The Ten Camels
A GROUP OF BIBLE STORIES
ARRANGED TO TEACH
THE TEN GREAT TRUTHS OF THE BIBLE
TO SMALLER CHILDREN
This series of Bible Stories was first written to meet the constant demand of the Author’s own little daughter for "Just one more Story, Mummy, A Bible Story."
Wishing to give her a firm foundation of Truth and unable to find any stories dealing with this subject from a truth standpoint and written in language simple enough to be understood by a child of tender years, the Author undertook to supply stories that would present these doctrines in a manner both interesting and appealing to the child mind.
Whether this has been accomplished or not the reader must decide.
The stories are arranged in groups each dealing with one special doctrine or teaching, and the Title, "The Ten Camels" is chosen as one that would appeal to the child mind.
Hoping that other children may enjoy them as much as her own little daughter, the Author presents these for your perusal.
We are glad for the opportunity of making this interesting and helpful book available again. This is being done by permission of the husband of the Author-the Author having passed to her reward. The former edition was published in Australia years ago. This is an exact reprint of the former edition; except that some punctuation marks were added for easier reading, several Scripture references were added for convenience, and in several places a word or two was changed to make the meaning more clear. In no case was the original thought changed. -Friends of the Author.
THE TEN CAMELS
THE FIRST CAMEL BRINGS ITS STORY
CHAPTER 1 THE BEGINNING OF ALL THINGS
"Mummy, please tell me a story," said a little girl as she snuggled down under the blankets one winter evening. "I cannot go to sleep tonight."
Mother looked down on a little pointed face that was very white. Two deep blue eyes looked up at her pleadingly. The little face was framed by soft locks of golden hair that fell over a very high white forehead. She was a very delicate child and from earliest childhood sleep had not come easily to her pillow.
"What kind of a story dearest?" Mother asked.
"I’d like a Bible story. They are the nicest of all and when you tell me one I can lie in the dark and think about it till I fall asleep. I’d like to learn all about the Bible, Mummy, for it is the Word of God."
"I know what I will do for you," said her mother. "I will tell you the stories that the ten camels carried when they came out of the east to find a Bride for Isaac. No one knew that they carried these treasures, for they were hidden and it was not for many many years that the stories were found among the King’s treasures."
"What king, Mummy? And where did he keep his treasures?"
"God is the Great King, Linnet, and the Bible is His storehouse. These treasure stories have been there for a long, long time, but they are hidden and few have found them."
"Did you find them, Mummy?"
"No, darling. The Great King gave them to His servants who were faithful and wise, to show them to a few special friends. In this way they reached me and because they are for those who love the Great King I may tell them to you.
"The First Camel carried the story of the beginning of all things. This camel has an unusual name. It is called ‘Creation.’"
"What is a camel, Mummy?"
"A camel, Linnet, is a strange animal. It is really not very nice looking, though it is very useful. It has long legs and big flat feet and its toes have a sort of cushion that makes the camel able to travel over the sand of the desert. Some camels have one big hump on their backs; others have two. The camels that brought the stories had two humps. Men made big seats that were usually covered, to protect them from the sun and fastened them on the top of the camel’s humps. In this way they could ride in comfort. Camels can go several days without water and this makes them very useful in dry, hot places. I will tell you later about how the camels were sent on the journey, but tonight I will tell you the story the first camel carried, because it is really the very first story there ever was since it is about the very beginning of all things.
"You know that there must be a beginning to everything. Everything, that is, but God. God was the beginning of everything and He was before all things. This world we live on was not always here. The trees and grass, the lakes and rivers, even the stars all had a beginning.
"You know the beginning of the flowers in your garden for you planted the tiny seeds yourself and watered them. By and by there was a tiny sprout and then two green leaves and soon there was a pretty little plant that grew for you. But the little seed you planted also had a beginning. Our story is about the first beginning of all. It is of the time when there was not anything at all but the Great God. He was all alone."
Linnet settled down among the pillows and only her big, eager eyes showed that she was awake and listening. Mother continued-"There were no stars, there was no silver moon, no world like this one we live on. There was no one for God to talk to. We are told that God is very powerful and we know this must be so, for how could He have made such great and beautiful things unless He had a power greater than that of any other being?
"Now if you were all alone, the very first thing you would
want would be a playmate-some one who could talk to you and with whom you could talk over the things you planned to do. The trees and flowers are very beautiful but they cannot move or run and play with you. So we can understand why God wanted a companion. The Bible tells us that the very first thing God made was a companion. A wonderful being like Himself who could love and help God. The very first verse in the Bible starts, ‘In the beginning God-’and in the first verse of the Book of John we read, ‘In the beginning was the LOGOS (that is the Word, or messenger, of God) and the Logos was with God and the Logos was a god.’ That means, ‘A great one.’
"God shared His power with this great companion and together they made things. The Logos is sometimes spoken of in the Bible as Michael and sometimes as wisdom, because He was very wise. In the Book of Pr 8:22-31, we read of the Logos, -’The Lord possessed me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old.’ So we know He was the first thing God made. ‘I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills, was I brought forth, while as yet He had not made the earth, or the fields, or the highest part of the dust of the earth. When He prepared the heavens I was there, when He set a compass upon the face of the deep.’ A compass you know is a thing to make circles with. This means that God made all the worlds travel in circles, so they could not bump into each other.
"Then, after telling of other works of God, this verse says, -’There was I as one brought up with Him (God) and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him and my delights were with the sons of men.’ That means that this great Logos took a special interest in the people of this world. In another place the Bible tells how God said of Him, ‘He grew up before Me as a tender branch,’ and in still another place we are told that "All things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made.’ (Joh 1:3.)
"So we know that the Logos was the first thing God made. Now then it seems natural that the next thing they would make would be a home to live in. So the Bible tells us, ‘In the
beginning God made the Heavens.’ They also made many beautiful angels who live in Heaven with them. Some of these angels used to come down to the earth on errands for God, and some came without God’s consent, as we shall see.
"We do not know just what an angel is like. They are spirit beings and can come and go like the wind and we cannot see them and we know they are very powerful. No doubt they also helped in the creation of this world and also of the stars.
"When you look up into the sky on a dark night you can see thousands of tiny lights. Each of them is a world like the one we live on. Some are much bigger and all were made before our world. Some of them are like our sun; they are worlds that are on fire. Others are like our moon, dead worlds that are like mirrors reflecting the light from the suns. All these worlds were made by the Great God and His messenger, the Logos. Probably the angels also helped in the work. God made the plans and gave His power to the Logos and the angels. The Bible says that all things are by the Father and through the Son."
"How did they make the worlds, Mummy?" asked Linnet.
"Not as we would have to, dear one. God had all the power of nature to work with. He did not have to gather up soil and mud and shape it with His hands. You remember the last time there was a heavy snow and you and your playmates went out and gathered up handfuls of snow and then started rolling them along and the soft, wet snow stuck to them and they became larger and larger till you could hardly move them? You were using nature to make your snow balls. The Logos and the angels, with the power of God, could just order the atoms-which are tiny things like little bits of dust-to come together and make great big balls or worlds.
"These worlds God made spin around and travel in circles and He set them so no two of them could touch. We must not forget that, when we say God made them, it was God’s power and His plan, but Jesus, who was then called the ‘Logos,’ did much of the work. The Bible says that the Logos was ‘The image of the invisible God, the first born of every creature, for by Him were all things created, that are in Heaven and that are in the earth both visible and invisible.’
That means things we can see, like the trees and flowers, and things we cannot see, like the angels. (Col 1:7.)
"Many people think that this means that Jesus was God, but this is not so. Jesus was God’s son, the Great Logos or messenger of God, but it was by God’s power that He made these wonderful things.
"Suppose Mother told you that you could make a cake but you had no idea of how to do it. Suppose Mother got all the things ready and then stood by you and told you everything to do. You would do the work, but Mother would be the real cook, for you could not do it without her help and to show you. Jesus said, ‘Without Him (that is God), I can do nothing. The Father doeth the works.’
"We do not know just when this world was made, for the first thing the Bible tells us is that ‘The earth was, without form and void’ (empty). This means that the earth was already made and ready to be prepared for God’s purposes.
"It hung there in space like a big ball of mud, all dark and dirty and empty. Now God planned to have a new Creation. Up to this time there were no people on the worlds that God had made. The angels could travel to any world if they wished but their home was with God in Heaven. God planned to fill the worlds with happy, perfect beings, who belonged to the worlds they lived on. To start His great work, God chose this little world we live on, and He and the Logos began to work on it, to get it ready for men.
"Do you remember when you tried to make your first dress for your dolly? First you thought about it, then you hunted for a nice piece of cloth and then you came to Mother to get help in cutting it out and then you started to sew it.
"So God first planned this new family and how, by different means, He would make them all that He wished them to be. God was not in a hurry. He did not mind how many thousands of years it took, as long as the new race met His desire, when His work was all done.
"The world was dark and shapeless and empty and the first thing God did was to say, ‘Let there be light.’ The power of God worked on the mud and water and the earth whirled around faster and faster and the movement made it very hot and soon it was burning. Steam rose from the water which was very hot. The fires and the heat were getting the world
ready for men. It is thought that many many years passed before the world was ready for the next part of God’s plan. Then God caused a gas, which we call air, to form around the earth while it was cooling off. This air held up the steam like great clouds and separated the waters which were in the lakes and seas, from the clouds. This work also took many years, great periods of time which the Bible speaks of as days. They were not days like ours, but God’s days, which are very long.
"On the third of these long days, God caused the waters that were still mixed with the mud of the earth to drain off into hollows and make seas. Then, he made grass and trees and flowers and plants grow in the dry ground.
"These things were not like those we have now, for the earth was still too hot for plants like ours. They were great fernlike plants that grew very fast. The inside of the earth was still very hot and soft and when the plants got too heavy they would fall into the soft, hot earth, and there they turned into coal. God knew that some day people would need this coal to burn, to make their trains and boats go and to keep their homes warm, so He provided it for us while He was making the earth. These things did not happen by chance but God arranged everything He knew man would need. Coal, and tin and iron and gold, silver and clay and many wonderful jewels He had formed in the earth while it was still cooling.
"You know when Mother bakes a loaf of bread, it is very hot when she takes it out of the oven and it steams when it is cooling. The outside crust cools first and gets quite hard, but the inside is soft and warm. That was the way the earth was. The steam did not all rise up into the clouds, some gathered in puddles and when the clouds of steam got too heavy for the air to hold up, it would fall and this water would run into the puddles and make them bigger. The third of God’s days passed and saw a cooling earth all covered with green things.
"On the fourth day God caused enough of the water to fall from the clouds to make the seas and rivers bigger and to thin the clouds, so that the sun and moon could shine through to the earth and so divide the day from the night. The sky did not get clear and blue as it is now, but was more like it is on a cloudy day.
"On the fifth day God caused little living creatures to
grow in the warm water. These, by God’s power gradually grew bigger and bigger and took different shapes. Some developed into birds and some into fish. The Logos and the angels would watch over this part of the work which took thousands of years. As the earth grew much cooler many of the strange creatures died or changed until they became much like the fishes and birds we have now.
"On the sixth day, the world had grown much cooler and the trees and plants were changing and the Logos and the angels, by the power of God, caused new creatures to grow, that would live on the land and eat the grass and leaves. At first these creatures were mostly quite large and ugly, but as the earth grew cooler they changed, more and more. When they had reached the shapes and forms God wished, He stopped them changing. At last the great, ugly creatures were all gone and the earth was cool enough for men to live on it.
"The earth was still very warm and the sun shone dimly through the veil of clouds. The animals were very much like those we have now. There was no cold weather anywhere and the Bible says it never rained, but a mist went up from the water every night and watered the earth. That was what the earth was like, when God decided that it was ready for the next part of His great plan."
Mother looked at her girlie and say that the big blue eyes were drowsy and said, "That is the first part of the story the first camel carried. Tomorrow night we will have the next part." She kissed her little girl good-night and turned out the light.
Then-when she stooped to tuck the covers in around her little girl-Linnet’s arms stole around her neck and she said softly, "It was nice of God to make so many lovely things for us mummy, but I think the very nicest things He made were mummys and daddys."
"Tomorrow night, I will tell you of the first daddy and mummy God made," answered her mother.
"God was a daddy Himself, was He not, Mummy?"
"Yes, my darling; God was Jesus’ Father. No matter what any one may ever tell you Dearest, remember what the Bible says, -’In the beginning was the Logos (that was Jesus) and the Logos was with God.’"( Joh 1:1.)
"Why did they call Jesus the Logos, Mummy?"
"Long, long ago dear one, in a country far away, the kings were looked up to by their people as greater than men. Then the king was never seen by his people. When people came to see him he sat behind a curtain, and a man who was called the Logos, stood in front of the curtain and told the people what the king said. He stood in the king’s place and spoke only what the king told him. He was not allowed to say anything but just what the king said. The word Logos means the ‘voice of the king.’ It is a good name for Jesus, for God cannot be seen, but Jesus came and told us God’s words. He did the work for God and was His messenger when He wanted to speak to the people."
"Why did the king not want the people to see him, Mummy?"
"I do not know, Dear. Perhaps he wanted them to think him very great and was afraid if they saw him they would know that he was only a man like them."
"But why does not God want us to see Him?"
"The Bible says that ‘No man can look at God and live.’ Our God is so very great and so bright that our eyes could not stand the light. We are told that He is brighter than the sun at noon, and you know how that hurts your eyes. Paul had a glimpse of the glory of God and was blind for three days. But even he had not seen the great God. Now dear one that is questions enough for one night. Close those big eyes and go to sleep."
CHAPTER 2. THE FIRST PARENTS
"I’m all ready for bed, Mummy. Please tell me the story you promised me."
"Very well, dear. Have you said your prayers?"
"Yes Mummy, and I said good-night to Daddy too. You said you would tell me how God made the first Daddy and Mummy."
Mother tucked her little girl under the covers and sat beside her. She took up her Bible and said, "Let us look in the treasure box and see what it says about it." Then she read, -"Out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden and the tree of knowledge of good and evil." "You see dear, God wanted a place for the man He was going to make, to live. So the first thing He did was to prepare a fine garden. Here again the Logos and the angels did the work, but the Plan and Power was from God. They chose a lovely spot where a great river flowed, so that there would be lots of water.
"In this garden they caused every beautiful tree and plant they could think of to grow. What a wonderful garden it must have been. Fruit trees, that were laden with lovely fruits of every kind that could grow in such a warm place grew there and lovely flowers and vines. The grass was soft and green.
"God planned that garden and there were no ugly bugs and worms to eat the leaves or to bite and sting. The animals were all tame and beautiful deer wandered through the trees and ate the green grass. Bears and lions and tigers and horses and dogs and cats all lived together there; they never harmed each other. Beautiful birds made their nests in the trees and sang sweet songs. Only lovely things could have a place in the garden God made.
"At last the garden was all ready. The trees were big enough for shade and were loaded with fruit.
"Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the earth, and
over the fish in the sea and the birds and animals and the creeping things too.’ (Ge 1:26.)
"So they planned a wonderful man. How did they make him do you think? And what did they make him of? Why they used the dust of the earth; that is, they gathered their materials from the earth. God did not have to make each part separately. He just planned it all, then He caused the tiny atoms to take the shape He planned. He had all the forces of Nature at His command. Even the tiny bits of dust would do as He ordered. In this way God could make a man, something like Himself but of different material. Your dolly looks very much like you. It has a nose and eyes and mouth and ears; its hands are shaped like yours too, but it is not made of flesh and blood. Some dolls are made of rubber and some of China and so on, but they still look like children.
"God planned this man and made him of the right material to live on this earth. He gave him lungs to breathe this air and a stomach that could digest the fruit and other things that grew on the earth. Then God arranged that this man should be able to have, or to bring forth, other beings like himself. Just as He made the trees and plants to have seeds that would grow up into plants like themselves. God gave the man eyes, to see the lovely things He had made, ears, to hear the birds sing and a nose, to smell the perfume of the flowers and to breathe in the sweet air. He also gave him a fine set of muscles to move his arms and the other parts of his body, and a set of nerves, like little telephone wires, to carry messages from his wonderful brain to all parts of the body.
"David, thinking of this wonderful body God made, said, ‘I will praise Thee, Oh Lord, for I am beautifully and wonderfully made.’ Men cannot make anything that is half so wonderful as the body God gave to each of us.
"Now when the man was all made, he was just like a beautiful doll. He could not move or think. Out in the street there is a lovely, new automobile. It is perfect, the tires are full of air and the windows are shining and there is not a scratch on it. It has a fine engine but it cannot go. Why? There is no gas in the tank. The batteries and wires are there, all ready. Then a man comes along and fills the tank with gas, which runs down the pipes to the engine. Then he gets into the car and turns on the engine and the car comes to life. It
throbs and sings and is ready to go at a touch, wherever the man wishes. The man is like the brain in the body of ours. Even the man could not make the car go without gas; he could only push it along.
"Adam was just like that car. The engine was all there; the nerves and brain and muscles were there but there was no gas, (that is, no air) to make it go. God breathed air into the man’s nostrils and it went down into the lungs and started the engine. Man began to breathe and then the brain God had provided started to work and the body came to life."
"God who gave us the breath to make us live, can also take it away, and, like the car, we would not be able to go. Soon the lovely body would turn back into dust again. The Bible says, ‘Thou hidest Thy face, they are troubled. Thou takest away their breath; They die and return to their dust.’ (Ps 104:29.)
"When a person is drowned, men work over him and try to get the water out of his lungs and get the air back again. Sometimes they succeed and the man comes to life again. Sometimes they are too late and the water has damaged the engine so it cannot go. So the man returns to dust again. God has a wonderful plan to bring every one who dies back to life again some day. We will learn about that by and by.
"Now the man was alive and God talked to him. That is, the Logos talked to him, and told Adam he was to take care of the garden and he might have all the different fruits to eat, and the berries and herbs were for his food too. There was one tree in the garden that God said the man must not touch. It was called the tree of knowledge. God said that if the man touched the fruit of that tree his body would soon stop working and he would die. ‘In the day that thou eatest thereof, dying thou shalt die.’ (See margin, Ge 2:17.) That meant that the man would not die at once but, like a slow poison, the fruit would destroy his body.
"Now we do not think that there was really anything the matter with that fruit. It was that God wanted to test the man and see if he would obey Him. God did not intend any disobedient person to live always. It was God’s plan to fill the earth with people whom He could trust to do as He told them. God knew that this man was perfect, so He tested him to see if perfect men would obey. If Adam would not obey, then
God would know that people could not be trusted. The fruit of all the other trees were for men and they were perfect food that would keep men alive always. These were called trees of life. God did not intend that people who would not obey Him should have this perfect food, for then they would live forever and could do a lot of harm. That was why God wished to try Adam and see if men could be trusted.
"Once there was a mother who was going out for awhile and she called her little girl and said, ‘Jennie dear, I have to go out for awhile and I have left a parcel in my room. You must not touch it no matter what happens. If you do it will bring you a great disappointment.’
"Jennie promised not to touch the parcel and as soon as her mother went away, she went out to play. The little girl was quite happy and content and thought no more of the forbidden package. After awhile her little friend, Susie, came over to play with her and Jennie went into the house to get her ball. She was hunting for it when she heard a strange noise that seemed to come from the parcel. She was a bit frightened and she ran out and told Susie all about it. Susie wanted to see the package, so they both went in. Again they heard the noise.
"Susie said, ‘Let’s open it and see what makes the noise.’ "‘Mother said I must not touch it,’ Jennie replied. ‘I’ll be disappointed if I do.’ ‘Oh your mother only said that to scare you. It would not hurt to have a little peep anyway. She’d never know,’ said Susie. ‘Come on, don’t be a scaredy cat.’
"At first Jennie refused but when Susie kept on coaxing, she weakened. ‘We could just tear the paper a bit and look in,’ she said.
"They tore the paper a little but there was a sudden movement in the box. ‘Oh, it’s alive!’ cried Susie and dropped the box. The string broke and the parcel flew open and, with a great fluttering of tiny wings, a lovely, little, yellow canary slipped past their fingers and was gone. Right out the open door it went and away into the trees.
"‘Oh, it was my birdie. Mother promised it to me for my birthday and now it’s gone. I wish I had not touched it. Go away you nasty old Susie. You made me do it.’
"Susie ran home and left Jennie to face Mother alone.
Poor Jennie cried and cried. Mother found her sobbing and soon heard the story.
"‘But Jennie, Mother told you not to touch it.’
"‘I know, Mother, but Susie coaxed me to just take a tiny peep and see what made the noise.’ Jennie wept. ‘Do you think we could catch it? It was so pretty and I wanted it so.’
"But the canary was gone. When Mother was sure that her little girl had learned her lesson, she purchased another bird for her.
"Adam was very happy for awhile. He tended the garden and carried water for the plants. He watched the birds and animals. They were all very gentle and kind. Perhaps Adam even transplanted the plants to see if they would grow in other places. He found names for all the birds and animals, but he was very lonely. God knew that he would be lonesome and would want a companion; had not God been alone once too? In the evenings the Logos would come into the garden and talk to Adam and tell him about God, but in the day time Adam was alone. The animals were nice to have around but he could not talk to them. They would do whatever he asked them to, just as your doggie does, but they were not people and they could not work as he did. God knew all about it.
"One day God said, ‘It is not good for man to be all alone. He is lonely and he needs a companion.’ So God caused Adam to go to sleep and while he was sleeping God took a bone from Adam’s side and by His great power He made it the beginning of another human being. It was a woman He made. She was very lovely. There is an old story that says that God took the bone from Adam’s side so the woman would be equal to Adam. That if He had used a bone from the man’s head, she would have been greater and if a bone from the foot had been used, she would be less. That was not the real reason. God has a plan for this man and woman and to make that plan work it was necessary that the woman should be a part of the man.
"What was the plan Mummy?" asked Linnet.
"We will learn of that plan later, Dearest. There is not time just now. One reason the Bible gives us, is that God wished the man to love the woman and He knew that he would love her better if she was a part of him. (Ge 2:24.)
"When Adam wakened, there was the beautiful woman beside him. When he realised she was a part of him, he loved her very much. Adam said she should be called a woman because she was a part of man and then he named her Eve.
"Now Adam was not lonely any more. Everything took on a new interest. Every flower was something to show Eve. He could tell her all that he had learned about the animals. It was fun to work when there was some one to help who was interested in every thing he did.
"God smiled down upon them, for God is very good and wise. He had made Adam wait for his wife, because He knew he would love her better, if he knew what it was like to be alone first. Often when we ask God for something He keeps us waiting so we will like it better when we get it. Jesus said, ‘The Father knows what things you have need of before you ask Him.’
"Everything around us proves that this is so. He knew we would need food so He gave us fruit trees and everything we need to eat. He gives us rain and sunshine and He provides the material to make cloth for our clothes. He provides wood and coal to keep us warm.
"It was in the evening or close of the sixth period of time that God made Adam and Eve and the Bible tells us that ‘He rested on the seventh day.’
"Like the other days, this day was very long. One of God’s days. We believe that the Bible shows us that this day will be seven thousand years long and that the other days, while God was getting the earth ready for men to live on, were the same length.
"God is still resting. This does not mean that God is not doing anything, but that, having laid all His plans, He is just letting them all work out. He just started everything working. When you plant a little seed in the garden you do not go out every day and dig it up to see if it is growing. If you did, it would die. You just plant it and let the sun shine on it and the rain water it and soon it begins to grow.
"You know when Mother bakes a cake she gets all her things ready and then measures them carefully and mixes them and puts them in a pan. Then she puts the pan in the oven and lets it bake. She does not go back every few minutes and mix something else in. That would spoil it. She just
watches to see the oven does not get too hot or too cool and soon there is a fine cake all ready to eat.
"That is the way God did with the world. He made all His plans and got everything ready and then there was nothing to do but to watch, till His plan worked out. God knew just how long it would take, ‘So God rested the seventh day from all the works which He had made.’
"The animals did not change any more. God just watched and if anything was going wrong He fixed it. Mother’s cake may bubble and boil and steam but that is just part of the cooking process. So all the things that happen on this earth are part of the ‘Cooking process.’ In the end the cake will be well worth while.
"God knew that people would wonder what was happening in this world. He gave them brains so they could think and wonder. In order that we might know that every thing was all right and that His plan was working, He had wise men write all about His plan long ago, in the wonderful book we call the Bible. He did not have them write it out so that every one could understand, for that would have interfered with His plans, and, so to speak, have spoiled the cake.
"You know we have a patch of potatoes in our garden. The plants are very nice and have lovely green leaves and pretty flowers but you can look all over them and not find a potato. They are all hidden in the ground and if you want them you must dig down and hunt for them. If you are not very careful you will not find them all. That is the way it is with the Bible. The treasures are there, but you have to dig for them. Some people find one, some find more. We want to find them all.
"These little stories which the camels brought are some of the treasures. Now my girlie is getting sleepy and we must leave the rest of the story for another night.
"You know now where the first daddy and mother came from, dear one, and I will give you this verse to think about. It is God’s promise that His plan will work out and the ‘Cake will be a good one.’
"‘So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth. It shall not return unto me void (that means empty) but it shall accomplish that which I please.’"( Isa 55:11.)
CHAPTER 3 THE SECOND CAMEL BRINGS HIS TREASURE
"So you are all ready for bed and waiting for Mother tonight, Linnet," said Mother, laughing, the next night. She had come to tuck her girlie into bed only to find her already there waiting for the next story.
"Tell me what happened then, Mummy. Did the first Daddy and Mummy have any little girls and boys?"
Mummy laughed. "The first camel forgot to tell us that. He only brought the story of the very beginning. We must see what treasure the second Camel brought. This was a bigger package and may take several stories to tell it all.
"What was the Camel’s name, Mummy?"
"The Second Camel had another odd name. It was called ‘Justice." Now we shall see what the treasure was that it carried. All ready for the story now?"
Linnet smiledand nodded and Mother began.
"Like the first Camel, Justice had two humps. Part of its story was carried in the New Testament-that was one hump: and part in the Old Testament, which was the other hump."
"Why did they call the camel Justice, Mummy? What does that name mean?"
"Well, that is rather hard to explain dearest. Suppose Mother sent you to the store and said, ‘I will give you an apple when you come back, for going for me.’ Suppose you went and when you came back I gave you an apple, that would be Justice. But if I gave you two apples it would not be justice but kindness. Justice is to give just what you promised and no more. Justice works other ways too. If Mother says, ‘Linnet, if you do that again you must go to your room for an hour.’ Then you do it again, and Mother makes you stay an hour and a half, that is not justice. But if she makes you stay half an hour, it’s not justice either. To be just you must give exactly what you promise, either good or bad. Our Great God is Just. He always keeps His word.
"God is just and He wants all His children to be just too. But God is more than just. God is loving and kind too. He
has promised that if we trust Him, ‘Our bread and water will be sure.’ But He gives us fruit and cake and meat and other things in addition. Justice means you must give what you promise. You may give other good things and still be just, if you have first kept the promise.
"Once when I was very young, a woman came to me and said, ‘My husband is going away for a month and I do not like to stay in the house alone at nights. Would you come to my house and sleep with me for company for a month? I will give you some money for it.’ I had slept with another lady for a time and she paid me one dollar every month. So I said, ‘Mrs. Jones gave me a dollar for staying with her. I will stay with you for a month at nights for a dollar, too.’
"I hated being away from home at night, but money was very scarce and it was near Christmas and I kept thinking, ‘A dollar will buy presents for Mother and my brothers and sisters. I can give them all something for a whole dollar.’ So I went every night. It was a cold winter and it meant a long walk in the dark alone but I thought of that dollar and I never missed one night. The month was over at last and I could hardly wait for that dollar. My Christmas list was all made out. The last night I waited and waited but she never mentioned the money. Next morning I waited around for awhile. I hated to ask her for the money for she was a rather cross old woman and I was a bit afraid of her.
"Then, when I could not stay any longer, I said, timidly, ‘Please could I have my dollar?’
"That old woman looked at me and said, ‘I do not think it was worth a dollar, I don’t believe in giving children money. You can have this little book, but I cannot afford to pay you.’
"I did not want any book. I could hardly keep from crying; I was so disappointed. I never trusted that woman again and I never went to her house."
"I think she was a nasty, mean, old woman, Mummy," said Linnet, with a child’s hatred of unfairness.
"She was considered a very good woman, dear. She was not just, though. Now God is just and this second Camel’s story shows us how very just He is and yet how kind and good.
"Among the beautiful angels which God and the Logos
had made, before they made the earth, there was one very beautiful one, who was so bright that he was called ‘Lucifer’ which means ‘Light bearer.’ He was also called ‘The son of the morning,’ probably because he was one of the first angels made. One of the prophets speaks of him and calls him ‘King of Tyrus.’ He says of this angel, that he was ‘Full of Wisdom and perfect in beauty’ and that he was dressed in many beautiful jewels. He tells us also that Lucifer was very proud of his beauty and this pride made him sin against God.
"The story of the second Camel tells of how Lucifer watched the happy pair in the garden of Eden and thought how nice it would be if he could have the earth for his very own. He thought of how God ruled over Heaven and all the angels obeyed Him and He thought he would be happy if only the people on the earth would obey him and worship him. Isaiah says that he ‘Said in his heart, I will be like the Most High, I will exalt my throne even above the stars of God.’
"That means that he would become greater than the other angels, for he would have a world to rule too, just as God had.
"God knew all about Lucifer’s wish and decided to test the angels in Heaven and see if there were others also, who wanted to have their own way and did not like to do as they were told. Lucifer thought that if he could just get Adam and Eve to disobey God and obey him, God would let him have this little world and rule it. Perhaps he thought that he could get them to eat the fruit God had told them not to touch and then save them from death and get them to agree to obey him, instead of God. We do not know just why he did such a wicked thing, except that it was ambition and pride that led him to do it. We know that God could have stopped it but He wanted to test man and see if he would obey Him and He wished to test the angels too. If Satan could make men do what God had forbidden, then they would have to learn what the result of their sin would be.
"One day Eve was walking through the garden and she heard a noise. Like Jennie in the last story, she stopped and listened and wondered what it was. The noise seemed to come from the tree they had been told not to touch. God had not told Eve about the tree but Adam had warned her that she must never touch it. Now she went nearer to see what the noise was and in the tree she saw a lovely serpent. A serpent 20
is what we call a snake and some of them were, and still are, very pretty. In those days they could climb trees and some of them still can, and as nothing was allowed to hurt anything in God’s Garden, they would not kill birds and frogs, but would eat the fruit. Eve was not afraid of snakes. She was not afraid of anything God made for they all obeyed her. We do not know if Eve could understand the other creatures, when they tried to talk to her, or if it was because this snake could talk, that she went nearer. The Bible tells us the snake said, -’So God said you could not eat this fruit, did He? You may not eat all the fruit of the garden?’ Perhaps the snake took some of the fruit himself to let her see how good it was. God had not forbidden the animals or the angels to eat the fruit of this tree. Eve did not know that this was not just a snake but that Lucifer was taking this shape, to coax her to disobey.
"She said, ‘We can eat the fruit of all the other trees but God says if we eat that fruit we will die.’
"Then Satan said, just like Susie did, ‘He only said that to scare you. This fruit is just as good as any other fruit. God knows that if you eat this fruit you will be wise like He is and will know good and evil. You know how wise I am. It is this fruit that makes me wise.’
"Eve thought, like Jennie did, ‘It won’t hurt to take a peep anyway,’ so she picked some of the fruit. It did look nice. It made her hungry to look at it and it smelled so tempting. She thought, ‘I will just taste it, God will never know.’ So she took a little bite and it was delicious. It seemed nicer than all the other fruit. That is the way with things that are forbidden. They always seem nicer than the things we know we can have.
"Well, Eve ate all of the fruit she had picked, then she thought, ‘I’m sure Adam doesn’t know how good this fruit tastes. He ought to try it. I will take him some.’ So Eve did just what Susie did. She coaxed Adam to disobey God too. Eve forgot how good God had been to them and how He had given them everything they had. Adam was afraid when he saw what Eve had done. He remembered what God had said, that if they ate that fruit they would die. He thought how lonely he had been before Eve was made and he loved her so much he could not bear the thought of living all alone again.
"He did not know God well enough to realise that He
could trust Him to find a way out. He never stopped to think that God had not told Eve not to touch the fruit. He was sure that Eve was going to die, and he felt he would rather die than be alone again. So Adam ate the fruit too.
"There was an excuse for Eve, perhaps, but there was none for Adam. He ate the fruit and began to think afterwards, when it was too late. People often do that still. We are all much like Jennie. When the bird has gone we think what we should have done, but we cannot get it back.
"Sometimes, it seems fun to do what is wrong, until we have done it and then we are sorry. The right time to be sorry is before we do wrong. Eve saw how badly Adam felt, then she began to be sorry too. How the day dragged. Adam wondered if he could protect Eve. They did not enjoy the songs of the birds or the beauty of the flowers. They did not know what to do. When evening came they hid themselves. They could not bear to face the Logos who always came in the evening to see them. Then they began to think how they had no clothes. They saw that the birds had feathers and the animals were covered with fur or wool, while their own skin was white and soft. It seemed like a good excuse for not wanting to meet God. They talked about it and then gathered leaves and spent the time making aprons of them, probably fastening them together with twigs and laughing at the effect but their laughter did not cover the pain in their hearts.
"Evening came and they heard the Logos calling them. Always before they had run to meet Him. Now shame and the feeling that they had done what was wrong made them want to hide. That is how a person always feels when they know they have done wrong. Now they might have been able to hide from men, but God had seen everything that had happened and the Logos too, knew just where they were.
"It did not take Him long to find them. They stood there together and felt so ashamed, even though they tried to cover it.
"The Logos said, ‘Why did you hide?’
"They answered, ‘We had nothing to cover us. The birds have feathers and the animals have fur, but we are all bare.’
"The Logos said, ‘Who told you that you are bare?’ He knew that they were just trying to make an excuse, to hide
their sin, so He asked, ‘Have you been eating the fruit I told you not to touch?’
"Adam knew that it was useless to deny it, so he answered, ‘Eve gave me some of it and I ate it.’
"‘Why did you do that Eve?’ asked the Logos.
"‘The snake was in the tree and he told me that you were just fooling us. He said we would be as wise as he as, if we ate it.’
"Then the Logos called Lucifer and he came, still in the shape of the serpent. He was quite pleased with the way things were going. He felt sure that when God realised that the man and woman would rather obey him than God, He would just turn the world over to him and let him rule it. Perhaps he had a good story all ready, but he did not get a chance to tell it, for the Logos looked at him and said, ‘Because of what you have done you are cursed above all creatures. You must always crawl through the dust and eat dust as long as you live. The woman and her ‘Seed’ will always hate you. The ‘Seed of the Woman’ will kill you and you will bring pain and sorrow to Him.’
"Those were not the exact words, as given in our Bible, but that was what the Logos meant. He said, ‘Her seed shall bruise your head and you will bruise his heel.’ To bruise a snake’s head kills it, but to bruise a man’s heel only hurts. This condemnation of the serpent meant that Lucifer would never be allowed to return to Heaven as a bright angel again but must stay on the earth in the dust and heat until he died. From that time Lucifer was called Satan. He was no longer an angel of light but, by his sin, he had become the enemy of God and the name Satan means God’s enemy.
"Then God turned to the woman and said, ‘Eve, you too must be punished. You will have much sorrow and trouble. When you have little children they will bring you sorrow and pain. Your husband will rule over you and you will be under his orders because you have led him into trouble.’
"Now you will notice that God did not condemn the woman to death. She had been fooled by Satan and God had not told her she would die if she ate the fruit. If Adam had obeyed God they might have been saved, but God had foreseen what would happen and He knew that people would 23
never understand how very wrong it is to disobey God unless they saw for themselves what trouble would result.
"Now God turned to Adam and said, ‘You listened to your wife instead of to me. I told you that if you touched the fruit of that tree it would be like a poison and that it would slowly bring you death. Now I will curse the earth for your sake. You shall know pain and sorrow. Thorns and thistles and weeds will grow instead of fruit. You will have to work very hard to get enough to eat and your chief food will be vegetables, for fruit will be hard to get. You were made from the dust and in time you will become dust again.’
"Then the Logos showed them how they could kill the animals and take their skins and fix them so they would stay soft, and make coats of them to keep them warm.
"Then God said, ‘Now that the man and woman have disobeyed and have learned what it is to sin, it will not do to let them have the fruit of the perfect trees in the garden, for as long as they have the perfect food, they will live.’
"So the Logos made Adam and Eve go out of the beautiful garden, into the world outside, and God sent an angel or a messenger to keep them from returning. Perhaps this messenger was simply a great fiery volcano that blocked the pathway to the garden. We cannot tell, for any thing that does God’s will can be an angel or messenger. The Bible tells us that there was a flaming sword that turned every way to keep them from returning.
"The trees of the garden were ‘Trees of Life.’ That means that as long as men could get their fruit, they would live. Now Adam and Eve could not get the fruit any longer and they would slowly die.
"There is an old story of a place in eastern Canada where many years ago there were a great many oak trees. Men built a bridge of the oak, which is a very hard wood and lasts many years. Fearing that some day parts of this bridge would wear out, these men made pieces to replace every part of the bridge. They stored these oak boards carefully away, so that when a piece of the bridge broke they could just put in another piece of oak. The bridge lasted many years; one after another, different parts wore out, and were replaced. The land around was soon all taken for farms, and the oak trees were all used for building houses and the time came when there was
no more oak to be had. Then parts of the bridge began to wear out and the people put in fir planks instead. As time went on and one part after another was replaced with fir, a time came when the bridge was all fir. Fir is not nearly so strong as oak and by and by the fir planks rotted. It was not an oak bridge any more. That was what happened to Adam and Eve.
"Their bodies were perfect and lovely at first, and God gave them the perfect food to eat. When the parts of their bodies began to wear, the perfect food replaced them. Our bodies are made of what we eat and drink. Perfect food makes perfect bodies, just as oak makes stronger bridges. After they had sinned and must leave the garden, they could not get the perfect food and, after many years, their bodies began to wear out.
"Since they had chosen to obey Satan, God left them under his rule till they should have had a chance to see what the result of sin would be. He knew that sickness and pain, trouble and death would be the result of sin, and that it would grow, like a bad weed, till it choked out the good. Then, when men were sick and tired of sin, He intended to give them a chance to try His way instead.
"You remember God wanted a world full of people who would be good because they wanted to, and because they knew it did not pay to disobey God. God was not hard or cruel to Adam and Eve. They had been warned that death would be the result of their sin. God could have taken their lives at once, but God was kind and let them live many years. They had a lot of joy and a lot of sorrow also, and they saw for themselves that it is always best to obey God.
"Some people think it was hard on them to put them out of the garden, but God knew that they must not be left where life was easy or they would be led to do many wicked things. He knew that if they had to work hard to get food and clothes, they would not have much time for sin.
"If God had let Adam and Eve live in the garden always and keep on living, it would not have been just, and they would have felt that God would not keep His promise. He said they would die and He kept His promise, for after many years of experience with evil they did die. God kept His promise and so we can be sure He will keep all His promises.
Thorns and thistles and other weeds grew, as He said they would, when He said, ‘I will curse the ground for your sake.’
"This was not to add to Adam’s punishment, but to save him from trouble. When Daddy said, ‘I will put a gate at the top of the stairs, for your sake,’ he did not mean to punish you, but to save you from a fall. God wanted to save man from falling into sin and death too fast, so He made him work for a living. Work is a blessing, not a trial. It helps time to pass and keeps us happy.
"Now little one you are tired and we will leave the next part of the second Camel’s story for tomorrow night. Tonight, I want you to remember God’s promise when He punished wicked Satan for his sin, for that promise was the only hope God gave Adam and Eve, -’I will put enmity between you and the woman and between her seed and your seed. He shall bruise your head, but you shall bruise his heel.’ Do you remember what it meant?"
"Yes, Mummy. It meant that some day someone would kill wicked Satan, but he would cause them a lot of trouble first."
"That is right, dear, and soon we shall see who will be the one to kill Satan and save men from their sins."
Mother turned out the light and soon her little girl was fast asleep.
CHAPTER 4. THE FRUIT OF SIN
"Hurry up, Mummy: I want my story now. I am all ready for bed." Linnet was getting impatient. "I want to know what happened to Adam and Eve in the big world outside of the garden.
Mother laid aside her work and took her place at Linnet’s bedside. She tucked the clothes around her little daughter and then began the story.
"Well, dearest, you can just imagine how they felt. They were both very sorry for what they had done. Adam would blame Eve, and that would make her unhappy. It was hard living out here after they had been so happy in that lovely garden. The first thing they would do would be to hunt a place to live. They could not just lie down on the soft grass and sleep. There would not be any soft grass, for the world outside the garden was not finished. It was not like the world we live in either, for that was many, many years ago and the world was all quite warm. They had lost much of their power over the animals too, and they would not obey them as the ones in the garden had.
"We know how very kind God is, so it is likely He had placed them where they could find a cave to live in, and there would be wild fruits and vegetables to eat. They would have to hunt for them though, not just to pick what they felt like from the trees. After awhile they would move the best plants carefully and put them near their house or cave. Adam was a perfect man and much stronger than any man that lives now. He would make a house for them to live in, and they would catch the wild animals to use their skins for clothes.
"After awhile something happened that made them much happier. They had a little boy-the very first baby that was ever born. Then, after a few years there was another little boy. They called them Cain and Abel. As time went on other boys and girls were born. We do not know how many or what their names were. The Bible only says that they had sons and daughters. (Ge 5:4.)
"The children soon grew up to be men and women. Cain loved to work in the garden. He hunted for fruit trees and
vines and berry bushes and brought them home and planted them near where they lived. Then they did not have to hunt for things to eat. Abel caught sheep and goats and they used their skins for clothes.
"Abel loved God and when Adam and Eve told them of how God had made them and of the lovely garden, Abel wanted to do something to show God that he loved Him. He used to take the very finest sheep he found and kill them and burn their bodies as an offering to God. This pleased God, not because the animals were killed, but because He saw that Abel was trying to give Him a gift. God would speak to Abel then and if Abel wanted something, God would help him get it. In this way God showed them that something must die to pay for sin.
"When Cain saw how pleased God was with Abel and how He helped him, Cain took some of his fruit and vegetables and burned them. Now Cain was not good and he did not love God. His gifts were for selfish reasons and God was not pleased. Cain was not kind or good and he was always ready to do what Satan told him to. So God would not take Cain’s gifts or answer him. Cain was very jealous and angry and one day God spoke to him and said, ‘Why are you so angry Cain? If you do what is kind and good you will have my favor too. I cannot hear you and help you when your heart is full of angry thoughts. If you will love and serve me I will help you too.’
"Cain did not do any better. He was cross and bad tempered, and made Adam and Eve feel very bad by his actions. Now Eve knew what God meant when He said her children would bring her sorrow.
"When the boys were older than most people get to be now, Cain grew very angry with Abel one day, because Abel had God’s favor and Cain did not. Cain took a big stick and hit Abel so hard that Abel died.
"Abel was the very first person that ever died. When Cain saw that Abel did not get up or move, he was afraid. He did what Adam and Eve had done, when they sinned. He hid. Then he heard God’s voice calling him.
"‘Cain! Cain! Where is your brother Abel?’
"Cain was both afraid and angry, and he said, ‘How should I know? I am not his keeper.’
"Then God said, ‘Cain, I have heard your brother’s blood calling from the ground. Now you will be cursed for you have killed your brother. The earth which has felt your brother’s blood will never again give her fruits freely to you. You will become a wanderer in the earth.’
"Cain said, ‘My punishment is greater than I can bear. My people will kill me. I must run away and hide from them.’ No, Cain did not say he was sorry for what he had done. He was not sorry he had killed his brother. He was just afraid.
"God said He would put a mark on Cain so he would not be killed and Cain took his wife and went away and hid. He went so far away that no one could find him. He and his wife must have been lonesome often. After awhile they too had children and they were not so lonesome.
"What must poor Adam and Eve have felt when they found Abel dead and knew that Cain had run away. They would see now, as they had not seen before, what comes of disobeying God. If they had not sinned then Cain would not have been so bad. The boys might have grown up in the lovely garden and have been happy. After awhile they had another little boy who seemed to have been sent to take Abel’s place. Adam and Eve knew that Abel was a good boy and that he had God’s love and favor and they may have thought that he was the one who would kill Satan and let them go
back to the garden again, for they did not know that it would be over three thousand years before the ‘Seed of the Woman’ was born. They did not know what God meant by those words.
"Seth seemed to take Abel’s place for he was a good boy too. He tried to please God and God spoke to him as He had to Abel. Then people learned to talk or to pray to God.
"Many people were born and grew up on the earth. Some were good and some were bad. When Adam was a very old man, one of his grandsons, who was very good, told the people that some day ‘The Lord would come with ten thousand of His saints’ and then things would be better. (Jude 14).
"After awhile satan saw that he had a dying kingdom. He began to realise that he could not keep people from dying
and he was not satisfied. Then he thought of a plan to raise a race of people who would not die. God had foreseen that Satan would do this, and He saw that this would prove a test for the angels also, so he let Satan try his new plan.
"Satan coaxed the angels to help him. He thought that if some of the angels would come down to the earth and take the form of men and marry the women, their children would not die. In this way he would soon have a race of people who would live always. The good angels would not have anything to do with Satan or his plans, but there were many angels who were willing to listen. Perhaps they were deceived by Satan into thinking they were doing a good thing. We can imagine Satan saying to them-’I made a great mistake when I coaxed Eve to eat the fruit. I brought a great deal of suffering and pain on mankind by that mistake. Now I am very sorry and I want to help them. I want to stop people dying. Of course I know I cannot keep the people who are on the earth already from dying, but I have thought of a way by which we could have people who would not die. You angels are not under a death sentence; you never die. If you would help me we could have a fine race of strong, healthy people. You can change yourselves into men and marry the women on the earth, then you would have children who would be part angel and would not die.’
"This would look like a fine plan to the angels who were not true to God, but the angels who loved and trusted God would take no part in it. They would say, ‘No! This new world is God’s and He might not wish us to do this. We will wait and find out what He wishes us to do first. Lucifer coaxed these people to disobey God and God has said they must die, but He has also said that a ‘Seed of the Woman’ should come to save them. God knows what He is doing.’
"Among the good angels who would have nothing to do with Satan’s plan was the Logos. His interest was with the sons of men, but He trusted God.
"Once, there was a little girl called Mary whose mother had a lovely piece of cloth which she intended making into a new dress. Mary heard her mother say, ‘I think I will go to Mrs. Black and see if she will make this up for me. I haven’t the time and it is a very good piece and worth the money and trouble to have it made right.’
"Now Mary loved to sew and was always making dresses for her dolls. The work was always well done and she felt quite proud of her sewing.
"‘Let me make it for you, Mother,’ she said. ‘You know how nicely I can sew. It would look lovely made like that new party dress I made for my doll, Sally. You said you would like a dress like that for yourself.’
"Mother laughed and answered, ‘You would find it very different trying to make a dress for a grown up woman, Mary. No, I will go over and see Mrs. Black this afternoon. I want the dress soon, but it would not do to risk spoiling that cloth.’
"Mary thought, ‘I can’t see why Mother won’t let me try. She said she would like a dress like Sally’s; I would just have to cut it bigger. She does not think I am big enough to make it but I know I am. I will do it while she is out and surprise her, then she won’t have to pay that nasty Mrs. Black.’
"So when Mother was out Mary got the piece of cloth and spread it out on the table, and tried to cut out a dress for her mother. She soon realised that the task was too big for her, but by that time the cloth was hopelessly spoiled. She was very sorry then, but it was too late. She could not undo the harm she had done.
"That was the way it was with the wicked angels. They thought they could make something of this earth. They did not wait to see what God’s plan was, or to find out what He wished them to do. Then the damage was done. God had tested them and they had failed. They had proved that they could not be trusted.
"Their sin resulted in great trouble for mankind. They took human form, as Satan had told them to, and came to earth like men. They married the loveliest of the women but their children were giants. These giants were very wicked and cruel. They were so big that the people were all afraid of them and they just did as they pleased. The Bible tells us that, ‘God saw the wickedness of man in the earth, and that every thought of his heart was just evil, all the time.’ So God said, ‘I will have to destroy these men from off the earth.’ (Ge 6:6,7.)
"God had known what the result of Satan’s plan would be but He did not stop it, for He knew it would work out for good in the end. It had proved which of the angels He could
trust and which were not true to Him. It had also shown the good angels that it does not pay to interfere with God’s plans.
"They saw that all Satan’s wisdom was just foolishness and that only God can really plan for His people for He sees the end from the beginning. Satan had thought that because angels did not die, they could not, but God can destroy any creature He had made. He was the only one that was Divine. That means that God cannot die. Remember that, dear little one. The angels can be killed if they sin, but God cannot ever die. He will always be there and He will help all who try to please Him and who love Him. After Jesus proved that He would do God’s will no matter what it cost and that not even Satan could coax Him to do wrong, God gave Him the Divine life also. So, now, Jesus cannot die either."
"Did God punish the wicked angels, Mummy?" asked Linnet.
"Yes, Darling. God saw that soon there would be nothing but wicked giants left in the earth, so He said to the Logos, ‘The end of all flesh has come before me. The earth is filled with violence through them and I will destroy them.’
"Now there was one good family in the earth. They had kept away from the wicked angels and had nothing to do with them and they prayed to God always and tried to do His will. God sent the Logos to them. The father of this family was called Noah and the Logos went to him and said, ‘This is the word of the Great God. The people of the earth have become so very wicked that I am going to destroy them all. You have tried to serve me and I will save you and your family. Make a big boat of Gopher wood. I will show you how to make it, for I am going to bring a great flood of water over the earth that will kill every creature that breathes, except those in the ark. You and your family shall go into the ark and I will save you and start a new race with you.’
"I told you how, when the earth was cooling off, great clouds of steam rose from the water. This steam had formed a veil or ring of water that completely enclosed the earth. This water kept out the cold and the germs of sickness and disease as well, so that people only died of age or when they were killed by other people. No doubt the giants killed many of them for they were so big and wicked. The stories of Giants are still told, although there have not been any for thousands
of years. The stories of ‘Jack the Giant Killer’ and ‘Jack and the Bean Stalk’ and other stories have come down to us from those days. They are not true stories, as far as we know, for they have changed as the years went by. In every country, there are fairy stories of these giants that have been told by mothers to their children since the earliest days. As I told you there was a ring of water around the earth then, and the whole earth was warm. The Bible tells us about this ring.
"It says, ‘God made the thick darkness a swaddling band for the earth.’ It is also called ‘The Great Deep,’ in several places, and we are told in the Bible that, ‘The earth stood in the water and out of the water, and being overflowed with water, perished.’
"As the years went by the water ring or veil was growing thicker and heavier, but the people were having too much fun to notice that there was any change.
"God told Noah that it would be one hundred and twenty years before the earth would be destroyed, but the ark would take a long time to build, for it must be very big and strong. He told Noah how big to make it and how to shape it, so the flood would not smash it. Noah and his sons started the work at once, and they told all the people about the flood that was coming. The people just laughed at them and thought that they were crazy. They made gods of the wicked angels and served them and thought that they would be able to save them no matter what happened.
"The people did not have mills where they could get wood all ready for use and there were no big machines, so they had to cut down the trees and shape the planks by hand. This took a long time, but people lived to be many hundreds of years old because there was no sickness to weaken them. Noah and his sons worked hard to cut the big timbers and they would hire the people to help them build the boat, and, we may be sure, they told all the people about God’s message.
"It took nearly all the hundred and twenty years to get that ark all ready. At last it was done and Noah tried to get the people to go into it for safety, but they only laughed at him.
"God told Noah then, to gather fruit and food of all kinds and store it in the ark. He gathered enough to last a great
many people or animals for a year, and stored it up, and all the people still thought he was crazy.
"Then God told Noah to collect two of all the different animals that were useful and beautiful, and to take seven pairs of the sheep and goats and cattle and horses and so on, that the people found useful. That is, seven males and seven females of each useful kind. He told them to gather birds also, and God gave Noah and his sons power over all creatures so they obeyed him.
"Soon every thing was ready. There was food for every animal-all the animals still ate fruit and vegetables-and food for Noah and his whole family. The ark was big enough for all. There were three floors. One for the animals and one for the birds and a great storeroom full of food. Then there was a place for Noah and his family to live in. There was a window and doors, but as they had no glass they would have to shut these to keep the water out so they would need lights, and it is likely they had them too.
"When every thing was ready, Noah and his family moved into the ark. They tried to coax their friends to believe God and come with them, but the people still thought they were being very foolish. Then God shut the door and sealed it so no one could open it and let the water in.
"Then the flood came. The great ring of water broke and crashed down upon the earth. It was a terrible time, not like a rain, for that water fell like a solid wall and in a few minutes there was not a living thing outside the ark. No giant could stand those waters. No building could stand its weight. God had showed Noah how to make the ark so it would not be crushed, but would rise like a cork. God never causes anyone needless suffering. The wicked people had to die, so He sent a force that would kill them all quickly.
"The Bible says, ‘The windows of Heaven were opened and the fountains of the great deep were broken up.’ The whole weight of the water ring that had been gathering for hundreds of years fell in forty days and it was so deep that even the hills were covered. The shell of the earth bent under the terrible weight and in places it cracked and the water ran into the hot center and there would be great explosions. Mountains were forced up in some places and in others great hollows were formed. It must have been terrible in the ark, for
they could hear the roar of the falling water and the crash of the explosions, but they could not see what was happening. After a long time the ark floated quietly and the water stopped falling, but so much water fell that it took over ten months for it to drain away into the hollows. People often ask where the water went to. Our oceans are the answer. There were no great, big oceans before that flood. There were no high mountains either. The people never saw the blue sky or the clouds, or felt the cold winds.
"Now, Darling, that was the end of the ‘First World’ and it must also be the end of our story for it is time my little one was asleep. One thing I want you to remember always. The same God that brought that great flood to take away those wicked people, told Noah about its coming, and took care of him and his family and the animals and birds in the ark. He is our God and is taking care of us too. He will take care of you always and in every place if you trust Him and try to please Him. But He will still punish those who try to harm His children. Even to them He will not send needless suffering.
"Pain and sickness and trouble are not sent by God. They are part of Satan’s reign of sin and are caused by not living as God would wish us to. Sometimes it is because we cannot get right food, that we are sick. Sometimes we have some illness that has come from our parents, who have not lived right, or have not had proper food or care or have worked too hard. God can cure our sickness but He does not always do it, for He knows that trouble makes people kind and good and teaches them to trust Him. We should never blame God for our troubles. Some day He will take all trouble from the earth and then people will be happy. Always trust Him and ask Him for help.
"‘God is a present help in every time of trouble.’
"Now, dear, go to sleep and get a good rest and tomorrow we will have another story."
Mother put out the light then and slipped away while her girlie shut her big, blue eyes and was soon fast asleep.
CHAPTER 5 A NEW DAY DAWNS
Night time had come again and brought with it the old demand for a story. Mother took her knitting and seated herself in the rocker beside the little bed where her girlie was waiting, all eager to hear what happened next.
"What happened to the people in the ark, Mummy? Did they find a new home?"
"Yes, my darling. The second camel’s story really stopped with the punishment of the wicked people of the first world, but no story is complete that leaves people floating in the waters of a flood. So before we look at the story the third camel brought, we will see what happened to Noah and the family.
"With all its green beauty covered with water, the earth whirled on through space. In all that vast expanse of water on the earth the ark floated alone. How far it was carried we do not know. Inside the ark Noah and his sons were kept busy with the frightened animals and birds. No matter what happened, they must be fed and cared for. It was a good thing they had work to do, for the time was long. After that first, terrible month, things were quiet. They could open the window and look up at the sky but they could not tell much what was happening. There was nothing to see for a long time but sky and water. The window was high up in the ark and served rather to give them light, than to let them see out.
"Month after month passed and still they floated on the water. They must have grown very tired of it but they would not really be worried, for God had told them to take over a year’s supply of food. For ten months they floated around on the water, which was slowly draining off into the great oceans and pushing the mountains still higher, with its weight. God sent a very strong wind to help dry up the water and in the seventeenth day of the tenth month, Noah and his family felt a jar, as the ark struck ground. Looking out of the window they could see the tops of mountains, sticking up out of the water. The ark shook and then settled and stood still. It had struck a mountain top and there it stayed, wedged between
great rocks. Noah caught a raven and let it go free out of the window. He wanted to see if there was food for the bird, or if it would come back to the ark for shelter. The raven flew about over the water. It found enough to keep it alive so it did not come back.
"After a week Noah let another bird go; this time he chose a dove and it flew about all day but came back to the ark for food at night. Noah took it in and fed it and kept it for another week, then he let it go out again. This time it came back at night and brought a green leaf from an olive tree in its beak, so Noah and his family knew that the water was draining off and there were olive trees sticking up above the water somewhere near.
"They waited another week and let the dove go again but this time it found food and a place to rest and did not come back. They rested content then, for they knew that soon it would be dry enough to go out of the ark. They knew that God would let them know when it was time to go out into the world again.
"It was a little over a year from the day they went into the ark when God’s angel came and opened the door for them and Noah and his family stood in the door of the ark and looked around them. It must have been like another world to them. Before the flood the water ring had kept out the cold and there were no storms. Every part of the earth was warm. There were no great mountains or deep valleys: The hills were low and green and the rivers moved quietly along to the seas. The sky would be low and probably a soft grey, like it is now when there are thick clouds. Perhaps the sun, shining through the water veil would tint the sky with lovely rainbow tints, for the water ring was very high and may have been quite clear, but the sun had never shone directly on the earth. It shone always through the water veil. It is because we can look so far up through space, that our sky looks so lovely and blue.
"When the water ring broke, it would be thickest at the centre of the earth. As the whirling of the earth would drive the weight of water there. At the North and South Poles, where the water ring was thinnest, the cold winds from outer space would rush in and turn the water to snow and ice as it fell. We know that this is just what did happen, for men have
found the bodies of animals that could only live in very warm countries, frozen solid in the ice bergs in Greenland and other far north countries. These animals still had grass in their mouths, which showed that they had been feeding when the snow and ice fell and chilled them, so that they could not move.
"The snow packed around them and the cold froze them so that they have stayed there for thousands of years. Men tell us that at one time this country we live in (Canada) was covered with ice, which slowly melted till only the North and South Poles are now covered with ice and that is melting slowly. They tell us that this was millions of years ago, but the Bible shows that it was just a little over six thousand years and that the ice really melted very quickly at first but as the earth grew cooler it did not melt so quickly.
"Noah and his family looked around them. The ark had been caught in a valley between two mountain peaks. Great rocks lay all around them and the peaks above them would probably be white with snow. They had never seen snow before. The mountain, where the ark stopped, is still there and is still called by the name Noah gave it. It is Mount Ararat. It is a very high mountain and the tops of the two peaks are always covered with snow. Far down below them Noah and his family could see green valleys where mighty rivers were rushing by, carrying the waters that still remained from the flood, to the seas. The water would be filled with pieces of trees and wood such as are borne along by every great flood. They could see for miles around. There would be lakes and rivers and fields, and woods all broken and torn by the flood. It would be very windy and cold on the mountain.
"If you were to wake up tomorrow morning and find that the hills you had known all your life were gone and and the rivers and lakes had disappeared; if the very sky had turned green instead of blue and there was no one anywhere but you and your own family, you would feel very much as Noah and his family must have felt. They would look away up through the deep, blue sky and see the piles of snowy clouds, floating above them, and they would wonder what they were and what held them up there. Even though we have seen them all our lives we sometimes marvel at their beauty and size. They would feel the warmth of the beautiful sun and be surprised
at its brilliant light. God spoke to them; of course we know it would be the great Logos speaking for God, and said, ‘Go out of the ark Noah and take your family with you. Let all the animals go free too, as they can get fresh, green grass to eat and may raise young animals of their own kind to fill the earth again.’
"So Noah opened the doors and set all the animals free, except perhaps those tame animals which they would need, such as sheep and goats and horses. The animals were so glad to get out that they just raced through the door. Then they would stop, frightened and surprised to see the strange new world, and to feel the cold wind. Trembling with fear they would steal down the mountain. Some of them found homes and hiding places in caves and holes. Some went down to the warm, green valleys where the grass was beginning to grow.
"The long months of fear and darkness had made many of them cross. Food was very scarce and soon they were nearly mad with hunger and the stronger began to kill and eat the weaker ones, as they do now. After the animals had all gone down the hillside, Noah and his sons took the stones and made an altar and they killed one of the sheep and burned it as a sacrifice to God and they knelt there and thanked God for all His kindness to them and for bringing them safely through that terrible flood.
"This pleased the Lord and He called again to Noah and said, ‘I will be with you and bless you. Do not be afraid to go down into the world and make homes and raise families. The animals will be afraid of you always and will hate you and even kill people but you may hunt them and use them for food for it will not be as easy to get food in this new World. From now on, if any man kills another man, he must pay for his sin with his life. I will make a covenant with you and with all creatures and I will give you my promise that I will never again kill all mankind by a flood. I will also give you a sign so that you may know that I have not forgotten my promise. I will put a bow in the sky and when you see it there you may know that I too have seen it and have remembered this promise. As long as you see that bow you may know that I will not again bring a flood on the earth to destroy all people.’
"Noah and his family looked up at the sky and there they
saw, what no man had ever seen before, but which you can see often. It was a lovely rainbow."
"I saw a rainbow last summer, Mummy. It was very lovely," said Linnet. "Why did no one ever see one before that?"
"Because before the flood the sun never shone directly on the earth; it had to shine through the veil of water. A rainbow is caused by the direct rays of sunlight shining on drops of water. It may be seen in water falls or in spray."
"I know, Mummy, I have seen it in the spray from our hose on the lawn."
"Yes, dear. Lots of people think that because it is made by the sun shining on water, it has no meaning. But dearest, remember this always, God made the water and He made the sun. He let the water veil break, so the sun could shine on the earth directly. As long as you can see a rainbow, whether in the spray of the hose, or in the clouds in summer, you may know that there is no veil of water around the earth and so there cannot be any great flood.
"When God gives us a sign, we may be sure it is a true one and will not fail. Noah and his family went down the mountain and they found a nice warm valley and built a home there. Noah and his wife had other children and their sons had children too and it was not long before there were a great many people on the earth again. I am sorry to say that even after such a terrible lesson, they were not all good.
"Noah planted a vineyard, that is a garden of grapes, and when the first grapes were ripe he thought he would make some nice grape juice to drink. Now before the flood, fruit juice could be packed away and it would not spoil or ferment. The breaking of the water ring had let in hosts of germs and tiny creatures that are called bacteria, from outside space. These are what make things spoil. They get into the nice fruit Mother puts away for the winter and it gets bad and we have to throw it out. Noah did not know about this and he thought his grape juice would stay nice and sweet. One day he was very tired and thirsty and he took a big drink of his grape juice. It made him drunk. No one had ever been drunk before. Noah acted very silly, for he did not know what he was doing. He pulled all his clothes off and lay down in his tent all bare. One of his sons, whose name was Ham, found
him and he made fun of him and called the others to see how silly their father was. The other two sons whose names were Shem and Japheth were angry with Ham. They scolded him and took a blanket and covered their father.
"So men learned how to make drinks that steal a man’s senses away, right after the flood. It was this, and the disease germs from outer space and having to eat meat, that made man die much quicker. God knew that this would happen but His wisdom saw that it would not do for men to live so long. They could do too much harm and He meant that their lives should only be long enough to let them see what the result of sin is, so that when He gave them a chance to live right, they would be glad and try to serve Him.
"God’s great justice was shown in His keeping His promise to Adam and Eve and also in letting the flood come to take all the wicked men and giants away. The flood showed how very powerful He is. He showed His kindness and care for His children in saving Noah and his family from the flood. He has kept His promise never to let another great flood come. We can look back over the years and see that when God says He will do anything, it is sure to be done. Men may forget but God never forgets.
"In our next story we will see how God is going to keep another promise, -the one He made to Eve, that her seed should bruise the serpent’s head. Darling, serve Him always and try to please Him and He will keep all His promises to you to. Remember this, ‘God is our refuge and strength. A very present help in time of trouble.’"
"I will never forget that Mummy," said Linnet, and closed her eyes and was fast asleep in a minute.
CHAPTER 6 THE THIRD CAMEL BRINGS HIS STORY
"Are you coming, Mummy?" called Linnet from her bedroom, and Mother answered, "Very well dear. I see you are all ready for your story, so we will just round up that third camel and see what he has in his pack.
"It is quite a parcel all right, for this was the biggest and most important camel of all and his pack carried the finest of all the king’s treasures. I see the package is labeled, ‘Hope,’ but that was not the camel’s name.
"What is his name, Mummy?" Linnet’s bright eyes sparkled for she loved these stories.
"His name is ‘Ransom’ dear."
"Was he very handsome, Mummy?"
"Not a bit Linnet. The name was Ransom, not Handsome." Mother laughed.
"What does Ransom mean, Mummy?"
"Ransom, darling, is the price paid for a man’s life. Once upon a time-"
"Is it a fairy story, Mummy? That is the way they begin."
"No, darling; this is not the Camel’s story but just a little story to show you what ‘Ransom’ means and how it works. Once there was a lady traveling in China, which, you know is a great country across the ocean. There were bandits in the country."
"What is a bandit?"
"You are full of questions tonight Linnet. A bandit is a man who, together with other men like himself, hides behind rocks or bushes and stops travelers and steals their money. In China there are many groups of these ‘bandits.’ It is not safe to travel there without soldiers to protect you. This lady was with a party of people who were crossing the country. The bandits hid and when the party came by, they stepped out and crowded around them. When they saw the lady we are speaking of, they noticed that she was very well dressed. They took all the money the people had, and when they came to this lady, they thought that anyone who had such fine
clothes must have rich friends who would be willing to pay for her safety. They ordered her to go with them and the more she begged to be set free, the more sure they were that her friends would pay well for her safety. They took her away off to their hiding place in the hills and forced her to write a letter to her friends telling them that she was safe and asking them to send money to the bandits, so they would not hurt her.
"Then they sent a messenger to her people and he told them that if they did not send back ten thousand dollars with him the girl would be killed. You see they set a very high price for her life. Her friends raised the money which was called a ransom because it was the price of her life."
"Did the lady get home safely, Mummy?" asked Linnet.
"Yes, darling, but not for some time. The messenger had to take the money all the way back to the leader of the bandits. Then he sent men to see her safely to a town, and there she got a chance to send a message to her friends who sent her food and money and clothes, and she was able to pay guides to lead her to her own home.
"God is a just God as you know, and when Adam sinned, God said he must die for his sin. God would not let two men die for one sin. If another man would take Adam’s place and die for Adam, then God would have to let Adam off. But no man could take Adam’s place, because Adam had been a perfect men when he sinned, so only a perfect man could take his place and there could be no perfect men because all men had sinned. Besides, Adam was dead and even if someone offered to take his place it would do no good unless Adam could be awakened from death. The third Camel’s story tells us how God had a plan to find someone to die instead of Adam; someone who would be perfect as Adam was before he sinned.
"God knew that there would never be a perfect man on earth who could take Adam’s place and He showed this by saying, ‘All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.’ Then again, by one of His prophets, or teachers, he said, ‘No man can by any means redeem his brother or give to God a ransom for him.’"
"Did no one have enough money to pay for Adam, Mummy?" asked Linnet.
"I thought you would be asking that, Dear." Mother smiled. "God is a just God and could not take money for a man’s life. His law is ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth and a man’s life for a man’s life.’ God has no need of money for ‘the silver and gold are His.’ The only price God could take for Adam’s life was a life like Adam’s. So He said, ‘I will provide a ransom.
‘I will redeem them from death.’ (Ps 49:7; Ho 13:14.)
"First, God wanted to give to the people who had faith in Him, a picture of what He was going to do. He knew it was not time yet to ransom Adam nor to send ‘The Seed of the Woman’ to bruise Satan’s head, for He intended men to first find out just what happened when people disobeyed God. He knew that people would get tired of waiting and think that He had forgotten His promise so He decided to make some pictures of what He was going to do.
"The first part of the third Camel’s story is about one of these pictures. This is the story:—
"After the flood people began to increase very fast. They had big families and there were soon a great many people. Most of them were not as good as they might have been and one of Noah’s grandsons was very wicked. He was a very great hunter and old stories tell of how he tamed the leopards that had grown very wild and fierce and taught them to hunt for him. Because he was a great hunter he soon grew very rich. The Bible tells us very little about this famous hunter but of late years many old buildings have been found and old writings that have told much more. The Bible tells us that this man’s name was Nimrod and he became a mighty hunter before God, or worshipped in place of God. It also tells us that the beginning of his kingdom was Babel. Of Babel the Bible tells us that the people built a great tower there to try and reach Heaven and after awhile God decided that the work would have to be stopped, so He said, ‘Let us change the speech of these people, so they will all talk different languages.’
"Men have found the ruins of the tower of Babel and from it have learned many things. One thing is that the worship of Nimrod, instead of God, started there, and all the false and heathen religions in the world started from that.
"The people were scattered all over when their speech
was changed and many years after nearly all the people were worshipping false gods and they had idols which are great carved figures of men and women and animals and they prayed to them instead of to God. This was the time when God decided to make the first of His pictures. This one was to show the people something about the Ransom.
"He sent the Logos with a message to a man who was true to Him, and who lived in a town far from Babel. Nearly all the other people in this town were serving Satan and praying to the false god, Nimrod.
"The Logos said to this man, ‘Abram, God has sent me to you to say, I want you to leave this town and this country and go to a place I will show you. If you will do this and will obey me and serve me, I will bless you and start a new nation. In your seed shall all the people of the earth be blessed.’
"Now Abram knew about God’s promises, and he knew that this message meant that one of his children should be the ‘Seed’ who would kill the wicked Satan. Abram’s family went with him and they left the city and started out.
"There was Abram and his wife, Sara, and their nephew, Lot, and his wife. They traveled to the country of Canaan and God promised Abram that some day all the country around Canaan would belong to his family. You have heard the story of their travels and of how Abram had no children, and God promised him a son.
"After they had waited twenty-five years, this son was born and this story is about him. Isaac, for that was the boy’s name, was a young man when God’s angel came to Abraham with a message from God. God had changed Abram’s name to Abraham and Sara’s to Sarah before Isaac was born.
"The angel said, ‘Abraham, God wants you to take your son, Isaac, your only son whom you love, and go to the mountain of Moriah and there offer him up as a burnt offering to God.’
"The heathen people often killed their children and sacrificed them to Nimrod, but the great God of Heaven had never asked for such a sacrifice. Abraham loved and trusted God but he had waited so many years for Isaac and God has promised that this son should some day own all the land of Canaan and that through his family the great blessings should come to the
people. Abraham thought about all God had said and he felt that God would not let Isaac die, or if He did He would bring him back to life again before He would break His promise. Abraham knew that God always kept his promises. The next morning Abraham called Isaac and told him he wanted him to go to Mount Moriah with him, to make a sacrifice to God.
"Together they gathered fine, dry wood and made a bundle of it and fastened it to a donkey. Then they took enough food for their journey and some fire in a basket."
"How could they carry fire in a basket, Mummy?" asked Linnet. "Why did they not take matches and paper?"
"There were no matches or paper then, dear, and fires were very hard to light. That was why they needed dry, fine wood. They had metal baskets and would take burning coals and put them in the baskets and as they walked, if the fire seemed to be getting low, they had to put more wood in. The basket had a long chain handle to keep from burning their hands. Some of Abraham’s servants went with them and they travelled for three days through the country. They walked slowly, for Abraham was old, and at night they would make a fire to keep them warm and keep any wild animals away. On the third day they reached Mount Moriah and there Abraham told the servants to wait for him and Isaac. Isaac was a strong, young man and he took the fire wood and made a bundle of it, and Abraham lifted it up and put it on Isaac’s shoulder. Abraham carried his knife and the basket of fire and they started to climb the mountain. As they went up Isaac said, ‘Father you have brought the wood and fire, why did you not bring a lamb too. What are we going to use for a burnt offering?’
"Poor old Abraham must have felt very bad, but he could not bear to tell Isaac that God had told him to use him for a sacrifice. He said sadly, ‘God will provide a lamb my son.’ Now Isaac was a grown man and he must have seen that the only sacrifice Abraham could make was himself. He would know of how the people around them often killed and sacrificed their children to Nimrod. Isaac had great faith in God and trusted Him. He knew how God had promised Abraham that He would bless him and give him all the country around there. Isaac shared that promise too. He would look at his old father and see what a very hard thing this was for the old man to do and Isaac loved his father.
"Isaac did not ask any more questions. If he had wanted to, he could have run away, for he was young and strong and his father was old. Isaac, however, trusted God too and loved Him and wished to do God’s will no matter what it cost. When they reached the top of the mountain, Abraham stopped and said, ‘This is the place, Isaac.’
"Isaac laid down the wood and helped his old father gather stones and make an altar. Lots of people think that Isaac was just a boy, but we know that he was a grown man. When everything was ready Isaac would see how very badly his father felt, and I think he would go to him and put his hand on his father’s shoulder and say, ‘Do not feel so badly father. I understand. If God has told you to offer me for a sacrifice, you must do as He says. I am His child and He will not break His promise. See, father, I am all ready.’ Then, I am sure that Isaac climbed up on the altar himself, and let his father tie his hands. You see, we know that God was making a picture of how Jesus would give His life for the world and we know Jesus knew all about it and gave his life willingly. Abraham was a picture of God who was going to provide a ransom for Adam by giving His only Son to die for Adam. God wanted us to know He made the plan and sent Jesus to take Adam’s place.
"When Isaac was ready, Abraham took his knife and he looked up to Heaven and told God he was giving his son, as God had asked. Then God called to him and said, ‘That is enough Abraham. You must not harm your son. I was only testing you to see if you really loved Me better than even your so. Now I know that you love Me. You have been willing to give me your dearest treasure.’
"Then Abraham and Isaac were so very glad. Isaac was glad he had not tried to get away but had showed God that He trusted Him and loved Him enough to die for Him. Abraham helped Isaac down and they saw a wild goat caught by its horns in a bush and they caught it and killed it and burned it for a sacrifice. They knelt there together and thanked God for His goodness and God said, ‘Because of what you have done, I promise that I will bless you and I will make of you a very great nation. Your seed shall conquer His enemies and through Him I will bless all the people of the earth. I will do
this because you have trusted Me and have been willing to give up your dearest treasure for Me.’
"So God showed that some day His own dear Son would give His life, at God’s command, for the people of the world. That was the first sign of the plan of God, to send His own Son to be the ransom for Adam.
"Abraham and Isaac went down the hill together. Abraham felt that God had given him back his son from the dead and Isaac felt as though he had indeed been dead and had come back to life again. Both of them loved God better, and each other more than ever before.
"That was the first part of the camel’s story, dear, and we will keep the next part for tomorrow night."
Mother kissed her girlie and said, "Remember dear one, that if we try to do God’s will always, He will bless us too. He may test our love as He did Isaac’s and Abraham’s, but He will never let any thing really hurt us."
CHAPTER 7 Another Story from the Camel’s Treasure
"Have you another story from the Camel’s treasure, Mummy?" asked Linnet the next night, and Mother replied, "Yes, dear. We have a very wonderful story tonight, and if you are all ready to settle down for the night I will tell it to you."
"I am all ready, Mummy. I am glad there were so many camels for I do love their stories."
"The last story you remember was a picture of something God was going to do. The time came when God intended to make that picture come true. Things had come to a terrible state on this poor, old world. Satan had many servants who were doing his will, but God had faithful and true servants too. Again and again He had sent these servants to tell His people, when they were doing things to displease Him.
"We have not time to tell you of how Isaac grew up and about this children. Of how his grandchildren went to Egypt and stayed there for many years and of how at last a wicked king ruled in Egypt who abused them terribly, or how God sent Moses to save them, or the great and wonderful things God did in Egypt. I have told you all about that in other stories. You have heard of how the people wandered for forty years in the wilderness and reached Canaan at last and of their disobedience and sin that brought many punishments upon them. I have told you of their kings who led them into sin and of how they were taken as prisoners to Babylon.
"This story began when their punishment in Babylon was over and God had let as many of them as wished to return, go back to their old home in Canaan. While they were in Babylon, God had sent great teachers and prophets, who told them that the time would soon come for the next part of God’s plan; and so, many of the Children of Israel were watching for the coming of the ‘Seed of the Woman who was to bruise the Serpent’s head.’
"Up in Heaven the great Logos had been watching God’s plan work out. He felt very sorry for the people of the earth, for He saw that they could not understand God’s great plan for them. ‘His delights were with the sons of men,’ as Solomon tells us, and when the great God of Heaven said that the
time had come for someone to pay Adam’s debt and reveal the next part of God’s plan to the people, this great Logos came to the Father and said, ‘I have come to do Thy will, oh my God, all the things that are written in the book.’
"When we remember that it was the Logos who was God’s messenger and who had told Abraham to offer Isaac to God as a sacrifice; that He was the one who led the children of Israel out of Egypt and taught them the Laws of God, we can see that He must have known a little at least about God’s plan.
"God had known all along that the Logos would wish to help those people of the earth and now He explained to the Logos that in order to help the people of earth, He would have to give up His life as a great angel in Heaven and go down to the earth and be born as a tiny baby and grow up among the people. Only in this way could He get to understand all about men. Then, when He had grown up to be a man, He would have to teach the people about God. They would not treat Him well. They had never treated God’s prophets well. He would then have to give His life in place of Adam’s. God told the Logos that if He could live among men and never sin, or do what was wrong, and would then give His life for Adam, God would make Him the greatest in the whole Kingdom of Heaven, and after awhile He would make Him a King over the earth instead of Satan and let Him rule the people of the earth and teach them how to live rightly.
"We know that Jesus knew these things for He often said to the people that He had come to save the world, and the Apostles tell us that ‘It was for the glory that was set before Him that He endured the cross.’
"Jesus loved the people of the world and He knew that God loved them also even though they did such wicked things. So the Great Logos was willing to leave all the riches and glory of Heaven and all His friends, the angels, to come down and live like a man.
"So God changed the great Logos into a tiny baby who was born on earth. One day a young girl named Mary was all alone in her home in Palestine when a stranger came to her house. He said to her ‘Hail Mary,’ (Just as we might say, ‘Good afternoon.’)’ You are favored by God and He is with you. You are blessed among women.’
"Mary wondered who the stranger was and why he spoke
in such an odd way to her. The stranger went on to say, ‘Do not be troubled or afraid, Mary, for God is greatly pleased with you.’
"You see, Mary was a very good girl and all alone, for her parents were both dead. She had studied the words of God’s faithful prophets and had tried to please Him. Many of the people of Palestine who loved God had been studying His word and they had read the words of Daniel, who had brought them a message from God, and they knew that the time had come for God’s Son to come to the earth.
"One of the Prophets had said that God’s Son would come as a baby and would be from David’s family. Mary knew this and she was one of that family and had probably often wished she could be chosen to raise the wonderful baby, who would some day be the new King of Israel. Now, Mary wondered what this stranger was trying to tell her. His next words gave her great joy.
"He said, ‘God is going to give you a little baby boy and you must call Him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called ‘The Son of God’ and God will make Him a great King, just as David was. But He will rule forever over Israel and His Kingdom will never end.’
"Mary’s heart was filled with joy. She felt that this was one of God’s angels, and she believed his message.
"‘How will this happen? I am not married,’ said Mary.
"‘You will feel the power of God come over you and His care will over-shadow you and the baby you will have will be called God’s Son.’
"Mary said, ‘I am the servant of God. Whatever He wishes I will do. Let it be to me as you have said.
"Then the angel went away. Mary thought and thought about what the angel said, and she remembered that he had told her that her cousin Elizabeth was going to have a baby too. Mary decided she would like to talk to her and see what she thought of the strange thing that had happened.
"Mary closed up her house and went to visit Elizabeth. Her cousin was old and had never had any children. When Mary came to her door Elizabeth jumped up and welcomed her with strange words. She said, ‘This is a great honor, Mary. How does it happen that the mother of the Lord
should come to visit me? You are indeed favored of God and your Son will be blessed. God has blessed you because you believed the words of His messenger.’
"Mary must have wondered how her cousin knew all about what had happened. She said, ‘My heart is filled with praise to God. Down through the years to come, people will call me blessed. He has done wonderful things and His name shall be praised. He will help His people, even as He promised to Abraham.’
"Mary stayed with Elizabeth for some time and Elizabeth told her of how her husband had been in the great temple of God and had taken the blood of the sacrifice, to sprinkle it in the Holy Place and while there, an angel had come to him and said, ‘Do not be afraid Zacharias, for God has heard your prayers. He knows how much you and your wife have longed for a child and He has sent me to tell you that you are to have a little boy. His coming will make you very happy and many people will be glad when he is born. He will be very great in God’s sight. You must never let him take any strong drink. God’s spirit will guide him always. He will make many of the children of Israel turn from their sins and praise God and serve Him and he shall tell the people of the great King who is coming to rule the world.’
"Zacharias could not believe the angel’s message. He thought he was dreaming and he said, ‘How can this happen? I am an old man and my wife is old too.’ Then the angel said, ‘I am the angel Gabriel who stands always in the presence of God and God sent me to tell you this. Now I will give you a sign that this is not a dream. When you go out you will find you cannot talk, till all these things have happened. When the baby comes, you must call him John.’
"Then the angel disappeared and Zacharias went out and he found he could not talk. When Mary went to see them he was still unable to speak and had to write what he wished to say. Elizabeth was getting ready for the baby the angel had promised. Mary stayed with her cousin for about three months; then she went home.
"In Palestine, when a girl’s parents died, her nearest relative, who was not married, had to take her for his wife. Mary’s cousin Joseph claimed her for his wife and she went to live with him.
"Soon after this, Elizabeth had the baby boy the angel had promised and as soon as they took him to the temple and gave him to God and said his name was John, Zacharias was able to talk again and he told the people about the angel’s visit.
"Some time after John was born, when he was about six months old, the ruler of Palestine sent out word that every one must go up to the town where he had been born, or to the home of his people and pay a tax and have his name written in a big book. The king wished to find out how many people there were in each tribe. Mary was living with Joseph, her cousin, who was now her husband. They had to go to Bethlehem, which was the home of their family.
"There were no trains in those days so they had to walk or ride on a donkey. It was a long walk for Mary so Joseph let her ride and they travelled slowly. When they got to Bethlehem they found that there were a great many people there ahead of them and every one had their houses filled with guests who had come to have their names written down and to pay the tax. Mary was tired and they could not find any place to stay. There was a small hotel in Bethlehem but every room had been taken. The man who kept the hotel remembered that there was a little back room that was not furnished and he said they could have it, but it was not much of a place for anyone to stay. Lots of people think that they stayed in a stable, but the Bible does not say so.
"During the night the little Baby that God had promised was born. There was no bed for Him, but in Palestine the people used a net, shaped like a hammock, to put food in for their cattle. They were called mangers, and were hung across the corner of the shed where the cattle were kept and hay was put in them. Now, all the pictures that are painted of Jesus as a Baby show Him in a stable among the animals, but there is nothing in the Bible to say He was born in a stable or that there were any animals in the little room where Mary and Joseph and Jesus slept. It simply says, ‘Mary laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn or hotel.’ We often find that people make up an awful lot and add it to what the Bible says.
"Out in the hills around the little town of Bethlehem there were some shepherds who were watching a flock of
sheep. They could not sleep, for wild animals were apt to come and kill the lambs, if there was no one watching. So, some of the shepherds would wrap up in their cloaks and lie down and rest while others watched the sheep. They took turns sleeping so there was always someone on guard. During the night a bright light shone down from Heaven. It made the grass and trees around them all bright as if it was day. The shepherds were afraid, for they did not know what was going to happen. Then, in the light, they saw a stranger dressed in clothes that shone brightly. He said, ‘Do not be afraid for I have come to bring you some good news. Down in the town of Bethlehem, there is a little baby, just born. He is to be the Saviour of the world, the anointed of God. This will be the way you can tell Him. You will find Him sleeping in a manger.
"Then the light grew brighter and they saw a great crowd of angels who sang a wonderful song. ‘Glory to God in the Highest. Peace on earth and good will to all men.’ Then the angels went back to Heaven and the light faded and the shepherds were left alone.
They said, ‘Let us go down to Bethlehem and see what has happened.’ So they left their sheep and went to the town and, knowing that strangers would be at the hotel, they went there and asked if there had been a baby born there that night. The people who kept the inn told them about the baby boy who had been born during the night in a little back room. The shepherds told them of the vision they had seen and of the words of the angels and asked to see the baby. When they saw that he was sleeping in a manger, that was usually used to feed cattle, they knew that it was the baby the angels had spoken of. Then they went out and told every one they met about the baby prophet who had been born and that He was the Messiah who would save Israel from their sins, and bring them back to God.
"You may be sure the people in the Inn were very kind to Mary and Joseph and their baby after that. When Jesus was eight days old, Mary and Joseph took Him to the Temple in Jerusalem to give Him to God and to offer the sacrifice Moses had said must be made for every first-born baby boy. In the Temple there was an old man, who had once been told
in a vision that he should not die till He had seen God’s Son, who was to be the promised Messiah.
"He came to Mary and took the baby Jesus from her and said, ‘Now Lord let me die in peace, for you have kept your promise and I have seen your Chosen One. He is to be the Glory of Israel and the Saviour of your people. He will be a light to the Gentile people also.’ Then he said to Mary, ‘You are blessed indeed, for this child will be very great and He will cause the fall and rising again of many in Israel. He is a sign from God, who will be spoken against and you will feel great sorrow because of Him. This will all happen so that the secret thoughts of many people may be shown.’
"Then, an old woman who had lived many yeas in the Temple came in also and she gave thanks to God too when she saw the Baby and said He was the Messenger of God. Mary and Joseph went back to Bethlehem; they had taken a small home there as soon as the crowds who came to be taxed had gone away. Joseph worked as a carpenter and they were very happy.
"When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, there were some wise men in a country some distance away-in the place where Abraham had lived when he was young. They had been studying the stars and had seen a new star. These men believed that everything that was going to happen was shown by the stars. When they saw this star, they knew that the great King was born in Israel.
"They wanted to see this King for they realized that He was more than just a man so they took rich treasures; gold and silver and jewels and spices; and they started out on their camels to go to Palestine and the star showed them the way. It was a long journey and they had to cross the wilderness where Abraham had travelled and where the Children of Israel had journeyed. We do not know how long it would take them but they would be many days, maybe months on their journey. When they reached Palestine they thought that the best way to find this new Baby King would be to go to Jerusalem and ask the king there. They thought that such a great person would be in the king’s house. They went to the palace and asked King Herod where they could find the new King who had been born.
"Now King Herod was not a good man. He had heard the
old prophecies about the Great Prophet who would be a leader greater than Moses and he had heard that the time had come for this prophet to make himself known. He was afraid that if he did come the people would make Him King, and Herod would lose his good job. So, when the wise men came he was very anxious. He sent for the students of God’s Word and asked them where the Scriptures said the Christ would be born. They replied at once, ‘Our great prophet Micah has told us that He would be born in Bethlehem.’ Dd he not say, ‘Out of Bethlehem shall He come who is to rule my people Israel?’
"Then King Herod called the wise men and said, ‘I have asked our rulers and great men and they all tell me that the New King, for whom we have been looking, is to be born in Bethlehem. We have not heard of any Prince born there, but if you should find Him, I wish you would let me know so that I may honor Him. Such a great person should be in the Palace of the King.’
"Now, Herod did not wish to honor Jesus. He wanted to find out who this new King was, so he could have Him killed, and he might still be the king himself.
"We may be sure that the wicked Satan had something to do with this. Satan had always been watching for the one who would fulfil God’s promise that ‘The seed of the Woman should bruise the serpent’s head.’ He had tempted Cain to kill Abel because he thought it might be Abel. Then, all through the years he had tried to bring trouble to every one who had won God’s favor. Each prophet God has sent had suffered from Satan’s hatred. Now, Satan knew that this was the one he had been afraid of. He knew who Jesus really was for he had known Him in Heaven before the earth was made. Now he planned to have Herod kill the baby and so stop God’s plan, for Satan never seemed to realise that God was watching him and would not let any harm come to Jesus.
"The wise men went to Bethlehem and you may be sure there was great excitement in that little town when those strangers in their rich robes rode on their camels through the streets. They did not have to ask where Jesus was, for when they had left Jerusalem, they had seen the same bright star in the sky, and it seemed to be shining right down on Bethlehem. They watched it all the way and when they got to
Bethlehem they noticed that it was shining down on one little home so brightly, that it seemed to light it up and mark it from all the other houses in the town.
"They went straight to the home of Joseph and Mary and asked to see the baby. Jesus was not such a tiny baby now, for months had passed since the angels told the shepherds of His birth. Mary brought Jesus to them and they knelt down and worshipped Him as though He were a God. Then they opened their packs and took out their treasures and gave them to Jesus.
"After they had seen the baby, they rested before starting back to their own country. During the night an angel came to them and warned them that Herod did not want to protect and worship the New King but to kill Him. So they did not obey Herod and go and tell him where the Baby was. Instead they went back home by another way.
"Herod waited and waited. Then he realised that the wise men were not going to come and tell him where Jesus was. He became very angry and he made up his mind to do a very terrible thing. Satan was using him, for Satan wanted that Baby killed. Urged on by Satan, Herod called his soldiers and chose the most cruel of them and told them to go to Bethlehem and kill every baby under two years of age. He was sure that Jesus would not be that old and he felt sure that among all those babies would be the one he hated.
"God was watching over Jesus though and He knew all about the wicked plans of Herod, so He sent another angel to Mary and Joseph. The angel warned them that Herod had heard about their baby and would try to kill him. Mary and Joseph got right up and packed what things they would need for their journey. How glad they were of the gold and silver the wise men had brought. They took their donkey and made a pack of clothes and food and their money and locked up their house and slipped away in the night. All night they travelled and morning found them far out of Bethlehem, on the way to Egypt. "They only got away in time, for the next day Herod’s soldiers came to Bethlehem and they killed all the baby boys in the town. Herod was sure that Jesus was dead and he would always be king. God, however, punished Herod for his wicked deeds and he died a short time after of a terrible disease
Jesus and His parents lived in Egypt till Jesus was about ten years old. Then they returned to Palestine, but the angel warned them not to go to Bethlehem but to live in Nazareth instead. You see, Dearest, not even Satan with all his power can harm those whom God is caring for."
"Why did God not take care of all the other babies Mummy?" asked Linnet.
"God only watches over those who love and trust Him. We are sorry for the little babies that died, but they are only sleeping and will all come back some day and be given back to their parents in the world where there is no pain or danger. Only God knows what they might have suffered had they lived. If you love and serve God He will take care of you and never let any thing harm you. Even if He saw it was better for you to sleep in death, He would bring you back when the earth is made right and you could serve Him better. Now my darlIng, it is time my girlie was asleep."
CHAPTER 8 THE PRINCE OF PEACE
"It is Sunday today, Mummie, all my little friends have gone to Sunday School. Daddy is resting and we are all by ourselves. Could you not tell me a story about Jesus?"
Mother smiled and laid her book aside. "I think that is a good idea Linnet. We could have the next part of the third Camel’s stories."
"Tell me all about Jesus, Mummy? I always feel as if we knew Him when you tell me about Him."
"I do not think we will attempt to tell all about Jesus this time, Dearest, for it would take such a long time. After we finish the stories of the Camels perhaps we will have the stories of His life. Jesus told many stories Himself you know, and to tell all about Him would mean to tell all the stories He told too. The stories He told all had deep meanings."
"This story is about Jesus though, is it not, Mummy?"
"Yes, my darling. You remember that I told you last night about how He went to Egypt as a baby and stayed there till He was about ten years old. That is three years older than you are, my pet."
"Yes, Mummy, and then He did not go back to the place where He was born, did He?" Linnet drew up a small stool and sat at mother’s knee.
"That is right, dear. They went to the little town of Nazareth. Many years before, God’s Prophet had foretold that Jesus would be called a Nazarene. That is a person born in Nazareth, though Jesus was born in Bethlehem. God let them think He was from Nazareth, so only those He chose would believe and follow Him. Those who wanted to follow Jesus and find out the truth about Him would ask where he really was born and not take the word of His enemies. Those who did not love and believe Him, would just say, ‘Look in the Bible and you will see that the Great Prophet is to come from Bethlehem. This man ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ cannot be the one we are seeking and would forget that the Bible said ‘He shall be called a Nazarene.’ In this way the ones whom God was seeking and whose hearts were right would listen to Jesus."
"Did Jesus go out and tell the people all about God then, Mummy?"
"No, my darling. Jesus realised that people would not listen to a little boy and He had to go to school and learn to read and write first. The schools were not like ours. The boys went to one of the scribes and they sat on the floor around the Scribe, who sat on the floor too. The scribe would read a passage or spell a word and they would all say it after him. They did not have desks and paper and pencils like you have. They learned mostly from the books of the Law of Moses. Jesus learned very quickly. He wanted to learn all He could about His Father and what the Hebrew books and about God and about the work of the coming Prophet. Jesus knew that He was God’s Son and had a work to do for Him.
"The year that He was twelve, Joseph and Mary took Him to Jerusalem to the Feast of the Passover. Do you remember what that was dear?"
"Yes, Mummy. That was the feast God said they must keep every year to help them remember how God led them out of Egypt. That was when they killed the little lamb and put the blood on their doors."
"That is right, dear. Every year as many people as could manage it went to the great city of Jerusalem and took gifts to God and offerings to be sacrificed in the Temple. Mary and Joseph went every year, when they were in Palestine, but they would leave Jesus with friends, till He was old enough to make the long journey. It was not as if they had cars or trains. They had to walk all the way. Now Jesus was twelve and He had always longed to go and see the Temple where men could talk to God. Mary and Joseph showed Him all the wonders of the City, but there was nothing He cared much for except the great temple. Every day He went there and His earnest young face attracted the attention of the priests. He was so interested in everything. He wanted to know all about the sacrifices and asked them many questions. In those days most of the boys were more interested in the shops and bazaars and in the nice things that were sold. Candied fruits and strange cakes all sugar coated, appealed to most boys. They were surprised to find a boy who only wanted to hear about God.
"Mary and Joseph felt that Jesus was old enough to take
pretty good care of Himself, He had never caused them any worry, so when He failed to come home for meals, they thought He was with some of His young friends. Many of their friends had come to the Passover too, and they thought He would be playing with the other boys or looking at the things in the markets.
"Jesus was in the Temple and He was learning many things. He learned the real meaning of the Passover and of why sacrifices were offered for the sins of the people. He asked about the Great Prophet, who was to come and what He would do for Israel. He learned that no man could start a mission legally, until he was thirty, or in Moses’ Law a man was not of age till then. Now boys are counted as being of age to look after themselves at twenty-one.
"Jesus was so interested that He forgot all about time. Then Passover ceremonies were all over and the people began to go back to their own homes. Mary and Joseph thought that Jesus knew they were leaving, when, on the last day, He went out after breakfast. Even in Palestine there were bandits in the hills and the people used to travel in large parties and camp at night together. When they were all ready to go home and Jesus had not come back they thought that He was with some of their friends and would be going back to Nazareth. So they joined the party and all started together. There was a big crowd going in the direction of Nazareth and they kept asking if any one had seen Jesus, but they were not really anxious for they felt sure He was in the crowd. It was not till they had gone two days’ journey that they began to really worry. Mary remembered how Herod had tried to kill Him and was afraid that he might have found out who Jesus was. She and Joseph started right back for Jerusalem and they travelled much faster going back, for they were worried. When they reached the City they asked everyone they met if any one had seen a twelve year old boy who had lost his way. But no one could tell them anything till someone mentioned the wonderful boy who was at the Temple. They hurried there and found Jesus in the Temple talking to the great teachers of God’s Word and learning all He could.
"Mary said, ‘Oh Son, why have you treated us like this? Did you not know that we would be worried? We have been searching for you for three days.’
"Jesus said, ‘Is it that long, Mother? I had no idea. I never thought you would be looking for me, I thought you would know that I would be learning all I could about my Father’s business. How can I do His work if I do not learn what He wishes me to do?’
"Mary understood. She knew that Jesus was not like other boys. He never told false stories and she knew if Jesus said anything it was sure to be true. He had always been a wonderful boy to her. Jesus went with her and Joseph to their little home in Nazareth. Joseph was getting old and Jesus helped him in his shop. After some years, Joseph died. God had blessed them and they had a nice home, and Mary had other sons to care for her. Jesus was always her dearest for He was so different from the others. When they were out having a good time, Jesus was at home, working or studying. Jesus knew his cousin John. He was a good boy too, but when his father and mother died, he went away into the lonely places outside the cities and lived alone. He too had studied God’s Word and he did not like the gay life of the towns. He preferred to be alone.
"He may have had a small house, or he may have lived, as many people did, in a cave. His chief food was locusts and wild honey. There were wild fruits and berries and the great snails too such as the children of Israel ate in the wilderness."
"What are locusts, Mummy?" asked Linnet.
"We are not sure just what is meant dear. You see there was a wild bean that is called a locust bean in that country and there was the real locust, which was like a big grasshopper. We never eat things like that, but in the land around Palestine the people are very fond of them and cook them in different ways. Perhaps John ate both kinds. He dressed in very plain but strong clothing and as soon as he was thirty years old, he left his wilderness home and came into the country, around Jerusalem, preaching to the people and telling all who would listen that the Great Prophet and Messiah was coming.
"John told the people that they must stop all their sins and worship God, so that they would be ready when the Messiah came. Crowds of people came out to hear John preach. He soon had many followers, all of them-when they
realised that they had sinned against God-were baptised in the river Jordan."
"What is baptised, Mummy?"
"To be baptised is to be laid down right under the water. The people would go out into the river with John and he would put them down under the water and then lift them up again. It was a sign that they had washed their sins away and were going to serve God. John had been preaching for six months when one day he saw Jesus coming down to the river. John knew that Jesus had been sent by God for some great work. He knew that Jesus was the best man he had ever seen, so when Jesus came to him and said, ‘I want you to baptise me too, John,’ John replied, ‘Why do you come to me to be baptised? You have never sinned. It would be better for you to baptise me.. I have never been as good as you.’
"Jesus smiled. ‘Never mind that John. Do this for me, for it is right that we should give every outward sign of righteousness.’
"Jesus knew that He did not have sins to be washed away but He wished to give a sign to God that He was ready to do the great work for which He had come to earth. The great Father in Heaven understood and when Jesus came up out of the water, there was a bright light that shone from Heaven and they heard a voice that said, ‘This is my dear Son; I am well pleased with Him.’
"Jesus knew it was the voice of His Father in Heaven. John too knew it was God’s voice and that it meant that Jesus was the one whom all the Jews were waiting for. Then something that looked like a dove fluttered down and seemed to light on Him.
"Jesus wanted to get away by Himself where He could talk to God and learn just what God wished Him to do. He knew that He had given up His life to God and must now follow the Father’s leading in all things. He was already counted as if He was dead and He knew that in a few years He would really die in Adam’s place.
"He went away out into the wilderness where John had lived so long and there He stayed, like Moses, on the mountain, for forty days. He did not eat or drink but talked to God and learned all about God’s plans for Him. God cared for Jesus, as He had for Moses and Jesus did not get thin
and weak. When the forty days were over He understood all that God wished Him to do. Then, He started back for His own country to teach the people about God.
"Satan had seen all that had happened and now he knew that he had failed to have Jesus killed, so he thought he would try to get Jesus to serve him and obey him as Adam did. He met Jesus. We do not know if Jesus could see Satan, for God had stopped the evil angels from taking human form after the flood. Perhaps he just tempted Jesus as he does us. Jesus began to feel very hungry and Satan suggested, ‘You are God’s Son; God has given you greater power than any man has ever had. You can change the stones to bread and eat it and you will not be hungry any more.’
"Jesus thought that over, then He said, ‘No, that would not be right. Bible says, "Man shall not live by bread alone but by the Word of God." This power is not given to me to use for myself. What if I am hungry? Even if I die of hunger it would be only what God wants of me. I must die for Adam and I must only use my power for the good of men. I will wait and buy food in the market for I will never use my power to feed myself.’
"God was pleased with Jesus. Many people who live today use their power and knowledge of God in a way that is not right. God’s Word is free and must only be used to help others, not to get money or food for ourselves. Satan could not make Jesus serve him that way.
"Then Satan whispered, ‘Look, suppose I carry you up to the top of the Temple and you jump down. All the people of the city will see you and they will know that you are a god and will make you their king. You will have your kingdom at once and will not have to die. You know the Bible says that God will hold you up in His hands and will not let you even stub your toe.’
"Jesus replied, ‘No, that is not what God would want me to do. The Bible says also, ‘Thou shalt not test the Lord your God.’ That would be testing God and it is not God’s way. I know I must suffer and die for the people and I cannot take such a means of getting made king.’
"Satan tried again. He said, ‘Now look here. You know that God has given me the rule of this earth. I want to help the people and see them well and strong. If you will agree to
give the praise to me and own me as your Lord I will turn over the whole earth to you right now. All I want is the honor and glory of being the God of earth. It is not asking much and you can be king at once and give the people all the blessings God has promised now. You will have a great position; they will own you as their king. Only between us will it be known that I am the real ruler. You will not have to die.’
"Jesus said, ‘The Bible says, "Thou shalt worship the Lord Thy God and Him only shalt Thou serve." No, Satan. I would rather suffer and die than be false to God.’ Then Satan saw that Jesus would not obey him but was true to God so he went away and determined to have Jesus killed.
"The angels of God came then and brought Jesus food and told Him how pleased God was with Him.
"Now, dear, Mother must go and get supper for Daddy. Just remember this always, -We must only serve and obey Jesus. You could learn the words of Jesus. ‘Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God and Him only shalt thou serve.’"
"I want to serve Him always, Mummy. But what can a little girl like me do? I would like to tell everyone about Jesus and about our Father, God, but no one would listen to me."
"Darling, what did Jesus do when He was a little boy? He did not try to teach but He learned all He could. He stayed at home and helped His father and mother and did what they wished Him to do and you may be sure He did it pleasantly. He also went to school and learned all He could about God, so that when the right time came, He could do God’s work. That is what you must do too, Linnet. This is your time to learn and you can please our Father and Jesus by doing your lessons well at school and being good. Never do anything God would not want you to do. Be kind and gentle and truthful. Some day God will have a place for you. Now, darling, you can help Mother, as Jesus helped His mother. You can set the table for me while I get supper ready for Daddy."
She smiled as she heard her girlie singing softly while she set the table, "Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so."
CHAPTER 9 JESUS THE GREAT PHYSICIAN
"Tell me more about Jesus, Mummy?" said Linnet that night.
"Another story tonight, dearest? Don’t you think one in a day is enough?"
"I never could have too many, Mummy. I love to hear of Jesus and the Bible stories are the very nicest because they are true."
"I am glad you love them dearest and I think we could perhaps continue the third Camel’s story tonight. We will not stop to tell you all that Jesus did this time but will leave that for another time.
"When He returned from the long days in the wilderness, Jesus went home to see His mother. We do not know if Joseph was still living but we do not think so for he is never mentioned. Jesus found that there was to be a wedding of an old friend of their family and He and His mother were invited. Weddings in those days were very different from what they are now. The parents of a girl arranged her wedding to some one they chose for her and she often never saw the man she was to marry till the wedding day. She was betrothed quite a time, often a year or more and during that time she prepared her wedding dress and things for her home.
"Then her bridegroom, that is the man she was to marry, would send word that he wanted her to come to live with him. A great feast would be prepared and during the early days of the feast he would start out for the girl’s home, often with many friends. The bride would be all ready and would go back with him to his home, generally veiled so no one could see her. Then after a brief ceremony she would take her place with him at the feast.
"Jesus and His mother were at this feast and Mary noticed that there was not enough wine. In that country, grape wine is used almost entirely to drink, because the water has a disagreeable taste. Mary told Jesus that their friends had run out of wine.
"Jesus knew that their friends would be talked about for
not having enough wine for all their guests, so He replied, "Leave that to me, Mother. It is not time yet to do anything.’ (Weymouth).
"Mary said to the servants, ‘Whatever He tells you to do, you just do it and do not ask questions.’
"When Jesus saw that the shortage was noticed, He said to the servants, ‘Here are six, big, stone jars. Bring fresh water and fill them.’
"The servants did as Mary had told them and carried the water at Jesus’ command, without asking why. When the six jars were filled with water, Jesus told them to take some water out of the jars again, and take it to the man who was looking after the feast. They took some out and saw that it had turned into wine. They took it to the governor of the feast and he tasted it, as was the custom. It was so good that he said to the bridegroom, ‘Most people when they have a feast, serve the best wine first and then, when everyone is having a good time, they give them the poorer stuff, hoping that no one will notice it, but you have kept the best wine till now.’
"He did not know where the wine had come from, but the servants knew. That was the first strange deed Jesus did and it showed how, when He comes again and the Church who will be His Bride, is with Him, He will give the pure truth of God to all the world.
"Then Jesus started to teach and preach to the people who wanted to hear Him. He told them all about the time when He would set up His kingdom on the earth but He did not tell them how long it would be till then. One day when he was walking by the river Jordan, John saw him passing and said to those who were there, listening to John tell of the coming Prophet and Messiah, ‘See that man? That is the Lamb of God who is going to take away all the sins of the world.’
"John’s disciples left John and followed Jesus and when He asked them what they wanted, they said they wished to know where He lived. Jesus told them to ‘Come and see’ and they went with Him to His house and He taught them of God. After that He chose other disciples to go with Him and learn of God.
"What was disciples, Mummy?" asked Linnet.
"They are students, dear. Every teacher has someone who studies with him. Jesus was a teacher of God’s Word and the disciples were men who wished to learn of God and stayed with Him as much as they could, learning from Him.
"There were many who followed Him at times, but there were twelve who lived with him and studied all the time. Jesus was not only a teacher; He was like a great Doctor, only He did not give people nasty medicine. When sick persons were brought to Jesus He just touched them and they got better right away."
"I wish He had been here when my ear was so bad and ached all the time, Mummy. I guess Jesus could have made it better."
"He certainly could, dear. One touch of His kind hand, and you would have been able to go right out and play. Jesus made people who were deaf, hear and people who were blind, see, and He made the people who were lame, able to get up and walk. He did more than that. One day a poor man came to Him and told Him that his little daughter was very ill. He asked Jesus to please go to his house and make her better. While they were going a man came and said, ‘Do not trouble Jesus. Your little girl is dead.’
"Poor Jairus-that was the man’s name-felt that it was too late then, but Jesus said, ‘Do not be worried Jairus. Trust me and you will see the glory of God.’ When they reached the house where the little girl had died there was a crowd of people there crying and making a big fuss because the little girl was dead.
"Jesus said, ‘Why are you all crying? The little girl is not dead, she is just asleep.’ They laughed and said, ‘What do you know about it? I guess we know a dead person from a living one.’
"Jesus made them all go out of the room but the little girl’s father and mother. Then, He went to the bed where the little girl was lying and took her hand and called, ‘Little girl, Wake up!’ And the little girl opened her eyes and sat up and Jesus said to her mother, ‘Take her and give her something to eat. She will be all right now.’
"Would you not think every one would love Jesus? Surely Jairus and his wife would never forget what Jesus had
done; but people are funny sometimes. I do not think Jairus or any of those whom Jesus helped, ever turned against Him, but there were people who would have made money if that little girl had died. They had paid mourners at funerals then, and they were not glad to see the little girl well and strong, for they would not be paid for mourning at her funeral. Another time Jesus was walking along a road to a little village called Nain and He met a funeral coming out of the town. They were carrying the body of a young man who had died. Perhaps Jesus knew the boy, for Nain was near Nazareth where Jesus had lived for many years.
"The boy was his mother’s only boy, and his death left her all alone in the world. She was walking along beside the men who were carrying her son’s body. When they met Jesus He stopped them and asked to see the dead man. Then what do you think He did? He took the dead boy’s hand and called him and the boy wakened right up and Jesus gave him back to his mother.
"I cannot tell you tonight of all the wonderful things Jesus did. Of how once He took five buns and three little fish and made them grow till there was enough to feed a great crowd of people, or of how He walked on the water in a storm and was not even wet. People came for miles to see Him and brought all who were sick or hurt to Him and He made them better. All the time He taught the people how to live to please God, and told them what His Kingdom would be like. The people thought that He was going to make Himself a King right then and the king was worried and the priests and teachers of the people were afraid that if He was King they would lose their good jobs.
"People were very selfish then, just as they are now. For many long years the priests had ruled the people and there were many people who had pretended to be very good and had fooled the people and had taught them things that were not in God’s Word. Jesus knew these people’s hearts for He could read their thoughts, and He knew they only pretended to be good. He would tell them that they must stop pretending, and really serve God, or God would bring a great punishment against them. These people hated Jesus.
"They saw that folks were stopping going to their churches-they called them synagogues-and were going to listen
to Jesus instead. This made them very angry. Once some of them had caught a woman doing something very wrong, and they were taking her out of the city and were going to kill her, when they met Jesus. They thought this would be a good chance to see what He would say about suchy a wicked woman. They said, ‘Master, Moses said that women who sinned like this woman has, must die. What do you think?’
"Jesus looked around them. They were nasty, mean men and very spiteful, and pretended to be so good but He knew that really there was not one who was not as bad or worse than the woman they wanted to kill.
"He said, ‘That is the law of Moses, it is true. If there is one of you who has never sinned, let him be the first one to throw a stone at her.’
"Then Jesus stooped down and began to write things on the ground with His finger. We do not know what He wrote, but whatever it was, those men knew that He knew all about their evil deeds and they felt so ashamed that one after another they sneaked away till there was not one left.
"Then Jesus looked around, and I think He smiled as He said to the woman, ‘Is there no one who will condemn you?’ ‘There is no one, Lord,’ the woman replied. She had been very much frightened but now she was safe and she looked at this wonderful man who had saved her life.
"‘Neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus smiled. ‘Go and do not sin again.’ I am sure that woman became one of Jesus’ followers. How could she help it? For three and a half years Jesus taught the people and healed their sick. Many times His enemies tried to kill Him but God was protecting Him. You see, Jesus knew that the Word of God said that He would live for three and a half years after He started God’s work, so He was not afraid. He knew that no one could harm Him until He had finished the work God had given Him to do. Jesus always said that He could not do anything without God’s help. He told the people that it was really God who did the great things that were done.
"He taught the people and healed their sick until the priests and rulers grew to hate and fear Him so much that they wanted to kill Him. When He knew that they had laid some plan to catch Him, Jesus would slip away out into some
quiet place where only His friends could find Him. Then, He would spend all His time teaching His disciples about the coming Kingdom and about God’s great goodness and His plans for the world.
"Once while He was hiding, a dear friend of His died. We will tell you in another story about that. Once when He was teaching in one of the churches in Nazareth where He had lived for many years, the people tried to kill Him. They said He was pretending to be a god, and they crowded around Him and were going to take Him out and throw Him over a big cliff. Jesus just slipped right out from among the crowd. Perhaps His disciples crowded around Him and the people were so excited that they lost Him. Jesus and His disciples went away and did not go back to Nazareth. Perhaps God’s angels confused the people so they could not see Jesus. It was not time for Him to die yet, and they could not harm Him.
"Once Jesus went to a city and the people came out and begged Him to leave them alone. The disciples were angry and wanted Jesus to cause fire to come down and burn the people up, but Jesus said, ‘You do not understand. I have not come to punish people but to save them.’ Sometimes there were such crowds of sick people that came to be healed that the streets were packed. Jesus never failed to cure any who came to Him. He was giving them a sample, you might say, of what He would do when He returned in His Kingdom. Is it not nice to know that He will soon establish His Kingdom and then there will be no sick people, for He will heal them all?
"When the third Passover season came, Jesus knew that the time had come when he was to pay Adam’s debt. He started for Jerusalem and His disciples went with Him. They did not go at once to Jerusalem but stayed with Mary and Martha in Bethany, which was not far away from the City.
"They had a long walk to get to Bethany going through Samaria and Galilee, but they went slowly and great crowds followed Jesus and brought their sick people to Him and He healed them all. When the people saw that He was going to the feast, they were afraid, for they knew the priests hated Jesus and they knew He would be in danger.
"Jesus knew what was going to happen and did not want His disciples to be taken by surprise, so He told them, ‘We are
going up to the City of Jerusalem and I, the Son of Man, will be taken prisoner there. The Priests and scribes will mock me and beat me and finally kill me, but do not be troubled for after three days I will rise again.’
"Thomas said, ‘Let us all go and stay with Him. We may be killed too, but what does that matter?’
"The people at Jerusalem were all talking about Jesus and wondering if He would come to the feast, and the Priests gave orders that if He did, the people must tell them, so they could make Him a prisoner.
"When they reached Bethany they found that Mary and Martha and Lazarus had prepared a great feast and had invited many friends to meet Jesus. In those days people did not sit down at tables like we do. They had long tables and couches and only the men sat down, or rather lay down on the couches and ate, and the women waited on the tables. The men lay on their left sides, resting on their elbows, and ate fruit and small cakes and unleavened bread and drank sweet wine.
"While they were all eating, Mary came in with a box or jar of very expensive perfume. It was a kind that was usually kept to anoint the kings or rulers when they died. Mary had kept it many years as a treasure, and now she wanted to honor Jesus and show that He was her King. She came around the foot of the couch where Jesus lay and broke the jar, which was worth a lot of money, and let the perfume pour all over Jesus’ feet, and then wiped the drops off with her lovely hair. The whole house was filled with the sweet smell of the perfume.
"One of the disciples, who was not honest like the rest, was very angry. His name was Judas; He was what we would call the ‘Secretary, treasurer,’ for the disciples. People often gave money to help with the work of spreading the news of Christ’s coming Kingdom, to the disciples, and Judas was given the work of keeping this money. Money was given to them also for the poor people. Judas used to take some of the money for himself. Jesus knew about this, as He knew about every thing. When Judas saw Mary, as he thought, waste such expensive perfume, he said, ‘What a terrible waste. You should have sold that perfume and given the money to us to help the poor.’
"Of course that would make Mary feel very sad, but Jesus said, ‘Leave her alone, Judas. You will always have poor people to help, but I will not be with you for long. Mary did this to show her great love for me and to honor me. This perfume was being kept for my burial, and wherever this story is told through the years, this will be also told as a memorial of her.’
"Mary was glad to know that Jesus understood. Jesus’ words came true, as you see, for the story of Jesus is not complete without this story of Mary’s love.
"Now, my darling, it is time my little girl closed her eyes and went to sleep."
"Yes, Mummy. You may turn out the light for I like to lie in the dark and think of Jesus. I have never been afraid of the dark since you told me it was the shadow of God’s wing. I think of the little birds that creep under their Mummy’s wings to be in the dark, and I lie here and know Jesus is caring for me, like the mother bird does for her babies."
"Yes, dear, Jesus once said, ‘I have longed to gather you, like a hen gathers her chickens under her wings.’" Then Mother kissed her little one good-night and went back to her work. Soon Linnet was fast asleep, dreaming, who knows what sweet dreams.
CHAPTER 10 JESUS PAYS THE RANSOM-PART 1
"Have you another story for me tonight, Mummy?"
"Yes, my darling. Tonight we have the very saddest, and yet the most important of all the stories in the Camel’s pack. It was still the third camel, who carried the stories we are having now, for he carried quite a bundle, but they are really just one story in several parts or chapters.
"Saturday was the day of rest for the Jews, so Jesus and His disciples spent that day quietly with Mary and Martha and Lazarus. Many friends came to see them and to talk to Jesus. Sunday was the first day of the week and Jesus and His disciples started for the City of Jerusalem. On their way they had to pass a small village.
"Jesus said to two of His disciples, ‘Go into the village over there and you will see an ass tied, and her colt will be with her. It is a full grown colt but has never been trained; untie it and bring it to me. If any one asks you why you are taking it, just say, "the Master needs it," and they will let you have it.’
"Many times Jesus had shown by His words that He knew things that other men could not know. The disciples went to the village and found everything as Jesus had said. Many years before one of God’s prophets had written these words, ‘Rejoice greatly, oh daughter of Zion, for behold Thy King cometh unto thee. He is meek and lowly and comes riding on an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.’
"The people had forgotten the prophecy, and when the disciples came back with the colt to where Jesus was waiting, they thought that He was just tired, for He had been walking a lot. Jesus sat on the colt, but it had no saddle, so some of the disciples took their cloaks and folded them to make a cushion for Him. So He rode along on the colt. It was not usual for a young colt to let any one ride it like that, but Jesus had a great power over animals.
"Soon crowds of people began to gather around Jesus, and they may have remembered the prophecy and thought
that Jesus was going to claim the kingdom which the Bible said was His by right. They ran into the hills around and gathered palm branches and flowers, and strewed them in His way, and they took their cloaks and spread them on the ground for Him to ride on, thus making a carpet for His feet, like they did for kings. Then some one began to sing and shout-’Blessed is He that comes in the name of our God. This is our King, praise God and welcome King Jesus.’ Soon all the people were shouting, ‘Glory to God, the Mighty one of Israel. Blessed is He who comes in the name of our God.’
"Jesus knew that they were giving the sign that God had said should mark the one He had chosen, to be King of all the world. Some priests and scribes (people who were educated and could write and read), and Pharisees (religious teachers), heard the people shouting and came out to see what was happening. They knew that sign of which the prophet had spoken and were afraid that they were going to lose their power. They pushed through the crowd to Jesus and said, ‘Can’t you hear what these people are saying? Make them stop! What right have you to come to the city like this?’
"But Jesus just said, ‘If they did not shout the very stones would cry out, for it is written that this must take place.’ The people just ignored them and went right on. At last they came out on a hill that was near the city and they could look down on the great Jerusalem. Jesus thought of all the prophecies that showed that the people would refuse Him as their king, and this lovely city would all be destroyed. Long ago, He had told the people a story to show them what would happen. He told them of how a great King (God) had a vineyard (grape garden) and, because He lived a long way off, He hired men to look after it. They were to send Him part of the fruit each year, but they stopped sending it and He sent a servant to find out what was wrong. They ill treated the servant and drove him away. The King sent many servants but all were beaten or ill treated, and the men who had rented the vineyard would not send the rent to the owner.
"Jesus said, ‘At last the King said, "I cannot go Myself but I will send My Son. When they see the Prince coming they will surely respect Him." But when the Prince came and those evil men saw Him, they said, "Let us kill him and keep the vineyard for ourselves." They killed the Prince.
What will the King do to them? I tell you He will send an army and completely destroy those wicked men and give the vineyard to some who can be trusted.’
"The Jews knew that Jesus was speaking of Jerusalem and the country around it, and that He meant that God would punish them for their sins. They hated Him more than ever then. Now they saw Jesus coming to the City as their prophet had said the New King would come, -riding on an ass and surrounded by a throng who proclaimed Him King. Jesus looked down on the City and thought about all these things, and about the coming day when this lovely city would be destroyed, and many of the people who were cheering Him would die. No wonder that the Bible tells us His eyes filled with tears and He said, ‘Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem! How often would I have gathered your people together as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, but you would not let me. Now your city and all this land will soon be destroyed.’
"The Prophet who had said He would come as a Prince riding on an ass, had also said that the people would reject Him, and the great double of punishment would start from that day. That meant that God would cast them off from His favor and would not help them any more, until they had been wanderers on the earth, for as many years as they had had His love and care. (Zec 9:9,12.)
"When they got into the City they went straight to the Temple, and there Jesus found that they had set up a regular market place right in the court of the temple; and were selling lambs and doves and cattle for sacrifices, and changing the people’s money and cheating them, by giving them too little. He was very angry to see them using God’s house for such a purpose, and He caught up a piece of rope and drove the wicked people right out of the Temple. Those who followed Him helped Him, and when they were all driven away; Jesus’ followers came into the Temple, and He explained God’s words to them. The priests and the merchants, who had been selling animals in the Temple, hated Jesus, and the Pharisees hated Him too. People who do what is wrong always hate those who are good and kind.
"Jesus spent several days in the Temple teaching all who came to Him. His enemies came, and asked tricky questions, to try and get Him to say something they could use to turn
the people against Him. He told them many stories that showed what His Kingdom would be like, and what would happen in the earth before that Kingdom could come, but they could not understand all He said. He told them that some day He would come and bring all His faithful servants with Him, and then, He would be their King and He would teach the people God’s laws, and separate those who were loving and kind from those who were selfish and cruel. The loving and kind would live always, but the selfish and cruel would die. Some day we will take the stories Jesus told, one by one, and tell you what they mean, but at present we have not time for that. This story is meant to tell you how He paid the Ransom.
"Every night Jesus and His disciples would slip away out of the city, and go to Bethany, so the priests could not find them.
"When Thursday came, Jesus started for the city as usual, but this time He sent two of the disciples ahead and said to them, "Tonight is the Passover feast. Go to the City, and when you enter, you will meet a man coming out with a pitcher to get some water. Follow him, and when He goes into a house, you go in and ask the man who owns the house where the room is that he is going to let us have to eat the Passover in. He will show you a big upstairs room. Get everything ready for the Passover; the room will be all furnished; all you need to do is to buy the lamb and wine and unleavened bread.’
"The disciples went and found all things as Jesus had said they would be; and they followed the man who was carrying the water, and he showed them the room where they made preparations for the Passover supper.
"Perhaps you wonder how they could tell which man it was, dear? In Palestine, all the water was carried by the women. It was a very unusual thing to see a man carrying water. We have water in taps in our kitchen, but in Jerusalem the water had to be carried from wells, and the girls and women always carried it in big jars. How do you think they carried them? Why, they set them on their heads. There was only one man carrying water. Perhaps he had no wife, or she was ill or away.
"When evening came all the disciples gathered in the upstairs room. The long tables were all set and ready. You remember a roast lamb was the main dish at that supper, and it
was cooked whole, with bitter greens. They had also the unleavened bread to help them remember that, when the Children of Israel left Egypt, they had no time to set yeast bread.
"Jesus said to His disciples, ‘I have wanted very much to eat this passover with you before I suffer.’ You see Jesus knew what they did not understand-that the Passover lamb was a picture of Himself. It must be brought in and kept in the home for four days, and then killed after sunset, and its blood was sprinkled on the door posts of the houses as a sign to the angel of death that the people in that house belonged to God. So Jesus had come and offered Himself as their King, and had spent four days with them, teaching them; and now He knew that He must die before another sunset should come. He had tried to show His disciples this, but they could not understand.
"When they were all gathered there, Jesus noticed that none of them thought of the custom of their country, that when people came in from outside, before they lay on the couches for supper, they must wash their dusty feet. People did not wear shoes and stockings and their feet got very hot and dirty, walking through the dusty streets. Usually a servant washed the feet of visitors, but they had no servant that night, and did not like to do such a humble service for each other.
"Jesus saw that it was their pride that kept them from washing each other’s feet. So He decided to give them a lesson. He went quietly and got a dish of water and a towel and washed their feet. They felt very much ashamed to think they had left the work of a servant to the one they called their king.
"Peter said, ‘No, Lord, you must not wash my feet.’ But Jesus replied, ‘If I do not wash your feet, Peter, you can have no part with me.’ Then Peter said, ‘If that is the way it is Lord, wash my hands and my head also.’ Peter meant that he wished to serve Jesus with his hands and mind.
"Jesus understood and said, ‘Those who are already washed only need their feet cleaned. You are clean-all but one-through the truth which I have given to you.’ In this way Jesus showed that water was a picture of truth. He also showed that He knew one of them was not pure and good.
"After that they all gathered around the table, and Jesus
gave thanks to God for the food; then they ate the Passover supper.
"While they were eating, they noticed how very sad Jesus was. He seemed very troubled. Then He said, ‘I tell you truly that tonight, one of you will betray me to my enemies.’"
"What does betray mean, Mummy?" asked Linnet.
"You know the priests had said that if any one knew where they could find Jesus, when there was not a crowd of people around Him; they were to go and tell them, so they could send soldiers to catch Him, to kill Him. Jesus meant that He knew one of His disciples had gone and offered to tell them where they could catch Jesus, if they would give him some money."
"I guess that was that nasty man who scolded Mary for putting the perfume on Jesus’ feet," said Linnet.
"Yes, dear, and Jesus knew all about what he had done. The other disciples all said, ‘Master, is it I?’ And Judas also asked Him. Jesus said, ‘It is written, "He that dipped his hands with me in the dish, he shall betray me."‘ Jesus had one disciple whom He especially loved. He was a gentle, kind man, yet loyal and strong, and he loved Jesus very dearly, and understood Him better than the others. This man was called John, and he was lying next to Jesus on the couch, and could lie back and rest his head on Jesus’ shoulder. The other disciples did not wish to ask out loud who the wicked one was, so Peter signed to John to ask. John leaned back and whispered, ‘Who is it Lord?’ Jesus replied, ‘The one whom I shall give a piece of bread to, when I dip it in the gravy.’
"That was a sign of special favor, in those days. When a person gave a feast and wished to show a guest their favor, they would hand him some special portion like that. After a little, Jesus took a piece of unleavened bread and dipped it in the gravy and passed it to Judas, saying as He did so, ‘What you are going to do Judas, you had better do quickly.’ None of the disciples, except John, understood. The rest thought that Jesus meant Judas had better go out and buy something else for the feast, as the stores would be closed soon. If they had known that Judas meant to sell Jesus to His enemies, they would not have let him go. 79
"Judas jumped up and went right out, and the rest went on eating, never guessing where he was going. John knew that Jesus knew what Judas was doing, but he probably thought that no harm could come of it.
"Then Jesus said to them, ‘Now the Son of God will be glorified, and God will be glorified in Him, and God will give Him glory at once.’"
"I do not understand what that means, Mummy."
"Neither did the disciples, dearest. Now we can understand. Jesus meant that God was going to take Him back to Heaven, and give Him back the riches and greatness He had in Heaven before He came to the earth. The disciples probably thought He meant that He would be made a great King on earth; though Jesus had already told them that He would have to die, they could not realise that He meant it.
"After that, Jesus took a cake of unleavened bread and broke it into pieces and gave thanks to God, asking His blessing on it. Then He handed a piece to each of them saying, ‘Eat this; it is a picture of my body which is broken for you. I want you to do this in remembrance of me.’ Then He took the wine, and filled a cup with it and passed it around, after He had thanked God for it. He said to them, ‘Drink all of this wine, for it is a picture of my blood which will be shed for you and for many, to take away their sins.’
"When they had all tasted the wine and set down the empty glass Jesus said: ‘I will never again drink the juice of the grapes until my Kingdom is set up. I will only be with you a little longer. You will search for me, and not find me. Where I am going, you cannot come yet, but after awhile you will come to me. I am leaving you a new command-love one another as I have loved you. All men will know you are my followers, if you show this love for each other. You will all be offended with me and will leave me, for the Prophets have said, ‘I will kill the shepherd and all the sheep will run away.’ When I came back to life again I will meet you in Galilee.’
"Peter said, ‘No matter who is offended with you Lord, I will not be.’ But Jesus smiled and shook His head; ‘Why Peter, before the morning comes and the roosters crow, you will have said three times, that you have never known me.’
Peter said, ‘Oh, Master, I would die for you gladly. I could never deny knowing you.’ The others all said the same.
"Jesus talked to His disciples then, for some time. His words are written down by John who loved Him so very dearly. You may read them in John, in the fourteenth to the sixteenth chapters. Afterwards they sang a hymn and went out into the Mount of Olives-a hill outside Jerusalem-where there was a lovely garden. Jesus often went into the hills when He wished to pray to God. The garden was lovely and quiet, and the weather was quite warm. The disciples had been up early, and were very tired and sleepy, for it was late.
"When they got to the garden, Jesus asked them to wait for Him, while He went further on, alone, to pray. He took James, Peter and John with Him and went into the garden. Then He began to feel very blue and sad, for He knew that before another night He would be dead. He asked Peter, James and John to stay there and watch so His enemies would not catch Him unawares, and then He went on alone and knelt down to pray to God. Jesus was very much troubled."
"Did He not want to die, Mummy? He knew He would go back to God, did He not?"
"It was not that, which troubled Jesus, Pet. He knew that, if He had ever sinned in His life, or had not kept God’s laws, He could not pay Adam’s debt. You see, dearest, Adam was a perfect man and had never sinned, before he ate the fruit. God’s law, as I told you, is just, and only a perfect men, who had not sinned, could take the place of Adam and pay that debt, so Adam could go free. Every man and woman and child who has lived, shared Adam’s penalty, because they were all born after God condemned Adam. Eve shared the death penalty because she was a part of Adam.
"God had made that arrangement so that one man, in Adam’s place, could give life to every one who ever lived. Now if Jesus had sinned He would not be perfect, and God could not take His death in place of Adam’s, and the people of the earth could not be saved and given life again. That was why Jesus was troubled.
"He prayed to God for awhile, then He went back to His
disciples, and found that they had not realised their danger, and were all asleep. Jesus wakened them and said, ‘Could you not keep awake and watch for just one hour?’ They were ashamed, but when Jesus went back to pray again and was gone some time, they fell asleep again. Jesus was so worried for fear He had failed, that He could not rest. But after awhile, God sent an angel to comfort Him, and let Him know that God was pleased with Him.
"After that, Jesus was not troubled at all. He knew everything was all right. He was not afraid to suffer any pain as long as He could help the people He loved, even though those people would not have Him. He knew that some day He would come back, and then they would understand and love and serve Him, and obey God’s laws. He was willing to wait. He went back to His disciples feeling very happy, and found them asleep again.
"He smiled lovingly at them and said, ‘Sleep on now and rest while you can. Soon they will be here to take me, and then you cannot rest.’ Then Jesus sat beside them and waited for His enemies.
"I think, dearest that we had better leave the story there for tonight; for you are tired, and must get to rest."
"I am getting sleepy, Mummy, so kiss me good-night and turn out the light."
Mother tucked her girlie in, and left her to sleep, and I think we had better leave the story there, too.
CHAPTER 11 PAYING THE RANSOM-PART 2
"You remember, Linnet darling, that in our last story we left Jesus sitting by His sleeping disciples, while He waited for the soldiers whom Judas was bringing to make Him a prisoner," Mother began the following night when her girlie was ready for her story.
"I think Judas was a very wicked man; don’t you, Mummy?" said Linnet.
"Yes, dear. Judas was wicked and yet not so wicked, I think, as he was weak. The big trouble with Judas was that he loved money more than anything else. I think perhaps Judas thought that the priests could not harm Jesus. He had seen them try to take Jesus before, and He had slipped away from them and escaped. Judas had never realised that it was because Jesus had not finished His work. Perhaps when he heard that the Jewish leaders were offering a large sum of money to any one who would tell them where to find Jesus at night, when no one was there to protect Him, he thought, ‘It would be fun to fool those pious priests and see Jesus escape again. We could use that money for the poor or to set up the Kingdom. I heard Jesus say we would go to Gethsemane tonight. I will collect the money off the priests, and then Jesus will leave them looking for Him, as He has done before.
"I think that was the way Satan deceived Judas into helping him destroy Jesus. God had said that the ‘Seed of the Woman’ should bruise Satan’s head and so kill him. Satan would see now what God had meant. All other people who had been born were ‘The seed of man’ for they had earthly fathers, but Jesus was the only one who had ever been born with only a mother on earth. Satan would understand now that He was ‘The Seed of the Woman.’ All down through the years Satan had tried to harm every good mean who had lived, always hoping to spoil God’s plan. He was determined to have Jesus killed, and still thought he could spoil God’s plan, for he did not know that he was simply bringing God’s plan to
pass. He did not think that God had seen what he would do and was letting the angels see how bad he was.
"That is why I do not blame Judas so much. I think Judas really loved Jesus as much as such a selfish, greedy man could love any one. Satan was the wicked one for he had roused the hatred of the priests against Jesus by putting wicked thoughts into their minds.
"Soon Jesus heard the soldiers coming, and saw the lights they carried, so He wakened His disciples and said, ‘Wake up now. We must be going, for the soldiers have come, and the one who has betrayed me to them is near.’
"The disciples sat up and rubbed their eyes. They felt rather mean to have gone to sleep and not watched over their Master. They had hardly got to their feet before the crowd of soldiers and the priests, who had crept up as quietly as they could, surrounded them. Judas was with them, and he had made a bargain with the priests to show them which one was Jesus, so they would not make any mistake. He said he would kiss Jesus and they would know which He was.
"Now he stepped up to Jesus while the rest stood back, and said, ‘Hello Master,’ and kissed Him.
"Jesus said, ‘Oh Judas! Would you betray your Master with a kiss?’
"Then Jesus, who knew all that was about to happen, went toward the crowd, and said, "Who are you looking for?’
"They replied, ‘We seek for Jesus of Nazareth.’
"Jesus said, ‘I am He!’ Then, so that all men should know that they could not take Him unless He let them, Jesus used a little of the wonderful power He had. They tried to step forward but they could not move. They were thrown back on the ground as though some one had pushed them. As they struggled to their feet again, I think Judas would be thinking, ‘Good! I knew that they could not harm Him.’ Judas probably thought when Jesus had said at supper, ‘What you are going to do, do quickly, that Jesus knew what he planned and was letting him know that it was all right. Now he would be glad to see that they could not touch Jesus.
"Again, Jesus said to them, ‘Who are you looking for?’
"The men replied, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ Jesus said, ‘I have
told you that I am He. If you are looking for me, let these others go away to their homes.’ The disciples saw Jesus was not trying to escape and were afraid.
"Then Peter said, ‘Lord shall we fight?’ And without waiting for an answer he drew his sword and struck at one of the men. He cut the man’s ear off, but Jesus said quietly, ‘Let them alone, Peter; put your sword away for all who resist will be killed. Do you not know that if I asked my Father, He would give me a whole army of angels to defend me? But how would the words of God be fulfilled? These things have been foretold of me. I must take the cup the Father has poured for me.’
"Then Jesus stooped and picked up the man’s ear and put it back, and when He touched the man’s head, the ear grew back as though it had never been touched. The man was the servant of the High priest. I am sure that if he could have saved Jesus then, he would have.
"But Jesus said to the soldiers, ‘Why have you come out to take me, all of you armed with swords and clubs? I was there every day in the Temple, and you did not touch me. It is because this is your hour.’
"Then the men took Jesus and tied His hands, and Jesus did not prevent them; and as they led Him away, His disciples were suddenly filled with fear, and they all ran away. One of them, however, would have gone with Him. He was not one of the twelve, but seems to have been a friend of Jesus, having heard what was happening, and had run to the garden without stopping to dress. He had only a linen cloak wrapped around him, and the soldiers caught hold of it and pulled it off. The young man was embarrassed and ran away, too.
"They took Jesus first to the house of a man named Annas, who was the father of the high priest. This high priest was a hard, cruel man, who hated Jesus. Peter and John did not run very far. They realised that Jesus was alone with His enemies, and they followed to see what would happen. John knew the high priest and the servants let him in. He asked the maid to let Peter come in with him.
"The maid looked at Peter and said, ‘why, you are one of this man’s disciples too, are you not?’
"Peter did not stop to think, but, because he was afraid he would be arrested too, he said, ‘I am not.’
"There was a fire burning in an open sort of a kettle called a brazier, and the soldiers were standing around it warming themselves, for their clothes were thin, and the night was a bit chilly. Peter went over and stood near them. He was chilled from sleeping on the damp grass in the garden, and wished to get warm.
"Jesus had been taken to Annas, who was asking Him about His teachings. Jesus said, ‘I have never hidden my teachings, but have spoken openly in the Temple. Ask the men who have heard me what I teach.’
"A man standing near struck Jesus in the face, and said, ‘Is that the way you speak to the high priest?’
"Jesus did not get angry. He just said, ‘If I have spoken evil, tell him yourself. If I have not, why do you hit me?’
"The priest questioned Jesus, and sought people to tell them of wrong things He had taught, but they could not find any one, at first, who would speak against Him; those whom they questioned told nothing they could use against Him. After awhile they found a man who said, ‘We heard Him say that if the Temple were destroyed, He could build it again in three days.’ But others said, ‘No, that was not what He said.’ So they could not get even them to agree.
"The priest turned to Jesus and asked, ‘Don’t you hear what they say about you? What was it that you said?’
"Jesus did not even answer. Then the priest said, ‘I ask you in the name of God to tell us. Are you really the Christ, the Son of our God?
"Jesus replied quietly, ‘Yes, I am God’s Son. There will come a time when you will see the Son of Man coming in His power and sitting at God’s right hand.’
"Then the high priest said, ‘What a terrible thing to say. We do not need any one to speak against Him. He has made Himself a god. You have heard His words. What do you think?’
"They all said, ‘He should die.’
"You see, they were so anxious to kill Jesus that they were glad of any excuse. Jesus had only told them the truth. He was really God’s Son, but they did not wish to believe Him.
"They tied a cloth over His eyes and struck Him and said, ‘Tell us who hit you.’ Then they mocked Him and made fun of Him, but Jesus just stood there quietly and said nothing. He remembered how the Bible said, ‘He gave His back to the smiters and His cheek to them that pulled out His hair.’ He knew that they would try to hurt Him, because they hated Him so, but He knew it was all part of what He had promised to take, and He did not resent it. If He had used just a tiny bit of His power, He could have killed them all without a move, but He knew that was not God’s will. He remembered the words, ‘He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, He opened not His mouth.’
"Peter was waiting in the court yad, and a maid came out and saw him, and said; ‘Why, you were with Jesus too; you are one of His followers. I have seen you with Him.’
"Peter said, ‘I do not know what you mean.’ Then she went away, and after awhile some of the men said; ‘You cannot fool us; of course you are one of His disciples. We can tell it be the way you talk; you are from Galilee where He comes from.’
"Peter was sad and troubled, and he hated to be questioned. It made him angry. He flew into a temper and cried, ‘I swear that I do not even know the man.’ Then he heard a rooster crow, and suddenly he remembered what Jesus had said. He looked through into the house he could see Jesus amongst the soldiers who were tormenting Him. Jesus heard that rooster too, and He turned and looked straight at Peter. There was so much love and sorrow in that look that it simply broke Peter’s heart. He realised that all his promises had failed. He had said he would die with Jesus and would never deny Him, but he had said three times that he did not know him. Peter was so sorry and ashamed that He slipped away, and cried like a child over his failure.
"When morning came, the priests and scribes held a meeting, and decided to take Jesus to the Governor and ask him to have Jesus crucified. They would not kill Him themselves, for they had no authority to crucify any one. They might have stoned Him, but they thought such a death too easy for one they hated so much.
"Now Judas realised that Jesus had no intention of trying
to get away, and he saw that He was going to be killed. He had never meant that to happen. He took back the money that the priests had given him and said, ‘I have sinned; Jesus is a great and good man, and I have sold Him to you. Take back your money and let Him go.
"They laughed at him and said, ‘We do not care about your sins. We have the man in our power now. Your sins are your own look out.’
"Judas threw the money down. He could not bear to look at it. He went right out and killed himself. The priests took the money and bought a field to bury strangers in.
"When Jesus was brought to the governor as a prisoner, Pilate said, ‘What have you brought this man to me for? What has he done?’
"They replied, ‘If He was not a sinner we would not have brought Him.’
"Pilate retorted, ‘You have your own law; judge Him yourself.’
"They said, ‘We have no authority to crucify Him. He is raising a rebellion and trying to have Himself made king, and forbidding the people to pay taxes to Rome.’ That was all a lie, but they did not care as long as they had Jesus killed.
"Pilate questioned Jesus, but He said nothing. He questioned the Jews, but could see that Jesus had not done anything wrong.
"He asked Jesus, then, ‘Tell me, are you really their king?’
"Then Jesus said, ‘My kingdom is not of this age. If it were, my people would fight for me. They would not let the Jews harm me but the time for my kingdom has not yet come.’
"Pilate said, ‘Are you a king then?’
"Jesus answered, ‘You say I am a king. I was born for that purpose, and I have come into the world to teach the people the Truth. Every one that is of the Truth hears me and believes me.’
"Pilate went out and told the priests and rulers of the Jews, ‘I find no harm in this man.’
"They said, ‘He is stirring up the people to rebel against
Rome. He has come from Galilee and has caused much trouble.’
"Pilate liked Jesus, and would not harm Him if he could help it, so he said, ‘If He is from Galilee you must take Him to Herod.’
"They took Jesus to King Herod then. This was not the Herod we heard about before, but another king by that name. Herod was glad to see Jesus, for he had heard much about Him. He tried to find out what Jesus had done, and why the priests were so anxious to have Him killed but he could not find that Jesus had done anything wrong. He had Him dressed up like a king, in beautiful clothes, and told the soldiers to take Him back to Pilate again.
"Pilate called the priests and rulers together and said, ‘I have examined this man and have questioned the witnesses, and I cannot find any thing He has done that is wrong. I will whip Him and let Him go free. There is no reason why He should die.’
"They said, ‘He has claimed to be our king and has made out that He is a god. By our laws He should die for that.’
"Pilate said, ‘Now see here. It is Passover time, and I had intended to set a prisoner free at this time. I have a very wicked man in prison here who is called Barabbas. Would you rather have me let him go, or this man?’
"The priests said, ‘Set Barabbas free and crucify Jesus.’
"Pilate could not understand their hatred and said, ‘Why? What wrong has the man done?’
"Then Pilate thought that if he had Jesus whipped, they might be satisfied. He called his soldiers and told them to take Jesus out and whip Him. They took Jesus out and took off the beautiful clothes Herod had put on Him, and tied Him to a post and whipped Him with their big whips. Still Jesus did not complain. He remembered that the Bible said, ‘By His stripes we are healed.’ Though the people were so cruel, He still loved them, and was willing to suffer even this, that they might be saved.
"The soldiers tried to make Him angry. After they had whipped Him, they put the fine robes on Him, and pretended He was their king. They made Him a crown of thorns and put a staff in His hands. They spat on Him and slapped Him
and mocked Him, but Jesus never once complained or got angry. He knew it was all part of what He must suffer to save these very people and to save us too.
"At last Pilate took Him out and let the people see Him and said, ‘See what a fine man He is. I have punished Him enough.’
"But they still cried, ‘Crucify Him! Crucify Him!’
"Pilate said, "Take Him and crucify Him yourselves then, for I find no sin in Him.’
"They replied, ‘Our law says He should die, because He says He is the Son of God.’
"Suddenly Pilate was afraid. He had felt all along that Jesus was not like other men. He went back and took Jesus, to question Him again. He said, ‘Who are you?’ Jesus did not answer, and Pilate said, ‘Why do you not speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to save you, or to take your life?’
"Jesus smiled and said, ‘You could not have any power against me, if it were not given to you by my Father.’ Then He added, ‘Those who brought me to you are the greater sinners than you are.’
"Just then a messenger came to Pilate from his wife. She said, ‘Have nothing to do with that righteous man. I have suffered much in a dream because of Him.’
"Pilate once more tried to persuade the priests and rulers to let Jesus go, but they threatened to complain to Caesar-the Emperor of Rome-if Pilate set Jesus free. When Pilate saw that there would be a riot if he did not yield, he sent for a bowl of water and washed his hands and said, ‘I am innocent of the blood of this good man. If He is crucified, it will be your doing.’
"The people answered, ‘His blood shall be upon us and upon our children.’
"Then Pilate gave orders that Jesus should be taken and crucified. They took Jesus and put His own clothes on Him and took Him away.
"There were two thieves who were to be crucified too, and they took them along also. Each one must carry his own cross. Now Jesus had had nothing to eat since the Passover
supper the night before. He was also weakened from giving His strength to help other sufferers. Every time Jesus healed a sick or injured man, He gave some of His strength to that person. In addition to this, He had not been allowed to rest all night. He was very tired and weak, and He could not carry the heavy cross. When they got out of the city, the soldiers made another man carry it for Him, or, some say, carry the part that dragged behind.
"Now, while the priests and rulers and Pharisees hated Jesus, the common people loved Him, and a great crowd of them followed Him now, and were crying and mourning for Him.
"Jesus turned to them and said, ‘Do not mourn for me. All is well with me. Grieve rather for the trouble that is coming to this country because of what is done today. The time is coming when the people of this land shall pray that the hills may fall on them and hide them from God’s anger.’
"At last they reached a small bare hill outside the City. There the soldiers nailed the thieves to their crosses. Then they took Jesus also and laid Him upon the cross, and drove the nails through His hands and feet. Jesus made no efforts to prevent them. He was quite willing to die for us. He was no longer troubled or afraid, for the angels had told Him that God was pleased with Him; and He knew that very soon He would be with His Father in Heaven again. He knew that He was paying Adam’s debt, and that, because of what He was letting the soldiers do to Him, every person that had ever lived upon the earth would have a chance to live a perfect life in a perfect Home such as Eden had been. He knew that some day these very people, who were now driving the nails into His hands, would love and serve Him.
"Pilate had written a sign to be put on the cross. It read, ‘This is Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.’ The Jews did not like that, but Pilate would not change it for them.
"When the three crosses had been set up in the holes dug for them, the soldiers who had taken the men’s clothes off before they crucified them-all except an under garment-divided their clothes among them. There were four soldiers, and each one took one article of clothing for himself. Jesus had a beautiful tunic that was woven all in one piece, and it
was left over. The soldiers did not like to cut it and so spoil it, so they cast lots for it, to see who should have it.
"They did not know that this was foretold also by a prophet of God.
"The priests, and those who hated Jesus, came to mock Him, and make fun of Him. They said, if He was God’s Son, He should prove it now, by coming down off the cross. One of the thieves also mocked Him, but the other said, ‘Do you not fear God? We deserve this, for we have sinned, but this man has never done any thing wrong.’ Then he said to Jesus, ‘Master when you come to set up your Kingdom, remember me.’
"Jesus said, ‘I tell you truly-even today-that when I come, you will have a place in the Kingdom, in the restored earth.’ That was not the exact words of Jesus, but that is what He meant.
"Those who mocked Jesus, did not know that He had the power to come down off the cross then, and let them all stay dead forever. They did not know that Jesus was dying to give them life.
"Soon a strange thing happened. A dark cloud seemed to come over the earth, and it blotted out the sun. It grew darker and darker, till it seemed as if the very sun had gone out. Then there was an earthquake.
"Just before it became so very dark; Mary-Jesus’ mother-was standing at the foot of the cross, and two other Marys and John were there too. No fear could keep them from His side. Jesus told John to take Mary and care for her, as if she was his own mother. After this, He called, ‘Oh my Father, why have you forsaken me?"
"He felt at that moment that His Father, God, who had always seemed so near to Him, had left Him alone. Some of the people thought that Jesus was calling for one of the prophets. Some, thinking He was suffering great pain, came with a sponge, and dipped it in some vinegar and myrrh, which they knew would ease the pain. Jesus would not take it, though they put the sponge on a stick and lifted it up to His lips. He did not mind the pain; He was willing to suffer for us, but it troubled Him to think perhaps God was displeased.
"After they offered Him the vinegar, Jesus said, ‘It is finished!’ They then saw that He was dead. God did not let Him suffer long. He had given His life for Adam and the ransom was paid. It was then that it became so very dark. The people could not see anything. They were terrified. The priests and rulers were suddenly frightened by what they had done, and thought that God was going to punish them at once.
"In the temple the great, beautiful veil that divided the Holy from the Most Holy, was torn from top to bottom. Even the soldiers who were guarding the cross said, ‘This man was really the Son of God.’
"Now darling, we will leave our story there tonight, for it is getting late. Jesus had finished His work, and paid the Ransom with His life, but we know He did not stay dead; and tomorrow I will tell you how God rewarded Him for His obedience."
CHAPTER 12 THE REWARD OF FAITHFUL SERVICE
"You told me last night how Jesus died, Mummy. You said you would tell me tonight how His Father repaid Him for what He did," Linnet said, as she snuggled down under the covers of her warm little bed.
Mother smiled and answered, "Yes dear. That is the next story and it completes the stories of the third camel. You must admit he had a big pack, much the largest and most important of all the stories the camels carried. I guess he must have been a big camel, eh?
"We told you right up to the time when the darkness fell, and the great earthquake frightened the wicked people. The darkness lasted for three hours before Jesus died. Then it began to get lighter and lighter, and at last it was bright again, just before sunset. Perhaps that was a picture of these days when the long day of Satan’s rule is nearly over and the Bible tells us there will be a short time when there will be great darkness, not a darkness like that, but a time when God’s Word will not be seen or heard in the world.
"It was darker than night, for it was a darkness like that when the oldest children of the people of Egypt died. You remember that was the first Passover time.
"All this had happened on Friday, we are told, and the next day was the Sabbath. The Jews, you will remember, always kept Saturday as their Sabbath or rest day. It was the seventh day of the week."
"Why do we not keep Saturday for a rest day, Mummy. God said we should keep the seventh day, did He not?" asked Linnet.
"We are not under the Law, dear one. Jesus took the Law out of our way, because He knew we could not keep it. We keep the first day of the week instead, because it was the day when Jesus rose from the dead. It does not really matter which day we keep, for it is the first day or the seventh, by the way you count it. If we start to count with Monday, then Sunday would be the seventh day. God gave us the Sabbath day for a rest day, because He knew every one needed one day’s rest in every seven days. It was also to be a sign that
there would be six days (that is God’s days of one thousand years each) of sorrow and work for the world, and then a great day of rest, when Jesus would stop all the troubles of earth by tying Satan up, so he could not do any more harm.
"The Jews had a law that they must not leave a crucified sinner on the cross over the Sabbath day, and people usually lived a long time when they were killed in that manner. When it was nearly sunset and the darkness had thinned out a bit, the soldiers came to see if the three men on their crosses were still living. They found the two thieves alive and broke their legs. This added pain killed them and they could bury them. When they came to Jesus they saw that He was already dead. They were surprised that so strong and fine a man had died so quickly, for they did not know that God had stopped His loved Son’s pain by letting Him fall into the deep sleep of death. They wanted to make sure Jesus was really dead, so they took a big spear-that is a pole with a sharp metal point on it-and stuck it into His side, so it would pierce His heart and kill Him, if He was not really dead. They did not know that one of God’s prophets had said, many years before, ‘Not one of His bones shall be broken.’
"In the evening, one of Jesus’ followers, a man named Joseph, went to Pilate and asked if he could have Jesus’ body to bury it. Pilate had spent a rather bad day, for he felt very sorry over having had to give in to the Jews and let them kill one whom he felt was a good man, and more than a man. The long hours of darkness had made him more afraid, and more sure that he was not mistaken. When Joseph came and asked for the body, he felt it was not possible for so great a man to have died so quickly. He sent for the soldiers and they told him Jesus was indeed dead. Pilate probably felt that Jesus would escape somehow.
"He gave Joseph the permission he sought and Joseph, together with some of the apostles, went to Calvary and carefully took Jesus’ body down off the cross and placed it in the tomb Joseph had carved out of the hillside near by, for his own family to be buried in. It was late, and the Jewish law did not allow any one to do any work after sunset, so they wrapped Jesus’ body in linen clothes and laid it on the stone shelf. They wrapped His head in a square of linen also, and rolled
the rock door shut, intending to fix everything up on Sunday morning.
"Then, slowly and sadly they went back to their homes. How very disappointed they all felt, for they did not understand what Jesus had tried to tell them, that this was only the first part of His great work for men, and no one could ever have God’s blessing until the ransom was paid. It was just like any man in prison.
"While one is locked up in a single room with bars at the window and never allowed to go outside in the sunshine, what good is a fine home and beautiful garden. Man was in the prison house of death. No one has ever known what it was to be fully alive, like Adam was. Every baby is sentenced to death when it is born. It has disease germs in its blood that have come from its father. Some die at once, others live for a time, but after a few years we begin to die more quickly. Our hair turns grey and our eyes cannot see well, and out teeth decay and our ears do not hear right, and soon we are asleep. Until Jesus had paid the ransom no one could ever get out of their prison. Now the ransom was paid, but, like the girl we told you about, who was taken by bandits in China, we are still not free.
"You remember, I told you that some one had to be found who was willing to go away back into the hills with the money, and give it to the bandit chief. Then the girl was taken to a roadside and set free and she had to walk a long way and get money and food from her friends, before she could even start her journey home.
"All day Saturday, Jesus’ friends stayed quietly at home. They were too sad to wish to go any where, and they talked and talked about Jesus, and the terrible things that had happened. They were afraid to go out much, for they had heard that the priests had said they would kill any of Jesus’ followers they could catch also. That was why they stayed quietly at home.
"Sunday morning dawned at last, and very early in the morning, three women started for the tomb where they had placed Jesus’ body. They were troubled, for they had heard that on Friday night the priests had gone to Pilate, and told him that Jesus had said that after three days He would come
back to life. They said that they were afraid the disciples would steal Jesus’ body from the grave and hide it somewhere, and then tell people He had risen and gone to God. They asked Pilate to send some soldiers to guard the tomb so they would be sure Jesus remained there.
"Pilate had said, ‘Why do you bother me about this. You have soldiers of your own. Guard the tomb if you want to.’
"They coaxed Pilate to seal the tomb so that there would be no danger. You see it was a crime to break a seal that had the Governor’s mark. Pilate had agreed and they had put a seal on the tomb door and marked it with Pilate’s mark. They knew no one would dare to break that seal. Then they sent a lot of soldiers to guard the tomb. The women wondered if they would be allowed to go and fix Jesus’ body up. They did not know the wonderful thing that had happened.
"Friday night the soldiers guarded the tomb, and Saturday morning more soldiers had watched to see no one went near the grave. Then Saturday night more soldiers came to replace them and they had watched Saturday night. Very early Sunday morning, while it was still dark, there came a sudden, bright light that lit the very heavens, as if an opening had been made in the sky and let the light of heaven shine through.
"The soldiers had heard of the priest’s fear that Jesus would escape, and that some of Jesus’ followers had said death could not hold Him. The light grew brighter and brighter till they could not stand it. Their eyes hurt so. They were terrified, and when they saw an angel standing in the light, they fainted with fear, and all lay unconscious on the ground. The angel went straight to the grave and broke Pilate’s seal and opened the door.
"No one saw Jesus step out of the grave. He was not a man any more, for God had done as He had promised. He had wakened Jesus as a great Spirit being. He could not be seen. Even the flesh and blood body that had been crucified, was gone. The linen clothes that had wrapped the body up, lay just as they had been left, but there was no body in them. They had not even been unwrapped. They would look like a cocoon when the butterfly has gone. The cloth that had been folded around Jesus’ head lay, still folded, where His head
had been. The light faded from the sky and the angel who had rolled the stone away, disappeared. After awhile the soldiers wakened up. They were terrified, for they did not know what to expect. They looked at the grave and saw that the seal had been broken. They went nearer and looked in to see if the body was still there and saw the clothes all there, but empty. That scared them more than ever, for they knew no one could get out of those wrappings and leave them like that. They just turned and ran as fast as they could go for the City. There they told the priests of what had happened.
"They said, ‘I tell that was not a man you killed. He really was a god. Whatever is going to happen to us? He has disappeared, and the linen clothes are still there, just as they were wrapped around His body, but there is nothing inside them.’
"This made the priests more afraid than ever. Strangely they were not afraid of God’s punishment, but of what the people would do to them, if they found out. They said to the soldiers, ‘Have you told any one yet?’
"‘No, we ran straight here. We did not meet any one. It is still dark and the people are not up yet.’
"‘Then, whatever you do, never tell any one what you have told us. If the people hear of these things they will kill us all, for they always said that Jesus was a prophet. Now we will pay you well, if you will put the story around, that Jesus’ disciples came in the night and stole His body.’
"‘You know that it is a crime punishable with imprisonment to break Pilate’s seal. If we make such a claim, we are liable to be imprisoned for our failure to guard the tomb, and some one may be punished for a crime they have not done. We tell you it was an angel of God who broke that seal.’
"‘Now look here,’ blustered the priests. ‘If this gets out, there will be a riot. We will all be killed, and you will not get off either. If there is a riot, you know Pilate will turn the Roman soldiers loose and hundreds of innocent people will be killed. We will go to Pilate and tell him to let you off and no one will be any the wiser. It is just to prevent trouble. This money will buy you and your families lots of fine things.’ So at last the soldiers agreed to tell the falsehood for the wicked priests.
"The three Marys (for the three women who were going to the tomb were called Mary) did not know anything about this. They wondered how they were going to get that big stone rolled away, and what they could do about the seal.
"When they came nearer to the tomb, they saw that the stone was rolled away and wondered who had been there before them. They were carrying spices and rolls of linen strips, for they intended to embalm Jesus’ body."
"What does that mean, Mummy?"
"Well, dear, it was the custom in that country, after a person died, to wrap the body in spices and bandage it with linen so it would not decay for a long time. That was called embalming it. They wanted to keep Jesus’ body just as it was, for as long as possible. When they got to the tomb, they stooped and looked in through the small, low door and saw two angels sitting there. Now Mary Magdalene did not look in. Perhaps she was behind the others, and may have heard them say, ‘Why, Jesus’ body is gone,’ for she did not see the angels. She turned away and went into the garden.
"Mary Magdalene had been a sinner, and Jesus had cured her of a great sickness, and had forgiven her sins. She felt she was not good enough to be with Jesus’ mother. Perhaps that was why she did not look in the tomb, or see the angels, or hear them speak. Jesus’ mother and Mary, the mother of Salome, saw the angels sitting there, one at the head of the stone shelf and one at the foot of it. They did not know they were angels, but thought that they were just two men who had got there first.
"They were a little afraid, but one of the angels said, ‘Do not be afraid. We know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. Why are you looking for a living person where the dead lay? Jesus is not dead. He is risen. Come and see the place where He was lying, and then go and tell His disciples that He is risen, as He told them He would. He will go to Galilee and meet them there.’
‘Then the angels disappeared, and the two women forgot all about Mary Magdalene, and they started to run to Jerusalem. On the way they met Peter and told him what they had seen. John was going to the tomb too and they told him.
"In the meantime, Mary Magdalene was standing near the tomb, crying. She saw the other women start away, but did not know what they had seen. She was too sad to know what was happening. Now she went slowly to the tomb to look in at the place where Jesus had been. She did not see any angels, only the clothes lying there. She was kneeling, looking in and crying when she heard some one behind her and turned to see who it was. Through her tears she saw a man who was dressed like a gardener, standing behind her. She turned and said:
"‘Oh sir! If you have taken Jesus’ body away, tell me where you have put it. I wish to take it away and fix it up for burial.’
"She did not recognize Jesus. He did not look as He had, and He was dressed differently. He just smiled at her and said, ‘Mary!’ As soon as she heard His voice, she knew Him. She knelt at His feet and threw her arms around Him and cried, ‘My Lord and Master!’
"Jesus smoothed back the hair from her forehead saying, gently, ‘Do not delay, Mary. Go and tell the others that I am alive. I told you all that I would not stay dead. Tell my disciples that I will see them all in Galilee.’
"Mary did not stop any longer. She ran to Jerusalem to tell the others that she had seen and talked to Jesus. Peter and John reached the tomb just after Mary had gone. They did not see either the angels or Jesus. They looked in the tomb and saw the empty shelf. They then stepped in and looked at the way the linen clothes were lying. They realised that no man could get out of those clothes and leave them like that, and they believed that Jesus was indeed alive.
"That afternoon two of the disciples started to go to Emmaus, and they were walking along, talking about how Jesus had been crucified. They wondered what it all meant. Had the Marys really seen angels or had some one fooled them? Who had Mary Magdalene seen that she thought was Jesus? Why did she think Him a gardener? They could not understand. Then a stranger caught up to them. He seemed interested in what they were saying.
"At last He said, ‘What is it you are saying? That some one has died and come to life again?’
"They said, ‘Are you a stranger that you have not heard of the things that have happened?’
"The stranger asked, ‘What things?’ Then they started to tell Him all about Jesus, and how many wonderful things He had done, and how they had thought that He was the Messiah, till the Jewish leaders had killed Him. They told Him about the women who claimed to have seen angels, who said Jesus was alive.
"Then the stranger started, and told them how Moses and all the prophets had foretold that Jesus would come and would have to die. He explained how Adam was condemned to death, and how the ransom must be paid before Jesus could begin His great work. How do you think this stranger knew these things?"
"I know, Mummy. He was not a stranger. He was Jesus, and they did not know Him," said Linnet.
"You are right, dear. It was indeed Jesus. He had taken the form of a man, to walk with them and explain things to them. Jesus was now a beautiful spirit like the angels of Heaven. He was no longer a man. They could not see His spirit body, so He made a body for Himself, that they could see."
"How could Jesus make body, Mummy?"
"Very easily, Linnet. He had made Adam you remember, for He was the great Logos. He would just gather atoms from the air, and make them come together in the shape of a man; and He would use that body for awhile, and then dissolve it again. He made the clothes He was wearing, the same way. This time He had not come as a gardener.
"When they reached Emmaus, the disciples turned to go to the house where they lived. Jesus started to go on, and they said, ‘Won’t you come in and stay with us? You have explained things so well. We would like to hear more. Come and have supper with us and stay all night if you will.’
"Jesus thanked them and they all went in. The disciples hurried up and got some supper and they all sat down to eat. Then Jesus took the bread-just as He had at the Passover supper-and He broke it and thanked God for it, asking His blessing in the same words as He had at that last supper.
"The two disciples looked up, startled, and then they knew
Him. They jumped up crying, ‘Jesus! Master! Is it you?’ Then He disappeared. He was through with the body then, and dissolved it. He was still there, but they could not see Him.
"They did not wait to do more than have a little to eat, then they hurried right back to Jerusalem to tell the others of this wonderful thing. No doubt Jesus, now invisible, walked beside them.
"When they got to Jerusalem, they hurried to the house where all the rest of the disciples were waiting. Perhaps it was the same big room where they had eaten the Passover with Jesus. There they found the others all gathered, and many more of Jesus’ friends with them. They were all talking of the wonderful things that had happened. Jesus had also appeared to Peter. Then they told of how He had walked with them to Emmaus, and they had not known Him. While they were talking, Jesus, who had been with them all the time, made another body and let them see Him again. They just suddenly saw Him there with them, and were frightened. They thought it was a spirit.
"Jesus said, ‘Do not be afraid. Why are you troubled? Cannot you understand yet, that it is really myself? I am hungry. Have you anything to eat.’ Then they remembered that He had disappeared before they had eaten at Emmaus, so they brought Him some fish and some honey, and He stood there eating it. Then Jesus explained about the Ransom to them, and showed them why He had to come and take Adam’s place and pay his debt. He told them that He must soon go back and take that ransom to God, to pay for Adam’s sin. He told them that He would come again to them after some time, and that in the meantime, they were to explain His death to all people, and tell them of how He would come again and set up His Kingdom.
"One of the disciples, the one called Thomas, who had said they would go to Bethany with Jesus, even if they died with Him, was not there that night. When the disciples told him of what had happened, he asked ‘How did you know it was really Jesus? Mary here says He looked like a gardener, and you two did not know Him when He walked and talked to you. If He looks so different, it could not have been Him. Some one is fooling you. Did He still have the marks of the
nails in His hands and feet? You say He did not? Then it was not Jesus and you have been fooled. No one could make me believe it was really Jesus, unless I saw those marks, yes, and put my fingers in the holes. I saw the soldiers drive that spear into His side. If it was Jesus, the hole would still be there.’
"Thomas did not understand that Jesus was not the same flesh and blood man they had known, but a great spirit being now. While He was the same person He did not need that body any more.
"A week passed, and Thomas still would not believe. Then one day they were all together in the upper room. They had all the windows and doors locked, so the Jews could not get in and make them all prisoners too. Suddenly, there was Jesus standing there, watching them. He had just made another body, and this time it was just like the one that was crucified, even to the wounds. Jesus looked at Thomas and said, ‘Come here, Thomas, and put your finger into these holes in my hands and feet and put your hand into the wound in my side and believe.’ Of course, Thomas did not doubt Jesus any more.
"Some time passed before the disciples saw Jesus again. They remembered that He had told them that He would meet them in Galilee, so they went there.
"They had nothing to do, and they did not know what to do with their time. One day Peter said, ‘I am tired doing nothing. I am going to go fishing tonight. We must make a living some how.’
The other disciples said, ‘We will all go.’ They got their nets all ready and got their boats out and when evening came, they all went out in the boats in the Lake of Galilee. They fished all night, but they did not catch a single fish. When morning come, they were near the shore, and they noticed a man standing on the beach. He called to them and said, ‘Children, have you any meat?’ They said, ‘No!’
"The stranger said, ‘Try again on the right side of your boats, and you will catch some fish.’ They tried, and they caught so many fish that they could not get the net into the boat. John remembered how when he had first seen Jesus,
he had been fishing and the same thing had happened. He said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord.’
"Peter had taken off his clothes to fish, and now he caught up his fisherman’s coat and put it on, and dived into the water and swam to Jesus. He did not care about the fish. The other disciples brought the nets ashore.
"Then they saw that Jesus had made a fire and had breakfast ready for all. When they had eaten breakfast, Jesus took Peter to one side, and said to him, ‘Peter, do you love me?’ Peter said, ‘You know that I love you.’ Then Jesus said, ‘Feed my lambs.’ In a few minutes He said again, ‘Peter, do you love me more than all things?’ And Peter said, ‘You know I love you Lord; why do you ask?’ Jesus said then, ‘Feed my sheep, Peter.’ Then again Jesus asked, ‘Peter, do you really love me?’ Then Peter remembered how he had said three times that he did not know Jesus, and he was very sad as he said, ‘Dear Lord, you know my heart. You must know how very much I love you.’ And again Jesus said, ‘Feed my sheep.’ Then He added, ‘Oh Peter, when you were little, you could not dress yourself and some one else had to carry you. Then when you were young you dressed yourself and went where you pleased, but Peter, when you are old, others will stretch out your hands and carry you where you would rather not go.’ Jesus meant that Peter would some day be crucified as Jesus had been. Then Jesus said,’Peter, follow me always.’
"Days passed after that, and they did not see Jesus again for some time. Then, one day when they were all in Jerusalem, Jesus came to them again and spent some time explaining the Word of God to them. There were a great many of His followers gathered together in the upper room that day. It is said about five hundred. After they had listened for a long time to Him, Jesus led them out of the city and together they walked as far as Bethany. There He stopped and turned to them and lifted His hands up and blessed them. Then, while they were watching Him, He suddenly was lifted up from among them and they saw Him drifting up toward Heaven. They watched till He disappeared in the clouds. Then they still stood looking up into the sky, trying to see Him again.
"Then some of them noticed that there were two strangers standing among them, dressed in white robes. These strangers asked them, ‘Why are you standing here gazing up into Heaven?
this same Jesus whom you have seen go up into Heaven will come again in the same manner.’ Then the strangers disappeared, and the disciples went back to Jerusalem and saited there, to see whet would happen next.
"They understood that they would not see Jesus again, and they remembered that He had told them to wait there, for a message from Him.
"Jesus had gone to take the Ransom price to God. He had told them that He would some day came again, in the same way. What did He mean? He meant that, even as only the few of them there who really loved and served Him, had seen Him go, so only the few who really loved Him and were watching for Him, would know when He returned. There was no great celebration when He went; there will be none when He returns. The people of the world would never suspect that He was present, even as they had not suspected that He was there with them for a month, after He was supposed to be dead.
"Darling, Jesus has returned, and no one knows that He is here, but the few who really love and serve Him. He is only seen by us, through our faith in His Word, which tells us what the signs would be, that He was here.
"Ten days after He went to Heaven, Jesus sent His spirit or power upon His own followers. This spirit led them then, as His spirit had led the prophets.
"They went every where telling all people who would listen, about the coming kingdom that would bring joy and peace to the world, when Jesus came back again.
"God gave them power to speak different languages so they could tell people of all countries of God’s great plan. This power came to them after Jesus reached Heaven and gave the ransom price for Adam to God. This ransom is not yet used to free all the world. It is only used for Jesus’ own followers so far. When Jesus comes again and sets up His Kingdom, He will set all the world free, as we will see in another story.
"Now that is the end of the third camel’s story. Go to sleep, my little one, and rest, and may Jesus, the great King, watch over you."
Mother kissed a very sleepy girlie and slipped away.
CHAPTER 13 THE FOURTH CAMEL BRINGS HIS STORY
"Oh, Mummy! Have you looked outside yet?" Linnet came flying into her mother’s bedroom one winter morning. Mother roused from her slumber and said, "Hush darling! You will wake Daddy. Mother will be out in a few minutes. What is the matter outside?"
"Oh, Mummy! Wait till you see it. It is beautiful," answered Linnet softly. "I will get dressed and we can see it together."
Mother sighed a little for she did feel the need of added rest, but she knew there would be no sleep for any one, unless she kept her lively little girl employed. She dressed quickly and had a nice fire going, when Linnet tripped merrily down the stairs again.
"Now Mummy, come and see the lovely new world," she urged, and Mummy put up the blinds to look out into a world that had indeed undergone a change over night. Snow was unusual in the town where they lived but there had been a heavy snow fall during the night and everything was gleaming under a spotless blanket.
"It is lovely, is it not, dearest? I am glad it is Sunday though, so Daddy does not have to plow through that. It may be better by tomorrow."
"Can I go out in it and play now, Mummy?"
"Better wait for a little, dearest, till the sun has come up and warmed the air a bit. Do you know what it makes me think of, Linnet dear? It reminds me of the story that the fourth camel brought."
"Oh Mummy, won’t you tell me it now? There is no one up but you and I, and if I cannot go out to play in the snow yet, it would help the time to pass, till the others get up for breakfast. I do not want anything to eat yet. Let me sit on your knee while you tell me the story Mummy. It is so nice and cosy here by the fire."
Comfortable seated in a big easy chair, with her little girl on her knee, Mummy said:
"You have seen how the snow has covered everything,
dearest, and made the world look so bright and clean; even the bushes are all white, and the old dark fence rails are clean and white."
"Yes, Mummy. Did you notice how it had covered all that pile of rubbish Buddy raked up to burn?"
"Yes, dear. It has even made a clean and beautiful thing of that rubbish. That was what made me think of the fourth camel’s story. You see this story shows how God has planned to cover, or make white and pure, the dark and soiled hearts of men.
"The story of this camel was carried in the second hump. Do you remember what the humps were, dear? And what the camels pictured?"
"Yes, Mummy. The camels pictured God’s Word and the humps were the two parts of the Bible."
"That is right, dear. This story is found in the New Testament, although the Old Testament tells us this part of God’s Plan too. The Prophet Isaiah says (Isa 1:18) ‘Come and let us reason together, saith the Lord. Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.’ Jesus told a story to His disciples that gives us a picture of what He meant to do, to cover the people’s sins and make them white.
"He said, ‘Once there was a King who gave a feast for his son. It was a wedding feast, for the son was to be married. The King’s subjects had known of the coming wedding and had each received a wedding invitation, but the date of the wedding had not been announced. The King prepared the feast and when everything was ready He sent men to tell the people, "Come for all things are now ready." The messengers of the King went among the people and told them, but one man said, "I am sorry, I cannot come. I have just bought some land and I want to plow it and get it ready to plant." Another said, "I have just been married myself and I do not wish to leave my home at present. Please ask the King to excuse me." Another said, "I am busy just now. I have bought a team of oxen and I want to try them out. Tell the King not to be offended, but I really cannot come," and so on. Every one who was invited sent some excuse.
"Now the King was hurt and annoyed. He knew that the people He had invited were just making up excuses so they would not have to go. There was His feast all ready, and
arrangements had been made for the Son to go for His Bride and bring her Home and there would be no guests.
"The King said, ‘The people I invited to my party were not worth the honor. I must have guests for the feast. Go out into the streets of the city and into the poorer district and coax the poor people to come, so that there may be guests who will appreciate this feast.’
"The messengers did as the King said. They sent the message everywhere and coaxed everyone they met to go to the King’s feast. The poor people were ragged and hungry, and they were glad of a chance to get food and shelter. They came in great numbers, and the King saw how very poorly they were dressed, and how some were crippled, so He gave each guest a white robe that would cover him from head to feet.
"Even poor people would not go to the house of a King without washing, so, though ragged, they were clean. When they were all gathered, the King came down to see them and there they were, hundreds of people all dressed in pure white robes that covered their own clothes. They looked pretty nice. No one could tell what they had on under the robes. As the King looked around, He saw a man there dressed in ragged, dirty clothes. He had no white robe. The King went to him and said, ‘Friend, where is your white robe? Did you not get one?"
"Then He saw that the white robe He had given this man, had been pulled off and thrown on the floor. The King was annoyed. He saw that the man was simply ungrateful, and too proud to admit his need of a covering garment.
"The man did not know what to say. He had no excuse for coming among those people like that. The robe was there, and he just would not wear it.
"The King understood. It was an insult to His kindness and mercy, and also an insult to His other guests. He called His servants and told them to tie the man up, and take him back to where they had found him and leave him there."
"Why did He do that, Mummy?" asked Linnet.
"Well, darling, you see the story was a picture or parable."
"What is a parable, Mummy?"
"A parable, darling, is a story that has a meaning very different from the story itself. Jesus used to talk in parables
most of the time when He was speaking to the Jewish people. Afterwards He would take His disciples and explain the parable to them. Sometimes they explained the story, but sometimes they left it for time to show what was meant. This story was not explained, but the Bible makes its meaning very clear to all who really study the Word of God."
"Tell me what it means, Mummy?"
"Well, dear, God was the great King and Jesus was the Son for whom He planned the wedding feast."
"I know who the Bride was, Mummy. It was the True Church."
"Right, Linnet. When Jesus came to the world the first time, He came as a messenger of God to invite the people of Israel to the wedding supper. Jesus told them of the coming Kingdom and how to leave their sins and the things of the world, and go to the King’s feast. He told them the feast was ready and soon the Son would go for His bride. Now you know from our last stories that the rulers of the Jews refused God’s invitation. They did not realise that it was the Prince bringing them the invitation from God to the wedding feast. All the rulers of the Jews had other things they wanted to do. They wanted to please themselves, not God. They turned the invitation down. In this story Jesus was showing them that God knew just what they would do and that He intended to send the invitation to the people of the world outside. The Jews had a very big idea of their own importance. They called all people who did not belong to their nation, ‘Dogs’ or ‘Pigs.’ They were rich in God’s favor and promises and they counted any one who was not a Jew, as poor.
"When they rejected Jesus as their King, God sent His messengers to the other nations, who were called Gentiles, to coax them to come to the wedding supper of Jesus. The Apostle says, ‘You know your calling, brethren, how not many noble or wise or great were called, for God has chosen the weak and despised and poor of this world.’ So God’s message did not appeal to those who were rich or great.
"Those who heard God’s invitation and came, had to be clean, but even then, they could not go into God’s presence as they were; so God gave each of us a white robe."
"What is our white robe, Mummy?"
"It is Jesus’ righteousness, Linnet. Jesus wished us to understand that God could not have anything to do with any one who had ever sinned, and every one who has ever lived, has sinned in some way. Jesus offered to cover our sins with His own purity. Jesus did not sin in His life, and we can come to Jesus and He will cover us. His goodness is like a white robe that hides our old clothes from God, then we can go to the feast."
"I do not see how we can be covered with Jesus’ goodness, Mummy."
"It is only by having faith in God’s Word, dear. If we believe Jesus’ promise that He will cover us; if we can realise that Jesus died to pay Adam’s debt and that by doing that He set us free, because we are Adam’s children, then we are counted covered by Jesus, and have put on the white robe. That white robe is like the snow that covers all the dirt and rubbish in the garden, dear. God sent that snow, the trees and dirt did not cover themselves with it. So we have only to believe that Jesus will hide all our sins because we believe in Him. Then we can go to God and talk to Him and call Him our Father."
"How did the man take off the robe, Mummy?"
"That meant that he began to think, ‘I am pretty good. I do not need Jesus to cover me up. I never do anything wrong. God will be glad to have me in His Kingdom.’ When people get that idea, they have taken off the white robe, and are trying to get into the wedding feast by themselves, and in their own clothes. One of God’s prophets says our own efforts to be good are just dirty rags. No matter how hard we try, we cannot help doing something wrong. If we are trusting in Jesus we will realise that we do make mistakes and every time we get angry, or tell something that is not right, or do anything wrong, we will go at once to God and ask Him to forgive us, because we believe in Jesus.
"If we do that, we are keeping our robe on, and keeping it clean and white. Then we can have a share in the feast. If we think we are good enough, then God will see that we get tied up by wrong ideas and put out in the dark again, and we will not have any of God’s good things."
"What are the good things God has for people, Mummy? Is it things to eat?"
"No, my darling. God’s Word is the food of His children. A feast as you know, is a big meal with lots of good things to eat. We have God’s promises to make us good and strong. Those who are enjoying God’s feast will know the meaning of His Word. They will understand the ten great truths of His Word, and, if they remain true to Him they will have a part in His kingdom."
Just then they heard Daddy getting up and Mother went to prepare breakfast. Linnet stood by the window and watched the snow falling gently, covering the world still deeper with its white purity. She whispered softly, "Dear Jesus, please keep me covered always with your goodness."
Jesus heard that little prayer and smiled. There is no one too little to understand God’s goodness and love, or to love Him in return. After awhile she came to Mother and said, "Is that all the fourth Camel’s story, Mummy?"
"Yes, darling. It was a small one but a very important one."
"What was the fourth Camel called, Mummy?"
"It has a big name, dear. It is called JUSTIFICATION."
"What does that mean, Mummy?" asked Linnet.
"Justification means ‘Made right’ in God’s sight."
"That means having the white robe on, does it not, Mummy?"
"Yes, darling. Now can you tell Mummy how to keep the robe on?"
"Yes, Mummy. It is by just believing that Jesus is covering us, like the snow is covering all the dirt outside. Mummy I love Jesus and I love God too."
"That is right, darling. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart.’" Then Mother added, "Now, dear, if you wish, you may put on your coat and rubbers and gloves, and take your doggie for a little run in the snow. Do not go far, for breakfast is nearly ready."
As Linnet ran off for a little romp in the snow, Mother whispered, "Oh my Father; keep her always as good and sweet as she is now, and always keep her covered with Christ’s robe of Righteousness."
CHAPTER 14 THE FIFTH CAMEL’S BURDEN
It is the fifth Camel tonight who has a story for me, is it not, Mummy?" asked Linnet, that night. She was tired and had gone to bed early after a day of play in the snow. But no night could ever be complete for Linnet that did not bring its story. Mother had written some of her stories down for her, so that when she was older she could read them for herself and so remember the deeper things of God’s Word.
"Yes, darling. The Fifth Camel comes right along and his story is one that I think you will like," answered Mother.
"I am sure I will, Mummy, for I love all the camels’ stories, and all the stories that come from the Bible. They are better even than fairy stories for they are true."
"I am glad you love them, dearest, for if you learn the lessons they have for you, you will indeed be a worker for God, some day.
"I wish I could work for Him now, Mummy. I would love to gather all my little friends and tell them the stories too, but they do not love them as I do."
"You must learn all about God first, dear one, then you will be ready to teach. Our story tonight is from the first hump of the fifth camel, but the second hump carried part of it too."
"What is this camel’s name, Mummy?"
"It too has a long name and a hard one to say. It is called ‘Sanctification.’ It means ‘Set aside for God.’ Many people of old were set aside for God’s work but one specially gives the picture we need to help us understand.
"Away across the sea in Palestine there lived a family of boys, many years ago. There may have been girls in the family too, but it is of one of the boys that we are going to tell you. The older boys of the family were all soldiers in the king’s army. It is not of them we would tell you, but of their little brother. He was too young to be a soldier. His father
did not wish to see him go away, too, as the older boys had done. He sent him out into the hills to keep the sheep."
"I know who he was, Mummy; he was David."
"Yes, dear. It was David. The story of David and all the things he did is in your ‘Stories of the kings,’ but this time we want to find something special in the story of David. He was a picture of some part of God’s great plan, and we will find the meaning of the story this time.
"David was very clever at writing verses and he could play beautiful music on his harp. You know dear, the Bible is sometimes called a ‘Harp of ten strings,’ and that is the kind of harp David had to play on. I think you may remember that the king of Israel had not pleased God. He had disobeyed the orders God had given, twice, and God had said, through His prophet, Samuel, that He had left Saul because he would not obey, and He was going to choose another king who would do as God told him.
"Now David did not know anything about this. His days were spent very quietly with the sheep. In the morning he led them out over the hills and took them to places where there was grass and water. All day he watched over them, often sitting on a rock where he could see them and playing on his harp. He made up lovely verses and songs too, and sang them there in the hills. He was not lonely for he felt that God was near him. He was right, for God is always near those who love Him. God watched David and knew of his love. You remember Moses also watched the sheep and it was there that God found him and sent him to save His people. Sheep are very much like people in some ways. David would have to be always watching, for sometimes wolves and bears and even mountain lions would steal through the grass and bushes and try to catch the sheep. David would drive the animals away or kill them. At night he would take the sheep back to a fold or sort of shed where they were safe for the night.
"The care of the sheep made him kind and patient too, for the little lambs would often get tired, and then he would carry them for awhile; and sometimes they would wander away and get lost, and he would have to search for them till he found them. If they were hurt he would doctor them, and
at one time he killed a bear and another time a lion with his bare hands, when they threatened his sheep. God watched over him and saw how brave and gentle David was and God loved him. Now God intended to choose a king to rule His people. He did not want a proud and haughty man like Saul, though Saul had served His purpose in giving a picture of the reign of Satan over the world.
"God spoke to Samuel, the prophet, and said, ‘Samuel, why do you still mourn for Saul. You know that I have rejected him from being king of Israel because of his pride and disobedience. Come now and take a bottle of the special oil, and go to Bethlehem, for I want you to choose a new king.’
"Samuel replied, ‘But Lord, if Saul hears that I have come to make another man king, he will kill me.’
"The Lord replied, ‘Do not let any one know your purpose. Take a young cow with you and say you have come to offer a sacrifice to God. Invite the family of Jesse to the sacrifice, for I have chosen one of his boys to be king in place of Saul.’
"Samuel was a very old man, and he had served the Lord from the time he was a baby. He had made Saul king and he loved him, even though he had become so very wicked. Samuel always obeyed God, however, so now he went to Bethlehem, as God had told him to do.
"When everything was ready for the sacrifice, and Jesse and his sons were there, Samuel asked to meet the boys. The oldest was presented to the prophet first. He was a fine man, tall and strong and good looking, and Samuel thought, ‘This must be the one God has chosen.’ But a soft voice seemed to speak in his ears, ‘Choose him not, for I do not wish him for king.’ Then the second son was brought to Samuel, and again the voice spoke, ‘Not this one. God chooses not by the size or the looks, but by the heart. He will not do.’
"One after another Jesse’s sons came, and the voice rejected them all. Samuel was puzzled. God had said the new king was to be one of Jesse’s sons, yet He had refused them all. Samuel turned to Jesse and said, ‘Jesse, have you no other sons? God told me to choose one of your boys for a special work for Him but He has rejected all of these.’
"Jesse replied, ‘They are all here except the youngest. He is still just a boy, and he is out in the hills keeping the sheep.’
"‘Send a messenger for him then, for I cannot offer the sacrifice till he comes,’ said Samuel; and Jesse called a servant and told him to go and find David, and tell him he was wanted at home. The servant was to keep the sheep till David returned.
"David was not long in coming and as soon as he stood before Samuel, the soft voice said, ‘This is the one whom I have chosen. Take your bottle of oil and anoint him.’
"Samuel greeted the boy kindly, and as David stooped before him to receive his blessing, the prophet poured the oil over his head. He said gently, ‘David, thou son of Jesse, the Lord God of Israel has chosen thee to be King over Israel. Serve Him always; may His spirit guide you in all that you do.’
"Samuel told those who had seen what was done, to keep the matter a secret from Saul. After that they offered the sacrifice to God and then they held a feast.
"Now David did not grow proud and haughty, though he knew that God had chosen him ahead of all his grown up brothers. He was just the same, kind, gentle boy as before; and as soon as the feast was over, he went away back to the hills and kept the sheep as he had before.
"God had made no mistake in David. You remember, darling, how some time after this, the Philistines came with a great army, and Saul took his soldiers out to fight them. There was a great giant among the Philistine army, and the Philistines said that the whole battle must be decided by this man. If any Israelite would kill the giant, the Philistines would serve the Israelites. But if the giant could defeat the best man from the camp of Israel, the Philistines were to be masters of the Children of God. You know how David’s big brothers and all the other soldiers were afraid, and day after day passed and the Philistines were making fun of the great army who had not one soldier who dared to fight their giant."
"Yes, Mummy, and David came and killed the giant," cried Linnet.
"It was really God who killed the giant, dearest. David just threw the stone. You remember how Saul came to hate David, and tried again and again to kill the boy, whom he felt had God’s favor."
"Yes, Mummy, I remember. David had to hide in the woods and in caves, and Saul tried to kill him but he could not find him."
"I see you have not forgotten. The whole story is there in your book of ‘Stories of the Kings of Israel.’ You remember too, how David had two chances to kill Saul while he was sleeping and would not touch him. At last, Saul killed himself, and David became the new King.
"Do you remember what the picture meant, dearest?"
"You tell me, Mummy. I remember part of it, but not all," replied. Linnet.
"Well, darling, this story which was a true one, was one of God’s pictures, and it shows us the meaning of the Fifth camel’s name-Sanctification, or setting aside. God chose David because of his faith in Him and because he was humble and good. This was to show that God chooses whom He pleases for His service. He does not choose a person for his strength, or for his learning, but because of his character. David was set aside to be king of Israel. Then God watched over him. God sent many trials but they made David a fine, strong man.
"So, after Jesus came, God chose the twelve apostles to be His special servants."
"I thought Jesus chose them, Mummy?" said Linnet.
"The choice was really God’s. His spirit was guiding Jesus in choosing the right ones. The Bible shows how, before Jesus chose them He spent a whole night in talking to God and seeking His help, so He would choose the right ones. God wanted to make it plain that He would choose those who were to be Jesus’ followers. Then He would set them aside for His service. They were to be anointed, but not with oil from a bottle. The special servants of God are anointed by the spirt, or power of God. First they are made right through their faith, as our last story showed, and then they are set aside for God’s work. Then God will watch over each one
and send the trials that He sees will make them good and strong for His purpose."
"I would like to be one of God’s chosen ones, Mummy. It would be nice to feel I was really His." Linnet’s voice was earnest, and Mother replied, "Only God Himself knows who are really His chosen, darling. The fact that you wish to be His, is a sign that He is calling you. You remember that Samuel called all Jesse’s sons, but only one was chosen. Why did God choose David, dear?"
"It was because he was good and brave, Mummy."
"Partly, dear, but the real reason was that he loved and trusted God. David’s brothers were brave enough for Saul’s army. They were good fighters and strong, fine men, but they trusted in their own strength. Suppose David, when he went to meet the giant had said, ‘I will fix you, mister giant. I will take this little stone and hit you right in the head with it. You will see that I can kill you. I am David!’ God would not have had any use for David at all. Do you remember what David said, dear?"
"Yes, Mummy. He said, ‘You are coming after me with a big sword and a stick, but I am coming in the name of God and God will give you into my hands.’"
"This is right, dearest. David gave the praise to God, and so God would help him. David had the white robe on, dear; he had faith in God. If we have faith on Jesus, we can be set aside for His work. If we say, ‘I am a pretty good girl, I always tell the truth and I do lots of work. I know all my lessons,’ God will say, ‘You are too proud for me.’ But if we say, ‘I trust in Jesus and I know He will help me. I will try to serve Him; He is so very great and good, and I want to be like Him,’ then Jesus can use us, because we have the white robe.
"You see, dearest, it is those who have the robe who are set aside for His work. Many are called but few are chosen. You see now, dearest, what it means to be set aside for God?’
"Yes, Mummy. You know, Mummy, I am really God’s, am I not? When I was little, He saved me from dying, so I ought to serve Him always.
"He has saved us all from death, dearest by paying our ransom, but you are indeed His, specially. Never disappoint
Him. If every one could only see how Jesus gave His life for them, they would serve Him too."
"Soon they will all know Jesus like we do, will they not, Mummy?"
"Yes, my darling. Soon the Kingdom will have been set up and all men will know Him. Then, no one will be set aside specially, for ‘All shall know Him from the least to the greatest.’ Now, we have a chance to show Him we love Him, and to have a very special love from Him. Then, all men will be serving Jesus and there will be no special love or honor for serving Him.
"That is the message of the fifth camel, dearest. This is the time when we can be set aside to serve our God.
"Now, darling, that’s two stories today and it’s time for sleep. Pray to the dear Father, darling, that He may keep you always, and you may be specially His."
"I will, Mummy, for I love Jesus and I love the dear Father for sending Him to pay our ransom. Good-night, Mummy. I hope you have another story for me tomorrow."
CHAPTER 15 THE SIXTH CAMEL TELLS ITS STORY
"Resurrection,’ is the name of the next Camel," Mother said, as she started another story for her little girl. Linnet lay tucked snugly under the covers with her bright eyes watching and her mind alert to hear the next story of the series.
"That is a funny name for a camel, Mummy," she laughed.
"It is indeed. All the camels have funny names. Of course you know that they were not the real names of the camels, but they are the names of the ten great truths of the Bible, which the ten camels and the ten strings of the harp, picture."
"I know that, Mummy, but it makes the stories more interesting. When I think of the ‘Resurrection’ camel I seem to see a big shaggy camel struggling up out of the sand. I think there must have been a sand storm, like there was in that paper you read me the other day."
"Yes dear; a sand storm that has blinded all the people of the world for a great many years. Our story tonight comes from the camel’s hump which we call the New Testament. The old prophets all spoke of it also. Job said, ‘I know that my redeemer liveth and that he shall stand in the last days on the earth. That after my death worms shall destroy my body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.’ (Job 19:25,26). So you see Job knew this camel. Isaiah knew him also for he said, ‘Thy dead men shall live....awake and sing ye that dwell in the dust, for the earth shall cast out her dead.’ Indeed all the Old Testament prophets knew this camel and by faith rode on it."
"How do you mean, Mummy?"
"I mean that they knew there was to be a resurrection and trusted in it. An angel said to Daniel, ‘Thou shalt stand in thy lot at the end of the days.’ Meaning that Daniel would awake from death and take his place among the prophets. Whenever people died, they always said they ‘slept
with their fathers.’ People who sleep all wake some time, so they showed that they knew the dead would wake when ‘The Seed of the Woman’ paid Adam’s debt.
"Away across the sea in Palestine, in the little town of Bethany, two sisters were watching over the bedside of their brother. Lazarus was very sick. They did everything they could for him but he grew steadily worse. They did not at first send for Jesus, for they knew that His enemies were watching for a chance to arrest Him and kill Him, and they loved Him too dearly to cause Him to be in any danger.
"When they realized that Lazarus was not going to get better, Martha, the older sister, sent a messenger to Jesus. She did not ask Him to come and make their brother better. She felt she could not ask that, for if Jesus came and was taken a prisoner, she would feel she had been to blame. She hoped that the message would reach Him in time, and He would just speak the word, and Lazarus would get better. Jesus had healed others by a word, surely He would not let their brother die.
"Now Jesus knew that Lazarus was very ill, even before the messenger came. He said to His disciples, ‘Lazarus is very ill.’ But He did not go to Bethany. Then a messenger came with the word from Martha-’Master, he whom Thou lovest is sick.’ Still Jesus did not go, neither did He speak a word to help the sick man.
"Later He said to the disciples, ‘Our friend Lazarus sleepeth.’ They thought that He meant that Lazarus was resting after the illness and said, ‘That is fine. If he sleeps he will get well again.’
"Jesus said, ‘Lazarus is dead, and I am glad we were not there, for this will strengthen your faith. Come and let us go to him.’
"The disciples said, ‘Master, you know that the Scribes and Pharisees want to kill you. Would it not be better to stay here, seeing it is too late to help Lazarus?’
"Then, when they saw that Jesus was getting ready to go, they said, ‘Let us all go with Him. Then if His enemies do catch Him, , we will all die with Him.’
"Jesus’ disciples loved Him and did not wish to live without Him. It was a long walk to Bethany from the place where
Jesus and His disciples had been living, and it took them so long to get there that Lazarus had been dead for four days and had been buried sometime before they reached Bethany.
"Mary and Martha must have wondered why Jesus did not help them. We cannot always understand the things that God lets happen, or His reasons for things that come to us, but we can always trust Him.
"In Palestine when people died, it was the custom to hire people to mourn for them. These mourners would sit around and make a strange wailing noise. Friends would come from all around and visit the family, and they would have to be fed; so there was a lot to do, when people died. Mary and Martha had many friends and there was a big crowd at their home when Jesus came to Bethany.
"Jesus knew there would be many people there and He wished to see Martha and Mary alone. He did not go right to their home but stayed some distance away. He sent a messenger to tell the two sisters that He had come. Martha slipped quietly out of the house, when the messenger came, and hurried away to meet Jesus. As soon as she reached His side she said, ‘Oh Master, if you had only been here, Lazarus would not have died.’
"Jesus said gently, ‘Martha, your brother shall live again.’
"‘Yes, Master. I know that he will wake up again when this time of trouble is all over, and that he will come back, when all are raised at the last day.’
"Jesus replied, ‘Martha, I am the resurrection and the life.’
"Martha stood talking to Jesus for awhile. Somehow, just to have Jesus near them, seemed to take away her trouble. Then she went back and called Mary and whispered to her, ‘Mary, the Master has come, and He has been asking for you.’
"Mary jumped up and said, ‘Oh I must go to Him at once.’ She hurried out, and the friends saw her going and thought that she was going to the grave to mourn for her brother, so they followed her. Mary, however, went straight to where Jesus was waiting to meet her. Martha went also, and when Mary came to Jesus she said the same thing Martha
had said, ‘O Master, if you had only been here, our brother would still be living.’
"When Jesus saw how unhappy Mary and Martha were, and saw the crowd of people who had followed Mary, He was troubled. He said, ‘Where have you buried Lazarus?’
"Mary said, ‘Come and see.’ They took Jesus to the tomb where Lazarus was buried. It was a cave, like the one where Jesus was laid after He died. A big stone was rolled up to make a door. Jesus felt so sorry for the trouble that had come to those He loved that He cried, and the people said, ‘How He must have loved Lazarus.’
"But others said, ‘If He loved him so much, why did He let him die? Surely if He is as great as they claim, He could have made him better.’
"Jesus said, ‘Open the door.’ But Martha said, ‘He has been dead four days, Master, and the body will have begun to decay by now.’
"Then Jesus replied, ‘Did I not tell you that if you would believe in me, you would see the great power of God?’
"Martha told the people to take the stone away then, and see what would happen. As soon as the stone was rolled away, Jesus stood there and prayed to God-His dear Father in heaven. He said, ‘Dear Father, I thank you for having heard my prayer. I know you always hear and answer me, but I wish these people to see for themselves that you do hear me, and to believe that I have come from you.’
"Then Jesus called, ‘Lazarus! Lazarus! Wake up and come here.’
"Now if Lazarus had not been dead when he was put in the tomb, he could not have lived in that tiny cave without air, for three days. The people stood around wondering what was going to happen. They heard a movement in the dark tomb and then Lazarus staggered out. He was wrapped from head to feet in the linen strips and spices, that were used to preserve the dead bodies in those days. A square of linen was tied around his head, and he could scarcely walk for the clothes that bound him.
"He could not see and did not know where he was. Some one sprang to catch him so he would not fall. But the people
were so amazed they did not know what to do. Jesus said, "Loose the clothes and free him. He is alive.’
"Some one took a knife and cut the linen strips and freed poor Lazarus. Others took the cloth off his head so he could see and loaned him a cloak, for all he had on was the strips of linen bound around him like a bandage, from head to feet.
"Lazarus would be astonished to find himself there. He would not remember a thing after he had been lying on the couch in his home four days before, feeling so very weak and ill. How surprised he would be to find that he had been dead for four days.
"The people who had seen the wonderful thing that Jesus had done, almost all believed that Jesus was indeed their long promised prophet. Elijah had wakened a child who had died. Elisha also had brought a dead person to life. But in both cases the person awakened had only been dead a very short time. The little girl and the widow’s son whom Jesus had wakened before, had also been dead just a short time, but here was a man dead and buried for four days, standing and talking to them.
"They would say, ‘What does it feel like Lazarus?’ And he would say, ‘I do not remember a thing from the time I was lying there ill, till Jesus called me. I could hear His voice calling me and everything was dark.’
"Jesus had wished to let the people see that people who die are just asleep, and not living in some other world as so many people think. He wanted them to see that He had the power to wake those who were dead, so we would know that He is able to keep His promise that, ‘There will be a resurrection, both of the just and the unjust.’ That is, of the good and the bad."
"Mummy, when my little sister wakes up, will she still be a baby like she was when she died?"
"Yes, my darling. The Bible says, ‘As a tree falls, so it lies,’ meaning that those who died, do not change but remain just the same. When Jesus wakes those who have died, they will be just as they were when they fell asleep. The years will have passed away and they will think it is just a moment since they fell asleep."
"Will they be sick, Mummy, when they awake?"
"No, darling. The Bible says that ‘God will give them a body as it pleases Him.’ The old body will have turned to dust, and Jesus, by the power God gave Him, will make a new body for each one who has died. We know that Jesus can easily do this, for it was Jesus who, by God’s power, made Adam and Eve. He will just gather the atoms together and make them form a body like the one we had before. It will not be a sick body either. Lazarus was not sick when he awakened.
"When Jesus awakes the sleepers, He will heal them also. There will be no one who can refuse to answer His call."
"Will they all come back at once, Mummy? What a great crowd there would be, if all who are sleeping in the cemetery came at once."
"No, my darling. God always does things in a wise manner. If all who are sleeping were to waken at once, there would be too many to teach. You see, dearest, the great work of the Kingdom will be to teach the sleepers the things of God’s Word, which they never knew. When Jesus sets up His Kingdom, He will first of all bring back the wise, faithful men of old. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Noah and Moses and the Prophets. These men knew God’s Word and served Him faithfully. Of them it is said, ‘Instead of Thy fathers (that is instead of being Jesus’ fathers) they will be Thy children who Thou shalt make Princes in all the land.’"
"What does that mean, Mummy?"
"It means that when Jesus returns, He will give these men life, and as a father is one who gives life, Jesus will become the Father or Life-giver to these men who were His ancestors or forefathers. Then, when He has raised them from the dead and has given them life, He will make them rulers over all the earth.
"They knew all about God and about His plans, for He used them to tell of these things. They had many trials but they were always faithful to God. When they are the kings of the earth, they will rule justly and will be in touch with Jesus and the Church in Heaven. Their first work will be to teach the people, who are still living after the coming trouble the things you and I know now."
"Will I be able to see them, Mummy?" asked Linnet.
"If you are faithful to God, and He keeps you through the trouble; you will be looking for their return, and will be
able to get in touch with them. Then you may be able to work under their orders. Jesus said, ‘Many shall come from the east and the west and the north and the south, and sit down with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of God.’
"We cannot tell just how things will be arranged, but we do know that the blessings of God will come to the Jews first, and through them to all the living people. All will learn God’s Word and laws, and will make everything right upon the earth. When everything is ready for them, the first sleepers will be awakened. No doubt the Jewish people living in Palestine will be the first to have their loved ones awakened. They are suffering greatly today, and the Bible tells us that the blessings will come to them first. They have been driven from one land to another and have suffered much, and it is just and right that they should be blessed first. When the people see that God is blessing them, that they are having their sleeping, loved ones restored, they will want to serve God too and have their own loved ones back again.
"They will turn to God and learn of Him. Then, when everything is ready, God will waken those who fell asleep last. Then they must be taught God’s will and when they have learned and are serving God, they will ask for their loved ones. By and by, all the sleepers will be awake and serving God. That is the wonderful message the sixth camel brought in his pack."
"Mummy, do you think if I learn all I can about God and His Word, I can be a teacher when I grow up?" asked Linnet.
"I feel sure that you will be, darling, for you already love the Father, and know more than many grown up people, about His plan. Serve Him always, and try to please Him. Trust Him for everything and never doubt His goodness, and He will find work for you, my darling. Now, you must eat and sleep and play and learn, so you can be healthy and strong, when He is ready for you.
"Good-night, my darling. May our Father bless you and help you to serve Him."
Mother stooped and kissed her girlie, and left her to dream of the glorious Kingdom to come, when "all who are in their graves shall hear the voice of the Son of Man and come forth."
CHAPTER 16. HOW THE CAMELS CAME
"Mummy, you said you would tell me about how the camels came, and how they got their stories," said Linnet one night. "Won’t you tell me that tonight."
"Yes, dear, I think we will have that story tonight. We have had the stories of six camels, and I think we shall find that one in the seventh camel’s pack. It may seem as if it should have been the first story but we have just taken them as they came. Of course, we had to have the Creation story first, for it was the story of the Beginning. Can you remember what the second one was?"
Linnet thought for a minute, then she said, "That was about where Adam and Eve sinned and were punished, and where all the people were so wicked and God sent the flood, was it not, Mummy?"
"That is right, dear. Then the third told us of how God sent a ransom to pay their debt and set them free. Can you remember what came next, dear?"
"I think I know what it means, but the name is so big I forget it, Mummy."
"Yes, dear. It is a big name for a little girl. It was Justification."
"It was the white robe, was it not, Mummy?"
"Yes, dear. That camel told us of how God gave each one who wanted to come to the wedding, a white robe. Do you remember what the robe is, Linnet?"
"It is faith in Jesus, Mummy."
"That is right, dear. How do we put that robe on? Do you remember?"
"By just believing that Jesus died for us," Linnet replied after a moment’s thought.
"Then came ‘Sanctification,’ or setting aside for God. Then Resurrection."
"Yes, Mummy. That was last night’s story. It seemed as if it should have been in the story of Jesus."
"Yes, dear. It really belonged there, but the fifth camel had too big a pack. He had to leave part of it for the sixth Camel. This next camel is called Election. His pack is carried in the first hump, so we must go away back before Jesus was born to find a picture that explains the truth about election.
"The second hump tells us something about it too. Now for the story. Out in the hills of Palestine there was living a wandering tribe of people. The head of this tribe was an old man. God had called Him out from the cities where the people worshipped the false gods. He wished to make a picture of some of the things He was going to do. Perhaps you can tell me his name. We had a story of how God used him to make a picture of the Ransom."
"That was Abraham, Mummy, was it not?" Linnet said after a moment’s thought.
"Right, darling. God used Abraham to make other pictures of His great Plan. In the picture of the Ransom you may remember that Abraham had to take the part of God and Isaac the part of Jesus."
"It was like a movie was it not, Mummy?"
"Indeed it was, dear. Just as your little favorite, Shirley Temple, plays many parts in the movies, so Abraham and Isaac were playing parts in a great movie. Our movies are based on stories that have happened in the past, or on stories people have written. God’s movies were based on a story that has not all happened yet. They were like movies of the future. Only God knew what He was going to do and would write such stories."
"Did Abraham play the part of God in this movie too, Mummy?" asked Linnet.
"Yes, darling, and Isaac again played the part of Jesus. Isaac had shown how God would offer Jesus as a sacrifice for us and how He would raise Him from the dead and take Him back to His Home in Heaven. Now God wished to show what He would do after that. Isaac’s mother was dead. You may remember that Sarah was a picture of God’s great promise to bless all the people of the earth. This did not mean that God was not going to keep that promise, but that, in the picture, when Isaac was sacrificed, it showed that the first part
of God’s promise would be fulfilled when Jesus died and went back to God.
"The promise was established, and it was not necessary for Sarah to live any longer. She was very old and tired, and must sleep till the time when God calls her to wake and take her place beside Abraham, in the Kingdom.
"Now Isaac was very lonely, and Abraham saw that it would be better for him to have a wife, who would be a companion to him. Abraham did not wish to go and look for a wife for his son, himself. He was old too, and had many other things to look after, so he called a faithful servant who had been with him a great many years. Eliezer was an old man too, but he was better able to take the long trip to search for a wife, than Abraham. He could be better spared, for Abraham handled all the business of his great wealth and possessions himself.
"Abraham said to Eliezer: ‘It is time that Isaac had a wife. We need a good woman to take charge of affairs around the tents, and Isaac is lonely. I want you to go to Haran where we used to live, and pick a wife from the members of my own family, for Isaac. She must be a good girl, young and pure and good looking. She must not be a worshipper of the false gods.’
"‘But suppose I choose a woman and she refuses to come?’ asked Eliezer. ‘It is asking a lot of a girl to leave her own people and go into a distant land to marry a man she has never seen.’
"‘If she will not come, you will have kept your promise to me, and I will not blame you. I will know that you have done your best. Now take some camels, and load them with the things you need for the journey. Everything I have is in your hands, and I will leave you to make all the arrangements. Take presents for the girl and for her people, and servants to look after the camels.’
"So God showed that after Jesus had died, and had been raised from the dead and gone back to Heaven; God would send His oldest servant, His spirit or power, out into the world to choose a companion for Jesus, a Bride to live in Heaven with Him. The Bride must be one who was a child of God by faith. That means that she would be one who had
faith in God, and served Him truly, and had never worshipped the false gods."
"It would be nice to be chosen to be Jesus’ Bride, Mummy," said Linnet.
"It is indeed a wonderful thing, Dearest. The picture did not make one thing plain, though. The Bride of Jesus was not to be one person, but one Church. It would have many members, just as one body like yours has. You have eyes, and a nose, and a mouth. You have hands and feet also. So the Bride of Jesus was to have many members. Jesus’ Apostles told us all about this Church, and said every member would be important. One said, ‘The head cannot say to the feet, I have no need of you,’ for each member would be necessary. Just as you could not get along very well without eyes or hands or feet.
"Isaac’s bride was to be just one person and was to picture this Church, so it would not do for Eliezer to pick some one who was lame or blind. The girl must be perfect. Now Eliezer went out and looked over the camels. How many do you think he decided to take?"
"Were they the Ten Camels, Mummy? Was that how many he chose?"
"Yes, darling. They were the ten camels and God guided Eliezer in his plan to take just ten. God wanted to show that when He sent His spirit or power into the world to choose the true Church, which was to be Jesus’ Bride, He would send just ten great doctrines of truth. Eliezer loaded the camels with food for the journey and for coming back again, and he also put many rich presents of gold and silver and jewels in the bags."
"He put the ten stories in too, did he not, Mummy?"
"Yes, darling. In the sense that each camel pictured one story or teaching of God’s Word. The ten camels pictured God’s Word-the Bible. They each had two humps and this was to show that the Old and the New Testament were both to carry the truths. The gold and silver pictured the Golden promises of God and the silver truths of His Word. The jewels were also meant to picture the great and precious promises of God.
"Even the food the camels carried was a picture that God would provide everything that His spirit, and those who carried His message, would need in this life, and that He would provide for the church on her journey to Heaven.
"Camels can go a very long time without water, and you know that water is a picture of truth. This showed that God’s Word does not have to have new truths added to it. It has enough truth for the journey in itself.
"When Eliezer was all ready, he set out. He traveled across the desert and the wilderness to reach Haran. It was evening when he got there. He had been several days on the way, and he was tired, but he did not want to lose any time."
"Was it a big city, Mummy, with street cars and bright lights and big stores?" Linnet was deeply interested.
"No, darling. Haran was probably just a small town with a very big, strong wall around it. There were donkeys and horses and camels and asses to ride on, but no cars of any sort. They did not even have water pipes, and the people had to carry all their water from a well outside the city. The girls carried the water in big jars on their heads. The men hunted and looked after the sheep and cattle. Eliezer reached the town in the evening and stopped to rest by the well. He probably had no means of getting water up out of the well for his thirsty camels. The camels knelt down by the well, for camels cannot lie down like other animals but must bend their front knees first and kneel down, and then bend their back knees too.
"The camels were tired and thirsty and so were the servants, so they all lay around in the shade of the stone wall, built around the well. Most wells in those days were enclosed in a stone wall. Eliezer thought, ‘Well here I am, but how can I tell which girl would make a good wife for my master’s son. I must not make any mistakes, and take back a bad tempered or lazy woman. Surely, the God of my master will help me. I will ask Him.’
"So, while the camels and the servants were resting, Eliezer sent this prayer to God, ‘Oh Thou God of my master Abraham. Help me I pray Thee this day and show Thy kindness
to my master. See, I am standing hereby the well, where the people of Haran get their water. The women of the city will soon come out to get water for the evening meal. Please give me a sign and let the one whom I ask for a drink, and who says, "Yes, I will give you a drink and will water your camels too," be the one you want me to choose for Isaac. Then I will know that you are with me.’
"That was a good test, for no selfish or lazy girl could meet it. A bad tempered girl would say, ‘Whose servant do you think I am? Get your own water.’ A lazy girl, even if good tempered, would be apt to say, ‘I will give you a drink of water but you can get your servants to water those camels; I am not looking for any such job.’ The girl that would give a weary traveler a drink and then offer to take care of ten thirsty camels would surely be a kind and fine girl.
"Scarcely had Eliezer finished praying to God for help, when he saw a lovely, young girl coming to the well. She was a fine girl, strong and well formed. Her movements were swift and graceful. Eliezer liked her at once. She looked like a girl who would be very kind and thoughtful.
"Going to meet her and bowing to her, as the people did in those days, he said, ‘Please give me a little water to drink. I am very thirsty.’
"The girl smiled kindly at him. She saw he was old and weary. She hurried to fill her pitcher and then held it so he could drink, saying, ‘Drink, my lord.’ Then she noticed the ten camels. They looked tired and thirsty too. She saw that the servants had fallen asleep from weariness and said, ‘I will draw water from the well and fill the troughs so your poor camels can have a drink too.’
"As Eliezer watched her quick, graceful movements, he offered a prayer of thanks to God for having answered his prayer so quickly, and sent him the sign he had asked for. When the camels had all the water they wanted, the girl filled her pitcher for herself, and Eliezer said to her:
"‘Whose daughter are you? Is there room in your father’s house for a stranger to stay for a few days?’
"The girl said, ‘I am Rebekah, the daughter of Milcah and Nahor. We have food and shelter and plenty of room for you to stay with us, if you care to.’
"Then Eliezer bowed his head, and his eyes were filled with tears as he said, ‘Blessed indeed is God, the Lord of my master Abraham, who has not left my master alone in his old age. He has led me to the home of my master’s brother. Child, I have come from your uncle Abraham. See, he sent you these golden ornaments.’ Then, Eliezer took two bracelets and a pair of ear rings of gold, and gave them to Rebekah.
"Rebekah ran home to call her brother, Laban, who came at once to meet Eliezer and said, ‘Come, thou blessed of the Lord. Why are you standing here? Come to our home, for we have room and a welcome for you and your servants, and shelter and food for your camels also.’
"Eliezer went to the home of Rebekah, and was warmly welcomed there. He and his servants were given a good meal, but before he would even stop to eat, Eliezer said: ‘First, let me tell you of my mission. I have come from Abraham, who has had God’s blessing, and has become very wealthy. When they were very old, God gave Abraham and Sarah a son. To this son, who is called Isaac, my master has given all his wealth, and he has sent me to seek a wife for him, for he is lonely since his mother’s death. Abraham made me promise to choose one of his own family, and I prayed to God for a sign, that I might not make any mistake. God gave me the sign I asked for, and has showed me that your daughter Rebekah is the girl He has chosen to be Isaac’s bride. Now, if you will let her go with me to Isaac, tell me. If you refuse, I must look somewhere else, for I cannot return till I have finished my mission.’
"Then Rebekah’s family said, ‘It is of God. We cannot refuse His will. Since God has revealed His will, we may not say either yes, or no. Rebekah may go.’ Then Laban said, ‘Stay with us for awhile and let Rebekah remain here for a week or so; then she may go with you.’
"But Eliezer said, ‘Do not delay me. I want to return at once, for my master is old, and he needs me.’ Then he opened his bags and gave lovely presents to Rebekah and her family.
"They asked Rebekah if she was willing to go at once with Eliezer and be Isaac’s bride, and Rebekah said she would go.
"They had a fine feast that night, and the next morning
Rebekah said good-bye to her own people, and started out on the long journey through the lonely wilderness. She took her nurse and her own maids with her.
"It was a long and trying trip. There was danger all along the way from bandits and wild animals, but Rebekah did not mind, for Eliezer and his men protected them. After several days journey, they came near the place where Abraham had his tents. There, Rebekah noticed a man walking in the fields. It was evening and the sun was setting. Rebekah asked Eliezer who the man was, and he said, ‘It is Isaac, my master’s son.’
"Eliezer stopped the camels, and Rebekah made her camel kneel; and she got down and took a white veil and covered herself with it. Isaac saw them and came to meet them. Eliezer told him he had completed his mission, and had brought him a bride.
"Then Isaac and Rebekah crossed the fields together to the tent which had been Sarah’s, where they were to live. There, Isaac lifted the veil, and saw what a lovely bride Eliezer had chosen. He loved her and she became his wife.
"Eliezer and the maids went on to the tents of Abraham. There are many things in this picture darling. God sent His spirit into the world to choose a bride for Jesus. He found the Bride by the well, drawing water. Do you remember what water pictured, dearest."
"Yes, Mummy, water is Truth."
"Yes, darling. God chose from those who were seeking truth. Now, suppose Rebekah had not been good and kind, she would not have been chosen. So it is the good and kind that God is seeking. Rebekah watered all the camels. If she had just given one a drink, or even two of them, she would never have been Isaac’s bride. This shows us that it is necessary for those who want to really please God, to accept all the ten great truths of His Word. They must believe that God made all things, and that He made men perfect, and man fell by his own sin. They must see that it was right that man should die for his sin, and it was death and not any other punishment to which God sentenced man. Then, they must know all about the Ransom which Jesus paid, and by faith in
it they must have the white robe. They must then be set aside for God’s purpose. They must know all about the Resurrection, so they can see that their hope of being the Bride of Christ, is in being raised from the dead, like He was. They must also be chosen. That is where this story comes in.
"To be elected, means to be chosen of God, and this camel’s name was ‘Election.’ That means ‘chosen of God.’ Rebekah was chosen by Eliezer. So God will choose His Son’s Bride by His spirit. The maids were not the chosen bride but they also left their home and went to Abraham’s tent. They did not water the ten camels. They picture those who love Jesus and His Church, and are ready to give up their homes and go to Heaven to serve Jesus, but have not the great truths. They did not get the golden ear rings, or bracelets.
"So God was showing by a picture, what Jesus Himself told us many years after-’Many are called but few are chosen.’ When Eliezer came for Rebekah, she did not say, ‘I will go next year or next month.’ She left everything and went at once. So, the Chosen Children of God are willing and glad to go to be with Jesus. The maidens picture another company of fine, Christian people, who are not the Bride of Christ, but who will serve Him in His Kingdom. They are also spoken of in the Psalms. (Ps 45:14,15.) ‘The maidens her companions who follow her shall be brought unto thee. With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought; they shall enter into the King’s palace.’
"They will be messengers in the Kingdom, and will carry messages from earth to Heaven. Only those who accept all the Word of God and are chosen of God, will be of the Bride of Christ. They must leave the world and its pleasures, and be Justified, and Sanctified. That means they are those who accept Jesus as their ransom and are set aside for His purposes.
"When Rebekah neared her new home, she saw Isaac in the field at evening. So the True Church will see Jesus and know that He has come for them, at the end of the day; that means just before Jesus’ Kingdom is set up.
"Rebekah got down off the camel and covered herself with a veil. That means the True Church will die, for the veil here is a picture of death. Jesus could only go back to God by
dying, and so the True Church must also die, to be with Him. Isaac was standing beside the well when Rebekah saw him. It was the well where Hagar found water and which she called ‘La-Hai-Roi’ which means ‘The one I could not see, saw me.’ It means that when Jesus comes, people will not see Him, for He will be invisible, but the Church will see that He has come for them. So, my darling, the camel’s story tells us many things but the great truth it carried was this-Only God knows who will be of His True Church.
"If any one wants to belong to that Church, they must love the truth; accept all the great truths of God’s Word; be willing to leave everything for Him and finally they must fall asleep in death. They will not all have to sleep long. Rebekah did not wait long for Isaac. They will dwell in Heaven with Him and share the wealth of God. Others are followers of God’s spirit but are not the Bride.
"Now, my darling, it is time my girlie was resting." Mother tucked a sleepy girlie under the covers and went back to her work. Another night would bring another story, but the camels’ stories would soon all be told.
CHAPTER 17 A PICTURE PUZZLE
"Oh, Mummy! Can you guess what Daddy brought me home?" Linnet was all excitement as she burst into the house one day, soon after the events of our last story.
"I am afraid I cannot guess, Linnet. You will have to tell me." Mother smiled. "I am sure it is something pretty nice."
"It is, Mummy. It is a picture puzzle, and as soon as I get home from school, I want you to help me with it, for I don’t think I can put it together myself."
And so, when school was over, Linnet settled down to put her Jig-saw puzzle together. She soon got into difficulties.
"Mummy, please help me. I guess I am too little," she pleaded, and Mummy left her work and went to her little girl’s assistance.
She looked over the pieces and said, "Here is something that should help, Linnet. See all these pieces have a red line running through them. They seem as if they would all go together. Try them first, then you can find those that fit into them. See! This one fits into this piece and the red line runs across them."
"Oh I see now, Mummy. Here is another piece and it does fit there." Soon several pieces were joined together and the thin, red line ran across them.
Then Mother said, "See here darling. These blue pieces are the sky, and they seem to fit here in this corner. Down here below the red line is a dark place that looks like water. See it seems to be a bridge, with a red line painted on it. It runs along the top and on the railing that leads to the bridge. There is water under the bridge, and these dark pieces are water."
The picture was growing slowly under their fingers, when Mother said, "That group of pieces you have there, does not fit where you have it Linnet. If you look closely, you will see
the outline of a figure, and the red line shows that the figure is standing on the bridge. Try them over here."
The pieces were soon in place and Mother said, "Do you know what this puzzle reminds me of, Linnet?"
"No, Mummy. What is it?"
"It reminds me of your Bible, the great Word of God. It is like a picture puzzle. This thin red line, that runs across the picture, is like the Ransom. It runs right through the Bible from the first of Genesis, where God said, ‘The Seed of the Woman should bruise the serpent’s head,’ to the centre, where the ransom was paid, when Jesus died; and then it crosses right along to the end, where all men get their great blessing through Jesus."
"Then this man on the bridge could be Jesus, Mummy."
"Yes, dear one. Jesus is the very centre of God’s plan. Now here is a little group of pieces that seem to all fit together, but we cannot find any place for them. They remind me of one of the great truths of the Bible that people have been trying to fit in the wrong place for many years."
"What truth is that, Mummy?"
"It is called the ‘Doctrine of Free Grace,’ Linnet. The Bible can only be understood when we get the pieces together right. The picture is all one scene. This corner of your picture, you notice, is a woodland. It is right at the start of the picture. See, there are two people in it."
"Maybe it is Adam and Eve, Mummy
Mother laughed. "I was just going to suggest that; as this is the beginning of the picture we might call it the Garden of Eden," she said. "See, here is the beginning of the thin red line that is painted on the fence, and which we said could stand for the Ransom. The bridge might be the place where God’s favor passed from the Jewish people to the Gentiles. Then, this man on the bridge might represent Jesus and His sacrifice. Now see this little group of pieces fits in here, near the end of the picture. This could be the Free Grace teaching I was speaking of."
"What is the ‘Free Grace’ teaching, Mummy? We have not had that story yet."
"No, darling. It was carried in the camel’s pack, but not as a story. I think we can fit it into this puzzle though. ‘Free
Grace’ means that every one who wants to come to God and serve Him, may come."
"But, Mummy, I thought no one could come unless God invited them."
"That is why so many people have tossed the ‘Free Grace’ pieces aside, Linnet, and they say, ‘There is some mistake. Those pieces do not fit into this puzzle at all.’ See these pieces are a different color to all the rest. When we get them together, we see that they are a flower bed in this garden. The bridge and fence here go right across the picture from the woodland over on that side, across the stream, and down this road to this garden. The red line is on the fence around the garden too. Now this flower bed would not fit in the sky or the water, would it?"
Linnet laughed at the thought. "The flowers would all get wet in the brook, Mummy."
"They would indeed, Linnet. So the flower bed belongs in the garden and the ‘Free Grace doctrine’ of the Bible belongs down here in the restored garden. It is not true just now that ‘Whosoever will may come,’ to Jesus, for Jesus said, ‘I know my sheep and they hear my voice and follow me.’ He said also, ‘No man cometh unto the Father but by me,’ and ‘No man cometh unto the Son, except the Father draw him.’ Suppose we say that this woodland at the beginning of your picture is the garden of Eden and the bridge in the centre is when Jesus lived on earth and died for us. Then this road that leads to the garden would be the years since Jesus came. What would this garden be then, Linnet?"
"I guess it would be the Kingdom of God, Mummy. You told me once that the Bible says the world will be like the garden of Eden then."
"That is right, Linnet. This flower bed is in the garden, and it would show that the ‘Free Grace’ teaching belongs to that Kingdom; would it not dear?" "What do you mean, Mummy?"
"It means this, dear one. Jesus said, in the very last book in the Bible, which shows the world restored and every one happy, ‘Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and He shall dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and He
will be their God.’ Then He showed John a vision of the Heavenly Kingdom, and of a beautiful city. You know that a city in the Bible is a picture of a government that rules over the earth. This city showed the new ruling power, when Jesus and His chosen Bride rule over the earth. Then He said, ‘The spirit (that is, the power of God) and the Bride (that is, the Church) say, Come; and he that heareth shall say, come; and who ever will, may come and take the water of life freely.’" " Water is truth, Mummy, isn’t it?" said Linnet.
"Yes, darling. It means that when the Kingdom comes, every one will be able to have the truth of God’s Word. Then, ‘the knowledge of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.’ That is the real teaching of ‘Free Grace,’ dear.
"All through the Bible, God’s Word teaches us that when this time of trouble is all over, and the True Church is all chosen, and they have been tested, and taken to be with the great Father and with Jesus; then, ‘They shall all know God, from the least unto the greatest.’ The Apostle said, ‘It is the will of God our Father, who will have all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.’
"People have tried to make this flower bed fit in other places, but it just spoiled the picture. It belongs in the garden."
"What does the garden mean, Mummy?" asked Linnet. "Is it a story too?"
"It is the story that the ninth camel carried, Linnet. Perhaps Mother could tell you that one too, while we finish this picture. The story of the ninth camel was lost for many years. Jesus knew what would happen, and when He was on earth, He told a story to show that He knew all about this teaching of truth being lost."
"Tell me the story, Mummy?"
"Yes, dear. Jesus said, ‘If there is a woman who has ten coins and she loses one, will she not take her broom and sweep her house till she finds it?’ Then when she has found it she is very glad, and she will invite her friends to come and celebrate finding it. The story says, she will say, ‘Rejoice with me for I have found that coin I lost.’"
"Why should she be so glad over a coin, Mummy?"
"Well, darling to understand that, we have to go back to
the time when the story was told. In the days when Jesus lived, if a young man wanted to get married, his parents chose a nice girl whom they liked, and thought would make a good wife for him. Then they visited her parents, and arranged a marriage between the young people. The parents signed papers for their children. Everything was arranged without the young people meeting. Then the father of the man gave the girl a head dress made of ten silver coins. This was a gift from her bridegroom, and it took the place of a wedding ring. The girl did not go to live with her husband then; she stayed quietly at home and got everything ready. She would make her wedding dress and prepare clothes and linen for her new home.
"Often the girl lived a year or more with her parents. Then, the Bridegroom would prepare a great feast in the new home he had ready for his bride. Many guests would be invited, and great quantities of fruit and fancy cakes and other dishes would be made. When everything was ready the guests would begin to come, and the feast would start. This feast might last a week or more. About the middle of the feast the Bridegroom would go to get his bride, and bring her to her new home. Word would be sent to her, and she would have to get her things all ready; and when her husband came for her, she must be all dressed and covered with a veil, so no one could see her face. On her head she had to wear the ten coins. That was her proof that she was the right girl. If the chain was not complete, it would show that she was very careless and did not think much of her husband.
"In the east, every one knew what a chain of ten coins meant, so Jesus did not need to explain. The bride would get word that her husband was coming for her, and she would hurry to get everything ready. When she could find only nine of the coins, she would be very worried. She could not replace it, for it was a special design. Her husband did not know her, and would think her very careless, and there would be trouble. If she had taken good care of her coins, she would not have lost one.
"No wonder she tried to find it, and when she had found it at last; she would be so glad, she would tell her friends.
"Now a woman in the Bible always pictures a church. God invited the Church to be Jesus’ Bride and gave her the string of coins. What do you think they were?"
"Were they the ten truths, Mummy?"
"Yes, darling, they were. When the news went out to the world that Jesus was coming to claim His Bride, the Church looked for those ten doctrines and found nine, all dusty and dirty, but one was missing. During the years this ninth truth-the one the ninth camel carried in his pack-could not be found. The church searched all through the Bible and finally found the lost truth."
"What was it, Mummy?" Linnet had forgotten her puzzle as she listened. Now Mother called her attention to it.
"It is pictured by the garden in your puzzle, Linnet. It is the teaching that God will restore the garden of Eden and everything that Adam and Eve lost. People through the years forgot God’s great promise that the ‘Seed of the Woman should bruise the serpent’s head’ and what that promise meant. They got the idea that if a person lived a good life, they would go to heaven when they died. If they did not serve Jesus and join some church, they thought they would be thrown into a big fire and be burned forever. So they lost the teaching of Restitution.
"They forgot that when they prayed to God,’Our Father which art in Heaven; Hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven,’ they then were praying for the time when God’s kingdom should come on earth. They just said the words over and never thought of them. They had lost the pieces of the puzzle that made the lovely garden. See, we have nearly finished it now, Linnet. It is a pretty garden, is it not?"
"It is lovely, Mummy, and I like it better, now that I can see the Plan of God in it. What is this dark shadow behind the trees in the garden, Mummy?"
Mummy looked closer. There was a dark patch, and she hunted for the pieces to complete it, saying, "We will have to fit the pieces together to see what it is, dear."
Soon the picture was complete, and in the lower corner, behind the trees in the garden, they saw a small, dark pool.
It looked so black and ugly in such a pretty garden that Mother said, "I think it might well picture the load the last camel carried, Linnet." That was a very small bundle and was all wrapped up in black. In all the camel’s packs, it was the only unpleasant part, when the stories were all told.
"That truth did it tell, Mummy?" Linnet asked.
"We have just time for that before Mother must go and get supper, dear. It will just complete the Camel’s story. You know that it was God’s plan to have a perfect earth filled with perfect people, Linnet. That is what the Great Creator has been working for. We have learned how He arranged that Jesus was to pay Adam’s debt and set the people free. We know how God planned to make Jesus the King of all the world, and how He intended to let all the people have the ten great truths just as we have them. We know that He was going to make the garden like Eden, with everything pure and beautiful and the flowers of the ‘Free Grace’ truth were to be for every one.
"Now God knew that there would be some people who would not be good and love and serve Him, even then. He knew that there would be some who would try and get more than their share of the good things, and would never have true love in their hearts.
"Jesus gave us a picture to show us what would happen to them. He said, ‘When the Son of Man (that was Jesus, Himself) shall come in His glory and all His holy angels with Him-’
"When would that be, Linnet?" Mother stopped her story to ask the question.
"That would be when they come into the garden, Mummy."
"That is a nice thought dear, and fits the picture. It will be, ‘When all the people come into the garden’-When Jesus has come to set up His Kingdom. That is made clear by Jesus’ words, ‘When the Son of Man has come in His glory and all the holy angels with Him.’ Who would the holy angels be, Dear?"
"I guess that would be the Church, Mummy."
"Yes, darling. That is right. The True Church will all be with Him then, and that will be the time when the ‘Tabernacle
of God is with men.’ Then Jesus says, ‘Then shall the Son of Man sit on the throne of His glory, and all the nations shall be gathered before Him, and He will separate them as a shepherd separates his sheep from the goats.
"Now goats are cross and stupid animals, and will never go where you want them to. They are ugly and dirty and how they smell! Sheep are gentle and obedient and clean.
"This will be when the dead have been raised, for it says that all the nations will be gathered together before Jesus. It means that, from His throne in Heaven, Jesus and the Church will be watching the people of the earth. Those nations that have been destroyed will have been raised too. Then Jesus says He will separate those who are gentle and kind and loving, from those that are ugly, cross tempered and disobedient. He says that He will separate them by the way they treat each other. Some will be always trying to help others. They will be ready to teach the new ones who come back from sleeping in the grave, all about the Word of God. These will be the sheep, and Jesus will mark them with His favor and set them on His right side. They will not see Jesus or realise that they are being watched. They will grow well and strong and have God’s favor.
"The ones who want to get everything they can for themselves, will not be able to hurt any one but themselves. They will not have God’s favor and blessing, and if they do not improve they will die and never come back to life. God will not have any selfish or mean people in His kingdom.
"When the thousand years of God’s kingdom is over, God is going to let wicked Satan go free, for a little while. Satan will have had a good chance to see how much better God’s ways are than his ways. He will see how Jesus has given all the people who died because of Satan’s sin, life and health and a lovely home.
"Then he will have a chance to show if he is sorry for his sins. The Bible shows that Satan will not be sorry, but will start at once to try to get the people to disobey God. He will tempt the people just as he tempted Adam and Eve.
"Those who do not like to be good and obey God, will follow Satan and they will show every body that they want
to have the world like it is now, so they can have riches and the other people can be poor. They will want the power. Then God will cause their sudden death, and He will also bring about Satan’s death. This great Truth is called ‘Second Death’ and your picture shows it, in this black pool here.
"God will not make the wicked suffer much, for He is good and kind. He will just wipe them all out of life. The good people will not be sorry, for they will be able to see what would happen, if those wicked people went on living.
"When every one has been tested, and God sees that all who are living will serve Him, and never want to go back to the days of trouble and pain, He will give them life forever. We do not know all that God has in store for the people then, but we do know it will be wonderful. See here, at the very edge of your picture, just across the black pool, is a little gate. That might be the entrance into the great Kingdom that will be opened for those who do not fall into the pool of second death."
"Mummy, I want to keep this picture puzzle always. It will help me to remember the ten great truths of God’s Word. I will keep the stories too, and perhaps when the Kingdom comes, I may tell them to other children."
"You may indeed, dearest. That was why the camels brought them, and they are for all the Children who love the Master and our great Father, God.
"Now, my darling, the stories are all ended. Mother must go to her work, and your picture is all finished; and you may show it to Daddy when he returns from work, and see how much you can remember."
So Mother went to her work, and we too must go to our labor, trusting that these stories may be the blessing to other children, through the years, that they have been to the author’s little girl.
May they lead other little feet in the paths of righteousness, is the prayer of the author-