taking theirs. Do you think that God, Christ and the Church will be running around Heaven in automobiles? The sheep class will say, in effect, "How can we co-operate with Christ in this work of blessing the world?" They may not realize it, but they will be developing a noble, Christlike character. They will be doing themselves good as well as those raised from the dead.

  At the close of the Age the Lord will say to the sheep

class, "I was an hungered, and ye gave Me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took Me; naked, and ye clothed Me; sick and in prison, and ye visited Me"; for "inasmuch as ye did it unto one of the least of these, ye did it unto Me." You did not know it, but I was watching you. You are on My right hand--in My favor. The Father wishes you to have the SM229 Kingdom originally given to Father Adam but lost through disobedience.

  No other class will be given the kingdom. God is not

selfish, but is always considering what He can do for somebody else. All of His people must have His spirit. All mankind must eventually have the same spirit or they cannot get the earthly kingdom. The Heavenly Kingdom is for those of the Church who prove worthy. They will get it because they have the spirit of love; and those of the world who cultivate the Lord's spirit will receive the kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world. (Gen. 1:26-28.) Christ's Kingdom was prepared from before the foundation of the world. Mankind's will be an earthly kingdom a Paradise world-wide. EVERLASTING PUNISHMENT OF THE WICKED

 So, dear friends, there is a little lesson here for us.

We see in this parable God's disposition. It helps us to understand His mind. But you may say, "It is not natural for me to act so unselfishly." All the more need, then, for you to cultivate that spirit. The Lord is not looking for natural people, but for New Creatures.

 "But," you say, "in my case it would make a great difference;

for my mind is not formed that way." We reply, "You must be transformed--formed over again. We are all wrong to start with. We must get out of the condition in which we were born."--Rom. 12:1,2.

 The Lord does not say that we must entirely transform

our flesh. But He does say that we must transform our mind, our will. We must show Him that our mind is continually striving for those things which are good, kind, loving and generous. He will take note of what we are striving to do.

 Lest we should be accused of neglecting a certain part

of this parable, let me remind you how it reads. The goat class are to "go away into everlasting punishment." "I thought that you do not believe in everlasting punishment," says one. My dear brother, I always believe SM230 in everything the Bible says. I believe in everlasting punishment. But what kind it will be is another matter. God says one thing, and some of our creeds have said another thing. Therefore you and I, if true to God, are giving up our creed as unreliable, thoroughly unsound. The Bible says that the punishment will be death; and we believe the Bible.--Rom. 6:23; Ezek. 18:4.

 The creeds have it that everlasting death means everlasting

dying, endless torture. So when the Bible speaks of everlasting death, some people have their heads so twisted that they make death mean life. At one time we had our heads badly twisted. We ran into all kinds of difficulties. I am glad that we are getting straightened out. We are able to reason more clearly and to understand the English language better. There is such a thing as everlasting death. When the goat class are remanded to death, they will become dead everlastingly. They will remain dead to all eternity.

 The Greek word kolasin, here rendered punishment,

means to cut off, or to restrain by cutting off. The Lord will give mankind all the opportunities they wish to be selfish, to choose the wrong way. They will have the opportunities and blessings of the Millennial Age, as long as they will not outwardly violate the Law, as long as they will not injure somebody else. They will not be forced to help the dead. That work will be one of charity, of love. But unless they attain the spirit of love, they will not be fit for the kingdom; for God is Love. Whether on the spirit plane or in the Millennial Kingdom or in the everlasting kingdom of mankind upon the earth, no one shall continue except those who are in accord with God. All others shall be everlastingly cut off from life. See Acts 3:23; Psa. 101:8; 37:9; 2 Thess. 1:9.

   FIRE A SYMBOL OF DESTRUCTION
 Concerning the wicked, our parable says, "Depart, ye

cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the Devil and his angels." Fire always symbolizes destruction, and SM231 everlasting fire would mean an everlasting destruction. What about its being prepared for the Devil and his angels? I answer: The Devil is the father of lies, a murderer from the beginning, the one who "abode not in the Truth." (John 8:44.) He has some assistants, "the angels that kept not their first estate." (Jude 6.) Instead of remaining holy angels, they became demons, associated under Satan. Their final penalty is to be quite appropriate for them--fire, the fire of God's anger, the fire of God's opposition.

 As fire destroys, so God's anger will destroy Satan

and all in harmony with him. And because the goat class of mankind manifest the spirit of Satan, the selfish spirit, contrary to the Divine spirit, they will be classed in with Satan and his angels; they will have their portion with Satan and the fallen spirits. They will all be destroyed in the Second Death. This will cleanse the Universe and have everything pure. Not a sinner will be left in it. Thenceforth all will be governed by Love.

 The Lord Jesus Christ was tried; the Church, His

Bride, is being tried; the Great Company will be tried, before being received into the Heavenly condition. In the days of Noah all the angels were tried. So all mankind will be tried during the thousand years of Messiah's reign, and only the victors will go into the everlasting conditions. No wonder that the Revelator, prophesying of that glorious time, says "Every creature in Heaven [the Church, the Great Company, the angels, the cherubim and seraphim], and on earth, and under the earth [those now in the tomb], heard I saying, Blessing, glory, honor and power be unto Him that sitteth upon the Throne, and unto the Lamb, forever and ever!"--Rev. 5:13.

   Soon all shall come, and coming sing,
       Throughout this earthly ball,
   Hosannas to our Heavenly King,
   And hail Him, hail Him, hail Him,
       Hail Him Lord of all!

SM232

       FORCES MUSTERING FOR
                   ARMAGEDDON
 "For the great Day of His wrath is come; and who

shall be able to stand?"--Rev. 6:17.

 God seems to have given the Book of Revelation with

the intent of covering up great and important truths, not only because these were not due to be understood, but because He designs to keep certain features of His Plan from the world. Being a book of symbols, the Revelation will not be understood by the world in general; but the Bible assures that when the due time for revealment comes, the wise amongst His people, "The wise virgins," shall understand.--Dan. 12:10; Matt. 25:1-13.

 The Prophet Daniel, who tells us that the Time of the

End is the time for those wise toward God to understand His great Plan, gives two particular signs by which this time will be especially marked: First, "Many shall run to and fro"; second, "knowledge shall be increased." (Dan. 12:4.) Today we see this prophecy fulfilled. All over the world the people are running to and fro as never before; and all over the world are opportunities for knowledge such as have never before been known. The remarkable fulfilment of this prophecy characterizes our day as the Time of the End, in which this Gospel Age is to be concluded and the Messianic Age to be ushered in --the time when God's people will understand and prepare for their change.

 In the Scriptures God has seen fit to associate the

name of Israel's famous battlefield with the great controversy between Truth and Error, Right and Wrong, with which the change of dispensation will take place. While the phrase, "Battle of Armageddon," is heard on all sides and is applied in many ways, nevertheless Christians realize that in the Bible this phrase is used in a SM233 spiritual sense. Therefore if the present is an opportune time to consider this Battle of the great Day of God Almighty, surely it is the proper time to view it from its true religious standpoint.

 Before we proceed to set forth our understanding of

the symbolic language of the Revelation, we wish to state most emphatically that we are saying nothing whatever against godly Christians at any time or in any place, in any church or out of any church. We realize that the Word of God conveys a terrible arraignment of some of the great systems of our day--some that we long have reverenced, that we have esteemed as containing many of God's people. We have nothing to say against godly individuals, but what we have to say in the interpretation of Scripture is in respect to these systems.

       AGENCIES MUSTERING THE HOSTS
 Coming to the interpretation of the symbols of Revelation 16:13-16,

we find that the Scriptures mention three agencies connected with the gathering of the hosts to this great battle. We read that three impure spirits, teachings, will go forth from the mouths of the Dragon, the Beast and the False Prophet, and that these three will be in accord. These three doctrines, symbolically represented by frogs, are to have a mighty influence throughout the civilized earth; they are to gather the kings and their armies to the great Battle of Armageddon.

 The ecclesiastical kings and princes, with their retinues

of clergy and faithful adherents, will be gathered in solid phalanx--Protestants and Catholics. The kings and captains of industry, and as many as can be influenced by them, will be gathered to the same side. The political kings and princes, with all their henchmen and retainers, will follow in line on the same side. The financial kings and merchant princes, and all whom they can influence by the most gigantic power ever yet exercised in the world, will join the same side, according to this SM234 prophecy. They do not realize, however, that they are coming to Armageddon.

 These "doctrines of demons," represented by the

frogs, will lead many noble souls to assume an attitude quite contrary to their preference. For a time the wheels of liberty and progress will be turned backward, and medieval restraints will be considered necessary for self-preservation --for the maintenance of the present order of things and for the prevention of the new order which God has decreed. Even those who may be God's people do not stop to consider whether it is His will that things should continue as they have been for six thousand years.

 In giving this interpretation, it is necessary for us

to indicate what is symbolized by the Dragon, the Beast and the False Prophet. Bible students of nearly all denominations agree with us that the Dragon of Revelation represents the purely Civil Power. Protestant interpreters generally agree with us that the "Beast like a leopard" (Rev. 13:2) represents the Papacy. But fewer still, we fear, will be ready to support our view that Protestantism is the "Image of the Beast" (Rev. 13:15), elsewhere styled "the False Prophet."--Rev. 16:13.

        "UNCLEAN SPIRITS LIKE FROGS"
 We urge no one to accept our interpretation, nor

shall we think unkindly of those who refuse it. We will neither slander or otherwise injure them, nor threaten them with eternal torture. They have the same right to their views that we have, and the same right to make them known to others. For our part we shall be very glad to consider anything which opponents may set forth as their interpretations of this Scripture.

 The symbolisms of Scripture, rightly understood, are

always forceful. When the Holy Spirit used a frog symbolically to represent certain doctrines or teachings, we may be sure that the true application will fit well. A frog is a small creature, yet it puffs itself up until it almost SM235 bursts in its efforts to be somebody; it has a wise look, even though it does not know much; and whenever it utters a sound it croaks. The three most prominent characteristics of a frog, then, are pomposity, an air of superior wisdom and a continual croaking.

 Applying these symbols, we learn that an evil spirit,

influence, teaching, will come from the federated Protestant churches, from the Church of Rome and from the civil authorities, and in full agreement. The spirit of all will be boastful, an air of superior wisdom and knowledge will be proudly assumed--all will croak in harmony. All will predict dire results to follow, involving the interests of both the present and the future life, if their counsel be not heeded. However conflicting the creeds, the differences will be ignored in the general proposition that nothing ancient must be investigated or repudiated, but that all things must remain as they are.

 The Divine authority of the Church, and the Divine

right of kings, aside from the Church, will not be permitted to conflict. Any persons or teachings in conflict with these boastful and unscriptural claims will be branded as everything vile, at the mouths of these frog-like spirits, speaking from pulpits and platforms and through the press. The nobler sentiments of some will be strangled by the philosophy of the same evil spirit which spoke through Caiaphas, the high priest, respecting our Lord Jesus. As Caiaphas declared it expedient to commit a crime in violation of justice, both human and Divine, in order to be rid of Jesus and His teachings, so this frog spirit will approve of every violation of principle necessary to their self-protection.

 The croaking of these frog spirits of doctrine will

gather the kings and princes--financial, political, religious and industrial--into one great army. The spirit of fear, inspired by the croakings, will scourge the passions of otherwise good and reasonable men to fury, desperation. In their blind adherence to these evil spirits, evil SM236 doctrines, they will be ready to sacrifice life itself on the altar of what they mistakenly suppose is righteousness.

 As we understand the Scriptures, for a brief time

these combined forces of Armageddon will triumph. Free speech, free mails, and other liberties which have come to be the very breath of the masses of our day will be ruthlessly shut off under the plea of necessity, the glory of God, the commands of the Church, etc. All will seem serene until the great social explosion takes place, described in Scripture as "a great earthquake."

 In symbolic language, an earthquake signifies social

revolution. The declaration of the Revelator is that it will be "such as was not since men were upon the earth." Our Lord Jesus and the Prophet Daniel described it as "a Time of Trouble such as was not since there was a nation." --Matt. 24:21; Dan. 12:1; Rev. 16:18,19. THE OPPOSING FORCES AT ARMAGEDDON

 The false, froglike teachings will gather together into

one host the great, the rich, the wise, the learned and the kings of the earth. At this juncture Divine Power will step forward and marshal the hosts to Armageddon--to the Mount of Destruction. The very thing which they sought to avert by federation will be the very thing which they will hasten. Other Scriptures tell us that God will be represented by the great Messiah, and that He will be on the side of the masses. Thus we read, "At that time shall Michael [the God-like One--Messiah] stand up"-- assume authority. He will take possession of His Kingdom in a manner little expected by many of those who erroneously have been claiming that they were His Kingdom, and authorized by Him to reign in His stead.

 The Scriptures declare, "His servants ye are unto

whom ye render service." Some may be rendering service to Satan and error while claiming to be serving God and righteousness; and some of these may be serving ignorantly, as did Saul of Tarsus, who "verily thought that SM237 he did God service" in persecuting the Church. The same principle holds true reversely. As no earthly king holds himself responsible for the moral character of each soldier who fights in his battles, so the Lord does not vouch for the moral character of all who fight on His side of any question.

 The same principle will apply in the approaching Battle

of Armageddon. God's side of that battle will be the people's side; and that very nondescript host, the people, will be pitted at the beginning of the battle. Anarchists, Socialists, and hot-headed radicals of every school of reason and of unreason, will be at the forefront of the battle. The majority of the poor and of the middle class prefer peace at almost any price. The masses have no sympathy with anarchy; for they realize truly that the worst form of government is better than none.

 A comparatively small number, God's consecrated

people, will at heart be longing for Messiah's Kingdom. These will wait patiently for the Lord's time; they will be of good courage, knowing the outcome delineated in the "more sure word of prophecy," to which they have done well to "take heed, as unto a light shining in a dark place, until the Day dawn."--2 Peter 1:19.

 Conscious of their own weakness as compared to the

kings and princes, financial, religious and political, who will then hold sway, the masses will be restless. Through the ballot and the peaceful readjustment of earth's affairs they will seek for the elimination of evil, for the placing of monopolies, utilities and the supplies of nature in the hands of the people for the public good. The crisis will be reached when the hitherto upholders of law shall become violators of that law and resisters of the will of the majority as expressed by the ballot. Fear for the future will lead the well-meaning masses to desperation; and anarchy will result when Socialism fails. This is the extremity toward which multitudes are being driven by the force of circumstances propelled by selfishness. SM238 WHY ARMAGEDDON IS NECESSARY

 Horrible indeed would be the outlook for the future

did we not have the infallible Word of God assuring us of a glorious outcome. Divine Wisdom has withheld until our day the great knowledge and skill which is breeding both millionaires and discontents. Had God lifted the veil a thousand years ago, the world would then have lined up for its Armageddon. But that date would have been too soon for the Divine Purpose; for God has His own times and seasons, and has appointed the Seventh Thousand-Year Day of the world's history for the Reign of Christ. Therefore in kindness God veiled our eyes until the time when the gathering to Armageddon would immediately precede the inauguration of Messiah's Kingdom--Rev. 11:17,18.

 St. Paul, writing prophetically of this time, declared

that it would be one of trial and testing to many professed Christians, for the reason that they received not the Truth in the love of it. (2 Thess. 2:10,11.) They preferred their own erroneous theories, the Apostle explains, and therefore God will give them over to a strong delusion, permitting them to believe the lie which they preferred and to suffer for missing the Truth which they did not love. Thus they will be in the condemned host, "fighting against God."

 Sad to say, we Christians have labored under a thorough

delusion respecting God's Plan. We have claimed that Christ set up His Church in Kingdom power and that the Church has been reigning on the earth as His representative. On the strength of this delusion, Jews and so-called heretics have been persecuted to death as opponents to Christ's Kingdom. Meantime we thoughtlessly prayed, "Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth, as in Heaven." We knew that the Redeemer had said that He would come again to make us His Bride and Joint-heirs; but we ignored the Scriptures. We were drunk, as the Scriptures symbolically say; all nations were drunk SM239 with the false doctrine. (Rev. 17:2.) It is this false doctrine which will constitute the frog spirit that soon will croak, preparatory to Armageddon.

 For the past forty years the forces have been mustering

for the conflict. As the belligerent parties have crossed each other's paths, incidental skirmishes have taken place--strikes, lockouts, riots, etc. Court and army scandals in Europe, trust and court scandals in America, have shaken public confidence. Dynamite plots, charged by turn on employees and employers, have tended to make each distrustful of the other. Bitter and angry feelings are more and more manifest.

       THE WAR CLOUD'S SILVER LINING
 According to Scripture the great battle must follow

the occurrence of two events; the transformation of the Image of the Beast into a living force, and the return of many wealthy Jews to Palestine. The Protestant Federation realizes the futility of its organization unless it receive vitalization--unless its clergy be recognized as possessing apostolic ordination and authority to teach. This the prophecy indicates will come from the two-horned Beast--symbol, we believe, of the Church of England. High-handed activities of both Protestantism and Catholicism, operating in conjunction for the suppression of human liberties, await the vivifying of this Image.

 At the very close of Armageddon will come "Jacob's

trouble" in the Holy Land. Then Messiah's Kingdom will begin to be manifested. Thenceforth in the Land of Promise Israel will gradually rise from the ashes of the past to the grandeur of prophecy. Through its Divinely appointed princes, the Ancient Worthies (Heb. 11; Psa. 45:16), the all-powerful, but invisible Kingdom of Messiah will begin to roll away the curse of death and to uplift mankind. Then will be fulfilled the Promise "in thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." SM240

                 THE TRUE LIGHT
 "That was the true Light, which lighteth every man

that cometh into the world."--John 1:9.

 Everywhere throughout the Scriptures light is used

to represent God, His truth, His righteousness, His servants and their messages; and, contrariwise, darkness is the synonym for Satan, the Prince of Darkness, and all his deluded followers, the children of darkness, and the wickedness with which he is identified, the works of darkness. So forceful are these figures of speech that they are recognized quickly, not only by those skilled in the use of the Scriptures, but also by the world. The voice of inspiration in the Bible declares that the "whole world lies in the Wicked One"--under Satan's influence--under the powers of darkness. And this declaration was made, not in the period before the Flood, nor in the period before the giving of the Law to Israel, nor during the Law Age, but during this Gospel Age. Furthermore, since Jesus has come and has given His life a Ransom, and since His followers have received the anointing of the Holy Spirit, since Pentecost, the world still lieth in the Wicked One, as again stated, "Darkness covers the earth --gross darkness the heathen." (1 John 5:19; Isa. 60:2.) But the Scriptures also testify that Jesus is the Light of the world--the true Light, that lighteth every man that cometh into the world--the statement of our text. How and in what sense is this true? We reply that it is not yet true--that it is a prophetic statement of what shall yet be.

 Our Lord declared this great truth when He said, "I

am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth in Me should not abide in darkness"; but "men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil." (John 3:19-21; 12:46.) In other words, our Lord here indicates that mankind had become so depraved, so in SM241 sympathy with sin, so out of accord with absolute truth, justice and righteousness, that it was not attractive to them--or rather, less attractive to them than the error. He declares that this was the secret of the hatred which His presence engendered and which led to His crucifixion. "The darkness hateth the light, neither approacheth the light lest its deeds be made manifest"; for it is the nature of light to scatter the darkness.

  Strange to say, the darkness was not confined to the

ignorant then, nor is it today. It is no respecter of stations. It was the Chief Priests, the Doctors of the Law and the leading Pharisees who were the most pronounced servants of darkness and most opposed to the light of Truth which shone forth from our Redeemer's life and teachings. "The common people heard Him gladly." Indeed, we say that the powers of darkness are greatest in the more influential and the better educated. Satan himself, the Prince of Darkness, is not such by reason of his ignorance and stupidity, but by reason of pride and sinful ambition, which led into a course of opposition to the Divine Plan.--Mark 12:37. "YE ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD"

  Our Lord not only informed us that the possibilities

of the light shining from Him were limited by the surrounding darkness of Satanic influence and human depravity and wrong ambition, but that the same would be measurably true of His followers--that, so far from being bright luminaries, powerful suns in the firmament of earth's affairs, scattering its darkness, they would merely be little lights or candles. He admonishes us not on this account to be discouraged or ashamed of Him, ashamed of the light but to set our candles on a candlestick, that they may give light to all that are in the House--in the Household of Faith our lights are to shine. We are to build one another up in the most holy faith.

  True, indeed, our windows are to be opened, so that

SM242 those who are without may see the light within the Household of Faith and come to the light, and all such are to be welcomed. But we are not to suppose that the world will love our light, nor that if we take it to them they will be inclined to glorify us and exalt us and to honor us. On the contrary, so long as the Prince of Darkness has his hold upon the world and operates through worldly ambition and prejudice, strongly entrenched delusions and false doctrines, so long the Lord's words are true, "Marvel not if the world hate you; ye know that it hated Me before it hated you." (John 15:18.) "Cast not your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet and turn again and rend you." (Matt. 7:6.) The depth of your message is not intended for the world, which is worshipping Mammon, but merely intended for the Elect--the class whom God is choosing out of the world for a special purpose, a "people for His name." To these alone is given to know the mysteries of the "Kingdom of Heaven"; for these alone the light of Truth is now intended--even "as many as the Lord your God shall call." As for the rest of the world, they are the children of darkness, who will be dealt with in the Lord's providence in due time.--Matt. 13:11; Col. 1:13.

 Similarly the Scriptures speak of the pathway of the

just throughout this Gospel Age. They do not indicate that the pathway of the Church is a brilliant one; but, quite to the contrary, that it is narrow, crowded, beset with trials and difficulties, and hedged about with darkness except as the lamp of Divine Truth illuminates it. Moreover, the picture of this path and of the Church as a traveler on it, given in the Scriptures, emphasizes this point. It pictures the traveler with the lamp attached to the toe of his sandal, giving light only for each step of the way, as it is written, "Thy Word is a Lamp unto my feet, a Lantern to my footsteps." (Psa. 119:105.) The Apostle Peter gives the same thought, saying: "We have also a more sure word of prophecy, whereunto ye do well to SM243 take heed, as unto a lamp shining in a dark place until the Day dawn." (2 Pet. 1:19.) Here four facts are emphasized: (1) That there is a new Day Divinely arranged for, which shall dawn in its proper season; (2) that we are now in the night-time preceding that new epoch; (3) that the Word of the Lord is the only light and guide for His people in this night-time; (4) that those who are not His people and who do not have this light are walking in darkness, however worldly-wise and prudent themselves and others may believe them to be.

 How glad we are of the assurance God has given us

that a better Day is coming, a glorious Day, when all "the shadows, weary shadows, from the world shall flee away!" This implies the victory of the light over the darkness, of which we are assured in various Scriptures, which tell us that in due time our great Redeemer Christ shall take to Himself His great power and begin His Reign--the Reign of Righteousness--the Reign of the Kingdom of God. The further assurance is that promptly at the beginning of that Reign Satan shall be bound for a thousand years, that his deception of mankind shall thus be restrained. Our Lord, speaking of this in one of His parables, calls Satan the strong man of this present dispensation, and declares that He will bind him and "spoil his goods"-- destroy the works of evil, of sin, of superstition, of ignorance, etc. Oh, what a happy day that will be for the world! "BRUISE SATAN UNDER YOUR FEET"

 But here we are reminded by the Apostle that the

Divine Plan respecting the future Kingdom of God is that the elect Church of this present time shall be associated in it with her Lord, her Bridegroom. So intimate is this association of the Church with Christ that sometimes the work of restraining Satan and the powers of evil in the opening of the Millennial Age is ascribed to the Church under her Head and Lord, as when the Apostle declared, "The very God of peace shall bruise Satan SM244 under your feet shortly." (Rom. 16:20.) Similarly, our Lord mentions the Church as associated with Himself in the enlightening work of the future; for, while our text refers to Christ as the true, great Light which ultimately shall enlighten every man that cometh into the world, our Bible shows that the Church now enlightened, now walking in the narrow way in His footsteps, now exposed to peculiar trials and difficulties in order to develop and test the overcomers, shall also be members of the great Sun of Righteousness which the Scriptures promise shall arise with healing in His beams.--Mal. 4:2.

 This participation of the Church with Himself as

members of the glorious Sun of Righteousness our Lord shows in the parable of the wheat and tares. In the conclusion of that parable He shows the gathering of the Elect in the end of this Age by a resurrection change, and then declares, "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the Sun in the Kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear."--Matt. 13:43. GROSS DARKNESS COVERS HEATHENDOM

 Coming back from the glorious pictures of the Millennial

morning to the facts as we now have them, we perceive the absolute truth of the Scriptural pictures, which represent the world in darkness and heathendom in gross darkness, and the Church alone possessing the Lamp of Divine Revelation--and it, close to the path, giving light only for one step at a time. Everything in these pictures corroborates the other statements of the Word and also our own experiences: that nothing that the Church could do in the present time could scatter the powers of darkness. Our little candles should all be on their candlesticks, our lamps trimmed and burning, to give out as much light as possible for ourselves and for others; but there is absolutely no encouragement for us to think that by any power of our own we could become the Sun of Righteousness and scatter the darkness of earth. It will require the glorious change of the First Resurrection to SM245 thus equip and qualify us for the work of enlightening the world. On the contrary, despite the efforts of God's people during eighteen centuries since Jesus' death, the numbers of heathendom are increasing hourly. According to statistics there are twice as many heathen in the world today as there were a century ago--1,200,000,000 now, 600,000,000 then.

 Alas, while the outward show and splendor of civilization

called Christendom are in many respects impressive, our Lord's true picture of the situation prophetically given is, "This people draweth nigh to Me with their lips while their hearts are far from me"! (Matt. 15:8.) Only a few today, as ever, are right with the Lord, filled with the Spirit and guided by His Lamp of Truth. The majority of Christian people everywhere, in all denominations, are falling, as described by the Lord through the Prophet, saying to the true Church of Christ, "A thousand shall fall at thy side and ten thousand at thy right hand, but it shall not come nigh thee."--Psa. 91:7.

 These thousands--yea, tens of thousands--include

many of the most learned of our day, just as the falling at the First Advent of our Lord included the Doctors of the Law, the Chief Priests and the members of the Sanhedrin. The fall in this case is not a moral deflection, not a falling into vulgar sin, but the falling away from "the faith once delivered to the saints"--a falling into Evolution theories, into Higher Criticism, Infidelity, into Theosophy, into New Thought, New Theology, Christian Science, etc.--away from the teachings of God's Word respecting the fall of the race into sin and under Divine sentence, respecting the redemption of Adam and all his race by the precious blood of Jesus, respecting the deliverance of the Church and ultimately as many as will receive Divine favor at the hands of Him who loved us and bought us with His precious blood.--Jude 3; 1 Pet. 1:18,19.

 While declaring His power to conquer sin and Satan

and to deliver the poor world from its darkness and ignorance SM246 and superstition, why does the Lord permit so long a delay? Why was it four thousand years after the fall before He sent the Redeemer, and why has it been nearly nineteen hundred years since the Savior died for all the world before He comes in power and great glory to deliver mankind from the yoke of sin and death--to deliver the groaning creation from the bondage of corruption to the glorious liberty of the sons of God? Why? Ah, there is a reason, but it is not for all to know now. Even if we tell it all cannot hear. Our Master said truly, speaking to the faithful Little Flock, the followers in His footsteps: "To you it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of God; but to others in parables; that, seeing, they might not see, and, hearing, they might not understand." (Luke 8:10.) Hence, we need not be afraid of giving away the secrets of the Lord in respect to this matter, which the Apostle styles "the Mystery hidden from past ages and dispensations, but now revealed unto the saints." (Col. 1:26.) It is proper that the saints should know this Mystery, for now the strength which this knowledge would give will be of special value to them in their combat with the special trials and difficulties which lie immediately before them. The Mystery is this: that God's purpose from the first was that the great Deliverer, Messiah, should be not only the Lord Jesus, the Redeemer, but should include also the elect Little Flock of this Gospel Age--the ripe grains gathered in Israel's harvest time and also during this Gospel Age those gathered from every nation, people, kindred and tongue. These the Lord styles His "jewels"--"They shall be Mine, saith the Lord, in that Day when I come to make up My jewels." (Mal. 3:17.) The "jewels" will not be made up, will not be glorified, until the full number of the Elect have been found and polished and prepared. Then shall the Elect, the righteous, shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father--for the blessing of all mankind. They, with their Lord, the Bridegroom, will then, SM247 as the antitypical Seed of Abraham, fulfil the Divine promise, "In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed."--Gen. 12:3.

        WHY GOD'S PEOPLE REJOICE
 Thus the Mystery hid from past ages becomes plain to

those whose eyes have been anointed by the Holy Spirit, and who are looking in the direction which the Lord is indicating. They see that now "Light is sown for the righteous--Truth for the upright in heart," and this rejoices them: first, as a manifestation of Divine favor; and secondly, because it encourages and stirs them to uprightness of heart, that they may abide in the Divine Love, and go onward from grace to grace, from knowledge to knowledge, in the narrow way, guided by the Word as a lamp to their feet. They rejoice because they now understand the purpose of Divine Wisdom in permitting special trials and tribulations of the people of God--that these are intended to work out for them a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory to which they have been "called according to the Divine purpose."

 They are not jealous or envious of the world and its

Highway of Holiness, upon which it will be privileged to go up to perfection of restitution during the Millennium. They realize that, grand as those blessings will be, "God has provided some better things for us." (Heb. 11:40.) They are content, yea, able to rejoice in fiery trials, because of their realization that these are the Divine arrangement by which they are being prepared, tested, proven worthy of a place in the glorious Kingdom so soon to be established for the blessing of the world. These large-hearted, warm-hearted saints, full of love for God and every creature, are made further glad by the knowledge of the Divine Plan, that the whole creation is under the Divine charge, though saints are God's peculiar care. They rejoice in the unfolding of the Divine Plan, which shows most clearly that God has provided an opportunity for eternal salvation through Christ for all those who SM248 shall obey Him, and, furthermore, that the knowledge and opportunity and assistance necessary to such obedience will be granted to mankind during the Millennium.

        "GREAT JOY FOR ALL PEOPLE"
 Is it any wonder that the Message of God's grace as it

was announced on the first Christmas morning was a Message of peace and good will toward men--all men? Is it any wonder, in view of what we see of the developing Plan of God, that the angels declared to the shepherds, "Behold, we bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be unto all people; for unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Messiah, the Lord"? No! That Message is in full accord with all that we know of the Divine Word, and with all that the reasonable, intelligent mind could expect from an all-wise, just, powerful and all-loving Creator. Why should He not delight to bless every creature of Adam's race? Why should He purpose to save merely a handful of the Elect and to turn the others over to eternal torment at the hands of fireproof demons? Such unscriptural ideas evidently came from the great Prince of Darkness himself, who fain would turn our hearts away from the God of Wisdom, Justice, Love and Power--who fain would have us think of our God as the real adversary of the race, delighting in its suffering.--Luke 10:11.

  How broad, how gloriously sweeping the statement of

our text, which declares Jesus to be the true Light of the world--for every man that cometh into the world! How it assures us that the Redeemer of the world was God's great Christmas Gift to Adam and all of his posterity-- a gift whose value grows in the estimation of all the Lord's holy ones in the present time, as day by day and item by item they come to know the Christ of God--an estimation which will grow with the world as, during the Millennial Age, they will avail themselves of the glorious opportunities then afforded and come into hearty accord with the Lord and His righteousness--an estimation SM249 which will grow with them throughout eternity as the lengths, breadths, heights and depths of the Love of God shall become more and more manifest.

        GOD'S WAYS HIGHER THAN MAN'S
  Let us not mistakingly allow our own littleness of

mind to hinder our appreciation of the true meaning of our text. Let us remember our Lord's words, "For your thoughts are not My thoughts; neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My plans than your plans." The great Plan of God, which has thus far reached only the Church, even as many as the Lord our God has called, is yet to reach not only the world of mankind living when the Election of the Church is completed and when the Bride of Christ shall have been ushered into Heavenly glory, but also all those who have already gone down into the great prison-house of death--the tomb, Sheol, Hades.--Isa. 55:8,9; 40:5.

  We know certainly that the vast majority of these have

never been enlightened by the Lord Jesus and His Gospel Message. There was no such light before our Redeemer came into the world, although four thousand years had elapsed and billions of humanity had gone down to the prison-house. On this the Scriptural testimony is most explicit, namely, that "Christ brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel." (2 Tim. 1:10.) Neither the immortality which is God's gift for the Church was seen and appreciated and understood, nor was the eternal life which God is providing for all of Adam's race who will accept it. True, there were vague promises before, but there was no clear light upon them. They had to be received strictly by faith.

 But now it is different. We see Jesus, we behold

Him as the Word of God made flesh, we perceive His mission, that He came to redeem our race. With the eye of faith we behold Him crucified for our sins, yea, risen from the dead and ascended to the Father's SM250 presence and appearing as the Advocate for the Household of Faith, the Church of the First-borns. As the Apostle says, "There to appear in the presence of God for us." (Heb. 9:24.) Now we can see, as the ancients could not see, that God could be just and yet be the Justifier of him who believeth on Jesus. We can see that Adam's penalty being paid for him, he and all of his family, his race, may be released from the tomb and from the death sentence, and be given an opportunity to behold the Light--the true Light--to be enlightened thereby--to be brought to a knowledge of the Truth and thereby have an opportunity for a full reconciliation with the Father and to he restored to all the blessings of His favor. It would seem that the subject is too plain to require controversy--that God has promised that the true Light should enlighten every man--that it has as yet enlightened but a few--that it must, therefore, be manifested during the Millennial Age to every creature before the great Plan of God for human redemption shall have reached its consummation--that one must see this great Light before He could be liable to the great penalty --the Second Death.

 Let us who have been favored, called of God in the

present time, and who have seen the true Light with the eye of faith, and who have been begotten by the Holy Spirit, and whose footsteps have been guided in the path of faith, in the light from the Lamp--let us rejoice more and more in the goodness of our God and follow on in the good way, practising the fruits and graces of the Spirit, and thus be made meet for the inheritance of the saints in light, that we may with Him shine forth as the Sun in the blessing of all the families of the earth. No need of the Sun in the city to come,

  The light of the world is Jesus;

All nations shall walk in the light of the Lamb:

  The light of the world is Jesus.

SM251 THE QUEEN IN GOLD ATTIRE

 "Hearken, O daughter, and consider, incline thine ear;

forget also thine own people, and thy father's house; so shall the King greatly desire thy beauty; for He is thy Lord and worship thou Him."--Psa. 45:10,11.

 The beautiful imagery of our text and context relates

to the Elect Church of this Gospel Age, which is here pictured as a Bride, the Spouse, and ultimately the Wife of the great King, Immanuel. The Scriptures abound with this view of the Church. Notice, for instance, the Apostle's words to the Church of his day: "I have espoused you to one Husband, that I may present you as a chaste Virgin to Christ." (2 Cor. 11:2.) Note again the words of John the Baptist, "He that hath the Bride is the Bridegroom; but the friend of the Bridegroom, which standeth and heareth Him, rejoiceth greatly because of the Bridegroom's voice; this my joy, therefore, is fulfilled." (John 3:29.) The speaker does not identify himself with the Bride class and this with propriety; for, as our Lord declares, John the Baptist was the last of the Prophets; he belonged to and was faithful as a member of the House of Servants, but did not come in under the Gospel privilege of the Pentecostal blessing following our Lord's redemptive work. Of him our Lord says, "There has not arisen a greater than John the Baptist, and yet I say unto you, the least one in the Kingdom of God is greater than he." (Luke 7:28.) In other words, our Lord assures us that to have the humblest position in the Church class, in the Bride class being selected during this age, is an higher honor than that which belongs to the very noblest of the previous dispensations.

 Failure to notice God's dispensational dealings with

the patriarchs in the Jewish nation and with the Gospel Church has hindered many of the Lord's people from SM252 making good progress in the study of the Word; and it is time that all awake to this fact and realize that various features of the Divine Plan belong to various dispensations or epochs, and that all these are working together for the grand fulfilment of God's glorious purposes, of which the Apostle writes, "He will gather together in one all these things in Christ, both which are in Heaven and which are on earth." (Eph. 1:10.) This great work is not yet accomplished. The angelic hosts do indeed give reverence and obedience to the glorified Son of God. A

"little flock" of footstep followers of the Lord Jesus

from amongst men so glorify and honor Him as King of kings and Lord of lords. But as for the masses of mankind, living and dead, they have never even heard His name, or known of the grace of God in Him.

 But according to the Lord's Word these all must hear

and know and have an opportunity for salvation through Christ--"in due time." That due time is the coming Age or new epoch called the Millennium, the great thousand-year Day which God has appointed for the world's trial or judgment; as we read, "God hath appointed a Day in the which He will judge the world in righteousness." (Acts 17:31) But prior to that appointed Day He called out of the world a special class of those who have the hearing of faith and the eye of faith, that He may thus select the Bride of Christ to be His joint-heir in that Kingdom and His joint-associate in that glorious work of blessing all the families of the earth and granting to all of them a trial or judgment--a knowledge of the Truth and an opportunity to show their willingness to obey it.

                THE BRIDAL ROBES
 The context declares (V. 13), "Her clothing is inwrought

with gold." But this pictures her as the Bride when all the trials, difficulties and testings shall have been successfully passed and she shall be accepted as the Very Elect, to be forever associated with her Lord and a sharer SM253 of His glory. In the Scripture symbology gold is used to represent the Divine nature. Hence the picture as a whole teaches us that when the King of kings shall present His Bride before the Heavenly Father at the close of this Age, after she shall have been glorified by the First Resurrection, she will be possessed of the Divine nature--"glory, honor and immortality."--Rom. 2:7.

  This is what the Apostle Peter assures us will be the

outcome. Speaking of the promises of God's Word to this Bride class he says that God "hath given unto us exceeding great and precious promises whereby we might be partakers of the Divine nature." (2 Pet. 1:4.) We do not get this Divine nature or this gold raiment in the present life; our immortality is a hope and not an actuality. As the Apostle says, "we seek for glory, honor and immortality." How difficult it is for us to grasp the thought that the great Creator, desiring that the elect "little flock" should be associated with His Son in the great work of the Millennial Age, the blessing of all the families of the earth, did not invite the holy angels, but instead has sent the invitation to our fallen race, to such of its members as would have the ears to hear and the hearts to respond to the call of this Gospel Age--to walk the narrow way in the footsteps of our Redeemer!

  No wonder the Apostle declares that although we have

God's assurance that we are sons of God, and although this signifies that we shall be heirs of God, yet it does not appear what we shall be, how great we shall be. It is too wonderful a matter for us to comprehend; too wonderful to even be described in the Scriptures. Hence, the only information granted to us is that when our Lord Jesus shall be manifested at His Second Advent in power and great glory, then the First Resurrection change shall make His faithful "little flock" like Him, that they may see Him as He is--not as He was--and share His glory; for flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God-- though all flesh shall see the salvation of God, shall experience SM254 the blessings that will flow from that Millennial Kingdom and be recipients of the Divine favors which will then be poured out upon all flesh with lavish hand and blessed results.--1 Cor. 15:50; Isa. 40:5.

  But the context says more respecting this raiment.

Note (V. 14) "She shall be led unto the King in raiment of needlework." This word "led" properly enough applies to the present life. All through this Gospel Age, from Pentecost until now, the Lord has used various instrumentalities to call out from the world this peculiar people; and by various instrumentalities He has led them from grace to grace, from knowledge to knowledge, and changed them from glory to glory, to prepare them for their final acceptance, in the First Resurrection, of the clothing of gold--glory, honor and immortality.

 It is in full accord with all this that the Scriptures

represent that all accepted of the Lord throughout this Gospel Age have been granted a wedding garment clean and white, "pure linen which is the righteousness of the saints." (Rev. 19:8.) That robe figuratively represents justification, the covering of our blemishes; and it is a wedding garment because it constitutes a basis of our ultimate acceptance by the Lord in the end of this Age, when the marriage of the Lamb shall come. These espoused ones are cautioned that their treatment of the robe will determine whether or not they will ultimately be of the Bride class: (1) They must keep their garments unspotted from the world (Jas. 1:27), and (2) must embroider them with fine needlework. Painstakingly they must endeavor to fix and establish in their robes the glorious pattern outlined for them by the word and example of their Bridegroom and His mouthpieces, the Apostles.

        REMOVING SPOTS AND WRINKLES
 If any of those "called to be saints," on accepting

that invitation and receiving the robe, supposed it would be an easy matter to keep it without spot or wrinkle or SM255 any such thing he was soon undeceived. Each one of this class has found out that it requires great circumspection, great care, to live in a world in which sin abounds and, as a New Creature, to act through a body the imperfections of which are continually coming to light as growth is made in grace and knowledge. The great Apostle acknowledges the impossibility of perfection under present conditions--except that our hearts, our intentions, our wills, might be perfect, should be perfect, must be perfect, thoroughly loyal to God and to righteousness. He says, "When I would do good evil is present with me"; and again, "We cannot do the things that we would."

 The Scriptures declare that "There is none righteous,

no not one" (Rom. 3:10); and when the thought of our own imperfections and the sin abounding all about us would make us fearful, convincing us of the impossibility of preventing our garments from receiving spots or wrinkles, what then? Ah, they tell us how these are to be gotten rid of; they tell us that the merit of our Lord's sacrifice not only cancelled for us our past sins and covered us with His robe of righteousness, but that all subsequent imperfections, resulting from original sin, weakness and ignorance, may all be forgiven us and not remain as spots upon our robes. The Apostle says, "The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin." (1 John 1:7.) The thought of this text is not the original justification which we received when we received the robe, but a cleansing which may be ours after we are the Lord's and have the robe. The word cleanseth here refers not to something already past but to that which is now at our disposal, which is now in progress, a cleansing or forgiveness which all of the Lord's people need to pray for and to accept, as in the Lord's prayer, "Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us."

  Thus through the Age from Pentecost down, those who

have been called, accepted and robed with the wedding garment have been obliged to strive to keep their garments SM256 unspotted, and oft with tears to apply for the cleansing when a spot would be seen. Their consciences are so tender on the subject that their neighbors and friends of the world and nominal Christendom think them strange, peculiar people. They are more distressed to see one spot upon their robe than are many whose garments are filthy. But the effect upon them is a blessed one, as it develops in them more and more love for righteousness and greater zeal and strength in overcoming. They are making progress, even though to themselves it may appear slow; they are becoming fortified, strengthened and built up in character--in their love for whatsoever things are just, true, lovely and of good report. (Phil. 4:8.) We are now referring merely to that class of the called ones who will ultimately be accepted as the Bride. We are not referring to all who make a consecration and are accepted of the Lord, but who fail to be thus particular about the spots and wrinkles on their robes. These we will consider later.

        "IF YE DO THESE THINGS"
  When the Apostle Peter said, "If ye do these things

ye shall never fall; for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" (2 Pet. 1:10,11), he is referring to the same things that are represented by the embroidering, the needlework upon the wedding garment. All the espoused ones are shown the pattern on the robe. They are all informed of the necessity of working out their own salvation, of cooperating with the Lord in the matter of making their calling and election sure to the glorious station to which they have been invited. They are informed that through much tribulation shall they enter the Kingdom. (Acts 14:22.) This tribulation is the painstaking "fine needlework" of our context.

  Not all tribulation that may come to mankind is a part

of this embroidery. The Apostle speaks of some in these SM257 words, "But let no man suffer as an evil-doer or as a busybody in other men's matters." (1 Pet. 4:15.) The intimation is that such sufferings are not incidental to the embroidering we are to do, but the result of our not being engaged in our embroidering work and having time to meddle with sin or with other matters and affairs. Such tribulations add nothing to our embroidering on the robe, except as they might awaken us to a sense of our neglect of the important work which must be done in our own characters if we would be fit for a share with our Lord in His Kingdom, fit to be accepted as members of the Very Elect, the Bride, the Church in glory.

  The baneful experiences which come to us as a result

of our faithfulness to the Lord, to the Truth, to the brethren --these constitute parts of the embroidering. These help us to fix in our hearts and characters the principles of righteousness and of love divine. How tedious the work appears to us sometimes! At the close of each day we are astonished at how little we have accomplished; and the weeks and months go by with similar experiences. With the close of the year, when we give our robes particular attention we behold the comparatively little that has been accomplished since the examination of the year before. But how does the Lord view this matter? Is He expecting that you and I and all of His followers will be able in every detail to follow the glorious pattern that is stamped upon our robes? Will He require of us as a condition of our acceptance as His Bride that not a feature or detail shall be lacking? Oh, no! Such a view would swerve and at once discourage us from further effort. The entire tenor of Scripture is to the contrary. As, for instance, in the parable of the talents, our Lord represents some as having less ability and some more, and indicates that His approval will be in proportion as we have endeavored to accomplish His will. The one who had faithfully used the two talents heard the same words of approval as the one who had five talents and used SM258 them--"Well done, good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."--Matt. 25:21.

 And so with the robe: If the Lord, who takes cognizance

of our endeavors, sees persistency and the right intention He counts it unto us as being perfect. We shall not be married in these robes. These are merely the ones in which we are being led to the marriage. More and more they should show our love, our zeal and patient endurance. As the Master examines the work will He not expect to find the last better than the first, even though none of it be perfect? Will not this be the basis of His approval of our endeavors and on account of which He will be willing to give us the new robe of gold?

 Some of us, perhaps, remember that when we were children

at school we had writing copy-books with perfect copper-plate engravings at the top of each page as copy. Alas! and do we not remember also that in many instances the first few lines were the best on the page and that carelessness and indifference to the copy and to the necessity for the lesson became more and more marked as we proceeded to the bottom of the page? We remember that we copied our own instead of looking to the engraving at the top. So it is with this matter of the embroidering of our robes. If we become heedless, careless, indifferent, overcharged with the cares of this life, the deceitfulness of riches and the affairs of this world, our robes will show it. Little embroidering will be done and it will be of poor quality. Spots will get on; and we shall neglect to have them cleansed away. Soon our robes will be entirely unfit for the Inspection of the Lord or for the marriage. It is time, dear friends, that we awake to the responsibilities of the hour, that we realize that the Bridegroom is nigh, even at the door; that the last of the wise virgins will soon enter into the marriage and the door will be shut; and that the choicest blessings of all time will soon be won or lost as far as we are concerned. --Matt. 25:1-13; Eph. 5:15-17. SM259

           LOVE FULFILS THE LAW
  Let us make no mistake as respects what constitutes

this needlework, this embroidery. It is not knowledge, though knowledge is very necessary to its proper in-working. It represents not natural talents, though these may be utilized in connection with it. It represents not merely laborious works, though these may be very proper and perhaps necessary to it if conditions are favorable. This embroidery represents love; for "Love is the fulfilling of the Law." (Rom. 13:10.) This is the new commandment which our Lord has given, "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another." (John 13:34.) Love for the Lord, and His Truth He places on a parity when He says, "Me and My Word." One of course, comes first. To our Lord and His Word we must be true at all hazards. Then comes love for the brethren--because they are His--because they have His spirit--because they are seeking to walk in His footsteps. "He that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?"--1 John 4:20.

  This is the forceful argument of the Apostle. The

love must continue and extend to neighbors, friends, yea, to enemies, so that those who would have the full pattern on their robes must have in their characters a true, genuine, staunch love for all these. And if, perchance, the enemy should be a brother, the testing to love might be all the more severe. But that this feature of the embroidery be worked is our Lord's requirement. Whoever does not love even his enemies is not fit for the Kingdom--whatever he may be fit for. Love as brethren, be pitiful, be sympathetic, be generous, be helpful, be self-sacrificing, do unto others as you would they should do to you. Let the Golden Rule measure your thoughts, words and deeds --measure the length of the stitches in your embroidery and assure yourself that it is "fine needlework."

 Our context declares that when the Bride class shall

be the Queen and shall be presented before the Father, SM260 the virgins, her companions, shall follow after. Who are these virgins? They are those represented in the parable as the foolish virgins. They were as truly virgins as the wise ones, as truly justified and as truly consecrated to the Lord. They also got the wedding garment. Theirs also was stamped with the pattern for embroidery. But they neglected the work. They became overcharged with cares of this life and the deceitfulness of riches. The first spot upon their robe distressed them; but subsequently they became accustomed to seeing it spotted, and thought less and less of the matter. They were themselves free to admit not only their consecration and their possession of the robe, but also its disfigurement by the spots and wrinkles which they did not approve, but which they had given up the thought of removing as too great a task to perform.--Mark 4:19.

 What they should do is to apply to the Bridegroom for

the cleansing fluid, the precious blood--that He would take away these spots and blemishes, giving such chastisements as His wisdom would see best for the inattention, carelessness--and to entreat that they might no longer be of the foolish virgin class but of the wise--wise toward God, wise to appreciate the fact that the great blessing now being proffered to the Very Elect is valuable beyond all estimate. But the more spots and wrinkles that get upon the robe the more likely is the wearer to be careless. Noting that the majority of even the consecrated have spots and wrinkles, he is apt to conclude that he is no worse than others, and not nearly so bad as many. How we would like to awaken some of these to a realization of their proper position and need of prompt action and redoubled energy not only in securing the cleansing of the robe but also in the work of embroidering it with the fruits and graces of the Spirit which they have so sadly neglected!--2 Cor. 10:14.

 Our father's house is the world; for as the Apostle

declares, "We were children of wrath, even as others." SM261 (Eph. 2:3.) In accepting our Lord's invitation to be His Bride we are joining a new family, a new house. We are exhorted to show our appreciation of our espousal by forgetting the house and family to which we formerly belonged and held allegiance. This is in harmony with the Apostle's exhortation, "Forgetting the things which are behind, I press on to those things which are before"; and again, "the things that I once loved, now I hate"-- things highly esteemed amongst men I now see to be unworthy of those called to be heirs of God, joint-heirs with Jesus Christ our Lord.--Phil. 3:13; Rom. 7:15.

       "FORGET THY FATHER'S HOUSE"
 Here, dear friends, is the gist of the entire question:

Our Lord declares that we and the entire world are either for Him and His cause or against the same. There is no neutral ground; and hence in leaving the father's house, the world, and our own people, and in becoming members of the New Creation, the Church, the Body of Christ, begotten of the Holy Spirit, we should understand that the change is a radical one and not any longer seek for our fellowships and joys from the worldly sources but only amongst those who with ourselves are consecrated to the Lord and waiting for His return, and for the marriage and for membership in the elect class, the Bride. The more we attempt to mix worldly things and prospects and aims with our high calling the more it will be shown that we are at the very most foolish virgins; for we cannot serve God and Mammon. This, of course, does not signify unkindness toward friends or neighbors or kindred. The Lord's saints are exhorted to do good unto all men as they have opportunity but especially unto the Household of Faith. And with the latter and their aims they must specially identify if they would come off conquerors, and be received by their Lord and King as His Joint-heir and Bride and introduced as such to the Heavenly Father.--Gal. 6:10; 2 John 8. SM262 THE SECRET OF TRUE PEACE

  "Let not your heart be troubled."--John 14:1.
  The world is full of troubled hearts; for it is full of

imperfection, directly or indirectly the result of sin and its death penalty, which for 6,000 years has been preying upon our race, impairing our mental, moral and physical powers and bringing us instead depravity, disappointment, sorrow and pain. If each of us only had his own burdens he would have too much for his strength; but additionally each is in touch with others in life, in the home, in business, in society, in all of life's affairs; and his own weaknesses and blemishes are augmented and his troubles increased by his contact with the idiosyncrasies of others, their troubles, blemishes and peculiarities --mental, moral and physical. Well did the Apostle write, "The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together." Well did the Prophet write, "Man that is born of woman is of few years and full of trouble." --Rom. 8:22; Job 14:1.

  None know more respecting the burdens of life than

do sympathetic physicians, attorneys and ministers. The groaning creation in the time of its special perplexity and anguish, physical, mental and moral, turns to those whose knowledge of balms, physical and spiritual, and of legal relief are loopholes through which the light of hope streams in a little upon the troubled soul. These three professions, therefore, are esteemed to be amongst the most honorable and most beneficial known; and where backed by sympathy and love they are sure to accomplish much good, to afford great relief, to inspire new hopes. But alas, not all physicians, not all lawyers, not all ministers are actuated by love and sympathy! Without judging them individually we are safe to suppose that like the remainder of the race, these men, possessing the highest SM263 opportunities in the world for the relief of their fellows, are sharers in general of the selfishness that has developed in the hearts of men as part of the fruitage of sin, as a result of its partial destruction of the Divine likeness in which man was created--a perfect image, in the flesh, of God--the God of love, "the God of all grace."

       "WONDERFUL WORDS OF LIFE"
 Our text was part of our Lord's message to His

disciples just before His crucifixion. Himself bowed with grief and exceeding sorrowful in anticipation of the shame of the death He was about to suffer, our Lord's thoughts and comforting words went forth to His disciples, who were perplexed and distressed. Hiding his own sorrow He comforted them, and thus has set an example to all of His followers who, walking in His steps and imitating Him, are at once in the world good physicians, expounders of the Divine Law and ministers of the Divine Law of Love. Indeed, however much we appreciate the miracles wrought by our Lord--the healing of the sick, the awakening of the dead, the opening of the blind eyes and deaf ears--that which appeals to us as the most wonderful manifestation is His teaching, His doctrine. Truly did some of His day say, "Never man spake like this man" (John 7:46); and again, "And all bare Him witness, and wondered at the gracious words that proceeded out of His mouth"--"Beautiful words, wonderful words of life."--Luke 4:22.

 And so must it be with the footstep-followers of Jesus.

Our Lord might have spent all of His time and all of His energy in healing the sick, in awakening the dead. But this was not His mission. He merely in these miracles gave evidence of the power of God residing in Him, and foreshadowed the blessings yet to come to the world at His Second Advent--Times of Refreshing that then would come, "Times of Restitution of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy Prophets since the world SM264 began." (Acts 3:19-21.) At the Pool of Bethsaida were multitudes waiting for healing, but our Lord healed only one; for this was sufficient for His purpose, and not because of lack of sympathy. The due time had not yet come for the healing of the woes and difficulties of the world. Those whose interest was awakened by the physical healing had their attention promptly drawn to the Lord's readiness to heal all the broken-hearted, to give the oil of joy for the spirit of heaviness, and to awaken those dead in trespasses and sins to a newness of life through faith.--Isa. 61:1-3.

 Similarly all the footstep-followers of Jesus are commissioned

as His representatives to tell the Message of Good Tidings to all who have ears to hear--to announce to such the Divine Program, that as sin and death came by one man's disobedience, so a redemption has been accomplished by another, by "the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a Ransom for all, to be testified in due time." (1 Tim. 2:5,6.) They are authorized to do the work of a good physician and to bind up the broken-hearted. They are authorized as lawyers versed in the Law of God to point out to those willing to hear that sin, the violation of the Divine Law, has brought all the havoc upon our race which causes countless thousands to mourn. They are authorized further to point out that Jesus our Lord gave Himself a full Ransom-price, meeting the demands of the broken Law; and that thus it is possible for all who have turned from sin, and who are seeking to come back into harmony with God and His perfect Law of Love, to approach Him through Christ as their Advocate, and to realize that they are no longer condemned, but justified freely from all things through their faith in their Redeemer and Advocate.

 They are further authorized as ministers of the

Gospel, the Royal Priesthood, to point out to those who have the hearing ear that the reconciliation accomplished by our Lord Jesus not only covers our sins of the past, SM265 but also covers weaknesses and imperfections of the present and of the future for the believer to the extent that these are involuntary, disapproved, striven against. They are authorized in the Master's name to assure all such that "the Father Himself loveth you"; that "all things are working together for good to those that love God, the called ones according to His purpose"; and that eventually through the glorified Christ, Head and Body, Bridegroom and Bride, a blessed opportunity for reconciliation to God under the terms of the New Covenant are to be extended to "all the families of the earth"--including those who have gone down into the great prison-house of death without having had a full, proper knowledge of the Lord and of His Plan, such as the death of Christ has guaranteed that all shall have ere they could die the Second Death.--John 16:27; Rom. 8:28. "BIND UP THE BROKEN-HEARTED"

 Thus seen the Lord's consecrated Little Flock, the

Royal Priesthood, have even in the present time gracious opportunities for serving the brethren and such of the world as have hearing ears and a desire to become of the "brethren" class. It is not true that God gave a commission to His ambassadors to go through life breaking the hearts of their fellow-men. On the contrary, the commission reads that those members of the Body of Christ who have received the anointing of the Holy Spirit from the Lord Jesus, their Head, are commissioned to bind up the broken-hearted, to comfort all that mourn in Zion, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

 If some are disposed to object that the comforting

of mourners and the binding of broken hearts imply that God's ministers, servants of the Truth, are first of all to break the hearts, to cause the mourning, we answer, No! It is not thus written, and we are not to add to the Word of God. Various agencies are at work all about us, doing the heart-breaking and the wounding. It is for SM266 us to receive so much of the Lord's spirit that so far as possible we shall break no hearts, wound none, but on the contrary do all in our power to effect the proper healing of such as are within the range of our influence. Sin is breaking the hearts of thousands. Disappointment in themselves, in their own ambitions, in their own efforts, disappointment in their friends, in business, in pleasure-- all of these are doing the wounding and the breaking. So many more hearts are troubled and broken that the Lord's people can possibly heal that we can rest well content to do the work which the Master gave us to do, and to leave to the Adversary and those who are in outer darkness of sin and ignorance of the Lord and His Spirit to do the heart-breaking.--Isa. 42:16.

 In our understanding the Scriptures teach that a great

Time of Trouble is near at hand--the great final trouble of this world's history, in which, during a period of anarchy unparalleled, all human hopes and ambitions will utterly fail. As the Scriptures declare, "There shall be a Time of Trouble such as was not since there was a nation--no, nor ever shall be afterward." (Dan. 12:1; Matt. 24:21.) That great trouble, as the Scriptures point out, will be the result of selfishness reaching its limit, becoming ripe and going to seed. The world has always been selfish; but according to the Scriptures and according to our observation, this spirit of greed and selfishness is extending more and more widely, and impressing almost every member of the race. Eventually it will be true, as the Scriptures describe, that "every man's hand will be against his neighbor" with the result that there will be "no peace to him that goeth out or to him that cometh in."--Zech. 8:10.

 The world, ignorant of God and of the Plan He has

prepared for the blessing of all the nations during the Millennium, will feel the Time of Trouble most keenly. But the Scriptures give us to understand that their sorrows, woes and heart-breakings will eventually be favorable SM267 to them, so that that general plowing of the world with the plowshare of trouble and the perplexity of that time, when all its hopes will be dissipated, will work for good to them eventually, and draw their attention away from the false hopes which many of them had long been vainly chasing--to the better, the true hope which the Lord has provided, the center of which is Christ's Kingdom and the ground of which is His Ransom-sacrifice at Calvary.--1 Tim. 2:5,6.

       THE FUTURE WORK OF BLESSING
 How wise is the Divine arrangement that those who

are to be associated with the Lord Jesus during His Millennial Reign in the work of uplifting and helping mankind over their difficulties and out of their various degradations are to be the same ones who gain practise in this matter now by binding up the broken hearts of the comparatively few, and who have the ear to hear and the desire to respond to the grace of God during this Gospel Age. Thus we see illustrated the statement elsewhere given us in the Scriptures that we are in the School of Christ, in preparation for future usefulness. Thus we see that, as physicians and nurses are given a training for their future work, so those whom the Lord has called to the glorious "Royal Priesthood" of the future for the blessing of mankind are now given a practise-work in their own hearts, in their own families, amongst their own kin and in the Household of Faith.

 What a thought, that our future graduation and the

possibility of our sharing in the Kingdom work is dependent upon how we shall learn now the art of binding up the broken hearts of those with whom we are in contact! Not that the skill is the important matter, but the love. He who loves much and who now sees the broken and troubled hearts around him will be led to "do good to all men as he may have opportunity, but especially to the Household of Faith." If, on the contrary, his love and sympathy do not go out toward these SM268 troubled ones, if his best energies are spent on money-making or in some other selfish channel, how dwelleth the love of God in him? Let us remember the words of Scripture, "The Lord your God doth prove you whether ye do love the Lord your God with all your heart or not." (Deut. 13:3.) For, as the Apostle tells us, he who loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God, whom he hath not seen? (1 John 4:20.) The test then upon us all is Love--"He that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and he that loved not is not begotten of God."

 Here we note that, with sympathetic minds, some are

improperly, injuriously binding up broken hearts. It has become the general message of what is termed the New Thought and the New Theology that there is no exclusiveness in God's Plan--that all mankind are children of God, that our Lord Jesus made a great mistake when He declared to some, "Ye are of your father the Devil." (John 8:44.) It has become with many a stock phrase, the "Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man." But we warn all that there is no Scriptural authority for such teaching, but that on the contrary they are drawing away the hearts of men from the good Physician and the Divinely given balm; for "there is none other name given under Heaven and amongst men whereby we must be saved," but the name of Jesus. There is none other, therefore, qualified to speak true peace to the troubled soul or to properly bind up the broken heart.

        "ONLY JESUS WOULD I KNOW
             AND JESUS CRUCIFIED"
 Our Lord forewarned us of these various theories

of salvation through another channel than that which God has provided. He declared Himself to be the only Door into the sheepfold, and that all who attempt to get into it otherwise are thieves and robbers--that no man can come unto the Father save through Him. (John 14:6.) We therefore warn against every theory which attempts to present mercy and restoration to Divine favor otherwise than through faith in Christ's sacrifice. And we SM269 denounce as unscriptural all those teachings, growing increasingly prevalent because of the Evolution theory, which present the thought that there was no original sin, no original sentence, and hence no need of a Redeemer and no need of an uplift by Restitution, such as God has promised and made provision for, and which He assures us will be accomplished during the Millennial Age, when Satan shall be bound. We hold forth as God's olive branch, as His message of peace, the invitation that all the "called" may come unto the Father through the Redeemer--through the merit of His sacrifice, and, coming, may realize their sins forgiven, their restoration to Divine favor, the Lord's loving interest in all of their affairs, and His willingness and ability to make all things work together for their good, and His promise that, if faithful, ultimately they shall be made sharers with their Lord in the blessings of the resurrection of the just-- glory, honor and immortality; and that by and by, during the Millennium, all those now blind and deaf may taste of Divine grace.

 Another error which we should warn against is that

of acceptance of Jesus and a hope in Him contrary to the presentation of the Scriptures. Some tell us that they reject the thought that Jesus died to be man's Redeemer, but that they, nevertheless, accepted Christ as their Teacher and Example. Our reply is that as our Teacher the Master taught us that He "came into the world to give His life a Ransom for many"--for all. If His life was not a Ransom, or Corresponding-Price, then He falsified in so stating; and those who believe that He did falsify could not consider Him a proper teacher. Furthermore, if He came into the world merely to be our Exemplar and not to be our Redeemer, our Ransomer, then His mission was a failure; for no one since His coming has been able to follow the example He set. To view our Lord as merely as Example for proper living for the world would be an absurdity, since no one of the SM270 fallen race can possibly live up to the perfect standard which our Lord set in sacrificing all of His rightful interests as a man.--Matt. 20:28.

 The Scriptures present the opposite view--that mankind

are all imperfect through the fall, and under the death sentence; and that "Jesus Christ by the grace of God tasted death for every man"--"gave Himself a Ransom for all, to be testified in due time." They teach that this sacrifice for the sin of Adam, and applicable through him to the sins of the whole world, was necessary for the meeting of the Divine sentence before Divine forgiveness and restoration to eternal life and favor would be possible. They represent that for the majority of mankind such a restoration will be effected during the Millennial Age. They represent that to a very small minority, even "as many as the Lord your God shall call," our Lord was not only a Redeemer but an Exemplar: that these called to a separation from the world to walk in the narrow way of self-sacrifice are to copy Christ's example as far as possible, though admittedly they will never be able to come up to His standards. The Scriptures assure us that the best endeavors of this class, covered by the merit of Christ's sacrifice, will be acceptable and reckoned to them as though they were perfect sacrifices, and that thus they may have their share with their Redeemer in the glory, honor and immortality of His Kingdom, and be participants with Him in the great work of bestowing upon the world during the Millennium the blessing of Divine forgiveness and favor secured through the sacrifice of Christ.

        "YOUR HEARTS NOT TROUBLED"
 We come finally to the application of our text to the

Apostles and those who have believed through their word. The hearts of these are not to be troubled under any circumstances. They are no longer of the world, because separated from the world through their acceptance of the Lord and His acceptance of them. While still SM271 sharers in the trials, difficulties of the world in general, these have now the consolations of the Scriptures to offset these troubles and to make of them "light afflictions"--not worthy to be compared with the glories promised to be revealed in us. (2 Cor. 4:17; Rom. 8:18.) Indeed, it is not an unusual thing for the Lord to permit trials and difficulties to come upon His faithful much more severe than those which fall to the lot of the world.--Heb. 12:6-11; Rev. 3:19.

 Yea, as the Apostle says, so it should be with us all

that "none of these things move me"--none of these experiences in life cause anxious thought. Why? The Apostle tells us, "Because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts." (Acts 20:24; Rom. 5:5.) We have not only learned that God has forgiven our sins, that He is our Father and our best friend, that He is merciful to our imperfections, that He has called us to glory and association with our Redeemer, but that these blessings are to be ours at the Second Coming of our Lord, the resurrection of the just and the establishment of the Kingdom. Additionally also, we have now the peace, the joy, the blessed hope which these gracious promises afford. These the world can neither give nor take away.

 What wonder if the hearts of this class are not

troubled! Their Father knoweth the things they have need of. Day by day they are learning more distinctly than ever before that He who cares for the sparrows and for their necessities, He who clothes the grass of the field, is much more interested in them, will be much more careful of their interests, so that figuratively speaking not one hair of their heads could fall without Divine attention. "Nothing shall by any means hurt you," is the Master's assurance. (Luke 10:19.) Why then should we be troubled? Surely anxiety on the part of such would be a lack of faith, a lack of confidence, or else ignorance of the Divine promises, character and arrangement. SM272 LOVE THE PRINCIPAL THING

 "Now abide faith, hope and love; but the greatest of

these is love."--1 Cor. 13:13.

 The value of resolution or decision of character is

generally acknowledged. All proper instruction aims to have the youth of our land accept some high ideal, some high standard of character and course in life, and to seek to attain that ideal. Those who are without purpose, aim, ideality in life are the shiftless and unhappy; and the success of each life in respect to its happiness or failure and in respect to the happiness or misery it will bring to others in contact with it, will be in accordance with the character of the ideal accepted.

 Moreover, the active, energetic, rushing people who

have ideals, and are striving to attain them, frequently with advancing years experience a change of sentiment. Often they find that their ideals have proven unsatisfactory. Indeed, there is no doubt about it that this is the experience of the majority of the wisest people of the world. Hence by common consent the beginning of a New Year is considered a favorable time, not only for the youth of the land to make new resolutions and to start energetically to pursue an ideal, but also for those who have failed of their ideals in the past, through weakness and difficulties, to take a fresh start of resolution and determination. Additionally this is admittedly a favorable time for discarding ideals which have proven unsatisfactory, and for the seeking and acceptance of higher, nobler, better ones. Furthermore, it is a favorable time for putting into effect good resolutions. Those who fail to make such resolutions make very little progress in character-building.

 What we have been considering is applicable to all

mankind, but to the true Christian these things are still SM273 more important than to the world, because the aim and the hope set before him in the Scriptures are so much higher and so much more valuable than that recognized by the world in general. And here we must differentiate between the nominal Christian and the true one. The name Christian has become synonymous with civilization in general usage, but not so in Biblical usage; and our standpoint must be that of the Scriptures. The true Christian, then, according to the Bible, is one who has recognized himself as a sinner by nature, "a child of wrath even as others," and who desires to flee from his sins and imperfections and to attain unto righteousness and eternal life. He has seen in Divine providence that our Lord Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life, by whom alone he may return to Divine fellowship and love and to the gift of God, eternal life. The true Christian is one who has accepted Christ as his Redeemer, and who, while striving for righteousness and in opposition to sin within and without, is not deceived into thinking that he can do perfectly; but realizing the imperfections of his very best endeavors, he relies upon the merit of the great Redemption-sacrifice of Christ to make up for his unwilling blemishes. Because of his faith in the precious blood he is reckoned a member of the "Household of Faith," and is styled one of the "brethren."

 But a Christian, in the still higher sense that the

Scriptures set forth, is one who goes beyond such faith, such righteous endeavors, and hearkens to the words of the Apostle, "I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies living sacrifices, holy and acceptable unto God, and your reasonable service." (Rom. 12:1.) This sacrifice that the Apostle speaks of is a matter that few even of the Household of Faith understand experimentally. It means much more than to strive against sin. It means a voluntary surrender of the will, and hence of all that we possess, to the service of God and His Message of Grace. It means such SM274 a complete revolution that those who take this step are called in the Scriptures "New Creatures in Christ Jesus," "members in particular of the Body of Christ."

 Such are the "begotten again" ones, styled by the

Apostles a "Royal Priesthood," a "holy nation," a "peculiar people." These enter into covenant relationship with God, by which they surrender all their rights and privileges as men that they may have the higher riches and greater privileges as spirit beings. These greater privileges will be fully entered upon at their resurrection change, but are reckonedly entered into from the time of their covenant. Of such the Apostle says, "Old things have passed away, all things have become new." (2 Cor. 5:17.) The worldly aims and ambitions which once they held as their ideals have been exchanged for new ideals, Heavenly hopes, Heavenly ambitions. If once they looked upon Caesar, Napoleon or Alexander the Great, as their ideals for courage, or if once they regarded Socrates or Plato or Confucius or Shakespeare as their literary ideals, or if they looked upon a Carnegie, a Rothschild, a Rockefeller or Croesus as their financial ideals, these things have changed. They have new standards, new ideals, and new representatives of these. Not that they have lost an appreciation of wealth or honor or power or literature, but that they have gained a new standpoint of appreciation. THINGS ONCE LOVED NOW DESPISED

 So lofty are the new ideals of these "New Creatures

in Christ Jesus" that their former standards are greatly depreciated. When they now think of greatness, of victories and of power, they think not of Caesar, but of Jesus--His greater victory and high exaltation to the power, glory, honor and immortality of the Heavenly Kingdom, which soon is to establish itself and rule over the world of mankind--not for selfish objects, but to the intent that all the families of the earth may be blessed. SM275 Taking this higher ideal, and hearing the promises of the Lord through the Scriptures, these New Creatures now aspire to be "heirs of God, joint-heirs with Jesus Christ their Lord." (Rom. 8:17.) And they have the assurance of attaining a share in His glory, honor and immortality if they are but faithful--even unto death. (Rev. 2:10.) Instead of losing their appreciation of riches they get the higher appreciation, hearing the Word of the Lord, "All things are yours...for ye are Christ's and Christ is God's." (1 Cor. 3:21-23.) They aspire then in harmony with the Divine invitation, not only to the possession of all power but to all riches--not for selfish uses, but that they may lavish Divine favors and blessings during the Millennial Age upon the whole world of mankind, which then will enter the blessed epoch of Restitution--"Times of Restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all the holy Prophets since the world began."--Acts 3:19-21.

 Nor does their love for knowledge abate one whit, but

rather increases, though it takes a different turn and relies for guidance upon Divine revelation rather than upon human guesswork, speculation and philosophy. Content to admit ignorance of many things, these have an assurance that by and by they shall know even as they are known--perfectly; and that in the present time, by following the counsels of the Divine Word, they are really wise toward God, however foolish they may appear to the worldly wise. They are content to believe that the outcome will show that God is true, and will prove many so-called wise men to have been in error in many of their guesses respecting Truth.--Rom. 3:3,4.

 Still confining ourselves to the true Christian class

addressed in the Scripture we find that because of difference of mental structure and varying experiences, some are inclined to put one feature of living grace in advance of another, so that there is some perplexity and difference of opinion. One tells us that his highest conception of SM276 a consecrated life is represented by activity in the service of others in preaching or mission work. Others tell us that their highest conception of privilege as New Creatures is in providing things honest and in doing benevolent works, helping the poor with an open hand. Others tell us that their highest conception of the duty of the New Creature is the study of the Word of God, that they may understand the Divine Plan and teach it to others. As a matter of fact, all of these are good purposes, and under certain circumstances proper enough; but none of these recognize what the Scriptures point out to be the very highest of Christian ideality.

                GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT
 Considering our text in connection with its context,

we perceive that the Apostle has been discussing the miraculous gifts enjoyed by the early Church--granted to them of the Lord with a view to their instruction and establishment. The Apostle discusses the various gifts that were then granted to believers. One would rise in meeting possessed of power to speak in an unknown tongue which he had never studied. Another was gifted with ability to interpret or translate the message of the unknown tongue into the vernacular of the congregation. The message thus came through two persons; and the company of the Lord's people, not then having the Bibles and helps which we now possess and enjoy and use profitably, were drawn together by these operations of the Lord's Holy Spirit for their instruction. Others had gifts of healing or of knowledge or of oratory.

 The Apostle found the brethren of that time inclined

to think of these gifts of the Spirit too highly, attaching too much importance to them. Some of them seemed to take pride especially in the gift of tongues. The Apostle assured them that he spoke in more tongues than any of them--that he had more of the various gifts than any of them; but that he did not esteem these his highest SM277 treasures nor the most noble marks of his being the servant of the King of kings. He says in substance, It is proper enough for you to esteem these gifts and to seek to use them and to desire the most useful of them. He tells them that the gift of prophecy or public speaking would be the most useful of all gifts, because its opportunity for influencing others would be the greatest. Hence he advised them that amongst the gifts they would choose this rather than the unknown tongue. Pointing out that all the gifts of God are good, he declares that God has set some in the Church, first Apostles; secondarily prophets, orators; thirdly, teachers; after that miracles; then gifts of healing, helps, governments, diversity of tongues. He thus ranks the gift of tongues, which they thought so much of, as the very last of all the gifts, and says, "Have all the gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts, and yet I show unto you a more excellent way"--something better than any of these gifts. FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT SUPERIOR TO GIFTS

 The fruits of the Spirit are those developments which

come to us as New Creatures in Christ, gradually growing daily, yearly. The fruits of the Spirit are manifest, namely, Faith, Hope, Meekness, Patience, Gentleness, Long Suffering, Brotherly Kindness, Love. These are gifts in one sense of the word, but fruits in another. As the fruit of the tree is the gift to its owner and caretaker, so is the fruitage of the new nature. These fruits of the Spirit represent a development of character under Divine guidance and by Divine assistance, and are therefore far superior to those miraculous gifts of the early Church which indicated no special character development but were merely to be witnesses and encouragements.

 Seeking to discourage a too great appreciation of the

gifts in the early Church, and to encourage an appreciation of the higher things, the Apostle contrasts the SM278 two, saying that the gifts would pass away but that the developed fruits would remain, prophecies would cease, the gift of tongues would cease, knowledge would vanish away as greater knowledge would come, but faith and hope and love, these three would abide, would continue. And it has been so; miraculous gifts imparted through the laying on of the hands of the Apostles necessarily ceased when the last of the Apostles had died and when those died who had received these special gifts through them. But all down through the Gospel Age, for centuries, faith has persisted, hope has persisted, love has persisted, and these three we still have; and whoever has these three--with what they include--is rich in grace beyond all comparison with those who had the gifts of the Spirit at the beginning of this Gospel Age.

                FAITH, HOPE, LOVE
  We yield to no one in our appreciation of the value

of faith--a correct faith, faith in God, faith in the precious blood, faith in the Bible as the Word of God, faith in the exceeding great and precious promises. We realize that without such a faith we could never be conquerors, overcomers, but would succumb either to the wiles of the Adversary or to the spirit of the world or to the weakness of our own flesh. The proper faith is an anchor to our souls, sure and steadfast, entering in within the veil and holding us serene in all the storms and difficulties of the journey to the Heavenly Kingdom.

  Hope also is a necessary element of Christian character;

it is built upon our faith. Without faith we cannot have hope. Hope is faith in activity; it is the anchor within the veil. Faith is the cable by which we are held firmly to it. Who does not see the importance of holding fast, being well anchored in the hopes and promises given us by our Lord directly and through the Apostles and Prophets. Ah! we must hold both to our faith and hope--nothing can persuade us that these are unimportant, SM279 trivial. As the Apostle declares, these have abode throughout the Age.

  But when he speaks of love, the Apostle declares that

it is the greatest of all. Why? we ask. Indeed many would be inclined to suppose that love would be much less important than any other quality. They speak of rugged, rude faith and hope, and of rugged characters whose lives represent little of love. Where shall we set our standards, our ideals as New Creatures? What shall we strive for most particularly? The Apostle's declaration is that love is the greatest of these great qualities; but his advice is very contrary to the sentiment of the world. It tells us that if we have love, we cannot be successful, that the quality would interfere with us whatever our ideals might be. From the world's standpoint love would hinder a politician from crushing down others that he might rise to prominence himself; love would hinder the merchant from crushing his competitors that he might amass the larger fortune. Large love for others, they tell us, would lead us to esteem others better than ourselves, and mean that we would be hindered in the great race that is going on amongst men for riches and honor and power. Shall we heed to the world's advice or shall we follow the Divinely inspired testimony of the Apostle?

 The two standpoints are totally different. The New

Creatures cannot follow the advice of the world; to do so would be to renounce and deny all the new ideals we have accepted, and toward which we have been laboring. If as New Creatures we would gain the great prize of our calling in Christ Jesus, we must hearken to Him that speaketh from Heaven; we must hearken to the words of the Lord through the Apostles and Prophets; we must note our Master's testimony, "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another"; "Herein shall all men know that ye are My disciples if ye have love one for another." (John 13:34,35.) His SM280 further message through the Apostle is, "Love is the fulfilling of the Law"; and again, in our text, "Love is the principal thing," the greatest thing in the world.

 The New Creature must attain this character of

love; for all of his hopes depend upon his attaining this character-likeness of his Lord. Otherwise he will not be fit for the Kingdom or be granted a place in the elect Little Flock, which is to inherit it and to be used of the Lord during the Millennium for the blessing and uplifting of the world in general out of sin, degradation and death. Love is the principal thing, then; for whatever knowledge we might gain, whatever talents we might possess, whatever faith, whatever hope, none of these could bring us to the Kingdom. They can all merely assist us in developing this love-character which is the Kingdom test--the fulfilling of the Law. Nor do we mean that the perfection of love-character can be manifest in our fallen flesh. Its weakness, its kinks, its peculiarities are hindrances so that the Apostle declares, "We cannot do the things that we would." (Gal. 5:17.) But our hearts must be up to this love standard; we must will lovingly. In our hearts we must love the Lord supremely, we must love the brethren, we must love our neighbors, we must love our enemies; and if we so do, the effect will be that so much as lieth in us this love will be manifested to others in our words, in our looks, in our tones, in our actions. Whatever imperfection there is in the matter must not be of the heart but merely of the flesh, and such imperfection because of heredity is counted a part of what our Lord redeemed us from and the merit of His sacrifice is counted as covering all those unwilling blemishes so that the love of our hearts carried out in our lives to the extent of our ability is counted of the Lord as perfect love--perfection of character. Such are counted copies of God's dear Son, who was in turn a copy of the Father, an image of God-- "the express image of His glorious person."--Heb. 1:3. SM281

                WHAT IS LOVE?
  We answer that love is perfection of character. "God

is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God" --is fully in accord with God, and hence in the condition pleasing to the Father, the condition the Father is pleased to recognize and bless with eternal life. According to His covenant with those who have become the followers of Jesus, He is pledged to give them upon demonstration of this character, glory, honor and immortality in association with their Redeemer.--Matt. 5:48.

  Let us take the analysis of love that is given by the

Apostle. One of its elements is meekness. There is a difference between meekness and weakness; Moses was a meek man but a very strong character. He was humble-minded, not boastful, not proud or haughty. So with the New Creatures who have this quality of meekness, from the Divine standpoint. Gentleness is another element of love. It does not signify weakness or fear. The Christian man is, therefore, the true gentleman, the Christian woman the true gentlewoman--the highest ideals of these. The world may feign a gentleness which it does not really possess, but the gentleness of the Christian is a part of his character of love. It is because he thinks lovingly, considerately, of others that he is gentle towards all, seeking to walk with soft tread that he may not disturb others, to touch not rudely, but gently that he may avoid the giving of pain to others, to speak not rudely or harshly, but kindly and gently that he may not wound others.

  Patience is another element of love and a part of

the true Christian character. True, we often see great patience in merchants, clerks, etc., exercised merely for policy's sake--for fear a good customer might be offended and dollars be missed. But the Christian's patience is of an unselfish kind; for it is a part of love, a part of his disposition. In proportion as he has sympathy and kindness, love, he is disposed to wait, to assist SM282 with patience those who at first fail to come up to his ideals. He remembers his own trials and difficulties along these lines; and his broad, sympathetic love enables him to exercise much patience with those who are out of the way and who have not yet seen and have not yet learned to overcome difficulties and hindrances.

  Brotherly kindness is another element of love. It is

the kindness that ought always to prevail amongst true brethren, but in the Christian this kindness so appropriate to a brother is to be such a heart condition that it will be applied to all men. In this he is copying the Lord, who is kind to the unthankful, the ungrateful. All these qualities the Apostle sums up in the one word, Love, because love includes every kind of gentleness and kindness imaginable--and love must be the basis of such conduct in order that it may have value in God's sight.

        "WITHOUT LOVE I AM NOTHING"
  Emphasizing the importance of love in the forepart of

the chapter from which our text is taken, the Apostle declares that if he could speak all the languages known amongst men and the angelic tongue as well, and if he used these talents in preaching, if his preaching were not inspired by love, it would be nothing--God would esteem it no more than the sound proceeding from cymbals or any brass instrument. God has not glory, honor and immortality for brass horns and brass cymbals; and if a man should preach the whole Truth in all its grandeur, yet without the spirit of love he would be, nevertheless, as unfit for Divine favor and a share in the Kingdom as the brass horn would be. No place in the Kingdom would be found for such. What a lesson for us all as we attempt to sound forth the praises of Him who hath called us from darkness to light! How necessary it is that we shall speak the Truth in the love of it, with hearts full of devotion and appreciation!

  Taking another illustration, the Apostle suggests that

if he had mountain-moving faith, if his knowledge of SM283 Divine mysteries and all other mysteries were very great, superior to those of all other men, and even if in his zeal for man or for God he should become a martyr and permit his body to be burned, yet, notwithstanding all this, if the primary influence in these matters were not love, all the sacrifice, all the self-denials, all the labors, even the burning, would profit nothing. Ah, dear friends, when we come to get the Divine standpoint of things we find indeed that it is very high; and yet our judgment assures us that it is right, that it is just, that it is proper, that God should thus set the standard of love as the only standard by which we shall ultimately be measured. But whoever thinks to have this perfect love for God and for man and make no manifestations of it is equally mistaken. Wherever love is in the heart words, works, thoughts and looks will testify to it, so that he who loves much will serve much. If we love the Lord we shall delight in His service regardless of failures, regardless of fame, regardless of any earthly consideration; yea, even though the service of the Lord should cause us the loss of human approbation, fellowship, etc. The language of love is well expressed in our dear Redeemer's words, "I delight to do Thy will, O my God; Thy Law is within in my heart." (Psa. 40:8.) Hence every true Christian may link the two words love and service, and be sure that his love will manifest itself in zeal. Similarly, love of the brethren will mean a desire to serve the brethren; love of the home and family will mean a desire to do good to them; love of our neighbor will signify a desire to do for his interests according to our knowledge and limitations.

        THE RESTRAINTS OF LOVE
  The Apostle points out some of the restraints of love.

It cannot be quick, irascible; for "Love suffereth long and is kind." He who is loving cannot be envious of others, nor covetous of the blessings and favors they are enjoying; for "Love envieth not." He who is loving cannot be boastful and proud; for "Love vaunteth not itself, is not SM284 puffed up." He who is controlled by the spirit of love will not be ungracious, unkind, rude; for "Love doth not behave itself unseemly." He who is full of the spirit of love will not be selfish, grasping, neglectful of the interests of others; for "Love seeketh not her own" merely. The truly loving one will not be quickly angered, will not be easily offended; for "Love is not easily provoked." The one controlled by the spirit of love will not be imagining unkindness and rudeness nor seeking to interpret the words or conduct of others unkindly; for "Love thinketh no evil."

  He who has the spirit of love will have no satisfaction

in the adversities coming upon those who are even his enemies; for "Love rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth." He who has the spirit of love regulating his heart, his words, his thoughts, his actions, the Apostle declares will be ready to "bear all things" and ready to believe everything that is favorable and all that is possible of good, and will be disposed to hope always for the best outcome in respect to all with whom he may have to do. He will be ready also to "endure all things," to submit to many unkindnesses and to credit these largely to weakness or poor judgment or fallen nature.

                "LOVE NEVER FAILETH"
  Faith will fail in the sense of ceasing when the present

time of limitations of knowledge has passed; for then, instead of faith, we shall have sight. Hope will then also reach a glorious consummation; for instead of the hope for the things God has promised us we shall then have them. But "love never faileth," will never cease. Whoever then attains this glorious character of love has a thing of beauty and a joy forever. It will beautify his own character, make him lovely in the sight of his Lord and be the quality that will bring him the Master's words, "Well done, good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord; thou hath been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things." Thou SM285 hast faithfully developed My spirit of love in the little things of life. I can therefore now give you greater things to do in My service in glory, in the blessing of others. This character of love, essential to Divine favor, will be essential to the eternal life and eternal happiness of the individual. For God to give eternal life to any others than those who have the perfection of this His own character would be to permit an element in Heaven which sooner or later would be in danger of working mischief and bringing in works of selfishness, sin and injury.

 This love-standard of character, which is now being

developed in the saints in the few short years of the present trial time, must be developed also in the world of mankind--in all who will ever attain to eternal life during the Millennial Age. One difference is that they will have a thousand years for the development of such character while we of the present time have a much shorter period in which to make our calling and election sure by such character development. But then, if our trial is briefer and therefore more rigorous, it also has attached to it the still greater reward of a share in the Divine nature-- glory, honor, immortality. Let us, then, dear friends, resolve for this year that we will strive for the principal thing; that the love of God may more and more be shed abroad in our hearts and that we may come more and more into heart-likeness to Him and so far as possible exemplify this character in our outward words, deeds and looks. Thus we shall attain the highest ideals, God's ideal, and the greatest blessing--God's blessing.

   Finish, Lord, Thy New Creation;
       Pure and spotless let us be;
   Show us all Thy great salvation--
       Thine shall all the glory be.
   Changed from glory into glory,
       Till we see Thine own dear face;
   Till we cast our crowns before thee,
       Lost in wonder, love and praise.

SM286 "WOLVES IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING"

  "Take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may

be able to withstand in the evil Day, and having done all, to stand."--Eph. 6:13.

  Only those who have learned the meaning of the

Apostle's words concerning rightly dividing the Word of Truth--only those who have learned from the Scriptures that the Divine Plan is a progressive one, in which successive ages form links--such can understand why Divine providence should permit peculiar experiences, trials, etc., upon the Church at one time, not permitted at another. Would that all Christian people would awake to a proper study of the Bible--to see the object of the Divine dealings with the Jews during the Jewish Age, with Christians during the Gospel Age, and with the world during the coming Millennial Age. From this standpoint they would see what the Scriptures represent; namely, that there is a seed time, or sowing time, and a harvest, or reaping time, with each Age, which, when it has served its purpose, passes away, giving place to another age and a different work. In the end of the Jewish Age, for instance, there came to that people a peculiar sifting and testing which John the Baptist, the last of the Prophets, declared was a winnowing of the wheat, a separating of the chaff preparatory to the gathering of the wheat into the garner of the next Age, and the permission of trouble to come upon the chaff class of that people, which utterly destroyed them as a nation.

  Similarly the Lord tells us in one of His parables

(Matt. 13:24-30) that in the end of this Gospel Age there will be a separation of wheat from tares, the former being gathered into the glorious Kingdom for which we pray, "Thy Kingdom come," the latter being consumed as tares, though not as individuals. The destruction of a tare, SM287 an imitation Christian, will signify that the person thus posing as a Christian, drawing nigh unto the Lord with his lips while his heart is far from God will cease to make such profession. Thenceforth the true Church will be recognized in its peculiar position as the "Very Elect" of God, a "little flock" who follow the footsteps of the Master, gladly sacrificing earthly interest for the attainment of the Heavenly. Thereafter, as the parable shows, these will shine forth as the Sun in the Kingdom for blessing of all the families of the earth, including the tare class, who thereafter will be no longer deceived or deceivers in respect to their true position, but be privileged with the remainder of mankind to come into full harmony with God.--Mal. 4:2; Matt. 13:43.

 It is concerning the Harvest time of this Gospel Age

that I address you on this occasion, believing that this entire Harvest period, according to the Scriptures, is to be forty years long, and that we entered it in 1878, and that consequently it will close with 1918. I desire to point out to you that the special trials and difficulties and testing of faith and obedience appropriate to the complete separation of the wheat from the tares is upon Christendom now--has been upon us as a "thief in the night" for some years. We have not the necessary time to examine here the various Scriptural evidences which indicate that we are in the closing time of the Gospel Age and in the opening or dawning of the Millennial Age. Many of you already have our Studies in the Scriptures, in which these are fully presented, with their Scriptural evidences. We must content ourselves at this time by pointing to some of the outward demonstrations that we are in the period which in our text the Apostle designates

               "THE EVIL DAY"
 All throughout the Scriptures this period is most

dramatically set forth as being a time of thorough testing, a time in which the separation of the wheat from the tares SM288 will be most absolutely accomplished, so that not one grain of wheat will be lost and not one grain of tare will by any mischance be preserved with the wheat, for the Lord declares that He will make a thorough work of separation. It seems difficult for the majority of people to think of anything specially occurring in their day-- that they should be in the midst of the fulfilments of prophecy. If we were telling that these things would take place within a century or within a thousand years, far more would be ready to investigate and acknowledge the force of the arguments. But familiar with the conditions, the trials, the difficulties, the perplexities and the suggestions of many--as the Apostle predicted, that all things will continue as they were from the beginning of the world (2 Pet. 3:4)--for such reasons many shut the eyes of their understanding to the most remarkable condition of affairs in our day.

  The Apostle says they are "willingly ignorant"; and

Jesus, "They hear not, neither do they understand"; and again, the Lord through the Prophet says, "My people perish for lack of knowledge." (2 Pet. 3:5; Matt. 13:13; Hosea 4:6.) Indeed the majority of professing Christians are careless, indifferent to what the Lord had caused to be written for their admonition and encouragement and assistance in this "evil Day." Such are not of the "Very Elect." The latter, as the Apostle shows, will not be in darkness that that Day should overtake them as a thief. They will be earnest, vigilant, watchful and standing fast in the faith. Therefore, using the means the Lord has provided, they will receive the blessing, the special reward, while others by neglecting their privileges mark themselves as unworthy of the great favor God is now dispensing to the "little flock." We will not say that they will not have opportunities in that great company that the Scriptures point out, who will come up out of great tribulation, and be before the Throne instead of in the Throne.--Rev. 7:15; 3:21. SM289

  Mark how our Lord declared that the trial of our time

would be so critical, so crucial, that it would deceive if it were possible the "Very Elect." (Matt. 24:24.) But this will not be possible, for the Lord has promised them the assistance needful, and they will be in that attitude of heart and mind to seek assistance and use it. Mark how the Lord through the Prophet David (Psa. 91) foretold the special trials of this time, picturing the various devices of Satan--Spiritism, Higher Criticism, Christian Science, etc.--as pestilences and arrows. He tells us that a thousand shall fall at our side, yea, ten thousand at our right hand--amongst those whom we consider most favored and, in some respects, as our friends in the Lord.

 Then the reason is given why the Very Elect will not

fall under these same pestilences and arrows; namely, "Because thou hast made the Lord, even the Most High, thy Refuge and thy Habitation, no plague shall come nigh thy dwelling"--"the Wicked One toucheth him not." (1 John 5:18.) What to others will be a stone of stumbling will to this class be an assistance, in that they will climb upon it to still higher personal development and character-likeness of the Lord. All things must work together for good to these because they love God truly, sincerely, above self or any other creature, and because of their faithfulness to their covenant--their consecration to the Lord. The pestilence of error cannot harm them, because in the secret of the Lord's presence they have an armament of grace and truth specially provided. As it is written, "The secret of the Lord is with them that reverence Him, and He will show them His covenant."--Psa. 25:14.

        "THE DAY SHALL DECLARE IT"
 Pointing down to this Harvest time, which began in

1878, the Apostle calls it a special Day, or epoch; and such it surely has been. No other period in the world's history has ever been so notable in so many ways. Referring SM290 to this time, and to the testings of faith that will come upon the Lord's people here, the Apostle says, "Let every man take heed how he build [faith]; for other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ." By these words the Apostle shows that he refers not to the heathen world, but to those who at least nominally accepted Christ as the foundation of their hopes. He proceeds, "Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble, every man's work shall declare it: because it shall be revealed by fire, and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is."--1 Cor. 3:10-15.

 How could a plainer statement of this be made? The

fire referred to, of course, is symbolical, as are the wood, hay, stubble, gold, silver, precious stones. As wood, hay, stubble can be destroyed by literal fire, so selfish doctrines, errors and all improper faith will be destroyed in this time which the Apostle designates. "The Day shall declare it," or demonstrate the faith that will stand and the faith that will be consumed. The Apostle proceeds, "If any man's work shall abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned he shall suffer loss." Alas, how many are finding their faith burned out! How few are having the great reward of finding that they have a faith that will stand all the tests of this day! Is it not true that Spiritism, Theosophy, Christian Science, and Higher Criticism are consuming the faith of many--of all who have come in touch with them, who have only the wood, hay, stubble of human tradition and who lack the gold, silver and precious stones of the Divine Word?

  The Apostle, continuing, assures us that all who have

built upon Christ will ultimately be saved, even though they suffer great loss as respects their faith. He says: "He himself shall be saved, so as by fire." The fire of this Day, then, will demonstrate to some how poorly they have built, how little they have heeded the Word of the SM291 Lord, to what extent they have been influenced by human traditions and creeds of the Dark Ages. Many, we may be sure, will lose all faith in Christ at this time, but if so it will prove that their faith was not properly founded upon Him who is the only true Foundation.

  Note again that our text applies, refers to, the Harvest

time of this Age, and also calls it a Day, and designates it an "evil Day"--a Day or epoch in which trials, testings, etc., will be upon the Lord's people for the development, proving worthy, of those who love the Lord with all their heart, mind, soul, strength, and their neighbor as themselves, the Israelites indeed, and for the demonstrating also of those who have been lukewarm in their love for the Lord and the brethren, and who have been overcharged with the cares of this life or the deceitfulness of riches, and so overtaken by "that Day"--our Day.--1 Thess. 5:4; Eph. 6:13.

  Our text, much in harmony with the quotation I have

made from the Psalms, indicates a need for the armor, a difficulty in withstanding the assaults of this day, and the fewness of those who will eventually stand. The Apostle's exhortation is that we take the whole armor of God--not merely the shield of faith, not merely the helmet of salvation, not merely the breastplate of righteousness, not merely the Sword of the Spirit, not merely the sandals of preparation, not merely the girdle of Truth; but that we take all of these--that we shall need all of these if we would be able to withstand all the assaults to be expected in this "evil Day," and having done all to stand. Alas! how few seem to realize the importance of this armor which God has commended! Their difficulty is the result of not knowing the time in which they are living, not being sufficiently awake, not being sufficiently zealous to search the Scriptures and to put on the armament and preparation for the battle there alone provided. Therefore all such lukewarm Christians will surely be overthrown in this Evil Day. SM292

        WHY GOD WILL PERMIT IT
 St. Paul, writing to the Thessalonians, foretold this

"evil Day" in which we are living--in which so many will fall because not attentive to the Word of the Lord, because overcharged with the cares of this life and the deceitfulness of the earthly riches so many are seeking. He tells us that the trials of our day will come from the Great Adversary, Satan, not because God will be unable to prevent him from bringing these deceptions and tests, but because God wills that he should bring them--wills to permit him to thus test and prove and sift the professed Church of our day, that all may be confused, deceived, stumbled who are not at heart loyal to Him. After telling about the workings of Satan that are to be expected, with great power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceitfulness of unrighteousness, the Apostle explains that this is permitted, "because they received not the love of the Truth." He adds, "For this cause God shall send them strong delusions, that they should believe a lie, that they all should be condemned who believed not the Truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness" --in untruth. (2 Thess. 2:9-12.) They did not obey the Truth of God, but acted hypocritically.

 Many tell us that it makes no difference what we believe

--truth or falsehood--that it is by our work that the Lord will determine our standing. But the Scripture forbids this thought, and assures us that none have works that would be pleasing to God because all are imperfect. The Divine purpose is that during this Age God will honor and reward faith--it being assumed and declared that a true faith will be backed by good works to the extent of ability, and that God will reckon this as perfection through Christ. The Apostle in his words last quoted corroborates all the teachings of Scripture respecting the value of the Truth to the people of God. Mark the Master's words, "Ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free"; and again His prayer to the Father SM293 for His followers, "Sanctify them through Thy Truth; Thy Word is Truth."--John 8:32; 17:17.

 The Lord has provided His Word, and from time to

time has used instrumentalities for the unfolding of its meaning to those who are in the right attitude of heart to receive it. But He has also permitted errors, falsehoods and lying wonders to stalk about, though never before to the same extent as in this "evil Day"--because now He desires specially to use these errors as a testing, sifting, separating work amongst His professed people, that the improper faiths may be manifested and may be destroyed, and that the true faith may shine the more brightly, and ultimately the professors of it be glorified with Himself in the Kingdom.

 In view of the Apostle's words respecting the love

of the Truth, it behooves each one to examine himself whether he is loving and serving a creed of the Dark Ages or a denomination and creed of modern times; or whether his love and devotion are simply to the Truth presented to us in the Divine Word. We may deceive others; we may even to some extent deceive ourselves; for, as the Prophet declares, the heart is exceedingly deceitful. But we cannot deceive God. If in the Lord's providence the Truth comes to us and we get some glimpse of its beauty in contrast with the hopelessness of error, a test is upon us. If we reject the Truth because of its unpopularity, and hold to the abominable error because it is popular, we are thereby tested. Or, if we receive the Truth and rejoice in it in our minds, but because of its unpopularity hide the light under a bushel, concealing it in order to thus shield ourselves from the opposition of darkness, we may be sure that this would be displeasing to the Lord, who seeketh not such for His "Elect." He puts His Word on a parity with Himself, saying, "He that is ashamed of Me and My Word, of him will I be ashamed when I come in My Kingdom."

  This is what the Apostle refers to as receiving not the

SM294 Truth in the love of it. Whoever receives the Truth in the love of it will to the best of his ability and judgment show it to others at whatever the cost may be. Thus he will be proving himself a child of the light, a child of God. He will be saved. But the one who seeks to save his life, to save earthly interests by hiding the light or failing to publicly acknowledge it, will be sure to find his course injurious to himself.--1 Cor. 4:1,2.

        LIKE THE HYPOCRITES OF OLD
  We have already pointed out that the influences at

work in the present time undermining faith consuming it, destroying it, are likened to a pestilence which is in the very air and which lays hold upon all whose systems are in condition to be inoculated with the poisons. I must elaborate this point; for the evil influences by which we are surrounded at the present time are so subtle, so deceptive, so all-pervading, that the majority do not recognize them. What a shock it would give to Christendom could it be realized that these pestilential influences are going forth from the pulpits--not perhaps from all, but surely from four out of five in the larger cities, and increasingly it is spreading to the smaller towns and country places! Let us look the matter squarely in the face. It is necessary for the Lord's true people to know the facts. As for others, they are so stupidly asleep, so thoroughly intoxicated with the wine of Babylon (Rev. 18:3), that we have no hope of influencing them. Ever since this evil Day began this pestilence has been going forth-- over thirty years.

  Today every college, every theological seminary

throughout the whole civilized world, is teaching what is commonly known as Higher Criticism of the Bible-- though the proper name for it would be Higher Infidelity amongst the high ones of all Christendom. These Higher Critics are doing the same work exactly that Thomas Paine and Robert Ingersoll did, only that they are carrying SM295 on their work on a higher plane--appealing not to the gross and the vile, but to the refined, intelligent and truth-seeking. As a result their influence is a thousand-fold more injurious.

  Those to whom Paine and Ingersoll appealed were

very rarely Christians at all. Hence they destroyed very little faith--they merely made the unbelief more rank and foul. But these Higher Critic infidels of this "evil Day" are making use of all the vast machinery of Christendom in all denominations, especially through theological seminaries, to undermine and overthrow the faith of all who have named the name of Christ, great and small, rich and poor, cultured and ignorant. It is being done systematically, too, craftily, deceitfully, in a manner that the masses of the people would scarcely credit. It is safe to say that fully four out of five who graduate from theological seminaries, of all denominations, are Higher Critic infidels, who are instructed that their main business is to promote morality amongst the people, especially to build up Churchianity, particularly their own denomination, and to gradually, stealthily, craftily wean the people from the faith of the Bible to their higher critical dogmas. And they are succeeding most wonderfully. A "pestilence" is the only figure of speech which really fits to this pernicious influence.

         "OUT OF THINE OWN MOUTH
                WILL I JUDGE THEE"
  Said the Lord; and in harmony with this we find that

in the Lord's providence these Higher Critics are gradually more and more telling on themselves. But the nominal Christian is quite obtuse; and many of the true Christians, as the Apostle explains, are merely "babes in Christ," unable to use the strong meat of the Word, and capable only of enjoying or using the "milk of the Word"--understanding only first principles. Hence the open declarations of these wolves in sheep's clothing, who masquerade as sheep, are not taken seriously. If SM296 the sheep are startled by the words, they are soothed again by the thought, "This is our kind minister, polished in manner and well educated; and he surely would not lead us astray. He surely would not deceive us. If he had ceased to believe the Bible and become an infidel, he surely would have left the pulpit. He could not be so dishonest as to wear sheep's clothing and to use it for our deception and destruction." Poor innocents! Hearken now while I read to you the confession of one of these false shepherds, and his explanation of the trickery and deceit by which he keeps the people quiet while inoculating them from time to time with a little and a little more of the higher critical poison, which eventually brings on spiritual stupor and tends to spiritual death.

  I refer you to his words as they were printed in the

most prominent religious paper in the world--the Independent, New York City. The Editor of that journal, respecting the desire of this wolf not to be exposed, and apparently sympathizing with him in the whole procedure, vouches for him as a man of intelligence and Christian character, and of high standing in an orthodox Church, so-called, whose orthodoxy would never be suspected. This is the confession:

  "I have never won distinction by my heresy, nor even

acquired a local reputation from violent departures from orthodoxy. If I should set about some Sunday morning to tell my congregation all my divergencies from the accepted Christian belief, I would shock them beyond measure. They understand in a general way that I am a liberally-minded person, and I take occasion not infrequently to hasten their heels in their movements from wornout dogma to the truth that is to be. That they are engaged in such a journey I have no doubt; and most of them are willing to maintain a reasonable pace. My congregation is above normal in intelligence, information and sympathy with forward movements; but nevertheless SM297 I am fully persuaded that a complete revelation on my part of the beliefs to which my studies have forced me would set their ears a-tingling, and not only awaken antagonism to me personally but also cause a turn of sentiment in the direction of conservatism and orthodoxy."

 What think you of that confession, dear friends?

What think you of the stealthy, murderous deliberation of this educated man, professing to be a minister of the Word of God, and as such "highly esteemed amongst men"? He is a pattern, a fair sample, of about four-fifths of all the preachers in all denominations--a sample of the hypocrisy which has come into the Church of Christ. But I have not concluded his confession. Let me continue to read from his own lips, his own pen, of his dastardly cunning or deceit whereby he is entrapping, ensnaring and destroying the sheep. Judge then if we are not right in thus particularly calling attention to the matter. Do not the Scriptures say that the shepherds, pastors, who see the wolves coming and give no alarm and seek not to defend the flock, are unfaithful to their responsibilities? I wish to clear my skirts by crying aloud and sparing not these wolves in sheep's clothing. I proceed to read: "RAPID GROWTH OF REFINED INFIDELITY"

 "So rapid is the advance in the religious opinion, at

least as I experience it in my parish, that I would not hesitate for a moment now to give fullest utterance to views utterly condemnatory of the whole scheme of sacrificial atonement and imputed righteousness. Devout saints who were wont to inquire anxiously every week or two why I did not mention that Christ made atonement for sin, after a sermon on any subject from Dan to Beersheba now sit patiently under preaching which never refers to Christ as a Propitiatory Sacrifice."

 How true this is! We pointed out thirty years ago

from the Scriptures that the testing of Christendom was SM298 coming along this very line--that the atonement for sin effected by our dear Redeemer was the foundation for all Scriptural faith and hope and that it would be repudiated by Christendom as a whole according to the prophetic delineations of the Scriptures which I cannot here discuss, some of them belonging to the symbolic book of Revelation. What a great change since that time! Not only has Christian Science largely influenced all denominations by its false statements that there is no original sin and that there is no death and hence no penalty for original sin, and hence also that Christ did not die and redeem from the original penalty, and that there was no necessity for a redemptive work because there is no sin--they claim sin is merely a delusion--but since that time also higher Criticism has gotten its work all over the civilized world and is surely destroying faith in the very center of the Divine Plan. For whoever does not believe in the atonement work of Christ is not a Christian, despite his professions of discipleship.

 Christianity is not merely an acceptance of the fact

that Jesus was born and that Jesus died, nor is it an acceptance of merely the moral and religious teachings of Jesus. Christianity is an acceptance of the fact that we are sinners; that Christ died for our sins, and rose again on the third day for our justification; that through Him we have redemption and the forgiveness of sins through faith in His blood. He who has lost this faith in Jesus' blood has lost his relationship to true Christianity; and the sooner he and all mankind know it the better for all concerned. If he be an honest man he will come out plainly and confess his position. If he be like the writer from whom I have quoted, a dishonest man, he thus evidences his unworthiness of the Truth; for he prefers, as he tells us, to act a lie, to destroy the faith of the too confident sheep whom he leads, and whose praise and money he enjoys. But we must quote further from this false shepherd (Ezek. 34:2-10), as follows:-- SM299

 "Experience has taught me not to be too rampant in

my heresies. I have learned that if one keeps his doctrinal discoveries in his study drawer for about five years, and takes them out now and then to refresh his soul, allowing occasionally a delicate effluence from them to steal over a page or two of his next Sunday's sermon, he will find at the end of the period that he may avow them as violently as he pleases, and they who aforetime would have lit the torch for his burning will sit peacefully under his doctrine, and sing the last hymn lustily in satisfaction that they have heard once more the truth they have always believed."

        AWAKE, O SHEEP, AND LISTEN!
  What noble-minded, truth-loving layman would change

places with this self-satisfied deceiver and fraud? What honorable business man would without blushing make such an acknowledgment respecting his method of conducting business to the Editor of the New York Independent, even if his name were kept secret? Would he not be ashamed that even the Editor should know of his perfidy? And indeed we can make much more excuse for those who practice some deception in connection with their business advertising and the overstatement of the quality of their goods, etc.; for they are professedly self-seeking, and the public know to take their statements with a grain of allowance. But the minister of the Gospel professes to be a philanthropist who is sacrificing his life to the service of the Truth, to the service of the Lord, to the building up of his fellow-creatures in the most holy faith once delivered to the saints. How abominably mean and contemptible, then, is such a man as well as his course! The more refined and polished and educated he is the more is it to his shame. Hearken further:--

  "For this reason I am not shouting out every Sunday

that I do not believe in the virgin birth of Jesus nor in the physical resurrection. Much as I honor and admire SM300 Doctor Crapsey, I am not scurrying to put myself in the pillory beside him. I let others do the talking, and I answer questions cautiously."

  Doctor Crapsey referred to was recently tried for

heresy and expelled from the Episcopal pulpit. He, magnanimous soul! after having avowed his own faith in the teachings of the Bible, after having been honored with a high position amongst those who reverence the Bible, and while drawing a good salary for expounding it to his congregation, considered it the proper and honorable course to break those vows, and while retaining his hold upon the titles, honors and emoluments of his position, to proclaim to his confiding hearers the theory of the Higher Critics respecting the non-inspiration of the Scriptures, that Jesus was born like any other man, that His death was not sacrificial and that His blood was a "common thing." (Heb. 10:29.) We are not surprised that the honorable wolf whose confession we are reading, and who glories in it, honors and admires Doctor Crapsey. For our part we can admire no such duplicity, but of the two would consider it the more honorable to be in Doctor Crapsey's position; for he is a little the more honorable. Let us take another quotation from this glorious confession. The writer says:--

 "I have hopes that before many years the heresies, as

undoubtedly they are, of the miraculous origin and resurrection of Christ will become at least tolerated opinions. With patience, tact and perseverance I hope some day to bring out this deliverance of my soul, as I have already waited in patience for a time to declare my opinions of the atonement. To expose it now would endanger my real work, which is not to teach history, not even true history concerning Jesus, His Apostles, or His Church; but to enlarge lives with real religious faith, and induce some morals and gentle virtues through devotion to duty as God gives me to see it. One shrinks from being called a hypocrite, but it is encouraging to remember that in SM301 Jesus' time they were not branded as hypocrites who counted themselves still Jews and went to the feasts while in utter contradiction with the prevailing opinion."

        "WHO GLORY IN THEIR SHAME"
 Apparently there is just a little mite of conscience

here, which seems to vaguely realize that there is at least a suspicion of hypocrisy in his course. But note how he seeks to justify himself. He speaks of "devotion to duty as God gives me to see it." Should we expect that God would give such a man ability to see anything? Rather we should say, as Jesus said to the hypocrites of old, "Ye are of your father the Devil; for his works ye do. He was a murderer from the beginning and abode not in the Truth." (John 8:44.) This man, and he is but a sample of others, is a murderer. He is murdering in a spiritual sense the people under his care by taking from them, if possible, their spark of faith and spirit-begetting, and doing it as did the great Adversary--by lies and by contradictions of the Lord's Word. This man's idea of duty is very manifest; it consists in holding all the honors of men which he is able to accumulate, gathering in all the shekels within his reach, and belying his covenant with God and with his congregation. From such duty, such hypocritical wolves, good Lord deliver us! This gentleman and all the Higher Critics and Evolutionists occupying the pulpits of Christendom are in exactly the position of the Scribes and Pharisees of old, of whom the Lord said, "Ye do make void the Word of God through your traditions." He told them that outwardly they were clean and respectable, as this man appears to be; but that inwardly they were full of all manner of corruption --deceit, selfishness, unfaithfulness--as this man, opening his bosom, shows us he is.--Mark 7:5,9,13.

 Then, as now, the common people were so hypnotized

by their Doctors of the Law and priests that they hesitated to hear the voice of the Son of Man and His humble SM302 followers, waiting first to get the approval of the hypocritical teachers, who with outward raiment feign to be servants of God and for pretense make long prayers. What the common people needed then was what the same class need now--an awakening. As the Israelites indeed in whom there is no guile got the message, so a similar class will get the message now. To this class and not to the Higher Critics and Evolutionists is the promise made. "To you it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of God"; but unto all outsiders these things are done in parables and dark sayings.--Matt. 13:11.

 We are in the shaking time, the burning time when all

the wood, hay and stubble of falsehood must be consumed, when only the precious truths of God's Word, gold, silver and precious stones of faith will stand the test. Let us hearken to the Apostle's words, "Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men." Seek the "old paths"--not the paths nor the theories of the Dark Ages and their horrible "doctrines of devils," but the doctrines of Jesus and the Apostles--that your faith should not stand in the doctrines of men but in the power of God.--Jer. 6:16; 1 Cor. 16:13; 2:5.

  Let the world despise and leave me,
     They have left my Savior, too;
  Former friends are wont to leave me,
     Thou art faithful, Thou art true.
  And while Thou shalt smile upon me,
     God of wisdom, love and might,
  Foes may hate, and friends may scorn me,
     Show Thy face and all is bright.
  Oh, 'tis not in grief to harm me
     While Thy love is left to me!
  Oh, 'twere not in joy to charm me,
     Were that joy unmixed with Thee!

SM303 "WHO, THEN, SHALL BE SAVED?"

 "If the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the

ungodly and the sinner appear?"--1 Peter 4:18.

 The words of our text are solemn, from whatever

standpoint they may be viewed. But for our friends of various denominations who hold that death marks the end of hope these words should be not only solemn, but terrifying in the extreme. They note the death of friends and neighbors, and know from statistics that ninety thousand fellow-creatures die every twenty-four hours; and they well know and would not dispute that a very small number of these could by any stretching of language or any allowances be considered righteous or even to have had righteous intentions. If these dear friends would take seriously their teaching that all but the righteous, all but the saintly, go to a never-ending hell of torment, from which there is no hope of alleviation of suffering, it would be sufficient to unbalance their minds. Fortunately for them, therefore, they do not take too seriously their own unreasonable and unscriptural views on this subject.

 Apparently a great many people would scarcely be

willing to be saved, just as they are scarcely willing to forsake sin. We have heard people tell us that they would be glad to creep into some little, obscure corner of Heaven and enjoy its glories and blessings if they could only escape the miseries of which they have been mistaught. We are sorry for such poor creatures. They can enjoy neither the present life nor the future prospect. Instead of hoping for glory, honor and immortality, as the Apostle suggests we should do, these merely hope to escape torture by the skin of their teeth--a poor, unsatisfactory hope, quite contrary to the one set before us in the Gospel.

 It is the same Apostle who urges the Church to pursue

SM304 a course that would be pleasing to God and who assures us that "so an entrance shall be administered unto you abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." (2 Peter 1:11.) It is proper that we inquire why in these words an abundant salvation is suggested, while in our text it is declared that the righteous shall scarcely be saved. Let us examine our text more particularly; it seems inconsistent as generally viewed. It seems out of harmony with what we might expect for their eternal welfare by our Heavenly Father, who is rich, wise and powerful beyond all compare.

        TO WHOM DOES OUR TEXT APPLY?
  We inquire first who are the righteous referred to in

our text? We reply that the Apostle is not referring to any class of people, but merely in a general way referring to a principle of the Divine Law which declares that he that doeth these things shall live, and that any failure to do the perfect will of God would be sin, and that "the wages of sin is death." (Rom. 6:23.) In other words, the Apostle is speaking of God's arrangement. God has promised eternal life only to the righteous. If we should take one hundred as representing the standard of righteousness, it would be impossible for any one to have one hundred and one points; for he could not be more than righteous. And if he lacked anything of being up to the hundred mark, he would not be righteous. With a hundred as the standard the man possessing the ninety-nine points of righteous character would still be an unrighteous man; and, according to Divine Law, he could not have everlasting life. So, then, God's Law makes no allowance for sin, but condemns it and declares that all unrighteousness is sin.--1 John 5:17.

  This is the basis of the Apostle's statement that a

righteous person could be no more than saved under the Divine Law. He could not say, as some teach, "Lord, I have done more than was required of me; I have been SM305 more than righteous. On the score of my righteousness I could claim Thy promise of eternal life, but having been more than merely righteous I have a reserve of merit which I can apply for others." This, to some extent, is the theory of our Catholic friends. On the strength of this they pray to Mary, the Apostles and certain others of the saints whom they believe to have laid up for them a surplus of merit. The Apostle's words are in contradiction to this thought, assuring that no one could be more than righteous and that consequently God's offer of salvation to the righteous could not be more than made. The righteous would scarcely be saved; that is to say, would have nothing of left-over merit, nothing of surplus. It would require his every effort to comply with the standard of righteousness.

 From this standpoint the Apostle's words are very

clear, very meaningful, very reasonable; and we see at once the significance of the latter part of our text, "Where shall the ungodly and sinner appear?"--What show would they have? In other words, his thought is that if the Divine Law has provided eternal life for only those who are absolutely perfect in God's sight, what chance, what show, would there be for any sinner condemned for either many or few transgressions; and as for the ungodly--those failing to recognize their responsibility to the Almighty--where would they appear, what show would they have? The inferential answer is, None! God's Law would condemn them, sentence them.

 But nothing in the Scriptures indicate that the Divine

Law would sentence them to an eternity of torture. Rather the Divine Law is that "the wages of sin is death." "The soul that sinneth it shall die." (Ezek. 18:4.) Eternal life is the gift of God (Rom. 6:23), and will be given only to those who have His approval, only to the righteous. And since the wicked will not receive this gift from the Almighty, and it would be impossible for them to get it from any other source, it is apparent SM306 that they cannot live, either in torture or otherwise, that they shall be punished with everlasting destruction.

        WHO ARE THE RIGHTEOUS?
 Coming now to a still fuller examination of the subject,

we inquire, Who are the righteous amongst men? The Scriptures answer, "There is none righteous, no, not one." (Rom. 3:10.) They again declare that our Lord Jesus was the only righteous One, and that He died, the Just for the unjust, for our reconciliation to the Father. But now the question arises, If God's Law is so strict that only the full one hundred per cent would have His approval and be granted eternal life, what hope is there for our race, the majority of whom, instead of being ninety-nine per cent perfect or righteous, could not be claimed to be more than twenty-five per cent, with an exceptional person, perhaps, able to stand the test of forty or fifty per cent and some of the poor race, born in sin and shapen in iniquity, as low down as ten per cent, with consequently ninety per cent of unrighteousness in their natural makeup? Where is the hope under God's Law for either the best or the worst of our fallen race?

  Ah, we answer, right there lies the key to the Gospel

of Christ, which assures us that as we all inherit our imperfections from our parents and they from theirs, and thus originally all from Adam, so Christ Jesus, having given Himself as a Ransom or corresponding price for Father Adam, having laid down His life for Adam's sin, has a corresponding merit represented in the value of His death as a Sin-offering. This, from the Divine standpoint, is the full offset to Father Adam's transgression, and hence is not only sufficient in value to cancel his debt and condemnation but sufficient in value also to offset the influence of his sin and condemnation as it has contaminated the twenty thousand millions of our race. Here behold the Wisdom, Love and Justice of God in combination! His Wisdom permitted the arrangement of the plan by which His Justice would be fully visited upon SM307 Adam, the sinner--and indirectly upon his race through him--and yet leave abundant room that in due time Jesus by His sacrifice for all could make satisfaction for the sins of the whole world. For if all were condemned in one it would be equally just on God's part that all should be justified or forgiven through the merit of the one Redeemer, so that the cancellation of sin through the merit of the precious blood of Jesus affects not only Father Adam, but all of his children, who shared with him his condemnation.--Rom. 5:18,19.

  Whoever sees clearly the foregoing argument not only

sees that there are none righteous, no, not one member of the race, but also sees that Jesus, by the virtue of His sacrifice, is prepared to justify or cover over and excuse and set aside all the unrighteousness of the world. But since it is not God's purpose to favor unrighteousness, ignorance, etc., He has arranged that only those who intelligently accept Jesus and renounce sin and turn away to righteousness to the extent of their ability--only these shall have the full benefit of His arrangement, which in the present time is called justification by faith, or making righteous by faith.

 Accordingly, we perceive that there are some righteous

in the world according to this reckoned arrangement, although there are none actually righteous according to the strict standard of the Law. But still we cannot claim that there are many righteous, even according to this benevolent arrangement which God has made; for comparatively few of our fallen race have yet heard of the only name given under Heaven and amongst men whereby we must be saved. Not having heard thereof they cannot believe therein, and not believing they could not be justified through faith in His blood, for faith cometh by hearing --the hearing of the message of the Lord. These righteous ones (righteous or justified through faith in the blood of Christ) are referred to by the Apostle and their relationship to the Divine Law clearly shown by his statement, SM308 "The righteousness of the Law is fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh [with its sinful, depraved tendency] but after the Spirit [after the perfect standard of God's Law, as nearly as possible up to its real meaning, coming short only where our imperfections and weaknesses of the fall render obedience impossible on our part]." For, as the Apostle again says, "We cannot do the things that we would."--Gal. 5:17; Rom. 8:1-4.

 The believer in Christ who has devoted himself to the

Lord and the service of righteousness and who has been begotten of the Holy Spirit is counted a New Creature, as separate and distinct from his flesh, in which the motions of sin may still prevail to some extent contrary to his new mind, new will, righteous intention of heart. With his mind he can serve the Law of God perfectly; in this respect he must not come short one jot or tittle; from the heart he must love righteousness and hate iniquity. But even so, though his flesh be gradually brought into subjection, he cannot hope to have the full victory over it until it is totally dead, until he, as a New Creature, begotten of the Spirit, shall be born of the Spirit in the First Resurrection.

        DIVINE STANDARDS UNLOWERED
 Not only is the Christian religion the only one which

presents God as loving and merciful to the sinner, but it is the only one which presents the thought of mercifully saving the sinners without in any degree breaking or bending the Divine Law, the standard of righteousness. God does not say to the sinner, "You have but twenty per cent of character; I will blot out the requirement of the other eighty per cent and treat you as perfect." Nor does He make a similar proposition to the one professing fifty points of character. God's Law still requires of each one the full one hundred per cent, but makes it possible for all to attain that full perfection. How? By a double process: (1) To the man of but twenty per cent of character the lacking eighty per cent is imputed or reckoned SM309 as his share of the merit of Christ's Sacrifice for Adam's sin. To the man possessing the fifty per cent of character, the lacking fifty per cent is reckoned or imputed in a like manner. (2) But it is required of both that not only shall they maintain what they have, but that their hearts shall be at the full one hundred standard; that they shall be willing and attempting nothing less than perfection. They will be reckoned and dealt with according to the standards of their hearts and minds and will, and not according to imperfections of their flesh.

 Meantime it will be expected of them that they shall

stand tests, trials and difficulties which will be allowed to come upon them to prove the genuineness of their faith and to establish it, to prove the sincerity of their love for righteousness and their opposition to iniquity, and to strengthen their determination to keep their covenant with the Lord. If they fail in these tests they cannot be acceptable in the class that is now being called, the saints, the Royal Priesthood, the "Little Flock," to whom it is the Father's good pleasure to give the Kingdom.

 Thus their standing of reckoned righteousness is

dependent upon their degree of heart-loyalty to the Lord and not dependent upon their actual qualities. Where much is possessed much is required; where little is possessed less is required as respects the flesh, provided the heart is up to the standard of one hundred per cent loyalty to God and to righteousness. In this picture which we have given we have illustrated the Apostle's words, Where sin abounded, grace did that much more abound. (Rom. 5:20.) In an individual in whom sin had abounded to the extent of destroying eighty per cent of his character, leaving only twenty per cent, sin abounded more than in the person in whom it had destroyed fifty per cent and left fifty per cent. And the Apostle's message is that God's grace in Christ, forgiving and justifying or counting as righteous, is in the same proportion. That is to say, the one in whom sin abounded most can have the SM310 more favor to abound in his case. In other words, the Lord takes us just as we are according to the flesh; and, if we have accepted Christ and given ourselves fully to Him, we are judged not according to the flesh but according to the spirit, intention, will. "WHERE ARE THE SINNER AND THE UNGODLY?"

  What then shall we say of the sinner and the ungodly;

where shall they appear? Let it be noted that the Apostle does not say that they shall appear in hell shrieking in torture! He did not say, as did Brother Jonathan Edwards, that the righteous will look over the battlements of Heaven and see in eternal torment their friends, neighbors, brothers, sisters and parents who died without accepting Christ. The Apostle's question is, Where shall they appear? or in more modern language, What show will they have? We answer that they have no show. Those who are not justified through faith in Christ according to the Divine arrangement have no show at all with God at the present time. They are unjustified. They are, as the Apostle declared we once were, "children of wrath, even as others" (Eph. 2:3,12); or, as he again says, "without God, having no hope in the world."

  It is not their privilege, as some would have us believe,

to claim God as their Father and Christians as their brethren. On the contrary, we take our theology from our Redeemer, who said that some are of their father the Devil, for his works they do (John 8:44), and the Apostle's statement where he declares that Satan now works in the hearts of the children of disobedience (Eph. 2:2), who certainly are vastly in the majority, while the saints who walk in the footsteps of Jesus are the small minority, going contrary to the course of this world. We take the Apostle's words further where he declares that the "god of this world [Satan] has blinded the minds of those who believe not." (2 Cor. 4:4.) We have nothing therefore, to say respecting the ungodly and the sinner SM311 at the present time. We have no hope to hold out to them that they can be saved in ignorance, any more than they can be saved in rebellion. God has but the one way of salvation, and that is through faith in the precious blood of Christ and through an endeavor to come into harmony with His righteous Law through the merit of the Savior.

 What then? Is there any hope for the ungodly and

the sinner? We answer, Yes, there is a hope. God's Word clearly portrays this hope, telling us that in due time all the families of the earth shall be blessed; that in due time every knee shall bow and every tongue confess, to the glory of God; that in due time when His righteous dealings are made manifest, all things that God has made shall come and worship before Him; that in due time Christ, who tasted death for every man, shall take unto Himself His great power and shall reign, and shall bring to every member of the race the blessing of knowledge with the opening of the eyes of their understanding, now closed by Satan, the god of this world, through ignorance, superstition, etc.--1 Tim. 2:4; Psa. 22:27,28.

 Our dear Redeemer assures us that these children of

wrath, without God and without hope in the world, blinded by Satan, led captive by him through their fallen natures, have not been dropped down into a place of eternal torment but are merely asleep in death, in their graves, waiting for the time when God shall establish His Kingdom of righteousness under the whole heavens, the time when His Millennial Kingdom shall control the world, the time when Satan shall be bound and be no longer permitted to deceive the nations; and that then not merely will the living of that time receive the blessing of His instruction and assistance, but all that are in their graves shall come forth--not come down from Heaven, nor come up from hell, nor from purgatory, but from THEIR GRAVES.--John 5:25-29.

 How strange that we were so long deluded, that we

heard the voice of man instead of the voice of SM312 the Son of Man! What peace comes from His Message that the wicked have ceased from troubling and the weary are at rest, asleep in the tomb, in Sheol, in Hades, in the grave! How glad we are that He assures us that not only the Little Flock of His faithful ones, partakers of the First Resurrection, shall come forth, but also that the great mass of mankind not approved of God, who went down to the grave children of wrath, shall come forth also! And He tells us for what purpose. His words are somewhat mystifying because of the poor translation of our Common Version, the Revised Version making them more clear, saying that they "shall come forth unto a resurrection [a raising up out of sin and death conditions] by judgments"--chastisements, corrections, with reward for every good endeavor.

 Thus during the Millennial Age the ungodly and

wicked of this present time shall have a much more favorable opportunity than they now have of coming to know God and Jesus Christ whom He sent; and by obedience to the knowledge then granted to them they may, if they will, attain to life everlasting and full restitution, perfection on the human plane with the earth as their Paradise. --Isa. 11:1-11; 35:1-10.

        "SOME BETTER THINGS FOR US"
 Some one may say, "We admit that when Christ comes

and Satan is bound and the true knowledge of the Lord is filling the earth and it is as easy to do right as to do wrong, these conditions will make the Millennial Age more favorable to the ungodly and sinner than is the present age. But would not this view imply an injustice on God's part in that He has made the way now so narrow, so difficult? Would it not imply that He is partial, and that He has given to those most zealous for righteousness severer trials, tests, persecutions, etc.?"

  We answer that this view is the result of an imperfect

understanding of the Divine Program. It ignores the SM313 Lord's declaration that those being selected by Him during this Gospel Age, who are called upon to walk in the footsteps of Jesus in the narrow way and who are to sacrifice their earthly interest, are to have a much higher reward, a much grander salvation than that provided for the world in general. Man was of the earth earthy, the earthly image of God and adapted to the earth, flesh and blood, etc. His sin losing for him perfection as a man, his redemption and restitution would restore him to the perfection of manhood in harmony with God. But this would not make of mankind spirit beings nor fit them for a Heavenly condition. God's proposition is the return of the race in general to human perfection in an earthly home, which He declares shall "abide forever." (Eccl. 1:4.) But the Divine reward for the Church is that this "little flock" is accepted as the Bride of Christ and His Joint-heir in the glorious Millennial Kingdom. They shall sit with Him in His Throne. They shall be made partakers of the Divine nature with Him, and thus shall share His glory, honor and immortality.

  The Apostle declares that God "has provided some

better things for us" (the Gospel Church) than He provided for the Ancient Worthies of past times. They will be the first to reach the perfection of the human nature, while to us the promise is given of a participation with Christ in the Heavenly nature, which flesh and blood cannot inherit. When, therefore, the difference of reward is considered, and the difference of salvation borne in mind, it will be seen that those who are now drawn and justified and called to sacrifice the human nature and to receive the Divine nature, have much advantage every way over the remainder of the race in that to them is counted the very cream of Divine riches of grace and loving kindness. Nevertheless, the blessing to the world of mankind will be so great as to leave nothing to be desired. During the Millennial Age all the willing and obedient may return to human perfection in a world-wide Eden. SM314 "MADE TO BE TAKEN AND DESTROYED"

  We should not be understood to be teaching Universalism,

except in the limited sense that the Bible teaches it; namely, that there is a universal redemption and that there shall be a universal opportunity for salvation that will apply to every member of Adam's race, either in the present life or in the future, under the provisions of the Millennial Kingdom. As in the present time the Apostle, speaking of the Church, declares that if we sin wilfully after we have received a knowledge of the Truth, have tasted of the good Word of God and the powers of the age to come, if we should fall away, it will be impossible to renew such to fellowship with God and the blessing of eternal life. The same principle will apply to the world of mankind in general when they shall be on trial for eternal life during the Millennial Age. Whoever then shall enjoy the blessings of that glorious time and not be moved to loyalty to God and to righteousness and brought to a developed character will not be permitted to go beyond the limits of the Millennium into the eternal future, but will be utterly destroyed. The same Apostle Peter, speaking of this, says, "The soul [individual] who will not obey that Prophet [the great Preacher, Messiah, during the Millennial Age] shall be destroyed from amongst the people." On the contrary, all who do hear or obey will be guided in the right way and will gain eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.--Acts 3:23.

  But such as are unworthy of life during this present

Age, as well as those who will be found unworthy of eternal life in the Millennial Age, will not be preserved by Divine Power to all eternity to be tortured. On the contrary, the Apostle declares that such will be treated like "brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed." (2 Peter 2:12.) As St. Paul says, "Whose end is destruction" --not preservation in torture. (Phil. 3:19.) This is in full harmony with the Scriptural declaration that he who has the Son has life; but he who has not the Son SM315 shall not see life, but the wrath of God (the sentence of God) abideth on him; and through failure to accept Christ he will die the Second Death.--1 John 5:12.

 Let me clearly emphasize in this connection that the

Scriptures show that the degree of our knowledge measures the degree of our responsibility in God's sight. Infants and idiots, who have no knowledge whatever, have no responsibility whatever, and will evidently deserve no stripes or punishment during the Millennial Age. And as for the heathen and for those in civilized lands, each one has some measure of knowledge and some measure of conscience; and the responsibility of each is in proportion as he has discernment of right and wrong and obeys or disobeys his conscience. The more light, the more intelligence, the more knowledge the world may have, the greater will be its responsibility and the more will be the stripes in the event of unfaithfulness.

 We are not now speaking of the Church, whose members

are to receive their stripes in this present life, so that, as the Apostle says, they may not be condemned with the world in the future, in the world's Judgment Day, the Millennial Age. We are speaking of those who have more or less light of conscience or light from the Divine Word, but who make no use of their light, who in greater or less degree live in violation of their conscience. Let such know assuredly that in proportion as they disregard the light they have they are laying up for themselves stripes, punishments in the future, and that in proportion as they see and do right they are making the pathway of the future smooth. This is the principle which the Lord enunciated, saying, He that knew his Master's will and did it not, shall be beaten with many stripes, while he who knew not and did things worthy of stripes shall be beaten with few stripes.--Luke 12:47,48. SM316 HEAVEN AND EARTH BEING SHAKEN

 "Yet once more [finally] I shake not the earth only,

but also the heavens."--Heb. 12:26.

 The heavens that are being shaken refer not to the

Divine residence and Throne, but symbolically represent the ecclesiastical system of the present time. The stars, or bright ones, have been falling for some time. There is a great shaking or confusion now operating in ecclesiastical circles. It will progress until, as St. Peter figuratively declares, "the heavens shall take fire"--shall be consumed, shall cease to be, leaving the way clear for the "new heavens," the ecclesiastical system of the Millennium, which will be the glorified Church, invisible to men, but clothed with Divine power for the blessing of mankind, for their release from ignorance and superstition and their uplift for a thousand years to return them to the image and likeness of God, lost in Eden, redeemed at Calvary.--2 Peter 3:10-13.

 The shaking of the earth referred to by the Apostle

and symbolically by Jesus as earthquakes, signifies revolutions that are expected to immediately follow the present European war. And if the Pastor understands the Bible teaching correctly on this matter, this great symbolic earthquake, which will eventuate in anarchy will reach its culmination first in Italy. However, this will not be merely a sectional shaking; the whole earth, the entire social fabric, will be shaken, and everything in it that is not of a permanent character--not in harmony with Divine Justice, Mercy and Truth--will be shaken loose, or, in the symbolical language of St. Peter, the earth, society, also shall take fire, and will pass away with a great noise, a great commotion, a great disturbance, in the fire of anarchy.

 Joel's prophecy, referring to this time, points specifically

SM317 to the "blood, the fire and the pillars of smoke," which we see already beginning in Europe. More than a million men of the flower of Europe, in the bloom of life, have shed their blood, although the war is only beginning. The explosion of tons of powder and the burning of cities and villages is surely a fire in the earth, the like of which never occurred before in the same space of time; and everywhere the pillars of smoke are rising, not only from the battlefield, but also from the burning villages and the funeral pyres whereon the dead, too numerous to bury, are burned. Whether or not there shall be other fulfilments of these signs, we surely see this much shaking and this much fulfilment already commenced. How much more of the blood and fire and pillars of smoke before the terrible ordeal is passed, we can only surmise.

  We have courage to speak of these terrible things only

because of our full confidence that behind this dark cloud, hidden from human sight, is the glad sunrise of the New Day--the Day of Messiah. With such a glorious hope beyond it--the hope of the Church's glorification in the First Resurrection power, and the hope of the world's Millennial blessing--God's true people everywhere can lift up their heads and rejoice through their tears, even as their great Teacher, eighteen centuries ago, prophesied that they would do.--Luke 21:28. "MY PEOPLE PERISH FOR LACK OF KNOWLEDGE"

  Many of God's true people have been in ignorance

of His real character and Plan because stupefied by the false doctrines of the Dark Ages. They have not studied their Bibles aright. On the contrary, many of them have been "overcharged by the cares of this life" and the "deceitfulness of riches" and have been unfruitful in respect to their character development and knowledge of God. The deceitfulness of riches does not signify that merely the rich are thus deceived. The great mass of humanity are under the lure of riches, spending their earthly SM318 attainments, time and strength of mind and body; searching for earthly wealth but getting little. Some of these in the distressing times impending, though late, will see their mistake and wish that they had been more alert in the laying up of Heavenly treasures--knowledge of the Bible, of God and character development in His likeness.

  Our Adventist friends are not the only ones who have

made the mistake of thinking of the fire and shaking of the earth and heavens as merely literal. Practically all the creeds of "Orthodoxy" give this misinterpretation, but now at least it is time that our eyes of understanding should open. Now that the shaking and the fire have begun, it is high time that we should see that "the earth abideth forever." There is no reason why it should be destroyed; neither is there reason why humanity should be destroyed from off the earth. God's purposes have not yet been accomplished. Yea, the Divine Plan is only in its infancy. Humanity as yet has learned only its first lesson--"the exceeding sinfulness of sin" and the bitterness of its results. The second lesson will be given by Messiah during the thousand years of His glorious Reign of Righteousness. All shall be brought from the tomb, from ignorance, superstition, darkness, to fullest opportunity, knowledge and blessed uplifting. Only the wilful enemies of God and of righteousness shall be destroyed. The race thus purged from sin and sinners, and again in the Divine image and likeness, will usher into its glorious inheritance--an eternity of God's favor on earth and life everlasting.--Eccle. 1:4; Rom. 7:13. SHAKING OF MOUNT SINAI TYPICAL

  There might be also literal earthquakes and great

physical changes at this time, intended to bring the earth into alignment with Millennial blessings, but we are not so sure respecting these physical changes. They may or may not play a part in the trouble of this Great Day.

  In our context the Apostle compares the inauguration

of Messiah's Kingdom, with its New Law Covenant SM319 mediated by the Redeemer, with the typical Law Covenant given to Natural Israel at Mount Sinai at the hands of the typical mediator Moses. There, the voice, the cloud, the darkness, the lightning, the thunders, the earthquakes, were literal. Here, now beginning, we have the antitypes of these in the inauguration of the Antitypical Covenant, which, at the hands of The Christ, is to bring the wonderful blessings foretold, to all men.

 St. Paul declares that the Word of the Lord upon this

subject implies the removing of all things that can be shaken, so that only the unshakable things will remain; and these unshakable things he associates with God's Kingdom of righteousness. When with the eyes of our understanding open we look about us, we see very many things that evidently are not permanent, not right, not satisfactory to God and to all who love righteousness and hate iniquity; and when we reflect that the shaking will be such as to loosen and destroy all the imperfect things of the present time, we can better imagine than describe the severity of that shaking.

 In the Revelation this same thought is expressed under

the figure of a mighty earthquake, the like of which there had not been before and would never be thereafter. (Rev. 16:18.) Throughout the Apocalypse the term earthquake is used to symbolically represent revolution. We are to expect, then, a great revolution, a great earthquake, which will overthrow everything that is not of the Lord's establishment and approval. From this standpoint a certain class can read the signs of the times intelligently and with confidence; and this class the Scriptures call the Lord's "little flock" (Luke 12:32); counted foolish by the world, but counted of the Lord as "the wise" who are to "understand." (Dan. 12:9,10.) To these the Master Himself addressed the words, "There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those SM320 things which are coming upon the earth; for the powers of heaven shall be shaken." And again, "When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your deliverance draweth nigh."

 The Lord's consecrated people, possessed of His

Spirit, cannot in any sense rejoice at tribulations coming upon others. Their rejoicing can be only in respect to the glorious things which they hope to experience and know to be near by these outward signs. They rejoice not merely on their own behalf, but also on behalf of the whole world; for they have the assurance of the Scriptures that behind this Time of Trouble, which looms up as a dark cloud to cover the entire social world, there is a silver lining; and that shortly the glorious Sun of Righteousness will blaze forth, dispel every cloud and all shadows of ignorance and superstition, and bring to mankind the rich blessings of Divine favor secured through the precious blood of Christ.

        GREAT CHANGES NOW DUE
 Evidently wonderful changes will be effected, some

to be brought about gradually. We all know of the gradual change of the temperate zone--its extension further and further and further toward the poles. We notice also the increasing moderation nearer to the equator. Those who recognize the Power of God can have full confidence that He is able to perform all the glorious promises of His Word respecting the paradisaical conditions of this earth for the use of mankind during the Millennial Age and the ages to follow.

 As already intimated, social upheavals are pictured

in the Word of God under the symbolism of earthquakes, "mountains carried into the sea," etc. These uprisings in anarchy are pictured as tidal waves engulfing the "mountains"--governments. This is one of the most forceful pictures used, in the Psalms, in Revelation and in our Lord's symbolical reference to the great Time of Trouble near at hand.--Psa. 46:2. SM321

 Let us not be understood as advocating anarchy or

revolution of any kind. On the contrary, we are giving heed to the Master's injunction that all His true followers seek peace and pursue it; that they like Himself resist not evil with evil, force with force, but commit their way unto the Lord, walk in His paths, relying upon Him for the results that will be to their profit and His glory. We hold and teach that even the meanest and poorest government is superior to anarchy; and in full sympathy and kindness we counsel those tending toward Socialism that they are unsuspectingly "hatching cockatrice eggs"; for under present conditions Socialism is absolutely impossible. The rich will not give up their advantages without a struggle to the death; and this, as soon as Socialism shall have gained the power it is seeking, will spell anarchy for the world; for those now entertaining Socialistic hopes will find those hopes vain, and will become angered, embittered, mad, with the deceptions of their theories and the impossibility of carrying them out, as they intended, along the lines of benevolence. Then they will be drawn to the desperate methods of the anarchist.

 We urge all who are the Lord's to seek to more and

more understand His wonderful Plan of Salvation, to glorify Him in their bodies and spirits, which are His, and to wait for His time and manner of bringing in the blessings which all see are so much needed by the poor "groaning creation." Meantime, all such should cultivate the graces of the Holy Spirit, should "put on Christ," His character, His meekness, patience, long suffering, brotherly-kindness, love, against which there is no law. "If ye do these things, ye shall never fall; for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."--2 Peter 1:10,11. SM322

       THE SCIENCE OF HEALTH.
 "Be in health, even as thy soul prospereth."--3 John 2.
 In this day of general awakening and independent

thinking, many are coming to realize the wonderful power of the mind over the body. They fancy that this is something new, and some even appropriate as a name for their theories the "New Thought." Other names are Christian Science, Mental Healing, Hypnotism, Mind Cures, etc. Peculiarly enough, all these writers find the best expression of their sentiments in the language of Scripture, although they ignore the Scriptural teachings as a whole and very evidently do not understand them. For instance, favorite amongst their quotations are these: "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he" (Prov. 23:7); "Be ye transformed by the renewing of your minds" (Rom. 12:2); "Changed into the same image from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord" (2 Cor. 3:18), and again, "Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap."--Gal. 6:7; Prov. 4:20-22.

 But, notwithstanding tributes to the teachings of the

Bible, so far as we can discern few of these "mind-cure" teachers are really "believers" in the Scriptural sense of the word. We have yet to find any of them willing to accept the Bible teachings connected with the very passages just quoted. Very generally, while referring to Jesus in a respectful manner, they give evidence that they do not accept Him as the only Teacher--the Sent of God. Rather they seem to class Him with Plato, Socrates, Confucius, and others of the good and great, and to accept His teachings as on a parity with theirs. As for the Apostles these teachers quote their words, but generally ignore their teachings. (Col. 2:3.) The advocates of these false doctrines are surprisingly active everywhere. SM323

               ON A FALSE FOUNDATION
 We do not claim that these various theories are wholly

bad, wholly false. Satan himself is aware that nothing that is wholly false could succeed; hence the Apostle says there is a "deceivableness of unrighteousness," and "Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light." (2 Thess. 2:10; 2 Cor. 11:14.) Having kept the world in darkness for long centuries, as the Apostle explains, "The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not," Satan now realizes that it is impossible to shut out the light of the incoming Day. Hence his transformation, by which he becomes a leader, teacher, is along what might be termed good lines in many respects. He would be a teacher of gentleness, quietness of spirit, good thoughts, pure thoughts. He would teach the downwardness of every evil thought, every evil passion, every impurity of mind, word, and deed, and theoretically he would be an angel of light. In this capacity he now is flooding the world with spurious teachings, and making a special point of mental healing. Indeed we cannot doubt that he even stands prepared to assist these theories which he is now promulgating by granting blessings of health and relief from disease to those whom he would more particularly associate with himself and his theories. This power is manifest to some extent in the healings done in the name of Mormonism, in the name of Christian Science, in the name of Spiritism, in the name of Occultism, in the name of Mind Cure, etc.

 But what motive could Satan have in so doing? Is

there any power in respect to disease under his control? We answer the last question first. The Scriptures everywhere not only recognize Satan as a malevolent being, opposed to God and to righteousness, but they declare that he does possess certain power for evil. In olden times these were known as occult powers, and the Apostles wrote about those who were afflicted of the devil. Our Lord said of one poor woman whom He healed, "Whom SM324 Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years." (Luke 13:16.) Mrs. Eddy's son, in a published newspaper interview, declared his belief that his mother was under occult influence, and that she herself acknowledged this to him years ago.

 Answering the other question: God declares in His

Word His ability to control sin completely, and promises that ultimately He will do this--that Satan shall be bound during the thousand years of the Millennial Kingdom of Christ, during which time the world will be blessed and uplifted from sin and death and from the malevolent influences that are now upon mankind. They declare that even in the present time God will permit the wrath of man and the malevolence of Satan only so far as He can use these ultimately for good, and that the remainder He will restrain. In other words, God at the present time is gathering out of the world the "little flock," the Bride of Christ, whom He designates His "jewels"; and He uses Satan, evil men and the malevolent conditions of the present time to try, to prove, to test, to polish these saints whom He is preparing for the Heavenly Kingdom --for joint-heirship with His Son in the work of the Millennial age--the work of uplifting humanity, so many as will return.--Isa. 66:18.

 We might say, then, that the adverse influences of the

present time constitute the grindstone upon which these jewels are polished, and that Satan through his various agencies is used of the Lord in turning this grindstone. And this is the Scriptural thought. Note the experience of Job, and how God in his case gave Satan permission to try, to prove, to test that noble man--to polish him. Note that the Apostle similarly refers to his own experiences, saying that a certain adverse condition of the flesh was used of Satan to buffet him, but that the Lord assured him, "My grace is sufficient for thee; for My strength is made perfect in weakness." (2 Cor. 12:9.) Therefore, says the Apostle, I will glory in my infirmities, SM325 since I shall have correspondingly more of the grace of God wherewith to resist them and be profited by them. For, he declares, the light afflictions of this present time are working out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we look away from the things seen to the things that are unseen.--2 Cor. 4:17,18. DECEITFULNESS OF UNRIGHTEOUSNESS

 In these words the Apostle points out that Satan will

be granted by the Lord special power in the end of this Age, and that as a result there will be special, severe testings upon the people of God. We are to discriminate closely between Divine permission and Divine authorization. We are to remember that "God tempteth no man" (Jas. 1:13), and that it is a totally different matter that He permits Satan to tempt. The Divine thought as interpreted by the Apostle is that the Lord's people of our day have had special opportunities, privileges, mercies, blessings and assistances in respect to the Divine Word. Such as have been of the right disposition of heart profited by these opportunities, and became strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. They have put on the whole armor of God, and are therefore strong, and can stand much more of testing than others could have done, less favored in the past. It will be no injustice to these that after they have been better qualified they should be expected to fight the good fight more valiantly than others can do.

 But why will these tests come when the Lord knows

that a "thousand shall fall at thy side and ten thousand at thy right hand," as He has foretold by the Prophet? We answer that He wishes some to fall. They will not be falling into eternal torment, nor falling into the Second Death, but merely falling away from a Christian profession and a nominal faith, which in many respects have been mere forms of godliness without real meaning or power. Thus the Lord would separate the wheat class from the tare class, and not only so, but divide the wheat SM326 class into two portions, two classes--a "little flock" of "more than conquerors," and a "great company," loyal at heart but not sufficiently zealous to be counted worthy a place as members of the Bride of Christ. These are represented as the "virgins," the "companions" of the Bride, who also shall be brought near before the King in due time, and who shall have an honorable place beyond the veil.--Psa. 45:14; Rev. 7:9.

 So much for the reasons why God permits Satan now

to masquerade as the champion of pure thoughts and righteous living, and to deceive and lead astray all those who, having the Word of God in their hands, have loved the error rather than the light. Or, as the Apostle puts it, "They receive not the Truth in the love of it"; therefore now there come to them strong delusions that they may believe a lie, that they all may be condemned-- that it may be manifested that they were not worthy of the glorious things which God has in reservation for those who love righteousness and hate iniquity, who love the Truth and hate falsehood.--2 Thess. 2:11,12. SELFISHNESS AND FALSEHOOD REWARDED

 We are not uncharitable but truthful when we say

that in the case of many of these false teachings the reward of health is sought from selfish motives purely. Nor are we too severe when we say that the health is frequently secured as a reward for systematic falsification. The very teaching is that the facts are to be denied and that the denial, the untruth, is to be insisted upon until it becomes a very part of one's being. Those who take this evil mind-cure are taught to lie to themselves as well as to others, and to say, "I have no pain, I have no aches, I am well, thoroughly well." This systematic lying is no doubt rewarded by the father of lies who, if he had the power to inflict with all manner of diseases in olden times, doubtless has considerable of the same power today; and if he has power to inflict he would also have SM327 power to release somewhat from his affliction. Very different from this is the plan which the Lord gives through His Word; yea, the Word of God, the Truth, stands forth pre-eminently. As our dear Redeemer said: God's very name is Righteousness, "Thy Word is Truth." The power of selfishness in this system is seen in the fact that, for the sake of relief from the aches and pains, many, very many, are willing thus to deny the Truth, to deceive others and to deceive themselves.

  But, do you say, how could Satan be interested in such

a propaganda? We reply: (1) That all who follow this prescription and learn to lie thoroughly to themselves thereby vitiate their own minds and consciences so that thereafter they cannot reason correctly because they have lost the foundation of Truth. Their minds are in confusion, upon every religious subject at least. With them the entire Word of God has become warped and twisted. Their minds are perverted. It is impossible to influence them with the Truth. They are wholly captives to the error and caught by their love of relief from pain and their willingness to have relief at the cost of the Truth. (2) By this so-called new light, new thought, new mind, science, etc., the Adversary directs and draws away from the true light, the true science, the Word of God. He kept it hidden under a foreign language for centuries, called the "dark ages"; then, subsequently, as the Reformation light broke in, he endeavored to turn it aside, and to twist it and to misrepresent it. So, now, when the true light is shining forth, showing that the Word of God is grand, beautiful and harmonious, and that our difficulties in the past were mistranslations and misinterpretations of the Word, Satan draws attention away from it entirely to what his unwitting votaries style the power of the new thought, the new mind. (3) Those whom Satan is using in this direction, as we have already seen, quote Scriptures freely wherever they can pervert them to an apparent support of their theories. But they do SM328 not really believe the Scriptures, neither do they really believe in Christ. Does this seem a hard saying?

 We answer that by their words they deny Christ; for

although they use His name--as, for instance, Christian Scientists--they really deny the foundation of His teachings. They deny, for instance, that man was ever perfect, in the image of God; they deny that he ever fell from perfection into sin; they deny that a death penalty was upon him. They declare that there is no such thing as sin and death, that belief in these are merely mental delusions that should be put away. And if they deny sin and death, of necessity, logically, they must also deny a redemption from sin and from death; and if they deny the redemptive work of Christ they as surely deny that He is the Redeemer. I call your attention to Mrs. Eddy's latest published statement, so far as we know. It appeared in the "Christian Science Sentinel," copied from the "New York American" and endorsed as true. In it she says, "If there had never existed such a person as the Galilean Prophet, it would make no difference to me." This statement was no doubt made inadvertently, but the spirit of it runs through everything that is written along the lines of Christian Science, New Thought, Mind Cure, etc. The essence of all this teaching is, "Every man his own savior," by transforming his own thoughts from evil to good, from disease to health, etc.

        "LOOK UNTO ME AND BE SAVED"
 We are opposed to Satan and all his healing falsehoods

and to all the various delusive arguments by which he is now seeking to put darkness for light, and to make the true light of God's Word appear to be darkness. It is time that every soldier of the cross should see to it that he is lifting high the royal banner, not only as respects his own heart and experiences but also as respects his influence upon fellow-soldiers of the cross, that all may put on the whole armor of God and be able to withstand the attacks of the Adversary in this evil day, and fighting SM329 the good fight of faith, to be esteemed as more than conquerors by our dear Redeemer, through the Word of His testimony. While, therefore, others are looking to Mind-Cures, Hypnotism, Christian Science, Spiritism, Occultism, and other "isms" selfishly, for the cure of their maladies, let us hearken to the voice from Heaven, saying, "Look unto Me, and be ye saved." (Isa. 45:22.) Let us be content to have what the Lord has promised us in His Word and to desire no more. And, on the other hand, let us not be content with anything less than He has promised us. God promised typical Israel health, wealth, prosperity, in proportion as they would be obedient and loyal to Him. But those blessings were all to an earthly people and were earthly blessings. Spiritual Israel enjoys God's favor during this Gospel Age, and is promised health, wealth and prosperity of a spiritual kind.

 Indeed the Spiritual Israelite is exhorted to have such

an appreciation of the spiritual blessings proffered him that he would gladly surrender all of the earthly blessings that he may have the Heavenly--even to the extent of laying down wealth, strength, life itself in the service of the Lord and on behalf of the brethren. "We ought to lay down our lives for the brethren," says the Apostle. (1 John 3:16.) And the laying down of life frequently means the laying down of health and strength. It means self-denial in the interests of others. It is the reverse of seeking first physical health and personal advantage. Its rule is, Seek first the Kingdom of God and its righteousness, and all earthly blessings shall be added unto you according to the Heavenly Father's wisdom of what would be for your highest welfare. Of those who make the earthly interests the chief concern of life, physical health and prosperity the chief aim, the Apostle says, "Whose god is their belly, and whose glory is their shame, who mind earthly things."--Phil. 3:19.

 True Christians, the Elect, are urged to set their affections

on things above and not on the things of the SM330 earth; for they are reckoned as dead to the world and as having become alive as New Creatures in Christ and as therefore enjoying with Him superior joys--seated in the Heavenlies with Christ Jesus. These can thank God often for earthly adversities, and can say with the Apostle, "These light afflictions that are but for a moment are working out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory"; and again, with the Prophet, "Before I was afflicted I went astray." (2 Cor. 4:17; Psa. 119:67.) They have afflictions and trials which to others may seem wonderfully severe but to these--because of the grace of God and because their affections are set on High--these are esteemed to be light afflictions and as only momentary, because the Lord's grace is sufficient for them. As the Lord permitted Satan to have some power over Job, so He has permitted him to put some of His saints on the grindstone, and to do for them a grand polishing work, as the result of which, under the Lord's supervision of their interests, they shall sparkle and shine gloriously by and by. "BE IN HEALTH--EVEN AS THY SOUL PROSPERETH"

 Our text presents another side of this question which

many of the Lord's dear people evidently have overlooked. On account of this oversight many of them are perplexed by the teachings of the Adversary respecting the power of the mind in the care of the body, in its comfort, its joy, its prosperity. Had they properly studied and properly appreciated the wonderful teachings of the Bible they would be ready to say at once to these mind-healers, etc., "O my dear friend, we Christians have full instructions along those lines in the Word of God, and much clearer and much better than you have them, because on a much better foundation of reason and logic, built upon the Redemption Sacrifice of Christ and the blessings which God's Word assures us flow from it."

 The Scriptures acknowledge sin, sorrow, pain, suffering,

death; and they teach us to sympathize with those SM331 who are thus afflicted. They show us that all these are the works of the flesh and the Devil, that Satan was a murderer from the beginning, that it was through his lie that our first parents were led into disobedience. They show that Satan's course since has been to lead men downward through error, through falsehood, through the perversion of their minds with all manner of untruth and impurity. They show God's condemnation of sin and His declaration of sympathy, and the manifestation of that sympathy and love in the providing of Christ as man's Redeemer. They show that ultimately the Redeemer is to be the King of the world and to take His great power and bind Satan, destroy all unrighteousness, and lift up the poor fallen race during the Millennial Age, called in the Scriptures the "Times of Restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all the holy Prophets since the world began." (Acts 3:19-21.) They tell us that this will be accomplished at the Second Coming of Christ and that in the interim between the sacrifice and the time of the establishment of the Kingdom in power and great glory a special work is in progress; namely, the selection of a Little Flock of footstep-followers who, hearing of the grace of God, have been so moved thereby to love righteousness and hate iniquity that they have accepted the Master's invitation to walk in His footsteps of self-denial, self-sacrifice, under the promise that if they do so faithfully they shall be sharers with Him in His glory, honor, immortality and work of blessing and uplifting the race during the Millennial Age.

        "A MORE EXCELLENT WAY"
 We have been surprised that Christian people of considerable

development and experience have been attracted by the literature and theories of Mind Cure, etc., when we have heard them comment upon the good, helpful advice given in some of these writings. We have been astonished that they did not seem to know how much better advice is given in the Word of God, in comparison with SM332 which all such writings are but as twaddle and nonsense. The little truth they contain is so mixed with error as to remind us of a story told by an African missionary, that, traveling through a torrid country almost destitute of streams, himself and family and several natives came upon a pool of water almost dried up. The natives jumped in and splashed and cooled themselves from head to foot with the wet mud; and the missionary and his family were glad to take some of the same after it had been thus washed in, and squeeze the water out to get a drink. If, in the illustration, the water represented Truth, and the wet mud error, it seems as though a considerable number of people with the Bible in their homes know not of the spring of living water which it contains, useful for their refreshment in every way. If they knew of this surely they would not stop to squeeze the few drops of water from the mud and slime of the various "New Thought" books, tracts, articles, etc.

 In illustration: These various "New Thought" instructors

give out as a piece of news, as something thoroughly original with themselves, the declaration that fear is the basis of much of the pain and sorrow and disease of mind and body which prevail. There is truth in this beyond a doubt, a truth that was recognized and taught long ago by physicians of every school; namely, that to fear a disease is to induce the disease; and the same lesson in much its best form is taught in the Scriptures. For centuries they have been telling such as have the ear to hear that while "the fear [reverence] of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom," the "fear of man bringeth a snare." Do they not again declare that "fear hath torment" or trouble? Do they not exhort God's people saying, "Fear not their fear, neither be afraid, but sanctify the Lord God in your heart, and let Him be your fear and Him be your dread." In other words, fear nothing except what would be displeasing to God, and therefore wrong and injurious toward yourself and others. SM333

 On the other side of the question do not the Scriptures

hold out hope and courage in a way that no other writings in the world ever did? Do they not say, "Be of good courage and He shall strengthen thine heart?" Do they not apply this mental medicine to all of life's affairs and interests, as, for instance, assuring us, "The Father knoweth what things ye have need of," and He "is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to them that ask than are earthly parents to give good gifts unto their children?" Do they not assure us that "As our days so shall our strength be?" Do they not tell us that "No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly?" Is it not written, "The eternal God is thy Refuge, and underneath are the Everlasting Arms"? Again, "Thy help cometh from the Lord"; "Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid"; "Take no anxious thought for the morrow"; "Cast all your cares upon Him; for He careth for you"; "It is God that girdeth me with strength"; "When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers they shall not overflow thee"; "Surely I will be with thee"; "My strength is made perfect in weakness"; "If God be for us who can be against us?" "He hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee"; "When He giveth peace who then can make trouble?" and again, "Let the peace of God which passeth all understanding rule in your hearts, and be ye thankful."

       THEIR ROCK IS NOT AS OUR ROCK
 What a rock foundation is thus presented in the Word

of God for those who have the proper faith and can claim these promises! How wishy-washy and puerile in comparison are the words of the worldly-wise of our day, who are attempting to give the world the "New Thought"--attempting to take away their fear and instead to give them hope and courage. We might say without fear of contradiction that the only strength their position contains is gained from the occasional SM334 misapplication of Scripture. We say misapplication of Scriptures advisedly; for the Scriptures are applicable only to the class who have made their peace with God according to His own terms, and are not applicable to the world, which the Scriptures declare "lieth in the Wicked One" and are still "children of wrath."

 The messages of peace which the Bible extends are

not for the world. On the contrary, we read, "There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked." (Isa. 57:21.) The peace, the joy, the rejoicing, the blessing, the comfort, the refreshment, the rest of heart set forth in the foregoing expression of sympathy and love and assurances of help are all and only for the Lord's beloved ones, His saints, His holy ones--those mentioned through the Prophet, saying, "Gather together My saints unto Me; those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice." (Psa. 50:5.) "They shall be Mine, saith the Lord, in that Day when I come to make up My jewels." (Mal. 3:17.) "But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare My statutes, or that thou shouldst take My covenant into thy mouth? Seeing thou hatest instruction and casteth My words behind thee."--Psa. 50:16,17; Matt. 11:28-30. CLEANSED, TRANSFORMED, RENEWED

  These "new thoughts" are antagonistic to the Bible,

and anti-Christian in that they teach unregenerate men and women to ignore the sin which separates them from God, and to claim to be God's children and to appropriate promises of peace and of Divine favor--thoughts contrary to the doctrines of devils, which ignore Him who is the Way, the Truth, the Life; and aside from whom none can come unto the Father nor under Divine blessing, nor properly have peace with God.

  These philosophies of men seem to parallel the Truth

on a false basis. This is another evidence that they are not merely of human origin, but that the father of lies has had to do with their arrangement and propaganda. SM335 They give out as a brand new thought that all disease is the result of filth, mental, physical or both; that the proper course for man is to put away sinful thoughts, impure affections, from his mind, and to fill it instead with good things; that his body similarly should be cleansed by an abundant use of water, inwardly and externally; that the system should not be clogged by gluttony, else the blood will become impure and sickness result; that the air we breathe should be pure and plentiful; and that physical exercise is necessary to proper health. To all this we agree. It is all good, it is all useful, and we wish that all mankind--the world and Christians--might appreciate it and obey its suggestions.

  But it would be a mistake to suppose that these things

are new to a Christian who is informed respecting the teachings of the Word of God. Is he not therein taught by the Apostle, "Cleanse yourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and the spirit [mind]?" Is he not urged to be abstemious and instructed--"Let your moderation be made known unto all men?" Is not purity of thought, word and deed inculcated by the words of Jesus and the Apostles? Are we not taught that the beginning of the cleansing work, the purifying work, the transforming work is in the heart, and that if we get the heart right, the effect will be a proportionate cleansing and purifying of the flesh? Did not the Master teach this when He said, "Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God?"--Matt. 5:8.

 Did not the Apostle teach the same when he taught

that out of an evil heart proceedeth enmities, murders, blasphemies, etc.? Did not the Master Himself say that an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth evil fruitage in his life? and that a good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth good fruitage of kindness, mercy and love--good works? Did not our Lord go further than any good teacher ever went before or since when He declared that whoever in his SM336 heart hateth his brother, is in heart a murderer? that he who in heart desires adultery is in effect an adulterer? and that he who in his heart covets the things of another is in effect a thief? Is it not the Scriptures which enunciate the now well-known proverb, "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh?" Is not this the reason why the Scriptures everywhere exhort--not the world, but those whom they address, who will appreciate good from the right standpoint, and are building upon the only foundation which He can recognize, on the redemptive work of Christ--to be pure in heart? For such Jesus prayed, "Sanctify them through Thy Truth; Thy Word is Truth."--John 17:17; Matt. 12:34.

 The "New Thought" teaching that anger, by its effect

upon the nerves, throws off into the blood a poisonous element which tends toward disease, and therefore that anger should be avoided, but that correspondingly good and loving thoughts produce healthful currents in the system, which make for peace of mind and of body and for health and strength, may be inculcating something that will be beneficial to the world, but certainly not to the Lord's saints. The latter should all know that this is the teaching of God's Word; and all should have realized in considerable measure the advantageous results in their own experience. That is to say, all Christians should know that the Scriptures direct that their minds should be transformed--that they should put away all these, anger, malice, envy, hatred, strife (Col. 3:8), and that they should put on instead the fruits and graces of the Lord's Holy Spirit--meekness, gentleness, patience, long-suffering, brotherly kindness, love. (1 Tim. 6:11.) They should remember the Apostle Peter's words, "As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former desires in your ignorance; but as He that has called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of living." --1 Pet. 1:14,15.

 The general teachings of the Word of God for those

SM337 who have made the consecration of themselves is that they should set their affections on things above and not on things of earth; that they should be transformed by the renewing of their minds; that they should seek to prove, to know, the good and perfect and acceptable will of God. What does this mean but a purifying of the thoughts, the lifting of them from sensual, earthly things and fixing them upon the higher and nobler things which accord with the Divine character and the wonderful Plan of God of which our present high calling is a part--to be heirs of God, joint-heirs with Jesus Christ our Lord in His Kingdom, and as heirs of the great Abrahamic Covenant thereunder bless all the families of the earth during the Millennial Age? Well does the Apostle say of this cleansing, "If a man cleanse himself from these he shall be a vessel fit for honor and meet for the Master's use."--2 Tim. 2:21; Psa. 15.

        "THE PERFECT LAW OF LIBERTY"
 It is not a new thought that love should be the guiding,

the controlling impulse amongst men everywhere. But the Bible first of all presented this teaching--love for God and the brethren, love for kindred, love for our neighbors, yea, even love for our enemies. It is the Bible that pre-eminently teaches that perfect love filling our hearts will cast out fear and selfishness; and that relieved of these--which are the representatives of darkness--our whole bodies may be full of light and be refreshed and reinvigorated and strengthened, and that thus we may be blessed, not only in the life to come but also in the life that now is. But we hold, with the Scriptures, that while a kind of love may be possible to the world, the real genuine love which is of God can come only through the begetting of the Holy Spirit, and all other loves are merely fragments or imitations of this true love. This love alone will stand the careful inspection and criticism which the Apostle gives us in 1 Cor. 13.

 In concluding this subject we urge upon all who have

SM338 approached the Father through the new and living way opened by the Redeemer's sacrifice to exercise more and more of faith and trust in His goodness and in His wonderful provision for all those who are seeking to know and to do His will. As we come to understand His Word more fully we find that He has made provision--not merely for those whose eyes and ears are now open to hear His message--but that eventually all the families of the earth will be pleased to know of His gracious provision and offer, through Christ, of eternal life. This should give us a rest and peace of heart which the world little understands. And in respect to our own affairs shall we not apply the gracious promises? Shall we not rest upon them? Shall we not allow the peace of God to rule in our hearts? In proportion as we do this we shall be refreshed, reinvigorated in mind and in body.

       VALUE OF GOOD THOUGHTS
 In proportion as we by faith grasp the promises, and

in proportion as we daily strive to live so as to maintain our relationship with the Father and with the Son and with their gracious promises, in that same proportion our faces will show all these--joy, peace, patience, love. These will gradually become more and more written in the lineaments of our faces, visible to all. And more and more will our health and strength prevail, spiritual and physical. It is proper in this connection to remember the instruction of the Apostle, that we should not think about the evil and undesirable things, but think about the pure, good, noble things. Undoubtedly a poisonous effect upon the system is engendered by thinking about sinful or injurious things of any kind. Undoubtedly also the body and mind are both strengthened by thinking about things noble, good and pure. The Apostle's words are, "Whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good repute, think on these things."--Phil. 4:8; John 13:34,35; Rom. 13:8-10. SM339

  As daily and hourly we seek to cultivate this spirit

of love, and to allow it to dominate in our words and deeds, in the same proportion will be the measure of our blessing, because in this we shall be "doers of the Word and not hearers only." We are not, however, to place too high an estimate upon the present life, and health and earthly blessings and joys. Rather we are to be content with such things as we have, and to realize the Divine supervision of our affairs and to allow all of life's experiences to bring us more and more of the peace of God which passeth all understanding and which should continually rule in our hearts. But while not seeking to save the present life, but rejoicing in the privilege of laying it down prudently in the Lord's service as opportunity offers, we shall, nevertheless, find that the rest and peace of mind which comes through believing and through following the Lord will be a favorable influence as respects our physical health, peace, joy, blessing. We who believe enter into rest now, and yet, as the Apostle declared, "There remaineth a rest for the people of God." (Heb. 4:9.) We shall attain that in our change in the First Resurrection--we shall be satisfied when we wake in His likeness.--Psa. 17:15.

  "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." This is

not to be understood as meaning that whatever a man thinks is true. That is a false definition; the correct thought respecting this statement is that what a man may seem to be outwardly is not necessarily a correct view of his real character--his heart, his will, his intention, the real man as God sees him. If, therefore, our hearts condemn us not, we have peace with God; but if our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts and knoweth all things. Then we should not have peace, but should repent of the wrong-doing and come again into harmony with God, where we may enjoy true peace. The Apostle illustrated this, saying, "If any man seem to be religious and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth SM340 his own heart, that man's religion is vain." (Jas. 1:26.) Outwardly he might have seeming piety, might be a church attendant, etc., but so surely as his heart is changed, so surely as he is begotten of the Holy Spirit, so surely as the Spirit of love dwelleth in his heart and more and more abounds richly, it will affect not only his actions but also his looks and his words. He will seek to bridle his tongue, to bridle all of his passions, to be emptied of his former ambitions and desires, and to be filled with the noblest, purest and best which come to us from the fountain of grace and truth in God's Word.

  The majority of mankind, fearful and discouraged, fail

to make the best possible use of their talents and opportunities. The Scriptures instruct those who have entered the School of Christ that the will is the first matter to be settled--that a double-minded man, who has never a settled purpose in respect to his life, is unstable in all his ways. They urge positiveness--a full consecration of heart, mind, body, talents, everything to the Lord. To those who take this position of a full consecration the Scriptures give valuable assurances which should strengthen every fiber of the human body. As the Apostle expresses it, "Gird up the loins of your minds and hope to the end," as again he says, "Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might," and again, "According to thy faith be it unto thee." O what marvelous power has come to weak and fainting hearts through the fixing of the will--the conversion of the will to do and to be in harmony with the Lord at any cost--and the appropriating then of these promises, exceeding great and precious, which, belong to none others than this class! How many have found that thus the Lord's strength was made perfect in their weakness after they had taken the proper step of consecration--after they had exercised the faith which He called for, and which is necessary for our development! No wonder these can rejoice in the Lord--no wonder the Apostle says that they are able to rejoice in tribulation!--Rom. 5:1-5. SM341 NOAH'S ARK A TYPE OF CHRIST

 "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also

now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ."--1 Peter 3:21.

 We see from the context that the Apostle Peter has in

mind the great Deluge. He reminds his readers that all mankind perished in the Flood save eight souls, who were preserved from a watery grave by means of the Ark which God provided them. That Ark, though submerged in water, was their salvation. St. Peter declares that this is a "like figure to baptism." We are to notice that those who were saved in the Deluge were not saved from eternal torment, and that a like figure of salvation would not indicate that the Church is saved from eternal torment by their baptism into Christ. Noah and his family were saved from death; and the Church of Christ are likewise saved from death through their baptism.

 As the whole world perished in the great Flood, so the

entire world of mankind now is a dead world, a perishing world. The Church class were of that world until they got out of it through Christ. As Noah and his family were saved from death by coming into the Ark in obedience to God, so the Church of Christ are saved from Adamic death by obedience to God, by accepting His offer of salvation. (John 17:16; 15:19.) Noah's Ark represented Christ. Whoever comes into Christ comes into safety and salvation, out of danger and destruction. All who come into this relationship to God in Christ are said to have "passed from death unto life."--John 5:24.

 Only a very limited number come into Christ and fulfil

this picture. It does not include those who merely say, "I wish to live a better life." To do this is commendable; but it does not constitute a coming into Christ; for as the SM342 Apostle says, "If any man be in Christ, he is a New Creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." (2 Cor. 5:17.) Just how much is comprehended in the words "a New Creature" even true Christians come to see only gradually. A New Creature is one who has died to his human nature, who has new hopes, new ambitions, new affections, who has the precious promises of God and the prospect of a spiritual existence in the future instead of a human existence. He is an exception to others in that he has been begotten of the Holy Spirit. From the Divine standpoint he is no longer a human being; a new life has begun in him.

  This New Creature is at first a babe, and must take

spiritual nourishment and grow up into Christ more and more. God has provided the "exceeding great and precious promises" of His Word, that this class might be stimulated, strengthened, developed, thereby becoming more firm for righteousness and in opposition to whatever is sinful. The Church is indeed a New Creation, as the Apostle says.--2 Peter 1:4; Eph. 2:2. TWO LIKE FIGURES OF CHURCH'S SALVATION

  Coming back to our text: We notice that St. Peter

says, "The like figure whereunto baptism doth now save us." Salvation through the Ark was one figure of the salvation of the Church through baptism into Christ; baptism in water is another. There is a correspondence between these two figures. Noah and his family were submerged in literal water. Candidates for baptism are also submerged in literal water. But in neither case was it the water that saved. Nor is it the outward baptism that saves us, except in a figure. It represents the real. But the figure is not in washing away the filth of the flesh (the body) in water. And the filth of our flesh as New Creatures can be washed away only by the grace of God in Christ, "by the washing of water by the Word"; it is a gradual process after we become New Creatures. So neither of these is what is prefigured in water baptism. SM343

  Our text is pointing out to us a peculiar baptism, not

a baptism that washes the flesh clean, either literally or figuratively, but "the answer [the response] of a good conscience toward God." What has God said to which we should respond? We reply that our Heavenly Father has called us, invited us, to a wonderful Heavenly inheritance, and we respond by accepting His proposition. He has invited us to be a separate people. Just exactly as God said to Noah and his family that they should be saved by gathering into the Ark, so He says to all who are invited during this Gospel Age, "Gather My saints together unto Me, those who have made a Covenant with Me by Sacrifice."--Psa. 50:5.

 Let us notice to whom we are to be gathered. Serious

mistakes have been made here. Some have thought that we were to be gathered to Luther; some to Calvin; some to Wesley, etc. Not so! "Gather My saints together unto Me," saith Jehovah. He did not tell us to gather together into the Church of Rome, into the Church of England, into the Lutheran Church, into the Presbyterian, the Methodist, the Baptist, or any other man-made organization. Millions are gathered into these various denominations whose lives manifest that they know not God, neither seek to know him.

       THE COVENANT OF SACRIFICE
 Only a very few have made this Covenant of Sacrifice

with God, have presented their bodies a living sacrifice with Christ, in response to God's special Call during the Gospel Age. God is not trying to attract the world now. He tells us that they are blind and deaf. As Jesus said, "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear." Again, He said to His disciples, "Blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear!" (Matt. 11:15; 13:16.) We thank God on behalf of those who have the seeing eye and the hearing ear. It is a great privilege to hear and see.

 The Apostle Paul tells us why the great majority of

mankind cannot hear the glorious Gospel Message. He SM344 says, "The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not." (2 Cor. 4:4.) Satan is this god. He is in violent opposition to every feature of God's great Plan. He has been God's adversary ever since his deflection from righteousness. He does all in his power to thwart Jehovah's arrangements. He knows that if men could once see the light of God's goodness and hear the glad Message of God's grace, it would have such an attraction that the great majority would surely respond. Hence he tries to keep them from seeing and hearing. He has multitudinous devices for blinding men. Fair earthly prospects, ambitions to be some great one, selfish schemes for gaining advantage over their fellows--all these and many other things of like nature are held up to keep them blinded to the things of real and lasting value.

 Those who are hungering for God Satan endeavors to

draw away into various reform movements, such as socialism, woman suffrage, prohibition of the liquor traffic, etc. This he does to keep them from hearing God's special Call. These are all, perhaps, good for the worldly. These movements are probably more or less awakening thought and developing sentiment along lines of restitution for the next Age. But none of these is the work for the saints of God on this side of the veil. Satan would delight to deceive these, however, and entice them into some of these movements to prevent them from seeing and doing the real work of the Church of Christ, and thus to prevent them from making their calling and election sure.

 The real Gospel is the most wonderful Story in all the

world! There is nothing like it--that God is now inviting a certain class to become heirs of God, joint-heirs with Christ, "to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, reserved in Heaven" for the Lord's faithful, an inheritance "that fadeth not away"! (Rom. 8:17; 1 Peter 1:4.) Truly, "Eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things that God hath prepared for them that love Him."--1 Cor. 2:9. SM345 "THE ANSWER OF A GOOD CONSCIENCE"

 Our surrender to the Lord was "the answer of a good

conscience toward God." When God invited us to become living sacrifices through Christ, to be saints and follow Jesus, the answer of our conscience was, "Lord, we respond, we accept Thy gracious invitation." Was not that the answer of a good conscience? It was indeed. What could a good conscience toward God say except to be glad to do the Heavenly Father's will? He made a most wonderful proposition to us, providing a Redeemer to open up the way to all this glory and honor with Christ. The only answer of a good conscience could be, "Here, Lord, I give my little all to Thee!" That is what baptism means; and it is surely our "reasonable service," as the Apostle says. (Rom. 12:1.) It is the most reasonable thing that could be imagined. Therefore we should carry out our covenant of consecration even unto death.

  If our Lord Jesus, after He had made this Covenant

of Sacrifice with God and had begun the work of carrying it out, had said, "Father, I know that I came to earth to do Thy will; but I find that so many of the people misunderstand Me and speak evil of Me that I cannot go on in this way. They misrepresent all the good I try to do; and I cannot accomplish anything." What would the Father have replied? His answer would have been, "If you prefer the approval of men to My approval, take your choice. I cannot give You the glorious reward which I have offered to You unless You meet the conditions. You must love My will more than all else or I cannot accept You."

  So it is with the followers of Jesus. We receive the

same tests that He did. The Father does not permit the trials to press us too hard, and He supplies His grace for every time of need; but we must have a heart that fully responds to the will of God or we cannot be acceptable; we shall lose the prize, and be accounted unfaithful servants. We are to be willing that loyalty to God shall cost us something, yea, even the loss of all earthly prospects. SM346

  The heart-attitude that says, "So long as right is as

easy as wrong I will choose the right, but if wrong is easier than right I will choose the easier way," is disloyal to God. Such a heart would be unworthy of the glorious High Calling. Indeed, it would make even an unworthy human being. We are to be loyal to the very core, or God will reject us. The Lord Jesus puts the matter in just this light when He says, "Whosoever shall be ashamed of Me and of My words in this sinful and adulterous generation, of him also shall the Son of Man be ashamed when He cometh in the glory of His Father with the holy angels." (Mark 8:38.) Jesus would be ashamed to have such a one in His Kingdom.--Psa. 51:6; 66:18.

  The Father and the Son are watching to see how true

we are. If we are faithful--under present unfavorable conditions--when loyalty to the Truth brings much reproach, when people point the finger of scorn at us, then the Lord will say, "These are the ones that shall reign in My Kingdom. Those who so delight in My love and approval as to serve Me through evil report, misunderstandings, persecutions and sufferings, will be true when exalted to positions of glory." DEATH WITH CHRIST THE GATE TO GLORY

 Such dear, faithful children of God "follow the Lamb

whithersoever He goeth." To these the Lord Jesus will say, "I take pleasure in saying to you, Sit down with Me in My Throne." (Rev 2:26,27; 3:12,21.) In Romans 6:3 the Apostle says, "Know ye not that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ [into the Body of which Christ is the Head] were baptized into His death?" These become with Jesus The Christ of God, The Anointed of God; for the word Christ means The Anointed. God has never counted any in as members of the Church of Christ except those who have fully surrendered their wills to Him and become dead to the world.

 This is our baptism into death as human beings and

into life as spiritual beings. Our spirit nature is only SM347 begotten as yet, but we shall be born spirit beings at our "change" in the First Resurrection. We are now raised, as New Creatures, "to walk in newness of life," but not yet raised in the complete sense. We have not yet received our new bodies. Our new mind is in process of development. We have said that we gave all to God. If we continue in this attitude and fulfil our covenant faithfully, we shall abide in His love and in due time be associates of His Son in glory. The giving up of our will in consecration is only the beginning of the matter. Day by day, week by week, month by month, we are to carry out the terms of our covenant. We are to have no thought of turning back. Having put our hands to the plow, we are not even to look back. "He that looketh back is not fit for the Kingdom of God."--Luke 9:62.

 When Jesus was here in the flesh, on a certain occasion

He made some very strong statements (John 6:50-69); and it is written, "From that time many of His disciples went back and walked no more with Him." They said, "This is a hard saying. Who can hear it?" Then said Jesus to The Twelve, "Will ye also go away?" Simon Peter--impulsive, noble Peter--answered, "Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life."

 There is no other Message of eternal life open during

the present Age than the Call to joint-heirship with Christ, suffering unto death with Him that we may share His glory hereafter. This is the only way by which we can get into the Ark and be preserved from the general death all around us. Jesus is our Ark of Safety. "By the resurrection of Jesus Christ" our baptism is made possible, as our text declares.

 It is this same Simon Peter who tells us in our text

that the Ark of Noah was a symbol of saving power, a likeness or figure of our being saved now through baptism into Christ. What a refuge is this Ark of Safety! As Noah and his family were in the world but not of the world, and were carried in safety through the engulfing SM348 waters in which the whole world were dying, so it is with those who are in Christ. Everybody around us is in death, as the Bible says: "The whole world lieth in the Wicked One." (1 John 5:19, Diaglott.) The Church alone have escaped the condemnation upon the world.

 We who were children of wrath even as others, were

sentenced to death with the rest of the world. But the Lord our God has graciously brought us into the relationship of sons, through our faith in Christ and obedience to the Divine arrangement in Him. And as Noah and his family, after their deliverance, started the world afresh, so Christ and His Bride will by and by give life anew to all of the race of mankind who will accept the gracious provision for them in Christ.

 The dead world are soon to have a resuscitation, with

the opportunity to fully live again. Christ is to be the Everlasting Father of the race (Isa. 9:6,7), and the Church will be the mother. Grand and glorious as are the blessings in reservation for the world of mankind when they shall have learned their lesson of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, far greater and grander still will be the reward of the faithful Church, who so love the Lord as to be willing and glad to obey and follow Jesus under the trying and painful conditions of the present time.

   Salvation! let the tidings fly
      The sin-cursed earth around!
   Raise the triumphant notes on high,
      And let your songs abound.
   Salvation! O ye weary souls,
      It brings you life and peace--
   Eternal life, eternal health,
      And joys which ne'er shall cease.
   Salvation! O the blessed theme
      Shall fill the world with joy!
   When all its mighty work is seen,
      Praise shall all tongues employ.

SM349

         AN APPALLING LACK
            IN EVERYDAY LIFE
  "Awake to righteousness and sin not; for some have

not the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame."-- 1 Cor. 15:34.

  This exhortation is not addressed to the world of sinners,

but to Christians, as are all of the Apostolic writings. If we were to translate the text a little differently, it might better give the Apostle's thought. For instance, "Awake to a proper appreciation of justice. Do not sin against justice in your lives; for some have not a knowledge of God respecting justice, the principles of righteousness. And this is to your shame."

  We who are in the School of Christ recognize that the

Lord is teaching us and is preparing us for a great work in the future. The work of the Church during the incoming Age is, according to the Bible, to be kings, priests and judges, to be God's representatives in the Messianic Kingdom. As kings, they will be sharers with our Lord Jesus in the ruling of the world. As priests, they share in the work of healing, instructing and sympathizing with the world. As judges, they will administer justice, will give stripes or rewards to mankind, during the thousand years of Messiah's Reign. Manifestly, therefore, it is proper that whoever hopes to be of these kings, priests and judges should now attain the qualifications of heart and mind which will make him competent for the work; for we may be very sure that God will not appoint any who are not properly qualified.

  It is for this reason that God has been calling His

Church out from the world during the last nineteen hundred years, and has been giving us the glorious instructions of our Lord Jesus and the Apostles and of the Law and the Prophets. All these things have been for our SM350 upbuilding in those qualities of heart and mind which will fit us for the great service to which God has called us.

  But God is not testing His children according to their

imperfect bodies; for He knows that we cannot do the things which we would. He is dealing with our spirits, our minds. Through the transforming influence of His Word, He is giving us a new mind; and it is this new mind which He receives into His family. This becomes the New Creature. (Rom. 12:1,2; 2 Cor. 5:17.) We accept a new will, the will of God, instead of our own wills, and the Divine arrangements instead of our own plans and purposes. Thus God is dealing with us as His children, according to this new relationship into which we have come by faith and obedience; and through Christ our Lord we are reckoned perfect in God's sight.

        THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD'S WILL
  But how can we be perfect in will when our bodies are

imperfect? We answer, as did the Apostle, "To will is present with me, but how to perform I find not." (Rom. 7:18.) He did not always succeed in carrying out his will for righteousness. So it is with every one who seeks to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. We all know how to will right, but how to do right is the problem.

  Gradually we learn that God will not judge us according

to the imperfections of our flesh; for so long as we remain faithful, these blemishes are covered with the robe of Christ's imputed righteousness. Therefore we do our best to show our Heavenly Father that we are trying hard to do right in every act, word and thought. And since He expects every member of His family to have a perfect will, it becomes a personal question as to what is the will of God for us. So we seek diligently to prove "what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God."--Rom. 12:1,2.

  To prove what is God's will means to come to a knowledge

of His will, to demonstrate it for ourselves. If we are faithful, we are progressing in this more and more as SM351 the days go by. At first we had a little knowledge, and this we put into practise. As we grew in grace and in knowledge, we became better acquainted with the will of God; and it was for us to put this increased knowledge into practise also. This knowledge of the will of God we obtained, not in any supernatural way, but through the study of the Bible.--2 Tim. 2:15.

 Whoever has come into the family of God has given up

his own will and accepted, instead, God's will. Whoever has not given up his own will to the Lord is not His child. As the Apostle declares, "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His." (Rom. 8:9.) The spirit of Christ was the spirit of full surrender to the Father's will; and as we come to this same condition, we give up our own wills and take instead the Divine will. This we do because it is the proper course for all who desire to follow in our Redeemer's steps, and because our own wills have proved to be unsatisfactory to ourselves. Our minds and our bodies are so imperfect that we have frequently gotten into difficulty through doing our own will. Therefore we are glad to know and to do the will of God, especially since we see that it is so gracious a will.

       JUSTICE FIRST, THEN LOVE
 During the present time it is the will of God that His

children shall have trials, difficulties and polishings, in order that these experiences may develop in us a God-likeness of character, a crystallization of character, that will render us fit to be used of God in the great work which He has appointed to the Lord Jesus, that we might thus become joint-heirs with Jesus Christ our Lord in that Heavenly Kingdom which is designed of the Father for the blessing of all the families of the earth.

 Sometimes Christian people see the doctrine of love in

the Bible, and forget that there is a lesson which precedes love. This primary lesson is the one to which we draw your attention today. It is the lesson of justice--righteousness. Our text really signifies, "Awake to justice!" SM352 We must all learn to distinguish right from wrong and to practise what is just, right. Justice is righteousness.

 The Law of God was given to the Israelites at Mount

Sinai to show what justice means. They were not asked to do anything more than justice. "Thou shalt not kill," said the Law; for to take another's life is wrong, except when God's own Law demands it. "Thou shalt not steal." To do so is wrong, unjust. "Thou shalt not bear false witness." To do so would be an injustice.--Exod. 20:2-17.

  Thus we see that the Law of God given to the children

of Israel amounted to this: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, mind and strength; and thy neighbor as thyself." To do justice to your neighbor as you wish that neighbor to do justice to you is the essence of the Law of God given to the Jews for their treatment of others.--Matt. 7:12. PRACTICAL APPLICATION OF JUSTICE

  Did God give this same Law to the Church? Yes, so

far as the spirit of the Law is concerned. God's Law is over all of His creatures. But during the Law Dispensation there was a special Law Covenant which God had made with Natural Israel. No others have ever been under that Law Covenant. The Jew who could keep that Law perfectly could live forever; and, having everlasting life at his command, he might have the opportunity of becoming a part of that great antitypical Spiritual Israel which was to bless all the families of the earth. This our Lord Jesus did. Moreover, in His statement of the Divine Law to Spiritual Israel, He "has magnified the Law and made it honorable," by showing how far-reaching and comprehensive are its requirements.

  No intelligent person will question the propriety of

dealing justly with every one in the world. This subject has many ramifications in all the affairs of our daily life. The principle of justice enters into every transaction, even the most trivial. It applies not only to our dealings with the world at large, but with every member of our SM353 own family. The principle of justice must be recognized with our own as well as with others. If all might get this thought of the Golden Rule firmly fixed in the mind, if each one could awake to righteousness, to justice, the whole world would be revolutionized.

  If this principle of justice were recognized and followed,

men would not be shooting one another today over in Europe. On the contrary, they would be doing something better, something good one toward another, just as they would wish others to do toward them. But men are not living up to this standard of righteousness, of justice. It is entirely ignored by governments and by individuals. The general excuse for violating the Golden Rule is, "It would never do for us to grant to others what we would expect for ourselves; for others would take advantage of us; they would not do their part; they would not reciprocate." Say the British, "It would not do for us to practise the Golden Rule toward the Germans; for we do not know what they would do to us." The Germans advance the same kind of argument.

  This course of conduct is not the fear of God, but the

fear of man; it ignores the fear of God. God says that if Christians are afraid of men and of nations and of what these may do, we are carnal, are living according to the flesh, are like the unbelieving world. How shall we who have come into relationship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ, we who have given our lives to Him, do under such circumstances? Shall we say that we fear to trust this principle of justice in our lives, that we do not dare to carry it out in every word, thought and act? Are we afraid to trust God and to obey Him?

  God did not say that we were to observe the Golden

Rule whenever others observed it toward us, and to ignore it whenever others failed to observe it toward us. On the contrary, we are to practise it on every occasion, regardless of what others do. Then we shall know that all things shall work together for good toward us, because we shall SM354 be in line with God and His arrangements. He has power to overrule in all of life's affairs. The very least that we must do is to give justice to one another; and to do so will mean a great blessing to our own characters.

  Whoever is violating the principle of Justice, the

Golden Rule, in his home or in the Church of Christ or in business or social relations should, if he is a Christian, examine the matter earnestly and prayerfully, and "awake to righteousness [justice], and sin not." Thus to do violence to justice is sin; and so far as our knowledge goes, it is a sin that prevails everywhere. Many have not a proper appreciation of this fact. They do not see that justice is the very foundation of all character, of all right living. It is the foundation of the Throne of God. (Psa. 89:14.) In vain does any one practise love to his fellow creatures or even toward God while he is at the same time violating the principle of justice toward that one. Only after we have rendered justice are we at liberty to practise love toward another. Then we may do as much as we are able along the line of love. Justice first, love afterwards, should be the rule governing all of our dealings with others.

        RESPONSIBILITY OF GOD'S PEOPLE
 Those who are children of God are expecting shortly

to be made the judges of the world. As the Apostle says, "Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?" (1 Cor. 6:2,3.) Moreover, God is seeking now to develop in our hearts and lives, in our characters, those principles which He desires. Therefore, unless we are just in our very hearts, unless we appreciate this principle of justice and rejoice to practise it, we shall not be fit for the Kingdom. We should not be unjust even to an animal. Every creature has its rights; and we should give each creature the rights which belong to it. The results are with God. Thus doing, shall we not be preparing our minds, our hearts, for the glorious condition which the Lord has in store for His faithful children? SM355

  We are not to think that the Kingdom of God is to

be given on the basis of mercy or favor. There will be neither mercy nor favor in connection with the bestowal of the Heavenly reward. God shows mercy in connection with our sins and the weaknesses against which we are striving; but He will not allow in that Kingdom one individual whose character is not suitable. Those whom He approves for joint-heirs and rulers with our Lord Jesus must represent the principles of righteousness and must know how to apply those principles now. Whoever is not disposed to justice to such an extent as to be willing to suffer loss rather than do an injustice will not have a share in the Kingdom.

  The Bible everywhere pictures God as the great Representative

of Justice. If we receive a place in the Kingdom, it will be apportioned us on the basis of works, on the basis of our growth in grace, in knowledge, in character-likeness to our Lord Jesus. If we have been justified by faith in Jesus' blood, if we then have made a covenant with God and have been begotten of His Holy Spirit, He wishes to see us go on to perfection as New Creatures. We are not to think that our Heavenly Father is uninterested in us, and that He will coldly and indifferently judge us. On the contrary, we are to remember our Lord's assurance, "The Father Himself loveth you."

  In conclusion, let us remember that if we are true,

loyal children of God, all our blemishes are covered by the robe of Christ's righteousness; and if we are doing with our might what our hands find to do in this great matter of justice, dealing with all, along the lines of the Golden Rule, we are showing the Father that we appreciate this principle as the foundation of His Government. Upon this sure foundation we shall build a superstructure of love. Thus shall we be made ready for the Kingdom. SM356 HEAD MUST RULE MEMBERS OF BODY "See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh! for if they escaped not who refused Him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape if we turn away from Him that speaketh from Heaven."--Heb. 12:25.

 These words are not addressed to the world, but to the

members of the Body of Christ, those who have left the world and entered into covenant relationship with God. The Apostle has just been describing the scenes enacted at Mount Sinai, when God by His angel spoke to His typical people Israel. He then declares that if sore punishment came to all in Israel who disobeyed the voice which then gave them commandments, much sorer shall be the punishment of those Spiritual Israelites of the Gospel Age, who, after having come into vital relationship with the Son of God as members of His mystical Body, shall then refuse to hear and obey.

 In order to have harmony in the human body each

member must respond promptly to the dictates of the head. Suppose that my hand were afflicted with St. Vitus Dance, so that when my brain instructed the hand to lift a glass of water that I might drink, the hand would twitch, tremble, suddenly throw the glass over my shoulder and spill the contents. What would be the trouble with my hand? It was a sick member; the connection between it and my head was interrupted; and thus the hand refused to obey the mandates of the head. Or suppose that my limb were paralyzed; and that when my head directed it to move, it would remain motionless and refuse to carry my body. The connection between this member and the brain had become interrupted, and the message from the head was not received. What confusion and trouble would thus be caused in my body! SM357

 Thus it is with the Body of Christ. If any member of

that Body become spiritually sick, if the perfect harmony between the Head, Christ Jesus, and any member be interrupted, there will be trouble and distress throughout the entire Body. If the connection become altogether destroyed, the member is thenceforth useless, and is cut off from the Body. Our Lord pictures this matter when He called Himself the Vine and the members of His mystical Body the branches, and declared that every branch in Him that failed to bear fruit would be cut off. THE HEAD THE MOST IMPORTANT MEMBER

 What carefulness this thought should inspire in each

member of Christ! We should realize that of ourselves we are nothing. We are only the humble instruments that God is using in the outworking of His wonderful Plan. Not one of us is at all necessary to His purposes. It is a very great favor that the Father permits us to co-operate in His great work under the Headship of His Son Jesus Christ. God formed the Plan, and is carrying it out according to His own purposes. Our Lord Jesus is the important factor in the accomplishment of God's designs. We are invited in, not to be rulers, but to follow instructions, to be obedient. The greatest blessing which we can have is to be permitted to co-operate with our great Head, who under Jehovah, the great Head over all, is guiding the work.

 Through experience and observation the thought has

impressed itself that there may be a considerable number cut off from membership in the Body of Christ, and not only so, but cut off from all hope of future life. There can be no place, now or ever, in God's family for one who is wilful and refractory, one who will not be guided by the Lord, one who wants his own way and who thus refuses Him that speaks from Heaven.

 In Hebrews 10:28,29 the Apostle declares that those

who disobeyed Moses "died without mercy." Then he speaks of those who will receive a much "sorer punishment." SM358 Israel being a typical people, the death penalty visited upon them for certain offenses was only a type of the death penalty to be visited upon those of Spiritual Israel who wilfully disobey the voice of God speaking to us through His Son. The penalty suffered by refractory members of Natural Israel was but a temporary one; for during the Millennial Age they will be awakened and have the opportunity, with all the remainder of the world, of accepting Christ and coming under the terms of the New Covenant, then operative. But those who during the present Age have been enlightened and begotten of God's Holy Spirit, shall, if they fall away--renounce allegiance to Christ--come under the penalty of the Second Death-- total annihilation.

 This, then, is the "sorer punishment" to which the

Apostle refers. This penalty of death without any hope of a recovery will be inflicted also upon those of the world at large who, during their time of trial in the next Age, shall wilfully disobey the voice of God speaking through the great Mediator of the New Covenant--The Christ, Head and Body--Jesus and His Church. EVIL EFFECT OF REJECTING LIGHT

 The Apostle's argument is, Look back, brethren, to

the history of Israel in the past. See how from time to time they were negligent of the messages which God sent to them at the mouth of angels and of Moses, the servant of God; and how disasters often came upon them for their disobedience and neglect, many of them even suffering the death penalty. If the penalty was so severe for negligence under the Law given through Moses, what would be the result of neglecting and of doing despite to the words of Him who now speaks from Heaven, of counting the blood of the Covenant by which we have been sanctified an unholy thing, a common thing, and of doing despite to the Spirit of grace--despising God by ignoring His only arrangement for atonement!--Heb. 6:4-8; 10:26-31; Acts 3:23. SM359

 There are some who have never made a full consecration

of themselves, who have never enlisted upon the Lord's side, and yet have had considerable knowledge of the Truth. They have heard the true Gospel Message; they have felt its power, its reasonableness; they have realized in their hearts that it was God's Message. They have felt a certain measure of drawing toward it. Yet for some reason these have turned away from the Heavenly Voice. These are not the class addressed by the Apostle in our text, however; for like all of the Apostolic Epistles, that to the Hebrews is addressed to the "holy brethren" (Chapter 3:1), "the saints."

  But all who have heard the Gospel Message with a

measure of understanding and appreciation have thereby some responsibility concerning it. To turn away from any degree of light brings a hardening of the heart. It would seem that whoever has rejected the Message after a measure of understanding of its import would never again be drawn to it in the same degree as before. The Message would not seem so wonderful as at first. Whoever gets a glimpse beyond into the future, whoever hears now of the goodness of God and is not melted by the thought of his own imperfection and his need of a Savior, may never accept God's favor, even during the next Age, when the opportunity for Restitution is opened to all mankind. This is a thought which all who hear will do well to consider.--Rom. 2:4.

  No one becomes fully responsible, however, until he

has entered into the spirit-begotten condition; for no one can be tried for eternal life until first he has gotten free from the Adamic death sentence. The first death sentence must be removed before anybody can be put on trial for life or death again. Thus we see the wonderful mercy of God in providing that those who would come now into Christ are not put on trial at the moment when they hear about Christ, when they learn that there is a door of return to God open to all who comply with conditions. SM360 CHRIST SUFFERING IN THE FLESH

  Whoever endeavors to draw near to God will find that

every step nearer will bring him a blessing; for he is going in the right way--toward justification by faith. But he has not yet come into full trial, full testing. As he continues to draw nearer, learning more and more about God, cleansing himself more and more from the natural filthiness of the flesh resulting from the Adamic fall, he finally comes to the parting of the ways. He finds that he cannot go forward unless he make a full consecration of himself to God. He learns that he can have no standing with God unless our Redeemer Himself accept him and present him to God; and that our Lord Jesus will not accept any one who does not give himself fully and unreservedly to the Father through the Son.

 So he has reached the point of decision. Whoever

reaches this place and then gives himself unreservedly is accepted of the Lord Jesus, in harmony with the Father's Plan. Immediately after He has accepted the one presenting himself in consecration, He imputes of the merit of His sacrificial death to the one offering himself and counts that one as His flesh. Then the Father also accepts that flesh, and begets the person to a new, spiritual nature. Thus the flesh of Christ has been in process of being offered in sacrifice throughout this Gospel Age. First, our Lord Jesus offered His own flesh. Then, when He had finished that work, He appeared in the presence of God and made satisfaction for the sins of all who would follow in His steps--the Church.--Heb. 9:24.

 As soon as our Lord had made satisfaction for His

followers, the Father immediately accepted their sacrifices, as was indicated by His giving them the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. So all other believers throughout this Age have received the begetting of the Holy Spirit as soon as the Father had accepted them through the great Advocate of the Church. The flesh of these consecrated ones having been counted as the flesh of Jesus (Acts 9:4,5), SM361 Christ has been suffering in the flesh all down the Age. Thus we perceive the fulfilment of the Scripture which declares that we are filling up "that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ."--Col. 1:24.

 Various Scriptures tell us that now is the time for

suffering with Christ, and that afterward will come the time for sharing His glory. St. Peter says that the Prophets of old spoke of the sufferings of Christ--Jesus the Head, and all the members of the Body--and of the glory to follow. That glory will follow promptly just as soon as the sufferings are accomplished. Whoever shares in the sufferings now will also share in the coming blessings of glory, honor and immortality--the Divine nature.--1 Peter 1:10-12; 2 Tim. 2:11,12; Rom. 8:17; 2 Peter 1:4; 1 John 3:1,2; James 1:12. PHASES OF THE BODY OF CHRIST

 The Lord Jesus counts the flesh of His Body members

as His flesh. So we now have before our minds the thought that the human bodies of the Church constitute a part of our Lord's flesh, in the larger sense. Then there is the present spiritual Body of Christ, composed of the spirit-begotten new nature of the New Creatures in the Christ Company dwelling in these earthly tabernacles and seeking to bring them to the sacrificial point in every respect day by day. Then there is also the thought of the glorified Body of Christ, to be composed of the "more than conquerors" only, after the two companies shall have been eliminated who have failed to make their calling and election sure.

 The Scriptures inform us that those who compose the

Body of Christ in the flesh will finally be divided into three classes, after the testings and provings have been applied by our Lord. The first class will constitute the Body of Christ in glory, the "more than conquerors" mentioned by St. Paul in Romans 8:37. The second class will be composed of those who have not been wholly faithful to the Covenant of Sacrifice which they made with the SM362 Lord, and who must consequently lose their places in the Body. Later, these will come up out of the great tribulation with which this Age will close, and will make their robes white in the blood of the Lamb. Then they will stand before the Throne, with palm branches in their hands, instead of sitting in the Throne, wearing crowns. (Rev. 7:9-17; 3:21; 20:4,6; 2:10.) The third class will be composed of those who repudiate their covenant with God, and who therefore will suffer the penalty of the Second Death.

 During the Gospel Age God deals only with those

who constitute these classes. He does not receive any one who has not come to the point of full consecration; for it is the New Creature, not the flesh, that is on trial for life or death. Whoever becomes a New Creature hears the voice of God in a special sense; for the spirit-begotten class receive, as it were, a new hearing and a new sight, so that as New Creatures they can understand spiritual things, can hear and see as never before. SANCTIFIED THROUGH THE TRUTH

 It is very important that all of the spirit-begotten keep

their hearts so loyal, and their walk in life so consistent, that they shall be of the Body of Christ in glory. To this class our Lord still speaks; and it is for each of them to see that he refuse not anything that the Head says to His Church. The will of the Head is to be done in the Body.

 In His last prayer with His disciples our Lord prayed

for them, "Sanctify them through Thy Truth; Thy Word is Truth." (John 17:17.) We cannot be sanctified without the Word of God. Nothing else can take it place. Let us listen to His Voice speaking to us there. He tells us that we are in the School of Christ, who has become our Teacher. Through His teachings, through the prophecies and through the various experiences of life He is teaching His disciples meekness, gentleness, patience, long-suffering, brotherly kindness, love.

 Whoever has not learned meekness has not learned

SM363 even the primary lesson in the School of Christ. Meekness is the foundation for love. Gentleness is very important. The person who is rude and boisterous is not in proper condition to be used of the Lord. He must become gentle in order that he may not offend or stumble the brethren. He must learn brotherly kindness in order to love them, to be helpful to them. This is the Lord's Spirit.

 We must become so meek, so humble, so teachable,

that in whatever way God may send us instruction-- whether through trials, difficulties, sickness, or through books, pamphlets or hymnals--we shall be ready to learn. Whatever scatters our darkness, our ignorance, our superstition, whatever brings us out of darkness into the marvelous light of God, is surely of Him; for we cannot do this of ourselves. THE VOICE THAT SPEAKS FROM HEAVEN

 God's Voice is sounding throughout the earth today,

speaking louder than ever before, telling us that the world is on the eve of a great change of dispensation--that the Redeemer is about to take His great power and reign. Let those who hear see that they do not refuse the Message of the hour. If they refuse Him who speaks from Heaven--as most of them are doing--all the more severe will be the tribulation which will come upon them--"a Time of Trouble such as never was since there was a nation, no, nor ever shall be" the like hereafter.

 Centuries ago, when the Law Covenant of which

Moses was the mediator was made at Mount Sinai, the Voice of God then shook the earth. St. Paul, standing prophetically down here in our day and pointing back to that time, says that once more will God's Voice shake not only the earth--society--but the heavens also--the ecclesiastical powers. (Heb. 12:26-29.) Let us heed this Voice. Let us humble ourselves and cultivate the qualities of character which will prepare us to be used of the Master to speak of the New Dispensation and the blessings coming to all mankind through Messiah's Kingdom. SM364 SEEKING FIRST THE KINGDOM "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."-- Matt. 6:33.

  Every Bible student has noted the great frequency

of reference to the Kingdom in the teaching of our Lord and the Apostles. We read that the message which John proclaimed was, "The Kingdom of God has come nigh," and that when Jesus sent forth the twelve Apostles their mission was to declare the Kingdom of God at hand. And later, when He sent forth the seventy others, their message was the same, "The Kingdom of God is at hand." We notice that when the disciples asked the Lord how to pray, one of the principal items of the petition He taught them was, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is done in Heaven." We notice, further, that nearly all of our Lord's parables, and hence nearly all of His teachings, were in respect to the Kingdom, which was likened to a net, likened to a sower and his crop of thirty, sixty and an hundred fold, likened to a field, the wheat of which was finally gathered into the garner, likened to the merchant seeking pearls and giving all that he had for the choicest, likened in the end of the Age to the ten virgins, the five wise of whom went into the marriage.

  It is with some degree of astonishment that these

same students notice that in modern theology, as represented by the colleges in Christendom, there is scarcely a reference to the Kingdom of God. When sometimes inquiry is made respecting the matter--as to why this teaching is so prominent in the New Testament and so little heard in modern pulpits--the reply usually is to this effect: "Yes, the poor Jews had the opinion that God would establish them as the Kingdom; and that when SM365 Messiah would come He would receive them as associates in the Kingdom, and would honor them and use them as His instrumentality in blessing all the families of the earth. In all this the poor Jews were evidently mistaken, as our Lord did nothing of the kind for them. In some vague sort of way we must suppose the Church to be the Kingdom now, though we scarcely understand how to apply that name to it." This answer is generally taken by the students as satisfactory; for they know no better and have not learned how to reason on subjects theological. Few people understand God's Word. BLESSINGS THROUGH ABRAHAM'S SEED

 Let us look on the other side of the subject. Let us

remember the falling away of the Dark Ages, in which nearly all the precious doctrines of Jesus and the Apostles were buried under a mass of human tradition and superstition and "doctrines of devils." (1 Tim. 4:1.) The Lord be praised that we are gradually getting out of that terrible darkness. But on some subjects many of God's people are still evidently far from clear, far from an appreciation of the teachings of our Lord and His Apostles. Wiping the dust of the darkness of the past from our eyes, let us examine God's Word on this subject of the Kingdom.

 We find that the Jews did have as the mainspring of

their religious and political system the thought that they were to be the representatives of God in the work of blessing the world in general--that He had called them out first, in advance of other nations, that He might use them as His holy nation under the Messiah, and through them communicate a blessing to the world. This thought had its foundation in the Divine promise to Father Abraham, "In thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." As the seed of Abraham they expected the fulfilment of that promise and took the various trials and difficulties, captivities, etc., that came upon them as a nation as so much of Divine instruction SM366 preparing them for the Divine service when Messiah should come and establish His Kingdom.

 Nor is there a thought in the Old or in the New

Testament contradictory to this. They had the right idea. In harmony with this thought our Lord at His First Advent preached only to Israel and said to His Apostles, "Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and unto the city of the Samaritans enter ye not: for I am not sent except to the lost sheep of the House of Israel." The blessing and privilege went first to that nation. St. John (1:11,12) distinctly tells us that our Lord came unto His own people and that they received Him not, except a remnant; and that to that remnant was granted a special blessing of spirit-begetting, which constituted them the nucleus or start of Spiritual Israel. The rest of the nation of Israel, the Apostle tells us, were turned aside and blinded for a time until a sufficient number should be found from among the Gentiles to complete the foreordained number of Spiritual Israel. This gathering of Spiritual Israelites out of all nations, peoples, kindreds and tongues, and the testing of these, has been the work of this Gospel Age; and when the full number shall have been found and tested and perfected this Age will end and a new Age, the Millennium, will begin.

        THE MILLENNIAL KINGDOM
 It will be noticed, then, that the central thought held

by the Jews respecting God's purpose of establishing a Kingdom in the world for the blessing of all nations was substantially correct; and that the difficulty was that there were not enough Jews to constitute the elect class. Hence the delay of this Gospel Age, which God had foreseen and approved. The Kingdom thought, however, is still there; for, as we have just seen, the Lord and the Apostles continually referred to it and invited all the faithful to be "heirs of the Kingdom." As a matter of fact, then, the Church, as Spiritual Israel and the Spiritual Seed of Abraham, has inherited this chief blessing SM367 which God offered primarily to Abraham and his posterity. This Spiritual Israel, composed of "Israelites indeed" and the faithful ones of every nation, is to constitute the Bride of Messiah, and as such is to share with Him the Kingdom honors and Kingdom work specified in the Abrahamic promise, "In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." That there may be no doubt of this, note carefully the Apostle's arguments in Gal. 3 and 4. Note especially his words, "If ye be Christ's then are ye Abraham's Seed, and heirs [of the Kingdom and its work of blessing the world] according to the promise."--Gal. 3:29.

 No wonder, then, that our Lord continually appealed

to the Kingdom thought. It is along this line that the entire Divine Plan is arranged. The Kingdom class must first be found, selected, glorified. Then the Kingdom work of blessing the world will be due to begin--not before. Any blessings that may come to the world through the Church intermediately are merely incidental. This is the meaning of the various invitations given us all through the Scriptures, such, for instance, as our Lord's words in our text, "Seek ye first [chiefly] the Kingdom of God and His righteousness"; "Pray ye, Thy Kingdom come"; "Fear not, little flock, it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom"; "As My Father has appointed unto Me a Kingdom, so I appoint unto you"; "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My Throne"; "If we suffer with Him, we shall also reign with Him"; etc., etc.

 Another part of the same Kingdom story we shall

not have time to tell you on this occasion. We merely, in passing, note the fact that the Scriptures most clearly set forth that from the Divine standpoint there are two seeds of Abraham, and that both seeds are to be blessed and to be used in communicating the Divine blessings to the world in general. Spiritual Israel has attained the highest place as the Seed of Abraham, but there is SM368 still a promise to Natural Israel--"This is My covenant with them when I shall take away their sins." "It shall come to pass after those days," saith the Lord, "that I will make a New Covenant with the House of Israel and the House of Judah....I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and iniquities I will remember no more." "I will take away the stony heart out of their flesh and will give them a heart of flesh."-- Jer. 31:31-33; Ezek. 11:19.

 The Apostle tells us when this will be fulfilled;

namely, when Spiritual Israel shall have been completed and Natural Israel shall have obtained mercy through Spiritual Israel. (Rom. 11:25-32.) It is in harmony with this that the Apostle assures us that the promise shall be sure unto both the seeds, both that which is according to the spirit and that which is according to the flesh. (Rom. 4:16.) These two seeds of Abraham were distinctly referred to in the Lord's promise to him in which He said: "Thy seed shall be as the stars of Heaven [the spiritual class, the Heavenly, the Church], and as the sand upon the seashore [the earthly seed]," although favor to Natural Israel will gradually extend and absorb into that nation all of the entire human family who love righteousness, all others being destroyed in the Second Death.--Psa. 67:3,4; 37:38.

        HOW WE SEEK THE KINGDOM
 Having now before our minds what the Kingdom is,

we appreciate the fact that the Church in the present time is the Kingdom, but without power and without glory--in an embryo or undeveloped stage--in preparation for the glories that shall be ultimately revealed. We perceive the force of the Apostle's explanation that we are walking by faith and not by sight, and that the world knoweth us not. The world is not aware of the Divine purpose, nor does it recognize the heirs of salvation. Hence, as it crucified the Lord Jesus we must not marvel if it hate those who have His spirit, even SM369 as darkness hateth the light. We must not marvel if persecution, therefore, be the lot of those who shall be favored of God in connection with this Kingdom and its privileges. Indeed, these very experiences are necessary for our development and preparation for the Kingdom. Thus by faith these heirs of the Kingdom are to realize that all things connected with their interests are under Divine supervision, and all working together for good to them that love God--the called ones according to His purpose--His Kingdom class. (Rom. 8:28.) Those unwilling to walk by faith, those unwilling to endure hardness as good soldiers, those who love the world and its honors and praise, and seek not alone that which cometh from Above, will by these conditions be separated from the loyal, true overcomers. And this is the will of God, as only the latter are fit for the Kingdom.

  Now we understand why the Lord said of some,

"Blessed are your ears, for they hear," and intimated that many of His time were not in the condition to either see or hear or in any sense appreciate this message, this blessing of the Spiritual Kingdom now proclaimed. Not only so, but even among those who do have the hearing ear or seeing eye of understanding, the spiritual perception of the Kingdom, its call and its conditions, there is a need, as our text tells us, that they seek the Kingdom. It will not be thrust upon anybody; it is a high privilege, a high honor, and whoever shall get it must appreciate it. And whoever seeks the Kingdom under present conditions will find, as the Master said, that the way is narrow and difficult. OTHER ATTRACTIONS CONTRASTED

  Our Lord is addressing not the world, not sinners,

not unbelievers. The Jewish nation was a believing nation, nominally at least, just as Christendom professedly believes in Christ. But our Lord's message was not merely to Israelites, but only to such as were "Israelites indeed" and had signified their desire as SM370 His disciples to walk in His steps and to become joint-heirs with Him and His Kingdom. He calls the attention of these to the earthly things for which the majority of mankind are seeking--What shall we eat? What shall we drink? Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

  We are not to understand the Lord's words to signify

that His followers should be improvident, careless, so inattentive to the responsibilities of life as to depend upon others for their food and raiment or else go naked and hungry. There are two extremes in this matter, and our Lord was controverting the one that is most troublesome to His followers. The spirit of the world is a spirit of selfishness, which spurs all the brighter minds of earth to get, to enjoy, to be, according to earthly standards. Summing the matter up, our Lord says that what we shall eat, what we shall drink, wherewithal we shall be clothed are the things after which all the Gentiles seek-- the whole world is seeking for earthly good things, but the Lord's disciples are to take a different course. Having the invitation to joint-heirship in the Kingdom of God before their minds as the grandest possibility imaginable, they are to so esteem it that all other interests and ambitions are to sink into insignificance in their estimation and to be comparatively neglected. Our Lord's advice is, therefore, "Seek ye first [primarily-- as of the first or primary importance] the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things [food, raiment, etc.] shall be added unto you."

 Be it noted that the Lord does not say that His followers

shall have as much of these temporary good things as others have; but elsewhere He declares, "Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of." The implication, therefore, is that to those who have put their matters entirely in the Lord's hands by a full consecration of all they possess, their every talent, their every opportunity, and who are thus seeking to please God and obtain the Kingdom inheritance which He has promised--to SM371 these He will give earthly good things according to His wisdom--those which would bring the highest measure of blessing as New Creatures, those which would prepare them and assist them best for a share in the Kingdom. Whatsoever of earthly good things would be a hindrance to their chief aim and desire in life this class would not intentionally choose. Hence they should be glad that the matter is entirely out of their hands and entirely in the Lord's hands. It is for them to rejoice that their affairs are being more wisely and more favorably ordered than if under their own control. It is for these to rejoicingly pray, "Thy will be done," in respect to all of life's affairs. Thus seeing and thus doing and thus praying this class may rejoice even in tribulation, knowing that tribulation worketh experience, patience, hope, and will ultimately make them not ashamed, because it will be God's method of chastening and polishing them for a share in the Kingdom.--Rom. 5:3-5.

        SEEKING HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS
 It is not enough that the Lord's Elect shall seek the

Kingdom. They might seek it in a measure of selfishness, because of its honor and glory. Hence, the Lord makes another stipulation: That we shall not only seek the Kingdom, but seek its righteousness--the righteousness which the Kingdom will bring, the righteousness which God will approve. Ah, this is a searching proposition! All who will be counted worthy a place in the Kingdom must come up to the standard of perfect love toward God and toward men. This is the Divine standard, and nothing short of it will be acceptable. It means that this class will be in harmony with their God, right, just, loving, peaceable wherever found; and that they will be out of harmony with all injustice and unrighteousness wherever found--in themselves and in others.

 Since we were all born in sin, since we were all tainted

with selfishness, even though in differing degrees, it follows that we must all fight a good warfare against this SM372 element of our human natures--that as New Creatures we shall not be in sympathy with any of the fallen proclivities and tendencies in ourselves and in others. It is a work of days, months and years to find out and rout these selfish propensities, these Amalekites, which have entrenched themselves in our fallen flesh, and to bring in instead of them the loving, generous impulses and endeavors of the spirit of love, which seeks to do good unto all men as we have opportunity, especially to the Household of Faith. This is learning to speak evil of no man, to have no sympathy with slander, backbiting and evil surmisings, but, on the contrary, to rejoice in the Truth and in "whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report."--Phil. 4:8.

 The law of absolute justice, righteousness, the Law

of Love, which will be introduced world-wide during the Millennium, must already, even now, have our sympathy and support. In the present time, when so much may be gained by a little deflection from the proper standards of purity or truth or honesty, when so many are in favor of graft if it works favorably to themselves, and so unfavorable to graft if it works against their interests-- in these times the heirs of the Kingdom are to be governed strictly by the laws of the Kingdom. They are to seek after and to appropriate to themselves the principles of righteousness which they perceive will be the laws of the Kingdom for the whole world by and by.

  It will be much easier for the world to conform to the

laws of righteousness by and by, when every transgression will receive prompt rebuke or punishment, and when every good word or deed will receive a prompt reward. But it is comparatively difficult now for this Kingdom class to think and to act along opposite lines from those which prevail to a large degree amongst their friends and neighbors. This sympathy for righteousness, truth and SM373 purity must be sought even as the Kingdom is sought; and those consecrated believers who find the one find the other. Much of the Christian's time, therefore, must be devoted to self-examination and self-instruction in righteousness, as well as building one another up in the most holy faith, the Divine Word being the censor.

  All such are really taught of God. They learn to

consider honesty not merely in respect to dollars and cents, but also in regard to words and actions. Yea, more, they learn to observe honesty in their thoughts-- to be honest with the Lord, honest with the brethren, honest with themselves. As these lessons are learned, appropriated, the pupils in the School of Christ are being made meet for an inheritance in the Kingdom.

        THE LESSON OF SELF-DENIAL
  One great difficulty among these "heirs of salvation,"

"heirs of the Kingdom," "heirs of glory," lies in our inability to rightly appreciate the importance of the little things in life and the little things in our own minds. Many who would have the courage to go to the stake in defense of some principle of righteousness and truth find it very difficult to "examine themselves," and, as the Apostle suggests, to bring eventually even the very thoughts of their minds into subjection to the will of God as expressed in Christ. But our Lord's word is, "He that is faithful in that which is least will be faithful also in that which is greater." Hence we should have in mind that the Lord will instruct us along the lines of little things; and in our endeavors in all the trifling affairs of life we should cultivate and exercise the spirit of Christ, the spirit of meekness, gentleness, patience, long suffering, brotherly-kindness, love, that these things being in us, and abounding, an entrance shall be administered to us abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

  An important feature of the teaching of the School of

Christ is the necessity for self-denial. The repudiation SM374 of sin and sinful words, acts and thoughts is a difficult enough matter, but the Lord calls upon His followers to repudiate and fight against more than these. They must learn to be well-rounded-out characters, copies of God's dear Son. They must learn self-denial; our Master as the Great King and our Bridegroom learned obedience in His self-denials. And these were not along the lines of sinful things; for in Him was no sin; His special trials were of self-denial, self-sacrifice in the interest of and in the support of righteousness and for the blessing of others. Thus He developed and manifested the spirit which the Father is pleased to reward in the Kingdom.

  All who will be counted worthy to be kings and priests

to God in that Heavenly Kingdom must demonstrate now to Divine satisfaction their willingness to sacrifice their own personal interests and rights in favor of the Kingdom and the Father's will and the blessing of those whom the Father designs shall be blessed by the Kingdom. Whoever, therefore, refuses to take up his cross of self-denial and to deny himself cannot long be one of the Lord's disciples. He will fall out by the way, for ultimately only those will constitute members of the Kingdom class who shall count it all joy to gain that Kingdom and the Divine favor and the great privilege of being associated with Jesus in the great work of blessing the world at any cost, at any self-denial. Let us, dear brethren, emulate more and more this spirit of our Redeemer, who made Himself of no reputation that He might work the works of God, who sent Him. Thus we also shall be counted worthy of a share with Him in the Kingdom and its glorious opportunities. SM375 ALL ARE DEBTORS TO GRACE DIVINE

 "Who maketh thee to differ from another? And what

hast thou that thou didst not receive? Now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory as though thou hadst not received it?"--1 Cor. 4:7.

 Evolutionists and Higher Critics in their so-called

"New Theology" would apply our text to what they denominate the "ascent of man." They tell us that the first man was second cousin to a monkey, and that all the progress that has since been made by the various races of mankind is so much to be thankful for and to be proud of. According to their theory each generation receives from the preceding one additional blessings, and thus the world is going onward and upward to wonderful heights, mental, moral and physical. But we cannot agree with this theory, and find the Bible story much more consistent with the facts of the case.

 The Bible records and revelations teach the fall of

man from original perfection and likeness to his Creator through disobedience--a disobedience which has been accentuated in proportion to the degree of alienation from the Creator. The Bible shows us also a measure of recovery or ascent of man from the depths of his degradation proportionately to his attainment of a knowledge of his Creator and his rendering of obedience to the Creator's laws. Our text fits well to this, the Scriptural teaching from Genesis to Revelation. Man's original perfection was a gift from his Creator. His sin was of his own voluntary opposition to the Divine will, and any progress made by any member of the race has been in proportion as he has received of the Lord's favor and accepted the same. "What hast thou that thou didst not receive?" Let us inquire further of the Word of God and of history, Who maketh us to differ from others? Let SM376 us see whether or not we are different by reason of a process of evolution or different because of having received more of the grace of God. ADAM NOT A CHIMPANZEE'S COUSIN

  Those who have accepted the Evolution theory instead

of the Bible record seem to be so infatuated with it that they deceive themselves into believing a lie. They sometimes give the public to understand that there is but a slight difference between the lowest, most degraded member of the human family and the highest development of the brute creation, when, as a matter of fact, they well know that this is not true. They know that there is a wide difference indeed. They assure us that there is but one missing link to be found; but the informed ones among them well know that the missing link is a very long one.

  Several skulls have been found which these wise men

tell us belong to periods hundreds of thousands of years before Adam's time, as Scripturally marked. But while disputing the age of these relics and denying that there ever was a man before the first man, Adam of the Scriptures, we ask these sages to account for the fact that every one of those skulls they exhibit as antiques shows a brain capacity and cavity larger than that of the average man of today. How will they explain this, in view of the fact that the brain space of the most developed ape is little more than one-half as large as the brain space of the least developed among men today? Do not these facts upset their entire theory and show that the average of human brain capacity has been decreasing instead of increasing? Do they not know also that statistics recently published in Great Britain show that the sizes of hats worn by Englishmen have considerably decreased within the last century? If it is necessary to establish some relationship between man and the ape (which we deny), would it not be fair to suppose, as one scientist of Europe has recently done, that the apes are degenerate members SM377 of the human family? Is it not safe for the man of average information and reasoning faculties to doubt the wisdom of these scientists who guess on both sides of the question and who reserve to themselves the right to change their guesses frequently, and who show the wildness of their unreason by discrepancies of millions of years in the guesses as to the time the first man appeared on the earth?

 The "common people," who heard Jesus gladly and

who still listen for the message of the Great Shepherd, will feel much safer and be much wiser if they will give heed only to the Divine Word on this subject. It speaks in no uncertain terms; and its theory is not self-contradictory, but safe and sane. It tells of man's original creation in the image and likeness of God. It explains that the fall of the race from that perfection was proportionate to the alienation from God. The Apostle explains the whole situation in few words, saying, "When they knew God they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became foolish, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God for the likeness of an image of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed beasts and creeping things. Wherefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts unto uncleanness, that their bodies should be dishonored among themselves. And even as they refused to have God in their knowledge, God gave them up to a reprobate mind to do those things which were not fitting."--Rom. 1:21-28. CHANGE FOR WORSE--CHANGE FOR BETTER

 Does not the Apostle's inspired record of the influence

of godlessness toward obscenity and degradation agree well with all that we surely know from our own experiences with the race and from the records of history? They surely do! They are satisfactory to those who are SM378 in a right attitude of mind, but nothing is satisfactory to those who are in a quibbling attitude and seeking to ignore a personal God and man as His handiwork. The Apostle's argument is strengthened when we look at the reverse side and consider the effect of God's truth and grace wherever it has touched and glanced throughout the world during the ages marked by the Scriptures and since.

 For instance, consider the moral, physical and intellectual

state of the world in Abraham's day. We do not go further back, because little information is furnished us in the Scriptures respecting the epoch before the Flood, and little after the Flood until we come to Abraham, who under the call from God became a sojourner in the land of Canaan, while Shem, the son of Noah, was still living. If the theory of Evolution were correct, Abraham would have been a short remove from a chimpanzee. But what do we find was his character? The Scriptural record tells of his various weaknesses as well as of his good qualities, and thereby shows itself to be an unbiased, truthful narrative. Its story dignifies Abraham as a most wonderful man, full of faith in God to the extent that his character is still in many respects a model even for Christians. His dealings with his nephew Lot show him to have been a most just and honorable man. His management of extensive flocks and herds, with 318 trained male servants, shows him to have been a man of affairs, with a considerably larger capacity for management than the average man of today. His pursuit of and defeat of the army which had captured Sodom and taken its valuables as spoils and its people as prisoners, including Lot, Abraham's nephew, showed a generalship on Abraham's part of no mean order, and a skill among his trained servants which places them also on a plane of intelligence far removed from that of monkeys.

 Moreover, Abraham's dealing with the spoils--his

refusal to accept any portion of them for himself--indicates a length, breadth, height and depth of intellect SM379 and of character far beyond that of the majority of farmers, cattlemen and generals even of this, our day. Furthermore, recent excavations in Babylonian ruins have brought to light the fact that among that people there was a high degree of civilization prevalent at that time; that goods were bought and sold by measure and for money; that accounts were kept much after the manner of the present time among the most civilized, and far away beyond what we find among the heathen races of our time. Further, we have connected with the history of Abraham a glance at the character of the King of Egypt, which shows that the latter was governed by high principles of honor, justice and morality in his dealings with Abraham and Sarah, his wife--principles so noble that we fear they could not be matched by one-half the princes and rulers of our day.--Gen. 20:9-11.

        GOD MADE ISRAEL TO DIFFER
  The children of Abraham are still to be found--the

Arabs of the desert, the sons of Ishmael; the Hebrews, the sons of Isaac. Do we find that any process of evolution has brought the children of Abraham to a higher, nobler standard, mental, moral or physical, than we see illustrated in him? Surely not! Let us look at God's dealings. He declared to Abraham that He would take his posterity through Isaac and accomplish through them a work which eventually would bless and uplift the entire human family of every nation, of every race. But as though to show us that He was not dependent upon natural evolution for the development of the Jewish people God allowed that nation to go into a kind of slavery or serfdom to the Egyptians. After a long period of such serfdom the Lord brought them forth under the lead of Moses, who unquestionably was a great leader, a great general, a good man, as well as the meekest of men. He was a man that any nation in the world might be proud of today. Surely evolution has not developed the race SM380 up to the standard of this son of a serf. The Law given at Sinai has served as the basis in the formulating of all laws since, and its brief, succinct statement, given in Leviticus 19:18, and in Deuteronomy 6:5, is still the standard of all law among the wisest and best people of earth, namely, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy mind, with all thy being, with all thy strength"; and "thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."--Matt. 22:40.

  True, the people of Israel, surrounded by examples of

idolatry and immorality, frequently slipped back from their covenant relationship to the Lord and their endeavors to keep the Divine Law, yet on the whole that nation ultimately became in some respects the greatest and wisest in the world under the administrations of David and Solomon. True, that nation passed under a cloud and lost special Divine favor when they rejected the Messiah, yet even now the influences of the Divine Promises and Law make them still a great people, so that while without national existence, scattered among all the nations of the earth, they wield an influence in finance and in literature second to none other. Unquestionably they were made to differ from other men by reason of God's dealings with them and promises to them. In proportion to their faith and obedience to the Lord they have had a blessing.--Rom. 3:1-3; Deut. 4:5-9.

        HOW CHRISTIANS DIFFER ALSO
  But we are not to judge of the blessing upon Israel

from the standard of those who had not a sufficiency of faith to accept the Messiah in His day. Rather we should look to those faithful ones who received Jesus. The twelve chosen by our Lord from the humbler walks of life to be His Apostles have left their mark in the world as its benefactors in the very highest sense--next to that of their Lord, the Redeemer.

  When we come to consider the effect of this Gospel of

Christ in the world, we must differentiate between true SM381 Christians and nominal Christians. The latter are estimated to number 400,000,000 and include both the best and the worst specimens of the human family, including true Christians. All of this mass have been enlightened more or less through the teachings of Christ and the Apostles, but only a comparatively small number of them have received that special blessing to which they were invited and which does not carry an every-way favorable opinion among men.

  Keep in view our argument, based upon the words of

our text, "Who hath made us to differ?" Our claim, supported by the Bible and by history, is that the degradation which came upon the world through the disobedience and fall of Adam has been to a considerable extent offset by the grace and truth which our Lord Jesus brought to light through His Message of Salvation. As the Jews were blessed by the types and shadows of the Law and the prophetic messages sent to them, so during this Gospel Age every nation of the world has been blessed with a measure of enlightenment through the Gospel of Christ--in proportion as they have received the true Message in its purity and in proportion as they have responded thereto. But, alas, these two exceptions are very important ones! Let us consider them:

 The Message itself has been woefully corrupted, and

that by the very ones who have claimed to rejoice in it and to be its ministers. The beauty and simplicity of the original Message--that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, imputing their transgressions to Him who died for us--gradually became warped and twisted into meaning that the Heavenly Father had been endeavoring to do violence to every principle of justice and love and to send the entire race of Adam to eternal torment; that Jesus in love and sympathy had interposed Himself in His endeavor to assist our race; but that His efforts, including His death, would avail but little to the majority who have died without so much as hearing of SM382 the only name given under Heaven and amongst men whereby we must be saved. The beautiful teaching of God's Word, that He is now electing or selecting from the world of mankind a very special class to constitute the Bride, the Lamb's Wife, and joint-heir in the Millennial Kingdom which shall bless all the families of the earth-- this has been twisted into a most horrible doctrine.

 The false view of Election is that God, in the exercise

of a Sovereign authority, determined to save a handful of our race to show what He could have done for all if He had so chosen; that He is utterly regardless of the interests of the non-elect, and has provided no salvation for them, either in the present or in the future life. The fate of those who have died outside of the knowledge of Christ, and hence outside the possibility of salvation through faith in His name, has been horribly misrepresented, so that to the intelligent thinker the God of Love --who is working all things according to the counsel of His will--is made to appear a most terrible demon, lacking in justice and devoid of love, and far inferior to the most degraded of the human family--not one of whom could be supposed to take pleasure in the eternal torment of a fellow-creature.--Isa. 29:13.

 Is it strange that such a perversion of the Message

brought forth an evil fruitage? Is it not true that so surely as a corrupt tree brings forth bad fruit, so false doctrines will develop bad characters in those who receive them? Looking back to the Dark Ages we feel a horror as we read of millions who suffered violent deaths, excruciating tortures, etc., for conscience sake; and when we are told that these cruelties were inflicted in the name of God and religion and the Bible, we rightly feel incensed at such a perversion of the truth, and subsequently we feel a sympathy as we realize that this wrong course of action resulted from the inculcation of false doctrines-- contrary both to the word and to the spirit of the Bible. Thus we see that churchianity does not properly represent SM383 Christ and His teachings and those of the Apostles. Nevertheless, as we should expect, the letter of Christ's teachings to some extent prevails even among those whose conduct indicates that they either never possessed or had lost the spirit of His teachings--love, joy, peace, meekness, gentleness, patience, kindness. "FEAR NOT, LITTLE FLOCK"

 The blessing has been in proportion as the people

have returned to the true Message. Apparently a few in every land have been in that attitude of heart which enabled them to appreciate the spirit of the true Message, notwithstanding the admixtures of human philosophy and falsehood. Yet these are but few now or at any time. Speaking of this our Lord Jesus called them a "little flock," saying, "Fear not, little flock; it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom." The twelve Apostles were of this little flock class; and there have been others of this same spirit all the way down through the ages, mixed in among the tares, among the formalistic hosts and more or less confused with the false doctrines. These, despite the errors and despite their own inability, have held to the Scriptural declarations respecting the justice and love of the Creator and the mercy provided in the Redeemer. They have ignored the misrepresentation of the Divine Character by the creeds of the Dark Ages, and have in heart accepted the Lord on the terms stated by our dear Redeemer: "If any man will be My disciple let him take up his cross and follow Me."--Luke 9:23; Matt. 19:27-29.

 Following the letter and spirit of this teaching this

class have been willing to be counted fools for Christ's sake, and have sought to walk in the footsteps of Him who has set them an example, to live separate from the world, to live for God and the Truth and for the blessing of fellowmen. But so small is the number of these and so insignificant their influence that they are not recorded among any of the great denominations of the world, but SM384 are counted as offscourings of all denominations--sometimes pitied, sometimes scorned. What the Apostle said of such in his day is still true--the world knoweth us not even as it knew our Lord not. What our Redeemer said of this class is still true: "Ye are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you."--John 15:19.

 But although the world disowns and despises this

class it recognizes, nevertheless, in them what it terms an impractical spirit--because their conceptions, ambitions and methods are not such as would bring the greatest prosperity and success in the present time, when sin and selfishness rule in the world. The world and churchianity have so misconceived the Divine Plan that whatever is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of the Lord, while that which is highly esteemed by the Lord is an abomination in the sight of those who are not in full accord with Him. "WHO HATH MADE US TO DIFFER?"

 We have seen that truth mixed with error has made

Christendom to differ from heathendom, greatly to its advantage in some respects. The teaching of the Gospel respecting the original equality of the race and respecting the final accountability of each individual to the Lord alone--to the effect that the rule of judgment will be the same for prince and peasant, for learned and unlearned-- has had the effect of opening the eyes of the human understanding along this line, whereas the heathen peoples are still under superstition respecting classes and castes. The spirit of liberty thus infused through that measure of the truth which the world could and did receive has worked marvelous reformations of one kind and another wherever the Message of the Gospel has gone. The common people have grasped the thought that "A man's a man for a' that," and to some extent have grasped the SM385 thought that opportunity and education and mental power have established the rulerships of this world, but that these have neither power nor influence respecting the life to come, when all will be on a common level before the judgment seat of Christ. The little of truth which Christendom has received therefore has been liberating and uplifting and enlightening and destructive to ignorance and superstition. But Christendom has not been prepared to receive other features of God's Message, "speaking peace through Jesus Christ." They have not received the invitation to make a full consecration of their hearts to the Divine will and service and to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. Consequently they have not received the full benefit and blessing which they might have had.

  In other words, they have developed along the lines of

love and liberty, while they have not developed along the lines of consecration and realization of responsibility to God. As a consequence we are rapidly approaching a time when these poorly balanced conditions will mean the wreck of our present civilization. Growth in liberty, independence, etc., in connection with growth in selfishness, is liberty working out a condition of things which the Scriptures portray in respect to the closing of this age, in which--throughout Christendom especially--every man's hand will be against his neighbors. Selfishness gone to seed will bring forth anarchy, the overthrow of all human government and restraints, the precipitation of the most awful trouble the world has ever known. Here we have an illustration of the danger of liberty while selfishness is the motive power. The essence of the Lord's message being rejected, the consequences will be disastrous. The greater the light the greater the responsibility; the higher the elevation the greater the fall. This is the sad picture which the Scriptures give of our present civilization. "Churchianity"--which lacks of the Spirit of the Lord, the spirit of love--will wreck itself on its own intelligence because of its own spirit of SM386 selfishness. A measure of truth made "Christendom" to differ from heathendom, and the result will be that in the collapse the most favored will sustain the greatest injury.

  But what about the Little Flock, the true Christians,

who not only appreciate their liberty, freedom from ignorance and superstition, but who accept the Lord's Message in full, and by consecration of their all take up their cross to follow the dear Redeemer, not living merely for the present joys, comforts and honors, but chiefly for the Father's will to be done--what about these? Ah! theirs is a peculiar case, difficult for many to comprehend. As the Master said to them, "In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." So it is also that the world understands them not and thinks of them merely as a class of foolish persons who have no joy, no happiness, no pleasure in life. On the contrary, these well know that they have more pleasure, more joy, more happiness than have their friends, because there is a peace of God which passeth understanding ruling in their hearts. They not only joy and rejoice in the future prospect--in a hope of a share in the First Resurrection and the glory, honor and immortality then to be given to the Elect, but are happy in present trials, difficulties and oppositions.--Rom. 5:3-5.

  Ah, this is the secret of true peace and true joy--the

love of God, the promises of God, the realization from God's Word that present trials and difficulties are all working together for good to them that love Him, to all called ones according to His purpose--preparing them for the glory, honor, blessing and usefulness of the future --of the Millennium and after! These have learned not to care so much for the smiles or frowns of the world, as they once did. They look beyond for the smile of their Heavenly Lord and Bridegroom, and are happy, while by the eye of faith they discern that, no matter what their earthly conditions may be, they rejoice in the privilege of serving their Master and His cause. SM387

       "WHAT HAVE WE THAT WE HAVE
                    NOT RECEIVED?"
 And in these words of our text there is a thought

which should help us toward humility, one of the graces of the Lord's Spirit, without which, He tells us, we could never be acceptable to Him as joint-heirs with our dear Redeemer in His glorious Kingdom that is to bless the world of mankind very soon. Do we not see it to be true, as the Apostle expressed it, that everything that we possess--every quality of character and of its development --has come to us from the Lord; that we ourselves originated nothing whatever of which we could boast or of which we could be proud?--1 Cor. 4:7.

 Looking back into the remote past we find that our

forefathers were heathen savages, and that the Lord sent to them some measure of the Gospel light. They were blessed in proportion as they received it into good and honest hearts. Coming down we find the blessings of civilization following this Gospel of light, truth and grace. And in our own individual cases we realize that we were favorably born, and that in the Word of God we have the power of God for the transformation of the character; and that our own work in connection with this has been so inspired and enthused by the Lord's promises that we see, as the Scriptures tell us, that God has been working in us to will and to do His good pleasure by these promises and instructions furnished us through the Scriptures. Our justification through faith in the precious blood is surely not of ourselves, but of the Lord, who provided the sacrifice and who has given us the blessed anointing of the eyes of our understanding that we might see Jesus as the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world. It was favor upon favor that we were granted an appreciation of the privilege of presenting our bodies living sacrifices, and of thus becoming disciples of Christ and followers in His footsteps, that eventually we might attain unto the First Resurrection and become members of the Bride, the Lamb's Wife. SM388 "PUT AWAY ALL FILTHINESS"

  "Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved,

let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in fear of God."--2 Cor. 7:1.

  Although the words of our text were not addressed

by St. Paul to the worldly, they would, nevertheless, be excellent advice and very profitable to all. In a general way all civilized people recognize that "cleanliness is next to godliness." In a general way the pure, the clean, are recognized as the beautiful; and impurity and filthiness are detested even by the impure and the filthy. Outwardly at least we are in a time when water is plentiful, when soap is cheap, and when filthiness of the flesh is almost inexcusable as respects the outward man. But filthiness of the spirit cannot be cleansed with ordinary soap and water; and this is undoubtedly the reason why the Lord and the Apostles have not addressed these words to the world.--Psa. 119:9.

        "HAVING THESE PROMISES"
  Our text tells the difference between the well-intentioned

worldly person and the thoroughly consecrated Christian. The latter has heard through the Word of God certain "exceeding great and precious promises," which the well-meaning worldly class have not yet heard in the true sense of hearing--in the sense of appreciating, understanding. The whole civilized world, in one sense, has the same Bible, the same Word of God, the same precious promises; but it has not appreciated these. It has not understood them, accepted them and made them its own by a surrender to the Lord. The Church, on the contrary, is composed of those who have heard the Lord's promises intelligently and accepted those promises upon SM389 God's conditions. Those promises of God constitute the power of God, which works in the heart of each of the Church, first to will aright and, secondly, to do to the extent of ability the Lord's good pleasure.--Phil. 2:13.

  This is the class addressed in our text--the followers

of Jesus. These have heard of the grace of God--that it is the Divine purpose to bless Adam and his race through the great Mediator--The Messiah, The Christ. They have heard that Jesus left the glory which He had with the Father and humbled Himself to human nature, in order that He might redeem the human race. They have heard that the application of the merit of His sacrifice, when made in due time, will be sufficient for the sins of the whole world; and that then the Heavenly Father will turn over the world to the Redeemer. They have learned that the Redeemer, backed by Divine authority, will put all things into subjection under His feet, will institute a Heavenly Kingdom in the earth, and for a thousand years reign as King of kings and Lord of lords. They have heard that when He shall thus reign, His Kingdom shall be "under the whole heavens," although the King Himself will be the King of Glory on the spirit plane, "far above angels, principalities and powers and every name that is named."--Eph. 1:21; Dan. 7:27.

  They have heard that His Kingdom will prevail from

sea to sea and unto the ends of the earth, and that eventually unto Him every knee shall bow and every tongue confess allegiance and obedience, and that all refusing thus to submit to that Reign of Righteousness will be destroyed from amongst the people in the Second Death. (Acts 3:22,23.) They have heard that this great Kingdom will not only lift up, raise up, resurrect humanity from its fallen condition, from sin and death, but that it will also bring the whole earth to the condition foreshown in the Garden of Eden, making God's footstool glorious and every way fit to be the eternal habitation of such of the human race as will be saved by that glorious Kingdom SM390 for which we pray, "Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is done in Heaven." "BELOVED, LET US CLEANSE OURSELVES"

  But these have heard something more--something

that belongs to the present time. They have heard that it is the Divine purpose to select from amongst mankind a Royal Priesthood, to be associated with the great Redeemer in His Mediatorial Kingdom. They have heard that a call went forth to this effect eighteen centuries ago, inviting, first of all, the Jews who were ready and willing to accept this very highest favor of God--joint-heirship with His Son in the spiritual Kingdom which is to bless mankind in general by and by. They have heard that to attain membership in this Royal Priesthood means the attainment of the character likeness of Jesus, to become copies of God's dear Son. (Rom. 8:29.) This implies, as its cost, the sacrifice of earthly interests. They have heard the Lord's Message, not only inviting to the glories of the Kingdom, but also informing them that the way to that crown of glory is a narrow and difficult one. They have heard the voice of the Master, saying, "Sit down first and count the cost," before you undertake such a consecration of your life, such a sacrifice of your earthly interests. "No man having put his hand to the plow and looking back would be fit for the Kingdom"--fit for a place on the Throne as a joint-heir with Christ. (Luke 9:62.) They heard the further expression of St. Paul to all who would become joint-heirs with Christ in His Kingdom assuring them that if they suffer with Christ, they shall reign with Him.--Rom. 8:17.

  We doubt not that as the Heavenly Father and our

Lord Jesus so loved the world as to provide the great Sacrifice for sin, so St. Paul loved the world--and all others of God's people must have a sympathetic love for the world. But when we think of those who are dearly beloved by the Father, by the Son, by the Apostles and by each other, we think of the special class of consecrated SM391 saints who Scripturally are described as of no earthly sect or party, but as "The Church of the First-borns, whose names are written in Heaven."

  These are "dearly beloved" because they have the

mind of Christ, which is also the mind of the Father. According to the flesh they are not all lovely or beautiful. St. Paul elsewhere admonishes us that amongst these "dearly beloved" are not many great, not many wise, not many noble, not many rich, but chiefly the ignoble and the poor of this world. Their riches and their nobility are not of the flesh, but of the spirit, of the heart, of the new will, to which they have been begotten of God by the Holy Spirit. This is surely the Apostle's thought, for in the preceding verse he speaks of these "dearly beloved" ones as "sons and daughters" of the Lord, children of the Almighty--hence begotten again of the Holy Spirit--"New Creatures in Christ Jesus." (2 Cor. 5:17.) Ah, how wonderful it seems that there should be such a class as this in the world, yet not separated from the world, except by their new spirit! These are in the world but not of the world, as the Master declared. These have died to worldly aims and objects, and have become alive toward God through the Holy Spirit and through the quickening influences of God's exceeding great and precious promises given unto them. God's purpose respecting them is that they may be transformed from human nature to spirit nature--from participation with the world in the blessings coming to it to receive instead the Divine nature, with the glory, honor and immortality attaching thereto, as New Creatures, sons of the Highest. CHRISTIAN "FILTHINESS OF THE FLESH"

 Having located definitely the class addressed by the

Apostle, "the saints" (2 Cor. 1:1), let us note why it is necessary that saints should receive such an exhortation. Why should the Apostle write to saints respecting the cleansing of their flesh from filthiness? Could one be a saint and yet have filthiness of the flesh? SM392

 We reply that these saints, begotten of the Holy

Spirit, will not be perfected as New Creatures until they experience the "change" of the "First Resurrection." Meantime they have the treasure of the Divine nature, the Holy Spirit, the first-fruits of their inheritance, in imperfect human bodies. It is not the flesh that is begotten again by the Holy Spirit, but a new mind, a new will. The will of the flesh they sacrifice. They give up all earthly rights and ambitions and accept instead the will of God, the will of Christ, the Holy Spirit, that they may walk in newness of life. However, from the very beginning of their Christian experience all of these members of the Royal Priesthood, in the present life, pass through difficulties which arise from three different sources:

  (1) The Adversary is in opposition to them, and will

do them all the harm the Lord will permit. Their protection is the Divine promise that they shall not be tempted above what they will be able to bear--that the Lord will so supervise their interests that with every temptation there will be provided a way of escape.--1 Cor. 10:13.

  (2) They are in a world that is dark with sin and selfishness,

superstition and ignorance of God and out of harmony with His righteousness. The world and its spirit surge about them every day, from morning until night. Its tides and currents seek to sweep them away from their resolutions of self-sacrifice and loyalty to God and righteousness. In various ways it holds out to them enchanting prospects, pleasures and riches, ease and affluence. These have their weight, even though it be known that comparatively few who follow the world's beckoning and allurements ever receive the fulfilment of the promises held out to them.--1 Cor. 2:12-14.

  (3) The New Creature's closest and most persistent

adversary is his own flesh. The longings of his depraved nature cry out against restraints, and insist that he is taking an unreasonable course in that he undertakes to follow the Lord Jesus, and thus to go in an opposite direction SM393 from the course of the world and at the cost of the crucifixion, the mortification, of his own flesh and his natural preferences.--Rom. 8:13.

  Thus viewed every spirit-begotten Christian is an

object of sympathy from the Divine standpoint, and this should be their standpoint toward each other. But the world has no sympathy. The world sees not, neither does it understand nor appreciate the exceeding great and precious promises which lie behind the consecration of the "saints," "the Church of the First-borns." So much the more each of these brethren, "dearly beloved," should have sympathy for each other, should encourage one another, strengthen one another, build one another up in the most holy faith and, by all means, do nothing to stumble each other in the narrow way.--John 13:34,35.

 The "saints" cannot fight Satan. They can merely

by their wills resist him and rely upon the promises of grace to help and to protect. The "saints" cannot conquer the world and convert it to God--that is too herculean a task. God, as we have seen, has provided the thousand years of Messiah's Reign for that purpose--to conquer the world, to overthrow sin and to uplift the willing and obedient of humanity. But the "saints" must all overcome the world in the sense of resisting its spirit and keeping their hearts loyal to God, loyal to their covenant of consecration which they have made to Him. The Heavenly promises with the still greater rewards of glories, far above anything that the world has to offer, are the greatest aids in this resistance of the worldly spirit.

 The great work for the Church is the good fight of

faith manifested in the putting away of the filth of their own flesh and spirit. Some by nature have more filth of the flesh and spirit, more meanness, more selfishness, more natural depravity, etc., than have others. Nevertheless, the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong; for God's arrangement is that each member of the Royal Priesthood shall be judged according to the SM394 spirit or intention, and not according to the flesh. From the time of the Christian's consecration to the Lord he is reckoned dead as a human being and alive as a spirit being. His test or trial is not with a view to seeing whether or not he can do the impossible thing of living an absolutely perfect life in an imperfect body. His trial or test, on the contrary, is to see to what extent his mind, his will, fights a good fight against his natural weaknesses and frailties. "There is none righteous, no, not one." All the trying in the world could not prove this Divine statement an incorrect one. Righteousness of the will, holiness of heart, purity of heart, are the possibilities. For these God seeks; and these He will reward in the "First Resurrection" by granting perfect spirit bodies, in full harmony with their pure hearts, their loyal intentions and purposes.--Rom. 3:10; 1 Tim. 6:12. HOW TO PUT AWAY FILTH OF THE FLESH

 If it is impossible for the New Creature to perfect the

flesh, what does the Apostle mean by urging the saints to cleanse themselves from the filth of the flesh? He means that we should not, as New Creatures, be discouraged and say that, because we cannot hope to attain perfection in the flesh, therefore we will make no endeavors in that direction. He wishes us to understand that it is the Lord's will that we fight against the weaknesses of the flesh with a twofold purpose.

 (1) That we may gradually cleanse ourselves--gradually

become more and more what the Lord would have us be and what we should like to be ourselves.

 (2) Additionally, this fight against sin in the flesh will

make us stronger and stronger as New Creatures, in the spirit of our minds. It is this firmness, this determination, this positiveness of the New Creature against sin and for righteousness that God desires. Those who develop it are called "overcomers"; and all of their experiences in these trials and battlings against the SM395 world, the flesh and the Adversary, are designed to make them "strong in the Lord and in the power of His might." Their experiences are so ordered and directed as to lead them to more and more of faith in God and obedience to Him. In order to be acceptable, they must reach the place where they love righteousness and hate iniquity-- in-equity--injustice.--Psa. 45:7; Luke 16:13.

 The word spirit in the Bible and in ordinary language

is used in a variety of senses. In our text it does not signify that the saints, as spirit beings, are filthy and need cleansing. Quite to the contrary, the New Creature, begotten of the Holy Spirit, is pure. But as the New Creature must use the body of flesh until it receives the New Body, so it must use the brain or mind of the flesh wherewith to do its thinking and reasoning, until that which is perfect shall be attained in the "First Resurrection." The Apostle's meaning, therefore, is not only that the saints should put away filthiness of words and actions, and all sympathy with impurity of every kind, but that their minds (their thoughts) also should be pure, should be cleansed of everything not fully in sympathy and accord with the mind of Christ. Nor are we to suppose that this work is purely God's work in us. It is His to forgive the sins of the past. It is His to cleanse us from all condemnation of the past. It is His to cover through Christ all of our unintentional blemishes. It is His to encourage by His promises. But it is ours to show our loyalty to the principles of His Word and character by putting away, to the extent of our ability, all filthiness of the flesh and spirit.--Phil. 2:12,13; 2 Peter 1:10. SM396 JERUSALEM THE HOLY CITY

              [Brooklyn, June 5, 1910]
 "Comfort ye, comfort ye My people, saith your God.

Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her that her appointed time is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins."--Isa. 40:1,2.

 Christendom, with united voice, admits that all of the

Divine Revelation came to and through the Hebrew people. Listen to the argument of the Apostle Paul, "What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way; chiefly, because that unto them were committed the Oracles of God"--the Divine Message respecting the Divine purposes, present and to come. The Apostle again informs us that the entire Gospel Message was briefly comprehended in the Creator's promise to Abraham, "In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed."--Gal. 3:8.

             "TO THE JEW FIRST"
 It was the most natural thing imaginable for the Jewish

Nation to suppose that the giving to them of the Law at Mount Sinai, through the mediatorship of Moses, was the fulfilment of the promise to Abraham. Nevertheless, they were mistaken, as the pages of history show.

 Israel's mediator, the sacrificing priests, the sacrifices

they offered, their Tabernacle with its Holy and Most Holy, the Temple, and all the features of the Law Covenant were type or foreshadows of the "better sacrifices," higher Priesthood, better Mediator, and glorious blessings of eternal forgiveness and reconciliation yet to be accomplished. Nevertheless the period of Israel's types was not wasted. Not only were the types there given, SM397 but at the same time a special class of agents were selected: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the Prophets and worthy ones of that Age, holy, consecrated to God, and accepted as agents qualified for the Kingdom conditions. Of these the Scriptures declare, "They fell asleep." They are still asleep in the dust of the earth, awaiting the glorious Resurrection Morning, and a grand share with Messiah in the work then to be accomplished. In their lifetime, they were styled "the fathers," because Messiah was foretold to be of the posterity of Abraham, and also "David's Son."

        "COMFORT YE MY PEOPLE"
 But other Scriptures, without contradicting these

statements, show us distinctly that "David's Son" and "Abraham's Seed" is to be Lord and Father of both David and Abraham. Thus we read, "Instead of Thy fathers shall be Thy children, whom Thou mayest make princes in all the earth." (Psa. 45:16.) David's son, Messiah, will be David's Father, or Life-giver, when He will raise David from the dead. Similarly He will be the Father of all those Ancient Worthies; and as David's Lord, and "Lord of lords," it will be His pleasure to appoint to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, to all of the Ancient Worthies and the Prophets, and other faithful ones a glorious share with Himself in the great Messianic Kingdom, which He is about to set up for the ruling and blessing of Israel and all the nations of the earth. Will not this be a grand honor to Abraham and his Seed! Could we expect that the Almighty would use in such a high position any except the faithful? Surely not! When Messiah shall make these Ancient Worthies "Princes in all the earth," as representatives of His invisible Kingdom, will not this mean honor to the Jew first?

 Our text is one of three declarations in the Old Testament,

which assure us that there is a "double" connected with Israel's history. That is to say, Jewish history naturally SM398 divides itself into two exactly equal parts. The first of these parts was a time of favor, intermingled with disciplines, but favor, nevertheless. The second of these parts has been one of disfavor and exclusion from Divine fellowship. As foretold by the Prophet, Israel for many centuries has been without prophet or priest, without ephod and without communion with God; whereas, at one time they were God's favored people. They now, according to their own admission, are so thoroughly rejected that they have no communication whatever, no light to shine upon their pathway. The Prophet's words have been fulfilled, "Let their table become a snare before them: and that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap. Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not." (Psa. 69:22,23.) They have stumbled; they are blinded; but thank God! their blindness is not to be perpetual. The period of their blindness is the second part of the "double." With the fulfilment of that "double" their blindness will begin to vanish, and "all the blind eyes shall be opened." Of that time the Lord declares that He who scattered Israel will gather them.--Deut. 30:3; Ezek. 37:20-28.

 We are impressed, not by fancy, but by the Word of

God, that Israel's "double" is now fulfilled, that Israel's blessing has already begun, that the opening of Israel's eyes is now in progress. For this reason we have chosen for our text, "Comfort ye, comfort ye My people, saith your God. Cry unto Jerusalem and say unto her that her appointed time is accomplished; for she hath received at the Lord's hand double [the two parts of her chastisement] for all her sins." Because the "double" is completed, we may speak the words of comfort.

 Thirty-four years ago we called attention to these

facts, but few had ears to hear. When eighteen years ago we visited Jerusalem, having in mind chiefly the fact that the time for the regathering of Israel was nigh at hand, and that the set time to favor Zion had come, we SM399 found no hearing ears amongst the Jewish people; and Zionism had not then been dreamed of. Our communications with the representatives of the Baron Hirsch Immigration Fund, and also with the executors of the Sir Moses Montefiore Jewish Relief Fund met with scant recognition. Nevertheless, we felt sure that Israel's "double" had been fulfilled, and that her morning of joy would soon break.--Psa. 30:5.

 Meantime how much has happened during those

eighteen years! Zionism has risen and engendered the hope of the "chosen people" in every land, and turned their eyes toward the Land of Promise--not that all are thinking of returning thither, but that every Jew who retains faith in the God of his fathers, and in the Abrahamic promise, is now looking and hoping for the time of blessing, long foretold. They know not about their "double"; they have not been studying the Holy Scriptures, but the teachings of their ancients, as presented by the Talmud. They have been making a very similar mistake to that of Christian people, who have been studying the creeds of the Dark Ages instead of God's Word.

           THE THREE "DOUBLES"
 Glance with me at three different statements by the

Lord through the Prophets of Israel respecting Israel's "double" of experience: the first, an experience of God's favor; the second, an experience of equal length without Divine favor. Notice first Jeremiah's prophecy. (Jer. 16:18.) After telling of Israel's disfavor, and then of their regathering, the Lord declares, "And first I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double"--some of the recompense with favor, and some without favor. Jeremiah's prophecy looks down to the "double" from his own day, which was more than six hundred years before the second part of their "double" began.

 Turn now to Zechariah's prophecy, and note that

prophetically he takes his standpoint at the very time SM400 when the second part of the "double" began. His words are, "Even today do I declare that I will render double unto thee."--Zech. 9:12.

 Come next to our text, and note that the Prophet

Isaiah stands with us, and views the matter from the standpoint that the "double" of experience has been fulfilled: "Speak comfortably unto Jerusalem, cry unto her that her appointed time is accomplished, because she hath received at the Lord's hand double [two equal parts] for her sins." It is our understanding that this "double" reached fulfilment in the year 1878 A.D.; and since that date we have been declaring to the best of our ability, as the Lord granted opportunity, these comforting words to Israel, assuring God's people that their period of disfavor has ended, and that they are gradually returning to prosperity; that Divine favor began with them in 1878. Yea, more than this, our sermons which to some extent reflect this feature of the Divine Program relating to Israel's restoration to Divine favor, are being read to a considerable extent by Hebrews as well as by Christians. Their eyes are gradually opening, as the Scriptures foretell they shall do.

 But how may we know when the turning point of

Israel's "double" took place? How may we know that the "double" was completed in 1878? We reply that the answer to the question necessitates an acknowledgment of Jesus as the Messiah. Israel's rejection of Him as their King marks the turning point of God's favor, as the prophecy of Zechariah, just quoted, distinctly shows. Neither Christians nor Jews have appreciated the full import of the incident mentioned in the Gospel; that five days before His crucifixion, Jesus rode upon an ass, after the manner of Jewish kings, into the city of Jerusalem, a multitude surrounding Him, and going before Him, shouting, "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He that cometh in the name of Jehovah!" The Prophet Zechariah called attention to this incident centuries SM401 before it occurred, and then gives the Lord's words, "Even today do I declare I will render double unto thee."--Matt. 21:1-5.

 Israel's history as a nation began with the death of

Jacob, when he gave his blessing to the twelve tribes. The period from that time to the death of Jesus, according to the Scriptures, was 1845 years; and a like period of disfavor, measuring from the day of Jesus' rejection marks the year 1878, as the end of Israel's disfavor--the time when the message of comfort should go forth. However, Divine favor was only gradually taken from Israel, and altogether a period of thirty-six years intervene between the death of Jesus and the utter destruction of Jerusalem. Similarly we should expect that the return of favor would be gradual, a like period of 36 years; and this would bring us to the year 1914, as the time when God's favor for His people will be gradually manifested, during the closing hours of Gentile supremacy in the close of the Gospel Age.--Luke 21:24.

        "THE SEED OF ABRAHAM"
 The question now arises, What has God accomplished

during the latter half of Israel's "double"? Did He pass by His chosen people to bless the Gentiles directly, or how shall we understand Divine providence with respect to this matter?

 We answer that Almighty God had one feature of His

Plan which He did not make known directly and explicitly to Abraham or any other Prophet. He kept that feature of his purpose a secret. It is this: Messiah could not be a man and yet accomplish the great things which Jehovah purposed, as stated in His Word. The Law called for an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth and a man's life for a man's life. In this God set forth His principle governing His course of dealing with men. As by man (Adam) came the death sentence, and through heredity upon all of his offspring, even so the Divine Law purposed that there must be a sacrifice of one human life to SM402 offset the one human life condemned to death. The one who would thus meet the demands of Justice on behalf of the race would have the right to give eternal life and human perfection to every member of Adam's race willing to accept it on the terms of the Divine Law. It was for this reason that Christ should die, "the Just for the unjust."--1 Peter 3:18.

 As a reward for His obedience to the Father even unto

death, Christ was raised from the dead to the Divine nature. In this exalted condition He is capable of being a Mediator and of doing a work for Israel and for the world much higher and broader than Moses could effect. Moses, the typical mediator, made atonement for a year with the blood of beasts; but Messiah with His own blood makes perpetual atonement for the sins of all the people. This is the great Messiah (Jesus) who suffered the death of the cross--for the Jews and for the Gentiles--"for all the people." This is the glorified Messiah, who as the Spiritual Seed of Abraham is about to bless Israel's Ancient Worthies, and to "make them Princes in all the earth"--ministers of His Kingdom for the ruling, blessing and uplifting of whosoever will, out of the present sin and death conditions, to life eternal, to full human perfection, with the earth as Paradise restored.

          MEMBERS OF MESSIAH
 But some one may say, Where do Christians come, in

connection with this Divine arrangement? And if God's dealings with the world are to be through Israel, and not through the Church, why has there been so long a delay? Why did not the glorified Messiah at once set up His Kingdom, and bring forth the Ancient Worthies from the tomb to be its earthly representatives? Oh, here is another part of the Mystery of God! Isaac, Abraham's son, was typical of Messiah, the Spiritual Seed. But before Isaac began the work of dispensing the blessings to his brethren and to his children, he first took a bride; SM403 and this act also was allegorical or typical. In the antitype, Messiah, the glorified Jesus, partook of the Divine nature according to the Father's invitation, and He is to take a Bride who is to be His joint-heir on the spirit plane--to share with Him the glory, honor and service of His Messianic Kingdom. The period of Israel's disfavor, as a nation, has been the time in which a special class has been called of the Father and begotten of the Holy Spirit to joint-heirship with Christ as His Bride.

 But did God pass by the natural seed of Israel to give

these spiritual privileges to the Gentiles--to gather from the Gentiles a people, figuratively to constitute the Bride of Messiah? Nay. The Scriptures assure us that this spiritual privilege went first to the Jews. They show us that during the three and a half years of Jesus' ministry, and during the thirty-six years following it, the Gospel Message was given almost exclusively to the Jews, and gathered from that people as many as were found to be "Israelites indeed" without guile, as many as were not only of the circumcision of the flesh, but who were also of the circumcision of the heart. God did not continue to deal with His chosen people; but after having gathered from them as many as were worthy of the spiritual blessing and exaltation--only then did He send the Message to the Gentiles, to gather from the Gentiles a number sufficient to complete the foreordained and predestined number who will constitute the Bride.

 So, then, my brethren, in proving from the Scriptures

that Israel's "double" is about completed, that Israel's blindness is about to be taken away, and that Israel's exaltation as the earthly representatives of Messiah's Kingdom is near at hand, we are proving to ourselves another thing; namely, that the full number called from amongst the Gentiles to participate with Christ on the spirit plane, as members of His Bride class, will soon be completed and exalted to Kingdom glory.--Rom. 11:25-32. SM404 THE DESTRUCTION OF MYSTIC BABYLON

  "Declare ye among the nations, and publish; set up a

standard; say, Babylon is taken."--Jer. 50:2.

  While our message for today is "meat in due season"

to the Household of Faith, and in every way important to be understood, it is, nevertheless, a subject difficult to treat without giving offense, without seeming harsh. Bear with me, then, while expressing what I believe to be the Divine Message in as kindly a manner as I know how.

  The Scriptures which I may quote in support of my

presentation seem harsh almost to cruelty; but I assure you, my hearers, that I am not responsible for the language of the Bible. My responsibility is to speak the Word of the Lord. In doing this I shall endeavor to present the message in as kindly a manner as I am able, and as far as possible explain some of the harsher expressions; but I must not shun to declare the whole counsel of God--and as fully as I believe He would now have His people understand it.--Jer. 23:28; Acts 20:26,27.

  In the days of Jesus and His Apostles there was no

Mystic Babylon. Therefore the expressions in the Revelation of St. John bearing upon Mystic Babylon were prophetic of the systems and conditions which have since risen in the Church. The word Babylon has a double significance. It is derived from the word Babel, and reminds us of the time when the sons of Noah lost faith in the Divine providential care and in the rainbow of promise, and endeavored to erect a structure for their own preservation --the Tower of Babel. This attempt led to the confusion of tongues.--Gen. 11:1-9.

  Similarly, following the days of the Apostles and of

the persecution of the early Church, an attempt was made to erect a great religious system for the protection of the SM405 Church, not waiting for the fulfilment of the Divine promise that in due time Messiah would come and establish His Kingdom for the blessing of the world.

  The religious "Tower of Babel" was, primarily,

Papacy. So far as it went, it was a wonderful structure, but it never accomplished the designs of its founders. It never mastered and established the Church far above the power and influence of the civil governments and earthly monarchs.

  It was when the Tower of Babel rose to a considerable

height in dignity and grandeur that the Lord manifested His Power amongst the workmen and confounded their speech. Disconcerted, the people ceased the further building of the Tower, and each set up for himself. This corresponds well with the Protestant Reformation Movement and the various denominations into which those once Catholic became divided.

        BABYLON AND ITS WALL
  Another thought connected with our subject is that the

literal city of Babylon was a prototype, a prophetic figure of Mystic Babylon. The name Babylon signifies "The Gate of God"--the gateway by which access to God is to be attained. This in effect was the claim made by Papacy, and the claim which she still makes--that she is a great City, a great kingdom; that she has a great wall of Divine salvation and protection round about her--a great wall built of superstition and ignorance, say her enemies.

  In the Revelation Jesus prophetically pictures the

greatness of this City, this spiritual Empire. It is essentially religious, although it includes the great kingdoms of earth, which unitedly are styled Christendom. This great "city," Babylon, is represented as being divided into ten different wards, each of which represents one of the kingdoms of Christendom, and which corresponds to the ten horns of the symbolic "beast." Compare Rev. 11:13; 13:1; Dan. 2:41; 7:7. SM406

  As this great "city," or spiritual kingdom, thus

includes the chief monarchies of Europe, so under another figure Babylon, Papacy, is represented as a woman, in whose forehead is found the name, "Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots." Thus is shown in some manner the various Protestant systems of Christendom which separated from the "Mother Church" of Rome, but which are still her daughters, still related to her, partakers of her character, traits and disposition. Thus Babylon with her ten wards includes practically all of Europe; and Mother and Daughters of this same family name include nearly all of the Protestant denominations as well as the Catholic Mother Church.

        WHAT IS MEANT BY HARLOTRY?
 It should be remembered in discussing this subject that

the Scriptural language is figurative--that it does not signify that either the Church of Rome or her Protestant Daughters are immoral. The correct thought is this: Primarily the Church of Christ was a "virgin" company of persons, called out, separated from the world, its aims and its ambitions--called to be saints and joint-heirs with Christ in His Kingdom. To whatever extent systems rose amongst the followers of Jesus and became affiliated with any of the kingdoms of this world--to that extent, Scripturally, figuratively, they committed harlotry; for they were espoused to the King of kings and the Lord of lords, and were to wait for Him, that at His Second Coming they might become His Bride and His Associate in His Throne.

 It will not be questioned that Papacy became affiliated

with the Roman Empire and sat down on the throne of Rome; nor that the Church of England, as one of her "daughters," became affiliated with the British Government and now sits, representatively, in the House of Lords. It would not be questioned that the Greek Church experienced a similar betrothal and marriage to the Russian Government, the Lutheran Church to the German SM407 Government, etc., etc. It is on this account and in this sense that the Church of Rome and her Daughters-- mother and daughters, organizations of Protestants--are figuratively called by the family name of Babylon.

        BABYLON'S GOLDEN CUP
 Under the figure of "a woman clothed in purple and

scarlet" the Mother System of Babylon long centuries ago "made all the nations drunk with her wine," the doctrines which she had in her Golden Cup. (Rev. 17:1-6.) The Golden Cup represents the Bible, the Divine Standard, or authority. It was misused when the wine of false doctrine was put into it--when the Bible was claimed as authority for various erroneous teachings of the Dark Ages. The intoxicating "wine" which made the nations drunk, and which led them to support the "woman" and to call themselves Christian nations, Papacy still holds in her hand, and still offers to whoever will receive it. But the nations are gradually sobering up.

  It is not necessary to suppose that every doctrine

presented by Papacy was false and intoxicating. The thought is, rather, that a stupefying potion was put into the wine already in the Cup. As the Golden Cup represents the Word of God and its Message, the stupefying potion may well be understood to be some of the doctrines; for instance, that God's Kingdom has already been set up, that the papal throne is the Throne of Christ, and that the Pope reigns as Christ's Vicegerent, or substitute and representative. Other poisonous elements threatened the people with purgatorial torture or with eternal torment if they failed to keep in line with the papal authority --this claimed vicegerent authority of Christ.

  The Protestant denominations were all born under

these intoxicating influences and false theories. While they separated from the Mother system and denounced her, nevertheless they held doctrinally to many of her intoxicating errors. Consequently they, too, claim that SM408 somehow, they know not how, Messiah's Kingdom has been set up and is reigning. They, too, join in giving the nations some of the same commingled "wine" that the Mother gave them, telling the people that these are Christian nations, even though they have anything but the Christian spirit, and are building guns and dreadnaughts to blow each other off the face of the earth.

  So strong is the power of this intoxication that the

inconsistencies of such theories are not discerned by those intoxicated. Only the few who are gradually getting free from the stupefying potion are able, by Divine assistance, to see some of the mistakes along this line. These see that neither the Church of Rome nor any of her Daughter systems is the true Church.

  Each system professes to be the Bride of Christ, yet

each knows that the marriage of the Lamb is to take place at the Second Coming of Christ. They have therefore very generally lost sight of the fact that the true virgin Church of Christ, only a Little Flock (Luke 12:32), who will be accounted worthy to become the Bride of Christ, must wait for the Lord from Heaven. (1 Thess. 1:9,10.) She must keep herself "unspotted from the world," a virgin, that she may be accounted worthy to enter into the joys of her Lord, become His Queen and Joint-heir.

         BABYLON, THE GREAT CITY
  It is not to be expected that either the Mother or the

Daughters, who are now claiming to reign with Christ, who are now claiming that His Kingdom is already set up, who are now claiming that their union with the kingdoms of this world is legitimate, can have the Bridegroom's approval. It is not to be expected that they realize their true condition--that they are disloyal to the Heavenly Bridegroom and King.

  In the symbolic language of the Book of the Revelation,

as already explained, the name Babylon is applied not only to the typical woman, Papacy, and her mystical daughters, the Protestant denominations, but also to the SM409 great City, Mystic Babylon. The symbol woman more particularly represents the ecclesiastical systems, and the symbol city the governmental features--the sacerdotal, or religious, authority to govern and control the kingdoms, the nations of the earth.

  We all remember the history of the ancient city of

Babylon, with its most wonderful walls and its hanging gardens. We all remember that it was built across the River Euphrates, which flowed through its center and was supposed to protect it fully from the hazard of invasion. Besides its vast storehouses of food it had the river for its water supply. Babylon was therefore considered impregnable--a strongly fortified city.

  Mystic Babylon, Christendom of our day, is a most

masterly organization. Its walls are built of ignorance and superstition, whose great foundations were laid centuries ago. Ancient Babylon's great gates of brass, which came down to the level of the Euphrates, represented Mystic Babylon's worldly wisdom, human ingenuity and dexterity of organization, to maintain the control of the symbolic waters and to protect the "city" from a possible approach from that direction.

        THE EUPHRATES TO BE DRIED UP
 In the symbolic language of the Scriptures the word

water has two distinct interpretations: (1) Water is a symbol for Truth; (2) Water also symbolizes revenues from outside peoples and kingdoms. In harmony with this latter thought we read that the woman with the golden cup sits upon many waters; "and the waters which thou sawest are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues." (Rev. 17:1-15.) This "woman" does not reign over one nation or people alone; her rule is catholic, or general; for all nations were made more or less "drunk with her false doctrines." The water of the River Euphrates, flowing through Babylon, might therefore be understood to symbolize the peoples and nations supporting Mystic Babylon by contributions, offerings. SM410

 In the Revelation not merely is the name Babylon used

long after the ancient city was so blotted out of existence that for centuries its site was unknown, but the symbolic description includes also the River Euphrates. Of that great river we read, "The water thereof was dried up, that the way of the Kings of the East might be prepared." (16:12.) If we are correct in our interpretation that the waters of that river signify revenues from all nations, the drying up of the river implies a cessation of the revenues of Babylon, a decline in the contributions which heretofore have made her wealthy--millions coming every year from rich and poor of all nations, for her support.

 It is in full accord with this Divine prediction of what

is yet to come that we hear cries of distress rising from all denominations, both Catholic and Protestant, to the effect that the revenues of the churches are being "dried up," and this at a time when the world is larger in population and in wealth than ever before.

  History tells us that ancient Babylon was captured by

Cyrus the Great and his army after a siege of considerable length, which was unsuccessful until his soldiers digged a fresh channel for the river and turned aside its course. Thus was the River Euphrates dried up; and the Medo-Persian army entered the ancient city suddenly in the night. While these events were occurring, the princes of Babylon, corresponding to the notables of Christendom, were holding high carnival, rejoicing in their security, boasting of the strength of their walls, the impregnability of their gates and the sureness of their waters. As they were using the golden vessels of the Lord's Temple from which to drink their wine, so now, in the hour of Mystic Babylon's fall, we may expect something to correspond to this--a spirit of boastfulness, of pride, of intoxication with error, apparently drawn from the Divine Word.

  At this moment of their exuberance there appeared in

Belshazzar's banquet-hall a hand, which wrote the words, SM411 "Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin"--the days of your rule have been numbered by God and are finished; you are weighed in the balances and found wanting; your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and the Persians. (Dan. 5:25-28.) The strong symbolic language used in respect to Mystic Babylon corresponds so well to the prophetic language respecting ancient Babylon that we are warranted in understanding that city to have been a prototype of Mystic Babylon and her fall a prefigure of Christendom's fall.

        "FLEE OUT OF BABYLON"
  When foretelling the disaster upon Babylon, the

Prophets of Israel gave to God's people the message, "Flee out of Babylon; deliver every man his soul"--his life--and terrible descriptions, which seem grossly exaggerated unless we view the matter from the standpoint already suggested--that the experiences of the ancient city were figurative and prophetic of the much more serious experiences of Mystic Babylon, then long future. If further evidence were required to demonstrate that Mystic Babylon represents a great nominal system, it is found in the Apocalypse, a part of which is, "Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins and that ye receive not of her plagues."--Rev. 18:4.

 This call must be heard and heeded before the disaster

comes; for it will come suddenly, as in an hour. Those who do not stand aloof will be involved in the disaster. And it is God's will that they should be involved if, after seeing the truth respecting Babylon and her character, they are not enthusiastically opposed to her deceptions and intoxicating false doctrines. The tribulations upon Babylon will constitute a part of the great tribulation with which this Age will terminate and the New Dispensation of Messiah's Kingdom be ushered in--"a Time of Trouble such as was not since there was a nation." Let God's people remember that loyalty includes action and faithfulness even unto death.--Dan. 12:1; Matt. 24:21. SM412 DISTRESS OF NATIONS WITH PERPLEXITY

                               [October 4, 1914]
  "Upon the earth distress of nations with perplexity;

the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things that are coming on the earth."--Luke 21:25,26.

  Never was there such a war as there is at the present

time. Peculiar conditions have arisen, more so than has ever been known before in the history of the world. With the utter destruction of civilization impending, present conditions seem to take on a peculiar force as we think of what relationship God has to all these matters.

  On every hand prayers for peace are ascending to

God. Some are praying for the success of the allied armies--which means the slaughter of the Germans, Austrians and Hungarians; others are praying for just the reverse; still others are praying that the war shall not go on. All this shows great confusion of thought. How could all these prayers be heard? The Master has told us that we are to pray in accord with the Word of God. Therefore, before praying on the subject, it would be well to determine what are God's purposes in regard to this war, in order to pray in harmony with His arrangements. Instead of telling the Almighty what to do, we should all hearken to His Word, and take note of what He says about this war and the terrible Armageddon which will follow it--the "Time of Trouble such as was not since there was a nation."--Dan. 12:1; Rev. 11:16-18.

  As I read my Bible with clearer eyes than once I read

it, I see so many things different from what once I thought that I have great sympathy with people who are confused on this matter. As I read the Bible, God has foretold this very war and has indicated just what is happening today. Through the Prophet Joel He has said SM413 to all nations, "Let the weak say, I am strong.... Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat"--to the Battle of the great Day of God Almighty. If God prophesied this war of nations, then we need not pray that He stop a war which He has foretold would take place.--Joel 3:9-12.

 Surely, so far as the present war has gone, it has

brought a greater number to the grave than has any previous war. Many, doubtless, will be shocked at the declaration that this war and the still greater calamity to follow are of Divine arrangement. Nevertheless, the gathering of the nations to the present struggle is referred to in the Prophet's words, where the weak nations are called upon to assert their strength and to go down, all of them, to the Valley of Jehoshaphat--otherwise the Valley of Graves.--Joel 3:2,14.

                SEEN IN GOD'S PLAN
 In harmony with this prophecy, the nations have for

years been "beating their plowshares into swords, and their pruning-hooks into spears," in the sense that money has been spent for military purposes which should properly have been spent in agricultural implements and developments. Apparently all the nations of the world will yet be involved. Happy would it be if our own land should escape! We are very glad to note that our President and our Secretary of State are men of peace, and will surely do all in their power to avoid complications and war itself. Nevertheless, it is reasonable to expect that the great nations of Europe, realizing how much they will be weakened by the war, will do all in their power to ensnare these United States, lest at the conclusion of the war we should tower too much above the other nations in financial strength and in every other way.

 But to the majority it is very confusing to think that

God would bring about any great war. There is surely something wrong or there would not be such perplexity; for the Lord tells His people that they will not be in darkness. SM414 Speaking about this Time of Trouble, St. Paul says, "But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that Day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of the light, and the children of the Day." (1 Thess. 5:1-6.) God's people should have general information regarding His plans, purposes and arrangements.

 Only as we look at the Divine Plan as a whole can we

understand God's relationship with this bloody war--and with all war. Many have seen only small portions of the Divine Plan, and so have failed to grasp the great lengths, breadths, heights and depths of God's great Purpose. But whoever has an understanding of the great Plan of God will ever after be able rightly to appreciate and to locate not only the events of today, but also everything that is coming; for the Bible outlines the history of man.

 The Scriptures clearly teach that our earth is the

only rebellious province in all God's fair creation. In this little planet God has permitted sin to take its course --to bud, to blossom, to bring forth its fruitage--that both men and angels may see the dire results of opposition to the Divine Government. The Bible tells us how this world became rebellious. It tells us that God did not create mankind imperfect, as we are today. Man was created perfect, an earthly being--in the image of his Heavenly Creator, in the sense of having a moral character, but limited to earthly conditions. This perfect man was placed in a perfect home, in every way adapted to his needs. This Eden was especially prepared for him, and he was to enjoy it. But he was the king of the whole earth; and therefore his Creator instructed him that, as his family increased, he was to subdue the earth and develop it. Had mankind remained in harmony with God, the whole world would have become as Eden.

 God foreknew just what would occur, however. He

foreknew Adam's sin and fall, as well as the mental, moral and physical degeneracy which would result from the disobedience of our first parents. He foreknew our SM415 weakness and imperfection, our attempts at moral, religious and mental reform and at mental and physical health. Yet He permitted all this to come to pass.

 Sin entered the world, and has continued to rest upon

the human family for six thousand years. This curse of sin and death is upon mankind. God's penalty for sin is death; and whether it comes through pestilence, famine, war or by slower processes, matters little. There is no one so stupid but that he can see that the whole course of human history has been a reign of Sin and Death. WHY GOD PERMITTED SIN AND DEATH

  The Bible tells us that God has permitted this condition

to continue for the past six thousand years as a great lesson on the exceeding sinfulness of sin and on the utter hopelessness of any other help than that which He Himself has provided. For six great Days of a thousand years each--from Adam's time until now--Sin and Death have reigned over the race. These are man's Work-Week, in which he has been permitted to try everything he could imagine for his own relief from sin and its penalty --death.--Rom. 6:23.

  And now, after the Week has drawn to a close, what

do we find? Mankind are still dying--mentally, morally, physically. So far from gaining life for our race, all our efforts through doctors, scientists, etc., have accomplished practically nothing. Yea, our most learned physicians and specialists tell us that the world is on the verge of a collapse. They say that at the present rate of increase there would not be, in a hundred and sixty years from now, enough sane people in the world to care for the insane. They tell us that various diseases are increasing so rapidly as to endanger the existence of the race in a very short time; and this in face of the fact that sanitary conditions are made a necessity, even to the extent of providing individual drinking cups.

  Our only hope is in God; and He has arranged that

His blessing shall come through Messiah's Kingdom when SM416 our race shall have reached its limit. Man's extremity will be God's opportunity. In the great Seventh Day of man's Work-Week, the antitypical Sabbath, Messiah will, in association with His Church of this Gospel Age, set up the Divine Kingdom amongst men--a spiritual Kingdom, not an earthly one, ruling, blessing and uplifting mankind. For a thousand years this work of uplift will progress, until all the willing and obedient will have attained again the lost likeness of their Creator and all the unwilling and disobedient will have been cut off from life in the Second Death.

        "THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES"
 Another great lesson which God has been teaching

mankind during the reign of Sin and Death is the fact that they are incapable of establishing such a government as is necessary for real blessing and uplift of the race. For a time He appointed the nation of Israel to be His typical kingdom, selecting King David and his posterity to constitute the royal family. The last king of David's line was Zedekiah, of whom we read: "And thou, profane wicked prince of Israel, whose time has come that iniquity shall have an end. Thus saith the Lord God, Remove the diadem, take off the crown; I will overturn, overturn, overturn it until He comes whose right it is; and I will give it unto Him." (Ezek. 21:25-27.) The One whose right it is, is Messiah--Jesus the Head, and the Church His Body--on the spirit plane.

 Certain Scriptures indicate that the time during which

God's Kingdom would be removed would be seven prophetic Times, each of which is 360 years in length. Seven Times would therefore equal 2,520 years. That period, reckoned from the time of King Zedekiah's overthrow, ends with this year; for, according to the Scriptures the crown was taken away from King Zedekiah in 606 B.C. If so, with the close of the present year, Messiah should take to Himself His great power and begin the long-promised Millennial Reign of Glory, the opening or beginning SM417 of which, according to the Bible, will be a very dark hour--"a Time of Trouble such as was not since there was a nation," "nor ever shall be"--the like again.

 When God took away His typical kingdom, 606 B.C.,

He gave the Gentiles authority or permission to do their best to rule and govern the world and to bring in righteousness. That we might know all this, He gave a dream to Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, and sent the interpretation of the dream through Daniel, the Prophet. The dream showed a great image, whose head was of gold, representing Babylon; the breast and arms of silver, representing the succeeding government of Medo-Persia; the belly of brass, representing the Grecian Empire, which succeeded the Medes and Persians; and its legs of iron represented Rome, the government of the Caesars. Each of these governments has had universal sway, each has shown the best it was able to do for humanity, and each has failed.--Dan. 2:37-45.

 The feet of the image were of iron, showing that they

represented part of the Roman Empire; but they were smeared with clay and thus made to represent stone feet. These feet represented the Holy Roman Empire, whose divisions, or toes, are now at war with each other. The dream and its interpretation showed that the stone which struck the image in the feet, ground them to powder and utterly destroyed the entire image, represented God's Kingdom. According to the prophecy, this Kingdom will ultimately fill the whole earth.

 The clay smeared on the feet, making them look like

the stone, represents the fact that the present Roman governments of Europe claim to be Christ's Kingdom. On their coins, and otherwise, they claim to be representatives of God. They have deceived themselves into thinking of themselves as Christendom, which signifies Christ's Kingdom. In reality, however, they are Gentile kingdoms, the last representatives of Gentile power--the feet and the toes of the image which Nebuchadnezzar saw. SM418

 These powers are what the Bible calls "the kingdoms

of this world." But they are part of the Gentile power which has been permitted to rule the world up to the time when God will be ready to set up His Kingdom, which was also represented in Nebuchadnezzar's dream--the stone cut out without hands. The Word of God transforming the hearts of His people will gradually make them His Kingdom, and in the spiritual Kingdom these will be Messiah's joint-heirs. When the image of Gentile supremacy falls, these will be put into power and place. Then all will have opportunity to return to Divine favor.

        THE JUDGMENT OF THE NATIONS
 We have read in history, and daily we are reading in

the newspapers, how these nations are attempting to blow one another off the sea and the land. "The nations were angry," says the Revelator. There is no nation so small but that it desires to go to war. As the Prophet Joel says to the nations, "Come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat." Outside of the walls of Jerusalem is the cemetery of Jehoshaphat, known as the Valley of Graves. In figurative language the Prophet is saying to the nations, "Come up to the Valley of Graves!" And this is just where they are going.

 When we think of the appalling loss of life amongst

these angry nations, it is grand to know that all these bitter experiences are not lost, and that the poor creatures who have suffered are not, when they die, hurled into eternal torment--that these poor creatures, not knowing what the war really is about, but demonstrating to the best of their ability their patriotism, are not thrown to the Devil to be forever roasted. Ah, no! According to the Scriptures, they are falling asleep in death. Their sorrows and woes are all over for the present. They will know nothing more until He who has redeemed them will call them forth from the dominion of Death.

 The present war will weaken the nations, not only of

their life-blood, but also of their wealth; and it will demonstrate SM419 the inefficiency of all Gentile kingdoms to bring to the world peace, righteousness, satisfactory government. But Messiah's Kingdom, which will then be inaugurated, will be "the desire of all nations." This war and the anarchy of Armageddon, which will follow it, will prove conclusively the great need of Divine interposition in human affairs.--Hag. 2:7.

 Doubtless earth's great rulers have done the best they

knew how to do for their peoples. Some of our very best laws came from Julius Caesar, in combination with the Mosaic code. Some of the world's rulers today are also doing their best; but they are confused. Having a false idea of what constitutes Christ's Kingdom, they seem to think it their mission to conquer the world. They also believe that they foresee a general uprising of Socialism, and their hearts are failing them, fearing the things coming upon the earth.

 While they knew that this would be the worst war ever

known, yet they preferred it to that which they were striving to ward off and which they have succeeded in keeping off for the present. But they have lost their best blood, their best energy, their money, commerce, etc.; and when the war is ended, these nations, sorrowful and famine-stricken, will be greatly angered at their rulers. Then will come the determination for something like Socialism. This the governments will endeavor to put down, and to some extent they will succeed. Then will come the great explosion--the Armageddon of the Scriptures. Then will be the Time of Trouble, immediately preceding the Messianic Kingdom.

  Let all the Gentile kingdoms be
  Subjected, mighty Lord, to Thee!
  And over land and stream and main,
  Now wave the sceptre of Thy reign.

SM420

       "THE SIGN OF THE SON
           OF MAN IN HEAVEN"
 "Then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in

heaven; and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."--Matt. 24:30.

 Various suggestions have been made by scholars

respecting the import of this prophecy by the Master. Some guessed that the sign would be a Cross in the sky. Others thought that it would be Christ Himself, who would appear in some wrathful form to humanity, causing fear and dismay.

 We cannot say that the sign of the Son of Man in

heaven will be His Parousia. On the contrary, the Parousia of Christ will not be known to the tribes, or families, of the earth in general, but will be known only to the most saintly ones of the Church of Christ. Consequently, the sign of the Son of Man must in some sense stand related to His Epiphania, or shining forth in the "flaming fire" of judgment, which the whole world of mankind will recognize. --2 Thess. 1:7-9.

 The word "sign" is of broad meaning; for instance,

crepe is a sign of mourning; the Cross represents Christianity; the Crescent, Mohammedanism. In other words, a sign is merely an indication. So when we read of the "sign of the Son of Man in heaven," the thought might properly be that something will occur indicative of the presence of the Son of Man--that He has taken to Himself His great power and has begun His reign. Since the Son of Man is to be revealed in flaming fire, taking vengeance, it follows that this sign must be some sign of vengeance, some indication of righteous indignation against wrong.--Isa. 59:17,18. SM421 JUDGMENT TO BEGIN WITH THE CHURCH

 The question, then, arises, How would such a sign, or

indication, appear in the sky, in the heavens? We reply that this is not the thought. On the contrary, let us remember that the Bible repeatedly uses the words heaven, mountain, sea, in a symbolical manner--the earth representing organized society; the mountains representing kingdoms, as the backbones of this organized society; the seas representing the restless masses of humanity, continually seeking to swallow up the social "earth." In the same symbolic terms the heavens represent the ecclesiastical powers of the world--churchianity. The sign appearing in the heavens signifies that the beginning of Christ's judgments will fall upon the ecclesiastical systems of our day. The flaming fire of judgments will first manifest itself in ecclesiastical affairs and circles.

 Mankind will gradually become awakened to the

thought that a new Government is in control, and that its policy will be the law of "judgment to the line and righteousness to the plummet." Since unrighteousness is prevalent as a result of man's fallen condition, the conscience of the whole world will be awakened, quickened; and fear, dread, will come upon all classes everywhere. This will be not only because they will see the primary sign of Christ's righteous judgments in religious circles, but because they will see Him coming--drawing nearer and nearer in judgment; and they will recognize that they, too, must shortly be involved. Hence there will be mourning because of Him.--Rev. 1:7.

 Furthermore, it will be remembered that all the families

of the earth have very crude and incorrect views of Messiah and of the object of His Second Coming and Kingdom. The "doctrines of devils," brought into the church creeds during the Dark Ages, have so made void the Word of God that the majority of mankind fear the Almighty, dread Him as their Almighty Foe, instead of realizing Him to be the God of all grace and the Father SM422 of all mercies, "from whom cometh every good and perfect gift."--1 Tim. 4:1; James 1:17.

 The eyes of the world have been blinded to the goodness

of God. Terrible dread in the hearts of humanity will lead to the wail of fear as they perceive Christ's righteous judgments encircling all the earth--

   "The signs and groanings promised
   To precede a second birth."

Not knowing of a "second birth" and all the glorious blessings which Messiah's Kingdom is designed to bring to mankind, human hearts will be filled with dread and apprehension. Only those who are truly the Lord's and are rightly informed respecting the Divine Plan of the Ages will be able to lift up their heads and rejoice, knowing that their "deliverance draweth nigh."--Luke 21:28.

        "THE HEAVENS BEING ON FIRE"
 St. Peter apparently described this sign of the Son of

Man in the heavens, revealed in flaming fire. His words are, "The heavens being on fire shall be dissolved," and "the earth also [shall take fire] and the works that are therein shall be burned up." (2 Peter 3:10-12.) Let us not make the mistake of our forefathers in supposing that these descriptions mean a literal burning of the literal earth. Let us, on the contrary, realize that the symbolical earth and the symbolical heavens are to catch fire and pass away with a great commotion, while the physical earth will remain practically as it is, and will begin to undergo the transforming influences of Restitution under the new King, the Restorer of all things--The Christ.

 It will be noticed that St. Peter mentions the fire as

coming to the heavens before it reaches the earth, in just the same order that Jesus stated the matter. The sign, manifestation, of the flaming fire of judgments will appear in the heavens; and subsequently the sign of the Son of Man in judgment will be seen coming nearer and nearer to earth's affairs, with a view to purging them absolutely from everything sinful, selfish, unjust. SM423

 We are told that the elements will melt with fervent

heat. We see the Capitalistic element and the Labor element separating, the one from the other. We see the preparations for the great conflagration, the great Time of Trouble. We sometimes speak of it in this language, saying, "Things are getting very hot." They will presently be so hot that spontaneous combustion will set in. And the fire of that Day will be so extreme and its results so drastic as to fulfil the Master's words that unless those days should be shortened no flesh could survive.

 But because of the Elect, because of the Kingdom

which will then be set up, those days will be shortened-- brought to an end. Nothing will be destroyed except that which is injurious. The world-wide results of that flaming fire of Divine judgments will be corrective, preparing men's hearts for the blessings which the Lord is prepared then to give. Thus it is written, "When the judgments of the Lord are abroad in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness."--Isa. 26:9.

 It will be noted that St. Peter, in speaking of that Time

of Trouble, mentions that the heavens--ecclesiasticism-- will be on fire first; and that later, the earth--society and its political, financial and social organizations--will be involved also. In harmony with this, our text tells that this sign, or indication, for the revealing of Messiah in flaming fire, will first be in the Church. Furthermore, according to St. Peter's statement, we are to expect that the ecclesiastical heavens will pass away with a great noise--a great commotion--before the social order is fully reached by the consuming fire.--2 Peter 3:10.

 The same thought is brought to our attention in Revelation,

where a wide distinction is made between the nominal church systems, called Babylon, and the true Church, which is admonished in advance to come out of Babylon and to stand in personal relationship to God through Christ. This general call, which belongs to the end of the Age, before the judgments come upon Babylon, SM424 reads, "Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." The intimation is that as soon as the loyally obedient have been gathered out of Babylon some drastic trouble will come upon her.--Rev. 18:4,5.

 We should not apply this term "Babylon" to individuals,

but to great systems, outwardly having a form of godliness, but really misrepresenting the Divine character, the Divine Plan, the true teachings of the Bible. Of course, the individuals identified with the systems have more or less responsibility, according to their official position and their intelligence. In similar proportion these individuals may have tribulations in conjunction with the fall of Babylon. We do not understand the term "Babylon" to be applied Scripturally to any sect or party, but rather to refer to the general conglomeration of systems and denominations. Likewise, when reading of the utter destruction that is to come upon Babylon, we are to differentiate between the systems and the individuals connected with those systems.

 The judgments of the Lord are not designed to crush

or destroy humanity, but to destroy utterly the systems of error, bondage and superstition which have fettered humanity and hindered them from fuller progress and development in the knowledge and favor of God. With the fall of the great systems (Babylon, confusion) men's eyes will begin to open; the blind will begin to "see out of obscurity." (Isa. 29:18.) As a result, the high praises of God will arise as a sweet savor.

 The fall of Babylon is declared to come speedily, suddenly

--figuratively, "in an hour." The descriptions of her fall are various. In one place we read that she shall be utterly burned with fire. The same symbol of fire is used by St. Peter in referring to the same trouble and destruction. In another place we read that Babylon shall be cast like a great millstone into the sea and be found no more at all.--Jer. 51:58; Rev. 18:8,21. SM425

        "EVERY EYE SHALL SEE HIM"
 Throughout this Gospel Age, the Lord's people have

with the eye of faith recognized Jesus as their Redeemer and Deliverer. But comparatively few have had such eyes of faith and understanding. The majority, as the Apostle declares, are blinded by Satan and by error, and fail to get a proper, true view of Christ. He says that "the god of this world" has blinded the minds of all unbelievers. But the gracious promise of the Lord is that all the blinded eyes shall be opened.

 The experiences of eighteen centuries have done little

toward opening the eyes of the world; but the revelation of Messiah in flaming fire will appeal to them quickly. They will see Him thus--"Every eye shall see Him, and those also who pierced Him"--the Jews. Instinctively they will fear. It may require a considerable time for them to become fully persuaded that the One feared is their best Friend, who gave His life as their Redemption-price, and whose judgments in the earth are for the very purpose of breaking the bondage of fear, ignorance, superstition, sin, selfishness and injustice, and of allowing the whole world to go free from a sin-slavery which has long oppressed them.--Rom. 11:25-27.

 In due time they will learn that the fire of God's anger

does not burn against the sinners for whom Christ died, but merely against their sins. The learning of this lesson will open their eyes still more widely and enable them to see something of the length, the breadth, the height and the depth of God's Love, of which the Apostle tells.-- Eph. 3:14-19; Rom. 5:6-8.

 That the Jews will be in that trouble, the Bible distinctly

marks out. It will be "the time of Jacob's trouble, but he shall be saved out of it." (Jer. 30:7.) The Gospel Church having been completed by that time and having passed beyond the veil, God's favor will be restored to Natural Israel; and the time for the special manifestation of that favor will be in the dark hour of Jacob's trouble, SM426 when the Jews are surrounded by enemies. In and through that trouble the Lord will pour upon them the spirit of grace and of supplication, and they will look upon Him whom they pierced. (Zech. 12:10.) They will discern that they made a great and horrible mistake in crucifying the Friend of Sinners, their long-promised Messiah. We are told that they shall mourn because of Him, and that then the spirit of supplication will come to them and they will see Jesus in His real character.

 At or about that same time Divine favor will be manifested

on Israel's behalf, and the Lord will deliver them, as in olden times. Their eyes of faith and understanding will open more and more widely. Eventually, according to the Bible, they will become the leaders of mankind in returning to God, who will abundantly pardon their iniquity and grant them a prominent share in the blessings of His Kingdom. "FEW STRIPES" AND "MANY STRIPES"

  The great Messianic Kingdom will not spare the rod,

but will inflict punishments for the world's correction in righteousness. Some will suffer more and some less, according to the Master's own statements. Those understanding the principles of righteousness and wilfully violating them will be beaten heavily, "with many stripes"; while others, such as the heathen, for instance, who knew little, will receive fewer stripes, proportionate to their ignorance. All the stripes, however, will be reformatory, and with a view to helping and encouraging the transgressors to abandon the ways of iniquity and to walk in the paths of righteousness.--Luke 12:47,48.

  That will be a happy Day for earth's thousands of millions

--a Day with the Lord, a thousand years. Everywhere there will be evidences of the operation of Divine Mercy and Justice, and the necessary lessons will be quickly learned by all people. We cannot doubt that even fifty years of Kingdom influence will make a wonderful change in human affairs and conditions. The blessing of SM427 the Lord will come to the earth in proportion as God's will shall be done by mankind.

  Finally, with all sin eliminated, all imperfections gone

and all the wilfully wicked destroyed, every creature on earth, as well as in Heaven, will be heard saying, "Blessing and honor and glory and power be unto Him that sitteth upon the Throne and unto the Lamb forever and ever." Then, and not till then, will God's will be done on earth, even as it is done in Heaven; for not until then will there be a perfect race capable of doing God's will, and a tested race, all of whom will delight to do His will.

  A special lesson to God's people today is that now is

the Church's time of calling, accepting and making their election sure by hearty obedience to the Divine will. Thus neither shall we be of the world, who will wail because of the sign of the Son of Man in the dissolution of the ecclesiastical heavens, nor shall we be identified with the ecclesiastical heavens, which are to be dissolved. Rather, it is our privilege, as followers of Jesus, to walk in His steps, to stand for the right, to be guided of the Holy Spirit, to "come out of Babylon," to "touch not the unholy thing," that we may have relationship and fellowship with the Lord, with the Savior, with the holy Apostles and with all the faithful martyrs and footstep followers of our Master.

   We've been watching, we've been waiting,
      For the star that brings the day;
   For the night of sin to vanish,
      And the mists to roll away.
   We've been watching, we've been waiting,
      For the beauteous King of day,
   For the chiefest of ten thousand,
      For the Light, the Truth, the Way.
   We begin to see the dawning
      Of the bright Millennial day;
   Soon the shadows, weary shadows,
      Shall forever pass away.

SM428 GOD'S STANDARD IS PERFECTION

  "As He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in

all manner of conversation."--1 Peter 1:15.

  The Scriptures explicitly declare that our great Creator

made man in His own image and likeness, and pronounced His creature very good. But when sin entered the world, through the disobedience of Father Adam, he was cut off from fellowship with his Creator--as a part of the penalty of sin. This alienation from God must have been one of man's most grievous trials. He must have hungered and thirsted to draw near to God once more, to have the Divine protection, the Divine love; otherwise he could not have been created in the perfect image of God.

  But as centuries rolled on, Adam's posterity became

more and more depraved and demoralized; the original character-likeness to God became blurred, faint, indistinct. So while the desire for God still remains, in some it is more pronounced than in others. In some it is so feeble that they care little for their Creator and are easily satisfied by the pleasures of the world.

  Many are separated from God through ignorance,

superstition and the doctrines of demons, as the Bible declares. Misunderstanding our gracious Creator, they are thus driven away from Him. Whatever of natural inclination they have had the Adversary seeks to thwart. As St. Paul declares, "The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them" (2 Cor. 4:4), should scatter the darkness and make known to them the true character of God; and thus they should be drawn to Him.

  But with some of the race desire for God and righteousness

SM429 has prevailed above the stupefying influence of the world, the flesh and the Devil. This class are drawn by the natural inclination of their minds Godward-- desiring to be in harmony with their Creator. While those who were not born of religious parents have had a large experience with sin and alienation from God, others, born in a measure of justification, have had a measure of fellowship with God always, as children of believers. This class are in a favorable condition to be drawn of God, and to hear His voice speaking peace to them and pointing them to Jesus Christ as the Way, the Truth, the Life.-- John 6:44; 14:6; Heb. 10:19-22.

        "LORD, SHOW US THE FATHER!"
 As these come to appreciate our Lord's beautiful character

and His loyalty to the Father, and to understand that He came into the world to die for Adam's sin, their hearts respond with increasing gratitude to the Redeemer and to the Heavenly Father, whose Plan our Lord was carrying out. More and more do they long to draw closer to God, and to be recognized of Him as members of His family. Through the Word the Master instructs them that whoever will walk in His steps shall eventually see God in the fulness of Heavenly glory.

 Still further study of the Scriptures informs this class

that the first step to be taken is one of faith. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." Those who take this step must recognize that they are sinners, under the Adamic sentence, from which no one can be freed except in God's appointed way--Jesus. Then by faith they must accept Jesus as the Redeemer of Adam and his posterity. They must perceive that His death on Calvary was a sacrificial one; and that the grand outcome of this Ransom sacrifice will be that the Kingdom of God will be established in the earth for the purpose of uplifting mankind out of sin and death conditions--back to the full image of God in the flesh.--Acts 16:31. SM430

        THE CALL OF THE GOSPEL AGE
 Those who take this first step may know what is the

second step; and if they have sufficient faith to take this step, their sins will be forgiven and they will be granted a new nature. This second step is to accept God's invitation to "present their bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, their reasonable service." Those who accept this invitation are thus privileged to sacrifice their all of earthly time, talent, wealth, etc. When they have so done, our Lord imputes to them individually His merit, and thus makes them holy and acceptable unto God, who immediately begets them of His Holy Spirit.

 Thenceforth they are New Creatures--"old things

have passed away and all things become new." They are now counted as members of His glorious Church. Their sins that are past are all cleansed; and the New Creature has no defilement of itself. But attaching to the flesh are certain imperfections, which from time to time crop out. The New Creature is to be prompt to notice these; for the New Creature is the new will, which henceforth regulates the mortal body.--Rom. 12:1; 2 Cor. 5:17.

 Apparently some of God's dear people have not

realized what a contract they have on hand. Some are inclined to be careless about watching the very things which they have been told to watch. It is for all the consecrated to remember that their first obligation is in respect to their own flesh, not that of others. We may give each other valuable suggestions, but the responsibility for the body rests with each as a New Creature. And here we have the task of our lives; for in our flesh, as the Apostle says, dwells no perfection. Some have one degree of imperfection and some another; some are more imperfect and blemished in one way and others in another. But as the Scriptures continually assure us, there is none righteous, none perfect, no, not one. We all come short and need to recognize our shortcomings; and we are to fight the good fight against them. SM431

        THE NEW CREATURE IN SCHOOL
 Whoever would be of the class to which God has called

us must of necessity be developed; therefore whoever God has called, accepted and begotten of the Holy Spirit are in the School of Christ. Then begin the lessons which they must learn--they must grow in grace, in knowledge and in love. As the Apostle explains, they must be transformed --be formed over. If they are not thus transformed, they will not be ready for the Kingdom to which they are called. This transforming is not a work in the flesh, although it will affect the flesh to some extent. It is the renewing of the mind--their minds must become new. Thereafter matters are to be decided, not according to their preferences, but according to certain principles-- justice and love. The New Creatures in Christ have a set of new rules, altogether different from what they had before they become New Creatures.

 The world has no such rules and regulations as those

which are applicable to the New Creatures in Christ. Everything done by those who are in the School of Christ must be squared by the Rule of Justice. They dare not do anything that would be unjust to a neighbor, to a brother or to anybody. To the full extent of their ability the New Creatures must render justice. Many of the Lord's people apparently have not fully realized this fact--that obedience to the rules governing the new nature means absolutely the Golden Rule on their part toward all others. They must not do to others what they would not have others do to them.--Matt. 7:12.

 Because of failure on the part of some to recognize

this principle, the way of the Lord is spoken evil of sometimes. If a Christian fails to pay his debts, or if he is careless as to how he involves himself in debt, it is because this principle of justice does not stand out prominently enough before his mind. As an old creature he has perhaps been in the habit of ignoring the lines of justice and of sliding along as he may be able and of leaving others in SM432 the lurch. This will not do for the New Creature; for he has come under a set of new rules, and no matter how much the old creature may seek to shirk, the New Creature's duty is to bring the body into subjection and to see that justice rules in every act and word, and so far as possible in every thought. "THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD"

 To whatever extent the principles of justice control

our minds, to that extent we have character-likeness to God. The cultivation of these principles in all our actions and dealings, in all our words and thoughts, must be our daily concern. It may be comparatively easy to be just so far as money is concerned, to say, I would pay to the very last penny, and would live on the plainest of food rather than be in debt; but it is not so easy to be thoroughly just in our words and thoughts. The New Creature is to sit in judgment on every word which his mouth may utter. It is no wonder that St. James says that if any man sin not with his tongue the same is a perfect man. The New Creature is to be on guard that he may be developed along this line, and must thoroughly show the Lord that he has no sympathy with injustice.

 One must be just in his thoughts before he can be

properly just in his dealings. The man who thinks unjustly will act unjustly, in spite of himself; therefore the New Creature must be disciplined even to the control of his thoughts. He must never think of any one except with an unprejudiced mind, a calm judgment, seeking to give others the benefit of the doubt, if there is any doubt whatever. Additionally, he must heed the Lord's counsel that we should exercise great mercy, and that He would rather have us err in the sense of being too lenient than have us be merely just.--James 3:2; Matt. 5:7.

 But beyond justice comes love, the very highest of

God's attributes. God is just; but He is Love, also, which is higher, in the sense that it implies something more than mere justice. Not only will God do full justice to everybody, SM433 but He will do a little more--He will do something of love. This He shows us in His dealings with mankind. God was only just when He condemned the race of Adam as unfit for everlasting life; and He would still have been just if He had never provided redemption or any other opportunity for the world whatever.

 God is more than just, however, and so in due time He

provided the Redeemer. This was Grace, this was Mercy, this was Love. And Love has been working all through His great Plan of the Ages, providing first the Savior, then making provision for the Church, that through His mercy we might come from the ranks of sinners up to the ranks of glory. To accomplish this, He has forgiven the sins of the Church, has encouraged them by assurances of His love and has overruled all things for good.

                "BE YE PERFECT"
 This, then, is the Love of God; and the New Creatures

in Christ must have this character-likeness to God. We must have love, sympathy, and not merely justice. There is nothing of grace in the giving of justice; anything less than justice is wrong. But the Lord's people must be more than just; they are to be kindly affectioned one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake has forgiven them. Our Heavenly Father wishes His children to see that quality in His character and to copy it. This is what Jesus meant when He said, "Be ye perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect." We cannot bring our mortal body to that degree of perfection where every act would be perfect, every word perfect; but the mind must be in full sympathy and accord with God and His arrangements, and each must strive to the best of his ability to bring the body into harmony with God.--Matt. 5:48.

 As the Bible teaches, the Church class are in the School

of Christ, being taught of God--His workmanship. By His providence and His Word He has been working in us, by our experiences, which He has shaped for us, and by SM434 the opportunities which He gives us. All these things are designed by the Lord to bless us and to develop us in His own character-likeness, so that, as Jesus said, we may be like unto our Father in Heaven, so that we may be holy, even as He is holy--that our intentions, aims, desires, may be of exactly the same kind as His own.

 If, therefore, any one who professes to be a New Creature

in Christ has in his heart a feeling of bitterness, envy or strife, let him beware! Such a condition of heart is dangerous; it is not of the Holy Spirit at all. Those who have such elements of character are not holy as the Heavenly Father is holy. On the contrary, as the Apostle explains, these qualities of character are works of the flesh and of the Devil; and to whatever extent one possesses these, they are the result of the spirit of the flesh and of the Devil at work in the heart. THE GRAND CLIMAX OF CHARACTER

 Of our Lord Jesus it was written: "Thou lovest

righteousness, and hatest iniquity; therefore God, Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of joy above Thy fellows" (Psa. 45:7)--above the angels, above the Church, making Him to be Head over all things to the Church and decreeing that all the angels shall worship Him. (Heb. 1:6-9.) In order to copy Him we must see to what extent He loved righteousness and hated iniquity.

 This, then, is the great test of character going on with

the Lord's people, and according to these lines God is dealing with them. It is not merely that they are fighting the good fight and trying to accomplish something in their flesh; for the New Creature will never succeed in getting as good control of the flesh as he could wish. But what God wishes to see in His people is that their whole hearts are set for righteousness, that they love the right and hate the wrong, and that they are striving to the best of their ability to put down the wrong and to uphold the right, especially in themselves--in their own characters and in their own acts, words and thoughts. SM435 THE HEATHEN--MESSIAH'S INHERITANCE

 "Ask of Me, and I will give Thee the heathen for

Thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession."--Psa. 2:8.

 Our text is from one of the Messianic Psalms. It represents

our Lord as making known to His people the Heavenly Father's decree rewarding Him for His faithfulness as our Redeemer, assuring Him of His exaltation to the Kingdom, and declaring that with this will come the inheritance of all the earth, with power to subject all things to the Father's will. He was to have it for the mere request--"Ask of Me." As a matter of fact, this world-wide dominion has not yet come to Messiah; the heathen are not yet His inheritance; the uttermost parts of the earth are not yet His possession. Indeed, as the Prophet declares, "Darkness covers the earth, and gross darkness the heathen."--Isa. 60:2.

 When we remember our Redeemer's love for the race,

the love which led Him to lay down His life to seek and to recover that which was lost, we are at first inclined to amazement that He has not yet asked the Father for His inheritance of the heathen. We are astonished that He has permitted the Prince of Darkness and the reign of Sin and Death to exist for more than eighteen centuries since He suffered, "the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God." But perplexity in the matter might well be answered by our Lord's reply to the Sadducees: "Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God." As we come to understand the Scriptures more fully, and to appreciate how the power of God will be exercised in bringing the heathen under the domination of the Redeemer, the eyes of our understanding open, and we are enabled to rejoice accordingly. SM436

       WHY DID HE NOT ASK?
 Our Lord did not ask for His great power to reign

at an earlier date because He knew the Father's Plan, and was well contented with the Divine times and seasons. He had no wish for a change in this. He did not ask to receive the heathen for an inheritance at the beginning of the Gospel Age, but has been content to wait, and to place that request in its due time, in harmony with another feature of the Divine Program which must first be fulfilled. That other feature is the selection of the Church, the Bride of Christ, the members of His Body. It pleased the Father to make our Lord not only the world's Redeemer and King, but also the High Priest of an under-priesthood, the Bridegroom of the Church His Bride, the Elder Brother of these saints of glory whom the Father is pleased to develop during this Gospel Age as New Creatures in Christ Jesus, to be sharers of His sufferings and of His glory to follow.

  Meantime the heathen have been suffering no injustice.

Born in sin, shapen in iniquity, condemned to death, they have been having experiences with sin and death, and going down into the great prison-house for periods of unconsciousness--until the Redeemer, at His Second Advent, shall call them and all mankind from this great prison-house, the tomb. This He foretold, saying, "All that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and shall come forth."--John 5:28,29 R.V.

  Not only will this include the Church of the First-borns

who have been approved of God and who, passing trial now, will come forth unto life eternal, but it will include also the remainder of mankind, those who have not had God's approval, all of whom, because redeemed, shall come forth unto judgment--trial. A fair trial will be theirs, to determine their worthiness or unworthiness of life everlasting by the manner in which they shall receive, or by their rejection of, The Christ of God when during the Millennium He shall be made fully known. SM437

  It was also part of the Divine purpose that the whole

earth should be filled with people; and hence the bringing forth of a progeny is a part of the Divine will for mankind. The few short years of the present life, with an experience of sin and death conditions, will in due time be supplemented by the glorious period of the Millennium, with its grand opportunities for lessons of righteousness and its rewards for obedience. Its corrective "stripes," or punishments, will be to the intent that so many as possible may ultimately be entirely recovered from death conditions and brought into full accord with God in Christ. But those who demonstrate their unwillingness to come into heart sympathy with righteousness will be utterly destroyed from amongst the people.--Acts 3:23; 2 Peter 2:12.

       THE MORE EXCELLENT WAY
 So, then, our Lord's reason for not asking sooner for

the heathen as His inheritance and the remotest parts of the earth as His possession, was that He knew the Father's Plan to be a different one, the more excellent way; and He delighted to do the Father's will. And so with all the followers of Christ. As soon as they ascertain the Father's glorious Plan of Salvation, they find it to be soul-satisfying, and greatly prefer it to any plan of their own. Undeveloped Christians, whom the Apostle designates "babes" in Christ, are the ones who are continually praying to the Heavenly Father for a change of the Divine Program, imagining that their wisdom and their love in respect to the heathen are superior to those of the Infinite Creator. Nearly all Christian people have had their experience with such ignorance; and we are glad to suppose that the Heavenly Father laid not the sin of such presumption to our charge, but rather sympathetically appreciated our interest in the heathen, although He must have deprecated our lack of reverence, our headiness, our highminded assumption of more than infinite wisdom! SM438

 We are not saying a word against missions--home or

foreign. Quite to the contrary, we believe that every Christian should labor with heart and hand to do all in his power to glorify the Father and the Redeemer, and to enlighten his fellow-men respecting the Cross of Christ, and the blessings which it secures. But while willingly, gladly, serving the Divine Cause, "instant in season and out of season," we should "learn to labor and to wait." We should learn that the laboring under present conditions is arranged chiefly for our benefit--for the development in the minds of the Royal Priesthood of the sacrificing qualities and the graces of the Holy Spirit-- meekness, gentleness, patience, faith, long-suffering, brotherly kindness, love. "WORKERS TOGETHER WITH GOD"

 Let us be sure, dear friends, that any theory of ours

respecting the heathen, or any other feature of the Divine Program, which in any degree implies superior wisdom, superior energy or superior love on our part, as compared with that of our Heavenly Father and our Redeemer, must be wrong. The sooner we learn to pray from the heart, "Thy will be done," the better it will be for us, the more shall we be able to get into harmony with our Lord, and the more shall we be used as His ambassadors and representatives. The wisdom of man is foolishness with God, and the Wisdom of God is foolishness with man. Hence we must not take the human standpoint in investigating or reasoning upon the Divine purposes and Program. Rather, we must go direct to the Word of God, that we may be taught of God, that we may discern the beauty, the harmony, of His plans.

 It is written that "obedience is better than sacrifice";

and this being recognized, how careful it should make us to inquire what the will of the Lord is; to search the Scriptures, that we may there ascertain the Divine Program, and be found in harmony therewith! There we find that the Lord's present work is the completing of the SM439 Royal Priesthood, the Royal Judge, the Royal Prophet, the Royal Mediator, the Great King, for the world of mankind --for the world's deliverance from the bondage of Sin and Death, and their assistance back to harmony with God. Thus seeing, we shall have patience in respect to the heathen, and strive now to make our own calling and election sure and to lay down our lives for the brethren, in assisting to build them up in the most holy faith, "until we all come to the measure of the stature of a Man in Christ"--the great Mediator of the New Covenant, of whom Jesus is the Head--the Church His Body.

        CONVERTING THE WORLD
 When will the world be converted? When will Christ

ask for the heathen? When will the Father give them to Him? How long, O Lord? The Scriptural answer, dear friends, is that it has pleased the Father to select the "jewel" class during this Gospel Age by means which the world would think foolish--by means of the preaching of the Good Tidings. But His Program for the future Age is different. There are millions who have no ear to hear the preaching of the Cross of Christ. (1 Cor. 1:18.) There are millions who have no eye of faith to see the glorious things of God. In fact, according to the Scriptures, only a Little Flock, comparatively, can be brought into accord with the Lord under the conditions of the present time, because sin abounds, because Death reigns, because Satan, the Prince of this world, now works antagonistically in the hearts of the children of disobedience.

 Hence it has pleased God to have a different method of

dealing with the world of mankind in general from that which He has adopted in dealing with the Church in this Age. In the next Age, force will be used, and not merely moral suasion. Force will be employed in putting down the reign of evil. Satan will not merely be requested to desist from deceiving the world, but will be bound for a thousand years, and be unable to deceive the nations.

 Likewise, mankind will no longer be invited to accept

SM440 Christ, and to give their hearts in obedience to Him; but on the contrary, they will be compelled to be obedient. As it is written, "Unto Him every knee shall bow and every tongue confess, to the glory of God." Offers of grace will no longer be held out, with reward for faith attached; instead, knowledge shall fill the whole earth, as the waters cover the great deep. (Phil. 2:10,11; Isa. 11:9.) As a result, no one shall then say to his neighbor or to his brother, Know thou the Lord! for they shall all know Him, from the least unto the greatest of them.

        HEATHEN FALL UNDER HIM
 Another Psalm describes Messiah's triumph in the

Millennial Age, saying, "Gird Thy sword upon Thy thigh, O Most Mighty, with Thy glory and Thy majesty. And in Thy majesty ride prosperously in the cause of Truth and Meekness and Righteousness; and Thy right hand shall teach Thee terrible things. Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the King's enemies; whereby the people fall under Thee." (Psa: 45:3-5.) Instead of people here, read heathen, as in the original, and we have a picture of the conversion of the heathen as it will shortly be wrought. We are not to suppose that the Lord will ride upon a horse, or that literal arrows will literally pierce the hearts of His enemies. We are to understand this picture to signify our Lord's triumphal conquering of the world; and that the arrows of Truth, which will go forth unto the whole world, will reach the hearts of men and smite them down. Even so we read that when St. Peter preached at Pentecost that the Jews had taken and crucified the Son of God, the hearers were "cut to the heart" --with the lance of Truth. Thank God for such arrows from the quiver of Divine Wisdom, Justice, Love! We rejoice that the heathen will thus be conquered for the Lord, and thus eventually every knee bow and every tongue confess.--Acts 5:33; 7:54; Psa. 72:11.

 The work of dealing with the heathen, with the world

--with all except the Church--will begin with the generation SM441 living at the time of the establishment of the Lord's Kingdom. In due time it will proceed and will ultimately include all that are in their graves in the reverse order from that in which they entered. And the last shall be the first to come forth--"every man in his own order," or class.--1 Cor. 15:20-23. DEEP HUMILIATION PROMISED THE WORLD

 Too frequently do Bible students neglect to see

whether or not their interpretations are in harmony with the context of the passages under discussion. Let us not make this mistake. Turning to the second Psalm, we find that following our text is the declaration, "Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; Thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel." (Verse 9.) The application of this evidently is to the time of our Lord's Second Advent, when the selection of the Church shall have been completed and she shall have entered into His glory as the Bride, the Lamb's Wife, symbolically pictured as the New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of Heaven.--Rev. 21:1-5; 22:1-5.

  From that New Jerusalem, we are told, the River of

the Water of Life shall flow freely, and whosoever will may freely partake of it. On either bank will grow the Trees of Life, whose leaves are for the healing of the nations. And the Spirit and the Bride will say, Come; and whosoever will may come, and take of the Water of Life. But in the meantime, before the nations, the world, will be ready for that blessing from the New Jerusalem, they must needs pass through a period of very deep humiliation--"A Time of Trouble such as never was since there was a nation."--Matt. 24:21.

  As for the nations of that time, the extent to which

they will suffer destruction will depend largely upon their own attitude, as is intimated by the verses following our text. Those of the nations who freely and heartily accept of Messiah's rule will be correspondingly saved from the breaking process. Hence it is urged, "Be wise, O ye SM442 kings of the earth! Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and ye perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him."

  But while this seems to offer leniency, mercy, these

favors are conditional on the manner in which the Messianic Kingdom shall be received. Other Scriptures intimate that all the nations, not only heathen but civilized, will be found in violent opposition to the Heavenly Kingdom, and hence that all together they will be crushed as the vessels of a potter.--Rev. 2:27; Psa. 149:7-9.

        THE GLORIOUS OUTCOME
  The Lord tells us that as the heavens are higher than

the earth, so are His ways higher than man's ways, and His plans higher than man's plans. And this we find true as we come to better understand the Scriptures. Who ever dreamed of such lengths and breadths and heights and depths of "Love Divine, all love excelling," as are implied and included in God's great Plan of selecting first The Christ--Jesus the Head, and the Church, His Body--and then through these blessing all the families of the earth with a knowledge of Himself and the opportunities for life eternal!--John 11:25,26.

 We make no claims of universal salvation; for the

Scriptures distinctly speak of some who will die the Second Death, having proved themselves not sufficiently in harmony with righteousness to be worthy of eternal life-- even after being brought to a knowledge of the Truth. But the Scriptures show us that when all the unwilling and disobedient shall have been cut off in the Second Death, the whole earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of God.

   Let hope cheer those who weep;
      E'en now the rays of dawn
   Above the eastern hill-tops creep--
      We're near the light of morn.

SM443 CREED IDOLS OF CHRISTENDOM

 "The Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort."

--2 Cor. 1:3.

 When in India, China and Japan last year, I was

forcibly struck with the intelligence of many among these peoples. I visited their idol temples for the purpose of noticing the degree of reverence exhibited and the status of worshipers, and was favorably impressed. Many seemed sincere, absolutely unmindful of any other matter than their own worship. I made inquiry as to what importance was attached to the idol. Was it regarded as the god, or merely a reminder of their god? They assured me that the idol itself was known to be of metal, or stone, or wood, and was used merely as a reminder of their god, in much the same way that Catholics use the crucifix--not as worshiping the image or the picture, but merely having these before the mind to assist in fixing reverence and the spirit of worship.

       OUR CREED IDOLS WORSE
 At first I felt disposed to chide the heathen for the

horrible features which they give their images. I said to myself, Why do they not make graceful, beautiful idols instead of horrible ones? But a little reflection brought me shame and confusion. I said to myself, Look at the creeds, the idols, the images of God, set up in Christendom. We have not attempted to picture our Deity in wood or stone or mineral, but we have written out a description of His character--our Christian creeds.

 These creeds stand before our mental eyes with

exactly the same hideous features that the tangible idol has before the natural eye of the heathens. Each different creed shows a slightly different image of God, but they are all horrible. They all picture God as a most SM444 atrocious character, more hideous by far than are any of the idols of heathendom.--Eccle. 7:29; Lam. 5:7.

  How could anybody carve, or cast, or model, a mute

image, or idol, that would speak such horrible things as all of our creeds portray by description? Where is the artist who could picture a God deliberating upon the creation of the human family, and before beginning His work planning and arranging a great place called Hell (and some say another called Purgatory), creating fire-proof devils to man these, laying up fuel for use therein through all eternity, and then starting the human race with procreative powers, with the foreknowledge that billions would spend eternity in those horror chambers!

  Who could picture or model an image representing a

God who would, after preparing such a place, inject new life and vigor into the poor sufferers so as to prevent them from dying--so as to insure that they must live everlastingly under those horrible conditions! No heathen was ever capable of such an imagination; and hence none was ever able to picture such a God, either in clay, or stone, or metal, or wood, or with the pen. It remained for the most cultured and civilized peoples of the world, who had enjoyed most of God's favors and blessings and enlightenment, to misunderstand Him most, to misrepresent Him worst, and to carry those misrepresentations to the heathen, in the name of the God of Love.

        THE HEATHEN KNOW IT, TOO
  Missionaries have indeed reached a few people and

brought them under a measure of Christian influence, but their number is small; so also their intelligence. Like some true Christians here, they have a reverence for God sadly encumbered with error. The more intelligent classes are agnostics. Christianity, so-called, has led them to doubt their own religions, but it has not given them anything in their stead.

  When some of the higher caste natives learned that

my preaching was different from that of the missionaries, SM445 and that it presented a God of Love, and an ultimate opportunity to all mankind to come into harmony with Him, the matter spread among them. Committees were sent to me to inquire if I could not stay longer, assuring me of audiences of the higher caste natives. They explained that as much as they appreciated the intelligence of the white man and his Christian religion, they could not receive it because it pictured a God so terrible and so unjust as to be repugnant to their minds.

 "Why," said they, "our gods and our religion teach

us to be kind, even to the dumb brutes, and to cause them no unnecessary pain. How, then, could we worship the God of the missionaries? They tell us that He has consigned our forefathers, from the remotest generation, to everlasting torture because they did not believe in Jesus, whose name is the only name by which any can be saved. We cannot believe in so unjust a God. The slightest degree of justice would have obligated Him to send our forefathers the Message in no uncertain terms."

 I felt it obligatory to apologize, not only for myself,

but for all Christendom. I said: We Christians have erred. We neglected our Bible, and thus brought on the Dark Ages. Since then we have been trying to get nearer to the light as the days go by, and some of us have made a little more progress than others. I am preaching the God of the Bible, "the God of all grace, the Father of mercies," whose name is Love, and who is perfect in all His ways. Certain parables and symbolic phrases have been misunderstood, misapplied, mistranslated; and thus, while we had the best of intentions, the great Adversary, Satan, has kept Christendom considerably in the dark, and has led us to picture in our creeds a God who is fierce, unjust, unloving, unwise, and who is using His Power contrary to every principle of righteousness. Now the dawn of the New Age is about upon us. The thousand years of Christ's Reign is shortly to begin. God is getting us ready for it by sending blessings of every kind. SM446

 Furthermore, we see that we are in the Day of the

Lord's preparation, and His faithful people are finding a better light shining on the Bible, and are gradually coming to a better understanding of it. Cling to the Bible! We are endeavoring to arrange so that yourselves and all people who are hungering for a God of Righteousness, Justice, Wisdom and Love may learn what the Bible really teaches.--Isa. 40:8. MISSIONARIES OPPOSE THE TRUTH

 I am sorry to say that although the missionaries are

free to confess that the conversion of the world is an absurd proposition, they are not ready for the Bible teaching on the subject. Although they know there are twice as many heathen today as there were one century ago, they are bound, fettered by their creeds. True, they are seeking federation, co-operation; but the co-operation includes only those who are colaboring to get the heathen to cast away his graven and molten images, and to take instead a written creed image that is worse. Of course, few of the missionaries believe in these creed idols themselves; but they were sent to foreign lands to put these fetters upon the poor heathens, and they are not at liberty to do otherwise than they have been instructed.

 One would think that even then they would rejoice to

have somebody else proclaim the Message of a God of Love, and one chance of salvation to every member of Adam's race. But they do not; they oppose our teachings at every step. We cannot read their hearts; we must therefore imagine some of them are still fettered by the ignorance and superstition of the Dark Ages and are thoroughly conscientious in their endeavor to put these fetters on others, thinking thereby to do God service.

 Others, we must assume, feel their responsibility in

respect to the reports they will make to the home Boards of Foreign Missions. Their reports in the past have been colored to the very limit to show progress and to encourage contributions to the missionary funds. The SM447 very thought brings terror--that any of their followers would get more light, more knowledge of God, and thus cease to be counted in as worshipers at the shrine of the hideous creed idols of the various denominations.

 Apparently for the past few years, missionary activity

has been chiefly with the native children. Apparently very little religious information is being imparted. If only the missionaries had read the Bible to the people, many more in heathen lands would know about Messiah's Kingdom and appreciate the import of the prayer, "Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth, as it is done in Heaven."

        GOOD TIDINGS TO EVERY NATION
 My visit to foreign lands was not a pleasure jaunt,

but strictly in the interest of the true Gospel, of which the angels sang--"Good tidings of great joy, which shall be unto all people." I had heard reports which led me to believe that there were sincere people in heathendom who were feeling after the true God, if haply they might find Him. I believe that God wishes us to carry the Message to these. I have far greater interest in such, whether at home or abroad, than in the vast majority of people, who are utterly careless, utterly indifferent, utterly faithless, and who do not wish to know God.

 Christ's Millennial Kingdom will deal with all such,

and open their eyes of understanding, and through chastisements develop the peace of God in all who will. The present Age is merely for the electing of those who hunger and thirst after righteousness. Finding such in heathendom I, as President of the INTERNATIONAL BIBLE STUDENTS ASSOCIATION, promptly took the necessary steps for sending the Gospel of God's Love and Justice and Wisdom and Power all over heathendom.

 Our association has had sermons translated into the

languages of Japan and Korea, and into the principal languages of China, and into the six principal languages of India; and millions of copies are in the hands of the SM448 people. Considerable fresh interest in Christianity has been aroused. Peoples in those lands who had begun to doubt everything religious have begun to take courage, and to think and study their Bible. If the missionaries could but catch the same spirit, what a blessed opportunity would be theirs! But, alas, not many of them are so inclined! Very generally they seem to be bitter, hostile, slanderous, doing everything in their power to oppose the light, even as Jesus declared that the darkness has always hated the light, because the light makes manifest, or shows up the darkness.--John 3:19-21.

                HOW TO KNOW GOD
 Jesus said, "This is life eternal, that they might know

Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent." He knew we could not come into personal touch with the Almighty. He knew that we could learn respecting Him only through the Bible, as He said, "Sanctify them through Thy Truth; Thy Word is Truth." There is a difference between knowing about God and knowing God. The beginning of faith is to believe that there is a great Supreme Creator. It is another step to learn that He is wise and powerful, as indicated in the great Universe that He has made, and in our human organization with its wonderful powers for thought and action. Truly

   "There is a God--
   All Nature speaks!"
 At first it may occur to some that knowledge of God

simply means to come to know that there is a God, and that He has provided a Savior, His Only Begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. But the knowledge of God means far more than this. To the advanced and developing Christian it signifies an intimate acquaintance with the Father and with the Son--a knowledge of "the mind of Christ," which is a full and clear representation of the Father's mind.--1 Cor. 2:16. SM449

 We grow in this knowledge by the study of the Word

of God, by discerning through that Word the principles which govern the Divine conduct--as to how Divine Wisdom, Justice, Love and Power operate. These are progressive studies. Something may be learned along this line on the very first day of our Christian experience; but the end of the first year should show considerable progress in the knowledge of the Divine mind; and so to the end of the Christian's course.

 It is only as we realize something of the greatness and

the perfection of the Divine character that we are properly able to estimate our own littleness and imperfection. Only as we see the beauties of His gracious character can we become intimately acquainted with God, with His graces and virtues--His glorious attributes.

 Then we come to investigate the more subtle qualities

of the Divine Being, His Justice and Love. Who can imagine a real God who is devoid of Justice, devoid of Love? So surely as it is true that no human being could be really great without the qualities of justice and love, so surely is it true that there could be no real and great God without the same qualities. Wisdom and Power without Justice and Love would picture to us a demon, and not a God--not the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

  But what can we know respecting God's Justice and

Love? We answer that there are two ways of ascertaining: The first way is to wait and see how His plans and arrangements will be ultimately carried out. If it is true of humanity that "by their fruits ye shall know them," the same must be true of the Almighty--by His fruits, His workmanship, finally completed, He may be known to be either good or bad, just or unjust, loving or vicious.--Matt. 7:16.

  The other way of knowing the Divine character, in

advance of the finished work of God, would be along the lines of faith; and faith, in order to be intelligent, must SM450 have some basis or foundation. The Bible is God's Message, to those who have the ears and eyes of faith. In it He tells us in advance what He purposes to do; and from what we thus hear we must determine whether He is just, loving and good, or whether worse than ourselves.

  If the creed idols which we have been worshiping

truly represent God, then the consummation of His Plan will be awful in the extreme--enough to make all creation shudder. It would mean thousands of millions in everlasting torture without the slightest hope of any glory coming to God, or of any good coming to the sufferers or to anybody else. The only purpose to be served by such torture would be the satisfaction of a devilish disposition to witness the torture of others. Is that creed idol which we have worshiped a real picture of the God of the Bible? We know that it is not.

  The God of the Bible on the contrary declares that

He has permitted the reign of Sin and Death, which is entirely just. He tells us that from among the sinners He will first gather out a saintly handful to be associates with their Savior and to participate with Him as members of His cabinet, or Kingdom, for the administration of the world's affairs, to lift humanity up out of sin and degradation and death back to human perfection, and ultimately to destroy all of those who prefer sin when they shall be brought to a full appreciation of it.

 The outcome of this Divine Plan of the Bible shows

us a reclaimed humanity, in a world-wide Eden, blessed with a knowledge of God, and with experiences which will make them happy to all eternity. Our Lord tells us that then God's will shall be done on earth, even as now it is done in Heaven; and that there will be no more sighing, crying and dying on earth, even as there is none in Heaven; and that every creature in Heaven and on earth will everlastingly praise the Creator and the Redeemer. Hallelujah, such a Savior! Hallelujah, such a God! SM451 PEACE DESIRED, WAR NECESSARY

                [Washington, May 25, 1913]
  "He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth.

...Be still and know that I am God."--Psa. 46:9,10.

  No one could be more averse to war, on general principles,

than myself. I am an extremist in my sentiment for peace. Yet I cannot close my eyes to the facts of history--that practically every blessing has come to the world through war, at the cost of cruel bloodshed. Where would America be today had there been no War of Independence? Where would the nations of Europe be today if they had not fought to maintain their national liberties? Where would a refusal to fight land every nation in less than a year?

  There is no conflict between this particular and common-sense

view of the matter and the teachings of our Savior. Our Master was not addressing nations, but individuals, when He directed that he who is smitten on the one cheek should turn the other, and be non-resistant. The instructions of Jesus were wholly and solely intended for His disciples, His followers. And they were instructed that they should come out from the world and be separate --a new nation, a holy nation. They were to expect to suffer persecution, even as did their Teacher. They had His personal promise that if they would thus suffer with Him for righteousness' sake, their reward would be by and by in the Kingdom--then they should sit with Him in His Throne.--Rev. 3:21.

  Jesus gave His followers no assurance that a peace

policy would be successful and bring them earthly prosperity. Quite to the contrary, the Scriptures declare that whosoever will live godly shall suffer persecution--yes, must expect to endure persecution, in order to thereby have his loyalty to God demonstrated prior to his acceptance SM452 to the Throne of his Redeemer. "If any man will be My disciple, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me."--Matt. 16:24. THE BEATITUDES NOT FOR NATIONS

 When Jesus said, "Blessed are the peacemakers: for

they shall be called the children of God," He was not addressing nations, but individuals--a special class of individuals--those who would become His disciples by a full renouncement of all earthly interests. The Redeemer's declaration respecting nations was the very reverse of His statement respecting His followers. He declared, "Nation shall rise against nation," and there shall be wars.--Matt. 24:6,7.

 I fear that I shall be misunderstood; but there is so

much confusion upon the subject that the Truth needs to be stated plainly. And I know of no place more appropriate for its statement than in this capital of the most peace-loving nation on earth--next to China.

 The truth is that war is not the disease, but merely a

symptom of the disease in the body politic and in the affairs of earth. So long as the disease continues, its outward manifestation, war, is bound to continue. Need I say to you that the disease to which I refer is sin? Sin and war are inseparable. There would be only two ways of inhibiting war:

 (1) By converting the world of nations from a condition

of hardness of heart, selfishness, sin, to a condition of righteousness, tenderness of heart, generosity; or,

 (2) By the establishment of a government or power

not swayed by sin, to supervise, overrule and control the affairs of the sinners by superior strength. Is this proposition debatable? It is not. Its basic facts are as sure as mathematics, as certain as that two and two make four. Various scriptures may be cited corroborating this position, and showing that sin, selfishness, is continually on the warpath, either politically, socially or financially. SM453

 The battle has been going on ever since man became a

sinner. At one time this selfishness manifested itself in buccaneering, piracy, slavery. At another time policy changed and the leaders of men perceived that they could accomplish more by milder methods, along the lines of politics and ecclesiasticism. Again conditions changed; and the wise perceived that with the coming of mechanical inventions into the world's affairs human slavery would be unprofitable, and that more could be accomplished with less responsibility by setting the slaves free, and making them work for their own living in competition with machinery. This course was followed.

 Next came the era of financial combination, giant

trusts and corporations controlling the destinies of the human family, from peasant to king. But with all these changes, war has gone on. It has merely changed its form, merely changed its weapons, merely changed its methods. The basis of all these wars is selfishness; and so long as selfishness continues, war will continue. Success will mean prosperity. Failure will mean oppression.

        VARIOUS KINDS OF WAR
 You see that I am not limiting warfare to naval

engagements, nor to battles fought with guns and swords and charging steeds. I am including in the great warfare all the social, political and financial disturbances and conflicts. They are all battles in which the shrewder minds, as a rule, conquer. And now instead of earth's war being ended, we see new conflicts begun from new quarters. Labor, having organized, is developing strength more and more each day. It is professedly training for a great conflict or battle. The battle is on; and it already has won some victories, and declares that its warfare against oppressors of every kind is only commencing.

 The dull and stupid and ignorant of a century ago, by

free schools and educational advantages, have become keen-eyed and keen-witted, and alert to grasp every possible SM454 advantage. Moreover, for a quarter of a century our great colleges have been undermining faith in the inspiration of the Bible, and their influence has extended finally to the masses. These are now declaring their doubts respecting a future life, and their determination that they will grasp at the earliest possible moment the opportunities of the present life, that they may share in the luxuries of the rich and make them common to all. If their program be half carried out, it means the most dreadful war ever known in the world's history. The Bible describes it as "a Time of Trouble such as never was since there was a nation."--Dan. 12:1.

 Since the spirit of war is the spirit of selfishness in

action, it corroborates the thought that the world was never more strifeful than at present, never more on the alert for self-gratification; and although we have blessings beyond the dreams of any other day, discontent is more general than ever before and is goading mankind with increasing speed to the greatest of all conflicts.

 So long as money has its value and political combinations

can hold control, the social structure will remain intact and exercise itself, nation against nation, through fleets and armies. But as soon as the political and financial powers begin to crumble, the warfare will become anarchy, which the Scriptures describe as "every man's hand against his neighbor."

                WHAT IS THE REMEDY?
 The leading minds of the world clearly recognize the

matter as I have presented it. Only a smile of sympathetic pity greets the proposal of well-intentioned peace men, such as Andrew Carnegie. Not generally have inheritance taxes and income taxes been legalized by those who will suffer by their requirements. Not of good-will, but of necessity, have come many of the reforms of our day. They are concessions wisely made. They will doubtless be followed by still greater concessions, which SM455 also will be wise; yet all the concessions that can be made will not satisfy the appetite of the growing discontent. Each concession of the favored classes to the masses is like throwing food to a pursuing pack of hungry wolves. They stop to devour the advantage, but have their appetites thereby whetted for more.

 Man's only remedy is now too late. A complete turning

of the hearts of men to God was much more nearly possible fifty years ago, when there was greater faith in the Bible, greater faith in an Almighty Creator. The Higher Critics have done their work well, destroying faith in the only Book for which Divine inspiration can be claimed. Education has done its part and commercialism its part, until the world is on fire with selfish ambition-- desire for riches and luxuries--being desirous of obtaining them without cost to themselves.

        THE CHRISTIAN'S GLORIOUS HOPE
 The picture I am painting you, dear friends, would

only harrow you and not be worth while, had I not a good Message of encouragement to give in offset. I will proceed to explain that God has foreknown the course of evil for the Six Great Days of earth's history--six thousand years--and has prepared for the Great Seventh Day, which will also be a thousand years long. God describes it as the Day, or Epoch, in which Messiah upon the Throne will make all things new.

 Many Scriptures may be quoted respecting the evidences

of the night of sorrow and sin and strife, and the dawning of the new Day, in which righteousness will be enforced throughout the earth, not only by the word of the King, but by the Divine Power of His Kingdom. The words of the Prophets describing Messiah's Kingdom as the "desire of all nations" give us the correct thought.

 Other Scriptures show that the Time of Trouble now

looming up as a cloud before mankind will be such a terrible storm of strife, bloodshed, trouble, that the world SM456 will have its fill and be nauseated. Thenceforth, under the guidance of the new administration of Messiah, the spirit of a sound mind will gradually come to mankind as a whole; and proportionately they will turn to Messiah's Kingdom in loyal obedience, declaring, as says the Prophet, "Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us." (Isa. 25:9.) Rich and poor of every nation will gradually be made aware of the changed conditions, and all lovers of righteousness will rejoice.

 So, then, dear friends, let us not be discouraged if

the wars between nations continue or increase, if the strife--political, social, religious and financial--shall rage as never before. Let us think it not strange, but remember that all these are the motions and out-workings of the fallen human heart. The Bible intimates that God is about to give mankind an object lesson respecting the influence of selfishness--a lesson which they will never forget, and which will prove valuable to all eternity. "BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS"

 What we have said should in no way encourage anybody

toward selfishness and strife, but to the contrary. For those who can learn by instruction God's Word is provided. He who closely follows the instruction of the Scriptures will receive a proportionate blessing. While the Bible is specially addressed to the few, the consecrated, who are the real peacemakers meant by Jesus when He declared, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God," nevertheless in proportion as others recognize the right principle--the principle of justice and mercy, sympathy and compassion --they