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of Christ's Kingdom

VOL. XXXV May 1952 No. 5
Table of Contents

I Know That My Redeemer Liveth

The Sufferings of Christ and the Glory to Follow

Annual Meeting of the Pastoral Bible Institute

Strangers and Pilgrims in The Earth

The Study of Revelation

The Question Box

Recently Deceased  

I Know That My Redeemer Liveth

"I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He,shall stand at the latter day upon the earth." - Job 19:25.

IN ALL the wide field of knowledge spread be­fore the mind of man, is there anything to com­pare in value to this sublime statement, "I know that my Redeemer liveth"? Nothing indeed! The sweep of eternity, and the glory of everlasting life are in those words. It is not of such knowledge that an Apostle says, "Whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away," but this is eternal in its nature, and unlimited in its possible expansions. Instead of its vanishing away when time has merged into eternity, the knowledge of our great Redeemer will only then be taking on its perfect dimensions, and entering into its unhindered exer­cises. In this present state, while we tabernacle in the house of our pilgrimage, we can at most survey but "the outskirts of His ways," gathering some little measure of the joy that comes through knowing Him, a joy to be most wonderfully increased when "that which it perfect is come." When it shall be ours to awake in His likeness, endowed with perfect powers of reception and re­action, beholding our Redeemer as the fairest among ten thousand, and in a greatly enlarged comprehension of how much our redemption cost Him, surely we will exclaim in supreme amaze­ment, "The half was never told!"

As we ponder these words, "I know that my Re­deemer liveth," we cannot fail being impressed immediately with their clear, unqualified tone. There is no hint of possible misinformation, or any suggestion of presumptive assurance on the part of the one who makes this claim. With the utmost confidence he affirms, "I know." Neither can we fail to note the very personal tenor the words contain. It is of no general inclusion in a redeemed class he speaks, but of a distinct personal possession, "I know that my Redeemer liveth." This personal character of the statement we should not overlook. It is but another of those inspired utterances of the Scriptures manifestly intended to be appropriated by the true children of God. Being thus given by our Father, it is no presump­tive act or claim on the part of His obedient child to repeat it, and say in perfect confidence, "I know that my Redeemer liveth." God does not teach um to say of Him, "The Lord is our Shepherd"; but, "The Lord is my Shepherd." Neither is it to be the timid hope that He is such, but the confident claim that the relationship is real and blessed. Therefore of Him whom we thus know as the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls, we can affirm, "I know Him whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him." Thus it becomes the right of each member of His Church to say in a happy assurance of being personally loved and watched over, "My Beloved is mine, and His desire is toward me." - Song of Solomon 7:10.

Then we must be deeply impressed also with the significance of the last' of these words, "I know that my Redeemer liveth." This is a particularly - important word indeed. It is because that last word is true that Paul can pass on to us such a word as this, "Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever- liveth to make intercession for them." (Heb. 7:25.) Yes, He lives, and so we shall live also. He lives; therefore death has lost its terror and its power, and it has become our heritage to voice our victory through Him and say, "O death, where is thy sting? 0 grave, where is thy victory?" He lives, and having appeared in the presence of God for us, who aught to our charge can lay? He lives, and hidden in Him, we are God's workmanship created in Christ Jesus and for Him. He lives; therefore ours is a lively hope, and a blessed hope because we are to live with Him as sharers in His immortal life. Blessed truth!, "He that hath the Son bath life"-- life for the ages of the ages.

As we observe, then, the confident tone running all through these inspired words, "I know that my Redeemer liveth," what "foundations of sapphire" they are on which each heart may rest. And just here let us take in the wider sweep of the patri­arch's confident affirmation-such of it as we with our spiritual hopes may rightfully appropriate. How much it means to say with job, "I know that my Redeemer liveth, . . whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another." (Job 19:25-27.) How great our loss if we allow such a testimony to be vitiated by our unwillingness to take God at His word, and fail to remember in a practical way that "God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of prom­ise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath: that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; whither the Forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest forever after the order of Melchisedec." (Heb. 6:17-20.) In view of such a foundation for faith shall we not take the Scriptural attitude and say, "We believe, therefore have we spoken," and standing on the Rock of Ages, we affirm, "I know that my Redeemer liveth."

I Will Manifest Myself to You

Among the many inspired statements by which we are furnished with a basis for our faith that our Redeemer liveth, and that all our confidence may be settled and at rest in Him, are these words we love to meditate on: "This same Jesus shall so come again." How full of comfort and strength those words must have been as they fell upon the ears of His disciples on the Mount of Olives! He had left them gazing heavenward as He returned again to the Father, there to be high­ly exalted above every name that is named. And how had He left them? -- depressed? dismayed? feeling sad and forsaken? No, indeed! With what surprise we read these words: "And they wor­shiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy." (Luke 24:52.) What words could have given them this joy more than the words spoken by the angels as Jesus passed beyond human sight? "This same Jesus," unchanged as to His character, shall be the One you shall see again; therefore, retain all your precious memories of His gracious words and acts, keep fresh in mind all you have witnessed of His love and sympathy, and know that such He remains and such He will be when He comes again to receive you unto Himself. Surely herein was the reason why they went back to assemble in the upper room in such joy. Though waiting days may seem long, and many heavy trials be their portion ere He returned, yet He had left them look­ing upward, not to weep, but to rejoice evermore.

Should those words mean less to us than to those disciples of long ago? The Jesus to whom - we have been drawn, and to whom we have been bound with cords of love which naught can sever, who is He but the same Jesus these dear Apostles have taught us to know as "the same yesterday, today, and forever." He is none other than the same Jesus whose instructions caused the hearts of His first followers to burn within them as they listened to Him opening up the Scriptures con­cerning Himself. He is the same Jesus concerning whom we gladly join ourselves with those ' early disciples, confessing, "To whom shall we go? Thou only hast the words of eternal life." These Gospel records are surely intended to bring us into the same immediate circle of close fellow­ship with Jesus, and under the same heart-warming and life-changing influence as those first followers experienced. Ours is no far-off, historical Jesus, largely limited like other great teachers to the generation living contemporaneously with Him. He is the same Jesus for all generations. His words were a living force nineteen hundred years ago, and are no less throbbing with energy today. His acts in those far past days are still perpetuated in the life and experience of men and women today. "As many as touched Him were made perfectly whole" is the story in the Gospel, and it is the same even now-yea, is it not our own happy experience?

Shortly before His crucifixion Jesus had made this promise to His own: "He that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him." (John 14:21.) This promise embraces the last and least of those whom He calls His own. It assures to every such one the unquestionable proof that his Redeemer lives, and loves, and cares. To the chosen Twelve many infallible, proofs of His resurrection were given, and these proofs were intended to constitute, as eye-witness testimony, the basis for our faith. But in another and most potent way we are to per­sonally know that our' own Redeemer lives. We are not left with the, written record alone as our assur­ance that Jesus lives. There is an abundance of lessons stored up in the several Gospel records of His different appearances after leaving Joseph's tomb, which, if applied to our own experiences, will leave us exclaiming with Paul, "Last of all He was seen of me also," and therefore, "I know that my Redeemer liveth."

He Calleth His Own by Name

In mind we go back to those memorable days, long past now, when Peter and the others were being revived to a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus from death. We recall that by several appearances and under various circumstances He established their faith in the fact of His being alive again. One by one their doubts had van­ished, and they are well prepared to go forth to declare that He is alive for evermore. On the basis of their testimony we share the lively hope and the joy which came to them, and which in all after days filled them with a fervor of devotion to their risen Lord. But in this present study of those several appearances subsequent to His leaving Joseph's tomb, we will not concern ourselves with examining the testimony of those eye witnesses. Our purpose now is to note how those same mani­festations by which He proved to them that He was alive may each one of them be so duplicated in our own personal experience that we also may know of a certainty "that my Redeemer liveth."

Truly God's ways are not as our ways. What a reversal of our ideas His often prove to be. The Scriptures abound with illustrations of how differently God acts from ways conforming to the wisdom of men. And nowhere is this more strikingly shown than in His choice of the favored one to whom He would first reveal Himself, and to whom He would give the first commission to proclaim His resurrection. Our choice would doubt­less have been one of those destined to be His twelve "chosen witnesses" -- perhaps the loving John. But not so our Lord's choice. Neither was it a matter of mere chance. Every one of those appearances, the time, manner, and the individuals to whom He would appear, were of our Lord's own ordering; therefore, His choice of Mary for this great honor was purposely ordered, and deeply sig­nificant. Need there be any doubt of this when we gather up and weave together the threads of gold and silver of her record of devotion to Him before Gethsemane and Calvary?

Mary Magdalene was the first to visit the tomb in which Jesus had been laid. None loved Him more than she did. Her memory was stored with His gracious words, and she, as the one who had much forgiven, loved much in turn. Hers had been a true, pure, and unselfish devotion to her Lord. How well she illustrates those admirable qualities of unadulterated devotion to the person of Christ. No marvel, then, that Jesus in His responses to that love likewise illustrates how highly He values the heart worship by which He is crowned Lord of all in the affections. Thus it was that He revealed Himself first to the heart in which this pure love burned strongest. And "this same Jesus" will always come first and fullest to the heart where pure ardent love abounds, to the heart truly confessing, "All I want I find in Thee."

To Mary His first words were, "Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou?" These are words of tender solicitation, yet identification re­quires more, but only one word more, a single word -- her name, "Mary." Ah yes, this loving heart, this unselfish heart, was the first to thrill to the words of our risen Lord, and the first to feel the inexpressible joy bound up in these words from the lips of the Good Shepherd, "He calleth His own sheep by name." How intimate He makes friendship with this loving heart now, and how greatly He adds to that blessed intimate relation­ship by the words that next He speaks, "My Father, and your Father; My God, and your God." Can we not believe that in all her after life those few priceless, blessed moments "in the Garden with Jesus" never lost their sanctifying influence in her life? If Jesus would preserve the fragrance of the outpoured spikenard, and send it floating down the centuries, surely He has likewise preserved for us the rare incense of this first intimate meeting in that far-away garden, to the end that all loving, pure hearted, unselfish, devoted followers might hear Him call their names, and join them each to Himself in the same blessed words, "My Father, and your Father; My God, and your God."

Is it a mere flight of emotional religion to say, "The love of Jesus what it is, none but His loved ones know"? is it compatible with strong, vigor­ous, and practical Christianity "to steal awhile away from every cumbering care"? And is it only a fancy that we hear Jesus say at times, "Come ye yourselves apart, and rest awhile"? Is it only a poetical but impractical ideal of Christian life that is embodied in the words, "Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord"? Is it inconsistent with the teachings and example of Jesus to say truthfully, "And He walks with me, and He talks with me, and He tells me I am His own"? Is it idleness to sit quietly meditating on His life-giving Word, yea, even though we have heard Him say, "The fields are white and ready to harvest"? To these and other similar questions we let Mary's boon answer. Better still, we will let Jesus' own conduct instruct us -- He who so often withdrew from the company of even His own disciples in order to be alone with God. And we will add to this the long line of His devoted servants of the now closing age of grace, who, like Mary, have borne testimony to the afterward of blessing sure to come to such as cultivate the inner heart qual­ities of adoring worship, heart-communion, and heart-hunger for Christ Himself. All these, out of a rich personal experience of intimate fellowship with Jesus, have testified with confidence and in a joy unspeakable, "I know that my Redeemer liveth." Like the renowned Moody, they could say when questioned regarding their faith in a risen Christ, "Why yes, I know He is alive, I was talk­ing with, Him this morning."

The Testimony of Knowing His Forgiving Love

Again we might well express surprise over the wide difference between our thoughts and God's higher thoughts. We come now to consider the first of our Savior's manifestations to His chosen disciples. Surely this would be the privilege of John, he who has the unique distinction of being called "the disciple whom Jesus loved. But not so. Through Mary, the first messenger to tell of His resurrection, a special message had been sent to Peter. And Peter was the first to see Him, ac­cording to Paul's order of His appearances. (See 1 Cor. 15:4-8.) And why Peter? Again we remark that each of our Lord's manifestations was of His own ordering and arrangement; therefore, a depth of significance attaches to each of them. His choice of Peter for this first joy presents no difficulty or wonder when we remember that He was indeed "the same Jesus" who had so particularly prayed for him that his "faith fail not." This seeking out Peter would prove to them all that Jesus had not changed. If not at that particular time, surely in subsequent days it would all come back to mind and gladden their hearts immeasurably. Would they not remember the loving Shepherd who "left the ninety and nine" to seek the one sheep now in special need of His care? Could they forget how "there is joy in heaven" over a repentant heart, and fail to rejoice themselves that one of their im­mediate circle who had "gone out and wept bit­terly" should be so quickly sought out by the risen Jesus? Surely not.

Fain would we know more about what took place at this meeting between Peter and Jesus. Had Luke and Paul not mentioned it in the brief manner they did, we would not even have known there was such a special privilege given to Peter. There would have been a complete silence concerning it, but a silence golden in its significance-a silence which is eloquent in its meaning to us all. There are moments in our lives and in our individual re­lationship to Jesus, the High Priest of our profes­sion-moments when a soul pours out its confes­sions and regrets alone with Him-that are too sacred even to Him to permit the intrusion of any other.

How much we rejoice in this for ourselves, and how greatly we need to remember it concerning every other penitent spirit. How often Jesus speaks forgiveness and peace to a broken heart as He meets such alone in the quiet prayer cham­ber, and there seals up the sacredness of that hour in His own heart and ours. How glad we are that we have at least been told that first "He was seen of Cephas, then of the Twelve." How it helps us to know of a certainty that our Redeemer is the unchanging, loving Jesus.

We too have stumbled, O so many, many times. There have been some regrettable failures; tears of repentance have filled our eyes again and again. With shame of face we think back over mistakes we have made, and over displays of weakness we deplore. - We have had occasions over and over when we needed to go again to the comfort of this promise: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9.) And when con­fession has brought His answering peace into our hearts again, how we have rejoiced to say with the repentant Psalmist, "If Thou, Lord, shouldst mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with Thee, that Thou mayest be reverenced." - Psa. 130:3, 4.

God's forgiveness of our sins and shortcomings is a wonderful boon indeed, but such forgiveness is meant to be more than just a blotting out of that which has grieved Him and saddened us. The crowning effect of our being so graciously forgiven is in the sweeter and deeper joy such revelations of God's grace through Christ may bring to us. It is the heart-felt union with our High Priest into which we are brought through our conscious need of His appearing in the presence of God for us, which union in its realities and effects enables us to say confidently, thankfully, and humbly, "I know that my Redeemer liveth." And so into our lives there comes, as there came to Peter long ago, the unquestionable proof that we are individually loved and watched over by a living, loving Lord. To us as to him Jesus has come in the tenderness of a divine, understanding love, not to berate us for our mistakes, not to dishearten us by His scathing exposures of our weaknesses, but to throw around us the sacred shroud of a silence none may intrude into. and there melt our hearts with the assurances that he knows our limitations, that He still cares for us with an undiminished solicitation, and that in a love unfailing, He holds us in His own right hand, and will not let us go, These proofs of His love we have known, and therefore this testimony we may speak forth to His praise, "I know that my Redeemer liveth."

- J. J. Blackburn.

(To be continued)

The Sufferings of Christ and the Glory to Follow

1 Peter 1:10-12

THE SUBJECT of the sufferings of Christ is one that vitally affects every member of the New Creation, the Little Flock, for it embraces the conditions and experiences which must be endured before the work of -God in them is complete, before the great hope the Lord has placed before them can be realized. This hope is to attain unto a glory no less than that of the "glory of God" and a sharing in his life and nature.

It is a truth that we have long since learned and concerning which the Scriptures are explicit, that if we would share with our dear Lord, by invitation' from him, in all the unseen glories of eternity, then we must "suffer with him," be "dead with him," and must deny self, take up our cross and follow in his steps.

With our knowledge of the Heavenly Father, that he is love, we readily realize that he has not designed this course of suffering, nor does he allow the experi­ences entailed in such, for their own sake. On the other hand, it must be accepted, firstly, that such sufferings are necessary, both in the case of Jesus, the One pre-eminent (although he was perfect), and also in the case of I his followers who, by nature, are imperfect; and, secondly, that there must be a design and purpose to be fulfilled in and through such suf­ferings-a purposely and use which the Heavenly Father will apply in due time.

Were it not fort the many definite promises and statements in the Word to the effect that there should be some from amongst men who, invited to follow Jesus and to suffer with him, will also share his im­mortal life and divine glory, we could never presume to entertain such a, hope. It is beyond all power of human thought even to conceive this, as the Apostle affirms. But that his is and will be the wondrous experience and destiny for some, there can be no, doubt. It is an integral part of his eternal purpose. The Lord God has "sworn by himself because he could sware by none greater" that his purpose will be Performed. (Heb. 6:13-20.) As we read these words we are surely caused the more to love and reverence our Father when we realize the fact so clearly stated that he did this-swore by himself that he would assuredly fulfill his word of promise -- so that "we might have strong consolation [mighty encour­agement], who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us, which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth within the vail." It was we then whom the Father had in view.

Before proceeding we wish to read verse 11 of our text (1 Pet. 1:11) from the Diaglott: "Examining closely to what things, or what kind of season, the spirit which was in them was pointing out, when it previously testi­fied the sufferings for Christ, and after these the glories." Rotherham also gives - "For Christ."


If we summarize the teachings of these verses, they draw attention to the special salvation that God has purposed for some, as distinct from the general one common to all of Adam's posterity; that the Prophets, being given a vision of this but understanding it not, sought to know the time of its fulfillment. Further, that the Anointed (Christ Jesus and his footstep fol­lowers) would suffer and then afterwards enter into glories beyond the human. The Prophets knew it was not for them and that they ministered unto oth­ers. This salvation is so wondrously great that even the angels desired (stooped down) to look into and understand it, but they, too, were unable to do so.

What salvation is it of which the Apostle Peter writes -- this concerning which the Prophets inquired, and the holy angels sought to understand? In the earlier verses of this chapter (1 Pet. 1:3-5), we are told brief­ly that this relates to an incorruptible inheritance­ -- a salvation to heaven itself-and that this is reserved in heaven for the "Elect according to the foreknowl­edge of God" (1 Pet. 1:2); and more wondrous still, that these are kept by the power of God for it -- the inher­itance reserved for them, while they on earth, are kept by God's power.

This far transcends the salvation which will be re­alized in due time by all the willing and obedient of mankind. It comprehends all the vast realms of the universe; brings its recipients into membership in the divine family, into the life and nature of God him­self -- a new creation indeed. The same Apostle states that we are "called unto his eternal glory" (1 Pet. 5: 10) -- the glory of God himself that reaches on into the limitless realms of eternity, never diminishing, never fading. Jesus was the first to declare and re­veal the truth of this salvation -- "He brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel," and those who heard him, having been enlightened, faithfully reported its truth.

The Scriptures speak of this as the "Mystery hid from ages and generations," also that it was "hid in God." (Eph. 3:9.) So that it was impossible for any, either in heaven or on the earth, whoever they may be, to understand this mystery until the Father was pleased to reveal it. This he did first to his only be­gotten' Son, the anointed Jesus, who was to be the chief and all-glorious head of the chosen company. It would seem that not until Jordan when "the heav­ens were opened unto him," and later during his spirit-guided meditation in the wilderness, did our dear Lord and Master understand fully this loving, gracious design of his Father; how he, the Son, was to have a Bride gathered from amongst sin-stricken mankind, redeemed, glorified, made "higher than the kings of the earth," to sit in his throne; be his brethren. (Heb. 2:11.) The Father had concealed (hidden away) this in himself. Elsewhere we are told it is "God's eternal purpose." - Eph. 1:9; 3:9-11.

How is this great salvation accomplished for those who by nature are "children of wrath even as others"? The Scriptures make it abundantly clear that it is possible only by the will and power of God, and through the atoning merit of the shed blood of Jesus -"He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life"; He "is the propitiation for our sins and not for ours only"; by him, through the veil of his flesh a new and living way has been opened up for us. - 1 John 2:2; Heb. 10:20.


And the Father, whose sovereign will determines the individual call, and vouchsafes the power to ac­complish his will in the called ones as they continue faithful to him, also lays down the conditions and marks out the course these must follow in obedience .to him, in order to evince their love, their supreme delight and desire to please him. Jesus was the lead­er and forerunner, and for him it was a course of suffering,- sacrifice, and a voluntary death. It is, and must be, the same for each of these sons, Jesus' breth­ren, whom the Father has begotten. - James 1:18; John 1:12, 13; Heb. 5:4; Col. 1:12 (Diaglott); Eph. 1:19; 3:20; 1 Pet., 1:5; 2 Pet. 1:3; 1 Pet. 1:23.

This latter truth and fact is clearly stated by the Apostle in Hebrews 2:10: "For it became him [God], of whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the cap­tain of their salvation perfect through sufferings." And again (Phil. 1:29) -- "For unto you it is [gra­ciously] given in the behalf of Christ, not only to be­lieve on him, but also to suffer for his sake." The well known words in Romans 12:1 and 8:17, as well as many other passages, emphasize the same truth. The prerequisite conditions to sharing with Jesus in his glory are a faithful following in his steps, involv­ing sacrifice, suffering, and a voluntary death.

The work which the Father is thus accomplishing throughout this Christian era and which is now fast drawing to its close, is the great "Mystery hid from ages and generations but now made manifest to the saints," referred to also as a New Creation and as "God's workmanship." And here it can be noted that whereas in all the mighty works necessary to bring into being the manifold wonders of creation in the universe, the Scriptures reveal that God dele­gated the responsibility to his only begotten Son, the, Logos. (John 1:3.) The work of bringing into be­ing and to perfection this New Creation is his and his alone. The Father has not assigned this task to any of the mighty and powerful angelic agencies, for "We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hash before ordained that we should walk in them." - Eph. 2:10.

Of this class our Lord spoke in John 6:45: "It is written in the Prophets, and they shall all be taught of God. Every man, therefore that hath, heard, and hath learned of the Father cometh unto me." The hearing and learning of the Father takes place be­fore these come to Jesus, as-these words plainly state. So then, before we came to Jesus, the Father had his eye upon us, ordering the affairs and circumstances of life, teaching us in various ways, and bringing us by devious paths-bringing us to Jesus. All Scrip­ture testifies to this, and as each one looks back, the experiences of life confirm and prove its truth. How truly can 'we sing, "All the way my Savior leads me"; yes, all the way.

It is for this reason that our Lord declared to Pilate: "For this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth [taught of the Father] heareth my voice." Is it possible therefore to think that our coming to the Lord, the yielding of cur lives to him, and the Father's acceptance of us, were through any fortuitous circumstance, that it was the result of anything we did of ourselves, or could do? Surely not, but rather, the result of the Father's great love, of the Father's grace and care. Yes, how true are the words: "He loved me ere I knew Him; He drew me with the cords of love and thus He bound me to Him." And to the extent that faith lays, hold upon the assurance of the Father's love and care, even before we came to him through Jesus, and upon the realization of such Divine grace in all the way since, the more complete will be cur rest and peace, and we shall be safe from all corroding care.

The Psalmist declares (Psa. 65:4): -- "Blessed is the man whom thou choosest and causest to approach unto thee." God makes the choice, rid then causes his chosen ones to approach unto him. And this re­sponds to the heart's longing and desire of those who are called -- whose "hearts are perfect toward him." (2 Chron. 16:9; Matt. 5:6.) Who called us? Only God could. Who makes us "meet [fit] for the inher­itance of the saints in light"? The Apostle replies (Col. 1:12): "God hath qualified us." (Diaglott.) His alone is the right and the power.


As stated by the Apostle Peter in our text, the Prophets foresaw and foretold One who was to come and who would suffer. Isaiah saw the suffering "Ser­vant of Jehovah." The Psalmist foretold One who would be holy, without sin, and yet forsaken of God. They also were given visions of the coming One, their Messiah, who was to have glory and honor and whose dominion and rule would traverse and cover land and sea. But they could not, any more than the Jews in our Lord's day, associate the two.

These men of old saw an earthly glory only. It was not until Jesus came and expounded the meaning and hidden wisdom of the Law and the Prophets, that the true implication and character of the truths they contained a d foreshadowed concerning him­self, and the purpose of God in and through him, was seen and disclosed.


Holy and devout as these Prophets and servants of God were, they could not understand. Although they searched diligently, God purposely limited their understanding and veiled the truth from their eyes. The due time had not come. This teaches us that earnestness, sincerity, and much searching on our part, will not alone reveal and bring the truth to us. There must be the due time, and then also the seek­ing and earnestness on the part of those who "hunger for, righteousness'' and truth. How blessed are we in the knowledge God has granted to us. That which we have received by Divine grace, is what these men and even the angels so earnestly desired to know. There is a further lesson in this, namely, that truth, divine truth -concerning the secrets of the Lord, comes only by revelation from God.

The holy spirit which operated thus to enable these men to foretell, also withheld from their minds the understanding of ~he things they recorded. The same spirit later and in the due time, declared, unfolded, and expounded the meaning to others, to those for whom it was intended.

- Contributed. - Eng.

(To be continued)

Annual Meeting of the Pastoral Bible Institute

All lovers of our Lord Jesus and friends of the truth are welcome to attend the Annual Meeting of the Institute to be held at 2 pm., Saturday, June 7, 1952, in the office of the Institute, at 177 Prospect Place, Brooklyn 17, N. Y., as an­nounced in our April issue. In addition to the primary busi­ness of the elect''-on of d rectors, opportunity will be given for consideration of such other matters as may properly come before the meeting.

Members of the Institute who are not receiving the "Her­ald" in their own naive, or the name of a member of the immediate family, bit who are readers of the "Herald," should so inform the office at once, so the proxy forms may be sent them.

In addition to the present directors the following has been placed as nominee:

T. P. TILLEMA, Schenectady, N. Y.

Strangers and Pilgrims in The Earth

IN THE eleventh chapter of Hebrews the example of Abraham is set before us. "By faith," it reads, Abraham "became a sojourner in the land of promise; as in a land not his own, dwelling in tents, with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: for he looked for the city which hath the foundations, whose architect and maker is God... . having confessed that they were strangers and pil­grims on the earth." (Heb. 11:9, 10, 13, R. V.) By faith Abraham 'became a -sojourner and so by faith we too are to live as strangers, for we are called to be pilgrims of the narrow way which leads through this world to "the city which ,bath foundations." This has been illustrated for us by John Bunyan, who recorded Christian's "Pilgrim's Progress" from the city of Destruction to the Celestial City. Christian summed up the purpose of his pilgrimage in words that every consecrated follower of Christ will echo. As he stood prepared to resist the Prince of this world, he asserted his loyalty to God: "I like His service," he said, "His servants, His Government, His com­pany and country better than thine. . I am His servant and I will follow Him . . . for I am on the King's highway, the way of holiness."

This statement left no room for doubt or divided loyalty but exhibited, as an example to us, whole­hearted single-mindedness. The word "single minded" always reminds us of the Apostle Paul who em­phasized the need for us to be single-minded and epitomized our status in five words: "Our citizenship is in heaven." (Phil. 3:20, R.V.) Using a military illustration, he expressed a similar thought in the words, "'No man that warreth [as a good soldier of Jesus Christ] entangleth himself with the af­fairs of this life." (2 Tim. 2:3, 4.) In the letter to the Colossians he adjures us: "Set your minds on the things that are above, not on the things that are upon the earth." (Col. 3:2, R.V.) All these are dif­ferent ways of expressing our Lord's words of guid­ance. "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth . . . for where your treasure is there will your heart be also." - Matt. 6:19, 21.

These and other Scriptures help us to understand our personal status in this "present evil world." They are also fundamental to our understanding of sancti­fication, because it is only in so far as we are sancti­fied or "set apart" in the pilgrim's "way of holiness" that we have any standing whatever before God. Just as John Bunyan's word-pictures help us to see our part clearly, so we are helped by the example of Abraham to understand God's arrangement for us. It is also helpful to compare Abraham, who lived the life of a pilgrim, and was described as "the friend of God," with Lot who, although "his righteous soul was vexed" at the sinfulness of the Sodomites, nev­ertheless maintained his association with the affairs of that city of destruction. This comparison illus­trates how false it is for Christians to assume that they should continue to remain in worldly organiza­tions hoping thereby to exercise a reforming influ­ence. On the contrary, like the Israelites of old, we are to be a marching people, for we are called to leave the affairs of this world for the land of promise.


We cannot be citizens of the heavenly Kingdom and also retain the rights of earthly citizenship. On the other hand, the Scriptures tell us that "the earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof," and that the present ruler is a usurper. Thus from one stand­point' it could be thought that we have full rights be­cause we are children of the heavenly owner. But when we consecrate our lives to the Lord's service, we voluntarily forfeit our earthly rights in material things. God then gives them back into our keeping - as his stewards, allowing us to use part of them to meet our rightful obligations and to provide for our moderate needs (which is why we offer thanks for our food and other temporal blessings). Paul touches on this subject in 1 Corinthians 9:9, 10, and in the seventh chapter he also adjures, "those who use the good things of this world as using them sparingly for this world as we see it is passing away." - 1 Cor. 7:31, Twentieth Century Version.

In the tenth chapter of that Epistle, Paul urges us to be level-headed in the use of the good things of the world and, except where love dictates otherwise, to accept the necessities of life without question as from the Lord. The example quoted by the Apostle in that chapter has a very practical significance for us. Do we not all know of earnest Christians who in their desire to insure that, what they eat or use shall not have come from sources that might offend the conscience, have in fact become involved in political disputes? How easy it then becomes to assume that our obligations extend to the "Christianizing" of worldly affairs. Others will soon recognize the hon­esty and fairness of the Christian and seek to per­suade; him to use these qualities in the settlement of worldly disputes. If this temptation should ever come to one of us, may we always remember our Lord's reply, "Who made me a judge or a divider over you?" - Luke 12:14.


In the twelfth chapter of Luke's Gospel we read how Jesus explained the completeness of our de­pendence on the Heavenly Father: "Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat: neither for the body, what ye shall put on ... consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap: which neither have storehouse nor barn, and God feedeth them and seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, live not in careful suspense [margin]. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things." - Luke 12:22, 24, 29, 30

It is helpful to consider these words of our Lord in relation to the example set by Abraham. When God called him, he was living in the rich city of Ur where the standard of living was luxurious. He did not seek to retain these privileges, however, nor even to remain there and be content with necessities alone. He turned his back on it all in favor of a pilgrim life. So we too are called to turn our backs on such security and pleasure which the world can provide and be content to let God lead us and care for us in the pilgrim way.

Paul expressed the spirit of this teaching of our Lord in new terms appropriate to the conditions of life of the Gentile converts. "Let each one remain in that vocation in which he-was called. Wast thou invited when a slave? Let it not give thee concern (but if indeed thou art able to become free prefer it) for the slave being called by the Lord is the Lord's freeman, in like manner the freeman being called is Christ's bond-servant. Brethren let each one remain with God in that vocation in which he was called. (1 Cor. 7:20-22, 24, Diaglott.) The lesson implied in this passage is clear. Our energies are to be directed not towards self-expression but to self-sup­pression. If the Lord does not choose to alter our earthly status, neither should we try to do so. We are to "remain with God," for our ambition is "to be found worthy" by God and not by men.

Earthly affairs are inseparable from cares, worry, unrest, and dissatisfaction: If we take part in them or retain an interest in them it will not be possible for us to "rest in the Lord." "He that is entered into His rest," we are told in the Epistle to the Hebrews, "hath ceased from his own works." (Heb. 4:10.) This peace is one of the hallmarks of the citizen of the Kingdom of heaven. 'It is evidence of his faith in his Heavenly Father, a faith which keeps him free from the worries of worldly cares. It is a source of great encouragement to us that Paul, that energetic and tireless servant of the Lord, could delight in the quiet contentment which comes from faith in the Lord. "I have learned," he wrote, "in whatsoever state I am therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased and I know how to abound." (Phil. 4:11, 12.) And again in -his First Epistle to Timothy, "Godliness with contentment is great gain." (1 Tim. 6:6.) "Be ye content with such things as ye have; for himself bath said, I will in no wise fail thee, neither will I in any wise forsake thee."-Heb. 13:5, R.V.


It seems difficult sometimes to reconcile our loyal­ty to the Heavenly King with such forthright state­ments as that of the Apostle Paul, "Be subject to principalities and powers" (Titus 3:1), but it be­comes much clearer if we think of ourselves as strang­ers and pilgrims-not citizens of this world. Paul described us as "ambassadors for Christ," a title which makes our position abundantly clear. Earthly am­bassadors owe their loyalty to the ruling power which they represent, but they have to conform to the laws of the country to which they are accredited. They too are "set apart" from the citizens of the foreign country in which they serve. The two countries may be at enmity with leach other, but the life and wel­fare of the ambassador is guaranteed by the power of the state which he represents. Similarly our King is all-powerful and is able to keep us out of the pow­er of the Prince of this world. Soon our King will withdraw his ambassadors, but until then, we are to "be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordered of God." - Rom. 13:1, margin.

Submission "to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake" (1 Pet. 2:13) does not imply that we are to share the responsibilities of the earthly authorities or the evil practices of their subjects. In the same way a British or American ambassador to a heathen country would not be required to become a heathen. If there were any public observances of the law which he found irreconcilable with the dignity of the coun­try which he represented, he would be expected to be discreet and not provoke antagonism by openly flout­ing them. Similarly we are instructed that "the ser­vant of the Lord must not strive" (2 Tim. 2:24), for as Jesus told Pilate, "If my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight" (that is, con­test publicly-Young). (John 18:36.) It is as ambassadors or spiritual aliens therefore that we are to "submit to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake . . . For so is the will of God that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men." (1 Pet. 2:13, 15.) The fact that we know that the kingdoms of this world are soon to give way to the Kingdom of Heaven only adds to our responsi­bility. "Seeing that these things are all to be dis­solved," wrote the, Apostle Peter, "what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy living and godli­ness?" - 2 Pet. 3:11, R.V.

The clouds of the great Day of the Lord grow thicker, and we may soon be faced with the problems of our attitude to the contestants in a world at war. Are we sure that we are not already subconsciously identifying ourselves with one side or the other, or are we facing the future as independent observers in the service of the King of kings? If we are, to avoid getting drawn into, the rival whirlpools of militarism or militant pacifism it will not be sufficient for us merely to decide what our attitude is to be to actual participation in war effort. We may have to decide, for instance, whether we should eat or wear commodi­ties which come to us as part of war effort or under the protection of armed power. In the eighth chap­ter of 1 Corinthians the Apostle Paul will guide us in dealing with such problems, although we shall need to alter the setting and circumstances to suit the present day.


The Apostle Paul presents this relationship in somewhat different, terms and emphasizes the dili­gence with which we are to pursue our daily employ­ment, and the respect we are to show to those who employ us. "Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor that the name of God and his doctrine may be not blasphemed." (1 Tim. 6:1.) In Paul's letter to Titus he wrote, "Urge slaves to be submissive to their own­ers in all circumstances, and to try their best to please them. Teach them not to contradict or pilfer, but to show such praiseworthy fidelity in everything as to recommend the teaching about God our Savior by all that they do." (Titus 2:9-10, 20th Century Version.) This attitude, the Apostle Peter asserted, must be shown "not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward." - l Peter 2:18.

Perhaps it seems unnecessary for the Apostle Paul to urge Christian believers not to pilfer from their employers, but time can be stolen as well as goods. Is not this one of our greatest difficulties? With a heart full of love for the Lord and of devotion to his purposes is it not doubly hard sometimes to give our full energies to our employer during the hours for which we are paid? In the Epistles to the Colossians and to the Ephesians we are told, "Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as to the Lord and not unto men." (Col. 3:23.) "Be obedient ... in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; not with eye service as men­pleasers, but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart: with good will doing service as to the Lord, and not to men." - Eph. 6:5-7.

But, we may ask, how can we show such diligence without getting so involved that we cannot put work out of our minds in our free time? The Apostle does not suggest that we should become devoted to our daily work for its own sake, or for the purpose which our employer has in mind. Only the Lord's service calls for our devotion. We are to work for our employers "heartily as unto the Lord," as an ex­ample to unbelievers and as evidence to our Heaven­ly Father of the honesty with which we discharge our earthly responsibilities. Our spiritual "work" for him is on a different plane. It is this into which we "throw our heart and soul," for we carry out every trifle in a spirit of loving devotion to him.

If our earthly responsibilities appear to be intrud­ing into our thoughts at times when they have no business to be there, we need to ask ourselves whether they are drawing our heart away from the Lord, re­membering our Master's warning that "Where 'your treasure is there will your heart be also." In its early stages it may seem absurd to think that a small over­flow into sanctified time constitutes any sort of "trea­sure" to us, but most things have small beginnings, and "how great a matter a little fire kindleth."­ - James 3:5.

Finally we are exhorted not to add to our earthly responsibilities, but to remain content with our earth­ly position whether the Lord appears to lift us up or cast us down. In short, to follow the example of the Apostle Paul and learn in whatsoever state we are therewith to be content. - Phil. 4:11, 12.


Our Lord, who gave us the supreme example of life as a pilgrim and stranger, seemed in his first and, last days on earth to give this thought a special emphasis. He was born in an ante-chamber used by travelers­ a place for which the writers of the original MSS. used the special Greek word "Kataluma" translated in the Authorized Version as an "Inn." On his last evening on earth he chose an upper room, reached apparently through a similar ante-chamber, which the translators of the Authorized Version described as a "guest chamber," although the original Greek word was "Kataluma."

These opening and closing scenes fitly symbolized the life of "the Author and Finisher of our faith," who made the pilgrimage before us and who ex­plained his pilgrim status in the simple words, "I am not of this world."

Let us therefore follow in his footsteps, and in so doing respond to the Apostle's exhortations. "Show tact in your behavior to the outside world, making the most of every opportunity." (Col. 4:5, 20th Cen­tury Version) , and "make thyself a pattern of the faithful, in word, in life, in love, in faith, in purity." -1 Tim. 4:12, Conybeare.

- L. B. -- Eng.

The Study of Revelation

Points and Principles to be Observed

IN STUDYING the Book of Revelation we should bear in mind, first, that it is in its greater part the prophetic history of the Gospel Age, the final three chapters only relating to the Kingdom Age.

The Gospel Age is an exceedingly important one in the Divine Plan, being the Age during which the most important part of all God's creation -- the Christ class -- is formed and prepared for its future work, through the operation of the Word and of the Spirit of God.

The visions of Revelation have to do, then, very specially with the Christ of God; they may be said to constitute the Photo Drama of the New Creation. Each of the visions is related either to the Church class, or to the Divine Word, or to the opponents of these, in some way. To keep these facts clearly in mind will help greatly to an understanding and ap­preciation of the visions.

The great basic feature of the Divine Plan -- the Permission of Evil -- is also clearly seen in many of the visions, this feature of the Divine purposes being very marked throughout the Gospel Age.

2. The Revelation is a highly' symbolic book; virtu­ally everything in it is described in a symbolic manner; that is, the things depicted represent something other than, and greater than, the word or symbol used.

It may be understood almost as a fixed rule, that the more literally any of the symbols or any part of a vision is taken, the more likely it is that the inter­pretation will be incorrect; and conversely, that the more consistently the symbols are treated as symbols, the greater the probability that the true meaning of the vision will be understood.

3. The visions came directly from Christ, through an angel, to John. They would be given to him in a definite order: we might say, in a perfect order. John had nothing to do with the arranging of the visions. It is important to remember this in refer­ence to any matter arising from the arrangement of the visions.

4. The symbols used in the visions, again, are all of divine choosing; they spring from the mind of God, not from that of John. This is a further fact of definite importance.

In this respect, the Revelation is very different from the Epistles. The latter proceeded from the minds of the Apostles, guided and stimulated, of course, by the Holy Spirit; whereas in the Revela­tion, John simply described what he heard and saw.

5. The basis of the symbols is the Divine Word -- ­particularly the Old Testament. It may probably be stated with certainty that there is no symbol used in the Revelation but what can be found somewhere in the Old Testament, or in the, early part of the New Testament, that is, in the Gospels, so much of which are the words of Christ himself.

This principle is of help in the consideration of such symbols as the white stone of Rev. 2:17, the four horses of Rev. 6, and so on, the explanation of these -- as of all other symbols in the Revelation­ -- should be sought for in the Scriptures, not outside them.

6. The mind of God is a balanced mind. That which proceeds from him will also show balance; and the Book of Revelation will certainly show this qual­ity in a positive degree.

We may expect, therefore, the visions to, be bal­anced in their time application. It is extremely unlikely that a preponderating number of the visions will relate to the harvest or closing period of the Gospel Age, leaving the greater part of the Age, nineteen centuries long, to be covered by one or two visions only.

For example, any exposition of the Revelation that explains the opening of the Seals, the sounding of the Trumpets and the outpouring of the Vials as referring to the closing thirty or forty years of the Age is most unbalanced, and therefore extremely un­likely to be correct.

Much more probable is it that the early part of the Age, the middle part, and the closing part are all represented, each in its proper proportion.

7. Sequence of the visions. The fact that one vi­sion follows another in the written book does not necessarily mean that the one follows the other in its outworking; although it may do so. Some of the visions certainly follow others chronologically. Com­mon sense must be used in this matter; and sanctified common sense in conjunction with one or other of the principles already stated, will usually settle such a matter correctly.

8. Note the aphorism that "history often repeats itself": by which is meant that events often run in parallel series, those at one point of time bearing a marked resemblance to others occurring later.

This suggests the possibility that a symbol, or even a whole vision, may have more than one fulfillment; and this would account for some of the different ex­positions of the Revelation by different writers.

But as in the case of prophecies generally, where there is often a double fulfillment (major and minor) or a true fulfillment and one or more applications of the prophecy (as, for example, the application of Psalm 2:1, 2, by the Apostles to their own time -- see Acts 4:25, 26 -- whereas the true fulfillment of the Psalm is in our own day, at the end of the Age), so with the visions of the Revelation; it is probable that where different interpretations are in question, one of them is likely to be the true fulfillment of die vi­sion, while the others are minor fulfillments or ap­plications only.*


* The distinction between an application and an interpretation can perhaps be seen the more readily by comparing them, say, to a ready made garment and a tailor-made costume respectively. The-for­mer is rarely a good fit -- it has to he altered here and there to make it fit reasonably well; while the latter fits at once, readily and easily.

If a suggested interpretation involves the straining, or contradicting, or omitting of any part of the vision, this is usually a fairly sure proof that it is not a true interpretation, but an application only.

9. Certain parallelisms in the arrangement of the visions are to be noted, for example, that between the seals and the trumpets, where numbers 1 to 6 are described in sequence, followed by two interposed visions, and finally the seventh. And parallelisms of symbols are to be noted also, for example, that be­tween the trumpets and the vials, where the same symbolic parts of the earth are affected in several of the two sets of visions.

Any interpretation which does not take note of these facts and explain them is obviously likely to be incorrect.

10. The Authorized Version, generally unreliable as a true text of the Scriptures, is particularly not to be depended on in a study of the Revelation. Nu­merous additions to the text have been made by the ancient copyists, and in some cases these additions are such as to quite alter the meaning of the verse.

For example, the addition of the word "even" in Rev. 3:4, changes a commendation into a sneer; the addition of the word "us" two times in Rev. 5:9-10, conveys the entirely erro­neous thought that the living creatures and the elders were the redeemed ones who are to be kings and priests in the future; the addition of the words "and see" in Rev. 6:1, 3, 5, and 7, suggests that the command to "Come" was made to John, whereas it was obviously made to the riders of the horses.

Therefore, before drawing any definite conclusions from the actual wording of any verse, make sure that the wording is correct by comparing it with one or more of the modern versions of the Scriptures now available, for example, the Revised Version, Wey­mouth, Moffatt, the Diaglott, or Tischendorf's Notes.

11. The interpretation of any vision should con­form to the same standards of Truth which are to be applied to the interpretation of any other part of the Divine Word; namely, it must be in harmony with (1) facts, (2) reason, (3) the Scriptures as a whole, and (4) the Divine character, which is one of infinite Wisdom, Justice, Love, and Power.

Put more briefly, one might say that the interpre­tation must be in harmony with the Divine Plan of the Ages.

If the interpretation of any vision is out of har­mony with the Divine Plan, or with any of the above four standards of Truth, it cannot be accepted as a true explanation of the vision.

12. All the above points and principles are to be taken careful note of, and kept in mind, when studying any part of the Book of Revelation. The more carefully they are noted and observed, the greater the probability of reaching a correct solution con­cerning any symbol or any vision. It is, we suggest, the non-observance of one or other of the above prin­ciples which leads so often to incorrect interpretation of the Revelation visions.*

- H. Hudson, Eng.


* A booklet by, the above writer, "The Four Horses and Horsemen of the Apocalypse," is available at mailing cost -- five cents each, three for, ten cents.

The Question Box

Job 19:25-27


Will you please discuss the following Scripture found in Job 19:25-27?

"For I know that my Redeemer liveth.
And that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth;
And though after my skin worms destroy this body,
Yet in my flesh shall I see God; Whom I shall see for myself,
And mine eyes shall behold, and not another."


As with all Scripture, this passage will be best un­derstood when studied in relation to its context.

Obviously it is part of Job's reply to Bildad. In Job 18:17-21, Bildad had threatened job that his name and memory should perish; that poster­ity would either utterly forget him, or remember only to condemn him with horror and amazement.

To this threat job here replies by making a solemn and formal appeal to posterity. So far from forgetting or condemning him, he is sure that subsequent gen­erations will remember the story of his faith and pa­tience, and the end of the Lord concerning him, with sympathy and admiration; he is certain that he has at least one thing to say which the world will never let die, one bequest to make which cannot fail to bear his name honorably down the stream of time. This treasure is the truth that there is to be a life beyond the grave, a retributive life, in which every man will receive the due reward of his deeds.

Great moral truths are never discovered by nations or races, but by individual men. And yet even the wisest and most forward-looking men rarely discover a truth much in advance of the thoughts and yearnings of their own race, in their own generation. As a rule the new truth is in the air of the time; many have some dim consciousness or presentment of it, and are groping after it, if haply they may find it. And at last one man, one happy man, prepared for the achievement by the peculiar bent of his nature, or gifted with vision and the spirit of consecration, driven onwards, perhaps, by peculiar personal ex­periences into untrodden regions of thought, grasps the present and widely-diffused but evasive truth, and gives it clear expression.

Of this common process of discovery it is probable that we have an illustration in the case of job. There are many indications that even as far back as his time, the thought of a better and more enduring life, a strictly moral life, hidden from men by the darkness of death, was in the air; that the best and highest minds were reaching after it and yearning for it. And in job this general thought took form, this common yearning rose to articulate expression, this wide­spread hope became a living and vitalizing faith. His personal experience, the wrongs and calamities he en­dured, the doubts and conflicts these miseries bred in his heart, prepared and qualified him to become the interpreter of the general heart of his time, to discover the truth which alone could satisfy it. It was simply impossible for him, since he believed the great Ruler of men to be just and unchangeable, to conclude that the God whom he had done nothing to offend was really hostile to him, though he seemed hostile; or that he would always continue to seem hos­tile to him, never acknowledging his integrity. And as he had lost all hope of being redeemed and vindi­cated in this life, as, therefore, he could no longer admit the present life to be a strictly retributive one, he was compelled to look for, till he discovered it, a retributive life beyond the grave. He realizes that, for him, 'the present life is about to end. To the "world of tomorrow," therefore, he must look, if his hopes are to find fruition. This, it seems to us, is the gist of the matter; this the line along which job's thoughts traveled to the lofty conclusion he reached; this, the spring of living water that threw up the beautiful fountain of hope which still attracts our eyes.

This wonderful hope of Job is contained in Job 19:25-27, cited in the question. However, before we consider it in detail, let us note the brief preface by which it is introduced in Job 19:23-24. We quote them from the American Revised Version:

"Oh that .my words were now written!
Oh that they were inscribed in a book!
That with an iron pen and lead
They were graven in the rock for ever!"

Whatever may become of his other words, some of which he elsewhere admits he loathed, and would retract (Job 42:6), he wishes the words he is about to utter to remain. They express his deepest, his un­alterable, convictions. His previous speeches reflect all the fluctuating and uncertain moods and emo­tions of his heart -- his doubts and fears, his cravings and aspirations, his indignation against God and man; but now "he is going to say only what he is sure of, what he knows. And, therefore, he wishes his words to be written down in a book, a book formed of skins or parchments, as scholars tell us the etymology of the Hebrew word denotes; he would have them en­shrined in the most permanent form of ancient liter­ature. Nay, more, he is conscious of such value in his words that even parchment is not durable enough for him. He would have them cut deep in the rock, raised above all accidents of time, that they may speak with an eternal tongue to the fugitive genera­tions of men. And, in very deed, his wish has been more than fulfilled; for, as Chrysostom, commenting on these verses, finely says: "Job's words have not been written down with an iron stylus, as he desired, but far more durably. Had they been written as he wished, time would have obliterated them; but they have been inscribed in the imperishable records of Holy Scripture. They are graven on the rock of God's Word, and there they are still read, and min­ister, comfort to all generations."

But all this is only preface. The Inscription itself, as we have already noted, is contained in Job 19:25-27. According to one scholar, "In the Hebrew it is writ­ten throughout in the true monumental, or lapidary style, the style appropriate to words which were to be so laboriously hewn and engraved. The thought is crushed into the fewest possible phrases, the phrases into the fewest possible words; and, as might be ex­pected in so memorable a sentence, a sentence designed to quicken thought and hope in many gen­erations, at least some of the words are capable of a double sense, and the full intention of the whole is not to be arrived at save with labor and pains," Let us take this remarkable Inscription, then, word by word.

"I know"

According to the scholars, the Hebrew word de­notes absolute perception, absolute cognition, abso­lute, certainty of knowledge. It is no mere guess, speculation, yearning, that we are to hear from job, but that of which) he is profoundly and unalterably convinced; the very best and surest thing he has to tell us.

"My Redeemer"

In Hebrew the word is Goel. This word Goel was the name for the next of kin who, among the Hebrews, was bound to redeem a kinsman who had fallen into debt or, bondage, and to avenge his blood if, he had been slain in a quarrel. Job's choice of this remarkable and most expressive word may have been, in part, determined by a thought he had al­ready expressed in Job 16:18, where, while formally appealing to the earth not to hide his inno­cent blood, he really appeals to the very God (who had shed his blood) to avenge it, to avow and estab­lish his innocence appeals to God against God, if you please. It is no mere man, no human kinsman, that Job had in his thoughts. The best men he knew had already turned against him. It is God himself that job has in mind who will be his Goel, that God of whose eternal justice he was so fully persuaded as to believe that he would raise and vindicate the very man whom he himself had smitten to the earth. In the light of the New Testament we know, what job could not have known, that the Son would be the Father's active agent in this, as in all other matters (1 Cor. 8:6); that the Umpire, Daysman or Arbiter for whom, in Job 9:32-35, he had expressed himself as longing, one capable of bringing him and God together in judgment, and of enforcing his de­cision even on the Almighty, was to be none other than the Messiah -- our Lord Jesus, in resurrection glory.)

"My Redeemer liveth"

Job's Goel liveth. That is to say, this Goel did not come into existence centuries later, but was already existing, when the book of Job was written, and when job himself was living. This much, at least, the word implies; this much, at least, was in job's mind.

"And he shall stand"

Job's Goel will rise up even after he himself has gone down into the grave; rise up, as the word hints, like a conqueror, a redeemer-a redeemer being al­ways a conqueror; for how should he deliver the cap­tive save by subduing his captor?

"At the latter day"

Scholars tell us that the original word is ambiguous, and may be taken substantively or adverbially. Those who take it in the first way render it by the word "Survivor" or the "Last One." They understand Job to mean that this Goel who lives and who is to appear for him,, is absolutely the "Last One"; and that, as job's Survivor, he is bound to vindicate and avenge him. Most scholars, however, hold to the view that the more common Hebrew usage requires the word to be taken adverbially, and render it by "at last." Such understand that job, either because he did not know (or did not wish to say) when his deliverance should come, left the time of it indefinite. He simply throws it forward to some distant date, in "the world of tomorrow."

"Upon the earth"

Here, again, commentators tell us that we have an ambiguous phrase, capable of more than one sense. "Upon the earth" is the rendering of both Author­ized and Revised Versions, and is, perhaps, as good and probable a rendering as any. Rotherham, how­ever, and several others translate: "Over (my) dust. Whichever translation be accepted, it could hardly be taken literally. Job could scarcely have meant that his victorious Goel would literally stand upon the earth, whether over his tomb or elsewhere. It seems better, therefore, to take the phrase metaphor­ically, and to understand it as equivalent to "after my death."

Perhaps without adding anything to the sense of the words, the contents of the verse may be summar­ized thus: "I, for my part, know (though I. know not how I know) that my Goel already exists, and is preparing to take up my cause; that God himself will be my Goel, that he will do a kinsman's part for me, both redeeming me from my miseries and wrongs, and avenging me on those who have inflicted them upon me. When he will come I know not, nor how nor where; but this I know, that at last, long after I have sunk into the tomb, he will appear for me, clad in robes of victory and of judgment."

"Though after my skin worms destroy this body"

  There seems no reason to doubt that job fully expected a speedy death, fully expected, -therefore, that his deliverance would not take place until after his death. This conclusion is put, one would sup­pose, wholly beyond question, when we combine with this phrase the final clause of the previous verse: "And he shall stand at the last over this dust." And yet there are some scholars who gravely maintain these phrases to mean no more than that job believed that he should be reduced to a skeleton before God ap­peared to save and clear him, that his rehabilitation would therefore take place in this present life! Even Albert Barnes, in his justly celebrated "Notes," came to the conclusion (he confesses with great reluctance) that the passage does not refer to the Messiah and the resurrection of the dead, but merely to "an expecta­tion which job had that God would come forth as his vindicator in some such way as he is declared afterwards to have done," at the close of this present life.

But if Job meant no more than that, he surely took the strangest way of conveying his meaning. Any man whose body is torn to pieces, devoured, destroyed, reduced to dust, could not be other than dead, if words have any force or significance. Moreover, if Job intended to predict only an occurrence so com­mon as the restoration of life, health and wealth, to one emaciated by disease and broken by misfortune, why does he introduce his prediction with such an amazing pomp and emphasis? Why speak as though he had made, some grand discovery of truth so in­valuable and transcendent that it deserved to be cut deep in-the rock, to abide for ever? The whole tone, no less than the express words, of the Inscription, demand a far larger interpretation than this.

"Yet in my flesh"

Once again, according to the scholars, we have an ambiguous expression. For the Hebrew word is translated variously, "from," "in," "out of," "with­out" my flesh -- "from" being the literal translation.

Whether Job would be in a body of flesh. or-with out such a body when, at last, he would "see" God, he, of course, did not know. However, it seems most unlikely that, at the time he uttered these words, he even concerned himself with such a question. He had just reached the positive conviction that after his death, God himself would vindicate his integrity and that he, Job, would see him do so. With such a hope suddenly invading his mind and taking instant but full possession of it, it seems most unlikely that he would at once begin to wonder as to What the nature of his body at that time would be; whether flesh or some other substance. Such a consideration would have been well nigh impossible to him. That Job, rising from his long agony, his long inquest, to a sudden recognition of a great light of hope burn­ing behind the dark curtains of death, and so far streaming through them as to give him courage to sustain a burden otherwise intolerable, should at once fall into a speculation as to what his body would be like, would be contrary to all the laws which, ex­perience proves, govern the human mind at a crisis such as that at which he had arrived. All he knew (but this he surely did know) was that somehow, after his loathsome body had been destroyed, God would redeem him; but whether he would then be in a body of flesh or not he could not tell and did not speculate.

In the light of the New Testament, we, the Gospel-Age Church know that in job's case, it will be in his flesh that he shall see God.

"Shall I see God"

Job must see his Goel, for any vindication of which he were to be unconscious would have no value to him. A deliverance of which he remained insensible, would be no deliverance to him. Not-he must see God.

On this point he is insistent, recurring again and again to it, even in this brief inscription. For ex­ample, note the very next words: "Whom I shall see"; and, moreover, see "for myself"; that is to say, as the Revised Version makes clear, see "on my side"; re­dressing the wrongs which he himself has inflicted, and clearing the character which he himself has brought under suspicion; no longer an adversary but a champion; no longer against me, but for me.

So, also, in the next clause of the verse: "And mine eyes shall behold, and. not another." Here. again, while he does not mean to assert that no one but himself will be aware of his vindication, he does sure­ly mean that when his vindication comes, he him­self, will know it. Not (only) the eyes of others shall see his Vindicator (and know that he is indeed Job's Vindicator), but his own eyes shall see him.

In speaking of a time to come when in his flesh he will "see" God, we are not to understand job's utter­ance to be in conflict with the teaching of New Testa­ment writers, who inform us that "No man hath seen God at any time"; "whom no man path seen nor can see." (John 1:18; 1 Tim. 6:16.) Rather we are to understand job's words to be in harmony with such expressions as "all flesh shall see the salvation of God"; "look unto me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth" (Isa. 52:10; 45:22); or, as Christians today sometimes remark: "I see God's hand in this, that or the other matter."


TO summarize then: Job had lost confidence in the doctrine he had once held, and which his comfort­ers (?) still urged upon him, that in this present life every man receives, his due. That, since it is Contra­dicted by the most intimate facts of his own experience is no longer credible to him. But he has not, therefore, lost confidence in the justice of God; he is simply driven to the belief that the divine justice is of a larger scope than he had hitherto conceived; that it covers a wider space and demands longer periods of time for its full development, periods which stretch beyond the narrow span of this present life, into the "world of tomorrow."

He knew and was sure that God would appear for him and' redeem him; but he did not know how or when. And having come to this happy conclusion, the cry of his heart was "How long, O Lord, how long!" This we may gather from his closing words: "My reins be consumed within me," or, as another translates: "My heart pines away within me." His very'; hope evidently filled him with a sick, an almost heartbreaking, longing for its fulfillment; such a longing as filled the heart of St. John who, on hear­ing the words of Jesus; "Surely, I come quickly," re­sponded (as have all the footstep followers of the Master since), "Even so, come, Lord Jesus." - Rev. 22:20.

- P. L. Read.

Recently Deceased

Sister Rose Casillo, Buffalo, N. Y. - (March).
Sister Belle M. Cipperley
, Youngstown, Ohio - (March).
Brother Frank L. Galloway, Endicott, N. Y. - (February).
Brother H. A. Livermore, Portland, Ore. - (February).
Sister Anna Livingston, Lewiston, Maine - (August).
Brother John Luyendyk, Calgary, Alta. - (March).
Sister S. Moore, Electa, Texas-March).
Brother Charles F. Moser, Toledo, O. - (March).
Sister Emma Pearson, Brooklyn, N. Y. - (March).
Sister Euphemia A. Sporleder, Los Angeles, Cal. - (March).
Brother Lee Wentz, Dayton, Ohio - (March).
Brother James O. Whitehill, E. Palestine, Ohio - (March).

Sister Eva E. Young, Ellwood City, Pa. - (March).

1952 Index