Revelation 1

 

1  The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:

 

Revelation 1:1 (RVENDAG_)

 

CHAPTER 1 REVELATION

 

THE REVELATION OF JESUS TO HIS CHURCH

 

PRINCIPLES, INDIVIDUALS, UNDER DISCUSSION

 

"All Christian people credit the book of Revelation to our Lord, as St. John does (Rev. 1:1). Therefore we are not responsible for the symbolism used in that book. There are so many ways in which one might be misunderstood, even by good Christian people, that we naturally feel a delicacy about expressing our views. As we proceed to set forth our understanding of the symbols of the Revelation, we wish to state most emphatically that we are saying nothing whatever against godly Christians anywhere, at any time, whether in any church or out of any church. We have nothing to say respecting people. We discuss PRINCIPLES, DOCTRINES, ALWAYS; individuals, NEVER! God has not commissioned us to discuss people;  it is ours to discuss His Word.

 

"As we present our interpretation of the symbols of Revelation, we realize that the word of God conveys a very terrible arraignment of some of the great systems of our day... Let us, therefore, clearly distinguish between individuals and systems. We say nothing against the godly individual,  but in the interpretation of the Word of God what we have to say is merely in respect to these systems. Indeed, we believe that the saintly people of God are left out of these symbols, probably because the saints of God, as compared with the hundreds of millions of humanity, are merely a small company, as Jesus said: ‘Fear not, Little Flock.’ " D 1912 Foreword v; OV270

 

"Our Lord spent the three and a half years of his ministry in gathering out from Israel, and in training and instructing, the few disciples who should form the nucleus of the Christian Church. When about to leave them alone in the world he gave them the promise of the holy Spirit, which, during the entire age, should guide the Church into all truth, and show them things to come, and bring freshly to remembrance what he had taught—which promise began to be verified at Pentecost. It is also written that the angels are all ministering spirits sent forth to minister to these heirs of this great salvation (Heb. 1:14), and that our Lord’s special care is over them, even to the end of the age. (Matt. 28:20). All the writings of the apostles are addressed to the Church, and not to the world, as many seem to think; and they are full of special instructions, encouragements and exhortations, needful only to the saints who during this age are walking

 

1 in the narrow way. And our Lord’s Revelation, which God gave him after he had passed into glory, he sent and signified (sign-ified— told in signs, symbols, etc.) to his Church, through his servant John (Rev. 1:1). We are also told that the prophecies given aforetime by holy men of old were given, not for themselves, nor for others of their day and age, but exclusively for the instruction of the Christian Church—1 Peter 1:12. B203 Le 8,9,16 —TABERNACLE TYPES AND SHADOWS OF THE BETTER SACRIFICES.  "... The whole Jewish nation, during that entire age, was unwittingly engaged, under God’s direction, in furnishing for our instruction a typical view of the entire plan of salvation in all its workings... its Jubilees pointing out the final consummation of the plan in the blessing of all the families of the earth... Since such has been God’s care and abundant provision for the Christian Church above all other people of past and future ages, how important in his estimation must that knowledge be to us, and how eagerly should we avail ourselves of it." B203

 

"THEY SING THE SONG OF MOSES THE SERVANT OF GOD, AND THE SONG OF THE LAMB, SAYING, GREAT AND MARVELOUS ARE THY WORKS, LORD GOD ALMIGHTY; JUST AND TRUE ARE THY WAYS, THOU KING OF SAINTS"—REVELATION 15:3. See Luke 2:13-14.

 

"Jehovah thy God in the midst of thee... will joy over thee with SINGING"—Zephaniah 3:17.

 

"For the Word of God is quick and powerful (living and energetic), and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart"—Hebrews 4:12.

 

JESUS SAID, "THE WORDS THAT I SPEAK UNTO YOU, THEY ARE SPIRIT, AND THEY ARE LIFE"—John 6:63.

 

"And all the people went their way... to make great mirth (great joy—L.), because they had understood the words that were declared unto them”—Nehemiah 8:12.

 

"... And send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared... for the joy of the Lord is your strength"—Nehemiah 8:10.

 

"Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from Heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from Heaven.

 

For the Bread of God is he which cometh down from Heaven, and giveth life unto the world" (John 6:32-R33).

 

”In all respects Christ is the center which God has provided—‘THE WAY, THE TRUTH, THE LIFE.’ ‘’‘ 14-R5506 to R5508 "Divine mercy will be OF the Father and BY the Son and through the Church"—1 Corinthians 8:6. ‘09-R4464 "We have found the great Life-giver, the One who can and does supply this Bread from heaven. It is our great privilege to be the dispensers of this Bread. ‘Give ye them to eat.’ ‘He that bath an ear let him hear.’ "‘ 04-R3334

 

THE HEAVENLY JERUSALEM—Rev. 22:1-11 "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne"—Rev. 3:21.

 

"All those who would be finally accounted worthy of a share in the Kingdom, must be copies of God’s dear Son—in heart, in character, and like Him also in the resurrection, spirit-beings. This is a glorious predestination. It assures us that God will have none others in the Kingdom than those who are character likenesses of Jesus." ‘16-R5838 "The first three chapters of Revelation, containing the messages to the churches... suggest nothing to the effect that the church is now reigning, but, quite to the contrary, that it will be a suffering church down to the very last. It promises a coming reign to those who faithfully endure the trials of the present time preceding the reign. Each one of the messages closes with an exhortation, ‘To him that overcometh, I will grant,’ etc.

 

"All the intervening chapters between the third and the twentieth deal with conflicts between good and evil, and evidently cover the entire period of this Gospel age; yet in all of these presentations the evil is shown to be triumphant, and the people of the saints of the Most High God are worn out and cry from under the altar, etc. (Rev. 6:9,10). Not much a reign of righteousness that, surely; and how thinking people close their minds to all this is passing strange.

 

"It is at the conclusion of this book of symbols, from the eighteenth to the twenty-second chapters, that the close of this Gospel age and the inauguration of the Millennial age is pictured, and the triumph of the Lord and of his saints is shown. The introduction of that reign of righteousness, Christ’s Millennial kingdom, is shown, marked by wonderful events connected with our Lord’s second advent, the glorification of his church, the binding of Satan, the rising of the Sun of Righteousness, the blessing of the world, the scattering of its darkness, ignorance, etc. One would think that, even with no knowledge of the symbols of Revelation, no thinking Christian should have any difficulty in realizing that the book portrays trouble for the church throughout this Gospel age: and the triumphant Millennial reign at its close." ‘05-R3570

 

"I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy loving-kindness and thy truth"—Psalm 40:10.

 

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"Bible prophecies are rarely understood much in advance of their fulfillment." ‘16-R5842

 

"That we are living ‘in the last days’—’the day of the Lord’—’the end of the Gospel age,’and consequently, in the dawn of the ‘new’ age, are facts not only discernible by the close student of the Word, led by the spirit, but the out ward signs recognizable by the ‘world’ bear the same testimony, and we are desirous that the ‘household of faith’ be fully awake to the fact that—

 

"We are living, we are dwelling In a grand and awful time;

 

In an age on ages telling To be living is sublime.’

 

"When God has given us ‘a sure word of prophecy whereunto we do well to take heed,’ and when ‘the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to show unto his servants the things which must shortly be done,’ shall those servants feel under no obligaton to seek to understand those heavenly messages?

 

"Or shall we heed God who declares ‘these sayings faithful and true’ and says: ‘Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep the things that are written therein?’ Surely he knows what is best calculated to inspire ‘a zeal according to knowledge, and what is necessary that we ‘be not soon shaken in mind’ "—Rev. 21:5 23:6 1:3 Ro 10:2 2Th 2:2. ‘79-R3.

 

"The Apostle John was the most remarkable seer, or prophet of all the apostles: his visions constituting the Book of Revelation, delineating in the most remarkable manner the ‘things to come.’ " F 222-F223—John 16:13.

 

"God has provided for his children a clear and connected record down to the present time. The Bible... carries us from the lost paradise of Genesis to the restored paradise of Revelation, tracing the pathway of humanity into eternity. Taken together, the history and prophecy of the Bible afford a panoramic view of the whole course of events from the creation and fall of man to his reconciliation and restitution." B38.

 

THE LAST BOOK OF THE BIBLE, FOR THE LAST END OF THE GOSPEL AGE.

 

"The Revelation of Jesus Christ Anointed, which God gave unto him (after his ascension) to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signfied (sign-i-fied) by his angel unto his servant John: who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. "( Revelation 1:1-3).

 

THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST—ANOINTED—WHICH GOD GAVE UNTO HIM

 

Isaiah 61:1-3: "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord bath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek: He hath sent me...’

 

"The word anointed is used in the sense of ordination. The high priests of Israel were successively anointed, or ordained, of God, the anointing oil representing the holy Spirit. Their kings were anointed to reign over the typical kingdom of God... And so Christ, the great High priest and King, was ordained of God by the anointing of the Spirit. It was not an anointing of men or by men.

 

WHICH GOD GAVE UNTO HIM

 

"When our Lord came to John at Jordan to be baptized, and there presented himself in sacrifice to God, the divine acceptance of this sacrifice was manifested by the impartation of the holy Spirit. John the Baptist saw the Spirit as a dove descending upon the Lord, the sign given to John, but seen by no one else. Jesus recognized that he had received a special anointing and unction from the Father—and others from that time perceived it... As a perfect man he possessed the Spirit of God in the full measure that a man in the image of God would possess it.

 

"Full manhood under the law was not attained until the age of thirty. Our Lord came to give his life as a substitute for the forfeited life of Adam. Adam was a complete, perfect man, and our Lord must attain maturity as a perfect man before he could be a perfect substitute, a corresponding price... Jesus’ merit is all-sufficient, and it is his merit that purchases the world, through his body, the church.

 

"The anointing that was upon Christ Jesus continued with him throughout his earthly ministry—the fullness, or completeness, of God’s favor rested upon his every word and act. God was manifest in his flesh; for he was the perfect human representation of all the qualities of Jehovah’s glorious character. This was demonstrated in his resurrection from the dead after his sacrifice had been finished ... Jesus was begotten of the holy Spirit and anointed at his baptism, and was born a completed spirit being of the very highest rank at his resurrection. No other being had ever been created on this plane of life. Hitherto Jehovah alone had possessed divine, incorruptible life." ‘14-R5536

 

AT THE VISION OF CHRIST’S TRANSFIGURATION

 

"Our Lord Jesus Christ... received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; ‘HEAR YE HIM’. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.’ ‘And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of Man be risen again from the dead’ {2Pe 1:16-18’ Mt 17:5,9}. Please see end page of TRUE HUMILITY, in the Supplement.

 

"We have also a more sure word of prophecy. " 2Pe 1:19.

 

"And He saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this Book: for the time is at hand"—Rev. 22:10.

 

"What thou seest, write in a book, and send it... " Re 1:11.

 

"For I testify unto every one that heareth the words of the Prophecy of this Book, if any... shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written

 

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in this Book: And if any one shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the Book of Life, and out of the Holy City, and from the things which are written in this Book"—Revelation 22:18, 19

 

VERSE 1 "Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear (understand,  akouo) the words of this prophecy, and keep (tereo,  observe, hold fast—Y., S.—"and keeping strictly the things which have been written in it"—Diag.) those things which are written therein: FOR THE TIME IS AT HAND"—Revelation 1:3.

 

This remarkable Revelation of God to our Lord Jesus was not given to him while here in the flesh, though he was a new creature with spiritual understanding. It shows that God dispenses his Light or Truth according to his plan, which contains times and seasons: reminding us of what came to our Lord at his baptism; when the heavens were opened to him, and gave to him the key to understand God’s will concerning his work and place in the Divine Plan of the Ages as contained in the Tabernacle Types of Leviticus, chapters eight, nine, and sixteen—that sent him to profound study. See versed; Rev. 21:14.

 

"Call unto Me, and I will answer thee and shew thee great and mighty (hidden) things which thou knowest not"—Jeremiah 33:3.

 

"My doctrine, teaching, is not mine, but His that sent me"—John 7:16.

 

"How beautiful it is to realize that the perfect Jesus was humble, and that all the holy angels are so!’ ‘12-R5029

 

The Word of God is powerful and sharper than a two edged sword"—Heb. 4:12.

 

"All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. No man can come to me, except the Father which sent me draw him"—"invite him"—John 6:37, 44. Photo Drama Scenario pg. PD27.

 

"Jehovah bath prepared His throne in the heavens; and His Kingdom ruleth over all"—Psalm 107:19.

 

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy bath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time... receiving the end of your faith, the salvation of your souls... as obedient children... because it is written (Leviticus 11:44), Be ye holy; for I am holy... redeemed... with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being begotten again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever." 1Pe 1:3-5,9,14,16,18-23.

 

"... Such a calling should cause us to bow our hearts in the dust before our God, realizing our great unworthiness of such stupendous grace—of bliss so transcendent! What can we render unto the Lord that can fittingly demonstrate our gratitude, our thankfulness, for so unspeakable a favor? Surely, the most faithful service we can give is but a very feeble return to Him who has so loved us, so blessed us, so honored us!" ‘16-R5855

 

SIMPLICITY OF INTRODUCTION

 

"Note the simplicity of the Apostle’s introduction to this most wonderful book. He did not write the title of the book as it appears in our Bibles—’The Revelation of St. John the Divine’—that is to say, the Revelation of St. John, Doctor of Divinity, Doctor of Theology. On the contrary, John claims no credit for the revelation; it was not his,  but, as he distinctly explains, it was from our Lord Jesus Christ—and to him from the Father. Nor was it even to John in any special sense, but, as he again declares, unto God’s ‘servants’ sent by his ‘servant John.’ This simplicity, common to all the apostles, commends them to us as men of humble minds—the very kind we should expect our Lord to use as special servants and messengers to his people. The apostolic simplicity is in striking contrast with the pomposity of the majority of those who claim to be their pupils and fellow servants, and who delight in the titles of ‘Reverend,’ ‘Right Reverend,’ ‘Very Reverend,’ ‘His Holiness,’ ‘Doctor of Divinity,’ etc. And in proportion as the spirit of the world is quenched by the Spirit of Christ—and in proportion as the Lord’s people are zealous in seeking and finding ‘the old paths’ (Jer. 6:16), in that same proportion do these human titles which seem so much to the world and to Babylon come to appear vain, inappropriate, deceitful." ‘01-R2826 For Scriptural reference to D____ D____ s, see F287.

 

"But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised ("developed as new creatures in Christ”) to discern both good and evil’—"to discern between truth and error... and uncompromising in declaring it; for ‘if the trumpet give and uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?’ " Heb 5:14 1Co 14:8 ‘15-R5688, R5689

 

"The messages of our glorious Lord, sent through the Apostle John and given to us in the symbols of the book of Revelation, are as truly the Saviour’s messages as those uttered during his earthly ministry and those subsequently sent us through the apostles.

 

"The book of Revelation was written at a time when severe persecution was upon the infant church—near the close of the first century, probably A.D. 93-96, in the reign of the Emperor Domitian... It was written at a time of special peril and severe persectuion. For a time the Lord allowed the truth to become well planted and to take root; the gifts of miracles and other gifts in the church at that time assisted in this matter.

 

4 "For a time, although there were persecutions of individuals such as are recorded in Acts, the believers as a whole were not subjected to the severest of trials at first. It was when the truth began to spread, and had not only the enmity of the Jews, but also of the Greeks, that emperors and governors found favor with the masses by persecuting the followers of Jesus. And for aught we know, so it will be in the not far-distant future. For a long time the pure truth has been hidden from men, and worldliness in the form of godliness has had the upper hand in influential circles: but doubtless, as the troublous times the Scriptures predict for the end of this age draw closer, those who will stand firm for the word of the Lord’s testimony may expect to be made the scapegoats under various pretexts ...

 

"John, the beloved disciple, in some measure or degree typified or represented the last living members of the little flock. Doubtless this was the meaning of our Lord’s statement, ‘If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?’ John did not tarry, but a class whom he in some respects illustrated are represented to tarry—a class who see with the eyes of their understanding the visions and revelations which John saw in symbols in a trance." ‘05-R3568

 

Revelation 1

 

2  Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

 

Revelation 1:2 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 2. Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

 

John himself was a new creature in Christ, and energized and guided by the holy spirit, to record correctly in writing? what he saw in all its symbols.

 

"Our Lord uttered one of the most remarkable prophecies of Holy Writ respecting the ‘Time of the End’—the closing epoch of the Gospel age {Mt 24 Mr 13 Lu 21:5-36 17:20-37}. D563 "Our Lord was the greatest of all Prophets.’ D614 (D Chapter 12) "....Worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit (power) of prophecy"—Rev. 19:10.

 

”No other prophet than our Lord has given us the needed details of this ‘harvest’ time, connecting these with the prominent events noted by the other prophets.”D614 "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God"—Matt. 4:4.

 

"What did Jesus mean?... He meant that all hope of attaining eternal life depends upon God—upon the Divine Plan and its promises... This is God’s Word... that obedience is the condition of life everlasting—abiding in faith, love and obedience in harmony with Him. "‘ 11-R4896 (Longer quote at Rev. 20:14-15)

 

”The mark for the prize of the high calling, is that of crystallization of character in the likeness of our Lord." ‘ 12-R5080

 

"THIS ONE THING I DO"—Phil. 3:13.

 

"I make everything else bend to this one thing of showing forth God’s praises and of helping others into His marvelous light." ‘12-R5045

 

"He did it, too, in view of the fact that all through the present life his chosen course would bring certain loss, privation, toil, care, persecution and continual reproach." ‘95- R1885

 

"Paul evidently had more abundant revelations than any other apostle. These revelations he was not allowed to make known to the Church, nor fully and plainly even to the other apostles {2Co 12:4 Ga 2:2}, yet we can see a value to the entire church in those visions and revelations given to Paul; for though he was not permitted to tell what he saw, nor to particularize all he knew of the mysteries of God relating to the ‘ages to come,’ yet what he saw gave a force, shading and depth of meaning to his words which, in the light of subsequent facts, prophetic fulfilments and the Spirit’s guidance, we are able to appreciate more fully than could the early church.

 

"As corroborative of the foregoing statement, we call to mind the last book of the Bible—Revelation, written about A.D. 96. The introductory words announce it as a special revelation of things not previously understood. This proves conclusively that up to that time, at least, God’s plan had not been fully revealed. Nor has that book ever been, until now, all that its name implies—an unfolding, a REVELATION. So far as the early church was concerned, probably none understood any part of the book. Even John, who saw the visions, was probably ignorant of the significance of what he saw. He was both a prophet and an apostle; and while as an apostle he understood and taught what was then ‘meat in due season,’ as a prophet he uttered things which would supply ‘meat’ in seasons future for the household.

 

"During the Christian Age, some of the saints sought to understand the Church’s future by examining this symbolic book, and doubtless all who read and understood even a part of its teachings were blessed as promised (Rev. 1:3). The book kept opening up to such, and in the days of the Reformation was an important aid to Luther in deciding that the Papacy, of which he was a conscientious minister, was indeed the ‘Antichrist’ mentioned by the Apostle, the history of which we now see fills so large a part of that prophecy.

 

"Thus gradually God opens up his truth and reveals the exceeding riches of his grace; and consequently much more light is due now than at any previous time in the Church’s history. "" And still new beauties shall we see, And still increasing light." Hymn 49, A27-R28.

 

"I HAVE NOT CONCEALED THY LOVING KINDNESS AND THY TRUTH... "

 

"Lo, I have not refrained my lips, O Jehovah, thou knowest. I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation; I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth... " Psalm 40:9,10.

 

"Take my yoke upon you and learn of me"—Matthew 11:29. "Ask, and ye shall receive that your joy may be full"—John 16:24.

 

"... Not until we have taken the Lord into our daily life as our living, personal companion and confidential friend and counselor and comforter and guide, as well as our Redeemer and Lord, can we fully learn of him those precious lessons which give to his disciples a joy which the world can neither give nor take away." ‘95-R1789 See Manna June 1.

 

5 "He that bath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me; and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself unto him"—John 14:21.

 

"This matter of a definite contract with the Lord is a very important one..." ‘14-R5520 2Ti 2:15: "Study to show thyself approved. Study the Word. Study yourself... that you may know both your abilities and your shortcomings. Then study to avoid error and to shun all foolish questions and profane and vain babblings. Remember that only... ‘The foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity’—2 Tim. 2:10.

 

"The Lord giveth his favors to the humble—in God’s appointed way... Cleanse your earthen vessel, that it may be fit for the Master’s use"—"the diligent use of every available means to learn what is his will." ‘02-R3097; ‘14-R5511

 

Revelation 1

 

3  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

 

Revelation 1:3 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 3. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear understand the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

 

The Book of Revelation is so full of symbols that many are discouraged even in the reading of it, forgetting the words of our Lord, "He that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." While reading, it is important to include the time, the due time, when it may be understood, as well as the due time for its blessing. So a blessing is promised, to encourage the reading thereof.

 

"The very reading of it will bring a blessing, and, as its mysteries gradually dissolve, the understanding thereof will bring still additional blessing. Note again in the introduction of the Book the statement of its mysterious and symbolic character. Its name, Revelation, signifies the uncovering, and implies something hidden." OM 7

 

HEARING AND OBEYING

 

”Blessed are they that hear the word of God and keep it"—Luke 11:28.

 

"It is important that we should hear the Word of the Lord, that we search the Scriptures, that we have them well at our command, that we be able to give an answer to him that asketh us a reason for the hope that is in us, and we need more than all this.

 

"We need to obey the Word, to practice it to the extent of our ability. True, we cannot come up to the demands of perfection, for God’s law is perfect, but we can have the perfect attitude of heart, and nothing less than this will be acceptable to the Lord. We can show him and to some extent show to others the endeavor of our lives in the direction of righteousness and all the fruits and graces of the holy Spirit. If we had all knowledge and zeal and had not the spirit of obedience it would evidence a lack of the spirit of love, and prove us unworthy of the divine favor and blessings promised to those who are rightly exercised by the message from above." ‘05-R3678

 

"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you"—Matthew 7:7.

 

"We are to ask and seek and knock if we would find the riches of God’s grace, and have opened to us more and more the wonderful privileges and mercies and blessings which he is so willing to give to us as we develop in character and in preparation for his mercies." ‘06-R3807 "Light (truth) is sown for the righteous and gladness (the gladness which comes from a realization of the truth) for the upright in heart"—Psalm 97:11. ‘99-R2453; ‘05-R3648 "Teach me good judgment and knowledge"—Psalm 119:66.

 

"He that dwelleth in the secret place (of consecration, communion and fellowship) of the Most High, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty... He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: His Truth shall be thy shield and buckler"—Psalm 91.

 

"Individual Christians cannot shirk their personal responsibility, placing it upon pastors and teachers, nor upon councils and creeds. It is by the Word of the Lord that we are judged (John 12:48-50; Rev. 20:12), and not by the opinions or precedents of our fellow-men in any capacity. Therefore all should imitate the noble Bereanswho ‘searched the Scriptures daily’ to see if the things taught them were true" (Acts 17:11). D66

 

ONE IS YOUR TEACHER, EVEN CHRIST

 

"St. James (3:1-12) is not warning us against service, nor seeking to hinder us from all good works one for the other, as members of the body of Christ. His caution is against our attempting to be (school) masters or teachers. There is but the one Teacher or Schoolmaster for the entire church of Christ for all this age. He is the ‘Head of the church, which is his body’—the Director, Caretaker, Instructor of the ‘members. “ 09-R4380 "All will have in mind that the Lord is the only teacher and that the brethren dare not utter wisdom of their own-; but merely present to others that which their Head sets forth as the Truth. Let us apply this Scripture {1Ti 2:11,12} to the Lord and the Church, thus: ‘Let a church learn in silence with all subjection. I suffer not a church to teach,  nor to usurp authority over Christ but to be in silence.’ " F 120. Not "a voluntary humility" which the Apostle decries in Col. 2:18 "and NOT HOLDING THE HEAD," verse 19 and verses 20-23. "The Apostle warns us all against a wrong attitude which at all times has more or less threatened the body of Christ... the danger of looking too much to ourselves or to other men in the church and not enough toward the Lord, who is indeed ‘the Head of the church, which is his body.’ ONLY THE HUMBLE ARE SAFE. Thus our Lord marks humility as one of the prime essentials of a place in the kingdom. And we can see the importance, the reason for This..."how unnecessary we are to the divine plan and how able the Lord is to overrule every incident and circumstance according to the divine will...

 

"Let us ever keep in memory the Apostle’s example and words: ‘We preach not ourselves but Christ Jesus our Lord, and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake’—2 Cor. 4:5. "‘ 05-R3613, R3614

 

6

 

"And they shall be all taught of God"—John 6:45.

 

"He who would continue to be taught of the Lord must continue to listen for His voice, continue to be in the hearing and obeying attitude of heart... Let each of us resolve by the Lord’s grace that we will out of an honest heart continually seek to hear the pure Word of God, and that with a desire to obey it as far as we are able." ‘07-R4092 "‘ Oh, the blessedness of him that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days’—the blessedness of those who have been living from 1875 onward... This divine plan of the ages is not... a human plan or scheme; for no human being is capable of bringing such glorious things out of the Word of God... We are ashamed of all the creeds of the past." ‘14-R5568

 

CHRISTIANITY AND THE LAW—Matt. 5:17-26

 

"He that loveth his neighbor bath fulfilled the law"—Rom. 13:8.

 

"Jesus and his apostles expounded the harmony between Christianity and Judaism...

 

"The Great Teacher declared that he came not to destroy the law and the prophets, but to fulfill them... ‘12-R5006, R5007 ‘... It was his enemies who called Christianity heresy, and separation from Judaism, but their charges were false... Christianity, instead of being split off from Judaism, was the natural outcome and proper development of it—the fulfilment of the promises of God upon which the hopes and prospects of Judaism were all built.

 

"The Apostle shows this matter most distinctly in his letter to the Romans (chapter 11), where he pictures the Jewish nation as the olive tree whose root was the Abrahamic promise, and whose branches were the people of Israel. He does not picture Christianity as another tree, nor yet as a new shoot out of this original olive tree, but he does picture it as the fuller development of this tree, representing all Jews refusing to progress and to accept of Christ, as branches that were broken off.

 

"All the true Jews who continued to be recognized of the Lord—all the Israelites indeed—were the Christians who from Pentecost onward have been known as spiritual Israelites. ‘03-R3194 "In the days of our Lord’s first advent, as today, there were many widely recognized leaders and teachers; and various systems of human philosophy claimed the attention of thinking men. Among the Jews much uninspired teaching was added to the sacred literature of the Law and the Prophets, while the neighboring Greeks were diligently dealing in philosophic speculation and ever seeking something new. And now the long expected, but generally unrecognized, Messiah of Israel was about to introduce a new system of teaching, the philosophy and the ethics of a new dispensation of divine providence and grace, the outgrowth and the antitype of Judaism.’

 

"The Shepherd of the Lord’s sheep... entered the door of the divine plan and thus became to us... both the door of access to God and the good shepherd of the sheep. ‘To him the porter (the holy Spirit of God) openeth (the way to the sheep). ‘... in all the various ways which proclaimed him to us as the beloved Son of God, in whom the Father was well pleased, and our Redeemer and Saviour—in the testimony of his baptism, and again on the mount of transfiguration; in the veiled heaven and the rent rocks on the occasion of his death; in the fact of his resurrection and its testimony by angels and eyewitnesses; in the perfect agreement of all the prominent features of his life and character, with the testimony of prophets regarding him; and in the authority and character of his teaching and the simplicity and purity of his character which outshone that of every other man, so that even those who did not recognize him as the Son of God, declared ‘NEVER MAN SPAKE LIKE THIS MAN.’ "Though only a ‘little flock’ is now recognized as the Lord’s sheep, there shall by and by be a mighty host (John 10:16); and the redeemed of the Lord shall go forth with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads. Glorious plan of salvation! How worthy it is of the character of our God!" ‘94-R1647, R1648

 

Revelation 1

 

4  John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;

 

Revelation 1:4 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 4. John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven spirits which are before his throne;  

 

Even the location is significant: Asia means "boggy" or "swampy"; as the true church can testify. Revelation is a message which God gave to Jesus Christ; and John’s introduction is from that standpoint. The seven spirits indicate God’s power or ability to bring to a successful conclusion any work or plan he wishes to have done.

 

"The first three chapters of Revelation contain particular specifications and general admonitions, not only for the local churches therein mentioned, but for all ‘overcomers.’ They apply not only to the different epochs in the history of the church as a whole, but to different classes in any one epoch in the history of the church." ‘11-R4870

 

THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT AND THE NEW COVENANT

 

"The Abrahamic Covenant is not the New Covenant, even as it is not the Law Covenant. The New Covenant is the name of that arrangement which God will make with Israel and all mankind who, during the period of Messiah’s reign, desire to become ‘Israelites indeed.’ That New Covenant will be inaugurated as a measure for carrying out the blessings purposed in the Abrahamic Covenant.

 

"The Abrahamic Covenant relates especially to the Seed of Abraham, which is to be made glorious and powerful, with a view to the blessing of the world. The New Covenant relates to the arrangement by which the antitypical Seed of Abraham, when glorified, will accomplish the honorable work assigned to it in the Abrahamic Covenant.

 

"The fulfilment of the Abrahamic Covenant began in the person of our Lord Jesus, not when He left the Heavenly glory, nor when He was born a babe at Bethlehem, but when God accepted his consecration and begat him to a new nature at the time of his baptism, perfecting him in the new nature at his resurrection. The man Jesus, before being begotten of the holy Spirit, was not the Seed of Abraham according to promise, capable of blessing mankind; for so long as Jesus was in the flesh, even though perfect, the blessing of the world through him was impossible. The world lay under a 7 death sentence and could not be blessed until provision should be made for the lifting of that death sentence.

 

"The provision of the ransom, therefore, was necessary for the world. Jesus in the flesh, in providing the ransomprice, would have had no life for himself that he might become the King of Glory and Priest after the order of Melchizedek (Psa. 110:4; Heb. 5:10) unless God had begotten and quickened and raised him to the higher, spirit nature. Hence, although Jesus, through his mother, was of the seed of Abraham according to the flesh, he did not inherit this Abrahamic Covenant according to the flesh, but as the new creature.

 

"In order, therefore, to attain this higher nature, in order to be the spiritual seed of Abraham and bless all the families of the earth, it was necessary for Jesus to enter into a special covenant of sacrifice. The church, members of his body, must share all his experiences and lay down the earthly life also; for whether Jews or Gentiles it would still be true that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom. Hence the privilege of the church is to enter into the covenant of sacrifice with Jesus. Thus we read, ‘Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice’—Psa. 50:5.

 

"It has required the entire Gospel age for the gathering of these saints and the making of their sacrifices. Those sacrifices must be accomplished before they can attain to the heavenly nature—before they can be members of the spiritual seed of Abraham and heirs according to the promise. Thus the Apostle declared, ‘Israel bath not obtained that which he seeketh for (to be the spiritual seed of Abraham); but the election bath obtained it, and the rest were blinded’—Rom. 11:7.

 

"The election obtained this blessed state through the covenant of sacrifice, in which Jesus acted as their Advocate. The first members were accepted at Pentecost. The last members, we trust, will soon finish their course with joy. Then the spiritual seed of Abraham will be complete and ready to serve the world as the great antitypical Mediator of the New Covenant.

 

"The Abrahamic Covenant was God’s own Covenant, or promise. Because it was unconditional, it has no mediator (Gal. 3:19,20), neither did it need to be sealed with blood. Rather, we might say that God sealed it with his oath (Heb. 6:16-18). The Law Covenant needed the blood of bulls and goats as an offset to the sins of the people, who were to be blessed typically. The new Covenant needs the blood of better sacrifices as satisfaction for the sins of the people, who are to be blessed actually. These two covenants could not go into effect without the shedding of blood and the remission of sins—Heb. 9:18-22.

 

"But the Abrahamic Covenant centers itself in the new creatures. From the first, God meant primarily the spiritual seed of Abraham, the new creation, which has never known sin. Jesus himself was holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners, and needed not any atonement for sin in order to enter into that covenant relationship and become Abraham’s spiritual seed and heir. Those accepted as his members would have had no such standing or worthiness except as he adopted them as his members, imputed his own merit to them and offered them sacrificially as his own flesh.

 

"Hence, strictly speaking, we cannot say that the Abrahamic Covenant has ever been sealed with blood, or that it will ever be so sealed. This does not alter the fact however, that not without blood (death) could we, his members, be accepted through him. Only in this indirect way can it be said that the Abrahamic Covenant is sealed with blood. St. Paul intimates that it was sealed by the oath of Jehovah—Heb. 6:13-18. ‘13-R5226, R5227

 

WHY JESUS LOVES HIS OWN

 

"Why did Jesus have this special love for them—’having loved his own, he loved them unto the end.’ There is something important here. You and I wish to know whether the Savior loves us. His is not merely a random love. There is a principle involved... His was an unselfish love. He purposed to do something for them.

 

"What was the reason that Jesus loved and called his disciples his own?... He loved them because they had those qualities of heart that would make them lovable from his standpoint... I am glad the Bible says that Jesus loved his own. I am glad I am one of his own and therefore can believe that Jesus loves me, not in the merely sympathetic sense that he loves the unbelieving world, but in the special sense made manifest in John 13:1.

 

"The quality that made Jesus love them was, I believe, first of all, their honesty. It seems to me there is no quality more estimable in the sight of God than honesty... The honesty which these disciples manifested was that they were ready to confess that they were nothing of themselves. They could not keep the law of God. They could not think of themselves as anybody. They knew, as all Jews knew, or ought to have known, that God had given them the law as the standard. They could not keep that law. They were honest enough to confess it. Their hearts were therefore in the attitude to look for something that God had to give that would be better than the Law Covenant—Romans 7; 8:1-4.

 

HYPOCRISY THE GREAT SIN

 

"Notice the great ones, the holy, the religious ones, of the Jewish nation—the scribes and Pharisees and priests. They were claiming that they kept the law; but they were not keeping the law, as Jesus pointed out. That meant that they were deceived. They were professing to keep the law. They made broad their phylacteries. They made long prayers to be seen of men. Jesus was continually reproving them. Doubtless there were many murderers, thieves and vagabonds in Palestine; yet we notice that Jesus passed all their criminality by as insignificant as compared with hypocrisy. The most serious denunciations the Master gave were toward this class. The further you and I can get away from being religious hypocrites the better...

 

"‘ The Father himself loveth you’ (John 16:27)! What would you take, my dear brother, for what that text teaches of the love of God toward us as his children? He has a love for the world. As a God, a Creator, he has the supervision of all his creatures. God has made provision for every creature, even the sparrow. But for all who have come into this loyal attitude of mind, he has love—sympathy, and more, esteem! ...

 

8 "It is not that we first loved him, but that he first loved us—the love we see reflected in his great plan for the uplifting of our race. And this tells us of the great God that we have. When we came into his family by surrendering our wills to him, and he begat us of his holy Spirit, we came into a precious relationship. There is nothing like it in the universe. The holy angels indeed are in God’s love and favor; they never were out of it. But we who were once sinners and who are now received back into his family, are begotten of his Spirit to the highest of all natures. How wonderful, my dear brother! I think, and so do you, that God loves us very, very much, or he would never have make such wonderful provision in the riches of his grace and in his loving kindness toward us who are in Christ Jesus. The provisions of God’s grace are not only those of the future, and it is not that he will ultimately change and transform us who are now willing to will and to do his good pleasure, but we are actually being transformed today, by this love of the Father.

 

"I believe that daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, as we think upon these things, as we consider, study out and understand the great love of God as expressed in his marvelous plan, we are getting a wonderful realization of how much ‘the Father himself loveth’ us. But we cannot understand it fully. But the very fact that any Father would do such wonderful things for any child would imply a great deal of love.

 

"God had love for the angels when he made them. He had love for the cherubim and the seraphim when he made them. They always will be grand characters and therefore worthy of God’s love. But here is the most wonderful expression of God’s love that we by faith can believe in—that God should have such love toward us who are in every way disorganized as a race. The Father looked down and beheld in this race some jewels; and he lifted these jewels up and washed them free from sin through the merit of the Savior; and then, through their consecration, began the work of polishing these jewels and getting them ready for the mounting in effulgent glory in the resurrection morning, when he shall set these jewels in the gold of the divine nature. Surely the Father himself loveth us!”‘15-R5725

 

BRINGING BACK THE KING

 

"Why Are Ye the Last to Bring Back the King?" 2Sa 19:9-12 "In the scrap of history here recorded we find an illustration of a very similar condition of things in the world today.... ‘’‘ 94-R1690 to R1693.

 

”A thousand years! Earth’s coming glory! ‘Tis the glad day so long foretold; ‘Tis the bright morn of Zion’s glory, Prophets foresaw in times of old.”"While there are not many rich or noble amongst the Lord’s brethren, yet when it comes to telling the truth, they manage it very well!”‘15-R5728 c2 p1

 

Revelation 1

 

5  And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

 

Revelation 1:5 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 5. And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first born of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.

 

The washed condition shows that this Book is for those only, who are consecrated, justified, spirit begotten, and anxiously studying their Father’s word to get the import of it, and not missing the fact that the correct understanding must take into consideration the time feature as to when the events are due.

 

"The conversion of the world in the present age was not expected of the Church, but her mission has been to preach the Gospel in all the world for a witness,  and to prepare herself under divine direction for her great future work." A95 top "Through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins"—Acts 13:38.

 

"Although Messiah had long existed as the archangel, nevertheless the prophet David, speaking for God, said concerning him: ‘Thou art my son, this day have I begotten (literally borne or delivered) thee.’ The Apostle would have his hearers note that this birth mentioned referred to our Lord’s resurrection, as it is written, he was the ‘first born from the dead,’‘ the first born among many brethren.’—Psa. 2:17; Heb. 1:5; Rom. 8:29; Rev. 1:5.

 

"He quotes again the words of Jehovah through the prophet, addressed to Messiah—’I will give you the sure mercies of David,’—I will make sure to thee forever the mercies of David... Although Messiah as Michael the archangel had been great even before David’s time, yet it would be at a later date, and as a result of some work which he would perform, that the mercies promised to David and his seed would be made sure to Messiah. This transaction was the giving of ‘his life a ransom for all,’ and the making sure to him of the Davidic promises by the Almighty was evidenced ‘in that he raised him from the dead.’ "The center and pith of the Apostle’s discourse (Acts 13:26-39)... was an individual message to every heart before him in condition to receive it, namely, ‘Through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins.’ The Apostle does not refer to something that was done by our Lord as the Archangel before ‘He was made flesh’ (John 1:14), nor does he refer to any work to be done by him in his new, highly exalted condition, ‘ set down with his Father in His throne’ and partaker of His Divine Nature; but he here refers to the work done by ‘the man,  Christ Jesus who gave himself A RANSOM for all’ {1Ti 2:5,6} at Calvary. Thus the Apostle again emphasizes the fact that ‘as by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead’ {1Co 15:21}.

 

"Yes, this is the center of the Gospel proclamation that the failure of the first perfect man was fully offset by the sacrifice of ‘the man Christ Jesus,’ and that it was to this end that it was needful for our Lord to leave the glory which he had with the Father before the world was (John 1:14), to become poor (in the sense of taking our lower nature—but not its blemishes, for he was ‘holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners’); and yielding up this human nature a ransom-price or corresponding price for the life forfeited by father Adam for himself and his race. This is the basis upon which every offer to grace is presented by the Scriptures.

 

9 "And now, he who was the Father’s agent in the redemptive work is to be the Father’s agent also in the work of ‘blessing’ all the redeemed with ample opportunities for return to divine favor—the first step of which is the forgiveness of sins." ‘97-R2149, R2150 Please see comments at Rev. 22:17 on the Testator—the antitypical Moses.

 

"The blood represents the surrender of earthly rights and privileges and life willingly, in pursuance of the divine will or arrangement." ‘09-R4428 "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them"—2 Cor. 5:19.

 

"Speaking the Truth in love... grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ"—Eph. 4:15.

 

"The church will be first in Messiah’s kingdom; natural Israel with the ancient worthies at their head will be the second. Subsequently all nations will come into divine favor and blessing, becoming members of Israel. All who have the spirit of obedience and sacrifice will be blessed through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." ‘15-R5721 "The teaching of Jesus was chiefly by induction. He had been with his disciples working miracles for probably two years before he asked them, ‘Whom say ye that I am?’ When St. Peter declared, ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,’ Jesus replied, ‘Flesh and blood bath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven’—Matthew 16:15-17.

 

"Did not St. Peter thus declare his faith that Jesus was the Son of God—not the son of Joseph? And did not Jesus approve this, and refer to the heavenly and not to an earthly father?

 

"What did Jesus mean when he declared, ‘Before Abraham was I am?’ By induction he told of a pre-human existence... Similarly he prayed to the Father, ‘Glorify thou me with shine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was’ (John 8:58; 17:5).

 

"Again Jesus told his disciples about this ascending up where he was before. If he had no previous existence, if he had not a special birth, how could we understand these words? Similarly Jesus referred to himself as ‘the bread which came down from heaven’—John 6:62,32-35,41.

 

"Surely Jesus was miraculously born... There is no middle ground.

 

"Having heard from Jesus and from St. Peter, let us hear from St. Paul. What is the force, or significance of St. Paul’s statement that Jesus is ‘the first-born of every creature,’ and that ‘by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible... all things were created by him and for him; and he is before all things, and by him all things consist’?( Col. 1:15-17) These words by the Apostle are surely not in accord with the theory that Jesus began his existence the same as others—that he was the son of Joseph.

 

"Again St. Paul writes, ‘Our Lord Jesus, though he was rich, for our sakes became poor’ {2Co 8:9}. Again he declares, ‘Who, existing in a form of God, counted not equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men’—Phil. 2:6,7.

 

"Again, what is the meaning of St. Paul’s declaration that Jesus was ‘holy, guileless, undefiled and separate from sinners’?( Hebrews 7:26) If Jesus was the son of Joseph, he was not separate from sinners, but belonged to the same stock with all others and would also have needed a redeemer." ‘ 15-R5767

 

"Verse 5 clearly teaches what the creeds of Christendom ignore, and what is in direct antagonism to their statements; namely, that the risen Christ was ‘the first born of the dead.’ That is to say, our Lord was the first to experience a resurrection in the full sense of the word, the first to experience a resurrection to perfection and eternal life. Although some before him were temporarily awakened, they relapsed again into death; for they were only partial illustrations of resurrection, to assure men of the divine power to accomplish it fully in the due time appointed of God." ‘16- R5991.

 

"To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth" John 18:37. "Many who realize that Jesus was indeed the Man of Sorrows, acquainted with grief, and some who realize that he died for our sins, have never yet seen that he purchased not only man but the empire originally given to the first Adam. Many can realize our Lord in the attitude of priest who fail to realize that he is also to be a king, and that throughout the Millennial age he will be a priest upon his throne, ‘ after the order of Melchizedec,’ his Church and Bride being associated with him and sharing in both his priestly and his kingly offices.

 

"The priestly of ficespeaks mercy, forgiveness and grace to help; but the kingly office is no less essential to the world’s salvation—men must be delivered from the bondage of sin and death—and must be ruled with the iron rod in order to develop them and fit them for life everlasting; and all of this work belongs to him who redeemed us as with his own precious blood. It is well that we remember, too, that a very large proportion of our Lord’s parables related to the kingdom in its various stages—now embryotic, by and by to be set up with full power and authority to overthrow evil and to bring in everlasting righteousness.

 

"This kingdom is to be a kingdom of truth, of righteousness and of love, working well for its subjects, and our Lord’s mission at the first advent was to lay the foundation for that kingdom by witnessing to the truth—the truth that God is both just and loving, and is willing to receive back into harmony with himself all who love truth and righteousness. It was our Lord’s faithfulness to the truth that brought upon him the opposition of those who were blinded by the Adversary, hence his statement that he came to bear witness to the truth is a brief statement of his mission. It was his witness to the truth that cost him his life, and it was the giving of his life in defense of the truth that constituted the redemption price. Similarly all of the Lord’s followers are to bear witness to the truth—the truth in respect to God’s character and plan—the features of that plan accomplished at the first advent in the redemption of the world, and the features of that plan yet to be accomplished in the second advent, in the deliverance of the world from the bondage of sin and corruption. It is such witness to the truth that is to cost all the true followers of Jesus their lives in presenting themselves

 

10 living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God through Christ Jesus. Let each one who hopes to be a joint-heir with the Prince of Life in the kingdom witness to the truth—a good confession respecting the kingdom, its foundation and ultimate superstructure in glory." ‘99-R2471

 

JEHOVAH’S SUFFERING SERVANT—Isaiah 52:13-53:1-12 JEHOVAH HATH LAID ON HIM THE INIQUITY OF US ALL.

 

"In this study we have a divinely drawn portrait of the experiences which God foreordained should come upon the one whom he has promised shall ultimately be the great Messiah of glory who will exalt the nation of Israel and through it pour blessings upon all the families of the earth. Thus it is written, ‘In thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’ Much of the prophecy of this study has already been fulfilled, but not all of it—the glorious features are yet to come, and we believe are nigh, even at the door.... " Please read ‘11-R4831.

 

MESSIAH’S REIGN {Ps 72} "All kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him"—Psa. 72:11.

 

"In Acts 3:19-21 we read that ‘Times of refreshing shall come from the presence (Greek,  prosopon— face or countenance) of the Lord (Jehovah—from his favor, as indicated by the figure of his face turned toward us); and (at this appointed time of refreshing, their redemption having at great cost been legally secured for them through GOD’S only begotten Son) he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you; whom the heaven must retain until the TIMES OF RESTITUTION of all things which GOD bath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets, since the world began.’

 

"He bids us note the fact that this glorious time of blessing for the whole world is the inspiring theme of every one of his true prophets.... ‘92-R1414, R1415—a gem!

 

Revelation 1

 

6  And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Revelation 1:6 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 6. And bath made us kings and priests unto his God and Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

 

A ruling priesthood, after the order of Melchizedek, is in the offing; for which the garments of glory and beauty are waiting.

 

"Our Lord Jesus was ordained of God a Priest after the Order of Melchizedek;  but sacrificially He was the antitype of Aaron, and was first to offer up Himself, and subsequently to accept His disciples, justify them through His sacrifice, and then constitute them members, or parts, of His own sacrifice. It is evident that in the type only the high priest was ordained to offer up the sin-offering of the Day of Atonement. None of the under priests had such a right. So none of the antitypical under priests, the followers of Christ, are competent to offer up themselves. All that we can do is to present ourselves to our Redeemer, who justifies us—consecrating our lives unto death. He accepts us, imputes His merit to us, and counts us members of His fleshly Body; and then by His Holy Spirit, through Christ,  God operates in us ‘to will and to do His good pleasure,’ which is to carry out the work of self-sacrifice even unto death. But all this while the Church is not sacrificed as was the High Priest, nor presented to the Father in our own name. The Father’s dealing is only with our Advocate,  and we are accepted merely because we are His.

 

"All this is shown in the Atonement Day type of the sinoffering. The high priest offered the bullock first, as his own sacrifice—representing himself individually. Then the high priest, not the under priests, afterwards offered the Lord’s goat— one goat,  not many goats. This goat was offered,  not as the sacrifice of the under priests, but as the sacrifice of the high priest. So in the antitype. Our consecration is acceptable to the Father only because of the merit of Jesus imputed to us as His members when He adopts us as a part of His own flesh." ‘15-R5720 top

 

"SIGN-MEN" "Behold, I, and the children whom Jehovah bath given me, for signs (sign-men) and for wonders in Israel from Jehovah of hosts, which dwelleth in Mt. Zion"—Isaiah 8:18.

 

"Our Lord Jesus... says, ‘Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples. And I will wait upon Jehovah... And Behold I and the children whom Jehovah bath given me’ ": Aaron, and the members of his body, the priesthood; for sign-members, typical of Melchizedek. Compare Hebrews 2:13 with Isaiah 8:16-18. E49 p 1

 

MELCHIZEDEK—THE REIGNING PRIESTHOOD "And they the Levitical priesthood after the order of Aaron—Heb. 7:11 truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death—v. 23: But Our Lord sprang out of Judah according to the flesh—Heb. 7:14: Jehovah swore and will not change, Thou art a Priest for the Age according to the order of Melchizedek—Heb. 7:21: By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better Covenant—Heb. 7:22. But He, on account of his continuing for the age, possesses the Priesthood which changes not; Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them." See Diaglott. Hebrews 7:23-25.

 

"Thus gradually God has been preparing the great Prophet, Priest, King and Judge, who during the thousand years of Messiah’s kingdom will be the Mediator between God and all who desire to draw near to him and to receive his blessing. These will be related to the repentant world as the priests of Israel were related to their nation; but their work will be efficacious, and not a failure, because based upon the ‘better sacrifices’ for sins (Heb. 9:23), and therefore backed by divine power in the forgiveness of sins and the deliverance of the willing and obedient out of bondage to sin and death into the glorious liberty of the children of God. This grand antitype is before us and will, we believe, soon have its glorious accomplishment.

 

"The Messiah whom God is thus preparing, composed of Jesus the Head and all the elect of Israel and of the whole world, the body of Messiah, will, like the type, be very faithful, loyal, patriotic toward God and toward the people. Indeed, it is one of the tests of these that they shall be faithful to the principles of the divine character even unto death." ‘13-R5334

 

11 "The ‘Day of Atonement’ which in the type was but a twenty-four hour day, we see in antitype to be the entire Gospel age. And with its close the sacrificing ceases, the glory and blessing begin, and the great High Priest of the world (Jesus and his Bride, made one,  Head and members complete) will stand forth crowned a King and Priest after the Melchizedek order, a King of Peace—a Priest upon his throne—Heb. 5:10.

 

"In the end of the Jewish age Jesus offered himself individually to Israel as prophet, priest, and king, typical or illustrative of the offering of the whole Body, the complete and glorified Christ, to the whole world. As prophet he taught them; as priest ‘he offered up himself’ (Heb. 7:27), and as King he rode into their city at the close of his ministry. But they did not receive him in any of these offices.

 

During the Gospel age his Church or Body has acknowledged him as a ‘a teacher sent from God’—the great Prophet; as the ‘High Priest of our profession’; and as the rightful King. The Word of God teaches, however, that it is not by the Church only that he is to be accepted, but that he (together with his Body, the Church) will be the Prophet for all the people,  the Priestfor all the people,  and the King over ‘all peoples, nations, and tongues’;‘ Lord of all,’ Priest of all,  and Prophet or teacher of all.

 

"When, during the Millennium, under the government and teaching of this great Prophet, Priest and King, mankind is brought to perfect knowledge and ability, perfect obedience will be required, and all who will not render it will be cut off from life without further hope—the second death—Acts 3:22,23." T.S. 50-51.

 

THE GREATER THAN SOLOMON’S—1 Kings 11:4-13; Luke 8:20; Luke 2:11 THE ANTITYPICAL KINGDOM "The long-promised kingdom waits for the development of this ‘little flock’ of kings and priests, who shall reign with Christ in the earth, as members of the Messiah company of which he is the Head and Lord, as well as the Redeemer. With the glorification of the last member of this elect class comes the due time for the setting up of the kingdom of God’s dear Son in power and great glory. Then will be fulfilled the promise, ‘In thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed,’ because the elect church is a part of the seed of Abraham; therefore the promise of which they are heirs with Christ cannot be fulfilled until their selection and glorification shall be completed. Toward that glorious consummation of human redemption all the promises and arrangements of the divine Word and plan are bent... " Please read ‘08-R4298, R4299.

 

JEHOVAH’S SUFFERING SERVANT—Isaiah 52:13-53:12 THE PROPHETIC SUMMARY "In the first three verses of our study (Isaiah 52:13-15), the entire work of Messiah, not only in its preparation, but also in its revelation in Kingly power, is set forth. It is applicable, specially, to the Head, but is applicable also to the members of his body. A preferred translation reads: ‘Behold my servant shall deal wisely; he shall be exalted and lifted up and shall be very high. As many were astonished in thee; but his visage was so marred more than any man. For so shall he startle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths to him, for that which had not been told them shall they see, and that which they had not heard shall they understand.’ "" There are two reasons why the world and its great ones will be astonished when the Millennial kingdom shall suddenly burst upon the world. They have heard such chimerical and unreasonable statements respecting Messiah’s kingdom, even from the people of God, that they will be takemcompletely by surprise when they shall behold the reality... When the Kingdom shall be ushered in, following a great social revolution, it will be so much more majestically grand than anything dreamed of that every mouth shall be stopped and, as the Lord through the Prophet declares, that kingdom of Messiah shall be the ‘desire of all nations’ "—Hag. 2:6,7 ‘11-R4831

 

YE ARE MY WITNESSES, SAITH JEHOVAH Isaiah 43:10; 44:8; Psalm 116:12-14 ‘14-R5539 "And we are His witnesses of these things..." Acts 5:29-32; 10:39; 13:31; (27-33).

 

"The apostles... under the Lord’s teaching... were uniformly recognized by the early Church as guides in the way of the Lord—especially appointed instructors—’pillars in the Church,’ next in authority to the Lord himself. In various ways the Lord prepared them for this position: (1) They were with him continually and could, therefore be witnesses respecting all the affairs of his ministry, his teachings, his miracles, his prayers, his sympathy, his holiness, his self-sacrifice even unto death, and, finally, witnesses of his resurrection. Not only did the early Church need all of these testimonies, but all who have since been called of the Lord and have accepted his call to the New Creation—all who have fled for refuge and are trusting in the glorious hopes centered in his character, in his sacrificial death, in his high exaltation and in the plan of God he is to fulfil—needed just such personal testimony in respect to all these matters, to the intent that they might have strong faith, strong consolation.

 

"The Apostle Paul, although not directly a witness to the same extent as the eleven, was nevertheless, made a witness of our Lord’s resurrection in that he was given a subsequent glimpse of his glorious presence, as he himself states the matter—’Last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time (before the time)’—{50 15:8,9}... See F213- 216, Chapter 5. See ‘01-R2824 c 2; R5050 c 2 bottom half

 

THE SUFFERING OF CHRIST—HEBREWS 9:27-28 "‘And as it is appointed unto men (Aaron and his successors, who were merely types of the High Priest of the New Creation) once to die (typically, as represented in the animal slain), but after this (following, as a result of this sacrifice) the judgment (of God, approving or disapproving the sacrifice), so Christ was once offered (never will it be repeated) to bear the sins of many ("every man"); and unto them that look for him he shall appear the second time, without sin (neither blemished by the sins borne, nor to repeat the sin-offering, but) unto salvation’—to give the everlasting

 

12 life to all who desire it upon God’s conditions of faith and obedience"—Heb. 9:27, 28. T 87 p 1; CRS 164 c 2 p 1

 

PAUL’S HEAVENLY VISION—Acts 22:6-16.

 

"I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision"—Acts 26:19.

 

"It was because Paul of Tarsus was... ‘an Israelite indeed,’ fighting the truth ignorantly, that our Lord favored him in the miraculous manner related in this lesson. Indeed, we may suppose that the Lord in some manner favored all ‘Israelites indeed,’ as we note, for instance, that he favored Nathaniel, who at first was skeptical respecting his Messiahship, but was granted convincing evidence because of his sincerity... The Lord had mercy upon Nathaniel, and assisted him in one way, while he assisted others, at Pentecost, in another way, through manifestation of the Spirit; and now in a still different manner he arrested the attention of Saul, convincing him speedily that he was doing the very opposite thing from what he intended to do.. " See ‘01-R2823 to R2825.

 

Revelation 1

 

7  Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

 

Revelation 1:7 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 7. Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so. Amen.

 

This verse is very definite that the second advent of our dear Lord does not wait for the conversion of the whole world. Indeed, as other Scriptures show, there are many heathen who have not even heard his name. This verse also covers much more time than a day, or a week, or a year. Many are to see him, but not with the natural eye. A95. ‘10-R4602; R4544 "The sheep see Him in character as well as nature... Because they thus look to that end. Now, we must see Him by having His character likeness in order to be members of the Little Flock. T84-T87. D600. Please see "HE COMETH WITH CLOUDS" ‘13-R5269 top of page.

 

"Behold, he cometh with clouds (incident to His Presence, setting up His Kingdom, the real cause of the accompanying trouble—’clouds’); and (in due time) every eye shall see him (Horao, discern him, recognize his presence, power and authority), and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so. Amen. "" When Christ who is our life, shall be manifested, then shall ye also with Him be manifested in glory"—Col. 3:4 RV.

 

"We are already in ‘the time of the end’.... We have been in ‘the time of the end’ since 1799... ‘the day of his (Jehovah’s) preparation’... the preparation that Jehovah God is making for the kingdom of his dear Son... lifting of the curtain of ignorance, and the letting in of the light... ready... when the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in his beams, and the Millennial day shall be ushered in, with all its multiplied blessings and mercies and opportunities. Acts 3:21... All men discern these things, but not all alike. The faithful, the Watchers, discern them not only as facts but also as fulfilments of prophecy; as proofs that we are already in the period termed ‘the time of the end.’ "‘ 02-R2973

 

"The Divine Revelation, the Bible, is the Wisdom from Above, the Noblest Science and the Best Instruction." PhotoDrama Scenario, Frontispiece.

 

"Yes, His Truth—that grand system of truth comprised in the Divine Plan of the Ages... is the armor of God." ‘04-R3332 top "... He is coming in clouds, in that the time in which he will first manifest himself to the world will be a very dark day to the world—’a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation,’ and, we are told, never shall be again (Matt. 24:21). That will be a dark, cloudy day.

 

"In that day, ultimately all eyes shall be opened; and all mankind shall see him with the eyes of their understanding—see him in the sense that we see him now, and have knowledge of him and of the Father... It is far better to see with the intellect than with the natural sight.

 

"... Every human being shall come to an understanding of the fact that the Lord’s kingdom is for the blessing of ‘all the families of the earth’ according to God’s promise made to Abraham and all the prophets after his day.

 

Matthew 24:30. Zechariah 12:10. "Thus they will appreciate Christ... not... with the natural sight... The whole world will be in mourning... In the midst of that trouble they will gradually learn of the grace of God... the glorious kingdom of Messiah, through which are to come all the blessings which God has promised." ‘13-R5269

 

"HE COMETH WITH CLOUDS" "Mr. Rabbinowitz says the Jews have kept up great questionings and controversies about the meaning of Zech. 12:10: ‘They shall look upon ME whom they have pierced.’ They will not admit that it is Jesus whom they have pierced, hence the dispute as to who is meant. Mr. R. points out that the word used consists of the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet,  Aleph Tay,  and adds: ‘Do you wonder, then, that I was filled with awe and astonishment when I opened to Rev. 1:7,8, and read these words of Zechariah quoted by John, ‘Behold, he cometh... and every eye shall see him, and they also that pierced him,’ and then heard the glorified Lord saying, ...‘ I am the Alpha and Omega.’ Jesus seemed to say to me, ‘Do you doubt who it is you have pierced? I am the Aleph Tay,  the Alpha Omega.’ "‘ 96-R1948

 

(PRECIOUS JESUS) THE CONTRAST OF HUMAN PERFECTION AND HUMAN DEPRAVITY "And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, ‘They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.’ And sitting down they watched him there"—Matt. 27:35, 36.

 

"Here, in marked contrast, are seen the glory of moral perfection and the depth of human depravity. Here was the most sublime heroism, the most perfect self-abnegation, the most exalted benevolence, and the most devoted loyalty, in contrast with the vilest hypocrisy, the most cold-blooded hate, and the most abject cowardice. The meanest, vilest selfishness, pride and conceit delivered to ignominy and death the fairest flower of virtue that ever bloomed on earth, and wicked hands and fiendish hearts executed the dark designs

 

13 of envy and hate, taking a morbid pleasure in the dying agonies of the Son of God, while he, as a sheep before her shearers is dumb opened not his mouth in self-defense, but meekly submitted to the terrible ordeal of suffering and death for the world of sinners, none of whom could then appreciate and understand his motives or his work. Truly, the contrast of such virtue, in comparison with such depravity, encircles the Cross of Christ with a halo of ineffable glory, the broken rays of which, falling upon us, express to us all there is of moral excellence and worth.  "In the apprehension, arraignment and crucifixion of Christ three classes of criminals come to view. First, there were those who, for envy,  delivered him to death. They were the proud, boastful, self-righteous hypocrites, who... hated the Lord without cause, save that which originated in their own depravity. These... the rulers and religious teachers, the educated men of the nation, the expounders of the law of God, and the interpreters of the prophets—these wickedly took counsel together against the Lord and against his Anointed...

 

"Second, there were those cringing, hireling, menials, too basely selfish to spurn a bribe, or to appreciate a principle....

 

"Third, there were those cold-blooded, cruel servants of the Roman state who... cared nothing for the honor of justice, or the vindication of right...’

 

"How strange it seems that humanity, originally in the likeness of God, can sink so low; ... Satan fell from a great height to a corresponding depth...’

 

"Every member of the anointed body can say with the Head, ‘The reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.’ "‘ 96-R1963, R1964

 

Verse 7 clearly teaches that at the time of our Lord’s second advent the world will be far from converted to God for ‘all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him....’ Christ comes before the conversion of the world and for the very purpose of converting all mankind; and that the glorified church of the Gospel age shall share with her Lord and Head in his reign, which is God’s appointed means of blessing the world.

 

"Christ and the glorified church, made ‘partakers of the divine nature,’ will be spirit beings, invisible to men. Our Lord’s presence will be manifested to the world by exhibitions of power and great glory. He will not be visible to natural sight, but to the eyes of understanding, as these shall open to an appreciation of the great changes which earth’s new Ruler shall effect. His presence and his righteous authority will be recognized in both the punishments and the blessings which will flow to mankind from his reign.

 

"Our King will reveal himself gradually. Some will discern the new Ruler sooner than others. But ultimately ‘every eye shall see (Greek,  horao,  discern) him.’ But ‘he cometh with clouds.’ And while the clouds of trouble hang heavy and dark, when the mountains—kingdoms of this world—are trembling and falling, when the earth—organized society—is being shaken and disintegrated, some will begin to realize that Jehovah’s Anointed is taking to himself his great power and is beginning his work of laying justice to the line and righteousness to the plummet. For he must reign until he shall have put down all authority and laws on earth which are contrary to those controlling in heaven.’

 

"Blessed Bible, precious Word!

 

Boon most sacred from the Lord; Glory to His name be given, For this choicest gift from Heaven.

 

"Tis a mine, aye, deeper, too, Than can mortal ever go; Search we may for many years, Still some new, rich gem appears.”16-R5991, R5992

 

HE SHALL COME FORTH AND BLESS THE PEOPLE.

 

"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment; So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him, He shall appear a second time, not as a Sin-Offering, but unto salvation"—Hebrews 9:27.28; ‘15-R5731 "The Apostle is here (Hebrews 9:28) tracing the work of Christ as the great High Priest. He represents our Lord as having offered the sin-offering, on the Day of Atonement, in its two parts—the bullock and the goat—and as being now in the Most Holy (See T.S.). When he has accomplished his work, he will appear the second time—not to repeat any of the offerings of the Gospel age, not as a sin-offering—but he shall appear unto salvation,  to all those who look for him. We can see that his words might apply to the church. They will know of his secondary appearance. They will have an appreciation of that fact before he will be revealed to the world. He will appear to them that look for him.

 

"But we are to remember that our Lord’s going into the Most Holy at the close of the antitypical Day of Atonement with the blood of the Lord’s goat class, would indicate the death of the goat. The under priests will be with him, as members of himself. Then he shall come forth the second time, after this second presentation of the blood, not to offer a sacrifice—for the sacrificing will all be finished—but to bless the people.

 

"Who then are these who look for him and to whom he will appear the second time, unto salvation? We answer that in the Time of Trouble, and subsequently, the whole world will begin to look for the Deliverer. All nations will be desiring him—not as a sin-offering again, but for their salvation. As mankind will get their eyes open to their need of salvation, they will be looking for this deliverance by The Christ in glory. They will never see him with their natural eyes. But they will look for him in the same sense that we now see Jesus—they will see him with the eye of faith.

 

THEY SHALL FALL UPON THEIR FACES.

 

"At that time many nations shall say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord’s house. He will show us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths’ (Isaiah 2:3). Another Scripture assures us that, when he shall appear, we also, the bride class, shall appear with him in glory. It is after the sacrificing is all finished and the church glorified that he comes forth the second time unto salvation, saving and blessing all the people. The high priest in the type did not return into the Most Holy again, but lifted up his hands 14 and blessed the people. Then the glory of the Lord appeared unto all the people, and the people gave a great shout and fell upon their faces (Leviticus 9:23,24). So the people of the world will prostrate themselves before the great Messiah. And this will be the work of Christ during the thousand years—uplifting mankind and giving them the benefit of the Atonement sacrifice." ‘15-R5655

 

Revelation 1

 

8  I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

 

Revelation 1:8 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 8. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

 

He is the only being God (Jehovah) ever created, and used, to create angels and men and the whole universe. Without him was nothing made that was made. And since his resurrection that Sunday morning, he is Almighty. See R2888 c 1 p 3 Mt 28:18. ‘11-R4802-R4804 "The Scriptures tell us that our Lord was the beginning of the creation, the first-born (verse 5) of every creature, the first and the last (verse 17); that the Heavenly Father never created any other being; and that by our Lord all things else were made (John 1:3). In other words, the Father’s power was exercised through his Only Begotten Son. According to the Scriptures, man was the last of the creations in God’s image. But the Heavenly Father has purposed the creation of an order of beings higher than any that has been made, and has arranged that his Only Begotten Son shall be the one to occupy the highest position in that new creation.

 

"‘ For the joy that was set before him’ our Lord endured the cross, despised the shame, and then sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high (Matthew 28:18). Originally, he was the first creation. Now he was the second creation—the new creation, in contra-distinction.

 

"And the entire church has been invited to come up to this highest place, to be associated with Christ, to be partakers of the divine nature. But in order to attain to this high position, to be with him, they must become dead to the earthly nature and its interests, its aims and its projects, and alive with him beyond the veil. Jesus is the Head of this new creation, of which the church is the body.

 

"We do not understand that the ‘great company’ will be a part of the new creation. Only the ‘little’ flock will have the honor of being members of Christ’s body." ‘12-R5050

 

THE ALMIGHTY "But although our Redeemer had always occupied the place of honor in the heavenly courts, it was not until his faithful obedience to the Father had been tested to the extent of his changing his nature to that of man, and then giving himself as fallen man’s ransom,  that he received his present unexcellable glory and honor. It is since his resurrection that the message has gone forth—’All power in heaven and in earth is given unto me’ (Matt. 28:18). Consequently it is only since then that he could be called the Almighty. The heavenly Father has always been almighty, and this all-power or allmight was never given to him, but was his eternal possession. But now that he has given the same power to his Onlybegotten and well-pleasing Son, our Saviour, both we and angels delight to know it, and delight to honor him whom the Father has so highly honored, and whom he has instructed us to honor, saying: ‘That all should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father.’... Our Lord would be reverenced and titled ‘Very Mighty’ or ‘Very Great.’"‘ 93-R1514, R1515 "Keep your heart, your will, your intentions and desires full of love toward God and all his creatures—the most fervent toward God, and proportionately toward all who have his spirit and walk in the way of his direction....

 

"... 1Ti 4:2. Hence, the imperative necessity for carefully heeding the Lord’s Word ‘(the only way we can know Him)’—’14-R5432, and walking circumspectly according to its light.

 

"We are not to faint in our minds nor become discouraged, feeling that so much has been said against us that we must give up the race. On the contrary, we are to feel assured like our Lord, that nothing can befall us except with the knowledge of the Father, who is working all things for our good. It was thus our Lord was prepared for his exaltation. So we, if we are rightly exercised by our various experiences and follow as closely as possible the commands laid down for our guidance, will find that even revilings, slanders, oppositions to righteousness, will work out blessings for us, as they did for our Lord.’

 

"We are glad that Jesus was... full of warm, loving, tender feelings and sensibilities; and that we, consequently, can realize his ability to sympathize... more than could any other human being. He must have felt keenly the conditions under which he had placed himself in laying down his life on our behalf; for the more perfect the organism, the more sensitive and high-strung are the feelings; the greater the capacity for joy, the greater the capacity for sorrow. Being absolutely perfect, our Lord must have been immeasurably more susceptible to the influence of pain than are others.’

 

OFFERED UP STRONG CRYINGS AND TEARS TO HIM WHO WAS ABLE TO SAVE HIM "Besides this, he knew that he had a perfect life, unforfeited, and realized that he was about to part with it...

 

"‘ Who in the days of his flesh... offered up prayers and supplication, with strong cryings and tears, unto him who was able to save him from (out of) death, and was heard in (respect to) that he feared’ (Heb. 5:7)—extinction... Had he done the Father’s will perfectly? Could he claim, and would he receive the reward promised him—a resurrection from the dead?

 

"Had he failed in any particular to come to the exact standard of perfection his death would have meant extinction... None could know the full depth and force of its meaning as could he who not only had the perfection of life, but had recollection of his previous glory with his Father before the world was. For him the very thought of extinction would bring anguish, terror of soul... He saw himself about to suffer according to the Law as an evil-doer, and the question naturally arose, was he entirely blameless, and would the Heavenly Judge thoroughly acquit him whom so many were disposed to condemn?

 

"After praying... Could he rely upon it now, that having sought to do the Father’s will, having finished his course, he had done it acceptably? Could he have full assurance of faith that God would save him out of death by a resurrection?

 

15 "In answer to his petition a heavenly messenger was sent to comfort him, to reassure him, to strengthen him. We are not informed what message the angel brought, but we can see that it was a message of peace; that he brought assurance, not only that the Lord’s course had the Father’s approval, but that he would be brought again from the dead by a resurrection. These were quite sufficient to give our Lord all the strength and courage necessary for the ordeal before him; and from that moment onward we find him the coolest and calmest of the notable figures brought to our attention. When approached by Judas and his band, he was the most calm and self-possessed of all; when before Pilate, the same, when crucified the same. He had found peace in the message that he was approved of the Father, and that all the gracious promises of glory, honor and immortality were his; and now he could pass through any ordeal, he could submit himself perfectly to his enemies. "‘ 11- R4802 to R4804

 

"CYRUS MINE ANOINTED" "Cyrus my shepherd, shall perform all my pleasure... Thus saith Jehovah to His Anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held, to subdue nations... " Isaiah 44:28; 45:1.

 

Cyrus means "sun" (Mal. 4:2) and refers to our Cyrus, Jesus the Messiah, who will turn the waters away from Babylon the Great, the Confederacy—and destroy it. Re 14:8 16:19 17:5 18:2,10,21.

 

"I hid not my face from shame... For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed"—Isa. 6,7.

 

DISTINCTION BETWEEN KEEPING AND FULFILLING THE LAW "Our Lord Jesus who loved his God with all his heart soul, mind and strength... had consecrated his life to do the Father’s will... As soon, therefore, as he learned that it was God’s will that a redemption price of a perfect human life should be paid for Adam and the world of mankind, he would present himself in consecration and faithfully carry out all that is implied in that consecration, because he loved God with all his heart, soul, mind and strength...

 

"The Father gave him an opportunity and set before him a great reward ... The Father set before Jesus the great reward, and... for the joy set before him he endured the cross and despised the shame"—Heb. 12:1, 2; 10:7.

 

GOD’S WILL EXPRESSED IN THE TYPES "There is a distinction between fulfilling the law and keeping the law. The Jews did neither. It is so great that it is beyond the power of man to fulfil all of its requirements.

 

"The law consists of two different parts. The one is a regulation of the morals—the duty of all toward God and toward fellow-men. In this sense of the word, the law stands for justice—for what is right. The Jews... were unable to do so on account of hereditary weaknesses.

 

"Our Lord Jesus, however, kept the law in this sense. By so doing He earned the right to everlasting life on the human plane. This the world will do in the next age. They will be enabled to keep the law and will get everlasting life, the reward of obedience to the law.

 

"But Jesus did more than keep the law of Justice. He also fulfilled that part of the law which was applicable to him, and he is still fulfilling the law.

 

"The other part of the law consists of the ceremonial features, which constitute the types and shadows mentioned by St. Paul (Heb.10:1). These prophetic features of the law represent the divine will in respect to the means by which mankind will be restored from the plane of degradation, sin and death to divine favor. This prophetic fulfilling of the law consisted in carrying out in antitype of one important feature—the Passover institution. The killing of the lamb, the sprinkling of the blood and the eating of the flesh, were prophetical—typical.

 

"Jesus fulfilled his part of the type when he was put to death... by virtue of his sacrifice of his will entirely to the divine will...

 

"Jesus said that he came not to destroy, but to fulfil the things of the law (Matt. 5:17); and He will continue the fulfillment of the types of the law during the thousand years, until all is fulfilled at the close of the Millennial age. Some of these things are future; such as the sprinkling of the blood of the antitypical Lord’s goat, the sending away of the antitypical scape-goat, and the appearance of the antitypical High Priest to bless the people. It will take the entire thousand years of Christ’s reign to get back all that was lost through Adam’s disobedience and that is to be restored to mankind through the merit of Christ...

 

"Our privilege is to anticipate God’s will through watching the types of the law and the words of our Lord and Head. We are to count all things as loss and dross in comparison with this opportunity which we have. Nothing else should be counted so great a privilege as that of following in the footsteps of Jesus." ‘13-R5164, R5165

 

Revelation 1

 

9  I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

 

Revelation 1:9 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 9. I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

 

John was living in a rough age, so that his great age of one hundred years seems to have brought him no consideration. Working in the mines is tough and tiring for a young man; how did John stand any of it? Evidently he lived for several more years. One happifying thought is, that during our severest trial, we may be receiving our greatest blessings and opportunities for service. In some way John’s incarceration was brought about by his faithfulness to the Truth, and as a servant of Jesus Christ.

 

"Instead of adding loud and boastful titles to his name, as Reverend, Bishop, Overseer of all the Churches in Asia Minor, we find John introducing himself as ‘Your Brother,’ as the companion of all saints in tribulation and in the kingdom, and in the patient endurance of Jesus Christ. He was sharer with Christ, as a member of his body in his afflictions, in his endurance, and prospectively a joint-heir in his kingdom, and in all this he was the brother of all fellowdisciples, sharers of the same sufferings, and prospectively of the same glory. It is generally understood that John had already been severely persecuted, and that at the time of this

 

16 vision he was in banishment on the little island in the Mediterranean Sea called Patmos—a penal island where convicts were worked in the quarrying of marble, etc. Yet John himself, with remarkable modesty, passes over not only his previous service for the truth, which had brought him his persecution, but also lightly passes over the persecution itself, merely noting that he was in the island of Patmos because of his fidelity to the word of God and the testimony that Jesus was the Christ.  "This simplicity, this absence of boastfulness so noticeable in the writings of all the apostles, commends them and their words to our attention, and marks them as being in the ministry not for the gratification of vanity, or seeking earthly rewards of any kind; but simply as the servants of God, who delighted to do his will, and to tell the good tidings, to the utter ignoring of themselves, excepting in so far as mention of themselves and their affairs might be necessary and helpful to the church. All of the Lord’s followers do well to note this characteristic of the Master, and of these whom he specially chose to be his followers and our exemplars. In proportion as we attain to the Lord’s spirit it will similarly manifest itself in our sentiments and in all our conduct." ‘01-R2826 Please see Supplement, TRUE HUMILITY.

 

"John at the time of the trance vision was a prisoner, exiled to the Isle of Patmos, a penal colony of those days—an island almost uninhabitable, rocky barren. The crime for which he suffered this banishment was his faithfulness as a mouthpiece of the Lord. At the time he must have been between sixty and ninety years of age, supposing that none of our Lord’s disciples were younger than himself at the beginning of his ministry. If his exile in any degree symbolized ostracism, which the Lord’s followers may expect in the close of this age—a complete isolation from others and a treatment implying that they are prisoners—we may take comfort in the thought that as the Lord’s favor and revelations to John more than offset his persecutions, so the opening of the eyes of our understandings and the granting to us of greater lengths and breadths and heights and depths of knowledge and appreciation of our Lord and his plan will far more than offset the various experiences which in his providence he may permit to come upon us. His assurance is that all things shall work together for good to those who love God, to the called ones according to his purpose. Whoever rests his faith securely upon his promise may indeed with the Apostle Paul count all tribulation as loss and dross for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord." ‘05-R3568

 

A LIGHT TO THE GENTILES—Acts 14:11-22 ‘’I have set thee to be a light to the Gentiles"—Acts 13:47. Please see ‘97-R2151.

 

"Rejoice in hope"; ‘’Patient in tribulation." "We are not to expect to have much in the present life to rejoice in, if we are faithful to our ‘calling’; because, ‘through much tribulation shall ye enter the kingdom.’ Our rejoicing is to be in hope— looking into the future. The eye of faith is to see what the natural eye cannot see, the crown of life (Rev. 2:10; James 1:12), and all the glorious things ‘which God bath in reservation for them that love him (fervently).’ And here is the advantage of doctrinal knowledge: it inspires hope; it gives a foundation for hope. Knowledge cannot bring us to the kingdom; but it may be a great help in building us up and preparing us for it, by constantly holding before us the hopes which God designs should stimulate and encourage us while running the race for the great prize.

 

"Patient in tribulation. ‘’" Our word tribulation is derived from the Latin tribulum,  the name of a roller or threshing machine used in olden times for cleaning wheat, removing from it the outer husk or chaff. How appropriate the thought when applied to the Lord’s consecrated people, who in the Scriptures are symbolized by wheat. Our new natures are the kernel, the real grain: yet this treasure or valuable part is covered with the husk of earthly conditions. And in order that the wheat may be made properly ready for the ‘garner’ and for usefulness, it is necessary that each grain shall pass through the tribulation necessary to separate those qualities which, until separated, render us unfit for the future service to which we are called of the Lord. In proportion as we are able to realize our own imperfections, and the perfect will of God concerning us, we will be enabled to bear patiently, and even with a certain kind of rejoicing, all the tribulations which the Master shall see best to let come upon us. ‘We glory in tribulations also’—Romans5:3. ‘97-R2213

 

THE TIME OF THY VISITATION "And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, saying, ‘If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from shine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that shine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and the children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another, because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.’ "—Luke 19:4146.

 

"The Lord’s earthly ministry was fast nearing its close, as also was the time of Israel’s special favor. To Israel first was the Gospel of the new dispensation preached; and the privilege of preparing to enter the spiritual phase of the kingdom of God was being withheld from the Gentiles to fulfill the promise of God to their fathers, that his special favor should be to them first—’to the Jew first,  and afterward to the Gentile’—Luke 24:46,47 Ac 13:46 3:26.

 

"It was in view of this dreadful condition of heart which prevailed throughout the nation, and for the national crime which was even then contemplated and which should so soon be perpetrated by his people—’his own people’ according to the flesh—and of the fearful retribution they were about to precipitate upon themselves, that Jesus wept over them.

 

"Their great national sin was the rejection and crucifixion of the anointed Son of God. On the part of the minority of the nation—the rulers and recognized teachers—the sin was active: they plotted and planned; they sought to catch him in his words... to find a legal cause against him; at different times they specially commissioned hirelings to arrest him; and finally they violently and publicly instigated an excited and clamorous mob against him.

 

"But on the part of the majority of the people the sin was passive,  both in the rejection and in the crucifixion. They weakly failed to exercise their right of private judgment, and

 

17 although often they heard him gladly, and hung upon his words, and said, Of a truth this must be the Christ, and on one occasion were even constrained to take him by force and make him their king, nevertheless they failed to act on their own convictions and dependently inquired, ‘Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him?’ They blindly submitted to their erring and blind leaders, and both together fell into the ditch.

 

"Thus the whole nation, except the remnant that believed, were either actively or passively involved in the great sin of the rejection and crucifixion of the Lord.

 

"Both the active and the passive of the nation of Israel suffered alike the penalty of their national crime; for that which the Lord in the above words foretold soon came to pass... The punishment inflicted upon the nation extended, not only to the inhabitants of the capital city, but to the whole people... never again to be reinstated until their King should come ‘a second time without a sin-offering unto salvation’; when their blindness shall be turned away and they shall say, ‘Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.’ See Ps 118:25,26, by the Prophet-Psalmist.

 

"The forfeiture of this chief favor, together with the calamities and persecution they have suffered ever since, is their national penalty.

 

"There is something touchingly beautiful in this expression of the Lord’s sympathy for the blind and erring. What moral grandeur is this that could so triumph over vindictiveness and hate! What dignity and grace and glory! Lord, help thy children to ‘consider him who endured such contradiction of sinners against himself’;‘ who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered he threatened not, but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously’; who seemed to forget the sting of persecution against himself in his deep sorrow and pity for the blindness and moral degradation of his persecutors.

 

"Hear him again: ‘O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate; for I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.’ "How long the Lord waited to be gracious, how slow was he to wrath, and how plenteous in mercy! But, nevertheless, the reckoning day must come and the harvest of an evil sowing must be reaped.

 

"‘If thou hadst known,’ O Israel, ‘the things that belong unto thy peace,’ how different would have been the consequences! But while we consider these words, we call to mind the fact that in all these things fleshly Israel was typical of the whole nominal Gospel church—’Christendom’—and see that these words of lamentation over their stumbling and fall apply with equal force, as the prophets also indicated, to Christendom—the nominal spiritual Israel, which at this parallel point of time, the harvest of this age, similarly fails to recognize the time of her visitation, and which, in consequence, is about to precipitate upon herself ‘a time of trouble,’therefore, even greater than that which befell fleshly Israel; and justly so, for her privileges and opportunities have been a thousand times greater." ‘95-R1846, R1847 (See B. Chapter 7.) "With great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all"—Acts 4:33.

 

"‘Jesus and the resurrection’ was the general theme of the early church to which was added the hope of glory—the second coming of Jesus to receive his bride to himself, to change her to his own nature, to associate her with him in his kingdom glory and then to begin the Millennial reign of righteousness, to bring all mankind to a knowledge of God. And all this was based upon the ransom sacrifice.

 

This witnessing was done with power, great power... It, and it alone, constituted the apostolic theme. And so it should be with us. The resurrection of the Lord and its value and signification to the church and the world through the divine plan should be ever prominent in our witnessing. Not only by their words and logical presentations did the apostles witness, but their lives were witnesses. As the apostle said, ‘Ye are our epistle... known and read of all men.’ The lives of the Early Church were the special witness to the Lord. Without the consistency of their lives and their consecration to the Lord and to the Truth, it is evident, the message would have had no such import as it bore. So it is with us today. It is well that we preach the Word. It is still more important that we live it. But it is the ideal thing to both preach and live the truth. ‘Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven." ‘09-R4391

 

Revelation 1

 

10  I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,

 

Revelation 1:10 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 10. I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.

 

Evidently, it is of the Lord Jesus, that we keep the first day of the week, Sunday, a memorial of his resurrection, instead of Saturday, the seventh day, as a symbol of rest. Jehovah set apart the seventh day as a symbol of rest, and now he sets apart the first day, commemorative of Jesus; first, by his resurrection, and now by the Book of Revelation, which took more than one day to write. John’s saying that he was in the spirit tells us something we already knew, that no human mind could bring forth that Book. And that book of prophecy is a witness to Jesus, as is every true prophecy at any time, past, present, or future (Rev. 19:10). The voice coming from behind indicated prohecies made long ago. Those in regard to the churches, of which there were seven, began at Pentecost. The seventh trumpet, or message began in 1876 A.D. and sounded until 1916 A.D. The messenger was Pastor C.T. Russell. There was only one messenger to each of the seven churches.

 

"The spirit of holiness in abundance can only be received by those who earnestly desire it and seek it by prayer and effort" (Rev. 1:10). E223 "John’s attention was first attracted by the trumpet-like voice from behind him (Rev. 1:10,11). The fact that the location is mentioned at all implies that it has a special symbolic meaning. It signifies that the beginning of this message was not in John’s day, nor from some future time, but that the things to be revealed had already commenced, and were already to some extent in the past—the voice from behind

 

18 going clear back, as some of the features of the book show, to the time of our Lord’s earthly ministry.

 

"The trumpet voice directed that its message should be written and sent to the seven churches named... There were seven churches in Asia Minor corresponding (v.11) to those mentioned by name in this connection; but while this revelation may have been applicable to them in some manner or degree it was evidently in but a small measure. Those seven churches of Asia Minor we understand were chosen of the Lord as symbols representing seven different epochs in the history of the one true church of Christ, from Pentecost day until the gathering to the Lord of the last grain of wheat in the end of this Gospel harvest." ‘01-R2826 "Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed"—John 20:29.

 

"His glorious voice now is the still small voice, which only the few who exercise faith can hear, appreciate, and understand. By and by the time will come when this voice shall shake the earth and cause the knowledge of the Lord to fill the whole earth. Obedience then will be proper and bring a blessing; but obedience now, even unto sacrifice of earthly interests in following the footsteps of him who set us an example, brings the greater blessings—the blessings which pertain not only to the life which now is, but also to that which is to come—the blessings of glory, honor, and immortality. "‘ 01 -R2804

 

HOW TO PROCLAIM THE TRUTH "Speaking the truth in love... grow up into Him in all things, which is the Head, even Christ"—Ephesians 4:14.

 

"The truth is always to be spoken humbly, but fearlessly... an ambassador for God... the servant of the Lord...

 

"The great Apostle declared that he counted all things but loss and dross, that he might win Christ and ‘be found in him’—that he might gain a place in the everlasting kingdom of Messiah... win the ‘pearl of great price.’... The truth of God’s Word is to be enshrined above all else in the heart of the child of God, and he should esteem it a blessed privilege to speak it.

 

"... One must speak the truth in love... We, as God’s dear children are to grow in the likeness of our dear Elder Brother, our Pattern, our Head. We are to grow up into him in all things.’... He is the Head of the church; ... To be members of his body in glory, we must be developed. We are to bear the fruitage of the holy Spirit, that we may be qualified to share in the future that glorious kingdom which is to bless the world.

 

EXPRESSION DEEPENS IMPRESSION "We are to exercise our function of ambassadorship—we are to show forth the praises of him who bath called us out of the darkness into his marvelous light. And in telling the message of his grace we shall grow spiritually. ‘He that watereth shall himself also be watered.’ As we proclaim the truth from an honest, earnest, loving heart we shall become more and more filled with it ourselves. ‘There is that scattereth and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth and it tendeth to poverty’—to leanness of soul. As we give out to others, our own store of blessing is increased. We are to develop day by day this quality of love. Why is this? Because it will make us like God, and that is the one thing to be desired—the one thing necessary.

 

"Our God has other glorious attributes besides Love, but this attribute is the especially predominating, overruling quality of his character. God’s justice co-operates with his love. And his wisdom would not attempt to carry out any plans that his love would not approve. So as we grow, this quality of love should be more and more manifest. We are to see that our words are loving, kind, gentle. We are to curb any tendency to self-glorification or show in telling of God’s great plan to others. Let us keep self out of sight, that the beauty of the truth may be seen... Speaking the truth in love, we shall not only be accomplishing much more for others, but the message will also be more impressed upon our own mind.

 

"Whoever appreciates these things of God and then speaks forth in love and sincerity will receive a blessing in his own heart and mind, and the truth will become clearer and sweeter. In helping others he will be helping himself. Thus the various features of the plan of God become more firmly engraved upon his mind...

 

"But we are to remember that this is not a compulsory matter now. It is now an invitation, and is designed only for the meek, the teachable. By and by force will be needed, and used."...

 

"... Learn to speak the truth in love and in humility—to speak it out of love to God and love to the brethren. The plan of the ages is God’s plan. We have nothing whereof to boast. Therefore we should present that plan in meekness, gentleness, brotherly-kindness and love." ‘15-R5720

 

"THE DIVINE PLAN RUNS LIKE A GOLDEN CHAIN THROUGH THE WHOLE BIBLE, BOTH OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS. "‘ 15-R5706 "The RANSOM is taught on every leaf of the Bible.’

 

"The RANSOM is the scarlet thread running all through the Scriptures.’

 

"Visions are not realities, tho they symbolically represent them. This Is true, whether the vision come, as Daniel describes his, as ‘visions of my head upon my bed,’ or whether they come in broad daylight, as with the transfiguration scene, which our Lord declared was a vision (Matt. 17:9). The visions granted to John, recorded in the Book of Revelation, are in no sense and in no part to be understood as realities, and this is the significance of John’s statement... ‘I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day’—in a trance.

 

"Altho the words, ‘on the Lord’s day,’ might not unreasonably be understood to signify that John in vision was carried down the stream of time to the great Millennial day the day of Christ, the Lord’s day, nevertheless, we think it reasonable to understand him to mean also that he saw this vision on the first day of the week. And how appropriate it was that our Lord who arose on the first day of the week and who most frequently manifested his resurrection powers on that day, should on the same day reveal himself and certain great instructions to the church through John, honoring the same day of the week. It is no wonder, therefore, that Christian people from the very earliest times have held the

 

19 first day of the week in special reverence as the symbol of the fulfilment of all our hopes, whereof God gave us assurance in the resurrection of our Lord Jesus on this day. Besides, to confine the meaning of the expression to the Millennial day exclusively, would be to ignore the fact that the larger proportion of John’s vision related not to the Millennial day, but to the intervening time." ‘01-R2826 "Presumably John referred to the first day of the week, now generally called Sunday. It is peculiarly to us the Lord’s day—the day on which our Lord rose from the dead, and on which all the promises of God’s Word received life and our hopes through Christ were quickened. We may see in the expression also a reference to the Millennial age, called in the Scriptures frequently, ‘The day of Christ.’ We today according to our understanding of chronology, are living in the early dawn of this day of Christ, and it is here and now properly that we begin to see the wonderful things of the divine character and plan. But to see these things, to understand these things, we must be in the spirit. Only those who have become new creatures in Christ Jesus can be expected to understand and appreciate spiritual things, and this is the class whom John represented.

 

"As John heard a voice behind him and looked in that direction, so we who now are having the realities find that the message is behind us, and turn and look toward the past to see the fulfillment of the various features of the divine plan and to hear and understand the message given to his people by the risen Lord.

 

"The voice said, ‘What thou seest write in a book and send to the seven churches’—naming seven prominent churches in Asia Minor... There are many reasons for concluding that while the messages were given to the seven churches specified and were applicable to them, they should properly have a still wider application to the whole church of Christ, the number seven representing completeness and the order representing different epochs in the history of the church. Thus the church at Ephesus would represent the condition of the church in the Apostle’s days at the time of the writing of the messages, while the Laodicean church would represent the church in our day—in the end of this Gospel age. The other churches would correspondingly represent different epochs intermediate, between the beginning and now. To think otherwise would be to attach more importance to those seven comparatively small churches of Asia Minor than they would seem to have deserved, and would have implied an ignoring of other churches more numerous and more influential than they; as, for instance, the churches at Jerusalem Antioch, Corinth, Colosse, Philippi, Thessalonica, etc. Furthermore, the details of the messages given to these seven churches apply to and fit historically the one church of the living God, over every member and branch of which the Lord has a care. This thought, that the seven represented completeness, we find emphasized in the other symbolical representations—in the seven golden candlesticks, the seven stars, etc." ‘05-R3569

 

Revelation 1

 

11  Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

 

Revelation 1:11 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 11. Saying, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven congregaions: unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

 

As I am the first and the last of the creation of Jehovah, all the work of the Divine Plan of the Ages has been committed to me. Therefore,  what thou seest, write in a book and send it to the seven churches in Asia. As Asia means "boggy," or "swampy," it very well represents the standing, ground, or location of the church during the Gospel Age. And the names of the seven cities, all in Asia, signify the particular characteristic of each period of the Church’s experience. Ephesus means "first," during the time of the Apostles;  Smyrna means "bitter," on account of persecutions;  Pergamos, " earthly elevation";  Thyatira, " the sweet perfume of a sacrifice";  Sardis, " that which remains," just before the Reformation;  Philadelphia, " brotherly love," time of the Reformation movements; and Laodicea, " justice for the people," during clouds of trouble, which are signs of the Presence of the Son of Man, as proclaimed by Pastor C.T. Russell.

 

"Jehovah bath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God" Isaiah 52:10.

 

"To whom bath the arm of Jehovah been revealed?" cried the Prophet. Alas, it is so that few, very few, see in our Lord Jesus the powerful arm, the omnipotence of Jehovah stretched down for the aid of our fallen race. Few realize that the work finished at Calvary is the foundation, the basis upon which the great Jehovah will ultimately establish the Millennial kingdom for the blessing and uplifting of all the families of the earth. The majority see Jesus as merely the finger of the Lord, doing a comparatively small work for a comparatively small class. As our eyes open we behold to our joy that Messiah, head and body, will yet constitute the arm of Jehovah, that all- powerful force which shall overthrow evil and establish righteousness and bless all the families of the earth through the seed of Abraham. ‘If ye be Christ’s then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise’ "—Gal. 3:29. ‘05-R3590 "As in the days of Noah the world went on with its affairs as usual, not in the least disconcerted, and without the slightest faith in the preaching of Noah with reference to the coming flood, so in the early part of the Day of the Lord, the world, having no faith in the announcement of his presence and of the impending trouble, will go on as usual, giving no heed whatever to any such preaching until, in the great flood of trouble, the old world—the old order of things—goes down, passes away, preparatory to the full establishment of the new order, the Kingdom of God under the whole heavens. ‘As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days (of the presence) of the Son of Man. ‘" B141-B143 Matt. 13:34,35,55. "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life" John 6:63. "All these things spake Jesus unto the multitudes in parables, and without a parable spake he not unto them; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Prophet, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.’

 

"The entire matter is clarified when we recognize the difference between the salvation of the world to the human nature, during Messiah’s reign of a thousand years, and the

 

20 salvation provided for the elect, called during this age, and specially instructed and guided with the view of their making their calling and election sure.

 

"The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God... neither can he know them, for they are spiritually discerned"—1 Cor. 2:14.

 

AFTER YE WERE ILLUMINATED "When the spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth... and will show you things to come"—John 16:13.

 

"The apostles at Pentecost received an illumination of the mind which enabled them to understand the things of God, yea, the deep things of God; for he bath given unto us his Spirit, ‘that we might know the things which are freely given us of God’—1 Cor. 2:12.

 

"Jesus had this... thought in mind when he declared that there were certain things his disciples could not understand at that time, but would know afterwards, because he would send the holy Spirit, which would bring all things to their remembrance whatsoever he had spoken; and would show them things to come (John 14:26; 16:13). This was not only true with the apostles, but has been true with respect to all the members of the body of Christ throughout this age. Each one presenting his body a living sacrifice has been accepted by the great Advocate, and presented as a part of his own offering; and then the offerer has been begotten of the holy Spirit to be a new creature in Christ.

 

"It is to these new creatures that the statement is made, ‘All things are yours, for ye are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.’ It is to these the Bible has promised, ‘He will show you things to come.’ It is these that are to be guided into all truth as it shall become due. It is for these that the Word of God is a storehouse, from which ‘things both new and old’ are to be produced, under the Spirit’s guidance, as they become ‘meat in due season’ to the ‘household of faith.’ "The spirit begotten new creatures must make progress in their appreciation of spiritual things... if they would attain joint-heirship in the kingdom... each to use the ‘strong meat’ of divine truth... becoming a man, sanctified, developed as a new creature and filled with the Spirit, and ‘thoroughly furnished unto every good work’ by knowledge of the Word of God.

 

"Our Lord brought life and immortality to light... the general reward of everlasting life to be given to the world, and the special reward to be granted to the church." Please see ‘12-R5088

 

THE LOGOS MADE FLESH John 1:1-18 AND THE LOGOS BECAME FLESH, AND DWELT AMONG us—V.14 "Our... study is one of the most beautiful in the whole Bible. Genesis goes back to the beginning of all beginnings, when God was alone. The very beginning of divine operation was the Logos—‘the Beginning of the creation of God’—’the First-born of every creature’ (’the first brought forth of all creation’)—Rev. 3:14; Col. 1:15

 

THE FATHER’S HONORED AGENT—MESSENGER "Logos signifies mouthpiece, or special messenger. Not only so—not only was the Logos the beginning, or Alpha—but he was also the last, the Omega of divine creation, as he himself informs us (Revelation 1:8; 21:6). The first and only begotten Son of Jehovah was given an exclusive place, so that ‘all things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made’ (John 1:3). Thus highly did the Father honor him as his agent in all the creative work, both as respects angels, cherubim and men.

 

(See v.8, ‘12-R5050. "Originally, he was the first creation. Now he was the second creation—the new creation, in contradistinction—Gal. 6:15).

 

"The Greek text is not fully represented in our Common Version. Accurately translated it reads, ‘The Logos was with the God and the Logos was a god; the same was in the beginning with the God.’ Here the majesty of our Redeemer in his prehuman condition is fully set forth, and yet he is distinctly shown to be the Son and not the Father—to be a god and not the God. ‘13-R5351, R5352

 

"THE LOGOS BECAME FLESH "We are assured that his body was especially prepared, separate and different from others of our race, all of whom were of Adamic stock and all tainted with sin and the seeds of death—Heb. 10:5-9.

 

"He was ‘put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit’—I Peter 3:18—Emphatic Diaglott.

 

"As Bible students we must strive more earnestly than we have done to keep close to the Word of God. It was the perfect man Adam who sinned and was sentenced to death and under the divine law he could be redeemed only by the sacrifice of a perfect man. The Law declared, ‘An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and a man’s life for a man’s life.’ A perfect man had sinned.

 

"BLESSED ARE THE MEEK" "The meek will he guide in judgment; and the meek will he teach his way"—Psalm 25:9.

 

"While it is not Scripturally stated that the heavenly Father is meek, yet Jesus was meek, and he was the express image of the Father’s person in the flesh. Hence we would assume that the heavenly Father possesses meekness, in distinction from haughtiness.

 

GOD RESISTS THE PROUD "Our Lord said, ‘I am meek and lowly of heart.’ Our Lord was meek in that he was teachable. He realized that even in his perfection there were things to be learned; and he learned obedience through the things which he suffered. It was because he had this quality of meekness or teachableness that the offer was made to him to be our Savior... And as with the Master, so with the church.

 

"These are the ones whom the Lord is pleased to instruct and guide in the knowledge of his Son, and into all his blessings. If they continue to be meek, He is able to make of them heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ their Lord. We read in the Scriptures that the meek shall inherit the earth. They will inherit it under the terms of the primary and 21 original covenant. These will be the seed of Abraham. From these the blessing will go to all mankind who will be obedient during the Millennial reign. After the final test at the end of the Millennial age, the whole world will be teachable. They will have learned the great lesson that God is the Fountain of all Wisdom; and they will have profited by this instruction. "‘ 13-R5370

 

THE LIGHT OF-THE WORLD "The Logos was made Jesus. The work of Jesus in the flesh, however, is not the completion of the divine plan, but merely the beginning of it. His death constitutes the basis of all future blessings to the church and to the world. According to the Father’s plan, an elect class was to be gathered out of Israel and out of every nation to be the church of Christ, his bride, associates with him in his throne, glory and work. Jer. 31:34 "Thus according to his promise Jesus eventually will be ‘the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world’ (John 1:9). The great mass of humanity have never seen nor even heard of this true Light—not merely the heathen millions, but the masses in civilized lands.

 

"The resurrection of the just will be necessary to bring the church to glory and joint-heirship with her Lord. But the resurrection of the unjustified, which includes practically all humanity, will be for the very purpose of permitting them to see the true Light, which God has provided in his Son and which will be shed abroad during his Millennial kingdom. Only those who refuse the light, preferring the darkness, will die the second death.

 

"The world recognized not the great One who was in it, the Logos, by whom it was made. His own nation recognized him not, but crucified him. Yet some then and some since have received him, and to such he has given the power, the right, the liberty, the privilege, to become children of God. No such privilege was given to the Jews, nor to any of the fallen race, until Pentecost—after Jesus had appeared in the presence of God to make atonement for our sins.

 

"These sons are all begotten of the holy Spirit. Theirs is not a fleshly sonship. Their birth of the Spirit will be the resurrection change, when they shall be made like their Master, see him as He is and share his glory." ‘13-R5352

 

Revelation 1

 

12  And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;

 

Revelation 1:12 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 12. And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;  

 

The symbol of seven golden candlesticks would indicate a complete message from a Divine source, such as Pastor Russell received early in 1881 A.D., as Tabernacle Types, or as the Lord Jesus received early in 30 A.D. Pastor Russell received all his Master’s goods that the Church would need for the work of Harvest. Of course this was not as much as the Lord received in 30 A.D.

 

"Turning and looking, John saw in symbol as we may now see with the eye of faith and understanding. He saw one like a Son of man (like a man—like a priest, as implied by the clothes described) walking amongst seven golden candlesticks, caring for them, trimming the wicks, seeing to the supply of oil, etc. We see that our Lord Jesus, our glorified Master, although absent from us, has been present with his church throughout the past eighteen centuries and more, protecting the interests of his cause and directing in respect to all of his people’s affairs, especially inspecting and caring for the church as a light bearer, a candlestick. Alas, how poor the wicks sometimes have been, how feeble the light that has sometimes shone out into the darkness, how much of trimming has been necessary! ‘05-R3569 "... Are not the incidental persecutions exactly what our Lord forewarned us would be part of the cost of faithful discipleship? And are not those the very persecutions whose absence earlier in our Christian experiences made us wonder whether or not we were acceptable sons of God? Heb. 12:8—see verse 2.

 

"Surely our answers to these questions must be, Yea, Lord! even though because of weakness of the flesh the answer be not joyous as it should be, but through unbidden tears. And with this answer on our part the Lord is pleased; and angels of his mercy—his promises exceeding great and precious—minister unto us and strengthen us." ‘99-R2412 "The degree of our success in this conflict will depend largely upon the keenness of our faith and trust in the great Teacher. If we have confidence in his wisdom, we will follow closely his instructions and keep our hearts, minds, with all diligence. Faith in the Lord’s wisdom and in his help in every time of need is necessary to us in order that we may be thoroughly obedient to him; and hence it is written, ‘This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith’; that is, it will be by the exercise of faith and the obedience which flows therefrom that we will be enabled to come off conquerors and ‘more that conquerors’ through him that loved us and gave himself for us—1 John 5:4; Rom. 8:37." ‘11-R4904 "Faith, or confidence, in God and in the ‘great and precious promises’ is the very basis of all Christian endeavor. Without this faith one cannot fight a good fight. In proportion as the promises are before our minds, in that proportion we have strength and courage to run the narrow way.

 

"... The rewards are for those who hold the faith even unto death... The Lord deals graciously and generously with us. He will do for us whatever is right... Those whose hearts are right are submissive to the divine will. The Lord wants us to have a faith that will continue in sorrow and in sunshine: that will trust where it cannot see, that will continue under all the leadings of divine providence. "‘ 12-R5095

 

JESUS REVEALED TO JOHN IN VISION—Rev. 1:9-20.

 

"Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever"—Heb. 13:8.

 

Revelation 1

 

13  And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.

 

Revelation 1:13 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 13. And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son (a son) of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.

 

The typical candlestick of the Tabernacle, pictures spiritual knowledge. The garment suggests the Of lice of High Priest; the golden girdle, Divine service; and the candlesticks, the nature of the service, as dispenser of Light, the light of God: the Plan of Salvation, the Permission of Evil, the High Calling, the Times and work of Restitution, etc.

 

"Turning to see the one who addressed him, John beheld seven golden candlesticks (lampstands), and standing in the 22 midst of these one having the resemblance to a son of man—not the Son of man*... What John saw in the way of light and stars and lamps and brightness was merely a mental vision, while that which Paul saw while on the way to Damascus was a very literal light, which permanently injured his eyes. What John saw in vision was not understood by him to be the Lord’s glorious body, nor even a representation of it, except in the sense that it was a symbolical representation.

 

"The whole body was covered, hidden from sight, with a robe, only the head, the hand and the feet being exposed to view, thus agreeing with the explanation given us by the Apostle Paul {1Co 12:12-31} in which he represents the whole church as being the body of Christ and members in particular... Thus the Lord would be present with his people by his spirit dwelling in them, using different members of the body to accomplish for his body different services.

 

THE ANOINTED—THE MESSIAH—THE CHRIST This vital message is found in its entirety in ‘14-R5391 to R5394 (Feb. 1, 1914).

 

"The teaching of the Law, in type and testimony, is to the effect that God purposed to raise up a great Priest, who would also be a King; and that this priestly King and kingly Priest should cancel the sins of the people, and be invested with power to rule, and with authority as a Mediator to help them back to God. To the surprise of the typical people, Israel, instead of assuming the office of Priest and King in conjunction, he merely died!—Luke 24:20,21.

 

"Then came the time for the holy Spirit to reveal to the church what had previously been a mystery (Rev. 10:7); for when God had through the prophets spoken of Messiah as a King upon his throne, he had declared that which would be mysterious to the people—would not be easily understood. God had purposely kept his plan a secret until the due time for revealing it should come. The secret was—‘Christ in you, the hope of glory’—Col. 1:26, 27. (The Holy Spirit of God, E Chapter 8).

 

"In other words, our Lord Jesus is, primarily, the Anointed One and, according to the Scripture testimony, is very highly exalted. But he was not the completion of the divine arrangement regarding the anointed. The heavenly Father purposed not to have Jesus alone, but that he should be the Head of the anointed, and the church the body {Eph 1:22,23 5:29-32 Col 1:24}. This was the mystery. The great Messiah was to bless the world as the antitypical Prophet, Priest, and King. God appointed Jesus as the Head, and elected certain saintly ones to be the members of his body. Until this body of Christ was complete, the blessing promised to Abraham could not come upon the world—Gal. 3:16, 29.

 

"The word anointed is the English translation of the Hebrew word Messiah, and its equivalent in the Greek is Christos, Christ. So, then, our thoughts properly turn to Christ as the Anointed of God. He is to do the great work appointed by the Father. We look back and see when he received his anointing.

 

"... When he was thirty years of age... he consecrated himself to do the Father’s will and work. Then it was that *Please see "The Son of The Man," and references, at Rev. 14:14-R16. he received the special anointing. This constituted him in an incipient sense the anointed King and Priest of God. Still he was not ready to take this great power and reign; but if he proved faithful in carrying out his covenant, he would in due time become in the fullest sense the great Anointed of God, would reign over the earth for a thousand years, and subsequently would have further great honors and privileges. We can see all this very clearly portrayed in respect to our Redeemer.

 

"And as we further study we find that this is the mystery mentioned in the Scriptures:... that the great Messiah so long promised should be composed of many individuals; and that these many individuals, with the exception of the Head, should be gathered out from the children of wrath, from fallen mankind, and should be justified through the merit of their Head—THE MERIT OF HIS HUMAN SACRIFICE.

 

"The Scriptures tell us that the anointing... at Pentecost... came from the Father through Christ after his ascension. Indeed, St. Paul tells us that all blessings come from the Father, who is the fountain of blessings; and all come through the Son, who is the Channel—1Co 8:6... The spiritual nature begins in us at the moment we receive this begetting. And whoever receives it cannot retain it unless he grows and has the Lord’s spirit perfected in him.

 

VARIOUS QUALITIES OF THE HOLY SPIRIT "The spirit is spoken of in the Scriptures from various standpoints—apparently with a view to giving us a conception of it, and with the thought that it is a difficult matter to grasp.

 

"It is called the spirit of truth... Growth in spiritual things will be in proportion to this growth in knowledge. If he does not grow in knowledge, he cannot grow in the spirit... the spirit of the TRUTH.

 

"It is also called the spirit of obedience in the sense that those who possess this spirit desire to do the will of God. It is an ANOINTING in the sense that it is the qualification by which God recognizes us as his children and as those who are heirs of his promises and who are to consider themselves his ambassadors. He recognizes only those who are thus designated by the holy Spirit. These are to FILL THE OFFICE OF KINGS AND PRIESTS.

 

"It is the new creature that is anointed and it is the old creature that is sacrificed.

 

"It is as JUSTIFIED men that we are baptized into death, and it is as members of the new creation that we are constituted members of the ecclesia, or body of Christ. It is the Father’s acceptance of us that is the basis of our begetting of the holy Spirit, our anointing.

 

"The begetting thought is one that pertains to the state of the new life, the state of the new nature. The ANOINTING thought pertains to THE OFFICE. God is calling out a people to become joint-heirs with Christ in the kingdom. The anointing is the divine recognition of them as KINGS AND PRIESTS.

 

"The word Christ signifies Anointed. God has declared that he will have an anointed King and High Priest to be his agent in the blessing of the world. He has declared that that 23 great King is, primarily, the Lord Jesus Christ. He also declares that... it is his good pleasure that... the adding of these members has been the completing of this Anointed One.

 

DOUBLE RELATIONSHIP TO CHRIST "The terms begetting and birth are used symbolically to represent the beginning and the completion of the new creature.

 

"The word baptism signifies immersion. St. Paul explains that we are all baptized, or immersed, or anointed, by the one spirit into one body. The anointing, or baptism, of the spirit came first to our Lord Jesus, extended down to the church at Pentecost, and has been with the church as an anointing ever since. All of us who come to God, by Christ, confessing our sins and asking forgiveness through his merit, and who yield ourselves to be dead with him, by baptism into his death, are immersed into membership in his body, thus coming under the anointing.

 

"The result of this action is two-fold; we become, first of all, members of Christ in the flesh, and he accepts us and treats us as such. We are first baptized, or immersed, into death—his death, his baptism. Then the figure changes; and we are raised up out of this baptism into death, as new creatures. Thereafter our flesh is counted as his flesh. So our relationship to Christ is two-fold: one appertaining to the flesh, the other to the spirit.

 

"Very many have not noticed this double relationship to Christ—as new creatures, and also in the flesh. The force of this is brought to us in the words of the glorified Christ to Saul of Tarsus: ‘Saul, Saul, why persecutes" thou ME?... I am Jesus whom thou persecutes"‘ (Acts 9:4,5). Thus our Lord declared that the persecution of the church in the flesh was a persecution of himself. What the church suffers is a part of the sufferings of Christ. The sufferings of Christ will not be filled up until the last member of his body shall have finished his course.’

 

THE LORD s DECISION STILL FUTURE ‘14-R5391 to R5394 "All the consecrated ones of both classes (the Lord’s goat class and the scape-goat class) pass through great trials and afflictions; yet by one class they are esteemed light afflictions, taken joyfully, which they rejoice to be accounted worthy to suffer. Theirs is a willing sacrifice,  like that of the Head. To the other class they are burdensome, great afflictions, almost without joy—an enforced destruction of the flesh. And proportionately different are their positions and rewards at the end of the race." TS72 "The New Creature must learn that he may have this peace of God, which passeth all understanding, to rule in his heart even while outward conditions are the reverse of peaceful; but that the condition of full harmony with the Lord is a reward for faithfulness to Him, whatever the cost, whatever the sacrifice.... The New Creature must first of all consider his primary obligation, viz., that he shall love and serve the Lord with all his heart, mind, being, strength, and that all dealings with family or flesh or neighbors must be subject to this primary law of OBEDIENCE TO GODS, F 602

 

Revelation 1

 

14  His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;

 

Revelation 1:14 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 14. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes as a flame of fire;  His head, being white, indicates the purity of his mind; the whiteness of its hairs indicates wisdom. Since his resurrection he has been like Jehovah: even the exact impress of the character of His substance; infinite in Justice, Wisdom, Love, and Power. Such seeing eyes! such an understanding mind; he saves to the uttermost.

 

.. The head, with its white hair, corresponding to the Ancient of Days of Daniel’s vision (Dan. 9:27), is... merely suggestive and symbolic of venerableness, of knowledge, experience, wisdom. The fiery or electric glance of the eyes should similarly be understood symbolically to represent penetrating intelligence, and ablility to see and to know everything pertaining to his people, his church. ‘01-R2826

 

CHRIST CALLED TO SACRIFICE—THE BODY ALSO TO SACRIFICE "‘ If we suffer with him, we shall also reign with him.

 

The reason why the Father is so careful in making the selection of the church class, is that they are to reign... in the coming kingdom. He would not select those who had not first learned humility before he could use them to teach humility to others. God desires such a company of priests and judges to be associated with his son for a thousand years in ruling and blessing the world as will prove faithful under all cricumstances—those in whom he can place absolute confidence, who have been tested and found faithful. This is the reason that he tests and proves during this Gospel age every one whom he will receive for that future work.

 

"The call of the Gospel age is, therefore, one to sacrifice. God does not hide this fact from us... Whoever would follow Jesus must prove his faithfulness by his willingness to sacrifice.

 

"In the past, false doctrines confused us; but now ‘we see Jesus’—we see what he accomplished, and how he endured without growing weary or giving up. It makes our course plain when we consider him.... But in our Lord’s case it was different. He received the slanders, the misrepresentation, and everything else that came against him, without having any fault in him at all. ‘He was holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners,’ still he endured. We, though following in his footsteps, have not as much to endure as had the Master.

 

... While the Father let Jesus die on the cross as a malefactor, yet he... kept his promise to raise him from the dead.... In raising up Jesus the Father has given us a testimony to his faithfulness. In the case of Jesus, no one had set him an example. It was all by faith with him; none had gone before. With us it is different.... If we trust God, he is faithful to keep us and to do what he has promised—to raise us up with our Head. Consider what great things God has done for His son. Consider also that he has promised us a share in our Lord’s glory if we be found faithful. It is amazing—almost beyond conception!... But since He has stated it over and over again in so many ways as to remove all grounds for doubt, I must believe it. How wonderful it seems!

 

24 "Consider him! Consider that God has highly exalted him! Consider what a great privilege has been afforded us of walking in his footsteps, especially as our lives are so imperfect, so unsatisfactory.... What a thought that God will count our little sacrifice as a part of that which Jesus gave! We are to be heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ, ‘to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed at the last time.’ Then to think that we are in the last time now! We are right at the close of the age. The new dispensation is opening all around us, and the great majority of the people are so bewildered that they do not know what to make of the wonderful things of our day... The Lord’s true people are the only ones who have a correct understanding of these things.

 

"How carefully the people of God, therefore, should weigh their thoughts and deeds! ‘Seeing that these (present) things are to be dissolved, what manner of persons ought we to be in all holy living and godliness, looking for and earnestly desiring the coming of the day of God!... According to his promise we look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness... ‘Ye therefore, beloved, knowing these things beforehand, beware lest, being carried away with the delusions of the unsettled or lawless, ye fall from your own steadfastness. But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and forever. Amen"—2 Peter 3:13-18.

 

"Let us not live in the past and dwell upon our mistakes and shortcomings, and thus be cast down; but let us believe that ‘if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness’ {1Jo 1:9}. And we should have such an appreciation of these mercies and blessings of forgiveness as to show it forth in our conduct.

 

"Let us give heed more and more to the suggestion of Hebrews 12:3, and consider him whom the Father has so greatly exalted—so highly exalted. Let us remember that he has called us with the same high and heavenly calling and has promised to help us all the way through! If we remember this, we shall cease to be weary and faint and shall become strong in the Lord and in the power of his might; we shall go on from grace to grace, from glory to glory; we shall be transformed by the renewing of our minds, more and more proving what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Then, finally, we shall attain unto the glorious things which he has in reservation for those who love him more than parents, or children, or self, or any other person or thing. "

 

"Hold on thy way with hope unchilled, By faith and not by sight; And thou shalt own his Word fulfilled—At eve it shall be light.’ ‘17-R6065 Delivered at the Brooklyn Tabernacle, Oct. 11,

 

Revelation 1

 

15  And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.

 

Revelation 1:15 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 15. And his feet like unto fine brass copper, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.

 

Feet may represent our standing or our conduct. As regards our Lord, his standing while in the flesh was in perfection, while ours is also, but by justification. In the type, the posts of both the Court and the Holy were set in copper. Feet also represent our conduct, as our Lord said to Peter, Unless your feet are washed, ye have no part in me. And Peter’s conduct soon indicated that of a new creature and an apostle.

 

"The feet, described as like furnace-refined copper would represent these members of the body of Christ who serve in... the Lord’s work. Copper is a symbol of humanity, and this copper being furnace-refined would seem to say that those who belong to the body of Christ, and whom the Lord would use in his service, ‘the feet’ members of the body, must, in their contact and dealings with the world, be refined, purified, clean—’Be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord’s house.’ The feet would thus represent the living members of the body, all down through this age; and the refining process to each and all will be fiery trials.

 

"Thus understood, the figure of a son of man (a human figure) in the midst of the seven candlesticks, etc., symbolically represented Christ standing criticising, judging, directing, in the midst of his church, upholding his chosen stars or ministers, and represented in the various members by his people, is an impressive picture or symbol, full of instruction, leading us to expect the Lord’s guidance in all the affairs of his church, and to realize that things are not happening to her haphazard. To so recognize that the Lord’s people in every part of this age have been ‘feet’ members of the body, carrying forward his work, is not to contradict our previous application of Isa. 52:7, which merely represents the ‘feet’ who declare unto Zion, ‘Thy God reigneth’— in this manner distinguishing these from their predecessors in the pilgrim way. ‘01-R2827

 

WITHOUT A PARABLE HE SPAKE NOT "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life"—John 6:63.

 

"However dark and parabolic were our Lord’s teachings, nevertheless, rightly understood, his message is one that is spiritually helpful and life-giving to those who can and do understand it. It is the quality of the Lord’s message which makes the religion of the Bible different from that of all the heathen. It is a message of life as well as a message of holiness. It is a message of forgiveness as well as a message of condemnation. It is a message of life as well as a message of justice. His wonderful words of life—they are charming, beautiful, forceful! We may read them over year after year and we see still more beauty in them, still deeper significance, and that in proportion to our own growth in grace, our growth in knowledge, and in the spirit of our Master. ‘10-R4644 Concerning our Lord Jesus, whose heart was perfect—in whom was no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth, it was said, ‘Grace is poured into thy lips’; and again, ‘All bare him witness and wondered at the gracious words that proceeded out of his mouth’ (Psa. 45:2). Moses, personating Christ, foretold the blessed influence of the Lord’s words, saying, ‘My doctrine shall drop as the rain; my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass’ (Deut. 32:2). And Jesus said,

 

25 ‘The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life’ (John 6:63). So wise, just and true were the Lord’s words, that, though his enemies were continually seeking to find some fault, it is said, ‘They could not take hold of his words before the people; and they marveled at his answers and held their peace’ (Luke 20:26). And others said, ‘Never man spake like this man’—John 7:46.

 

"Thus our Lord left a worthy example to his people, which the Apostle urges all to follow, saying, ‘Let your speech be always with grace (with manifest love and kindness), seasoned with salt (a preservative influence)"—Col. 4:6. And Peter adds, ‘If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God’—wisely, and in accordance with the spirit and Word of the Lord...

 

"Job, in the midst of all his afflictions, was very careful not to sin with his lips {Job 2:10 31:30 1:21,22}. He knew that his words would be taken by the Lord as an index of his heart, and he was careful to keep both the heart and the words right, saying, ‘What! shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil (calamities, troubles—for discipline or refining)?... The Lord gave, and the Lord bath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.’ There was no spirit of rebellion in a heart out of whose abundance came such words of loving submission, patience and faith under severe testings, and that, too, without a clear vision of the divine wisdom in permitting them.

 

"The Psalmist puts into the mouth of God’s consecrated and tried people these words of firm resolution—’I said I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue. I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked (who tempts and tries the righteous) is before me’—Psa. 30:1.

 

"How necessary to the stability of Christian character is such a resolution, and the self-control which develops under a firm adherence to it." ‘96-R1937

 

Revelation 1

 

16  And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

 

Revelation 1:16 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 16. And he had in his right hand seven stars; and out of his mouth went a sharp two edged sword; and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

 

The stars in his right hand were kept, whether we think of one particular angel or messenger to those particular seven classes at that time, or of the seven messengers of the Gospel Age. We like to think of the latter, for that takes in our Pastor, C.T. Russell. The two-edged sword, in our day, is made very sharp by two doctrines: the cross and thepresence. And His countenance never shone as brightly, as now. Please see CRS 164.

 

JEHOVAH THE SUPREME JUDGE "Beyond all question, Jehovah himself is the Supreme Judge, and his Law the supreme standard, according to which all decisions must be made respecting life eternal... Jehovah was the original Law-giver and Judge, and will forever maintain this position and relationship to all of his creatures. His honor he will not give unto another (Isa. 42:8)... Psalm 23:1; Isa. 49:26. In the highest sense of the word Jehovah himself is the center of the entire plan of salvation and of its every feature; and any other view of the matter is a defective one.

 

"However, as it pleased the Father to create all things through the Son (John 1:1)—so in all things it has pleased him to exalt our Lord Jesus as his honored instrument. From this standpoint we see that all blessing, all authority, all favors, proceed from the Father and by the son, and that the New Creation, associated with the son, are thus with him made ministers and joint-heirs of the grace of God...

 

"Strictly speaking it was from the moment of our Lord’s resurrection that the Father committed all of judgment unto the Son, and then it was that he declared, ‘All power (authority) in heaven and in earth is given unto me’ (Matt. 28:18), and his first exercise of this authority was the commissioning of his apostles, as his representatives, to commence the work of gathering the members of the Bride class, the Church, the Ecclesia,  his fellow members of the New Creation.

 

"We are in Christ Jesus, covered by his merit, and dealt with through him as our Head and Master, under the merciful provisions of the Abrahamic Covenant, made operative toward us, by his blood.

 

THE SUPERVISION OF THE GLORIOUS HEAD OVER THE BODY.

 

"We could not doubt the love and care of our glorified Head in respect to his Church—’body,’ ‘bride’—even if he had given us no explicit declaration of the subject. However, in his last message to his faithful, he very particularly shows that it is he who sits as the refiner and purifier of the antitypical Levites, including the Royal Priesthood. Hearken to his words to the seven churches of Asia Minor, representative of the seven epochs of the one Church’s experience: ‘Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent... else I will come upon thee quickly and remove thy candlestick.’ ‘Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.’ ‘I have a few things against thee... repent, or else I will come unto thee quickly and will fight against thee with the sword of my mouth.’ ‘To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna.’ ‘I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel... I gave her space to repent... I will cast her... into great tribulation... and I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that l am he that searches" the reins and hearts;  and I will give unto every one of you according to your works... He that overcometh and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations.’ ‘I have not found thy works perfect before God... He that overcometh... I will not blot out his name out of the book of life.’ ‘These things saith he that bath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth.’ ‘Behold I will make them of the synagogue of Satan... to come to worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I will also keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world.’ ‘Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God.’ ‘Because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.’ ‘I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich... As many as I love I rebuke and chasten;  be zealous, therefore, and repent’—Rev. 2 and 3.’

 

26 "... The key to the matter is found in our Lord’s words, ‘I and my Father are one’—we act in unison in every matter." F39-R6402 Please see Revelation 1:1.

 

OUR LORD s BEAUTY OF HOLINESS—John 19:5 "Pilate looked upon him in admiration, and exclaimed, ‘Behold the Man!’—John 19:5—or (see Strong’s Concordance) ‘Behold the countenance!’ I am a Gentile and not of your race, but here you have sent to me the most glorious Jew on earth... His face must have been one of marvelous beauty! No wonder the people flocked to see him because of his graciousness of speech and his wonderful beauty—the image of God! ‘13-R5291 "For the Word of God is quick and powerful, living and energetic, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, life and breath, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do"—Hebrews 4:12-13.

 

"The mouth, from which proceeded the sharp two-edged sword is not to tell us that this is the appearance of our Lord in glory, but merely to symbolize to us that his words in his church are to be as the sword of the Spirit, which the Apostle declares to be sharper than any two-edged sword, discerning the thoughts and intents of the heart, dividing and classifying his people, and separating from his elect every impure thing and every unacceptable element. ‘His voice, as the sound of many waters, (v.15)... might be understood as signifying peoples, nations and languages, as elsewhere explained in this book, and that thus our Lord, present with his church, would speak to her and through her by many tongues, in many languages.’

 

"The hand, in which were seven stars, is similarly to be understood as a symbolical part of the vision, representing the Lord’s power in his church. The stars, as he explains (vs. 20; chapter 2:1, 8, 12, 18, etc.), are the angels or messengers or special servants of the church in each epoch. The intimation is that the Lord would recognize in his church, in each of its seven stages or developments, one representative to whom he would specially address himself, and through whom he would specially instruct the church, and whom he would specially hold or keep as his instrument by his own power or hand." ‘01-R2826 ‘’It will be noticed that the messages to the various churches are all addressed to these stars or messengers or angels of the churches, as though he would have us understand that the appropriate message for each appropriate time or epoch in the church’s experience would be sent by the Lord through a particular star or messenger whom he would particularly commission as his representative. Our Lord himself is represented by the great light of the sun, and his special messengers in the church throughout the entire period are consistently enough represented as stars. The difference between the figures of the star and the candlestick is manifest: the star light is the heavenly light, the spiritual enlightenment or instruction; the lamp light is the earthly light, representing good works, obedience, etc., of those who nominally constitute the Lord’s church in the world and who are exhorted not to put their light under a bushel, but on a candlestick, and to let their light so shine as to glorify their Father in heaven.

 

"No part of the description could more thoroughly convince us that the description of our Lord here given is a symbolical one than does this statement that out of his mouth proceeded a two-edged sword. As a symbolic picture, however, it is full of meaning to us. It speaks of the Word of the Lord as the sword of the spirit, ‘sharper than any two edged sword.’ It reminds us that our Lord’s words are not one-sided, not merely directed against sin in one class, that his word is sharp and cutting in every direction, that sin is reproved by him as much when found in his most earnest followers as when found elsewhere. It assures us that none need attempt to pluck out the mote from his brother’s eye without getting rid of the beam in his own eye. It assures us that if we do not show mercy to those who are our debtors we must not expect mercy from him who has proposed to extend his mercy to us.

 

"How heart-searching is the Word of God when we get to understand it—not merely as a compendium of rules and regulations, but when we come to catch the spirit of it, when we come to see that its requirement is love out of a pure heart, first to the Father, secondly to our Lord and Head, and thirdly to all his brethren, fourthly to the world in general, groaning and travailing in pain, waiting for the glorious blessings of the coming day, and fifthly, sympathetically toward our enemies also, realizing that they are warped and twisted and blinded through the deceitfulness of sin and through the machinations of the great adversary." ‘05-R3570

 

Revelation 1

 

17  And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:

 

Revelation 1:17 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 17. And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying I am the first and the last:

 

When we thus really see Jesus, our impulse is to consecrate unto death, to follow in His footsteps, that we may arrive at the same condition of character, and hope of life. "That I may know him, the power of his resurrection, the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable to his death; if by any means I may attain to THE resurrection of THE dead." See Rev. 1:8, ‘12-R5050.

 

"CONSIDER HIM"—THEN FOLLOW "Consider Him who endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds"—Hebrews 12:3.

 

"The Apostle had just been pointing out the faithfulness of our Lord Jesus. He had reminded the church of the shame and ignominy which the Master had endured for the great joy set before him by the Heavenly Father. He declares Jesus to be the Author and Finisher of our faith. He then urges that in our trials and difficulties as children of God we remember what extreme experiences in suffering the Master endured—such contradiction, such opposition, of sinners against himself—opposition to his doctrines, to everything that he did. This opposition to Jesus continued until it resulted in his murder.

 

27 "The Apostle says to the church, ‘Ye have not yet resisted unto blood striving against sin,’ as Jesus did. As a matter of fact, we really suffer very little and give up very little. At most we have but little life, as members of the fallen race, and it stretches out for only a brief span. We have very little to consecrate to God. And when that little is going we should consider how insignificant it is, and what great things the Master had—not merely the perfection that he had in his earthly life, but also what he had previously, and how, in obedience to the divine will, he humbled himself and left his glory to become a man—and then humbled himself still further, unto death, ‘even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also bath highly exalted (raised to the highest position—Strong) him, and given him a name which is above every name.’ "We should be glad to walk in his footsteps, to endure the same experiences, to drink whatever the Father shall pour out for us in our cup—his cup. As we consider thus our dear Master’s experiences and faithfulness, it makes our experiences seem only light afflictions, but for a moment, and working out ‘for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen; for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal’ {2Co 4:17,18}. For let us remember that we are ‘called... to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast’—2 Thess. 2:14, 15." ‘15-R5684 "It is not strange that John in vision fell down as dead at this glorious symbolical representation of Christ. John may be considered as a representative of the Lord’s consecrated ones, who in his presence feel their own deadness. Upon all such he places his hand (his power), and to them gives his message, ‘I am the first and last, I am he that liveth and was dead, and behold I am alive forevermore, and have the keys of hell the grave and of death’—vss. 17, 18.

 

"Not all, but only those who fall as dead before the Lord who recognize their own nothingness, who, in the language of this symbolical book, are beheaded, or lose their own wills, accepting the will of the Lord instead (Rev. 20:4)—these alone are ever able to fully receive this message from the Lord appreciatively." ‘01-R2827 "We must recognize our Lord as the one who was the beginning of the creation of God and the end of it, the one by whom were all things, the one who is next to the Father, his very representative in everything pertaining to the affairs of the universe." ‘05-R3570

 

THE MIRACULOUS BIRTH OF JESUS ‘15-R5767, R5768 Basis of the Doctrine of the Ransom. Basis of the Doctrine of Restitution.

 

"Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures"—1Co 15:3.

 

"At this time, the Passover season, we as Christians commemorate the greatest event of all history, the sacrificial death of the Savior of the world." ‘16-R5869 "Numbers of the Lord’s people all over the world... celebrate on its anniversary the most notable event in the history of the Universe of God." ‘99-R2436

 

"Calvary was the scene of the most wonderful event of history, the fulcrum as it were upon which divine Love and Justice operated for the rolling away of the curse resting upon humanity. "‘ 05 -R3560 "While the death of Christ was the greatest event in history, his resurrection from death readily holds second place. The death of Christ without his resurrection would have left our race just as helpless and hopeless as before." ‘05-R3563 "This same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven shall so come, in like manner, as ye have seen him go into heaven"—Acts 1:11. "The manner of his coming will be like the manner of his going... quietly and secretly... having thoroughly convinced witnesses... his faithful followers.... The angel seemed also to give special emphasis to the fact that the coming again would be the coming of this very ‘same Jesus’— the same one who left the glory which he had with the Father before the world was, and became man— became poor that we might be made rich; the same Jesus that died on Calvary; the same Jesus that arose a quickening spirit the third day; the same Jesus that had manifested his change during the forty days—THIS same Jesus now ascended up on high. Yes, it is the same Jesus who has experienced two changes of nature—first from spirit to human, and then from human to divine... He is now of the divine spiritual nature... he is the same loving Jesus.... He has no further use for a human body prepared for sacrifice (Heb. 10:5). That is all over now: he dies no more, but now comes to rule and bless and uplift the redeemed race.

 

"Our Lord furnished us a most beautiful illustration of the manner in which his presence will be revealed, when he said, ‘As the bright-shining emerges from the east, and illuminates even unto the west, so will be the presence of the Son of man’—Matt. 24:27... How beautiful is the figure of sunrise, as illustrating the gradual dawning of truth and blessing in the day of his presence. The Lord associated the overcomers with himself in this figure, saying, ‘Then shall the righteous shine forth as the Sun in the Kingdom of their Father.’ And the Prophet, using the same figure, says ‘The Sun of righteousness shall arise with healing in his beams.’ The dawning is gradual,  but finally the full, clear brightness shall thoroughly banish the darkness of evil, ignorance, superstition and sin." B153-B156

 

Revelation 1

 

18  I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

 

Revelation 1:18 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 18. I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen; and have the keys of the grave and of death.

 

Here is a plain statement that some may not sleep; but all new creatures must die, for our consecration is unto death, and we desire our house from heaven. "O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction.’

 

"We have seen (v. 17) that the ‘Arch-angel’—the chief messenger of Jehovah—is now our highly exalted Lord of all, the Redeemer of the world, the Head or Bridegroom of the Church. "‘ 83-R515 "Thus we see that in Jesus there was no mixture of natures, but that twice he experienced a change of nature; first, from spiritual to human; afterward, from human to the highest

 

28 order of spiritual nature, the divine; and in each case the one was given up for the other; "While Jesus as a man was an illustration of perfect human nature, to which the mass of mankind will be restored, yet since his resurrection he is the illustration of the glorious divine nature which the overcoming Church will, at resurrection, share with him." A180 "For these also is the wonderful message that this Redeemer, now glorified, has all power in respect to our race—the keys, the authority, the control, not only of hades (the great prison house of death), but also the power or control over death in its every degree; so that it is his privilege to raise up so many as will obey him out of the degradation and imperfection of this dying condition, up, up, up, to perfection of life, where death will have no power. These may know, also, that the time for the exercise of this power by the Redeemer is nigh at hand, and that the privilege of deliverance from the tomb and from death into the full liberty of the sons of God, into abundance of life and freedom from the bondage of corruption, will be extended to every creature of Adam’s race.

 

"‘ Blessed are our eyes for they see, and our ears for they hear!’ "‘ 01-R2827 "The more we understand the plan of God, the greater will be that power in our hearts, and the deeper our consecretion to the divine will, the more sympathy will we have and the greater will be our desire to do the divine good pleasure. "‘ 14-R5583

 

THE INCARNATION THEORY NOT SCRIPTURAL "The incarnation of our Lord is only a theory invented during the Dark Ages. For he humbled himself to become a man,  and ‘became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also bath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow (both in Heaven and in the earth)... and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father’—Philippians "Jesus says, ‘Blessed and holy is he that bath part in the First Resurrection.’ Such shall be kings and priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years—Rev. 20:6." ‘13-R5291 "All the blessings of everlasting life God has made provision for through Messiah. Messiah is to have a kingdom; and this kingdom is to rule the world in righteousness (see Ps 96$ , 97$, and 72), blessing not only the living, but also those who have fallen asleep in death {Isa 25:6-9 Ho 13:14 Ro 14:9 8:20,21, Diaglott}. Many Scriptures declare this in unmistakable terms. Indeed this is the tenor of the entire Word of God. This divine plan runs like a golden chain through the whole Bible, both Old and New Testaments.... ‘15-R5706 c 2; B135.

 

OUR EASTER LESSON—‘10-R4587, R4588—lovely short article.

 

"I am he that liveth and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore. "—Rev. 1:18.

 

"Our text comes to us as fresh as though delivered yesterday from the lips of the risen Redeemer—his special message to his people. How much there is in these few words!

 

They affirm with positiveness that Jesus really died, the just for the unjust, that he might bring mankind back from sin and condemnation to harmony with God. With equal force they tell us that he is dead no longer, that although unseen to our natural eyes, our faith may recognize the fact that he arose from the dead and ascended up on high, there ‘ to appear in the presence of God for us.’—Heb. 9:24.

 

"What was effected by his death and what is the value of his life to mankind?

 

"His death was necessary because death was the sentence against Adam and all his race, because of original sin—disobedience. St. Paul says, ‘By one man’s disobedience sin entered the world, and death as a result of sin, and thus death passed upon all, for all are sinners.’ It was not an angel that had sinned and hence an angel could not be the Redeemer. The divine law was an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, an ox for an ox, a man for a man. Hence nothing but the sacrificial death of a perfect man could redeem the race from their death sentence. Any perfect man could have thus been substituted, but there was none in the whole world; hence the necessity that our Lord should be ‘made flesh’ that he might redeem us (John 1:14). Hence, as the scriptures explain, ‘he who was rich, for our sakes became poor,’ leaving the perfection of the heavenly nature and coming down to perfect human nature; he was ‘holy, harmless and undefiled, separate from sinners’—Heb. 7:26." ‘10-R4588 of "Our Easter Lesson"...

 

IT IS FINISHED "When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit"—John 19:30.

 

"Thus ended the awful tragedy of Calvary. Our Lord’s last breath with all his remaining strength was exhausted in his effort to utter with a loud voice that last grand truth, ‘It is finished.’ "Down to his very latest breath his mind was clear, as shown by every expression during those hours of agony of the cross. There he preached the gospel to the dying thief—‘Verily I say to thee this day (this dark day, when it seems as though I am an impostor, and I am dying as a felon), thou shalt be with me in Paradise—(when the Lord has established his Kingdom it will be a paradise, and the thief will be remembered and be in it)—F 668; he commended his weeping mother to the care of the beloved John; and when in the last agonies of death he cried, ‘My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me?’ And then again his clearness of intellect, and his complete submission to, and trust in God, and his desire to utter a last word of instruction to his followers is manifested in his very last words, ‘It is finished; Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.’ "If such was our Lord’s dying effort to make this last announcement, how carefully should we consider his words. What was finished there? Taking the standpoint of this dreadful moment we find him in prayer referring to the same thing a few days before, saying, ‘I have finished the work which thou gayest me to do’ {Joh 17:11,4}. Referring again to his death (John 12:27) he said, ‘Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour? But for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name.’

 

29 "Then it was for this cause—viz., death, as the world’s sin-bearer, for the world’s redemption—that he came to that hour; and this was what he finished when he bowed his head and gave up the spirit of life—existence. There it was finished; the substitute, the corresponding or equivalent price for the life of Adam and all who lost life through him, was paid. The death penalty which could not be annulled, was thus assumed and paid by another, and henceforth that gloriousfact was to be made known to all. Our dying Lord with his latest breath was the first one to proclaim the glorious message—’It is finished’; and after his resurrection he sent his disciples forth to tell to every nation the same blessed truth.

 

"The other side of the great work of atonement yet remains to be accomplished, viz., the converting of the world to God. By this sacrifice which was finished on Calvary, the way of access to God was opened up; the claims of justice were fully met, ‘That God might be just and yet the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus’ (Rom. 3:26). And now God can receive all who come unto him acknowledging the merit of the sacrifice and trusting for acceptance through it. The promise that the Redeemer will shortly take control of the world, open the sin and prejudice blinded eyes and bind or restrain their great deceiver, is but another way of assuring us that this great truth— the ransom—so necessary to be believed, shall be testified to all in due time {1Ti 2:6}, when all shall have full opportunity of accepting it." ‘87-R931 "I am he that liveth and was dead; and behold I am alive forevermore, amen; and have the keys of hell(hades, oblivion) and of death"—Rev. 1:18.

 

"This passage is given as an encouragement to God’s people, hence surely hell, hades,  here cannot mean a place of torment: otherwise, what would be the force of this expression? These words imply that the Lord’s people go to hades(oblivion), whoever else may go there, and that the hope of the Lord’s people, when going down to hades,  to oblivion, is that in due time our great Redeemer shall unlock this figurative prison-house of death, and bring forth the captives from the tomb, from sheol, hades,  oblivion. This is the significance of the statement that he has the keys, that is, the power, the authority—He can open and he can shut; all power is given into his hand.

 

"In preaching at his first advent, he quoted the prophecy of Isaiah respecting himself, which declares that he will open the prison-house, and set at liberty the captives, and declared this to be the Gospel (Isa. 61:1; Luke 4:18). It is the Gospel of the Resurrection, the message, the good tidings of deliverance of all the captives from the oblivion of death, from the power of the Adversary, ‘him that bath the power of death, that is, the devil.’ How full of meaning are these Scriptures, when viewed from the proper standpoint!" E378

 

Revelation 1

 

19  Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

 

Revelation 1:19 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 19. Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;  

 

To have John put these things in writing, shows that the author felt confident of their authenticity; and he was correct. "Wisdom is justified of her children.’

 

"John was instructed to write, to make clear, to make plain to us and to all of God’s people, the things already brought to his attention, and other things subsequently to be brought to his attention; to the intent that all of God’s people might be enabled to comprehend with all saints the lengths and breadths and heights and depths of the love of God which passeth all understanding and which can only be received through revelation from God. And here let us note the force of John’s expression (verse 3) to the effect that there is a blessing upon those who read this revelation, even thothey do not understand, and a special blessing upon those who hear and understand the words of this prophecy, and keep or conform their lives to the things that are written therein." ‘01-R2827 "And He said unto them... ye shall receive power, after that the holy spirit is come upon you, both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth"—Acts 1:8.

 

WITNESSES OF THESE THINGS "Ye are witnesses of these things"—Luke 24:48.

 

"The apostles as witnesses were not merely to tell about the Redeemer’s virgin birth, nor merely about his holy, devoted life, nor merely of our Lord’s resurrection, nor merely of his ascension, but in addition to all these facts they were to tell that he was a properly qualified Redeemer, that he met all the conditions of the Law, and that now he ever liveth to succor those who come unto the Father through him. How faithfully the apostles performed their mission! How truly, as the Apostle Paul declared, they shunned not to declare the whole counsel! Worldly wisdom might intimate that to own a Master and Teacher who had been executed as a felon would be to their discredit, and thoroughly hinder them from progress in gathering followers to their Leader. But these faithful witnesses consulted not with flesh and blood as to what they should preach—they told the story simply in all of its details, not neglecting even those of Peter and Judas, and the disputing as to which should be greatest, etc. The truth in the simplicity in which God intended it to be delivered has evidently come down to us in the Bible account. "‘ 06-R3911

 

"HE IS RISEN, EVEN AS HE SAID" —Matthew 28:1-15.

 

"We are glad that there is such satisfactory evidence that Christ died, and that thus we have further foundation for the Scriptural assurance that he died as the Redeemer of the world. Even Strauss, the agnostic, is constrained to say on this subject, ‘The whole countryside knew he was dead.’

 

THE WITNESSES MOST RELIABLE "The resurrection of Christ is vouched for by many most honorable witnesses... The witnesses... testified to his resurrection, and preached in his name and through his power as the risen one the forgiveness of sins—and did this at their own expense, with sufferings, stripes, imprisonment and cruel death as the reward. Their testimony fully concurs with the Master’s own words before he died—words which his own intimate followers could not appreciate, could not comprehend—that on the third day he would rise from the dead. "

 

30 "The doctrine of the resurrection itself is peculiar to the Jewish and Christian religions. Other religions the world over ignore the necessity for a resurrection, and claim that those who die are more alive than they were before their death. The Apostles, on the contrary, admitted that all their hope rested in the fact that Christ did rise from the dead. Mark the Apostle Paul’s words, 1Co 15:14-18.

 

"Our Lord announced in advance that he would rise from the dead on the third day. In any view of the matter our Lord could not have been exactly three days and three nights in the tomb according to the record—it would have been either more or less, because he died in the afternoon and rose from the dead in the morning, hence no exact statement of even days and nights would fit the case. We recognize the custom of the times of reckoning a portion of a day or a year as though it were a complete one. For instance throughout all the records of the chronicles of the kings we find that a portion of a year is counted for a year; that if a king reigned three years and three months it would be counted a reign of four years, or if he reigned two years and three months it would be counted three years, since he did reign for a portion of the third year. So in the statement of our Lord’s period in the tomb, it is properly enough spoken of as three days and three nights, and shown thus:

 

JEWISH RECKONING 4 to 6 p.m. Friday = 2 hours 6 p.m. Friday to 6 p.m. Saturday = 24 hours 6 p.m. Saturday to 4 or 5 a.m. Sunday = 10 or 11 hours Thus reckoned fulfils the Apostle’s words, ‘He rose again the third day.’ "‘ 06-R3904

 

THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS "It is clear from the Scriptures that Jesus rose on the first day of the week (Mark 16:2), and also that this was ‘the third day’ after his death (Lu 24:21,46 1Co 15:4 ; also Lev. 23:11). It follows that he must have been crucified on a Friday. That this is of importance in estimating the dates of Jesus’ birth and death, is pointed out in ‘The Time Is At Hand,’ vol. 2, page 60. Some object to this that Jesus in saying (Matt. 12:40) that he would be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth, contradicted the statement by the Apostle Paul that he rose on the third day. Those who reason in this way have failed to note that the phrase used by Jesus was purely idiomatic, and implied that he would be in the heart of the earth ‘till the third day.’ The proof of this is to be found in Es 4:16 5:1 Ge 42:17,18 2Ch 10:5,12 . God is his own interpreter." ‘05-R3574—(J. Edgar) "Him God raised up on the third day" F214—Acts 10:39-43 "The waving of the barley sheaf of first-fruits, on the 16th of Nisan (’the morrow after the Sabbath’ or Passover Feast of the 15th—Lev. 23:5, 6, 11, 15-17), typified the resurrection of Christ our Lord, as ‘the first-fruits of them that slept’—1 Cor. 15:20.

 

"Here is the strongest possible confirmation of the correctness of the position taken in Studies in the Scriptures, Volume 2—that our Lord was not three full 24-hour days in the tomb, but only parts of the three days and nights; that he was crucified on the day corresponding to our Friday afternoon, and arose on what corresponded to our Sunday morning. The showing of the type, that the Paschal lamb was to be killed sometime during the 14th of Nisan, and the waveoffering of the sheaf of first-fruits was to occur on the 16th, should settle the matter for all. It agrees with the repeated statement {1Co 15:4 Lu 24:46} that our Lord rose on ‘the third day according to the Scriptures.’ This scripture concerning the first-fruits is the only type which we recall as in any way pointing out the time of our Lord’s resurrection ... The evidence is overwhelming that he died on the 14th of Nisan, and rose on the 16th—the third day after." ‘13-R5191

 

JESUS HIMSELF DREW NEAR—Luke 24:13-35 "Early in the morning of the day of his resurrection he had appeared to the women who came with spices to embalm his body. They had communicated to St. Peter and St. John that the Lord had been with them... In the afternoon, two of the company were walking home, discussing their disappointment in Jesus—how instead of becoming a great king, he had been crucified, and their hopes of associating with him in dignity and honor had all been dashed...

 

"It is Christ that died, yea rather, that was raised from the dead"—Rom. 8:24.

 

THAT JESUS IS STILL FLESH IS UNSUPPOSABLE "While they thus talked, Jesus overtook them. They knew him not, because of his resurrection change. The Apostle Peter tells us that he was ‘put to death in flesh, but quickened in spirit.’...

 

"‘ We shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye’; for ‘flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.’ The change which the church is to experience, in order to be fitted for the kingdom of God is the same change which Jesus experienced when he was raised from the dead, a life-giving Spirit—no longer a man.

 

"When the Logos was made flesh, the identity was not lost. Respecting our Lord’s human experiences, we read: ‘A body hast thou prepared me’—for the suffering of death (Hebrews 10:5-10). When he had accomplished that purpose, he no longer had need of human nature, but, as he had foretold his disciples, he ascended up where he was before—to the spirit plane, to the spirit nature, as well as, later on, to heaven itself.

 

"The Scriptures show that the Father highly exalted the Redeemer, not only restoring him to spirit-being, higher than human, but exalting him ‘far above angels, principalities, powers and every name that is named’ "—Phil. 2:9-11; Eph. 1:20-23.

 

JESUS SHOWED HIMSELF "St. Luke declares that Jesus showed himself alive after his resurrection (Acts 1:3). Again he speaks of him as appearing. The narrative shows both terms are justified by the facts. He appeared and disappeared. He showed himself to some and not to others, and in every way manifested the fact that some great change had taken place in him after those three days. Not only did he appear and show himself in different forms, in different bodies, unlike each other, but also in different clothing. Then, too, when he suddenly disappeared, the clothing disappeared also.

 

"Jesus, when he was the Logos—before his nature was changed from Spirit to human—appeared to Abraham, in company with two angels. We read that the Lord and two angels did eat and talk with Abraham, who knew them not, but ‘entertained angels unawares’ until, eventually, their identity was revealed. Hebrews 13:2; Gen. 18:3; 19:2 "Just so it was with the two disciples en route to Emmaus: The stranger who overtook them sympathetically inquired, Why look and talk so sadly? They opened their hearts to him, astonished that he did not know...

 

"This gave Jesus the opportunity he sought—to explain to his disciples... that the experiences they had had were part of the divine plan... He declared that it was necessary that he should thus suffer in order to enter into his glory—that without such suffering he never could be the King of Glory, with power to bless and restore humanity, bye and bye—Acts 3:19-21.

 

"Then he began to point out from the writings of Moses and all the prophets what God had foretold respecting Messiah’s experiences. He probably reminded them of how Isaac had been offered up by Abraham, explaining that Abraham typified the heavenly Father, and Isaac typified himself; and that the offering, even though not fully carried out, represented the death of himself as it had taken place, the subsequent life of Isaac representing the resurrection of Jesus, to be with his Father again.

 

"He doubtless told them about the smitten rock, from which gushed the waters—that the rock represented himself, who must be smitten in order to give the water of life to the dying world. He doubtless told them how Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, and explained that the serpent represented sin; and that he, in being crucified, was made to take the place of the sinner, that the sinner might, through faith, be made righteous in God’s sight through the Redeemer’s sacrifice.

 

"He doubtless explained to them the sacrifice of the Atonement Day, in which the bullock, which died, represented himself in the flesh; and in which the high priest, who lived, and who entered into the Most Holy and sprinkled the blood for the forgiveness of the people, also represented himself, a spirit being, who after resurrection would go into heaven itself and eventually offer up full sin-atonement on behalf of the world, and would come forth again at his second advent to bless those for whom he had died.

 

HE OPENED THE SCRIPTURES "He doubtless explained to them respecting the passoverlamb—that it typified himself, ‘the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." We may assume that he proceeded to the Psalms, Isaiah and the other prophets, explaining all the prophetic passages relating to the sufferings of Christ and the glory that would follow. No wonder those disciples afterward declared that their hearts had burned within them while he opened to them the Scriptures.

 

"Jesus could have manifested himself to his disciples otherwise than he did. Instead of appearing as the gardener and as the traveler, etc., in different forms, and then vanishing

 

31 after communicating with his disciples, he could have done just as he did with Saul of Tarsus, the last one to whom he appeared. As we read, ‘Last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born of the spirit in the resurrection. Then they will be spirit beings, like the Redeemer, see him as he is and share his glory. That will be the due time for all of his followers to see him as he is—not as he was—1Jo 3:2.

 

"But Saul of Tarsus saw him thus as a spirit being, ‘shining above the brightness of the sun’ at noonday—saw him before the time. The effect upon him was disastrous to his eyes, and required a miracle for his recovery of sight. And even then apparently a certain blemish was allowed to be a thorn in his flesh to his dying day, as a reminder of God’s great mercy toward him, and to keep him humble in connection with his powerful ministry—2 Corinthians 12:7.

 

"Who cannot see that the Lord’s way of manifesting himself after his resurrection was in every way the best! Had he appeared to many of them, or to all of them, as he appeared to Saul of Tarsus later, they would have been bewildered, shocked...

 

"It should be remembered that out of fewer than ten appearances during the forty days between our Lord’s resurrection and ascension, he only twice appeared in a form similar to that which they had seen, and bearing marks of crucifixion; and that on both of these occasions he appeared while the doors were shut, and later vanished while the doors were still shut, in order that his followers might learn a double lesson: (1) That he was no longer dead, but alive, resurrected; (2) That he was no longer flesh, but spirit—’Now the Lord is that Spirit.’ "‘ 14-R5415 to R5417 "At the end of the forty days our Lord appeared to all of the apostles at the time of his ascension. This was at the Mount of Olives—Luke 24:50,51 Ac 1:6-9.

 

"It was necessary that the apostles should be ‘witnesses,’ testifiers to the fact that Christ had not only died but had also risen from the dead; and in order that Paul as an Apostle might thus testify he was granted the vision of the glorified one. He saw him as we shall see him in that he saw him in the brightness of his excellent glory and not as the others, veiled in the flesh. Thank God... to be made like him, to see him as he is, to share his glory. Not all in the same moment, but each in his own moment, changed instantly—until gradually... passing from death unto life, the full number of the very elect shall be completed and the reign of glory shall begin." ‘06-R3905

 

Revelation 1

 

20  The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

 

Revelation 1:20 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 20. The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawestin my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches; and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest, are the seven churches.

 

How God’s dealing with his true church is laid out and explained in the Tabernacle Book! We have never seen one, grounded thoroughly in the Tabernacle Study and understanding, go back on Present Truth, as presented by Pastor C.T. Russell in the Scripture Studies.

 

"The Golden Candlestick or lampstand which stood opposite the Golden Table, and gave light to all in the ‘Holy,’ 32 was of gold—all of one piece hammered out. It had seven branches, each of which held a lamp, making seven lamps in all—a perfect or complete number. This represented the complete Church, from the Head, Jesus, to and including the last member of the ‘little flock’ that he is taking out from among men, to be partakers of the divine (gold) nature. Our Lord says, ‘The seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches’—the one Church whose seven stages or developments were symbolized by the seven congregations of Asia Minor (Rev. 1:11). Yes; that candlestick represented the entire Church of the First-born—not nominal, but the true Church, whose names are written in heaven—the true light-bearers—the ‘Royal Priesthood.’ "" The form of its workmanship was beautiful—a fruit and a flower, a fruit and a flower, following successively—representing the true Church as both beautiful and fruitful from first to last...

 

"The light from this lamp was from olive oil, ‘beaten’ or refined; and lamps were kept always lighted. This oil was symbolic of the Holy Spirit, and its light represented holy enlightenment—the spirit of the truth." The brilliancy of the flame or illumination depends on those antitypical spices (’07-R4093, comment Rev. 3:6) contained in the holy Spirit. That calls for the anointing. Our anointing depends on membership in Christ (Anointed). "Its light was for the benefit of the priests only, for none others were ever permitted to see it or to profit by its light. Thus was represented the spirit or mind of God given to enlighten the Church, in the deep things of God, which are entirely hidden from the natural man {1Co 2:14}... None but the truly consecrated, the ‘Royal Priesthood,’ are permitted to see into this deeper light, hidden in the ‘Holy.’ " T115, T116 "The anointing of the high priest in the type represented the divine appointment to office. Aaron was thus anointed of God. The Apostle Paul says that ‘no man taketh this honor unto himself, but he that was called of God, as was Aaron.’ Even Christ took not this honor upon himself. God appointed him, saying, ‘Thou art a Priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek’ (Hebrews 5:4-6). God’s direct dealings were with the Lord Jesus Christ. He was the one acceptable to the Father. God gave his holy Spirit to our Lord in fullest degree...

 

"The holy Spirit being poured out upon the Head of the great High Priest, and flowing down over the skirts of his garments, all his body is thus anointed. We each receive our share of the anointing when we come into the body, and under the robe." ‘14-R5424 "Seven, as a symbolic number, represents perfection or completeness, and thus the seven candlesticks, the seven churches, represent the complete church, and this union of seven as one was most beautifully typified in the golden candlestick (lamp-stand) of the ‘most holy’ of the Tabernacle and subsequently of the Temple. That candlestick or lampstand was one, but there were seven branches or lights; while in this symbolical picture of the church in Revelation each is represented separately, and our Lord’s messages are directed to the seven churches of the seven epochs separately; nevertheless, in reality the church is all one {1Co 12:12}. The union and the separateness are merely as we view the matter from two different standpoints. It is the one high priest who cares for all the lamps, and the one holy oil that in every stage of the church has given light to all of the consecrated class, the ‘royal priesthood,’ who have access to the ‘holy’ and are seated with Christ in heavenly places (conditions)—Eph. 2:6." ‘01-R2827 "In the Tabernacle, and subsequently in the Temple of Solomon, the golden candlesticks or lampstands were placed by the Lord’s direction—not seven candlesticks, but one with seven branches, representing the whole church, the complete church during this Gospel age. In Revelation the same candlestick or lampstand is brought to our attention, but the parts are separated—the union, the relationship between them, being supplied by our Redeemer, the antitypical High Priest. The lampstand symbolized the Lorcl’s nominal people of this Gospel age, including his ‘members.’ It holds forth the light of life, the light that shines in the darkness and which he directed should be so let shine before men that they might see our good works and glorify the Father in heaven. Alas! the Master evidently found but few good works, but little glorifying light shining out from his earthly representatives in many of these epochs. This is represented by his messages, chidings, encouragements, etc., given to each of these epoch 33 churches represented by the different candlesticks or lampstands. It is to be noted that the lampstand represents the nominal church of Christ rather than the true. This is shown by the fact that in the Lord’s addressing each of these lampstands or churches he finds fault with the many and approves the few, especially so in the last, the seventh, the Laodicean church of our day." ‘05-R3569 c 1 p 3; B229 p 1.

 

"It is this one whom we thus know, thus recognize as the instructor and caretaker of the candlesticks, the churches; whom we are to recognize also as having in his right hand, in his favor as well as in his power, seven stars—the angels or messengers of the seven churches. These stars apparently represent special ministers or servants of the church.

 

"In Revelation 12:1 the church is pictured as a woman crowned with twelve stars. These stars evidently represent the twelve apostles as the special lights of the church. Similarly, in the picture before us, the seven stars which the Lord holds in his right hand seem to represent special light- bearers in the church in each of the seven phases or developments. That they are held in his right hand seems to teach us that these should be considered as in some special sense under the Master’s guidance and protection and care in the interest of the churches which they represented. ‘05-R3570

 

Revelation 2

 

1  Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;

 

Revelation 2:1 (RVENDAG_)

 

CHAPTER 2:1-17 Revelation

 

"While the messages given to the seven churches specified in the Revelation were doubtless applicable to them, they properly have a still wider application to the entire Gospel church, the number seven representing completeness. The Book of Revelation is a book of symbols, which our Lord ‘sent and signified (told it in signs and symbols) by his angel unto his servant John’ (Revelation 1:1). Bible students know that the book abounds in symbols, or signs: and we are satisfied that these are the rule, and that the literal is the exception, being used only when unavoidable.

 

"To be in harmony, then, with the rest of the book, ‘the seven churches which are in Asia’ must be symbolic; and as the book is chiefly history written beforehand, they must symbolize seven successive stages in the history of the Christian church, covering the period between the first advent and the second coming of Christ. The fulfilment, we think, proves the correctness of this position.

 

"In the first chapter we have a description of ‘One like unto a son of man’ (1:13), as seen in vision by the Apostle John. Some one or more of the features of this description would seem to be peculiarly appropriate to each of the successive stages of the church; and in each case he who sends the message is thus described. The last part of each message is a promise to the ‘overcomers,’ and is also adapted to the different periods of church history.

 

"To give a bird’s-eye view of the arrangement (1:11), we would notice their chronological position. Ephesus covers the period during the lives of the apostles; Smyrna, the time of the Pagan persecution, reaching to about 325 A.D., when Constantine became Emperor of Rome and declared in favor of Christianity. Pergamos embraces the transition period during which the Papacy had its rise; Thyatira, the space during which the true church was in the wilderness, and the apostate church sat as a queen and lived deliciously with the kings of the earth. Sardis includes a short interval just before the Reformation; Philadelphia, the period from the Reformation until recent times; and Laodicea, the nominal church of today." ‘16-R5992

 

Verse 1. Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write: These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;  

 

35

 

The message of the High Priest, serving his seven churches, or candlesticks, is one of encouragement from the very beginning. It is a message of assurance to the first, or Ephesus period, of their safety: that his presence is sure and complete; He is holding them in his right hand of power; He is supplying the oil of anointing; overseeing the necessary trimming or discipline; supplying food according to the growth of the infant church; and providing the water of fellowship or association. (Comments on the anointing at Rev. 3:6)

 

MESSAGE TO THE CHURCH OF EPHESUS—Revelation 2:1-7 "The word Ephesus means first, desirable. During this period our Lord ‘holdeth the seven stars in his right hand,’ etc. (Chapter 1:20) The messengers of the churches—St. Paul, St. Peter, St. John, etc.—were so powerfully led and kept in the grasp of our Lord Jesus during this epoch that we accept their teachings as his, believing that their words were really his words. This stage of the church is commended for its faithful, patient labor and for its discernment of truth and true teachers—Ac 20:28-30 1Co 11:19.

 

"It was characteristic of this period that ‘they forsook all and followed him.’ They took joyfully the spoiling of their goods. They sold what they had and gave to those in want. Though often deprived of the bread of this present life, they not only had the Living Bread, but had the promise of ‘the tree of life which is in the midst of the Paradise of God’ (2:17). It will be remembered that all the trees in Eden were trees of life, but that the one in the midst of the Garden was then a forbidden tree, the disobedient eating of which brought death upon Adam and all his race. That tree in the midst of Paradise was called ‘the tree of the knowledge of good and evil’; and our Lord’s promise in today’s study is that the overcomers of the Gospel age shall have full liberty to partake of that tree under most blessed and satisfactory conditions, when the knowledge will be of benefit to them under divine approval, and will not then bring a curse." ‘16-R5992

 

Revelation 2

 

2  I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:

 

Revelation 2:2 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 2. I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: There are two ways of weakening the words or influence of the apostles, the especial representatives of Jesus, the head of the church: one is to discount their word; and the other is to claim apostolic succession. Both are seen in the servants of Satan, even to the extent of denying that Paul was an apostle. See Rev. 21:14.

 

"About the year 300 A.D., Christian bishops began to claim Apostolic powers and to style themselves Apostolic Bishops. The claim is still made that the bishops of the church of Rome, of the church of England, etc., are of equal authority with the twelve apostles, while the Bible claims to the contrary—that the twelve apostles selected by Jesus (St. Paul taking the place of Judas) were to be the only foundations of the Christian church, orally and through their epistles. Jesus prophesied the falling away which would result in some falsely claiming to be Apostles. Compare 2Pe 2:1 Ac 20:30 ."‘ 15-R5751 "Long centuries ago a wrong step was taken by the bishops of the church in claiming that they were apostolic bishops—with apostolic powers, the same as the original twelve. Later these self-styled ‘apostolic bishops’ concluded that the people need not have the Bible, and that they could simplify matters for the masses by giving them the creeds. They made their first creed in A.D. 325, and afterwards they continued to make ‘worse and more of it,’ until the Sixteenth Century. Meantime the Bible was tabooed... It was during this time that the horrible doctrines of the dark ages were introduced by our great adversary.

 

"Then came a change when the people began to demand the Bible and to doubt the infallibility of the ‘apostolic bishops’ and their creeds. Early editions of the Bible were burned publicly, by both Protestant bishops and Catholic bishops, until the Bible triumphed and became too thoroughly entrenched in the minds of the people for this. The period of darkness lasted over twelve hundred years, the lamp of God’s Word being absent. Then came various attempts at Bible Study, all more or less handicapped by the insistence of the bishops that the Bible must be interpreted by the creeds they had made. Nor are many out of the darkness yet. We all feel like saying, with Cardinal Newman: "Lead, kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom, Lead thou me on; The night is dark and I am far from home, Lead thou me on!’

 

"Only within the past forty years are Bible students really ignoring all creeds and going straight to the Bible itself for the light of divine truth; and correspondingly their blessing IS increasing.

 

"It was during that long period of darkness, when the Lamp of Truth was hidden from the people, that the ‘apostolic bishops’ exalted themselves and separated from the remainder of the church—calling themselves the church, the hierarchy, the clergy, and denominating the masses the laity, contrary to the Master’s words, ‘All ye are brethren,’ and to St. Peter’s words to the whole church, ‘Ye are a royal priesthood.’ "The clergy, having exalted themselves, took another step, claiming power as well as authority. The claim went forth that the time had come for the church to reign. Accordingly, a chief bishop was named Pontiff, or Pope, and he and

 

36 all of his successors were decreed to be Christ’s vicegerents—reigning over the kingdoms of the world as Christ’s representatives. "‘ 15-R5765

 

BABYLON BEFORE THE GREAT COURT.

 

HER CONFUSION—ECCLESIASTICAL.

 

"And he saith unto him, Out of shine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant"—Luke 19:22.

 

"While we here consider the present judgment of the great nominal Christian church, let us not forget that there is also a real Church of Christ, elect, precious—consecrated to God and to his truth in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation... This class is described and blessedly comforted in Ps 91 and 46... There is a true Church, every member of which is known and dear to the Lord, whether known or unknown to us..." D157, D158 "The ‘Reformation’ movement discarded some of the false doctrines of Papacy and led many out of that iniquitous system. The reformers called attention to the Word of God and affirmed the right of private judgment in its study, and also necessarily recognized the right of every child of God to preach the truth without the authority of popes and bishops, who falsely claimed a succession in authority from the original twelve apostles. But ere long that good work of protest against the iniquitous, antichristian, counterfeit church of Rome was overcome by the spirit of the world; and soon the protestants, as they were called, formed new organizalions, which, together with the truths they had found, perpetuated many of the old errors and added some new ones; and yet each continued to hold a little truth. The result was a medley of conflicting creeds, at war with reason, with the Word of God and with one another. And as the investigating energy of the Reformation period soon died out, these quickly became fossilized, and have so remained to the present day..

 

"To build up and perpetuate these erroneous doctrinal systems of what they are pleased to call ‘Systematic Theology,’ time and talent have been freely given. Their learned men have written massive volumes for other men to study instead of the Word of God, for this purpose theological seminaries have been established and generously endowed; and from these, young men, instructed in their errors, have gone out to teach and to confirm the people in them. And the people, taught to regard these men as God’s appointed ministers, successors of the apostles, have accepted their dictum without searching the Scriptures as did the noble Bereans in Paul’s day (Acts 17:11), to see if the things taught them were so.”D160, D161 Ac 1:1-14: "The apostles were only those whom Jesus had especially selected to the office—St. Paul, by divine arrangement, subsequently taking the place of Judas. This is in contradiction to the claim of the Bishops of England and of Rome that they are Apostolic Bishops, with apostolic powers, but it is in full agreement with the Master’s statement that all others claiming to be apostles are ‘liars.’ "‘ 16-R5829

 

ORDINATION: DIRECTION

 

"The proper thought connected with ordination is that which the Bible gives when we read that the Apostle ‘ordained elders in every church’ (Acts 14:23). Similarly, amongst the Lord’s people today, Elders are chosen, or appointed, or authorized, by the congregation by the stretching forth of their hands—by the congregational vote. Every elder and every deacon scripturally chosen by the vote, ‘the stretching forth of the hand’ (not by laying on of hands), is thus ordained, or appointed, or authorized, to serve in the capacity indicated.

 

"In thus ordaining elders and deacons, the Lord’s people are instructed that they are to seek to know the mind of the Lord. Their voting for and electing one of the brethren to be a deacon or an elder implies that they believe that such a person possesses the divinely indicated qualifications for the service. No one should be voted for who does not give evidence of having received the begetting of the holy Spirit, which is the divine authorization to preach or to teach, as set forth in Isaiah 61:1.

 

"All of the Lord’s spirit-begotten people are ordained in this general way to speak in the Master’s name the wonderful Words of Life, according to their opportunities. But when a congregation of such ordained, spirit-begotten children of God chooses from its midst some to be elders, others to be deacons, it implies that they consider the ones chosen to be especially qualified, ‘apt to teach’—ensamples to the brethren in word, in conduct—1 Tim. 3:2-4.

 

"The wrong thought respecting ordination is the one which ignores the divine anointing (Isaiah 61:1), and which merely looks to the education and the talents of the one elected. Thus ignoring the divine test, many today are serving as ministers and elders in the church of Christ who would make no profession of being spirit-begotten and who give no outward evidence thereof. Such are not properly ordained Ministers of God, and their church ordination gives no divine blessing or power.

 

"The most erroneous thought respecting ordination is that held by the three oldest Christian denominations—the Roman Catholic, the Episcopal Church of England, and the Greek Catholic Church. With these ancient churches, ordination has a different meaning entirely. They claim to have apostolic succession of authority—that originally only the apostles had a right to teach or to preach, and that any other teachers or preachers needed to get authorization and divine power from the hands of the apostles. They claim that before the apostles died, there was a special order of bishops ordained in the church; and that apostolic power and authority passed to those bishops, and has thus come down to our day and is possessed by the bishops of these denominations. They claim that only such as they ordain are Christian ministers.

 

"In a word, these three ancient churches have set aside entirely the divine ordination, the anointing of the holy Spirit, and substituted an authorization through a so-called ‘apostolic succession’ of power and authority. Not only did Jesus tell us that there were only twelve apostles, but Revelation 2:2 points out this grievous error of those who claim to be apostles and are not, but do lie. 2Co 11:13-15 Joh 8:42-45 37 "What did St. Paul mean when he declared that he was an Apostle not of men nor by men, but by the Lord Jesus Christ? Galatians 1:1.

 

"No man or congregation is competent to appoint or elect an apostle. No congregational vote would make one of the brethren an apostle. That is a special office or function which is of divine appointment solely. Thus the Lord Jesus appointed only twelve apostles—‘twelve apostles of the Lamb’—St. Paul taking-the place of Judas, who lost his apostleship (Rev. 21:14; Psalm 109:8; Acts 1:20). It is in this particular that the Church of Rome, the Church of England, and Greek Church do violence to the principles of God’s Word, in that they claim to make, but do not really make, apostolic bishops—bishops possessed of apostolic power and authority.

 

"Keep in memory always that ceremony is not ordination, but that appointment and direction are ordination.

 

"Verbi Dei Minister": The English of this is, "Minister of the Divine Word." "When, during the dark ages, the divine Word fell into disuse and creeds were substituted, this title was generally lost and ignored. There were no ministers of the divine Word; for the divine Word was not preached, but, instead, the creeds of men. Instead of these simple words so expressive of the proper thought in connection with all the Lord’s public servants, we today have high-sounding titles, such as Reverend and Doctor of Divinity, which are quite unscriptural.

 

"In every case where a congregation of the Lord’s people has elected a consecrated, spirit-begotten child of God to be an elder, they have by their election ordained, or set apart, or indicated, that elder as being a minister of the divine Word—one who serves, distributes, dispenses the truth of God’s Word.’

 

"1 Timothy 3:1-7. Next to the importance of the election of only a consecrated, spirit-begotten child of God to eldership should be the question—To what extent has he availed himself of the privileges of study, information?" ‘16-R5940, R5941

 

Revelation 2

 

3  And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.

 

Revelation 2:3 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 3. And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.

 

The apostolic period was the period of Ephesus when the classes were free from error but under much pressure, calling for labor, patience and forbearance.

 

"But even to those established, strengthened and settled in the faith {1Pe 5:10} there is abundant opportunity to grow in knowledge; for while they will see nothing new or different in outline or design, they will be continually charmed and cheered with newly discovered lines of harmony and beauty in the divine drawings of the wonderful plan of the ages. As pupils we may ever study the master workmanship of the divine Architect." ‘03-R3215 "The most we claim or have ever claimed for our teachings is, that they are what we believe to be harmonious interpretations of the divine Word,  in harmony with the spirit of the truth. And we still urge as in the past, that each reader study the subjects we present in the light of the Scriptures proving all things by the Scriptures... that we so freely intersperse both quotations and citations of the Scriptures upon which to build.’

 

"Hold the Head (Christ) as the only real teacher, who is able and willing to guide all the meek in judgment, because they are his church—’his body.’ "It is a lesson, therefore, for all to learn—that each sheep recognize as leaders only such as are found in full accord with the voice and spirit of the Chief Shepherd (Christ), and the under-shepherds (the Apostles), and that each sheep see to it that he eats only ‘clean provender’ and drinks only ‘pure water’ as directed by the Shepherd. (See Ezek. 34:17-19) This implies the exercise of the individual conscience of each member of Christ’s flock on matters of doctrine and practice, and tends to keep each one in sympathy and fellowship with the Shepherd, who knoweth each sheep and ‘calleth his own sheep by name.’ The same intimate relationship of the individual Christian with the Lord is illustrated in the figure of Christ the Head and the church as members of his body"—1 Cor. 12:12-27; Eph 4:15,16. ‘96-R2080

 

THE FIRST CHRISTIAN MARTYR—Acts 6:8-15; 7:54-60 "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life"—Rev. 2:10.

 

"Apparently Stephen’s martyrdom occurred not a great while after Pentecost, but the interim had been a period of considerable progress. At the time of the ascension ‘about one hundred and twenty’ were reckoned as being in full and deep fellowship in Christ; ten days later at Pentecost three thousand converts were added; shortly after, five thousand more as recorded in Acts 4:4; later (Acts 5:14) ‘multitudes, both men and women, were added to the Lord’; still later, ‘the number of the disciples was multiplied in Jerusalem greatly, and a great multitude of priests were obedient to the faith’ (Acts 6:1-7). This period of gathering the ripe wheat and establishing them in the doctrines of Christ was a very necessary prelude to the period of trial, persecution and suffering which shortly followed. The persecution, however, was no less a divine mercy than the previous peace and prosperity: the divine rule for the Gospel church evidently is that each member shall be ‘made perfect through suffering.’ The stoning of Stephen was merely the beginning of the general persecution which in one form or another has continued ever since, and must continue until the last members of the body of Christ shall have proven themselves faithful even unto death and been accounted worthy of the crown of life mentioned in our golden text." ‘97-R2108 "Stephen’s defence before the Sanhedrin Court turned out to be a defence of the truth, rather than of himself... Stephen was a Bible student—’a workman who needed not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.’... Now as in Stephen’s day, such courage can only come from a knowledge of the divine plan; and the knowledge can only come through a right dividing of the word of truth; and such abilities imply a devotion of time and energy to the study of truth, and the guidance of the holy spirit in the understanding of it." ‘02-R2957 "Let us mark and profit by the example of the faith and zeal and courage and true Christian heroism of the early church. "‘ 92-R1433

 

38 THE APOSTOLIC COMMTSSTON... None could have a gift, or special manifestation except as conferred through the twelve Apostles.

 

"These gifts of miracles, tongues, interpretations of tongues, etc., we are, however, to bear in mind, in no sense hindered or took the place of the fruits of the holy Spirit, which were to be grown or developed by each of the faithful through obedience to the divine instructions—as each grew in grace, knowledge and love. The conferring of these gifts, which a man might receive and yet be sounding brass a tinkling cymbal, marked the apostles, nevertheless, as the special servants or representatives of the Lord in the work of founding the Church—1 Cor. 12:7-10; 13:1-3.

 

"Our Lord in selecting these apostles, and in instructing them, had in view the blessing and instruction of all of his followers to the end of the age. This is evident from his prayer at the close of his ministry, in which, referring to the disciples, he said, Joh 17:6-9,20,21 ." F213 "In the early stages of the church there were ‘gifts of the Spirit,’ necessary to the inauguration of the church. These gifts of the Spirit ceased, however, as soon as the church had been established and the New Testament had been completed. We no longer have the gift of healing, of speaking with tongues, etc., but we have something more valuable than are gifts. These are for the infantile condition of the church. Instead, we have today the fruits of the holy Spirit, which are developed and matured gradually as the result of labor.

 

"In some characters the period of maturing fruit of good size and flavor is longer than in others. Nevertheless, as surely as we receive the holy Spirit into good and honest hearts and are submissive to the prunings of the Great Husbandman, so surely shall we bear large, luscious fruit in due time. The fruits of the Spirit, the Apostle says, are manifest; that is, they can be seen in our lives. They are meekness, self-control, faith, goodness, gentleness, longsuffering, brotherly kindness and love.

 

"At the beginning of our existence as new creatures the fruits of the holy Spirit germinate within us, but these must grow to maturity. We must bear fruit. The Lord says, John 15:2. There is more or less pain in the prunings and testings of loyalty and obedience, but every manifestation of obedience helps to prepare us for membership in the bride class.

 

"As St. Peter tells us—2 Peter 1:5-8.”‘13-R5208 "As those miracles discontinued, education in the Truth and in the knowledge of the Lord and in the graces of the Spirit took their places. Even while these inferior gifts of healing, tongues, interpretations, and miracles were in the Church, the Apostle exhorted the brethren to ‘covet earnestly the best gifts.’ "He proceeds to show {1Co 12:31} that far above any of these gifts or services in the Church is the honor of possessing in large measure the spirit of the Master—Love. "

 

KNOWLEDGE OF DEEP THINGS A GRADUAL DEVELOPMENT

 

"We are to have in mind the fact that God has so arranged that ‘the deep things of God’ cannot be known instantaneously; this knowledge comes gradually as an evidence of faithfulness to God.

 

"Those who have not yet learned fully to reverence God and who have not yet made progress in the development of the graces and fruits of the Spirit cannot expect to understand the deep things of God. It is our duty and privilege, not only to assist these brethren, but to build one another up and to strengthen one another. Let us see that we do these things. "‘ 12-R5134 "St. Paul knew and taught that there would be ‘a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and of the unjust’ (Acts 24:15). He desired to have a share with his Redeemer in all of his glorious kingdom work and he knew that it could not begin until the completion of this Gospel age, when all the elect church, as members of the Bride of Christ, would share in ‘his resurrection,’ to glory, honor, immortality and glorious kingdom privileges—Phil. 3:10,11. "‘ 09-R4527

 

ST. PAUL ON THE GRACE OF GIVING—2 Cor. 8:1-15 "Remember the words of the Lord Jesus... It is more blessed to give than to receive"—Acts 20:35.

 

"The Bible is singularly free from monetary solicitations from first to last. The prophets were poor. The Savior himself had nowhere to lay his head, and... ‘the common people who heard him gladly,’ were ‘chiefly the poor of this world.’ And yet we know of no solicitations for money, either for personal use or for building churches. Acts 20:35 may be said to be the only appeal for money recorded in the Bible, and it was for the poor at Jerusalem, sorely pressed by the famine in the time of the Roman Emperor Claudius (Acts 11:28). If the pages of the Bible abounded with accounts of our Lord’s and the Apostles’ begging and ‘sponging,’ their lives and their words would have far less influence with us.

 

"The fact that their faith and their preaching did not bring them wealth, but cost them much in self-sacrifice, is a convincing proof to us of their sincerity, their honesty—that they believed what they proclaimed... It was of divine providence that the acceptance of the Gospel cost them ‘the loss of all things.’ What noble characters, not bought with money, but they gladly paid the price of the Truth... that they might share in the sufferings of Christ and thereby attain joint-heirship with him in his Millennial kingdom by the first resurrection—Phil. 3:8; Rev. 20:4." ‘09-R4526 In Luke 14:12-14 "Our Lord’s words were in part a commendation of the course pursued by his host in inviting Himself and His Apostles to dinner, for they were poor... If given with a proper heart his host might expect a reward in the future—besides the blessing that had already come to his house through our Lord’s presence and words of instruction. ""... Rewarding of everyone who has done good, either to the poor of this world or especially to the Lord and his faithful brethren walking in his footsteps, will come to them not in the first resurrection, but at that time—after the first resurrection shall have glorified the church and inaugurated the kingdom, then Millennial blessings and reign of righteousness beginning will bring rewards to everyone who has done kindnesses, helping them forward and abundantly 39 rewarding them; while all who have done evil shall have some measure of ‘stripes’ in compensation and retribution.’

 

A ROYAL BANQUET DECLINED—Luke 14:15-24.

 

"Come, for all things are now ready.’

 

"Let us all, like the Apostle Paul, lay aside every weight, every hindrance, every besetment, every thing precious to us of an earthly kind, that we may run with patience the race set before us, in response to this invitation to the great feast of joint-heirship with our Lord in the kingdom—Heb. 12:1,2 Ro 8:16-18 12:1,2." ‘00-R2700 to R2702

 

Revelation 2

 

4  Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

 

Revelation 2:4 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 4. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

 

The pressure caused the cooling off and loss of much of the warmth of the first love, in many of poor growth. The first love is warm, and very important.

 

"Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you"—Matthew 6:33.

 

.. Let us realize our own littleness and look rather to the Lord for the things respecting the present as well as the future life. Let us be diligent in his service leaving all of our present experiences as well as our future rewards to his wisdom, love and power.

 

"... Our Father knows better than we the things that we really need, and faith is not merely to trust him, but to accept what he gives as being for our best interests.

 

"... We have our Master’s assurance for it that whoever pursues this course will do wisely and that God will look out for his earthly interests, for his highest welfare. So doing our lives will be crowned with peace and joy and rest in the Lord, which in his Word he has promised those who trust him. "‘ 10-R4567 "Alas, how weary we would be if we could only rest in the sufficiency of Christ, one day in seven... "‘ 98-R2269 "The object of Christ’s kingdom will be to bring mankind to a full, clear appreciation of God’s character. Such as attain this and sympathetically enjoy God’s character will appreciate the principles of justice, love and mercy represented in him. Only as one appreciates these qualities in his own heart can he appreciate them in God. Only those who appreciate them will have everlasting life. Even though such should enjoy the full thousand years, they still might not be of the class to whom God would give everlasting life. "" Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God"—Matt. 5:8.

 

"A pure heart would be a fully consecrated heart—the whole mind given up to the Lord’s will." ‘13-R5277 "To continue in the light and truth and blessing necessitates character-development, for the privilege of the light of knowledge is God’s reward for purity of heart, of intention, of endeavor. So may we come into Christ and abide in him and bring forth much fruit." ‘11-R4885 "We are to remember that if we had all knowledge yet had not love, it would profit us nothing, but we are to remember, also, that in the divine arrangement it seems to be impossible that our knowledge should progress much in advance of our obedience to what we already know." ‘02-R3021

 

"How precious the thought, that we may attain to absolute purity of intention, of love, etc., toward all mankind as well as toward the Lord, and that God will thus accept us in His Beloved One, not counting to us the unintentional weaknesses and blemishes which we realize and which others realize perhaps still more that we. How blessed the thought that such will see God, that such have the clearest views of God’s character and Plan now, that such shall see Him shortly when changed in the resurrection, when they shall have awakened in the likeness of their dear Redeemer." ‘06-R3735

 

Revelation 2

 

5  Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

 

Revelation 2:5 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 5. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen; and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

 

The candlestick represented the nominal church; good, and not so good. The latter were in danger of losing their place in the candlestick.

 

"Some, who started out with an appreciation of God’s gift and their consequent reasonable service of full consecration to God’s service, have been side-tracked and hindered, by ‘the cares of this life or the deceitfulness of riches’ (sought, even if not secured). These... love righteousness in word, thought and deed, and wish that circumstances were favorable to righteousness, and long for the time when Satan and sin shall be bound for the thousand years of Christ’s reign, and pray fervently, ‘Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven.’ Yet they are so in bondage to the customs of society, so fond of the approval of fellow creatures, and the spirit of Christ in them is so blended with the spirit of worldliness, that they are hindered from performing the sacrifice of earthly things and interests which they covenanted to do when flushed with their warm first love and appreciation of God’s goodness and grace in Christ. They have lost much of their first love...

 

"The only way out of their difficulty is to do their first works.... "‘ 96-R2020

 

Revelation 2

 

6  But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

 

Revelation 2:6 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 6. But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.

 

Some wished to lord it over the church; but more wished to leave all matters of dispute to Jesus, who would make no mistakes; and the right spirit of love and meekness would prevail. "The word ‘Nicolans’ means ‘a conqueror or lord of the people.’ "

 

CONFESSION OF SIN ESSENTIAL TO FORGIVENESS "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness"—1Jo 1:9.

 

"The Apostle John is... addressing the justified and sanctified in Christ Jesus; and he classes himself with these using the plural pronoun ‘we’..." The Apostle John in writing this Epistle clearly states his object, saying, ‘These things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.’... The object of the Apostle’s writing them was to stir up the pure minds of believers to an appreciation and enjoyment of their privileges, that thereby they might grow and develop.

 

40 "The Apostle follows the example of our Lord Jesus in symbolizing truth and righteousness as light, and sin and every evil as so much of opposing darkness. God himself thus considered would be the very perfection of Light—’in him is no darkness,’ no sin, no imperfection ...

 

"Moreover, to the extent that we walk in the light and in harmony and fellowship with God, we shall find ourselves in fellowship with all others who are like-minded. So then, if we do not ‘love the brethren whom we have seen,’ so as to be able to have fellowship and spiritual pleasure with them, it would be an indication that we are not wholly in harmony and fellowship with God.

 

"But who are the ‘brethren’? Our Lord tells us that not all who profess his name are true brethren. He says, ‘Not every one that saith Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven (be recognized as his brethren and joint-heirs), but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.’ We thus see that it is by our deeds, and not merely by our professions, that we are accepted of the Lord. Again, he says, ‘Who are my brethren?... Verily, I say unto you, he that doeth the will of my Father, the same is my brother’—Matthew 7:21; 12:48-50.

 

"We are not, therefore, to anticipate ‘fellowship’ with all who name the name of Christ as a proof of fellowship with the Father, and that we are in the light. We are merely to anticipate this true fellowship with those who are earnestly seeking to do the Father’s will to serve his cause and exemplify the instructions of his Word, in their deeds as well as in their professions. Between all such there must be, whether hidden or open, a bond of fellowship and union. That bond is the one faith and one baptism into the one Lord. "" The Apostle seems to intimate in the Epistle... that quite a good number may claim an intimate knowledge of God falsely. Hence with great plainness of speech he informs us that, ‘He that saith I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.’ It is thus very evident that the Apostle does not mean merely a knowledge about God, but an intimate knowledge of God, implying fellowship and communion with him... The test is obedience." ‘16-R5938, R5939

 

Revelation 2

 

7  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

 

Revelation 2:7 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 7. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

 

The tree of life was different from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and applies to the Gospel Age.

 

"THIS DO IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME"—1Co 11:24

 

"Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake (klao) it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body"—Matthew 26:26.

 

"The bread, as our Lord explained, represented the bread from heaven—his flesh which he sacrificed for the sins of the world. He invites all of his followers to eat of it... We thus appropriate to ourselves the benefits of the sacrifice which secures to us the forgiveness of sins and reconciliation with the Father." ‘04-R3364

 

"We lay great stress on the fact there accomplished and its significance as the antitype of the Passover instituted by Moses, and as the finishing of our Lord’s great sacrifice for sins—the sins of the whole world. For these vital principles we are willing to contend earnestly, as they are part of ‘the faith once delivered to the saints.’ "‘ 06-R3879 "We lay great stress on the fact there accomplished and its significance as the antitype of the Passover instituted by Moses, and as the finishing of our Lord’s great sacrifice for sins—the sins of the whole world. For these vital principles we are willing to contend earnestly, as they are part of ‘the faith once delivered to the saints.’ "‘ 06-R3879 "The more of the true knowledge of the Lord we possess—the more of the knowledge which perfects our love for the Lord—the greater will be our faith, the more precious will be the results in this present life as well as in the life to come... Let us then, with full faith in him who has led us hitherto, go forth through the coming days conquering and to conquer, fighting against the world, the flesh and the adversary, strong not in ourselves but in him who has called us and led us hitherto." ‘07-R4064

 

TAKE, EAT, THIS IS MY BODY "When he said, ‘This is my flesh,’ it was as much a figure of speech as when he said a little later, ‘I am the vine,’ ‘I am the door,’ ‘I am the Good Shepherd,’ ‘I am the way, the truth and the life,’ etc. The right, sane view of the Master’s words is apparent: He was represented in all these different ways. In the case under consideration the bread would represent him, his flesh, to his apostles and to all his followers throughout the Gospel age.

 

"As bread stands for and symbolizes all food (indeed wheat is said to contain every element of nutriment in its proper proportion), so the teaching of this symbol is that whoever would have the life which Christ has to give must accept it as the result of his sacrifice. He died that we might live. The rights and privileges which he surrendered voluntarily may be eaten, applied, appropriated by all who have faith in him and who accept him and his instructions—such are reckoned as having imputed to them the perfect human nature, with all its rights and privileges lost by Adam, redeemed by Christ. None can have eternal life except by the eating of this bread from heaven. This applies not only to believers of this present time, but also to those of the future age. Their life-rights and privileges must all be recognized as coming to them through his sacrifice. In a word, the bread representing our Lord’s body teaches our justification through the acceptance of his sacrifice." ‘06-R3879 "Bunyan, in his story of how Christians fled from the City of Destruction to Paradise, tells ... how... he discovered that the lions were chained and... he had room to pass between... If we stand faithful to the Lord.... these tests that come to us will demonstrate that he is able to carry us through all the trials and difficulties and diverse experiences of this present time.

 

NO LION SHALL BE THERE "The Prophet Isaiah, pointing down to the grand highway of

 

41 Holiness which shall be open to the world during the Millennial age, the way of righteousness by which they may return to full harmony with the Lord and to full restitution and eternal life, declares respecting that way, ‘No lion shall be there nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon.’ Again at the same time it was declared, ‘Nothing shall hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain (kingdom).’... How encouraging it is to know that our experiences with these lions in the way, these oppositions of the world, the flesh and the devil and science falsely so-called, are all testing and proving us to the intent that the Lord may use us by and by in the great work he purposes, the deliverance of the whole world from that great adversary who goeth about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, and how then he shall be bound for a thousand years that he shall deceive the nations no more.’

 

"Our hearts may be joyful in him notwithstanding persecutions and difficulties. Thus the Philippian jailer perceived that the God of Paul and Silas was able to deliver them... Their songs in the night told that their God was able to deliver them." ‘05-R3641

 

JEHOVAH’S FOOTSTOOL MADE GLORIOUS ‘’Thus saith Jehovah, Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool.’ ‘And I will make the place (footstool) of my feet glorious.’ ‘And his (Jehovah’s) feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives’ "—Isa. 60:13; 66:1; Zech. 14:4; Matt. 5:35; Acts 7:49.

 

"Our Lord... purchased not only mankind, the treasure, but also the field, the world, the earth from under the curse: and all who join with him, as members of the Kingdom class, share in that purchase of the field and the treasure—Mt 13:44.

 

"The entire work of the Millennium will consist in reordering and making glorious God’s footstool... a Paradise sufficiently large to accommodate all: the entire earth shall become as the Garden of Eden for fruitfulness and beauty and perfection. And all this is promised as the grand future consummation of the divine plan—Ac 3:2O, 21 Re 2:7,2Co 12:4.

 

"But the richest jewel of the Lord’s glorified footstool in the close of the Millennium will be mankind, in whose perfection, liberty, and likeness to God, in moral and intellectual graces, will be reflected the very image of Divinity. And most gloriously will the perfect man reflect honor upon his Maker and his wondrous plan for his creation, redemption and restitution. And with that wonderful plan will always be intimately identified first the Lord Jesus, Jehovah’s ‘Word,’ and second the Bride, the Lamb’s wife and jointheir in disbursing the blessings secured by the ransom.

 

"This beautifying and glorifying of the Lord’s ‘footstool’ will not be completed until our Lord Jesus, as the Father’s honored agent, ‘shall have put down all (conflicting) rule, and all authority and power. For he must reign until he bath put all enemies under his feet, before he delivers up the Kingdom at the close of the Millennium’—1Co 15:24-28 Ps 99:5 Zec 14:4,5. Surely, no one will err and get the thought that Jehovah literally rests his feet upon this earth as a ‘footstool.’ This language is symbolic, and refers to the Lord’s reestablishment of his dominion in the earth... Compare Zech. 14:8 with Ezek. 47:1-9, etc.—pictures of grand spiritual truths.

 

"... The term Mount of Olives is... the Kingdom of Light, Peace and Divine blessing. And the standing or establishment or fixing of Jehovah’s feet upon it, signifies that the divine favor and law will be reestablished in the earth by and through the holy Kingdom.

 

"The removal of one part of the mountain to the north and the other to the south is significant; the North is the direction of the group Pleiades, the celestial center of the universe, the supposed seat of divine empire (please see C 321). This would seem to indicate the ‘change’ of the Gospel Church at this time, from human to spirit conditions as ‘partakers of the divine nature’:and the removal of the other half of the mountain would seem to signify the complete restitution, to perfect human conditions, of those ancient worthies accounted worthy to constitute the earthly representatives of God’s Kingdom." Please see F128.

 

"The sun, the Sun of Righteousness, would stream through the valley thus produced from east to west... The valley of mercy,  between and under the care of the spiritual and human phases of the Kingdom of Light and Peace (the establishment of Jehovah’s feet) will surely be a ‘Valley of Blessings’ to all who enter it with broken and contrite hearts. Please see Ac 3:23 Re 20:9 22:1,2: Eze 47:1-12 Zec 14:8,9.

 

‘AS TRULY AS I LIVE, THE WHOLE EARTH SHALL Be FILLED WITH THE GLORY OF JEHOVAH" —Nu 21 Isa 11:9 Habak, 2:14.

 

"There shall be no more curse.

 

—————————‘I will make all things new.’ "" God’s footstool shall then be glorious indeed: as it is written." D Chapter 14 "Its sun shall never set.’

 

Message to the Church of Smyrna—Revelation 2:8-11.

 

"Smyrna means bitter. Myrrh and Marah are kindred words. This stage of the Christian Church was the period of most bitter persecution, under the Roman Emperors from Nero to Diocletain. In his message to the church of this epoch our Lord styles himself ‘the First and the Last, which was dead and is alive.’ In no other sense or way could he be the First and the Last than as the only direct creation of the Father, through whom all else was created. Any other view would be in conflict with the Scriptures—Revelation 3:14 Col 1:15 1Co 8:6 Joh 1:1-3, Diaglott.

 

"‘ The devil shall cast some of you into prison that ye may be tried, and ye shall have tribulation ten days.’ Thus the Lord informed his faithful servants of this period that theirs would be a time of great persecution. Pagan Rome, here symbolized as the devil, has been the most devilish of all earthly governments, when viewed in the light of its bloody persecutions. The ten symbolic days refer to the last and most severe persecution under the Roman Emperors—that of the reign of Diocletian, A.D. 303-313. Those who have read the history of this period can understand the depths of the words, ‘that ye may be tried.’ Some of the most sublime pictures of Christian endurance that the world has ever seen were

 

42 enacted during the Smyrna period of the church. The call was for faithfulness unto death; the promise was that the overcomers should ‘not be hurt of the second death,’ but should receive the crown of life—immortality." ‘16-R5992

 

Revelation 2

 

8  And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;

 

Revelation 2:8 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 8. And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;  Smyrna, the second period of the church’s history, signifies bitter experiences, as the reward of faithfulness. But the one who went before, says, that though he was faithful unto death, now he is alive for evermore—he possesses unlimited life.

 

"As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you"—Isaiah 66:13.

 

‘We neither sorrow nor mourn as do others, because of the good hope which is as an anchor to our souls, sure and steadfast—the hope of the mercy of God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

"The Lord’s people, having embraced the Truth, find themselves beset on every hand with oppositions from the Evil One and his servants; and were it not that they have the comfort and consolation of the Scriptures, and the joy and peace which the world can neither give nor take away, theirs would be a sad lot indeed. But under conditions, as the Lord has arranged them, it is their privilege, even while suffering the loss of earthly things for righteousness’ sake to rejoice in tribulation, and in everything give thanks.

 

"What is the secret of this rejoicing in tribulation? Whence comes so great comfort as this? We answer, it comes through the comfort of the Scriptures, made luminous by the holy spirit. For instance, take the inspired prophecy respecting Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted, because they are not—because they are dead. The Lord’s message of comfort to Rachel, and thus to all who have suffered loss through the great penalty of death, is Jeremiah 31:15-17. This brings a consolation, a comfort, with which no error can compare. There are, indeed, various delusive fancies which... have no foundation in the Word of God. Hence they cannot give real rest or peace in such a time of trial.

 

"But when we hear the voice of the Lord assuring us of the Resurrection... assuring us that, having gone to the land of the enemy, they are secure, because Jesus has prevailed, has bought the world with his own precious blood. Jesus has ‘the keys of death and of the grave,’ as he declares (Rev. 1:18), and will shortly open and bring forth all the captive prisoners of death from the prison-house, the tomb. There is a comfort... ‘the comfort of the Scriptures." ‘04-R3436 "My people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places"—Isaiah 32:18.

 

"The man Christ Jesus entered into a convenant with the Father, which meant the sacrifice of his flesh, his earthly nature. As a reward for this sacrifice, the Father made him a new creature of the divine nature—’far above angels,’ constituting him the great Messiah who shall bless the world.

 

"Carrying out the Father’s plan, our Lord imputes his merit to such as now follow his example, and walk in his footsteps, performing the same covenant of sacrifice. If these are faithful, they will share in the great work of Messiah in blessing the world, and will constitute the New Jerusalem the Millennial kingdom. By faith we are its children. Even now, our citizenship is in heaven." ‘13-R5246 ‘’When the church shall all have been gathered, then Messiah’s kingdom will be established, for which we pray, ‘Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’ ‘And they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years’:For a thousand years Christ and his glorified church will bless mankind, uplifting them to human perfection, mental, moral, physical. Whosoever will may then attain to the everlasting life secured for all by the sacrificial death of him who was ‘holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners,’ by virtue of his special birth." ‘15-R5767, R5768 ‘We must recognize him as the one who was dead, the one who really died for our sins, but who as really was raised out of death by the power of the Father. We must realize that he is alive for evermore, that death has no more dominion over him, that the work is finished, that neither sacrifices of the mass nor death in any other sense or form has dominion over him nor ever will have, nor will ever be needed; his work is perfect, and, as he cried on the cross, ‘It is finished.’ We must recognize that he has the keys, the authority, the power over the tomb, to deliver from it all who are there imprisoned. We must also realize that he has the ‘key,’ the power over death, so that those whom he liberates from the prison-house of death, the tomb, like those who have not yet gone into it, but who are under the sentence of death, may ail be ultimately delivered, into the full liberty of the sons of God, righteousness and life eternal. ‘05-R3570 ‘I am he that liveth and was dead; and behold I am alive forevermore"—Rev. 1:18 There is no more important lesson in connection with the Gospel than that of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus. The death of Jesus indeed exhibits to us his love, and the love of the Father on our behalf. But in the divine plan, in order for the proper benefit to come to man from the death of Jesus, he must rise from the dead; he must become the Captain of our salvation, as well as our ransomer... ‘Because I live ye shall live also’ (John 14:19).

 

‘Those who sleep in Jesus (whose death through his merit has been changed to a sleep) will God bring forth from the dead by him’ {50 4:13,14}. This is in harmony with the Father’s arrangement that there shall be a resurrection both of the just and the unjust, and that this work shall be accomplished by the Lord Jesus, his honored Representative.

 

‘The word cemetery, therefore, rightly understood, the sleeping place of the dead, teaches a volume in itself to those who have the ears to hear. It is in full accord with the... divine revelation that the ‘wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord’—by a resurrection from the dead (Rom. 6:23). In this connection let us remember our Lord’s words, ‘Marvel not at this; for the hour is coming in which all that are in their graves shall hear his voice and shall come forth,’ those who shall have passed their trial successfully unto life eternal, instantly perfected, while those who shall not have been approved will be brought forth that they may have the opportunity for rising up out of sin and death conditions by

 

43 the judgments, chastenings and corrections of the Milennial age. Our special attention for the moment is called to the word ‘graves’ in this text. We have already seen that sheol in the Hebrew signifies the death state and that hades is its Greek equivalent, but the word here rendered ‘graves’ is a different one, namely,  mnemeion,  which signifies ‘remembrance.’ The proper thought is that although our friends and neighbors of the world of mankind are passing to the tomb... every day, nevertheless they are not blotted out of existence, but are still in divine ‘remembrance’ and subjects of divine power and will eventually be released from the great prison house of death by him who bought us all with his own precious blood.

 

"It is in full accord with the Scriptural presentation that joy thrills our hearts as we come to the resurretion of our Lord Jesus and also as we think of the resurrection morning of the Millennial day and the promise that therein and thereby the Lord God shall wipe away all tears from off all faces, and there shall be no more sighing, no more crying, no more dying, because all the former things shall hve passed away... All who will obey the commands of the great King shall by his judgments then abroad in the earth be brought to perfection and life eternal, while those who will decline to be obedient at heart shall ultimately be destroyed in the second death—Acts 3:23.

 

"The Apostle Paul found the spirit of the Greek philosophers intruding upon the teachings of the Gospel even in his day, so that in the Lord’s providence it was proper for him to write a wonderful chapter {1Co 15} fully setting forth the doctrine of the resurrection and what would be our fate without the resurrection...

 

"The Scriptures point out that the Church is included with the Lord as a part of the firstfruits, ‘a kind of first-fruits unto God of his creatures’ (James 1:18). Thus the resurrection of the Christ began with the resurrection of our Lord and will be consummated with the change of the last member of the church, which is his body. ‘Christ, the first-fruits,’ will then be complete. But this will not consummate the divine plan, for it is God’s intention to have the after-fruits a great harvest, which will be gathered during the Millennial age... Our Lord will be present in the world for the very purpose of ascertaining how many of the world, under favorable conditions of knowledge and opportunity and assistance, will be glad to go up on the highway of holiness to perfection, to full recovery out of sin and death. That noble company will be the after fruits of the divine plan. Earth as well as heaven will be filled with the glory of God when all evil doers shall have been cut off; and then every voice in heaven and earth shall be heard praising him that sitteth upon the throne and the Lamb for the grand consummation of the divine plan!" ‘08-R4175

 

Revelation 2

 

9  I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

 

Revelation 2:9 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 9. I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

 

Many began to join the church, claiming spirit begettal, but were only enamored of restitution. Most of the church members were poor in this world’s goods, but rich in the priceless things of the Truth, and hope of Heaven.

 

"Like as a father pitieth his children, so Jehovah pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust" {Ps 103:13,14}—prone to err as the sparks to fly upward—Job 5:7.

 

"But the mercy of Jehovah is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children: to such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them." Ps 103:17,18.

 

"JEHOVAH HATH PREPARED HIS THRONE IN THE HEAVENS, AND HIS KINGDOM RULETH OVER ALL. " Psa. 103:19. Bless Jehovah, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word. Bless ye Jehovah, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his that do his pleasure. Bless Jehovah, all his works, in all places of his dominion: bless Jehovah, O my soul." Psalm 103:17-22.

 

"One of the narrowing features of this way is that at the present time no one is accepted of God unless he makes a definite covenant with God. If he does not choose to make that covenant he may think he is a Christian, but he is not... The Bible very plainly states: ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.’ (Matt. 16:24) This self-denial and cross-bearing is the sacrifice necessary to discipleship in Christ at the present time. Many people are not Christians because they have not entered into a covenant with God... After having entered this straight gate and narrow way, we should continue therein—not necessarily without stumbling, not necessarily without making mistakes; if we can go on ever so falteringly, to the best of our ability and with hearts loyal to the Lord, we shall be granted to sit on his throne—members of his bride class." ‘12-R5055.

 

"Though but few take this step of entire consecration to God’s will, still fewer live it out practically,  keeping their hearts constantly submissive to the Lord’s will only." ‘93-R1563 "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom"—Luke 12:32.

 

"During the Gospel age there has been but one condition upon which any may come to the Father. The Lord does not propose many ways, but only one way. ‘Strait is the gate and narrow is the way that leadth unto life’—now. But when the kingdom comes there will be a highway, a more favorable, an easier way, as the Lord states through the Prophet Isaiah. In it there will be no stumbling-stones; it will not be narrow and difficult, but comparatively easy; and throughout Messiah’s reign of a thousand years, it will be the way by which the Adamic race may return to God. During that reign the whole world will be assisted, succored and disciplined, that they may be encouraged to go to the very end of the way...

 

"The narrow way has been dark; but we have had the ‘sure word of prophecy,’ which, as a lamp, shines on the pathway and will shine ‘more and more unto the perfect day.’ "When that day comes men will not need the lamp; for then there will be sunlight. Then the knowledge of God will fill the whole earth." ‘12-R5055.

 

44 "‘GIRD THY SWORD UPON THY THIGH, AND RIDE FORTH PROSPEROUSLY,’ is a cry prophetical of Jesus in his glorified condition"—Psalm 45:4. Please see Rev. 19:15. CRS164 "Wherefore, putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor"—Eph. 4:25.

 

ATTEMPTING TO DECEIVE GOD—Acts 5:1-11 "They did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues: For their heart was not right with him, neither were they steadfast in his covenant. But he being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: many a time turned he his anger away... For he remembered that they were but flesh"—Psalm 78:36-39.

 

"‘ While men slept the enemy came and sowed tares,’ our Lord’s parable explains. After the Apostles fell asleep in death the adversary had a comparatively free hand in the sowing of the seeds of error, and cultivated in the church the tare class, as a result. But at the time of our lesson—shortly after Pentecost—circumstances were different. The Apostles were still in the church, and exercised the special powers of the holy spirit conferred upon them, as the Lord’s representatives, for the establishment of the church—sowing only the good seed, and hindering the adversary from sowing tares or hypocrites in it. Our lesson illustrates the method by which the Lord, through the apostles, kept the infant church free from hypocrites.’

 

"God desires ‘truth in the inward parts’—in the heart—and that any who have not this quality—candor, honesty, truthfulness—cannot be pleasing to God; and therefore cannot share in the glories shortly to be dispensed to the elect class of this Gospel age—Psa. 51:6.

 

"As we look at ourselves, we come to realize how imperfect are all the members of the fallen race; and when we consider God’s perfection, we can conceive of only one quality that the fallen creature could possibly possess, that would meet with divine approval—even when viewed through the merit of Christ’s atonement. That one quality is honesty. The true Christian must, in honesty, confess his own shortcomings, his own deficiencies. He must, in honesty, acknowledge that his sufficiency is of God, through Christ and not of himself. He must honestly strive for the standard set before him in the Gospel. He must honestly admit that he cannot do the things that he would. He must candidly and fully accept the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, as the covering for his blemishes. We are inclined to the belief that the greatest sin in the church—even amongst the consecrated believers—is the sin of dishonesty—the sin for which divine disapproval is so excellently illustrated in the case of Ananias and Sapphira." Ac 5 "Some professing to be ‘wheat’ and occupying very high positions in the nominal church, even as ministers of the Gospel... tell us plainly that they do not even believe the things which they vowed they would preach. They have grossly falsified... they have been dishonest... in respect to the things of God Truly this is a serious, a dreadful condition." ‘02-R2943, R2944 "Let those ambitious for this world’s luxuries and wealth seek them in the fields of trade or in the lucrative professions; but let none become ministers of the Gospel of Christ from any other motive than love for God and for his Truth and for his brethren: a love that will rejoice in sacrificing ease and wealth and honor of men—not grudgingly, but heartily. But alas! nominal Christianity has grown great and worldly, and her servants are honored with the titles Reverend, Very Reverend, Most Reverend and Doctor of Divinity; and with these honors and titles go salaries—not according to the minister’s needs, but on the commercial basis of his ability to attract large congregations and wealthy people. The natural result has followed—‘The priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the Lord and say, Is not the Lord among us? None evil can come upon us.’ ‘His watchmen are blind; they are all ignorant, they are all Dumb Dogs, they cannot bark; dreaming or talking in their sleep; lazy, loving slumber (ease).

 

Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough; and they are shepherds that cannot understand; they all look to their own way (welfare), every one for his gain from his own quarter (denomination).’ ‘They shall gather to themselves teachers having ears itching (for praise of men); and they shall turn their ears from the Truth and shall be turned unto fables.’ " Isa 56:10,11 Mic 3:11 Php 3:2 2Ti 4:3,4. F 287.

 

"For God bath not given us a spirit of timidity; but of courage, of love and of a sound mind"—2 Tim. 1:7.

 

"The Scriptures abound with testimonies to the effect that the severe trials of the near future will be along the lines of deception. They speak of lying angels and deceivableness of unrighteousness and ‘lying wonders’ and tell us that the Lord will send or permit a strong delusion that they may believe a lie... The ‘very elect’ will be preserved, not through their own wisdom or superiority, but through the power of God." ‘09-R4379

 

"AND HE HEALED MANY THAT WERE SICK" Mark 1:21-34.

 

"The people who heard our Lord’s discourse were astonished (1) At the things which he taught, and (2) at the manner in which he presented them. He taught with authority... Our Lord had a clear understanding for the subjects he handled, and his presentations were not vague suppositions and imaginations, and foundationless hopes and speculations; but were clear-cut and distinct; and well proven by the testimonies of the Law and the Prophets, so that they were conclusive in the minds of his hearers, who hitherto had been used to hearing the scribes guess, wonder, suppose, etc...

 

"The clear inference is that Jesus had been speaking against sin, and the power which it exercised over humanity, involving all in the death penalty, with its sickness and pain and trouble; and incidentally no doubt he had mentioned, demoniacal possession, so common at that time—and more common today than most people suppose ... The Gospel preached at Capernaum... similar to the gospel preached at Nazareth, declaring the time at hand in which God would be pleased to receive back into harmony with himself those who had been alienated through sin... He no doubt declared Himself to be the great Life-giver, the Good Physician, sent to heal earth’s woes and to reveal to mankind the 45 Heavenly Father, and to become to as many as would avail themselves of it, ‘the Way, the Truth and the Life,’ by which they might return to divine favor in fullest measure.

 

"The language of the evil spirit, speaking through the man as its mouthpiece, clearly implies that these fallen spirits... recognized Jesus and his mission and his holiness, and that he was the representative of the Heavenly Father, but they had no hope for themselves—no expectation other than that when the time should come they would be utterly destroyed, annihilated. From various Scriptures, however, we learn that these fallen angels, demons, wicked spirits, will not be destroyed without first being given an opportunity for repentance and reconciliation with God.

 

"Our Lord did not deign to hold conversation with these spirit beings, who had fallen under the ban of divine condemnation, and with whom the Heavenly Father could no longer have intercourse. He did not, therefore, explain to them that his first advent was merely to pay the ransom price, and to start the gospel message which would select the ‘little flock’ to be members of his ‘body’ and joint-heirs with him in the kingdom, that when complete and glorified should bless and judge the world and judge the fallen angels also {1Co 6:3}... And our Lord’s course in having nothing whatever to do with these fallen spirits, but on the contrary commanding them to hold their peace, should be a lesson to every one of his followers, who should seek in this and in every other matter to walk in his steps ... Their cunning and deceitfulness is far too deep for humanity, and he who seeks communion with them in any manner or degree does so in violation, not only of the Scriptural command (Lev. 20:6; Isa. 8:19), but in violation also of Jesus’ example; and such run great risk of thus being entrapped and falling from their own steadfastness. The Apostle gives us to understand that even unwillingly and unwittingly we frequently wrestle, not with flesh and blood, but with these evil spirits, who inspire and use fallen fellow-creatures—Eph. 6:12.

 

"The unclean spirit ‘tore’ the man in coming out, that is, caused violent convulsions, and used the man’s mouth in uttering a loud cry. Our Lord, of course, could have forbidden such manifestations for the demon spirit, but preferred to allow it to be so, that thus might be manifested the malignant disposition of the evil spirits, as well as the power of his command which, with all their malignity, they could not disobey. The effect of the miracle upon the audience of course was wonderful. They saw ‘the man Christ Jesus’ exercising in their very presence a superhuman power—controlling spirit beings. No wonder they were amazed, and no wonder his fame spread throughout all Galilee." ‘00-R2581, R2582

 

AS THE SERPENT BEGUILED EVE" -2Co 11:3, 13-15.

 

"Various have been the delusions of our subtle adversary "—’87-R910.

 

"Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness"—2 Cor. 11:14, 15. See ‘99-R2669 c 2 p 5.

 

Revelation 2

 

10  Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

 

Revelation 2:10 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 10. Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life.

 

The ten years of terrible persecution were experienced from 303 to 313 A.D., under Diocletian, the Roman emperor. To receive THE crown of THE life is to receive immortality, or life inherent: to eat of the tree of life; to eat the hidden manna. See V. 7 and V. 17. Rev. 20:6 Comment. ‘15-R5609.

 

"Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God—Psalm 42:11. "" But if you have peace without the suffering, while all men speak well of you, BEWARE! That is the peace of a sleep in which one dreams that he is filled and crowned and awakes to find himself empty—the peace of a dead calm on the ocean... ‘Be thou faithful unto death,  and I will give thee a crown of life.’" Isaiah 29:8; Jeremiah 23:25-40—note verses 28, 32, 36.

 

"Blest be the sorrow, kind the storm, That drives us nearer home.’ " 82-R347

 

OUR LORD JESUS’ INSPIRING PROMISE "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life"—Rev. 2:10.

 

"These are the words of our glorified Lord, given through St. John the Revelator on the Island of Patmos. This thrilling exhortation is given to the church, to those who have entered into a special contract, a special covenant with the Lord. The invitation of the present time, to suffer with Jesus that we may reign with him, implies the attainment of membership in his body. His members are his disciples; they have been invited to walk in his steps.

 

"A faithful servant is one who demonstrates himself worthy of his master’s confidence, one who can always be relied upon. Daily we are proving our loyalty or our disloyalty. ‘The Lord your God cloth prove you.’ He proves us to see if we are worthy—to see whether we love him best or love self best, to see if our confidence in him is such that we will lay aside everything else to win this great prize which he has offered, to see whether we are trying to grasp this beautiful thing, this crown of life, without appreciation of its cost.

 

"In one of his parables, our Lord represents some who, when the sun of persecution arises, are not sufficiently loyal to the principles of righteousness to stand. They become offended. They wither away. So this word faithful seems particularly to signify loyalty, including also the thought of being full of faith. God’s children are to be full of faith, and those in whom God can have faith—those proving worthy of his entire confidence.

 

"Do any of the faithful in tribulation for Christ’s sake yet lack the peace? It is because you lack faith to lay hold of the promises—the exceeding great and precious promises made to those who take up their cross and follow in his footsteps—suffering with him.

 

46 "Our Lord will say to such as are wholly faithful to the end of the race, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.’ These shall have ‘a crown of life.’ Their loyalty must be proven even unto death...

 

"‘Unto death,’ therefore, would in this text mean a faithfulness which would persist until the sacrifice is finished in death, a faithfulness ready to encounter death at any moment, which would lead to the performance of the covenant of sacrifice even unto its consummation.

 

THE FADELESS CROWN OF LIFE "The thought in respect to the receiving of the crown is that it confers great honor. There is an election going on. It is for each individual to make his calling and election sure—2 Peter 1:10, 11.

 

"Each one who is victorious will receive a crown of life... a crown of everlasting life. And not only so, but the Lord shows us that this crown of everlasting life will be a crown of superior life—life on the very highest plane. Those who attain restitution during the Millennial age will have everlasting life on the human plane. The angels will have everlasting life on the spirit plane. But this crown of life given to the ‘more than conquerors’ will be the very highest form of spirit life—immortality—far above all other planes of life, as the special reward for being victors in this race. ‘Let us so run that we may obtain.’ The goal is near! "

 

"Run on, my soul, undaunted, Where duty shines before, Though deserts blaze around thee And Jordans surge and roar; The land on this side Jordan Is not thy birthright blest; Speed on, and find thy Canaan And enter into rest.’

 

‘16-R5913, R5914

 

"Love rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth"—1 Cor. 13:6 "The spirit of love has such an affinity for the truth that it rejoices to share loss, persecution, distress, or whatever may come against the truth or its servants. In the Lord’s estimate it is all the same whether we are ashamed of him or ashamed of his Word; and of all such he declares that he will be ashamed when he comes to be glorified in his saints." Mark 8:38; Luke 9:26 {Mt 10:32,33}—please see.

 

"Love’s hopefulness knows no despair, for its anchorage enters into that which is beyond the veil, and is firmly fastened to the Rock of Ages." Hebrews 6:19. ‘11-R4919 "The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints"—Ephesians 1:18. "If it was expedient, yea, necessary, that our Lord Jesus, with all of his experience in the heavenly courts, must ‘learn obedience by the things which he suffered,’ and prove his loyalty to the Father by faithfulness even unto death, much more must his followers—whose previous history was that of sinners—be tried and thoroughly tested in respect to their loyalty to the Lord.’

 

"... God is thus working in them through the Word of his grace, through its exceeding great and precious promises. Through these he works in them to will to be faithful to him; and then to do— conform their lives to the requirements of his Word. The same truth becomes also a power, a strength of God, in them, enabling them more and more to do those things which they should—the things pleasing in God’s sight. "

 

...‘ 03-R3168 "Hear what Jesus said to Saul of Tarsus. You remember Saul had been persecuting the Church, and how he was present when St. Stephen was stoned to death, and how he was hailing others to prison, and how Jesus hailed him by the way and said, Saul, Saul, why persecutes" thou me?

 

"Saul was astonished. Persecuting somebody up there? Why, I was persecuting some renegade Jews down here!

 

"I am Jesus whom thou persecutes".’

 

‘...Whosoever will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.’

 

"Now the proposition, you see, includes the whole Body. If we suffer with Him we shall also be glorified together. If we be dead with Him we shall live with Him on the spiritual plane, be partakers of His divine nature, share with Him in His glory. All of these things are conditional upon our demonstrating that we are members of His a Body, and actuated by the same spirit." CRS348 "With us is the Lord our God to help us, and to fight our battles"—2 Chronicles 32:8.

 

"What a lesson is here for all of the Lord’s people of spiritual Israel today! When our proudest, strongest foes seem triumphing over us the most, when they are loudest in their denunciations of the Lord and his promises, is the very time when we should lay hold on the Lord’s promises with the greatest confidence. Indeed, we give it as our experience that those who are most thoroughly rooted and grounded, whose hopes are most surely anchored within the veil, are those who have been attested very trying experiences, and have had occasion to call mightily upon the Lord for help, when there was no earthly arm to lean upon. How many have found that the breaking of earthly ties has meant the strengthening of the heavenly ones, that the opposition of the world and the Adversary has meant increase of spiritual favor, because ‘greater is he that is for us than all they that be against us.’ "‘ 05-R3582

 

Revelation 2

 

11  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

 

Revelation 2:11 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 11. He that bath an ear, let him hear what the spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

 

The Second Death is caused by willful sin, when the New Creature becomes an Egyptian, and dies. The eating of the Passover lamb, showing heart appreciation of our SinOffering, saves us from second death—but is heart searching. See 19:11; 20—R4906 to R4909; "Foundation of Christian Doctrine: The Passover"—see Supplement.

 

47 HUMILITY PROPORTIONATE TO OUR APPRECIATION OF DIVINE GOODNESS "Thou shalt remember Jehovah thy God"—Deut. 8:18.

 

"The more we come into possession of the spiritual blessings which the Lord has promised us, and which we have accepted by faith, the more need we will have of humility; and our humility will be proportionate to our appreciation of divine goodness and our thankfulness therefor. The grateful, thankful heart may go on from grace to grace, from strength to strength; from knowledge to knowledge, from attainment to attainment; but if gratitude begins to wane and our advantages are accepted either as matters of our own attainment or of good luck, in that same proportion we’will find ourselves growing cold spiritually, and with unthankfulness will come unholiness, spiritual self-conceit and pride, and all of this will lead to spiritual dirth, and if persisted in, to spiritual death." ‘02-R3080 "Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered"—Rom. 4:7.

 

THE ROBE DOES NOT COVER SINS OF THE NEW MIND "In studying this subject it is well to keep in mind that the robe does not cover, as some seem to think, sins of the new mind. The Scriptures ascribe no sin to the new mind, and no perfection in righteousness to the fallen flesh. If the new mind were disloyal to God, the robe would not cover it; it would cease to be a new mind. To continue to have the imperfections of the flesh (which we have inherited from Adam) covered, the new creature must remain loyal to God, otherwise it will deserve the second death. Hence, these new creatures, with imperfect bodies under the control of the new mind, have the bridal robe granted to them, that they may have a standing in the sight of the Lord and of each other." ‘11-R4842 "There are three classes for whom Jesus becomes Surety, Guarantor: the members of the body of the Anointed; the Great Company class; failures... "There will be those who will be neither more than conquerors nor even conquerors, but failures—turning back to sin, like the sow to her wallowing in the mire. These will die the second death. In any event, our great Advocate, the High Priest, having endorsed for all of these, will thus be ultimately free from all liability for them in that they all will have died according to the flesh and none of them will receive or retain restitution rights or privileges. Those restitution blessings will be fully and completely released when the last member of the spirit-begotten shall have gone into death..." ‘16-R5973

 

CHRIST’S TRIUMPHAL ENTRY—Mark 11:1-11 "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee"... Zechariah 9:9.

 

"Having Salvation: Safety"!

 

"The Stones Would Cry Out" "The people were familiar with the prophecy relating to Messiah’s coming, which declared, ‘Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! behold, thy King cometh unto thee; He is just, and having salvation ("yasha," having safety—the safety of the Passoer Lamb); lowly, and riding upon a colt" Zech. 9:9. They were familiar also with the ‘shout’ the prophets had foretold and the responses—one party crying, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the King of Israel, that cometh in the name of the Lord!’ Again came the cry, ‘Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord!’ Then the response, ‘Hosanna in the highest!’ These different expressions are recorded by the different evangelists.

 

"But not all were enthusiastic acclaimers of Jesus; a discordant note was heard. Some of those who had come from the city through curiosity criticised the shouting, and wondered why Jesus did not rebuke the people for ascribing so great honor to him. They sent word to this effect to Jesus through his disciples. Jesus made answer that a great prophecy was being fulfilled. The Prophet Zechariah had by inspiration said, ‘Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!’ and such a shout must be made. Jesus declared that if the multitudes had failed to shout, the prophecy would still have been fulfilled—the very stones would have cried out." ‘14-R5495 Let us recall that the heart appreciation of our justification will protect us from any danger of the second death; and that God first provided in the type that the safety of the Passover, was the first feature of the Law Covenant made with Israel three months later, and has continued ever since until the antitype came. We rejoice in our justification by faith in the merit secured by the antitypical slain bullock of the type on the Day of Atonement, in the fall.

 

"The Day of Atonement sacrifices were divinely placed exactly at the opposite end of the year, apparently to disassociate the two types ..."‘ 09-R4493 p 1.

 

"By faith the merit of his sacrifice, his blood, was to be sprinkled upon the door-posts of his people’s hearts; and his flesh, the merit of his earthly perfection, was to be eaten or appropriated by them in their minds..." ‘10-R4703 c 2 first sentence.

 

"That the blood covers more than the first-borns is shown by the fact that in the type it was sprinkled not merely upon the first-borns, but upon the house, as indicating the household of faith..." ‘13-R5273 c 2 p 4 last sentence of article. F459 p 1 Nu 9:8-13 Passover of the second month, footnote R2270, R5191.

 

"There were two passovers." R3319 p 3; R3959 bottom of page; R5640 last p; R5870 c 1 p 2.

 

THE PASSOVER IN THE FIRST MONTH ‘08-R4127, 4128 CHRIST OUR PASSOVER Is SACRIFICED FOR Us, THEREFORE LET Us KEEP THE FEAST—1Co 5:7.

 

"What a meaning is in these words when seen in connection with the Memorial Supper as the remembrances of the Jewish Passover! How the light of the type illuminates the antitype! As the firstborn of Israel were exposed to death, so ‘the church of the firstborn whose names are written in heaven’ are now on trial for life or death everlasting. As then all the typical firstborn were safe so long as they remained in the house and ate of the lamb whose blood was sprinkled upon the doorposts and lintel, so we who abide in the household of faith under the better ‘blood of sprinkling’ and

 

48 who eat of our Passover Lamb, Jesus, are safe from death—sure of life everlasting under God’s providence. ‘08-R4128 ("Foundation of Christian Doctrine: The Passover"—see Supplement.)

 

PERFUME VERY PRECIOUS MIGHT HAVE BEEN GIVEN TO THE POOR JOHN 1:4-6.

 

"Our lesson (John 12:1-11) says that Judas protested against such a waste of money, and explains that it was not because he cared so much for the poor... (RV). The person who is economical and penurious in his dealings with the Lord is sure to be the loser thereby, as the Scriptures declare, ‘The liberal soul shall be made fat’; and again. ‘There is he that scattereth yet increaseth, and there is he that withholdeth more than is meet (proper) and it tendeth to poverty.’ "It is a different matter for us to learn to be economical in respect to our own affairs and to be liberal to the extent of extravagance in matters which pertain to the Lord and his service. We sometimes sing, ‘Thou art coming to a King, large petitions with thee bring,’ but he who brings large petitions to the throne of grace should be sure also that he bring with him a large alabaster box of perfume of praise and thankfulness for the Lord... as a mark of his appreciation of blessings already received... They realize that they are already debtors to such an extent that they can never show properly their appreciation of divine favor. Properly they recognize that day by day they are receiving at the Lord’s hands exceedingly and abundantly more than they could ask or wish, and that in the spiritual blessings alone they have what satisfies their longings as nothing else can do. Such more nearly follow the course of Mary and bring alabaster boxes of perfume to the Lord—their prayers and thanksgiving of heart; and asking nothing, but giving thanks for all things, they receive from the Master such an outpour of blessing that they are not able to contain it.

 

"Those who view the matter rightly must certainly feel that none of us have anything worthy to present to our Lord—that our very best, our most costly gifts or sacrifices, are not worthy of him and but feebly express the real sentiments of our hearts. How glad we are if our humble efforts are accepted of the Lord, and how we hope that ultimately we shall hear the same sweet voice saying of us, ‘He bath done what he could,’ ‘She bath done what she could.’ "‘ He that giveth to the poor lendeth to the Lord and the Lord will repay him.’ This promise is so rich and so plainly stated that the wonder is that there are not more willing to make investments in harmony with it, and to realize that the Lord not only repays, but gives large interest.

 

ME YE HAVE NOT ALWAYS.

 

‘‘The opportunity for honoring the Lord was limited—a little while and his sufferings would be ended and he would be glorified beyond the veil, beyond the power of human attention. It was appropriate then, when viewed from the right standpoint, that Mary should spend a great price upon her Lord—that the head upon which fell the slanders and anathemas of the chief priests and doctors of divinity of that day, and upon which shortly the crown of thorns would be placed, should now be honored by one amongst a few of those who realized his true worth, his true grandeur, his Kingship, that he was indeed the Son of God. It was appropriate, too, that those feet which had trodden the valleys and hillsides of Palestine, and that were so weary at times, and that symbolized the feet of consecration treading the narrow, rugged way, and that so soon would be pierced with the nails on the cross, should now be highly honored by one who appreciated and trusted them, who loved them and who was seeking to walk in he Master’s steps.

 

SACRIFICE OF SWEET ODOR "The Apostle, speaking of the ministries of the church one for another, says that ours is a sacrifice of sweet odor unto God, but again he adds that the Gospel referred to is of life unto life to some and of death unto death to others. That is to say, good deeds, kind words, and efforts will be appreciated by those who are in the right attitude of heart to appreciate them, and constitute a bad odor to those who are in a wrong condition of heart. How often have we seen it so, that with our best endeavors to serve the feet of Christ some have been comforted and refreshed, others have been angered—to one the effort was a sweet odor, to the others it was an offensive odor, because of their wrong attitude of heart toward the Lord and toward the body of Christ—because, perhaps, of their ambitions or what not that were interfered with.

 

"It was just so at Bethany: the sweet odors that filled the house, and the blessing and refreshment that came to Mary in connection with the ministration, had a very different effect upon Judas. He was angry; his selfishness hindered his appreciation of the honor done to the Lord... Let us, then, dear brethren, see to it that our hearts are in a loving attitude toward the Lord and not in a selfish attitude—that we appreciate everything done in his name and for his body, and that we be not self-seeking. Otherwise the result will be with us the savor of death unto death, as it was with Judas.

 

"It was the next day probably that the Jews began to gather in considerble numbers to see Jesus and Lazarus, and to take counsel respecting the putting of them to death—’for the good of the cause.’ And, by the way, let us remember that the ‘good of the cause’ has nearly always been the basis of every mean and despicable act against the truth from first to last. Let us beware of such a sectarian spirit; let us see to it that our love for the Lord and all of his brethren is sincere, and not a personal and selfish one for ourselves or some denomination, otherwise we know not into what evils we might be led." ‘05-R3535toR3537 See "Was Judas a hypocrite?" (’11-R4906 to R4909), Supplement.

 

Revelation 2

 

12  And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;

 

Revelation 2:12 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 12. And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which bath the sharp sword with two edges;  

 

At the time of earthly elevation, the sword of the spirit was very sharp: the two edges were the cross, and loyalty: both of which were necesary, to escape the ensnarement of the adversary into pride. See V.16 "Let us stand clad in the full armor which the word of God

 

49

 

supplies, and in his strength wielding the Sword of the Spirit... We have the sure word of prophecy and the instructions of our Lord and of his apostles, and if we love the Word of the Lord, we shall seek to be guided by it. ‘He that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not’—1 John 5:18." ‘13-R5184 F657, F658 "He who now takes his great power to reign is shown in symbol (Rev. 19:15) as the one whose sword went forth out of his mouth, ‘ that with it he should smite the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron.’ That sword is the TRUTH" (Eph. 6:17). B100; compare with A324.

 

THE CHURCH OF PERGAMOS-REVELATION 2:12-R17 "Pergamos means an earthly elevation. The Speaker is ‘He who bath the sharp Sword with two edges’ (Greek, twomouthed)—the Word of God. During this period, while the nominal church was growing popular, the true Christians were tested and proved by the introduction and development of Pagan and Papal ideas. The Pagan priests, unwilling to lose their positions of honor and influence amongst the people, sought to bend their ideas to fit the new religion. Thus while nominally professing Christianty, they brought many of their former ideas with them into the Christian church. These were eventaully grafted upon the true stock—‘the faith once delivered to the saints’—Jude 3.

 

"Thus gradually the church was led into error, evil practices, and away from God. This is what is meant in Verse 14 by the allusion to Balaam and Balak. It will be remembered that Balaam, who had been a prophet of God, instructed King Balak how to tempt Israel to sin, and thus brought about what he could not accomplish by his own powers {Nu 23 24 31:16}. So these Pagan priests taught the church to indulge in spiritual fornication, and thus brought upon her the withering blight of the wrath of God. "‘ 16-R5992, R5993

 

THE TABLE OF THE LORD "Let us consider now what is ‘the table of the Lord.’ It is the board richly spread with a bountiful supply of divine truth—bread of life and meat in due season and honey in the honeycomb, and the choicest beverages of milk and wine and of the pure water of life, clear as crystal (John 6:32-35 Matt. 24:45; Psa. 19:10; Isa. 55:1; Rev. 21:6; 22:1).

 

"This table of the Lord has been spread for his saints, his church, from the very beginning of the Gospel age; and it has always been supplied with meat in season;  and some of the Lord’s people have been appointed to serve. Thus, for instance, the apostles served in the beginning of the age, not only in setting before the Lord’s people the meat in due season, but also in laying up in store food for the church in future days {2Pe 1:15,19}... even to the present day.

 

"But now the end, the harvest of the age, has come, the richest season of all the year, when the buds of prophecy and promise have developed and are now bringing forth their golden fruit, and the table of the Lord fairly groans under its bounty. And not only so, but the Lord of the harvest himself, being now present, according to his promise, comes forth and serves his people (Luke 12:37). Here, as never in all the past, the richness and fatness of the purposes, and promises of God are made manifest in all their completeness. Here is a systematic theology such as the church has never before known—the plan of salvation set before us in such order and beauty that it surpasses our brightest hopes; a plan consistent and harmonious in every part and wrought out silently and grandly through all the ages past on principles of the most profound moral philosophy, and with a precision and exactness of time and order that are suggestive of the mathematical precision of the great Designer, Executor and Revealer. So glorious is it in its completeness, its symmetry and beauty, that the satisfied soul perceives that no addition could be made to it without marring its excellence, and joyfully exclaims: ‘It is the Lord’s doing and the Lord’s revealing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’; and ‘What more can he say than to us he bath said’ of his wisdom and love and grace?... To God belongs all the glory of both plan and execution; and to our Lord and Head belongs the praise of this service of the revealing, and of the anointing of our hearts to receive it. Glory to God in the highest and unto the Lamb forever and ever! Let the whole earth be filled with his glory!" ‘95-R1899 BE THOU STRONG AND VERY COURAGEOUS—JOSHUA 1:7.

 

SHINING EXAMPLES OF THE PAST "We have noted the courage of our Lord Jesus himself, with a whole nation against him! It has been thus with all his faithful followers—most of them the poor of this world, who have had very little wealth or influence or honor of men. The true people of God throughout the Gospel age have been a humble class, yet they have been very strong and courageous The people in the days of the Apostles ‘took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus’ and had learned of him. Those disciples of Jesus had seen his readiness to lay down his life in the Father’s service. They had seen his courage when he was facing death of the most cruel kind, when he said, ‘The cup which my Father bath poured for me, shall I not drink it?’ And so we who have followed the Master since then have taken more of the spirit which our dear Lord manifested at all times, under the most trying and crucial experiences; and it has proven a wonderful inspiration to us.

 

"The faithful ones have all along as a rule been little known in the world... but we may be sure that ‘the Lord knoweth them that are his’—2 Timothy 2:19.

 

"Our strength will be tried—our hold upon God and upon the truth, and our courage in defending the truth. These will surely be put to the test; for Babylon is opposing our way. God will not have any in the kingdom who have not faithfully endured. Yet in meekness let us seek to instruct those who oppose themselves to the Word of the Lord; and let us look for the hungry and thirsty ones.

 

"We do not know in what form some of our trials and tribulations will come. But we who are living in this ‘evil day,’ yea, in the very close of this day—in the final ‘hour of temptation’—surely need to have on the whole armor of God. We need to have our loins girt about with truth; we need the helmet to protect our minds, our intellects, from the shafts of error; we need the breast-plate of righteousness; we need the sword of the Spirit—the broad two-edged

 

50 sword; we need the sandals of ‘preparation of the Gospel of peace.’ We need all these to overcome the Canaanites in our own breast, and to overcome all the surrounding obstacles.

 

"Thus armed and furnished, we may indeed come off ‘more than conquerors’ in the great conflict which is daily increasing. We shall conquer ‘through him who loved us and bought us with his own precious blood.’ Let the promise of the Master be our daily inspiration: ‘To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne.’ "‘ 15-R5707 "FOR GOD WAS WITH HIM"—Gen. 41:38-39. "Them that honor me, I will honor"—1Sa 2:30. ‘01 -R2888

 

Revelation 2

 

13  I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.

 

Revelation 2:13 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 13. I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou boldest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you where Satan dwelleth.

 

Here the pope is freely spoken of as Satan; and his seat upon a throne is a reality. The past record, since 799 A. D., and the present rulership, testify to that, with only two short periods of no civil authority during that time. The pope ruled for one thousand years, from 799 A.D. when Charlemagne granted him civil authority, until 1799 A.D. when Napoleon took him prisoner. The pope died early in the nineteenth century, and another was elected. In 1870 under King Victor Emmanuel I of Italy, the pope lost the last vestige of civil authority till 1929 A.D. when he was granted what is now the Vatican, two miles by one mile, in area, by Mussolini then dictator of Italy. And now he is the eighth and last king, of Revelation 17:10-11, with temporal authority.

 

See Bel (the Pope) and Babylon (Christendom), and their just recompence as portrayed by Jeremiah in chapters 50,

 

RESIST THE DEVIL Be ye angry and sin not; let not the sun go down upon your wrath; neither give place to the devil"—Eph. 4:26.

 

"LOVE to God should prompt us to CONTEND earnestly for truth and to reprove error, especially such errors and perversions of his word as would tend to overthrow the faith of God’s children! A perfect man could be angry at evil or injustice, and his anger would be controlled by reason, justice and love...

 

"How grossly Jehovah’s character has been misrepresented and his anger misunderstood for malice and bitterness by nearly all the nominal Churches of today!...

 

"In the book of symbols—Revelation—it is claimed, Adam has been kept in torture, called a ‘lake of fire,’ for over five thousand years. All will agree that no being could continue to burn so long without burning up... No one can assume that justice would require such a penalty for Adam’s transgression, and certainly love finds no place in such dealing. Nay, more, it would be, as all who can and do reason must admit, a gross injustice, and if it were true it would give the lie to every expression of the love and justice of God in Scripture. But this is all a dark nightmare, conjured in dark ages of Papal priestcraft and without foundation in the words of inspiration.’

 

"What a blessed relief to awaken now in the morning dawn and see, as we now do, the justice and love displayed in the anger of the Lord—how all men were justly consigned to the state of death (sheoland hades,  improperly translated hell in the Bible), and that because love has redeemed all, therefore all shall come back into life again {Ro 5:18,19}.

 

"How blessed to think of such a God, whose justice and love have been exemplified in both our condemnation and redemption." ‘83-R438 to R440

 

"HE THAT IS BEGOTTEN OF GOD DOES NOT PRACTICE SIN"—’14-R5491, R5492 "My little children, these things write I unto you that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous"—1 John 2:1.

 

"According to history the Apostle John at the time of writing this Epistle was quite an aged man. He was the last of the apostles to die, according to tradition. In his ripe age he had naturally a tender, fatherly feeling toward all the church; he had become very mellow in character through his experiences. According to the original, our text would more properly read: ‘My darlings, these things write I unto you.’ The translators have taken the liberty of saying ‘little children’ instead. A little child is always considered a darling.

 

"The Apostle says, Realizing that you commit trespasses which are contrary to the desire of your heart, remember that there is a place to go, a mercy seat, where you may confess your sins and obtain forgiveness. Remember that ‘we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous.’ Remember that he gave himself a ransom-price for all, and that the merit of this price was applied by imputation on our behalf. Remember that all the sins of the flesh are forgivable through faith in his blood. Bear this in mind, too, that he knows that with our imperfect flesh we cannot as new creatures do perfectly, and it is because of this that God has constituted him our Advocate and Head over all things. "

 

CHRISTIAN, WALK CAREFULLY "If we realize that through lack of proper watchfulness, or through some infirmity of the flesh, we have taken a wrong step, contrary to the Lord’s will and to our interests as new creatures in Christ, let us lose no time in retracing the step and in calling upon the Father for forgiveness. ‘We have an altar whereof they have no right to partake who serve the (typical) tabernacle’; an altar not sancitified by the blood of bulls and goats, but by the precious blood of Christ; and we are urged to ‘come boldly (with holy courage and confident faith) to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need ‘—Hebrews 13:10; 4:16.

 

"How blessed this throne of grace, this mercy seat, provided by our Father’s love! How undone we should be without it!. Yet, beloved, let us walk with great carefulness—let us never presume upon the mercy of our God by being careless of our steps. Let us, instead, with earnest prayer and watchfulness, ‘work out our own salvation with fear and trembling,’ while our Father ‘worketh in us both to will and to do his good pleasure’—Philippians 2:12, 13. "‘ 14-R5491, R5492

 

51

 

Revelation 2

 

14  But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

 

Revelation 2:14 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 14. But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaan, who taught Balac to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

 

Here the union of church and state is set down as abhorrent in God’s sight—spiritual fornication.

 

A GOD-FEARING BAD MAN—Numbers 22:1 to 23:10 "A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways" James 1:8.

 

"After the Israelites had entered Canaan and were fully recognized as God’s holy nation, it would appear that all dealings between God and the Gentiles were discontinued. Before that, apparently men of faith in God were more or less recognized by him—for instance, Abraham, Job, Melchisedec and Balaam—the latter constituting the central figure of today’s lesson. Balaam lived on the Euphrates river, in the country which Abraham left when he came to Canaan. He was known far and near as one whose messages either for good or for evil were sure to come to pass. In other words, he was considered an oracle.

 

"When the king of the Moabites perceived the Israelites conquering all with whom they battled, he greatly feared them, even though they had not molested the Moabites. He conferred with the ruler of the Midianites, and then sent messages four hundred miles to the Euphrates to get Balaam to come to pronounce a curse against the Israelites. A considerble reward was offered.

 

"The Prophet Balaam inquired of the Lord whether or not he should go on this mission. The reply was, No; Israel was blessed of the Lord, not cursed. Balaam gave the decision, and the messengers returned. Balak was all the more insistent and sent fresh messengers of higher station, intimating higher rewards. Balaam knew the mind of the Lord on the subject, but was a money-lover and somehow hoped for a chance to get some of the rewards of unrighteousness. In response to this second inquiry, whether or not he could go with the men, he obtained permission to go.

 

”It was on this journey that Balaam was reproved by his ass. An angel of the Lord stood in the pathway, in a narrow place, where the ass, seeing the angel, could not pass him. Balaam’s eyes not being opened, he saw not the angel. The ass, being beaten, remonstrated. Even this miracle did not stop Balaam’s money-lust. He coveted the wealth, and would do anything in his power to obtain it—merely stopping where he must.

 

A DOUBLE-MINDED MAN "The double-mindedness of the prophet Balaam was abundantly manifested by his course... He wished to be a prophet of the Lord and to speak his Word in his name, but he also wished riches, and the honor which would accompany them. He wished for what God’s providence had not seen best to give him. Right and wrong—God’s way and the way of riches—both were before him. Which would be choose with all his heart? He chose neither one. He tried to have both—to be a servant and mouthpiece of God, and to gain the rewards of an opposite course.

 

"Alas, how many in every age have had the Balaam spirit! Jesus warned against this spirit, saying, ‘Ye cannot serve God and mammon.’How many have found the Master’s words true! How many have found that the Lord would reject from his counsels and his fellowship those who regard iniquity in their hearts; and who, if they have not love to serve it, at least would love its rewards. Let us remember that God looketh upon the inward parts—the heart. Let us remember how it was written of Jesus: ‘Because thou hast loved righteousness and hast hated iniquity, therefore God, even thy God, bath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows"—Psalm 45:7.

 

"In God’s dealings with our Redeemer, he has exemplified the principles of his righteous government. A double-minded man is unreliable in every way—not pleasing to God, not acceptable to him.

 

THE HEART WITH THE TREASURE "The Master said, ‘Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ Those who set their affection chiefly upon earthly things can with difficulty avoid the snares that go with them. Balaam’s only safe course was in heart loyalty to God. Knowing the mind of the Lord on the subject, he should have delighted himself therein, and should to the fullest have rejected every overture looking in an opposite direction. The nobles who took King Balak’s second proposition should have been kindly, but firmly, told that the divine will was the law of Balaam, the prophet; that he would not for a moment consider anything to the contrary of the divine will; that money, wealth and honors as inducements to a course of opposition to God’s will would be an insult. Let us each apply this lesson in life’s affairs. let God be first in our hearts, as well as in our words and acts.

 

"But if, overtaken in a fault, Balaam had gone so far as to start on the journey with the hope of somehow gaining the evil reward, he should have been thoroughly aroused by the incident of the ass. Even an ass knew better than to attempt to go contrary to the Higher Power. Evidently the greater reasoning power and courage of humanity above that of the brute may be used to great advantage.

 

"We see that Balaam’s heart was wrong. he still continued to be a prophet, but was ceasing to be a holy prophet... While outwardly he still remained loyal to God in that he would not utter a false message, yet inwardly his harmony with God was gone. The infection, from being a mere speck of a wish for the money, spread rapidly until it swallowed up everything noble and true in the man. The rot or blight which started in his heart, like the blight at the core of a beautiful apple, spread until nothing remained but the outward form.

 

"The professed man of God groveled in the mire of sin in his desire to obtain Balak’s proffered wealth. He said to the king, The reason I am not permitted to curse Israel is that they are blessed of the Lord; but I will explain to you that the Lord’s blessing is with them because they are his consecrated people, in covenant relationship with him, seeking to obey his law. The only way in which you could bring a curse upon Israel would be by tempting them to disobedience to God.

 

52 GOD PERMITTED THE LESSON "God’s covenant with Israel was that while they would be loyal to him and his law, their enemies could not prevail against them. They should be his people. They should be blessed in their every temporal interest. But if they would neglect his statutes and engage in idolatry, he would bring upon them various plagues. This course not only would punish them for their wrong doings, but serve as a lesson, a warning, to restrain them from excesses such as were common amongst the heathen.

 

"Not only did God punish the Israelites according to the terms of their Law Covenant, but he also punished the Midianites and Balaam. Under divine direction Moses called for a thousand armed men out of each of the tribes. This army completely wiped out the Midianites as a nation, including Balaam, the prophet, who, to secure the rewards of his nefarious advice, had evidently remained to oversee the work of iniquity.

 

"Our glorious Redeemer, in his last message to the church, foretold that some of his followers would imitate Balaam and, for earthly advantage, put a stumbling-block in the path of the brethren. The intimation is that the harlotry and false worship would be on a higher plane than that which stumbled natural Israel—even as everything in this Christian dispensation is antitypical.

 

BALAAM’S WONDERFUL PROPHECY "Several passages in Balaam’s prophecy are very striking in their fulfillment. For instance; "For from the top of the rocks I see him, And from the hills I behold him; Lo, it is a people that dwell alone And shall not be reckoned amongst the nations. Num. 23:9 ***‘ Blessed be every one that blesseth thee And cursed be every one that curseth thee.

 

Num. 24:9 ***" I behold him, but not nigh; There shall come forth a Star out of Jacob, And the Sceptre shall rise out of Israel. And One out of Jacob shall have dominion.’

 

Num. 24:17 "Surely we see fulfilled the declaration that Israel shall be separate from all other nations. What other nation of that day remains a people of preserved identity?

 

"How true the statement that those who have cursed, or injured, Israel have brought injury, upon themselves! As we scan the whole field of the world, we find that every nation which has dealt harshly with Israel has received severe chastisement or blight. On the contrary, Great Britain and the United States, nations which have blessed the Jew, have in turn received great blessings.

 

"The lines referring to Messiah’s kingdom are equally true. The sceptre did rise out of Israel. The One who is to have the dominion of earth is of Jacob’s posterity, according to the flesh. As the bright and morning Star, he is leading on to a glorious sunrise—the dawning of the Messianic day which is to scatter earth’s night and to bring blessings instead of the curse." ‘15-R5322, R5323

 

Revelation 2

 

15  So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.

 

Revelation 2:15 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 15. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate.

 

The doctrine of fording it over the church is very prominent also. See B. Chapter 9; C.

 

"The ‘doctrine of the Nicolaitans’ seems to be the theory of lordship or headship in the church. The strife as to who should be greatest existed amongst many of the patriarchs—fathers—of the prominent churches. At their councils there was a bitter fight for supremacy. The tendency was toward an earthly head, and of course many coveted the honor. The patriarchs of Jerusalem, Antioch, Constantinople and Rome were the most prominent. The first two dropped out of the conflict, but the strife continued for several hundred years between Constantinople and Rome. It was settled only by a division of the church: the Eastern, or Greek Church, accepting the Patriarch of Constantinople for its head; and the Western, or Papal Church, acknowledging the bishop—pope or father—of Rome.

 

"Many of the true followers of the Master in the churches, denounced this attempt to disobey the direct command of Jesus, ‘Call no man father’ (Matthew 23:9). Of course, they received the promised persecution {2Ti 1:12}. This class in Pergamos is commended by our Lord under the symbol of ‘Anti-pas, my faithful martyr.’ In the Greek, anti means against, and Papas signifies father. In this stage of the development of the church those who sought to be popular received the emoluments of the church; but the promise to the overcomers is that of pleasure and honor that shall be eternal." ‘16-R5992, R5993

 

Revelation 2

 

16  Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

 

Revelation 2:16 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 16. Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

 

This was fulfilled in the work or ministry of Pastor C.T. Russell, and that former Roman Catholic Priest, Martin Luther.

 

"Can I truly affirm that I am ‘All for Jesus, all for Jesus—All my being’s ransomed powers; All my thoughts, and words, and doings, All my days and all my hours’?

 

"If so, then we are just narrow-minded enough to say, This one thing I do; and I make everything else bend to this one thing of showing forth God’s praises and helping others into his marvelous light. And to this end I cultivate and use what talents I possess as a wise steward of my heavenly Master: ‘Observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you—Matt. 28:19, 20." ‘03-R3200 See ‘12-R5054 c 2.

 

"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful: But his delight is in the Law of Jehovah; and in His Law cloth he meditate day and night..." Psalm 1:1-2.

 

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer"—Psalm 19:14.

 

53 "There should be in every child of God very perceptible and continuous growth in grace...

 

"Let us constantly keep before our eyes the model which the Lord Jesus set for our example—that model of the complete fulfillment of the will of God, in which the whole Law was kept blamelessly. Let us follow his steps of righteousness and self-sacrifice as nearly as a full measure of loving zeal and faithfulnes and loyalty to God will enable us to do, and we shall have a blessed sense of the divine approval now, and the glorious reward of divine favor in due time." ‘11-R4835 "Hearkening to the voice of the Lord, we perceive that he knew the end from the beginning, and that his plan is designed to be a lesson respecting his attributes of justice, wisdom, love and power, not only to men but to angels, not only to the unholy, but to the holy. When the divine plan shall have been fully accomplished, all shall see the lengths and breadths ad heights and depths of wisdom and love and justice and power exemplified in the divine arrangement. At the present time, however, only a few may see: ‘The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; He has covenanted to show it unto them’ "—Psalm 25:14. ‘04-R3371

 

THE UNCLEAN TABLES OF BABYLON "While the Lord’s table is thus richly spread with a satisfying portion for all who hunger and thirst after righteousness and after the knowledge of God, whom to know is life and peace, there are many other tables spread to which the people of God are invited. Papacy has its table upon which, with some fragments of truth, are found in abundant supply the abominable doctrines of the mass, of eternal torment and purgatory, and the idolatry of Mary and the presumed saints, and auricular confession, and implicit obedience to scheming priests, etc., etc. Protestants also have their several tables, upon which may be found some truth, such as the redemption through the precious blood of Christ, baptism, faith in God and in his inspired Word, etc., but oh! what fragments of truth they have all befouled; for, says the Prophet (Isaiah 28:8, and his words are true), ‘All (their) tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean.’ They are full of rejected matter— old errors swallowed in the past with thoughtless complacency. But the shakings {Heb 12:26,27} of these judgment times are making the people sick, so that they cannot retain these horrid doctrines of eternal torment, etc., etc. And yet, lacking the moral courage openly to disown and abandon them, their tables are therefore polluted with the sickening rejected matter: their tables are all unclean.

 

"But now, harvest having come, and the separating work being due (Matt. 13:30), all the true people of God are called away from those tables to the bountiful harvest table where the Lord himself is now serving. In obeying the voice of the Lord and abandoning the unclean tables many enemies are made, but blessed are those who have the hearing of faith and obey the call to the Lord’s table. It was of this the Psalmist sung, saying: ‘Thou prepares" a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil: my cup (of blessing) runneth over.’ "But there are other tables besides the unclean tables of

 

Babylon. There are tables of devils: tables laden with all manner of subtle and ingenious evil doctrines, bringing in ‘damnable heresies, even denying the lord that bought them,’ wresting the Scriptures, perverting them, undermining their teaching, and substituting human philosophies. Of these are such tables as the Papacy—that ‘masterpiece of Satanic ingenuity,’ Theosophy, Spiritism, Christian Science (falsely so-called), Evolution, and all the various phases of human philosophy which ignore the doctrine of redemption through our Lord’s vicarious sacrifice, and aim to teach men how to climb up to eternal life by some other way. These are all tables of devils, against which the Apostle warns us, saying, Ye cannot partake of the Lord’s table and the table of devils.

 

"There is only one true foundation—Christ, the ransom. ‘Other foundation can no man lay’ {1Co 3:11 15:3}. And any one whose soul has been satisfied with the truth should perceive at once the deformity of error. As a musician’s ear, trained to the beautiful harmonies of sound, quickly detects a discordant note... so the mind and heart, educated in the beautiful harmonies... of the divine plan, quickly detect the discord of error... Feed at the Lord’s table only, if you would have that spiritual health and vigor which is proof against all the pestilences of this evil day.

 

"Nor are we narrow-minded in confining our studies to the divine plan, regardless of all vain philosophies and human traditions and speculations; for its scope is as wide as redemption, its science the most exact and its philosophy the most profound. Having learned the divine plan revealed in the Scriptures, it is the privilege of all who are imbued with its spirit to apply its measuring lines to the whole matter of divine revelation, and... we shall not be narrow-minded in thus following the guidance of the Lord into ‘the deep things of God,’ now revealed in his due time, ‘which things the angels desire to look into,’ and which will be the saints’ delight through all eternity. What think you? Will the saints and angels be narrow-minded when the devil and his tables are all destroyed? Let us away with every evil thing, and find our delight in God, and be satisfied with the consolations of his abundant grace." ‘95-R1899, R1900

 

Revelation 2

 

17  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

 

Revelation 2:17 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 17. He that bath an ear, let him hear what the spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

 

The hidden manna at the present time is that spiritual food that enables a new creature to attain to the mark of the prize and a share in the first resurrection.

 

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6.

 

"It is well for the Lord’s people to have clearly in mind that as the Master designated himself the Way, the Truth, the Life, so all who are truly his disciples must be of the truth, must be sincere... honest-hearted... Only the sincere will ever be truly overcomers." ‘05-R3555 "I am the living Bread which came down from heaven"—John 6:51.

 

54 "Our Lord personified the truth, the great plan of God which centered in him, the life which he had come to give on behalf of the world, that we might live through him: To eat... of Jesus... in the sense of partaking of the blessings and mercies of God provided in him, and in the sense of appropriating his spirit and disposition, is the proper thought... As we feed upon him in our hearts we become strong in faith and in all the graces of his Spirit. Let us then daily gather our portion of manna and daily seek to use it all, and realize that it will be our portion until we reach the heavenly Canaan. Surely then all the supply of divine grace experienced by the Lord’s faithful should be stimulating to our faith and confidence in him who has called us from darkness into his marvelous light." ‘07-R4012 THE HIDDEN MANNA "O taste and see that Jehovah is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him"—Psa. 34:8.

 

"Those who have a mere curiosity interest to know what good things are found upon the table of the Lord can never know. Only those who come with sincere hearts to taste and see for themselves can ever know. Theirs is the ‘hidden manna.’ It is their blessed privilege to know and realize their relationship to Christ as his prospective bride and joint-heir: and, as his betrothed, to hold sweet communion with him here...

 

So PRECIOUS AN INVITATION "Truly so precious an invitation is worthy of our strivings and self-denials to attain it; and the truly appreciative will lay aside every weight and the sin that cloth so easily beset, and run with patience the race for this great prize.

 

"We are plainly told that the great majority who hear the call will reject, and that only a ‘little flock,’ a mere remnant, of both Jews and Gentiles will be privileged sharers of this ‘great supper’ (Luke 14:15-24). And ‘blessed’ indeed will he be ‘who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God’—who shall be counted worthy to share with Christ in the honors and glory of the spiritual kingdom established. ‘To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne.’ ‘Fear not, little flock (of overcoming ones), it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom." ‘96-R1958 "To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it"—Rev. 2:17.

 

"The white stone signifies a precious token of the Lord’s love, and the new name written in the stone suggests the Bridegroom’s name. The statement indicates a special acquaintance with the great King of kings, secret between Himself and the individual. The overcomers are not to be recognized merely as a class—the Bride class—but each will have the personal favor of the Lord. Of this no one will know save himself and the King. There is an individual and personal friendship between the Lord and the overcomers, who may be said to receive the mark of identification—the antitypical white stone—now, in this life.

 

"This mark is the sealing of the holy Spirit by which the

 

Lord identifies the overcomers... The full seal of the holy Spirit will be given in the Resurrection... Then we shall have complete knowledge of the name by which we shall be known to the Lord and He to us forever." ‘12-R5113 "The Golden Pot of Manna represented immortality as being one of the possessions of the Christ of God. Our Lord Jesus doubtless refers to this when he says: ‘To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna.’ "Manna was the bread which came down from heaven as a life-sustainer for Israel. It represented the living bread, supplied to the world by God through Christ. But as the Israelites needed to gather this supply of manna daily or else want and starve, so it will be necessary for the world ever to seek supplies of life and grace if they would live everlastingly." TS 122p3,4 "The manna in the golden bowl, which was placed in the Ark under the Mercy Seat in the Tabernacle... was a symbol of our Lord’s flesh, the bread from heaven... {Ex 16:20,33 Heb 9:4 Joh 6:51-58}. B130 top "But to those who become Christ’s joint-heirs, members of the Anointed Body, God makes a special offer of a peculiar sort of manna, the same and yet different from that given to others—’the hidden manna.’ One peculiarity of this pot of manna was that it was incorruptible;  hence it well illustrates the immortal, incorruptible condition promised to all members of the ‘Seed’—which is the Church. The manna or life-support fed to Israel was not incorruptible,  and must therefore be gathered daily. So all the obedient of mankind who shall by and by be recognized as Israelites indeed, will be provided with life everlasting, but conditional, supplied and renewed life; while the ‘little flock,’ who under present unfavorable conditions are faithful ‘overcomers,’ will be given an incorruptible portion—immortality." TS 123 p 1. (See A185.) "A lesson of generosity went with the manna; for whatever portion was kept over to the following day corrupted. Nothing of the kind was known to the Israelites; and they asked, ‘what is it?’ and this became its name—’What is it’—or ‘that manna.’ The gathering of it helped them to remember the Sabbath also, for none fell on the Sabbath, but a double portion on the day preceding, and what was kept over that night did not corrupt.

 

Jesus reminded his followers of that manna given in the wilderness, and declared that it typified himself, the true Bread. As the Israelites would have perished without food, so the spiritual Israelites would not have sufficient strength for the journey without the heavenly food. Jesus gave himself the title of The Truth. Whoever therefore eats of this Bread from heaven partakes of the truth. ‘Sanctify them through thy truth; Thy Word is truth.’ Only by partaking largely, regularly, daily, of our Lord, his merit and his gracious arrangements for us, can we become strong in him, and prosecute the journey faithfully and enter into the spiritual Cannan.

 

"To grow strong in the Lord and in the power of his might, we must feed upon him daily—we must appreciate and appropriate the merits of his sacrifice." ‘13-R5279 "We rejoiced in our privilege to have both—the real feast in our hearts and the symbols which our Lord himself had

 

55 provided and instructed us to use.

 

"We considered the bread that it was unleavened—leaven, in the type, signifying sin. We noted the Apostle’s explanation that the bread not only represented our Lord’s flesh upon which we feed by faith, but that, having fed upon it and received of his spirit, we, as his church of the firstborn, are reckoned as being members together in one loaf or cake of unleavened bread. Thus he exhorts us to remember that, as a little leaven leaveneth an entire batch of dough, so a little sin might accomplish a great fermentation in our midst. Hence he exhorts, ‘Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us; therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven (rank wickedness), neither with the (less rank but more insidious) leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth’—1 Cor. 5:6-8." ‘98-R2292 "On another occasion Jesus had declared in their hearing that he himself was the bread which came down from heaven, of which if a man partook he would live forever. Now he was handing them some unleavened bread and said it was his body. They evidently understood him to mean that this bread to them would represent or symbolize his body, for he told them on this occasion that thenceforth they should do this in remembrance of him—thenceforth they should remember him as the slain lamb and use unleavened bread to represent his flesh, and partake of this instead of eating as previously of a literal lamb." ‘06-R3879

 

MOST VALUABLE FOOD AND DRINK KNOWN "When our Lord said, ‘For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed (John 6:55), we understand Him to mean that this is the most valuable food and drink ever known. No other bread has such value, and no other drink could be so precious as this, by the partaking of which one may attain to glory, honor and immortality—the divine nature, life in itself.

 

"The Bread from heaven was our Lord’s flesh, which he was to give for the life of the world. And Jesus explains this to be what was typified by the manna that fell in the wilderness. He said, ‘Your fathers did eat manna (in the wilderness), and are dead. He that eateth of this Bread shall live forever.’ He also said (John 12:24), ‘Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.’ And he did fall into the earth and die. And we become sharers with him in his death. We participate in his sufferings and death, which the world will never do. They share in its outcome.

 

"All the work of this Gospel Age, is the getting ready of the food for the world, and of the blood which will be sprinkled upon them. But the message of our Lord in John 6:53, ‘Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you,’ was not intended for the world. As he tells us. ‘Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.’ "‘ 13-R5343

 

THE CHURCH OF THYATIRA—REVELATION 2:18-19.

 

"Thyatira seems to mean ‘the sweet perfume of sacrifice.’ It was the period of Papal persecution. The virgin church was enduring the hardships of the wilderness; while the apostate church sat on the throne of her royal paramour. The message is sent by him ‘who bath like a flame of fire,’ to watch over his faithful ones as they wandered through the dark valleys or hid in the darker caves of earth; and ‘feet of hard brass,’ to walk by their side as they scaled the rugged mountains or wandered footsore and weary, seeking a place to plant the seeds of truth.

 

"The message contains an allusion to a faithful old Prophet who fled for his life into the wilderness from the wrath of the idolatrous wife of a king (v. 20). The picture is from the history of the Prophet Elijah {1Ki 18:19}. Jezebel was the protector of the priests of Baal. Her husband was king, and she wielded his power for her own ends. The drought of three and one-half years was evidiently a type of the ‘time, times and a half’—1260 years—of the spiritual famine, ‘not of bread nor of water, but of hearing the words of the Lord’—Amos 8:11.

 

Revelation 2

 

18  And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;

 

Revelation 2:18 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 18. And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet like fine brass;  

 

Thyatira was the "sweet perfume of a sacrifice" to God: because he saw there the growth of the Divine Family; becoming apparent in the faithful new creatures; their likeness to Christ; and the great reward he had for them in the Sarah covenant.

 

CONSECRATION-A SAINT’S TESTIMONY "The Lord God bath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. I gave my back to the smilers, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded; therefore have I set my face lie a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. He is near that justifieth me... "( Isaiah 50:5-8).

 

"And so our prayers should be, ‘Lord may all these matters which are so closely connected with my peace of mind be under Thy control. Order all entirely according to Thy will, for Thou art my Father and my friend. It is thy will that thy children shall have the very best of all things. Thou knowest what is best for me." Selected ‘96-R2058 How that modifies what is the best! He knows what is best for us, looking forward to the grand result. We are His children; He loves us. He is our Father. It is the New Creature He loves, being developed into the characterlikeness of His Beloved Son, as his prospective Bride.

 

"I wait for the Lord, my soul cloth wait, and in his Word do I hope. My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning’ {Ps 130:5,6}. In every experience of sorrow and distress, and when the strain of the jarring discords and the stinging vexations and wounds that make the heart bleed, threaten to overwhelm the spirit, let the child of God remember that ‘he knows, and loves, and cares,’ and that his ministering angel is ever near us, and that no trial will be permitted to be too severe. The dear Master is standing by the crucible, and the furnace heat will never be permitted to grow so intense that the precious gold of our characters shall be destroyed, or even injured. Ah, no! If

 

56 by his grace the experiences may not work for our good, they will be turned aside. He loves us too well to permit any needless sorrow, any needless suffering." ‘15-R5802 "The darkness hateth the light, because it it reproved thereby, is our Lord’s explanation. Nothing seemed so much to incite the Scribes and Pharisees of eighteen centuries ago as the reasonableness of the true gospel. The common people heard it gladly, unless intimidated by their religious rulers, and led to doubt... The rulers... ‘were grieved because they (the apostles) taught the people.’

 

SUFFERING AS CHRISTIANS—Acts 21:30-39.

 

"If any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed"—1 Peter 4:16.

 

"Paul... was suffering as a Christian—because he was loyal to the Lord and his Word... If only they can directly or indirectly trace their tribulation to faithfulness to the Lord and his truth, let them not be ashamed; let them glorify God on this behalf, rejoicing that they are accounted worthy to suffer for the name of Christ, and remembering that even thus also it was with our Lord Jesus. He was placed under arrest; he was bound; he was scourged; he was publicly insulted; he was even crucified as a blasphemer against God—1Pe 4:16.

 

"... If we find the rabble shouting against any one, either orally or through the press, ... we should remember the experiences of Jesus, the experiences of Paul, and of the other Apostles, and how the multitude cried out, ‘Away with them!’ The Christian whose mind is thus relieved of prejudice is the better prepared to judge wisely respecting whatever may properly come under his observation or criticism. And then, if he have similar experiences himself, he will be the better prepared for them." ‘03-R3189

 

SPARED IN THE DAY OF TROUBLE "The Lord stood by him and said, BE OF GOOD CHEER. PAUL"—Acts 23:11.

 

"They shall be mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his only son that serveth him"—Malachi 3:17.

 

Please turn to ‘12-R5119, with final comments immediately preceding Rev. 22:21.

 

THE REWARD OF PATIENT WAITING "Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust also in him, and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him’ (Psalm 37:5-7).

 

"We must not be disappointed and allow our faith to falter when the test of patient endurance is applied, while the outward peace and quietness which we crave tarry long. Our Father has not forgotten us when the answer to our prayers seems to be delayed. Outward peace and calm are not always the conditions best suited to our needs as new creatures; and we would not desire conditions in which the precious fruits of the Spirit would not grow and develop in us. Therefore, ‘Think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which shall try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you; but rejoice’ {1Pe 4:12,13}. He who numbers the very hairs of our heads is never indifferent to the sufferings and needs of his weakest and humblest child. Oh, how sweet is the realization of such loving, abiding care! ‘When he giveth quietness, who then can make trouble?’ "‘ 15-R5802 "We know our Father’s hand is ever at the helm, that His love and care are sure and unfailing." ‘15-R5803 Those who make that consecration vow, setting apart to the will and service of God, are met by our High Priest, who has made atonement for us, vouches for us as our Advocate to the Heavenly Father to whom we made the vows of consecration. Our dear Lord comes to our attention first of all as the Logos, a wonderful spirit being, spokesman, representative of the heavenly Father in the creation of the Universe. He seemed always imbued with the spirit of consecration to God. In all the work of creation of this vast universe, his heart was thoroughly loyal to His Heavenly Father. He was found worthy of all confidence of the heavenly Father: He laid aside that glory and nature when his life principle was transferred to a human condition—he became a man—for redemptive work; at the age of 12 he learned that according to the Law he must submit to his parents until 30 when he would be a counterpart for the perfect man Adam who had sinned and was condemned to death.

 

"JESUS INCREASED IN WISDOM AND STATURE"—Luke 2:41-52 "Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and Man.’

 

"The boy Jesus... as a ‘son of the law’... had finally about reached the conclusion that the types of the priestly of lice indicated clearly that his mission would not begin until he was thirty years of age... ‘And he was subject unto them’—Joseph and Mary... patiently waiting until the Father’s times should come and he should begin his ministry; patiently studying meantime, as best he could, to know more and more of the Father’s will and plan; patiently waiting for the baptism of the holy spirit, which would enable him to fully comprehend the situation and his own personal relationship to it. What a lesson there is here for all his followers... ‘Ye have need of patience,’ and again, ‘Let patience have her perfect work.’ ... we are not to attempt to hasten the divine plan, but to wait patiently for its unfolding... sure that his time has come... like our Lord, to be instant in season and out of season, when convenient and when inconvenient, under favorable and unfavorable conditions; to do with our might what our hand has found to do... in harmony with God’s providence." ‘00-R2559 "The more clearly we see present conditions and foresee those approaching, the more it should stimulate our zeal to be and to do while we have the opportunity..." ‘00-R2554 "When He began to be thirty," the spirit of consecration, plus certain instructions, brought Him to John the Baptist at Jordan to symbolize that consecration to the will of God unto death. He approached John as he evidently had been instructed to be immersed in water. John, with some persuasion, performed the ceremony. Then as our Lord came up out of the water, He received the evidence of His acceptance and the performance of all that was right in that He represented: the power to understand spiritual things; the memory of His prehuman existence as the Logos; the knowledge that He needed of the Heavenly Father, and the 57 assurance of a voice from Heaven that said, "This is My Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." Then according to the record a strange thing happened. The Spirit led Him into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.

 

With all this for a background for the assurance of His acceptance with the Heavenly Father, that He was taking the right course, came the testing of His consecration, the sincerity of it. He evidently was shown the Divine Plan of the Ages as He considered the matter as revealed in the Book. He speaks of the Book, "As it is written in the Book..." That is where He found His Father’s will in regard to the Divine Plan of the Ages. He found it written in the Book, evidently stored in His memory, and He studied it carefully, because He had received the key to its understanding of all that He Himself had conferred upon the Jewish Nation. Religion and religious ceremonies were covered up in Types and Shadows. There were various Scriptures wherein God’s will was written for Him. Studying God’s will so intently for forty days and nights He was not aware of His human nature.

 

Now came the temptations of the great adversary seeking to turn Him aside. Weak and hungry though He was, our Lord’s consecration was so sincere and so deep and so comprehensive that although Satan posed as a kindly friend, He faltered not. His answer was NO! "IT IS WRITTEN!" He had been studying the types and shadows. He saw the will of God written in the types. He saw them accompanied by fire, the best way to accomplish the best results. That was already settled in His mind.

 

"And, behold, angels came and ministered unto him" Matt. 4:11—the Father’s provision.

 

"What a beautiful example the Lord thus furnishes of Christian fortitude which never flinches nor hesitates, but with fixedness of purpose steadily pursues the course of sacrifice! "‘ 94-R1689 Please see CRS page 95 on Re 5, and Berean Comment on Hebrews 4:15.

 

He returned from the wilderness and began what He knew would be a "living sacrifice" which would in three and onehalf years culminate in His crucifixion. He must use His own vitality in the healing of the multitudes. On one occasion realizing that someone, exercising proper faith, had been healed He mentioned to His disciples, "Someone bath touched me, for I perceive that vitality bath gone out of Me.’

 

Again it was written of Him, "When He was reviled, He reviled not again." He accepted the experiences of life and drank of the cup which the Father poured for Him. Because of the depth of His consecration He did not resent the oppositions of sinners, misrepresentation, abuse, etc. When all was completed, He said, "It is finished." Justice is absolutely satisfied and can find no fault with the Ransom price. It was sufficient and completely satisfactory.

 

We were given to glimpse the depth of our Lord’s consecration on that almost fatal morning in the hospital, and to look into three other qualities, that we want to tell you about, which if you can enter into as we did, will be a wonderful help in your remaining days, to make your calling and consecration sure. We only regret my lack of command of language to make you see these characteristics to that extent.

 

And so the spasms of pain increased in volume and frequency until I was having five every hour, and Saturday morning the heart refused to bear more. Then came a straining for air and calling for oxygen for relief. At the same time came the thought that, while I was calling for relief, our dear Lord in the most terrible part of the pain and agony of crucifixion refused any alleviation. And we felt a great amazement. Then it appeared that we came to a door or wall beyond which was our glorified Lord and many faithful ones with Him. We could feel a wondrous sweetness emanating from him and we asked if we might enter. There was no sound, but we felt the answer "Yes, in due time. In the meantime, the great time clocks of the Divine Plan of the Ages are all set and will not be disturbed even by the Great Jehovah." So I withdrew as the body of flesh was relieved; but the sense of that wonderful sweetness remains; and will be my desire and comfort ‘till death. It is worth all the devastating pain.

 

Then I began to wonder why our dear Lord refused the proffered alleviation of the agony of the cross; and it seemed to me that He realized that for the deliverance of the Jew from the penalty of death for failing to keep their Law Covenant, Justice required the full measure of suffering of death by crucifixion. "Christ bath redeemed us from the curse of the ‘aw, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree"—Gal. 3:13 Deut. 21:23 His mind seems to have been clear enough to comprehend that, and his spirit strong enough to meet it (Isaiah 50:7). So He yielded instant submission. Otherwise he would have hung longer on the tree: but the time of His death was set. What firmness and Strength! What a Saviour! Now our eyes beheld consecration as never before. We say we are consecrated to the will of God unto death. That might be easy. What depth of consecration is here! Is ours like that? Are we willing to accept the hardness to the full as he did? Let us renew our vows of consecration with this in mind.

 

My love to every member of the class. Dr. and I are discussing the future as to what is best. The Lord knows now what will be done and every move and incident. It is all settled by one who knows all about everything and knows what is best for me. It is all settled. I rest.

 

There is a further lesson in that for us; and that is that this consecration of our Lord was based on His love for the Heavenly Father and the Divine Plan of the Ages and the Truth. "To this end was I born and for this cause came I into the world that I might bear witness to the Truth." He loved truth; He loved righteousness; He loved the heavenly Father; and because of that He made His consecration at Jordan; and then it widened and increased as He studied the Plan.

 

"Thus, while he joyfully worked out the grand plan of creation (John 1:3; Prov. 8:22-31), he probably knew nothing of God’s purpose for the subsequent permission of evil and the necessity for the great work of redemption. Before he came to that test of faith in God his confidence in his almighty power, wisdom and love had been firmly established by the experiences of the past. For centuries he had seen his mighty works, marked his wondrous wisdom and experienced his tender love. Could he doubt him, then, when another feature 58 of his plan made manifest the great work of redemption and restitution, and gave to him the privilege of understanding this work also, for the joy that the Father set before him?... ‘By this knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many’—Isa. 53:1.’

 

Then He could run and meet the Heavenly Father’s will even when it meant agony for Himself: and when the reward came to Him, I doubt if he ever remembered the cost and its suffering; but that He remembered no more the anguish—for JOY! because of the glorious results and the illimitable joys that were His in His exaltation to the Divine nature. In His pre-human existence in the spirit nature He was daily the Father’s delight, "rejoicing always before Him." Now the beloved Son is rewarded with the highest of all natures next to the Father Himself—His own Divine Nature. He has seen the travail of his soul: "He shall be satisfied!" In fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy (Ch. 53).

 

Bro. Russell points out that we receive a new will as we enter the Court; not a bad will changed to a good one, but that good human will was left there at the door; and a new will was begotten of love for God. And that new will represents us, and becomes the will of the new creature which carries our personality over from the human to the spiritual. That new will, because begotten of love, takes up the vows that were made before spirit begettal and seeks to carry them out in loyalty to our consecration that is increased by a study of the Word, until we love our Heavenly Father and the Truth and the Divine Plan supremely, having a consuming love for the Bridegroom withal. We are thankful that this Book that has been given to us is full of spirit and of life—the spiritual expressions of God’s mind, our food and our nourishment, our strength and our rejoicing as we become more and more filled with their spirit of consecration, of loyalty, and of love.

 

"While the Ten Commandments were not given to the church, yet every feature of the Ten Commandments is a command; for by the character of our consecration we are bound to seek to know God’s will, even beyond the mere letter of his Word. Hence, while the church is not under the Law Covenant, we are under the general instruction of the Ten Commandments. Therefore the Apostle says that ‘the righteousness of the law (the true meaning of the law) is fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit’—Romans 8:4." ‘14-R5404 We need the knowledge of the Truth that we may have a better acquaintance with God, coming into closer communion and fellowship with Him, that we may live in His loving embrace, close to Him every day and every year. He gives the knowledge of the Truth according to our faithfulness as new creatures, even the deep things of the High Calling which seem never to be plumbed to their depth even after all the years of diligent study and application in our daily lives. Neverthless there is continual increase in knowledge, according to the anointing of the furniture of the Tabernacle: increasing knowledge, wisdom, understanding, ability; increasing faith and love. "The anointing* means victory," and is maintained by ever increasing appreciation and love for, and study and practice of the Truth.

 

*Rev. 3:6 comments.

 

I have an intense desire that every member of this Ecclesia shall be present in the antitypical Most Holy, each an accepted member of the Body of Christ, of the Little Flock of the Bride, of the Divine Family beyond the veil.

 

Having seen consecration of our Lord in this new light, deeper light, then as we approached close to the veil, we sensed the presence of our Lord there. We could not see Him but we sensed His presence; and what impressed us so forcibly was the purity of His mind. I wish I could express it. His mind was so pure, holy, that it was clear-cut and manifest. The purity of it, the holiness of it precluded all possible entrance of any thought that was not absolutely pure and holy; and those with Him all seemed to have the same mind, wide open to everyone else, a condition of holiness. Oh, what an atmosphere in which to live! How we longed to be there!

 

People must have recognized our Lord’s mind so pure and clean. It must have been offensive to the Scribes and Pharisees, and what caused Peter to say, "Depart from me oh Lord, for I am a sinful man." He did not want the Lord to depart, but he felt His holiness and purity of mind. He felt unfit to be in His presence. When our Lord conversed with the woman of Samaria, no one said, Why do you talk with her? The purity of His mind was answer enough.

 

That is what we want as a result of consecration, and instant submission to the will of God in everything, through the study of His Word and its sanctifying power. We want to cultivate that purity of mind that will be "to feel in the presence of Jesus at Home.’

 

The next impression that came to our senses was the sweetness of His person. It was a sweetness that emanated from Him just like the waves of heat from a radiator. His mind was as chaste as ice, as pure as plate glass without an imperfection or shadow, so clear and solid and transparent, as the shining of a mirror highly polished. His mind and the minds of all about Him were absolutely holy. And the sweetness of His mind emanating from Him impelled one to remain with Him. And so we said, May we enter? The reply seemed to be, Yes, in due time. In the meantime—here comes the fourth point.

 

"... We come to recognize the systematic order of God’s plan, the ‘due time’ for the accomplishment of every feature of it, and the fact that every member of the human race has a place in it." A112 It seemed as though there was a lifting up, revealing a balcony running along with time clocks upon it. And right here next to me, a hand holding a time-clock. The great time clocks of the Divine Plan of the Ages are all set and will not be interfered with even by the great Jehovah. There followed a sense of power, such a sense of power that was sufficient to control the whole great universe: which made the things of earth, the powers of evil, and all the instruments of evil, seem as nothing at all in comparison with that infinite power—setting and controlling those time clocks. There was such a sense of assurance and comfort and safety and sureness of the Divine Plan being carried out on time that we received the lesson that was evidently intended, to go about your business and wait until the time clock strikes. Interesting is ‘95-R1867 including the last par.

 

We hope you will be able to enter into these four points

 

59 as we did: The spirit of consecration; the purity of our Lord’s mind most absolute, like the Holy of the Tabernacle. That holiness is a wall which nothing unholy can penetrate. So Brother Russell warns us not to go outside of that Holy condition by doing something that does not belong there. Let us see that we do not go outside of that line of holiness. It is a holy condition, and that is the way our Lord’s mind is, and so it is with all those beyond the veil.

 

"Under no consideration must we leave the ‘Holy’ to render evil for evil, reviling for reviling. No, all who would be faithful under-priests must follow in the footsteps of the great High Priest and love their enemies and do good to those who persecute them. They must copy him ‘Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again, when he suffered threatened not; but committed his cause to him who judgeth righteously’—1 Peter 2:23." T63 Such are the members, "and Fellows of the Order of Royal Priesthood"!

 

What an atmosphere of holiness in which to live! Let us live in it now, cultivate it now. Let there be no unkind thoughts, no harsh criticism. No. There is only the spirit of holiness, righteousness. And then the sweetness of our Lord! To be with Him beyond the veil is beyond description: while the power of Jehovah is infinite! Hymns 168, 169, 170.

 

Revelation 2

 

19  I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.

 

Revelation 2:19 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 19. I know thy charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last more than the first.

 

Paul’s letter to the Philippians had no rebuke: and this period of the church was very satisfactory; but the tendency to place too much confidence in works, instead of studying the philosophy of the Ransom as shown in the doctrine of justification by faith, required a check, or admonition.

 

"And shine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left"—Isa. 30:21.

 

"HE SHALL GIVE YOU ANOTHER COMFORTER"—John 14:15-27.

 

"The holy Spirit or holy influence that should come to the church and abide with it through the age, to supervise and direct in the interest of the faithful, was to be a representative of both the Father and the Son. Indeed, the thought that the holy Spirit is the representative of the Lord Jesus with the church is so strongly put that sometimes the Lord himself and his spirit or influence are spoken of interchangeably; as for instance, when he said to them: ‘Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the age’ (Matt. 28:20). And again, ‘I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you (through the holy Spirit).’ And again, ‘In that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I (through the holy Spirit) in you... and I will manifest myself to him (through the holy Spirit)... And we (the Father and the Son) will come unto him, and make our abode with him (through the holy Spirit’)—John 14:18, 20, 23.

 

"Thus it is that those who receive the holy Spirit, the spirit of the truth, the spirit of love, the spirit of the Father, the spirit of Christ, are enabled to see Jesus, and have a new life begun in them (John 14:19). They see with the eyes of their understanding, and do not walk in darkness. They hear the voice of the Lord, saying, ‘This is the way; walk ye in it.’ They taste the good Word of God, and realize that he is very gracious. The feel the love of God shed abroad in their hearts, producing in them love for the brethren and all the good fruits of the spirit—meekness, gentleness, patience, longsuffering, brotherly kindness, love —Isa 30:21 1Pe:2:3 Ro 5:5 Col 3:12,13.

 

”These experiences, however, are promised conditionally—they are not promised to those who have never heard of the grace of God, but to those who have heard, to ‘as many as the Lord our God shall call,’ who, hearing his commandments, are moved by responsive love to do them. Such have the Father’s love, such have the love of the Son, and such shall have the fellowship both of the Father and the Son through the medium or channel of the holy Spirit. This is declared in the 15th and 16th verses, and again in the 21st, 23rd and 24th {Joh 14}. Not only are faith and obedience of the heart necessary, before any can come into the spirit-begotten condition, but a continuance and growth in faith and in obedience are necessary in order to continuance and growth in the spirit of holiness, or the holy Spirit, the spirit of fellowship with the Father and with the Son.’

 

"It is one thing to have a begetting of the Spirit, and quite another matter to attain to that condition urged by the Apostle, saying, ‘Be ye filled with the Spirit’ (Eph. 5:18).

 

"Let the peace of God rule in your hearts"—Colossians 3:15.

 

"How beautiful, how consoling to their troubled hearts, and how refreshing to ours, is the legacy of love and peace left to us by our dear Redeemer, as expressed in the 27th verse {Joh 14}! This peace and joy which surpasseth all human understanding... is intended for and can be had only by those who receive riches of grace through the holy Spirit—those who by obedience to the Truth and its Spirit grow up into Christ their living Head in all things. Such have peace, deep and abiding, and ever increasing proportionately as they come to comprehend with all saints through faith and obedience the riches of divine grace—the lengths, breadths, heights and depths of the love of God": "such a development of heart and character as manifests itself in an endurance of wrong or affliction with contentment, without rebellion of will, with full acquiescence in the divine wisdom and love, which, while permitting present evils, has promised to overthrow them in God’s due time.’

 

"Our Lord shows us that patient endurance, constancy, is the final test... cheerful endurance." ‘99-R2455, R2456; ‘01-R2791.

 

Revelation 2

 

20  Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.

 

Revelation 2:20 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 20. Notwithstanding, I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.

 

To give way to the methods and doctrines of the Roman Catholic or Jezebel hierarchy, was belittling to Christ, the true head of the church, and would lead to an overbearing spirit of Nicolas, and affiliation with the world, while their creeds became their idols.

 

60 THAT WOMAN JEZEBEL THE PARABLE OF THE LEAVEN—MATTHEW 13:33 "The grace of God given to his people in the beginning of this age, (1) the faith once delivered to the saints, (2) the hope set before us in the gospel, (3) love, the bond of perfectness, summed up the three measures of the Lord’s provision for his people—in partaking of which they were to become strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. But gradually a woman arose, a false woman, represented in Revelation as a harlot, and as ‘that woman Jezebel.’ This Roman Catholic system obtained great power over the three measures of meal provided for God’s household, and proceeded to mix therewith the leaven of her own impurity. The result was that all the family food, all the holy doctrines were contaminated with her false doctrines—nothing was left pure and clean, as handed to us originally by the apostles. The faith once delivered to the saints was distorted out of all semblance to its original simplicity; the hope set before us in the Gospel was changed to another hope entirely, unlike the original; the spirit of the Lord, love, was perverted to a selfish love of creeds of men and human institutions. Alas, no wonder all Christendom is spiritually sick, because of this adulteration in its food supply.

 

"From this standpoint we readily see the force and meaning of the Master’s declaration, that at his return he would gird himself, and come forth and serve his people, and that he would send forth at the hands of his servants things both new and old from the storehouse of his grace, ‘meat in due season.’ "‘ 00-R2635.

 

"ART THOU HE THAT TROUBLETH ISRAEL?’

 

These are the words of Ahab, king of Israel, to Elijah. Ahab, it will be remembered, was the husband of Jezebel, the wicked woman, who persecuted Elijah, and from whom he fled into the wilderness for three and a half years. (See 1 Kings, 18:17.) "We have heretofore seen that all three of these Jewish characters were types or figures of classes in the Gospel age, and their actions were such as to illustrate the actions of those classes which they represented: Elijah represented the church—the true and earnest teachers of God’s Word; Jezebel is used to represent the false church, Papacy, which came into power by marriage with the Roman Empire, which is represented by Ahab.

 

"As Papacy used the Roman army and power to persecute the true teachers of the Lord (and slew many) for three and a half symbolic years, or twelve hundred and sixty symbolic days; so Jezebel used Ahab’s power to persecute Elijah and slay the Lord’s prophets for three and a half literal years. During those years there was a great drouth in the land; so, too, during the 1260 years of Papal persecution, ending in 1798, there was a great spiritual drouth and ‘a famine, but not of bread nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.’ Amos 8:11. Then the false teachers of Baal (Papacy), being refuted, an abundant shower has come; Jehovah is again recognized. But Jezebel and her daughters still hate the Elijah class and seek their destruction.

 

"Jesus in his day called the attention of the Jews to the judgments of God about to come upon them, saying; ‘These be days of vengeance that all things written should be fulfilled’ (Luke 21:22). Elijah gave warning of the death of Jezebel and Ahab, that dogs should lick his blood and eat her flesh. So here it becomes our place to speak the word of God as declared by him, that Ahab and his successors (the Roman and succeeding empires) shall be slain—i. e.,  destroyed (Dan. 2:44); also that Jezebel shall be ‘eaten by dogs’ (the degraded), i. e.,  Papacy, and in fact the nominal church, as it represents the same church and world-united system, shall be cast down and consumed.

 

"Elijah further represents the ‘little flock’ of despised ones, by being highly exalted, caught up on a whirlwind. Oh, that we may be among the little company now separating, who shall soon be changed in a moment into the perfect likeness of our Lord and head!" ‘81-R234, R235.

 

"The first Jezebel persecuted the first Elijah so that he fled into the wilderness, and even after his coming again and performing a great miracle and turning the hearts of some to the Lord, he was a second time obliged to flee from Jezebel, who sought his life. In the case of the second Elijah, John the Baptist, the experiences were somewhat similar, and the Herodias Jezebel succeeded eventually in accomplishing the destruction of the prophet. In the case of the third Elijah (the church in the flesh) the woman Jezebel is mentioned by name (Rev. 2:20); and her pernicious work, the flight of the church into the wilderness, and her return from the wilderness condition since Reformation times are all known. Now we are to anticipate a second attack upon the true church (not upon the nominal system); and this may mean, as in the case of John the Baptist, a second and a seemingly complete victory of the Babylonish woman and her paramour, the world, over the faithful members of the body of Christ in the flesh. We shall certainly not be surprised if the matter so results; but this and all things must work together for good to those who love the Lord. We must all die to win our heavenly prizes beyond the veil. The Elijah class this side the veil must and will be vanquished, but the apparent defeat only hastens the kingdom glories, powers and blessings promised. ‘Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life.’ "... Doubtless... the vengeance of the antitypical Jezebel upon the antitypical Elijah will move their friends and associates to still greater love and interest, and will be the means of attracting more closely to the Lord the great company. "" As there is a striking resemblance between John and Elijah, his type, so there is a strong resemblance between the experiences of John and those of the faithful church—the great antitype of Elijah. While Elijah fled from Ahab, his real persecutor was Jezebel, who sought his life. So John the Baptist was apprehended and finally executed by Herod, but his real opponent was Herod’s wife, Herodias. Similarly the greater Elijah, the faithful body of Christ in the flesh, has suffered and will yet suffer at the hands of civil power, yet the real persecutor behind the civil power has been the antitypical Jezebel mentioned in Rev. 2:20—the antitypical Herodias—the nominal church adulterously allied to the kingdoms of this world while nominally espoused to Christ. All Bible students will recognize the various pictures of this apostasy in Revelation, whether they understand the

 

61

 

resemblance distinctly or not." ‘04-R3325 to R3327.

 

Revelation 2

 

21  And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

 

Revelation 2:21 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 21. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

 

The time of 360 years, in which to recover herself, extended from 1518 A.D., in Luther’s day, to 1878 A.D., when reformation was demanded. She still believes in union of church and state.

 

"All Christians claim that there were erroneous doctrines taught in the past which cannot be supported in the clearer light of our Day ... The difficulty started in the doctrine of Apostolic Succession—the doctrine that Bishops of the Church were Apostles, inspired in the same sense as The Twelve...

 

"All are gradually seeing that the Twelve Apostles of the Lamb (St. Paul taking the place of Judas) are the only Divinely inspired authorities of the Church.

 

THE HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE "Gradually the name of Christianity spread among the peoples of Europe, without its Master’s Spirit. The name ‘Christian’ became popular. In the day of King Charlemagne, the title, ‘Holy Roman Empire,’ was established... Some claim this as a public acknowledgment of the marriage of the professed Virgin of Christ to Civil Power, in the Book of Revelation styled harlotry—Rev. 17:1-5.

 

"... The claims set forth were that it was the Divine intention that Christ should be represented in the earth by the Papacy, and that His government should be carried on through earthly princes... In the Sixteenth Century the Reformation movement sprang up. These daughters of the Church of Rome married earthly power, and started ‘Holy Empires’ of their own.

 

"This entire theory and its Systems received a severe blow when Napoleon Bonaparte took the Pope a prisoner to France. The spell of sacerdotal rule was broken. In September, 1870, Victor Immanuel took possession of Rome—a fatal blow.

 

"Bible students are generally agreed that Church and State union is contrary to the spirit of the Bible, an error of the Dark Ages; that the Church of Christ is not to reign with the princes of the Earth, nor to be married to them, but to wait for her marriage till the Second Coming of her Redeemer, to be united with Him in the First Resurrection. Then she shall reign with Him forever." Rev. 19:7; 20:6 ...

 

... Only Messiah’s Kingdom can restore man to God’s image and make God’s footstool glorious." Photo-Drama Scenario pp. PD78-PD80, D Chapters 13 and 14!

 

ANTITYPICAL AHAB AND JEZEBEL

 

"As all Christian students know, Jezebel, Ahab and Elijah were used of the Lord as types, and their experiences foreshadowed much greater things in the experience of the church, spiritual Israel, during this Gospel age.

 

"Ahab typified civil power. Jezebel typified a religious system. The improper marriage of Ahab and Jezebel, contrary to the Jewish Law, typified the marriage or union of church and state. The progress of evil under this union is portrayed in the Book of Revelation, where Jezebel is specially mentioned by name (Rev. 2:20-23). The Lord charged that the antitypical Jezebel, the church system, was suffered or permitted to teach and seduce his people from the proper course of Christian living. The same Scriptures represent Elijah, who was persecuted by Jezebel, through her husband, as a type of true believers of this Age persecuted by a false church through the arm of civil power. "‘ 10-R4730.

 

"Elijah was not only a prophet of the Lord, but also a type of the church’s earthly experiences. The Book of Revelation (2:20-25; 18:7) pictures to us Queen Jezebel as representing a great religious system of this Gospel age which did great violence to the truth. Ahab represented the worldly governments. His wife represented a false Christian church system married to earthly governments. As Ahab represented the worldly governments claiming to be Christ’s kingdoms, so Queen Jezebel pictured, a false church system, which, instead of maintaining its purity as the virgin church of Christ, became married or united to these earthly systems. Contrary to this, the true virgin church of Christ was to remain faithful to her heavenly Lord, awaiting his second coming; and her marriage to Him was then to be accomplished.

 

"As the Prophets of Baal were under the care of Queen Jezebel and under the patronage of King Ahab, so the priests and the religious representatives of a great church system have been the obedient servants of the great false institutions pictured by Ahab and Jezebel. Similarly, Elijah the Prophet and his dealings with Ahab, Jezebel and the affairs of Israel, was a type of the true church of Christ in the flesh—this side the veil. Although the true church is indeed represented symbolically by a woman, it is also represented sometimes by a man, when the picture includes the Lord Jesus Christ, the Head of the church. ‘15-R5751.

 

Revelation 2

 

22  Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

 

Revelation 2:22 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 22. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of her deeds.

 

In 1870 A.D. she lost all civil authority forever; i.e., she went into the bottomless pit. But, in harmony with prophecy, she came out in 1929, and now is the real, though secret, authority in Italy. There are too many factions in Italy to allow the election of a real President. Please see Rev. 17:8.

 

Revelation 2

 

23  And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

 

Revelation 2:23 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 23. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts; and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

 

The Catholic church and the Protestant churches, because of the great pressure of public opinion, are being brought together in a confederacy for mutual aid and support, and for a great downfall before the world.

 

"Finally, the solemn thought is being pressed home daily that a great trial time has come upon Christianity as a whole—a day of judgment; and that in harmony with the adage, ‘In union there is strength,’ all Christian people should draw together for mutual support. The cry is, ‘A federation (a confederacy—Isa. 8:12). This movement, foretold by the Scriptures, is now nearing a fulfillment, much as the 62 matter was disputed when we called attention to it thirty-five years ago.

 

"The feeling of fear, uncertainty, need of union, is so generally felt that undoubtedly many Christians of various denominations will be glad to be associated, federated. The hope is that thus they will present a solid, religious backing to the government and that the Government will give them in return a support. It will not surely amount to a union between church and state, as in the old world, but it will amount to an understanding between church and state, for the state also is feeling its need of backing. The result will be an apparently triumphant churchianity5 a brilliant flare-up of success. However, according to our understanding of the Bible, their prosperity will be short-lived, for it has no real foundation of Christian faith, but merely the excuse of necessity for its federative existence.

 

"With the flare-up of churchianity’s apparent prosperity all not joining in will be esteemed as enemies, however conscientious. And they will have hard experiences for a little while, until the Master shall say, ‘It is enough. Come up higher.’ ‘To him that overcometh will I give power over the nations; ‘To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne’;‘ Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life.’—Rev. 2:26; 3:21; 2:10." ‘12-R5063.

 

Revelation 2

 

24  But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.

 

Revelation 2:24 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verses 24-25. But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.25But that which ye have hold fast till I come.

 

To the faithful sacrificers of Thyatira, faithful not only in sacrificing, but in my Word: Hold fast to that, and to the Anointing,  by your membership in the Body of Christ. I come!!

 

For comments on the Anointing see Rev. 3:6.

 

"As though the Lord realized that his human creatures of humble mind would necessarily stagger in faith at the thought of such boundless interest and love for them on the part of the Creator as to invite them to the highest position in all creation next to his Son and next to Himself, we find that the matter is presented repeatedly and under different figures, as though the more completely to set at rest our every question, doubt and fear respecting his faithfulness—respecting the genuineness of this ‘high calling.’..." F 72-F73.

 

ANOINTING THE HIGH-PRIEST—Le 8 "This, under the ‘Law,’ was the ceremony for the installation to God’s service as high-priest. The form is described in Ex 29 and Le 8. Aaron was anointed to his office with a peculiar oil not used on any one except the high-priest, and not lawful for any to have or to make under penalty of death—Exodus 30:25-32. This doubtless typified the Holy Spirit" (containing antitypical ingredients—Isaiah 11:1, 2; please see Berean comment on Exodus 30:24.).

 

"For this service Aaron was washed and attired in the holy garments of ‘glory and of beauty’—Exodus 28. Then the anointing oil was poured upon his head. Thus was Jesus, our High-Priest, robed and anointed. He needed not the washing as did the type, for he was ‘holy, harmless, undefiled.’ The linen ‘coat’ represents him as pure and righteous; the girdle is the symbol of a servant; the linen girdle showing him to be a ‘righteous servant.’ ... The Ephod,  made of two separate pieces... represented, we think, the two great covenants... They were made of ‘gold, blue, purple, scarlet and fine twined linen, representing the blessings contained in those covenants... and linen—that righteousness was one of the conditions... humanity would have failed to be benefited by these glorious covenants had not God ‘laid help upon one who was mighty.’...

 

"There was a ‘curious girdle’ of the same materials as the ephod... This designates him a servant of a ‘curious’ or peculiar kind; a servant combining the various qualities expressed by the gold, blue, purple, scarlet and linen.’ Yes, he was the Royal servant,  the ‘messenger (servant) of the covenant (Mal. 3:1)’...

 

"Aaron as he stood robed and anointed represented the entire church, head and body—Jesus and his church, ‘ the seed’ in whom ‘all the families of the Earth shall be blessed’... They are... anointed for their work... The anointing oil must flow down and cover every member of the body and this requires the entire gospel age for its accomplishment.

 

"The boiling (Lev. 8:31) of the flesh of consecration, was no part of the sacrifice; it was merely the preparing of the portion which they ate. The flesh was all to be disposed of (Lev. 8:32) showing how we are entirely consecrated and none of our time or powers wasted— all used as consecrated...

 

"Thou hast made us unto our God Kings and Priests and we shall reign on the Earth.’ If... fully consecrated now, ...‘ If we suffer with him we shall also reign with him’ 2Ti 2:12." ‘80-R72, R73.

 

CONSECRATION TO A WORK "Among Christians there is much which passes for ‘entire consecration,’ but it is often a consecration to some selfimposed task, or work, instead of to God.

 

"Some are consecrated and are living sacrifices to business, some to their families, some to the temperance work, some to building up a denominational church or Sunday School, some to ministering to the poor and the sick. These are each good enough in their way, but none of these is the proper consecration for a follower of Jesus.

 

"Our consecration, like that of Jesus, should be to do the will of our Father in Heaven. Jesus says he came not to do his own will, but the will of Him that sent him (John 6:38). The fact that you have any choice or preference as to what you shall do, is an evidence in itself, that your will is not dead.

 

"Consecration to a work of our own choosing merely, will never bring us to the great reward. ‘I beseech you brethren, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable UNTO GOD’...

 

63 "If will-less, and seeking only to do his will it will bring us to His Word much and often,  to learn that will, and ‘He that seeketh findeth’... directions something like the following: "‘This is the will of God even YOUR sanctification’ {1Th 4:3}. Do ‘good unto all men (in any way) as you have opportunity especially to the household offaith’( Gal. 6:10). ‘Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together’ (Heb. 10:25); but meet for the purpose of ‘BUILDING UP YOURSELVES on your most holy faith’—Jude 20." ‘82-R317.

 

THIS GREAT PROPHET, PRIEST, MEDIATOR, KING, JUDGE "Our Lord was appointed a Priest because there was necessity for a Priest... an of lice necessary amongst men because of their imperfection... This of lice will end with the Millennial Age, when he shall have accomplished all this work and will deliver up the Kingdom to God, even the Father. Then he will be a Priest no more. There will be no need of a Priest of any kind, sacrificing or reigning. The very significance of the office is that of intercessor or mediator, or assister in some manner of those who are in some difficulty.

 

"The Apostle’s words... declare of our Lord, ‘If he were on earth he could not be a priest, seeing that there are priests who offer according to the Law. The Apostle then proceeds to prove that our Lord was a Priest after the order of Melchisedec, and that this Melchisedec priesthood was acknowledged of God with an oath, and that Aaron and his priesthood were never acknowledged thus. But respecting this man the Lord said, ‘I have sworn with an oath, thou art a Priest forever after the order of Melchisedec.’ "Melchisedec was... only the one priest, and that one priest, therefore, represented all our Lord’s members, and since the great work of the antitypical Priest is in the future, and is not the present work, we see that this is the reason why Aaron is not so particularly referred to in the type of the Great Priest. The Great Priest will really do his great work during the Millennial Age, and what is done in the present time is merely a preparatory work, preparing himself for work.

 

"... This great and honorable position of Prophet, Priest, Mediator, King, Judge of the world... will at the same time have to his credit certain merit which he can apply for the world and on account of which he can perform a priestly office for mankind. The priestly office... is more that of the future than of the present. The present time is the sacrificing time, the time for making a covenant with the Lord by sacrifice." QB 550-QB552.

 

HOLD FAST. I COME.

 

"Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me) to do thy will, O God"—Psalm 40:7; Hebrews 10:7.

 

"Such was the design of Jehovah for Jesus: that he would highly exalt him above the human plane, and above his prehuman condition; above all angels, principalities, and powers, to his own right hand (condition of chief favor, next to Jehovah) and make him a partaker of immortality—the divine nature. For these and other joys set before him, Jesus ‘endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the majesty on high’—Heb. 12:2 Php 2:9 Heb 1:3,4.

 

"The new nature which our Lord received instead of the human nature, and as a reward for its sacrifice, is what is here typified by the Priest...

 

"This acceptance of Jesus’ sacrifice by Jehovah, at the time of his consecration, as though it were finished, and he dead indeed, was indicated by the anointing with the Holy Spirit—‘the earnest’—or guaranty of what he would receive when death had actually taken place.

 

"Thus considered, we see that the death of the bullock typified the offering by Jesus of himself, when he consecrated himself. This is in harmony with the apostle’s statement respecting Jesus’ consecration or offering of himself. He quotes the Prophet, saying, ‘Lo, I come to do thy will, O God, as in the volume of the Scriptures it is written of me’—to die and redeem many. There,  says the inspired writer, ‘He took away the first (i. e., set aside the typical sacrifices) that he might establish (or fulfill) the second (the antitype, the real sacrifice for sins)’—Heb. 10:7, 9, 14. TS 52, 53.

 

"And Aaron shall come into the Tabernacle of the congregation (the ‘Holy’) and shall put off the linen garments which he put on when he went into the Holy place (the ‘Most Holy’) and he shall leave them there; and he shall wash his flesh with water in the holy place (the ‘Court’) and put on his (usual) garments (the garments of glory and beauty) and come forth and offer his burnt-offering and the burnt-offering of the people, and make an atonement for himself (the Body—the Church—the ‘little flock’) and for the people’ {Le 16:23,24}, the same atonement illustrated or typified from another standpoint...

 

"As the sin-offerings illustrated the sacrificial death of the Redeemer, so the burnt-offering following illustrated God’s manifested acceptance of the same sacrifice. Let us not forget that God thus indicates that he will not manifest his acceptance of the ‘better sacrifices’ than bulls and goats, until the sacrifices for sins are complete, and the true High Priest is robed in the honor and glory of his office, represented in the change of garments. During the time of making the sinoffering he wore only the white linen garments. Afterward (and usually) he wore the glorious garments illustrative of the honor and glory conferred upon him. During the gospel age the sin-offerings progress and no honor is bestowed upon the priests, but at its close comes the outward manifestation of God’s approval and acceptance of them in the putting of glory and honor upon the priests who made the sacrifices, and in the blessing of the people for whose sins they atoned." T 72, 73.

 

"Our Lord undertook to accomplish the divine will in the redemption of the world, and he has proceeded in the accomplishment of it, but has not yet completed the purpose. He laid down his life, but did not forfeit it. When he was raised from the dead he still had a right to that earthly life, with the understanding, however, that he was not to use it for himself, but that he would give that life to all the world who were willing to receive it, assigning it to them at the end of his reign of a thousand years, during which his church

 

64 will reign with him." ‘13-R5342.

 

"During the Millennial age, in fulfillment of the divine promise, our Lord will give mankind restitution to perfect human nature... as the LIFE-GIVER... since he possesses this right to human life, it is his to bestow during the thousand years of his reign.

 

"At the end of the thousand years our Lord will no longer be the Life-Giver. He cannot be the Life-Giver to angels nor to any other than mankind, for his right appertained merely to himself as a perfect human being. What he will give away to humanity in general, is what he now imputes, or loans, to the church, to permit us to share with him in sacrificial work and in his glorious work of the future.

 

RIGHT TO HUMAN LIFE OUR LORD’S PERSONAL GIFT TO MANKIND "... His earthly nature and earthly life-rights... were his by obedience to the law. As ‘Heir of all things’ he will be the Representative of the Father to all eternity. He takes the position at the right hand of authority on high. In due time, every knee shall bow to him, and even the angels shall be subjected unto him.

 

"All these things came to our Lord as a part of the reward which the Father promised. But this one particular feature, the restitution of all things lost by Adam, is a special privilege coming as his own gift to humanity—that which he purchased at his own cost; that is to say, the laying down of his earthly life is the basis upon which he obtained the new nature and the right to control that earthly life, which shall be applied in restitution in behalf of the world.

 

... Since he has this asset of earthly rights and privileges to give away, the process of bestowing it will continue during the Millennial reign; and what he will give is what he has by reason of his obedience to the law—Lev. 18:5." ‘12-R5086.

 

Jesus said, "I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me"—John 6:38.

 

"And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning me... And ye are witnesses of these things"—Luke 24:48 2Pe 1:16-19.

 

Tabernacle Shadows,  Chapter 4, Question 24: "As the garments of glory and beauty represented the glorified Christ, Head and Body, why did he wear them at the time of his consecration and anointing to the priesthood? See Lev.8:7-10.’

 

"Ans.—This shows how God foreknow and had foreordained the entire of lice and work of the antitypical priest, before Jesus was anointed. Those robes represented the High Priest’s future work.’

 

"In consecrating the typical priests the blood was not ignored. It was put upon all, upon the tip of the right ear, upon the thumb of the right hand and upon the great toe of the right foot (Lev. 8:23), thus showing that the hearing of faith, the work of faith and the walk of faith must all be touched and made holy by an appreciation of the precious blood of atonement—the blood of Christ—the blood of the New Covenant." ‘03-R3280.

 

"And then the garments of all the priests—their clean linen garments—were sprinkled with a mixture of the blood and the oil, implying that both justification through the blood and sanctification through the possession of the spirit of holiness are necessary in our consecration"—Lev.8:30. ‘03-R3280 c 2 p 3; and please see F131.

 

Quotes following from Leviticus 8:7-R10 are printed in italics. Each quote is followed by an explanatory excerpt from TABERNACLE SHADOWS, pages 29-R36.

 

" And he put upon him the coat," "The white linen coat’ represented the High Priest’s purity, while its embroidery showed the outgrowth of that pure character in works of grace.’

 

"and girded him with the girdle," "The ‘Linen Girdle’ indicated a righteous servant; linen—righteousness; girdle—servitude.’

 

"and clothed him with the robe," "The ‘Upper Robe,’ of blue,  represented his faithfulness. The fringe of it was made of golden bells and pomegranates... the Redeemer’s work of sacrifice had borne rich fruit... when our High Priest appears in glory and beauty, the fruit of sacrificial work will be.. Proclaimed to all.’

 

"and put the ephod upon him, "" The ‘Ephod’ was made of cloth of purple, blue, scarlet, white, and gold threads, skillfully and beautifully interwoven...The ephod typified the two great covenants ... bound to him by the ‘curious girdle’—a cord made of the same material as the ephod. "" and he girded him with the curious girdle of the ephod... "" This ‘Curious Girdle’... tells us that this one is ‘The Messenger (servant) of the Covenant whom ye delight in.’

 

"And he put the breastplate upon him", "‘ The Breastplate of Judgment’—was placed on the front of the ephod...This breastplate beautifully represented the Law: It was not a part of the Abrahamic covenant (ephod) but ‘it was added’ to it (Gal. 3:19)... Paul tells us that there are two seeds that God had in mind, the spiritual and the natural, and that the Covenant and the Law were distinct, ‘to the end that the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the Law, but to that also which is of the Faith’—Rom. 4:16. " R. 220 p 1: "Abraham was the actual father to one of the seeds and a likeness of the Father of the other—’even God.’ "" Also he put in the breastplate the Urim and the Thummim. "" There is nothing specific known on this subject... We know that they had the Urim and Thummim and that the answer was indicated in some way with the precious stones of the breastplate, but just how, nobody knows." ‘12-R5042 c 2 top. "... De 1:16,17. Such hard cases were, after Moses’ death, brought directly to the Lord through the High Priest, the answer being Yes or No by the Urim and Thummim. " A 49 "It was into the ‘Most Holy’ that the High 65 Priest went whenever he inquired of Jehovah for Israel’s welfare, etc., using the breastplate of judgment, the Urim and Thumim." T 91 Urim—lights;  the oracular brilliancy of the figures in the high-priest’s breastplate.

 

7h mmim—perfections;  one of the objects in the highpriest’s breastplate as an emblem of complete Truth. (Strong’s) "... In that perfect spiritual condition, the priesthood will instruct in every matter, as represented in the decisions and answers given to Israel by the Urim and Thummim." T 92 Exodus 28:30.

 

"And he put the mitre upon his head: also... the golden plate-... "" The ‘mitre,’ a strip of fine white linen (typical of righteousness), worn around the forehead, to which the golden plate, or ‘crown,’ was fastened with a blue lacer, showed that the crown was righteously his. Upon the golden plate was inscribed ‘Holiness to the Lord,’ thus proclaiming: This High Priest is entirely devoted to the accomplishment of Jehovah’s purposes. The golden crown also proclaimed his royalty: Christ is to be ‘a priest upon his throne’—’a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec’—Zech. 6:13; Psa. 110:4; Heb. 7:17.’

 

TO WHOM IS CHRIST THE AUTHOR OF ETERNAL SALVATION?

 

"And being made perfect, He became the Author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him;  called of God an High Priest after the order of Melchisedec." ‘95-R1807 c 2.

 

Revelation 2

 

25  But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.

 

Revelation 2

 

26  And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:

 

Revelation 2:26 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verses 26-27. And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations.2’And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they the empires be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. Compare Ps 149:8,9.

 

Sunday morning, Jesus said, All power is given unto me in heaven and on earth. What a change!!!

 

"This smiting and breaking properly belongs to the Day of Vengeance, and though the power belongs to the Day of Vengeance, and though the power and rod will still remain throughout the Millennial age, their use will probably be unnecessary, as all open opposition will be thoroughly rebuked in the great time of trouble. As the Prophet presents the matter, God in this smiting-time will be saying to babbling, clamoring, self-assertive humanity—’Be still! and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the peoples, I will be exalted in the earth’ (Psa. 46:10). It will, however, be the work of the entire Millennial age to ‘lay justice to the line and righteousness to the plummet’ in all the little and great affairs of each individual of the race, all of whom will thus be ‘taught of God’ through his ‘elect’ Servant of the Covenant, the great Prophet, Priest and King (Head and body): Prophet in the sense of teacher, King in the sense of governor, Priest in the sense of mediator who, having redeemed, is the advocate of the people and the dispenser of divine favor. The offices are united: ‘Thou art a priest forever after the order of

 

Melchisedec’—who was a priest upon his throne—Heb. 7:17; Zech. 6:13; Acts 3:22; Deut. 18:15. D 637.

 

SETTING UP THE KINGDOM THE IRON RULE "Many erroneously suppose that when Christ’s Millennial Kingdom is inaugurated every one will be pleased with its ruling. But not so... Liberty to deceive, to misrepresent, to overreach and to defraud others, will be entirely cut off. Liberty to abuse themselves or others in food or in drink, or in any way to corrupt good manners, will be totally denied to all. Liberty or license to do wrong of any sort will not be granted to any. The only liberty that will be granted to any will be the true and glorious liberty of the sons of God—liberty to do good to themselves and others in any and in every way; but nothing will be allowed to injure or destroy in all that Holy Kingdom (Isa. 11:9; Rom. 8:21)... Because of its firmness and vigor, it is symbolically called an iron rule—’He shall rule them with a rod of iron.’ (Compare Re 2:26,27 Ps 2:8-12 and 49:14.) Thus will be fulfilled the statement, ‘Judgment will I lay to the line and righteousness to the plummet. And the hail (righteous judgment) shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters (truth) shall overflow the hiding place,’ and every hidden thing shall be revealed"—Isa. 28:17; Matt. 10:26. A302, A303. Re 18 19:2-7: "The Prophet Daniel was divinely inspired to rehearse and explain to King Nebuchadnezzar his vision of Gentile power, represented by a great image. The vision showed a stone smiting the image on the feet, and as a result the utter wreck of Gentile power, and that stone then expanding until it filled the whole earth. The explanation given shows that God’s Kingdom will be set up and fully empowered, and that the wreck of earthly governments will be the direct result of the energy of that Kingdom. Daniel’s inspired testimony is as follows: "In the days of these kings (the last of Gentile power—represented in the toes of the image) the God of heaven shall set up a Kingdom (present representatively throughout the Gospel age, but not recognized by the world as a kingdom); it (unlike the changing Gentile kingdoms represented in the image) shall never be destroyed: and the Kingdom shall not be left to other people (as the power of the image shifted from one people to another), but it shall break in pieces and consume all these Kingdoms, and it shall stand forever"—Da 2:44,45.

 

"Our Lord assures his faithful, that at the time of the establishment of his Kingdom and the overthrow of Gentile power, the overcoming Church would be with him, and have a share in that work. His own words are Re 2:26,27. Compare Ps 149:8,9.

 

"We may be sure that they are active participants in the work assigned the members of the same Kingdom class, whose course and service are not yet ended on this side the vail—the harvest work (1) of gathering the living ‘elect’;( 2) of saying unto Zion, ‘Thy God reigneth’— the Kingdom is being set up; and (3) declaring the Day of Vengeance of our God." D623, D624.

 

66 "When Satan is bound (evil restrained), and outward temptations removed, the hours of release will be spent, under the guidance of the glorified Church, in studies which will become more and more attractive and interesting: studies of Nature and of Nature’s God, and of his glorious attributes; His Wisdom, Justice, Love and Power. And thus, pleasurably, they may progress toward human perfection—the end of their race or trial; for, be it remembered, the new government will not only take cognizance of the great affairs and interests of its subjects, but also of its smallest affairs. It will be a ‘paternal government’ in the fullest sense of that term.’

 

"The King of that Mediatorial Kingdom so loved those over whom he is to reign that he gave his own life as their ransom price,  to secure for them the right of an individual trial for everlasting life; and the very object of his Millennial reign is to assist them in that trial. What more could be asked? As the Redeemer, he has justly the right to control absolutely that which he purchased with his own blood; and all appreciating such love as he has manifested would... gladly accord to him all power and authority and promptly yield to his righteous will.’

 

"As Christ Jesus proved that he had the Heavenly Father’s spirit, and is ‘the express image of the Father’s person,’ so all who will be of that ‘little flock,’ his joint-heirs in the Kingdom, will have been proved to have ‘the spirit of Christ’—the holy spirit of Love. It is one of the terms of their ‘call,’ that they should become ‘copies of God’s dear Son.’... Yes, the under priests, as well as the Chief Priest of the Royal Priesthood can be trusted without a fear. God will entrust the power to these and this is the best of guarantee that it will be used justly, wisely, lovingly—for the blessing of the world." D635, D636.

 

"Let the saints be joyful in glory, let them sing aloud upon their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouths and a two-edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance upon the Gentiles, and punishments upon the people (of Israel): to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute upon them the judgments written"—Psalm 149:5-R9. See ‘14-R5451 c1 p4 for Psa. 149:5-9.

 

Continue, verse 9—"THIS HONOR HAVE ALL HIS SAINTS"—’15-R5803, R5804.

 

"The kings and princes and judges of that kingdom will be not only irresistible in power, but incorruptible, unbribable. With them the divine standard will be first, in the absolute sense.’

 

"Such devotion to the Lord... means that the followers of Jesus will be... counted fools all the day long for Christ’s sake—because we preach the wisdom of God and the love of God in preference to the wisdom of humanity and the love of humanity. Of such St. John writes, saying ‘As he was, so are we in this world’—ostracized, misunderstood, reproved, slandered. Only those who can stand such an experience can be winners of the crown to which Jesus referred, saying, To him that overcometh I will give a crown of life, and permit him to sit with me in my throne. "" Who is sufficient for these things? asks the Apostle. And he furnishes the answer: ‘Our sufficiency is of God’; and in the promises—’My grace is sufficient for thee; my strength is made perfect in weakness’; and again, ‘I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."‘

 

"SALT IS GOOD, BUT— " LEV. 2:13; Nu. 18:19; MT. 5:13; MK. 9:49, SO; LUK. 14:34; COL. 4:6 "Salt has preservative qualities in connection with whatever it touches. It also serves to bring out the flavor of our food. In olden times it was used as a symbol of faithfulness, loyalty.

 

"Jesus used salt as a symbol, representing his own loyalty to God and the loyalty which all of his followers must have, and not only so, but which they must maintain. If salt loses its value for seasoning purposes, it is useless for anything else... It is absolutely useless except for its intended purpose. So the Christian has a purpose in the world—to be a preservative power, to have, as it were, antiseptic qualities, and to draw out all the good qualities of those with whom he is connected. This is the mission of the Christian in respect to the world. If he fail in this, he has failed in the purpose for which he was called, and is of no particular value in the Lord’s service...

 

"The world’s highest standard is the Golden Rule. The Christian’s highest standard is self-sacrifice, doing God’s will at any cost." ‘14- R5426.

 

Revelation 2

 

27  And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.

 

Revelation 2

 

28  And I will give him the morning star.

 

Revelation 2:28 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 28. And I will give him the morning star.

 

The Morning Star is himself only. There were originally two, but one fell. See Rev. 20:1-5.

 

WHO WAS HE THUS BORN?

 

"It is written that before he became flesh Jesus had an existence; as he declared, ‘Before Abraham was, I am.’ Again, in one of his prayers he said, Father, glorify thou me with the glory that I had with thee before the world was.’ The Revelator.tells us (3:14) that ‘He was the beginning of the creation of God,’ and Paul says that ‘by him all things were made.’ And so our Lord Jesus was not only the beginning, but also the active agent of the Father in all the creative work in the angelic world and in the creation of humanity, and in all things that were created.

 

"The whole matter is summed up by the Apostle John... in the first chapter of John.

 

"In other words, Jesus was the direct creator of all things. He was the divine Power, Agent, Word, Messenger, the Logos of Jehovah. He did all the great work of creation; but he himself was the first of God’s direct creation, the firstborn of all creatures, that in all things he might have the preeminence—the first place.

 

"The Scriptures tell us that before he begins his great work for the world of mankind, he first does a work for the elect, the church, those who desire to walk in his footsteps, to gather out of the world a bride, to be co-workers with him in all the great work of the Father... We see how he gathered out the saintly ones from amongst the Jews, ‘Israelites indeed, in whom there was no guile.’ Not finding enough to make the desired number, he proceeded to gather 67 them from all nations, kindreds, tongues and peoples.

 

"The Apostle tells us that when this bride class is united with him they shall be parts of the seed of Abraham; as we read, Gal. 3:29.

 

"The invitation to become the bride of Christ is a very special invitation* and those who would be his must walk in the ‘narrow way.’ If they will sit in his throne, they must suffer with him. If they suffer with him they shall also share his glory... All the church who are justified through faith in his blood... have a share with him in his sufferings and will share in his glory; they have also a share in the first resurrection; as the Revelator declares, ‘Blessed and holy is he that bath part in the first resurrection, on such the second death bath no power; but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years’—Rev. 20:6.

 

"Saint Paul says, ‘I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord,’ ‘that I might know him and the power of his resurrection’ (the special resurrection) to the divine nature. How? By being made conformable to his death; for, ‘If we suffer with him we shall also reign with him.’

 

WHAT ABOUT THE FUTURE?

 

"All the families of the earth are to be blessed, as originally promised in Eden: ‘The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent’s head.’ Also, as St. Paul states in the 16th chapter of Romans, ‘The very God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.’ So, then, the next thing in order in the outworking of God’s plan will be to bruise Satan and destroy sin.

 

"Our hope on behalf of mankind in general is that in God’s due time his blessing shall reach all—not the same as that for the church, but as St. Peter tells us in Acts 3:19-21, ‘Times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord, and he shall send Jesus Christ, who before was preached unto you, whom the heavens must retain until the times of restitution of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets.’ "‘ 12-R4964, R4965.

 

"The New Law Covenant cannot be introduced, sealed, made operative, until the Abrahamic Covenant shall have brought forth the seed of Abraham and invested him with glory, honor and divine majesty. Then this antitypical Moses, The Christ complete, Head and body, will mediate between God and the world of mankind for a thousand years.

 

"Not until the Messiah shall have finished all of his sacrificial work of the Gospel age, not until the last member shall, under his hand, have passed from the earthly condition of membership to the heavenly condition, will the sufferings of The Christ be finished, will the sufferings which he left behind be filled up; and not until then will he usher in the blessings of the Messianic kingdom. And those blessings will be secured to mankind by the great Mediator’s applying the merit of his sacrifice on their behalf. "‘ 13-R5301.

 

"Jesus said, his consecrated followers are his ‘little flock’ of the present time. But during his glorious reign he will gather another flock. As he said, ‘Other sheep I have which

 

*Please see ‘93-R1494—quote at beginning Re 2. are not of this fold—them also I must bring, that there may be one fold and one Shepherd’—John 10:16.

 

Ephesians 1:10. "Of these ‘all things’ the church, the bride, will be chief, on the plane of divine nature. The great company, cherubim and angels will follow in order, and redeemed and restored mankind in human perfection will be the lowest order in the divine fold.

 

"St. Paul tells us about the enemies from whom ultimately all of God’s people shall be delivered. Satan is an enemy. He shall be bound for a thousand years and ultimately shall be destroyed. "‘ 11-R4940.

 

SATAN FELL!

 

PAPACY IS SATAN S OWN WORK "Referring to his fall, the Lord, who declares that he has no pleasure in the death of him that falls into sin and the consequent condemnation to death, says, ‘How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer,  son of the morning!’ Then he shows that undue ambition was the cause of his fall, saying, ‘For thou hast said in shine heart, Into heaven (the position of power) will I ascend; above the stars of God (other sons of the morning) will I exalt my throne; and I will sit also upon the mount of the assembly in the farthest end of the north (universal dominion); I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be equal to the Most High’ (Isa. 14:12-14). (That this language applies also, symbolically, to Papacy is entirely proper; for Papacy is Satan’s own work in his own likeness.) "Thus, instead of humbly and thankfully appreciating the favor of God which brought him into existence and crowned him with glory and honor as a bright star of creation’s early morning, and instead of returning due filial reverence, love and submission to his Creator’s righteous will, Satan cultivated a spirit of pride; until his rising ambition aspired first to be a leader and chief of the other stars of the morning (the position already filled by the only begotten Son of God—John 1:1-3; Col. 1:15-17), and finally to rival the Most High himself, as king of the universe.

 

"How different was the course of him who was actually above the morning stars, the angelic sons of creation’s morning—the only begotten Son of the Father, his honored Agent in the creation of all things—not only of all the physical universe, but of all intelligences as well. Of him we read that, ‘though being in a form of God (a mighty one), yet he did not meditate a usurpation, but (on the contrary) divested himself (of his glory), taking a bondman’s form, and was made in the likeness of men. And, being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself (yet more), and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’ Phil. 2:8.

 

"‘ Wherefore,’ says the Apostle (because of his humility and obedience), ‘God also bath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, both of things in heaven and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Phil. 2:6-11— Diaglott). Thus, in accordance with a principle which God has laid down—that he will abase the proud and exalt the humble (Matt. 23:12; James 4:6)—we see our Lord Jesus now exalted to the very

 

68 position to which Satan through pride and ambition aspired, while Satan has been degraded, ‘cut down (or limited) to the earth’ (Isa. 14:12), and sentenced to final destruction.

 

"But nothing daunted, Satan, the defiant rebel, began his work after the flood among the sons of Noah, and with varying success has since pursued his policy among the kingdoms of this world. And God has not specially interfered, and will not, until the end of this present evil world, when his time will have come for the setting up of Christ’s kingdom. Then, he declares, Satan shall be firmly fettered and imprisoned for a thousand years...

 

"Our Lord’s reference here (John 14:30) is to the great adversary of God and deceiver of men who for six thousand years past has pursued a course of systematic opposition to, and defiance of, the Almighty Jehovah, the great Emperor of the universe...

 

"Yet in the beginning of his existence he was pure and perfect, an intelligent creature of God, created through the agency of his only begotten Son, without whom nothing was made that was made (John 1:3). Previous to his fall into sin he is spoken of as Lucifer, a morning star (a glorious being of creation’s early morning)." ‘94-R1686.

 

Revelation 2

 

29  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

 

Revelation 2:29 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 29. He that bath an ear, let him hear what the spirit saith unto the churches.

 

The reward is sure. Ye shall not all sleep. But ye shall all die.

 

ISRAEL S PRIESTS DIED TYPICALLY "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment"—Hebrews 9:27.

 

"The whole thought has gotten into people’s heads upside down and back end first. They all think it refers to the time when people die. The Apostle Paul, in that statement in Hebrews, is giving a lesson on type and antitype. He is comparing the work of the Jewish priests every year with the work of Christ, and telling how these earthly priests went into the Holy, and afterwards into the Most Holy. The priest took with him the blood of a bullock, then of a goat. He went into the Holy; and, after the cloud of incense had passed through the second veil and covered the Mercy-Seat, he went into the Most Holy, representing heaven itself.

 

"The antitype is that our Lord Jesus offered up himself as the bullock. The bullock represented Jesus as a man, the goat represented the human nature of the church. As High Priest, Jesus slew the bullock; at baptism he offered the sacrifice of his humanity. The typical priest took his two hands full of incense and crumbled it in the fire on the incense altar—that represented the three and one-half years of our Lord’s ministry. This picture of the incense falling upon the fire represented the glorious qualities of Jesus as He came in contact with the trials of life. In every case His faithfulness yielded a sweet perfume. (Leviticus 16:12-14; T55, T56.) "... The sweet incense went before Him and appeared in the presence of God before He finished His course at Calvary. His death upon the cross was the last crumb of incense falling into the fire, in the antitype. Then our High Priest went under the veil—into death. He was parts of three days under the veil, arising on the other side of the veil on the third day. This was the resurrection of Jesus. He arose on the spirit side of the veil, a spirit being. Then forty days later, He sprinkled upon the Mercy-Seat in the Most Holy, in Heaven, the blood of Atonement on behalf of the church.

 

"The Apostle here is trying to get the Church to see that the Jewish high priest did something of this kind in type. The Jewish high priest went into the Most holy of the Tabernacle, not without blood. That blood, in every case, represented the blood of the high priest—his life. Every high priest, when he passed under that veil on the Day of Atonement, was in danger of being stricken dead. If he had not done perfectly, according to the requirements of the Lord, he would have died as he attempted to pass that veil, under that curtain. And so it would have been death to Jesus if He had not done perfectly the will of the Father.

 

"Then the Apostle declares, ‘It is appointed unto men (men-priests—get the thought) once to die (typically, in passing under the veil) and after that the judgment,’ or decision. They typified their death in the sacrifice of the bullock, and carrying its blood under the veil. If the priest had not done it perfectly, he died. The bullock represented the priest. After he had sacrificed it he passed with its blood under the second veil. "After death the Judgment." There is no reference here to the death of mankind, but merely to these priests offering their sacrifice. Jesus died, passed the second veil, and was raised on the third day. After the high priest in the type had made his offering, and had passed beyond the second veil, and sprinkled the blood upon the MercySeat, he came out and blessed the people.

 

"Our Lord Jesus, the great High Priest, has not yet come out to bless the people. The antitype is a very large thing. Jesus went under the veil into the Heavenly Holy over eighteen hundred years ago. He has not yet appeared for the blessing of the world. But ‘To those that look for him, He shall appear a second time, not as a Sin-Offering, but unto salvation.’

 

IT WILL SURELY COME—IT WILL NOT TARRY—HABAKKUK 2:3.

 

"God has provided in his Word a great vision, a great revelation. It is a picture, so to speak. He has given this picture of his plan more or less clearly through the prophets and through the law. The Jubilee prefigured Restitution to all the world. Other features of the Law, such as the Atonement Day sacrifices, etc., pictured other features of God’s Plan. * The Passover represented still other parts. These pictures were all harmonized into one great picture, or view—God’s great plan to bless the world. ‘In thy seed shall all

 

*See ‘09 R4493 c I—mentioned at Rev. 2:11 comments.

 

69 the families of the earth be blessed,’ God declared to Abraham. All this went to make up the great vision, or picture, that God purposed to give his people.

 

"In proportion as we come to have the mind of God, we can understand more and more clearly what these things mean. The most important part of the picture was that Messiah would come, and that he would set up his kingdom. All of these promises would be parts of that great view, or vision... It does not really tarry... But the vision is still for an appointed time... The vision is sure. All these blessed things are positively certain to come; it is simply a matter of His time and of our understanding of His time." ‘15-R5730, R5731.

 

"Now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand"—Romans 13:11,12.

 

"Yes, ‘the night is far spent’ and ‘the day (the glorious millennial day) is at hand.’ Even now the gray streaks of dawn appear. It is the day when the kingly Bridegroom shall receive unto himself his ready and waiting bride, and the time is short in which to make ready for our gathering together unto him." ‘06-R3830.

 

JEHOVAH OUR GOD IS ONE—Deuteronomy 6:4.

 

"To us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things"—1 Corinthians 8:6.

 

"Jesus says of himself, ‘I proceeded forth and came from God"‘—John 8:42.

 

"In our writings we show the clear teachings of the Bible, that Jesus in his pre-human condition was the Logos, the Word, or message, from the Father; and that as such he was called a god, but not the God—the Father. On so important a question as the equality of the Father and the Son, we must not rely upon any man’s testimony except that of the inspired writers of the Scriptures. We should accept no dictum save that of the divine Word itself. Let us ask Jesus. He replies, ‘My Father is greater than I’,‘ I can of mine own self do nothing; as I hear I judge’;‘ My Father is greater than all’;‘ I ascend to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God’;‘ This is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent’—John 14:28; 5:30; 10:29; 17:3; 20:17..." Do continue reading the entire discourse—’15-R5747 to R5749. SubHeads include: Jesus Became a New Creature; The Logos Transferred from Heaven to Earth; Testimony of Scriptures Re the Holy Spirit; and others. "See Diaglott rendering of Joh 14:17,16. For further elucidation of the subject of the holy Spirit, we refer the interested reader to our fifth volume of Studies in the Scriptures,  Chapters 8-11, where we have treated the subject at length." ‘15-R5747 to R5749.

 

Revelation 3

 

1  And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.

 

Revelation 3:1 (RVENDAG_)

 

CHAPTER 3 REVELATION

 

THE LORD’S SECOND COMING—REVELATION 3:1-6.

 

"Sardis is said to mean that which remains, as if it signified a useless remnant, something out of which life or virtue had gone. The nominal church during this period had the appearance of being what it was not, having a form of godliness without its power. Sardis was the remains of the true church, which had been driven into the wilderness; but when the persecution began to subside, her zeal also abated. Persecution has always developed the vigor of the church.

 

"Many today have the Sardis characteristics. To such there is a fatal warning in Revelation 3:3. Seven times our Lord’s second coming is described as being thief-like, stealthy.

 

"Only to those who are watching is the approach of a thief known. Those who are asleep will be awakened only after he has taken full possession, after his work of destruction has progressed. Although they may then arouse themselves, it is too late. They have been overtaken. Thus our Lord will be present, but invisible and unknown—except to the watchers—for some years after his arrival; and his presence will be recognized by the sleepers only as the noise of spoiling the strong man’s house gradually increases. Then slowly will they realize what it is and what the outcome will be.

 

"The reason why many professing Christians cannot recognize our Lord’s Parousia—presence—is that they are looking for a fleshly Christ, visible to the fleshly eye, and making an imposing demonstration which they cannot mistake. Failing to realize the fact that spiritual bodies cannot be seen by human eyes without a miracle, they cannot understand how he can be present while ‘all things continue as they were since the beginning of creation’ {2Pe 3:3,4} . Thus they are unable to understand ‘the signs of the times,’ revealing his return." ‘16-R5993.

 

Verse 1. And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that bath the seven spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.

 

Sardis means "that which remains," and refers to that time in the life or history of the church, when the work of persecution had reduced the nominal church severely, in numbers: but the percentage of faithful ones was considerable. The time is just before Luther and the Reformation, which the Roman Catholics call the apostasy. The speaker is the Lord Jesus; and he claims to have the seven spirits of God, and the seven stars. The seven spirits of God, indicate plenitude

 

70 of power to handle the affairs of the church during the seven periods of its life and warfare: and the seven messengers are safe also in his hands; for he, also, is now infinite in Justice, Wisdom, Love, and Power. Thou hast a name,  but few are worthy of it; but the Lord is merciful, and gives them the time and opportunity to make better advancement in developing the Christ likeness of character.

 

SEEKING MEMBERSHIP IN GOD’S KINGDOM

 

" Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness"—Matt. 6:33.

 

"Throughout this Gospel age there have been a few who have heard the call and accepted the conditions, who have determined to make the kingdom of God the first consideration of their lives. Satan has tried to make many of these think that papacy is that kingdom, or that... some one of the other kingdoms of earth is that kingdom. To others he brought a misinterpretation of the words of the Apostle, ‘The kingdom of God is righteousness and peace and joy in the holy Spirit,’ and endeavored to make them think that all there was of the kingdom of God was merely righteousness and holiness of life, having a godly life through the power of the Lord’s spirit. How far all this is from the teaching of the Scriptures regarding the kingdom can be readily seen by a study of the subject of the kingdom of God as presented by the holy prophets, the apostles and our Lord Jesus himself. Truly we have a wily adversary!

 

HOW CHRISTIANS MAY KEEP GOD’S LAW

 

"By these false ideas the true thought of the kingdom was obscured—the thought that God was selecting the members of the kingdom class, the thought that we not only make a full consecration of our little ‘11 to the Lord according to his terms, but that we should continually put this vow of consecration into practice, counting all other things as loss and dross that we might win a membership in this glorious company of which Jesus is the Head... But the full complement of body members of Christ is being secured, despite Satan’s vigorous efforts to prevent it...

 

"In seeking the kingdom of God we as Gentiles are to realize that the Lord has not changed from his original position when he made the proposition to Israel that in order to obtain everlasting life they must keep the law. There is no other way. God will not exalt to kingdom honors any who are violators of his law. The question then comes in, How can we keep the law? If the Jews could not keep it in all those sixteen hundred years, how could we keep it? And does not the Lord say through the Apostle that by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified in his sight? To understand this is to understand some of the deep things of God; namely, that ‘God is in Christ reconciling the world (those from the world who now accept the Gospel call) unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them’—2 Cor. 5:19.

 

"Christ kept the Law and satisfied divine Justice for all who become his during the Gospel age; and his merit is imputed to those who keep the Law in their heart and are hindered from keeping it absolutely by the weaknesses of their fallen flesh which they are unable to control. And so the Apostle Paul says that the righteousness of the Law is fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. First of all, through the imputation of his merit to their mortal bodies, their flesh, our Redeemer covers their natural imperfections. Second, because that body so devoted, so justified, is sacrificed, he reckons them dead as human beings. They are then begotten to a new, a spirit nature. Thenceforth their mortal body is counted as the body of the new creature, no longer as a human body; for this was sacrificed. Actually, however, it is quickened to be the servant of the new creature. Being still actually human, it must be given a robe of righteousness to wear until the end of the present life. This is furnished by the Savior.

 

"The Apostle Paul, in speaking of our human bodies from the standpoint of our new relationship in Christ Jesus, says, ‘Know ye not that your bodies are members of Christ?’ {1Co 6:15} God no longer counts our fleshly body as the body of a human being. It is a member of Christ, the property of the spiritual new creature. This new creature keeps the law of God. Wherein there is failure, it is not the new creature that fails, but the imperfect flesh, which is covered by the pure, white, robe of Christ’s righteousness ("covered by the merit of Christ’s sacrifice"—’02-R3060 top). God looks upon it as the spotless body of this new creature. Thus we stand perfect before God’s law; thus the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us who are walking, not according to the flesh, but in the footsteps of Jesus.

 

"The new creature is so in accord with the Lord that he will seek to bring his mortal body fully under the control of the law of love. He will seek to be altogether just toward his fellow-men, toward the brethren, and kind and merciful toward all. His entire life will be given up to attaining membership in the heavenly kingdom. This will lead him to serve the cause of God’s righteousness. Wherever God’s plans are set aside, he would be called upon to defend them in every reasonable way. He will be on the side of righteousness and truth. All who truly seek the kingdom have this disposition.

 

"The Apostle Paul says that the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, peace and joy in the holy Spirit..."the chief element of their freedom in Christ was that true righteousness and holiness which is the blessing and comfort of all those who are the sons of God. Nor was it the Apostle’s thought that righteousness, peace and joy constitute the kingdom, but that these are the blessed results of

 

71 membership in the kingdom class. They are blessings which are the heritage of those who are heirs of the kingdom, even while they are still under age, as it were, still being tutored and prepared for kingdom service beyond the veil. All of the Lord’s people are now to rejoice in true righteousness, the righteousness of God, and to seek it above all else." ‘16-R5918.

 

SONGS IN THE HOUSE OF OUR PILGRIMAGE

 

"Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage"—Psa. 119:54.

 

"All through this pilgrimage we are standing at the bar of our Lord’s judgment: he is testing us, proving us, to see whether or not we love him and the things which make for righteousness and peace; and if so, how much we are willing to sacrifice for righteousness’ sake. He marks the degree of our love by the measure of our self-denials and self-sacrifices for his sake, the truth’s sake.’

 

"If Christ be in you the body is (reckoned) dead because of sin; but the spirit alive because of (the imputed) righteousness’ of Christ. The new nature of the saints, begotten by the Word of truth (James 1:18), is really only the new will,  which however is henceforth addressed as the real person, and it alone is recognized of God who knows us not after the flesh but after the spirit of our new minds—Christminds. Ro 8:10,11 6:3,4 2Co 4:16 Col 3:9,10 Eph 4:23,24 1Pe 3:4.

 

"It is written, ‘He giveth songs in the night,’ and ‘He bath put a new song into my mouth.’ Respecting this joy our Lord declares, ‘Your joy no man taketh from you.’ ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid—John 14:27; 16:22.

 

"And such joy, produced by the true Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ received into an honest heart, naturally and properly awakens the ‘songs in the house of our pilgrimage.’ "

 

‘Mid all the tumult and the strife I hear the music ringing, It finds an echo in my soul. How can I keep from singing?’

 

"The word ‘song’ has a wider meaning than simply a musical cadence: it is used in the Scriptures and elsewhere to indicate a joyful message of any kind. For instance, we say, referring to the Gospel, the knowledge of the divine plan, ‘Thou hast put a new song into my mouth, even the loving-kindness of our God.’ And it is a fact that those who have tasted that the Lord is gracious, those who have received the joy which no man can take from them, those who have tasted of the grace of God in Christ... will also rejoice to have their entire lives a song of praise and thanksgiving unto God; ... so fully will the cleansed, justified and consecrated heart appreciate God’s goodness and so greatly will it desire to—"Tell the whole world these blessed tidings, And speak of the time of rest that nears.’

 

"Let us remember Paul and Silas praising God in the prison of Philippi, while their backs were still lacerated and bleeding.’

 

"And the more we have of this new mind, and the closer we are in sympathy with the Lord, the more we will desire to sing heartily ‘The old, old story of Jesus and his love.’ ‘97-R2231, R2232.

 

Revelation 3

 

2  Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.

 

Revelation 3:2 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 2. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. I have found no works of shine perfect before my God—R.V. Be watchful. How necessary always, in order to not only stay in the Truth, but to advance in its understanding and application to one’s self as a new creature; to have all the truth that is due and permissible for the church at any time; especially today, when, after the death of Pastor Russell, so many gave up the thought and hope of membership in Christ. Our works are never perfect; but the justification that is in Christ Jesus is perfect: do not fail to claim that justification—eating the flesh of the Passover Lamb.* "The ‘wedding garment’ mentioned in the Lord’s parable (Matt. 22:2-14), is the Robe of Justification, which becomes ours at the time of consecration. At the very moment of our begettal, when the Lord accepted us, we became probationary members of the body of Christ, the bride class, and were covered with the wedding robe.

 

"This ‘wedding garment’ is given, not to the old creature, but to the new creature, to cover the blemishes of its imperfect body.

 

"While in this body of flesh, the new creature is expected to demonstrate such faithfulness in the development of character that he may be accounted worthy of being raised in the first resurrection as a divine being. Having this imperfect body he needs the robe of Christ’s righteousness to cover his imperfections.

 

"To continue to have the imperfections of the flesh (which we have inherited from Adam) covered, the new creature must remain loyal to God; otherwise, it will deserve the second death. "‘ 11-R4842.

 

"When we see that it was the pure, spotless nature of our Lord Jesus that was laid down on behalf of sinners, we see what it is that we are privileged to appropriate. The very thing that he laid down for us we are to ‘eat,’ appropriate to ourselves; that is to say, his perfect human life was given to redeem all the race of man from condemnation to death to enable them to return to human perfection and everlasting life, if they would; and we are to realize this and accept him as our Savior from death.’

 

"... The Gospel church of this age receive by faith in their Redeemer ... justification to human nature, which Father Adam possessed and lost, and which Christ redeemed by giving his own sinless flesh, his perfect human life, as our ransom-sacrifice... restitution rights and privileges secured by our Lord’s sacrifice of these." ‘16-R5870, R5871.

 

"We have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous"—1 John 2:1.

 

"Why do we need an Advocate? Because... ‘in our flesh dwelleth no perfection.’ But if, through the weakness or ignorance of the flesh we err, the divine provision for us is that our Advocate, whose ransom merit was applied to us, *Rev. 2:11 first comment; and "Foundation of Christian Doctrine," sub- head—"There were Two Passovers"—Supplement.

 

72 will appear for us (figuratively apply his merit) for the cancellation of our unintentional misdeeds and thus maintain us in the Father’s sight without spot or wrinkle." ‘09-R4516, R4517.

 

"By faith the walls of Jericho fell down"—Hebrews 11:30. "But we must have crossed the Jordan; we must have been justified; must have partaken of the antitypical Passover; must have been sanctified before we could have received of the Lord either a promise of victory over our Jericho, or before we could exercise such a faith as would result in that victory. If in the type faith could bring the fall of the strong walls of a city, how great must be the value of faith in the antitype! ‘This is the victory which overcometh the world, even your faith,’ but only so long as we trust in the Lord and seek to do those things pleasing to him, can we exercise this overcoming faith—I John 5:4. "‘ 02-R3088. See ‘02-R3086 c 2 CROSSING JORDAN INTO CANAAN.

 

"‘ Ye see your calling, brethren’—your invitation to the priesthood—the Melchisedec priesthood." ‘04-R3319.

 

"Not until the sacrifice of the goat had been complete, and its blood had been sprinkled upon the Mercy Seat, was there a Passing over* or remission of the sins of the people. "‘ 04-R3319.

 

THE GOSPEL OF HOPE Re 21:3,4 "Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you—1 Peter 3:15.’

 

"The very word Gospel is full of hope; for it means good tidings. Whoever, therefore, would preach the Gospel should be sure that his message is one of good tidings, one of hope. The world has a latent fear respecting the future. A secret fear lurks in the mind lest there should really be something terrible awaiting the masses after death—a Catholic purgatory of awful severity, if not the endless torture of Protestantism.

 

"What the world specially needs is what the Bible alone can give... comfort of the Scriptures. Bible students alone are qualified to introduce others to this comfort of the Scriptures.

 

"Give them also the message of hope, the message of joy, the message of peace! What are the privileges of the Christian, if through great tribulation he must enter the Kingdom? They are, oh, so grand! It is his to know the joy of sins forgiven; and many need to have this told them over and over again, that they may fully appreciate it. It is his to know of the heavenly Father’s love and care—matters so easily forgotten in the stress of life. These assurances of the Word need to be repeated over and over: ‘The Father himself loveth you.’ ‘God is for us.’ ‘All things shall work together for good to them that love God.’ "Following this course then—of preaching the Gospel of hope—we are following the Master and the apostles. They had so much of this spirit of hope, trust, confidence, love, joy and peace, that they could rejoice in tribulation; and they did so.

 

*See Exodus 12:5. See Passover of the Second Month, Nu 9:10-11 2Ch 30:2-3—Footnotes ‘13-R5191, ‘98-R2270.

 

"Hearken to the words of Jesus, ‘God shall wipe all tears from all eyes.’ ‘Be ye perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.’ As it will be God’s great work in the future, through Christ and the church, to wipe away earth’s tears, let us chase away some of those tears at the present time. Thus we shall help to prepare the way for the world to come back into fellowship with God by and by, for the faithful of the present time to walk more carefully in the footsteps of Jesus and to encourage one another in the good way." ‘13-R5213, R5214.

 

"I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward" Gen. 15:1.

 

"We have promises which pertain to the life that now is and also to that which is to come but all of these together are inferior, subordinate to the one great thought that God, the great Creator is ours—our Father, our God, our Friend. "‘ 01-R2853.

 

PREPARING THE WAY OF THE LORD—John 1:19-34 His WORK Is BEFORE HIM

 

"In harmony with the divine plan, the taking away of the sins of the world is divided into two parts: (1) The taking away of the sins of those whose hearts long for reconciliation with God and forgiveness, and to be in harmony with that which is right and true and just and good. These, called believers, have their sins taken away reckonedly; or rather, as the Apostle and the Prophet express it, their sins are ‘covered’ from God’s sight by the robe of Christ’s righteousness—to be entirely blotted out or taken away when, by the Lord’s grace they shall have finished their course and as faithful ones been counted worthy to enter into life eternal. In that new body then to be granted there will be no blemish, no sin to cover, all will have been blotted out. Then will begin the reign of Christ and his glorified church, his bride, the blessing of the world—the Millennial reign, the kingdom of the heavens, the rule of righteousness. (2) But before that reign shall begin, the Lamb of God—who redeemed the world more than eighteen centuries ago—will present the merit of his sacrifice and the sacrifice also of the church, his body members (made worthy, acceptable through his merit), to the Father as the second offering of the great Day of Atonement sacrifice—for all the people—Leviticus 16.’

 

"As the Lord’s presentation of his sacrifice when he ascended up on high was accepted of the Father and the blessing came upon the church, the household of faith, so surely will the second presentation in the end of this age when offered by the great High Priest be acceptable to the Father for the sins of the whole world—all the people... By the end of the Millennial age, the blessing of God—through the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world—shall have accomplished such wonderful gracious blessings for mankind that all shall have reached the full perfection of restitution to human nature except the incorrigible, who will be ‘utterly destroyed from amongst the people’—Acts 3:23. "‘ 08-R4114.

 

Revelation 3

 

3  Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

 

Revelation 3:3 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 3. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard; and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

 

73 Remember the delight experienced when we first realized that we were spirit begotten and could understand the Tabernacle Types. This coming is not necessarily the Second Advent, but a daily inspection and decision, on which further light depends. God, Himself, has blessings to give to those who ask for them.

 

"With the Lord Jesus in the chief place... the church is to be displayed before men as ‘a thing of beauty and a joy forever’—God’s handiwork.’ "‘ 11-R4914 Isa 62:2,3.

 

PAROUSIA, EPIPHANIA, APOKALUPSIS—

 

"When we come to study the matter of the second coming of the Lord carefully we find it variously referred to: first the parousia of Christ in the end of this age is drawn to our attention. The word parousia signifies presence, but it does not signify outward show or demonstration of that presence. Thus our Lord was present during all of the forty days after the resurrection, but He was manifested or visible only a few times and altogether only a few hours. The word Epiphania,  used in respect to our Lord’s second advent, signifies a shining forth brightly; still, however, not indicating in what manner the shining forth shall come.

 

"Another word used in respect to our Lord’s second advent is Apokalupsis,  which signifies revelation, making known, disclosure—as, for instance, the Lord may have been in the upper room with the disciples, present but invisible for some time, noting their words and conduct, and then manifesting Himself, revealing Himself by appearing in a body of flesh which they could see and handle and talk to. As we have seen, our Lord’s revealings after His resurrection were in bodies of flesh, but revealing in that manner was necessary because the disciples were not yet begotten of the Spirit. There is nothing to indicate that our Lord’s apokalupsis at His second advent will be in a body of flesh. On the contrary, the Scriptures speak distinctly of His being revealed (apokalupsis) in flaming fire.

 

"... During the time of the Lord’s parousia,  in the harvest, the end of the Gospel Age, there will be a bright shining and mental illumination granted to His people through His Word, which will enable them to appreciate the fact of His presence and to feel fully assured on the subject. This is in accord with the Lord’s promise to His followers that at His second coming, in His parousia,  He would knock, He would give such indication of His presence as would be sufficient to arouse those who were in the proper attitude of heart to investigate the matter, to open the door of their ears by faith to receive Him, and He declared that to such He would come in and sup with them, nourish them with special spiritual refreshment. He declares that for all of His people in this time He would gird Himself as a servant and come forth and serve them. They should not only know of His presence by the testimony of the Scriptures, but they should have a special demonstration of it by the clearness and beauty of the Plan as it would shine into their hearts under His ministrations. Lu. 12:37*; Rev. 3:20.

 

*"... All who recognize these things must recognize these STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES as being identified with the fulfillment of that promise." ‘10-R4709, R4710 "Later on will come the public revelation or demonstration that the Lord has assumed the control of the world. Every eye shall see Him, not in the sense of seeing the flesh of Jesus who walked the vales of Palestine, but in the sense of recognizing the power and authority and government and judgments of Him who in the end of this age shall take to Himself His great power and reign. The world is represented as seeing the Lord thus with the eyes of its mind in the judgments that are coming, and they are represented as calling for the rocks and mountains to cover them from His presence... they will recognize the beginning of the reign of righteousness, and they will seek to be covered or shielded from those troubles by entering into the caves of the rocks—that is, by seeking protection and cover of social organizations, hoping thus to escape the ‘wrath of the Lamb’... the anarchistic troubles coming upon the whole world... But there will be no escaping the trouble...

 

"... The heavens of ecclesiasticism rolling together, uniting for mutual protection or strength, will eventually be destroyed by the conflagration of the great day of the Lord." Rev. 6:14-17. Harvest Gleanings, Vol. 2, pp. B198-B199.

 

"Hebrews 5:7: "We find that the Father sent his angel to minister unto his dear Son, in his deep distress. As soon as the angel had given our Lord the assurance of the Father that he was well pleasing in his life and conduct, he became perfectly calm. And the assurance sustained him in all the trying experiences which followed—the trial before the Sanhedrin, before Pilate, the treatment of the soldiers, the journey on the way to Calvary, and in the midst of the trying process of execution which followed.

 

"Only at the last, when the Father, because Jesus must take the sinner’s place, withdrew his presence from him in his dying moment did our Lord manifest disturbance of mind. Then he cried out in agony of soul, ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ It was necessary for our Lord to experience the entire cutting off from God and from all relationship to God, in order to pay the full penalty for Adam’s sin. This experience was at the very last moment. The heavenly Father permitted this, for it was necessary to our Lord that he should realize the meaning of the sinner’s separation from God.

 

"We do not consider it necessary that in every case our Lord’s true and faithful followers should have a similar experience...

 

"We can be content to leave our experiences entirely in the hands of him who loves us, and can have an inward peace and calm and a rest of soul, knowing that no outward storm will be permitted but such as the Father sees will bring forth in us the peaceable fruits of righteousness, if we are properly exercised thereby." ‘14-R5403.

 

"The Lord is our angel (luke 22:42, 43) who speaks to us the Father’s message, telling us that if we abide in his love all will be right in the end, and that he is able and willing to bring us off conquerors, yea, more than conquerors through his own merit." ‘06-R3887.

 

‘IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME "The Apostle Paul, referring to this Memorial Supper, quotes our Lord as saying, ‘This do in remembrance of me,’ and then adds, ‘As oft as ye eat this bread and drink this cup ye do show the Lord’s death till he come’ {1Co 11:24-26}... until all shall have been gathered and the

 

74 kingdom class shall all thus have been set up and glorified...

 

"The same Apostle in the same epistle {1Co 10:16,17 12:12} emphasizes the thought of the unity, the oneness of the church, with each other and with the Lord... From God’s standpoint there is the one great Messiah, the elect Head and the elect members of his body. These, as one loaf, constitute from God’s standpoint the bread of everlasting life for the world, and in order to fill this picture each and all must be broken, each and all must partake of the cup of Christ’s suffering and death before entering into his glory. And not until all these sufferings have been completed will the Lord’s time come for the new dispensation, the new day, the day of blessing instead of cursing, the day of restitution instead of dying, the day of uplifting instead of falling, so far as the world is concerned." ‘06-R3880. F465.

 

"Likewise also the cup after the supper, saying, This cup is the New Covenant (future) in my blood, which is shed for you (now)" Luke 22:20.

 

Revelation 3

 

4  Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.

 

Revelation 3:4 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verses 4-5. Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. sHe that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels holy servants.

 

Not one faithful one is overlooked or forgotten; and while the white robe of Christ’s righteousness takes care of the new creature while in the flesh, and because of the flesh, in the resurrection the new creature will have a perfect body, and white linen all its own. And then comes the introduction to the Heavenly Father and the host of bright ones, some of whom knew us, and gave us a helping hand.

 

THE WHITE RAIMENT OF THE KINGDOM—Rev. 3:5 "In this text, as throughout the Bible, the thought is maintained that the elect class, who will receive the highest glory, honor and blessing from the Lord, must demonstrate their loyalty by overcoming... The Lord has promised that his grace shall be sufficient in every time of need—2 Cor. 12:9...

 

"The will must be loyal. We must triumph in the mind, otherwise we shall not be overcomers.

 

"This overcoming is a gradual work, progressing throughout our Christian course, from the moment of consecration down to the conclusion of life. But the text apparently takes hold of the conclusion... and implies that the individual has at the end of the trial, the end of his racecourse, this overcoming degree of righteousness, so that he may be classed as an overcomer. Such an overcomer will be clothed in white raiment.

 

WHITE RAIMENT LOANED To Us

 

"The Scriptures give us to understand that at the very beginning of our Christian experience, we figuratively are clothed in white raiment. This white raiment represents justification—we are justified freely from all things. It is a robe without a spot. It is sometimes spoken of as Christ’s robe of righteousness, because it comes to us through Christ.

 

It is to be had only through him. He is able to impute to us, to loan to us, grant to us temporarily, this robe. It is spoken of as the wedding garment...

 

"White linen signifies purity. So when Christ gives us the use of his merit, it is as a white garment to cover our imperfections. It is an imputation of his righteousness, which is to us justification. We are exhorted to keep our garments unspotted from the world... Hence, God has provided a way by which our blemishes or transgressions may be eradicated—those not wilful. This way is our daily application for the cleansing of these unwilling transgressions, through the precious blood. Thus we keep our garments unspotted from the world. Thus our justification, our white robe, is maintained—should be maintained.

 

WHITE RAIMENT OUR OWN

 

"But it is not sufficient that we have the imputation of our Savior’s righteousness. This imputation is only a temporary arrangement... Our flesh is imperfect; as St. Paul says, we cannot do the things which we would. But we are to prove ourselves overcomers—’more than conquerors.’ The Lord has arranged that at the conclusion of our trial, at the end of the present life, all the overcomers shall receive the new body. This new body will be a body of actual purity. Thus, as the Apostle says, we shall ‘be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven.’ So our raiment will be changed from a garment of imputed perfection, our justification by faith, to that which represents actual perfection. At the resurrection we shall receive that body of inherent purity, without blemish, without spot, which is here pictured as ‘white raiment.’

 

BROUGHT BEFORE THE KING

 

"Furthermore, we read of each of these that the Lord ‘will not blot out his name out of the book of life,’ in which are written the names of all those who become truly the Lord’s people, those who have made with the Lord ‘a covenant by sacrifice,’ all who renounce their wills, who present their bodies a living sacrifice... If they are faithful their names will not be blotted out of that book of life; and they will attain all those glorious things which are promised to those who love him supremely"—Rev. 21:7.

 

"More than this, the Lord says, ‘I will confess their names before my father and before his angels.’ The intimation here is that the overcomers will have such characters that the Lord will not be ashamed of them, but will be pleased to own them in the presence of the Father and the holy angels. We are to be ‘changed from glory to glory,’ into the likeness of our Lord {2Co 3:18}. In the end, these overcomers will each be so grandly developed that the Lord will not be ashamed to confess any of them and to say, Here is one of my followers. Here is another. They have walked in my footsteps and have overcome. But he will be ashamed of any who are ashamed of him. Of such he says, ‘Whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of Man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels’—Luke 9:26.

 

"It is not a matter of favoritism, but of characterdevelopment. If they will not endure to the end, if they do not prove overcomers, they will not be fit for the kingdom 75 and association with their Lord. Please see Ezekiel 44:15-16.

 

"This brings up the thought that there is another class mentioned in the Bible—the great company class, as in contrast to the little flock—or the antitypical Levite class as in contrast to the antitypical priestly class. The great company had their names written in the Lamb’s book of life, but they were not overcomers in the truest sense. They did not stand faithful. Because of not proving faithful, they will not be confessed before the Father and the holy angels in the same sense as the bride class.

 

"It is stated that the bride will be presented before the Father, and that ‘the virgins, her companions’ (Psalm 45:13-15) will be there also—but the latter will not be confessed as the bride class... Those who go into the second death will surely have their names blotted out of the book; they will be destroyed with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord.

 

ROBES WASHED IN THE GREAT TRIBULATION

 

-See Revelation 7:9-14." ‘15-R5668, R5669 Please see Ezek. 44:10-14.

 

NAMES WRITTEN IN THE LAMB’S BOOK OF LIFE "The invitation of this Gospel age is to a special class, a class which professes to be out of harmony with present conditions—out of harmony with sin...

 

"As Jesus laid down his earthly life in the service of the Father and of the truth, and was misunderstood by those about him, so those who follow in Jesus’ footsteps must in like manner suffer disappointments in earthly matters, if they would be sharers in his glory and immortality. As Jesus overcame and sat down with the Father in his throne, so those who overcome will sit down with Jesus in his throne ... if they manifest righteousness of heart. But they must show this overcoming spirit else they can never be associated with our Lord in his kingdom. They must be copies of their Master in spirit, even though imperfect in the flesh.

 

"Thus the very moment that we take the step of consecration and are accepted, all our blemishes and imperfections are covered by the robe of Christ’s righteousness. But it is not only while we have blemishes that we need to be covered; even all those represented in the symbolic pictures of the Scriptures are there shown as clothed. The pictures given of the heavenly Father represent him as clothed, and the pictures of our Lord represent him as clothed. The Revelation pictures represent our Lord and the saints as clothed in white garments. The angels who appeared at the time of our Lord’s resurrection are represented as clothed in white. Our Lord said: ‘Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.’ "The glorified church is represented, not as taking off the robe of righteousness, but continuing to walk in white raiment. It will no longer be an imputed robe of righteousness, however; our righteousness will be our own. To be clothed in white garments then will be to be recognized as one of the pure ones—not as now, in a robe of reckoned righteousness, but in a robe of actual righteousness. ‘It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power.’

 

Two BOOKS OF LIFE

 

"The Bible mentions two books of life—one appertaining to the present time, and the other to the Millennial age. As we read: (Rev. 3:5; 20:12) The special book of life that is open at this present time is the one in which the names of all the overcomers of this Gospel age are written. When we take the step of consecration and are begotten of the holy Spirit, it is appropriate that we should be reckoned as belonging to the family of God: Just as a family will keep a record of its members—Joseph, Mary, Martha, etc.—so with those who become members of the family of God, through Christ; their names will be recorded.

 

"This recording has been going on throughout this present age. This means that those whose names are therein written are not only members of the family of God, but also members of the bride class... The bride class is referred to as ‘more than conquerors.’ They will gain the abundant entrance into the heavenly kingdom.—2 Peter 1:10, 11.

 

INTRODUCTION TO THE FATHER

 

"‘ I will confess his name.’ This gives us, first of all, the thought that, although we have been begotten of God, we have never been introduced to him—in his actual presence. Our Lord is not only represented as our Bridegroom, but also as our Elder Brother, and is pictured as waiting on the other side until we, his brethren, shall pass over. And as we shall pass over, our Lord being the One to whom the Father delegated the work of instructing us in the school of Christ, it will be appropriate that he should introduce us to the Father.

 

"Those especially confessed, introduced, are the bride class only. And we are to hope and strive that we may have a place amongst these. The place that the Father would prefer us to have is the place we would prefer to have.’ ‘14-R5377.

 

Revelation 3

 

5  He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

 

Revelation 3

 

6  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

 

Revelation 3:6 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 6. He that bath an ear, let him hear what the spirit saith unto the churches.

 

The hearing ear is so important. Everything depends upon it; and it depends on sincerity of consecration, and the spirit of consecration, and faithfulness, and love of the Truth—the deep things of the spirit. And above all, let us not forget the anointing. Pastor Russell said that as the church got nearer and nearer to the end, the anointing would be most important. See comments at 2:24, 25.

 

EVIDENCES OF THE ANOINTING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT WONDERFUL WORDS OF LIFE

 

"Christ in you; the hope of glory" —Col. 1:27. ‘13-R5227 to R5229.

 

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he bath anointed me to Preach..."(luke 4:18) "And they were astonished at his doctrine, for his word was with power"—Luke 4:32.

 

"... The Word of God whether sent through the prophets of old or through the apostles and reformers of the age has been God speaking from heaven—and his Word is quick

 

76 and powerful searching beyond any human message. It will separate, it will distinguish; it will find the truth hungry, it will separate the others; it is the light of which the Apostle declared, Whatsoever cloth make manifest is light. The attitude assumed by the people toward the light, the truth, demonstrates better than all their professions would do whether they are of the light or of the darkness ... Let us wait patiently on him to bring about the separation with divine wisdom and love—we know that His Plan is the best.

 

"The glorious plan of the ages—its beauty, its power, its reasonableness—it glorifies God... More and more we are convinced that the eyes of our understanding must be anointed in order that we may appreciate the lengths and breadths and heights and depths of the love of God, which passeth all understanding." ‘06-R3860, R3861.

 

THE HOLY ANOINTING OIL

 

"In Ex. 30:23 we read God’s instructions to Moses regarding the holy anointing oil, as follows: ‘Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh 500 shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even 250 shekels, and of sweet calamus 250 shekels; (verse 24) and of cassia 500 shekels after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of olive oil an hint’ "Notice here it reads ‘principal spices,’ in contrast to v. 34, same chapter, where it reads ‘sweet spices’ used in the incense or holy perfume. So these principal spices would represent principal things which would go to make up the anointing which we receive to become priests and kings with Christ...

 

"Christ humbled himself even unto death, yea, to the ignominious death on the cross... From there he came forth with the right to life for every human being, and is the Light of the world, as Uri signifies light; and now he is the shadow of the Almighty, the robe of righteousness provided by God for us, as signified in the word Bezaleel, ‘shadow of the Almighty.’ Exodus 31:3: "And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom and in understanding, and in knowledge and in all manner of workmanship.’ This is the typical anointing of Bezaleel; and the antitypical anointing of Christ recorded in Isaiah 11:2 contains the identical component parts as that of Bezaleel, viz. ‘The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord.’ The only difference in the two verses is in respect to the terms ‘counsel and might’ and ‘workmanship,’ but both embody the same idea, i. e., deputyship and ability, or how to go about a matter and the ability to accomplish the same...

 

"We find knowledge parallel with calamus, and understanding with cinnamon, and of each a like quantity is prescribed, even 250 shekels. So we would also expect in our anointing from above to find our knowledge and understanding equal—that is we would have the understanding of all the knowledge received of God, so that seeing we might discern and hearing we might understand...

 

"So knowledgefrom God is accompanied by its equal of understanding, and this is how we have become established in the faith. If God gives us knowledge he also gives us a test on that knowledge, and fortifies it with the understanding thereof.

 

"Myrrh, which represents and is parallel with wisdom, is equal in amount with calamus and cinnamon combined, 500 shekels of myrrh and 250 shekels each of calamus and cinnamon. So we find God in the anointing also gives wisdom equal to our knowledge and understanding combined. Wisdom is knowing what to do...

 

"Workmanship may also be translated deputyship, but never means work or labor. It has the two ideas embodied in itself that are expressed in its parallel in Isa. 11:2, viz., counsel and might. Counsel here means advice, or how to do a thing; might here means the ability to perform. Now, cassia, which represents workmanship or counsel and might, amounted to 500 shekels, the same as myrrh, which represented wisdom, or knowing what to do. So God, after showing us our responsibility or what we should do, accompanies it with an equal amount of advice or information how to do it, and also enough ability to perform what is expected of us. All that is expected of us is to will—a full consecration to the Lord and his service—and all the rest he will supply in knowledge, understanding: knowledge of what we should do and ability and information how to do it. With more than this he cannot anoint us...

 

"God gives no knowledge except for a purpose, and establishes our faith by giving the understanding thereof, then shows us what that knowledge is for, by showing us what is expected of us, and also gives us the advice and ability needed for the accomplishment thereof, and we must make active consecration to complete the Lord’s will.

 

"Chapter 30 (Exodus), verse 32, in Rotherham’s translation reads, ‘And according to the proportions thereof shall ye not make any like it; holy it is.’ V. 33, ‘Whosoever compoundeth any like (according to the proportions thereof) shall be cut off from among his people.’ This would show us that after the same proportions thereof no other anointing would be allowed...

 

"Paul, in Col 1:9,10, prays that the saints may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and spiritual understanding—being fruitful in every good work and walking worthy of the Lord—these very same four again.

 

"These four produce the fruits of the Spirit, therefore they are the principal spices. The odor emanating from such a typically anointed one is symbolical of the fruits of the Spirit we show forth—the more anointing the more fruits; and surely it is desirable to be in the presence of one so antitypically anointed...

 

"Whatever amount of anointing a member in Christ receives from the Head, it has its constituents of knowledge, etc., in their proper relative proportions. "‘ 07-R4092, R4093 (Reimer)

 

THE ANOINTING

 

"Under the law, the anointing was the ceremony by which the priests were installed in their service. They were anointed to their office with a peculiar ointment, called the ‘Holy Anointing Oil,’ used upon none but the priests, and unlawful for any one else to have or to make {Ex 30:25-33,38}. This oil typifies the Holy Spirit of adoption whereby we, the real ‘royal priesthood,’ are sealed as sons of God. Only the consecrated ones, the priests. are ever to be thus anointed.

 

77 "Aaron, the typical High Priest, represented Jesus, the Head, and the Church as members of the body—the great antitypical High Priest. Being but a sinful man, like others, Aaron had to be washed in order fitly to represent the purity of the antitype, Jesus, who knew no sin, and his Church, cleansed through his precious blood, and the washing of water by the Word—Eph. 5:26.

 

"After being washed, Aaron was clothed with the holy garments of ‘glory and beauty’ {Ex 28}, and lastly the anointing oil was poured on his head (Exod. 29:7). Each article of this glorious apparel was typical of qualities and powers of the Great Deliverer—Head and Body—as Jehovah discerned them, looking down into the future to the time for ‘the manifestation of the Sons of God,’ and the fulfillment in them of his promises." T28-T29. Ps 133

 

"Behold, how good and how pleasant for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, Aaron’s beard; that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there Jehovah commanded the blessing, life for evermore.’

 

"Those whose hearts are loving to their enemies, and loving to the household of faith, and above all, loving to the Lord... seeking the welfare of others, and praying for them; in such hearts there would be no room for anger, bitterness, strife, envying. In such hearts the love of God is shed abroad as represented by the holy anointing oil, the unction from the Holy One, which lubricates all of the sensibilities, smoothing not only the countenance, but also the tongue and the heart; for ‘out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh,’ and bitter water cannot come from a pure fountain."—Luke 6:45; James 3:11." ‘08 R4201.

 

"The prophet David was guided by the Lord to give us a pen-picture of the Anointing, and how it was all poured upon our Head and must run down to us from him (Psa. 133:1-3; 45:7; Luke 4:18). The members of the Church are the ‘brethren’ whose spirit impels them to ‘dwell together in unity.’ All who are one with the Head must be in sympathy with fellow-members of his body the Church—and only proportionately do they receive of the holy Spirit of Anointing (Vol. V., Chap. ix.). This holy anointing oil represented the holy Spirit and the enlightenment which it gives to all those whom God accepts as probationary members of this Royal Priesthood, the New Creation, each of whom is ‘sealed,’ or marked, or indicated by the holy Spirit given unto him, as already shown (Ibid.)."f132.

 

"The proper thought respecting the baptism of the holy Spirit is that of an outpouring, a shedding forth, and anointing, which, however, is so complete (covering every member of the body) as to be properly designated an immersion,  or ‘baptism. ‘ And this same anointing or baptism continues upon the Church down through the age—covering, permeating, sanctifying, blessing, anointing, from then until now, each one who comes into the anointed ‘body.’ And this will continue until the last member has been received and fully anointed. The Apostle John speaking also of this baptism, styling it an anointing, says, ‘The anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you’ {1Jo 2:27 Ps 133:2}.

 

He does not say, the numerous anointings which you have received, but the anointing, the one anointing, more being quite superfluous and out of harmony with the divine arrangement." E215.

 

THE CHURCH IN PHILADELPHIA—REVELATION 3:7-13.

 

"Philadelphia means brotherly love, as is well known. This stage of the church’s history evidently began at the Reformation; and there are many still living who possess the characteristics described.

 

"There is considerable similarity between the work begun on Pentecost and that of Luther and his friends. The Reformation was, in a sense, the beginning of a new era, a dawning of light where all had been darkness, the separation of the true from the false, and a new start in the way of truth. No doubt all the powers of Satan were exerted to close the door then opened; but ‘he that is true’ had said, ‘which no man can shut.’ Compared with the mighty hosts of their enemies, the little band of Reformers had but ‘a little strength’; but they knew that they had the truth, and they fully trusted the Giver. Thus the Master could say (3:8), ‘Thou hast kept my Word and hast not denied my name.’ "During the Philadelphian period, especially during the first and the last phases of it, the faithful have either been obliged to come out of the nominal temple or have been cast out for their straight testimony. The reward promised them is that they will be, not simply an unimportant part, but a vital one—a pillar in the true and eternal Temple—a part which cannot be removed while the structure exists. During their trial state their names were cast out as evil. They were branded as infidels and heretics. They were not recognized as children of God, as citizens of the heavenly country, as Christians. All this is to be reversed. ‘The Lord knoweth them that are his,’ and in due time will fully and eternally acknowledge them." ‘16-R5993.

 

"The prophecies... though recorded aforetime, and made to bear witness to the divine foreknowledge and arrangement, were for the learning of those living in the due time for their fulfillment, and not for those who uttered them (Rom. 15:4)... Thus our Heavenly Father has closed up and sealed many features of his plan during the night with his great Time-Lock, which was so set as to prevent their being opened until ‘the time appointed’—in the morning of the great day of restitution.... And then Jehovah’s Anointed, ‘he that bath the key’ and understands the combination upon which it has been set, ‘openeth, and no man shutteth (Rev. 3:7).’ He opens unto us by giving us the necessary information as to how the key of prophecy is to be operated by those desiring to find the treasures of infinite wisdom. And we may unlock the treasures of divine wisdom now, because the morning hour has come—though it is early and not yet light to the world. But only by carefully heeding the instructions, and applying the key to the combination set by the great Designer, will its treasures open to us.

 

"In fact, this illustration fits the entire plan of God in all its parts: Each feature of truth and each prophecy is but a part of the one grand combination, which may be opened now because it is morning—because the bolts of the great Time-lock are withdrawn. And this grand combination, once

 

78 opened, discloses fully and grandly the boundless treasures of divine wisdom, justice, love and power. He who opens will indeed know God as never before." B23, B24.

 

"I think the same about the Chronology that I ever thought. I see no place where there is a flaw. I would not know where to put my finger on any item there and say, that is a mistake. I do no know any such place. It all looks to me as it did thirty years ago." Q90 (1914) "The chronology of the Bible is so thoroughly interwoven with its narrative that the two are bound up together as web and woof: to destroy the one destroys the other; to invalidate the one invalidates the other; to corroborate the one corroborates the other." ‘03-R3220.

 

"The only reasonable and connected account of the first three thousand years of man on the earth is found in the Bible; and this fact is surely in harmony with its claim to divine origin, direction and preservation.

 

"As with history, so with dates; the world has, aside from the Bible, no means of tracing its chronology farther back than B.C. 776." B36 "The Bible record extends to the first year of Cyrus, B. C. 536, a well established and generally accepted date. There the thread of Bible chronology is dropped—at a point where secular history is reliable. God has thus provided for his children a clear and connected record down to the present time... The Bible is therefore the only record in the world which furnishes a view of human history as a whole. It carries us from the lost paradise of Genesis to the restored paradise of Revelation, tracing the pathway of humanity into eternity... Taken together, the history and prophecy of the Bible afford a panoramic view of the whole course of events from the creation and fall of man to his reconciliation and restitution. The Bible, therefore, is the chart of all history... a sure foundation for reasonable faith." B38, B39.

 

Revelation 3

 

7  And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;

 

Revelation 3:7 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 7. And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;  The message to the church at Philadelphia: How fitting to introduce the speaker as holy, seeing that the message is justification by faith. David means "Beloved," and refers to Jesus, who is God’s Beloved and our Beloved, and we are loved by him. How the pope tried to close that door; but his attempts were so futile that Martin Luther died a natural death. And so the promise to David of a ruling house, through Christ, must be fulfilled; for the one back of that promise and prophecy is both holy and true.

 

"The subject of Justification has not changed, but it has expanded and clarified.

 

"We now see that a justification to life is one thing, and a justification to more or less of friendship with God is another. Abraham, for instance, and the faithful before Pentecost, were justified to friendship with God and to have more or less communication with Him by prayer, etc.; but they could not have full justification until the Blood of Atonement had been shed, and until it had been presented to and accepted by Divine Justice—the Father. Just so the sinner today approaching God might be said to be in the way of justification—he would have more of God’s favor than if he faced toward sin.

 

"We once spoke of a sinner in this condition as being justified, because he believed in Jesus as his Redeemer and was reaching forward to a full consecration of himself. Now we see that while the sinner’s attitude, like that of the Ancient Worthies, might be styled ‘tentative justification,’ it could not reach the condition of a full, complete justification from sin until the sinner had fully presented himself in consecration to our great High Priest, Jesus, and had been accepted of Him in the name of the Father. Then, under the covering of the imputed merit of Christ’s sacrifice, the sinner would be acceptable to the Father under Christ’s Robe and begotten of the Holy Spirit.

 

"Fortunate it is for the masses who have heard of Jesus and partially believed, that their standing with the Lord is not that of full justification, that He refuses to fully justify any until they have become by covenant, His disciples, His footstep followers. This is because justification can come only once to each individual, and if he should misuse that justification and fail to get eternal life, he would be in a worse state than if he had never been justified. If not justified and spiritbegotten in the present time, he is not of the Church, but will have a share in the merit of Christ’s sacrifice and in the justification which His kingdom will offer to every member of the human family—aside from the Church—the Church receiving that better thing which God bath in reservation for them that love Him—glory, honor, immortality, the Divine nature.

 

"To many it would not seem worth while to mention these fine distinctions upon the subject of justification; and yet, having received this clearer appreciation of the Divine Plan, we have pleasure in passing it on to all who hunger and thirst after righteousness—to all Bible students everywhere." Fiii 1916 Foreward, iii.

 

"The very chiefest of all treasures is the personal love and friendship of God and of Christ. Jesus becomes to us ‘the fairest among ten thousand, the One altogether lovely.’ He is an unfailing Refuge in every time of need, our daily joy and solace and comfort.

 

"Nor will any other creatures either in heaven or in earth receive such marks of special favor as are and ever will be the portion of the beloved bride of Christ. Although the whole family in heaven and in earth will be blessed through him, his wife, cooperating with him in his work, will alone be his companion, his confidante, his treasure. Hear the Lord’s exhortation to the bride class: ‘Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline shine ear. Forget also shine own people and thy father’s house (the ambitions, hopes and aims of the children of Adam); so shall the King (Jehovah’s Anointed) greatly desire thy beauty (beauty of character, of heartloyalty); for he is thy Lord, and worship thou him’ (Ps 45:10,11; Canticles 4). How unworthy we feel of so great honor and love from our beloved Bridegroom! And no wonder! When we look at all our imperfections, it seems that there is little in us to call forth such love and admiration. To think that the angels with all their purity and faithfulness should have been passed by; and that we poor, blemished mortals, should be chosen instead!

 

79 "Is there not some mistake? Ah, no! We have the infallible words of inspiration to assure us that it is even so. This bride of Jehovah’s Son is to reign with him in the future over a fallen race; and who could so well sympathize with them in all their weaknesses and frailties as those who have themselves partaken of the same? And who could bear the infinite heights of glory to which the Lamb’s wife will be raised, with such humility as those who realize that it was not through any worthiness of their own that they were chosen to so high an exaltation, but that it was all of divine grace? Clad in the glorious robe of our Bridegroom’s furnishing, we can stand all complete, even now, in the eyes of Jehovah. And possessing the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, the faith that trusts under every condition, the love that delights to do the Fatheris will, we are lovely in the eyes of our Beloved, our Bridegroom and our King.

 

"Having this confidence, we can with unspeakable joy and gratitude lay hold of the exceeding great and precious promises which are ours through Christ, and without presumption press along the line toward the prize of our high calling, humbly trusting that he who has begun the good work in us will complete it unto the day of our glorification with our Bridegroom in the heavenly kingdom, when we shall be presented before the Father ‘without spot or wrinkle or any such thing,’ gloriously complete and perfect, in the most absolute sense, fitted and prepared for the wonderful work which we shall share with our blessed Lord and King." ‘16-R5862.

 

Revelation 3

 

8  I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

 

Revelation 3:8 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 8. I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

 

For the sake of the faithful few, God is giving them, the church at Philadelphia, the privilege and responsibility of carrying on a great and wonderful reformation in the nominal church of Christ Jesus.

 

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy bath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you"—1Pe 1:3,4.

 

"I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of death and of oblivion"—Revelation 1:18.

 

"Such a calling should cause us to bow our hearts in the dust before our God, realizing our great unworthiness of such stupendous grace—of bliss so transcendent! What can we render unto the Lord... to Him who has so loved us, so blessed us, so honored us!" ‘16-R5855.

 

"We can never do enough to show our appreciation of the God of love and his wonderful plan of the ages. We are not profitable servants, but on the contrary are our Lord’s debtors to a degree that an eternity of His service will only continually increase. "‘ 08 R4152.

 

"If the Lord’s consecrated people could all be brought to the point where the chief aim in life, the burden of all their prayers, would be that they might have a larger measure of the Spirit of the Lord, the spirit of holiness, the spirit of the

 

Truth, the Spirit of Christ, the spirit of a sound mind, what a blessing it would mean! Nevertheless, He withholds it until they learn to appreciate and earnestly desire it. "‘ 01-R2866.

 

"It is God’s good pleasure to give us this spirit of love; but He gives it only to those who desire and seek it with patient perseverance." ‘03-R3153.

 

"Since none can know when the elect number will be fully completed, all should be alike anxious to lay down their lives in the service of God and of his truth. To say that we would refuse to serve because any uncertainty would prevail in our minds respecting the character of our reward would be to show our unworthiness of any favor of God, for, to be acceptable to Him, our service must not be rendered to obtain the reward, but to serve righteousness and to please God! ‘I delight to do thy will, O God’—everything written in the book.

 

"... Parents, therefore, should do their best by their children and leave the results with the Lord, with full satisfaction with whatever may be His wise, just and loving decision for them, either on the earthly or on the heavenly plane. We are to remember, however, that none can enter either of these planes of instantaneous perfection in the resurrection unless his trial be finished successfully in the present life and by passing into death. The remainder of mankind, however, as already shown, will then have glorious opportunities and possibilities before them." ‘11-R4836.

 

"The temple of God is holy, which temple ye are"—1Co 3:17.

 

"Let us remember that none may engage in this work as true Israelites unless they be in full accord with the Master Builder, and by their ability in rightly dividing the Word of truth show themselves to be workmen that need not to be ashamed—manifest a circumcision of heart." ‘99-R2512.

 

"Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and He shall hear my voice"—Psalm 55:17.

 

"Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before God, as he did aforetime"—Daniel 6:10.

 

"To the Christian this privilege is still further enhanced by a realization that ‘We have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the Righteous,’ in whose all-prevailing Name we may approach with courage the throne of heavenly grace, and obtain mercy and find grace to help in every time of need—Hebrews 4:16. "‘ 11-R4875.

 

"Having an high priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith"—Hebrews 10:21, 22.

 

"Without this full assurance of faith the child of God cannot come close to Him." ‘14-R5425.

 

"Walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love"—Eph. 4:1, 2.

 

"We show our appreciation of God’s mercy toward us by schooling ourselves in his character and becoming more and more merciful and generous toward all... As we remember our own weaknesses and blemishes, it will make us sympathetic with the brethren and with all mankind. And mercy,

 

80 generosity, sympathy, God delights in. Such as cultivate these graces of the Spirit will be pleasing in the Lord’s sight, and they will thereby be fitted and prepared to have a share with Jesus in his throne of glory, for that great Messianic Kingdom will be established for the very purpose of showing mercy unto thousands of mankind, who will return to divine favor and blessing, under clearer knowledge and with the assistance that will then be afforded." ‘12-R5135.

 

"... In all the words of comfort and encouragement in the Apocalypse, given to the seven churches, none shine out more clearly and forcibly than those which declare, ‘To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame and am set down with my Father in his throne’ and, ‘To him that overcometh will I give power over the nations.’... They who would overcome must do so by death in the service, and thus gain the kingdom honors—Rev. 20:6.

 

.. Present suffering and self-denial are the narrow path to glory, honor, immortality and joint-heirship in the kingdom. Wherefore, I beseech you, be ye followers of me. Suffer and be reviled and persecuted now, that you may share with me the crown of life, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me at that day;  and not to me only, but unto all those that love his appearing—1Co 4:10-17 2Ti 4:8.’

 

"Jesus and the apostles taught that there can be no kingdom until the King comes {Re 20:6 3:21 2Ti 2:12}. Consequently the kingdom of heaven must suffer violence until that time, when it shall be set up in glory and power." A285-A287.

 

"The opposition is daily becoming more and more intense; for Satan realizes that his time is short, and he is determined by any and every means to exert his power against the consummation of the Lord’s plan for the exaltation of the church.

 

"Consequently we have had within this harvest period many and severe storms of opposition, and still there are doubtless more severe trials to follow. But those who, with overcoming faith, outride them all—who patiently endure, who cultivate the spirit of Christ with its fruits and graces, and who valiantly fight the good fight of faith, rather than withdraw from the field, such will be the overcomers to whom the laurels of victory will be given when the crowning day has come!" ‘94-R1656.

 

"LOOKING FOR THAT BLESSED HOPE" -Titus 2:13

 

"I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also"—John 14:3.

 

"What joyful hopes, what exuberant anticipations, cluster around this promise, in the hearts of the Lord’s faithful! In a few words it sums up all the good things that God bath in reservation for them that love him.’

 

ERRORS BECLOUD TRUTHS

 

"Every feature of divine truth... has its power as a sanctifying medium, as explained in our dear Redeemer’s prayer—’Sanctify them through thy truth, thy Word is truth.’ Whoever has even one item of truth to nine items of error? has to the extent of that one item, a sanctifying power; whoever has five parts of truth and five parts of error has a considerable measure of sanctifying power; and whoever, by the grace of God, can get rid of all the error, will have the tenfold power of the truth working in him to will and to do God’s good pleasure—sanctifying him.

 

"These ten various points of truth are not alike powerful either, and amongst them all we know of none which has greater purifying influence than this one referred to in our text—’that blessed hope’—the appearing of our glorious Lord. ‘He who bath hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure’ {1Jo 3:3}.

 

FEW KNOW OF OUR LORD’s PAROUSIA

 

"Let us, dear brethren, keep well before our minds the Master’s promised return, and now in the time of his ‘parousia’( invisible presence), let it have its full weight and influence upon our every word and act; yea, upon our very thoughts. ‘03-R3191, R3193.

 

Revelation 3

 

9  Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

 

Revelation 3:9 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 9. Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie: behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

 

The synagogue of Satan, very evidently, is made up of professing Christians, picked or selected by Satan, to falsify the doctrines of Christ; being a part of the permission of evil. They may have had a view of restitution, but were slack in their consecration and justification and begettal. They oppose the new creature class, and brotherly love is not in them. As those who crucified the Lord will yet be caused to confess and abhor their wickedness, so the opposers of this period will have the shame of seeing, and confessing their wrong doing; and they will worship God, by acknowledging the righteousness of this class of faithful ones. When the blessings are flowing out to all the earth, it will seem to be impossible not to do so.

 

Isaiah 25:9: "In the clearer light of Messiah’s teaching, all faith in the vain traditions which they still hold as valuable additions to the law of God will vanish away. The time is fast approaching when God will speak peace to Israel and comfort them and fully turn away their blindness... But no special favor will come to these infidel Jews at the time of the returning favor; for ‘he is not a Jew, who is one outwardly’—merely by family relationship and facial expression. The Jews recognized by God as children of Abraham are those who hold to the faith of Abraham and trust in the divine promises." C249-C250.

 

"If, instead of reading Rabbinical fables, the Jews would study the Bible, they would find that the Lord Jesus, the true Messiah... even the man Christ Jesus, has made his soul an offering for sin—Isaiah 53:10. " The Hebrew-Christian. C256.

 

"He is not a Jew who is one outwardly... but he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart"—Romans 2:28, 29.

 

"Thank God for our portion of blessing under the Abrahamic Covenant and our glorious Redeemer-Advocate! And praise God for the world’s coming blessing under a Redeemer-Mediator! "‘ 10 R4586.

 

81 "This disposition is a growing one: Patronize every religion that will maintain superstition...As the Pharisees and rulers and Doctors of Law, in the harvest of the Jewish Age, were ‘grieved that they taught the people’ and fearful that the truth would lead to dire calamities upon their nation, so we apprehend it will ere long be in this harvest of the Gospel Age... in suppressing anything that would ‘unsettle the faith’ of Christendom—Daniel 12:10.

 

"Zion’s Watch Tower (Published from 1879-R1916) cheerfully takes its place amongst the uneducated who refuse to accept the guesses, philosophies and conclusions of ‘science falsely so called’ in contradistinction to the testimony of ‘holy men of old who spoke and wrote as they were moved by the holy Spirit—the Bible.’

 

"No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper"—Isaiah 54:17.

 

"What is the true explanation?... The explanation is that ‘Ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit’... ye are new creatures in Christ Jesus... {Ro 8:9 2Co 5:17}. The weapons and tongues merely do injury to the old creature—to the flesh, which we have already consecrated to death anyway. By helping to kill or to mortify the flesh, our adversaries are really helping us as ‘new creatures’ instead of hindering us as designed. God thus turns what seems to harm us into everlasting joy and blessing." ‘02 R3050.

 

DID JESUS REVILE HIS ENEMIES?

 

"Who when he was reviled, reviled not again"—1 Peter 2:23.

 

"The import of the Apostle’s words was that Jesus did not retaliate. When evil things were spoken of him, He did not speak evil of those who did him injury... but committed himself to God and left his cause in the hands of divine justice.

 

"The Evangelists record some of these revilings against our Lord. On one occasion his enemies said of him, ‘He bath a devil and is mad.’ Again, Jesus himself implied that he was also called ‘Beelzebub’—prince of devils. The Scribes and the Pharisees acknowledged his works, but denounced him, and attributed his good works to Satan. They implied that his birth was illegitimate. They attempted to prove that he was guilty of blasphemy in saying that if the temple were torn down he would erect it again in three days. They did not get the spirit of his teaching, and tried to make out that his statement was sacrilegious. They endeavored to entrap him in his words. They held that if he were really a great man, he would fellowship with them and not with publicans and sinners. Finally they reviled him to the extent of crucifying him between two thieves.

 

"But how was it that Jesus said some very sharp things to the Scribes, Pharisees and chief priests of that day? For instance, he called them ‘a generation of vipers,’ ‘whited walls,’ sepulchres full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.’ On one occasion he said, ‘Ye hypocrites! Ye can discern the face of the sky; but how is it that ye cannot discern the signs of the times?’ Again, ‘Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers! How can ye escape the condemnation of Gehenna!’ He declared, ‘Ye are of your father the devil, for his works ye do.’ At another time he called them, ‘Ye fools and blind,’ ‘Ye blind guides,’ and denounced them saying, ‘Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them who are entering to go in... Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of Gehenna than yourselves... Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithes of mint, anise and cummin, and have left undone the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy and faith; these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat and swallow a camel! Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee! cleanse first the inside of the cup and of the platter, that the outside may be clean also. ‘ Were these revilings?... Where does the line of difference come in?

 

JESUS DID NOT STRIKE BACK

 

"We answer. The line of difference is in that our Lord was not striking back at them; his charges against them were made in advance, and were not, therefore, retaliation against something which they had said to him. He did not refer to any one of them as having a devil. He spoke of their system in general as being a pernicious system. If the Lord had not declared that these rulers of Israel were hypocrites, how could we have known that they were hypocrites, when they appeared outwardly very anxious to keep the law? The people said, ‘See how these holy men go about and pray on the street corners! Look at their broad phylacteries! We do not see Jesus pray half as much as they pray. And they are always watching, watching, to keep the Law.’ It was therefore right that our Lord should point out that their matchings, their tithings and their long prayers were hypocritical. They were so very careful about tithing the mint and the anise seed, but had no hesitation about devouring widows’ houses—by some technicality getting hold of the property of the needy widow and then swallowing it up themselves.

 

"Jesus declared that on the outside these professedly holy men were indeed ever so white and clean and beautiful, but that on the inside they were vile and unclean. They were of their father, the devil; for they had his disposition. They did not do good and serve God from purity of heart; theirs was merely an outward service. Their whole system was honeycombed with hypocrisy—in the language of today we would term it ‘rotten.’ It was necessary that these men be exposed, and all who were pure of heart be saved from the blight of their influence. Jesus called out no one of them by name, but merely denounced them as a class. He was not seeking to do them injury, but good, if possible, and to warn them and all of the evil of such a course. Our Lord wished to deliver the people... Our Lord’s words, then, would not come under the head of evil-speaking. He was speaking about a system...

 

"So we believe that we have a perfect right to call attention to the flagrant errors of today... If our Lord had not rebuked some of these things that their leaders did, the people would not have known but what those Pharisees had the Lord’s endorsement. There they were going about with sanctimonious

 

82 faces and saying so many prayers, etc. Were they really holy people? Jesus was there as a representative of God and exponent of His views. So Jesus let the people know that these Pharisees were not doing the things pleasing to God. He merely did his duty." ‘15-R5678, R5679.

 

"THE WISE SHALL UNDERSTAND" —DANIEL 12:10.

 

"Dearly beloved, we are permitted to enjoy wonderful things!... entering by hope ‘into that which is within the veil.’... As we perceive the consistency of the divine plan of the ages, our hearts are full of thanksgiving to God... From what source do the wise receive their instruction? They will understand according to the wisdom from on high—in humility accepting the divine Word and being blessed in so doing." ‘12-R5092.

 

"The Scriptures point out the fact that the Lord’s consecrated people belong so completely to him that in all their afflictions he is afflicted (Isa. 63:9). When Saul of Tarsus was persecuting the early church, our Lord called out to him on the way to Damascus, and said, ‘Saul, Saul, why persecutes" thou ME? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus, whom thou persecutes"‘ {Ac 9:4,5}. Saul was not persecuting the glorified Savior directly, but he was persecuting the followers of Jesus—not the new creatures, but the flesh. Since, then, our Lord adopts the flesh of his followers as his, the church is said to be filling up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ—Col. 1:24.

 

ANTITYPICAL BURNING OUTSIDE THE CAMP: THE OSTRACISED CONDITION HEBREWS 13:11-13; LEVITICUS 16:27

 

"The Apostle Paul explains that only those animals which were sin-offerings were burned outside the camp. And then he adds, ‘Let us go to him, without the camp bearing the reproach with him’ (Heb. 13:11-13). Thus is furnished unquestionable evidence not only that the followers of Jesus are represented by this ‘Lord’s goat,’ but also that their sacrifice, reckoned in with their Head, Jesus, constitutes part of the world’s sin-offering. ‘The reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me’—Psalm 69:9.’

 

"The antitypical sacrificing began at the time of our Lord’s consecration, which was his full surrender of his life to God, to be used in any way that the Father saw fit and that his providences might direct. The church follows in his steps. Our consecration is our death to the world, to earthly hopes, aims and ambitions. In our Lord’s case we see that his sacrificial death not only meant the giving away of his physical strength in healing, teaching, etc., but included also the suffering resulting from the opposition of those about him. Even from members of his own family he experienced ostracism. So Jesus died daily." ‘13-R5173.

 

"The things which God offers us are eternal things. Is it any wonder that the Bible sets forth the importance of doctrine? Whoever is well indoctrinated from the real Bible viewpoint is strong in the Lord. Whoever is without this knowledge of the kingdom and without this spiritual sight and hearing will necessarily be weak, and will lack the evidence of being a new creature in Christ Jesus—2 Cor. 5:17.

 

A COMMON BUT DANGEROUS PRACTICE

 

"Incidentally we remark that some are disposed even to speak jestingly of the Lord and the Scriptures. This is a dangerous practice. ‘The REVERENCE of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom’; and it must continue in us, and increase as the years go by, if we would make our calling and election sure to the glorious things which God has in reservation for them that love him and reverence him—Job 28:28; Psalm 111:10.

 

"God prefers to use natural means rather than supernatural agencies; and all of his children should be alert to serve his cause at any and every moment. God’s purposes will be accomplished. But happy is he who is accounted worthy of the privilege of any service to the Lord or to the least of his brethren. Let us, then, be continually on the lookout, in an inquiring attitude of mind, desirous of knowing the mind of the Lord in every matter." ‘16-R5952, R5953.

 

"God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in Spirit and in truth"—John 4:24.

 

"He seeketh only such to worship him, and of this class there are but a few at the present time." ‘09 R4410—please see last p also; and ‘11-R4926 c 2 p 4.

 

Revelation 3

 

10  Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

 

Revelation 3:10 (RVENDAG_)

 

Verse 10. Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

 

Because the faithful of Philadelphia were so patient, cheerfully enduring the very sharp trials of martyrdom, therefore the trials of holding to the truth of today, were kept from them—the philosophy of the ransom, etc., and the facing of the great falling away of this period. See Rev. 3:21.

 

"THE HOUR OF TEMPTATION" Revelation 3:10

 

"... The Apostle wrote, ‘I hear that there are divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must also be heresies among you, that they which are approved may be mace manifest among you"—1 Cor. 11:18, 19). Here the division evidently must come; and evidently the sooner it comes, the better it will be for the Truth and for all who love it.

 

"BY MY SPIRIT, SAITH THE LORD" "... Even after we have been begotten of the holy Spirit our ability to understand spiritual things depends, not only upon our study of the Scriptures, which are able to make us wise, but also upon the measure of the holy Spirit which we possess. Hence the Apostle’s exhortation, ‘Be ye filled with the Spirit!’—Eph. 5:18.

 

"This means that only the spirit-begotten may understand the deep things of God at all; and that their understanding would be in proportion as they attain more and more a filling, a saturation with the spirit of holiness, the spirit of God, the spirit of Christ, the spirit of Truth...

 

"Additionally, let us remember that a correct understanding of the Lord’s Word... comes to those who are of a meek and teachable heart, who study the Lord’s Word and who live it and absorb its spirit. Thus we have illustrated 83 to us the divine declaration, ‘Not by might (greatness), nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts’—Zech. 4:6.

 

".. It is the thought of churchianity that only the great, the learned, the talented, should be the ministers of the Lord’s Word; but the Bible’s presentation is to the contrary of this. ‘The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because he bath anointed me to preach the good tidings to the meek’—Isaiah 61:1. ‘16-R5982.

 

"Surely He shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler (the deceptions of Satan), and from the noisome (havvah— mischief, calamity) pestilence (the pestilence which destroys).’

 

"Let our moderation be manifest to all, and let the fact that we know only in part and understand only in part help to keep us humble and moderate in word and deed and thought. Thus we shall best serve the interests of our Master and his cause, and be most in harmony with the teachings of his Word." ‘13-R5249.

 

"Let your moderation be known"—Phil. 4:5. "It is our conviction that the great time of trouble will come upon the world through the great adversary, Satan, and his fallen host. It will not surprise us to find evidences accumulating that the work of breaking down the human will through hypnotism, etc., is all a part of the great scheme by which shortly, gradually, increasingly, power will be exercised upon the minds of mankind—to excite them to unwisdom and to passion. Such of God’s children as shall have learned the lessons of his Word along the lines of moderation of thought, rest of heart in the Lord, patient waiting for his time and way, and assisted by the vow to careful self inspection and government daily, will be greatly blessed and by this means kept from the snare of the adversary—the hour of temptation is coming upon all that dwell upon the face of the whore Barth—Rev. 3:10." ‘13-R5250.

 

"The pestilence of infidelity will stalk abroad." ‘86-R844.

 

"Every error held obscures and hinders some truth; and we have now come to the time when every child of God needs all the panoply of truth—the Armor of God. He who has not on the ‘whole Armor of God’ is sure to fall into error in this ‘evil day,’ this ‘Hour of Temptation.’... And ‘judgment must begin at the house of God.’ ‘Who shall be able to stand?’ None except those who are ‘building themselves up in the most holy faith’ with the precious promises and vital doctrines of the Word of God. " Eph 6:11 1Pe 4:17 Re 6:17 Jude 20. ‘15-R5801.

 

"THE HOUR OF TEMPTATION"

 

"Because thou hast kept the word of My patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth"—Revelation 3:10.

 

"Our Lord’s words addressed ‘to the angel of the church in Philadelphia,’ had their fulfillment, we understand, during the period which closed somewhere about the time when the harvest of this age began. We are not to think of the different epochs represented in the messages to the various churches as being exact periods, as though there was a particular instant of beginning and a particular instant of closing. Rather we are to understand each to be a general period, which laps over the one on the other. So this period of faithfulness to the Lord’s Word of which our text treats seems to have been one of some length, just as this Laodicean period in which we live has covered a considerable time, but is nearly ended now, we think." ‘15-R5718

 

TRANSITION PERIODS OVERLAP

 

"Man’s creation, the final work, came in the close of the sixth day, or epoch, and the beginning of the seventh: as it is written—’And on the seventh day God ended his work which he made, and he rested.’ "The next few years shall give us further paroxysms of nature; for we are in another transition period—the opening of the Millennial age, for which changed conditions are requisite.

 

"The achievements of one epoch-day were carried over into the next, and we are justified in supposing that the light of the first day became more and more distinct during the next two, as ring after ring came down from the waters above the firmament to the waters below it, until by the fourth epoch-day the sun and moon and stars could be seen...’

 

"We may reasonably assume that it was just at the close of the sixth epoch-day that God created man; because his creation was the last, and it is distinctly stated that God finished his creative work, not on the sixth, but ‘on the seventh day’—the division of the man into two persons, two sexes, being, evidently, the final act.’

 

"The relationship of the Son to the work of restitution with which this Seventh Epoch-Day will close and bring terrestrial perfection, will be wholly different from any of his previous works. In all the previous creations the Son simply acted for Jehovah, using powers and energies not in any sense his own; but in this grand work to come he will be using a power and authority that are his own—which cost him 34 years of humiliation, culminating in his crucifixion. By that transaction, which the Father’s wisdom and love planned for him, he ‘bought’ the world, bought Father Adam and all his progeny, and his estate—the earth—with all his title to it as its monarch ‘in the likeness of God.’ The Father delighted to honor the ‘First Begotten,’ and therefore planned it thus, and rested, or ceased from creative processes, that the Son might thus honor him and be honored by him.

 

"It is now a little more than six thousand years since Jehovah rested in the sense of ceasing to create. His rest will continue throughout the Millennium—the thousand years of the reign of the great Mediator, effecting ‘the restitution of all things...’ Acts 3:21." Please read F Chap. 1; and D 642 "The Glorious Prospect" through chap. 14, "Jehovah’s Footstool Made Glorious.’

 

Please resume reading ‘15-R5718 p 2 through "Disappointment of Miller Movement a Sifting", and "Fall of Faith for a Time" c 2 p 1, 2; C, chapter 3, pages C84-C94.

 

"So the present crisis is surely a time of great trial upon the whole world. Many of these have constituted a nominal church; and in this period of testing and shaking all church systems will go completely to pieces. Babylon will fall; for she is neither able nor worthy to stand in this great trial day. and great will be her fall! It will mean for a little time the general destruction of faith—the fall of faith, we think. This 84 seems to be the meaning of the prophecy, ‘For the Lord shall rise up as in Mount Perazim, he shall be wrath as in the valley of Gibeon; that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act’ (Isaiah 28:21). Those not having understood, not having given heed to the Word, will be entirely disconcerted." ‘15-R5718.

 

"We shall never lose our courage if we keep our eyes continually fixed on him, and our hand closely clasped in his. God’s eternal promises are the foundation upon which all that we hope, either of character, or of coming glory, is built. And what a strong foundation! Let us be faithful to him who bath called us. Let us hold the glorious truth not only in the letter, but also in the spirit. Let us hold it in the love of it, because it is the truth, as well as because of its matchless beauty and grandeur.

 

"Let us ever remember the importance of patient endurance, constancy, that we may develop the fruits of the holy spirit, that we may take joyfully every trial, every persecution, every difficulty, which our God in his infinite wisdom and love may permit to come upon us for our testing and the ripening of that character which is of paramount importance, and without which we can never hope to see our Father’s face, nor partake of the glory to which we have been called with Christ. Let us indeed ‘hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for he is faithful who promised.’ Let us, ‘hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope, firm unto the end.’ Yes, ‘we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope’ unto death—Hebrews 3:6; 10:23; 6:11. ‘14-R5497.

 

"The reign of the Prince of Righteousness has not yet begun. We are under the reign of the Prince of darkness." ‘15-R5778 Hymn 27 Numbers 6:24-26.

 

"Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: fo