of Christ's Kingdom
XLIX July/August 1966 No. 4
Table of Contents
Things Coming to Pass
Living by Faith
The Study of Revelation
Annual Report of Directors
The Annual Meeting
The Question Box
"You Find What You Look For"
"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.
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"
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."
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.
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:
the world which seems
lie before us, like a land of dreams,
various, so beautiful, so new,
really neither joy, nor love, nor Bight,
certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
we are here, as on a darkling plain
with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
ignorant armies clash by night."
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.
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?
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."
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?
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"
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
back the upward looking and the light,
in it the music and the dream;
right the immemorial infamies,
wrongs, immedicable woes."
the word of the Lord:
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.
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?
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
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:
with slanderous darts, and works of Faith
be found. So shall the World go on,
good malignant, to bad men benign,
her own weight groaning, till the day
of respiration to the just
vengeance to the wicked."
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."
Reinhold Niebuhr has well written:
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."
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
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:
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.
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.
"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.
while the earth with strife is riven,
envious factions Truth do hide,
He, the Lord of earth and heaven,
at the door and claims His Bride.
come! Let all the earth adore Him;
path His human nature trod
to a royal realm before Him,
Life of life, the Word of God!"
- W. J. Siekman
"According to your faith
be it unto you." - Matt. 9:29.
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."
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.
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?
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.
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.
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
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
walk by faith, He wills it so,
marks the path that we should go,
when at times, our sky is dim,
gently draws us close to Him."
walk by faith, but not alone,
Shepherd's tender voice we hear,
feel His hand within our own,
know that He is always near."
Points and Principles to Be Observed
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Sequence of the visions. The fact that one vision follows another in the
written book does not necessarily mean
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.
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.
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.
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.*
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.
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.
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.
interpretation which does not take note of these facts and explain them is
obviously likely to be incorrect.
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.
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.
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.
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.
more briefly, one might say that the interpretation must be in harmony with the
Divine Plan of the Ages.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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:
must believe in God, the Creator and Ruler of heaven and earth, and must
acknowledge his right and authority over their lives and possessions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
must be loyal in
to God's commands, and must continue faithful unto death.
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.
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
NO GAIN WITHOUT A STRUGGLE
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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,
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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"
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.
qualifications then are we to require as a basis for our judgment of those
worthy ;to serve us?
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
report, however, deals only with the year just ended. Prominent among the
several branches of the Institute's ministry is that of our bimonthly
Herald of Christ's Kingdom.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
correspondents frequently take the time to assure us that the services of our
traveling brethren are deeply appreciated.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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 --
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
we believe it to be still true, the back page of each issue of The Herald contains, amongst others, the
us the Scriptures clearly teach ... that the present mission of the Church is .
. . to be God's witness to the world."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
brethren in the Master's service, Board of Directors
By: James C. Jordan, Chairman
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.
the customary devotions, Brother J. C. Jordan was elected chairman of the
meeting, and Brother P. L. Read, secretary.
followed the reading and approval of the minutes of the previous meeting,
held September 18, 1965.
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.
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
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.
devotional service concluded the meeting.
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.
FISCAL YEAR ENDED APRIL 30, 1966
(1) Balance Sheet as of April
in Bank $ 4,307.57
of Books, etc.:
Plan (877) $438.50
Exposition-Vol. 2 (295) 442.50
Exposition (33) 16.50
Total Inventory 1,315.63
Total Assets $
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,
Interest Earned 115.18
Pilgrim Expense $ 9,311.59
Herald Expense Including
Free Literature 5,306.58
Office Expense 1,642.95
Net Expense for Fiscal Year
Ended April 30, 1966 $ 2,544.10
Net Worth, May 1,
Net Worth, April 30,
(as per Balance Sheet above) $
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?
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
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
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."
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Bednarz, Chicago, Ill
Booth, Austin, Tex.
W. Brock, Aurora, Ill.
Herbert H. Gary, Kenbridge, Va.
Andrew Gray, Glasgow, Scot.
Cyrus Harry, Brooklyn, N.Y
William A. Kluwe, Batavia, Ill.
George C. Marsh, Wellington, Ont.
Antoinette Simon, East Chicago, Ill.
Joseph Taraska, Westfield, Mass.
Emma Thomson, Dayton, Ohio