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THE HERALD

of Christ's Kingdom


VOL. XLIX July/August 1966 No. 4
Table of Contents
     

Things Coming to Pass

Living by Faith

The Study of Revelation

Christian Liberty

Annual Report of Directors

The Annual Meeting

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

The Question Box

"You Find What You Look For"

RECENTLY DECEASED 


Things Coming to Pass

"For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth." "And none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand." "When ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the King­dom of God is nigh at hand." - Luke 21:35; Dan. 12:10; Luke 21:31.

FROM TIME to time, under this article heading, we have considered some aspect of current world events in its relation to that most important of all events, the establishment of God's Kingdom. The Biblical evidences for its proximity have been examined from many viewpoints, namely, the World-war, the discontent of nations, the marvelous increase of knowledge, the awakening of Jewish national aspirations, etc. But there is still another "sign," and one often overlooked, which we now desire to con­sider in detail, and that is the "sign of unawareness. To emphasize this we have grouped the Scripture texts above, which, while removed from their context, are nevertheless in complete harmony in testifying to this paradox of paradoxes. For that the world's ignorance of the "day of their visitation" is paradoxical, none can successfully gainsay, inasmuch as "these things are not being done in a corner." How is it possible that in the midst of history's greatest crisis, men are so astonishingly unaware of the true implication of world events -- that the Kingdom of God is near, "even at the doors"? Have not millions of Bibles been spread over the face of the earth, each with its divine testimony concerning the signs of the times? What is the cause of this strange blindness in the midst of intellectual attainments that are the marvel of our day? Only the Bible assays to answer. But though its testimony is clear and explicit, there are few that can "hear"; for a spiritual blindness has descended upon the present generation--a blindness altogether unperceived.

"DARKNESS COVERS THE EARTH; GROSS DARKNESS THE. PEOPLE"

It is becoming more evident to thinking men every­where that the roots of the present world distress have their beginnings in deeper soil than is generally recog­nized. In the recent words of Alfred Noyes, the British poet: "The war, with all its horror, the programs of the totalitarian despotisms, with all their wicked­ness, are hardly more than symptomatic eruptions, evidence of something profoundly wrong with modern civilization that, unless the war brings the world to its senses, and quickly, the human race may as well abandon itself to the final catastrophe."

These are startling words, and gloomy. Similar ex­pressions are nevertheless being heard with increasing frequency. As men look deeper into the political catastrophes of the modern world, and ponder the disasters of a mechanized industrialism in which starva­tion and over-production exist side by side, the conclusion is being inescapably forced that the real cause of the contemporary tragedy is neither political nor economic. Slowly but surely there is beginning to dawn the realization that we are witnessing the break­down of a civilization-of a culture based on a materialistic liberalism that had its inception in the dis­solution of the medieval culture and the feudal civilization which ushered in two great movements, the Renaissance and the Reformation. Both these move­ments, allied in some respects, and diametrically op­posed in others, contributed jointly to the freedom and individualism of modern civilization. Both rep­resented great advances; the one in social, political, and economic reforms which culminated eventually in the industrial revolution of the past century, and the other in a freedom from the fetters of religious authority and the corruption of religious superstition. Both begat great hopes and promises. Both brought great confidence that the "emancipated" mind would disclose the secrets of nature; penetrate into all the ultimate mysteries of life; exploit the buried treasures of the natural world and make them available for man; explore the complexities of human society and eliminate the social maladjustments that ignorance had perpetuated, and finally free man himself of the sorrows and pains, the frustrations and lusts by which he made himself and his fellows miserable. And in a measure this has come to pass.

But unfortunately in the process of realizing these great dreams, political and economic action was thoroughly secularized and authentic Christian social ideals were neglected. Human dignity, human personality, and human solidarity were forgotten. With the vast material progress there have arisen new prob­lems, and the fabulous productivity of the modern machine has created crises and unemployment rather than security and abundance. The dreams of economic harmony and of individual happiness have been cruelly disappointed. Far from attaining that individual liberty, the "right" of democratic man, to day, in large sections of the world, man has sunk to the position of a creature of the State, that new juggernaut. Great totalitarian systems have sprung up and humanity finds itself in the midst of an unparalleled world-wide conflict between the forces of freedom and slavery. The injustice, the unhappiness, the brutality so rife, oppress and darken men's minds and they see no way out. With Matthew Arnold, they feel there is no hope in the world and that all they can do is to be true to one another:

"For the world which seems
To lie before us, like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor Bight,

Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here, as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night."

Poor groaning creation! With what foresight did our Master describe the mental state of men in our day: "Upon the earth distress of nations in perplexity at the roar of the sea and rolling waves, men ready to die through fear and expectation of what is coming on the habitable earth." - Luke 21:26, Darby.

Just what has caused society to move toward catastrophe rather than triumph? Why have not the enor­mous achievements of man during the past century resulted in a stable and beneficent order for his welfare? Why the present disillusionment and shattering of hopes?

"Individual profit, which in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries provided the motive force for the economic system, has failed us, and we have not vet discovered any moral substitute for it other than war. Nothing but war seems sufficiently worth while. The economic crisis is in essence a moral crisis. It cannot be explained-and much less solved-in con­stitutional or even in economic terms. The funda­mental issue is moral."

Thus writes pessimistic Professor Carr, in "Condi­tions of Peace." And here we have a partial answer to our question. Who but cannot recognize a great decadence in moral and ethical values throughout the earth? What has become of the absolute distinction between right and wrong, good and evil, of the sancti­ty of agreements, of the sacredness of one's word?

What promise can be trusted, what firm agreement can ever be made again, in a world where millions upon millions have been educated to believe that, if it seems in their interest to violate it, no pact or pledge, however solemnly drawn up, need be regarded by "realistic" minds, or "cold statesmanship," as more than a "scrap of paper"? And what of the impera­tives of conscience, that God within the breast? "Con­science," said Hitler, "is a Jewish invention."

"CURSED BE THE MAN . . . WHOSE HEART
DEPARTETH FROM THE LORD"

Alas, in his emphasis on material prosperity, man has gradually lost the fundamental things without which there can be no peace and justice; those values which make for morality and true freedom, and which constitute the individual superior to his own crea­tions. This central value of Christianity, the value of the individual, has been corrupted in modern poli­tical thought to demand a subordination of the indi­vidual to the State (or indeed to any organization or society of which he is a member), the implications of which tragic fallacy are but now being realized by thinking men. Thoreau uttered a profound truth when he said: "There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived." This has well been called the lost key to the whole problem of modern government. We are all witnesses to the enslavement of hundreds of millions of the human race under the unspeakable tyranny of the totalitarian powers. Never in human history has the individual counted for so little and never has human life been so cheap. The attempt to comprehend the sum total of human suffering today leaves the mind numb with horror. Thank God for the assurances that under the beneficent rule of His Kingdom man shall regain his original state, a creature in the likeness of his God. For God shall

"Give back the upward looking and the light,
Rebuild in it the music and the dream;
Make right the immemorial infamies,
Perfidious wrongs, immedicable woes."

Hear the word of the Lord:

"Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the Lord of hosts, and in the day of His fierce anger. And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity: and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir." - Isa. 13:13, 11, 12.

What has happened to the spiritual guides? Is there no balm in Gilead? Is not the world filled with thousands of church edifices, with tens of thousands devoted to the exposition of Him whom these buildings monumentalize? Are there not millions of ad­herents and millions of Bibles? What is lacking?

Hear the words of the brilliant Hindu leader, Jawaharlal Nehru: "The old days were days of faith, blind unquestioning faith. The wonderful temples and mosques and cathedrals of past centuries could never have been built but for the overpowering faith of the architects and builders and people generally. The very stones that they reverently put one on top of the other, or carved into beautiful designs, tell us of this faith. The old temple spire, the mosque with its slender minarets, the Gothic cathedral-all of them pointing upward with an amazing intensity of devotion, as if offering a prayer in stone or marble to the sky above-thrill us even now, though we may be lacking in that faith of old of which they are the embodiments. But the days of that faith are gone, and gone with them is that magic touch in stone. Thousands of temples and mosques and cathedrals continue to be built, but they lack the spirit that made them live during the Middle Ages. There is little difference between them and the commercial offices which are so representative of our age. Our age is a different one; it is an age of disillusion, of doubt and uncertainty and questioning. We can no longer accept many of the ancient beliefs and customs; we have no more faith in them, in Asia or in Europe or America. So we search for new ways, new aspects of the truth more in harmony with our environment. And we question each other and debate and quarrel and evolve any number of 'isms' and philosophies. As in the days of Socrates,' we live in an age of questioning, but that questioning is not confined to a city like Athens; it is world-wide."

In this candid statement, we have the full answer to the question, Why has the world no conception of the meaning of present experiences? For the world has lost its sense of spiritual values, yea, has lost its faith. A spirit of irreligiousness has spread abroad. Men have become lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. We live in a generation which can refer contemptuously to the Bible as a "collection of Hebrew myths," and stigmatize religion as an "opiate for the inferiority-minded" - a time when a prominent American man of letters writes a friend that "Rabelais was nearer God than Christ," and a famous English writer says that no man who regards Christ as an ideal is worth working with. This is the day of the cynic; of the pseudo-intellectual, of the spirit of shallow cynicism and of mockery which has destroyed in a large measure the old simplicity and integrity based upon the great Christian prin­ciples of the Word of God. Yea, a generation which can even question the existence of its God. One is reminded of Milton's lines so applicable to our day:

"Truth shall retire
Bestuck with slanderous darts, and works of Faith
Rarely be found. So shall the World go on,
To good malignant, to bad men benign,
Under her own weight groaning, till the day
Appear of respiration to the just
And vengeance to the wicked."

For it is true the world has reached a condition of disbelief that augurs ill for the immediate future, and though we still hear of "Christian principles," it is too often in circumstances which, as ex-President Hoover has said, make the very phrase sound like a "Gargantuan joke.

"A FAMINE . . . NOT FOR BREAD,
BUT FOR THE WORD OF THE LORD."

Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr has well written:

"Some of the most stubborn and sentimental illu­sions about the possibilities of a simple and easy peace between the competing elements in human society have been fostered by modern churches. In America they contributed more possibly than any other influence to political and moral illusions, for they aggravated false estimates of man and history by compounding them with classical and pious conceptions. The errors and illusions of our culture, which have made an estimate of the crisis of our civilization difficult it not impossible, are, almost without exception, various versions of a single error. They are all expressions of too great an optimism about the goodness of human nature; they all therefore underestimate the difficul­ties of relating life to life, will to will, interest to interest, in a harmonious social life. They regard the achievement of justice and social peace in human society as a comparatively easy task. It is, as a matter of fact, a very difficult task, which can be accomplish­ed with tolerable success only if its difficulties are fully recognized."

This fact concerning the weakness of human nature is a fundamental teaching of the Bible, and is the basis for the Divine Plan of regeneration through the Kingdom of Christ. Other salvation there is none. The hope of man resides in the establishment by di­vine power of a universal reign upon earth for a thousand years, a "time of restitution spoken by the mouth of all God's prophets." This is the message of God to men. Why is it not thundered from every pulpit?

The answer to this question goes back to two great scientific theories. The first was the theory of a certain canon of the Church, Copernicus, which seethed to destroy the old, comfortable assumption that the earth was the center of things, and to dwarf man by the mere size of the material universe. The other was the Darwinian theory, which subjected his inner world to an even more disintegrating scrutiny, and filled mankind with doubts as to the values of human personality and the nature of its origin. The advancing flow of scientific thought, true or otherwise, plus the wave of Higher Criticism which originated in Germany and flowed out to all the ecclesiastical schools, resulted in the gradual breakdown of faith in the Scriptures as the inspired Word of God. The great foundation truths were slowly obscured, with the tragic result that not only the people, but the leaders are practically blind to the Bible message concerning the meaning of present momentous events. It is rare indeed to find a living faith in the Bible as God's revealed Word. True, there is still regard for the moral precepts of the Scriptures, but the vital substance has been lost. Men do not bring God into their counsels. And so, as of old, to our day the Word of the Lord speaks:

"Forasmuch as this peo­ple draw near Me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor Me, but have removed their heart far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the precept of men: Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a mar­velous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid." - Isa. 29:13, 14.

The Church Nominal gropes blindly on, all unwitting that the hopes of Chris­tians are soon to materialize. Though professing faith in the First Advent of Christ, the evidences for his Second Advent are disallowed, though there are ten times as many scriptures for the latter as there were for the former. The glorious words of the 96th, 97th, 98th and 99th Psalms evoke no responsive chords. There stands One at the door and they know it not. Christ's own judgment is recorded in Rev. 3:15, 16: "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth." The Church Nominal now brings forth no message for the times from the Lord. The voice of the Bride­groom and Bride is heard no more in her. There remains but blindness and barrenness. "Her prophets also find no vision from the Lord." "Where there is no vision, the people perish"-Lam. 2:9; Prov. 29:18.

Yes, "as a snare" are these things coming on all mankind. Only the "wise understand" and rejoice in the evidence of the proximity of God's Kingdom. The world, unheeding the sure Word of Prophecy, will continue on into ever­increasing darkness until that glad day soon when upon the wreck of man's institutions, the human race, illuminated by the spirit of God, shall rebuild an earth wherein dwelleth righteousness.

"And while the earth with strife is riven,
And envious factions Truth do hide,
Lo! He, the Lord of earth and heaven,
Stands at the door and claims His Bride.

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

- W. J. Siekman


Living by Faith

"According to your faith be it unto you." - Matt. 9:29.

THE PRINCIPLE laid down in the above statement has been generally recognized as being particularly ap­plicable throughout the Gospel Age, though there are instances in the Old Testament records where the same principle applied. Abraham, Moses, Samuel, and Elijah, and many others of the Old Testament Worthies, received "according to their faith."

As we recall some of the many instances in which this principle was used by our Lord and his disciples at the be­ginning of the Age, we find in each case a practical demonstration of the power of God available to those who have the necessary faith. Not only so, but we also recognize that the divine power made available is limited only by the degree of faith manifest before God.

Meditating upon the foregoing, most of the Lord's people no doubt will agree that this doctrine is in full accord with God's Word, but in spite of the accept­ance of it in a general sense, how many of us demonstrate in our daily life, and to what extent, that this principle is ap­plicable to us? "Examine yourselves whether ye be in the faith," says the Apostle Paul. May we suggest that we do examine ourselves along that line? Let us examine our everyday conduct. When we are in the midst of sorrow or affliction, do we remember that our Lord said, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest"? And do we really go to the Lord with our burden, sincerely seeking his aid, and then confidently expecting to receive the help we need; or do we arise from our knees still trying to carry the burden alone, as though we had not asked his loving aid? Again, when we meet with the difficulties and perplexities of life, perhaps not knowing which way to turn, do we ask for the Lord's guidance and then trembling and almost afraid to move, go through the experience in dread of making a mis­take? Or remembering the dear Lord's promise to lead all who earnestly seek his guidance, do we use our best judg­ment as to what would be most in accord with his will, going forward with an assurance of faith in his precious prom­ise that he will guide us aright and that the outcome of the experience will be for our lasting good?

As we are made conscious of our great lack of wisdom and remember the ad­monition of the writer of the Epistle of James, do we ask God for the wisdom we need and really expect him to give us that wisdom liberally, as promised; or do we go on lamenting our lack of wisdom in mock humility, "being blown about with every wind of doc­trine," not daring to take our stand for this or for that, lest we make a mistake? And last but not least, when we recall our dear Lord's assurance that our heavenly Father is more willing to give us his holy spirit than we are to ask or receive, do we really expect to be filled with that holy spirit when we pray for it? Many of us seem to go through our everyday life, and while admitting the promises are in the Holy Word (yet apparently not appropriating them to ourselves), we live as though those precious promises did not apply to us.

Let us review a few of those wonderful promises written for our benefit, upon whom the end of the Age has come: "What things soever ye desire, when ye pray believe that ye shall receive them" (Mark 11:24). "Ask and it shall be given unto you" (Matt. 7:7). "Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name that I will do" (John 14:13). "If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God who giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not" (James 1:5, 6). "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and its righteous­ness and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matt. 6:33). "If ye abide in me and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will and it shall be done unto you" (John 15:7). These are only a few of the many precious promises given and well known to most of the Lord's people, yet how many fail to enter into the realities of such a life of faith, which God's Word indicates is possible even now to those who can really take God at his Word. Is it not true that if any of our experiences do not draw us closer to God, giving us a more earnest desire to have each experience work out in our heart the peaceable fruits of righteousness, the fault must be with us? "God cannot lie," and "all the promises of God are yea and amen in Christ Jesus," we are told; but the extent to which we appropriate those promises to ourselves will be in direct proportion to the degree of our faith.

The habit of generalizing when speak­ing or thinking of the Word of God can cause one to miss that personal contact which we believe is essential to a full realization of the relationship that is the present heritage of the children of God; and it does not tend to instill in us or build us up in our most holy faith. We must admit that though the promise, "according to faith," is a general promise in that it applies to all of the Lord's people, it is also quite personal in its working principle. It was the personal faith of the woman who for twelve years had a hemorrhage, that enabled her to receive that healing grace from our Lord, as he said, "Daughter, . . . thy faith hath made thee whole" (Luke 8:48). It was the personal faith of the Centurion that caused our Lord to heal the sick servant without going to the house where the sick servant lay (Luke 7:2-10). It was the personal faith of Abraham which enabled him to be the father of the promised Seed which is to bless all the families of the earth (Rom. 4:19-22). In contrast, it was because of a lack of that same faith that our Lord did not do many mighty works in his own town (Matt. 13:58). Again, it was the personal faith of Peter, John, and Paul that en­abled them to do many wonderful works in Christ Jesus' precious name, throughout their Christian journey, and gave them the victory over the world, the flesh, and the Adversary.

Seeing we are encompassed about with so great a company of witnesses, and are assured of the power of God through faith, and knowing that we began our walk with Jesus through a whole-hearted faith in our Lord's precious sacrifice on our behalf, surely we can take God at his Word and confidently expect that he will supply that promised grace sufficient for our every need. "As ye have received Christ Jesus the Lord [by faith], so walk ye in him." Then we shall be kept from falling and be presented faultless before the presence of his glory. We shall be kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time, in direct proportion to our wholehearted appropriation of that wonderful assurance: "According to your faith be it unto you."

"Now unto him that is able to keep, you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, do­minion and power, both now and for ever. Amen."

- H. J. Barlow

"We walk by faith, He wills it so,
And marks the path that we should go,
And when at times, our sky is dim,
He gently draws us close to Him."

"We walk by faith, but not alone,
Our Shepherd's tender voice we hear,
And feel His hand within our own,
And know that He is always near."


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 chapter 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 the 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 be 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.


Christian Liberty

"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage."- Galatians 5:1.

IN discussing this or any other subject dealing with divine truth, we should endeavor to be guided by the spirit of our Master, the spirit of kindliness, the spirit of helpfulness, and so keep our minds and hearts void of antagonism, faultfinding, or judging in the sense of condemnation. As true Christians we must be motivated by the spirit of truth and righteousness; for it is only those who are led by God's holy spirit who can truly claim relation .ship with the Father as children, and so merit his approval as ministers to the flock.

The indications all about us make it evident that the saints of the Lord are being tested, more or less severely, along the lines, of tolerance, of Christian liberty, and of brotherly love; and it is also evident that this testing is permitted of the Lord that the approved may be manifested, regardless of how they view this or that matter, provided their views are not such as preclude sonship.

DOCTRINAL DIFFERENCES

Doctrinal differences on subjects more or less hidden in types, shadows, and figurative language, and consequently more or less subject to imperfect hu­man reasoning powers, are the basis offered by some for withholding full fellowship from others who, on the plainly stated fundamentals and essentials of Holy Wrii, are in full agreement. In some instances also, brethren against whom there is no fault to find either in doctrine or spirituality, are denied the priv­ilege of service to the friends because of their co­operation with other brethren who do not see eye to eye respecting some teachings considered by the majority as "present truth."

In speaking of fundamentals and essentials, we here refer to those things in a Christian's belief and practice which are stated in the Bible in such a way as to leave no room for reasonable doubt in the mind of any earnest seeker after ;truth as to their meaning.

The question then arises, To what extent are we justified in hedging ourselves about with arbitrary rules which in their operation are intended to act as barriers to others of the Lord's people in the mat­ter of service and whole-hearted fellowship?

In proposing a question of this kind we realize that it cannot be answered without due thought, be­cause there are too many points that enter into the discussion; but if, as present conditions seem to indicate, most of us may sooner or later be required to decide this matter for ourselves, we should be able to take our stand in full assurance of faith. To this end let us consider some of the things that have a bearing upon the issue, and so prepare ourselves for a better understanding and guidance by the Lord's holy spirit.

FUNDAMENTAL TRUTHS

There are certain basic facts to which all true disciples of the Lord must agree, else they are not his disciples, and cannot be considered as brethren:

All must believe in God, the Creator and Ruler of heaven and earth, and must acknowledge his right and authority over their lives and possessions.

All must believe in the Bible as being the true Word of God, and must accept its teachings as being the only authoritative standard of belief and practice -- the last resort in every argument.

All must accept Jesus, the Savior of mankind, as being their personal Redeemer, from sin and its pen­alty, death; they must see in him the only one able to give unto God a ransom for Adam and his race; and they must recognize that in the resurrection of Christ dwells their only hope for life in a like resur­rection from the dead.

All must have sufficient faith in God, in Christ, and in the Word of God, to cause them to make a full and unreserved consecration of themselves to do God's will and to follow in the footsteps of Christ Jesus their Lord.

All must realize their own fallen, sinful state, and must cooperate in the transformation of their own characters by seeking continually, through the infilling of God's holy spirit, to walk in accordance with the instructions given in his Word.

All must be loyal in their obedience to God's commands, and must continue faithful unto death.

Any true and enlightened child of God must as­sent whole-heartedly to these fundamental things of Christian belief and practice, and to the ramification of these as stated in plain and unmistakable. language in the Scriptures.

In these things we may all see eye to eye; but when it comes to the interpretation of types and shadows, parables and dark sayings, figurative language and prophetic utterances, the Lord has left us room for the exercise of our sanctified reasoning powers, and so for differences of opinion. Manifestly, had God so desired, he could have made every statement of his Word so plain that it would not have been pos­sible for differences of opinion to arise. He could have done this either by the way he worded the Scrip­tures, or by the illuminating power of his holy spirit. However, he did not choose to do this. On the contrary, he has arranged the matter in such a way as to call upon our reasoning powers and force us to search (by comparing Scripture with Scripture) in order to gain an understanding of the details of his great Plan of Salvation.

NO GAIN WITHOUT A STRUGGLE

The Christian does not attain to the heavenly in­heritance without a struggle. The butterfly that flits from flower to flower with such ease and grace, attained its development and beauty only because the larva stage of its existence had to struggle to break through the cocoon. that enveloped it; and should any one, in mistaken kindness, assist the larva to gain its freedom by breaking the cocoon, he would forever deprive it of the very thing that even­tually enables it to fly. In like manner also God permits us to struggle to overcome the difficulties he sees fit to leave surrounding us, for he knows that by the earnest endeavor to overcome these we will be made strong in character and in the will to do his will. Having predetermined that we should be free moral agents, God cannot force the issue in respect to our characters, and so is under the necessity of bringing about our development by requir­ing of us a willing and persistent effort to break through the cocoons of our natural tendencies and environment that eventually we may wing our flight to realms above.

Sectarianism in the struggle of the Church toward perfection of character is brought to our attention in the picture given us by the Apostle Paul in his first letter to the Corinthian brethren where he speaks of wood, hay, and stubble in the building or super­structure we erect upon the foundation of our faith in Christ's sacrifice on our behalf.

In the first chapter, Paul chides them for their carnality and sectarianism; for some were claiming to be of Paul, some of Apollos, some of Cephas, and some of Christ; but Paul did not recognize any Paulite Christians. He denied having given any basis for such a thought. He declared that he preach­ed nothing to them but Christ and him crucified. Then in the third chapter he points out that their sectarian spirit shows them to be mere babes, to whom he could feed only the milk of the Word. Then from the ninth verse on he says, "That as a master builder, he having laid the foundation of their faith in Christ and him crucified," they were to build the superstructures; but he says, "Let every Iran take heed how he builds thereon." Paul, all through these three chapters is combating their sectarian spirit, and in this third chapter warns them that such ma­terial entering into the construction of their build­ing will cause its downfall.

Factions, in dealing with differences of, belief in doctrine or practice, most always arise through ig­noring the Lord's spirit and methods; and such fac­tions always tend to hinder the character develop­ment of those who take an active part therein. Satan is always on hand to take advantage of differences between brethren and divert doctrinal controversies, which of themselves would not affect character one way or another, into contentions and divisions that do affect the character.

PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE

In 2 Peter 1:2-12 the Apostle intimates that the greater our knowledge concerning God, the more grace and peace we will have. What does he mean? Is he saying here that the more we know about the philosophy of the atonement and the details of the Plan of Salvation the more grace and peace we will have? There is class, of believers to whom such knowledge appeals and who may have their appreciation of God's wisdom increased thereby; but to other minds, the fact of the atonement and the evidence of God's love and mercy, as revealed in the gracious provision h has made for his children, are sufficient to acquaint them with God's character and to call forth their own love and appreciation in response. Such Christians may be compared to the man who, though he understands only in a general way the working and operation of an automobile, derives as-.much pleasure and benefit from its use as does the mechanic who is familiar with every detail of its construction. We can not all have the type of mind that will enable us to be "master workmen in the mechanical de­tails, so to speak, of God's great Plan. Some have minds more adapted to thinking upon the spiritual qualities of character development, and no doubt are equally honored of the Lord in their ministry.

Both Rotherham and Weymouth render this passage of Scripture in such a way as to make it evident that what Peter is speaking of is a personal knowledge or experience with God. Rotherham's translation says, "Favor unto you and peace be mul­tiplied, in the personal knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord."' This is a knowledge which we gain through attaining (to a measure of Godlikeness in our own characters; for in the next verse, the Apostle continues the thought by saying, "Seeing that his divine power has given us all things that are needful for life and godliness, through our knowledge of him who has appealed to us by his own glorious perfections." (Weymouth.) The Apostle here gives the same thought which we find emphasized by our Lord in John 17:3: "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou halt sent." This is thee knowledge, which, above all knowledge, is essential to us in our development as prospective heirs of glory, honor, and immortality. A true knowledge of God comes only through experiencing a measure of his glorious per­fection of character in ourselves and the more we reflect that character by being transformed into the image of Christ, the better we come to know God.

COMPARATIVE VALUES

In the 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians Paul points to a number of things that we might possess and do, which of themselves are very desirable, but which, apart from love, have no value in making us accept­able unto God. The Apostle is not making light of faith or a , comprehensive knowledge of salvation; nor of zeal manifested in the giving of one's time, possessions, and life in the service of God,--but is simply calling to our attention the comparative worth of these and God-like love.

"Love," says the Apostle (Weymouth), "is patient and kind. Love knows neither envy nor jealousy. Love is not forward and self-assertive, nor a boastful and. conceited. She does not behave unbe­comingly, nor seek to aggrandize herself, nor blaze out in passionate anger, nor brood over wrongs. She finds no pleasure in injustice done to others, but joy­fully sides with the truth. She knows how to be silent. She is full of trust, full of hope, full of pa­tient endurance." Then the Apostle continues by declaring that present languages (modes of speech), present knowledge, and present prophesying will come to an end because they are imperfect, and so the things of real value that remain are faith, hope, and love, and of these the greatest is love.

All down through this Gospel Age there have been Christians who have made their calling and election sure without understanding clearly many of the things relative to the sin-offering, the philosophy of the atonement, and other matters which we today look upon as present truth. Evidently then, these things are not indispensable to one's standing or acceptance with the Father, and perhaps we would more truly manifest God's spirit if we would show a more kindly tolerance of those who do not see eye to eye with us in things which, though to us they be present truth, are not indispensable to our character transformation.

MINOR FEATURES

There can be no question as to the blessings received from the study of types and shadows that have been more or less hidden in God's Word until the time when he saw fit to reveal them largely through Brother Russell. Had these been essential to our salvation, however, they would have been stated in the same plain and unmistakable language that garbs those things that are essential, and would then constitute tests of sonship and fellowship; but that they are not was quite evident to Brother Russell, who under the heading, "Relationship to the Lord not necessarily dependent upon knowledge of every detail" says:

We wish to suggest here that none should feel unnecessarily annoyed if he is not able to understand all the items of the chronology or of the Tabernacle Shadows, or other minor features. Our relationship to the Lord is not necessarily dependent upon our knowledge of every detail. We are to remember that many of us were God's people before we understood any of these things, before we understood the philosophy of the Divine Plan. Hence we are to be trustful of the Lord and wait for the remainder, as he may open it to us. And we are to remember that the supreme test is loyalty to the Lord. This was the test upon our Lord Jesus: would he be loyal to the Father? And this is the test upon us. ' Will we be loyal to the Lord? Whoever is thus loyal is an 'over comer.' He will strive to be faithful under all conditions, and will trust even where he cannot trace the Lord's providences." -- Reprints, p. R4746.

TEACHING QUALIFICATIONS OUTLINED

What qualifications then are we to require as a basis for our judgment of those worthy ;to serve us?

Paul answers this question for us in his admon­ition to Timothy respecting the appointing of elders; he says (1 Tim. 3:1-7, Weymouth translation) "A minister [elder] must be a man of irreproachable character, true to his own wife, temperate, sober­minded, well-behaved, hospitable to strangers, and with a gift for teaching; not a hard drinker nor giv­en to blows; not selfish or quarrelsome or covetous; but ruling his own household wisely and well, with children kept under control with true dignity. (If a man does not know how to rule his own household, how shall he have the Church of God given into his care?) He ought not to be a new convert, for fear he should be blinded with pride and come under the same condemnation as the Devil. It is needful also that he bear a good character with people outside the Church, lest he fall into reproach or a snare of the Devil."

The Apostle places the emphasis here upon the character and behavior manifested in the Church, the family, and in the world, and then in addition thereto, he says they should have a "gift for (teaching." This statement does not relate to a profound understanding of the doctrines, but to just what it says -- "a gift" for teaching; the ability to impart the knowledge possessed; the ability to set forth what the Scriptures say.

The gist of the matter then, as it seems to present itself through the various Scriptures set forth for our guidance, is that we should endeavor when choosing our elders or when inviting speakers and teachers to address us, to have such as are loyal to the Lord and to His Word of Truth -- men whose daily lives in their association with the brethren and those outside, give evidence of having partaken of the Lord's spirit in that they manifest the fruit and graces of that spirit. As regards the fundamentals of the Faith, they should be well grounded and positive; but as regards those portions of Scripture that are couched in a manner to call for an interpretation by the reader or teacher in order to be understood, our attitude should be such as would convey a kindly tolerance, granting Christian liberty of thought even though we do not agree as to the interpretation given. We should not have that narrow, sectarian attitude that denies a brother full fellowship and opportunity for service when the differences under dispute do not jeopardize belief in the foundation principles of our faith.

Let us continue to "stand fast," as the Apostle exhorts. "Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty." - 2 Cor. 3:17.

- J. T. Read.


Annual Report of Directors

LAST year our Annual Meeting was postponed to September; consequently, the report submitted then covered a period of nearly sixteen months. Today's report, on the other hand, deals with the Institute's ministry for a period of only a little more than half that time.

"Speak unto the children of Israel that they go forward." It was with these words, earnestly pressed upon them, that the Pastoral Bible Institute commenced operations, just forty-eight years ago. Originally spoken by God himself to Moses at the Red Sea, these words were put in the form of a resolution, at that never-to-be-forgotten convention held at Providence, Rhode Island, and unani­mously adopted by the brethren there assembled.

Nor could we think of a better word to speak in the ears of the brethren to­day. Not many of those present at Providence then have tarried with us until now, but those who have know that these past forty-eight years have abundantly testified to the goodness and mercy of God in our experience. And our confidence is, that thus it will prove to be in the days ahead, however many, or however few, they may be.

The Herald

Today's report, however, deals only with the year just ended. Prominent among the several branches of the Insti­tute's ministry is that of our bimonthly magazine, The Herald of Christ's Kingdom.

Recently a friend was gracious enough to refer to The Herald as "a magazine with a message." Asked to amplify his statement, he went on to say that, in his view, it is a message of "Present Truth," presented in the spirit of love. Our editors feel that the brother's appraisal was stated in too generous terms. Never­theless we, on the Board of Directors, know that to continue The Herald on this high spiritual level has been their consistent aim.

It will be recalled that in our reports for the past few years, we were particu­larly encouraged by the results of a small publicity campaign. The time seemed right for offering The Herald to the public. Since the first of the year, these publicity plans were resumed. Sev­eral thousand further responses to our newspaper and magazine announcements have been received. All of these were supplied sample copies of The Herald; many of them asked for selections from our list of free booklets; while quite a number purchased copies of The Divine Plan of the Ages and our other available books.

After reading the sample Heralds sent them, several hundred subscribed to our journal on an annual basis. Moreover, this was so, even though none of the sample Heralds mailed were especially prepared for the public, but were true samples, containing the usual "balanced" spiritual diet to which our regular subscribers have long been accustomed.

It follows, therefore, that while each issue of The Herald finds us listing the names of brethren "Recently Deceased," our subscription list continues to grow. Indeed, it grew from 5,667 on April 30 a year ago, to 7,181 at April 30 of this year. These figures may be verified by reference to our Annual Financial Statements.

While our list of subscribers in foreign lands has never been large, it is a pleas­ure to report that, in addition to those in the United States, Canada, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Eire, Australia and New Zealand, we have a few subscribers in Africa, Argentina, the Congo, Costa Rica, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Holland, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Puerto Rico, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Trinidad, Turkey and the West Indies. May the Lord continue to enable our editors to furnish "meat in due season" for these widely scattered readers in these trou­blous times.

The Pilgrim Ministry

As we enter another year of our association together, it is encouraging to report that far from diminishing, there is an increasing interest in the Pilgrim Branch of our ministry. In January, each year, when most of the friends are renewing their Herald subscriptions, correspondents frequently take the time to assure us that the services of our traveling brethren are deeply appreciated.

It facilitates the work and assists those who have matters in charge when brethren throughout the country communicate their wishes well in advance, so that when we are making out schedules we are in a better position to make appointments.

In view of the additions to our subscription list, previously mentioned, it may well be that some of our readers are not aware of the availability of the services of our Pilgrim brethren. We take this opportunity, therefore, of informing such that our traveling brethren frequently pass through cities where there are only one or two friends and that arrangements could easily be made for a stop at such points, without any additional expense, if we were informed in sufficient time to include such ap­pointment in a Pilgrim's schedule. It will, therefore, assist us materially, and make it possible to accomplish more in this branch of our ministry if our readers will let us know their wishes in regard to Pilgrim visits.

Our four full-time Pilgrims, Brothers F. A. Essler, A. L. Muir, J. T. Read and P. E. Thomson, made extensive itineraries covering a wide range of territory during the past year. In addition to serving a large number of Bible Classes, they made a special point of calling on isolated friends here and there, and visiting the twos and threes -- many of whom, by reason of the infirmities of old age, were especially in need of the fellowship.

Brother M. A. Kenneth who, for reasons of health, was prevented, for almost a year, from engaging in the Pilgrim ministry, is now making satis­factory progress towards recovery, and expects to resume duties, at least part time, in the near future.

Besides these brethren above men­tioned, a number of others have served on weekends. Additionally, our Institute is often called upon to send brethren to conduct funerals. This is especially true of our Brother W. J. Siekman. Only the bereaved know what it means to have a consecrated brother, possessed of the necessary ability, declare clearly, considerately, and courageously, our res­urrection hopes. Letters in our files tell of the strength and spiritual uplift their services have brought.

Helps to Bible Study

Occasionally new subscribers write us for particulars as to any courses of Bible study offered by our Institute. After informing them that we do not offer any residence courses, we invariably counsel all such inquirers that, before they con­sider any other method of study, they read and study the Bible itself. Foremost amongst the helps to its study we con­tinue to rank The Divine Plan of the Ages.

As our older readers know, this able work furnishes satisfactory proof that the Bible is a revelation from God; that it discloses what God's plan for mankind is; and shows it to be in full harmony with the principles of wisdom, justice and love.

In brief, it shows that God's plan is to select and save the Church during the Gospel Age, the Age now nearly ended, and then to use the Church to bless Israel, and through Israel the re­mainder of mankind, during the next Age -- the Millennium.

Brother Streeter's volumes on The Revelation and Daniel, the Beloved of Jehovah continue in steady demand, and readers write to us telling of the blessings experienced as they study and meditate therein. (We are presently out of stock of Volume I of The Revelation, but Volume II is still available as is also the Daniel volume).

Witnessing to the Public

Because we believe it to be still true, the back page of each issue of The Herald contains, amongst others, the fol­lowing statement:

"To us the Scriptures clearly teach ... that the present mission of the Church is . . . to be God's witness to the world."

In addition to growing in grace, the Church is to be a light-bearer, bearing witness to God, and to Christ, and to the Gospel. While it is true that throughout the New Testament the Apostles stress, above all things, the supreme importance of holiness, at all costs, in the common, everyday life, they nevertheless take it for granted that this spirit will not be allowed to degenerate into a mere amiability, which makes itself pleasant to every one, and forgets the solemn fact that the consecrated ones are servants of a Master whom the world knows not, the messengers of a King against whom it is in revolt.

The truth and beauty of a life possessed by Christ is to be the basis of the Christian's witnessing activities. But the witness is to be articulate, not merely implied, he is to hold out the Word of Life; he is to seize occasion to give a reason of the hope that is in him, al­though always remembering to do so in meekness and fear. In conduct he is to be kind and gracious, letting his light shine that men might see his good works. But he is not only thus to shine; he is also to speak.

In agreement with these beliefs, and with a sense of urgency because of our conviction that "the time is short," we continue to make available follow-up literature for public meetings. Our eighteen booklets continue to be widely circulated. Others are in preparation, and will be issued as soon as pressure of other mat­ters permits.

Correspondence

As in prior years, the various branches of the ministry mentioned in the foregoing, are supplemented by correspondence. The nature of the correspondence varies. Some are brief words of appreciation, in connection with the transmission of orders for literature, Her­ald subscriptions, etc. Some request further explanation of a difficult passage of Scripture, or ask questions in regard to one or another feature of the ministry. Others, again, are of general fellowship, sometimes relating to Christian experiences of both joy and sorrow; others ask for counsel in connection with some deep perplexity or crucial trial.

These messages are all most welcome, even though we are not always able to give as extended or as prompt replies as we could wish. Moreover, such fellowship through the mails is mutually, profitable, and often serves as a guide to our Editorial Committee in the preparation of articles for publication in The Herald dealing with the questions, problems and issues which are very evidently upper­most in the minds of the brethren who write.

Membership

Membership in the Pastoral Bible In­stitute is, and always has been, open to any consecrated brother or sister who "is in full harmony with the purpose, spirit, and policy of the Institute," and who intends to support it "in all reason­able ways as he or she shall deem to be the Lord's will."

This being true, it is particularly gratifying to note that during the year just ended, 16 more brethren applied for, and were granted, membership. To these, on behalf of the directors, and of the entire membership, we extend a hearty welcome in the name of the Lord. We feel sure, brethren, that your association with us will be mutually profitable, and trust that the continued favor of the Lord will be with us all, as we labor together in the ministry.

Your brethren in the Master's service, Board of Directors

By: James C. Jordan, Chairman


The Annual Meeting

The forty-eighth Annual Meeting of the members of the Pastoral Bible Institute, Inc., was held on Saturday, June 4, at 2:00 p.m. in the Berean Bible Students Church, 5930 W. 28th St., Cicero, Illinois.

After the customary devotions, Brother J. C. Jordan was elected chairman of the meeting, and Brother P. L. Read, secretary.

Next followed the reading and approv­al of the minutes of the previous meet­ing, held September 18, 1965.

The annual report of the Directors, for the fiscal year ended April 30, 1966, was then presented. This, including the Treasurer's Financial Statements, is published on pages 59-61.

The names of recently deceased mem­bers were next read - also of those breth­ren who had become members of the Institute during the previous year; after which the meeting proceeded with the election of a new Board. Brothers Edwin Hogrebe and Larry Schneider were appointed to act as tellers. While they were counting the votes, the rest of the friends enjoyed a season of fellowship in listening to the individual reports of the Pilgrim brethren. At the conclusion of the count, the names of the following brethren were announced as elected: F. A. Essler, J. C. Jordan, A. L. Muir, J. T. Read, P. L. Read, W. J. Siekman and P. E. Thomson.

A devotional service concluded the meeting.

Immediately following the Annual Meeting, the new Board met. Among other actions taken, they elected officers as follows: J. C. Jordan, Chairman; F. A. Essler, Vice-Chairman; P. L. Read, Secretary-Treasurer; W. J. Siekman, Assistant Secretary; A. L. Muir, Assistant Treasurer; A. Gonczewski, L. Petran, P. L. Read, W. J. Siekman, J. B. Webster, Editorial Committee.


FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

FISCAL YEAR ENDED APRIL 30, 1966

(1) Balance Sheet as of April 30, 1966

Assets

Cash in Bank                         $ 4,307.57
Accounts Receivable                      781.98
Prepaid Expense                          372.38
Inventory of Books, etc.:
Pocket Edition-Divine Plan        (877) $438.50
Revelation Exposition-Vol. 2      (295)  442.50
Daniel Exposition                  (33)   16.50
Miscellaneous Items                      418.13
Total Inventory                        1,315.63
Total Assets                         $ 6,777.56
Liabilities                              None .
Net Worth (as per Analysis below)    $ 6,777.56

(2) Statement of Income and Expense and Analysis of Net Worth
Fiscal Year Ended April 30, 1966

Income

Contributions                         $19,108.70
Herald Subscriptions                    7,181.00
Legacies                                  925.00
Interest Earned                           115.18
Total Income                          $27,329.88

Operating Expense

Pilgrim Expense                      $ 9,311.59
Herald Expense Including Printing,
Mailing and Clerical                  13,612.86
Free Literature                        5,306.58
Administrative and Office Expense      1,642.95
Total Operating Expense               29,873.98
Net Expense for Fiscal Year
Ended April 30, 1966                 $ 2,544.10
Net Worth, May 1, 1965                 9,321.66
Net Worth, April 30, 1966
(as per Balance Sheet above)         $ 6,777.56


The Question Box

Question:

In John 13:34 we read: "A new commandment. I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." In what sense was this commandment new?

Answer:

It was not new in the sense that a command to love had never before been given. Such a commandment "was written in the very constitution of Adam and Eve." (See Scripture Studies, Vol. VI, page F350.) Moreover, love to one's neighbor is enjoined in the Old Testament. (Lev. 19:18.) But the law of love which Jesus here gave was new in two senses: (1) It was to be a love for one another, and, (2) they were to love one another as Jesus had loved them. Let us briefly consider his commandment from these two points of view.

1. They were to love one another.

The love here enjoined was not a love which was to apply to the entire human race f as in the case of the law of love written in the constitution of the first man), nor was it to be especially applicable to the members of the nation of Israel, as might be said of the law of love stated in Leviticus. It was given (not to all men, nor yet to Israel, but) to the footstep followers of the Master. It was to embrace them all, but only them. Moreover the earlier laws of love were not thereby repealed, even for them. This con­stitutes an additional obligation.

This commandment, therefore, was new in that it was to commence from a new center, even from Jesus himself; and was to embrace an entirely new circle - -the Church. It would thus be suited to new cir­cumstances. The Church which is his Body was about to be founded, and love was to be the mighty influence animating its members, the powerful bond unit­ing the members of that Body to each other and to Jesus, their Head. His Body-members, united to each other in love, were to be his love bearers to the world. To the world the constant love which would be seen in the, relationship of the members of the Church to each other would be taken as a proof of their disciple­ship. "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." - Verse 35.

2. They were to love one another "as I [Jesus], have loved, you."

Scholars tell us that the Greek word here' translated "as" means more than a simple comparison; it indicates a conformity, and characterizes the mutual love of Christians as being of the same nature as that which unites Jesus to his footstep followers, each re turning to his brother the love with which Jesus loves him.

When our Lord gave them this new commandment he was within a few hours of his death. His love for them, which had always been strong and unremitting, had never been greater. "Having loved his own which, were in the world, he loved them unto the end." (Verse 1.) If, therefore, their love was to be in conformity with his, it would mean a willingness on their part to suffer for their brethren similarly, even unto death, and this conclusion is actually drawn by St. John in his first epistle. There, in chapter 3, verse 16, he says: 'Because he laid down his life for us, we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.."'

There is an instructive paragraph on this question from the pen of Brother Russell in Reprints, page R4549. We quote: "The 'New Commandment' represents a higher law than was given to the Jew un­der the Law Covenant,: hence higher also than will be given to Israel and mankind under the New Covenant. The New Commandment mentioned by our Lord is not the Father's commandment at all, but the command of our Head, our Teacher, to all those who have entered the school of Christ and who are hoping to become 'members' of the Anointed One -- ­members of the Mediator, Prophet, Priest, and King of the new dispensation. Justice could not give this, new command; all that justice could command is expressed in the law given to Israel, namely, supreme love of God and love for the neighbor as for one's self. This new commandment which the Lord gave applies only to the Church of this Gospel Age. In effect it is this: If you would be my disciples, if you would share my throne and glory and immortality, you must have my spirit. You must do more than keep the Law. You must be more than just. You must be self sacrificing. If you would share my glory, I command and direct that you love one another as I have loved you. (John 15:12.) I have loved you to the extent of laying down my life for you sacrificially. You must have this same spirit and cast in your lot with me in self sacrifice, or you cannot be my disciples, nor share my glory, and associate in my work as the Mediator for the blessing of Israel and mankind. Whosoever will be ray disciple must take up his cross; and follow me, that where I am there shall my disciple be. Surely no one can doubt the Savior's meaning my disciples must die with me."

Our Lord's new commandment was most loyally obeyed. And the flame of this entirely new affection on earth, streaming forth from the holy fires burning: in the early Church, proved a most mighty influence in the spread of the Gospel. And we, too, are de­termined, are we not, that our fellowship shall be similarly attested; that men shall be constrained to say of us, as of them: "See how these Christians love one another!"

- P. L. Read.


"You Find What You Look For"

"He that bath a froward heart findeth no good." Whoever would be happy must make up his mind to see only the good in others, to hunt for the beautiful things in their characters and to ignore the ugly things; to look for harmony and to avoid discord.

To hold the loving thought, as a mother does toward her children, develops the better side. The delicate flower of manhood or womanhood will not blossom in the foggy, chilly atmosphere of hatred, of jealous envy and condemnation. It must have the warm sun of love, of praise, of appreciation, of encouragement, to call out its beauty and to produce the perfect flower.

Never allow yourself to condemn or form a habit of criticizing others. No matter what they do, hold toward them perpetually the kindly thought, the love thought. Determine to see only that which is good and sweet and wholesome and lovely in them. Try to see the man or woman that God intended, not the warped, twisted and deformed one which a vicious life may have made; and you will generally find what you are looking for.

You will never find the straight by looking for the crooked, or holding the crooked thought in mind. If you are constantly criticizing or finding fault, instead of praising or appreciating, you will ruin your power of seeing the beau­tiful and the true, just as a habitual liar loses the power to tell the truth.

If you habitually hold the deformed thought, the ironical, the skeptical, the pessimistic, the depreciative thought, you will ruin your ability to see or appreciate merit, or what is good and true.

- Bible Students Monthly


RECENTLY DECEASED

Julius Bednarz, Chicago, Ill
Eva Booth, Austin, Tex.
Gertrude W. Brock, Aurora, Ill.
Concetta Casiello, Feedin
g Hills, Mass.
Herbert H. Gary, Kenbridge, Va.
Andrew Gray, Glasgow, Scot.
Cyrus Harry, Brooklyn, N.Y
William A. Kluwe, Batavia,
Ill.
George C. Marsh, Wellin
gton, Ont.
Antoinette Simon, East Chicago, Ill.
Joseph Taraska, Westfield, Mass.
Emma Thomson, Dayton, Ohio


1966 Index