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THE HERALD

of Christ's Kingdom


VOL. VI. March 1, 1923 No. 5
Table of Contents

THE BLOOD OF SPRINKLING OF THE PASSOVER

ABRAHAM, THE HERO OF FAITH

BEREAN STUDIES IN THE REVELATION

CHRIST IN THE APOCALYPSE

THE ABIDING LIFE

JOSEPH, THE PRESERVER OF HIS PEOPLE


VOL. VI. March 15, 1923 No. 6
Table of Contents

OUTLOOK FROM THE WALLS OF ZION

THY KINGDOM COME

COMMUNING WITH THE RISEN LORD

THE "DRAGON" POWER AS AT PRESENT CONSTITUTED

THE SHEPHERD'S CARE

MOSES: LIBERATOR AND LAWGIVER 


VOL. VI. March 1, 1923 No. 5

THE BLOOD OF SPRINKLING OF THE PASSOVER

"For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you--that the Lord on the night in which He was delivered up took a loaf, and having given thanks, broke it and said, 'This is that body of Mine, which is broken on your behalf; this do ye in My remembrance.' In like manner also, the cup, after the supper, saying, 'This cup is the New Covenant in My blood; this do ye, as often as ye may drink, for My remembrance.' For as often as you may eat this bread or drink this cup you declare the death of the Lord till He come."--1 Cor. 11 : 24-26.

HE Passover season, as celebrated by the Jews, draws near-beginning this year on the first of April (the 15th day of Nisan actually starting at 6 P.M. Saturday, March 31).But the interest of Christians centers especially in the slaying of the lamb, which preceded this Passover Feast. The Passover lamb was slain on the 14th day of the month Nisan, which date this year begins at 6 P. M. Friday. March 30. The Memorial of the death of the antitypical Pass­ over Lamb, our Lord Jesus, which is celebrated on the same date, will therefore be observed by the brethren on the evening of Friday, March 30.

THE PASSOVER INSTITUTED

How much we regret that while millions of Christians and Jews will in some formal ceremonies and in a perfunctory manner celebrate this great event of history, but few of either religion discern the real significance of the celebration! Could the minds of all these be awakened thoroughly to its true significance, a religious revival would be started such as the world has never yet known. But, alas! as the Apostle declares, the god of this world has blinded the minds of many; and even some whose eyes of understanding are partially opened St. Peter describes as being blind and unable to see afar off, or holden and unable to see the deep things of God in respect to these ceremonies, which have been celebrated in the world for now more than 3500 years. And, by the way, it must be admitted even by Higher Critics and agnostics in general that an event so prominently marked, so widely .observed for so long a time, must have a foundation in fact. There must have been just such an occurrence in Egypt; the first-born of Egypt must have perished in that tenth plague, and the first-born of Israel must have been preserved from it-all who observed the injunction to remain under the blood-else this widespread celebration of the event would be inexplicable.

We need not review all the particulars connected with the institution, except to say that the Israelites were held in a measure of serfdom by the Egyptians, and that when the time, in the Lord's providence, arrived for their deliverance,. their masters sought selfishly to maintain their bondage, and refused to let them go forth to the land of Canaan. One after another the Lord sent during the year nine different plagues upon the people of Egypt, relieving them of one after another when their king craved mercy and made promises which he afterwards broke. Finally, the servant of the Lord, Moses, announced a great, crowning disaster that the first-born in every family of Egypt would die in one night, and that in the home of the humblest peasants as well as in the home of the king there would be a great mourning, as a result of which they would be glad finally to yield and let the Israelites go -- yea, urge them to go, and in haste-lest the Lord should ultimately bring death upon the entire people if their king continued to harden his heart and resist the Divine mandate.

The first three plagues were common to all in Egypt, including the district in which the Israelites resided. The next six plagues affected only the district occupied by the Egyptians. The last, the tenth plague, it was declared, should be common to the entire land of Egypt, including the part apportioned to the Israelites, except as the latter should show faith and obedience by providing a sacrificial lamb, whose blood was to be sprinkled upon the sides and the lintels of their doorways, and whose flesh was to be eaten in the same night, with bitter herbs and unleavened bread, the eaters standing staff in hand and girded ready for the journey-with full expectancy that the Lord would smite the first-born of the Egyptians. with death and make them willing to let the Israelites go, and with full faith also that they would share in this calamity were it not for the blood upon their door-posts and lintels.

THE ANTITYPICAL PASSOVER LAMB

The Israelites were commanded to celebrate this Passover as the first feature of the Jewish Law and as one of their greatest memorials as a nation. As a matter of fact, we find that in some degree the Passover is celebrated by Jews in all parts of the world-even by those who claim to be agnostics and infidels. They still have a measure of respect for it as an ancient custom. But is it not strange that, with the bright minds which many of them possess, our Jewish friends have never thought it worth while to inquire into the meaning of this celebration? Why was the lamb slain and eaten? Why was its blood sprinkled upon the door-posts and lintels? Because God so commanded, of course; but what reason, motive, object, or lesson was there behind the Divine command? Truly a reasonable God gives reasonable. commands, and in due time will be willing that His faithful people should understand the significance of every requirement.

Blessed are those whose eyes of faith see that. Jesus was indeed "the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world"--that the cancellation of the world's sin is effected by the payment of Adam's penalty--that as the whole world lost the favor of God and came under the Divine sentence of death, with its concomitants of sorrow and pain,, it was necessary before this sentence or curse could be removed that a satisfaction of justice should be made; and that therefore, as the Apostle declares, Christ died for our sins-the just for the unjust, that He might bring us back to God. Thus He opened up "a new and living way"--a way to life everlasting.

"A KIND OF FIRST-FRUITS"

Those familiar with the Bible have noticed that therein the Church of Christ is called "the Church of the First-born," and again "a kind of First-fruits unto God of His creatures." (Heb. 12: 23; Jas. 1: 18; Rev. 14: 4.) This implies others ultimately of God's family later born-the after-fruits. Christian people seem to have overlooked these Scriptures so far as making application of them is concerned, and have generally come to believe that only those who are of the First-fruits will ever be saved, that there will be no after-fruits. But let us look at this type of the Passover-let us notice that it was God's purpose to save all Israelites , and that as a nation they represented all of mankind that will ever come into harmony with God and be granted eternal life in the Land of Promise.

Let us notice also that there were two Passovers. There was a great one, when the whole nation by Divine power was miraculously delivered by the Lord and led by a sand-bar across the channel of the Red Sea especially prepared for them by the accentuation of winds and tides. That picture, or type, shows the ultimate deliverance from the power of sin and Satan of every creature who will ultimately come into accord with the Lord and desire to render Him worship-not an Israelite was left behind.

But that Passover at the Red Sea is not the one we are discussing particularly on this occasion -- not the one whose antitype we are about to celebrate. No; the event which we celebrate is the antitype of the passing over, or sparing, of the first-borns of Israel. Only the first-borns were endangered, though the deliverance of all depended upon the salvation of the first-borns. Applying this in harmony with all the Scriptures, we see that the First-fruits unto God of His creatures, the Church of the First-borns, alone, are being spared at the present time-being passed over-those who are under the blood. We see that the remainder of mankind who may desire to enlist and to follow the-great antitypical Moses when He shall ultimately lead the people forth from the bondage of sin and death are not now endangered-merely the First-borns, whose names are written in Heaven.

"THE CHURCH OF THE FIRST-BORNS"

The First-born--the "Church of the First-borns"--are those of mankind who in advance of the remainder have had the eyes of their understanding opened to a realization of their condition of bondage and their need of deliverance and of God's willingness to fulfil to them His good promises. More than this they are such as have responded to the grace of God, have made a -consecration of themselves to Him and His service, and in return- have been begotten again by the Holy Spirit. With these first-born ones it is a matter of life and death whether or not they remain in the Household of Faith-behind the blood of sprinkling. For these to go forth from this condition would imply a disregard of Divine mercy. It would signify that they were doing despite to Divine goodness, and that, having enjoyed their share of the mercy of God as represented in the blood of the Lamb, they were not appreciative of it. 'Of 'Such the Scriptures declare, "There remaineth no more a sacrifice" for their sins. They are to be esteemed as adversaries of God, whose fate was symbolized in the destruction of the first-born of Egypt.

We do not mean to say that the first-born of Egypt who died in that night and any of the first-born of the Israelites who may have departed from their homes contrary to command and died therefor, have gone into the Second Death. Quite to the contrary, we understand that all these matters -were types, figures, illustrations, foreshadowings of matters on a higher plane, and that the realities belong to the Church of Christ during this Gospel Age since Pentecost. If we sin willfully after we have received a knowledge of 'the Truth, after we have tasted of the good Word of God, after we have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit and thus members of the Church of the First-born--if we should then fall away, it would be impossible to renew us again to repentance; God would have nothing further for us; our disregard of His mercy would mean that we would die the Second Death.--2 Pet. 2: 12; Jude 12.

From this standpoint the Church of the First-born through the begetting of the Holy Spirit and the greater knowledge and privileges they enjoy every way, have a greater responsibility than the world, for they are the only ones as yet in danger of the Second Death. This is the lesson of the type and applies to Christians only.

By and by- the night will have passed, the glorious morn of deliverance will have come, and The Christ, the antitypical Moses, Head and Body, will lead forth, will deliver all Israel-all the people of God-all who when they shall know will be glad to reverence, honor, and obey the will of God. That Day of Deliverance will be the entire Millennial Age, at the close of which all evil and evil-doers, symbolized by the hosts of Egypt, will be utterly cut off in the Second Death.

"AS OFT AS YE DO THIS"

The Apostle clearly and positively identifies the Passover lamb with our Lord Jesus, saying, "Christ our Passover is slain for us; therefore let us keep the feast." (I Cor. 5:7, 8.) lie informs us that we all need "the blood of sprinkling," not upon our houses, but upon our hearts. (Heb. 12: 24; 1 Pet. 1:2.) We are also to eat the unleavened (unfermented, pure) bread of Truth, if we would be strong and prepared for the deliverance in the Morning of the New Dispensation. We also must eat the Lamb, must appropriate Christ, His merit, the value that was in Him, to ourselves. Thus we put on Christ, not merely by faith, but more and more to the extent of our ability we put on His character, and are transformed day by day into His glorious image in our hearts.

We are to feed upon Him as the Jews fed upon the literal lamb. Instead of the bitter herbs, which' aided and whetted their appetites, we have bitter experiences and trials, which the Lord provides for us, and which help to wean our affections from earthly things and give us increasing appetite to feed upon the Lamb and the unleavened Bread of Truth. We, too, are to remember that here we have no continuing city, but as pilgrims, strangers, travelers, staff in hand, girded for the journey, we are en route to the Heavenly Canaan and all the glorious things which God hath in reservation for the Church of the First-born, in association with their Redeemer as kings and priests unto God.

Our Lord Jesus also fully identified Himself with the Passover lamb. On the same night that He was betrayed, and just preceding His crucifixion, He gathered His disciples into the upper room, saying, "With desire have I desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer." It was necessary that as Jews they should celebrate the Passover supper on that night-the saving of the typical first-born from the typical "prince of this world." But as soon as the requirements of the type had been fulfilled, our Lord instituted a new Memorial upon the old foundation, saying, "As of ten as ye do this [celebrate the Memorial of the Passover season--annually] do it in remembrance of Me!" (I Cor. 11:24,25.) Your Jewish neighbors, whose eyes of understanding have not been opened, will not appreciate the matter in its true, antitypical sense, but you who recognize Me as the Lamb of God, who in God's purpose has been slain from the foundation of the world-who recognize that I am about to give My life as the world's redemption price will note this Passover season with peculiar and sacred significance that others cannot appreciate. Henceforth you will not celebrate any longer the type, but memorialize the Antitype, for I am about to die as the Lamb of God, and thus to provide the blood of sprinkling for the Church of the First-born, and meat indeed for the entire Household of Faith.

THE BREAD AND THE CUP

Another thought: the bread was unleavened. Leaven is corruption, an element of decay, hence a type of sin, and the decay and death which sin works in mankind. So, then, this symbol declares that our Lord Jesus was free from sin, a Lamb without spot or blemish, "holy, harmless, undefiled." Had He been of Adamic stock, had He received His life in the usual way from any earthly father, He, too, would have been leavened with Adamic sin, as are all other men; but His life came unblemished from a higher, Heavenly nature, changed to earthly conditions; hence He is called "the Bread from Heaven." (John 6: 41.) Let us then appreciate the pure, unleavened, undefiled Bread which God has provided, and so let us eat of Him -- by eating land digesting the Truth, and especially His Truth -- appropriating to ourselves, by faith, His Righteousness; and let us recognize Him as both the Way and the Life.

The Apostle, by Divine revelation, communicates to us a further meaning in this remembrancer. He shows that not only did the loaf represent our Lord Jesus, individually, but that after we have thus partaken of Him (after we have been justified by appropriating His righteousness), we, by consecration, become associated with Him as part of the one, broken Loaf-food for the world. (1 Cor. 10: 16.) This suggests the thought of our privilege as justified believers to share now in the sufferings and death of Christ, the condition upon which we may become joint-heirs with Him of future glories, and associates in the great work of blessing and giving life to all the families of the earth.

This same thought is expressed by the Apostle repeatedly and under, various figures, but none of them more forceful than this, that the Church (which is Christ's Body, see Col. 1 : 24), with their Head, is the "one loaf," being broken, during the Gospel Age. It is a striking illustration of our union and fellowship with our Head.

We quote: "Because there is one loaf we, the many [persons], are one body; for we all partake of the one loaf." "The loaf which we break, is it not the participation of the Body of the Anointed One?"--1 Cor. 10: 16, 17.--Diaglott.

The "fruit of the vine" represents the sacrificed life given by our Lord. "This is My blood [symbol of life given up in death] of the New Covenant, shed for many, for the remission of sins ... .. Drink ye all of it." -Matt. 26:27, 28.

It was by the giving up of His life as a ransom for the life of the Adamic race, which sin had forfeited, that a right to life may come to men through faith and obedience, under the New Covenant. (Rom. 5:18, 19.) The shed blood was the "ransom [price] for all," which was paid for all by our Redeemer Himself; but His act of handing the cup to the disciples, and asking them to drink of it, was an invitation to them to become partakers of His sufferings, or as St. Paul expresses it, to "fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ." (Col. 1 : 24.) It was the offer to us that if we, after being justified by faith, voluntarily partake of the sufferings of Christ, by espousing His cause, we will be esteemed by God members of the Body of Christ, as well as sharers in the sufferings of Jesus. (2 Tim. 2: 12; Acts 9: 1-5.) "The cup of blessing, for which we bless God, -is it not a participation of the blood [shed blood­ death] of the Anointed One?" (1 Cor. 10: 16. -- Diaglott.) Would that we all might realize the value of the "cup" and could bless God for an opportunity of sharing with Christ His "cup" of sufferings and shame'! All such may be assured that they will be glorified to,-ether with Him.-Rom. 8:17.

Our Lord also attached this significance to the "cup," indicating that it signified our participation in His dishonor, our share in His, sacrifice-the death of our humanity. For instance, when asked by two of His disciples for a promise of future glory in His Throne, He answered them: "Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of?" On their hearty avowal He answered, "Ye shall indeed drink of My cup." The juice of the grape not only -speaks of the crushing of the grape till blood comes forth, but it also speaks of an after refreshment; and so we who now share the "sufferings of Christ" shall, shortly share also His glories, honors and immortality when we drink the new wine with Him in the Kingdom.

AN OCCASION FOR SELF-EXAMINATION

Let our minds, then, follow the Redeemer to Gethsemane's Garden, and behold Him with strong cryings and tears praying to Him who was able to save Him out of death-expressive of the Master's fear of death lest in some particular He might have failed to follow out the Father's Plan and therefore be thought unworthy of a resurrection.

We remember that even among His loyal disciples the most courageous forsook the Lord and fled, and that one of them in his timidity even denied his Master ! What an occasion is this for examining our own hearts as respects the degree of our faith, courage, and willingness to suffer with Him who redeemed us! What an opportunity is thus afforded for us to buttress our mind with resolutions that by His grace we will not' deny our Master under any circumstances or conditions -- that we will confess Him not only with our lips but also by our conduct.

But let none think that they should remain away from the Memorial because of imperfections of the flesh. This is a great stumbling-block to many, So long as we are in the flesh, imperfection of word, deed, and thought are possible-yea, unavoidable. St. Paul says that we cannot do the things that we would. It is because we need Divine grace to forgive our daily, unintentional, unwilling trespasses that all whose sins have been forgiven and who have been accepted into fellowship with Christ are encouraged to come to the Throne of Heavenly Grace in prayer. The Apostle says, "Let us come with courage to the Throne of Grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Heb. 4: 16.) It was because of our needs that God opened up the way and made this arrangement for us.

All Christians should keep their accounts squared with the Lord. If they come short, they should lose no time in getting the account squared, in obtaining forgiveness through the merit of the Savior's sacrifice. Such accounts with the Lord should be settled promptly at the time of their occurrence, or not later than the day of their occurrence. They should not be allowed to accumulate; for they will rise as a wall between the soul and the Heavenly Father. But whatever has been the condition in the past, the Memorial season, above all others, is the time for making sure that no cloud remains between the Lord and us, to hide us from His eyes.

Thus forgiven, thus cleansed of any defiling spot on our robe of Christ's righteousness, let us keep, the' feast --the Memorial of our Lord's death.

With the completion of the membership of the Body of Christ, the very elect, and the completion of their testing as to faithfulness unto death, will come the conclusion of this Gospel Age-the resurrection change of the Church to be with and like her Lord. Then, as our Master declared, those who now partake of His broken body and are broken with Him in the service of the Truth, those who now participate in His cup of suffering and self-denial, will by and by drink with Him the new wine of joy in the Kingdom-beyond the veil.-Matt. 26: 29.

With that glorious Morning of the New Dispensation will begin the great work of the world's release from the bonds of sin and death-the great work of uplifting. The Apostle Peter calls that great Epoch "The Times of Restitution of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy Prophets since the world began." (Acts 3:19-21.) The thought before the minds of those who participate in this Memorial should be that expressed in the Apostle's words, "If we suffer with Him we shall also reign with Him"; "If we be dead with Him we shall also live with Him"; "for the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us."--Rom 8:17,18; Rom. 6: 8; 2 Tim. 2: 11, 12.

With these thoughts respecting the passing over of the sins of the First-born through the merit of the precious blood, we may indeed keep the Feast of the Passover with joy, notwithstanding trials and difficulties. So doing, and continuing faithful as the followers of Jesus, very soon we shall have the great privilege of leading forth the Lord's hosts-all who ultimately shall hear and know and obey the great King-out of the dominion of sin and death, out of Egypt into Canaan. Yes, dear brethren, in the language of the Apostle, "Christ our Passover is slain for us; therefore let us keep the Feast."

THE CUP OF JOY IN THE KINGDOM

On the occasion of the institution of the Memorial of His Death, the Master in His conversation with the Apostles, said: "But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of the fruit of the vine until that Day when I drink it new with you in My Father's Kingom." (Matt. 26:29.) Our Lord was here contrasting two great Days-the Day of suffering and the Day of glory. This Gospel Age has been the Day of suffering. The Millennial Age will be the Day of glory' and is especially spoken of as "the Day of Christ."

The fruit of the vine, the literal cup, represents two thoughts. The cup of wine is produced at the cost of the life of the grape. The grape loses its own individuality. The juice is pressed out, and thus the fruit of the vine is made ready for use. The cup of wine-the juice of the grape-represents, however, not only the crushing of the grape, but also the exhilaration that comes as the result. So in our drinking of this literal cup. To us it symbolizes our Savior's sufferings and death, and our own participation with Him in these sufferings. But wine also represents joy, gladness, and is thus used in the Scriptures. So in the sense in which the Lord used the words "fruit of the vine" in the text just quoted, it represents the joys of the Kingdom.

The Father marked out for our Lord Jesus in His earthly experience a certain specific course. This course constituted His Cup of suffering and death. But the Father promised Him that after He had drunk this Cup faithfully, He should be given a different Cup, a different experience-glory, honor, and immortality. And then the Savior was authorized by the Father to make the same proposition to those who might desire to become His followers-that if they would suffer with Him, would drink His Cup of death with Him, then they should participate with Him in His future Cup of Joy.

BY THE WAY OF THE CROSS

"Whosoever will save his life shall lose it." We are all to pass through the trying experiences represented by the wine-press. We are to lay down our lives in the Divine service. We are to submit ourselves to the crushing experiences, to be obliterated as humans, and to become New Creatures. "If we suffer [with Him], we shall also reign with Him"--not otherwise. So we joyfully accept the invitation to drink of His Cup. And not until the Cup has been drained to the last shall we receive the other Cup-the Cup of Kingdom joys. While our Lord had a great blessing in the obedience which He rendered to the Father, yet it was a trying time for Him down to the last moment, when He cried, "It is finished!" And so with the Church. We must drink all of the Cup. We must endure all of the experiences. None of the Cup is to be left.

All the sufferings of Christ will be complete when the Body of Christ 'shall have finished its course. The new Cup of joy was given our Lord when He was received up into glory. Then-all the angels of God worshiped Him. Soon our Cup of joy will be given to us. Surely there will be a joyous time when all the saints enter into their reward and receive the Cup of Blessings! Undoubtedly all the faithful will soon partake of this joy. We believe the fullness of joy will not be reached until all the members of Christ are with Him beyond the veil. Then we shall share His Throne and partake of His glory. Then with our beloved Lord we shall drink of the new wine in the Kingdom; for the promise is to all His faithful saints.


ABRAHAM, THE HERO OF FAITH

"Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness."--Rom. 4: 3; Gen. 12:1-5; Heb. 11: 8-10, 17-19.

DEVELOPMENT of character implies a variety of experiences and tests. In choosing Abraham as His agent and chan­nel through whom He would bring to the world His purposed blessings, God chose a good man, but not a perfect one -- for there was not a perfect man to choose, as there has not been since, of all Adam's posterity. While God called Abraham, He made him only partial promises until he had manifested faith by obedience. And it was appropriate that various and severe tests of faith should come before the fullness of Divine favor should be guaranteed him. One of these faith-tests came through a drouth in the land of Canaan, and, as a result, a food scarcity, a famine, in the region where Abraham, had settled, flocks and herds.

Abram received his special call about four centuries after the deluge. The three sons of Noah became the roots, so to speak, of the different branches of the human family-spreading out in different directions. In the words of another, "The world was populated in three different lines by the sons of Noah: Shem, from whom were derived the Jews and other Semitic races; Ham, the ancestor of the colored races; and Japheth, amongst whose descendants are the European nations. To these three, the, diverging races and, the languages of men converge, as rays of light to their sources."

The four centuries had undoubtedly accomplished much in the way of populating the immediate district which is called the "cradle of the race," in the vicinity of Babylonia. During these four centuries the downward tendency of our fallen -race was farther manifested; for although Noah was evidently a man of faith in God, and his sons and their wives, saved in the Ark with him, were doubtless firm believers in Jehovah God--their experiences attesting His greatness and His wisdom--nevertheless, in a comparatively short time their posterity., lacking faith in God and in His promises that there would never more be a flood, under-, took the erection of the Tower of Babel as a protection, little realizing, apparently, the folly of such an attempt to outwit the Almighty.

It was here that the oneness of the race, exercised injuriously, was effectually broken up by the Lord, by confounding the language of the people. just how He accomplished this division of language is not explained, nor is such an explanation necessary. The fact is that language is split up not only into great divisions, but into minor dialects, notwithstanding the fact that, as surely as the' whole race was originally one, the language at first must likewise have been one. This divergency of language tended to the disintegration of the race and its scattering into various bands or tribes--ultimately into every corner of the world, as at present. And such changes of conditions, in temperature, habits of life, etc., have undoubtedly had much to do with the great variety of types amongst men which we see today-these racial changes coming in gradually during the past 4000 years.

Abram, and so far as we may know from the Scriptures, his father, and all of his brethren, maintained to a considerable degree a faith in Jehovah; and in harmony with this, enjoyed Divine favors similar to those which operated in, and brought blessings to Noah. But during those four centuries, so far as the records show, the world in general had become idolatrous and morally corrupt.

During all those four centuries there was no preaching of the Gospel, because there was no Gospel to preach, no Good Tidings authorized to be proclaimed. Nor was there any threatening of men with an eternity of torture, because no such thing is true. The world simply moved along, taking its own course, which, as we have seen, is a downward one. We may safely say that while an individual might for a time hold himself from a moral decline, or might even take a few upward steps toward a better condition mentally, morally, and physically, yet we cannot surmise, from what we know of the race and the tendencies of sin working in its members, that any number would make upward progress: on the contrary, experience proves that the tendencies on the part of the whole is continually downward, in response to some moral force corresponding to gravitation. Observation of the Scripture records as well as observation of life teaches us that any particular and extended uplift of our race or its members must come through a: power from on high--a power outside of mankind. And this power of God operates chiefly through the mind, and is conveyed generally through Divine promises, which the Apostle declares are designed of God to work in us both "to will and to do God's good pleasure."

LIFE AND TIMES OF ABRAM

Here we find Abram, the youngest son of Terah, living with his father and with his brother Nahor. His elder brother Haran was of the same family group, and is supposed to have left two children -- Lot and Sarah -- when he and his wife died. It was at this time that in some manner, not explained to us, the Lord manifested to Abram His favor, calling-him to separate himself; to leave his own country and his father's house, and to expect, in so doing, increased manifestations of Divine favor and blessing. Apparently this call, while given before his father Terah's death, was understood by Abram to be a preparatory admonition so that he might respond, as he did, directly after his father's death. Meantime he had reached the age of 70 years, had married Sarah, and had considerable possessions -in the way of flocks and herds, with quite a retinue of servants and assistants necessary to the care of these. Abram, for his name bad not yet been changed to Abraham, was what is called in that country a sheik, and his change of abode in response to the Lord's call meant a great deal in the way of breaking up of established usages, sundering of family ties, etc. How large his camp must have been may be judged from the fact that a little later on (Gen. 14:14), the number of his armed servants born in his own household was 318--implying a general household of at least 1,000 persons. Abram was thus a sort of king according to the conditions of that time; or a feudal lord or baron according to later conditions and usages in Great Britain; a sheik, father or ruler, according to his own time and country.

Another has well summed up the life of Abram as follows:

"The brief story consists of slight and simple memorials of the quiet life led by a Semitic patriarch four thousand years ago. It tells us how he wandered over the pastures of Chaldea and Syria, growing rich in flocks and herds and in retainers, but living in tents with his wife and children; how he worshiped God in spirit and in truth, though in utter simplicity, without temple, ritual, or image; a man of child-like obedience and strong faith, not without faults and frailties, but yet loved and respected in his day. He had none of the legislative power of Moses, nor of the poetical pathos of David, much less of the far-sighted wisdom of Daniel. But there was about him a benignity, a faith, an obedience, a courtesy, a piety, and especially a paternal dignity, which are peculiarly his own; while the age in which he lived, the lands in which he wandered, and the simple tent-life of his pilgrimage, throw over the story 'the light as of an early Eastern morning, and the freshness as of a breeze from the wilderness.'=

"Why has this old oriental biography so profound an interest still in this busy nineteenth century to men and women all the world over, not to those who profess and call themselves Christians only, but also to Jews and Arabs and all the followers of the False Prophet? Strange! that out of the hundreds of such ancient Eastern sheiks of wandering pastoral tribes, the name of one should still be a household word, honored alike by Moslem, Jew, and Christian throughout the world. Yet so it is. In mosque and synagogue and Christian church alike, in the East and in the West, in the North and in the South, the patriarch Abraham is still esteemed as 'the friend of God' or as the Father of the Faithful. He never occupied a throne nor wielded a scepter; he never made a discovery nor produced an invention; he never published a volume nor. framed a code of laws; he never conquered a country nor enslaved his neighbors, like the Pharaohs and the Nimrods of those early times; he reared no huge monuments to immortalize his name, nor carved on the rocks the story of his exploits: yet he lives in the loving memory of mankind while multitudes of those who did all, these things are forgotten. He is held in filial respect and affection by myriads of men, who to Egypt's greatest kings and Chaldea's mightiest monarchs accord but an unsympathetic and disapproving wonder. What has ennobled and distinguished this. ancient patriarch? The answer is, He believed and obeyed the God who had chosen him to be the channel of the world's redemption,--and to him was communicated ,the third section of the Divine program of the world's history."

CALL OF THE CHURCH LIKE THAT OF ABRAM

Few seem to get the proper thought respecting the call of Abram: he was not called to escape hell-and eternal torment, nor was he called to go to heaven. He was called to leave Chaldea and go forth whithersoever the Lord in His providence might direct. Terah, his father, was not called,. nor was Nahor, his older brother. Sarah, who had become his wife, shared with him in the call, of course, but although he took with him his nephew, Lot, the latter was not included in the call; although a sharer in God's favors to Abram, he had neither part nor lot in the call and the subsequent promises and covenant connected with it; and this was all right. It implied no injustice on God's part. God had a great and wonderful Plan for man's salvation which He purposed to work out largely through human instrumentality, and it was His own business, and no one else's, whom of the fallen race He would elect to use as His servant and as the channel for these purposed blessings.

During the five years between the time God first called Abram and the time when he started for Canaan, after his father's death, there was abundant opportunity for doubt and fear to do their work in his heart, and to hinder his obedience. Undoubtedly he thought the whole matter over carefully; and from what we know of his general character, we must assume that he decided the matter speedily-his confidence in the Lord being so great he could not question the wisdom of following such a guide. Nevertheless, the time must have come when it would be necessary to inform his friends and relatives respecting his departure and respecting his call of God. We may reasonably surmise their opposition, their lack of faith in the matter, and how they would endeavor to dissuade Abram from going, telling him he was deceiving himself, and that his chances for becoming great were far better at home than in his proposed emigration. No doubt they taunted him with a call which did not clearly specify where he was to go; for we have the assurance of the Apostle that he obeyed God, "not knowing. whither he went." -Heb,. 11:8.

Abram's call very much resembles the call of the elect Church. Neither are we called to escape eternal, torment. Neither do we at first comprehend the leadings of Divine providence, but are to follow and be led and taught of God day by day. We, like Abram, go forth taking all of our possessions with us, great or small--nothing must be left behind to be a treasure in the old life. and to attract our hearts thither again. All things must be brought with us so that not our own lives and talents only, but our influence upon others must all be made to count-every item of it-in harmony with the Lord's promises.

The Lord's promise to His elect Church, designated Israel, and children of Abraham, is very similar to the promise made to Abram, as recorded in this lesson. To us the Lord says, "Ye are . . . a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people"; yet these promises belong in such a large degree to the future, that only by the exercise of faith like Abram's is it, possible for us to appreciate the situation and rejoice in and live up to the privileges of this position.

WE WAIT FOR "THY KINGDOM COME"

To us who are united to Christ, the Father's words specially apply, "I will bless thee and make thy name great and thou shalt be called blessed." The fulfillment has already commenced in our hearts, but that is not the end, not the fulness, not the ultimate meaning of the promise; for by and by this holy nation (the Body of Christ, the Church), shall be great indeed when filled with the Divine blessing and power as God's glorified Kingdom. We realize, too, that while it is our blessed privilege to let shine upon others the light which the Lord by His spirit has graciously shined into our hearts, nevertheless, our time for bestowing the great blessing is 'still future-it belongs to the period for which we pray, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth." We reason that, although our name may be now cast out as evil, and the reproaches bestowed upon the Head of the Body may fall also upon us, His members, nevertheless, the time is surely hastening when the name, Christ, shall be great throughout all the earth; and that being the name of our Bridegroom it will also be our name as His Bride and Joint-heir. We look forward with joy to the time when the Holy Nation, now so misunderstood and considered a peculiar people, shall recompense the poor, blinded, Satan, deceived world and nominal church for all the evils inflicted upon the Christ, Head and Body, by blessing them, returning good for evil in the highest degree-instructing and uplifting all who will to return to Divine favor.

It is also true of the spiritual seed of Abraham that the Lord defends their cause, and that those who afflict or injure them, figuratively injure the apple of the Lord's eye, while those who bless them are sure to be compensated. Whosoever shall give a cup of cold water to one of the least of the Lord's disciples shall eventually receive a great reward for the kindness -if not in the present life, then, in the life to come. -- Matt. 10:42; Zech. 2:8.

Abram's experience is recorded as an evidence of his faith. It would have been vain for him to have pleaded great faith in the Lord and to have said, The Lord is as able to bless me and to use me in Chaldea, Babylonia, as in any other _place; and since what He seeks is to know my faith, He can just as well see that I have it here. Some who class themselves as spiritual Israel, seem to reason after this manner, but they make a great mistake. It is true that the Lord looks upon the heart, and that it is our faith, and not our imperfect works, which commends us to Him, but He assures us that if we have the faith it will speedily manifest itself in works; and that if we have the faith and fail to act in harmony with it, to the extent of our ability, the faith will die out. Perfect works are not demanded of us, because we are imperfect through the fall; but any who would maintain a justified standing before the Lord, through faith, must manifest works in harmony with their faith to the extent of ability, for faith without works is dead-has lost all of its vitality, all of its virtue, all its life. It is thenceforth dead, worthless.-Jas. 2:17.

Justification is a free gift, "not of works, lest any man should boast"--it is God's gift through Christ, based upon the ransom. But as it is accounted unto us only for the purpose of permitting us to go on-to sanctification-to self-sacrifice, such results or works must be forthcoming, or it will prove that we have received "the grace of God in vain."--Eph. 2: 9; 2 Cor. 6: 1.

FULFILLMENT OF PROMISE -- LIFE FROM THE DEAD

After Abraham had thus proved himself obedient, showing his faith by his obedience, the Lord revealed His purposes to him much more specifically than at first, saying, "Unto thy seed will I give this land." This promise must have seemed quite improbable at that time, for the land was already peopled with strong nations, whose posterity would undoubtedly increase greatly, while Abram, on the contrary, had as yet no child. There was room for doubt in Abram's mind, but there was also room for faith. His faith accepted the promise, and he ratified it by building there an altar, on which we presume he offered sacrifices to the Lord, typical of the great sacrifice of Christ, through the efficacy -of which all of God's promises will be fulfilled. Let us carefully notice that the special promise of God given to Abram ignored Lot and his family, and ignored the thousand -or more persons of Abram's household. It is proper to call, special attention to these matters in view of the very erroneous conceptions of God's elections, which have gained access to nearly all minds, and which need to be gotten rid of if we would rightly understand the Divine Plan of the Ages. Those nonelect were "passed by" and not associated in the Abrahamic. call and election, though not therefore sentenced to eternal torment; but, just like the non-elect of this Gospel Age, they must wait for Divine blessings until Abraham's seed shall bless-the world during the Millennium.

There is no suggestion in this promise either that Abraham was to preach the Gospel to any of his 1,000 camp-followers, and herdsmen, or that any of them were in any danger of an eternity of torture by reason of such a commission not having been given to, Abram. The fact is that the wages of sin is death-including trials, weaknesses, and sufferings of the present life incidental to the dying process. The whole world was, in danger of this penalty--more than this, the danger feature was past, for they were already in death-dying under the original sentence passed against father Adam, and shared by all of his progeny.-Rom. 5: 12.

The whole race therefore, including Abram and Lot and the servants and all the families of the earth, were going down into the great prison house-death. No way of escape had yet been provided by the Almighty on any terms or conditions, and hence there was no Gospel to preach, hence, too, although the Lord subsequently made known to Abraham that the blessing of all the families of the earth would in due time come through his seed-the Christ-nevertheless, the proclamation of this Gospel or Good Tidings of a resurrection--of a recovery of the dead through the merits of -the great Atonement Sacrifice-could not be made, could not be authorized of God, till first of all our Lord Jesus had secured the ransom price with His own life, purchasing the whole world of, mankind, and the right in due time to resurrect such of them as will come into full accord with the Divine Law. It is appropriate, therefore, that the Scriptures tell us distinctly that this great salvation from death "began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard Him." -Heb. 2 :3.


BEREAN STUDIES IN THE REVELATION

STUDY CLXIX--MARCH 25

RETURN TO GOD'S PRESENCE--Rev. 22: 3-5.

(896) What is the significance of the statement in Genesis, "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread," etc., and how is this related to the curse that has been upon man? H '21-126.

(897) Briefly explain the method by which some are released from the original condemnation prior to the fulfillment of the statement, "There shall be no more curse. H '21-126.

(898) What is the force of the statement, "And they shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads"? H '21-127.

(899) Explain the meaning of the statement, "There shall be no night there; for the Lord God giveth them light." H '21-127.

(900) Explain the nature of the dominion or reign that will be committed to mankind at the close of the Millennial Kingdom. H '21-127.

Lord God giveth them light." H '21-127.

(900) Explain the nature of the dominion or reign that will be committed to mankind at the close of the Millennial Kingdom. H '21-127.

STUDY CLXX--APRIL 1

CONCLUSION OF THE GREAT DRAMA

(901) The great symbolic drama having closed with verse 5, what responsibility was the Apostle to feel concerning the things he had seen and heard? H '21-135.

(902) How and at what time were the seven Churches to understand the significance of the things represented in the Revelation visions? H '21-135.

(903) What particular class of people do the visions concern, and. what scenes and events in history are given most prominence in the visions? H '21-135.

(904) Following the scenes depicting the closing events of the Church's earthly career, what important visions conclude the great drama? H '21-135.

(905) Show how history thus far attests the truthfulness of the Historical application of the visions. H '21-135.


CHRIST IN THE APOCALYPSE

"Behold, I am with you all the days till the consummation of the Age."
 -- Matthew 28: 20.

VIEWED from one standpoint it appears that the visions of the Apocalypse were specially designed to record the fulfillment of the Master's promise quoted above, to His witnessing, suffering Church. It is indeed a significant fact that we find portrayed in the Apocalypse seven appearances in vision of Christ-appearances which seem clearly to have their application or fulfillment at different intervals of the Church's history, reaching to the vision describing His manifestation with His Church in glory to the world. Indeed, every important period of the Church's history is prefaced with a vision of Christ. These visions represent Him as filling the various offices that would be required in order to make good this wonderful promise.

WALKING MIDST THE CANDLESTICKS

The first vision in which He is portrayed precedes the seven messages which He gave to St. John to be sent to the seven Churches of Asia. These messages are divinely stated to have their application not only to the seven Asiatic Churches, but to all the members of Christ's Body throughout their earthly pilgrimage. This vision is that of one like a Son of Man, standing in the midst of seven golden Lampstands. Briefly reviewing its import: the vision represents Christ in symbol, in His office of criticizing and judging, comforting and encouraging, directing and supervising His Church throughout her long and eventful history; also that of upholding His chosen stars or ministers in their work of serving the Church during the same period. It is probable also that the vision was designed to impress upon the mind of St. John and all Christ's followers, a sense of the glory and majesty of Christ, and thus prepare the way for them to appreciate the authoritative character and importance of the messages which the Apostle was to receive, and which he was to send to the seven Churches named. The full significance of this symbolic vision of Christ, can be understood only by viewing it in the light of, and in connection with the history of the Church, symbolized by the seven golden Lampstands.

AS OF A LAMB JUST SLAIN

The second vision of Christ in the Apocalyptic scenery is the one recorded in chapter five, and precedes what is divinely stated to be the prophetic portion of the book. The words to this effect are, "Come up hither, and I will show thee things that must be hereafter." (Rev. 4:1.) St. John informs us that he saw a Throne set in heaven and on the Throne is seated One that is evidently designed to represent the Eternal One. In His right hand is seen a Scroll sealed with seven Seals. The Apostle hears an angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the Scroll and loose the seven Seals. After an impressive silence, St. John wept much because no one was able to open and to read the Scroll. At this stage in this remarkable scene, one of the twenty-four Elders, who had previously been seen-by him, came and spoke the comforting words, "Weep not, for behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah, hath prevailed to open the Book and to loose the seven Seals thereof." Then St. John beheld that which evidently was divinely designed to be the great central transaction of the strange and mystical scene-that of a Lamb as if it had just been slain and yet had been caused to live again. This Lamb is represented in the vision as receiving the sealed Scroll from the band of the One sitting on the Throne. When this had occurred, St. John beheld the Elders and the Living Ones fall down before the Throne, and give utterance in song to the words: "Thou art worthy to take the Book, and to open the Seals thereof: for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth." Next the Apostle beholds the Lamb loose the Seals one by one, and a series of successive events follow, evidently representing important developments in the Church's history.

The receiving of the Scroll by the Lamb is designed to show that a full, complete knowledge of the Divine purposes for both the Church and the world, as well as all power and authority to carry the Divine Plan to completion, was given to Christ. The breaking of the Seals and the opening of the Scroll by the Lamb reveals the progressive order of the fulfillment of the events symbolized by the four horsemen and the other transactions recorded in that connection. Furthermore, it is manifest that the events represented in this picture of Christ receiving and opening the Scroll occurred after His death and resurrection and before His ascension, and are described in the words: "All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth." (Matt. 28: 18-20.) More than this it is evident that St. John, observing the vision of the breaking of the Seals of the Scroll, represented the Church beholding the fulfillment of the vision, gradually coming to a knowledge of the things pictured as history has unveiled their meaning.

HAVING MUCH INCENSE IN HIS HANDS

The third picture of Christ, seen and described by the Apostle, is recorded in Rev, 8: 3-5. In this vision an- Angel is seen standing by the golden Altar, having much incense in His hands, which, for the prayers of all the saints, He is to lay upon the golden Altar in front of the Throne. It is further stated that the sweet perfume of the incense for the prayers of the saints went into the presence of God. The angel is next seen to take the censer and fill it with fire from the Altar and cast it on the earth. This vision is seen in connection with the breaking of the seventh Seal, and in it there is presented the most important matter connected with Christ's work for the Church. Those familiar with the typical Atonement-Day services of ancient Israel will recognize at once the very evident correspondence. In those typical services the High Priest alone was permitted to do what this Angel is represented as doing. The High Priest in Israel's arrangement represented Christ. It -is designed to picture our Lord Jesus presenting the results or value of His sacrifice before God, which sacrifice was ultimately to effect the redemption of the Church and the world. (1 John 2:2.) The incense represented the actual perfection of the Man Jesus. That sacrifice began at His consecration at Jordan and was completed at the Cross. Its acceptableness was proved by His resurrection from the dead. Its formal presentation and acceptance in behalf of the Church was manifested after His ascension in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. There may also be seen in this vision of the offering of the "prayers of all saints," that which is taught elsewhere in the Scriptures, namely that Christ as the great High Priest having presented the merit of His sacrifice in, behalf of His Body members (Heb. 9: 24), their offerings, their humanity, their devotion, their prayers, etc., are made acceptable to the Father. (Rom. 12: 1 ; 1 Pet. 2: 5.) Hence, Christ the Head having been offered up in the beginning of the Age, He is, throughout this dispensation offering up the reckonedly perfect members of His Body. And so it is written, "If we suffer with Him we shall also reign with Him." (2 Tim. 2: 11, 12.) In the case of Jesus, the Head, His humanity, as a, willing sacrifice, was a sweet and acceptable perfume to the Father, attesting at once the completeness of His consecration and the perfection of the sacrifice. The thought evidently to be conveyed by the vision then is that before the prayers of the saints on earth could be answered, and before the saints could be presented as joint-sacrificers, the merit of Christ's sacrifice must be imputed and accepted for them. We thus see that as the prayers, offerings, and devotions of the saints throughout the whole Gospel Age, the antitypical Atonement Day, are offered up to God, the merit of Christ's sacrifice is there to make their offerings, prayers, etc., acceptable. The fragrance of Christ's acceptability gives efficacy to His people's prayers. "And the smoke of the perfumes [incense] went up for the prayers of the saints out of the hand of the Angel, in the presence of God."

HIS VOICE LIKE THE ROAR OF A LION

The fourth vision of Christ in the Apocalypse is recorded in Rev. 10: 1-3, and is that of an Angel surrounded with a cloud of glory and encircled by a rainbow, His face like the sun, and His feet as pillars of fire, having in His hand a small scroll open. His right foot is on the sea and his left foot on the land, and He is represented as crying with a loud voice like the roar of a lion. This most strange and remarkable vision of Christ is located in the order of the Apocalyptic scenery under the seventh Seal, and connected with the sounding of the sixth trumpet. All the symbols associated with and surrounding this vision of Christ, require that we look for its fulfillment in a great movement in the interest of true Christianity-one that was in a very special sense inspired by the great Head. of the Church. Furthermore, the symbols all imply that this great movement would be at a time when the Cause of Christ had seemingly met an utter defeat. It is quite generally applied to the movement called the great Reformation, beginning in the sixteenth century. The events which occurred just previous to this great movement were of that nature that called for such a display of Christ's power operating through specially called and chosen agencies, as are symbolically described in this vision of Christ. The Reformation movement is quite generally understood to begin in 1517 A. D. The historian, describing the condition of the Church immediately prior to this time, has said: "At this date (1514), though the name of Christ was professed everywhere in Europe, nothing existed that could properly be called evangelical. All the confessors of Christ 'worn out' [See Dan. 7: 25; Rev. 11: 7, 8; Rev. 13: 7] by a long series of contentions were reduced to silence." This, was the period when the Papal Beast's war on Christ's Witnesses had accomplished the suppression of their testimony. It was a time when there was great need of a lion-like voice to utter a protest against the errors and blasphemous pretensions of the great Apostasy. Indeed, so urgent was the need, that it became necessary to give to His Church the great foundation truths of the Gospel of Christ again, a second time, and that specially chosen men, clothed with power and divinely protected, should be called to proclaim these truths again. And it is at this period of the Church's history that this glory-enclouded and rainbow-encircled Angel (Christ) suddenly makes His appearance on the stage of Apocalyptic scenery.

THE LAMB STANDING ON MOUNT ZION

The fifth recorded vision of Christ is found in Rev. 14: 1. It follows immediately the visions of chapter thirteen which portray in symbol the full, complete development of the various phases and aspects of the Apostate Christian systems. In this vision of Christ, St. John says, "And I saw, and behold the Lamb stand­ ing on Mount Zion." This vision of Christ brings us to the beginning of the most thrilling period in the history of the true Church. A careful examination and study of this vision and its associated symbolical events, cannot fail to produce the conviction that the "Lamb standing on Mount Zion" is a symbolical representation of Christ assuming and exercising kingly authority. The vision doubtless relates to a time when the manifestation of the evil systems is complete. These false sys­tems are described in Rev. 13. It is the earlier aspect or phase of Christ's rulership as king, that in which His true saints are to be gathered to Himself, not into a sect or organization, but to Himself in glory, that is here portrayed. This work of gathering will cover a period of time. The immediate surroundings of the vision all show that it is that period during which He is making known the fact of His Second Presence by giving to His faithful watching ones a knowledge of His wonderful Man, all the mysterious features of which are described by His holy Apostles and the Old Testament Prophets.

HAVING IN HIS HAND A SHARP SICKLE

The sixth vision of Christ is recorded in chapter 14: 14. In this vision St. John informs us that he saw, one like a Son of Man sitting on a white cloud, having in His hand a sharp sickle with which He is called to reap the earth. The time in history when this vision meets its fulfillment is very soon after the vision just described--that of Christ standing on Mount Zion. The symbols that surround the personage of this vision enables us to see that the character of the work to be accomplished in the end of the Age, is that of reaping or gathering the ripe fruitage of the Age. That Christ was to assume the office of Chief Reaper at the Second Advent is plainly taught in several parables in. which He is represented as the Lord of the Harvest. (Matt. 13:30.) The vision is designed to describe. in a general way the work of gathering His saints, both those who had died and those who would be living in the end of the Age, and uniting them to Himself as His Bride and joint-heir.

THE CONQUEROR ON THE WHITE HORSE

The seventh vision representing Christ is recorded in Rev. 19:11-13. The time when this vision will meet its fulfillment is that immediately following the Marriage of the Lamb, when the harvesting of the saints will have been completed and all the Kingdom class will have passed to their Heavenly reward. This is further proved by the fact that in the vision His saints are shown as associated with Him. The opening words of the vision read: "And I saw Heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He who sat on him was [called] Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. And His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were-many diadems; having a name written which no one knows except Himself. And He was invested with a mantle dipped in blood; and His name is called the Word of God." It seems evident that the vision portrays in highly strong, symbolical language the last momentous scenes in connection with the end of this present Gospel Age-the last scene in that great Armageddon conflict between truth and error. The result of the conflict will be the very speedy destruction of all the systems, civil and ecclesiastical, in operation at that time, as, well as those in a state of disintegration that are found in any measure antagonistic to the reign of righteousness-the Kingdom of Christ and His saints in glory over this earth. The vision describes that second phase of Christ's Advent in -which He manifests Himself to the whole world. While the visions of chapter 14, and some that follow, recorded in succeeding chapters, represent Christ as personally present during the whole period from the scene of the Lamb standing on Mount Zion onward, and that His Presence is known and recognized by the "Watchers," yet that Presence does not become known to the world in general until the period when this vision of Christ meets its fulfillment. The' "revealing" to the world follows closely the end of the Harvest-that feature of the Harvest that completes the First Resurrection. His Presence, while literal and personal, will be made known to the world in the power displayed in His judgments which will overthrow the present order.

Thus we have recorded seven symbolic appearances or manifestations of Christ in the history of the Age, bringing us to the opening of the Millennial reign, beginning with the binding of Satan. The visions which follow in chapters 20, 21, 22 all have reference to the reign of Christ and His saints during the Millennial "times of restitution."


THE ABIDING LIFE

"And now, little children, abide in Him; that when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming."--1 John 2: 28.

IT IS very generally understood that this epistle by the beloved John was written during the closing years of his life, after a long experience of close union and fel­lowship, by faith, with his Divine Lord and Master. While the exact date is uncertain, the weight of authority gives it as somewhere between 90 and 100 A.D. Although it is called an Epistle, it seems more in the nature of a treatise or homily. The chief lines of Christian truth presented in it are three:

First, we have emphasized that most important of all truths, that fellowship with God requires actual purity and holiness, in the every-day life of the Christian. (Chapters 1 and 2.) However, a careful attention to verses 8-10 of chapter 1, plainly shows that the holiness required is that which prompts to such a performance of duties and a fulfillment of obligations as proceeds from an inner state of purity (love out of a pure heart) such as a gracious, merciful Father, who knows better than we knew ourselves our state of imperfection in this world, will be pleased and delighted with; and such a life as will at last be rewarded with that absolute, perfect holiness, when we reach the Heavenly state.

Next is described some of the blessings and duties of the true sons of God; and in connection with this we have the children of God contrasted with the children of the Evil One -- as the rival, representative powers of truth and error in this evil world. -- Chapter 3--4: 6. Finally, we have the beloved Apostle enlarging on the, essential qualities of the bonds of Christian son­ ship and fellowship, which he states embraces love to both Father and Son, and also to fellow- Christians. -- Chapter 4: 7--5: 21.

In the text above St. John exhorts the children of God to continue in the life of abiding, which means, to continue. to live in constant union and fellowship with Christ the Lord, by faith and obedience, How simple and. tender are the words of this exhortation that comes to us as children of God--"My little children, abide in Him." He does not exhort us to be wise, or strong, or self-sufficient. He knew, both by Divine inspiration and experience that heavenly wisdom, strength, and sufficiency are found only in God, and are imparted only by abiding or continuing in a vital union by faith with Christ. As the poet has expressed it:

"In union with the purest One,
I find my heaven on earth begun."

However, we need to ever remember that the agency by which this union is continued and by which it is consummated is the Word of Truth. "If ye abide in Me and My words abide in you," are the words of the Divine Master, recorded by St. John in his Gospel. (John 15.) The Christian poet expresses most clearly the way by which this abiding in Christ is experienced, in the words:

'Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His. word,
Just to rest upon His promise,
Just to know, 'Thus saith the Lord.'

AS A LITTLE CHILD

Our attitude and relationship to the Heavenly Father in this abiding life should be the same as the little child to its earthly father-simple, helpless, and confiding--trusting and loving like a little child. And the Apostle's message to us is, not to do some great work, not to say or attempt to say some great thing, but to keep close, very close to our Lord and Master at all times, for this is what is meant by abiding in Him. Literally this means to live a life of faith in Christ as our Savior from the condemnation, guilt, and power of sin, and as an ever-present Friend, Counselor and Helper. The poet has not in any measure exaggerated' the experience connected. with this abiding life when she says:

"I'm walking close to Jesus' side,
So close that I can hear,
The softest whispers of His love,
In fellowship so dear;
And feel His great almighty hand,
Protects me in this hostile land.

O wondrous bliss, O joy Divine,
I've Jesus with me all the time."

This thought of enjoying such fellowship and communion does not in any sense conflict with the many statements of Scripture that the Christian life is I one more or less of conflict and trials and sufferings. This abiding fellowship is fellowship in His sufferings as well as fellowship in His joys; and faith can "count it all joy when we enter into divers temptations [trials]." To enjoy such fellowship and communion, when knowing by experience 'how naturally weak and imperfect we are, will require full assurance of faith that in Him we have redemption, that through His blood we have the forgiveness of sins, and that through the Beloved we have acceptance always with the Father, It will require, as St. John informs us in this Epistle, that we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. (Chapter 3: 22.) And that we might make no mistake regarding what these commandments are, he sums them all up in the words: "And this is His commandment, that ye should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as He gave us commandment. (Chapter 3: 23.) To. live such a life of abiding will, of course, mean "to feel at home with Him, to be comfortable in His presence, to be at ease with our blessed Savior and always to feel the most perfect confidence in turning to Him at any moment and in any situation." Then again it means a life by the moment, as the poet has expressed it:

"Moment by moment, I'm kept in His love,
Moment by moment I've life from above,
Moment by moment 'til glory doth shine,
Moment by moment 0 Lord I am Thine."

"Breath by breath, step by step we are to abide in Him, until it becomes as natural as breathing. To look to Him for everything, to take Him with us in everything, and to seek to please Him in everything. We are not expected by Him, and ought not to expect to be anything good or strong without Him." He tells us in the Gospel of the Apostle, that without Him we can do nothing. We are complete, in Him. All our goodness, our love, and our ability to do everything must come moment by moment from Him, by trusting Him-trusting in His word of promise to be with us, trusting Him to help us show forth His praises. For "of His fulness have we received, and grace for grace," 'that is, grace from Him, for every grace He expects of us.

How happy, how profitable is such a life. Our Lord tells us that such a life will "bring forth 'Much fruit." (John 15:8.) St. John tells us that our "joy will be full." (Chapter 1: 4.) He also tells us that our prayers will be answered (Chapters 3: 22) ; that our heart will not condemn us. (Chapter 3: 21.) He tells us that we will be kept from sin if we abide in Him. (Chapters 3:6.) And in the particular verse we are considering, He tells us that we shall ever be ready for His coming: "And when He shall appear, we shall have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming."


JOSEPH, THE PRESERVER OF HIS PEOPLE

"Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long its the land which Jehovah thy God giveth thee."--Ex. 20:12; Gen. 45: 3-15.

AS the favored child of Jacob's beloved wife, Rachel, Joseph was no doubt esteemed by his father as the special inheritor of the Abrahamic promises. Jacob remembered own experiences, and how the Divine favor had come to him, making him an heir of that promise; and doubtless he had, to a greater or less extent, communicated these hopes and promises to all of his sons, and especially to Joseph, his favored one. Joseph's dreams, which so angered his brethren, must have appealed to him and to his father as rather an intimation on God's part of his pre-eminence. It must therefore have caused great disappointment and chagrin to Joseph, first to find himself in the pit, and then to have his strong cryings and tears unheard both by his brethren and the Lord. It must have been a source of bitter disappointment and chagrin when he found himself sold to the Ishmaelites, to be a slave. But however disappointing these circumstances we can see that they were profitable experiences, tending to develop in him a proper character, if rightly accepted-to develop patience, obedience, trust.

Divine Providence in the affairs of men is the essence of this lesson. Joseph was now thirty-nine years of age, having been next to Pharaoh in the throne of Egypt for nine years. The seven years of plenty were in the past; the granaries of Egypt were full with enough and to spare, and two years of the predicted famine were already over, It would seem that Joseph had made no attempt to communicate with his father and brethren; first, probably because the methods of communication at that time, were limited, but more particularly, we opine, because he had for some years been realizing that Divine providence was shaping his affairs. He remembered his early dreams, and could see that they were now in a fair way of fulfillment. He would leave to Divine supervision this matter, which was evidently beyond his control anyway. He no doubt thought of the famine, and how it would affect Palestine, and thus the interests of his father and brethren, their households, flocks and herds. He no doubt expected that as other people from the vicinity were coming to Egypt to buy grain, so quite probably eventually the Hebrews would come also; and they were forced to come by the close of the second year of the famine.

THE WISDOM OF JOSEPH

We may surmise that some law prohibited the sale of grain to foreigners, except by the chief ruler's permission, and that thus Joseph's brethren were obliged to come before him to explain. This thought is sustained by the fact that Joseph, wishing to try his brethren, first cast them into prison as spies-as though they were emissaries of a foreign power, which perceived the wealth of Egypt in food, and was meditating an attack upon the country. This gave Joseph the opportunity of inquiring minutely respecting the home conditions of his brethren, concerning his father, and Benjamin, his younger brother, who, was not with the brethren. Finally he gave them the opportunity of proving the truth of their statements, holding Simeon as a ransom until they would come again and bring Benjamin with them, knowing full well that they would be obliged to' do this, because the famine would continue. These experiences proved a valuable lesson to the ten brethren, respecting the difficulties in which they were, and called to mind their past wrong conduct in respect to Joseph, for they accepted their present difficulties as retribution. "They said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul when he besought us, and we would not hear, therefore is this distress come upon us. And Reuben answered them, saying, Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? Therefore behold also his blood is required. And they knew not that Joseph understood them; for he spake unto them by an interpreter."

Joseph was not hard-hearted, but wise in his treatment of his brethren. Most evidently not a solitary-act was inspired by vindictiveness. He was evidently taking God's view of matters, namely that it is proper that a certain amount of retribution shall come upon evil-doers, so as to impress upon them the more thoroughly the sinfulness of sin. Thus parents and guardians of children should not permit their kindness and sympathy to hinder a reasonable, moderate punishment of wrong-doing. Nevertheless, pity and love should be back. of all, as it was in Joseph's case; merely planning for the better opportunity and the larger amount of blessing in due time.

When their grain was exhausted, and want was staring them in the face, Jacob finally consented to let Benjamin go with his brethren for the second purchase of grain; not, however, until Judah had become pledge for Benjamin, that he would not return to his home or family unless Benjamin also returned. The coming of the brethren to Joseph's house a second time, with the proof of the genuineness of their original story, was sufficient ground for their entertainment most graciously, and for the liberation of Simeon--the whole company, to their surprise, being invited to dine with the governor, Joseph. They were surprised, too, that by some pre-concerted arrangement they were seated at the table in the order of their ages; and further astonished that their younger brother, Benjamin, received five portions, as an evidence of special regard of the governor. They were rejoiced, undoubtedly, at the good fortune that had overtaken them, and making ready started on their homeward journey, doubtless thinking to themselves We thought that our hardships of the previous time were probably in the nature of retributions, and that God's hand was in it, but after all, it seems that it was merely a natural thing that we should be taken for spies. Now, behold, we are prospered.

But they had not gone far until they were overtaken by the governor's agents, who represented that a theft had been committed, that the governor's valuable silver mug, called by the Egyptians, "Cup of Divination," was missing. They protested their innocence, that they were not that kind of men, and suggested that they be searched thoroughly. Examination was made of the grain sacks -of one after another, until finally the cup was found in Benjamin's sack, and the whole company, previously elated, now returned prisoners to the governor of Egypt, whose hospitalities they had so recently enjoyed, and apparently had so poorly requited. Perhaps they began to think about the Joseph matter again, and to say to themselves, The evil that we thought was past is still pursuing us. It was a good lesson undoubtedly, helping to impress upon their minds, not only the value of honesty, but also the thought that although the wheels of justice grind sometimes slowly, they grind surely and very fine.

JOSEPH REVEALED TO HIS BRETHREN

Benjamin, with the rest, denied that he had stolen the cup, and whether the brothers believed him or not, they would not lay special blame upon him, but gen­erously shared it as a whole company. Judah, speaking for them, said, "What shall we say unto my lord? What shall we speak, or how shall we clear ourselves? God has found out the iniquities of thy servants. Be­ hold, we are my lord's servants, both we and he also with whom the cup was found." They did not explain to Joseph the nature of their iniquity, though this evidently was in their minds. Joseph, however, wishing to see to what extent they had still the same evil, jealous disposition which they manifested toward him, proposed to let the others go free and merely to hold Benjamin, as the slave. The ruse was successful, and developed the fact that the brethren had learned lessons and formed characters in the interim which made them now more sympathetic one for another, and for their father. Their wrong course in Joseph's case had not been persisted in, but had been repented of. Judah explained the whole situation to Joseph through the interpreter, and so vividly did he picture Jacob's love for Benjamin, and his sorrow at the supposed death of Joseph, and the interest of the whole family in their father, that Joseph could no longer refrain-could no longer restrain his emotions. He felt that the time had now come to reveal himself to his brethren, and in order that they might feel the less embarrassed under the circumstances he ordered all the Egyptians from the room, and then explained briefly and sympathetically that he himself was their brother Joseph.

What wonder that the brethren were troubled, as they thought probably of how they would be disposed to retaliate were they in his place of power. But Joseph soon convinced them that he had none but kindly feelings for them, that he was merciful, forgiving. The spirit which he exhibited under these circumstances is worthy of emulation, not merely by natural men, but also by the "new creatures in Christ Jesus." How often do we find that the Lord's people are narrow in such matters, instead of being broad and generous, loving and forgiving. Joseph now speaking to his brethren in the Hebrew tongue, repeated to them the words, "I am Joseph," and added, "whom ye sold into Egypt," that thus they might recognize him, not only by his speech, but by his knowledge of the facts, that it *as really their brother who was before them. But this expression was so gracious, and anger and malice were so absent from his every word and act, that they were inspired with confidence, and at his request drew near to him.

Many Christians would have spoiled the whole effect of this great lesson upon their brethren had they been in Joseph's place, by poor judgment, by reading the brethren a lecture; by telling them what they already knew about the wrong of their conduct, about how now they were in his power, and how he could evil entreat them, but would not. Joseph was too wise and too merciful to take such a course. He took the contrary one, saying, "Be not grieved nor angry with yourselves that ye sold me hither." It seems wonderful indeed that a natural man could and would have so much of the spirit of God as is here manifested, and yet we know that Joseph was only a natural man-the Holy Spirit not having been poured out upon any of our race until Pentecost. It gives also a suggestion respecting the breadth of character of the ancients, quite in contradiction of the theory of evolution, which would claim that at that early period, man being but slightly above the monkey, would have coarse and brutish sentiments.

GOD SENT ME BEFORE YOU

Joseph preached a great sermon to his brethren in few words, when he said, "God did send me before you to preserve life"--He thus overruled your wrong course, and has brought out of it a blessing. He gave his brethren credit for ability to understand such things. That the Lord overruled their course for good, did not prove that their course was a good or proper course; it merely proved the Divine power and the Divine wisdom and Divine providence, that was over Joseph and over all the house of Jacob, causing all things, even the evil thing, to work out for good, according, to the Divine Plan., How great and how lasting a lesson came to Joseph's brethren through their experiences, and through this, his short sermon, we cannot tell; but there is a great lesson here for all of God's people today along the line of mercy toward those who deliberately sin against us; and also along the line of noting, discerning, and referring to Divine providence in connection with our affairs. We are not only to note Divine providences, but we are to give credit for them, as it is written, "In all thy ways acknowledge Him."--Prov. 3:6.

Joseph could have permitted his experiences to have developed a great deal of personal pride. He might have reasoned to himself, as some would have reasoned , that he was merely lucky, or that he was- naturally bright, attractive, smart, and that this was the secret of his success; that this was the reason his father loved him specially; that this was the reason, when sold for a slave, he was bought by a good master in affluent circum­ stances; that this personal brilliancy was the cause of his rise in Potiphar's house to eminence; that the same effected his rise to a position of authority in the prison; that his keenness of intellect had enabled him to inter­ pret the dreams; and that in general he stood head and shoulders above other men; and that others realized this, and hence he had come by his exaltation in a natural way. But had he thus been heady and high­ minded, and self -conceited, we may be sure that it would have led to a fall-that God would not have continued to bless, prosper and advance him. We may be sure, too, that had he thus developed a spirit of pride and self­ conceit, his conduct with his brethren would have been very different from what it was. He would have been crowing over them, and mistreating them in order to convince them of his power, and thus would have shown himself to be a very much smaller man than his proper course shows him to have been. He was a great man, and his greatness was manifested, not merely in his financial management of the kingdom of Egypt, but especially manifested in his reliance upon God, his realization that the Divine promise and blessing, through his great-grandfather, Abraham, his grandfather, Isaac, and his father, Jacob, was resting upon him in some manner, and that because of this Divine favor things were working as they were.

The spiritual seed of Abraham may draw valuable lessons from this narrative. If it was appropriate that Joseph should acknowledge the Lord as the giver of all his blessings, which were all of an earthly and temporal kind, how much more should the spiritual Seed of Abraham acknowledge the spiritual blessings received at the Father's hand, and recognize in every mercy and favor opportunities of service-recognize that it is the Hand of Providence. Surely these should always be on the alert to realize and to confess--"It is the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes." But on the contrary, we are sorry at times to find some of God's spiritual children inclined to be puffed up, and to speak of God's favor, the knowledge of the truth which they have- received of the Lord, as though it were something of their own achievement-as though some honor were due them, as the inventors of the Divine Plan.

Again, the spiritual Israelite should be even more merciful than Joseph. If he could see that the persecutions he received, from his brethren and others, were merely incidents of Divine providence--incidents which the Lord is using to prepare him for coming blessings and exaltation, should not the spiritual Israelite take his disappointments as God's appointments? And should he not with a clearer eye of faith, be the better able to see that many of his spiritual advancements have come as a result of persecutions from the world and from false brethren? And should he not, like Joseph, look with great complacency upon all these various agencies which God has been pleased to use in spiritually uplifting him, to perfect him as a "new creature," an heir of God, a joint-heir with Jesus Christ, his Lord ? He surely should. The only things which can hinder us from seeing that our advancement is of the Lord, and not of ourselves, will be a lack of humility, and a lack of trust in Divine providence; and the only things which could hinder us from feeling patient forbearance and kindly sympathy and love for those who have despitefully used and persecuted us, would be a lack of the spirit of the Lord, the spirit of mercy, and a failure to see properly that whatever agencies God may use in our spiritual upbuilding are to be appreciated and sympathized with--whether they be brethren or of the world-Egyptians.

LESSONS OF TRUST AND RELIANCE

Then Joseph explained the providence of God, the years of plenty and the years of famine, and how God had been supervising the entire matter, and that this was his means of preserving Abraham's posterity, concluding, "So now, it was not you that sent me hither, but God." We are not to give credit to the evil agencies through which we have received blessings, otherwise we might soon be disposed to call evil good; but we are to give full credit to God, because that which was intended to be evil, and which was evil of itself, Divine wisdom, so far above the earthly plane, was able to overrule for our good. It is as we learn the lesson of God's inherent goodness-as we learn to respect His wisdom, love, and power that our faith grows stronger and stronger, until we are able to trust the Lord, not only in things which we can see are working out for our good, but able to trust Him also in respect to things which seem entirely dark and out of which apparently no good can come; -thus we trust Him where we cannot trace Him. And this is faith; and faith is a gift of God in that it is cultivated to acceptable development by the Lord's gracious promises, rightly received, appreciated and acted upon.

While Joseph had patiently waited for the Lord's time to come, and for twenty years had not seen his father's face, having now witnessed the fulfillment of his first dream, the bowing of his brother's sheaves to his sheaf, he realized that the Lord's time had about come for him again to see his father, when the second dream would be fulfilled. And whereas be was all patience before, now he was all energy and haste, because the time was come, and so -he said to his brethren, "Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt. Come down unto me; tarry not." He impressed upon his brethren the glories of his position, not by way of boast or pride, but by way of assuring them of his authority and power to care for them, and so that they might fully assure their father Jacob that his caution might not hinder him from taking advantage of the goodly land of Goshen, now put at their disposal. His brethren and father were not invited to come and share in his throne and regal power,, but were invited to come and partake of all the blessings flowing therefrom. just so during the Millennial Age, after the Christ, Head and Body, represented in Joseph, shall be in the throne of glory and of power-in the Heavenly Father's throne-when the Kingdom of God shall be established in the earth, all who feel a famine, a hunger, for the true bread of heaven, for eternal life, will be invited to come and receive abundantly of it. None, however, of the earthly class will be invited to share in the Kingdom honors for the Kingdom class will be complete. But they will be invited to come and receive the blessings of the Kingdom, mental, moral, and physical health and strength, under the favor of -the King of kings, and Lord of lords.

THE POWER OF AFFECTION

The parting of Joseph and his brethren was an affecting one; they now understood the meaning of their previous experiences, including the' cup found in Benjamin's sack; they saw that these matters all were leading up to the present manifestation to them of the love and sympathy of Joseph, and now, as expressing his special love for Benjamin be kissed him first, weeping tears of joy and recognition, and then did to all the others similarly, and sent them on their way. There is power in affection, in love; but it is necessary that the loving affection be manifested, ere, that power can be felt. A difficulty with many parents, husbands, wives, children, is that they do not manifest all the affection which they feel. Pride or fear or some other thing hinders, restrains them, from being as frank with each other as they should be. Joseph's example here is worthy of emulation. He was the wronged one; he was the one in power; he was the one who should have the dignity, and he, therefore, was the one who' could best afford to humble himself, and to kiss and make an ado over his brethren. We may be sure that they appreciated it; that such a manifestation of affection on the part of the highly exalted brother touched a tender spot in their hearts, and doubtless worked good for them to the remainder of their lives. And so we may find it with our friends and relatives, that a manifestation of our love and kind feeling toward them will -not only be reciprocated, but will do them good; and that our affection restrained of expression will leave an icy coldness, which nothing ' else will remove, and that such coldness. will affect not only them but ourselves also unfavorably-sapping all of life's joy-springs.

Let us remember, in this connection, the words, "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." Joseph exemplified this advice. He not only did not permit the evil course of his brethren to overcome, him, and make him evil and bitter; but he overcame their evil tendencies, characters, and dispositions by his love, his mercy, his kindness, his generosity--affecting them favorably, no doubt, for the remainder of their days. Such a course is much more incumbent upon us than upon Joseph. He did it spontaneously; we have had the example and precepts of our Lord and His Apostles, and, as well, the begetting of the spirit of holiness. "What manner of persons ought we to he in all holy living and God-likeness?"


VOL. VI. March 15, 1923 No. 6

OUTLOOK FROM THE WALLS OF ZION

"INCREASING MORAL IMPOTENCE"

"MR. WELLS'S ATTACK"

RE we, as a nation, indifferent to religion? is one of the questions asked in a letter sent by the editor of Pearson's Magazine to a number of well-known people.

"Mr. H. G. Wells answered immediately, and his reply was sent to fifty bishops of the Church of England, from whom five replies to Mr. Wells's charges were received. Mr. Wells says:

"'The Archbishop of York, I think, was quite right when he said that the Church of England has lost its power in the daily lives of the people. ... It is almost equally true of the Non-conformist Churches, and much more true of the Roman Catholic Church. This increasing moral impotence is a phenomenon common to all the organized Christian Churches, not only in Britain but throughout the world. But it does not follow that there has been a decline in religious feeling and aspiration.

"UNCONVINCING ANSWER"

'More people are asking today, and asking with a new intensity: "What must I do to be saved?" The trouble with the Christian Churches is that they give a confused, unconvincing, and unsatisfying answer.

"'This is an age of great distresses but it is also an age of cold, abundant light. People know more than was ever known before of the history of life in space and time, of the origins of the creeds and symbols of Christianity, of the possibilities of human existence.

'They are repelled when, in answer to that passionate inquiry for salvation, the Christian exponent, dressed up like an Egyptian priest of three thousand years ago, performs mysterious chants and motions and offers incomprehensible sacraments.

"'They are equally repelled when he embarks upon tedious explanations of the multiplicity and unity of the Deity.

"A MORE CRITICAL AGE"

'Within a few score years of the Crucifixion, Christianity had become hopelessly involved with ceremonies and superstitions of immemorial antiquity and with a theology embodying the imperfectly embalmed philosophy of Alexandria. In a less critical age it was possible for many to live holy arid noble fives within the terms of these old formulae, but today when intellectual integrity is being recognized as a primary moral obligation this can be done no longer.

"'Until Christianity sheds these priestly and theological encumbrances it will encounter greater and greater difficulty in serving Him it claims as its Founder, the Son of Man.'

"Five Bishops of the Church of England reply to this attack and set forth their own opinions on the subject of today's decay of religious feeling."--Westminster Gazette, Jan. 31, 1923.

In the foregoing extract we clearly observe the increasing evidences that we are living in the time of the judgment of Christendom, otherwise designated Babylon in the symbolical language of the Bible; and from every quarter comes the voice of criticism and condemnation making manifest one inconsistency or another. If the civil powers of Christendom are in perplexity, and distress of nations is everywhere manifest,. the religious situation surely presents no hopeful contrast, for modern ecclesiasticism, like the nations, is ensnared in the net of its own weaving. If the nations, having sown to the winds the seeds of unrighteousness, are reaping an abundant harvest in a whirlwind of affliction, the great Ecclesiastical Christendom, which has shared in the sowing, would be expected to share also in the reaping.

Long ago conflicting and unreasonable doctrines divided the professing Church into numerous and antagonistic sects, each claiming to be the one true Church which the Lord and the Apostles planted, and together they have largely given to the world such a distorted misrepresentation of our Heavenly Father's character and plan that many intelligent men turn away with disgust, and despise their Creator, and even try to disbelieve His existence. This is the sad feature.' To a large extent leaders of thought who are conducting the judgment and denunciation of Ecclesiastical Christendom are themselves unbelievers in the Bible as infallibly inspired-the Word of God. The writer whose criticism is quoted above is one of this character and is an avowed believer in the modern theory of evolution, and probably like many others has decided that the Scriptures, like the creeds and practices of the various religious systems, is also inconsistent, unreliable, and unworthy of credence as a guide in religious faith.

Truly the day of reckoning is here, and great is the confusion and perplexity of all ecclesiastical bodies and particularly of those upon whom devolves the responsibility of conducting the defenses in this day of judgment in the presence of many accusers and witnesses, and, if possible, of devising some remedy to save from. complete destruction what they regard as the true Church. Yet in their present confusion, and in the desire of all the sects from reasons of policy to fellowship one another, they have each almost ceased to regard their own particular sect as the only true Church, and now speak of each other as various "branches" of the one Church, notwithstanding their contradictory creeds, which of necessity cannot all be true.

The lamentable fact in this critical hour, too, is that the wholesome spirit of the Great Reformation is substantially dead. It is clearly -recognized that Protestantism is no longer a protest against the spirit of the Antichrist, nor against the world , the flesh, or the devil. The effort is made to hide from public scrutiny the creeds which are at war with the Word of God, with reason, and with each other. Truly it has been said of modern Protestantism that "Its massive theological works are but fuel for the fire of this day of Christendom's judgment. Its chief theological seminaries are hotbeds of infidelity, spreading the contagion everywhere. Its great men-its Bishops, Doctors of Divinity, Theological Professors, and its most prominent and influential clergymen in the large cities-are becoming the leaders into disguised infidelity. They seek to undermine and destroy the authority and inspiration of the sacred Scriptures, to supplant the Plan of salvation therein revealed with the human theory of evolution." That this is true, we submit additional marked evidence below in the form of an extract from the Daily News (London) of January 22, 1923, under the caption, "BIBLE UNBELIEF."

"INDIAN MISSIONARIES' MODERNIST THEORIES"

"WRECKED FAITH"

"Prebendary H. E. Fox, well-known in missionary circles, has placed his imprimatur on an attack on missionaries in India by Mr. Watkin R. Roberts, hon. treasurer of the Bible League of India, Burma, and Ceylon. Out of the 4,000 missionaries now working in India, Burma, and Ceylon, not more than 2,000 says Mr. Roberts, 'believed in the Bible as the inerrant and infallible Word of God.'

"Higher criticism, he says, is spreading like a deadly plague in India, and he adds that 'the results of their unbelieving propaganda have been disastrous beyond what any words can express.'

"Apostate Teaching"

"Missionary societies connected with the Church of England, Wesleyan Metho-dists, Congregationalists, Baptists, Presbyterians, and the United Free Church of Scotland, as well as organizations like the Y. M. C. A. and the India Sunday School Union, come in for frequent reference. Warnings and entreaties have been sent to the English societies, but no attention was paid to them. 'The result today,' he says, 'is that we now have to face the most appalling form of apostate teaching' in India, Burma, and Ceylon.

"Mr. Roberts alleges that many of the Mission High Schools and Colleges in India are staffed by missionaries--both men and women-'who have but little or no belief in the Bible.'

"Instances have come to his personal knowledge of students on returning home from their theological training who confessed that their faith in the Bible had been entirely wrecked as a consequence of their tuition.

"HOMELAND ACTION"

'Unless," he adds, "the Christian Church in the homeland takes immediate and most drastic action. independently, if necessary, of the missionary societies, these anti-Christian theories will so grip the modernist missionary community and its Indian Christian followers that our missionary propaganda will eventually degenerate into a merely ethical movement of social reform -- with our Lord Jesus Christ classed as a mere reformer, along with heathen philosophers, and the whole movement finally culminating in an apostate world-federation of religions.'

"Another allegation is that Christian periodicals published in India and deriving support from British societies, 'open wide their pages to modernist teaching.'

"'My purpose," says Mr. Roberts, "is to supply necessary information to those Evangelical Christians at home who are responsible for the support of these Modernist missionaries, and to warn them that, their money, often contributed at great sacrifice, is thus to a large extent being misused.'

"'I am prepared,' he adds, 'to face any thorough and complete public investigation."'

_________________

For all those who remain trusting, who are still stand­ ing fast in the Christian faith, there are special words of strength and comfort. These are instructed and are made to understand that this great decline and apostasy from the true faith of the Scriptures is but the fulfillment of what was long foretold in Holy Writ. Such are given to understand that not all who name the name of Christ are His , but that only "he that doeth, the will of My Father which is in Heaven," and all such constitute the real Church of Christ, elect, precious, consecrated to God and to His Truth in the midst of a crooked and perverse- generation. They are not known to the world as a compact body; but as individuals they are known unto the Lord who judges not merely by the sight of the eye and the hearing of the ear, but who discerns and judges the thoughts and intents of the heart. And, however widely they may be scattered, whether standing alone as "wheat," in the midst of "tares," or in company with others, God's eye is always upon them. They, dwelling in the secret place of the Most High (sanctified, wholly set apart unto God). shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty, while the judgments of the Lord are experienced by the great religious systems that bear His name in unfaithfulness. .(Psa. 91:1,14-16.) These have no share in the judg­ment of great Babylon, but are previously enlightened and called out of her. (Rev. 18:4.) This class is described and blessedly comforted in Psalms 91 and 46. In the midst of much merely formal and sham profession of godliness, the Lord's watchful eye discerns the true, and He leads them into the green pastures and beside the still waters, and makes their hearts rejoice in His truth and in His love. "The Lord knoweth them that are, His" (2 Tim. 2:19) ; they constitute the true Church in His estimation, the Zion which the Lord hath chosen (Psa. 132:13-16), and of whom it is written, "Zion heard and was glad, and the daughters of Judah rejoiced, because of Thy judgments, 0 Lord." (Psa. 97:8.) The Lord will safely lead them as a shepherd leads His sheep and will ultimately deliver them into the Heavenly Fold--"glorified together with Him."

JEWISH EDITOR GIVES JEWISH VIEW OF JESUS

DISCUSSES ISSUE TO BE RAISED AT HEBREW CONVENTION

There recently appeared in the St. Louis Globe-Democrat a letter by A. Rosenthal, Editor of the Modern View, which fairly presents, we believe, the present attitude of the Jews toward Jesus. It reads as follows:

"Editor GLOBE-DEMOCRAT:

"The Globe-Democrat of Monday has a startling news article headed 'Rabbi Urges Jews to Accept Christ and New Testament,' crediting Dr. Marius Ranson of Albany as the advocate. He expects to raise the issue at the convention of American Hebrew Congregation being held in New York.

"Our leading reform rabbis of St. Louis are in attendance at the New York Council. Therefore, I take the liberty of stating, for the information of your many non-Jewish readers, what the Jewish attitude to Jesus is. It has frequently been expressed by rabbis of greater note and standing than the minister of Albany, quoted in the Globe-Democrat.

"To the orthodox Jews, especially those of European lands, where persecution ran its cruel course (and still prevails), the memory of fearful sufferings imposed on them through bloody centuries of intolerance are much too closely linked with the Christian Savior in whose sacred name blind bigotry burned and annihilated their brethren. The bitterness of feeling thus engendered can be comprehended.

"As to the reform Jew, especially in America, to whom more likely the proposal is directed, the suggestion is regarded from A different point of view.

"Recent. issues of, the daily press report utterances of Christian ministers and doctors of divinity of different denominations, who deny the virgin birth and the divinity of Jesus. One Christian denomination, the Unitarian, denies the doctrine of the Trinity.

"If Jesus is to be regarded as a prophet, a leader, a master-teacher of moral law, an example of shining virtue for emulation by other sons of men--then there is little need of urging Jewish recognition, for many leading rabbis of reform Jewish pulpits do now so view the worshiped son of a Jewish mother!

"The outlook, as it now appears to calm observers, is a coming, solemn, world-wide battle of minds, among and between Christian Clergymen and teachers of theology, orthodox and liberals, in which the lineaments of Jesus will be traced with greater clarity and definiteness.

"The question of his earthly excellence, versus the idea of him as a deity and worker of superhuman miracles, will be fought to a decisive conclusion, among Christians themselves.

"Until this stupendous difference of Christian thought and radical cleavage of Christian opinion is finally adjusted, any appeal for the 'acceptance' of Jesus by Jews is premature. It can only be answered to the extent that there exists already, a Jewish recognition of Jesus. He is regarded by reform leaders as a lofty Jewish teacher of the nobility of life as embodied in the Older Testament. He stands in these minds as coequal with the prophets of antiquity who have left for the world's advancement all their precious legacies of exalted thought and sentiment, their deathless personal examples of unalterable devotion and unswerving fidelity to the divine ideal to which both Christianity and Judaism point with cross and star, and for which both great faiths plead and appeal to all who will. but listen"

________________

In the above statement it is noted that the Jews see in the way of accepting Jesus, much the same obstruction that many others have experienced, namely "Until this stupendous difference of Christian thought and radical cleavage of Christian opinion is finally adjusted, any appeal for the 'acceptance' of Jesus by Jews is premature." We are assured, however, that when the Lord's due time shall come, blindness shall be turned away from Israel, and they shall look upon Him whom they have pierced and shall say' "Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord!"


THY KINGDOM COME

Yes ! a brighter morn is breaking,
Better days are coming on;
All the world will be awaking
In the new and golden dawn.

In the day of coming glory,
Men will show fraternal hand;
Each will tell to each. the story,
Till it spreads to every land.

On the top of Zion's mountain,
God prepares His house again;
At its threshold springs a fountain,
Flowing for the souls of men.

From the earth's remotest stations,
Men will come to hear the Word;
And, in all the world, the nations
Shall be nations of the Lord.


COMMUNING WITH THE RISEN LORD

"Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen."
--Luke 24: 5, 6, 13-31.

TOWARD evening of the day of our Lord's resurrection, two of His followers, one of them apparently Simon Peter (v. 34), the other Cleopas, passed along the country road leading from Jerusalem to Emmaus, about eight miles distant, evidently the home of Cleopas, who would entertain Peter, whose home was in Galilee. Like all the followers of Jesus they had been greatly exercised and perturbed by the remarkable events connected with our Lord's last visit, in connection with the Passover-His triumphal entry into Jerusalem; the cleansing of the Temple; the routing of His ecclesiastical foes in debate; His remarkable teachings 'during those few days; His arrest, trial, and crucifixion. The excitement of their hearts made other business for the time impossible, and they spent the day in Jerusalem probably without knowing just why, except that they desired to be in touch with fellow-believers. They shared with all the Lord's friends in the unusual excitement, resulting from the reports given by the sisters who went to embalm' our Lord's body, that the tomb was empty and that they had seen angels who said that Jesus was alive again.

"A little talk with Jesus, how it cheers our lonely way" writes the poet, and who that is a Christian has failed of this experience? And fortunate are those who early learn, that while we should greatly appreciate our privilege of talking with the Lord, in prayer, we are to recognize that it is not this that brings the full blessing; but our attentive hearing, understanding, and appreciating what He says to us-the Word of Truth. Our hearts burn while He talks and we listen, more than when we talk even to Him.

THE SECRET OF HELPING OTHERS

Full of the subject so close to their hearts, they were discussing in animated conversation the likelihood and unlikelihood of the reports they had heard, and in general the Messianic hopes of themselves and their nation, which they had trusted would have been amply fulfilled by Jesus, whose death seemed to throw all of their expectations into confusion. It was at this juncture that Jesus was drawing near them, disguised in a body of flesh and ordinary clothing-with a face different from what they had previously recognized, yet nevertheless gentle, soothing, sympathetic. He inquired the occasion of their discussion, which seemed to be respecting some sad subject. This kindly interest was not resented as an intrusion, but rather their burdened hearts rejoiced to find a sympathetic ear to which their perplexities could be related. How much of human nature there is in all this! How favorable is a time of adversity and perplexity in which to approach those whom we desire to assist; but how necessary it is that we should learn of the Master how to approach with such sympathy in word and act as to gain the hearts of those whom we would serve and bless. Love is the secret of gentleness, of sympathy, of all real heart-helpfulness. In order to be more useful in life, the Lord's people need to become more and more filled with His spirit of love-copies of God's dear Son.

It was no deception on our Lord's part to inquire what things they were sad about, although He knew everything better than they. It is sometimes the part of wisdom not to tell all that we know, if we can the better help others by inquiring of them. In this instance we can see the wisdom of our Lord's course, for the minds of the two travelers were lifted from any points of disputation and drawn to a general review of the circumstances of the preceding days, and this furnished the best foundation for our Lord's exposition of the meaning of and the reason for the things which perplexed them.

Jesus did not reply to their surprised expression that He must be a newcomer in the city not to have heard of the wonderful things that had recently transpired. He let them proceed to declare their faith in Him and how they viewed the situation. The portion of their conversation recorded implies clearly that however much their confidence might have been shaken respecting our Lord's Messiahship, and their hopes, that it would have been He that would have-redeemed (delivered) Israel from the Roman yoke and exalted her as God's agency, the seed of Abraham, for blessing all the families of the earth, they still believed in Him as a great teacher, a prophet--"mighty in deed and word before God and all the people." This was a good confession, all that could have been asked, and quite sufficient for our Lord to use in rebuilding their confidence in Himself, in His Messiahship--on a surer, a better, a more positive foundation.

JESUS EXPOUNDS MOSES AND THE PROPHETS

While it was expedient for Him to start the matter by questioning them, it would not have been wisdom to have continued thus to any great length; for He had the message, they needed the instruction. We, as His followers, may learn a lesson from His course in this also. As soon as He had their minds in the channel to receive the lessons He would give them, He began to open unto them the Scriptures concerning Himself -- to expound them, to show their true meaning and fulfillment. We here see the proper course of the teacher illustrated by the great Teacher Himself. As He went to the Scriptures and brought forth from them evidences of Divine foreknowledge and prediction respecting the things that were transpiring before their eyes, so we, if we attempt to teach others, should not be content with offering our views, our opinions, our conjectures, but should search the Scriptures and be able, from that source to give to every man a reason for the hopes that are within us-that his hopes, as well as ours, may be built up, not upon the theories of men, but upon the inspired teachings of God's Word. Higher critics, Evolutionists, etc., never follow the method which our Lord Jesus here emphasized as the proper one. On the contrary, denying any special inspiration of Moses and the Prophets, they ignore them, and offer instead, as of superior value, their own conjectures. Let us not only ignore such teachers as blind guides, attempting to mislead the Lord's flock, but let us also, to whatever extent we have opportunity to teach others, see that we follow not in their footsteps, but in those of our dear Redeemer. "To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word there is no light in them." (Isa. 8:20.) And those who follow such teachers as have "no light" are sure to get further and further into darkness.

We are not informed what features of the Law and the Prophets our Lord enunciated; but we can surmise that He pointed out to them in Moses' writings various features of the Law which pointed to Himself as the paschal Lamb, whose death must take place be­ fore the First-born and all Israel could be delivered from the bondage of sin, and from the great task­ master, prefigured by Pharaoh, and be led ultimately into the Canaan of promise. We can surmise that He recalled to them Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac, the typi­ cal seed of promise, and how this represented the ac­ tual death of Messiah, the antitypical Seed, the Son of God. We may presume that He called their attention to various of the Psalms, which prophetically spoke, not only of the glories of His reign, but also of His sufferings and His death, and His subsequent exalta­ tion to the right hand of the majesty of God. No doubt He called their attention also to the utterances of Daniel the Prophet, respecting Messiah's being cut off in death, but not for Himself. Undoubtedly He reminded them of the words of Isaiah, that Messiah should be led as a lamb to the slaughter, be despised and rejected of men and how, nevertheless, in due time God would set Him as His King upon His holy hill, Zion.

Spellbound with this wonderful exposition of the Divine Word, His listeners drank it in, realizing its truth by the manner in which it harmonized the various testimonies of God's Word-nor did they think for a moment of inquiring of their teacher whether or not He had an ordination from the scribes and Pharisees, with a license to preach. they perceived that He had a Divine ordination, and this was fully attested by His ability to make. clear to them what other teachers could not make clear.

THE UNKNOWN GUEST REVEALED

The eight miles of the journey seemed all too short, as they reached their home, and they were loath to part with the wonderful Teacher, whom they supposed they had fallen in with by accident, never dreaming to what extent Divine providence was guiding their affairs, It was drawing toward evening, and the Stranger was bidding them adieu, as though intent upon a further journey; and indeed, lie surely would have gone from them had they not been sufficiently appreciative of what they had already heard to, constrain Him earnestly to remain with them and partake of their hospitalities. So it is with all of us, as the Lord's disciples whom He is instructing, after we have been taught of Him. If our hearts fail to burn with responsive love and zeal and appreciation, the blessing will pass from us and we will fail to reach the climax of joy in a full recognition of who our Teacher has been. While the Lord draws nigh to us with His grace and truth, without solicitation, He passes us by unless His message is appreciated so that we shall constrain Him, urge Him to abide with us, to continue the conversation--unless we shall proffer Him in turn our hospitalities, our temporal things, in endeavoring to make some slight recompense for the spiritual favors showered upon us.

Our Lord accepted their urgent invitation and remained; supper was prepared, and recognizing their new acquaintance as a great Teacher or Prophet they requested that He should return thanks for their evening meal. It was while He was thus asking a blessing upon it and upon them that the eyes of their understanding were opened-it dawned upon them that their guest was no other than Jesus Himself ! Perhaps the language used in the blessing was such as they, had heard Him use before, or perhaps in some other way their understanding was opened.

Having accomplished His purpose, our Lord vanished from their sight. Thus, in addition to the instruction impressed upon their minds, He showed them by this vanishing that He was no longer the man Christ Jesus -that He was "changed "-that the resurrected Jesus Was a spirit being, who could come and go like the wind, as He had explained to Nicodemus (John 3:8), appearing and disappearing, as He had never done previously, but as angels had frequently done. Moreover, they realized from this illustration that our Lord could appear in any kind of a body, and with any kind of clothing, as might best serve His purposes. They did not know Him by the marks in His hands and His feet, nor by the seamless robe; for He had not appeared to them in these, but in another form, as an ordinary traveler whose features they did not recognize. Had He borne the prints of the nails in His hands and His feet, they surely would have noticed them during their long walk; just as Mary would surely have noticed them when-she grasped our Lord by the feet. But they had an explanation of the whole matter now; they understood why this Stranger had been able to present the Divine Word with such clearness and force and beauty as to cause their hearts to burn with fresh love and zeal and hope. They were glad.

"THEY THAT FEARED THE LORD SPAKE OFTEN"

Let us pause here to note some of the conditions which evidently led up to this blessing, that we may apply the same to ourselves, realizing that our Lord operates very generally along the lines of fixed principles and that if we would be the recipients of His special favor and instruction, and have our hearts burn with the spirit of His truth, we should expect such experiences along somewhat similar lines to those observed in connection with the two who went to Emmaus, We remark, first, that this is an illustration of our Lord's promise that where two or three are to­ gether in His name-considering Him, His Word, His promises, His blessings--there He will be in the midst,. a blessing shall result. This may be in a country road, in the home circle, or in the more general gather­ings of the Lord's people for worship, prayer, and study of the Truth. How this reminds us of the in­ junction, "Forget not the assembling of yourselves­ and so much the more as ye see the day drawing on." Who has not noticed the blessing that comes to those who remember these promises of the Lord's Word, and who act upon them? Who has not, noticed in his own experience, as well as in that of others, the danger of neglecting these admonitions-the danger of doubts, fears, indifference, coldness, worldliness? It is undoubtedly true today, as much as or more than ever, that we need such fellowship, and it is to such who seek it that the Lord reveals Himself.

Let us mark again the word of the Prophet, "They that feared the Lord spake often together; and the Lord hearkened and heard it," and noted it in the book of remembrance. Let, us remember, too, that it is declared of such, "They shall be mine, saith the Lord, in the day that I make up my jewels." (Mal. 3:16-18.) We are not saying that others will not be the Lord's, nor does the Lord say so; but we may be well assured that those who have opportunities for meeting together 'and speaking together, and who fail to use the opportunities, are manifesting a lack of interest in our great salvation; and that such are very likely to lose the remainder of their interest, and failing of the Lord's instruction given to such, they may fail also to be amongst the "jewels" whom He will gather. If on the contrary one feels little interest in the Heavenly things, little disposed to discuss the features of the Divine Plan and its promises, and happy only when, conversing on worldly matters, business, etc., it is an unfavorable sign. The Lord is not likely to approach such and open their understanding respecting the Scriptures, as He surely is pleased to do to those who are hungering and thirsting after truth,

Many are so situated that they are unable to gratify the desires of their hearts in respect to assembling frequently with others of like precious faith, to talk over the good things of the Lord's Word of promise; but the isolated should not feel disappointed that the Lord's Word says that He will meet with the twos and threes, and does not promise the same to the solitary. They should rather look about them to see what provision the Lord has made whereby at least two can meet and discuss His Word together.

As soon as the Emmaus brethren recognized their Guest, and He vanished, they understood well the meaning of the joy, the refreshment, and the burning zeal in their hearts which His expositions of the Truth had inspired. They had thus a confirmation of the words of the angels to the sisters in the morning, that Jesus was risen, The news was too good to be kept, even until the next morning. They must and did start immediately for the city, although it was a journey of at least eight miles. How different their feelings as they set out in return, from those which they had when they left the brethren at Jerusalem, their hearts sad and their minds full of questionings! Now they were full of joy; for they saw that our Lord's crucifixion, so far from being the end of their hopes, was really the foundation of them; that as our Lord explained, "Thus it behooved Messiah to suffer before He would enter into His glory" -- that unless He had suffered -- died -- the race would not have been purchased at the hands of justice, and the condemnation of death would still rest upon it and make any permanent blessing impossible; but now, the redemption price having been paid, the way was open, first for the reconciliation of the Royal Priesthood who should be joint-heirs with Jesus as the Seed of Abraham, and subsequently, in God's due time, would follow the times of restitution of all things, the blessing of all the families of the earth.

Some such thoughts as these engaged them as they returned to Jerusalem, and arriving at the upper room found the eleven (except Thomas -- the term "eleven" being used in a general sense, and not a particular sense, as referring to the Apostles in general and not to the exact number) with others of the company assembles. Then there was general rejoicing in the information that Jesus had revealed Himself to Peter, as they related their joyful experiences, and how the Lord had been known to them in the breaking of the bread and the asking of the blessing. Doubtless it was this experience that led subsequently to the custom of the disciples having a meal in common on every first day of the week, at which they again in imagination recognized the Lord present in their midst, blessing the bread and opening the eyes of their understanding. Thus each first day of the week they called to mind how He opened unto them the Scriptures and sought to keep the eyes of their understanding open and to grow in grace, in knowledge, and in love.


THE "DRAGON" POWER AS AT PRESENT CONSTITUTED

"And I saw out of the Mouth of the Dragon, and out of the Mouth of the Beast, and out of the Mouth of the False Prophet, three impure Spirits as Frogs."--Rev. 16: 13.

THE question is asked why Historical expositors of the Apocalypse apply all its visions to events occurring in Western Christendom, and ignore all the vast territory of Eastern Christendom where so many professing Christians and false Christian governments exist. In fact, some Futurists profess to see in this a serious objection to the correctness of the Historical interpretation of the Apocalypse.

In considering this question we observe first that while this may seem to some a serious difficulty, when all the facts are noted, we believe there is really no reason for objection here. Nearly all Historical expositors have applied two of the most remarkable visions of the Apocalypse to the Eastern Greek Church governments, and professed Christian peoples. The fifth and sixth trumpets are, by nearly every expositor since the sixteenth century, applied to the judgment '.'woes" experienced by those living in the Eastern, sometimes called the Greek Empire. These "woe" judgments resulted in destroying thousands and thousands of professed Christian cities and Churches. These Trumpet-woes had their fulfillment during a period covering centuries, and finally resulted in the overthrow of the, professed Christian government located at Constantinople. This was accomplished by the Ottoman Turkish forces in 1453 A. D. Constantinople has been in possession of the Turks ever since that date. It is true that most of the Historical writers have failed to find in the closing visions of the Apocalypse any mention of these Eastern governments, and Church systems. They seem to be referred to, however, in this sixth Plague as coming into and forming a part of the great, final Federation of Christendom. It is also a fact that these writers fail to see that Protestantism is represented in this great Federation. Recent modern history, however, is shedding more and more light on these closing Apocalyptic visions. It is doubtless true that nothing has as yet been written on the closing visions of the Apocalypse, that can be said to be a final exposition; though much has occurred and is occurring that enables the prophetic student to see in them positive evidence that Eastern Christendom is to become a part in the great final Confederation. The question that most naturally arises in the mind is, Do the closing visions of the Apocalypse make reference to this matter? To our understanding they are referred to, and this reference to them is found in the symbol of the sixth Plague, described in the text at the head. of this article. This is discovered, we believe, by a more thorough considera­tion of the "Dragon" symbol. A careful study of the symbol seems to reveal that Eastern Christendom is represented by the Dragon of this vision of the sixth Vial Plague.

TRACING THE HISTORY OF THE SYMBOLIC DRAGON

The symbol of the "Dragon" is first employed in Chapter 12:3, in the words, "And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red Dragon, having seven Heads and ten Horns, etc." There is quite a general understanding that the "Dragon" in this verse. represents the Imperial Roman government, which at the period of the vision's fulfillment was Pagan. The vision began to be fulfilled about the third century.

It is very necessary to be familiar with the changing events of the Roman Empire at that time, in order to clearly distinguish the gradual rise of the power symbolized by the "Beast" of Chapter 13, and still keep before our view the power symbolized by the "Dragon." Shortly after the removal of the seat of empire to Constantinople, in 396 A.D., -the two sons of the Emperor Theodosius, after his death, divided the empire between them. This does not mean that at this time there were two distinct empires, but rather that two emperors began to rule over the one empire, the one residing at Constantinople and the other at Rome. In, the fourth and fifth centuries the western territory of the empire began gradually to come into the possession of the barbaric tribes of the North, and the dominion and authority of the Western emperors gradually decreased and weakened. The historian has thus described this: "During these events there were still emperors of the West. . . . But they were nonentities, for the real power was in the hands of, the Barbarians. At last the Roman senate voted that one emperor was enough, and that the Eastern emperor, Zeno, should reign over the whole empire; but at the same time Zeno was made to trust the government of Italy to Odoacer, chief of the German Herulians, who took the title of Patrician of Italy. The last of the Western Roman emperors was Romulus Augustulus. .... Him they pensioned off in A. D. 476. Then, when Odoacer was proclaimed king of Italy, the phantom assembly that still called itself the Roman senate sent back to Constantinople the tiara and purple robe, in sign that the Western empire bad passed away."

The "Dragon" as representing the Imperial Roman government is further seen in the Apocalypse in chapter 13: 2. He is there represented as giving to the Beast, "his throne and power and great authority.' The "Beast" of chapter 13, we understand, with expositors in general, to represent the Western Roman Empire under its Papal head after its division into the ten kingdoms. The "Dragon" giving the "Beast" his power, throne, and authority, we have interpreted as having met its fulfillment in 533, when by a decree of the Emperor Justinian, the Bishop of Rome was made head of all the Churches of God throughout the world. Justinian's seat of authority, as we have noted, was at the time of this decree located at Constantinople. That this decree of Justinian fulfilled the prediction, "And the Dragon gave him [the Beast] his power, seat [throne], and great authority," is very generally understood by expositors. Let the reader note carefully this point--that in 533 this Scripture prophecy met its fulfillment. By keeping this in mind it will be clearly seen that the "Dragon" symbol continues to be used, and is applied to the Eastern government centered at Constantinople. This decree, it will be noted, was is­ sued over two hundred years after the religion of the empire had ceased to be pagan; indeed when it had become professedly Christian. From this time on, Eastern Rome continues to be symbolized by the Drag­ on, and Western Rome to be symbolized by the "Beast" with its ten Horns, under the Papal Head. Both governments were combinations of civil and religious authority. The Eastern government at Constantinople .(after Papacy had received its authority, etc.) continued to prosper for several centuries. It then began to decline and in 1453, the Eastern Or Greek Empire fell. Constantinople was taken by the Othman Turkish power, and the territory of the empire be­ came largely under its control. The Eastern or Greek Empire became then broken up, divided, just as the Western did in 476. The professed object or purpose of the Turkish, Mohammedan forces in their invasion of the Eastern territory was to destroy the idolatrous form of Christianity that prevailed in those lands. The effects produced by these terrible invasions were that many professed Christians were compelled to embrace the Mohammedan faith. Others still clung to the idolatrous form of Christianity that continued to be professed, although they were brought under Mohammed­ an rule. In the seventeenth century when the Turk­ ish Ottoman Empire began gradually to fall to pieces, so-called Christian governments became established ill those lands, until the present time all of the Balkan states or kingdoms including Greece, and, until quite recently, Russia, are looked upon as Christian governments. They profess a religion almost identical to that of the Roman Catholic system, not, however, recognizing the Pope as their head, but having their own religious heads or rulers called Patriarchs, as an illustration, the Patriarch of Constantinople. All these governments and the religious systems united to them, are commonly referred to as Eastern Christendom. In the Apocalypse this Eastern Christendom seems to be symbolized by the "Dragon", as Western Christendom is-symbolized by the "Beast". The "Dragon", after it gives authority to the "Beast", ceases to be mentioned in the Apocalypse by name until we come to this vision of the sixth Vial Plague. It thus appears that Eastern Christendom as well as Western will be involved in the great Federation, the triple alliance of this sixth­ Plague vision.

DAVID N. LORD, in his remarkable work, written in the middle of the nineteenth century, on the Apocalypse, interpreted the "Dragon" symbol as above. His words are: "It is the symbol of the rulers of the Eastern Church Empire supporting an apostate Church, and arrogating the right of dictating the religion of their subjects.


THE SHEPHERD'S CARE

"The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters." -Psa. 23: 1, 2.

THERE seems to be a special Divine signif­icance in the location of this twenty-third Psalm among the others, as the matter which it contains bears peculiar relation­ ship to that in the twenty-second and twenty-fourth. The twenty-second Psalm is very evidently prophetic, and refers to the deep humiliation and sufferings of the Redeemer. In His deepest distress and agony while on the Cross, the Savior uttered the very words with which the Psalm opens: "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" The entire Psalm speaks of the One who was despised and rejected of men, the One who was mocked and railed, and spit upon. It speaks of the piercing of His hands and feet. It de­ scribes the ignominy and shame He bore for us. For this reason it is called, the Psalm of the Cross.

The twenty-fourth Psalm opens with the inquiry, "Who shall ascend into the hill [Kingdom] of the Lord? or who shall stand in His holy place?" It closes with what is evidently a description of the Millennial Kingdom, when Christ, who is designated by St. Paul "the Lord of Glory" (1 Cor. 2:8), shall wield the scepter of earth in Jehovah's name and power. It reaches in its description to the time when the Kingdom, in this phase, shall have attained the highest degree of its glory, when it shall be delivered up to the Father, the great King of Glory referred to in the Psalm. On this account it is very appropriately called, the Psalm of the Crown.

The twenty-third Psalm tells of the Great Shepherd. In the first and deepest sense the Great Shepherd is Jehovah. In another sense the term is properly ap­ plied to Christ, the Under-shepherd, appointed by Jehovah, who gave His life-for the sheep. He is the One who purchased them and therefore owns the sheep, and who, with untiring devotion, cares for and guards His sheep from danger, counting not the cost, and taking no reward. This Psalm is therefore very fittingly called, the Psalm of the Crook.

"SAVIOR, LIKE A SHEPHERD LEAD US"

The words of the Psalm are the words of David, and doubtless have primarily a reference to his experiences. In a prophetic sense it is Christ who is speaking--Christ in His life when on earth-and it describes. His relationship to the Great Jehovah as His Shepherd. In another sense it is prophetic of the Church and shows the Christian's relationship to Christ and also Christ's relationship to-the Christian. Christ is the Good Shepherd. This is evident from His words in the Parable: "I am the Good Shepherd." It is this aspect of the Psalm that we desire to consider.

In order to understand the blessedness of this relationship -- the blessedness of realizing Christ as a Shepherd-it will be helpful, indeed necessary, to note the relationship and duties of an Eastern Shepherd to his own sheep. The first and most blessed and helpful thought is that as a rule a shepherd in David's time owned the sheep that he cared for. He was no hireling; he asked and received no wages. He was acquainted, with all his sheep. He was quick to discover and to supply their individual needs. It was his duty in the morning to lead the sheep out and to find good pasture for them. To do this the shepherd must have a wide territory. He needed to be familiar with the territory-to know the special places where good pasturage could be found. It was his duty to find quiet waters to quench their thirst, and shady places to protect them from the heat of the noonday sun; to guard them from danger, to defend them when attacked by their enemies, the wolves. Frequently it was his duty to seek for a wandering, a straying sheep' and when it was found to bring it back to the fold. Sometimes he would carry a tired weak lamb in his arms, and gently "lead those that were with young." Occasionally he would be called to protect his sheep, with the assistance of his faithful dogs, against the ravages of the wolves who were lurking -near some of the best feeding places and were alert for opportunities to pounce upon, wound, and destroy the sheep. After the day. was over, before darkness set it, it was the duty of the shepherd to lead them back to the fold. Reaching the sheepfold, he stands at the door, and with his rod holds back the sheep, while he inspects them, as they, one by one, "pass under the rod" into the fold. As he -discovers a wounded one, he pours oil into the wound and bathes its bruises; when he finds one hot and thirsty and almost exhausted, he fills the large cup that hangs by his side with cool water and gives it drink. The day's toll of the shepherd is over, and then comes the duty of guarding the sheepfold until another dawn.

All these things describe figuratively Christ's relationship to His sheep. They tell of His loving interest and care for His own. They are intended to portray His wisdom, His love, His power, and His mercy op­ erating in behalf of His sheep. Let us come, then, and have our memories concerning these most precious and important matters refreshed, and our spiritual faculties quickened, and thus enter more fully into the blessed experiences portrayed in this wonderful Shepherd Psalm.

"JESUS IS MY SAVIOR"

We notice first how full of meaning is the introductory expression, "The Lord is my Shepherd." We have suggested in these words the vast difference between having merely a theoretical knowledge of a thing, and that of making a practical use of the knowledge, or being affected by it. What a world of meaning is associated with the use of that little word "my".

Let us illustrate: We hear of a neighbor's child who is sick and under the care of its mother. The news comes to us that the child is dead. We feel a sympathy for the mother, because her beloved child is taken from her. But how different seems the experience when sickness comes into our own home -- my child is sick, I do all that I can for my child for whom I have a special love. My child dies, my child is dead! The experience becomes personal. It is felt. It touches our heart. So it is in the words of this Psalm. The emphasis then is transferred from all other words to the little word "my." "The Lord is my Shepherd." It makes all the difference in the world whether we can say Jesus is the Savior of men, or Jesus is my Savior. Have I made Him my Shepherd? Have I ever realized that I was once like a sheep gone astray, for this is our natural state in Adam, and this state is expressed in the words of Holy Writ: "All we like sheep have gone astray; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all." Have I returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of my soul? Can I say, "He laid down His life for me?" If so I can also say in truth: "I shall not want." Then to me belongs the promise, "They that wait upon the Lord shall not want any good thing."- Then can I say, All things work together for my good, and realize that the one great "good" is, to be conformed to the image and likeness of my Savior -my Shepherd. How these precious words, "The Lord is my. Shepherd," are illustrated in the care of the literal shepherd over his sheep. We have seen how the shepherd looked after all the needs of his sheep, even the special needs of the tired, the hungry, the thirsty, the wounded, the sick. So the Good Shepherd looks after the needs of His sheep. Jacob on his dying bed, as he looked back over the long years of his pilgrimage, could say, "The Lord that fed [shepherded] me all of my life long."

I SHALL NOT WANT

In the expression, "I shall not want" is summed up in a general way all that is described in more detail in the other words of this Shepherd Psalm. In the words, "He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me' beside the, still waters", we have expressed the first great longing of the soul that is desiring to belong to Christ. That want is "Rest." This is the beginning of the heritage of those who become Christ's sheep. As we read these words, how vividly do they bring to our minds, the words of our Good Shepherd, "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." In the Good Shepherd who died for the sheep is this rest secured. It is the blessed privilege of those who come to Him to have rest-rest from condemnation, rest from guilt, rest from the power of sin. "Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls", are the further words of this Great Shepherd. We accept the invitation, after experiencing the blessing of the first invitation, and yield our wills unto Him in consecration, and when this is done fully and unreservedly we can say with the poet:

"Then He drew me closer to Him,
Bade my doubting, fearing cease;
And when I had fully yielded,
Filled my soul with perfect peace."

The experiences of the Lord's true sheep are varied. A large part of their experiences, are associated with trials, distresses, and difficulties on every hand. The Great Shepherd sums them all up when He says, "In the world ye shall have tribulation." If this be so, some one may say, how can it be true that one of the primary, as well as one of the lasting blessings of the life of the faithful Christian is that of "rest"? The words of the Savior, "In Me ye shall have peace," ut­ tered in the same connection, answers this question. It requires a careful, prayerful meditation to appreciate these words and experience their meaning. "In Me ye shall have peace." While it is true that it is difficult to learn how to experience this constant rest of soul, this peace that passeth all understanding, yet it is also true that it is possible to experience it. However, it is only as we fully learn to trust and obey, to watch and pray, that we may have this blessed rest, this un­ disturbed peace. The poet seems to have realized and expressed all that is involved in the matter when he said:

"Now I'm trusting every moment,
Nothing else can be enough;
And the Savior bears me gently
O'er those places once so rough."

THE SECRET PLACE OF THE MOST HIGH

The thought here is not rest from conflict, not rest from service, but rest in conflict, rest in service. It is an inner rest, an inner peace; physical pain may rack the body, but the consciousness of being in Him lifts above the pain and enables one to endure the pain, .Without murmuring or repining. Everything that is needed to enjoy this inner rest of soul, is provided for in Christ, and is realized by appropriating the exceeding great and precious promises. It has been truth-, fully said that there are various things required in order to enjoy this rest. The first of these is a consciousness of safety. "The growl of a lion, the bark of a dog, the presence of a little child, will be quite sufficient to spoil the rest of a flock of sheep and to drive them trembling and timid into an affrighted group. And how can we rest so long as we feel ourselves liable to the attack of the 'roaring lion' of the pit? Who can rest so long as eternal destinies lie uncertainly in the balance?" When threatened with danger, we have a place of refuge to fly to; we have the promise to lay hold of -- "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea." The experience of abiding in Christ is figuratively spoken of as "dwelling in the secret place of the Most High," and we are told that "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty." This ninety-first Psalm is the "Safety Psalm." It describes all the dangers that lie in the pathway of the Lord's sheep, and tells of an impregnable fortress, inside of which it is our privilege to dwell.

HE SHALL FEED HIS FLOCK

Another requisite for a sheep to enjoy this rest is plenty of food and drink -- nourishment and refreshment. This the human shepherd supplied; How true is it also of the Heavenly, Shepherd. Of Him it was said: "He shall feed His flock like a shepherd." He first tells us how we may develop the desire for this necessary sustenance to this life of rest: "Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, as new born babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby." Those who have not followed the Great Shepherd's advice must not be surprised if they lack a desire for this Heavenly food, the partaking of which imparts and preserves this inner rest of the soul.

Furthermore, in order for the Lord's true sheep to enjoy this perfect rest of soul, they must recognize that all necessary provision has been made for, them while they sojourn here in the present life. It is absolutely true that this provision comes from the Divine, Heavenly Shepherd, yet the supplies necessary for our present and future, whether temporal or spiritual, are realized by complying with certain divinely stated requirements. We are told to "seek first [above everything else] the Kingdom of God and His righteousness" and then all things necessary will come in the Divine order. Meeting these conditions, and trusting in this promise, will enable us to have no anxiety about what we shall eat or drink or wherewithal we shall be clothed, for our Great Shepherd, who is our Father, knoweth that we have need of all these things; and to have this confidence and trust is absolutely necessary to enjoy this inner rest of soul.

In order to enjoy the perfect rest promised to the faithful, one must recognize the provision made for life beyond the tomb; the true sheep of the Lord may be relieved of any and all anxiety and worry concerning the future life.. We are indeed exhorted to have a godly fear lest having a promise to enter into that rest we may come short of it, but godly fear is of itself an important element of the rest at present realized and assures us of an entrance into that rest that remains to the people of God. It is not presumption for one who possesses this reverential godly fear to say, "I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day." It is an exhibition of faith and confidence in God on the part of one who realizes this godly fear, to say with confidence that "He that hath begun a good work in me will perform it unto the day .of Jesus Christ." And when we are beginning to realize that we have about reached the end of our earthly service, that we have about completed the journey of our earthly pilgrimage, we may say with St. Paul, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day."

To be continued


MOSES: LIBERATOR AND LAWGIVER

"Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of Jehovah."--Ex. 14: 10, 13-22.

OUR information respecting the birth and childhood of Moses is very meager. We know that his father's name was Amram, which signifies "Noble people." His mother's name was Jochebed, which signifies "Jehovah is glorious." Though they were He­ brews, and as a race in bondage to the Egyptians, these names imply that this family of the tribe of Levi were persons of moral and religious sentiments-noble people in the proper sense of the word. This is im­plied also in the Apostle's statement, that they acted from faith.--Heb. 11:23.

Moses, at forty years of age, having been schooled in all the learning of the Egyptians, and recognized as mighty in word and in deed, determined to cast in his lot henceforth with the people of God. He renounced his relationship to the king's family, "refusing to be any longer called the son of Pharaoh's daughter." lie chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, and with them to have an inheritance in the promises made to their fathers. While with the Egyptians he was a sharer of the riches which were accruing to that people through the oppression and bondage of the Israelites; and Moses could no longer be a participator in the fruits of this wrongdoing, nor enjoy these pleasures of sin, injustice. We have this attestation to his moral rectitude, his love of justice. It indicates that he was naturally high-minded, noble, just. How many of the Lord's people, living under the instructions of the Gospel, and the enlightening influences of the Holy Spirit at the present time, need to take a lesson from Moses' course. How many would be willing to enjoy the fruits of sin and injustice-to continually receive and enjoy wealth, and luxuries known to be unjustly wrung from poor unfortunates? How many would be inclined to console themselves with the thought that they were not directly responsible for the injustices and oppressions whose profits they nevertheless would enjoy? How noble was Moses' course, and how much approved of the Lord! It is proper that all who know and love righteousness and justice should take a firm stand upon these principles. -- Heb. 11 :24-26.

In his zeal for his brethren, and in his abhorrence of the injustice practiced upon them, he smote one of the Egyptian task-masters, and delivered the oppressed Hebrew. He presumed that by such a course he would awaken the energies and spirits of his people and that they would accept him as their leader and that the deliverance from Egypt would forthwith begin. But his disappointment was great when the next day he discovered that his kinsmen had no such loyal feeling toward him as he had toward them. Moses was completely disheartened, and fled to the wilderness of Paran.

Thoroughly discouraged, cut off from the cultured class of Egypt, cut off also. from his kinsmen, whom he had hoped to assist, Moses hermit-like, settled down to a life in the wilderness. Forty years was the period of this isolation, this great change of life from one of culture, refinement, and honor amongst men, to the solitudes of that wilderness.

What a change this period wrought in Moses! At its beginning he was ready and anxious to lead the Israelites; full of modest confidence in himself, as a leader, a commander, a law-giver, for that people-no doubt realizing by faith that God had prepared him and educated him that he might have the proper qualifications to be their leader. But now, when the Lord's time has come, his courage is gone, his self-confidence is upset, and he protests to the Lord that he is totally unqualified.

It was when Moses was eighty years old, that the Lord sent him to deliver Israel. By various signs God established the faith of his servant. The burning bush itself was one of these demonstrations of Divine power. Another demonstration was the casting of his rod upon the ground, and its becoming a serpent, a symbol of evil, and the Divine power exercised again by which the serpent was turned again into a staff, representing God's power to turn evil things into good things through the operation of faith. Again, his hand was thrust into his bosom, and taken out was found to be leprous, and being thrust in again and taken out was found to be restored to health. Thus God gave Moses the absolute assurance that he and his people 'Should come forth out of Egypt, and should worship in the very mountain in which now he beheld the burning bush, and talked with the angel of the Lord.

Not until ten dreadful plagues had been visited upon Egypt, however, were the Egyptians convinced of the advisability of getting rid of the Hebrews. Forthwith they were as anxious to have the people go from them as they previously had been anxious to retain them. They now helped them and urged them., and when the Israelites asked for (in the text "borrowed") mementos, such as jewels, etc., they gave to them, urging their departure, and probably feeling that with this generosity they were to some extent making good for the long years of compulsory labor they had exacted. By pre-concerted arrangement, the Hebrews quickly gathered to Succoth, en route for Palestine, nearly two million of them, with flocks and herds which must have been of quite large numbers.

A BRIGHT CLOUD--A DARK CLOUD

They were guided south by the Lord directly by a cloud which was bright at night and dark in the daytime, affording them a measure of shelter from the heat of the sun. This phenomenon would probably not be noticed by the Egyptians and others, but was recognized by the Israelites because of their instructions, and because they had learned to have confidence in God as their leader. It was not, we are sure, any thing like what some have pictured it--so radical a violation of nature as to be a demonstrated miracle. It was present with the people through all their wanderings in the wilderness for forty years, and was an evidence of the Lord's special care over them, and should have been a great aid to their faith. Only when they had finally crossed Jordan into Canaan was this phenomenon discontinued.

While following the narrative of Israel's deliverance and Divine guidance, spiritual Israel must not overlook the fact that our deliverance from the world, symbolized by Egypt, is a still more wonderful one. As we under the Lord's providence begin our escape from the power of the world, the flesh, and the Adversary, there are different ways of escape possible, some more and some less favorable. Left to ourselves we might choose the wrong, way of the Philistines, where the battles would be too hard for us, or the way of the desert, where we would be discouraged and. famished. It is for us to look for the Lord's providences in our affairs at this time, and to find them guiding us, sheltering us from the heat of persecution and tribulation and trial, and again at other times enlightening us, refreshing us in the dark seasons. And this leading of Divine providence is intended to be ours so long as we are of the Israel of God, until we pass over Jordan into Heavenly Canaan and need such special providences no further. Blessed are those whose faith is awake and on the alert, and who discern the Lord's favors which the world will not discern, and which only those in the right attitude of mind can appreciate. 'O, Lord, help us more and more to appreciate Thy leadings, Thy providences, and to trust to Thy wisdom in all of life's affairs, until there­ by we shall be guided by Thy Word and Thy grace to the Heavenly Canaan and its rest!

ENTANGLED IN THE LAND

The Israelites took the change of journey from northeast to south with full confidence because of their recognition of the leading of the Lord in the cloud that was dark by day and bright by night. But the Egyptians viewed the matter differently. Several days had, now elapsed, their mourning for the first-born was ended, and they began to think of the loss they had sustained. The fact that the Israelites were probably efficient servants, the fact that the Egyptians had been accustomed to using them in their own interests for a long time, and that the people were without military qualifications and arms, suggested to the Egyptians that it would be an easy matter to overtake them, to turn them back again-to say, Now you have had a few days as you desired, turn back again into the old lines.

The hosts of the Israelites had by this time gotten well to the westward of the Bitter Lakes, which lengthen out the northernmost tongue of the Red Sea, when the word reached them that Pharaoh's six hundred chariots were coming. Terror spread throughout the mixed multitude; children cried, mothers wrung their hands and wept, and the. strongest hearts of the Israelites were sore perplexed As children to a father they came to Moses, saying., Is it because there was no grave-room in Egypt that you brought us away to, die in the wilderness? Why did you thus-to bring us out of Egypt.? Why did you not hearken to us when in Egypt we, said, Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians? Would it not have been better for us to serve them than that we should die in the wilderness'

SPIRITUAL ISRAELITES ENTANGLED TOO

It is the same with many spiritual Israelites: having started to leave the world they are of insufficient faith, and when beset by temptations and difficulties, they are inclined to wish they had never started in the better way and toward the freedom wherewith Christ makes free, and toward the Canaan rest and blessing which He has promised but which to them seems so far off-so utterly impossible to be reached. But Moses was of better faith and courage, as well he might be, because of his superior advantages every way. He represented our Leader, under whose direction and encouragement we have left the world behind. And so Our Leader says to us, as Moses said to them, Fear ye not! stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you this day. And as for your enemies the Egyptians, whom ye fear, ye shall see them no more again forever." Evidently Moses was in very close touch with Jehovah when he could prophesy such an outcome in the face of such disastrous appearances. Similarly we may have confidence in our Lord Jesus when Be assures us that the power of the Adversary is limited, that it shall not go beyond the limitations of this present evil world; that tomorrow, in the Millennial Age, we shall witness the overthrow of all the powers of evil. Moses added "The Lord shall fight for you and ye shall hold your peace." This is the promise to the spiritual Israelites-" Greater is He that is on our part than all they that be with them," however mighty they may appear: "If God be for us who can be against us?"--to ultimate success; therefore "I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me."

Before the Israelites was the tongue of the Red Sea, the chain of the Bitter Lakes; behind them the land of Egypt, and immediately in their rear, Pharaoh's chariots and charioteers. The Israelites had not yet approached the water's edge. The command was that they should go forward, and no explanation was made of how the path would be opened for them through the waters. Not only was the faith of Moses demonstrated in the command, but the faith of the Israelites was also tested in their obediently going in the direction of the water. Is it not thus with spiritual Israelites? Does not the Lord sometimes allow adversity, difficulties, oppositions to hedge us in? Does He not sometimes lead us by a way from which there seems to be no escape from some impending evil? This is the time to hearken to His voice and in faith to go forward, nothing doubting--trusting that He who has begun the good work in us will complete it unto the day of Jesus Christ in the Millennial Morning.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF A MIRACLE

By Divine direction Moses lifted up his rod and stretched out his hand over the sea, with the assurance that it would divide and furnish the necessary exit from their impending difficulties. A strong wind blew to the northward, and, co-operating with the tide, exposed a wide sandbar across which the Israelites passed in safety, toward morning. They were aided by the light from the cloud, which 'at this time was to their north­ ward and served as a cloud of darkness to the Egyp­ tians and of light to the Israelites, so that the pursuers had difficulty in the chase and probably Were guided more by the sound of the confusion and flight of the Israelites than by anything else. It is entirely probable that the Egyptians were not aware that the tide and the wind had formed the sandbar, and that they were on it pursuing the Israelites. By the time the latter had reached the further bank of the sea, possibly two miles across, Moses again stretched forth his hand with his rod, and the wind's course again changed, the waters began to, return, aided by the turning of the tide. Meantime the Egyptians in the midst of the sea found their chariot wheels choked by the soft sand, their horses sinking. and struggling broke the wheels, there was general confusion which held them until the tide was upon them and many, if not all of them were drowned.

"An east or southeast Wind arose and moved the upper water of the shallow bay toward the northeast, while probably a strong ebb tide set in at the same time and drew the lower water southwards, so that the bed of the sea was for a considerable space laid bare." -- Rawlinson.

"This was soon after the full moon of the vernal equinox, when there would be a very low ebb and a very high flood. The tide rises from five to seven feet opposite Suez, and from eight to nine feet when aided by strong winds, returning with unusual suddenness and power after the ebb."--Newhall.

"M. DeLesseps mentioned to me the extraordinary facts of this kind which he had witnessed in storms which occurred at intervals of fifteen or twenty years. He had seen the northern end of the sea in places blown almost dry, and again had seen the waters driven far over the land toward the Bitter Lakes. "-President Bartlett.

"It is God's usual method to make the most of natural causes, to make the supernatural begin only where the natural ends."--Blakie.

"The coming of the wind at once, in connection with the symbolical act of Moses, is as much a miracle as the immediate division of the waters without the intervention of any secondary cause would have been."Taylor.

"The waters were a wall unto them on the right hand and on their left": this need not imply a perpendicular wall, but rather a protection, a shield on either side. The Israelites could go forward, knowing that their only danger was in the rear because, the waters protected their flanks.

THE EGYPTIANS OVERTHROWN

If we still entertain the thought we once had that all mankind are on trial for eternal life in the present existence, and that all failure to gain eternal life means eternal torment, we would be inclined to wonder why Moses and the Israelites did not face about and begin to preach to the Egyptians. Indeed we might wonder why they left Egypt at all-Why they did not become missionaries amongst them-why God delivered them from such a glorious opportunity for mission work. Then we would wonder, too, how Moses and the Israelites could rejoice in the thought that thousands of their enemies had gone to eternal torment. We thank God that in His providence He has enabled us to see the teachings of His Word more clearly.. We see that the time had not yet come for the preaching of the Gospel, because the time had not yet come for the atonement for sin. Hence there could not be any offer of eternal life to the Egyptians, for Christ- did not come to die for man's sins for more than sixteen centuries later; and even after He came His work was not for the world, even as He prayed not for the world -"I pray not for the world, but for those whom thou hast given Me." (John 17:9.) The work of gathering the Elect is the first item on the Divine program: with its consummation the present Age will end, and then will begin the work for the world. Then those Egyptians and the Sodomites, with all the families of the earth, shall be blessed through Abraham's seed -- Christ and the Church, the spiritual seed, and the natural Israelites, the earthly seed.

"THE SONG OF MOSES AND THE LAMB"

If evidence were necessary to disprove the claim of evolution-that the people of early times were one remove from monkeys-that proof would be found in the way the Israelites accepted the victory the Lord had given them in their own passage of the sea in safety and of the destruction therein of their pursuers and enemies. 'Did they riot in a carnival of vice? Did they have a war-dance with tom-toms? Quite to the contrary. Overflowing with religious sentiment, they gave thanks unto the Lord God, recognizing Him as their Deliverer. Moses composed a hymn of praise in which the people joined, while Moses' sister Miriam and the singing women prepared a response to the various parts of the hymn of praise. Hebrew scholars have remarked on the evidence of the antiquity of the Song of Moses, recorded in Exodus 15:1-20, some even noting the fact that a few of the words showed an intermingling of the Egyptian language. It is further authenticated by the reference made to it in the book of Psalms, where the entire matter of the deliverance of the people and the overthrow of their enemies in the sea is graphically described by the sweet singer of Israel. (Psa. 106:7-12.) The incident and the Song of Moses are further corroborated by our Lord in His last message to the Church, in which He represents in symbol a certain class of His followers experiencing a great deliverance in the' end of this Age and singing, "The song- of Moses, the servant of God, and of the Lamb."--Rev. 15:2,3.

If it was appropriate, as we all admit that it was, that the Israelites should give glory to God for their deliverance from the bondage of Egypt, much more is it appropriate that spiritual Israel should recognize the still greater deliverance from the power of Satan and the thraldom of sin, accomplished for us through the blood of the Lamb of God who died for our sins. ,If the illiterate people who had been in a measure of slavery for a long period and who had not the advantages of this Gospel Age were prompted to give thanks to the Lord, how much more should we, who have tasted of His grace and goodness, show forth the praises of Him who hath called us out of the darkness into His marvelous light." (I Pet. 2: 9.) What wonder, then, that the Scriptures everywhere refer to the Lord's people as being ministers, servants of the Truth, and declare that the Lord has not only lifted our feet from the horrible pit and miry clay of sin and death, but has additionally "put into our mouths a new song, even the loving-kindness of our God."--Psa. 40:2, 3.

This song can now be sung by us who can exercise faith in the Lord, in His Word, in His providence, but it is not its complete fulfillment; that will be attained when all the people of God shall have been found--when the Lord's mercy during the Millennial Age shall have opened the blind eyes of the world, unstopped the deaf ears, caused the knowledge of the Lord to fill the whole earth, and gathered all who are truly the Lord's to Himself, and during the Millennial Age shall have lifted 'them out of the bondage of sin and death and brought them into full harmony with the Divine standard by the processes of restitution, according as it is written-There shall "be times of restitution of all things which God hath promised by the mouth of all the holy Prophets since the world began." (Acts 3:19-21.) Then will be the great fulfillment of this passage of the Red Sea, and the overthrow of the enemies of the Lord and His people. It will be then, at the end of the Millennial Age, that Satan and all who are on his side, enemies of righteousness, will be forever destroyed, and at the same time all who love righteousness and hate iniquity and avail themselves of the Lord's favors, privileges, will then be saved to the powers of an eternal life, under the leadership of the great antitypical Moses, as it is written--"A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you from amongst your brethren like unto me [Moses] ; Him shall -ye hear in all things whatsoever He shall say 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: 22, 23.

MOSES AND CHRIST COMPARED

H. G. GUINNESS in his Divine Programme of the World's History presents a striking comparison of the life of Moses with that of Christ. Speaking on the words of Moses, "a Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you"--he says:

"The rich depth of meaning that lies concealed in those words, 'like unto me,' was little understood by Moses, and is often little perceived among ourselves through deficient meditation. The following are some of the points that should be noted in the resemblance., Moses was saved from death in his infancy; so was Christ. Moses fled his country to escape the wrath of the king; Christ was taken into Egypt for the same purpose. Afterwards the Lord said to Moses in Midian 'Go, return;' as the angels said to Joseph, 'Arise, and take the young child, and go back into the land of Israel, for they are dead which sought the young child's life.' Moses refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, though it might have led to his being a king; Christ refused to be made a king, choosing rather to suffer affliction and death- for the sake of His people. Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians. Josephus says he was a forward youth, and had wisdom and knowledge beyond his years. Christ increased in wisdom and stature, and favor with God and man, as His discourse in the temple with the doctors when twelve years old proved. Moses contended with the magicians of Egypt, who were forced to acknowledge that he exercised Divine power; Christ also contended with and cast out evil spirits, who similarly acknowledged His Divine power. Moses was a lawgiver, a prophet, a worker of miracles, and a priest; Christ was still more illustriously all these. Moses brought darkness over the land; and the sun veiled His face when Christ died. The darkness in Egypt was followed by the destruction of the first-born, and of Pharaoh and his host; so the darkness at Christ's death was a forerunner of the destruction of the Jews. Moses foretold the calamities which would befall the nation for their disobedience; so also did Christ. The spirit which was in Moses was conferred in some degree upon the seventy elders, and they prophesied; Christ conferred miraculous powers upon His seventy disciples. Moses conquered Amalek by holding up his hands and praying for Israel; Christ overcame His and our enemies when His hands were fastened to the cross. Moses interceded for transgressors, caused an atonement to be made for them, and stopped the wrath of God; so did Christ., Moses ratified a covenant between God and the people by sprinkling them with blood; Christ with His own blood. Moses desired to die for the people, and prayed God either to forgive them or blot him out of His book; Christ did more-He died for sinners. Moses slew the paschal lamb, none of whose bones were broken, and whose blood protected the people from destruction; 'Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us,' the true Paschal Lamb offered Himself. Moses lifted up the serpent of brass, that they who looked upon it might be healed of their mortal wounds; Christ said, 'I, if I be lifted up (on a cross), will draw all men unto Me.' All the love and care of Moses for Israel, all his toils and sufferings on their account were repaid with ingratitude, murmuring, and rebellion; the same return was made to Christ. Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses; and as to Christ we read, 'neither did His brethren believe on Him.' Moses had a wicked and perverse generation committed to his care; miraculous powers were given him to rule them, and he did his utmost to make them obedient to God, and to save them from ruin, but it was all in vain; in the course of forty years they all perished in the wilderness, save Caleb, and Joshua. Christ was given to a similar generation, His doctrine and His miracles were alike lost on them, and in about the same space of time after they had rejected Him they were all destroyed in the Roman war. Moses was very meek, above all men that were on the face of the earth. Christ said, IT earn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart,. and ye shall find rest to your souls'. Israel did not enter the land of promise till Moses was dead; and it is the death of Christ which has opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.

"There is also a resemblance in some points between the death of Moses and the death of Christ, though imperfect, and associated with contrasts. Moses died in some sense because of the iniquities of the people; it was their rebellion which led to the fault on his part which drew down the displeasure of God on them and on him. He went up in the sight of the people to the top of Mount Nebo, and there he died, when he was in perfect vigor, his eye not dim or his natural force abated. Christ suffered for the sins of men, and was led up to Calvary in the presence of the people, in the flower of His age and in His full natural strength. Moses was buried, and no man knew where his body lay; nor could the Jews find the body of Christ. just before his death Moses promised the people another prophet like himself; Christ promised 'another comforter.'

"Eusebius long ago noted many particulars of the resemblance between Moses and Christ. He says: 'Moses was the first to rescue the Jewish nation from Egyptian superstition and idolatry, and to teach them the true theology. Jesus was- the first teacher of truth and holiness to the Gentiles. Moses confirmed his .teachings by miracles; so likewise did Christ. Moses promised a happy life in the Holy Land to those who kept the law; and Christ a better country-that is, a' heavenly-to all righteous souls. Moses fasted forty days, and so likewise did Christ. Moses gave the people bread in the wilderness; and our Savior fed five thousand at one time, and four thousand at another with a few loaves. Moses went himself and led the people through the midst of the sea; and Christ walked on the water, and enabled Peter to do the same. Moses stretched out his rod, and the Lord caused the sea to go backward; our Savior rebuked the wind and the sea, and there was a great calm. Moses' face shone when he descended from the Mount; our Savior's shone like the sun in His transfiguration. Moses by his prayers cured Miriam of her leprosy; Christ with a word healed several lepers. Moses appointed seventy rulers, and our Savior seventy disciples. Moses sent out twelve men to spy the land; our Savior twelve apostles to visit all nations.'

"A PROPHET LIKE UNTO ME"

"Never was there a prophet so like unto Moses as Jesus Christ! Isaiah wrought no miracle; Jeremiah promulgated no new law; Daniel instituted no new system of worship. We may search over the sacred and profane historical portrait galleries of the past, during the fifteen hundred years that elapsed between the appearance of these two great deliverers in Israel, but not till we come to the Prophet of Nazareth do we meet with the predicted 'like unto me.' And it should be noted that the emphatic 'Him shall ye hear' of Moses is rendered by Peter in the third of Acts, 'Every soul that will not hear that prophet shall be destroyed from among the people.' This settles the question that it was of Christ that Moses spoke. Previous generations had rejected previous prophets without perishing in consequence. But the generation that rejected Jesus were, according to His own prediction, 'miserably destroyed'; and the total excision of the Jewish people for a time from their own olive tree, was the consequence of their refusal to hear the Prophet like unto Moses. Seventy years of captivity in Babylon was inflicted on them on account of their iniquities and idolatries in the days of the kings, but eighteen hundred years of dispersion and misery have followed their rejection of Christ. Could Moses have foreseen this? Were not his words weighty with a mournful meaning he little imagined? Were not the mind and purpose of God expressed in the simple yet solemn and sublime prediction: 'A Prophet shall-the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that Prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people'? If the long and detailed prophecies of Lev. 26 and Deut. 33 were a program of the future of ,Israel, may we not say that this brief but frequent utterance about the prophet that should come into the world illustrates that program with a portrait? Not only was a long and complete history foretold, but, an individual character was delineated in the words, 'like unto me.' The sketch is held up to the gaze of generation after generation; fifteen hundred years pass by, and no one at all like it appears. judges and deliverers arise in Israel, David the man after God's own: heart orders and instructs the people, a line of kings and a line of prophets pass over the stage of Jewish history, but no one appears answering to the prophetic sketch, 'like unto me.' After the lapse of fifteen centuries, however, Jesus of Nazareth appears, and, lo! every feature of the portrait can be recognized, and we need not inquire, 'Art Thou that Prophet that should come unto the world?" His likeness to Moses makes the question needless! Deliverer, leader, Savior, lawgiver, mediator, ruler, judge, prophet, priest, king; God's servant, God's representative, God's reflection, God's ambassador among men, illustrious founder of a new ,order of things; mighty yet meek, patient yet inflexible, tender yet stern against sin, loving, even to tears and agony and self sacrifice, yet denouncing sore judgments to come-was any one ever so like Moses as Christ, and so like Christ as Moses? When they beheld these two stand side by side in glory in transfiguration on the Mount, did Peter, James, and John perceive any likeness between them? We know not! There is something far deeper than face or form; when illuminated by the spirit in after-days, the Apostles perceived and expounded this deeper likeness between the great prophet of the old covenant and the greater Prophet of the new, and called on all to obey the voice from the excellent glory which had -fallen on their ears, 'Hear Him.'"


1923 Index