God’s Best Gift
The Boys and Girls of Today—The Men and Women of Tomorrow
A Splendid Book, Especially for Children, Based Upon "The Divine Plan of the Ages"
Publishers and Distributors of "GLAD TIDINGS FOR "LL"
62 East Lake Street
Price, 25c Per Copy
GOD’s BEST GIFT TO ALL
P R E F A C E
Are the Children Safe?
THE BOYS AND GIRLS OF TODAY
YOUR BOYS AND GIRLS WILL BE THE MEN AND WOMEN OF TOMORROW
Reports from the Courts, and from Social Workers, coupled with personal experience amongst Christian people—whose own children know so very little "Bout the Bible, and "Bout God and "Bout Jesus, His Son, whom He sent to redeem lost mankind— the children as well as the rest, have been reasons for publishing the series of
ILLUSTRATED JUNIOR BIBLE STORIES FOR THE CHILDREN OF ALL GRADES
This is the general title to A Series of Bible Stories, covering various parts of the Bible, told by a consecrated Parent, and told in such an interesting and simple way that the children will quickly grasp the thoughts, and ask to hear the stories over and over.
The following poem well illustrates the matter:
THE MAN TO BE
By EDGAR A. GUEST
Some day the world will need a man of courage in a time of doubt,
And somewhere, as a little boy, that future hero plays about.
Within some humble home, no doubt, that instrument of greater things
Now climbs upon his father’s knee or to his mother’s garments clings.
And when shall come that call for him to render service that is fine,
He that shall do God’s mission here may be your little boy or mine.
Long years of preparation mark the pathway for the splendid souls,
And generations live and die and seem no nearer to their goals,
And yet the purpose of it all, the fleeting pleasure and the woe,
The laughter and the grief of life that all who come to earth must know
May be to pave the way for one—one man to serve the Will Divine
And it is possible that he may be your little boy or mine.
Some day the world will need a man! I stand beside his cot at night
And wonder if I"m teaching him, as best I can, to know the right.
I am the father of a boy—his life is mine to make or mar—
And he no better can become than what my daily teachings are;
There will be need for someone great—I dare not falter from the line—
The man that is to serve the world may be that little boy of mine.
Perhaps your boy and mine may not ascend the lofty heights of fame;
The orders for their births are hid. We know not why to earth they came.
Yet in some little bed tonight the great man of tomorrow sleeps
And only He who sent him here, the secret of his purpose keeps,
As fathers then our care is this—to keep in mind the Great Design,
The man the world will need some day may be your little boy or mine.
Many a parent now regrets the fact that when their children were developing and their minds were in a receptive condition, they did not have more training in sacred matters. And who knows to what extent this Scripture applies to those parents:
"He that provideth not for his own (in spiritual matters, as well as in temporal things) is worse than an infidel and has denied the faith."
While we cannot undo the past WHAT ABOUT THE FUTURE? The answer is that we can help to make the future men and women by molding and shaping the boys and girls of today, not only our own children, but assist other parents throughout the world to teach their children the Truth as contained in God’s Great Plan, so clearly set forth in the Bible, and which is told in such a simple and appealing manner for children in these ILLUSTR"TED JUNIOR BIBLE STORIES.
The good work goes on. Are you doing your share in this great work?
"Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of the least of these, ye did it unto Me."
All Christians, ESPECIALLY IF PARENTS, would do well if they saw to it that not only their children are given a copy of this interesting book, but should also be glad to DISTRIBUTE COPIES FAR AND WIDE AMONGST OTHER PEOPLE—hence the exceedingly low price.
No other book contains the real Truth, told in such simple language as does this book. And, while other parents, to whom you may give copies of the book, may read it to their children, who can tell how much they themselves will unconsciously drink in the Truth, and some of them will be sure to be awakened to inquire for still further Truth reading matter—and thus you will be doing a double work—helping both children and adults.
Therefore, in addition to helping your own children, "LL are cordially invited to co-operate in sending these blessings to others.
"GOD’s BEST GIFT"
IN THREE PARTS
THE BABY JESUS—THE BOY JESUS—THE MAN JESUS
For a long long time, we have heard and read about Christmas and a little baby Jesus, who
was born on that day, and now we are going to tell you something of what is really meant by Christmas, and why we are so happy on that day.
At Sunday School we often see children get up on the platform and tell about a little baby born in a manger in the little town of Bethlehem, and "Bout the angels singing to some shepherds who were watching their flocks by night.
Then other little children get up and tell "Bout Three Wise Men who came from the East and were guided by a very bright Star, which moved across the sky until it was over the place where the little baby lay.
THE BABY JESUS
Why is it, do you suppose, that this little baby has been made so much of, and talked and sung and read about? Many, many other little babies have come into the world, but I do not believe that any little baby was ever talked about as much as the little baby Jesus. I suppose if you and I had seen him, he would have looked just like other little babies we have seen; and, no doubt, the Three Wise Men who were guided by that bright star on that First Christmas Night, also thought he looked just like other babies they had seen.
WHERE JESUS WAS BORN
As they looked upon that little, wee form of flesh and blood, cuddled in his mother’s arms, they doubtless wondered just a little "Bout the strange and wonderful thing that happened on
that First Christmas Night. And just think, dear children, that little baby, "Bout whom so much has been said and done throughout the whole world, was not lying in a nice clean bed, like you have, in a pretty room, with white lace curtains at the windows; neither was his little cradle painted white, with pretty pink covers, etc., like many children have today. For you know when anyone is expecting a little baby to come to their home, the nicest little things are prepared for it—a pretty little soft pillow, white sheets, downy covers, and everything just as nice and dainty as can be—but this little baby Jesus had nothing like that, because he was born in a stable or barn. We do not know whether or not there were any cows and donkeys and sheep in that barn, but we do know that stables and barns are for such animals, and it was in just such a place that this dear little baby was born. Perhaps you remember that beautiful little song so many children have sung:
Away in a manger, no crib for his bed,
The little Lord Jesus lay down his wee head.
The stars in the bright sky looked down where he lay,
The little Lord Jesus, asleep on the hay.
He must indeed have been a wonderful baby, because so many people write and sing "Bout him—don’t you think so?
WHEN GOD WAS ALONE
Now we are going to take you way back, oh so many thousands of years, before Jesus every came down to this earth and was born as a humble little baby in a manger. You have all heard "Bout God, and that His home is in Heaven, but did you ever stop to think that at one time, God was all alone? Well, He was. We cannot tell from where God came, but the Bible tells us that God had always lived. He is such a wonderful being, and so very wise, that we can never hope to be as wise as He, but we know that any person who could make such wonderful things as heaven and this world, and all the wonderful things that are in them, must be very wise indeed. But even though he was so wise, He must have been quite lonesome and longed to have someone with whom He might talk. If you had a lovely home with a beautiful yard, beautiful flowers and trees in which the little birds would sit and sing, you would not love it half so much, if you were all alone with nobody to talk to, would you?
GOD ALONE UNTIL JESUS
I suppose God must have thought the same thing, so He created Jesus, that is, He made him, but God did not create him like a little baby at that time, but as a spirit being like Himself, and because God created or made Jesus, God was his Father. Re 3:14; 1Pe 1:3; Joh 20:17.
Now God is not a human being like our fathers and mothers, but He is a spirit being. None of us know just what spirit beings are like, because our human eyes cannot see them, but the Bible tells us that they are very wise and powerful. So God made Jesus a spirit being.
How lovely it must have been then for God to have some one to talk to! How He must have loved His only Son, and how Jesus must have loved his Father! Then, instead of there being only ONE being in Heaven, there were TWO beings, God the FATHER, and His only begotten SON, Jesus.
Now that God had someone with whom He could talk, He began to tell Jesus "Bout His plans, what He intended to do, etc., and they became partners—God and Jesus; and, from that time everything that was made, was made by them; that is, they did everything together. A"LL things are OF God but BY Jesus." 1Co 8:6; Joh 1:3; Col 1:16, 17.
They made Cherubims, Seraphims, Angels, the sun, moon and all the stars—everything. And so, by and by, they had a whole host of heavenly or spirit beings who could work and sing and praise God. What a nice family God then had around Him; they were those who loved, worshiped, obeyed and worked for Him. What good times they must have had working and singing beautiful songs as they were busy helping God and Jesus make the sun and moon and stars and then get this earth ready for man to live on!
We know they must have known how to sing, because on that First Christmas Night, when Jesus was born on earth as a little baby, the angels sang:
"Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace,
Goodwill toward men."
GOD LIKES MANY KINDS OF THINGS
But, although God and Jesus had made all of those wonderful spirit beings, God always loved Jesus best, and God placed him in charge over all the other beings in Heaven. We do know that one day God thought and planned to make some other things besides spirit beings, because God seems to like a variety; that is, He does not want everything just alike. If He did we would not have a great variety, such as lilies, roses, pansies and other flowers, but all our flowers would be lilies or some other flower. And so it would be with animals, birds, trees, stones, jewels, etc. We would not want just one kind of animal, or just one kind of bird, or one kind of tree, etc. Just so, God did not want all the beings to be spirit beings, so He decided to make some human beings that could live on this earth.
You see, we did not always have this beautiful earth, so in order to have a home for the human beings God intended to create, He caused this earth to come into existence. When He first made it, the earth was like a large hot ball or globe, and it took many years for it to cool off, and during that time it is said of it that "the earth was VOID." By that we mean that there was nothing on it, no trees, nor flowers; no birds, no animals and no people; neither were there any mountains and valleys—just empty and void like a big ball of dirt.
THE GARDEN OF EDEN A BEAUTIFUL PLACE
Now you can see what a wonderful God we have. He decided to take this great ball of dirt and make it into a beautiful home for the human beings He intended to create or make. So, on this great ball of dirt, called Earth, He made a beautiful park, which God called "The Garden of Eden," full of flowers, green grass, trees and beautiful bushes; with different kinds of animals running "Bout, and birds to fly in the air from tree to tree, singing their sweet songs. He also made lakes and rivers and filled them with many different kinds of fishes. But God had no one on earth to take care of this beautiful Garden, which He called "Eden," and all the animals in it. So He said to Jesus, who was the one who always obeyed and helped Him:
"Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness." (Ge 1:26.)
By that He meant, someone who was like them in many ways, although not a spirit being, for the being He was now going to make would be "of the earth, earthy." You see God had a large family of spirit beings, of whom I told you, but He also wanted a family of human beings who would love and obey Him and live on this earth instead of in heaven. So we read in the Bible that,
"God formed man out of the dust of the ground." (Ge 2:7.)
HOW GOD MADE MAN
You all know how boys and girls make images or forms of dolls and animals out of clay, etc., but they cannot see or talk or move, can they? Well this form that God made out of the dust of the earth had eyes and could not see, ears that could not hear, a nose that could not smell, and a mouth that could not speak. This form was shaped like a man, but had no life in it, and could not move its legs and arms nor wink an eyelid, nor think. It might make you think of an
automobile that men make, with all the machinery in it, but it will not move, unless gasoline is put into it. That is just how God did; He put all the necessary parts or human machinery into the form which is called man; and when He had everything ready, He caused that form to have life and begin to move. How did He do it, you ask? Well the Bible tells us that,
"God blew into his nostrils the breath of lives, (margin) and he BECAME a living soul." (Ge 2:7.)
Many people THINK or imagine they read in the Bible that God blew a soul into the nostrils of this man; but that is not what the Bible says. It says that He blew into his nostrils "THE BREATH OF LIVES," just like men put gasoline into an automobile to make it go, and that then this man or form made out of the dust of the ground, and which could not move, "BECAME a LIVING SOUL"; that is, he began to move, just like the automobile can move after the gasoline is put into it. This man began to move because he could breathe. Then he began to see and hear and talk and taste and smell—he had become "a living soul" or being, a human being, because he was made out of the earth and could live on this beautiful earth in the Garden of Eden, which God had prepared for him—he had become a living human soul. It always requires a form and the breath of life to make any kind of a soul, whether it is a spirit soul, an animal soul, or a human soul.
Then God caused him to walk "Bout in the beautiful Garden and see all the lovely things that He had prepared for him, and God told him that he was to take care of the Garden and keep it trimmed and looking real nice and clean.
GOD WARNS ADAM
There were many kinds of fruit-bearing trees in the Garden; but God told Adam, for that was the name God gave to this first man, that he could eat of the fruit of all the trees, except one of them; and if he did eat of the fruit of that tree he would be disobeying, and God told Adam just what the punishment would be—that he would let him die (Ge 2:17; Eze 18:4, 20). This means that he could not live any longer in the beautiful Garden, but that the breath of life which God had blown into Adam and which caused Adam to live and move "Bout, would be taken away from him; and that then his body which God had made out of the dust of the ground would go back into dust again: and then of course there would not be any Adam, for he could not think and he would become just as though he had not been created. (Psa 146:4; Ge 3:19.)
Now children, would you not think that would be a dreadful punishment and that Adam would think a long, long while before he would disobey such a kind, loving God who made him and all the other things in the world? There was plenty in the garden for Adam to eat, and we would not suppose that Adam would think of touching the fruit that God had told him not to eat of. Even if it had been the best fruit in the Garden, we would think Adam would have wanted to obey his loving heavenly Father. But we will soon see how much Adam did really love God, and whether Adam was thankful for all that God had done for him.
Although Adam had many things to do in the Garden, and many things to look at, the birds, the flowers, the trees, the animals, the lakes and rivers and hills, yet he often got lonesome for some other human being with whom he could talk and exchange thoughts. Of course, he could talk to the monkeys and other animals and to the birds, but they could not talk and reason
with him, and so he was lonesome, just as God must have been lonesome in heaven before he created or made Jesus. Therefore, God, who loves to see His people happy, said to Jesus:
"It is not good for man to be alone, I will make an helpmate for him." (Ge 2:18.)
GOD MAKES A WIFE FOR ADAM
So, one day, God caused Adam to take a long, long nap, and while Adam was sleeping soundly, God took one of Adam’s ribs, and from that rib He made a woman, or wife for Adam, to be his helpmate.
What a surprise was in store for Adam when he awakened! Do you not think he was a very happy man to see some other living human being besides himself? I surely think he was. God called their name Adam, like we would say, Mr. and Mrs. Adam, and He told them to be fruitful and fill the whole earth with other men and women like themselves.
"And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living." (Ge 3:20.)
ADAM’s FATHER WAS NOT A MONKEY
And now I want to tell you something very funny; and that is this: Many people, grown-up people too, instead of believing what I just told you what the Bible says how God made man and woman, they try to believe that somehow or other Adam’s father was a monkey. Just think of that! You have all seen monkeys, haven’t you? You remember what cute, funny animals they are; they have long tails and also have hands on their feet, so that they can jump from one limb of a tree to another, or hang to a limb of a tree by curling their tail around the limb, and then swing back and forth. But you have never heard them talk, have you? Of course not, because they are not men, they are just monkeys. But the people who say Adam’s father was a monkey, say that in some way the monkey that was Adam’s father, lost his tail, and the fingers on his feet turned into toes, and most of the hair came off his body, and that he began to talk. Now, isn’t that silly? How plain the Bible is when we read there that GOD MADE BOTH ADAM AND EVE, and then, of course, God was their father. Would you rather have God for your heavenly Father, or have a monkey for your father? I would much rather believe the Bible, and know that God is my Father! Wouldn’t you?
LUCIFER A BEAUTIFUL ANGEL
Adam and Eve must have been very happy in their new home, for they had so many things to be thankful for. But I am now going to tell you of another being who did not want to see Adam and Eve happy—he was a very beautiful angel, one of the spirit beings whom God had made, long, long before Adam was created. God had placed him as a "covering cherub" in the Garden of Eden, that is one to watch over and take care of that first pair of human beings. But although he was a very beautiful angel, he let bad thoughts come into his mind, and when he saw how happy this first human pair was, and heard God tell Adam that he was to have the rule over
all the things on the earth if he would be good and obey, it caused envy and jealousy to spring up in the heart of this angel; and he coveted this power and happiness which God had given to Adam and Eve, and he said in his heart:
"I will be like the Most High." (Isa14:14.)
Just think, he was jealous of God! That was very, very wrong for this angel, whose name was Lucifer; because he was very beautiful, and he should have been happy and contented to remain where God had placed him and do the things that God gave him to do.
SATAN TELLS A FALSEHOOD
But no! One day when Mother Eve was alone in the Garden of Eden, this Lucifer made himself look like a serpent or snake, came into the Garden, and in some way talked to Eve and asked her if God had said she and Adam could not eat the fruit from all the trees; and she told him that they could eat the fruit from all the trees, except one, and that God had said that if they did eat of it THEY WOULD DIE. And what do you think this Lucifer, who had become a bad angel, said? He said something that was not true—a terrible falsehood—for he said,
"Thou SHALT NOT surely die." (Ge 3:4.)
Was not that wicked of him? It was just the same as telling Eve that God had not told the truth. What would you have said to that old serpent? Would you not have told him to go away, that you were going to believe what God said and obey him? Yes, that is what Eve should have done, but she did not. She disobeyed God and ate the "forbidden fruit," and she did not stop there, but when Adam came back to her, she tempted him, and "He did eat." Adam was the head or man of that family, and God blamed him for what was done; and when he disobeyed, he did a very wicked thing, because that sin of Adam fell upon all of the children that Adam and Eve had later—the whole human family.
ADAM AND EVE DRIVEN FROM HOME
Then they were, oh, so afraid, and tried to hide themselves from God when they heard his voice in the Garden. But God who knows everything, found them, and when they had confessed to Him that they had disobeyed by eating of the "forbidden fruit," He made them go out of that nice Garden, which had been their happy home, and placed angels with flaming swords at the gate, so that they could not go back into the Garden, Ge 3:24; because in the Garden was another kind of tree, the eating of which would cause them to live; and since they had disobeyed God, He could not let them go back and live, because He had told them that if they ate of the "forbidden" fruit they would DIE, and so die they must, and not only themselves, but all of Adam’s children and grandchildren—all the world of mankind must die because of what Adam did. Ge 3:19; 1Co 15:21, 22; Ro 6:23; Ro 5:12; Ro 5:19; Re 12:9.
Because Lucifer caused that first human pair to sin, God changed his name to Satan, which means adversary.
A SAD FAMILY
What a sad family that was! Never before had anyone died, and now, instead of a happy human family living on earth in a beautiful Garden which God had made especially for them, and in which they could have lived forever if they had obeyed God, we find that they lost that beautiful Garden and were driven out into the unprepared earth, and they became a dying family; for, since that day, everyone who has come into the world has lived a little while and then died. And that is the reason that we hear today of people dying—little babies, little boys and girls, old men and women—all because Adam disobeyed God. Even though some lived 600 or 900 years, like Noah and Methuselah, yet they died. None can keep themselves alive and live forever, as was told Adam that he could if he would obey God. Today, if we hear of anyone living to be even one hundred years old, it is considered very wonderful, and that fact is published in the newspaper. Thus you see, dear children, what can come from just one disobedient act. What a sad thing it has been, not only for Adam and Eve, but for all the human family who are their children.
SADNESS TURNED TO JOY
As we think ‘bout this it makes a very sad and dark picture, like a dark cloud; but I think you have all heard the saying that,
"Every cloud has its silver lining."
Therefore, we are not going to leave this story looking like a black cloud, but we will turn it inside out and see its silver lining.
I am now coming to the beginning of my story about the First Christmas, and why we hear so much about this baby boy Jesus who was born at Christmas time. I wish all the boys and girls in all the whole world to know why we love God and Jesus so much, because it will make them happy too. You see, when Jesus lived in heaven with God, long, long before Adam and Eve were created, he just loved to obey and please his heavenly Father; and so when Adam disobeyed by eating of the "forbidden" fruit, it made God very sad. I suppose God and Jesus talked ‘bout it a good deal because they loved Adam and Eve, even though Adam and Eve had sinned, and even though they had caused death to come into the world, so that ever since both they and their children have been dying. It was all Adam’s fault, for Adam and Even could have kept from disobeying if they had wanted to. But, what do you think! God is so good He thought of a way whereby He could show His great love to Adam and Eve and their children, and at the same time keep His word when He said they would die if they disobeyed Him. Only a God who knows everything, like our God, could do a thing like that, and he also knew he had power to carry out such a plan. What do you think that plan was? It was a plan to bring back "LL the human family from the grave—death. My, what a wonderful plan that is! I guess Adam did not really know how many people would be made sad on account of his disobedience, but all of us who have lived on earth know all "Bout it. We do not like to see father, mother, brother or sister die, do we? It is so lonesome without them, and we miss their voices and happy smiling faces, and so we just wish we could all live on and on forever on this beautiful earth, and never die, don’t we? Well, dear children, that is just what our dear, loving heavenly Father is going to have done some day;
He will turn sadness into joy by bringing them all out of death, and that is the plan "Bout which God and Jesus talked.
You see, God had told Adam that if he disobeyed by eating the Aforbidden" fruit that he would die, and so He was obliged to punish Adam when he did sin. But God told Jesus that if he could find someone without sin, who would die for Adam and his children, God would take away the death penalty from the human family; that is, people would not get sick any more and die, but could live on and on and be happy forever. You see, Adam disobeyed God and thus sinned, and that was what made all of Adam’s children sin, because Adam was their father and sin was in him after he disobeyed—none of Adam’s children, that is the human family, are perfect, because of this sin which came from Adam. It is just like a fountain from which flows water. If some dirt or poison gets into that fountain, then all the water which comes from it is dirty or poisoned. So you see that this is the reason why no man on earth could die for Adam, because all the people on earth are Adam’s children and his sin, like so much poison, has been passed on from Adam to his children, and that is why the Bible tells us that all are sinners, that "There is none righteous, no not one, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." (Ro 3:10, 23.)
HOW MUCH JESUS LOVES US
Jesus was not a child of Adam, but was a perfect spirit being living with God in heaven, and so when God told Jesus that it would be necessary for a perfect man to die for Adam, Jesus told God that he would be glad to do God’s will and be changed from a spirit being to a human being to be just like Adam was when he was perfect before he sinned, and then take Adam’s place in death, so that Adam and all the children whom Adam had brought into the world might come up out of death. Do you not think Jesus loved us all a great deal to leave his heavenly Father and his beautiful home in heaven so that he could, by dying for the world of mankind, bring them up out of death and stop all the pain and sickness and crying and dying. (He 10:7; 12:2).)
HOW MUCH GOD LOVES US
Then, too, think how much God loved us to send His only Son down here to die for the world. I guess all boys and girls know that wonderful verse, Joh 3:16, which means so much that some people call it, the Little Bible. Everyone should learn to repeat that verse, it says:
"For God so loved the world that HE gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him might not perish, but have everlasting life." (Joh 3:16.)
That means life forever and forever, and not for just a few years like people live now.
Now, if Jesus had remained a little baby, he could not have died for Adam, because Adam was a man when he sinned, and it had to be a man just like Adam to die for Adam. You know, children, that when boys now grow to be twenty-one years of age, they are said to have become men, but in the days of Jesus it was different, their law required that they must grow to be thirty years of age before their law called them men.
THE BOY JESUS
WHEN JESUS WAS A BOY
SO, instead of Jesus remaining a little baby boy, he grew older and bigger every day, just like any boy. The Bible does not tell us much "Bout Jesus when he was a little boy or when he was a young man, except when he was "Bout twelve years he was taken by Joseph and Mary, his mother, up to Jerusalem. In those days people did not travel like we do now on trains and in automobiles and airships, but they either walked on foot or rode on little donkeys. At the time Jesus was taken up to Jerusalem a large crowd of people went also, and they called such a crowd, a caravan. Besides donkeys they also had some camels. Well, when they got to Jerusalem there were so many people there that Jesus became separated from Joseph and Mary, and when it came time for the people to return home, Joseph and Mary thought Jesus was somewhere in the caravan with other people, but after they had traveled homeward for quite a distance, they could not find Jesus. So they became quite alarmed "Bout him and went back to Jerusalem to see if they could find him. Well, they did find him, but where do you suppose they found him? They said they had looked everywhere for him, and finally they came to the beautiful Temple, and there he was talking with the priests, and asking them all kinds of questions "Bout the Bible. He was more interested in the Bible than in anything else in Jerusalem, because it told him all about God. So, when Joseph and Mary told him they had looked everywhere for him he said, "Wist ye not that I would be in my Father’s house?"
The more we learn "Bout God, the more we ought to have to study and ask questions "Bout the Bible just as Jesus did.
Jesus then went home with Joseph and Mary and the Bible tells us that he was always obedient to them, and lived with them until he had grown to be thirty years of age. Then he was ready to do the work that God had for him to do, which was to die for Adam and all Adam’s children, by taking Adam’s place in death. That is the reason that some day Adam and all people will come out of death, not only the men and women and boys and girls and little babies who have died in the United States, but all the people who have died all over the world-those in Europe, India, China, Japan, South America, Australia, all the Islands in the sea, and everywhere, because they are all Adam’s children. My, won’t Adam be surprised when he comes back from death and sees all his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, all the people who have lived on the earth!
THE MAN JESUS
JESUS BAPTIZED IN JORDAN
Jesus did not die as soon as he was thirty years of age, but at that time he gave himself to God and told God that he would be glad to do everything God wanted him to do, and that he was ready to die whenever God wanted him to. To prove that he was willing to do just what God wanted, Jesus was baptized in the River Jordan by John the Baptist. John let Jesus down into the water, so that the water covered him all over, just like the dirt covers people over when they are
buried in the ground. That was a picture of Jesus showing by his actions that he was willing that God should let him down into the real death for Adam.
THE GREAT PHYSICIAN
After he was baptized Jesus still lived on earth a few years, and he was always going "Bout helping people that were sick to get well and preaching "Bout the good time God was preparing for all the people. He opened the blind eyes, made lame men to walk, and was just lovely to everybody. And, he got all his help from God, his heavenly Father. That is why he could do such wonderful things, and when he saw people crying and feeling badly, he felt very sorry for them. But even though Jesus was good and helped so many people, some of them did not like him, and they killed him by nailing him to a cross. It also looked as though God had forgotten him, because God let those wicked people kill him, but God had not forgotten him. You see, God knew that when Jesus came into the world that he would have to die to carry out God’s great plan to save all the rest of the world whom Adam had gotten into death. God had so much power He could have made the people leave Jesus alone and not kill him, but if God had stopped them, and if Jesus had never died, then there would not have been anyone to take Adam’s place in death, and so you and I and all the people who have ever lived anywhere on this earth, would have had to remain dead forever.
GOD MADE JESUS LIVE AGAIN
Jesus was obedient and faithful to God, even though it meant that he had to die such a hard death on the cross, but as a reward for his faithfulness, God made Jesus alive again, not this time as a human being, but much greater than a human being, and even greater than Jesus was when he had been in heaven with God before he came to earth on that First Christmas. Thus we see that by serving and obeying God, Jesus not only pleased God very much, but God gave him a better life than he had before, and so it is with all of us—the more we study the Bible and learn to obey and please God, the more He likes it and God will surely give all such a great blessing some time, even if we do not get everything we want now. For you know, Jesus did not have everything nice when he was on earth, but now he is happy and is a most wonderful being. And, so it will be with all of us, if we love God and obey Him in the things we read in His book, the Bible, we will some day be very, very happy, and can live forever and ever in the sunshine of God’s love, enjoying everything that He will then have ready for the whole world of mankind to enjoy. Won’t that be grand?
WHAT CHRISTMAS MEANS
Because Jesus died and God raised him up out of death is the reason you and I and all the boys and girls and grown-up people too, will be awakened from death and raised up, all of Adam’s children, the whole human family who have died since Adam and Eve sinned and were driven out of the Garden of Eden. Some of these people died long, long before Jesus came to earth as a little B"be on that First Christmas Night. And, until he died and rose from the dead no
one else could live, because God said that if Adam ever lived again, someone would have to die for him. And so Christmas means that Jesus came on that day so that all people can live again. Don’t you think we have a wonderful God to make such a Plan, and won’t we be happy when everybody wakes up and comes out of their graves?
A GREAT SECRET
Well, you may wonder why it is that all people who had died did not come out of their graves and begin to live again, as soon as Jesus died for them. That is a great secret, and is one of the most interesting stories you ever heard. I suppose you have all had secrets which other boys and girls could not find out until you told them what the secrets were—they were kept guessing all the time what the secrets were until you told them. Well, God had a secret which He kept hid for a long, long time, and the Bible tells us that many people looked and looked and tried in every way to find out what God’s secret was (1Pe 1:11, 12), but they could not until after Jesus died and then God told the Apostle Paul what it was, so that he could write some letters to all the people who love Jesus and tell them; and now, I am going to tell you too what that secret is that God kept hidden so long.
You will remember I told you in the first part of this story that Adam was alone for some time in the Garden with no one but the monkeys and other animals and birds to talk to, and he was very lonesome. You will remember that Adam was so lonesome that God said it was not good for Adam to live alone, and so he made a beautiful woman to be Adam’s wife. Now God loved Jesus just as much as he did Adam, and when God raised Jesus from death and made him a very wonderful spirit being, ready for the great work of waking up all the other dead people, so as to make them happy, God saw that it would not be good for Jesus to be alone, as that kind of a spirit being, and do so much work, so God decided to make a wife for Jesus. That is the great secret. But this wife for Jesus would be different from the wife God gave to Adam, she would not be a human wife to live on earth, because Jesus is now a wonderful spirit being, living in heaven; and so Jesus’ wife must be just like him, spiritual too.
As Jesus is a much more wonderful being than was Adam, so Jesus’ wife will be much more wonderful and grand than was Adam’s wife, and instead of one being for a wife, Jesus’ wife will be made up of a number of beings, and all those beings together will be called, ‘Jesus’ bride or wife," and will all be called by Jesus’ name. I will explain how a number of people can be called by one name: Most all of you boys and girls go to school, don’t you? Well, let us imagine we are visiting a school, and as we come to one room, we ask, Who are all those children? What does our guide tell us? Does he say, Those are Mary, and John, and Bessie, and Henry and William and Gladys, and give the separate name for each boy and girl in the room? No, our guide will say, Those children in that room are the Third Grade. So you see, that while all the children in that room have their own names, yet all together they are called by one name, the Third Grade. Well, that is just the way it will be with Jesus’ wife. While all the people who will make up Jesus’ wife will each have their own names, and maybe their names too will be, Mary, and John, and
Bessie, and Henry, and William and Gladys, just like those children in the Third Grade, but altogether, their name will be called, Jesus’ Bride or Wife.
FINDING JESUS’ BRIDE
In order that Jesus might have a wife, all these people must be found (Joh 1:11, 12; Ac 15:14; Ga 3:27, 28), and then they must be made ready so that they can live with Jesus, and this has taken a long time. You know that now when men get married they take a long time looking around to find the right person, because they do not marry everybody they see. A man wants the nicest lady he can find for his bride—nice looking, nice acting, loving and kind. Just so with the Bride of Jesus, everybody will not be his Bride, only those who are thankful for what Jesus has done for them, and who are trying to be loving and kind just like Jesus was. Would you like to be a part of the Bride of Jesus, and see him as he is now, and be with him, and be just like him? (Joh 3:2.) Well, the best time to begin to get ready to be a part of his Bride is while you are children and grow more and more like Jesus each day. God knew that some people would like to be Jesus’ Bride, but they did not know how, so God had a big letter or book written, which we call the Bible, and it tells us just what we ought to do and how we should live if we would ever be a part of His Son’s Bride. That is why we have Sunday Schools and study the Bible. It is the most wonderful book in the whole world, and the more we study it the more we become like Jesus. Do you think God will be "Ble to find enough people who love God and Jesus now, so that God can make them the way He wants them to live with Jesus? Yes, we know God will find them, because the Bible, which is such a wonderful book, sometimes tells us what is going to happen many, many years before it happens, and in the Bible, we read that, "The Bride hath made herself ready." What will she be ready for? The Bible says she will be ready to be married to Jesus. My, won’t that be a wonderful wedding! And would you not like to be at that wedding? And, better still, would you not like to be of that Bride Class, so that you could live with Jesus and help him bless all the boys and girls and grown-ups too when they are awakened from death. Well, if you will do just what God says in the Bible, perhaps you can be at that wedding and be a part of Jesus’ Bride.
Wouldn’t you think everybody would like to be a part of Jesus’ Bride? I would think so, but they do not, and because they do not, that is the reason it has taken so many years since Jesus died for God to find enough people who will try to please Him and be obedient like Jesus was obedient. People are told "Bout this wonderful secret which God kept hidden so many years, but they do not believe it. They think they would like to have what they call, "fun" now, rather than try to go "Bout like Jesus did, doing good and telling other people ‘bout God.
ALL PEOPLE HAPPY
Well, some day God will have enough of such people who love Him and who have tried to do as Jesus did, and then that most wonderful wedding will take place "Before the Great White Throne." And then, what will happen? Well, then, all those people who make up this Bride of Jesus will be set to work by Jesus to wake up all the dead people (Joh 5:28), and tell them that Jesus died for them, and that if they will believe what Jesus then tells them, that they will never die
again. How glad all of Jesus’ Bride will be to do that work, because their work will be to not only wake them up from death, but their work will also be to open the blind eyes, unstop the deaf ears, make the lame people walk and jump (the 35th chapter of Isaiah [Isa 35])—there will be no more little boys and girls, or anyone else then that will have to walk on crutches, but they will be able to leap and run and jump better than any boys and girls ever did before. Other work that this Bride will have to do will be to make people talk and sing who could not talk and sing, and oh, what songs they will sing "Bout God and Jesus—they will just be happy all the day long, and every day they will grow to love God and Jesus and his Bride more and more. Other kinds of work for the Bride of Jesus will be to make all the rest of the people well, no matter what kind of sickness they had when they died, and so, when their work is finished, the Bible tells us that there will never be any more pain, or sickness, or sighing, or crying, or dying (Re 21:4). Adam and Eve will be among all those people who will have been made well, and they will be told that these people are their children, that because they disobeyed God and sinned that they all had to suffer and die, but that God so loved them all that He sent Jesus down from heaven to die for them, and because Jesus did that, all the people Adam sees were made well.
What do you suppose Adam will think when he sees all of these people and is told that they are his children? Well, he will be very much surprised to find that he has such a large family, but I think he will feel sorry because he sinned and made them suffer so much, but then he will be glad and happy that God and Jesus loved not only Adam and Eve, but all of those people so much that they made such a wonderful Plan and that now all these people are happy and can live forever and enjoy the things that God has for them. That will surely be a happy time, and that happy time is what the Bible calls "The Jubilee"—everybody happy.
CHRISTMAS BEGAN THE HAPPY TIME
Well, that is just the reason that people who know ‘bout God’s great secret are so happy at Christmas time, and they know that all the blessings and good times coming to the people is because of the "Best Gift" which God gave to the world. God gave Jesus to come down to earth and die for all so that all could live again. And God sent "His Best Gift" as the little baby Jesus on that First Christmas Night, when the Angels sang, "Glory to God in the Highest."
OUR CHANCE TO MAKE PEOPLE HAPPY
So, dear children, every year people who know "bout this Best Gift from God, like to give other people nice things, and so mamma and papa and brothers and sisters and friends give nice things to each other, and send pretty picture cards with the words, "Merry Christmas" on them, and in the Sunday Schools and other places the children and older people sing songs and tell stories and act out little plays "bout how that "Best Gift of God" came as the little Boy Jesus on that First Christmas Night; because, if Jesus had not come as a little babe, he could not have grown up to be a boy and then to be a man who could die for Adam.