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THE HERALD

of Christ's Kingdom


VOL. LII. July/August 1969 No. 4
Table of Contents
  

God's Anointed Son His Work

Kalos or Kakos

Israel Today

The Death and Resurrection of Israel

The Levitical Prophetical System of Weeks

The Beatitudes

Notice of Annual Meeting

Entered Into Rest 


God's Anointed Son -- His Work

"Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd:
and he began to teach them many things." - Mark 6:34.

Twenty-seven centuries ago, the Prophet Isaiah (Isa. 61:1-3) described the mission of the Messiah and the man­ner in which he becomes a light to the nations; of his condescension and compassion in ministering to the humble, the lowly, the sin-bound and the heartbroken. Some of these magnificently expressive words were chosen by our Lord at Nazareth for the solemn introduction of his public ministry (Luke 4:16, 17). He opened the scroll of Isaiah, found this passage, read the first six clauses, and then added: "'This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears.' And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth."

Let us linger over these words so fittingly chosen by our Master that thus we may have a fuller vision of the glorious work of Christ, for in it we too, if faithful, shall share. Let us consider each clause, its partial fulfillment at his first Advent, and the future complete fulfillment at his second.

THE WORK OF CHRIST

We hear him say: "The spirit of the Lord God is upon me." Why, Lord, is the spirit of God upon thee? "Be­cause Jehovah hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek." And what tidings the Master did preach! Were sweeter words ever ut­tered than those we find in John 3:16, the "little Bible"? "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only be­gotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." A message of hope and of love such as was never heard before. "Never man spake like this man." That message will yet reach into the hearts of all mankind for he has promised to draw all men unto himself (John 12:32).

Again the Master speaks: "The spirit of the Lord God is upon me." And again we ask. Why, Lord, is the spirit of God upon thee? "Because He hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted." The Polish render­ing is, "to bind up the wounds of the contrite-hearted." How wonderfully did Jesus reveal his commission in this respect! One has but to recall the ac­count in Luke 7:37-50 to appreciate this. The despised woman creeps into the Pharisee's home to kneel at Jesus' feet, to wash them with her tears. Here was broken-heartedness that re­quired the touch of the Master Healer. Who knows how many wayward souls have since read this touching record and been moved to the same contrition and received the same bless­ing from Him who is "the same yes­terday, today, and forever"? For it is still true that "the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise" (Ps. 51:17). And still is the voice of the Anointed One heard, as it will also be throughout his Millennial reign: "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matt. 11:28).

We continue. "The spirit of the Lord God is upon me." Why, Lord? "Because He hath anointed me to proclaim liberty to the captives." Prisoners in the great prison house of death! Who can proclaim to them liberty but He who has the "keys of death and hell"! (Rev. 1:18). How marvelous were his demonstrations of this God-given power in the awaken­ing of Lazarus and others! Only Christ can say, "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live" (John 11:25). The near future awaits the glorious fulfillment of his promise to raise all from their graves (John 5:25-29). Then indeed will liberty be proclaimed "throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof" (Lev. 25:10).

The Master speaks: "The spirit of the Lord God is upon me because He bath anointed me to proclaim the opening of the eyes to them that are bound" (A.R.V.). Blessed were the literal blind eyes that felt that healing touch, but far more blessed were and are and shall be those whose blind "eyes of the heart" are restored to sight. "Darkness covers the earth and gross darkness the people" (Isa. 60:2) but here is One who can say "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life" (John 8:12). Ah, yes! Not only light (illumination of mind to dispel the darkness of ignorance) but a spe­cial light, the light of life; the knowl­edge which illumines the mind and simultaneously invigorates to life and growth. Christ alone possesses such "light," and therefore God's Word has termed him "the Sun of righteousness who shall arise with healing in his wings" to bless all the nations (Mal. 4:2).

Again, "The spirit of the Lord God is upon me because He hath anointed me to proclaim the year of Jehovah's favor" (A.R.V.). And so it is written: "As many as received him, to them gave he power [authority] to become the sons of God, to them that believe on his name" (John 1:12). Now is the Gospel Age of favor, during which "by a new and living way [a "narrow" way] which he hath consecrated for us," the followers of Christ have "boldness to enter into the holiest," even the presence of God. (See 2 Cor. 6:1, 2; Heb. 9:8; 10:19, 20.) Such are "elect according to the foreknowledge of God-the called according to his purpose -- holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling" (1 Pet. 1:2; Rom. 8:28; Heb. 3:1). Unspeakable grace! Hidden until re­vealed by the Son of God! "Of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace" (John 1:16). Wherefore, brethren, "walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his Kingdom and glory" (1 Thess. 2:12).

Having read thus far from Isaiah's prophecy, our Lord ceased, and only later added the warning of "the day of vengeance." (See Matt. 24, Luke 21, Mark 13.) We also pass by this clause with the one remark that there is a year of favor but only a day of vengeance. Thank God that "His anger endureth not forever."

Returning to the prophecy we read, "The spirit of the Lord God is upon me because Jehovah hath anointed me to comfort all that mourn." Christ, the Comforter! What a glorious title and work! How well exemplified in the record of the three raisings from the dead. They were those of the only son of a widowed mother, the only daughter of two fond parents, the only brother of two affectionate sisters. And in each case there was something singular in the tenderness of our Lord's con­duct toward the mourners. He knew beforehand how speedily the anxiety would be relieved, the sorrow chased away, but the "Weep not" to the mother before he touched the bier; the "Fear not, only believe," to the agitated father; the tears that fell be­fore the grave of Lazarus -- what a testimony do they bear to the exqui­site susceptibility of the Savior's spirit -- to the quickness, the fullness of his sympathy with human grief! Hallelujah! What a Savior! He shall yet wipe the tears from every eye.

Yet once again the Master speaks: "The spirit of the Lord God is upon me-to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called the trees of righteousness, the planting of Jehovah, that he might be glorified." Here we have summed up the work of Christ on behalf of his faithful footstep followers, they who shall share the throne of the Kingdom. Who, shall measure what Christ has done for each true Chris­tian?

"I stand all astonished with wonder
And gaze on the ocean of love."

Read with glowing heart these old familiar Scriptures in this order - Isa. 64:6; 1 Cor. 6:11; 1 Pet. 2:9, 10; Isa. 61:10; John 15:11. Then let us sing anew that song of joy and thanks­iving: "I love the Lord, because he bath heard my voice and my supplications. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live. The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. Then called I upon the name of the Lord; O Lord, I beseech thee, deliver my soul. Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful. The Lord preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me. Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the Lord bath dealt bountifully with thee. For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living" (Psa. 116:1-9).

THE EFFECTS OF CHRIST'S WORK

Thus worked God's Anointed Son and "manifested forth his glory." But the "greater works than these" remain to be done, and the "time is at hand." Already the effects of Christ's work begun in Galilee long ago are even to the unbeliever indisputable and his­torical. Farrar has well said: "It ex­pelled cruelty; it curbed passion; it branded suicide; it punished and re­pressed an execrable infanticide; it drove the shameless impurities of heathendom into a congenial darkness. There was hardly a class whose wrongs it did not remedy. It rescued the gladiator; it freed the slave; it protected the captive; it nursed the sick; it sheltered the orphan; it elevated the woman; it shrouded as with a halo of sacred innocence the tender years of the child. In every region of life its ameliorating influence was felt. It changed pity from a vice into a virtue. It elevated poverty from a curse to a beatitude. It ennobled labor from a vulgarity into a dignity and a duty. It sanctified marriage. It revealed for the first time the angelic beauty of a Purity of which men had despaired and of a Meekness at which they had utterly scoffed. It created the very conception of charity, and broadened the limits of its obligation from the narrow circle of a neighborhood to the widest horizons of a race. And while it thus evolved the idea of humanity as a common brotherhood, even where its tidings were not be­lieved -- all over the world, wherever its tidings were believed, it cleansed the life, and elevated the soul of each individual man."

The living life-giving Christ! That is our sole and sufficient theme. Christ, the Sacrifice for sinners; Christ, the Teacher of the ignorant; Christ, the King of faithful souls; the Emancipator of moral slaves; the Consoler of the sorrowing; the sure Hope of the multitudes of earth; my Christ, your Christ, humanity's Christ! In his devotional spirit, in his holiness, in his exertions to promote the divine glory, in his tenderness for sorrowing souls, in his zeal to do those around him good, in his self-denying perseverance, in his tender charity, his gener­ous love, his meekness, his patience, his forgiveness of injuries-in these and all other moral excellencies of his character, he stands before us for our study, our admiration, our imita­tion. Though we cannot work mira­cles as he did, we may imitate his acts of mercy, his prodigies of benevo­lence; though we cannot prophesy, we may yet proclaim his truth and make known his salvation; though we can­not forgive sins, we may yet pardon affronts and injuries; though we can­not die a ransom sacrifice for the sins of those around us, we may yet make many sacrifices for their sakes; and we may imitate his patience, his meekness, and suffer what befalls us for his sake, in the spirit in which he suffered.

EARTH'S COMING GLORY

Now we stand in the "latter days." The Kingdom of Christ is soon to be established, in which he shall finish the wonderful work for which he has been anointed. The nations know not the day of their visitation -- that there stands One at the door able and willing to take charge of the affairs of earth, with a salvation greater than men have dreamed of. God is hastening the time when not only the doctrine of popular liberty, but the greater and inclusive doctrine of a divine redemption, enunciated through a purely taught Gospel, shall become the open faith of mankind. And for the furtherance of this blessed result, how wondrous the work of God's providence, wrought through these later years in compact­ing the nations of the world, in mul­tiplying the facilities for their mutual intercourse, and in the transmission of thought in common to all. Into how few centers is He concentrating political power, and into what close relations and sympathies is He bringing all nations! Through the marvelous communication means of this day, not only are the doings of men in every nation, the transactions of government and commerce, instantly known in every other, but what is of vaster moment far, the world itself has become a great whispering gallery for the interchange of thought and opinion among its varied peoples. And for what purpose are these facilities of intercourse, this exchange of thought, to what end this binding of the nations together, this making the world one, save that predicted by the Prophet concerning the time of the end, "that many should run to and fro, and knowledge," the knowledge of a Redeeming God, "shall be increased"; "that the knowledge of the Lord may cover the earth as the waters the seas"; nay more, that all flesh may glory in the coming of the Lord, and all nations accept his sovereign sway!

- W. J. Siekman


Kalos or Kakos

"Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith;
prove your own selves." - 2
Corinthians 13:5.

It is often extremely difficult to discriminate between good and evil, or to decide whether a course of conduct opened before us would be pleasing to the Lord or not.

Some may be inclined to question this statement; but the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews declares it to be true. He says (Heb. 5:7-14), "When by reason of the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need again that some one teach you the rudiments of the first principles of the oracles of God; and ... have need of milk ["for babes"] and not of solid food . . . [which is] for full grown men ... who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern good and evil."

This writer emphasizes his point here by a play on words -- paronomasia, which is the use of two words of similar sound in juxtaposition, commonly for emphasizing antithesis, or contrary meaning. Out of more than a dozen Greek words meaning "good," and eight meaning "evil," the writer selects two which look and sound almost exactly alike -- "Kalos" and "Kakos." It requires good eye­sight to: "discern" between Kalos and Kakos, and equally good and experienced spiritual eyesight always to dis­cern between good and evil, in our conclusions drawn from the Word of God. A neat turn of language to impress a great truth!

Discernment -- discrimination -- is a rare and advanced fruit of true Wisdom. Kalos or Kakos! Good or evil! The fundamental error is in expect­ing that the Church will reign in the flesh, and that its ministers have earth­ly authority. The Scriptures are so written that the erroneous conclusion may be drawn by those who do not love the truth concerning the Church in the flesh -- that her course is to be one of humility, poverty, self­ sacrifice, suffering; her exaltation to be consequent upon her death in follow­ing her Lord. This is distasteful to those who love power, place, pride, authority. God sends a "zeal of error" to such -- that their hearts may be manifested, their condemnation justi­fied.

Strange it is that Bible students can see clearly how wrong was the course of some who made these great and swelling claims in past centuries, yet fail to recognize the same claims of over-lordship and authority when advanced by others today. Plausible arguments based upon texts and interpretations of God's Word are pre­sented in support of these claims; but the Apostle's solemn and portentous words apply today as ever: "God shall send them a zeal of error-because they loved not the truth -- that they may be judged."

This particular self-deception is the most serious and dangerous of any into which we may fall. It is de­nounced by the risen Christ in his Revelation (Rev. 2:6, 15) as "the doctrine and works of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate." Nicolaus means "he who overcomes the people"; it is a cryptic reference to those who seek to become "lords over God's heritage" -who are "not holding the Head." "The vice­gerent of Christ on earth"; "the Chan­nel of the Truth"; these and similar claims are all direct offenses against him who has been appointed by God the Father to be "head over all things unto his body, which is the Church" (Eph. 1:22), and inevitably will bring on the condemnation forewarned, if persisted in.

Next in heinousness to the offense against the Head is the offense against his Body, the Church, in fomenting divisions among her members. The Apostle writes, "There must be schisms among you that they that are approved may be made manifest among you" (1 Cor. 11:19). "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; . . . enmities, strife, jealousies, wraths, factions, divisions, parties . . . which I forewarn you, even as I did in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God" (Gal. 5:19-21). The divisions must come, in order that those who love and practice divisions may be manifested and condemned.

On the contrary, the same Apostle as clearly declares that those who practice unity shall inherit the King­dom. He gives us a basis for the unity of the Church so clear, simple, and yet comprehensive as to leave no room for question, no danger of be­ing either too exclusive or too inclusive if we adhere to it. It is indeed an authoritative "Apostles' Creed" for the Church. It is found in Ephe­sians 4:1-16, which may be paraphrased with some freedom as fol­lows (note the play on the word "one"):

"I urge you to live worthy of the Call that you have received; always humble and gentle, patient, loving one another, and striving to maintain in the bond of peace the one-ness given by the Spirit [for there are seven "one" things upon which this "oneness" is built]

One Body,
One Spirit,
One Hope of our Calling,
One Lord,
One Faith, One Baptism,
One God and Father over all."

"To this unified Body God has given gifts -- Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers, to fit his people for the work of the ministry, for the building up of the Body of Christ. And [provided unity is maintained] this shall continue until we all attain unto --

(1) The oneness of the faith;
(2) The full knowledge of the Son of God;
(3) Full-grown manhood -the full standard of the perfection of Christ;
(4) Complete union with him who is our Head--Christ himself.
But only if we are closely joined and knit together and so are being built up in a spirit of love."

The Apostle's extreme care in choosing words exactly to express his meaning is notable in the fact that in referring to five of the seven essen­tial things he uses the cardinal "one"; in the cases of the other two, he uses the ordinal "first." The five cardinal "ones" are given to us--complete, perfect, the plan and workmanship of the Father and the Son, in which our part is only to receive, to occupy, to share, or to recognize and obey. These are: One Body, One Spirit, One Lord, One Baptism, One God and Father." The other two are: "First Hope of Our Calling, First Faith." These are our contributions to the fellowship of the Body; while both are gifts from God in a sense, because the things which call them forth or incite them are from him, yet in another sense they originate and grow in our minds in response to God's invitation and gracious promises.

Yet in stating these two require­ments for membership in the Body he implies that we are not to expect or demand a fully developed hope or faith in those seeking our fellowship. This he puts in so many words in Romans 14:1: "Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations." Presently, as a result of the unity and fellowship of the Body, his faith will grow, "until we all attain unto the unity [perfection] of the faith."

How beautifully this platform covers every point--justification, consecration, sanctification, holy living, a sacrificial death! Anyone who pro­fesses these Seven Things, and gives no contrary evidence (such as living in open sin -- 1 Cor. 5:11;
2 Thess. 3:6) is accepted and fellowshipped as a brother in Christ.

But, says one, any sectarian would accept this platform provided he is allowed to define the "One Faith"! To this we reply, the Apostle does not leave this requirement to our in­dividual opinions and preferences, but himself defines in unmistakable sim­plicity and completeness, the "Faith once delivered unto the saints": "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen." "The word is nigh thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith which we preach: be­cause if thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in thy heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved" (Heb. 11:6; Rom. 10:8, 9). Is that all? Yes, according to Paul; but mistakenly zealous sectarians from the earliest age of the Church have been expanding and dilating and doctoring and patching their conceptions of "The Faith," to include this, that, and the other doctrinal requirements, true or false; and they are still busy at it!

In fact, it has become so much a matter of course to confuse "faith" with doctrine or belief, that when the facts come to our attention we are astonished, and sometimes find it difficult to adjust our minds to their implications.

The Greek word "pistis," the word usually translated "faith," carries no implication of a creed or system of belief. Strong's Greek Dictionary in his Concordance, after defining this word, adds: "By extension, the sys­tem of religious [Gospel] truth itself."

It is truly by an "extension" not authorized by the inspired writers nor justified by the meaning or usage of the Greek word, that it so extended. And this "extension" has undoubtedly been the cause of more fanaticism, persecution, hatred, warfare, and bloodshed, in the name of Christ, than all other fundamental errors combined.

As compared to the seven funda­mental things stated by the Apostle as essential to membership in the Church, and the plain statements of Scripture directly concerning these seven, all other doctrinal statements of Scripture are of secondary im­portance. And yet, the things that Christians dispute -- yea, quarrel, and divide about, are almost invariably the doctrinal questions of secondary importance.

Kalos or Kakos -- good or evil­ -- discern, O Israel! The great things should unite us all. Shall we permit the lesser things to continue to separate us?

Paul places life and death before us -- a theorem in spiritual proportion

Unity  Life :: Divisions : Death.

Unity is to Life as Divisions are to Death.

Unity -- and a "completing of our course with joy"; an "ascertaining what is the good and acceptable and complete will of God concerning us"; an "abundant entrance ministered un­to us into his Everlasting Kingdom."

Divisions -- and loss; lost time, lost efficiency, lost opportunities, a lost crown and Kingdom.

Why is this subject of the Unity of the Body of such supreme impor­tance?

(1) Because Jesus came into the world to establish unity (John 11:52).

(2) He commanded and prayed that his followers should be one (united) (John 15:12, 17; 17:11, 21­23).

(3) We lose our liberty in Christ if we practice divisions.

"What," says one, "I thought we gained liberty by standing apart?"

The most important feature of our liberty in Christ is that spoken of in John 1:12: "As many as received him, to them gave he power [margin, the right or privilege - i.e., liberty] to become the sons of God." "He that saith he abideth in him ought him­self also so to walk, even as he walked. Hereby perceive we love, be­cause he laid down his life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren ... Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to, love one another" (1 John 2:6; 3:16; 4:11).

How can we love and lay down our lives for the brethren if we are divided--if we do not fellowship with them--assemble ourselves to­gether with them? Only "with all saints" can we come to know "what is the breadth and length and height and depth . . . of the love of Christ, which passeth [individual or human] knowledge" (Eph. 3:14-19). We can attain the perfection of this knowledge only when we are finally united with our Head and the members of his Body beyond the Veil; but our fitness for that ultimate and perfect unity will certainly be measured and judged by the earnestness, sincerity, and self-sacrifice we display in seeking the fullest possible measure of it during this, our trial time.

We have considered the great Apostle's solemn admonitions and warnings; it remains for us only to examine their applicability to ourselves; to determine our own position and trend in the light of their significance; for "if we judge ourselves we shall not be judged."

Kalos or Kakos -- good or evil -- ­life or death!

The Laodicean Church has a high and holy mission. In most particulars it is identical with, in some it differs somewhat from, the mission of previ­ous stages of the Church. It may be stated thus

(1) To "give diligence to make our own calling and election sure" (2 Pet. 1:3-11).

(2) To "lay down our lives for the brethren" in assisting them to do likewise (1 John 3:16).

(3) To discharge our ambassador­ship to mankind: "As though God did beseech by us: we pray in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God" (2 Cor. 5:20).

(4) To witness to the world of the end of the Age, and the nearness of the Kingdom (Matt. 24:14).

This Mission can be accomplished only by Unity--or rather, those who practice unity will achieve personal success in this enterprise.

It requires both Faith and Works -- but not specialists in Faith and specialists in Works, acting separately. We must get together, because our Head commands it, and because we need each other.

Kalos or Kakos -- good or evil -- discern, O Israel!

Shall we say unity is impossible? Then we do not love sufficiently, for "Love hopeth ALL things"!

Unity impossible? Then we contradict the Prophet, who declares (Isa. 52:8) "Thy watchmen . . . together shall sing: for they shall see eye to eye when the Lord shall bring again Zion." Does this mean that if we are of the true watchmen we will agree on everything? Or, in other words, do we think that those who do not agree with us are not watch­men?

Ah, no, brethren -- let us not be so narrow or so foolish!

If we see eye to eye that opinions do not matter-that unity on the basis of the Apostle's seven great es­sentials (upon which we all agree) is the all-important thing-then the prophecy is fulfilled--we can all get together, forget differences, practice unity, reap its blessed fruits "unto life eternal," and be ready to face our Lord and Head without the shame, confusion, and regret we shall surely experience when we see him if we have "practiced divisions."

Kalos or Kakos -- good or evil -- ­discern, O Israel!

Surely the movement to "gather into unity the children of God who are scattered abroad," inaugurated by our Lord nineteen hundred years ago, is one worthy of our most earnest efforts as his followers. Surely it de­serves our careful thought and plan­ning, our time, our talents, the sacrifice of our human life itself! Surely it is a Holy Crusade to which we will do well to devote ourselves! Surely such a life and death would be well­pleasing to the Father and to our Head!

"We are a spectacle to angels and men." Are we giving a good wit­ness, dear brethren-of Christian love, of unity, of zeal and devotion, of holy living?

Kalos or Kakos -- good or evil. Discern, O Israel!

- H. E. Hollister


Israel Today

'In the latter years you [Gog, of the land of Magog - Ezek. 38:2] will go against the land that is restored from war, the land where people were gathered from many nations upon the mountains of Israel, which had been a continual waste; its people were brought out from the nations and now dwell securely, all of them. . . . and you will devise an evil scheme and say, 'I will go up against the land of unwalled villages; I will fall upon the quiet people who dwell securely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having no bars or gates'; to seize spoil and carry off plunder; to assail the waste places which are now inhabited, and the people who were gathered from the nations, who have gotten cattle and goods, who dwell at the center of the earth." - Ezekiel 38:8-12, R.S.V.

In the January-February issue of The Herald, page 7, we condensed some paragraphs from a recent issue of the Bible Study Monthly. Relying on the text at the head of this article, the author of those paragraphs stated that "The invasion of the Holy Land by the hosts of 'Gog and Magog' is the last great event of this Age. The overthrow of that great host is the signal for the establishment and an­nouncement of the Kingdom of God upon earth. From that point of time Restitution processes will commence, and the work of world conversion, the restoration of the earth and re­habilitation of the human race, go forward. A clear understanding of the prophecy in the light both of Biblical lore and of contemporary knowledge is an essential for those who desire to keep abreast with the outworking of the Divine Plan.

"The central feature of the prophecy is the land and its people, and a ques­tion immediately arises, 'Where is the land and who are the people?' The old-time theology, inspired mainly by St. Augustine, declared that the whole passage is symbolic, that it de­picts the final triumph of Christ and his Church over the forces of evil. Such explanation will not satisfy students of the Bible who understand and look for the coming of Christ's Kingdom upon earth. Quite clearly, this passage is directly related to the Divine destiny for the ideal Israel of the End Time and to the establishment of the Kingdom, and must therefore be understood in a dispensational sense and in an earthly setting. Putting it briefly, the time of the prophecy is at the end of this Age and the place of its fulfillment is up­on this earth."

In a footnote to page 7, our Edi­torial Committee expressed the hope that this question might be discussed in more detail in a future issue of The Herald. This we propose to do now.

The subject, then, to be considered here is: "Where is the land to, which Ezekiel refers, and who are the peo­ple?"

There are several methods of interpretation adopted by commentators. One is that of so-called "spiritualizing" the prophecies -- making Israel and Zion to mean the Church, and The Land to signify Heaven. However, when we attempt to apply this system of interpretation its incon­sistency becomes apparent. For exam­ple, in Jeremiah 30:3 we read: "For, lo, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the Lord: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it."

As far back as 1890, David Baron, a well-known Hebrew-Christian (who, for many years, edited The Scattered Nation remarked on this verse: "If Israel be the Church, who is Judah? If Judah be the Church, who is Israel?

What is the 'captivity' the Church has endured? and where is 'the land' from which the Church has been driven out, and to. which it will return? . . If Israel does not mean Israel, and 'the land God gave to the fathers' does not mean Palestine, then I do not know what is meant."

Again, in Jeremiah 31:10 the an­nouncement is: "He that scattered Israel will gather him."

Commentators are in general agree­ment that the "scattering" refers to literal Israel (a nation scattered and peeled, Isaiah 18:2); but when, in the same sentence (Jeremiah 31:10) a gathering of the same people is men­tioned, this, we are told, must have reference to spiritual Israel!! Here, surely, is inconsistency.

Another method of dealing with these prophecies of a Restoration is to interpret them to mean a gathering of the Jews into the Church. But this interpretation, too, is untenable. The Jews will not be gathered, nationally, into the Church; for even in the New Testament we have the Jews, as well as the Gentiles, as nations, running parallel with, and con­tinuing separate from, the Church, throughout all the period of its history on earth. Note how the Apos­tle Paul distinguishes them in 1 Corinthians 10:32: "Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gen­tiles, nor to the Church of God."

"He that scattered Israel" -- From whence? from the Church, or from gospel blessings? Not so -- He scattered Israel from Palestine. "Will gather him" -- Where to? Why, surely, to the land which he gave to their fathers, from which Israel, on account of disobedience, was banished and scattered.

But a third, and perhaps the most plausible, way of explaining the prophecies of a Restoration is to represent them as having had their fulfillment at the restoration from Babylon.

Below we submit three of the reasons which compel us to reject this interpretation, also. To us it seems that any fulfillment of the prophecies at the restoration immediately follow­ing the Babylonish captivity must be considered, at most, as partial; quite inadequate to represent the complete fulfillment.

(1) THE RESTORATION PROMISED WAS
TO INCLUDE THE ENTIRE TWELVE
TRIBES, REUNITED IN ONE KINGDOM

This is quite clearly predicted in Ezekiel 37:21, 22, as follows: "Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: And I will make them [Judah and Israel - Eze. 37:15-19] one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all."

So also in that remarkable prophecy of Isaiah 11 (Isa. 11:12), which, on what­ever system of interpretation, is ad­mittedly future in its application: "He shall . . . assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dis­persed of Judah from the four corners of the earth:'

These scriptures speak of a com­plete restoration of the entire nation. Such prophecies could not be said to have received their fulfillment in the (comparatively speaking) mere hand­ful who returned from Babylon.

(2) AFTER THE RESTORATION
PREDICTED, ISRAEL IS TO ENJOY, NOT
ONLY NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE
BUT, NATIONAL SUPREMACY

Backsliding Israel, because he served not Jehovah with joyfulness and with gladness of heart for the abundance of all things, was to be taught a lesson by comparison; and was given over by God to be in servitude for a time to the Gentiles.

"Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the Lord shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck" (Deut. 28:48).

But this iron yoke of Gentile op­pression was not to last forever. It was to be only until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled, as Jesus stated in Luke 21:24.

We have already referred to Jere­miah 30:3. In Jer. 30:8 of that chapter, the Lord declares: "I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him."

However, this national indepen­dence did not occur when the Baby­lonian captivity terminated. As Dr. Kac has noted on page 40 of his Re­birth of the State of Israel, "Politically the Jewish community in Palestine in the era of the Second Commonwealth was an appendage of one of the great powers in that era: first of Persia, then of Alexander the Great, and finally of Rome."

Let those who think otherwise ponder the words to be found in Nehemiah 9:36, 37 which describe the actual condition of the people after their restoration in Nehemiah's day: "Behold, we are servants this day, and for the land that thou gayest unto our fathers to eat the fruit thereof and the good thereof, behold, we are servants in it: And it yieldeth much increase unto the kings whom thou hast set over us because of our sins: also they have dominion over our bodies, and over our cattle, at their pleasure, and we are in great distress."

It is not possible to compare, but only to contrast the actual conditions described in the Nehemiah passage above cited with the conditions which will obtain when a prophecy such as is found in Isaiah 14:1-3 meets fulfillment. Then, not merely national independence (wholly lacking in Nehemiah's day as we have seen) but national supremacy will be Israel's happy portion:

"The Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob. And the people shall take them, and bring them to their place: and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the Lord for servants and handmaids: and they shall take them captives, whose cap­tives they were; and they shall rule over their oppressors" (Isa. 14:1, 2).

(3) THE RESTORATION PROMISED IS
TO BE A "SECOND" RESTORATION.

ITS EXTENT IS TO BE WORLDWIDE.
IT IS TO BE FOLLOWED BY NO FURTHER DISPERSIONS,
AND IS, THEREFORE, TO BE PERMANENT

Foregoing we cited Isaiah 11:12 as indicating the extent-the universality-of the gathering "from the four corners of the earth" in contrast with the mere handful who returned from Babylon. If we turn to the previous verse (Isaiah 11:11) we note that this is declared to be a "second" restoration: "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people."

There was no "second" restoration in Nehemiah's time. It must, there­fore, be future from his day.

Again, in chapter 31 of Jeremiah's prophecy, after describing the rebuild­ing of the Holy City, the chapter closes with the declaration: 'It shall not be plucked up, nor thrown down any more for ever."

Amos, too, speaks in a similar strain, in the closing verses of his prophecy (Amos 9:14, 15): "1 will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God."

It is, of course, a matter of history, which none would dispute, that the restoration from Babylon was fol­lowed by another dispersion of the people into all the four corners of the earth. Evidently, therefore, the restoration from Babylon could not have been the fulfillment of prophecies which stipulate "they shall no more be plucked up out of their land."


The Death and Resurrection of Israel

A Message of Hope for a Time of Trouble

By Arthur W. Kac, M.D.

It is a pleasure to announce the publication of another "Israel" book by our esteemed friend and brother in Christ, Dr. Arthur W. Kac. The following lines are taken from its Foreword.

"In 1948 the Jewish people re­established their national home in the Land of Israel after the lapse of nine­teen centuries. In all of world history there is no other instance of a people which, though dispersed from its na­tive land for some two thousand years, managed to survive and at the end of this long period returned to the country of its origin to resume its national existence. An attempt to ex­plain the significance of this unique and unparalleled phenomenon was made by this author in a book entitled The Rebirth of the State of Israel: Is It of God or of Men? . . . In the present work the author seeks to complete the story begun in The Rebirth of the State of Israel."

The book is priced at $3.95. Orders should be sent to Pastoral Bible Insti­tute, Inc., P.O. Box 15031 - Chouteau Station, St. Louis, Missouri 63110.


The Levitical Prophetical System of Weeks

"The times and the seasons.... " - 1 Thessalonians 5:1.

Five forms of weeks were employed under the law of Moses, adjusted to individual and national interests:

I. The week of days (Ex. 20)
II. The week of weeks (Lev. 23)
III. The week of months (Lev. 23)
IV. The week of years (Lev. 25)
V. The week of weeks of years (Lev. 25)

I. The Week of Days

For three thousand five hundred years the Jews as a nation have ob­served the week of days, resting every Sabbath from secular toils, according to Divine command. (See also Ex. 12:15; Ex. 22:27, 30; Ex. 29:35, 37; Lev. 12:2; Lev. 15:13-19; Lev. 23:36,39; Num. 12:14; Num. 19:11; Num. 31:19; Josh. 6:4.)

The week, with its concluding Sab­bath, is therefore deeply engraven in a variety of ways on the whole Jewish ritual and history. Not on Jewish history alone. Although in the Chris­tian dispensation the eighth day, or first day of a new week, is substituted for the creation Sabbath, indicating that rest is to be found only in a new creation, only in resurrection, - yet still the weekly division of time, and the weekly day of holy rest, continue, witnessing as ever to the rest that remaineth for the people of God. For, like the Lord's supper, which shows forth his death till he come, the Sab­bath and the Lord's day which has taken its place glance both backward and onward. The first day of the week recalls the glad morning of the resurrection, the completion of the re­deeming work of Christ (just as the Sabbath recalled the conclusion of the creation work of God), and it fore­tells the remaining rest, when they that are Christ's shall rise at his com­ing. Thus we may say, that three hundred thousand earthly Sabbaths line the road that lies behind the peo­ple of God, pointing with outstretched hand, like so many guideposts, in the same direction, and agreeing with overwhelming unanimity in their testi­mony to the blessed fact, that "there remaineth a Sabbatism" for the people of God.

II. The Week of Weeks

Next in order to the week of days came the week of weeks. This was a period appointed to elapse between the first two of the great annual gatherings of the Jewish sacred year, Passover and Pentecost. "And ye shall count unto you from the mor­row after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be com­plete: Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the Lord" (Lev. 23:15).

Thus, in every Jewish year there occurred not only a series of weeks of days, each with its concluding Sabbath, but a week of weeks, with its closing Pentecostal celebrations, full of hidden hopes of resurrection experiences.

III. The Week of Months

The entire series of the feasts of the Lord, ordained in Leviticus, is comprised within the first seven months of the year. The sacred portion of the Jewish year, therefore, or its complete calendar of divinely ordained religious ceremonies, prefiguring the history of redemption, occupied a week of months. It commenced with the month Abib or Nisan, on the fourteenth day of which the Exodus took place, in memory of which the annual feast of Passover was instituted. There followed, each in its appointed season, the feast of Unleavened bread, and the First-fruit sheaf, the feast of Weeks or Pentecost, the feast of Trumpets, the great day of Atone­ment, and the feast of Tabernacles. This last was held in the seventh month, and with it closed for the year the special "feasts of the Lord." Thus the period marked off for holy convocations, from the Jewish year, was septiform in character; a week whose days contained, by Divine direction, the observances of Israel's ecclesiastical year; while the feasts themselves, and the order in which they occurred, had undoubted refer­ence to antitypical events, on the scale of ages.

IV. The Week of Years

It was the will of God that not only the people but the land of Israel should keep sabbath. "The Lord spake unto Moses in Mount Sinai, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land which I give unto you, then shall the land keep a sabbath unto the Lord. Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof; but in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the Lord: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard. That which groweth of its own accord of thy harvest thou shalt not reap, neither gather the grapes of thy vine undressed: for it is a year of rest unto the land" (Lev. 25:1-5). The Hebrew servant, similarly, was to serve six years, and go out free in the seventh (Exod. 21:2).

The period thus marked off had exactly the same character as the week with its six days of toil and seventh of rest; it is simply the week on the scale of years. And it is worthy of notice that the observance of the ordinances respecting the land during the sabbatic years was possible only by means of a stupendous miracle, to be repeated every seven years. "If ye shall say, What shall we eat the seventh year? behold, we shall not sow, nor gather in our increase: then I will command my blessing upon you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth fruit for three years" (Lev. 25:20, 21).

Here was a law perfectly harmoni­ous, as we have seen, and shall yet see more fully, with the order of sacred seasons observed by the Jews; a law in which there was nothing foreign to their whole system, but which was on the contrary an in­tegral part of it, and yet it was made to depend, for the possibility of its fulfillment, upon a special periodical interposition of Divine power, as wide in its range as the necessities of an entire nation. No merely human legislation would ever have originated such a law, on account of its inca­pacity to provide the conditions need­ful for its observance. This miracle in the land was, on the scale of years, what the doubling of the manna in the wilderness was on the scale of days; a miraculous arrangement, to render possible the keeping of the prescribed sabbath. There, the gift of manna was doubled every sixth day; while in the land of promise the produce was trebled every sixth year, the object in each case being to secure the sabbath rest.

V. The Week of Weeks of Years

The largest week ordained in the Mosaic ritual was the week of weeks of years, the period including, there­fore, seven sabbatic years, with their intervening years of toil: forty-nine years.

"Thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years. Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land. And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his pos. session, and ye shall return -- every man unto his family. A jubilee shall that fiftieth year be unto you: ye shall not sow, neither reap that which groweth of itself in it, nor gather the grapes in it of thy vine undressed. For it is the jubilee; it shall be holy unto you: ye shall eat the increase thereof out of the field. In the year of this jubilee ye shall return every man unto his possession" (Lev. 25:8­13).

This larger week is perfectly harmonious in character with all the previous ones; during its earlier por­tion, bondage, debt, and poverty lasted; at its close they passed away and disappeared. The jubilee was a year of rest and joy and liberty, that foreshadowed more than any preceding Sabbath the full and varied blessedness of the rest that remaineth for the people of God. Once, at least, in every ordinary lifetime would this great prophetic ordinance arrive, laden with its wealth of joy and peace, and glowing with its beams of hope and promise.

THE PROPHETIC TIMES

The Levitical and Prophetic Times form a continuous septenary series. The range of the Levitical Times is from seven days to seven times seven years. The range of the Prophetic Times is from seventy years to seven millenaries.

VI. The Week of Decades

The prophetic period of seventy years is one which measures the ordinary life of man. "The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away" (Ps. 90:10). The harmony here between the time order of Nature and that of Revelation is evident.

The period of seventy years measured the duration of the captivity of Judah in Babylon. It was predicted by Jeremiah, that in consequence of their inveterate idolatry Israel should be carried captive by Nebuchadnezzar: "The whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years" (Jer. 25:11). And, subsequently, a second time the same limit was assigned: "For thus saith the Lord, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon, I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place" (Jer. 29:10). A dark and terrible week to Judah were those seven decades; the daughters of Israel hung their harps upon the willows by the rivers of Babylon, and wept as they remembered Zion. The desolate land enjoyed her sabbaths, while her sons languished in exile. But this week also closed with restoration and liberty, when the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, and her children felt like those that dream, as they sang, "The Lord bath done great things for us; whereof we are glad" (Ps. 126:3).

VII. The Week of Weeks of Decades

It was toward the close of this long and dark week of the captivity that there was revealed to Daniel a still larger week -- a week each of whose days was to equal the captivity week, a week of seven times "seventy years," or "seventy weeks" of years -- a period of 490 years. This may be termed the restoration week; it was the time that elapsed between Artaxerxes' decree to restore and to build Jerusalem, and the days of "Messiah the Prince"; in­deed, it was revealed as measuring the interval. "Seventy weeks are de­termined upon thy', people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgres­sion, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteous­ness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy" (Dan. 9:24).

Had Israel known the day of her visitation, and received her Messiah when he appeared, what a glorious sabbath would have closed this week! Its seventh day did actually include the birth and life of the Lord Jesus Christ, and -- since, when he came unto his own, his own received him not -- it included also his atoning death, his triumphant resurrection, and the descent of the Holy Spirit, the rejection of Israel, the destruction of their temple, and the first gather­ing -- in of the Gentiles. So that, even on this scale of centuries, God has adhered to the law we have noted above, and brought in the day of the greatest blessings the world has ever known as the seventh stage of a course of history. The period is, how­ever, designated as "seventy weeks" rather than as one week -- and it is, therefore, still more conspicuously an instance of the prevalence even in long stretches of history of the law of weeks.

VIII. The Week of Years of Years

Scripture presents us, in symbolic prophecy, with a week on a scale of greater magnitude than any of these, in the "seven times" of Daniel. It is a week of years, whose days are years, in other words a week each of whose days consists of 360 solar years. Its second half is frequently mentioned in symbolic prophecy, under various designations, which all indicate one and the same period, 1260 natural years. This gigantic week includes the entire "Times of the Gentiles," the times during which supreme power on earth is by God committed to Gentile instead of Jewish rulers. It dates from the captivities, and is still running its course, though rapidly nearing its close.

IX. The Week of Millenaries

And all these various weeks are included in a sublime week of millenaries, which is clearly intimated, if not distinctly revealed, in the Word of God. In the closing vision of the Apocalypse, the glorious reign of Christ and his saints, which is to be the world's real sabbath, and Israel's real jubilee, the antitype and fulfill­ment of the types and shadows of the all-embracing sabbatic law we have traced through Scripture-the great sabbatism -- is six times over spoken of as a period of "a thousand years." This millennial age being the true sabbath of the world, must be regarded as a seventh day -- the seventh day of a week, whose six preceding unsabbatic days were of equal duration with this its sabbath.

So that the last page of the Bible shows that the creation week, whose occurrences are narrated on its first page, was the germ and type of the world's chronology, and foreshadowed the whole course of time; that the sabbath of Paradise pointed to a great sabbath of a thousand years, with which God -- to whom a thousand years are as one day -- has from the beginning purposed to bless mankind; the seventh day of the great week of time, which is to introduce the eternal state -- the new creation.                                 

- H. Grattan Guinness - (Creation Centred in Christ).


The Beatitudes

"Happy is that people, that is in such a case yea,
happy is that people, whose God is the Lord." - Psalm 144:15.

Generally, when speaking of the Beatitudes, we think of the nine that are recorded in Matthew's Gospel, where Jesus discloses the very blessed state of those who manifest the characteristics of which he speaks. However, the Bible contains over sixty beatitudes, which are found recorded from Psalms to the book of Revelation, most of them being fully as worthy of consideration as are the nine.

The word beatitude is said to have originated with Cicero, to express a condition of happiness wanting in nothing. It has also been defined as meaning "felicity of the highest kind; consummate bliss; supreme happi­ness." We have no English word that fully conveys such a meaning. The King James translators used the word blessed; others have used the word happy; but neither word is of itself adequate to express the depth of meaning found in the Greek word makarios or the Hebrew word ehsher. And so when the word blessed is used in a beatitudinal sense, we need to prefix it, in our minds at least, with the word most or the word supreme to accurately convey its true meaning.

One thing very noticeable in the beatitudes is that they convey godly instruction and precept indirectly, rather than by direct command. In the time of Moses, the house of serv­ants was given commandments with penalties attached for disobedience; but to the house of sons, Jesus, although making no promises for the doing of that which is approved, reveals that God's awards to all who love him and devote themselves to the doing of his will are indicated by the supreme blessedness that is to be the lot of those who possess the virtues here set forth. Those who have minds and hearts inclined to obedience are found more amenable to the method of instruction employed in the beati­tudes, than are those who do not have hearing ears, or hearts and minds sub­missive to authority. In this age, God is not compelling the blind to see or the deaf to hear; this is a work reserved for the reign of Christ, for it is those who have hearing ears that are now called, if they respond to the drawing of the Father.

The Church has been under a process of judgment and schooling from its beginning. Peter said: "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God" (1 Peter 4:17). These judgments are as varied as are the individual needs of those who constitute this house, and range all the way from experiences of en­couragement to severe stripes and spiritual disfellowship. But this judg­ment concerns only those who have received a real knowledge of the truth.

In answer to the question as to why he spake unto the people in parables, Jesus said to his disciples: "Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. . . . For whosoever hath [an ear or condition of heart and mind to receive the truth], to him shall be given" the opportunity that comes with the understanding and heeding of the message of the kingdom (Matt. 13:11-12). Whereas the message of the kingdom was to be preached in all the world for a witness, yet it has been for the purpose of "gathering out a people for his name," a bride for Christ (Acts 15:14). There has been no intention on God's part to save everyone in this age; the "whosoever will may come" period is reserved for the time when "the spirit and the bride say come," and there is no bride as yet (Rev. 19:7; Rev. 22:17).

The Gospel age is the time pictured when Abraham sent his trusted serv­ant to Mesopotamia to select a bride for Isaac from among his own kin­folk. Eliezer was not instructed to bring back all the maidens he would contact; his commission was to bring back one virgin suitable to become the wife of his son. And it was not an invitation that was open to any or all; she had to measure up to certain re­vealing predetermined requirements.

Water is a wonderful symbol of truth and life and one of the require­ments was that she be found bringing her vessel to a well of water. Then she had to show that she was courte­ous and kindly by responding to a stranger's request for drink. Also she had to show consideration for the needs of others, in that she must vol­unteer to draw water for the camels. It would not be an easy task to draw water for ten thirsty camels capable of storing a supply of water for days of desert travel.

The Canaanites were idolaters, but Abraham's kin were believers in God, for the greeting of Rebekah's brother Laban was: "Come in, thou blessed of the Lord," and both Laban and Rebekah's father recognized God's leadings in what was occurring by say­ing, "It is the Lord, we have no say in the matter." Then, too, Rebekah had to be hospitable. When she had manifested all the predetermined requirements, she was given the golden earring, a symbol of the divine blessing upon those who have ears to hear, and the golden bracelets, divine recognition of her willingness to serve. Al­though acceptance of the offer to be­come the wife of Isaac whom she had never seen required the abandonment of her home and kindred and a long arduous journey upon camels to new surroundings and untried associations (except as belief and trust made them real to her), she did not hesitate but was willing to begin the journey at once.

It is a beautiful picture that the Lord has given us in this episode of the seeking of a bride for Isaac, in which Rebekah so wonderfully exemplified the characteristics of those who, through the leadings of the holy spirit, give up all hope of earthly in­heritance in order to be made fit for association with their Lord and Head, Christ Jesus. It is these for whom the beatitudes are primarily designed.

The first beatitudinal use of the word blessed is found in Psalm 1 which reads: "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sin­ners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful."

The word "ungodly" indicates willful disregard of God and his will. Those who are termed ungodly are sinners by choice, over and above their inherited weaknesses. They scoff at morality and righteousness and at those who let conscience and reverence for God direct their path in life. Whereas the true Christian does not disregard the laws established by nations, his real concern is that the law of the Lord be first in his life regardless of what it may cost in self-denial or in scorn and persecution from the ungodly. As the Psalm states: "His delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night," that he may be found in full accord with the Father's will concerning him.

The true follower of Christ, having forsaken all hope of earthly inheri­tance that he may be schooled for joint-heirship with his Lord, does not expect the abundant earthly blessings of physical health and prosperity that will eventually accompany earthly in­heritance, as this may not be con­ducive to his spiritual growth while undergoing the transforming process of God's workmanship upon his char­acter. Having the necessities of life, he is counseled to be content there­with; he finds himself richly blessed while following in the footsteps of his Lord, and would not exchange this experience for all that this world has to offer.

The blessings experienced by those who conduct their lives in accord with the beatitudes, like all that comes to us in our Christian walk, are blessings of faith not evidenced to the physical senses. This is very obvious in the multiple beatitude of Psalm 32 where David says: "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile." The only way we can partake of these blessings is by faith -- by belief that is vitalized by works (Phil. 2:12; James 2:17-22).

"Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven." David truly had cause to think himself blessed, for his sin had been most reprehensible. But here (as in Psalm 16:8-10 where his words were concerning our Lord rather than him­self), he is uttering a prophecy relat­ing to this age. David was given di­rect word from God through the prophet Nathan that his sin was for­given, but we are under the necessity of realizing this blessedness by faith. It requires faith to walk contrary to the course of this world, and if we succeed in overcoming, the victory will belong to faith.

When the Millennial kingdom is established, the process of attaining salvation will be greatly changed; for then in contrast to the present time, every possible help will be given to uplift and restore mankind to perfec­tion of being. Satan will be bound and restrained from deceiving the na­tions; all eyes will be opened; all ears unstopped. The knowledge of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the great deep; no man shall need say to his neighbor, know the Lord: for all shall know him from the least unto the greatest of them. He will judge the people with equity and truth; his mercy shall be over all his works, for when his judgments are abroad in the earth, then will the in­habitants of the world learn righteous­ness; but the soul that will not heed that prophet shall be destroyed from among the people.

A highway shall be there, called the Way of Holiness; on it the unclean will learn righteousness, and even the foolish will not err therein. No lion shall be there (Satan being bound), nor shall any ravenous beast (cruel earthly government) be found there. But the redeemed shall walk there, and the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads.. No one will be allowed to hurt or destroy in that holy kingdom.

But now, none of this is true; the world is full of injustice, sorrow, suffering and death. The wicked flour­ish like the green bay tree; the Devil as a roaring lion stalketh about, seek­ing whom he may devour. No highway of holiness now, but a narrow, difficult way and few there be that find it. No promise of escape from sorrow, suffering, persecution, and death, but the assurance that if we seek to follow Christ, we may expect to endure these things.

The salvation we hope for can be obtained only by faith; its revealing is reserved for "the last time" (1 Peter 1:5). The promises of life and im­mortality are assured us if we are faithful unto death. We could multiply the contrasts between the salva­tion now obtainable, and that to be had under the kingdom of Christ.

Why is the attaining of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus so difficult, so contrary to natural expecta­tions and methods; why so exclusively a matter of faith, of belief and reliance upon God through a spiritual guid­ance that has to be sought for in the Word of truth and Divine providences affecting our lives?

It is due to the tremendous differ­ences that result from these two salva­tions. Those of this age who follow their Lord in his earthly experiences will share with him the first resurrec­tion -- first not only in time but also in degree. They also share his change of nature, made possible by their development in character likeness to God while in these bodies of flesh, before they are given spirit bodies in the resurrection (Rom. 8:29; Rev. 3:21).

In the Divine Plan it was predes­tinated that the head of this new crea­tion, whom God raised from the dead and placed at his own right hand in the exercise of supreme power and authority, was to be one among many brethren; who would be seated with him on his throne as he had been seated with the Father upon his throne. This association with Christ in glory will not be as flesh and blood beings but as a new creation bearing the heavenly image of their divine Lord. And so we read: "This cor­ruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immor­tality" (1 Cor. 15:49-53).

Paul also says: "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him" (1 Cor. 2:9). John adds: "It doth not yet appear what we shall be [like]: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is" (1 John 3:2). Peter points out that "through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: . . . are given exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine na­ture" (2 Peter 1:3, 4).

James, in a very revealing beatitude, likewise adds: "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried [proven faithful], he shall re­ceive the crown of life [divine na­ture], which the Lord hath promised to them that love him" (James 1:12). And, finally, Jesus says: "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years" (Rev. 20:6).

- J. T. Read


Notice of Annual Meeting

As announced in our May-June is­sue, the Annual Meeting of the Pas­toral Bible Institute, Inc., is scheduled to be held on Saturday, September 20, at 10:00 a.m., in the Y.W.C.A., North Carolina and Pacific Avenues, Atlantic City, New Jersey 08401.

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

The agenda will include a report by the chairman, reviewing the activities of the Institute for the preceding period. Following his report, the election of directors for the coming year will take place. Opportunity will also be given for the consideration of such other matters as may properly come before the meeting.


Entered Into Rest

Henry Hograve, Plano, Ill.
Milton H. Joynes, Virginia Beach, Va.
Elizabeth Lenfesty, Montreal, Que.
Margaret Leoliadis, Milwaukee, Wis.
Floss M. Melluish, England
Herman Raven, Newman, Cal.


1969 Index