FOUNDATION OF CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE: THE Passover

 

(Notes from an Elder’s discourse are included.)

 

"At the very foundation of all Christian doctrine lies the doctrine of the Ransom, the Scriptural teaching that ‘we were bought with a price,’ a corresponding price for Adam’s sin. Any teaching, therefore, which either openly denies or quietly ignores this foundation doctrine, ‘the Ransom for all, to be testified in due time,’ must be a doctrine at variance with God’s revelation... Our attitude toward it should be prompt and decided opposition. If others waver, we who have learned that the ransom is the test by which all doctrines are to be proved, need not waver, and should not... Lend them a hand wherever possible... by reminding them of the Rock Christ Jesus, whereon our feet are firmly established, and by throwing to them the rope of divine promises, throughout which is woven the scarlet thread of the ransom of Christ." ‘16-R5948 "The doctrine of a ransom for all... is the scarlet thread running all through the Scriptures.”‘86-R876

THE Passover (from a discourse by an elder—a saint)

 

We of all people are the most highly blessed with a knowledge of God through Present Truth. We know Him as the Self-existent, ever-living One who had no beginning. We know Him as the Infinite One and that He has manifested this in Justice, Wisdom, Love and Power, and through the Divine Plan of the Ages. He has taught us to know Him aright and to rejoice in His glory and His goodness. We know Him as the Architect of the Plan of the Ages, requiring ages for its accomplishment in regard to mankind and this home on the earth. We know him as the One who has showed forth His love and care to His children, those who ARE His children that love Him and trust him, to which we are witness this day as New Creatures in Christ. We realize more and more a sense of His great love toward us, and His fatherly care in the smallest detail, supervising our interests, Spiritual and temporal, all working together to give us established membership in Christ: to give us a character-likeness to His; crystallized—all coming from Him, even the spirit of sonship, for which we praise His name.

 

We recognize Him as one who has chosen a man to represent Himself and who gave him three wives whereby He might illustrate what was in His own mind: to illustrate the Divine Plan of the Ages; to counteract the wages of the ravages of sin and the Permission of Evil; and to take out a glorious company for Himself.

 

We see the relationship of these three wives to Abraham, illustrating God’s relationship to the three great Covenants through which he operates to carry out the Plan of Salvation. One of these wives was an Egyptian bondslave; and her relation to Abraham well illustrates the relationship to God through the Mosaic or Law Covenant. God has set forth these Covenants Himself as the only one capable of so doing. So He used Abraham to illustrate this covenant which He intended to make with Abraham’s children. But Hagar died; and Ishmael died. Abraham died; Sara died. Isaac and Keturah and her six sons all died and there was nothing 517 further. Ishmael’s children grew into the great nation of twelve tribes and was joined by children of Keturah. Isaac’s children grew into a great nation of twelve tribes, separate from the others, and especially in their experiences. They went down into Egypt because of famine in their own Land and there they were held in bondage. They increased so rapidly that the Egyptians became fearful and attempted to destroy them; not instantly, but gradually; working them to death, starving and beating them to death. That matter illustrates the wages Satan pays to those who serve him. What the children of Israel experienced in Egypt typifies Satan’s dealings with the world: he takes away from them all comforts of life, even life itself, and opens not the door of the prison; he is cruel and merciless.

 

After more than 400 years had passed God chose a man by the name of Moses to bring in a Covenant that He had illustrated with Abraham, Hagar and Ishmael. That man was eighty years old. God spoke to him to deliver the children of Israel from their bondage in Egypt, and thus to illustrate His Plan for deliverance of the children of the world from the bondage of sin and Satan. He gave Moses power to deliver the Israelites from Pharoah. He began the operation of this phase of His Plan about a year before entering into the Law Covenant with them, for two reasons.

 

One reason was to teach Israel and the people of Egypt the difference between Himself and the gods of Egypt. He caused plagues to come upon the Egyptians that would challenge their different gods; and none of them could do anything about it. God sent the plagues;  and God sent the plagues away. Their gods were proven imaginary. Thus He proved to His people a great lesson to keep them from idolatry. But it seems they forgot the lesson and were taken away into Babylon where once more they witnessed the contrast between God and the hapless gods of Babylon, so remarkably that they declared there that Jehovah was God. They never again went into idolatry after that experience.

 

A second reason was to bring Pharaoh to the point where he would be willing to let Israel go. He gave the Egyptians nine plagues. Pharaoh was still hardened in heart. The tenth plague would affect him personally in his firstborn, and would include also their cattle in Egypt.

 

As the time for the Covenant drew on, God proposed to bring the Israelites out of Egypt on the last day of the 430th year of the Covenant with Abraham. On the day preceding the exodus, He had instructed the Jews to kill the lamb, sprinkle the lintel and doorposts of each dwelling with the blood; the angel of death would pass through that night slaying the firstborn where no blood was sprinkled; but passing over the firstborns where the blood was sprinkled.

 

So it came to pass that 430 years after the Covenant with Abraham, and His dealings with Hagar and Ishmael who was born thirteen years before Isaac, He made a Covenant, not with Hagar’s children through Ishmael. but with Sara’s children through Isaac. He had merely used Hagar to represent His relationship to Abraham. Thus he separated Himself from them by a Mediator though He Himself said He was a husband of the Hagar Covenant: ‘’Though I was an Husband unto them I regarded them not." The Hagar Covenant brought forth no children for him because separated by a mediator who was unable to bring forth any children by that Covenant.

 

The Covenant was made with the children of Isaac through God’s promise to Abraham, and they were caused to kill the lamb on the fourteenth of the month at the full moon. The lamb was taken out on the tenth day to typify His dealings with Israel, according to the time features. Pharaoh urged the people to go, and gave to them their back wages to be rid of them, and the Egyptians were destroyed in the Red Sea. The Israelites crossed safely—another Passover. Nothing further in fulfillment seemed to come of this Passover for over 1600 years.

 

How slowly apparently God moves in the Divine Plan of the Ages—about 1600 years—from the human standpoint: promising a covenant; making a covenant; bringing in the antitype of that covenant of the Passover Lamb, because He intended to have a day of atonement and He wished to show the Israelites, and then the world—us in particular—that those who have received the benefit of the Atonement, stand liable to the Second Death from which there is no resurrection.

 

The Passover was instituted three months before the Covenant went into operation: to remind them they must be faithful to the Atonement and its promises for atonement for sin. Otherwise there would be a penalty of Second Death. The Jews entered into that Covenant voluntarily, willingly. The penalty for failure to keep the Covenant was a death penalty; not second death, but a second, death penalty. If anyone was condemned to death by the Law, such death would be a type of the second death. Unable to keep the Law perfectly, they died under its penalty—a second penalty of death, but not a second death penalty. Only those condemned to death by the Sanhedrin, for instance, would be typical of the second death. The first penalty of death was in Adam, by heredity; the second penalty of death was in their failure to keep the Law as they had covenanted to do, saying, All these things will we do.

THE BLOOD OF SPRINKLING OF THE Passover

 

"When He seeth the blood the Lord will pass over the door and not suffer the destroyer to smite you"—Exodus 12:23. ‘15-R5640 to R5643 That night, the firstborns who perished, and of course those of the Israelites likewise, represent those who go into the second death from which they could have been spared had they been faithful to His instructions to sprinkle of the blood of the Passover lamb on the lintel and doorposts. The lintel was the top cross-piece between the two posts.

 

The observance of the Day of Atonement came to an end with the overthrow of the kings, the typical kingdom. But it was continued in the Passover until the antitype came of the Passover Lamb. The blood sprinkled on the lintel and doorposts represented the blood of atonement sprinkled on the people, by the people for the people.

 

The difference between that and the blood of the Day of Atonement in the fall, the tenth day of the seventh month, 518 is that in the fall the High priest alone sprinkled the blood of the bullock on the Mercy Seat. But in the Passover picture the people sprinkled it themselves. Therefore, where the first which occured in the fall represents Justification, the latter in the Spring represents APPRECIATION OF JUSTIFICATION. The people could not justify themselves. It is a picture of the people applying the blood to their own hearts in appreciation of the atonement made for them. This is further illustrated in eating of the Lamb,  by faith in the perfect human nature of our Lord.

 

So when more than 1600 years had passed away and the type was explained for us, NOW we note the significance and meaning of these things that God had in mind when He arranged for this Hagar feature of the Abrahamic Covenant. It is most important for the Church because when the antitype came, and the last Passover which He observed, He instituted a Memorial of His own death as an antitype of the Passover Lamb. And He used different emblems for the Lamb and the Blood. He used bread and wine; and while in the Lamb ‘’Not a bone of Him was broken,”He wished the bread to represent that He was sacrificed; and he said, ‘’This is My body which is for you; and we have the Apostle’s word that "as oft as ye do this, ye do show forth His death ‘till He come.’ ‘’ As an antitype of the Passover, this is very important for the Lord’s people, members of His body. The wine represents the blood of the New Covenant, It also represents doctrine. So, while we do not get the literal body of our Lord or the literal blood of our Lord, we do get the doctrines which illustrate the literal things of the Passover; and we understand the breaking of His body doctrinally and the shedding of his blood doctrinally, and sharing therein, doctrinally.

 

”By faith... appropriating to ourselves all the merits and perfections and rights which the MAN Christ Jesus possessed and laid down in death for us, we really feed our hearts upon the true unleavened bread of everlasting life, the Bread which God sent to us from heaven... THE FLESH WHICH HE GAVE... that all the dead and dying race may have life... It is a memorial of THE RANSOM of Adam and his family from the bondage of sin and death." ‘98-R2271 We understand these things from the standpoint of doctrine which was brought in by the Lord and the Apostles when He brought life and immortality to light through the preaching of the Gospel. There was, the Apostle points out, a participation for the Church in what the broken loaf, and wine, represent. He said, that Bread, broken for our sakes, represents a loaf in which the Church are sharers: a communion in the Body of Christ, of His broken body, of ours to be broken with Him; and the cup is the communion of the blood of Christ, showing that while we partake by faith, actually, by Justification in heaven, by faith here on earth we also share with Him in this consecration unto death and sacrificing of the body—a shedding of the blood, all by faith, and by doctrine explained—for the benefit of the world.

 

This Passover observance in antitype, as a Memorial of our Lord’s death, is so important for us that we see it in its beauty and accept it in its fulness; we do renew our vows of consecration to the will of God unto death, now that we know what His will is. Our consecration enlarges to take in these things and we are willing that God’s will shall be done. Salvation is provided for the world which shall be accomplished by another covenant represented by Keturah and her six sons. So we rejoice in the doctrine of the Passover. We see how it represents our Lord and the Passover for us, when we are passed over by a vitalized justification in Heaven, by faith, while we are amenable to the Second Death. The only ones amenable to the second death are those for whom the blood has been applied, the merit of our Lord. The HEART APPRECIATION OF OUR JUSTIFICATION will protect us from any danger of the second death.

 

God first provided for the SAFETY of the Passover, which became the first feature of the Law Covenant made with Israel three months later, and has continued ever since until the ANTITYPE came.  Looking through the type to the Antitype, we rejoice in our justification by faith in the merit secured on the tenth day of the seventh month, the merit of the slain bullock. We also rejoice that the Church in the Spring of the year receive the first application of His death, that He died in the Spring; the Church have become liable to the second death. But by the Passover Lamb, the angel of death passes over the firstborn who have the blood on the lintels and the door posts of our hearts.

 

Let us never undervalue the merit of our Lord; neither by estimate of our own unworthiness which is our greatest danger, nor any pressure that may come into our lives of any fault that would cause us to neglect giving the full value of the merit of our Lord’s sacrifice, thinking ourselves condemned, by not giving a sufficient value to His merit, becoming doubtful and discouraged because of our own shortcomings, imperfections, unworthiness. This is the time of year when the adversary will use that means to discourage the members of Christ’s Body. Let us always throw such suggestions of doubts to the winds by the consideration of our Lord’s merit as the Passover Lamb for us, and that God gave that provision first, making it as it were, the most prominent sacrifice or ceremony of all, because he knew that when salvation had been provided, that ended all he could do for mankind. After that, was second death. He provided a protection, by the merit that had already been supplied, against second death. The Passover Lamb was slain in the Spring. The Day of Atonement bullock sacrificed in the Fall, providing atonement, was carried along into and by the Passover observance of our Lord’s Memorial of the Antitype; and our constant heart appreciation of His sacrifice for us. Thus we have a conscience void of offense. We have assurance toward God as we give our Lord’s merit full value to take care of all our shortcomings, imperfections, unworthiness—aside from wilful sin.

THERE WERE TWO PASSOVERS

 

"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 p3 "But let us look at this type of the Passover—let us notice that it was God’s intention to save all Israelites, and that as a nation they represented all mankind that will ever come

 

519 into harmony with God and be granted eternal life in the Land of Promise. Let us notice that there were two passovers;  a great one, when the whole nation by divine power was miraculously delivered by the Lord and led by a sandbar across the channel of the Red Sea especially prepared for them by the accentuation of winds and tides." ‘07-R3959 "... Let us notice also that there were two passovers ... That picture, or type, shows the ultimate deliverance from the power of sin and Satan of every creature who will ultimately come into accord with the Lord and desire to render him worship—not an Israelite was left behind... The church of the first-borns, alone, are... at the present time—being passed over—those who are under the blood... whose names are written in Heaven. "‘ 15-R5640, R5641 ... Let us note that there were two Passovers— the one in which only the first-borns were passed over; and another greater one at the Red Sea... These passed over dry shod and were saved; while the hosts of Pharaoh, representing all who eventually will go into the second death, were overwhelmed in the Sea. The Passover at the Red Sea pictures the ultimate deliverance from the power of sin and death of every creature of Adam’s race who desires to come into accord with the Lord and to render Him worship, all who will ever become a part of Israel; for not one Israelite was left behind in Egyptian bondage.”16-R5870 The Apostle Paul points out that, besides the Church, the whole world are to receive the benefit of that Passover Lamb. And John was led to say, "Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world," the Passover Lamb that will protect them from the second death when the Atonement has been applied for them (Leviticus 16:15). So he brings out in the communion of the Church what a valuable part, and prominent part, we have with our Lord in this. The loaf consisted of many grains; the cup, of many grapes. The 144,000 with our Lord will form the Passover for the world.

 

Jehovah is very great. He is not doing anything in a haphazard manner or for the sake of convenience.

 

"Truly a reasonable God gives reasonable commands; and in due time Jehovah will cause His faithful people to understand the significance of every requirement." ‘16-R5869

TWO QUESTIONS ANSWERED

 

We go back to the observance of this last Passover and the first occurrence of the Memorial of the anitypical Passover—the Memorial of the Antitype. There are two questions to be answered: 1) A goat was permitted. 2) The family partook of the Passover Lamb who were in no danger that night. Ex. 12:5: ‘’... Ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats." For the goat’s part in "passing over the sins of the people," please see ‘04-R3319 p 3.

 

”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 c2 p4 In Reprints R2270 and R5191, Pastor Russell points out that the ninth chapter of Numbers (Num. 9:8-13) allowed some to observe the Passover on the second month, which represents the world in the Millennial Age.

 

There is a wonderful article (02-R3084 to R3086) on "Crossing Jordan Into Canaan,”showing how the Ark of the Covenant was taken into the midst of Jordan while the people passed over. Jordan means "judged down" and represents first,  the Adamic death penalty: But for those who have received the benefit of the atonement, Jordan represents the second "judged down, " the second death. As the Ark passed into Jordan and remained there until the people passed over, so Christ is to remain there until the whole world passes over: First of all supplying the Atonement for the Adamic death penalty; and then the passing over for the world during the Millennial Age when amenable to the second death.

 

Then he speaks of the twelve stones taken out of Jordan and set up on the land. There were also twelve stones taken into Jordan and placed where the ark was. Those stones represent the Royal Priesthood who go down into Jordan with our Lord and remain there that the world may pass over: first of all, as a part of the Sin-offering; and then, that the world may pass over by heart appreciation of their sin-offering. This amplifies Paul’s statement that the loaf and the cup represent communion and participation with our Lord in the Passover.

CHRIST OUR PASSOVER WAS SACRIFICED FOR US

 

Exodus 12:1-17 ‘’Pharaoh’s heart seemed to grow harder and harder under divine mercies, as one plague after another was stayed at his request, through Moses. The goodness of God, instead of leading him to repentance, would seem to have made him only the more determined, as God had foreseen and foretold. God, however, informed Moses that the tenth and final plague would be sufficient to break down the opposition of this hard man, and compel his acquiescence, with the requirement that Israel should go free. Before the infliction of this plague Moses enquired whether or not Pharaoh were willing to let Israel go, and upon receiving the negative response he warned Pharaoh that in consequence a dire calamity would befall the Egyptians. Apparently he immediately departed for the land of Goshen, there to put the people in readiness for the exodus. Their Egyptian neighbors gave them liberally jewels of gold and of silver and various articles of value, evidently anxious to have them go, and regretful that their ruler was so stubborn. They realized also, no doubt, that in some sense God was with the Israelites, and against the Egyptians, a matter which it seemed difficult for Pharaoh, their king, to discern.

 

"How much time they may have consumed in preparation for the Journey we know not, but we may well suppose that this was a time of suspense upon Pharaoh and all who knew of the last threat presented to him by Moses and Aaron. We are certain that the preparations required several days. if not weeks, because amongst other instructions each family was to select for itself a representative male lamb of the first year, unblemished, as the foundation for the religious ceremony, known as the Passover, ever since observed by that nation. The lamb was to be selected, accepted, separated from others, and cared for specially from the tenth day of that month, Abib (later known as Nisan), and on the fourteenth day of the month it was to be killed between evenings (between six o’clock the one evening and six o’clock the next

 

520 evening—the usual Jewish day). Its flesh was to be roasted for eating the following evening, and its blood was to be preserved for sprinkling upon the lintels and door-posts—the door frame, above and at either side. It was in the night following the fourteenth day that the roast lamb was to be eaten, with bitter herbs, the eaters being gathered in family groups, and all in expectation for the journey, sandals on their feet, and staff in hand, etc., ready to depart out of Egypt early in the morning of the fifteenth.

 

"The story, as recorded in Exodus, is an interesting one, and has ever been one precious to the Hebrews, the law concerning it serving as one of the most prominent landmarks in the history of that nation. But to the Christian the meaning of this incident is of still greater importance. To him, as the anit-typical Israelite, the whole transaction speaks of the anti-typical deliverance at the hands of the anti-typical Moses at the close of the anti-typical night, and at the opening of the anti-typical Passover day. Our Golden Text, ‘Christ, our Passover, is slain for us’ {1Co 5:7}, identifies the Lord Jesus as the anti-typical Lamb, and identifies the sacrifice which he gave, with the deliverance which we are now hoping for, as near, even at the door.

 

..The taking up of the lamb on the tenth day of the month found its correspondence at the first advent of our Lord Jesus, when he presented himself to Israel at the close of his ministry, as their King, riding upon the ass, exactly on the 10th of Nisan. It was then that that nation should have accepted him, should have received him; but instead ‘they hid, as it were, their faces from him,’ and saw not in him the beauty for which they were seeking, as a nation.

BETWEEN THE EVENINGS

 

—Exod. 12:6, see margin.

 

”It was on the fourteenth day of Nisan that our Lord partook of the Passover with his disciples, early in the evening. Later on in the same night he was betrayed. The next morning of the same day he was condemned and crucified. Later in the same day he was buried. All this was on the fourteenth day between evenings, between six p.m., where the day began, and the next six p.m., where it ended: and it was on the next day, the 15th. in the evening. that the Passover feast of the Jews was celebrated. We celebrate that feast anti-typically, continuously feasting and rejoicing in the grace of God toward us. But the Lord’s Supper belongs to the 14th of Nisan and commemorates the killing of the Lamb of God. That night in which the Passover feast was eaten represents this Gospel Age—a dark time, in which sin and evil still triumph, and darkness is abroad, and in which the Lord’s people feed upon the merit of Christ, our Passover Lamb, slain for us, and realize that his ‘flesh is meat indeed.’... But the deliverance did not come in the night in which the Passover was eaten, but in the morning which followed it. And so the deliverance of the spiritual Israelite does not come during the night of sin and trouble in which the god of this world reigns. It comes in the Millennial morning, for which we wait and hope and pray, Thy kingdom come.’ ‘God shall help her. early in the morning’—Psa. 46:5.

 

‘It is the mistake of some to suppose that the Passover refers, either directly or indirectly, to the passing of the children of Israel across the Red Sea. Nothing of the kind. The name was given with reference to the passing over or sparing of the first-born of Israel during that night in which the lamb was being eaten, and during which the blood was on the door-post without... The blood was the mark of distinction between those who were the Lord’s people and those who were not his people." ‘01-R2917, R2918 "Christ died not merely for the church, but, as the Scriptures declare, for the sins of the whole world. The church consituted only a small portion of the world; namely the firstborn portion. As St. James declares {Jas 1:18}, we are a kind of first-fruits unto God of his creatures. The church is passed over in the night, especially saved in advance of others; but none are spared except through the merit of the blood... In the type it was sprinkled not merely upon the first-borns, but upon the house... the household of faith." ‘13-R5273 "Only the church are being passed over now. The general deliverance of the world will be in order soon. That deliverance could not in God’s order take place without first the passing over of the firstborn...

 

"The Day of Atonement sacrifices were divinely placed exactly at the opposite end of the year, apparently to disassociate the two types. They give a detailed illustration of the work of Atonement, as far as God is concerned... The second sacrifice of the Atonement Day—’the Lord’s goat’ [Leviticus 16:15]... was treated just as the bullock was treated [Leviticus 16:14]—just as we are assured that the Bride class must suffer with Christ and have similar experiences to his... The blood of ‘the Lord’s goat’ was sprinkled in the Most Holy as was the blood of the bullock. The antitype of this will be at the close of this age, when the merit (blood) of Christ, passed through the Church, will be applied on the Mercy Seat ‘for the people’—atoning for their sins and sealing the New (Law) Covenant and its Mediatorial kingdom. Both of these animals represented the High Priest: the bullock, our Lord and Head; and the goat, His body, the church.

 

"... Other Scriptures show us that the merit of Christ when passed through the church will be made available in the end of this age for the sin of the world. Thus and then the Lamb of God will take away the sin of the world—in God’s due time and order.”‘09-R4493 THE PEOPLE S BURNT-OFFERINGS {Le 1}: To this altar {Le 6:9,12,13} the Israelite brought his free will offering... a sacrifice of sweet savor unto the Lord. This would serve to typify a thankful prayer to Jehovah—an acknowledgement of his mercy, wisdom, and love, as manifested in the broken Body of the Christ—their ransom.”T97—(in the sense that they have to go to them to get the benefit of the Ransom. The ransom price is with justice).

 

"Thus saith Jehovah, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages" (the whole Gospel in one verse)—Isa. 49:8.

 

”God bath made us able ministers of the New Covenant"—2 Cor. 3:6.

 

521 ‘’Thus the Church will have a share with her Lord in the sufferings of the present time that she may be a part of the sin-offering. This does not imply that they will have a share in the ransom-price, because one man is the ransom-price, (’The man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all’—1 Tim. 2:6), and not many men. The Church’s share, therefore, as a part of the sin-offering is not to be confounded with our Lord’s work as a ransom-price.”‘11-R4747 What a wonderful view is given us in these different thoughts from the various articles, of the Passover from the beginning to the finish; and of the Millennial Age when the New Covenant shall have done its work until no Mediator will be needed. The world will stand before God as Adam before he sinned. Those who go into the second death in the Millennial Age will be as those who go into the second death in the Gospel Age, because they lose sight of the sacrifice of the Passover Lamb, the Son of God.

 

Thus we enter more fully into the matter of our Lord’s Memorial celebration—its meaning, its significance: the emblems; the bread, His sacrificed body; and the cup, His shed blood. And we renew our vows of consecration at such a time. The Heavenly Father deals with us throughout the year accordingly. If we are sincere in the matter and faithful, He will bless us through the year with Truth and more Truth; clearer understanding and deeper appreciation; more trials, disciplinings, with the Truth and its Spirit to prove us as New Creatures in Christ. Lacking that sincerity, His dealings with us will lack that fulness of both the Truth and our experiences.

 

He brings out another feature that we must not miss because it is so encouraging. The cup not only represents the shed blood for the sealing of the New Covenant which is the blood that justifies, plus the sufferings of the Church in sanctification; but the cup overflows with joy as well; and it represents what our Lord meant when He said, I will not partake of this again until I partake of it new with you in the Kingdom. Beyond are pleasure supernal and joy unalloyed and everlasting; fullness of joy in the presence of the Master and our Heavenly Father; rejoicing in the protection of the Passover Lamb now, and then our share in blessing of the world during the Millennial Age, the associates of our dear Lord in the Kingdom—if we are faithful now.

 

”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." ‘07-R4064 "The Bible supplies the Manna of Divine Truth. The truth needs to be gathered, ground and baked, but it is God’s provision. It is wholesome and nutritious; it is the very thing that we, as the people of God, need for our strengthening and perfecting." ‘13-R5307 p 1 HE IS DESPISED AND REJECTED OF MEN; A MAN OF SORROWS, AND ACQUAINTED WITH GRIEF... FOR OUR TRANSGRESSIONS... FOR OUR INIQUITIES... HE HATH POURED OUT His SOUL UNTO DEATH: THE PLAN OF JEHOVAH SHALL PROSPER IN HIS HAND. HE SHALL SEE OF THE TRAVAIL OF HIS SOUL, AND SHALL BE SATISFIED—Isa 53???.

I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE Joh 14:1-14.

 

”After washing the disciples’ feet, and after the sop had been given to Judas, and he had gone out; and after telling the disciples that they all would be offended that night because of him, and answering Peter that he would deny him thrice before the cock crew, we may well suppose that the hearts of the eleven were heavy, disturbed, troubled with fearful forebodings... Only five days before, he had received the hosannasof the multitude as the Son of David, the King of Israel ... What could it mean that the Master was now ‘exceeding sorrowful’ and spoke of betrayal, and of their dispersion and of his own death?

 

"It was in answer to these their troubled thoughts that our Lord spoke to them the beautiful words of comfort and consolation recorded in the 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th chapters of John’s Gospel, beginning—‘Let not your hearts be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.”‘99-R2453

AGONY IN GETHSEMANE: DAY OF SUFFERING

 

"About midnight Jesus and the disciples crossed the city to the gate and thence crossed the valley Kedron and ascended the sloping side of Mt. Olives toward the Garden of Gethsemane.”After the dreadful events of Jesus’ betrayal and arrest in the Garden, ‘’Our Lord, his hands bound, was led away to Annas.”Trial before the Jewish authorities began about 1 A.M.—unofficial.

 

He was brought before Caiphas about 2 A.M. Friday. He was charged with blesphemy before the Sanhedrin. ‘’The preliminary hearing before Caiphas was held for the purpose of formulating charges on which to convict Jesus at sunrise. Caiphas immediately, and illegally, began the examination of Jesus, calling for witnesses.”Finally they found two FALSE witnesses but their garbled accounts did not agree. Caiphas was foiled. Then he put Jesus under oath to tell if He was the Messiah—the Son of God. ‘’Caiphas could not hope to have a clearer expression, nor anything that would come nearer justifying his predetermined verdict of guilty of blasphemy," than our dear Lord’s reply. "Hence with a mocked expression of righteousness he tore his ‘simla...”"The rabble in the court hearing the commotion felt at liberty to abuse the prisoner as they had the others. They showed their contempt by spitting upon Him. They blindfolded Him, and struck Him, saying, ‘Prophesy who smote thee.’ These insults were committed by the servants. They manifested the same spirit as their masters. Thus Christ was subjected for 7IVO HOURS to the MOCKERY and insults of the servants while he was waiting the time for the legal meetings of the Sanhedrin at daylight (when they fain would legalize their predetermined verdict of guilty resulting from their illegal proceedings of the night before). This interim was between 3 and 5 A.M. when HE STOOD BOUND in the high priest’s palace.”His arrest, the scattering of his disciples, the hearing before the high priest’s Court, the railery, the smiting, the pulling of the hair of his face, the spitting upon him, his being blind 522 folded, etc., all this ignominy He endured patiently and then, it being contrary to the Jewish law to condemn a man in the night, his further trial was postponed until the members of the Sanhedrin could be called at daybreak to formally condemn Him. Meantime his dear followers had all scattered like sheep and the Beloved Peter had denied Him even with cursing before the cock crowed.

 

"With the sunrise the Sanhedrin met officially and accepting the testimony of the high priest that he had examined the witnesses and it had been proven that Jesus had blasphemed God and the Temple, the verdict was reached that He should die.”The Sanhedrin ‘’must take Him before Pilate who they knew would not recognize blasphemy as a cause of death, so they charged Him with being a seditionist and raiser of disturbances; that he claimed to be a King and thus having him free was inimical to the interests of the Roman Government.

 

”The trial before Pilate was about 8 A.M., Friday. "They bound Him and led Him to Pilate to give the impression that He was a dangerous character. He stood before the representative of the greatest empire in the world greatly disadvantaged yet remarkably calm and self-possessed. After passing through all these experiences, and probably WITHOUT HAVING BEEN FURNISHED WITH REFRESHMENTS, it is remarkable that our Lord—WEAKENED THROUGH HIS MINISTRIES and the GIVING OUT OF HIS VITALITY IN THE HEALING of others—should have been so calm and strong as He stood before Pilate.”‘10-R4711;’05-R3553, R3554 Finding that by birth Jesus was a Galilean, Pilate found a loophole: ‘’Then He belongs to Herod’s jurisdiction, and I transfer the whole matter to Herod’s Court... Then our Lord publicly accompanied by a squad of Roman soldiers was sent to Herod, who had a curiosity to see him.” ‘’As Pilate had turned the prisoner over to Herod declaring he found no cause for death in him, Herod turned the compliment by returning the prisoner again to Pilate”—verdict NOT GUILTY!

 

"The crucifixion took place at 9 A.M. the third hour," of "JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS!" He died of a broken heart at 3 P.M.—The antitypical Passover Lamb was slain—when He took the sinners’ place of alienation from the Father! ‘’And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, "... My God, my God,  why hast thou forsaken me?” Matthew 15:34.

 

”The slaying of the paschal lamb was fulfilled in the death of Christ, the ‘Lamb of God,’ and there began the special blessing upon the antitypical firstborn, the believers of the Gospel age. The blessing, foreshadowed in the type... began with the death of Christ, our Passover Lamb... And the particularity with which the observance of every detail of the types was enforced throughout the Jewish age. give emphasis to our Lord’s words: ‘Verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass. one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the Law, till all be fulfilled’— Matt. 5:18—that every minute particular, every jot and little, must be as particularly fulfilled as it was carefully enforced in the ceremonies of the Law. ‘ B 174

ISRAEL’S KING REJECTED

 

—Mt 21:1-17.

 

”Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the Highest!’

 

Zechariah 12:10: "We rejoice to think that ‘that day’ when they shall say, ‘Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord,’ is nigh at hand. But, we reflect, that the time of special favor to spiritual Israel must be correspondingly drawing to a close.

 

"That spot where Jesus stopped to prophesy Israel’s future was the same one over which, a little later, the army of Titus marched to the destruction of Jerusalem, and, amidst famine, accomplished the destruction of the city, taking, according to records, ninety-seven thousand prisoners. One million, one hundred thousand were said to have perished through famine and war. The ground around the City of Jerusalem, the Romans planted thick with crosses, on which Jews were crucified, until there was room for no more, says history." Please see Psa. 118:20-26; Matthew 23:37-39; Luke 13:34-35; Luke 19:35-48; ‘95-R1846, R1847; ‘10-R4670 top.

CHRIST DIED FOR THE UNGODLY

 

—Mark 15:22-37; Matt. 27:31-66; Luke 23:26-56; John 19:16-42.

 

"While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us"—Romans 5:8.

 

Mark 15:22. "The sentence of crucifixion having been obtained, the excited mob, inspired with Satanic zeal, hurried the prisoner to the place of execution, which was reached about nine o’clock Friday morning. WHAT AN AWFUL NIGHT HE HAD PASSED! Beginning with the sad scenes of the last supper with his disciples, call to mind the agony of Gethsemane, the hurried march to Annas, then to Caiaphas, to Pilate, to Herod and back again to Pilate; how DURING ALL THE NIGHT, He was shamefully treated—mocked, buffeted, spit upon, reviled, ridiculed, falsely accused and finally crowned with cruel thorns and scourged.

 

"After such experiences it seems marvelous that any vitality remained for the ordeal of crucifixion. It would seem that the intense and long continued nervous strain and weariness and physical suffering would have exhausted the forces of nature; but our Lord, as a perfect man, had extraordinary powers of endurance, though he had voluntarily sacrificed much of physical strength in the labors of his ministry.”His healing of others was at the expense of His own vitality. "That He was greatly exhausted, however, is manifest from the fact that assistance in the bearing of his cross to the place of crucifixion was imposed upon another—Luke 23:26.

 

"Mark 15:23. Wine mingled with myrrh was offered as an anaesthetic to relieve the sense of pain. It is said that some of the women of Jerusalem undertook this office of mercy on behalf of criminals to be executed by the terrible methods of the Romans. Jesus acknowledged the kindness of the offer by tasting it, but declined it further, preferring to have his mind awake and clear to the last. Had he taken it, we should have missed the tenderness which committed his mother to the care of John, and those last words so full of meaning to us—’It is finished.’ And we should all have failed to 523 realize how much the Lord’s thoughts were upon others even amidst the agonies of such a horrible death.

 

"Mark 15:25-28. The crucifixion occurred at about nine o’clock A.M., and ended in death at 3 P.M. between two thieves in fulfillment of Isa. 53:12. ‘He was numbered with the transgressors.’" By the sacrifice of himself... He bore the penalty of our sins in his own body on the tree.”"Jesus said to some of His friends who were weeping and bewailing Him, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children... for if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?’ (Luke 23:27-31) This He said in reference to the atrocities which should mark the overthrow of their nation and the destruction of Jerusalem, which would display the same wicked spirit which was then being manifested toward him. And it was even so; for the troubles upon that people were not alone from enemies without, but also from civil strife; for every man’s hand was against his neighbor. It is said that at the time of the siege of Jerusalem hundreds of Jews were crucified at once, and left hanging in sight of the city walls.

 

"Mark 15:33, 34. The darkness that brooded over the land from the sixth to the ninth hour... was doubtless sent as an expression of the divine wrath, and was typical of the darkness o, alienation from God into which that long favored nation had plunged by this act. "‘ 95- R1815, R1816 "As the penalty against Adam included his isolation from the Father as a condemned rebel, so it was necessary that our Lord Jesus, in taking Adam’s place, should experience (if only for a short time) the full meaning of a sinner’s separation from God.

 

”Very mercifully, the Father permitted this feature of Adam’s penalty to rest upon our Redeemer only at the very close of his sacrificial ministry. It was the fact of his communion with the Father that permitted Jesus to pass through all the trying experiences of that day and the preceding night with such great courage; but now, when the Father’s sustaining grace and fellowship and communion of spirit with him were withdrawn, and our Redeemer, with all his fine sensibilities was utterly bereft of solace from his dearest friend, it led his breaking heart to cry out these words of anguish. Evidently it had been hidden from him up to this time that he must suffer this phase of the punishment of Adam’s transgression." ‘99-R2474 "Israel’s great national sin was the rejection and crucifixion of the anointed Son of God... 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 for their national crime... The punishment inflicted upon the nation extended, not only to the inhabitants of the capital city, but to the whole people (estimated at 6,000,000), driving them out of their own land and scattering them as fugitives among all nations, 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.’ ‘’ ‘95-R1846

DIVINE JUSTICE WOULD SQUARE ACCOUNTS AND VINDICATE HIM!*

 

"Yet thou saidst, ‘I am innocent! surely his anger is turned away from me’:Behold, I will enter into judgment with thee, because thou sayest, ‘I have not sinned!’ "—Jeremiah 2:35.

 

Palestine had an estimated population of about six million in our Lord’s day—over three million in Galilee where most of His miracles were performed. ‘04-R3334 In Solomon’s day their population was estimated at about six million. ‘03-R3278 Six million Jews of Europe perished in the Hitler holocaust before the Republic of Israel was formed in the Promised Land of Israel—thus squaring the books of Justice on that score.

 

"God keeps a very exact accounting of all. Every sin must receive a just recompense of reward." ‘16-R5874 God overruled so that the true title was written above the head of Jesus at the crucifixion, and Pilate refused to change it:

THE KING OF THE JEWS

 

"Up from the grave He arose With a mighty triumph o’er his foes! He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ Arose!’

 

"HALLELUJAH! WHAT A SAVIOUR!”"Hosanna, peace on earth, good will toward men, All honor to the LAMB! Amen! Amen!’

HOSANNA IN THE HIGHEST!

 

"The Lord’s house is not to be a house of merchandise. The Lord seeketh such to worship Him as worship Him in spirit and in truth, and not those who seek the loaves and fishes or any earthly advantage. He will therefore present the truth in such a form that it will be a blessing to the proper class, and separate all of the improper class by a measure of odium in connection with the King and his faithful. At the present time the Lord, the truth, with a whip of small cords, is injurious only to those who are in the temple for purposes of merchandise, and not injurious to others.”06-R3851

CLEANSING THE TEMPLE —Joh 2:13-22 "Holiness becometh thy house O Lord, forever”—Psalm 93:5.

 

"Our thought is that the antitypical cleansing of the Lord’s Temple has been in progress since the spring of 1878.

 

”Within the hallowed precincts of the nominal Temple of today are many who have long been making merchandise of their privileges, opportunities and knowledge. All intelligent people well know that religious matters are to a large extent made merchandise of. Amongst the Roman Catholics everything possible is hedged about with penalties and prohibitions and limitations, so that the people are led *Please see 11-R4758 in connection with 2Ki 2:23: ‘’Elisha did not swear at the children... he condemned them, just as Jesus said to some with most kindly art, ‘Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees,’ etc. {Mt 23}. So Elisha pronounced woe or blight upon those youths who taunted him... Divine justice would square accounts and vindicate him.” Israel’s King was rejected and Crucified!!

 

524 to believe that they can present nothing acceptable to God except as they receive it through their priesthood. They are expected to pay the priesthood for every birth and the baptism of the child; they are expected to pay at every service, that they may be participants in the blessings of the common mass; they are expected to pay for every blessed scapular sprinkled with holy water; they are expected to pay for every funeral service and for every prayer, as well as for the privilege of bing buried in holy ground. In all this we have a close counterpart to that which our Lord denominated a den of thieves, making merchandise of divine things.

 

"As for the Protestants, there are many evidences of the same spirit amongst them, but as they represent a more intelligent class, the exactions upon them by the clergy are the more refined... Our Lord’s condemnation fell upon those who were making merchandise of the opportunity, circumstance and conditions... The principle is all wrong. Whatever is given to the Lord should be voluntarily done, with love for Him, with a desire to render unto Him the firstfruits, the best of all that we possess, time, influence, money, etc. "‘ 08-R4123 "1 Corinthians 12:27: We see that as human beings our Lord the Head, and all the members of his body, have been suffering the destruction of the flesh, have been sacrificing their human nature throughout this Gospel age; and we see that in due time this glorious church, the new creation, will in the first resurrection come forth a glorious temple of God, composed of living stones and filled with the glory of God. This will be on the third day also, for if we consider the six thousand years past as six days of a great week, and the Millennial age as the seventh or Sabbath day of that week, we find that it was early in the fifth of these days that our Lord sacrificed; that many of his followers suffered likewise during that and the following sixth day; and that the seventh day, into which we have chronologically entered since 1872, is thus the third day, in which, very early in the morning, the entire body of Christ, the King of glory, will be perfected. Then the great temple of God will be complete and ready for the great work of the Millennial age, the blessing of all the families of the earth; and through it they all may have the opportunity of coming into full harmony with God and gaining the blessing thereof—eternal life." ‘08-R4123, R4124 1Pe 2:4: "Considering the time from the Lord’s standpoint—’A day with the Lord is as a thousand years’—our Lord died in the year of the world 4161—after four days had passed and the fifth day had begun.

 

"The destruction of the temple of God, which is the church, began there in the destruction of the Chief Corner Stone and has progressed since—during the remainder of the fifth day, all of the sixth day, and we are now in the beginning of the seventh day—’very early in the morning.’ And the promise of the Lord is that the Lord’s resurrection shall be completed about this time—’The Lord shall help her early in the morning’ (Psa. 46:5). Thus we view the matter, that the Lord was a part of the three days dead, and rose on the third day, early in the morning; and that likewise the first resurrection will be completed—the entire body of Christ will be raised on the third day, early in the morning.”

ARGUMENTS AGAINST THE TRUTH ARE WEAK

 

"Before the arrival of any of the disciples, while the Roman guard was still on duty at the tomb, an angel of the Lord appeared on the scene and a shock like that of an earthquake was experienced, and the guard, or ‘watch,’ became as dead men—almost fainted—but, recovering, hastened from the spot to make their report to the chief priests, at whose instance they had been appointed to this service. The chief priests induced them to circulate the report that the body had been stolen by his disciples while they slept; and this report was evidently current for quite a time subsequently, as we read, ‘The saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day’—up to the date of writing Matthew’s Gospel, which is supposed to have been written some nine years after the event. Like all arguments against the truth, it was a weak one, but the best they could do. How foolish would be the testimony of men who would say what took place while they were asleep!

 

”Meantime, while the guard was on its way to the priests to report matters, the Lord’s friends began to gather, with their love and spices, etc. The women of the company arrived first, and in so doing, attested for all time the love and sympathy of their hearts; and honored, yea glorified, their sex in so doing. The three mentioned in our lesson (Matt. 28:1-1C) have since had noble mention by the poets of all nations... ‘’‘ 04 -R3375 "Her love, her devotion, her persistence, gained for Mary Magdalene the great honor of being the first to whom the Lord revealed himself after his resurrection. She had been forgiven much, and she loved much, and our Lord manifested his appreciation for her devotion... ‘Go to my brethren, and say to them... that I will be with them a while before I go to the Father: thus you will do a work of preparing them for my subsequent manifestations.’ And having the true love which manifests itself in obedience, Mary immediately undertook the mission assigned her.”‘99-R2478

BEHOLD THE MAN!

 

  —JOHN 19:5 "Pilate announced his decision, ‘I find in him no fault at all.’... Never before had he seen so splendid a specimen of the human race. He was such a one as any people might have been glad to honor as their King... Pilate washed his hands saying, ‘I am guiltless of the blood of this just person.’ "Lest the friends of Jesus, and the multitudes who had been healed and taught by him, should come to his assistance and overpower them, they answered Pilate that according to their law Jesus should die, because he made himself the Son of God. They perverted the truth in their endeavor to uphold their course; for the Law did not prescribe death as a penalty for the claim of being the Son of God. Had our Lord claimed to be the Father he would have come under the terms of the death penalty for blasphemy; but there was no such penalty, nor was it blasphemy, to call himself, as he did, the Son of God." He told the Truth. He never claimed, nor did any of His faithful followers, ever make the fraudulent claim that he was the Father, Jehovah. Quite to the contrary, Jesus told the Truth that He was the Son of God, and He so honored Him in all things, as in the statement, ‘My Father is greater than I." ‘99-R2472 525 He never wavered, He never faltered, He set His face like a flint {Isa 50} and went up to be crucified when His hour was come. He was going HOME! Exalted now in His Father’s own Divine Nature, the exact impress of the character of His substance; the ‘loneliness, home-sickness, friendlessness" are all in the past—He remembereth no more the anguish—FOR JOY illimitable!!! "WORTHY THE LAMB THAT WAS SLAIN!’

 

"The rending of the Temple vail (60’x 30’x5’) apparently took place at the same time as the earthquake—the moment of our Lord’s death.... The completion of our Lord’s sacrifice opened up for us a new way of life beyond the vail, through the sacrifice of his flesh. In a figure, the Lord God, by the rending of the vail, declared that the death of Jesus made possible the way into the Most Holy, even Heaven itself; and the fact that the vail was rent from top to the bottom implied that the work was God’s...

FATHER, INTO THY HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT

 

‘’Jesus, the Life-giver... had life rights (human) and was committing these to the Father as the Ransom price for Adam and his forfeited spirit of life. Our Lord was firmly trusting to the Father’s promise to raise Him from the dead, perfect in the Divine Nature, with its glory, honor and immortality. Thus our Lord gave up his spirit of life—he died, and remained dead until the Father raised him from the dead on the third day by his own power.”‘01-R2788 "Of my own holiness I will declare the decree: Jehovah bath said unto Me, Thou art my son; this day have I borne thee (delivered thee from death by a resurrection) Psalm 2:6, 7. ‘97-R2149 "As the darkness came down over the land at noon until 3 o’clock, the taunts of his enemies ceased." Mark 15:33

TRULY THIS WAS THE SON OF GOD!

 

Mark 15:39 ‘’The darkness over the land for three hours pictured well the temporary triumph of the powers of darkness over Him who is the light of the world.”‘06-R3902 ‘’The crucifixion took place at the third hour, Jewish reckoning; or nine o’clock. our reckoning." ‘04-R3370”And it was the third hour; and they crucified him"—Mark 15:25.

 

”In the Lord’s providences the true title was put above his head, ‘Jesus, the King of the Jews.’ Those of us who are not Jews have reason to rejoice that he is more than this—that by God’s providence he is heir of the world and is surely to be the King of the world, and is already King of saints. "‘ 04-R3370 "Let us, when we celebrate this grand memorial, not forget to give thanks to the Lord for our justification. and also for the grand privilege we enjoy of being fellow-sacrificers with our Redeemer, and filling up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ. And while sorrowful and thoughtful, meditative and full of heart-searchings on this occasion, let us, as did the Lord, triumph through faith and go forth singing praise to him who called us out of darkness into his marvelous light. and who has privileged us thus to have fellowship in the great transaction now in progress.”‘01-R2773

JESUS CRUCIFIED

 

"Comparing the details as given in the different Gospels, some are inclined to think a difference exists between St. John’s statement in Rev. 19:14 and St. Mark’s in Mark 15:25. We think both are correct. St. John evidently followed the Roman custom of reckoning from midnight to midnight. He does not mention the hour of the crucifixion, but the hour when Jesus was first presented before Pilate which, according to St. Mt 27:1,2 was early in the morning, probably shortly after sunrise. St. John omits many details; and, were it not for the other Gospels, we might infer that the crucifixion followed immediately. Note a similar abbreviation in Luke 24:50-53 as compared with St. Joh 21 and Acts 1:1-10.

 

"The examination of Christ before Pilate, thence to Herod, thence back to Pilate, and the trip to Calvary, would surely occupy three hours. St. Mark states particularly that Christ was crucified at the third hour. If this were Roman reckoning, it would be three o’clock in the morning, but the Jews frequently reckoned a twelve-hour day—sunrise to sunset. See Matthew 20:1-6; John 11:9. The third hour would, therefore, be about nine o’clock in the morning. Critical students agree that the expression, ‘from the sixth hour until the ninth hour’ (Matthew 27:45; Mark 15:33; Luke 23:44), indicates from noon until three in the afternoon. According to the Jewish Law, the body must be removed before sunset. This would, therefore, give ample time for the removal of Christ’s body from the cross to the tomb before the closing of the twelfth hour, which according to the Law, would be the last hour of the day." ‘17-R6097 "The crowd stood around gaping, and the rulers joined with them in deriding the one who so recently had ridden into Jerusalem as the King of the Jews. They made light also of his miracles of healing, and of awaking the dead... How deceived they were, and what a lesson it should teach us of the fallibility of human judgment and the necessity for looking deeply, especially in matters pertaining to God and His Word.

 

.. Doubtless the hour will come when measures of force will be used against all who stand faithful to the Lord and his Truth; and they, too, will suffer under the claim that their death will be for the good of the cause, that it is expedient that injustice in some measure be done to a few rather than that their influence should prevail to any further extent against the systems in power." ‘06-R3901. Lu 23:35 Joh 18:14 11:49,50,41-53.

 

"Spurred on by the influence of the Jewish rulers, the Roman soldiers also derided the one just crucified as the King of the Jews; and the whole multitude, as they read over his head the words, ‘This is the King of the Jews: in Greek, the language of literature; in Latin, the language of the Romans, their rulers; in Hebrew, the language of their own nation.

 

"They were struck with the absurdity of the situation—its impossibility, so to speak—that a king of the nation should be thus completely denounced and rejected by the people of his realm! Alas, how little they understood his power! He could indeed have come down from the cross, could have refused to die, could have resisted their insults, could have had ‘more than twelve legions of angels’ for his 526 defence (Matt. 26:53). But this would not have been in accord with his consecration, nor in accord with the Father’s will, and would have left us, as the race of Adam, under the sentence of death, without hope of a future life—dead as brute beasts.

 

"How we may rejoice that the dear Redeemer when He was reviled did not revile again; when He was maltreated He did not do injury to his executioners. How we may rejoice in His faithfulness and love, which enabled him to present the acceptable sacrifice on our behalf. How we can exult also in the great glory, honor, dominion and power everlasting, which have come to Him as a reward and as a token of the Father’s approval; and what a hope it gives us that we also by his grace and assistance, may attain to joint-heirship with Him in His Kingdom." ‘06-R3901, R3902

THE GREAT PYRAMID—"A MIRACLE IN STONE" C, Ch. 10.

 

In that day shall there be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to the Lord. And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt—Isaiah 19: 19, 20.

 

The ancients recounted seven wonders of the world, and at the very head of the list named the Great Pyramid of Gizeh. It is situated in Egypt, not far from the present city of Cairo. No other building in the world equals it in size. One of the leading granite men of this country, who made a personal inspection of the Great Pyramid, says: "There are blocks of stone in the Pyramid which weigh three or four times as much as one of the obelisks. I saw a stone whose estimated weight was 880 tons. There are stones in it thirty feet in length which fit so closely together that you may run a penknife over the surface without discovering the breaks between them. They are not laid with mortar, either." It covers an area of about thirteen acres. It is 486 feet high and 764 feet broad at its base. It is estimated that the Great Pyramid weighs six million tons. It is evident that its great designer intended that it should be an enduring monument.

 

Viewed from whatever standpoint we please, the Great Pyramid is certainly the most remarkable building in the world; but in the light of an investigation which has been in progress for the past century, it acquires new interest to every Christian advanced in the study of God’s Word; for it seems in a remarkable manner to teach, in harmony with all the prophets, an outline of the plan of God, past, present and future.

 

All the other pyramids are inferior attempts to copy it, and unlike the Great Pyramid, they contain no symbolic features, but were evidently designed and used as sepulchers for the royal families.

 

The Great Pyramid, however, proves to be a storehouse of important truth—scientific, historic and prophetic—and its testimony is found to be in perfect accord with the Bible, expressing the prominent features of its truths in beautiful and fitting symbols. It is by no means an addition to the written revelation: that revelation is complete and perfect, and needs no addition. But it is a strong corroborative witness to God’s plan; and few students can carefully examine it, without feeling impressed that its construction was planned and directed by the same divine wisdom, and that it is the pillar of witness referred to by the prophet in the above quotation.

 

Isaiah, as above quoted, testifies of an altar and pillar in the land of Egypt, which ‘’shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt. And the context shows that it shall be a witness in the day when the great Savior and deliverer shall come to break the chains of oppression and to set at liberty Sin’s captives—of which things Messiah preached at his first advent (Luke 4:18). The scope of this prophecy is but dimly seen, however, until Egypt is recognized as a symbol or type of the world of mankind, full of vain philosophies, which only darken their understandings, but ignorant of the true light. As Israel typified the world which shall be delivered from the bondage of Sin by the great antitype of Moses, and whose sinoffering has been given by the antitype of Aaron, so Egypt represents the empire of Sin, the dominion of death (Heb. 2:14), which for so long has held in chains of slavery many who will be glad to go forth to serve the Lord under the leadership of one like unto but greater than Moses—Acts 3:22, 23.

 

It will be after all human plans and schemes have failed them, and when men shall have learned their own sinfulness and helplessness, that they will begin to cry unto the Lord for help. Then Jehovah will show himself a great Saviour; and he has already prepared the Great Pyramid as a part of his instrumentality for convincing the world of his wisdom, foreknowledge and grace. (Isaiah 19:19-22) The additional, corroborative evidence given by the Great Pyramid to the written Word of God will be chiefly for the world of mankind during the Millennial age. The testimony of this peculiar and remarkable witness will give to mankind fresh ground for faith and love and zeal, when in due time their hearts are prepared for the truth. It is remarkable, too, that (like the Plan of the Ages in the written Word) this stone ‘’Witness" kept silence until now, when its testimony shall shortly be delivered to (Egypt) the world. Only when ready to obey the Lord can any appreciate his witnesses. Jeremiah 32:20, when speaking of God’s mighty works, declares that he bath ‘’set signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, even unto this day." God showed signs and wonders in Egypt when he brought Israel out in triumph; but he also ‘’set signs and wonders”there, which remain ‘’even unto this (our) day." The Great Pyramid, we believe, is the principal one of these very signs and wonders; and it now begins to speak to scientists in their own language, and through them to all men.

 

The Lord’s questions and statements to Job 38:3-7, concerning the earth, find a remarkable illustration in the Great Pyramid, which is believed, in itself and by its abundance of significant measurements, to represent the earth and God’s plan with reference to it. "Who bath stretched the line upon it?" The perfection of the shape of the Great Pyramid, and its exactness in every respect, prove that its construction was guided by some master architect. "Whereupon are the sockets thereof made to sink?”The Great Pyramid has four corner socket-stones sunk into the solid rock. "Or who laid the corner-stone thereof?" A pyramid has five corner-stones, 526 but the reference here is to one particular corner-stone—the top stone. The four sunk as socket-stones into the rock have already been referred to, and the remaining one is the top corner-stone. This is the most remarkable stone in the structure—itself a perfect pyramid, the lines in the entire structure conform to it. The question, therefore, with reference to it is significant, and calls attention to its peculiar fitness, and the wisdom and skill which prepared and placed it as the top stone.** ‘In that day shall there be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar (pyramid) at the border thereof, to the Lord. And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt." The Great Pyramid is located in the geographical center of the land surface of the world—including North and South America, unknown for centuries after the location and construction of the Great Pyramid. It is at the same time at the border where the Orient and the Occident meet.

 

Could such exactness in matters which concern six thousand years of history on the one hand, and thousands of inches of Pyramid measurements on the other. be a mere accidental coincidence? Nay; but verily truth is stronger and more wonderful than fiction. ‘’This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.’

 

Surely in the Great Pyramid "The invisible things (plans) of God from the creation of the world are clearly seen; being understood by the things that are made”—Rom. 1:20.

 

Some may scoff at the testimony of this stone "Witness, " as they scoff at God’s written Word; but to their scoffs we answer: Account for this peculiar fitness of things, or else venture to prophesy of the future, and see how your prophecies will result. Prove to us that it requires no inspiration to foretell future events. Show us a sample of worldly wisdom. ‘’Produce your cause. saith the Lord; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob. Let them bring them forth and show us what will happen; let them show the ftJrme/ things, what they be, that we may consider them and know the latter end of them; or declare to us things to come. Show the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods (might ones).”Isa. 41:21-23 Not only does the Great Pyramid confound atheistical scientists, but it refutes utterly their modern and antiScriptural theory of "Evolution”—on which subject we cannot do better than quote the following words of Dr. Joseph Seiss, from his excellent treatise on the Great Pyramid entitled ‘’A Miracle in Stone.”He says: ‘’If the primeval man were nothing but a gorilla or troglodyte, how, in those prehistoric times, could the builders of this mighty structure have known what our profoundest savants,  after a score of centuries of observation and experiment, have been able to find out only imperfectly? How could they know how even to make and handle the tools. machines and expedients. indispensable to the construction of an edifice so enormous in dimensions, so massive in its materials, so exalted in its height and so perfect in its workmanship that

 

**The top corner stone, "the head-corner-stone," the "precious corner-stone," the "Chief Corner stone," pattern for the whole structure, is mentioned in THE MINOR PROPHETS: HOSEA TO MALACHI, pages 274-276, in comment on Zechariah 4:4-7. to this day it is without a rival on earth? How could they know the spherity, rotation, diameter, density, latitude, poles, land distribution and temperature of the earth, or its astronomical relations? How could they solve the problem of the squaring of the circle, * calculate the proportions or determine the four cardinal points? How could they frame charts of history and dispensations, true to fact in every particular, for the space of four thousand years after their time, and down to the final consummation? How could they know when the Mosaic economy would start, how long continue, and in what eventuate? How could they know when Christianity would be introduced, by what great facts and features it would be marked, and what would be the characteristics, career and end of the Church of Christ? How could they know of the grand precessional cycle, the length of its duration, the number of days in the true year, the Great Pyramid was built? How could they devise a standard and system of measures and weights, so evenly fitted to each other, so beneficently conformed to the common wants of man, and so perfectly harmonized with all the facts of nature? And how could they know how to put all these things on record in a single piece of masonry, without one verbal or pictorial inscription, yet proof against all the ravages and changes of time, and capable of being read and understood down to the very end?

 

"Men may sneer, but they cannot laugh down this mighty structure, nor scoff out of it the angles, proportions, measure, nature references and sacred correspondencies which its Maker gave it. Here they are in all their speaking significance, stubborn and invincible beyond all power to suppress them.’

 

The voice of this wonderful "Witness”brings forcibly to mind the words of our Lord on that notable occasion of his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, when he typically presented himself to Israel as their king, amidst the acclamations of the whole multitude of his disciples, who were loudly praising God for the mighty works that had been done, saying, "Blessed be the king that cometh in the name of the Lord! peace in heaven, and glory in the highest." And when the Pharisees were urging him to rebuke them, he answered, "I tell you that if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out" (Luke 19:37-40). And so it is today: While the King of glory has actually come, and while the great majority of his professed living witnesses, who should be loudly rejoicing, and saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord, are dumb—some from fear of being put out of the synagogue, and some from drowsy slothfulness, or from the intoxication of worldliness which keeps them in ignorance of the time of our visitation—lo, the very stones of this Great Pyramid of Testimony are crying out in no uncertain tones. Every inch of this massive structure is eloquently proclaiming the wisdom and power and grace of our God.

 

*The Perimeter of the base of the Pyramid divided by twice the height of the Pyramid = pi. (P/2h = pi.) The Area of the base of the Great Pyramid equals pi times the height of the Pyramid squared. (A = P h2) The Greek letter "pi "( P) here used represents the approximate number3. 1416.

 

528 Firmly incased in this solid rocky structure, beyond the power of nature’s storms or of the ruthless hand of the destroyer, the outline drawings of God’s great plan have stood for four thousand years, prepared to give their testimony at the time appointed, in corroboration of the similarly revealed, but for ages hidden, testimony of the sure Word of Prophecy. The testimony of this "Witness to the Lord in the land of Egypt,”like that of the written Word, points with solemn and unerring precision to the final wreck of the old order of things in the "Pit" of oblivion, and to the glorious establishment of the new, under Christ Jesus, the great Chief Corner-stone of God’s eternal building, in conformity with the lines of whose glorious character all things worthy of everlasting existence must be built up under him. Amen! Amen! Thy Kingdom come! Thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven!

 

”The Great Pyramid," Chapter X—”The Testimony of God’s Stone Witness and Prophet, the Great Pyramid in Egypt"—pages C311-C380, THY KINGDOM COME, which please see.

 

Note: In the Great Pyramid,  granite is used to symbolize divine things or the divine nature, just as gold symbolized it in Israel’s typical Tabernacle and Temple: the low passages leading into the ‘’Ante-Chamber”and into the "King’s Chamber" correspond to the veils before the Holy and the Most Holy; and the granite coffer (This coffer corresponds with the sacred ark of the Mosaic Tabernacle in capacity), the only furniture in the ‘’King’s Chamber," corresponds to the Ark of the Covenant, which was the only furniture in the Most Holy of the Tabernacle and the Temple. What in the one was gold, in the other was granite, and of the same symbolic significance. C355

TRUE HUMILITY SUBMISSION A TEST OF LOYALTY

 

‘’When the Lord felt the Father’s hand pressing down, he meekly bowed himself beneath the weight, in humble acquiescence to the will of the One whose purpose he had come to carry out. But the Hand did not crush him... It was the hand of love, testing his obedience to the full. When his obedience was fully tested, the same Hand lifted him up and ‘set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places; far above all... not only in this world, but also in that which is to come—Eph. 1:20-23.

 

"Thus it will be with us, if we are found faithful... not faith only, but loyalty also, is necessary... Without these, we would be quite unfit for the kingdom; and so the various tests of the present time are tests of faith and loyalty to God, and of entire submission to his will. It is to those ‘who, by patient continuance in well doing, seek for glory and honor and immortality’ that God has promised ‘eternal life’—Romans 2:7.

THE HIGHEST STANDARD OF OBEDIENCE

 

"The Apostle Paul urges that the church cultivate the mind of Christ. He says, ‘Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.’ He had been reciting the qualities necessary to the church in order that they could be acceptable to the Father. Amongst these was an eager desire to please God.

 

The Apostle exhorts all such to pursue the course of humility and submission taken by our Lord as the only proper path for the Master’s footstep followers. St. Paul was endeavoring to impress that the mind of Christ was eminently worthy of imitation and painstaking cultivation.

 

"As a further evidence of the Master’s great humility, the Apostle brings forcefully to their attention what Jesus was in his prehuman existence. As the Logos, he was in the form of God—the spirit condition... The Logos thought not to usurp the Father’s place, or to claim equality with Him, but manifested a very different disposition—an attitude of humility. Then ‘let this mind be in you,’ urges the Apostle. ‘Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.’ Consider that God has called you with the same high calling, that you might attain to a place at the right hand of Christ, even as he attained to a place at the Father’s right hand. Realizing this, permit this mind of Christ to be in you.

 

"God was not seeking to force this mind upon Christ, nor is he seeking to force it upon us. Our Lord having taken this position of humility, in order to be man’s Redeemer, it was needful that he maintain that mind in order to work out the blessed fruitage of patience. Three and one-half years were required for Jesus to complete his work; and it was not until after he reached the cross and could say, ‘It is finished,’ that he was ‘set down with the Father in his throne.’ If we have become Jesus’ disciples, if we have accepted the conditions of the high calling, if we have received this mind; then we are to let, or permit, this mind to work out in us the character likeness of our Head.

THE UNIVERSAL STANDARD OF OBEDIENCE

 

‘’It is a principle of the divine government that ‘He that exalteth himself shall be abased, but he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.’ ‘Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time’—Lu 14:11 1Pe 5:6.

 

"Every creature of God, whether angel or man, should have this humble mind. This is the only proper attitude. This test comes during the Gospel age to only the Lord and the church... Those who have the right disposition will desire to do the Father’s will at any cost...

 

"The proper attitude for every creature would be to risk everything in the Father’s service... every one who shall attain everlasting life. We must remember, however, that divine justice never calls for self-sacrifice. It calls for obedience, and the obedience of the church is the extreme of obedience—even ‘unto death.’ But the Father has offered a reward so high that such obedience has become the standard par excellence throughout the universe—Revelation 2:10.”‘16-R5844

JESUS OUR SAVIOR

 

"We are to be the royal Priesthood if we are found faithful. We are, in a preparatory sense, the Royal Priesthood now, but everything depends upon the faithfulness with which we endure in the present time those trials and those tests of loyalty and faith which came to our Lord Jesus and which must come to all His followers if they would become his jointheirs in the fellowship of the Kingdom.

 

529 ‘Now comes a very important part, ‘That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in his kindness towards us through Christ Jesus’... Is it possible that the great Heavenly Father could do more for such poor creatures of the dust as ourselves who are so imperfect—not only human beings, but imperfect human beings, for the Apostle says the Church consists chiefly of the poor of this world, not the high and noble—the ignoble, and yet God has done so great things for us and He proposes to do all these great things in the future, making us joint-heirs with His Son in that glorious Kingdom to bless the whole world. Is not that riches of grace? Yes. Could you have thought of any more? No, no, we could not ... There are coming ages in which God will display still more grace toward the Church than in all these things that He has already given to us and promised to us, still further things, exceeding riches of His grace in ages to come. Wonderful! Oh, the length and breadth and the heights and depths of the love of God in Christ!

 

"But how can God show any more favor to us?... associated with Jesus and... to have this same Divine nature... And then the great privilege of reigning with Christ for a thousand years! You remember, he says, ‘To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne’... We may be sure the Apostle was actuated by the holy Spirit and did not overstate the matter and that there are still further manifestations of God’s grace towards the Church.

 

"Why, says one, He must love the Church very much. Oh, He does, He does love the Church very, very much and there is a reason. The reason is that He has made the way so narrow, so narrow, the terms so exact that only a certain class will care to go in that narrow way, only a very special class will follow on that way after starting and the Lord says that those who follow on through all the trials of the way, He says they are jewels, jewels, jewels... more than the angels ... The tests that come upon the Church of Christ are still more severe than any test that ever came upon the angels; and because these, the faithful ones, will pass through these tests, therefore the Father will specially love and honor them and set them on High ... How precious the test then, in God’s sight to see that as we have allurements from the flesh, the world and the adversary, that we crush them out of sight and that our hearts go out loyally to God, for the Divine approval! ‘I delight to do Thy will, oh my God.’... And then this same class, this jewel class, are continually saying, not merely at the beginning of the way, but all the way along, ‘What shall I render unto the Lord my God for all His benefits towards me?’ Yes, that’s the class... that the Lord is specially seeking, those that are seeking to know and do the Father’s will... I have found it very profitable to myself in addition to all the manna texts and all the other good texts, to have one text for every morning, as nearly as possible the first thing in my mind as I awake and see daylight ...‘ What shall I render unto the Lord my God for all His benefits towards me. I will take the cup of salvation’—I will accept the terms, I will receive whatever God the Father may have for me today. ‘Calling upon the name of the Lord’—not trusting in my own strength, but all in the name of the Lord... So every morning let us say, ‘What shall I render unto the Lord my God?’ Then we begin to think about the blessings, the riches of His grace; then we go on to the things promised and then these exceeding great and precious promises that reach away beyond, they will all come streaming into our mind and we feel oh! so thankful to God. And we have this blessed influence at the very start of the day, and I can recommend it to you all as being a very helpful practice.

 

”He is looking for those characters that are like jewels, that are firm, firm for righteousness, firm against sin, firm to know and do the will of God... The tests come in to determine whether or not you will be one of His jewels, whether you will stand the polishing, be loyal through it all, will not chip, will not show any cross grain of your own, will be fully submissive to His will; say of every trial, ‘The cup which my Father bath poured shall I not drink it?’ "‘The Father who loveth you’... because we have His Spirit, His Holy Spirit received into us and lived in and lived out; this is what is pleasing and acceptable in God’s sight... It is living out that consecration day by day. It is easy enough to stand up and decide, but can we live it? It is easy enough when everything is easy and everyone round us is praising God; but when we are alone, compassed by the adversary, and by the flesh and the world, then how loyal are we? God is seeking for those who will be so loyal for him that they are willing to lay down their lives in His service and the service of the brethren. And for these He has such wonderful blessings as we have already been considering; and then, in the ages to come, He will show through us more exceeding riches of His grace.

 

"Now, we said how could there be anything more? We just remind you afresh, dear friends, of... millions of worlds... millions of suns ... and planets to each sun... The apostle suggests that God formed not the earth in vain, but to be inhabited. If that... principle be applied to all these worlds we may well say that God formed them not in vain: He formed them to be inhabited, and now He has on this planet granted man an exhibition of His love, justice, wisdom and power in His dealings with man (Rev. 4:6), and has made you and me His witnesses. We have been right in the midst of it; our eyes have discerned God’s loving kindness and tender mercy, and by the time He shall have finished His work in us, He will be ready to use us in connection with all those other worlds. Must we not suppose that since Jesus our Lord has been the Divine agent in connection with every feature of creation, for without Him not one thing was made that was made; if that be so will He not still be the Father’s agent in connection with these other worlds? Yes. And if we become the Bride, the Lamb’s wife (Rev. 21:9), as joint-heirs with our Lord Jesus Christ, will we not be associated with Him in all the glorious work? Surely we shall be, my dear brethren. Now we can begin to see what the Apostle meant when speaking of how God in ages to come will show still further riches of grace for the Church. I don’t know how many kinds of humanity God may have for these various planets. Undoubtedly one planet will have one kind of humanity and another planet another kind. They will all be human beings, all in the likeness of 530 God, but in the same way as God has the tiny flower and the larger flower, the lily and the rose and what not, so he has variety... among the angels, various planes of angels; so we may suppose that amongst the different races of men there will be different natures, and so forth. They will all be in the likeness of the Great Creator in the sense that they will have those qualities by which they can appreciate Him and enjoy Him, and can appreciate the principles of His righteousness; all that will be the same, but there will be variety. And the Church shall be associated with her Lord in bringing to pass all those wonderful things. There will be a thousand years for the blessing work in connection with the earth, and let us say some more for each of the planets and then go out amongst the others and see where eternity will be and you will see very easily that there is plenty of room, age after age, for work after work, until the whole creation will be filled with God’s glory and his grace and the knowledge of Him. We are not to suppose that things are to be carried on in the same way in other planets as they have been here. God here for those 6,000 years has been giving a great object lesson which is to last for all eternity. All the angels are to take note of that lesson, all mankind are to know about it; and the Church, which will be asssociated with Jesus, will have knowledge to the full and can testify to the full of the absolute justice of God and the inflexibility of His justice: that when once He sentenced the race, nothing can set aside that sentence. The death sentence has been imposed and it must be exercised without mercy for 6,000 years. That is not all, for we see next the love of God manifested through Jesus as we never would have seen it had there never been a world to be brought back from the dominion of sin and death. We see God’s love manifested in Jesus, in the giving of His Son coming into the world to be our Redeemer, and all he suffered and bore, and then we see also, God’s loyalty to principle in highly rewarding Him far above angels and principalities and powers and every name that is named, and oh we rejoice at his exaltation! And then we see the further work of grace in connection with ourselves, and thus we see, dear brethren, God’s Justice. His Love, and ultimately we shall see His Wisdom in the matter. All shall see God’s Power in connection with the recovery of man, even the great power of the resurrection of the dead, the most wonderful power of all power that God ever can or ever will manifest.

 

”Astronomers... themselves tell us that there are probably many more planets that they cannot see at all, that there is no such thing as an end of space, where there are no planets, and we are simply lost in amazement and our hearts go up the more in gratitude to our Father and in appreciation of the great privilege which we have and the grace of God that has been so manifestly and so wonderfully in operation for us who are in Christ Jesus.

 

For by grace are ye saved through faith. and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.’... It would be a blessing to have that privilege of life for a day, for 100 years, for 1,000 years: It is all of grace.

 

”So when man came under the sentence of death there was no justice which could say to God, Now you must release them. Whatever was done to the sinner was of grace (Rev. 4:11), of His own free will, because he delighted to be gracious to us and so he has made the Plan. Now it is by grace we are saved, and it will be by grace that any of our race will be saved, not only in this age, but when the next age shall come and the world will have its opportunity. It will still be by grace, by grace...

 

"In the next Age it will be God’s grace by works; but now in our case, in the case of the Church, now it is God’s grace through faith ...

 

"God’s arrangement for the next Age and for mankind in general will be according to their works and... Jesus pictures that new Age in Re 21 and speaks about how all shall come forth from their graves; and the dead shall come up and all shall stand before the great White Throne {Re 20:11}. That’s the same great White Throne as we have in the 25th of Matthew. There it is spoken of as a judgment seat. All people are to be judged during that thousand year day, all mankind are to be before the judgment seat of Christ, before the great White Throne, representing the purity and justice of that throne, not established to condemn mankind; they have already been condemned, and the One on the throne is the One who has redeemed them from that condemnation; and He during the time He is on that throne will be there for the very purpose of giving a blessing to all those whom He has purchased with His own blood; and scattering all the ignorance and darkness and binding Satan for the 1,000 years that he can deceive no more, and lifting up and helping all those who desire to come unto the Father through Him... While Satan will be bound for a thousand years, while all the darkness and ignorance and superstition will be cast away and the light of truth will be shining clearly, and everyone shall know the Lord, and the knowledge of the Lord shall fill the whole earth as the waters cover the great deep, nevertheless they will have the imperfections of their own flesh to contend with. These they must battle with: to whatever extent they have lived regardless of the divine will at the present time, and knowingly have done wrong, to that extent they will have degraded themselves and they will have all the more steps to climb up; but the whole world will have a Priest upon the Throne. It will not be merely a king with great power. He will be a King indeed, but His power will be used for the benefit of his subjects, not for their injury—to put down everything that’s in opposition to righteousness, that He may thus deliver them from the snare of the Adversary and from the control of evil and darkness, that He may help them out of their own weaknesses: and so he will also be at the same time upon his throne a priest, and two phases joining. A priest forever after the order of Melchisedek who was a king and a priest at the same time—a Helper and Teacher and general Blesser and Manifestor of divine mercy, all that, because these words ‘priest’ and ‘king’ mean ‘ruler’ and ‘governor,’ and One who has the power and authority to aid and to help us.

 

"During that thousand years they will have the fullest opportunity and plenty of time to get clear up out of their weaknesses so that they may be fully perfected and able to do perfect works, made complete by the assistance granted them during that 1,000 years.

 

"The Apostle speaking of works says, ‘By grace are ye saved..’It is the gift of God.’ Why is faith a gift of God?...

 

531 "We are His workmanship. It is God that worketh in us both to will and to do. How?... The Apostle Peter tells us. He says, ‘God bath given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these, we might be made partakers of the divine nature.’ That is how God does it, by these precious, inspiring promises. We cannot get along without the Bible, my dear friends, no one can be a Christian and a child of God without the instructions from the Father’s Word. By these, then, is the power of God working in you to will and to do.

 

"What more can He say than to you He hath said, You who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?’

 

"As you have listened and as you have sat to be instructed by the Father, as you have sought to walk in the ‘narrow way,’ He has come near to you and you have had more fellowship with Him, you have appreciated more and more His character and plan and you have grown in grace and knowledge and have become more determined to do right than ever before. That was the Father’s drawing and not of yourselves. It was God working in you ‘for we are his workmanship.’ "Oh, my dear friends, let the Workman go on in your hearts: let Him melt and fashion: let Him chisel and polish: let Him make of you, as the Apostle says, a vessel unto honor. You remember the potter says, ‘Hash not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor and another unto dishonor’—less honor. The potter makes some vessels plain and some he ornaments, so the Apostle’s thought is, God has a factory and you and I are in his hands. He is moulding us and fashioning us. Let him work out whatever he is willing to do. He will only work through his providences and he will make of you the very best that is possible to be made. Is not that so? And you have so much to do. How?... He has made our will the very keynote of our existence and you have a will by which you can... yield yourself to be a minister of righteousness, to be used of Him and made meet for His future use in the glorious Kingdom.

 

”Now, I trust that all of our hearts are saying, ‘O. Lord, work in us more and more to will and to do... By Thy grace we are determined that under all these blessed privileges, God being for us, we shall be submissive. The Father Himself loveth us and He is desirous of making us jewels and ultimately of gathering us as jewels when He comes ‘to make up His jewels.’ O. we want to be among them, we do, and that means that we want now to be submissive...

 

"In proportion as we exercise faith in God, in all the circumstances and conditions of life, in that same proportion we will get the blessing that God designs to give us.’

 

‘’God’s burdens rest upon the strong—Make me more worthy, Lord, to bear!" CR321 to CR325 "A large diamond is worthy of more polishing, as in the case of our Lord and of St. Paul." (CR348)

SPECIAL DIVINE PROVIDENCE

 

‘’Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory”—Psalm 73:24.

 

"JEHOVAH, our God, is the great Emperor of the whole universe, And His wisdom, power, goodness and benevolence are abundantly equal To all the responsibilities of so exalted an office.

 

The human mind staggers in its efforts to comprehend the mental resources Of a being who is able to assume and to bear such responsibility.

 

Think for a moment of the memory that never fails; of the judgment that never errs; Of the wisdom that plans for eternity without the possibility of failure, And that times that plan with unerring precision for the ages to come; Of the power and skill which can harness even every oppposing element, animate Or inanimate, and make them all work together for the accomplishment of His grand designs; Of the tireless vigilance that never ceases, nor seeks relief from the Pressing cares of universal dominion—Whose eye never sleeps, whose ear is ever open, and who is ever cognizant Of all the necessities, and active in all the interests, of his broad domains." ‘93-R1560 Please see ‘95-R1864 c 1 last 3 paragraphs: ‘14-R5480, R5481.

 

"As the spirit of God draws our hearts into closer fellowship and sympathy with the divine mind, the value of these ‘exceeding great and precious promises’ is more and more fully realized, until there glows in our hearts the same holy enthusiasm that so filled the hearts of the apostles. And only when our hearts are thus warmed and our minds thus awakened, are we prepared to understand the Apostle’s ‘Wherefore,’ upon the inspiring comprehension of which depends our ability to heed the earnest exhortation which follows. "‘’Wherefore, gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance; but as he who bath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy, for I am holy"—1 Peter 1:13-16. ‘03-R3149 "AND GOD SHALL CAUSE HIS GLORIOUS VOICE TO BE HEARD"—Isaiah 30:30. ‘’HE WILL JOY OVER THEE WITH SINGING! " Zep 3:17.

THIS IS MY BELOVED SON IN WHOM I AM WELL PLEASED. HEAR YE HIM!

 

2Pe 1:16-18 Lu 9:35 Mt 17:5,9.

 

"All bare Him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth"—"THE ELOQUENCE OF TRUTH"—Luke 4:22! ‘99-R2437 "TO US WHO BELIEVE HE IS PRECIOUS" 1Pe 2:6,7. PRECIOUSNESS OF THE LORD! CR149-CR152.

WAS JUDAS A HYPOCRITE? 532

 

THEN ENTERED SATAN INTO JUDAS... LUKE 22:3—"It is difficult for any noble minded person to read the account of Judas’ course without feeling a sense of righteous indignation—a disgust for the baseness of character which could thus betray, for thirty pieces of silver, the one whom he recognized as the noblest of men, whether or not he was sure that Jesus was the Messiah. It may not be amiss here to reflect that Judas did not reach this depth of iniquity suddenly, but rather that the disposition toward unrighteousness had grown upon him during the three years of his intimacy with the Master, when the reverse disposition should have had control.

 

"At the time he was chosen to be an Apostle he was evidently a good man, so far as outward appearance, at least, was concerned; and his name, which signifies ‘Praise,’ would seem to indicate that his parents had been of a religious cast of mind and had wished and, so to speak, had prophesied of him that he would be a messenger of God to sound forth His praise. And what a privilege and opportunity he enjoyed in this direction?

 

"From the meager mentionings of the Gospel records we may reasonably infer that the beginning of his downfall was the harboring of a love of money. Instead of rebuking this wrong spirit and seeking, on the contrary, to cultivate generosity, love and benevolence, he permitted selfishness to have control, more or less, in his heart and life. We may surmise that he chose the office of treasurer for the little company, whereas, had he been sufficiently alive to his own weakness, his proper course would have been to refuse it, realizing that already he had too much love of money, and that the handling of the funds might prove a temptation to him. But on the contrary, he sought and obtained the of fice, and carried the bag with the money put therein; and the Apostle John tells us that he was a thief. (John 12:6). This passion for money, like all other abnormal propensities of our fallen nature, grew stronger as it was encouraged and cultivated, until finally it knew no bounds and he was ready to sell his loving Master, Messiah, for thirty pieces of silver!

 

"Probably Judas had made the same profession of consecration as did the other disciples: ‘Lo, we have left all lo follow thee; what, therefore, shall we have?’ And, with the others, he had left all, and perhaps, in a certain way, was very sincere and recognized that this was the Messiah. But Judas had a business turn of mind. He wished to be associated with such a great kingdom as the Messiah would set up. So there was a measure of selfishness connected with his consecration. Perhaps this is true with all of us. We are all sure that the Lord has a kingdom and we hope to have a share in it. But this thought should be secondary. Our merit should be of a higher order than merely a desire for reward for service.

 

"As treasurer of the disciples Judas looked out to get a good share for himself, to ‘feather his own nest.’ In the case of the ointment used for our Lord by Mary, he said, That ointment is worth a great deal of money, and it should have been put into the treasury instead of being poured on Jesus’ head.’ This he said because he was a thief and carried the bag.’

 

"So it seems that this spirit of avarice grew upon him. As matters progressed he began to see that things were not reaching the culmination for which he had hoped and looked. Probably he was one of those who said, at least in his heart, ‘If thou do these things, do them publicly, so that others may see.’ This would seem to have been the spirit of Judas and of many others. They wanted Jesus to do the things that would establish Him with the people. We can imagine their saying, ‘Ask some thousands to come and see the raising of some one from the dead, and have a good demonstration,’ etc. But nothing of this kind was done. Each miracle was performed by our Lord in a quiet way.

 

"Probably Judas began to think that Jesus could not manage affairs nearly so well as if he would allow Judas to ‘coach’ him a little. As time passed, he began to keep some of the money. Perhaps he thought, ‘Now things are not coming out very well. I will keep some of this money for the disciples and Jesus for a rainy day.’ But he was really thinking about Judas.

THE NECESSITY OF JUDGING OURSELVES

 

"By following a similar course of reasoning many people persuade themselves that they are trying to help others, when really they are looking out for their own interests. Hence there is a necessity for judging ourselves. The new creature should get the old creature into a corner and cross-question him: ‘Why do you act thus and so? Are you sure that you did not have some selfish motive in this matter?’ If Judas had thus examined himself it would have been better for him. But not having done so, he driRed farther and farther away from the right spirit. Finally he went to the chief priests and said, ‘What would you give me if I were to give Jesus over?’ They said, So much. Then he turned the matter over in his mind for several hours. So when he was in the ‘upper chamber’ his mind was abstracted, and he sat quietly watching what the others were doing.

 

”When our Lord washed the feet of his apostles, before partaking of the Passover supper, He intimated that as they had bathed (in accordance with the Jewish requirement of the putting away of all filth at the beginning of the Passover season), they merely needed now the rinsing their feet, the cleansing of the members that had come in contact with the earth. ‘He that is bathed needeth not save to wash his feet to be clean every whit’ (R.V.). Our Lord added, referring to Judas, ‘Ye are clean, but not all.’ This expression shows us very clearly that He had in mind a higher cleansing, of which this washing of their feet and their previous bath were but the figures.

 

"The Lord knew that the hearts of His disciples were loyal. He had accepted them as His disciples and had reckonedly imputed to them the merit of His sacrifice as a covering of their blemishes, the full testimony of which would be given by and by at Pentecost; the holy Spirit testifying that the Father had accepted the Lord’s atoning sacrifice on their behalf. There was one, however, of the number whose heart was not clean. Our Lord did not pass him by, but washed the feet of Judas with the rest, knowing the while of his perfidy, 533 and that he had already bargained with the chief priests and was merely awaiting the opportune moment of the carrying out of his malevolent scheme.

 

"Our Lord’s words, although not understood by the rest, must have been appreciated by Judas, as were his subsequent words. Our Lord went so far as to quote the very prophecy which marked Judas and his disloyalty, his violation of even the common hospitality (Psa 41:9). None of these things moved Judas; none of these things appealed to his heart in such a manner as to change his course. We have thus strong evidence of the wilful intention which marked his crime and makes clear the meaning of our Lord’s words when He called him the ‘son of perdition,’ and declared that it would have been better for him if he had never been born.

MINE OWN FAM1L1AR FRIEND HATH LIFTED UP HIS HEEL AGAINST ME

 

‘’While they were at supper, Jesus, appearing very sorrowful, gave as an explanation that it would be one of His own chosen twelve that would betray Him and thus become accessory to His death—one of those who dipped with Him in the dish, partaking of the same supper, the same bread, the same roasted lamb. Then He pointed out that although this was all written (Psa. 41:9), and thus no alteralion would be made in respect to the divine plan, nevertheless it signified a very gross breach of friendship—one sad to contemplate. It really made no difference to the Lord, so far as His intention and His consecration were concerned, whether He were apprehended by the rulers without any betrayal, or whether betrayed by a comparative stranger or by a disciple. The fact would make no change in the divine arrangement; but it was a cause of great sorrow to the Lord that the traitor should be one who had been a bosom friend and disciple.

 

”Amongst the Jews and Arabs, deceit and betrayal were not uncommon; but there was a code of honor recognized according to which no one would eat the food of the person whom he sought in any wise to injure. As food was seasoned with salt, it was probably this custom, of being faithful to those with whom one ate, that was known as the ‘covenant of salt’—the covenant of faithfulness. To succeed in having an enemy eat at one’s table or partake of one’s food seasoned with salt was amongst that people equivalent to a pledge of lasting friendship—that he would never do his host injury. Apparently Judas was so lacking of a proper spirit that he did not even acknowledge and obey the custom of his time—to be loyal and faithful to the one whose bread he ate, of whose salt he partook; hence our Lord’s words ‘He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me.’ "When Jesus passed the sop to Judas, he perhaps understood in some measure our Lord’s meaning, but the other disciples did not understand. They thought that Jesus was telling Judas to get in his proper provisions before the stores would be closed. But Judas may have thought thus: ‘Jesus has intimated that I will betray him. I had not intended to do this, but now I will show him. I know, of course, that he can get away from those officers; but I am treasurer of this company, and I will show him something. While I do not believe they could ever take him, yet the experience will be a good lesson. He will see henceforth that it will be better for him to go ahead. This thing has been dallying too long. It needs a business push behind it. So here goes!’ Thus Judas reasoned, and he carried out his part. No doubt Judas expected that Jesus would escape. Not for a moment did he expect that Jesus would suffer; for when he found that his plan had been carried out and that Jesus would be crucified, he went and hanged himself, and then fell headlong, at the breaking of the rope.

BETTER FOR THAT MAN IF HE HAD NOT BEEN BORN

 

—MATT. 26:4 "Jesus testified that His death would not be a victory on the part of his betrayer and his enemies, but in harmony with what had been written of Him by the prophets. Nor are we to consider that Judas was simply fulfilling a prophecy irrespective of his own responsibility, his own wilfulness in the matter. Such a thought is negatived by our Lord’s statement, ‘Woe unto the man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.’ ‘’This statement implies to us that, from the Lord’s standpoint, Judas had already experienced so large a measure of knowledge and opportunity for better things that his responsibility for his act was complete, and that there would be no hope for him at any time in the future. These words leave no question, we think, that Judas had already enjoyed his full share of the great atonement work through the intimate association with our Lord and the abundant opportunities he had of coming into a clear knowledge of the truth, and the corresponding responsibilities. From our standpoint Judas sinned against great light. Evidently his was the ‘sin unto death’—the ‘second death.’ Hence, aside from any future existence, we are to consider that his life was a useless, wasted one and that its joys did not overbalance its sorrows and anguish when to the latter were added his despair and suicide, Judas’ end was a sad one. Every suicide, by his act, confesses his wish that he had never been born.

 

"While Judas lived prior to Pentecost, we are to remember that he was one of the twelve upon whom Jesus had specially conferred a measure of his spirit—such a measure as enabled him, with the others, to perform miracles of healing, casting out devils, etc., in the name of the Lord, as His representative, using His power. The position of Judas, therefore, was one of special closeness to the Lord and to His personal instruction, both by precept and example. We remember our Lord’s words to his disciples, ‘To you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom; but to them that are without these things are spoken in parables.’ "All this privilege, opportunity, knowledge, contact, made Judas specially responsible. But his crime would have been inexcusable had it been against any ordinary person, and it was seriously intensified by being a crime against Him who spake and acted as never man spake or acted before. From this standpoint our Lord’s declaration that Judas was the ‘son of perdition’ seems to have special import or weight, as implying that Judas had enjoyed a sufficiency of light and knowledge of righteousness to constitute a trial, and that his

 

534 deliberate sin against such light and knowledge meant the second death.

 

"But while hating such a character, loathing it, despising it, and seeking to go as far as possible in an opposite direction in our characters, we are not to overlook the fact that there are amongst the Lord’s professed disciples some who, in a less degree, commit a crime very similar to that of Judas; they sell their Lord, they betray him, while professing to love him! True, this cannot today be done in the same literal and personal manner, but the spirit of it may be seen occasionally, we regret to say; we find some who really believe in Jesus, some who have consecrated their lives to be his followers; some who have been engaged in the ministry of this truth, as Judas was there, but who are willing to sell the Lord for a mess of pottage—for good things of this present life—for a salary, for social position, for honor amongst men, for popularity and titles; who are willing to join with those who misrepresent His character, His plan, his Word—willing to join with those who seek to assassinate the Lord.

 

”Ah, how well it is that each one ask himself the question raised upon the night of the Supper, ‘Lord, is it I?’ And let none be too ready to excuse himself; but let each search earnestly his own heart and life and conduct to see that he is not in any way sacrificing the truth and the life for any consideration whatever.

 

"More than thirty years ago we were inclined to think that all must come to a full knowledge of all truth ere they could be liable to the second death; but we have come to the conclusion from the general tenor of the Scriptures that this is not the Lord’s view and plan. On the contrary, deliberate and intelligent rejection of the first principles of the Gospel seems to imply an unfitness for further favors, on the ground that he that is unfaithful in that which is least would be unfaithful also in more.

 

"Adam’s knowledge of the divine plan was very slight; yet his disobedience brought the death penalty. The real grounds for sympathy and hope for the masses is the Apostle’s statement that Satan has blinded their minds, misinterpreted the facts {2Co 4:4}. All such will by and by ‘see out of obscurity’ when Satan shall be bound—during the Millennium.

 

"We confess little hope for the scribes and Pharisees who, when they could find no other fault, ascribed our Lord’s good works to the devil. As for Judas’ tears—they were no better than those of Esau (Heb. 12:17). His remorse led him not to a renewed or reformed life, but to self-destruction—Heb. 6:6.

PETER, THE IMPULSIVE—JUDAS, THE DISLOYAL

 

"While Judas betrayed our Lord, another disciple, an intimate friend and companion, denied him. Peter’s case we remember well. A good man, of strong character, he realized not his danger, and hence was not prepared for the arts of Satan, by which he was placed in so trying a position that his boasted courage fled, his wonted strength of character vanished, and he denied his Lord even with profanity! What a lesson to us of human frailty! How we ourselves might be overtaken and ensnared by the wiles of the devil! How much each one needs to watch and pray lest he enter into temptation—lest he succumb to temptation! How much we need to remember the prayer the Lord gave us for an example: ‘Abandon us not in temptation, but deliver us from the evil one!’ "That was a fateful time for Judas! If the adversary could so juggle, deceive and mislead the true-hearted Peter, because he was off his guard in watching and praying, what might we not expect he would be able to accomplish with Judas, whose heart was not right, who was selfish, self-seeking, ambitious, covetous! We do not wonder that Satan’s victory over Judas was soon accomplished—that he fell quickly into the snare of the adversary, and lent his heart and energy to the betrayal of the Master, for thirty pieces of silver! His case was very different from that of Peter, the loyal, the true, for the moment bewildered, off guard and fearful. Although the danger was the same in either case, their hearts were in different conditions.

 

"Is it not so with all the Lord’s followers? Is not this the secret of the results of temptation as they surely come to each one of us? The Judas class of today, and always, are those who, when tempation comes, receive it, entertain it, enter into the spirit of the ambition, or otherwise strong, allurement, and are swallowed up by it. The Peter class has also been with us ever since; and today even the true-hearted, not sufficiently watching and praying and on guard against the adversary’s allurements, are at times taken unawares; and for a moment dishonor, not only the Lord, but their own hearts, and consciences, also.

 

”The difference between these two classes is in the heart condition; the Peter class do those things which they do not wish to do, and their difficulty lies evidently in the weaknesses of their flesh, in’the power of the adversary, and in their failure to lay hold upon the help which the Lord has promised, the succor in their time of need.

 

”The Judas class, on the contrary, are those whose hearts are not loyal, but selfish, and who, therefore, enter into the adversary’s schemes heartily, and are not, in their wrong course, going contrary to their own wills, but in harmony therewith. The difference in God’s sight is seen in that, although both Peter and Judas were penitent, the one was accepted back to divine favor, but the other was not. The one who was merely entrapped, but who at heart was not disloyal, was restored and blessed; the other, though not without conscience, as shown by his later remorse, was without the genuine loyalty of heart which in the Lord’s sight is indispensable, and the absence of which, considering Judas’ intimate acquaintance with the Lord, was inexcusable.

 

"The Lord’s words to Peter, ‘Simon, Simon, behold, Satan bath desired to have you, that he might sift you as wheat; but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not’ {Lu 22:31,32}, give us the assurance that, because of this difference in the hearts of the two men, our lord could properly be the Advocate of the one before the Father, but not the Advocate of the other. He could stand for and represent the one who at heart was loyal to Him, however weak his flesh, however careless he might have been of the divine provision for his protection. He was still one of the Lord’s sheep. and therefore subject to the Shepherd’s care. He was still of the Lord’s members, subject to the oversight and interest of the Head.

 

535 He was still a member of the Lord’s espoused virgin church, whom our Lord loved and for whom he gave his life and for whom, therefore, He might properly make supplication as the betrothed Bridegroom.

 

But in the case of Judas, his heart being alienated through selfishness, any appreciation and love which he possessed for the Lord at the beginning of his ministry had evidently died, swallowed up of selfishness and ambition; and into that heart, thus fully withdrawn from the Lord, we are told that Satan entered. By thus willingly withdrawing his heart and strength and consecration from the Lord, and lending the same by deliberate intention of self-seeking, he became a tool of the adversary. As our Master said, ‘It must needs be that offenses come (that he should be crucified), but woe unto that man by whom the offense cometh!" Luke 17:1; Luke 22:22.

THE HARVEST A TIME OF SEPARATION

 

‘’Although we know in advance that none of the Lord’s disciples, true at heart, will be plucked out of His hands by the adversary, nevertheless we fancy that we can sympathize to some extent with our Lord’s feelings when He exhorted the disciples, ‘Watch and pray lest ye enter into temptation.’ "True, Jesus knew who it was that should betray him, and was, therefore, neither surprised nor disconcerted because of Judas’ course; and yet, undoubtedly, the thought that one who had eaten bread with Him should ‘lift up his heel against Him’ (John 13:18) must have had a saddening effect upon our dear Master, who could assuredly have pity for even his bitterest enemies as well as those who, Peter like, fail at first to withstand the adversary’s assault, but who subsequently are recovered by divine mercy and aid.

 

”Since the body of Christ is one, and since our Lord declares that whatsoever is done to one of the least of His members is done unto him, it follows that the Judas class and the Peter class, all down through the Gospel Age to the present moment, have been betraying or denying the Lord in proportion as they have betrayed or denied His members. We, therefore, should note the significance of His statement to Peter. ‘I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not!” ‘’For all of the Peter class the Lord is the Head, the Representative, the Advocate before the Father. Without His aid, without His appearance for us and the application to us of the merit of His own sacrifice, none of us could stand; all would be judged unworthy, unfit to have part or lot in the great blessings which the Lord has invited us to share with Jesus. And as the Master prayed for such, and now intercedes for such, and makes good their unwilling imperfections. so should all who have His spirit feel kindly, generously, sympathetically, and speak helpfully to the Peter class. But as the Master had no such words of sympathy for Judas, the open and premeditated enemy and traitor, so likewise, whatever our sorrowful feelings for such may be. there is no room for any expression of sympathy or cooperation in their evil work; as for any of the Apostles to have co-operated with Judas would have meant a share in his evil deeds.

 

”However much sympathy we may feel with Peter and others of similar character and experience, however much we may rejoice with him that the Lord prayed for him so that his carelessness in watching and praying for himself did not result in his undoing and his loss of relationship to the Lord—nevertheless, we should strive not to be of the Peter class, but of the class represented by the Lord himself. Let us be of the watching, praying, faithful kind, who will not be overtaken by the adversary’s temptations of the present time.

 

"We are in the harvest of the Gospel age; the separation of the wheat from the tares is due; and, more than this, the separation of the chaff from the wheat is also due—a sifting process. While this figure may to some extent have fit the experiences of the church in the past, we are sure that it specially applies to the church in the ‘ends of the ages’—to those who are now living in the end, or harvest, of the Gospel age. And our Lord is pleased to permit these siftings; they are necessary, apparently, that the Judas class may be entirely sifted out; and that the Peter class may be so thoroughly stirred up by the trials and difficulties and realization of their own weaknesses, and the knowledge that they would utterly fail without the Lord’s sustaining grace, that these lessons may prove profitable to them, developing in them more of meekness, watchfulness, prayerfulness and trust in their all-powerful Head.

WHY JUDAS CASE IS HOPELESS

 

"Heretofore we have pointed out that during this present age (the Gospel age, or spirit dispensation), the world of mankind is not liable to the second death. (1) Because the age is for the church’s trial and not for the world’s judgment, or trial; (2) Because now the world has not that degree of enlightenment which would involve the full, extreme penalty of God’s law, the second death; (3) Because the inspired Apostle declares that now Satan is exercising a blinding, deceiving influence upon all except true believers {2Co 4:4 Re 20:3}, and that ‘the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned’—1 Cor. 2:14.

 

”These conclusions from the Scriptures in general are so abundantly confirmed by the statements of Heb. 6:4-8 and 10:26-31, in which the Apostle warns the church that wilful sin, or apostasy, on the part of those who have enjoyed the privilege of consecrated believers—those who have tasted of the good Word of God, and the powers of the age to come, and who have been made partakers of the holy Spirit—as to leave hopeless the case of such. It will be found impossible to renew such, for there remaineth no longer any part for them in the sacrifice for sin. They have had and have misused their share in the great ‘ransom for all.’ ‘’We have called attention to the fact that the world in general, even in civilized lands, has had no opportunity to sin after the example of wilful apostasy, described by the Apostle. And it is well to note that this sin unto death on the part of believers is not at all the same as the missteps and stumblings which may occur in the path of any through weakness of the flesh {Ga 2:11-14}, and which are among the sins which may be repented of, reformed from, and forgiven—1Jo 2:1 5:16.

 

536 ‘’In view of the above, and of our further claim that the spirit dispensation began at Pentecost, after our Lord was glorified (John 7:39), some have wondered that we teach that Judas’ case is a hopeless one, since his sin and death were before Pentecost. We are asked to explain this seeming inconsistency.

 

"We answer, The period of the Lord’s presence at the first advent—from His baptism to His ascension—differed from the period after Pentecost, throughout this age, in which believers walk wholly by faith and not by sight, even as the Millennial age will differ from the Gospel age.

 

"In the Millennium knowledge and responsibility will no longer be confined to the spirit-begotten, for it is written, ‘The earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea (knowledge ocean-deep)’;‘ All shall know me (Jehovah) from the least unto the greatest’—Isa. 11:9; Jer. 31:34.

 

”It will no longer be the rule that the consecrated must ‘walk by faith and not by sight,’ for the consecrated of that time, while no doubt still having room for the exercise of faith, will, to a very considerable degree, walk by sight. It will no longer be true that Satan, the god of this world, will blind and deceive all except believers, for Satan will be bound and can deceive the world no longer; and ‘this world’ (age) shall then have given place to ‘the world (age) to come,’ ‘wherein dwelleth righteousness’; and ‘all the blind eyes shall be opened’—Heb. 2:5 2Pe 3:13 Isa 35:5.

 

"When knowledge is thus general, the possibility of sinning wilfully against great light will be general. Whosoever will, may then accept the divine favor and use the divine aids, and attain to perfection and life everlasting; and whosoever will, may intelligently reject God’s favor in Christ, and die the second death—the everlasting death, the hopeless death.

 

”Now let us return to the case of Judas, and consider the conditions which obtained at the time of his trial and failure, in the period of the Lord’s presence in the Jewish harvest. The circumstances of that time differed from those of the present age and also those of the Millennial age in the conditions; and hence the responsibilities differed also. Our Lord was present and performed marvelous works, illustrative of the powers of the world (age) to come.’ The truth was presented to the people in such a manner that the Lord declared that its rejection would bring ‘stripes’ and ‘woes’ upon those who, after hearing, loved darkness rather than light. He declared that some of those, because of their rejection of the truth, would be counted worthy of ‘many stripes’; and that it would be, therefore, more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for those. Our Lord’s declaration was, ‘If I had not done among them the works which none other man did they had not had sin’—Joh 15:22,24.

 

"And if the people had such responsibility because of what they heard and saw, how much greater was the responsibility of the twelve chosen Apostles! They had professed much, saying, ‘We have left all to follow thee.’ They were always with Him; and not only beheld many of His mighty works, of which the multitudes in various places saw but few, but more; He communicated to them, severally, a measure of

 

His spirit and power, and sent them out to proclaim Him and His Kingdom and to work miracles—to heal the sick and cast out devils in His name.

 

”The Apostles received also a special insight into the divine plan, an enlightenment not granted to the people; the equivalent to much that is now granted to the spirit-begotten ones of this age. The Lord addressed the multitudes in parables and dark sayings, but these He interpreted to the Apostles, saying, ‘Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to them that are without (outside of the twelve and other special disciples), all these things are done in parables.’ Again he said to them, ‘Blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear; for verily I say unto you that many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which you see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.—Matt. 13:11-17 Mr 4:11.

 

"If, then, the people, who saw a few of our Lord’s mighty works, and heard a few of His words of life, under parabolic cover, were declared ‘worthy of stripes’ for not receiving the light, what shall we say of the responsibility of the twelve who not only saw much more, but by His power in them, performed His miracles; who not only heard the parabolic words of life, but who had them expounded to them by the great Teacher? (Matt. 13:36-43; Mark 4:10-20). And what punishment less than death—hopeless extinction—shall we suppose was merited by one of these who, after all this, according to his own confession, ‘betrayed innocent blood’?

 

"We judge that if Pilate and Herod and the Roman soldiers had some resposibility for Christ’s death, the multitude who clamored, ‘Crucify him! His blood be upon us and on our children!’ had much more responsibility; that the better educated, envious Pharisees and Priests who incited the illiterate, common people, had yet a greater responsibility (Matt. 23:15-33), and that Judas, His betrayer, was the chief, the real crucifier, because of his knowledge and wilfulness.

 

”Upon him alone, of all who had to do with his death, our Lord placed the full responsibility, the full guilt, when he said: ‘The Son of Man goeth (to death) as it is written of him (prophetically), but woe unto that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. It had been good for that man if he had never been born!’ (Matt. 26:24) Should Judas be granted eternal life, under any circumstances or after any experience, his birth could not be considered a disadvantage to himself. See also Ps 109:6-8 Joh 6:70,71 17:12.

 

"So, likewise, those who (with good knowledge of God’s grace in Christ) sin wilfully and count the precious blood of the Covenant wherewith they were sanctified [set apart], a common thing, ‘crucify Christ afresh and put Him to an open shame.’ And, like Judas, they often accompany this denial of his ransom-sacrifice with the words ‘Hail, Master!’ and a deceitful kiss. All such should be an abhorrence to every one who possesses to any degree the true, noble, Christ-like spirit.

BE NOT WISE IN YOUR OWN CONCEITS!

 

”Some of the dear friends feel very loath to ‘give poor Judas up,’ and some feel that their sympathy for him is an 537 evidence that they have ‘more love than others.’ Those who come to Christ are not selected because they are the least blemished amongst men; they are oftener the more blemished; the less blemished often feel a self-complacency and satisfaction which hinders them from coming to God as repentant sinners and from realizing that they can be justified only through the imputed merit of Christ. But those who come to Christ and hear him, soon learn how imperfect are their depraved conceptions, and they seek and obtain His mind, that it may be theirs thenceforth, as instead of their own judgements. ‘We have the mind of Christ,’ says the Apostle. It is our ‘new mind’; we are ‘transformed by the renewing of our minds,’ so as to be able to ‘prove [know] what is the good, acceptable and perfect will of God’—Rom. 12:2.

 

"Those whose hearts go out so strongly to Judas seem to indicate by their questions that, however much they have submitted their judgment to God’s will on some questions, they have not submitted them on this point. The reason seems to be that they deceive themselves into thinking that their sympathy with Judas is the true love which the Scriptures everywhere enjoin as the essence of Christian character. But they are deceiving themselves. To love an evil thing is on a par with hating a good thing. Both are wrong; both are evidence that the depraved mind is not renewed, remodeled, transformed into the mind of Christ.

 

”The mind of the Lord, inculcated by his Word, teaches that we are to love the beautiful, pure, true, noble; we are to love (in the sense of sympathizing with) the weak, the penitent and oppressed, who are seeking for the paths of righteousness and truth; but we are to ‘hate iniquity’ and ‘every false way,’ and all the meanness and sin which is wilful, against light, and of the devil.

 

”Cease to pride yourself upon love for one of the most detestable characters known to the pages of history, of whom our Lord, who so loved (sympathized with) the world that he laid down his life for it, said, ‘It had been better for that man if he had never been born.’ Adopt God’s standpoint. As the Apostles say, ‘Be not deceived; God is not mocked’;‘ He that doeth righteousness is righteous [and approved of God], but he that practices sin [knowingly, wilfully] is of the devil’—Gal. 6:7 1Jo 3:6,7,8.

 

"For our part. we have no thought of ever becoming more loving than the Lord; we accept His definitions and seek to be conformed mentally to His standard—the image of God’s dear Son. We want to love just as He loves and just what He loves, and we want to hate what He hates. Of Him it is written, ‘Thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity; therefore, God, even thy God, bath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows’ (Heb. 1:9; Psa. 45:7). ‘Do not I hate them, O Lord. that hate thee?... I hate them with a perfect hatred’—Psa. 139:21, 22.

 

‘We are glad that neither Satan nor Judas nor any other creature will ever be tormented to all eternity. We are glad that a full. fair opportunity for coming to a knowledge of the Lord and of the way of righteousness will be granted to every member of Adam’s race; and we are glad that, on the contrary, all who rejoice not in the truth, but rejoice in iniquity, will be utterly and everlastingly destroyed in the second death’. We abominate Satan, who, for over six thousand years, has wrought unrighteousness and gloated over the evil and pain and sorrow which he has wrought, and who with clear knowledge of the redemptive work has for eighteen centuries opposed the Kingdom and the great salvation. The person who could believe in Satan’s conversion after all this battling against the light and the truth has a perverse mind, very sadly blinded by the ‘god of this world’—a mind thoroughly out of harmony with the Word.”‘11-R4906 to R4909. ‘05-R3535

TRUE LOVE VS FALSE LOVE

 

‘’God is love! Beware of people who while expatiating on love and attempting to shine as its exponents do so at the expense of God’s character...

 

"Beware of all who make a great palaver about love! for Satan often uses it as the garment of light to cover bad conduct or bad doctrine—whose real lovelessness he would thus screen from criticism. For instance, true love begins with God, and says, ‘Let God be true, if it prove every man a liar’..."‘ 95- R1864 See Rev. 20:3, ‘15-R5683, R5684.

CHOOSE YE THIS DAY

 

—Mark 15:1-15.

 

"Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man"—Luke 23:4.

 

Bartering the Truth for Pottage—"Of the People There Was None With Him"—Betrayed By a Professed Friend—The Vile Charge of Blasphemy—Treason Against Rome—Art Thou the King of the Jews?—Preferring Barabbas To Jesus—Herod’s Opportunity and Failure—"Do Nothing Against This Just Man" (Matthew 27:19).

 

The Result of These Trials—Retribution: Mt 27:24,25.

 

"What a number of trials, testings and provings we have found in this lesson—and now let us briefly glance at the results. Judas, as a result of failure in his trial, died soon by his own hand. Pilate, the unwilling instrument of the condemnation and not one hundredth part as guilty as the Jews, shortly afterwards lost his commission as governor and in despondency committed suicide. Annas, the high priest, was subsequently dragged through the streets, scourged and murdered. The multitude who cried out, ‘Crucify him!’ and who in answer to Pilate’s declaration that he was innocent of the blood of Jesus, declared, ‘His blood be upon us and upon our children,’ experienced a baptism of blood not many years after when the entire city of Jerusalem was a scene of most horrible atrocities, which culminated in the utter destruction

 

538 of their city with great loss of life, in the overthrow of the entire Jewish polity in Palestine, and the scattering of the survivors amongst all nations and peoples..." ‘04-R3366 to R3369.

JESUS BEFORE PILATE—CONSIDER HIM

 

—Matt. 27:11-26.

 

"Jesus came into the world to save sinners"—1 Tim.1: 15.

 

"Poor Pilate!... ‘I am innocent of the blood of this just person; look to yourselves [that you are likewise free from blood guiltiness]’... Matt. 27:24.

 

"Promptly the defiant cry, ‘His blood be upon us and upon our children,’ rang out through the courts of Pilate’s tribunal, and reverberated in the courts of heaven, and was recorded as a prophecy of divine judgment against them. Alas! poorJews; with what judgment you judged, you have been judged. And although the true followers of the Nazerene have never injured you, his nominal friends have often brought vengeance upon you at the hands of Pilate’s successors. You cried, ‘We have no king but Caesar,’ and were taken at your word by the Almighty. Oh, poor Jew, there is no way to escape your selfpronounced curse of his blood,  except by accepting his blood, freely offered to you as to all mankind as the blood of sacrifice, the blood of atonement which sanctifieth (maketh holy to God) all to whom it is applied by faith. It is the ‘blood [seal] of the New Covenant.’ "‘ 98-R2312, R2313.

 

"The curse will be remitted because of its being forgiven through the grace of God in Christ.

 

"On the other hand note the blessings which came to those whose testings were received in the proper manner, demonstrating their loyalty to the Lord. Our Lord Jesus was highly exalted, far above angels, principalities and powers and every name that is named—because faithful unto death, even the death of the cross. Peter the Apostle, although partially overtaken in a fault, nevertheless through repentance and bitter tears was accepted back again to the Lord’s favor, profited by his sad experience, and became one of the noblest of the apostles, one of the most honored, and is yet to be honored in the kingdom as joint-heir with his Redeemer.

 

"The lesson to us is that we should follow in the footsteps of Jesus and resolve to be faithful to our heavenly Father, to do his will at any cost, at any sacrifice of earthly interests—not grudgingly, but, as expressed prophetically of our Lord, ‘I delight to do thy will, O my God; Thy law is written in my heart.’ Another lesson is that if temporarily we should stumble in following the Master we must not be discouraged, but turn the failure and stumbling into a blessing by permitting it to bring us into closer relationship to the Lord and to make us more and more careful and more faithful in our walk with the Lord henceforth." ‘04-R3369.