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of Christ's Kingdom

VOL. XLIV May 1961 No. 5
Table of Contents

Pentecost - Type and Antitype

Israel Today


Signs of the Master's Parousia

Notice of Annual Meeting

If a Man Die, Shall He Live Again?

What Shall Be Our Attitude?

If We Only Understood

The Question Box

Recently Deceased

Pentecost - Type and Antitype

"Behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you." - Luke 24:49.

IN the Old Testament, Pentecost was a feast of thanksgiving which was held each spring at the completion of the grain harvest, on the fiftieth day after the Passover. It was one of the three annual festivals when each male of the Jewish nation was to come to Jerusalem and present himself before the Lord. The grain harvest covered a period of fifty days, commencing with the offering of the first sheaf of grain on the second day of the Feast of Un­leavened Bread. (Lev. 23:10,11,15.) It ended on the day of Pentecost fifty days later with the offering of two wave loaves from the new crop, as a first fruit unto God. (Lev. 23:17.) Both of these feasts, therefore, were a part of the harvest.

Nisan was the first month of the year, and the Passover Lamb was slain on the fourteenth day of that month. The next day was the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which was a high day or Sabbath. The following day, "the morrow after the Sabbath," the sixteenth day of the month, the harvest began. It follows, then, that the grain harvest of barley and wheat was the first fruit of the land every year. It seems that no specific offering was re­quired of the individual on Pentecost, but each man brought voluntarily a free-will offering of what his harvest justified. (Duet. 16:10.) Provision was also made for the poor, for those who had no land to reap. They were per­mitted to glean the fields and reap the corners where grain was left standing by the owners. (Lev. 23:22.) Both rich and poor, thus, shared in the bounties of the harvest.

To the feast of Pentecost are assigned several descriptive names, each of which is significant. It is called the "feast o f weeks" because it was related to the Passover, and had to take place just seven weeks after the sheaf-waving cere­mony of the 16th day of the month of Nisan. (Ex. 34:22; Deut. 16:9, 10.) It is also called the "feast o f harvest" in

Exodus 23:16. It was a thanksgiving festival for the harvest of the new crop, accepted as a gift from God, which would sustain life for another year. Therefore, the whole nation, both rich and poor, bond or free, joined together in one body and rejoiced before the Lord. (Deut. 16:10,11.) It was further called "the day of the first-fruits." (Numb. 28:26). The first fruit of man and beast, and of the field belonged to God. They were his peculiar treasure; being offered or consecrated to him. Pentecost was the day in which God claimed his portion of first fruit.


The Jewish harvest, which ended with the celebration on the day of Pentecost, pictured the harvest of the spiritual first fruits of the Gospel Age. Our Lord not only fulfilled the Jewish law and nailed it to his cross, but he also introduced all the antitypes at his first advent. These antitypes remain with us all down through the entire age so that the last members of the Body get as much benefit from them as the first. This is a criterion which applies to all the types of the law. Note, for example, the Sabbath. The Jews were commanded to cease' from labor and to enjoy a physical rest every seventh day. The antitypical rest, which our Lord gives to his Church, is a rest of mind and heart that we may enjoy every day. It is a rest of faith; faith in the fact that he who has begun a good work in us, is also able to finish it. Every child of God may enjoy this rest, a full rest in the Lord, who gave it to us when he died for us on the cross. In the pass­over type, those who ate the typical passover lamb, of course, benefited from its death. So, likewise, those who figur­atively "eat the flesh, and drink the blood of the Son of Man," appropriate to themselves the benefit of our Lord's death. It is this benefit which we share together at our communion, and which we continue to share "until he comes."

In the Pentecostal type, only the beginning and end of the harvest were marked; the period between was de­voted to ordinary labor. The same is true in the antitype. To quote from another: "Just as the presentation of the first sheaf of ripe barley to God, on Nisan 16, setting forth Christ Jesus as the first-fruits of them that slept, was a pledge and earnest of the two loaves presented on Pentecost, which prefig­ured the Church in its elective character as the first-fruits from among men, so also the second first-fruits are them­selves a prophecy and pledge of the fuller harvest yet to be gathered in the coming Age, of which, in the Scriptures, all God's holy Prophets have spoken since the world began." - Acts 3:19.

After Jesus rose from the dead on the third day, he met with his disciples from time to time for forty days. These meetings, however, were held in secret, usually in the evening, in the early morning hours, at the sea shore, or on a lonely mountain. The Jewish nation, as a whole, had no inkling that Jesus had risen from the dead prior to Pente­cost. (Acts 10:40, 41.) His last meet­ing with the disciples was on the Mount of Olives, at which time he ascended up to heaven. Ten days later the time ar­rived, which God had appointed, for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon them. "The day of Pentecost was fully come"; the great day of the feast of the full in-gathering of the harvest. It brought to Jerusalem a greater influx of Jews and proselytes from all parts of the world than any other of the three great festivals. Hence, the season was well chosen for the first public procla­mation of our Lord's resurrection and ascension; as its rites were typical of the first-fruit of the spiritual harvest, which was offered to God as a result of Peter's preaching.


On this day, the disciples, including those who had come up to the feast, were gathered by common consent in one place. There was then heard a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind. It filled the house where they were sitting, while cloven tongues, like lambent flames, were seen upon all their heads. These signs furnished a double evidence of divine power being mani­fested. The spirit was given to qualify the disciples for their work as witnesses of Christ, as he had said, "enduing them with power from on high." It was to work from within; "guiding them into all truth," by opening their minds to an understanding of the truths which up to now had been concealed. With spiritual discernment, it brought spirit­ual life, accompanied by all those moral virtues and graces which Paul calls the fruit of the spirit. These inward gifts remained to be proved by the future course of the disciples. Other external gifts were also made manifest, as a pub­lic proof of their endowment for their work. These were the extraordinary gifts of the spirit, gifts that are miraculous in their nature. Like other miraculous works, they were designed partly for their direct use, but even more as a sign of a divine mission.


The news soon spread throughout the city. Multitudes flocked together to the scene. They were confounded at hear­ing these Galileans speak in several lan­guages. An attempt was made to dis­credit the fact that this had some strange meaning, by the taunting sug­gestion that the men were drunk with new wine. In refutation of this charge, Peter pointed out that it was but nine o'clock in the morning-too early for men to begin drinking in the East, much less to be drunken. Instead of being filled with wine, he declared that they were filled with the holy spirit. Moreover, under inspiration of that same spirit, he remarked "this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel."(*)


* Scholars tell us that the phrase "this Is that which was spoken" is a form of intro­ducing a quotation in which the sense of one or more passages is given, and not the very words are used. When the exact words are being quoted. the more usual form. "it Is written" is employed, as for example, Acts 1:20. - Ed. Com.

Proceeding with his discourse, St Peter, after plainly charging the Jews with their wickedness in crucifying Jesus, declared that he had been raised from the dead, and that his resurrection was in fulfillment of David's prophecy of Christ, inferring from that prophecy the exaltation of Jesus to the right hand of God. He then points to this which they now saw and heard as his first gifts to men, and as proof positive, "That God had made this same Jesus whom ye crucified, both Lord and Christ." The appeal to their conscience was the more striking, as many of Peter's listeners no doubt had joined in the scenes of the Passover when Jesus was unjustly ac­cused and crucified. Now they were re-assembled at Jerusalem after a seven week interval for reflection. At once the sting of conviction pierced their hearts. They cried to Peter and the other Apos­tles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" This was answered by the call to repentance. It was signified by baptism in the name of Christ, that their sins might be remitted and they might re­ceive the Holy Spirit. This offer of mercy was eagerly accepted by many.

Such were the chief points of the first apostolic sermon. Much more was added. All was concluded with exhort­ing such as would, to come out and separate themselves from this perverse generation. All who received the word, that is, those who had faith in the truth as preached by Peter, were baptized and added to the Church. The Pentecostal first-fruits thus offered to God were three thousand souls. Nor was this a passing excitement. The new converts became faithful disciples, adhering to the teachings of the Apostles and to the fellowship of the Church. "And they continued stedfastly in the Apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in break­ing of bread and in prayer." (Acts 2:42.) The four elements included in this summary of the daily life of the infant Church deserve special notice.


First, is the Apostles' doctrine, which was based on their own witness and testimony in regard to Jesus' life and death and especially his resurrection and ascension. Faith in these basic doctrines is essential to salvation. They also pointed out that these truths were based on the writings of the Old Testament, on which all the Jews firmly believed.


The second element is the fellowship. The word here translated fellowship is translated communion in 1 Cor. 10:16, and means a common sharing or a com­mon participation. Though the word is most often used in connection with men­tal or spiritual things, in this particular instance it seems to refer to the material things of life. It was a practical appli­cation of the truth received. The poor, who formed the great body of the dis­ciples, were kept from want by sharing the wealth of the rest according to their necessities, the same as they did in the typical Pentecost. We do not mean to imply that the first Christians adopted what is known today as communism. No one was forced to divest himself of individual property. None were required to throw all they had earned into a com­mon stock. They had, indeed, a common fund,, which was portioned by the Apos­tles among the poor. Those who prac­ticed fully the principle, "that nought of the things which he possessed was his own," sold their lands and houses, and voluntarily laid the receipts at the Apostles' feet. But that this practice was not binding upon anyone is proven by the amount of stress laid upon the self ­sacrifice of Barnabas in Acts 4:36,37. Also, the declaration of Peter to Ananias and Sapphira that they might have kept the land if they had chosen, or even that they might have used the money - Acts 5:1-4. Luke's language is indeed universal, but universal state­ments are always to be interpreted by more specific information. What was universally accepted was the principle that none should want while any of the brethren had the means of helping them. In carrying out this principle, they used that Christian liberty of beneficence, which is far more effective than forced equality of wealth.


Third, the breaking of bread alludes to a social custom, which sprang up among this small community, of eating together daily. When we accept our daily food as a blessing from the Lord, it is good for the Lord's people to eat together. This is an opportunity for prayer, supplication, as well as personal conversation about the things pertaining to life and godliness. The first three times our Lord revealed himself to his disciples following his resurrection were associated with eating. Who can doubt that the Lord is very near when his people eat together, and talk about the things pertaining to the Kingdom?


Fourth, the distinct mention of prayer vindicates its place as an act of common Christian worship. Some have inferred from Matt. 6:6 that all prayer must be done in private. This was not the prac­tice of the early church. Paul prayed with the elders of Ephesus, our Lord prayed in the presence of John when the Holy Spirit came upon him. Also, he was praying with three disciples when the transfiguration occurred. Even his last words on the cross were a prayer.


The momentum of the Pentecostal movement struck awe even to those who did not join it. This feeling was kept alive by the miracles which the Apos­tles wrought. The first practical fruition of the new faith is to be seen in the contribution it made to the development of a generous disposition. We behold the Church in its first purity, being daily increased by adding sincere con­verts. They enjoyed harmony within, and the favor of the people without, before the beginning of persecution or declension. In the presence of the peo­ple who were assembled for evening prayer, the healing of a man above forty years of age, who had been lame from his birth, by Peter and John at the Temple, gave Peter another opportunity of preaching the Savior, in whose name alone the miracle was performed. His discourse was interrupted by the Sad­ducees who carried them off to prison. Whatever the pretext was, their real offense was preaching the resurrection from the dead in the name of Christ. Their arrest did not prevent their words being received by no less than five thousand believers. In the presence of the Sanhedrin which were assembled the next morning under the high priests Annas and Caiaphas, with their Sad­ducean kindred, Peter boldly avowed that the miracle had been performed in the name of Jesus, who though cruci­fied by them, had been raised by God. Also that it was this name alone which was given under heaven for the salva­tion of men. Their freedom of speech, contrasted with their want of letters, left the council in no doubt that they were worthy followers of Jesus. , The very presence of the healed man for­bade their denial of the miracle. The impression it made upon the people rendered it dangerous for the Sanhedrin to attempt severity, so they threatened them and let them go. The assembled Church received them with thanksgiv­ing, this being the earliest example of united Christian prayer. The prayer was answered by another sign of God's pres­ence: the shaking of the place in which they met, as Sinai was shaken of old. It was also answered by a fresh outpouring of the holy Spirit, enabling the work of the Apostles to be resumed with fresh power, and the Church to be endued still more manifestly with divine grace and harmony.


Let us not conclude our study with­out making a very personal and prac­tical application of the lesson of Pente­cost. When the Sheaf of Barley repre­senting our Lord Jesus, was waved before the altar by the officiating priest, it was composed of the very finest ears they could find. So also, at the Feast of Pentecost, fifty days later, the wheat harvest having now been gathered in, the two loaves which were waved be­fore the altar were made of the new flour which, in turn, had come from the very finest of the wheat. That is to say, such should have been the case. But in the case of natural Israel the Prophet Malachi reminds us that in­stead of coming to the Lord with their best, they were inclined to perform the letter of the law and to avoid its spirit; apparently they were ready to bring sacrifices and offerings, but the selfish­ness of their hearts and their lack of true appreciation of the Lord led them to proffer him the weak and the lame and the poor, while they kept the better for :heir own use. Through the Prophet Malachi the Lord urged them that they test him, prove him, and see whether or not he would grant them great blessings if they would but enter into the spirit of their consecration and offer unto the Lord the best of what they possessed.

We, as spiritual Israelites, may gain a profitable lesson from these sharp criticisms of natural Israel. How is it with us? We have vowed unto the Lord the first-fruits, the very best, the very finest, the most valuable of all that we have and all that we are -- of time, in­fluence, talents, money, all. To what extent are we rendering unto the Lord our offerings and sacrifices in harmony with this our covenant? It will not be long before our trials will be over, but until that little while is past, we are in the trial time, and it is proving us either worthy or unworthy of the glorious favor which we seek-the chief bless­ing, joint-heirship with our dear Re­deemer. If we really appreciate this favor, we shall seek to what extent there are yet other opportunities of spending and being spent in his service. Of natural Israel the Lord required a tenth-a tithe. Of spiritual Israelites he makes no specific requirement, but leaves it to us each, that by the degree of our sacrifices, according to our abili­ties, we may demonstrate the measure of our love.

The Lord's words to natural Israel come to us spiritual Israelites with still greater force: "Prove me now here­with," saith the Lord. If any feel them­selves poor, spiritually, if they feel that they are spiritually lean, that they are not enjoying such fellowship with the Lord as they would desire, that they are unable to draw as closely to him as they would like, to all such the Lord says: Bring ye the whole tithe into the store­house, fulfill your vow of consecration and thus prove me now herewith, and see if I will not do my part; I will do for you exceeding abundantly above all that you have asked or thought. Those who accept the Lord's proposition heartily, without reservations, find their spiritual leanness departing, their joy of heart increasing more and more.

-John C. Lange.

Israel Today

"Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them; and after will I send many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks." - Jeremiah 16:16.

SEVERAL recent happenings have focused attention upon the plight of the Jews in Morocco. First, the death of forty-two Jews who drowned when the dilapidated yacht Pisces capsized in a storm on January 10. They were fleeing the oppression of Morocco, apparently bound for Israel and emigrating illegally according to Moroccan law. Secondly, the African (or Arab dominated) sum­mit conference held in Casablanca worsened the already intolerable situa­tion of the Jews in Morocco. The at­tendance of Egyptian President Nasser at the conference was used as a signal for extremists to step up their anti-Jewish activities. Upon Nasser's in­sistence, the conference adopted a boy­cott resolution against Israel, but soon Jewish businesses in Casablanca, Morocco were being boycotted too. Re­ports are now coming out of the coun­try telling of hundreds of Jews being arrested, imprisoned, beaten and tor­tured, old people being jailed and young children kidnapped. Jewish girls are being seized by Moslem men and forced to marry them. Thirdly, the death of Morocco's King Mohammed V, a few weeks ago, may bring about a change in the country's affairs, although whether for better or worse, so far as Jews are concerned, remains a question.


"Fear and tension between Moslems and Jews have existed in Morocco to some degree since the Arabs arrived there in the seventh century. The Jews were already there, at least in the form of native Berbers converted to the Judaic religion by scattered Hebrew settlers or adventurers, some of whom may have come to Morocco with Phoe­nician traders long before the destruc­tion of the Temple. The Sephardic re­flux from Spain and Portugal in the fifteenth century represented a new wave of Jewish settlement, at a high cultural level. Until the French pro­tectorate, Moroccan Jews had the status of dhimmis -- alien subjects of the sul­tan, with limited but recognized rights.

In the larger Moroccan cities their mellahs, half sanctuaries, half ghettos, were huddled in unhygienic squalor as close as possible to the walls of the sultan's palace, symbolizing their un­easy though rarely intolerable relation­ship with the Moslem majority. Nearly every political or economic upheaval in Morocco's tormented history brought out Moslem mobs to loot the mellahs­and sometimes to massacre their in­mates -- but in quiet times the two com­munities lived side by side without seri­ous friction. In North Africa, Moslem anti-Semitism, if it can be called that, never had the virulence of the Christian variety in Europe. It was not racial hatred but, as one leading French authority on North African Judaism puts it, an attitude of 'ritual contempt'." So writes Edmond Taylor in The Re­porter.


The founding of the State of Israel touched off a kind of mystic stampede among the poorest Moroccan Jews, espe­cially those in the remote mountain vil­lages. Approximately 125,000 of them emigrated to Israel, mostly before 1956, that is, before Morocco gained its in­dependence. The rush of would-be emigrants overwhelmed the French authorities and Moroccan Jewish organ­izations, creating serious social prob­lems. "Whole communities prepared themselves for imminent departure to the Holy Land," writes Andre Choura­qui, a French expert on North African Jewish problems. "Everything was sold -- land, houses, sometimes even the furniture-to lighten the voyage toward the promised redemption."

Immediate departure could not be arranged for thousands of families, owing to red tape or simply a lack of adequate transportation, and they piled into the already over-crowded mellahs of the larger cities-they had nowhere else to go-where some of them have had to remain ever since. The memory still lingers of the Oujda massacre of 1948, when thirty-nine Jews were killed by a Moslem mob stirred up by Pan­-Arab agitators from the Middle East.


A wave of real panic swept over the raellahs when Morocco became inde­pendent in 1956. Vague fears for the future of Jewry in a Moslem kingdom were reinforced by widespread-though relatively mild-outbreaks of hostility against individual Jews. There was a new exodus from the smaller towns and the countryside, where the Jews felt less secure than in the cities. The larger mellahs were saturated. Jewish social relief organizations had to set up an emergency refugee camp near Casa­blanca.

the first years of independence the Moroccan government maintained its opposition to organized emigration, both on economic grounds and for rea­sons of prestige.

There was no doubt that fear was the main motive impelling most of the Jew­ish inmates to leave Morocco. Justified or not, it was spontaneous and horribly real.

The vicious circle of fear and repres­sion became a spiral of tension when Morocco joined the Arab League in 1958. Not content with blocking organized emigration, the Moroccan police started withholding passports from in­dividual Jews suspected of seeking to reach Israel. Then they began arresting -and sometimes torturing-Jews sus­pected of conspiracy to emigrate. In the summer of 1958 a show trial was held in Tangiers of a group of Jews who had been caught trying to slip over to Gibraltar. Some of the defendants, who had been held in jail for nearly a year, had been mistreated to obtain confes­sions. The alleged ringleaders received sentences of up to three years.

Another turn of the screw came in the fall of 1959, when Morocco, in ac­cordance with Arab League regulations, cut off postal relations with Israel. Many Moroccan Jews manage to communicate by indirect means with their families or friends in Israel, but the postal ban dis­turbs them deeply as a symptom of a progressive malady in the state. "Eventu­ally they'll get around to arresting us for conspiracy against the state every time a Moroccan Jew encloses a mes­sage for his old mother in Israel in a letter to France," a middle-class Moroc­can Jew said.


In Israel the state of affairs of Moroc­can Jewry is viewed very seriously. Davar, official organ of the Histadrut, Israel's labor union, demands that Moroccan Jews be given elementary human rights: "Freedom from fear, free­dom from oppression and freedom to leave their stepmotherland and join their families in their real motherland."

The Israel newspaper Hatzo f e states that Morocco has become "a concentra­tion camp without exits" for the Jews.

Mrs. Golda Meir, Israel's Foreign Minister, has made the following state­ment: "We are still overwhelmed by the dreadful disaster in which more than forty of our brethren-men, women and children-lost their lives when the ship Pisces sank near the coast of Morocco. We mourn these precious victims, who took their lives in their hands to escape from slavery into free­dom, who yearned for a haven of safety only to be swallowed up in the depths of the sea. And so another link has been welded on to the tragic chain of at­tempts by Jews to blaze a trail to their homeland.

"The Government of Morocco bears a heavy responsibility for the disaster. A regime of persecution brings down frustration and despair upon its Jewish citizens. Basic civil rights which are granted to every man are arbitrarily denied to the Jews of Morocco, in con­travention of the solemn undertakings given by that State when it attained independence and was admitted to the United Nations Organization.

"These forty-two Jews fell victim in a struggle for their primary and basic right, the right of departure and immi­gration. In every civilized country this right is recognized to be elementary.

"In the name of the Government of Israel, I wish to express our intense horror and pain at the tragedy, and our profound sympathy with the grief of the bereaved families.

"Let our exiles in Morocco know that they are not alone in their struggle."

So the Israel press and public con­tinue to express their indignation at Morocco's treatment of her Jewish Citi­zens. The protest movement is being spearheaded by the representatives of 250,000 North African Jews living in Israel, who of course feel special con­cern for the 450,000 Jews still living in the North African countries, about half of them in Morocco. Condemnation of "world-wide indifference" to the persecution of the Jewish community of Morocco, and a final appeal to the Moroccan Government to permit the community to emigrate, were made at a memorial meeting for the victims of the Pisces in Tel Aviv.

The meeting, called by the Associa­tion of North African Immigrants, was attended by Government and other lead­ers, and representatives of Moroccan Jews in Israel.

Mr. Shragai, Head of the Immigra­tion Department of the Jewish Agency, said that "everything that could possibly be said to the Moroccan Government has already been said." He added that the one mistake Israel Jewry had made was to "put its faith in princes" and believe in the declarations of Moroccan leaders who had promised that they would safeguard the interests of the Jewish community after they had achieved statehood. The Pisces tragedy was a result of this faith.

Mr. Asher Hassin, MK (member of Israel's parliament) and Chairman of the Association of North African Im­migrants, suggested that at least part of the present Moroccan tragedy could have been averted had earlier oppor­tunities been exploited for the mass evacuation of Moroccan Jewry.

While mourning the dead, the lead­ers in Israel point out their own short­comings as a people and nation. The spirit of self-criticism is keen in Israel. This is good, as they will be learning much by their mistakes.


In the years when the Moroccan Jews were able to leave the land of their birth for the Land of Promise thousands of families were separated. In many cases children were permitted to go ahead of their parents and get established in Israel. When the ban on emigration came in force thousands of these parents were not able to join their children in Israel. Furthermore, most of the Moroc­can Jews who did succeed in immi­grating to Israel were the poor and uneducated. The Moroccan Jews in Israel found themselves without leader­ship and family discipline. They have been the problem group among all the immigrants. Much of course is being done to integrate them into the life of the country. Inter-marriage has helped. It is a common thing in Israel for a Jew from Europe to marry a kinsman hailing from an African or Oriental country. This is a great welding power in Israel. It goes a long way in breaking down discrimination.

With a new ruler on the throne in Morocco there is, of course, the possi­bility that emigration restrictions may be eased. Even should this happen, we doubt that the more prosperous element among the Moroccan Jews will leave the country. Probably this is because the Jews are quite an optimistic people, and are inclined to wait hopefully, until it is too late. (The German Jews were an outstanding example of such misplaced optimism.) In view of this, we may expect the "many hunters" of Jeremiah 16:16 to continue their work.

There are, however, some Jews settl­ing i n Israel voluntarily, before being forced to do so. We refer to those from South Africa, where there remain per­haps 100,000 more "sitting on a powder keg." These, moreover, have made heavy investments in Israel and are Zionist in attitude.

According to reports we have re­ceived, about sixty Congo Jews have emigrated to Israel via Rhodesia since the recent violent developments in the Congo.

The doors of Israel stand wide open to any Jew who wishes to enter. Such a newcomer is welcome, whether rich or poor.

The African continent in ferment is driving out the Jews. On the other hand hundreds of Israeli technicians are going to the newly created African states by invitation to help these nations get on their feet industrially and otherwise. Strange? Or is it?

-Casimir Lanowick.


"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." - Matthew 5:16.

ONE explanation of the Bible's universal and undying appeal is the abundance of its word pictures. It abounds in parables, allegories, metaphors, similes, and other figures of speech. A right division of the word of truth, therefore, requires a correct inter­pretation of the pictures and the figurative language of the Word. Lamps appear in the Bible more frequently as figures than as literal articles, but we shall look at the lamps themselves before we turn to what they are used to represent.

There was the continuously burning seven-branched lampstand of the Wilderness Tabernacle. There was the dimly burning lamp before the sacred ark in Shiloh, ac­tual yet symbolic too of the dimly burning zeal of Samuel's nation at that time. There were the ten lampstands that. lighted the shrine of Solomon's temple, five on either side. All of these were oil lamps, probably with wicks.

But torches were also used. The temple guard carried both lamps and torches into Gethsemane to arrest our Lord. They were torches that Gideon's three hundred carried in their pitchers at the rout of the Midianites. A torch was either a length of resinous wood, or else a piece of absorbent material dipped in oil, lighted at one end. There were many of these in the third floor room at Troas from which sleeping Eutychus, overpowered perhaps by the heated air, as well as-by Paul's long preaching, fell to the ground. These torches needed to be replenished frequently with oil, so for prolonged burning, oil had to be carried in a vessel. It was lack of these which marked as "foolish, five of the virgins in Christ's parable.

Let us consider now some Scrip­ture references to lamps in a figurative sense.

Job 21:17. "How oft is the candle of the wicked put out! and how oft cometh their destruction upon them!" (The King James version translators frequently used the word candle for the original word "lamp," probably because candles were the predominant form of il­lumination in their day. Candles were not invented until the end of the first century A.D.) Job spoke of a person living as a lamp shining. When the person died, the lamp was as it were put out. One could imagine job greeting his friends with the words, "Long may your lamp burn!"

I Kings 15:4. "For David's sake did the Lord his God give him a lamp in Jerusalem." (See also 1 Kings 11:36.) While one of his seed reigned, David's lamp was said by God to beshining before him in Jerusalem.

Isaiah 62:1, 2. "For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake will I not rest, un­til the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salva­tion thereof as a lamp that burneth. And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory." This "lamp" is a torch, representing something that can be seen from a great distance. An event is to occur in Jerusalem that will be seen by all the nations. Jerusalem will become an ex­emplary city and men will take notice. May our prayers speed that great day.

Psalm 119:105. "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." As the flash-lamp can show us the way in the dark, so the Bible can show us the way through life.

Proverbs 6:23. "For the com­mandment is a lamp; and the law is light." A single instruction, from the Lord or from another, can shine a ray of light upon our pathway.

2 Peter 1:19. (See Companion Bible.) "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed in your hearts, as unto a lamp that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise." The prophetic portion of the word is a searchlight shining down the future way. Let us take heed to it throughout the night till day breaks and the Morning Star ap­pears.

2 Samuel 22:29. "For thou art my lamp, O Lord: and the Lord will lighten my darkness. Throughout the Judean hills David had fled from Saul. By day, by night, David never knew where next to go for safety; but the Lord had been his lamp, and had always shown him the next step. May we be able to give a similar testimony to this of David's, when our period of outlawry comes to an end.

Passing over into the New Testament we find that our Lord Jesus used lamps to illustrate his point on several occasions. He spoke of John the Baptist (John 5:35), "He was a ... shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his, light." This lamp was a man who gave a witness. John had shone a powerful beam upon the Lamb of God, and those who had heard John came and heard Jesus gladly. But by the time Jesus said this, they were conspiring to kill him.

In Luke 11:33-36 Jesus uttered a double word-picture. He likened the mind to an eye and the eye to a lamp. "No one takes a lamp and puts it in a cupboard or under a bucket, but it is put on a lampstand so that those who come in can see the light. The lamp of your body is your eye. When your eye is sound your whole body is full of light, but when your eye is evil your whole body is full of darkness. So be very careful that your light never becomes darkness. For if your whole body is full of light, with no part of it in shadow, it will all be radiant, like the light you get from a brightly burning lamp" (Phillips translation). That sign-seeking generation was blind as to who he was. Their mental vision was defective. The lamp of their spiritual sight was not in the right place in the house. Jesus was saying that if they would only let their minds function properly, they would recognize him, and every part of their lives would become bright.


Jesus spoke another parable of the lamp which is not to be con­fused with the above. It occurred in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5:14-16). "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven" (R.S.V.). Here the lamp represents the disci­ple, each individual follower of the Master. The city is the Church, shining forth with the combined shining of all the lamps or dis­ciples that compose it. Because "set on a hill" it is easily seen and acts as a beacon. The effectiveness of this illustration would be ap­preciated by anyone who had traveled at night in those days. Cheering indeed would be this view of the uplifted city with its twinkling lights to guide his path.

Thus if we are among those dis­ciples to whom Jesus addressed the sermon, then each of us is one of the lamps that go to make up the "light of the world," and to each of us Jesus addresses the word, "Let your light so shine." And for this he gives two reasons. Firstly, "that men may see your good works." A lamp under a bushel may be detected but will not be seen, and it may so easily go out for want of air. It is tragically possible to be Christians in our prayer-chamber and nowhere else. "The fear of man bringeth a snare." A lamp is for the use of others. Secondly, the purpose of our shining is that men may glorify God, not simply that they may see our good works. All our acts of kindness and self ­sacrifice must be done in such, a way that all the credit goes to God alone. From this Scripture it is clear that our witness, our shining, is to be by both conduct and preaching. The purest life, without verbal testimony, may be con­sidered no more than a monument of self-discipline; while the finest testimony, without a consistent life behind it, will be hollow and hypocritical.

The Master described the Baptist as a burning as well as a shining light. In nature there is almost no shining which is not accompanied by heat; and no light is ever produced without something being consumed. A Christian who is shining will know the burning too. "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecu­tion" (2 Tim. 3:12). It has been truly said, "There is no such thing as a secret disciple; for either the discipleship will kill the secrecy, or else the secrecy will kill the dis­cipleship." So let us keep our lamps on the lampstand, and let them burn brightly.

In Philippians 2:14-16, the apos­tle Paul follows his Master in a closely paralleled exhortation. "Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; holding forth the word of life." Paul shows, as did Jesus, that our shining in the dark world consists of both our life and our preaching, our deeds and our words. Yet how easily we slip into grumbling and argument, not only in our contacts with the world, but also in our Christian fellowship. Paul's instruction is to abstain from both. It is not that we should lay aside our critical faculty, but that we should subdue this to the law of love. Then, with our lives as pure and loving as lies within our power, we have to hold forth the message of life to others. All the Word is our message, but God will reveal that part which is the word of the moment to our hearers. Let us continually pray, with David, " O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise" (Ps. 51:15). The prayer will be answered, for has not God given to us the spirit "of power, and of love, and of a sound mind"? - 2 Timothy 1:7.


Since Christ and Paul both liken the believers to lamps shining in a dark world, let us ask ourselves some questions about this picture. If we are lamps, how did we get the light? Paul answers: "God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, bath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (2 Cor. 4:6). And the Psalmist confirms that the fight came from God: "For thou' didst light up my lamp, Yahweh my God enlightened my darkness" (Ps. 18:28, Rotherham). Such is the privilege of all who will offer their hearts to his service, once and for all. These he accepts and within them places his spirit. Henceforth, as little lamps, they shine forth the light of his love wherever they go.

Since God has lighted our lamps, what must we do to keep them alight? Paul again answers: "Be filled with the spirit" (Eph. 5:18). The lamps of the Apostle's day were simple things, sometimes just roughly molded cups of clay. Oc­casionally covered, they had a spout from which a wick extended, bear­ing the flame. They were so crude that one wonders how they acted as lamps at all. And then one reflects that of course it was not the lamp that produced the light but the oil that was put into it! And we can only shine for Jesus as we let him put the oil of the holy spirit into these crude lamps of clay. "Be filled with the spirit."

It is possible for a lamp to grow dim. How does one keep his lamp burning brightly? Here are five simple rules for trimming the wick. First, even before prayer, is the need to listen to the voice of God. He speaks through the written word, and through the voice of conscience. Let us get quiet and listen to them both. Second, let us make use of the privilege of prayer, not only at set times, but whenever there is anything to praise or thank God for, or to peti­tion God about. Thirdly, it is essen­tial that we confess all our con­scious sins to God. The sooner we do this, the more time we shall spend in fellowship with God, the stronger we shall be to resist temp­tation, and the more blessing we shall be to our fellowmen. Further, the more often we claim the cleansing of Christ's blood, the deeper will be our appreciation of what he did for us. Fourthly, we must obey and do that which God dictates. His will becomes very clear to those who are prepared to carry it out at any cost. Nothing makes our light flicker and grow dim more quickly than turning to our own inclinations. Lastly, to keep the lamp bright, let us keep our eyes on Jesus. He is the Light of the World, and the Church warrants the same title only as each member shines in the same way as he did.


How can we pass on the light to others? We read in Matthew 10:8, "Freely ye have received, freely give." The light we have has come to us through no effort of our own. It has been revealed to us without measure, being limited only by our capacity to receive. If kept to ourselves it will steadily grow less. "There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, and it tendeth to poverty." - Prov. 11:24.

Our light must include within its rays the whole range of divine truth. But, like the Baptist's, its beam must come to a focus on one Personage, with one object to lead men to him. Thus we sing:

"O for a closer walk with God,
To glorify His name;
To let my light shine on the road
That leads men to the Lamb!"

Our light includes any help which we can be to our brethren and to the world, whether physical aid or spiritual instruction. The Good News can be passed on in so many ways, individually and collec­tively. In these days perhaps children are the most receptive, and with them one can have the privilege of seeing many new little lamps lighted. Who knows how far they may shine. But in whatever work we do let us watch for the opportunities God gives us. Then the work will be blessed, it will be God's light that shines out.

All of us cannot be "leading lights," but for our encouragement, records have been left us of those who did what they could, and saw God's plan advance through their small contribution. In the Old Testament, for example, we have the Israelitish maid, a slave in a Syrian household. She could not heal her master's leprosy, but she bore witness to one who could. The result was Naaman's miraculous healing. In the New Testament there is an apostle of whom we hear little beyond that he brought others to the Master. He brought the lad with the loaves and fishes, and five thousand were fed. He brought his own brother to Jesus, and Peter became the mouthpiece of the early church. Thank God for Andrew. While we may not be able directly to help those in need, we each have the inestimable privilege of introducing them to our Master, the one who can help them in all their difficulties.

As disciples of the Light of the World we have the responsibility to shine more brightly every day as the world grows darker. Let us resolve to shine into some new darkness every day, be it darkness of want or sin or error. Let us shine continually till the day comes when, as overcomers, we shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of our Father.

"'Twas but a little light she bore, 
While standing at the open door; 
A little light, a feeble spark,
And yet it shone out through the dark 
With cheerful ray, and gleamed afar 
As brightly as the polar star.
"A little light, a gentle hint 
That falls upon the page of print, 
May clear the vision and reveal
The precious treasures doubts conceal, 
And guide men to an open door, 
Where they new regions may explore.
"A little light dispels the gloom
That gathers in the shadowed room, 
Where want and sickness, find their prey, 
And night seems longer than the day, 
And hearts with many troubles cope 
And feebler glows the spark of hope.
"Oh, sore the need that some must know 
While journeying through the vale of woe!
Dismayed, disheartened, gone astray, 
Caught in the thickets by the way, 
For lack of just a little light
To guide their wandering steps aright."

- J. Thompson, Eng.

(While Brother Thompson is a new contributor to these pages, he is by no means unknown to our British brethren. Just as we go to press, word reaches us that our Youth for Truth brethren are sponsoring a trip by him to the U.S.A. this summer. They are arranging his itinerary, which will include his min­istry at the 12th Annual Berean Chris­tian Conference, July 2-8 (see notice on back page) as well as visits to a num­ber of the ecclesias. The Berean Christian Conference Committee extend a cordial invitation to all to attend their Convention. - Ed. Com. )

- J. Thompson, England

Signs of the Master's Parousia

"What will be the sign of Thy presence, and of the consummation of the Age?" - Matt. 24:3, Diaglott.

IN the April Herald we expressed the belief that the very fact that the dis­ciples asked the Lord what the sign of his presence would be, indicated a rec­ognition on their part that it might be possible for them to reach the end of the Age, and be actually living in the days of his second presence, and not know it. As corroborating this view we noted that that very condition had ob­tained at his first advent. Signs, plain and eloquent enough to those who had eyes to see and ears to hear, failed alto­gether of recognition by the great majority of "his own" to whom he came. - John 1:11.

Again, dear brethren, we urge the utmost consideration of others who may not be able to reach our conclusions. In his own mind it is, and not in that of another, that the Apostle urges every man to be fully persuaded. (Rom. 14:5.) No matter how sure we may be that we have the truth on this or on any other subject, we know not any­thing yet as we ought to know it. (1 Cor. 8:2.) When we know even as we are known, we shall realize how dim even our clearest vision here has been. (1 Cor. 13:12.) Meantime let us think and let think. And as we test the teach­ings which come to us (1 John 4:1), let us observe carefully the effect which such teachings have had in the lives of those who introduce them to us.­1 Pet. 1:22; Heb. 13:7.


Since these views depend to some extent on our understanding of the word "parousia" it will be appropriate at this juncture, to consider objections which have been urged against its translation by the word "presence." One brother whose Christian character and sincerity we do not for a moment question, but with whose conclusions we can not agree, writes as follows:

"The teaching that our Lord has already cone and is invisibly present is abased largely upon the understanding that the Greek word 'parousia' is fully and solely represented by the English word 'presence,' whilst not a few appear to be under the impression that the Greek word connotes 'unseen presence.' A few remarks concerning this word, therefore, may not be out of place here. This word occurs 24 times in the N. T., and is frequently used without any reference to our Lord's return. Twenty-two times it is translated 'coming' and on two occasions 'presence.' In relation to earthly things the usual meaning of the word is 'arrival', which; we would suggest, is the nearest possible English equivalent to the Greek."

That the word "parousia" is frequently used without any reference to our Lord's return is undoubtedly true, as any one may see for himself by reference to the twenty-four places in the New Testament in which it appears. Furthermore, the impression, if any hold it, that the word denotes an "unseen" presence is doubtless erroneous. Nothing in the word "parousia" indicates whether the presence of the person or thing under discussion is seen or unseen. That must be determined by the context in every case. But that the literal meaning of "parousia" is "presence" no scholar disputes. In the two instances in which it is thus translated in the Authorized Version it is evident that the translators realized neither "coming" nor "arrival" would do. "For his [Paul's] letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible." (2. Cor. 10:10.) To say that his bodily "coming" or his 'bodily "arrival" is weak would not make sense. Yet it is the same Greek word "parousia" translated "coming" in the other twenty-two places. Again, "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, abut now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." (Phil. 2:12.) Manifestly the Apostle is not contrasting his "coming with his "going" or his "'arrival" with his "departure," but, as the translators themselves recognized, his "presence" with his "absence," and the obedience of the Church not at the moment of his arrival or departure, but during the period of both his presence and his absence.

The translators of the American Revised Version, while retaining the word "coming". in the text of many passages, disclose in the margin that the literal meaning of the Greek is "presence." This is confirmed by the word-for-word translation of the Diaglott*, although the version given in its margin frequently deviates therefrom.


* Except in two instances, namely 1 Thess. 3:13 and 4:15 where, for some reason not apparent, "coming" is given.


Some of our Readers may recall the series of articles on "Signs of the Master's Presence" which appeared in this Journal twenty-five years ago. They may remember that in the issue for October 1936 we examined the word parousia and were not a little perplexed that so able a scholar as Rotherham did not translate it uniformly by the word presence in the twenty-four places in which it occurs. At that time we said:

"Rotherham, who does not deny, but affirms, the correctness of "presence" uses "arrival" twenty times and "presence" only four times. When so learned a scholar as Rotherham selects "arrival rather than "presence" for his translation, although admitting "presence" to be the literal meaning, we are naturally interested in learning his reasons. But when we ascertain them, they prove singularly unconvincing. In an elaborate footnote to 1 Thess. 2:19 he labors (unsuccessfully, we think) to vindicate his position. We quote: "The sense of 'presence' is so plainly shown by the contrast with 'absence', implied in 2 Cor. 10:10, and expressed in Phil. 2:12, that the question may be asked, why not always so render it?" (Yes, Brother Rotherham, we do ask this very question). "The answer is," he continues, "because parousia, in some cases, plainly marks an event rather than a condition, a transitional point, rather than a continuous line. Take for example 1 Cor. 15:23. Here are three points first, Christ's resurrection; second, His parousia; third, His delivering up of the Kingdom, etc. The parousia will not fall into series, will not file off a 'rank' in the resurrection, except as a point. Hence, for this place, 'presence', a state, is not the word; 'coming' or 'arrival' may be."

"But what if it should appear that in 1 Cor. 15:23 the resurrection, the parousia, and the delivering up of the Kingdom are not three points, three events, but are three states, three periods of time? In that case this argument of Rotherham's would fall to the ground, and he himself would then, presumably, always translate 'parousia' by 'presence.'"

Just after The Herald for October, 1936 had gone to press we learned that the second edition of Rotherham's New Testament, which was the one in our library, had been followed some years later, by a third edition,* in which parousia is consistently translated pres­ence. Note the following, from the Ap­pendix of his third edition, given in his own words, under the caption, "Pres­ence."


* This valuable third edition was reprinted in 1959, and is supplied by our Institute at $12.95 postpaid.

"In this edition the word parousia is uniformly rendered presence (coming as a representative of this word, being set aside). The original term occurs twenty-four times in the New Testa­ment. The sense of presence is so plainly shown by the contrast with ab­sence (implied in 2 Cor. 10:10, and expressed in Phil. 2:12) that the ques­tion naturally arises, Why not always so render it? The more so, inasmuch as there is in 2 Pet. 1:16 also, a peculiar fitness in our English word presence. This passage, it will be remembered, re­lates to our Lord's transformation upon the Mount. The wonderful manifesta­tion there made was a display and sam­ple of presence rather than of coming. The Lord was already there; and, being there, he was transformed and the majesty of his glorified person was then disclosed. His bodily presence was one which implied and exerted power; so that power and presence go excellently well together-the power befitting such a presence; and the three favored dis­ciples were at one and the same moment witnesses of both. The difficulty ex­pressed in the notes to the second edi­tion of this New Testament in the way of so yielding to this weight of evidence as to render parousia always by presence, lay in the seeming incongruity of re­garding presence as an event which would happen at a particular time and which would fall into rank as one of a series of events, as 1 Cor. 15:23 espe­cially appeared to require. The trans­lator still feels the force of this objec­tion, but is withdrawn from taking his stand upon it any longer by the reflec­tion that, after all, the difficulty may be imaginary. The parousia in any case, is still in the future, and may therefore be enshrouded in a measure of obscurity which only fulfillment can clear away: it may, in fine, be both a period -- more or less extended, during which certain things shall happen -- and an event, coming on and passing away as one of a series of divine interpositions. Christ is raised as a first-fruit -- that is one event; he returns and vouchsafes his presence, during which he raises his own -- that is another event, however large and prolonged; and finally comes another cluster of events constituting the end. Hence, after all, presence may be the most widely and permanently satisfying translation of the looked-for parousia of the Son of Man."


Other scholars of note have written in a similar vein. Amongst those we have consulted may be mentioned G. H. Pember, The Great Prophecies (1881); J. A. Beet, The Last Things (1898); George Milligan, St. Paul's Epistles to the Thessalonians (1908); and J. A. Seiss, The Last Time (1878). From the last named we submit the following extracts:

"It is now clear to the writer, that what the Scriptures call the Coming of Christ, at the end of this Age, is not a single, but a complex event, stretching through various periods and­ administrations, each being sometimes referred to as the Coming, though in reality only a part, stage, or section of it. In this re­spect, the Second Advent is a counter­part of the First, and presents the same characteristic distributiveness. If any one will be at the pains to examine, it will be found that the prophecies which foretold Christ's first coming can, by no possibility, be all referred to one precise day, hour, year, scene, or event, but spread themselves over a period of more than thirty years. Christ came when he was born at Bethlehem; he came when called out of Egypt; he came when John presented him to the people as the Messiah; he came when he announced himself at Nazareth; he came when he rode into Jerusalem on the ass; he came when he reappeared after his death. And yet there were not a half dozen advents, but one advent. All these sepa­rate presentations, at different dates and places, are comprehended under what the Prophets, and we still, denote, both separate and together, by the general and comprehensive expression of his coming, or First Advent. Thus, Micah had said that he should 'come' out of Bethlehem-Ephratah; and Hosea had said that he should come 'out of Egypt'; Malachi had said that he should 'sud­denly come to his temple'; Zechariah had said that he should come to Zion 'riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass'; Isaiah had said that he would come 'in the land of Zeb­ulun, and the land of Naphtali,' as 'a great light'; while other Prophets had said that he would come out of Naza­reth. Each of these predictions had its literal fulfillment, and each fulfillment was his Coming; but they were after all so many different scenes, stages, or man­ifestations in the one Coming, which is called the first, in contradistinction to the second. In other words, the Advent was complex, consisting of many diverse facts and presentations, in different localities, and successively running through the course of thirty-three years. These several prophecies could not pos­sibly be fulfilled, except by the inter­vention of time to give the place for them. And, as a matter of fact, a suc­cession of years was covered in the fulfillment.

"This, then, is the key by which to explain and reconcile the equally numer­ous and diverse predictions concerning the Second Coming. It is not a singular and simple thing, all accomplished in the same moment of time, or in one isolated event or scene; but it is a suc­cession and variety of scenes, events, and manifestations, each of which is called the Coming, but all of which to­gether make up the complex of the one Second Advent.

"If any will look up the various pas­sages which describe the Second Ad­vent, it will be seen that no man can do justice to the language of inspira­tion, and yet construe them all with reference to one and the same thing, occurring in one and the same point of time. In the nature of things, Christ cannot come 'as a thief in the night,' and at the same time be openly dis­played in the clouds of heaven with 'every eye' gazing upon him. It is im­possible that his coming for his saints­ -- the gathering of them up from their graves, avocations, fields, and beds (1 Cor. 15:22, 23, 51, 52; 1 Thess. 4:15­17; Luke 17:34-37) should be identical in time and character with his coming 'with his saints' (Jude 14, 15; Zech. 14:4, 5; Rev. 19:11-14). It is simply out of the question, that the precise coming spoken of in the Apocalyptic Epistles to the Seven Churches, or that referred to in Rev. 16:15, should be the same with that portrayed in Rev. 19:11­-16. The Scriptures also distinguish be­tween a simple parousia or presence, and the epiphaneia, or appearing. 'Where there is an epiphaneia, there is, of course, a presence, but a manifest, ap­parent, discernible presence; whilst parousia denotes simply presence, with­out the implication of manifestation or visibility. Epiphaneia is used six times in the New Testament, and is in five instances rendered appearing, and in the other instance brightness, in the sense of manifestation; parousia is used about fifteen times, and is uniformly translated coming, in the general sense of presence, or personal and local near­ness, whether openly and visibly or not. In 2 Thess. 2:8, both words are used together in reference to the final over­throw or annihilation of the great anti­-Christian confederation, which is said to be by the epiphaneia of his parousia; that is, by the appearing of his pres­ence; which involves the implication that the presence, 'coming,' is not mani­fested or discernible until then, thus showing that the Advent involves dif­ferent phases, stages and times."

For those who have not recently done so, we suggest a revew of the twenty-four places in which parousia occurs in the New Testament. The references are given as a footnote to page 159 of Scripture Studies, Volume II, and are therefore omitted here. Such a review we have made ourselves, and find that Brother Russell's position is sustained; parousia is never has the thought of com­ing, or being on the way but always, in the New Testament, has the sense of presence, and the context need never be understood as out of harmony with this sense. However, on this, as on all mat­ters, we exhort: "Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind." (Rom. 14:5.) "Let brotherly love con­tinue." ' (Heb. 13: 1.) And even if we think a brother holding a different view from ours is incompetent to teach us on this particular subject (he may not be incompetent, but even supposing he is) let us not hastily conclude that he is, therefore, incompetent to teach us any­thing. He may have rich stores of knowledge and wisdom on other lines of Christian doctrine and experience in which we ourselves may sadly lack, and of which it would be foolish, to say the least, :For us to say we have no need. - 1 Cor. 12:21.

(Continued in next issue)

-P. L. Read.

Notice of Annual Meeting

As announced in our April issue, the Annual Meeting of the Pastoral Bible Institute, Inc., is scheduled to be held on Saturday, June 3, at 2:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Berean Bible Students Church, 5930 West 28th Street, Cicero 50, Illinois.

While only members of the Institute may vote (in person or by proxy), all those who love our Lord Jesus and his appearing are welcome to attend.

The Agenda will include a report by the Chairman, reviewing the activities of the Institute for the preceding period.

Following his report, the election of directors for the coming year will take place. Opportunity will also be given for the consideration of such other mat­ters as may properly come before the meeting.

The seven brethren now serving as directors are candidates for reelection. Brothers Frank R. Heitland (St. Louis, Mo.), Casimir Lanowick (Paradise, Calif.), Mitchell Rutkowski (Chicago, Ill.), William Urban (Westchester, Ill.), and Edward Zielinski (Agawam, Mass.) have also been nominated.

If a Man Die, Shall He Live Again?

This question appears in one of the oldest books of the Bible, the Book of Job, (14:14), and today it has lost none of its interest to the intelligent mind.

This being true, why is it so rarely considered in the pulpits of Christen­dom? Why should there be compara­tive silence on so important a theme?

What would happen if every church would set aside one Sunday a year to deliver a message on the most vital of all questions: "If a Man Die Shall He Live Again?" What a shock might re­sult, what consternation be caused in some minds, what searching for the answer on the part of many!

For those seeking the Bible answer, a booklet having this title has just been published. For a free copy, write to Pastoral Bible Institute, Inc., P. O. Box 3252, Chouteau Station, St. Louis 10, Mo.

What Shall Be Our Attitude?

AS DISCIPLES of Christ whose lives are pledged to His service and who desire above all else to learn and do His Will, there must often come to our minds a realization that the whole life and outlook of our fellowship is changing. It is not just that the forms of words which express our articles of faith are remoulded and expressed anew; not just that in many matters of doctrinal belief there are doubts expressed and objections raised. These things have always been a feature of our assembling together and always must be while free and healthy research into the Fountain of all Truth continues. Besides all this there is the indisputable fact that vari­ous features of "Present Truth" have permeated the structure of present-day Christian thought, and that this has borne fruitage in the shape of many separate schools, each holding to some peculiarity of belief or expectation, yet withal manifesting a very definite appreciation, first of the basic truth that God will in due time bless all the families of the earth, and secondly, of the dispensational features of the Divine Plan. Whereas fifty years ago that understanding of the "two salvations" and the "Ran­som for all" which then came to light was confined vir­tually to one movement directed by one master mind, the assiduous witnessing to these, "Harvest Truths" which was carried on for forty years has borne fruit in a hun­dred ways, and today one may find a number of move­ments and proclamations, all outside the scope of "Pres­ent Truth" as we know it, and yet manifesting very plainly that in conjunction with much that would be con­sidered undesirable relics of Dark Age theology there is combined a clear appreciation of some aspects of Truth which we ourselves consider to be of prime importance at this time.

What is the right attitude to adopt towards this devel­opment? Is it right to follow the example of those disciples who "forbade them, because they followed not with us." Or should we acclaim the truths we find ex­pressed in such movements, ignoring the error, and join with them in their work? These questions are not idle ones, for in many places our brethren find that with per­haps the breakdown of their local group, the opportunity of worship and fellowship with adherents of some such enterprise offers a satisfaction to the heart that yearns for Christian fellowship and the joy of association in a common purpose, and to an increasing degree the lines of demarcation between ourselves and movements of this nature are breaking down. How then are we to answer the question?

Not by ruling out of the purposes of God those whose studies in His Word have led them to other conclusions than our own, for that implies the denial of the very principles for which we should stand. And most decid­edly not by concluding that in professing the name and service of Christ it matters not in what organization we serve Him nor what is the precise character of the message we proclaim. For whatever developments the future may hold, and by whatever means the divine reve­lation may come to man, tomorrow, it still remains true that the knowledge of God's Plan which is our inher­itance carries with it a responsibility which can not be ignored if we would continue to bear the honorable title of ambassadors for Christ.

There lies the answer to our question. As a company of Christians we have a clear outline of the Divine Plan and the fundamentals of Christian teaching which it is our duty to keep alive in our midst. Without impugning the sincerity or the sterling character of many whose lives are devoted to other movements it still remains true that, unless we are grievously mistaken, that which is called "Present Truth" is far in advance of present-day thought among Christians generally. If that is so, then we are in the position of Watchers in Zion, and our place is on the watchtower looking for further signs of the day of "He that shall come.", Let those in the city go about their business and serve as seems good to them. Those who are the "Lord's remembrancers" (Isa. 62:6 margin) have a higher calling and a sterner duty to per­form. Let us then continue as a separated people, not in the spirit of the man who thanked God that he was not as other men but in an attitude of sober realization that in this great day, we who have received the grace of God in revelation of His Plan are called to be like John the Baptist; a voice crying, in the wilderness to be sure, but crying nevertheless in the certainty of imminent fulfillment -- "The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand."

-- Bible Students Monthly. London. Eng.

If We Only Understood

Could we draw aside the curtains
That surround each other's lives, 
See the naked heart and spirit,
Know what spur the action gives 
Often we would find it better,
Purer than we judge we would; 
We would love each other better
If we only understood.
Could we judge all deeds by motives,
See the good and bad within, 
Often we would love the sinner
All the while we loathe the sin.
Could we know the powers working
To o'erthrow integrity,
We would judge each other's errors
With more patient charity.
If we knew the cares and trials,
Knew the efforts all in vain, 
And the bitter disappointments­
Understood the loss and gain --
­Would the grim external roughness
Seem, I wonder, just the same? 
Would we help where now we hinder?
Would we pity where we blame?
Ah, we judge each other harshly,
Knowing not life's hidden force; 
Knowing not the fount of action
Is less turbid at its source. 
Seeing not amid the evil
All the golden grains of good, 
Oh, we'd love each other better
If we only understood.

The Question Box

"Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." - James 4:4.

This Question Box discussion was first requested for publication in the Youth for Truth bulletin, where it ap­peared in the issue for April-May, 1960. A number of our young people ex­pressed the hope that it might be given wider circulation, hence its reprinting here -- slightly amplified.


Are we to assume from this scripture that if we want to be friends of God we must be enemies of the world? How far does being enemies of the world extend? Does this scripture mean that if we do participate in worldly activi­ties we are enemies of God?


As used in the scriptures, the word world (kosmos, Strong SG2889), has more than one meaning. In John 3:16 we read that God loved the world, while in 1 John 2:15 we are warned not to love the world. The world which the Father loves is the race of mankind; the world which we are not to love is the one which would alienate our affec­tions from God. This word world is used twice in James 4:4, and in both instances has reference to the world we should not love.

Are we to assume from James 4:4 that if we want to be friends of God, we must be enemies of the world? To my understanding that would be a cor­rect assumption. The world, in this verse, is one of the three enemies (the world, the flesh and the devil) which are ever seeking to destroy the Chris­tian's spiritual life-enemies against which he must maintain a continual warfare, fighting the good fight of faith.

How far does being enemies of the world extend? It extends into every avenue of life, and does so as long as life shall last.

Does this scripture mean that if we participate in worldly activities, we are enemies of God? The answer here de­pends on what the questioner has in mind. It depends on the activity, on the individual concerned, on the time, the place, the occasion.

Some worldly activities are unmis­takably evil. Participation in them would make us enemies of God. How­ever, many worldly activities are not evil; may, in fact, be good. Others, neither good nor evil in themselves, be­come either good or evil, by the uses to which they are put. For example, gar­den clubs, sewing circles, dramatics, baseball, football, chess, checkers, gym­nastics, swimming, etc., etc. There is nothing wrong with radio or television; some programs are enlightening, ele­vating; others, disgusting. Even when the Apostle Paul, on one occasion, ex­horted the church not to company with fornicators (1 Cor. 5:9), he found it necessary to qualify his counsel, for to comply with it literally, one would need to "go out of this world."-Verse 10.

When Christ came he did not attempt to supplement the laws given by God through Moses. Instead he enunciated, and exemplified, golden principles. By the power of his holy spirit, poured out upon them at Pentecost, each of his dis­ciples was to apply these principles to his own individual circumstances and conditions, and to let the other brethren do the same. Of course they should abstain from every form of evil-from evil in its every form. If possible, they should abstain from every appearance of it, too. But since, to them that are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure (Titus 1:15), they would find this an impossible task. Each might make rules for his own conduct, if it seemed de­sirable or necessary. But no one should attempt to apply his rules to the con­duct of others. "To his own master he standeth or falleth." "Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth."-Rom. 14:4, 22.

-P. L. Read.

Recently Deceased

Bro. Emery H. Davis, Anna, Ill.-(Mar.) 
Bro. Casper Gavin, Chicago, I11.-(Mar.) 
Bro. Walter Gibson, Dayton, Ohio.-(Mar.) 
Sr. Luther Seals, West Helena, Ark.-(Jan.) 
Sr. Erna Trask, Shawano, Wis.-(Mar.)

1961 Index