MILLENNIAL

 

MORNING

 

We chose the name Millennial Morning for our publication because a new era in earth’s experience is beginning.  Everyone sees it.  It’s a time of change.  We believe that these changes have all been planned by God and described in the Bible.  Our purpose is to present the Bible’s description of what God’s plans are.  It is directed to those who think the scriptures might have some answers.

 

Some have wondered about the Bible, but haven’t heard anything about it that has appealed to them, and have avoided it.  We invite such to give it a try.  Check the citations we use, and then make more knowledgeable judgment.  If you have cast off the Bible as superstition, please listen to another viewpoint.  If you accept the Bible and have studied the scriptures, think carefully about our suggestions.  Do not discard them at once if they do not follow the exact pattern of traditional church doctrine.  Weigh them with reason.

 

We believe that if the Bible is of God, its teaching must be consistent.  Our object, then, if we seek truth, is to try to understand the plan it may contain.  And if that plan fits with what we would expect of a just and loving God; if it explains the path of man through thousands of years of suffering; if it gives us an understanding of the reasons for the changes which the world has gone through in the past century; then we can begin to have faith in that plan.

 

The established churches which have held false traditions of what the Bible says are rapidly losing ground.  They are becoming more "liberal," and banding together in ecumenical movements for preservation.  They are troubled because they have no real answers.

 

One question needs an answer more every day.  Last week, Israel celebrated the twenty-third anniversary of their independence as a nation.  Why are they back from centuries of exile?  God’s plan has the answer.

 

Paul says their exile was to be temporary.  "I want you to understand this mystery, brethren:  a blindness in part has come upon Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles come in."  That is, until enough Gentiles have come in to complete the church of Christ.  "So all Israel will be saved as it is written, "The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob:’ "and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.’" ( Jer 31:25-27)  Verse 27 shows that it is Israel that is meant.

 

Paul quoted from Old Testament prophecies to support his argument.  The first was taken from Isa 59:20, a "Redeemer shall come from Zion."  What does "Zion" mean?  Heb 12:22-24 shows that Zion is the word used for the spiritual kingdom of God, "heavenly Jerusalem."  So Paul says that deliverance will come to Israel from the heavenly kingdom—not deliverance by man, but by Christ.

 

His second quotation, from Jer 31:33, tells the result of Israel’s deliverance.  "This shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people."  The prophet Ezekiel saw the same future:  "I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh that they may walk in my statutes."  Eze 11:19.  This process is nothing short of a conversion of both mind and heart to follow God—not by evangelizing ministers, but by the spiritual rulership of God’s kingdom.  The blessings of this kingdom will not be limited to Israel.  As people see this conversion, their attitude will be "we will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you."  Zec 8:23

 

What exactly is this "kingdom?"  A mountain is used to represent it in Mic 4:1, 2:  "The mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains ... and people shall flow unto it.  And many nations shall come and say, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths:  for the law shall go forth of Zion (spiritual rulership) and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem."  But this kingdom will do more than passively admit people.  "And he shall judge among people and rebuke strong nations afar off and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks:  nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."  Mic 4:3.  See also Isa 2:2

 

Daniel also saw the mountain kingdom of God which in a dream "filled the whole earth" (Da 2:35) just as God’s kingdom will eventually spread over the world.  Daniel’s conclusion:  "In the days of these (Gentile) kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed ... it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever."  Dan 2:44

 

One other Old Testament prophecy—Isa 35 —gives a poetic portrayal of the earthly kingdom:  deserts in blossom, eyes unblinded, ears unstopped, lameness cured, "and parched ground shall become a pool."

 

This is the new age our generation longs for.  "The ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away."

 

Back to the New Testament.  Speaking to the Jewish people, Peter said, "He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you; whom the heaven must receive until the Times of Restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began."  (Ac 3:20, 21).  He’s saying that the return of Christ and the setting up of His Kingdom—the "Times of Restitution" —is to restore to men what was lost.  What was it that man had and lost?  In Heb 2:6-9 we find the answer.  "What is man?  Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honor, and didst set him over the works of thy hands.  Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet ... he left nothing on earth that is not put under his feet ... he left nothing on earth that is not put under him."  Then there was a change.  Man through disobedience lost the possession given him.  "Now we see not yet all things put under him."  But man has hope of getting back his lost possession.  "We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor (of a perfect man) that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man."

 

This means that Jesus took the penalty of man’s disobedience—the penalty of death—so that penalty could be lifted from mankind and make possible a full restitution of what he formerly enjoyed—a perfect life and dominion under the loving care of God.

 

And in Ro 11 Paul makes a clear link between Israel’s restoration and the benefits of restitution to the world.  "If the fall of them be the riches of the world, how much more their fulness?  For if the casting way of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be but life from the dead?"  (Ro 11:12, 15)

 

To free all of mankind from that penalty of death means bringing them back from the dead.  "For as in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive."  (1Co 15:22)  "Marvel not at this; for the hour is coming in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth," —some to life quickly; others to judgment and a long walk back to perfection (Joh 5:28).

 

We have said that we believe this kingdom is beginning.  The 12th chapter of Daniel (Da 12) describes the events of recent years which are the first part of the kingdom:  "At that time shall Michael (Christ) stand up, ... and there shall be a time of trouble ... many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased."  These are signs we can see.  The increase of knowledge has spiraled up geometrically in the last 100 years to reveal a wealth of technological truth.  This improves man’s potential for a dominion over the earth.  It also uncovers the injustice of men to men, and the failings of every form of government man has tried.  It shows the hypocrisy of most of the churches.  And it is causing people all over the world to demand liberty.  It is Christ’s truth that shows us how bad things really are ..." for the winepress is full, the vats overflow; for their wickedness is great." —Joel 3:13, Re 14:19, 20

 

God’s plan for restitution is the only cure that will work.  And He is beginning that cure.

 

Good (Millennial) morning.

 

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And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; there shall be no more death, neither shall there be any more pain:  for the former things are passed away.  Re 21:4

 

For the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.  Isa 11:9

 

Then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord.  Zeph 3:8

 

For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.  The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.  1Co 15:25, 26

 

Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end.  Isa 9:7

 

Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Mt 6:10

 

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"when HIS judgments are in the earth ..."

 

When a man is in court, does he get justice?  Did Manson?  Did Calley?  The accounts of these trials haunt the public.  The front pages of the daily newspapers reveal how hideously man can treat his brother man.  Some say the death penalty is too good for such men as these; others, that insanity or the insanity of war is a reason for mercy.  And no one can look deep into the recesses of a man’s heart to see the extent of his guilt—or to search out a potential for rehabilitation.  Is justice possible in this warped world?

 

But something’s happening.  There’s a thread of justice that is becoming increasingly apparent in all these events—a sort of settling of the accounts of the nations of earth.  For centuries we’ve exploited the earth, and now our polluted environment is closing in on us.  The threats of famine and overpopulation are very real indeed.  And for centuries, men have exploited each other.  Now people won’t take it any more, and riot and anarchy increase.

 

"I will punish the world for their evil and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and I will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.  I will make a man more precious than fine gold, even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir."  Isa 13:11, 12

 

The judgments of God now showing themselves in our troubled headlines will not be appreciated by the selfish, who act at the expense of others.  These judgments fall upon the whole world—and it will not be easy—but it will be for their benefit.  The result will place man’s welfare above every earthly thing.  More precious than fine gold.  Even money.  Amazing.

 

"Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O Lord, have we waited for thee; the desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee ... for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness."  Isa 26:8, 9

 

When God deals with man there is a marked departure from the way man deals with man.  The outcome of His justice is rehabilitation in the highest sense of the word.  The inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.

 

And it is all beginning.  Christ has returned, and is present as King of the earth.  "For as the bright shining (sun) cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west, so shall the presence of the Son of Man be."  (Mt 24:27)  It is His MILLENNIAL MORNING.  And those who truly love their fellow-man will welcome true justice at last.

 

"With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the Lord, the King.  Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.  Let the floods clap their hands:  let the hills be joyful together before the Lord; for he cometh to judge the earth:  with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity."  Ps 98:6-9

 

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FREE  — DIVINE PLAN OF THE AGES—Topically arranged Bible Study of God’s Plan, Magazine Edition.  Send to:  P.O. Box 4614, San Diego, CA 92104

 

  __________________________________

 

The thoughts herein contained do not necessarily represent the opinions of San Diego State College

 

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MILLENNIAL

 

MORNING

 

An Open Letter to the Jewish People

 

Millennial Morning is a Christian publication.  However, in the aftermath of the tragedy at Munich, we wish to extend our sincere sympathy to all who bear the proud name of Israel.

 

Millennial Morning’s position toward the Jewish people is strictly non-proselyting.  In this period of bereavement, we urge you to turn to your Scriptures for comfort.  We find there’s a message in Scripture given by God to the Jew alone—of comfort, hope, and a special place in His plan for Israel.

 

The Holy Scriptures inform us that it is now time for national favor to return to the Jewish people.  Indeed, since 1878, the secular evidences have been growing that favor has been returning.  We have seen the Zionist movement, the rebirth of Israel, and three successive Israeli victories, culminating in the recovery of the Old City of Jerusalem (a foretold event.)

 

This return of favor implies, of course, that there was a period of national disfavor.  Thus, the Jews have been without a homeland since the fall of Jerusalem, 70 C.E., until quite recently.  Some rabbis feel this is described in Scripture as a period without king, prince, sacrifice, pillar, ephod, or teraphim, for "many days."  (Hos 3:4, 5)  But ever during this dark period, Divine providence was over the Jews of the Diaspora, preserving them separate and distinct from all other nations.—Le 26:44

 

The mere fact that God has preserved the Jews, should be proof that He has something important for them as a people or nation in the future.  Indeed, not only shall Israel receive God’s full blessing, but they shall fulfill the prophetic vision of being a "light" to the Gentiles.  (Isa 42:6; 49:6; 60:3)  And, "Thus said the Lord of hosts:  In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, shall even take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying:  We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you."—Zec 8:23, Masoretic Text

 

A humbling experience, we may be sure!

 

Israel will also have to undergo a humbling process in order to be fit for the Kingdom arrangements.  The Israelis, proud of their military powers, must become more "God-conscious" before they can be useful to God and be in a heart-condition to receive His blessings.

 

This is the most solemn part of our message, and we would that it need not be uttered; yet Scripture reveals that it must and will be.  Israel, the "Pleasant Land," and Jerusalem, the "Golden City," will fall once more to the oppressors.  This time, known as "Jacob’s Trouble" (Jer 30:7), will be the dregs of despair for Israel.  But, thank God, it will only be temporary.  Our heart goes out to her, but we comfort ourselves and Israel with the Scriptural promise that God shall actually and literally intervene on behalf of Israel before all is lost.  (Eze 38:18; 21-23)  After "Jacob’s Trouble" there will be found in Israel a "God-conscious" people who will be the nucleus of God’s kingdom on earth.

 

What of your personal responsibilities?

 

A voice is sounding from the wilderness, and the Jews everywhere are hearkening to it.  It does not call them to become Christians, but to remain Jews and to realize, as Jews, the ideals set before them by the Lord in the Law and in the Prophets.  We invite our Jewish friends to believe what their Scriptures say, and to make their future in the land of Israel, for the Scriptures plainly declare that God’s favor is to be found in Israel and upon those who have enough faith to seek Him there.

 

Why go to Israel if there is to be so much trouble there?  Simply because there will be trouble and anarchy world-wide at that time, but in Israel God promises a deliverance!

 

What do we expect in Israel within the next decade or so?

 

1.  A further immigration from Russia.

 

2.  Probably more land gains—at the expense of Lebanon and Jordan.

 

3.  Probable period of peace and prosperity followed by definitely more trouble when "Gog and Magog" invade Israel from the north.

 

4.  The Old City of Jerusalem will remain in Israeli hands, despite the opposition of the entire world, until "Jacob’s Trouble."

 

What do we, as Bible Students, hope to accomplish by proclaiming this message?

 

God, our God and yours, loves Israel with an unfailing love.  Our hearts are compelled by the Scriptures, ours and yours, to:

 

1.  Respond to the plea of Isa 40:1, 2:  "Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people—Israel.

 

2.  Identify ourselves as non-proselyting friends of Israel  (See Herzl Yearbook, Vol. V, pp. 180-189. Herzl Press, N.Y.)

 

3.  Proclaim to each individual Jew his God-given responsibility to believe and act upon the promises and prophecies of the Torah.

 

4.  Urge all Jews to avoid the current ecumenical dialogues with Christian denominations, either Catholic or Protestant, for we do not wish the Jews to become entangled with the false doctrine of the Trinity (three-in-one god).

 

To further explain the Scriptures on these various features of God’s plan, we have prepared a booklet entitled, "The Time to Favor Zion is Come."  The booklet does not contain a proselyting message.

 

We appreciate the opportunity of speaking with you on matters at once personal and yet of a national interest.

 

Shalom, in the hope of God’s kingdom and Israel’s share in it,

 

MILLENNIAL MORNING

 

"Thou wilt arise, and have compassion upon Zion; for it is time to be gracious unto her, for the appointed time is come."

 

Ps 102:14

 

Not printed with ASB funds

 

MILLENNIAL MORNING

 

Post Office Box 4614

 

San Diego, CA 92104

 

Please send me a free copy of:  THE TIME TO FAVOR ZION IS COME

 

Name_____________________________________________________________

 

Address___________________________________________________________

 

City___________________________  State_____________  Zip______________

 

VOL. III  NO. 1

 

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MILLENNIAL

 

MORNING

 

If I were elected...

 

The Christian today could be tempted to get involved in politics.  The campaign speeches are full of noble, attractive ideals—promises of peace, prosperity, and justice for all.  The thought may cross a Christian’s mind, "If I were elected, I could use my Christian background and teachings to help mankind."  If Christian influence could be used politically, would it improve the world’s condition?  A glance at history shows that even Christians have been unable to bring their hopes to fruition.  WHY?

 

There are at least two reasons.  "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one."  (Ro 3:10)  All of mankind are equal in once sense:  we are all sinners.  Our judgments are not infallible.  Our reactions are not always loving.  Our efforts to do what we set out to do fall short of perfection.  As Christians we can be forgiven our sins, but we still sin.  Even our greatest effort to help mankind would miss the mark, because we are imperfect.

 

Satan, the price of the power of the air, does not control every move of every government, but influences them through selfishness.  For centuries, kings claimed to rule by "Divine right," but that era died in World War I.  Countries are referred to as Christian governments, because Christianity is the chief religion taught.  However (and this is the second reason), Jesus withdrew all claims to man-made governments when he said, My kingdom is not of this world ..."—Joh 18:36.

 

The time factor.

 

The way of a Christian is not easy.  We are not to see solutions for men’s problems through man-made organizations.  On the other hand, our fellow-men appeal to our noblest sentiments by pleading, "GET INVOLVED!"

 

WHERE SHOULD A CHRISTIAN STAND?

 

(illustration)

 

Conservative,                           Middle of                          Liberal,

 

         Very Conservative                       the Road                      Radical Left

 

The key to the dilemma is the time factor.  At the first advent of Jesus, he healed many people.  He resurrected the dead.  His Apostles healed and spoke to thousands in his name.  But the time for the setting up of the kingdom of God was not yet.  The world was not then relieved of its sin and pain and death and injustice.  The time for carrying out the solution had not yet arrived.

 

"Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time."  (1Ti 2:6)  Jesus died for the sinners of the world, yet we continued to live in a sinful world.  The Apostle Paul ties in the time feature by saying that this ransom of Jesus’ life would be made manifest in due time.  When is the due time?

 

"For the earnest expectation of the creature (the world) waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God ... For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.  And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for he adoption, the redemption of our body."—Ro 8:19, 22, 23.

 

Everyone is waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God, the Church, whether they are aware of it or not.  The hopes, desires and ideals of all nations are to be satisfied (after their present "shaking" experiences) when the kingdom of Christ is manifest to all (Hag 2:7)  But before it can be revealed, the governing body of this kingdom must be complete.

 

Who will be the governing body?  The Christ, The Anointed, Head and body.  It will be the combination of Jesus Christ and His Bride, the Church.  The Church is promised to "live and reign with Christ a thousand years."  "If we suffer with him we shall reign with him."  "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me on my Father’s throne."  And who will they govern?  All the rest of the world of mankind, for whom Jesus also died.  "He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."  (1Joh 2:2)  Also please read:  Jer 31:34, Isa 40:5; Zeph 3:9; Isa 35.

 

To attempt to reform present governments would be but a waste of effort; for they are already beginning to be removed and replaced by Christ’s government.

 

"And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed:  and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever." —Dan 2:44

 

"Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?  Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth (a new heavenly rulership and a new society), wherein dwelleth righteousness." —2Pe 3:12, 13

 

Involvement.

 

What are Christians supposed to be doing now until the "due time" arrives?  There is something in which they can "get involved."  The Church of God should give its attention and effort to preaching the kingdom of God, and to the advancement of the interests of that kingdom according to the plan laid down in the Scriptures.  If this is faithfully done, there will be no time for dabbling in the politics of present governments.  The Lord had no time for it; the apostles had no time for it; nor have any of the saints who are following their example.

 

The true teacher and lightbearer (Mt 5:14), the true Church, the body of Christ, is not to be left in darkness to learn of her Lord’s dealings by the manifestations of his wrath and power, as the world will learn of it.  By the sure word of prophecy, which shines as a light in a dark place, she is clearly and definitely informed that the King of Glory and his blessed kingdom are the only remedy for the wrongs and woes of man.  She can point the groaning creation to this kingdom, rather than to the poultices of their own contriving which can do no real good.  Through the prophetic word, she shall not only be shielded from discouragement, and enabled to overcome the besetments, snares, and stumbling stones so prevalent in the "evil day," but she becomes the lightbearer and instructor of the world.

 

The Church is thus enabled to point out to the world the cause of the trouble, to announce the presence of the new Ruler, to declare the object of the new dispensation, and to instruct the world as to the wisest course to pursue in view of these things.  Although many will not heed the instruction until the lesson of submission has been forced upon them by the trouble, it will greatly aid them in learning the lesson.  It is to this mission of the feet, or the last members of the Church, who will declare upon the mountains (kingdoms) the reign of Christ begun that Isa 52:7 refers.

 

"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation, that saith unto Zion, Thy God Reigneth!"

 

Not printed with ASB funds

 

MILLENNIAL MORNING

 

Post Office Box 4614

 

San Diego, CA 92104

 

Please send me a free copy of:

 

THE DIVINE PLAN OF THE AGES

 

Name_____________________________________________________________

 

Address___________________________________________________________

 

Comments_________________________________________________________

 

VOL. III  NO.3

 

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MILLENNIAL

 

MORNING

 

ANASTASIS

 

"a standing up again, i.e. (lit.) a resurrection from death ... raised to life again, resurrection, rise from the dead, that should rise, rising again."—Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible

 

What is resurrection?  Many Christian people speak of the resurrection of Lazarus, the resurrection of the son of the widow of Nain, the resurrection of Jairus’ daughter.  The Scriptures promise a resurrection of the dead to take place during Christ’s kingdom, and we might think of this in the same terms.  This mistake has greatly clouded thought upon this important subject.  It isn’t true that Lazarus and the others mentioned were resurrected!  They were awakened, reanimated.  There is wide difference between a mere awakening and a full, complete resurrection out of death.  To awaken signifies to start again the vital life signs—resuscitation.  This is all that was done for Lazarus or for the son of the widow of Nain, or for Jairus’ daughter.  They were still under the sentence of death, and only experienced an extension of the present dying conditions.

 

The word, "resurrection," as found in the English New Testament, is derived from the Greek word, anastasis, in every case except one.*  The word anastasis occurs 43 times in the New Testament, and means to stand again, or to raise up again.  It is never used to mean merely the raising of a corpse to a standing position out of a tomb.  It doesn’t mean the mere revivifying or starting up the machinery of life.  It means something far more important.  It is used as the antithesis, or opposite of death—the recovery out of death.  A careful examination of the 43 texts of Scripture in which this word anastasis occurs will find them all in absolute agreement with the definition:  a re-standing, a recovery from death, an entrance or re-entrance into perfect life.

 

*Mt 27:43

 

To get a proper view of the meaning of anastasis, we must understand the Creator’s view of what constitutes life.  We must also discern what constitutes dying and death.  Then we can grasp the thought of resurrection, the rising up again out of death into the full perfection of life from which all in Adam fell.

 

Only two men ever possessed full life:  Adam, before his transgression, before he brought upon himself the curse or sentence of death; and the man Christ Jesus.  At the moment of disobedience, Adam’s life was forfeited, and the dying process began.  Adam sank lower and lower into death, until finally he was completely dead, as he was judicially dead from the moment of his sentence.  "Dying thou shalt die."  (Ge 2:17 —margin)  Adam’s posterity has never had life.  (Ro 3:10)  The spark which flickers for a few years is not recognized by God as being life in the full sense, in view of the fact that the death sentence rests upon all ("As in Adam all die ...)  Those presently born into the world are born merely to a dying condition.  From the standpoint of justice, all are dead.  (Ro 3:24; Mt 8:22)  God recognizes only those who come into Christ as having life, those who accept Him as their Savior.  ("... so in Christ shall all be made alive." —1Co 15:22)

 

Let us keep in mind what constitutes life and what constitutes dying.  Remember from what a glorious height and perfection of life man fell into his present condition of degradation and death.  Then, and only then, can we appreciate the meaning of the word anastasis as a standing again, a raising up again to the condition before The Fall occurred—the condition of perfection in which Father Adam stood.  It is to this condition of perfection that God proposes to bring all of mankind.  (1Ti 2:4)  The requirement is that when brought to a knowledge of the Truth, they accept divine favor, and demonstrate their loyalty by obedience to the spirit of the divine law.

 

Anastasis is raising to life again.  This is where the beauty of God’s plan comes to life.

 

Anastasis is Isa 35:5, 6:  "Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.  Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing:  for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert."

 

Anastasis is Job 33:24, 25:  "Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit:  I have found a ransom.  His flesh shall be fresher than a child’s:  he shall return to the days of his youth.  He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him:  and he shall see his face with joy:  for he will render unto man his righteousness."

 

Anastasis is Mal 4:2:  "But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings ...."

 

Anastasis is Re 21:4:  "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain:  for the former things are passed away."

 

The "New Creation" is privileged to participate in the resurrection.  It is part of their inheritance.  While "all who are in their graves shall hear the voice of the Son of Man and come forth," the New Creation, the Little Flock, the Church of Christ, or those in Christ, shall rise first.  For a further aid in studying this important subject, we recommend the topically arranged book, The New Creation.  It not only covers the resurrection of the New Creation, but also 16 related studies such as:  The Call ... The Organization ... The Judgment ... The Baptism ... The Foes and Besetments ... of the New Creation.  There’s also a scriptural index in the back of the book.

 

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Fantastic?

 

Too good to be true?

 

Hard to believe?

 

For most people, the whole idea of a resurrection of the dead is hard to accept.  To those who place their confidence in Scripture, the resurrection becomes a precious promise.  Will everyone receive the same type of resurrection?  When will it happen?  Who will be included?  These questions and many more are covered in The Divine Plan of the Ages, a topical study aid which we offer free.  Note especially the chapter entitled, "Ransom and Restitution."  The further examination of scriptures on this subject will enable you to harvest a deeper appreciation of God’s wisdom, love justice and power.

 

Not printed with AS funds

 

SAN DIEGO BIBLE STUDENTS

 

Post Office Box 15701

 

San Diego, California 92115

 

     __Please send me a copy of THE NEW CREATION, hard bound, $1.00

 

     __Please send me a free copy of THE DIVINE PLAN OF THE AGES

 

Name_____________________________________________________________

 

Address___________________________________________________________

 

Comments_________________________________________________________

 

VOL. III  NO.4

 

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MILLENNIAL

 

MORNING

 

If it’s morning,  

 

why is everything so dark?

 

Because it’s morning.

 

"If ever there was a year that marked the end of an era and the beginning of another, it was 1914.  That year brought to an end the old world with its sense of security and began a modern age whose chief characteristic is insecurity on a daily basis." —Rowse, Oxford Historian and Biographer, June 28, 1959.

 

"A world mesmerized by Science and Progress mocked the mysticism of religious sects which had long predicted that the world would end in the year 1914; fifty years later the world isn’t so sure that it didn’t end in 1914 ..."— The Great Ideas Today, 1963, Britannica Great Books, Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., pp. 107, 108.

 

Historians mark 1914 as the ending of the world.  The convulsions since are at once the processes of its disintegration and the birth pangs of a new world.  Britannica editors observed that a religious group, actually known as Bible Students, predicted that 1914 would mark the ending of a world in just this manner.

 

What’s new in a prediction that the world would end?  Religious zealots have always set dates for the earth to be burned up.

 

What was new was the Bible Student concept that the word "world" as it appears in the Bible is a translation of the Greek word kosmos which means "a social order or arrangement of things" and not the planet earth.

 

Bible students said this "present evil world" (Ga 1:4) —composed of corrupt social, political, economic, religious elements—would reap a whirlwind of destruction by war, revolution and anarchy.

 

Inherently corrupt and destruction inevitable was the sweeping indictment of the Christian world by Bible Students in the book The Day of Vengeance, first published in 1897.  One of the reasons for its divine judgment was given on pages 52 and 53:

 

"The civil powers of Christendom have been warned frequently when again and again empires and kingdoms have fallen with the weight of their own corruption.  And even today, if the powers that be would hearken, they might hear a last warning of God’s inspired prophet ..." God standeth in the congregation of the mighty [of those in authority]; He judgeth among the gods [the rulers, saying], How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked?  Defend the poor and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and needy; deliver the poor and needy:  rid them out of the hand of the wicked.’  (Ps 82:1-4)"

 

Knowing that the Christian world would not heed this "last warning," Bible Students predicted as far back as 1882 the destruction which began in 1914.  Zion’s Reprint, November, 1882:

 

  "... This distress and trouble will all come about in a very natural way.  Very many scriptures teach that nations will be overthrown by a rising of the people, goaded to desperation by the oppression of unjust governments.  Such a rising and overturning, socialists, communists and nihilists will gladly bring about when they can.  All the kingdoms of the world shall be thrown down and instead the kingdom of the Lord fills the whole earth.  Dan 2:34, 35."

 

The corrupt practices of the

 

Christian world are centuries old.

 

Why the revolutionary foment

 

of our century?

 

The accumulated evil practices of the Christian nations have "reached unto heaven."  (Re 18:5)  The cry of the masses who have been defrauded has reached unto the Lord.  (Jas 5:4)  Since 1914 the status quo is finally alarmed.  Welfare state concessions are grudgingly made.  As segments of the masses are raised to a higher living standard, they then become a part of the establishment’s bulwark against revolutionary changes to alleviate the plight of the under-privileged of the community and the world.  Our civilization is still reeling with hate, vice, intrigue, graft, corruption, power politics, war, discrimination and exploitation.  It must go.

 

Christ as conquering king has launched an invasion that will not stop short of the total destruction of the "present evil world" (Ga 1:4) and upon its ruins He will establish His kingdom.  Christ has a devastating secret weapon.  It is truth.  "His lightnings enlightened the world, the earth saw and trembled."  (Ps 97:1, 4)  Truths—religious, philosophical, humanitarian, revolutionary, scientific—like lightning flashes are startling the world.  Seemingly the use of these truths is rocketing man to his apex.  In reality, their selfish abuse is drawing the civil, religious, social and financial systems of this world into the vortex of revolution and anarchy.  These lightning flashes of truth will expose all human endeavors at government and lay bare the basic flaw.  No matter what the political or economic ideology, it will not work because of man’s sinful heart.

 

The establishment is sick.It must go.

 

But the revolutionaries, whether they be anarchists, communists, black militants, or hot-headed radicals of any brand, have nothing better to offer.  They, too, are sick with sin.  Their ideologies are honeycombed with selfishness.  They will accomplish one thing—the destruction of our social order.  Then they, with all masses of mankind, will be swept into the utter chaos of anarchy to taste the bitter agony of despair wrought by man’s selfishness.

 

Out of this chaos

 

a new order will rise.

 

Not by the revolutionaries,

 

but by God.

 

Not the old hell-fire god of the establishment, nor the importent god of the modernist, but the God of all mankind.  "Michael" (a title for Christ which means God’s representative) stands up in the "time of trouble" to deliver the masses from every human ideology of the right and the left.  Da 12:1, 2; 1Th 4:15, 16

 

  _________________________

 

Christ’s Kingdom will work.  It will have an enforced rule of righteousness and justice.  It will have the spirit of wisdom, understanding and love.  It will change the stony hearts of men into hearts of flesh, love.  Satan and the powers of evil will be restrained.  And only thus can the desire of all nations come.

 

Wars will cease.  None will be permitted to hurt or destroy.  There will be no more death, sorrow, crying or pain.  In fact, the dead will be brought back to life.  Blind eyes will be opened and deaf ears unstopped.  The lame man will leap and the dumb tongue will sing.  Vitality and beauty of youth will return.

 

The earth will be full of glory (no more pollution) and yield its increase (no famines).  There will be economic security (no more poor).  Even the animals will be tamed for man’s pleasure.  The perfect life and dominion of man will be restored.

 

The human family will worship God with one pure religion.  And the most important thing—heart harmony with God.  He will be their God and they will be His people.  This kingdom will endure—of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end.

 

Re 2:27, Isa 9:7; 28:17, Ps 72:1-8, Ac 3:22, 23, Isa 60:12; 65:20; 11:2-5, Ez 11:19; 36:26, Isa 35:9, Re 20:3, Hag. 2:7, Mic 4:3, Isa 2:4, Ps 46:9, Isa 11:9; 65:25; 25:8; 33:24, Re 21:4; 20:1, Joh 5:28, 29, Isa 35:6, 7; 29:18; 32:1-4, Job 33:25, Isa 60:13; 30:23; 6:25, Ps 67:6, Mic 4:4, Isa 65:21-23; 32:15-20; 11:6,7, Ac 3:19, Zeph 3:9, Isa 35:10, Re 21:3, Isa 65:24, Jer 31:33, Ps 145:13, Isa 9:7.

 

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VOL. III   NO.5

 

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MILLENNIAL

 

MORNING

 

ONCE SAVED, ALWAYS SAVED?

 

  "... the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life ..." "... by grace are ye saved ..."— Ro 6:23; Eph 2:8

 

We get the point.  Salvation from the death sentence is God’s gift, because God sent his own son to bear the death penalty for man.  (Joh 3:16)  But doesn’t salvation require the cooperation of the individual?  Yes.  For instance, the exercise of faith is essential.  "... if we believe on him ... being justified by faith ..." "... the just shall live by faith." —Ro 4:24; 5:10; Gal 3:11

 

And the Apostle James shows that the sincerity of our faith must be demonstrated by our efforts at good works.  This is why he says, "... by works a man is justified, and not by faith only."  (Jas 2:24)  This does not mean that God requires perfect works—Paul shows that we are not capable of that.  (Ro 3:20; 2:16, 3:11)  But it does mean that we must try as much as possible to do those things that God would be pleased with.  "Faith without works is dead." —Jas 2:26

 

During this age ...

 

God is not dealing with the world in general.  He is preparing the Church class for a glorious reward.  They are to be joined with Christ Jesus, and to share both his throne of dominion and his very nature—the divine nature.  (Acts 15:4; Room. 2:7)  But before any will be raised to such a position of glory and honor, God wishes to see a character crystallized in earnest loyalty.  Of Jesus it was written, "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered ..." ( Hebrews 5:8)  Each of Christ’s followers are also to have their obedience proved.  We are to search our minds and hearts to see that they are kept in a proper attitude of devotion.  The Apostle John said:  "Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward." —2 John 8

 

One inference of this counsel is that some will receive less than the full reward of divine nature.  Some will be "overcharged with the cares of this life."  Some will carelessly build with "wood, hay and stubble" rather than "gold, silver, and precious stones."  (1Co 3:15)  But if their hearts are loyal, God will still care for these.  "If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss:  but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire."  (1Co 3:12)  For some this will mean deliverance "unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus." —1Co 5:5

 

Some will fall.

 

From other scriptures we learn that it is possible for some to come to a knowledge of the Lord, and then to wilfully neglect the favor of God and become estranged from Him.  To express and exercise faith in Him, and later to lose it.  To receive a standing before God through faith in the blood of Jesus, and to fall.  The vital, living and quickening faith of a believer can turn sour.  Thus, the warning of Heb 10:38:  "Now the just shall live by faith:  but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him ..."  Jesus said, "No man having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." —Lk 9:62

 

The condition of heart that would completely turn from God after having believed and received of the Holy Spirit, would make future repentance impossible.  Read carefully Paul’s words in Heb 6:4-6:

 

"For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted of the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance ..."

 

The warning of Heb 10:29 is to those who have at one time been sanctified.

 

"Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?"

 

This condition, though infrequent, is nevertheless a real danger.

 

What of such?

 

The Apostle Peter, in chapter two of his second epistle, speaking of such a class, says:  "... if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning."  (2Pe 2:20)  These, he says, "have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam ... who loved the wages of unrighteousness." —2Pe 2:15

 

Peter says that for them "the mist of darkness (the oblivion of death) is reserved for ever."  (2Pe 2:17)  "... these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, ... shall utterly perish in their own corruption." —2Pe 2:12

 

How can this be?

 

Doesn’t Ro 8:35-39 teach that nothing and nobody can "separate us from the love of God"?  True, none of the distresses which he mentions there can separate us—but we can separate ourselves by an attitude of faithlessness and carelessness leading to heart disloyalty and rebellion.  Paul’s discussion is intended to be an assurance to all who will keep their hearts.  Even the Apostle Paul himself said, "But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection:  lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway."  (1Co 9:27)  See Ro 11:21.

 

In addition to these warnings, we have instruction to "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life."  (Pr 4:23)  And Paul speaks of those "... who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory, honor, and immortality. ..." ( Ro 2:7)  For, in the full sense, "He that endureth to the end shall be saved." —Mt 10:22; 24:13

 

Faithful unto death

 

Jesus forewarned that the battle of a Christian would not be easy.  The world will taunt and jeer.  "If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?"  (Mt 10:25)  "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake ..." ( Mt 10:22)  From our own flesh will come difficult enticements of pride and lust.  (Ro 7:18-24)  And Satan, as a "roaring lion" (1Pe 5:8), will at every opportunity seek to make shipwreck of our faith.

 

Love for the Lord, and appreciation of the great price that secures our redemption, will inspire our devotion.  Only such love will hold fast to the promise, "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life."  (Re 2:10)  BUT, "Hold fast that which thou hast, that no man take thy crown ..."— Re 3:11

 

  __________________________

 

The way of a Christian’s life—the foes and besetments, the duties, responsibilities, present privileges, and the resurrection inheritance of the Christian—are reverently approached and discussed in depth in The New Creation, a book that describes God’s dealings with the Church class which He is now completing.

 

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VOL. III   NO. 6

 

**********

MILLENNIAL

 

MORNING

 

FATHER (equals) SON (equals) HOLY SPIRIT

 

or

 

FATHER (doesn’t equal) SON (doesn’t equal) HOLY SPIRIT

 

Harmony, unity or equality?  The doctrine of the Trinity has been cause for discussion, strife and controversy throughout the history of the Church.  Followers of Arius held the view that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit were not equal in glory.  On the other hand, Athanasius felt strongly that they were.  At the Council of Nice, A.D. 325, a statement of doctrine was adopted as the faith of the church—the Nicene Creed.  To this day, "fundamentalist" teachings include the doctrine of the Triune God.  Many feel it is essential for salvation.

 

But will the Scriptures alone support the conclusions made 16 centuries ago?  That the Bible teaches a harmony between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, few will disagree.  But, does it teach that they are equal?  That is the question.

 

  _________________________________________________________________

 

    Q.Who is the greatest of the Persons in the Blessed Trinity?

 

    A.No one person in the Blessed Trinity is greater than the others.  They are all equal.

 

  —Parish Catechism, p.11

 

  _________________________________________________________________

 

On a question as important as the equality of the Father and the Son, we must not rely on any testimony except that of the inspired writings of the Scriptures.  Let us ask Jesus.

 

"My Father is greater than I."  "I can of my own self do nothing; as I hear, I judge."  "My Father is greater than all."  "I ascend to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God."  "This is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus whom thou hast sent." —Joh 14:28; 5:30; 10:29; 17:3; 20:17

 

The Lord Jesus is not the second person of a triune God.  The word "triune" is unscriptural.  So is the thought.  St. Paul sets the matter straight in 1Co 8:6:

 

"But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things ... and one Lord Jesus Christ, by (or through) whom are all things."

 

Php 2:6, 7 —Paul also declares that Jesus, "who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped."  (RSV)  The entire argument of the Apostle was that Jesus humiliated himself, not that he claimed equality with the Father.

 

1Joh 5:7, 8 —The word "trinity is not found in the Bible.  Neither is the concept.  The text which seems to give the most support to the thought of a trinity is acknowledged even by trinitarians as being an interpolation, incorporated into the Scriptures about the 5th century.  (See the Revised Standard Version.)  We quote the passage with the interpolation in brackets.

 

"For there are three that bear record [in Heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost:  and these three are one; and there are three that bear witness in earth] the Spirit, and the water and the blood:  and these three agree in one."

 

Heb 1:8 has been used as a proof text that Jesus is God, and the fact is cited that the word for God here is theos, the same as Heb 1:9 which refers to the Father.  But in 2Co 4:4, the word "god," which refers to Satan, is also theos in the Greek.  Theos is used of any mighty one—the same as Elohim in the Hebrew.  (Compare Ps 82:1, 6; and Joh 10:34-36.)

 

Joh 1:1 —The literal translation of the Greek for this verse is:

 

"In a beginning was the Word, and the Word was with THE God, and a God was the Word."

 

Because the Apostle put the Greek Article ton ("the") in front of the first "god" in the sentence, and omitted it with the second, the word "a" is implied (since there is no word for the indefinite article in Greek), and the verse shows a contrast between THE God, the Father, and the Word, a god, a Mighty one.

 

"The Word" applies to Jesus.  It is translated from the Greek word, Logos.  In olden times certain kings made addresses to their subjects by proxy.  The king would sit behind a screen while his "word," spokesman, or Logos stood before the screen.  The Logos would address the people aloud on subjects whispered to him by the king, who was not seen.  Jesus, the Word, did all that the Father commissioned him to do.  His words were not of the Son but of the Father.

 

"For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.  And I know that his commandment is life everlasting:  whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak." —Joh 12:49, 50

 

Joh 17 —So careful was Jesus to seek divine guidance, that during the Gethsemane experience, Jesus prayed, "Not as I will, but as thou wilt."  (Matthew 26:39)  Jesus directed his followers to worship the Father, not himself.  When he prayed, he gave credit to the Father and took none for himself.  His prayer in John 17 emphasizes his subservience to the Heavenly Father.  In verse 2, Jesus acknowledges power which the Father gave to him.  If they were equal, would not Jesus always have had such power?

 

Jesus glorified the Father.  Jesus finished the work which the Father gave him to do (Joh 17:4).  What did Jesus ask for in return?  (If he was equal with the Father, why did he have to ask for anything?)  He asked for the glory which he had before the world was (Joh 17:5).  Apparently, from his own statement, Jesus did not have the same glory at the time, nor the power within himself to attain it.  The Heavenly Father could give it to him.

 

Joh 17:21-23 has lead many to believe that Jesus and the Father are one in equality and being.  But here Jesus is referring to the oneness of hope and purpose and spirit which he shared with the Father.  Not only would this oneness include Jesus and the Father, but all of Jesus’ disciples and all of those who later would believe through their writings.  This passage could not apply to a Trinity.

 

Php 2:8, 9 implies that our Lord’s present glory is greater than the glory which he possessed before he became a man; otherwise it could not have been an exaltation.  If he was the very God from all eternity, how could he be exalted any higher?

 

As Jesus spoke of God as the Father, and himself as the Son of God, so the application is proper for us.  The word "father" signified "life-giver."  A son is an offspring who receives life from the father.  This distinction implies that the father existed first.  And so Jesus says of himself, "I proceeded forth and came from God."  (Joh 8:42)  Several times the Scriptures speak of Jesus as "the only begotten" Son of the Father.  (See Joh 1:14, 18; 3:16; 1Joh 4:9; Re 1:5.)

 

  _________________________________________________________________

 

    Q.Are there three Gods then?

 

    A.There is only one God; but three Persons in God.  No one can understand fully how there is only one God and three Persons in God.  The Blessed Trinity is a mystery.

 

  —Parish Catechism, p. 11

 

  _________________________________________________________________

 

Skeptics claim that Jesus was just a man like anyone else, who had good qualities and a popular philosophy.  To counteract this view, some of his followers teach that Jesus was much, much more than a good man.  He was not only in God’s image, but God Himself, they say.  The truth, we believe, is between the two thoughts.  Jesus was greater than any other man living since Adam.  He was "holy, harmless, undefined, separate from sinners," perfect in all respects—but human, a mortal being.  As the ransom for Adam. he could be no less than a perfect human, and he could be no more.  He had to be an exact corresponding price in order to qualify as the redeemer.

 

"Who gave himself a ransom (Greek—"corresponding price") for all, to be testified in due time." —1Ti 2:6

 

After the sacrifice of his earthly life, he was rewarded with spirit life and given immortality by the only one who could give it, his Heavenly Father.

 

"For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself." —Joh 5:26

 

He liveth, and was dead, and behold, he is alive forevermore.  Amen.

 

  ________________________

 

In The Atonement Between God and Man, chapters 8 through 11, the relationship between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit is discussed thoroughly.  The Scriptures are quite clear and explicit concerning this relationship.  Prepared in a topical arrangement, every scripture which might pose a problem is considered.  This will be found to be a rewarding study for the Bible student.  The book is offered for $1.00.  It contains nearly 500 pages, covering 16 studies.  If you’re not satisfied ... return the book ... we’ll return your dollar.

 

The Divine Plan of the Ages is also available for study, free upon request.  It contains 16 separate studies into God’s Word.  Not only will the Scriptures appear more precious than before, but the harmony of God’s plan of the ages will be a source of inspiration.

 

Why not send for both?

 

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VOL. III   NO. 7

 

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MILLENNIAL

 

MORNING

 

Everyone’s baby.

 

We hear about it on the radio.  We see special programs about it on television.  Magazines, books and newspapers discuss it.  Yes, overpopulation is everyone’s baby.  It is a growing concern to everyone who cares about the future.  It’s a problem, and there has been no program established which can avoid its inevitable end.  Birth control, once considered a "personal" subject, is forced into open dialogue by public concern.

 

  _________________________________________________

 

Planned Parenthood, Population Zero, and birth control centers are making headway in the United States, but they are far from influencing the world’s masses.

 

  "... the increase is nearly 50 million a year, and catastrophies such as famines or wars—even atomic war—cannot make serious inroad on the increase during the next 50 years.  Nor is it to be expected that such humane methods of reduction as contraception can extend fast enough during that time to make much difference." —Our Crowded Planet, p. 30, Fairfield Osborn, editor, 1962, Doubleday.

 

About 100 years ago, there were approximately 1,400,000,000 people in the world.  According to the 1969 census (Information Please Almanac—1972), there are 3,552,000,000.  That’s more than twice what it was a century ago!  Few will dare to estimate how many years we have to solve this important problem of survival.  All will admit that the time is short.

 

"We have—within what the historians would call an exceeding short period—to revert to a mode of life which in one way or another will keep the numbers of the human race roughly constant."  (ibid.)

 

Our Lord described the conditions which would prevail at the time His return in Lk 21:25, 26:

 

  "... and upon the earth distress of nations with perplexity ... men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth ..."

 

It’s interesting that the word translated "perplexity" also means "to be at a loss mentally," "to stand in doubt," and "no way out."  An appropriate description of the leaders of the world today!  They hope for a solution soon, but they themselves are at a loss mentally.  They doubt that anything really can be found that will work.  The spiraling events spurred by selfishness and lack of unity identify the population problem as one of those having no way out.

 

"To have any hope of success, then, there would have to be a worldwide enforcement."  (op cit., p. 35)

 

How is God going to stop the population from steadily increasing?

 

Jesus said, "In the resurrection, they neither marry nor are given in marriage."  (Mt 22:30)  The wisdom of the Lord will stop the continued propagation of the race once the life-sustaining limit of the earth has been reached—when it is "filled."  (Ge 1:28, RSV)  We are not told exactly how this will be accomplished, but we are told:

 

"God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited:  I am the LORD:  and there is one else." —Isa 45:18

 

"One generation passeth away and another cometh, but the earth abideth forever." —Ec 1:4

 

Contrary to popular theology, Scriptures indicate that the planet Earth is here to stay.  The Lord created it not in vain.  He created it not to be destroyed or pulverized into cosmic dust.  What a waste of life and beauty if such were the case!  God also intended for the earth to become populated.  Its inhabitants will not only include those now living but also those who have ever lived.

 

"For the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice and come forth. ..."— Joh 5:28, 29

 

Now, this presents another problem.  What about the resurrection?  Where are we going to find room and food for all those who have died?

 

Is restitution practicable?

 

Some feel that there would not be enough room for the earth’s population if it were to include those now living as well as those who have ever lived.  Can enough room be found to sustain such a large group?  And, in finding room, would the beauties of earth’s uninhabited regions be marred by mass housing facilities?  Some may even think that the earth is one vast graveyard, and if all the dead were awakened, they would trample one another.

 

This is important.  How strange it would be if we find that while the Bible declares a resurrection for all men, there wouldn’t be enough room!  Figure it out, however, and you will find this to be an unsupported fear.  You will find that there is abundant room for the restitution of all, as God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets. —Ac 3:19-21

 

How may people have ever lived on earth?

 

"These questions are frequently asked the Population Reference Bureau’s Information Service.  Because of the perennial interest and because of the credence sometimes given to what would seem to be unrealistic appraisals, this issue presents an estimate prepared by Fletcher Wellemeyer, Manpower, Education and Personnel Consultant, Washington, D.C., with Frank Lorimer of American University, Washington, D.C., acting as advisor.  This estimate, based on certain statistical, historic and demographic assumptions set forth in an appendix, should be regarded as no more than a reasonable guess.  It assumes that man first appeared about 600,000 years ago, a date which has been proposed for the dawn of the prehistoric era ... Since then, it is estimated that about 77 billion babies have been born."  (Population, Evolution, and Birth Control, Garrett Hardin, 1964, W. H. Freeman and Company, p. 45)

 

Bible scholars have been coming to the conclusion that there have been a little over 6,000 years since the creation of man (see inset).  But let us for the moment assume that there have been 77,000,000,000 persons since creation (a number probably three times greater than we would expect).  Could they still fit on the earth?

 

  _____________________________

 

A CONDENSED STATEMENT OF BIBLE CHRONOLOGY

 

To the end of the flood     .................. 1656 years

 

Thence to the covenant with Abraham     .... 427 years

 

Thence to the Exodus and giving of the Law .430 years

 

Thence to the division of Canaan    ......... 46 years

 

The period of the Judges    ................ 450 years

 

The period of the Kings     ................. 513 years

 

The period of the desolation     ............. 70 years

 

Thence to A.D. 1    ........................ 536 years

 

Thence to A.D. 1873     .................... 1872 years

 

       Total     ............................... 6000 years

 

  _______________________________

 

Let’s look and see what land accommodations are available.  There are 262,970 square miles in the state of Texas.  There are 27,878,400 square feet in a square mile.

 

263,000 x 27,900,000 =

 

7,337,700,000,000 square feet

 

in Texas

 

7,337,700,000,000 +

 

77,000,000,000 = 95.03 square feet

 

95.03 square feet per person would accommodate 77 billion people in an area the size of Texas—less than 1% of the land surface of the world!

 

Will the earth be able to support everyone?

 

When we keep in mind the prophecy of Isa 35:1-6, that the earth shall yield her increase; that the desert shall blossom as a rose; that in the wilderness shall waters break forth, and streams in the desert, we see that God indicates that He has foreseen all the necessities of His plan.  He will also make provision for the needs of His creatures in what will become a very natural, very beautiful way.

 

God is a God of love.  (1Joh 4:8)  He knows the end from the beginning.  (Isa 46:9, 10)  He knew that Jesus’ death would be necessary even before Adam was created (Re 13:8), even before the world began.  God will not forsake the highest welfare of the people.  His orderly plan is set to a timetable (1Ti 2:6) so that everything will work out better than even our highest aspirations.  The "desire of all nations shall come." —Hag 2:7

 

For those who have faith in the Scriptures, we recommend the study aid, The Divine Plan of the Ages.  It presents Scriptures in a harmonious manner.  The Scriptures show His plan for man.  They show the how’s and why’s.  The Divine Plan of the Ages will be a key to those Scriptures, a source of comfort, an aid to understanding.  Send for it, it’s free.

 

Not printed with AS funds

 

MILLENNIAL MORNING

 

Post Office Box 4614

 

San Diego, CA 92104

 

    ___Please send me a free copy of The Divine Plan of the Ages

 

Name _____________________________________________________________

 

Street _____________________________________________________________

 

City/State __________________________________________________________

 

VOL. III   NO. 8

 

********** MILLENNIAL

 

MORNING

 

The new day dawns.

 

Good morning.

 

"At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue confess to the glory of God." —Php 2:10, 11

 

For six thousand years the world of mankind has been ruled by sin and death.  Physicians, both physical and moral, have been unable to cure us.  God alone is able to roll away the curse which he himself imposed, and to give mankind his blessing instead.

 

In the past we have been so intent on following our own sectarian theories that we have neglected the proper study of the Bible.  Not until our day has such study been possible for everybody.  Only now is the Word of God in convenient form, and only now is education so universal that all can read, all can study, all can know the good things of the Bible.

 

Bible students are waking up from sleep and finding that they have been suffering from nightmares.  The true message of the word of God is spreading, and with it goes increase of faith, together with joy, peace and godliness.

 

Foregleams of the new day.

 

We know that ours is the most wonderful day of earth’s history.  Our eyes open wide as we see the contrast between the blessings which surround us and those enjoyed by our fathers.  We have been amazed at the progress of labor-saving machinery and education.  What do these things mean?  Why have they come suddenly in one century?  And give no indication of slacking, but rather of progressing.  What is the explanation of all this?

 

The Bible alone answers these questions.  It explains the meaning of the reign of sin and death which we and our fathers have shared.  It tells us that our sorrows, aches, pains and weaknesses—mental, moral and physical—are all the results of sin from father Adam, by the laws of heredity.  Then the Bible opens the door of the future and bids us look and see the better day which God promises.  It explains that he has been giving us lessons about the "exceeding sinfulness of sin," but that all the while he has sympathized with and loved his creatures.  It tells us that Jesus came into the world and died for Adam and his race, "the just for the unjust," to cancel the death penalty and thus to give them an opportunity in God’s due time to return to their former estate—to all that Adam lost in his glorious estate—"Paradise."

 

That day has come.

 

Chronologically, we are already in the great seventh day, or thousand-year sabbath.  This fact explains the blessings of our day.  And they will continue throughout the great thousand-year sabbath of Messiah’s kingdom.  The Bible promises that the messianic reign will bring blessedness to every creature—not only to the living, but also to the dead; for "all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth." —Joh 5:28, 29

 

The coming of these blessing is, in one sense, premature, because they have come before the establishment of the messianic kingdom.  Consequently, instead of being happier, the world is more unhappy, more discontented, than ever.  The Scriptures show that the discontent will culminate in a short, sharp period of anarchy, from which the world will be rescued by the establishment of Christ’s kingdom.  The permission of the light and blessings of our day, in advance of his rule, will teach humanity a great lesson respecting their own fallen condition and their need of the very help which God is providing in Christ.  No one will be able to say that God’s blessings, coming to unregenerate hearts, will make them thankful and happy.  The new heart is necessary to real happiness.

 

A life worth living.

 

As we gradually realize that we are living in the dawning of the time for the long-promised blessing, this sabbath day of earth, it gives us a fresh interest in the present life, as well as in those features of God’s plan which are yet future.  The knowledge makes life worth living.  Millions of people live a treadmill existence, unworthy of themselves and joyless, because they have not come into the family of God and have not been taught to understand the deep things of his gracious purposes.

 

The first step is an acknowledgment of the Creator and a consecration of life to him, and then an application of our hearts to know his will, in order that we may do it.  One day of such living is worth more than a year of the aimless meandering so common to most people.  All who have entered into this blessing should rejoice.  All who have not done so should seek the door, Christ, and be glad to walk the narrow way, following his footsteps into grace and peace.

 

Our blessings so far are not drawing people nearer to God, not making them more thankful, more reverential, more loving.  On the contrary, we have more conflict, more self-will than any previous generation—less inclined, for the most part, than ever before to worship and reverence the God of all grace—less inclined to believe that there is such a being at all.  At the present rate of growth of irreverence, it would seem as though the time might soon come when no knee would bow and no tongue confess, to the glory of God.

 

Permit not faith to let go her hold, the Word of God cannot fail.  As he is bringing the blessings promised in his Word and appropriate to this time, let us trust him for every other feature of his promised blessing.  He who has begun the good work is able to complete it.  If he has promised and sworn that all the families of the earth shall be blessed in Abraham’s seed, surely we can rely on it.  The members of Christ’s church are the spiritual "seed of Abraham."  This class, as the bride of Christ, must be completed and united to their Redeemer before they can share with him the great work of blessing the rest of the world.  (Ga 3:8, 16, 29)  The completion and glorification of the church will mark the time for the establishment of the messianic kingdom.

 

God’s glory fills the earth.

 

Rapidly the knowledge of the glory of God will fill the whole earth.  Corrections in righteousness will be given to all not doing their very best.  Rewards of perfection of mind and body will gradually come to the willing and obedient.  The infinitude of God’s love, justice, wisdom and power may then be seen by all.  The result will be glorious.

 

"There shall be no more sighing, no more curse there, nor sorrow nor pain nor any more dying; for all the things of sin and death will have passed away.  He who sits upon the throne will make all things new." —Re 21:4,

 

  ______________________________

 

The Times They are a Changin’.

 

"This lifetime is also different from all others, because of the astonishing expansion of the scale and scope of change."  Future Shock by Alvin Toffler p. 17

 

Statesmen, writers, and religious enthusiasts have noticed something very peculiar about our times.  They are a changin’.

 

If you could imagine a map of the world showing the effect of minor flareups, it would be in marked contrast to what it was 100 years ago.  "A war in Viet Nam alters basic political alignments in Peking, Moscow, and Washington, touches off protests in Stockholm, affects financial transactions in Zurich, triggers secret diplomatic moves in Algiers."  The history of nations has seen many notable conflicts, but not until 1914 has any been labeled as a World War.  Trouble is so bad that nowadays it’s common to hear reference to "over kill," the wiping out of the entire population many times over.

 

People are concerned.  Prophecies are being fulfilled before our very eyes.  The whole world is in a big mess.  It’s getting worse.  If something isn’t done no one will be saved.  You know the question, "What’s happening?"  The scriptures tell why.

 

Send for some informative literature on Our Lord’s Return.  It may be just what you’re looking for.

 

Not printed with AS funds

 

MILLENNIAL MORNING

 

Post Office Box 4614

 

San Diego, CA 92104

 

Please send me a free copy of:  ___" Our Lord’s Return"

 

  ___ " Divine Plan of the Ages"

 

Name _____________________________________________________________

 

Street _____________________________________________________________

 

City/State ____________________________________   Zip __________________

 

VOL. III   NO. 9

 

**********

MILLENNIAL

 

MORNING

 

King of Kings and

 

Lord of Lords

 

The very center of God’s plan, which he invites us to cherish with him, is the greatest story every lived—the life of Christ—the story of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords ..

 

This story of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords carries our thoughts back, beyond the very beginning of earth’s experiences, before the time when the heavens were still being charted and the stars were forming, and even beyond that—back to the very beginning of beginnings, when God was all alone.  This was the time when God began to plan his work of creation.

 

First, he would create an intelligent being, someone to arrange and supervise the outworking of his purposes.  And so we read of this beginning of beginnings in Joh 1:1, 3:  "In the beginning was the Word (Greek, Logos) ...  All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made" —for he was, as John further declares in Re 3:14, "the beginning of the creation of God."  He it was—this Logos, the Son of God—who was destined to be the King of Kings and Lord of Lords in the divine plan of the ages.  He it was who carried out every plan of his Maker through ages of creative work in the realms of heaven; and he it was who rejoiced with all the angelic hosts when the due time came in God’s plan to create Adam on the earthly plane.

 

The chart is an outline of man’s journey through the past, the present, and the future.  The first small complete pyramid could illustrate Adam as a perfect human being.  But Adam sinned.  And it was this same Logos who saw Adam commit the act of disobedience in the Garden of Eden—and saw Adam plunge the whole human family into the depths of sin and death.  We illustrate this by the incomplete pyramid placed on the lower line.

 

Four thousand years of earth’s continuing history found man still trapped hopelessly in the way of sin and death—longing for a path of return to the favor of God.  Finally, the time had come for this great Logos to carry out a further feature of God’s plan.  He left his heavenly home to die on the cross in Adam’s place, as a "ransom for all"

 

(chart)

 

that man might live.  John tells us:  "the Word (Logos) was made flesh."  (Joh 1:14)  This great change from a spirit being to a human being came at a time when the nation of Israel was under the Roman yoke.  "And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed."  (Lk 2:1)  In response to this decree, the people went into the larger cities to be assessed—among them a familiar couple, Joseph and Mary, en route to Bethlehem.  Weary and worn, they arrived, only to find the city crowded to overflowing.  Every place was taken.  The only shelter they could find was in a stable.  There "she brought forth her firstborn son, ... and laid him in a manger."  In this lowly setting Messiah was born.

 

God’s memorable announcement of this event was made to but a handful of shepherds.  "Fear not:  for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord ... Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."  Remember.  It was the angels who sang and rejoiced.  There was no other choir, there was no other singing.  The world was in slumber.  God did not waken them.  He reserved this special announcement and heavenly singing for only a few lowly shepherds to hear.  Why such secrecy?  The people in general did not know.  Yet the angels had said that the "good tidings of great joy ... shall be to ALL people."  Sometime, someday, ALL would know that this was the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.

 

Some time later, we find our Lord at the age of thirty beginning his ministry.  And, being King and Lord, his ministry was concerned with a kingdom.  He gathered twelve apostles and sent them forth with the same message he himself was preaching:  "The kingdom of heaven is at hand."  (Mt 10:7)  A heavenly kingdom?  This was indeed a mystery!  Had not the Law taught them to center their hopes in a kingdom on earth?  And yet, here was their promised Messiah proclaiming that his domain included heaven as well as earth.  The disciples were unable to think in terms of such greatness!  Nonetheless, their hopes continued to rise.  Still, a shadow of doubt lingered—for there were no visible signs of his kingdom in sight.  Far from it!  Jesus even remarked, "The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man hath not where to lay his head." —Mt 8:20

 

Finally, five days before his crucifixion, things changed spectacularly.  Jesus assumed regal authority.  Riding into Jerusalem, he said:  "Behold, thy King cometh unto thee."  To the joy of the disciples, as Jesus entered Jerusalem the multitudes responded with great enthusiasm—strewing palm branches before him, they shouted:  "Hosanna to the son of David!"  Surely this was the hour of exaltation!  He began to exercise kingly power!  He went to the temple and claimed it for his own!  He acted as a King, he spoke as a King, he commanded as a King!

 

Meanwhile, opposition forces were plotting to crush our Lord.  Brought before Pilate, Jesus seemed indifferent to the danger.  He deliberately turned into the path of death.  The people who before had heard him gladly, now clamored for his life.  His disciples could not understand this turn of events, and soon they saw him led away to judgment.  Their Lord was taken from them as a lamb to the slaughter.

 

Mistreated, mocked, crucified, nailed to the cross between two thieves, our Lord was a deserted and forsaken King!  Finally, the fateful words:  "It is finished" and his head bowed in death.  There, by the grace of God, he gave his own precious life as a ransom for all.  God’s law of justice is an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth—a perfect life for a perfect life.  (Mt 5:38; De 19:21)  Adam had sinned.  Jesus died to take his place that man might live.

 

But at our Lord’s death the disciples’ hope faded again.  Three days of uncomforted mourning followed.  On the third day, Mary was weeping at the sepulchre.  Together with the other sad and disillusioned disciples, she was left to interpret events as best she could.  What could they all conclude?  Their Lord was gone.  Their hope of a kingdom was buried with him.  What a thrill of rejoicing came to her heart when she beheld her risen Lord!  Her King was alive!  His kingdom was still to be!  Breathlessly, she hurried back to Jerusalem, reporting to the other disciples that the Lord was risen.

 

His days of weakness and humiliation were forever past.  The Scriptures tell us plainly, "Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more."  (Ro 6:9)  Not only was Jesus raised from the dead, but he arose in majesty and great glory!  He was set down at the right hand of God, "far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named." —Eph 1:21

 

We have traced how our Lord as the Logos, the Son of God, the beginning of all creation, left his heavenly home to be born at Bethlehem, suffered persecution, died for man’s sin, was raised in glory and power, and yet his kingdom was not put into operation.  The question still remains, "When will he establish his promised kingdom and just what will that kingdom be like?"

 

What will that kingdom be like?  This kingdom promises good tidings to ALL people.  The angels of the Lord declared it to the shepherds.  The prophet Haggai describes these good tidings as "the desire of all nations shall come."  The desire of ALL nations—the desire of ALL people—among other things, includes peace, health and life.

 

All people desire peace.  God has promised that our Lord in the kingdom to come will establish peace.  Our generation especially has had its bath in the blood of war.  God says:  "they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks:  nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more ... for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken." —Mic 4:3, 4

 

All people desire health.  God has promised that through our Lord in the kingdom to come sickness shall be no more.  Sickness, suffering, and death have plagued mankind since Adam was condemned.  But in the world to come, God has promised, "the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick."  "And there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain ... Write:  for these words are true and faithful." —Isa 33:24; Re 21: 4, 5

 

All people desire life.  God has promised through our Lord in the kingdom to come, life, and an end to death.  This goes beyond the fondest dreams of man.  God promises:  "there shall be no more death."  (Re 21:4)  And "all that are in the graves ... shall come forth."  (Joh 5:28, 29)  "He will swallow up death in victory; ... for the Lord hath spoken it." —Isa 25:8

 

We have described what the kingdom will be like.  But when will the kingdom be put into operation?  Our Lord died over 1900 years ago.

 

Almost all Christians believe in and expect a heavenly salvation, but many have overlooked that its very purpose is to bring earthly salvation to the remainder of humanity.  The good tidings were to be to ALL people.  In other words, this is exactly what the Lord taught:  that there were to be two parts to his kingdom—the heavenly and the earthly.  Before setting up his kingdom on earth to bless ALL people, our Lord had to perform another part of God’s plan—to select a Bride to reign with him.  This Bride class is composed of Christians called out from all nations and denominations—called to follow in the footsteps of Jesus—to suffer with him now, that they might rule with him later.

 

Jesus, in the 24th chapter of Matthew (Mt 24), quoting from the prophecy of Daniel, chapter 12 (Da 12), instructed his disciples concerning four outstanding events which would mark the end of this evil order and the establishment of his kingdom.

 

1.Time of trouble

 

2.Many running to and fro

 

3.Knowledge increased

 

4.The return of Israel

 

All Bible students, as well as secular historians, agree that these signs are unmistakably fulfilled in our generation.  To those who have faith, these four fulfilled signs give fresh courage.  Thus we realize that we are now on the threshold of God’s promised kingdom.

 

This present evil order, having accomplished its purpose of teaching man the exceeding sinfulness of sin, will be set aside as our Lord begins to exercise his kingly power and might in establishing peace on earth and good will toward men.  To the raging nations the Creator will declare:  "Be still, and know that I am God:  I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth."  (Ps 46:10)  Then shall our Lord be recognized by all as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

 

This is the kingdom for which he taught us to pray, "Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven."  This kingdom will come.  And spread from shore to shore, and from the rivers unto the ends of the earth.  "Of the increase of his government (kingdom) and peace there shall be no end."  (Isa 9:7)  And the part of this story we love best to tell is, you will be there, because this kingdom is for you.  And not only for you.  "Jesus tasted death for every man."  Everyone who ever lived will have an opportunity for a place and a part in it!

 

We know now what the angels meant when they sang those "good tidings of great joy, which shall be to ALL people."  They had in mind the King and his kingdom.  Although men did not sing with the angels that wonderful night of his birth, it does not mean they never shall.  No, in the kingdom we see ALL people—ALL nations—and as we listen, we hear them sing as the voice of many people and as the voice of many waters saying, "Alleluia:  for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.  Let us be glad and rejoice." —Re 19:6, 7

 

Not printed with AS funds

 

MILLENNIAL MORNING

 

Post Office Box 4614

 

San Diego, CA 92104

 

Please send me:  ____  Divine Plan of the Ages

 

Name _____________________________________________________________

 

Address ___________________________________________________________

 

Comments _________________________________________________________

 

VOL. III   NO. 11

 

**********

MILLENNIAL

 

MORNING

 

THE THIRD WAY

 

"Wide is the gate of destruction, and broad that way leading thither; and many are they who enter through it.  How narrow is the gate of life! how difficult that way leading thither! and how few are they who find it!"  — Mt 7:13, 14 (Diaglott)

 

"And a highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called the way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those:  the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.  No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, nor be found there; but they that walk there shall be delivered." —Isa 35:8, 9

 

Three ways are brought to our attention in these scriptures:  the "broad way," the "narrow way" and the "highway."

 

The Broad Road to Destruction

 

This road is called "broad" because of the ease the degenerate human race finds in traveling on it.  Opened 6,000 years ago by the first man Adam, it has become the main course of travel ever since.  Adam took 930 years to reach its end—death.  As years and centuries have rolled on, the race speeds more rapidly into destruction.  Mankind is losing the power of resistance.  What took Adam 930 years to reach now takes 70 years or less.

 

Comparatively few have tried to change their course, to retrace their steps.  In fact, to retrace all downward steps, and reach original perfection, has been impossible.  But the effort of some to do so has been commendable and has brought beneficial results.

 

During the Gospel age a way of escape has been brought to light.

 

  "... now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel." —2Ti 1:10

 

The teachings of Jesus and the apostles bring to light life—a restitution or restoration to life for all of mankind based upon the merit and sacrifice of the Redeemer.  They also bring to light immortality, the prize of the high calling of the church class.

 

Although a way of escape from the broad way to destruction has been brought to light through the gospel, the great majority of mankind does not heed the good tidings.  They have been depraved by sin and blinded by the adversary.

 

  "... the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not ..."— 2Co 4:4

 

For those who have accepted Jesus as their Savior and have consecrated to follow him there is a "new and living way" (He 10:20) referred to by the Master as

 

The Narrow Way to Life

 

Our Lord tells us that it is because of the narrowness of this way that many remain on the broad road to destruction.  "Straight (difficult) is the gate and narrow is the way that leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."  So stringent are the requirements of the Lord that although "many are called, few are chosen."  This class is referred to as a "little flock."  "Few there be that find it."  Why only a few?

 

The narrow way leads unto life.  This is not the perfect life which Adam enjoyed.  This is not the perfect life to which the world of mankind will eventually attain at the end of the 1,000-year reign of Christ’s kingdom when the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.  This is not the life we now have nor an extension of it under the present conditions.  The narrow way leads to a special life—the reward of immortality.

 

Not everyone has immortality.  Looking up all the scriptures which use the word "immortal," none are found which apply to the human being.  In fact, "immortality" is used very selectively.

 

  "... our Lord Jesus Christ ... who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; who only hath immortality. .."— 1Ti 6:14-16

 

"For as the Father hath life in himself (God’s definition of immortality); so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself." —Joh 5:26

 

And for the followers of Jesus, immortality is something to be "put on" at death, to "seek after."

 

"For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.  So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory." —1Co 15:53, 54

 

"To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life." —Ro 2:7

 

The Father, the Son and the true followers of Christ are the only ones spoken of as having immortality or being promised it.  With such a gift as the reward, is it any wonder that the standard should be set high?  The test is of faithfulness under every possible situation.  "He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much."  (Lk 16:10)  "Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life." —Re 2:10

 

The narrow way is difficult.  While the rest of the world flows in one direction morally and has a mind and philosophy all its own, the true follower of Christ must withstand this influence.  "The friendship of the world is enmity with God."  (Jas 4:4)  "Love not the world, neither the things in the world.  How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?" —1Joh 2:15; Joh 5:44

 

The Christian’s way is rugged, steep, narrow; and unless strength were furnished for each successive step of that journey, we could never reach the goal.  But our Captain’s word is encouraging:  "Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world; my grace is sufficient for thee, for my strength is made perfect in weakness."  (Joh 16:33; 2Co 12:9)  The difficulties of this way act as a separating principle to sanctify and refine a "peculiar people" to be "heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ."  In view of these things, let us come boldly to the throne of Heavenly grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need while we fight the good fight of faith and lay hold on the "crown of glory" —immortality, the divine nature. —2Ti 4:8; 1Pe 5:4

 

The Highway of Holiness

 

The new order of things in the age to come is to be entirely different.  As a different hope is held out, so also a different way leads to it.  The way to immortality has been a way which required the sacrifice of the otherwise lawful and proper hopes, ambitions and desires.  But the way to human perfection, which is the hope of the world, requires only the putting away of sin.  It does not require the sacrifice of human rights and privileges, but rather their proper enjoyment.  It will lead to personal purification and restoration to the image of God as enjoyed by Adam before sin entered into the world.

 

The way back to actual human perfection is to be made very plain.  None may mistake the way.  "The wayfaring man, and those unacquainted therewith shall not go astray."  (Isa 35:8 —Leeser)  It will be so plain that none will need to teach his neighbor, saying, "Know the LORD, for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest."  (Jer 31:34)  Instead of being a narrow way that few can find, it is termed a "highway," a public roadway.  It’s not a narrow, difficult by-way, but a way specially prepared for easier travel.  It is one especially arranged for the comfort of the traveler.  Verses 8 and 9 of Isaiah 35  (Isa 35:8-9) show that it is a public road, open to all the redeemed—every man.  Every man for whom Christ died, who will recognize and avail himself of the opportunities and blessings purchased by the precious blood, may travel thereon.  The Highway of Holiness leads to the grand goal of restitution of human perfection and everlasting life.  "No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there."  (Isa 35:9)

 

Today there are many frightful lions which prevent the world from traveling toward righteousness.  There is the lion of degenerate public sentiment which deters many from obeying the dictates of conscience in matters of everyday life.  The lion of temptation lures the innocent into the drug scene.  The lion Satan stalks about seeking whom he may devour. —1Pe 5:8

 

"Nor shall any ravenous beast shall go up thereon."  No giant corporation will be there to organize their selfish interests or force employees into dishonest practices by fear.

 

"They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain (kingdom)." —Isa 11:9

 

Though there will be difficulties in overcoming tendencies toward evil, in comparison to the Narrow Way of the present age, the Highway of Holiness will be easier.  The stones shall be gathered out and the standard of truth shall be lifted up for the people.  (Isa 62:10)  Ignorance and superstition will be things of the past, and righteousness will receive its reward, and evil will be punished.  (Mal 3:15, 18)  By wholesome chastisements and plain instructions, as returned prodigals, mankind will be trained and disciplined up to the grand perfection from which Father Adam fell.  What was offered once at Sinai will again be offered in the Kingdom, and to all of mankind, educated in the results of both good and evil.

 

"I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing:  therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:  That thou mayest love the LORD thy God and that thou mayest obey his voice and that thou mayest cleave unto him:  for he is thy life and the length of thy days:  that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers ..."— De 30:19, 20

 

Their choice to do good will be rewarded with life.  Thus, "the ransomed of the Lord shall return (from destruction, by the Highway of Holiness) ... with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away." —Isa 35:10

 

In Mt 7:13, 14, our Lord referred to but two of these ways, because the third was not yet due to be opened.  Now, however, as the narrow way draws to a close, the grand highway of righteousness begins to be seen more and more distinctly, in the light of the dawning day, the Millennial Morning.

 

(For further treatment of The Three Ways, we recommend Study XI of The Divine Plan of the Ages.)

 

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VOL. III   NO. 12

 

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MILLENNIAL

 

MORNING

 

"IF WE KILL MEN ..."

 

"If we kill men, what brothers will we have left?"

 

Thich Nhat Hanh

 

"Yesterday, six Vietcong came through my village.  Because of this my village was bombed—completely destroyed.  Every soul was killed.  When I come back to the village now, the day after, there is nothing to see but clouds of dust and the river still flowing.  The pagoda has neither roof nor altar.  Only the foundations are left.  The bamboo thickets have been burned away.  I have a question:  Who pushed us into this killing of one another?  Whoever is listening, be my witness!  I cannot accept this war.  I never could.  I never shall.  I must say this a thousand times before I am killed."

 

  —by Vo-Dinh and Thich Nhat Hanh, from "The Cry of Vietnam"

 

(picture)

 

"PEACE IS AT HAND’

 

Nobody likes war

 

Nobody likes war.  It leaves a path of misery which lasts longer than a lifetime.  The reports which used to startle us at home aren’t as shocking any more.  Not that the hurt and pain are any less, but people have found that it’s going to take some doing to stop it all.  Even then, can you replace the ones you’ve loved?

 

Nobody likes war.  The efforts to de-escalate the war in Vietnam will take more energy than it did to escalate it.  If the war were stopped right now, it would take months to bring the soldiers back.

 

Nobody likes a war.  Of all the wars the United States has been involved in, none were as unpopular as the Vietnam war.  We are becoming educated in the truth about war.  It’s souring the tastebuds—from the Pentagon Papers to the testimony of respected soldiers such as Lt. Col. Anthony Herbert.

 

Nobody likes war.  There have been marches in protest.  There have been marches to protest protests.  Senators debate their position on the President’s war policy.  One Christian minister supports the war, while another defies it.  The stand of each individual may shock or inspire us, but sooner or later each American must ask:  "What should be my attitude towards the war in Vietnam?  The issue racing the Christian is much deeper still.  Can a Christian fight in any war?

 

The Christian standard

 

Regardless of what our personal feelings might be, as Christians we have but one standard—Christ—and nothing less.  Jesus said,

 

"They that take to the sword shall perish by the sword.  Ye have heard that it hath been said, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth; but I say unto you, that ye resist not evil;  but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other side also.  Ye have heard that it hath been said, thou shalt love thy neighbor and hate thy enemy.  But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you.  My kingdom is not of this world:  if my Kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight."

 

He even raised the standard to the thoughts.  "Whosoever is angry without cause shall be in danger of the judgment."  (Mt 26:52, 5:38, 39; 5:43; Joh 18:36; Mt 5:21, 22)  The Apostle Paul, too, pointed out the proper course for the Christian.

 

"Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.  Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink:  for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.  Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." —Ro 12:19-21

 

The enlightened Christian does not use pacifism as a force to exert political pressure like the peace demonstrators.  Rather, his refusal to participate in war is his witness that sinful man cannot attain universal peace.  Lasting peace will only be accomplished when the Lord very shortly establishes His kingdom on the earth.  Then the words of the prophet will be realized:  "They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruninghooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."

 

A change

 

But has this always been the stand of Christians?

 

"During its first three centuries of existence, the Christian Church was opposed to war and other forms of violence."  Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, Vol. 4, p. 210 (page 7)

 

"For years, many Christians regarded service in the army as inconsistent with their profession.  Some held that for them all bloodshed, whether as soldiers or executioners, was unlawful."  Latourette, History of the Expansion of Christianity in the First Five Centuries, Vol. 1, p. 268 (page 7)

 

"It is generally thought that with the accession of Constantine to power, the Church as a whole definitely gave up her anti-military leanings, abandoned all her scruples, finally adopted her imperial point of view, and treated the ethical problem involved as a closed question."  Cadoux, Early Church and the World, pp. 588-589 (page 32)

 

"In 416 A.C., an order was decreed with the result that pagans were not admitted to the Army.  All the soldiers had become Christians; or, in other words, all the Christians had, with few exceptions, denied Christ."  Tolstoy, The Law of Love and the Law of Violence, p. 65 (page 33)

 

Is it any wonder that the stand of Christians today is so diversified?  The early Christian view of war and military service has been documented by historians.  A booklet by the same name ("Early Christian View of War and Military Service") is free for the asking.  Forty-two pages of quotes from twenty books, encyclopedias, and periodicals.  We’ve given you only four.  If your Christian beliefs require you to object to war and participation in it, you will undoubtedly be strengthened by the booklet.

 

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VOL. III   NO. 13

 

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MILLENNIAL

 

MORNING

 

THE HIDDEN MYSTERY

 

Paul says (Col 1:27) that this mystery which has been hid from ages and from generations, now made manifest to his saints, is "Christ in you, the hope of glory."  This is the great mystery of God which has been hidden from all previous ages, and is still hidden from all except a special class—the saints, or consecrated believers.  But what is meant by "Christ in you?"

 

We have learned that Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit (Ac 10:38), and thus we recognize him to be the Christ—the anointed—for the word Christ means anointed.  And the Apostle John says that the anointing which we (consecrated believers) have received abideth in us.  (1Joh 2:27)  Thus the saints of this Gospel age are an anointed company—anointed to be kings and priests unto God (2Co 1:21; 1Pe 2:9); and together with Jesus, their chief and Lord, they constitute Jehovah’s Anointed—the Christ.

 

In harmony with this teaching of John, that we also are anointed, Paul assures us that this mystery which has been kept secret in ages past, but which is now made known to the saints, is that the Christ (the Anointed) is "not one member, but many," just as the human body is one, has many members, but as all the members of the body, being many, are one body, so also is the Anointed—the Christ.  (1Co 12:12-28)  Jesus is anointed to be the Head or Lord over the Church which is his body (or his bride, as expressed in another figure—Eph 5:25-30), and unitedly they constitute the promised "Seed" —the Great Deliverer:  "If ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise." —Ga 3:29

 

The Apostle carefully guards the Church against any presumptive claims, saying of Jesus that "God hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the Church, which is his body," "that in all things he might have the pre-eminence."  (Eph 1:22; Col 1:18)  Yet, under the figure of the human body, he beautifully and forcibly shows our intimate relationship.  This same oneness Jesus also taught, saying, "I am the vine, ye are the branches." —Joh 15:5

 

Our oneness with the Lord Jesus, as members of the Christ, the anointed company, is well illustrated by the figure of a pyramid.  The top-stone is a perfect pyramid of itself.  Other stones may be built up under it, and, if in harmony with all the characteristic lines of the top-stone, the whole mass will be a perfect pyramid.  How beautifully

 

(illustration of the pyramid)

 

this illustrates our position as members of "the Seed" —"the Christ."  Joined to and perfectly in harmony with our Head, we, as living stones, are perfect; separated from him, we are nothing.

 

Jesus, the perfect one, has been highly exalted, and now we present ourselves to him that we may be formed and shaped according to his example, and that we may be built up as a building of God.  In an ordinary building there is no chief corner-stone; but in our building there is one chief corner-stone, the "top-stone," as it is written:  "Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner-stone, elect, precious" —"to whom coming as unto a living stone ... ye also as lively [living] stones are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ."  (1Pe 2:4-6)  And very soon, we trust, the union between Jesus, the "Head," and "the church, which is his body," will be complete.

 

Many blows and much polishing must be endured.  Much transforming must be undergone, and much conforming to his example, under the direction of the great Master-builder.  And in order to have the ability and ideality of the builder displayed in us, we will need to see that we have no cross-grained will of our own to oppose or thwart the accomplishment of his will in us; we must be very child-like and humble—"clothed with humility; for God resisteth the proud and giveth grace to the humble."  Let us humble ourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt us in due time (1Pe 5:5, 6), as he has exalted our Head and Forerunner. —Php 2:8, 9

 

This is indeed a wonderful message, and, as we come to the Word of God to inquire concerning our great high calling, we find the prophets all eloquent in proclaiming the grace (favor or blessing) that is come unto us (1Pe 1:10); while types, and parables, and hitherto dark sayings, now become luminous, shedding their light on the "narrow way" in which the anointed (Christ) company is called to run for the prize now disclosed to view.  This was truly a mystery never before thought of—that God intends to raise up not only a deliverer, but a deliverer composed of many members.  This is the "high calling" to which the consecrated believers of the Gospel age are privileged to attain.  Jesus did not attempt to unfold it to the disciples while natural men, but waited until at Pentecost they were anointed—begotten to the new nature.  From Paul’s explanation we know that none but "new creatures" can now appreciate or understand this high calling.  He says:  "We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom [plan] which God ordained before the world unto our glory; which none of the princes [chief ones] of this world knew; ... as it is written, "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him;’ but God hath revealed them unto us by his spirit." —1Co 2:6-14

 

In his letter to the Galatians, Paul opens up the entire mystery, and shows how the Abrahamic covenant is to be fulfilled.  He shows that the Law given to Israel did not interfere with the original covenant (Gal 3:15-18), and that the seed of Abraham which is to bless all nations is Christ.  (Gal 3:16)  Then, carrying out the idea already alluded to, that the Christ includes all anointed of the Spirit, he says:  "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ; ... and if ye be Christ’s then are ye [together with Jesus] Abraham’s seed, and heirs, according to the promise" made to Abraham.  (Gal 3:27, 29)  Following up the same line of reasoning, he shows (Gal 4) that Abraham was a type of Jehovah, Sarah a type of the covenant or promise, and Isaac a type of Christ (head and body); and then adds, "We, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise."  (Gal 4:28)  Thus the plan of God was hidden in types until the Gospel age began the development of the Christ.

 

There has existed a necessity for keeping this mystery hidden, else it would not have been so kept.  It was necessary, because to have revealed the plan in full to mankind would have been to frustrate it.  Had men known, they would not have crucified either the Lord of glory or the Church which is his body.  (1Co 2:8)  Not only would the death of Christ, as the price of man’s redemption, have been interfered with, had not the plan been kept a mystery from the world, but the trial of the faith of the Church, as sharers in the sufferings of Christ, would thereby have been prevented also; for "The world knoweth us not [as his joint-heirs] because [for the same reason that] it knew him not." —1Joh 3:1

 

Not only is the plan of God, and the Christ which is the very embodiment of that plan, a great mystery to the world, but the peculiar course in which this little flock is called to walk marks its members as "peculiar people."  It was a mystery to the world that a person of so much ability as Jesus of Nazareth should spend his time and talent as he did, whereas, if he had turned his attention to politics, law, merchandise, or popular religion, he might have become great and respected.  In the opinion of men he foolishly wasted his life, and they said, "he hath a devil and is mad."  His life and teachings were mysteries to them.  They could not understand him.

 

The apostles and their companions were likewise mysteries in the world, in leaving their business prospects, etc., to preach forgiveness of sins through the death of the despised and crucified Jesus.  Paul forsook a high station and social influence to labor with his hands, and to preach Christ, and the invisible crown for all believers who should walk in his footsteps.  This was so mysterious that some said, "Paul, thou art beside thyself:  much learning doth make thee mad."  And all who so follow in the Master’s footsteps are, like Paul, counted fools for Christ’s sake.

 

But God’s plan will not always be shrouded in mystery:  the dawn of the Millennial Day brings the fuller light of God to men, and "the knowledge of the Lord shall fill the whole earth."  The Sun of Righteousness, which shall arise with healing in his wings, dispelling the darkness of ignorance, is the Christ in Millennial glory—not the Head alone, but also the members of his body; for it is written:  If we suffer with him, we shall also be glorified together.  "When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall we also appear with him in glory;" and "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father." —Ro 8:17; 2Ti 2:11, 12; Col 3:4; Mt 13:43

 

    This article has been excerpted from Chapter Five, "The Hidden Mystery," of the book The Divine Plan of the Ages.  If you like this approach to Bible study, you will also like the other chapters which discuss the following topics:  Ransom and Restitution, Why Does God Permit Evil?, Our Lord’s Return, The Kingdom of God, the Kingdoms of this World, etc., 16 chapters in all.

 

  __________________________________

 

NOTICE TO READER:  The Divine Plan of the Ages challenges traditional theology with an inspiring reasonableness.  In a world searching for answers we highly recommend its consideration.  Why not send for it?  It’s free.

 

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VOL. III   NO. 14

 

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MILLENNIAL

 

MORNING

 

Christ isn’t coming soon.

 

He’s present.

 

"Christ will come soon."

 

"When Christ comes again ..."

 

"Jesus is returning—He’s on the way."

 

Is Christ coming?  Or is he already here?

 

What shall be the sign of thy coming?  (Mt 24:3)  The Greek word translated "coming" is parousia.  It really means "presence."  Look it up in any Greek-English dictionary.  The scriptures also define it for us.

 

  ________________________________________________________

 

Mt 24:37,                   Lk 17:26

 

But as the days           As it was in the days

 

of Noah were,             of Noah,

 

so shall also                so shall it be also

 

the parousia                 in the days

 

of the Son of man be   of the Son of man.

 

  ________________________________________________________

 

The "days of the Son of man" (Lk 17:26) refer to the time that Christ is present.  Therefore, Mt 24:37 should be translated "presence of the Son of Man."

 

The Bible gives many signs:

 

But these signs do not show that Christ is coming.  They show that Christ has returned!

 

  ________________________________________________________

 

Israel is restored. Delinquency.

 

Mt 24:32, Jer 16: 13-18; 2Ti 3:2

 

Knowledge and travel increase. Wars and war preparations intensify.

 

Dan 12:4; Joel 3:9-11

 

Evils are exposed as never before. Men cry fearfully for peace.

 

Lk 12:2; 1Cor 4:5; 1Th 5:3; Lk 21:26

 

Men seek pleasure; morality rots. Trouble everywhere.

 

2Tim 3:1-5, 13; Mt 24:21, 22

 

  _______________________________________________________

 

The scriptures tell us that Christ is to be invisibly present, at first unrecognized, while establishing his kingdom.  This is the thought of a thief in the night—working havoc while unseen.  "The Day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.  For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape." —1Th 5:2, 3

 

"Peace and safety"

 

In 1907 a world court was set up in Hague, Holland, to arbitrate international disputes.  War was outlawed.  "Peace and safety" was assured.  Then World War I shook the world with an impact unprecedented in history as a whole world order began to crumble.  In 1938 Neville Chamberlain "appeased" Hitler with half of Czechoslovakia, and returned to England pronouncing "peace in our times."  Soon the nations were embroiled in World War II.  These pangs of travail, causing the fall of this order will give birth to Christ’s kingdom just as he promised.

 

The prophet Daniel, speaking of Gentile rule, said, "In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed; ... it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever."  (Dan 2:44)  In the last book of the Bible, Revelation, this thought is continued.  The seventh angel sounded, great voices said "the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord ... We give thee thanks ... because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.  And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come." —Re 11:15-18

 

This is what we see today.  Nations ranging and angry, their powers waning.  For Christ as returned King has assumed control to "dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel." —Ps 2:9

 

This world to pass.

 

The Apostle Peter said, "There shall come in the last days scoffers saying Where is the promise (evidence) of his parousia (presence)?  For all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation."  Everything seems to go on as normal.  But Peter continues, "The Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in the which the heavens shall pass away ... the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." —2Pe 3:10

 

Isn’t this exactly what is happening?  The great ecclesiastical heavens, the established church systems, are passing away for lack of support.  The civil structures of earth are being "burned up" by dissension, turmoil and war.

 

Christ’s weapon is a powerful one, aptly suited for the work.  It is truth.  Truth which uncovers "the hidden things of darkness."  (1Co 4:5)  Religious, scientific, humanitarian truth which brings to full view the intrigue and practices upon which this order is built.  "The earth saw and trembled." —Ps 97:4

 

This truth is causing oppressed peoples to cry for their rights.  Chains of superstitious fear are being cast off from men’s minds.  This increase of truth is itself a proof that Christ, as its source, must have returned.  "For as the bright shining [sun] cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the parousia [presence] of the Son of man be." —Mt 24:27, Mal 4:2

 

Signs of the times.

 

But what about Christians?  Are they not to be taken up in a cloud when Jesus returns?  The disciples asked Jesus:  "What shall be the sign (evidence, proof) of thy parousia (presence)?"  They would not have asked for a sign if they believed all Christians would be taken up instantly—that would have been the obvious "sign" to the Christian.  And in response, Jesus continued to emphasize the secretness of his parousia, presence:  "As the days of Noah were, so shall also the parousia (presence) of the Son of man be.  For as they ... knew not until the flood came, so shall also the presence of the Son of man be."  The point of comparison is that they "knew not."  (Matt. 24:38, 39)  So Jesus instructed his followers to watch for the signs which prove Christ’s presence.

 

Rejoice at His presence!

 

Christ as king has returned not only to execute judgment upon the present order but to build back the fallen dignity of man by restoring to him the life, dominion, and perfection lost.  "And he shall send Jesus Christ, ... Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things."  (Ac 3:21)  "I will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.  I will make a man more precious than fine gold, even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir." —Isa 13:11, 12

 

He is here, Rejoice!

 

  __________________________________

 

The Times They are a Changin’.

 

"This lifetime is different from all others, because of the astonishing expansion of the scale and scope of change."  Future Shock by Alvin Toffler, p. 17.

 

Statesmen, writers, and religious enthusiasts have noticed something very peculiar about our times.  They are a changin’.

 

If you could imagine a map of the world showing the effect of minor flareups, it would be in marked contrast to what it was 100 years ago.  "A war in Viet Nam alters basic political alignments in Peking, Moscow, and Washington, touches off protests in Stockholm, affects financial transactions in Zurich, triggers secret diplomatic moves in Algiers."  The history of nations has seen many notable conflicts, but not until 1914 has any been labeled as a World War.  Trouble is so bad nowadays it’s common to hear reference to "over kill," the wiping out of the entire population many times over.

 

People are concerned.  Prophecies are being fulfilled before our very eyes.  The whole world is in a big mess.  It’s getting worse.  If something isn’t done no one will be saved.  You know the question, "What’s happening?"  The scriptures tell why.

 

Send for some informative literature on Our Lord’s Return.  It may be just what you’re looking for.

 

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VOL. III   NO. 15

 

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MILLENNIAL

 

MORNING

 

20 Billion Prisoners to be Released!

 

"The spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

 

"To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

 

"To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they might be called the trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified." —Isa 61:1-3

 

Scenes of prisoners being released and returned to their loved ones bring tears to the eyes.  It is as though they have been returned from the dead to the land of the living.  For those that received their loved ones back it is a time of joy.  For those whose loved ones are not to be found, it is a time for sorrow, as their last hope gives way.

 

The Scriptures speak of the grave as being a great prison, a prison-house of death.  In this vast prison are approximately 20 billion of Adam’s children.  But the very word prison implies that they are not extinct, and it is the divine power and purpose to bring them forth.  Job expressed it.

 

"Thou shalt call and I will answer thee." —Job 14:14, 15

 

Job’s hope was that when the Lord would use his power to awaken him from the sleep of death he would answer.

 

Our Lord Jesus was the first of the prisoners to come back from the tomb.  He went to hell, to sheol, to hades, to the death-state, and came back by a resurrection.  As the apostle declares,

 

"God raised him from the dead by his own power." —1Co 6:14

 

In the resurrection of Jesus we have the assurance of the ability and willingness of God to deliver all from sheol, hades, the tomb.  (See Ac 17:31)  The figure of death as a prison-house, holding the whole world of mankind captive until the resurrection release, is frequently set forth in the Bible.  The dead are spoken of as "prisoners of hope." —Zech 9:12

 

"I am he that was dead; and behold I am alive forevermore, and have the keys of death and hades" —the grave, the tomb, hell. —Re 1:18

 

The keys of the great prison are in the hands of one who so loved the world as to give his life as a ransom for theirs, "that God might be just and yet the justifier of those who believe in Jesus."  Although the number of believers is small, the day is coming when all shall know the Redeemer and the provisions and conditions of eternal salvation.  As it is written,

 

"The knowledge of the Lord shall fill the earth as the waters cover the deep;" —Isa 11:9

 

"None shall need say to his neighbor, know thou the Lord, because all shall know him from the least to the greatest." —Jer 31:34

 

The keys of death and the grave, which the Lord holds and is ready to use, symbolize his rightful authority to control the dead and the dying.  He is merely waiting the Father’s due time.  (1Ti 2:6)  If the Lord had said "I have a crowbar" or a "sledge-hammer," it would signify his violent opposition to the dying and death-conditions.  It would have meant that he would have to use force to rescue the people.  But the Scriptures say he holds the key, the right, the authority.  The heavenly Father condemned the race to death.  (Ge 2:17; 3:23)  Our Lord Jesus in no sense of the word intends to oppose the Father’s power and authority.  The Bible declares that Jesus redeemed us by paying the penalty against us and buying us with his own precious blood.  By justice he has the authority to do with the race as he wills.  Thank God, he wills their blessing and uplifting in accordance with the Father’s promise to Abraham;

 

"In thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed."  (Ge 12:3)

 

It was to this great prison that our Lord referred in his sermon on Isa 61.  He would open the prison doors and set the captives free.  He made no effort to release them at his first advent.  Why?  Our Lord had a higher and grander mission.  Our Lord was in the process of redeeming the world, purchasing all the prisoners and the prison house with the view of eventually setting them free during the Millennial Age by a resurrection of the dead (Joh 5:28) and then destroying the prison.

 

Until that key is used, the prisoners remain in a condition of death, also known as sleep.  Solomon said, "There is no wisdom nor knowledge nor device in the grave [sheol] whither thou goest."  (Ec 9:10)  The idea of man suffering in fire and tortured for eternity dates back to the "Dark Ages."  The only ones who had access to the scriptures were priests.  The Bible was kept in Latin, so the unlearned could not understand even if they did have a copy.  It was taught that good people went to the grave and bad people went to hell.  Even translations into the common language made the same error.  In reality, both words hell and grave, when found in the old testament, came from the same Hebrew word sheol.  To keep the support of the people, the clergy claimed to have power to send people to a place of torment if they opposed the church.  People were ruled by fear.

 

Eternal torment is far from

 

the scriptural teaching

 

of God’s love.

 

When Israel practiced the religions of neighboring nations, it was an abomination to God.  Why?  The immoral behavior was surely one reason.  Worshipping other gods was another reason.  Turning to Jeremiah 32:35 we read of yet another reason:

 

"And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, NEITHER CAME IT INTO MY MIND, THAT THEY SHOULD DO THIS ABOMINATION, to cause Judah to sin."

 

In worshiping Baal, the people were required to offer human sacrifices of their children while they were yet alive!  What kind of standards does God have?  Would He condemn burning people alive and then turn around and do the same thing in the name of justice?  No!  Causing such suffering was the product of debased man.  As far as the heavenly Father was concerned it hadn’t even entered his mind to do such things.

 

Considering our opening text, the Heavenly Father wishes to be glorified through the comforting of those that mourn, by giving beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, by binding up the broken-hearted, proclaiming liberty to the captives and opening the prison to them that are bound. —Isa 35:10, Re 21:3, 4

 

But what about other scriptures concerning hell?  Can they be harmonized?  Yes.  We welcome those who would like a free copy of "What Say the Scriptures Concerning Hell?" to send for it.  It is a complete discussion of the subject, treating every scripture using the word hell.  Some of the subheadings

 

Hell in the Old Testament

 

Hell in the New Testament

 

Christ in Hell and resurrected from Hell

 

Undying worms and quenchless fires

 

Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus

 

Everlasting punishment

 

The Devil, the Beast, and the False Prophet Tormented

 

Forgivable and Unpardonable Sins

 

Future retribution

 

  ____________________________

 

Have you ever wondered ...

 

  ... Why a God of love permits innocent people to suffer and why He doesn’t just stop it and do something?  (Then you would appreciate chapter 7 on "The Permission of Evil and its Relation to God’s Plan.")

 

  ... Why Jesus died over 1900 years ago and people still suffer and die and sin?  (Then you would appreciate chapter 9 on "Ransom and Restitution.")

 

  ... Why no nation has been able to establish a lasting peace in over 6,000 years of earth’s history?  (Then you would appreciate chapter 13 on "The Kingdoms of this World.")

 

There are 16 chapters like these in the free book The Divine Plan of the Ages.  Topically arranged, each chapter is complete in itself with scriptures from the Old and New Testament treated in such a way as to harmonize their message.  If you have become discouraged studying the Bible book by book, verse by verse, then you will gain a blessing from this "key to the scriptures."

 

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VOL. III   NO. 16

 

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MILLENNIAL

 

MORNING

 

The Return

 

of Elijah

 

"Behold, I will send you Elijah, the Prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.  And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." —Mal 4:5, 6

 

We have been saying that Christ’s millennial kingdom is beginning.  But some may doubt this possibility because of the above scripture.  Doesn’t Elijah the prophet have to be sent by God first?  What do you believe about Elijah?  Where should we look for the promised Elijah?  We believe that no human being fills the picture and all the requirements of the prophecy.  The fulfillment must be found on a much larger scale.

 

John the forerunner of Jesus.  First, we look back to our Lord’s first advent, and find John the Baptist doing a work in the Jewish church, introducing Jesus in the flesh.  Jesus said of John the Baptist, "This is the Elias, if ye can receive it."  (Mt 11:14)  Our understanding is that the work of John the Baptist at our Lord’s first advent was an illustration of the greater work of the greater Elijah, whose ministry is to introduce the second advent of Christ.

 

John the Baptist served the purpose of Elijah to as many of the Jews as were "Israelites indeed" —as many of them as could receive Jesus as the Messiah.  John’s work didn’t accomplish all the great things predicted in Malachi of "Elijah, the prophet."  Still, there were some similarities between John and the true antitypical Elijah.  For instance, he failed to bring religious unity and harmony in Israel—except for a few.  Most people didn’t listen to his message, and as a result, the judgment of the Lord, a great time of trouble, came on that nation.  This shows that the antitypical Elijah will also fail to establish peace and harmony on earth.  This age will end, as did the Jewish Age, with a time of trouble.

 

The Church in the flesh is Elijah.  Consider this:  Jesus on earth, the Apostles and all the faithful of the Lord’s people during their earthly careers are fulfilling the work ascribed to Elijah.  They have been trying to bring reconciliation between God and the people.  But as we look at the world we are surprised at how little has been accomplished by the Lord’s faithful followers.  Their work has gathered the Elijah class and merely witnessed to the remainder of the world.  And this, indeed, was all the Lord intended for this age.

 

"And this gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." —Mt 24:14

 

It was not prophesied that Elijah would succeed.  On the contrary, the statement that if he did not succeed a "curse" would follow, implies the probability of that curse.  John didn’t succeed.  And a time of trouble came.  Other scriptures, other prophecies, show us clearly that the Lord foretold through the prophets that the great time of trouble of our day would come.  For instance, the words of Zeph 3:8:

 

"Wait upon me, saith the Lord, until I rise up to the prey, for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger; for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy"

 

  —the fire of divine anger, the just punishment for the wrong course taken by the nations of Christendom.  This picture of the intensity of the trouble with which this present age will end, and which will inaugurate the new age, fully agrees with the text in Malachi.  If people wouldn’t listen to Elijah, a curse, a great trouble, would be sent upon them by the Lord—only to teach them the lesson they would not learn otherwise.  The curse, the trouble, the fire of that day, will yield blessed results.  Through the same prophet, Zephaniah (3:9), the Lord immediately adds:

 

"Then will I turn to the people a pure language (a pure message) that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one consent."

 

Elijah in prophecy.  The New Testament shows—not directly, but indirectly—that Elijah is a type of the Church, his experiences typifying our experiences.  For instance, he was persecuted because of his fidelity to the Truth.  The Church also experiences such persecution.

 

Elijah’s principal persecutor was Jezebel, the wicked queen of Israel, who is mentioned by name as the type of the enemy of the saints.  (Re 2:20)  As Jezebel’s persecuting power was exercised through her husband, the king, so Papacy’s persecuting power was exercised through the Roman Empire to which she was joined.  As Elijah fled from Jezebel into the wilderness, where he was miraculously nourished by the Lord, so the true Church was led symbolically into the wilderness of isolation but was miraculously sustained by God and her life was not permitted to be entirely destroyed.  As Elijah was in the wilderness 3 1/2 years—and during that time there was a drought and a great famine—so the Church was for 3 1/2 symbolic days, or 1,260 literal years (from 539-1799) in the wilderness condition, during which time there was a spiritual famine and thirst because of lack of truth.

 

As Elijah, at the close of the 3 1/2 years, returned from the wilderness and exposed the errors of Jezebel’s priests, so the true Church at the close of the 1,260 years was able to witness to the truth again.  Since then, a great blessing has come to the world, and Bibles are distributed at the rate of millions of copies every year.

 

King Ahab and his people at first rejoiced that Elijah and his God were honored, but the spirit of Jezebel remained unchanged.  She sought Elijah’s life again, and he was compelled to flee into the wilderness again.  The world does not recognize the Lord’s hand in today’s blessings.  The Jezebel principle and spirit, not only in Papacy, but also in Protestantism, will doubtless continue if not increase its opposition to the Lord’s true followers.

 

As Elijah’s career ended by his being taken from the earth, so when the saints shall all have been changed from earthly to heavenly conditions, this will be the end of the Elijah class.  Its work will have been accomplished in its own development and in the witnessing it has done to the world.

 

  ____________________________________

 

The Time Is At Hand

 

For the first time we are offering a sequel to the Bible study textbook, The Divine Plan of the Ages.  It picks up where the first left off.  Entitled The Time Is At Hand, it deals primarily with time features and Bible Chronology.  Note the subjects of its ten studies.

 

  * Special Times and Seasons Divinely

 

  * Earth’s Great Jubilee Appointed

 

  * The Parallel Dispensations

 

  * Bible Chronology

 

  * Elias Shall First Come

 

  * The Fulfillment of Time-Prophecy at

 

  * The Man of Sin-Antichrist

 

  * The First Advent of Chris

 

  * The Time is at Hand

 

  * The Times of the Gentiles

 

  * The Manner of our Lord’s Return and Appearing

 

Within its 366 pages, you will find an aid to the understanding of time prophecies of the Bible, showing our exact place in God’s plans. Written originally in 1889, it will amaze you—pointing accurately to events such as World War I starting in the fall of 1914.  Scriptural, historical, logical.  Normally, a book with such a wealth of material in a cloth-bound edition would cost $3 or $4 in a bookstore, but we are making it available at the cost of printing, 75ó, postage paid.  If you don’t already have the Divine Plan of the Ages, send for that, too.  It’s free.  We recommend reading it first.

 

Not printed with AS funds

 

MILLENNIAL MORNING

 

Post Office Box 4614

 

San Diego, CA 92104

 

Please send me:____ The Divine Plan of the Ages (FREE)

 

  ____  The Time is at Hand (75ó enclosed)

 

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VOL. III   NO. 17

 

**********

MILLENNIAL

 

MORNING

 

The Seed of Blessing

 

God planned and arranged for the salvation of mankind from sin even before disobedience plunged the race into the dying condition.  He foreknow that Christ would die to redeem the race from their penalty of death.  This is why the Scriptures term our Lord "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." —Re 13:8

 

But God’s plan of salvation in its various features was not made known to man in its entirety, at first.  Rather, God gave general promises to give them hope.  A deliverer would come—one who would ransom mankind from death by dying in their behalf.

 

The Seed of the woman

 

The first of these promises was given shortly after the act of disobedience had condemned the human race to death.  God said to the serpent, representing Satan who spoke through it, "I will put enmity between thee and the woman [Eve], and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."  (Ge 3:15)  The deceptive serpent had instigated the fall, so the promise to crush his head—meaning death to Satan—gave hope that eventually the condemnation itself would be lifted.

 

The deliverance hinted by this promise was to come through the seed—the posterity—of the woman.  That is, some descendant would secure redemption for them.

 

The Seed of Abraham

 

But, for over 2,000 years, nothing more is recorded concerning that promise.  The delay in time, God’s seeming neglect of his promise, undoubtedly provided a test of faith for those seeking after the ways of God.  It was not until the time of Abraham that the rudimentary promise began to take shape and form.  To Abraham it was said:

 

"By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, ... that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice." —Ge 22: 16-18

 

Here the promise stated precisely that the seed of Abraham would cause "all the nations of earth" to be blessed—indicating that all would, by the deliverance, be freed from the condemnation.

 

The promised seed was not to include all of Abraham’s posterity.  Ishmael, his first son (by a bondmaid), was not God’s choice.  Instead, Isaac was chosen to carry the line of the promised deliverer; and after him Jacob, rather than Esau.  (Ge 26:1, 3; 27:36, 37)  At the death of Jacob a change was made.  All of his twelve sons were reckoned co-inheritors of the blessing, but it was stated that the seed of deliverance (Shiloh) would come through Judah.  (Ge 49:10)  The line was further narrowed down when God promised, "I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, Thy seed will I establish forever, and build up thy throne to all generations."  (Ps 89:3, 4)  Because of this promise, it became known that the Messiah—the promised deliverer—would come of David’s line. —Mt 22:42

 

Who is the seed?

 

In Gal 3:16, the Apostle Paul tells us exactly who that seed of deliverance was.  "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made.  He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ."  Note:  Paul specifically states that not many seeds were promised—but one seed.  And that one seed he declares to be Christ.  Christ is to be the one to bring the blessing to mankind.  It is he, as redeemer of the human race (paying the penalty of death that man might be freed from it), who will restore to mankind the life which they forfeited by disobedience.  This is why Isa 9:6, in prophecy, names Christ "The Everlasting Father [life-giver]" along with many other titles.  Paul states that Christ is the "second Adam" to dispense life to the death-ridden human race.  "And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening [life-giving] spirit." —1Co 15:45, 22

 

When the value of Christ’s sacrifice is used to release Adam and his race from condemnation, the program for uplifting mankind from his fallen state will begin.  Then the prophecies of the kingdom of God on earth can be fulfilled, such as Isa. 35, Jer 31:34, and Mic 4:1-5.  Then our Lord’s prayer, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth ..." will be realized.

 

The spiritual seed

 

But before the kingdom of God on earth begins to remove the curse of death, God is calling out of the world a class of faithful ones to share with Jesus the privilege of uplifting mankind.

 

This class, the "church" of God mentioned in the Scriptures, had been in development since the times of Christ.  The process of their trial and perfecting has been a long one, and the task to be done in each member is extensive.  It includes a reformation and testing, a refinement of character, then a demonstration of its purity.  Each one of this class must be fully proved in obedience and loyalty to the service of the living God.  Even Jesus had his love and devotion proved by experience.  He "learned [or proved] obedience by the things which he suffered." —Heb 5:8

 

As "... it was fitting that He [God] ... should perfect by suffering the Prince Leader ..." ( Heb 2:10, Weymouth), so it is fitting that those to be "joint-heirs" with Christ of the heavenly reward should likewise have their character perfected by suffering. —Ro 8:17

 

Paul tells us that those who do take up the cross of self-denial and sacrifice of earthly treasures, as did Jesus, will be counted as "body members" of Christ, part of the "seed" promised to Abraham to bless all the families of the earth.  "Ye are all children of God by faith in Christ Jesus ... And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise [given to Abraham]."  (Gal 3:26, 29; 1Co 12:14.  Also compare Ge 3:15; Ro 16:20)  So then, the seed of blessing is one seed—Christ—but composed of many members.

 

The natural seed

 

The main fulfillment of the promise to Abraham is to be by the spiritual "seed" —Christ and his church.  But this does not void the promises made to the natural seed of Abraham.  They are still to be used by God for a special purpose as his earthly agency for dispensing Kingdom blessing to mankind.  This is the reason for the gathering of Israel back to their land, as the time of the establishment of the earthly kingdom draws near.

 

Paul tells us that Israel "hath not obtained that which he seeketh for," —the chief position of honor in the kingdom.  (Ro 11:7)  That will be occupied by the spiritual seed, chosen largely from the Gentiles as the Jewish nation was "blinded" to Messiah.  But the blindness will not be lasting.  Paul also assures us that after "the fulness [or full number] of the Gentiles be come in" to complete the church of Christ, then "All Israel shall be saved: ... there shall come ... the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob."  (Ros 11:26)  God will recognize as his people only those who will exercise faith in his purposes.  Regarding God’s dealings with Israel to restore their sight of faith, see Ezel 20:33-38 and Zech 12:9-10.

 

After natural Israel has been instructed in the ways of the Lord, those of faith will bring the joys of the kingdom to those of mankind who will accept them.  It will be a manner of proselyting—not to form or ceremony, but to heart willingness to serve the God who will have opened the way of the kingdom.

 

The prophet Zechariah said of this time:  "And it shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse among the heathen, ... Judah ... and Israel ... ye shall be a blessing: ... ten men [representing mankind] ... of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew [by faith], saying, We will go with you:  for we have heard that God is with you." —Zec 8:13, 23

 

O the prospect!

 

Both the spiritual and the natural phases of the seed of Abraham will serve in blessing the nations of earth.  These two aspects were revealed in the promise that Abraham’s seed would be "as the stars of heaven" —heavenly, and "as the sand of the seashore" —earthly.  The Apostle Paul points out that the promise to Abraham was "sure to all the seed" —to that which is of the Gospel faith—the church class—and to that which is of the Law—the natural seed.

 

With the work of blessing accomplished, what joy will then stir the hearts of mankind.  Behind will be a never-to-be-forgotten experience with sin.  The memory of the former conditions of depravity, of human sickness and frailty, will cause mankind to rejoice in the blessings of health and respect.  Heart appreciation of the tender goodness of their loving God will endure.

 

The prospects are marvelous.  They are precious hopes held out by God.  The present troubles are necessary for the dissolution of the old order, but when at last, the church, the seed of blessing, is completed, the establishment of the longed-for kingdom will quickly ensue.

 

"For we know that the whole creation groans together and travails in pain together till the present time.  Indeed, the earnest expectation of the creation longs for the revelation of the sons of God [the church class] ... in hope that even the creation itself will be emancipated from the slavery of corruption." —Ro 8:22, 19, 21, Wilson’s Diaglott

 

  ____________________________

 

O The Prospect!

 

Close your eyes for a moment to the scenes of misery and woe, degradation and sorrow that ye prevail on account of sin, and picture before your mental vision the glory of the perfect earth.  Not a stain of sin mars the harmony and peace of a perfect society; not a bitter thought, not an unkind look or word; love, welling up from every heart, meets a kindred response in every other heart, and benevolence marks every act.  There sickness shall be no more; not an ache nor a pain, nor any evidence of decay—not even the fear of such things.  Think of all the pictures of comparative health and beauty of human form and feature that you have ever seen, and know that perfect humanity will be of still surpassing loveliness.  The inward purity and mental and moral perfection will stamp and glorify every radiant countenance.  Such will earth’s society be; and weeping bereaved ones will have their tears all wiped away, when thus they realize the resurrection work complete.  —Re 21:4

 

(pp. 191-192, Divine Plan of the Ages)

 

The Divine Plan of the Ages traces the Bible evidence for such a prospect.  Hope that is built on the word of God will not be disappointed.  Topically arranged, and citing scriptures from the Old and New Testaments, you’ll find it to be an invaluable aid to understanding the Bible.

 

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VOL. III   NO. 18

 

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MILLENNIAL

 

MORNING

 

Baptism—what’s it all about?

 

Baptism.  Some claim it is absolutely essential.  Others, in years past, made it a crime punishable by death!  Some feel baptism is "sprinkling" —others disagree.  To some, it is an unnecessary ritual.  Others view it as the very entrance to "salvation."

 

And there is more to consider than just water baptism.  A nation, a city, the church, repenters, Christians—these have all been baptized; not just with water, but with a cloud and sea, fire, Holy Spirit, and death.

 

What really is baptism?

 

One thing baptism always is:  immersion.  In fact, the word came from the Greek baptizo, which means to dip, or immerse completely.  It was used to describe the dying of garments.  If you want to dye a garment all one color, you don’t put it part way in the dye.  Baptism is not part way.  It is immersion.

 

Paul mentioned an example of baptism from the Old Testament.  At the time of Israel’s exodus from Egypt, God appointed Moses as the leader of the nation of Israel to secure their deliverance from Egypt.  The nation had to submit its will, its obedience, to Moses’ direction—because God was directing Israel through Moses.  This "immersion" into Moses included immersion into all the dictates of God which came through Moses.  (That’s why Moses received the Law on Mt. Sinai—then brought it down to Israel.)

 

When Israel passed through the Red Sea—water on each side with a cloud overhead—they were completely immersed in water.  This, Paul said, was a picture of their immersion into Moses:  "... and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea." —1Co 10:2

 

But note:  their subjection to Moses was the real immersion—the real baptism.  (Ex 24:3)  The water baptism in the cloud and the sea was but a symbol of the real baptism into Moses.

 

John the Baptist

 

John the Baptist realized that in his day many of the Jewish people had strayed from keeping God’s Law.  Knowing that Christ was soon to come, he saw it as his mission to prepare the people for their Messiah.  (Joh 1:22, 23)  He called the Jews to repent of their sin, and to turn their hearts back to God.  When someone repented, John baptized him with water as a symbol of his heart repentance and immersion back "into Moses" —back into God’s direction and Law.  That’s why John had only rebuke for the hypocritical Pharisees who came to hear John:  "O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?  Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance." —Mt 3:7, 8

 

The Christian Baptism

 

Shortly after this, Jesus also came to John to be baptized.  Yet Jesus was perfect.  Since he had always been perfectly obedient to the Father, he had no sins to repent of.  He was "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners."  (Heb 7:26)  So His baptism must have been for a different reason than repentance.  It was a symbol of the consecration of his all—his will, mind, heart and strength—to a sacrificial death in harmony with God’s will.  His immersion into water pictured his burial into death.  But he did not actually finish the real death baptism until he expired on the cross.  That is why he said shortly before his death, "I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how am I straitened [in difficulty] till it be accomplished!" —Lk 12:50

 

And this is the baptism offered to each who would truly be his disciple.  He asks:  "Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?" —Mt 20:22, 23

 

Paul comments on this in Ro 6.  "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death ..." ( Ro 6:3, 4)  It is not the purpose of Christians—those who have determined to do the Lord’s will—to "enjoy life to the full" in temporal prosperity.  The Christian has no guarantee from the Lord of good health, good income, or any other temporal blessing as a reward for faithfulness.  True, such a promise was given ancient Israel.  (De 28:5)  But the pattern set by our Lord for Christians is one of sacrificial death, a day-by-day laying down of life and possessions in eager service to the Lord and to our brethren here.  "For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection." —Ro 6:5

 

Jesus, speaking of himself, said:  "Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone:  but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit."  (Joh 12:24)  And, following the example of the master, each of his disciples must also be planted in death, that when raised spirit beings and united to Christ as his bride, the world of mankind might receive life back under a new, and far grander "Adam and Eve."  "The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam a quickening [life-giving] spirit ... The first man is of the earth, earthly:  the second man is the Lord from heaven." —1Co 15:45-47, Re 21:2-4

 

And, just as Jesus saw fit to symbolize his consecration by water immersion, so that symbol is still appropriate for Christ’s followers.  (Mt 28:19, Ac 19:4, 5)

 

With the Holy Spirit and with fire

 

John the Baptist had said that there would come one after him who would "baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."  (Mt 3:11)  Those who cried "crucify him, crucify him—his blood be upon us and on our children," received the baptism of fire—destruction—as the Roman armies under Titus a few years later ravaged Jerusalem and slaughtered the inhabitants in what is recorded as one of the most bloody and devastating campaigns in history.  As Jesus had warned, retribution came upon them for "all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, ... from Abel unto ... Zacharius." —Mt 23:15

 

But the baptism of the Holy Spirit was given on the day of pentecost, 50 days after the resurrection of Jesus, to those who humbly accepted Christ as the Promised Messiah.  This anointing of the body of Christ with the Holy Spirit took place only once.  Since that time, each one who becomes a member of that body of Christ receives the benefits of that one anointing.  Just as in Israel’s tabernacle arrangement the High Priest was anointed once with precious oil which then ran down his garments, so the anointing of the Holy Spirit flows to each body member of Christ.  (Ps 133)  It is God’s power, his spirit, working as a comforter, instructor, and helper in the Christian’s way.  The world generally is without this direction, but God has said that a time will come when he will have

 

His spirit poured upon all flesh.

 

When God’s work of selecting a bride for Christ has been completed, then the time will come for God to turn to all mankind the blessings of life and help of his Holy Spirit.  (Joel 2:28, Eze 39:29)  Then not only Jesus, but "The Spirit and the bride say, Come.  And let him that heareth say, Come.  And let him that is athirst come.  And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."  (Re 22:17)  Then all of God’s intelligent creation will rejoice in harmony.  Each one will find himself immersed in a desire to be pleasing to their creator, for then God will show man "The exceeding riches of his grace." —Joh 3:16, Eph. 2:7

 

  ________________________________

 

If you are God’s ...

 

  ... you have placed God above all.  Only those who do this may enjoy a vital relationship with him.  You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind—nothing less will meet with His approval.  (Mt 22:37)  This is your first and foremost duty—God above all!  This is not easy.  It never was.  Through the ages, the world, the flesh and the devil have conspired against such singular devotion.

 

They are still against the faithful.  You will be marked as an extremist if you insist on weeding out tradition, errors and human philosophies from your worship of the true and living God.  Quickly you will be told that nobody really knows what the Bible teaches and you are better off accepting what the clergy presents, since they should know best.  Many believe that it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you do good and live decently—that’s all that counts.  If you are like most people, you will succumb to these arguments and conform.

 

But you won’t if you are God’s!  They that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth."  (Joh 4:24)  Adoring worship is not enough.  You must worship in "spirit and in truth."  God is not interested in any other form of worship.  Men have said that nobody can really know God’s truth and God’s plan of the ages, but God promises to open to those who sincerely "knock."

 

"He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." —Heb 11:6

 

If you are God’s you have placed God above all.

 

If you would like the booklet, "If You Are God’s," simply send us the coupon below.

 

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VOL. III   NO. 19

 

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MILLENNIAL

 

MORNING

 

Who is the Man of Sin?

 

"Let no man deceive you by any means; for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition."—2Th 2:3

 

The Apostle Paul shows that "The Man of Sin" must precede the coming of the day of the Lord.  If this Man of Sin has not come, then it would veto our claim that we are now living in the Millennial Morning, the time of our Lord’s presence and the setting up of His Kingdom.

 

The Man of Sin.  Has he or has he not yet come?

 

The early church looked for Christ’s return with joyful anticipation as the fruition of their hopes and the end of their sorrows.  Consequently, they were interested in any teaching which claimed that the Day of the Lord was either very near or present.  The Church at Thessalonica was impressed with the erroneous teaching of some to the effect that the Lord had already returned, and that they were then living in his day, evidently supposing that it was in harmony with what they had been taught:

 

"For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night." — 1Th 5:2

 

They properly felt that others would not know of the Day, while the faithful would.  They wrongly supposed that the Day of the Lord’s presence had already begun.  Paul wrote them a second epistle, the central thought of which was the correction of this error.

 

"But we entreat you, brethren, concerning the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, and our assembling to him, that you be not quickly agitated in mind, nor alarmed, neither by a spirit, nor by a discourse nor by a letter as from us, as though the day of the Lord was present.  Let no one delude you by any means, because the apostacy must come first, and there must be revealed that , MAN OF SIN, that SON OF DESTRUCTION, the OPPONENT, who indeed lifts himself above everything called divinity or majesty; so as to seat himself in the temple of God, exhibiting himself that he is a God.  Do you not remember that while I was with you, I said these things to you? and now you know what restrains, in order to his being revealed in his own season.  For the SECRET of LAWLESSNESS is already working, till only the one restraining for the present shall be out of the way; and then will be revealed the LAWLESS ONE; whom the Lord Jesus will consume with the breath [spirit] of his mouth and annihilate by the appearing of his presence." —2Th 2:1-8 (Diaglott)

 

It is interesting that the argument Paul used was not the one used by some today against the claim that the day of the Lord has begun.  He didn’t say, O foolish Thessalonians, do you not know that when Christ comes, every eye shall see him and your ears shall hear the dreadful sound of the trump of God?  Do you now know that when he comes, there will be Christians disappearing left and right and tombs opening and saints raising, and that I would be taken at that moment?

 

If such an argument were valid, Paul would have used it, since it is so easily grasped and so simple to follow.  Isn’t the fact that he didn’t, a proof that such an argument could not be founded on truth?  Paul offered but one objection to their claim, endorsing as correct their general ideas of the Day of the Lord—that it could be commenced while many would be in ignorance of it, and that it could come without outward demonstration to mark it.  The only ground of his objection was that there must FIRST come a falling away and the development of the Man of Sin.

 

The character of the Man of Sin is described by the titles given it by the inspired writers.  Paul calls it "that Wicked One," "The Man of Sin," "The Mystery of Iniquity." "The Antichrist." and "The Son of Perdition."  Daniel calls it "The Abomination that maketh desolate."  (Da 11:31; 12:11)  Our Lord refers to it as "The Abomination of Desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet" (Mt 24:15), and again as a "Beast" (Re 13:1-8), John also warned the Church, "Ye have heard that Antichrist shall come."  He then advises how to escape Antichrist’s influence. —1Joh 2:18-27

 

The various descriptions indicate a subtle, hypocritical and deceptive character developed in the midst of the Christian Church.  Creeping in slowly at first, rising in power and influence until reaching the very pinnacle of earthly power, wealth, and glory, it would at the same time exert influence against the truth, against the saints, and against the authority and power of God.

 

We discuss principles,  

 

doctrines, always,  

 

individuals, NEVER

 

This Man of Sin does not apply to any individual, but rather to a system.  Just as THE Christ constitutes both the Lord and the true Church, so Antichrist is a counterfeit system consisting of a false lord and an apostate church.  This apostasy is permitted to misrepresent the truth, to practice deceit and to counterfeit the authority and future reign of the true Lord and His Church.  This system is permitted to intoxicate the nations with false claims and assumptions.

 

The apostasy was recognized as having an influence at the very beginning of the church’s history (2Th 2:7), but was limited by the stronger influence of the Apostles.  After their death, there was nothing to stop Antichrist’s growing influence from misdirecting the course of Christianity.  For this to continue until the return of Christ would mean covering a period of nearly 1900 years.  For a man to literally fulfill this requirement would be impossible.  The system which fully answers the description given by inspiration must be professedly Christian, and must contain a large majority of those who claim to be Christians.

 

There is a system which fits all the requirements perfectly—one whose record, whether written by secular historians or its own servants, agrees exactly with the prophetic delineations of Antichrist.  But when we say that this system is Papacy, don’t misunderstand us to mean that every Roman Catholic is a man of sin; nor the priests; nor the popes.  No MAN is the Antichrist.  Popes, bishops, and others are at most only parts of the Antichrist system.

 

And the Church of Rome as an ecclesiastical system ALONE is not the "Man of Sin."  On the contrary, a woman is always used as a symbol of a church separate from its head and lord.  The true Church is pictured as a "chaste virgin," while the apostate church, fallen away from its primitive purity and fidelity to the Lord is symbolically called a "harlot."  The true Church continues to be a chaste virgin until the end of the age, when she is to be united to her Lord and take His name—Christ.  Likewise, the apostate church was not the Antichrist or Man of Sin until she united with her lord and head, the pope, the claimed vicegerent of Christ, and became a religious empire, falsely named Christendom—which signifies Christ’s kingdom.

 

The history of Antichrist

 

The name "Antichrist" has a twofold meaning.  First, it means against (i.e., in opposition to) Christ; secondly it means instead (i.e., a counterfeit) of Christ.  It is the second meaning of "Antichrist" that we feel describes the false system best, for the scriptural authority to govern the people was taken from Christ’s Kingdom and prematurely applied.

 

The thought that Papacy is Antichrist is not new, although few continue to proclaim this today.  Quoting from McClintock & Strong, Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature, Volume 1, page 258, paragraph 4:  "The Hussites followed the Waldenses in this theory of Antichrist, applying it to the papal system.  So did Wycliffe and his followers ... As early as 1520 Luther began to doubt whether the pope were not Antichrist ... In the Reformation era the opinion that the papal system is Antichrist was generally adopted. ..."

 

The fact that this view is not wide-spread today is no proof that the names of the Man of Sin, the Antichrist, were not properly applied.  It will be remembered that history clearly marks the period of Papal power not as a period of enlightenment, as would be expected from the influence of Christ, but rather it was called the "Dark Ages."  During Papacy’s reign of 1,000 years (799-1799), Christians were persecuted for trying to understand God’s Word.  Possession of a Bible was cause for death.  Only priests could interpret scripture.  Bibles were written in Latin as an effort to discourage outsiders from the benefit of the Word.  Yet, it wasn’t these evils which labeled Papacy as the Antichrist as much as their claim to be Christ’s Kingdom and carrying out such evils under the claim of Divine authority.

 

The careful student will note four periods, more or less distinctly marked, in the development and exaltation of Antichrist, and the same number marking its fall.

 

ANTICHRIST’S DEVELOPMENT:

 

1.A.D. 50—In Paul’s day a beginning of the secret working of iniquity was started.

 

2.A.D. 300-494—Gradually, Papacy, the Man of Sin, was organized as a hierarchy; i.e., the church came to an organized condition, and the popes came to be recognized as the head, representing Christ, reigning in the church and over nations.

 

3.A.D. 539—The time when the popes began to exercise civil authority and power.

 

4.A.D. 800—The time of exaltation, when the Holy Roman Empire was formed, and the pope, crowning Charlemagne emperor, was recognized as King of Kings, Emperor of Emperors, another God on earth.

 

ANTICHRIST’S FALL:

 

1.A.D. 1400—The period of the Reformation, beginning in the writings of Wycliffe—followed by Huss, Luther and others.

 

2.A.D. 1800-1806—The period of Napoleon’s success, the degradation of the popes, and the casting aside finally of the title "Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire," by Francis II.

 

3.A.D. 1870—The final rejection of the pope as ruler over Rome and the so-called Papal States of Italy, which deprived Antichrist of civil authority.

 

4.The final extinction of this counterfeit hierarchy is near the close of the "Day of Wrath" and judgment already begun.  This fourth phase of Antichrist’s fall will be as a result of Christ’s second advent.

 

"Then will be revealed the lawless one, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of his mouth and annihilate by the appearing of his presence." —2Th 2:8

 

Even now Antichrist is seeking cooperation with Protestant and civil systems, struggling for power with temporary success.  But the system will be consumed by the dissident peoples she desires to rule.

 

"Rejoice over her, heaven, and holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.  And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea (anarchy, restless masses), saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all." —Re 18:20, 21

 

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VOL. III   NO. 20

 

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MILLENNIAL

 

MORNING

 

The Jubilee trump is sounding.

 

What on earth does that mean?

 

It means:  women’s lib / civil rights / anti-war protests / anti-discrimination laws / Indian uprisings / concern for ecology / welfare reform / consumer protection / new nations demanding independence / Israel’s restoration.

 

What is a Jubilee?

 

In the Old Testament, a provision was set up in Israel called a Jubilee.  Every 50th year, the trumpet of Jubilee was blown throughout the land, proclaiming liberty to the inhabitants, and returning to each man that which was legally his.  If a man was sold as a slave, he had to be freed in the Jubilee year.  If he sold his land to pay a debt, it was returned to him or his heirs in the Jubilee year.

 

"And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof; it shall be a jubilee unto you; and he shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family ..."— Le 25:10

 

It was a happy time for those who had their freedom coming, but not for those who didn’t want to give it back to them.

 

People today are becoming enlightened to their rights as human beings.  Anything less is simply unacceptable.  The process of the Jubilee is already affecting everybody.  It is balancing the scales of Justice.  It is returning dignity to the poor.  It is humbling the proud and those who have had everything in their favor.  Nothing can slow the momentum.  Truth, the weapon of God, is forcing reform.  Those who have much to lose begrudge the revealment of their dishonest practices, but "there is nothing covered, that shall not be known." —Mt 10:26

 

The Jubilee now.

 

How do we know?

 

"Verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one title shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." — Mt 5:18

 

Much of the law was recorded in great detail.  The Apostle Paul gave the reason for this diligence in He 10:1 and Col 2:17.  The law typified or foreshadowed "good things to come."  Jesus assured us that these "good things to come" would have a fulfillment.  In all the Jewish ceremonies God caused no type to be made which would prove meaningless or pass away unfulfilled.  We have the examples of the Passover Lamb which was slain when Israel was yet in Egypt.  It was the firstborn of each family who were protected by its blood, and in turn, the whole nation was blessed by being released from Pharaoh’s bondage.  Jesus, the "Lamb of God," slain on the exact day the passover lamb was slain, fulfilled the type.  "Christ our passover is sacrificed for us," the followers of Christ, the church of the firstborn.  (1Co 5:7, 8; Heb 12:23)  And soon the whole world will be blessed by being released from the bondage of Satan.  The type of the Passover lamb continued until the antitype, Christ’s death.

 

The Jubilee was an important part of the law.  Its features, too, were to have an antitype beginning when the type ended.  According to the Scriptures, the last year in which Israel was able to keep the Jubilee was 626 B.C.  Shortly thereafter, Babylon took control of the people and the land for 70 years, ending their independence.  This voided further opportunity of keeping the typical Jubilee.  Because God, in His foreknowledge, allowed the Jubilee type to cease at that time, we look there for a beginning of the antitype, or fulfillment.

 

The Jubilees were reckoned by a system of counting by multiples.  A grand Jubilee of Jubilees, or 50 times 50 years (2500) constitutes a Grand Jubilee cycle.  This grand cycle was due to begin when the type passed away in the fall of 626 B.C.*  Counting from that date, the last or 2500th year begins in the fall of 1874 A.D.

 

(This is a very brief, simplified explanation of the antitypical Jubilee calculations.  There are two methods of calculating.  Both point to the same date.  In addition, the date 1874 is established by Bible chronology, independent of the Jubilee picture.  Bible chronology is discussed in the book, The Time is at Hand.)

 

*When the chronology is calculated by approximating to the beginning of the nearest                        whole year, the date 625 B.C. is used.

 

1874?

 

1874 has come and gone.  What was significant about it?  Looking around, many aspects of our normal way of life were not known 100 years ago.  This wasn’t true of every century.  History documents that this past century has outdistanced any other like period in its growth of knowledge and rate of change.  Many of these changes are remarkably like the provisions of the Jubilee, returning to man freedom dignity, and refreshment.

 

Women’s Rights:  In 1874, Carry Nation, usually associated with the temperance movement, proclaimed that women should have an equal status with men.  She wanted women to be able to vote, own property, and end discrimination in divorce laws.  In 1878, Elizabeth Cady Stanton urged her cause before the Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections.  Supporting the women’s suffrage movements were Lucy Stone and Susan B. Anthony.  The Knights of Labor, in 1878, declared equal pay for equal work with no discrimination because of sex.  Women have come a long way.

 

Welfare:  In 1593, England established that the state had a responsibility to the support of its poor.  Bavaria recognized this in 1865.  But it was not until the 1870’s, 80’s and 90’s that real action was taken to protect the poor, the fatherless, and the widow.  In 1880, several private societies were operating summer homes for children.  During the second half of the 19th century, even animals were considered, with the establishment of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.  In 1879, the American printing House for the Blind was recognized by an annual Federal grant of assistance.  Man was becoming aware of the needs of his fellow human.  For 6,000 years, so little was done; and now, within the last 100, social security, medical aid, and disability pay (or their equivalent in foreign lands) have helped feed and clothe the poor and aged.

 

Consumer protection:  Legal protection of the consumer commenced with the adopting of truth-in-labeling laws.  Pure food laws were the result of the cries of consumers who were moved by writers like Upton Sinclair.  In 1906, his book, The Jungle, depicted the miserable conditions in meatpacking plants, the horrible working conditions, the lack of sanitation standards and the processing of contaminated foods.

 

"And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible, I will make a man more precious than fine gold." — Isa 13:11, 12

 

The interests of the consumer are becoming more important than the pocketbooks of the producers.  Man, more precious than gold.

 

Education:  The international hunger for better education led to compulsory education.  In 1874, the Kalamazoo Decision included high schools in the public school system.  Higher education was now available to a larger number of people, poor as well as wealthy.  The blind were helped by the use of Braille in America in 1878.  Education for all, even the blind.

 

Communications:  In the days of the typical Jubilees, it took time for news to travel throughout the land.  But since the beginning of Earth’s Great Jubilee, skill in communications has skyrocketed.  In 1875, Bell invented the telephone.  In 1874, Christopher Latham Sholes brought out the first practical typewriter.  While moveable type was invented nearly 400 years earlier, the invention of the Linotype in 1886 by Ottmar Mergenthaler drastically shortened composition time.  In 1886 Fredric Ives invented the process of making half-tone photo engravings.  In 1880, wood pulp largely displaced rag for the manufacture of paper, which brought the cost of paper down considerably.  Printing, photography and voice communications have been the prime channels for the spread of ideas and truth.  Think of the increase since 1874!  And for the previous centuries, comparatively little advancement.

 

Ecology:  The increase in pollution was beginning to be noticed in the late 1800’s.  In 1877, periodicals like "The Sanitarian" advertised plumbing supplies, calling the attention of its readers to the dangers of careless sewage disposal.  In 1870, New York was already receiving complaints about the garbage in the ocean, because it was ending up on the beaches.  The Refuse Act of 1899, legally restricted pollution of rivers with heavy penalties for offenders.  (Its enforcement was unfortunately ignored.)

 

Religion:  In 1878, Pope Leo XIII took office and under his administration opened the secret Vatican archives to the scholars of the world.  Many groups splintered away from large denominations.  Independent Bible study classes formed across the country and the world.  To aid them were Strong’s Concordance (1890), the Revised Standard Version (1881), Smith’s Bible Dictionary (1884), and McClintock and Strong’s Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature (1867-1881).  Since that time, thousands of aids have been made available to the student of the Bible so that they may arrive at a better understanding of God’s Word.

 

Israel:  In 1878, the people of Israel were given the opportunity to return to their homeland.  This event also had a small beginning, but has increased until Palestine is now the homeland of the nation of Israel.  What better manifestation of the Great Jubilee of Jubilees than to begin it with the restoration of the nation of Israel!  God said He would gather them from every land where he had scattered them, to bring them again to their land (Eze 20:34; Jer 32:37)  The Jubilee was to return every man unto his possession and every man unto his family.  The sounding of the Trump of Jubilee has clearly affected Israel.

 

Unlike the typical Jubilee which lasted but one year, every 50 years, the Jubilee of Jubilees is to be grander, lasting 1,000 years.  It is the time for Christ’s kingdom to take the place of the old system.  The Jubilee was a time for restoring.  The Apostle in Ac 3:19-21 associated the return of Christ with the restitution of all things as spoken of by all the Lord’s holy prophets since the world began.  While in the typical Jubilee year, many restored liberties and blessings were gotten at once, probably most of the year was required to straighten out affairs and get each one fully installed in all his former liberties, rights and possessions.  The antitype, the Millennial Age of Restitution, opens with sweeping reforms and with the recognition of rights, liberties and possessions long lost sight of; but the work of completely restoring all that was originally lost will require all of that age of restitution—a thousand years.

 

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Our Lord’s Return

 

The parousia of our Lord Jesus Christ and his subsequent Apokalupsis and Epiphania at his second advent are discussed in this free booklet.  The following subheadings can give you an idea of the thoroughness and benefit of this booklet.  For what are we watching?; How are we to watch?; Parousia vs. Epiphania and Apokalupsis; The time of the Parousia; What are the proofs of his presence?; "In the days of these kings"; Typical Israel’s experiences were prophetic; The Jubilee prophecy; The Days of Waiting are fulfilled; Behold the Bridegroom; Parousia in the New Testament; Presence gradually fulfilled; The Kingdom of heaven cometh not with observation; That which is born of the spirit is spirit; We shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; They knew not the time of their visitation; The dead in Christ shall rise first; They without us shall not be made perfect; Every eye shall see him.

 

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VOL. III   NO. 21

 

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MILLENNIAL

 

MORNING

 

Are you ready for the

 

Judgment Day?

 

"God hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness."  (Ac 17:31)  Righteousness?  The whole world is ready.  What the world needs now is righteousness.  But judgment?  Who’s ready for God’s judgment?  What’s going to happen?  When is it?  I’m not so sure I’m ready ...

 

Aren’t heaven and earth

 

supposed to pass away?

 

Well, the Apostle Peter spoke of a judgment day at the time of the flood.  He said that the heavens and earth of that time passed away.  "The world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished."  (2Pe 3:6)  Yet the literal "heavens" and literal "earth" remain to this day.  So he must have been speaking of the symbolic heavens and earth—that is, the whole social order of men on earth, under religious powers.

 

These symbols were not first used by Peter.  The Old Testament prophets, in declaring destruction to come on cities and nations of their times, often used these same symbols of "heavens" and "earth" when speaking of their society.  (See Hag 2:6, 21; Joel 3:16; Isa 13:13.)

 

And this is what Peter meant when he said, "But the heavens and the earth which are now," are reserved for fire—destruction—in the Day of Judgment.  Not the literal heavens and the literal earth, but the earthly, social order of man, and the ecclesiastical heavens—the church systems falsely claiming to represent the Kingdom of Christ.

 

Is the Judgment Day

 

only a day?

 

Peter said, then, that this present order of society would end in the Day of Judgment.  He also called it "The Day of the Lord," coming "as a thief in the night, in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat."  Ps 97 prophesies this same "day."

 

"The Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoice ... clouds and darkness are round about him:  righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne ... The hills melted like wax at the presence of the Lord." —Ps 97:1-5

 

Notice:  Judgment and destruction all around—yet the declaration is, "Let the earth rejoice!"  A strange time indeed to rejoice—when society is falling apart!  Then why rejoice?  Rejoice, because the Lord’s time has come to right the wrongs of man and establish a kingdom of justice and righteousness.

 

"For he cometh to judge the earth:  with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity."  (Ps 98:9)  "The King’s strength also loveth judgment; thou dost establish equity." —Ps 99:4

 

God has promised that he would establish a kingdom on earth.  Jesus taught his disciples to pray for that kingdom.  It is to be a kingdom founded upon true justice.  It will be for the blessing of all mankind, just as God promised Abraham.  (Ge 22:18)  It will be entirely different from man’s arrangements of the present order, which are motivated by selfishness and greed.

 

But just as a builder must first clear the site before construction, so Christ, seeing that this old order is incompatible with the incoming kingdom, must first clear away, tear down, before the full establishment of his kingdom.  That is why in Isaiah 34, the prophet pronounced destruction upon the earth—and then follows it in the 35th chapter with a beautiful description of kingdom blessings.  There "the ransomed of the Lord shall return" from the prisonhouse of death, while joy and gladness replace the sorrow of past ages." —Isa 35:10

 

This process was also shown in a dream which Daniel interpreted.  A stone, fashioned without hands, struck the image of gentile power and demolished it.  The stone then grew into a mountain-kingdom which filled the earth.  Daniel’s interpretation:  "And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: ... it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever."  (Da 2:44)  The judgment and destruction of the old order is essential to the establishment of the new.

 

But the judgments of the Lord do not end with the dissolution of this old order.  Mankind will also be judged individually.  But don’t be afraid.  It was for all mankind that Jesus died.  It is all mankind who will be brought back from death by that sacrifice.  And it is all mankind that will then have the opportunity to learn the ways of righteousness.  The very purpose of the kingdom will be to restore mankind back to the perfection lost by disobedience.  To turn their hearts back to the God who has made such costly provision for their redemption.  (Joh 3:16)  The judgments and corrections of the Lord during that kingdom will help each one to grow, if he is willing, to the point where he can be judged worthy of everlasting life.  "When thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness." —Isa 26:9

 

But this all takes time.  That is why Peter cautioned his readers that he was not speaking of a 24-hour Judgment Day.

 

"Beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years." —2Pe 3:8

 

It is a thousand-year age set aside by God to accomplish the restoration of man to harmony with Him—a millennium.

 

National judgments have

 

already begun.

 

The world has already had two World Wars that brought an era of complacency to an end.  Now, the cries of discontented peoples are "burning the elements" of world society with turmoil, conflict and dissension everywhere.  Demands are made for rights, both real and imagined, as never before in man’s history.  These disenchanted people are termed the Lord’s "great army" (Joel 2:11), not because they represent the Lord, but because they will accomplish a work He wants done—the destruction of this present order.  Then they, with all mankind, will need to learn the lessons of humility and righteousness.

 

My determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger; ... Then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent." —Zeph 3:8, 9

 

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Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof.  Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein:  then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice before the Lord:  for he cometh, to judge the earth:  he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth. —

 

Ps 96:11-13

 

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CAUTION:  GLOSSOLALIA

 

"There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit, as there are differences of administration, but the same Lord; there are divers operations, but it is all the same God which worketh all in all."

 

  —1Co 12:4-11

 

Miraculous gifts were common in the early church, but the day came, as the Apostle Paul said it would, when prophecies would fail, tongues would cease, and special inspirations of knowledge would vanish (1Co 13:8).  All these "gifts," necessary in the establishment of the early church, became unnecessary after the Bible had been completed.  The Apostle says the Scriptures are sufficient, "that the man of God may be thoroughly furnished unto all good works." —2Ti 3:17

 

A more excellent way.

 

The cessation of gifts does not indicate a lack of power on behalf of the Lord.  Nor dies it prove that the Lord’s people are less worthy or less favored now.  On the contrary, it indicates merely a difference of operation.  The fact that these gifts were to cease implies that the Lord’s people would not need these methods of instruction or proofs of God’s acceptance.  Now, instead of having such gifts miraculously given, the Holy Spirit seems to be upon each of Christ’s followers combining their natural abilities with their zeal in His service.  Paul urges the Church to develop spiritual gifts and abilities for the service of the Lord and His truth.  These personally developed gifts are more valuable than those which were miraculously given.

 

  "... yet show I unto you a more excellent way."  (1Co 12:31)  "Follow after charity (love) and desire (cultivate) spiritual gifts, but rather (specially) that ye may prophesy (publicly expound)."  (1Co 14:1)

 

Note:  PROPHECY:  "It is the forth-telling of the will of God, whether past, present, or future."  —Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words.

 

Speaking in tongues was merely for a sign, in order to draw the attention of unbelievers to the Church and her teachings.

 

"Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not:  but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them that believe." —(1Co 14:22)

 

Although highly esteemed by some in the church at Corinth, speaking in tongues was pointed out by Paul as being the least spiritual of the gifts.  It was not adapted for the spiritual growth and development of the Church, but for the unbelieving world.  The emphasis was to be on the fruit of the Spirit more than the power of the Spirit.

 

A word of caution.

 

Speaking in tongues has once again become quite popular.  For the most part, as reported by religious and non-religious sources, they have taken the form of unintelligible utterances.  In one instance, a young woman is reported to have "babbled for nearly an hour in what is said to be the Greek language," though in her normal condition she denied all knowledge of the ancient tongue.  Many claim that the sign of speaking in various tongues is the only Bible evidence of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.  But Paul cautions the Church NOT to put so much importance on these miraculously given gifts.

 

In a letter recently forwarded to Millennial Morning, a young college student in Minneapolis wrote that he was attending a local church where speaking in tongues was practiced.  To one of these sessions he brought a friend, native to the Congo area of Africa.  At this session a woman began speaking in tongues.  What she said was unknown to everyone in attendance, except the newcomer, who recognized the language as native to his homeland.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Tom was absolutely frightened.  We left immediately.  The only thing I can add is that my roommate who was also at the service and who stayed said the minister "interpreted’ what was said and she was supposed to be praising God.  I don’t think any of us ever attended the church again following the incident."

 

Startling?  True?  It may be difficult to prove to anyone’s satisfaction that the gift of speaking in tongues is no longer valid.  To those who are aware of the Pentecostal influence in the Jesus movement—please take notice.  There are many cautions in the Bible given to guide the church living in the "time of the end."  "... Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light."  (2Co 11:14)

 

"For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that if it were possible, they should deceive the very elect."  (Mt 24:24)

 

All who claim Christ as their personal Savior are trying to be sincere.  We do not mean to imply that those who associate with glossolalia are lacking sincerity in their Christian lives.  We do ask that you consider these words of the Apostle Paul:

 

"If therefore the whole church be come together into once place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that you are mad?  But if all prophesy and there cometh in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:  And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth. ... let all things be done unto edifying. ... God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints."  (1Co 14:23-25, 26, 33)

 

Angels which have been under the powerful influences of Satan have tried to pervert and sway the influence of the Holy Spirit.  Their power has been limited to the chains of darkness until the Day of Judgment.  We are now living in this Day of Judgment that has been set aside by the Lord not only to judge the nations, but also as a testing period for these angels "which kept not their first estate" (compare Jude 6 and Ge 6:2, 3).

 

"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world." — (1Joh 4:1)

 

Would such a warning be given if it were not a dangerous possibility?

 

  ____________________________

 

Every morning lean thine arms while

 

Upon the window-sill of heaven

 

And gaze upon thy Lord,

 

Then, with the vision in thy heart,

 

Turn strong to meet thy day.

 

  —Author unknown

 

  ____________________________

 

How does the Holy Spirit Work?

 

What is its "witness"?  We’d like to recommend a very thorough study of the Holy Spirit (chock full of Scriptures!) in the book, The Atonement Between God and Man—in the same "Studies in the Scriptures" series as The Divine Plan of the Ages.

 

The book also discusses the Atonement—the Ransom—our Lord’s part in it; what it means to us; and how it will work to bring all mankind back to God.

 

Hardcover library edition—$1.00

 

MILLENNIAL MORNING

 

Post Office Box 4614

 

San Diego, CA 92104

 

Please send me:____ The Atonement Between God and Man—$1.00

 

  ____ The Divine Plan of the Ages—free

 

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Address ___________________________________________________________

 

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MILLENNIAL

 

MORNING

 

A Clamor For Rights—Step 1

 

When Schools in Little Rock, Arkansas, faced the desegregating forces of the government, the northern cities avoided the conflict.  Looking down at their southern neighbors as being bigots, the North has been painting itself as the champion of the Negro.  After all, remember the Civil War.  But the veneer has begun to wear.  In February, 1970, a Federal district judge, Damon J. Keith, found Pontiac, Michigan, school officials guilty of practicing de Jure (by law) segregation during the previous 16 years—the first such finding against a major northern school system.  In spite of the ruling, there were many who boycotted the busing program intended to achieve a 20-40% black enrollment in each of Pontiac’s 34 elementary and junior high schools.

 

Integration has become a very real part of today’s environment.  It affects schools, jobs, neighborhoods, and campaigns.  Few areas remain untouched by the first test of civil rights—the right of equal opportunity.

 

The goal of equal opportunity is a step in the right direction—for we are in the Day of the Lord’s Judgment ...

 

This is the time in which the Lord is using the influence of truth and enlightenment to equal the balances.  And it isn’t easy.  Daniel refers to this time as a "time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation."  (Da 12:11, Mal 4:1 says,

 

"Behold the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven (fire—destruction): and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble:  and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root or branch."

 

The Apostle Jas 5:1-6 says the rich men shall weep and howl for the miseries that shall come upon them, because the

 

"wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries ... have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts ... be patient therefore brethren, unto the coming (parousia—PRESENCE) of the Lord."

 

Isn’t this what’s happening?  The busing incident in Pontiac is a minor example, yet the cries of the underprivileged are finally being heard.  There will be opposition to change, but it has begun, and is a further indication of the PRESENCE of Christ, the Lord of Sabaoth.

 

Joel described this day as a day of "darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness."  (Joel 2:2)  Amos says (Am 5:20), "darkness and not light, even very dark and no brightness in it."  Our Lord Jesus called it a time of "great tribulation" (Mt 24:21, 22) so great and ruinous in character that, if it were not cut short, NO FLESH would survive its ravages.  It is clear from the scriptures that the dark and gloomy day described by the prophets is a day of judgment upon mankind socially and nationally.

 

But there is a difference between national judgment and individual judgment.  Since nations are composed of individuals, and individuals are largely responsible for the courses of nations, to that extent they suffer in national calamities.  However, the judgment of the world as individuals will be distinct from its judgment as nations.

 

The time for individual judgment for the world will be during another phase of the Millennial age.  Under the favorable conditions of the New Covenant, all will be granted a clear knowledge of truth with every possible assistance and incentive to righteousness.  Then the judgment of men will be as individuals and not collectively as nations.

 

Now, however, it is the nations and organizations (religious and civil) which are being judged.  The "times of the Gentiles" (Lk 21:24) have come to a close.  Their accounts are rendered unto the Lord.

 

  "... My determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them my indignation, all my fierce anger; for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy."  (Zeph 3:8)

 

Then, in Zeph 3:9, which follows:

 

  "... then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord to serve him with one consent."

 

Incidentally, it would be difficult to turn to the people a pure language if they had been all destroyed by literal fire.

 

It is not our purpose in Millennial Morning to supply fuel for radical movements, nor to merely satisfy idle curiosity.  Neither do we expect to produce enough penitence in the heart of every reader to result in a change in the present society.  The trouble is around us.  It will get worse.  The climax is inevitable.  No human power, nor combination of human powers will be able to stop its progress.  No hand but the hand of God could stay the progress of the present events.  This will happen only when the present order will pass away with all its unrighteousness.  Then and only then will the Lord turn to the people with a pure language.  It will be a successful heart transplant.

 

"A new heart will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you:  and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh."  (Eze 36:26)

 

People will become more interested in the well being of their fellow man.  This heart of flesh will be sympathetic.  It will have love as its highest motive, not selfishness of gain.

 

The Apostle James encouraged us to be patient until the presence of the Lord.  This would be the time when we would begin to see action taken.  Not until His return would we expect to see a shaking of the systems.  We see it now.  It is Christ judging the nations now.  It is our understanding that we should not expect the world in general to see the reasons for the events of this time.  Our goal is to forewarn, comfort and strengthen the "household of faith," so that they may not be dismayed.  We want to encourage them to be in full harmony and sympathy with even the severest measures of divine discipline in the chastening of the world; to see by the eye of faith the glorious outcome of righteousness and enduring peace.  This overthrow of the entire present order is preparatory to the permanent establishment of THE Establishment—the Kingdom of God on earth.

 

  _______________________________

 

Attention!

 

MILLENNIAL MORNING—designed to point to our times as unique.  Times of change!  Change—because man is waking from the ignorance and bondage of ages.  And waking up, he is demanding the rights he has, or thinks he has, coming to him.  Waking to see more clearly age old injustices which have kept his liberties back.  Injustices upon which man has built his world.

 

Now man begins to see what Christ has known—that this order must pass.  Just as old garments cannot take a strong, new patch—just as old wineskins cannot contain fresh, new wine—so this old world cannot be used for the perfect Kingdom of Christ.

 

And now this world is falling all around us.  It is smitten by strife, turmoil, dissension, war, revolution.  It is losing the support, and even the hope, of its own people.  And it’s happening now, because it’s time for the Kingdom of God to be set up.

 

"The Kingdom of God" Chapter 14 of Divine Plan of the Ages.  If you have it, you can read it.  If you would like it, we gladly send it.  Gladly.  No charge.

 

MILLENNIAL MORNING

 

Post Office Box 4614

 

San Diego, CA 92104

 

Please send me a free copy of your Bible Study textbook,

 

THE DIVINE PLAN OF THE AGES

 

Name _____________________________________________________________

 

Address ___________________________________________________________

 

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MILLENNIAL

 

MORNING

 

God’s Creative Work-Week

 

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  And the earth was waste

 

and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep." —Ge 1:1, 2 (R.V.)

 

In these verses we find a distinction between the creation of the heavens and the earth (verse 1), and the subsequent works of creation.  It is these later operations that are described as the work of the six creative days.  Verse 2 shows that in the very beginning of the first day of that creative week, the earth already was—waste, empty, and dark.  This point is important.  It corroborates the record of geology.  The Bible does not say how long a period elapsed between the "beginning" when God created the heaven and the earth, and the beginning of the creative week used in perfecting it for man.

 

What does it say?  Genesis begins with the first day of God’s work-week and describes the accomplishments of that week.  The Bible also gives a pretty good idea of how long that week really was ...

 

The days of this week are nowhere said to be twenty-four hour days, so we are not obligated to limit them.  They were evidently not sun days, for the Genesis record is that the sun was not visible until the fourth day—the fourth epoch.

 

The Bible mentions days of various lengths.  For instance, "the day of temptation in the wilderness" (Heb 3:8, 9) was forty years long.  "A day with the Lord is as a thousand years."  (2Pe 3:8)  Our Lord’s "day" of Joh 8:56 was three and a half years.

 

We believe you will agree that although the length of these creative epoch-days is not indicated, we will be justified in assuming that they were uniform periods, because of their identity as members of the one creative week.  Therefore, if we can gain reasonable proof of the length of one of these days, we will be justified in assuming that the others were of the same duration.

 

The seventh day of the creative week, beginning with Adam’s creation, has already lasted (according to Bible chronology) 6,000 years, and is to be completed with the thousand years of Christ’s reign.  Having found satisfactory evidence that one of these creative days is a period of 7,000 years, we may conclude that the entire creative week would be 7,000 x7 = 49,000 years.

 

(illustration-Creative Week)

 

Within the last creative day is another week.  Six great thousand-year periods of days have passed since Adam was created, according to Bible chronology.  We are now in the dawning of the great seventh day or Sabbath day of human experience.  God has promised that this seventh day of a thousand years will be very different from the preceding six days in which mankind has experienced a reign of sin and death.  The seventh day of a thousand years is Scripturally called the "Day of Christ," and many call it the Millennium.  In it Satan and sin are to be overthrown and righteousness is to be established by the Redeemer.  All of mankind, purchased by the precious blood at Calvary, will have full opportunity to climb from present degradation back up to the image and likeness of God, lost in Eden by Adam’s disobedience.

 

At the end of that thousand years—which is also the end of the 49,000 years of God’s creative week—when The Christ (Head and body) shall have accomplished it’s work for mankind the kingdom will be delivered up to God.  (1Co 15:24-28)  At that moment, the fiftieth thousand-year period will begin, with every creature in heaven and on earth ascribing praise to Him that sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb, forever.

 

The Week.

 

1 The Genesis account is fully in accord with science.  There was no light in the earth prior to the time when divine energy brooded on the surface of the waters.  The earth was dark because it was shrouded with an impenetrable fog and an upper canopy of water.  This thoroughly shut out the light of the sun, moon and stars, which did not shine in on the earth until the fourth day. The Jewish day, patterned after the Genesis account, began with the night.  So the first day of 7,000 years gradually increased in light and prepared for the next epoch.

 

2 The work of the second day, or epoch, was the establishment of a firmament separating the waters of the sky and the waters of the earth.  The establishment of the firmament began very slowly, but was completed with the end of the second day.

 

3 In the third day or epoch, under divine direction, earthquakes took place, mountain ranges were thrown up, and the waters of the earth were gathered into seas, draining off a land surface in preparation for vegetation.  Vegetation sprang up—grass, bushes, trees, with their seeds and fruits.  The account says that under God’s command, the earth brought forth these various kinds.  "And the evening and the morning were the third day."

 

4 According to some scientific theories, the earth was once surrounded by rings and belts similar to those of Saturn and Jupiter, consisting of minerals and waters thrown off to a great distance when the earth was in a molten state.  Then, influenced by the motion of the earth on her axis, they gravitated toward the poles, gradually becoming heavier.  Finally they broke, one after the other, coming down as great deluges.  The last of these rings came down as a deluge in Noah’s day.  Previously, for centuries, it had been a great watery canopy.  The sun, moon and stars were visible through it, but not as clear as now.  Under these conditions there were no storms, no rain.  (Ge 2:5)  The entire earth under this canopy was like a greenhouse of regulated temperature.  This accounts for the vegetable and animal remains found near the poles, imbedded in ice which formed instantly when the canopy collapsed as a deluge.

 

With the fall of several of earth’s "rings," the atmosphere became translucent, so that the lights of the sky could serve mankind as a great clock, marking days, months and years.  This was the work of the fourth epoch-day.

 

5 On the fifth day the waters of earth began to swarm with living, moving creatures.  Next came fowl and great sea monsters.  Science agrees with the Genesis order of creation, demonstrated by the fossilized remains of these creatures.

 

6 The creation of land animals marks the sixth epoch-day.  It was at the very end of the sixth day that God created man.  The earth did not bring him forth.  He was created in his Maker’s character-likeness, to be the king of earth, to have dominion over the creatures of the land, the air and the sea.  Mother Eve was taken from Father Adam’s side, to be a helpmate on his own plane, and this was the last feature of creation.

 

7 We read that God ended His work on the seventh day and rested.  He has rested or ceased from His creative work during this seventh day, leaving the finishing touches to be accomplished by the Redeemer during his Messianic kingdom, which will complete the seventh day—49,000 years from the time God said, "Let there be light."

 

  ______________________________

 

The New Creation.

 

"And on the seventh day, God ... rested."  According to the Law, the Jewish people also had a rest day—the seventh day—the sabbath.  On that day they were required to cease from labor.  They could not work the farms, build houses, or gather food.  But they could perform acts of mercy—like pulling an animal from a pit.  (Mt 12:11, 12)

 

Just so, God has been performing an act of mercy on His rest day.  He has been developing, refining a class of Christians, a "new creation," (2Co 5:17) to become heirs with Christ of the Heavenly Kingdom.  It is an act of mercy—not just to this class, but to all mankind who will be lifted from the pit of sin by the instruction of The Christ when the kingdom is established.

 

The book The New Creation,  number six of Studies in the Scriptures, deals with this new creation—the church class.

 

  * Call of the New Creation

 

  * Organization of the New Creation

 

  * Law of the New Creation

 

  * Rest or Sabbath of the New Creation

 

  * Judgment of the New Creation

 

  * Baptism of the New Creation

 

  * Passover of the New Creation

 

  * Order and Discipline

 

These are some of the chapter topics which the book discusses.  It also covers marital, parental and other duties, foes, the present inheritance, and the resurrection of the New Creation.  It even includes a 40 page review of God’s work during the six creative days of Genesis, "In The Beginning."  Charge:  one dollar.  But at least request The Divine Plan of the Ages,  no charge.  Just check and clip the coupon below.

 

Not printed with AS funds

 

MILLENNIAL MORNING

 

Post Office Box 4614

 

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Please send me:____ The New Creation ($1.00)

 

  ____ The Divine Plan of the Ages (free)

 

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MILLENNIAL

 

MORNING

 

The Healing Sun

 

"Unto you that fear my name shall the

 

Sun of righteousness arise with

 

healing in his wings ..."

 

  —Mal 4:2

 

The prophet Malachi possessed a strong impression of Israel’s despairing need.

 

Could the race of man—or a segment of it—be purged, purified, healed?  And might this blessing eventually be extended to encompass all creation?

 

But we ask:  Would a healing blessing of God be welcomed by prideful man?  It would be tragic if the blessings of eternal life and peace were tendered to an unheeding race, complacent and content with progress of their own devices, and thus refused.

 

God’s offered blessings will be welcomed, not spurned, when the "due time" arrives for divine intervention in the affairs of men.  We may be sure that when the Sun of righteousness arises with healing in His wings, earth’s millions will be needing and waiting for the beneficent influence of that Kingdom.  But what must develop before man could properly benefit from such a far-reaching blessing as the raising into power and influence of a kingdom pictured as the risen sun with life-giving rays?  Let us examine further the scripture.

 

Malachi uses many symbols in his prophecy:  "The day" of trouble which is to "burn as an oven," by which the "proud" and the "wicked" will be burned up as "stubble."  (Mal 4:1)  Stubble of a field, useless in a harvest, and a hindrance to plowing and the planting of a new crop, is fittingly used to describe proud and wicked elements of society.

 

Wherever found, these qualities obstruct peace, justice, and divine instruction.  Peace and justice are to be cornerstones of the new day brought in by the Sun of righteousness.  "The earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord" in that day.  (Hab 2:14)  Pride and wickedness will not flourish therein.  They shall not remain to germinate, take root and grow in this new day.  Neither root nor branch will be left to contaminate the new day, or to destroy the beauty of peace and justice.

 

Divine Instruction

 

The prophet is speaking of a kingdom day—a day of blessing.  This blessing will come by the enthronement of reverential truths in the hearts and lives of mankind.  Another prophet assures us, "When thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness."  (Isa 26:9)  Truth, then abundant, is promised to change the stony, selfish hearts of men to hearts of flesh.  (Ezek 36:26)  Man will become compassionate and loving one toward another as a result of God’s love toward them.

 

The brightness of the day will bring to light every hidden thing of secrecy and darkness (1Co 4:5); clarify every truth; and expose every false belief and practice.  (Lk 12:2)  One purpose of exposure and investigation in this Kingdom day is to enable those who reverence God to remove from their own characters the elements of wickedness which they discern within.  Thus the prophet says, "Ye shall tread down the wicked" (Mal 4:3), meaning the elements of unrighteousness which the brightness of the day reveals to each.  This will notably include the regeneration of one’s own character.

 

Malachi says that "unto you who fear my name" the events of the day will be as inspiring and thrilling as the full shine of a risen sun.  The implication is that to whoever does not reverence his name, the brightness of this day will bring discomfort and shame—hidden things of darkness will be brought to light.

 

Darkness Before Sunrise

 

Before each sunrise is a night.  The night of darkness pictures the night of sin—when "darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people."  (Isa 60:2)  The prophet here describes the spiritual status of man without knowledge of the true God as they labor under the ministry of the prince of darkness, the "god of this world."  (2Co 4:4)  This experience provides man an individual lesson with the exceeding sinfulness of sin.  When the offer of life is extended on terms of justice, love and fidelity to truth, they will knowledgeably choose that great blessing in the healing day.  "His anger endureth but a moment; in his favor is life:  weeping may endure for a night, but joy (margin, "singing") cometh in the morning."  (Ps 30:5)  The Sun of righteousness will bring this joy when he turns favorably to assist man in his greatest need.

 

Especially Jesus is identified as this great prophetic "Sun" of Mal 3:8.  He is "the light of the world."  He was not referred to as the "sun" during His first advent, but as a "great light" whom the "people that walked in darkness" saw when he dwelt on earth.  (Isa 9:2, Mt 4:16)  John refers to him then as "the light that shineth in darkness," even though "the darkness" —the majority of mankind—"comprehendeth it not."  (Joh 1:5)  He is the true light which is to "lighten every man who cometh into the world." —Joh 1:9

 

Discipleship Rewarded

 

This is a wonderful promise.  It will be a stupendous work, and it shall be accomplished.  To share in this Kingdom work of enlightening "every man that cometh into the world," Jesus began to invite cross-bearing and self-denial discipleship as marks of sacrifice to quality for joint heirship with their Redeemer.

 

Because Jesus had come ministering light and truth, John could testify, "... the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth."  (1Joh 2:8)  The true light was then shining through the lives and teachings of Jesus’ footstep followers, and has throughout the age.  Jesus prophesied His intention to accept in His Kingdom the service of these overcoming disciples.  He said that in the end of the age he would gather his elect and glorify them to be with him and be like him.  (1Joh 3:2)  These, the righteous, then shall "shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father."  (Mt 13:4)  These are the bride of Christ, the sheep of His fold, the members of His body, with whom he will share His throne, and who will reign with him to chase away the gloom of night. —Re 20:6; 21:1-4

 

Do you feel the gloom?  Do you see despair?  Do you sense the darkness?  Do you detect pride, wickedness, deceit, selfishness in government, in economics, in society? ... in yourself?  Many do—but few in their hearts seek the complete change in earth’s society sufficient to implore the persistent prayer:  "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven."

 

Divine wisdom permits the deepening chasm.  A desperate family, mankind, will seek escape, but will in perplexity find no way out of their distress.  (Lk 21:25)  Nations are gathered by their fruitage of selfishness and greed; later they are gathered by schemes of mutual protection from the wrath to come.  (Isa 8:9)  Soon they will be gathered in group concern and mutual unfriendliness toward the troublesome issue of Israel’s intransigent and isolated position.  (Zec 12:3; 14:2)  Upon these gathered nations God will pour his "indignation, even all his fierce anger."  (Zeph 3:8)  The selfishness, injustice, pride and hate of these nations will there be recompensed by their defeat.  But Israel’s God will have fought victoriously for her. —Jer 30:11

 

The Sun Arises

 

These conflicts will be terminated by the Prince of peace—truly divine intervention.  The night of sin and despair and darkness will be ended.  The Sun of righteousness arises.  Consider what that will mean in view of the prophetic symbol and its implications from nature.  All creation responds to the effect of the sun.  From it has come or is received practically all that we use for heat, power, and energy.  The sun’s effect provides all color and light.  With the sun there is wind, rain and earthly life.  Without it, there would be none.

 

What a blessing this sun will bring!  The Sun of righteousness shall arise!  That will mean the blessing of all the nations of the earth.  (Ge 22:17, 18)  "For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent." —Zeph 3:9

 

"He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth:  for the Lord hath spoken it.  And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us:  this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation." —Isa 25:8, 9

 

  _______________________________

 

We invite you to continue your consideration of Bible promises.  The Divine Plan of the Ages contains answers to many reasonable Biblical questions.  We urge you to ask for it.

 

MILLENNIAL MORNING

 

Post Office Box 4614

 

San Diego, CA 92104

 

Please send to me a free copy of your Bible Study textbook:

 

  ____ THE DIVINE PLAN OF THE AGES

 

Name _____________________________________________________________

 

Street Address ______________________________________________________

 

City and State _____________________________________   Zip _____________

 

Comments _________________________________________________________

 

**********

MILLENNIAL

 

MORNING

 

If I were elected ...

 

The Christian today could be tempted to get involved in politics.  The campaign speeches are full of noble, attractive ideals—promises of peace, prosperity, and justice for all. The thought may cross a Christian’s mind, "If I were elected, I could use my Christian background and teachings to help mankind."  If Christian influence could be used politically, would it improve the world’s condition?  A glance at history shows that even Christians have been unable to bring their hopes to fruition.

 

WHY?

 

  _______________________________________________________________

 

WHERE SHOULD A CHRISTIAN STAND?

 

(illustration)

 

  Conservative           Middle of       Liberal,

 

Very Conservative    the Road     Radical Left

 

20%               45%            28%

 

There are at least two reasons.  "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one."  (Ro 3:10)  All of mankind are equal in one sense:  we are all sinners.  Our judgments are not infallible.  Our reactions are not always loving.  Our efforts to do what we set out to do fall short of perfection.  As Christians we can be forgiven our sins, but we still sin.  Even our greatest effort to help mankind would miss the mark, because we are imperfect.

 

Satan, the prince of the power of the air, does not control every move of every government, but influences them through selfishness.  For centuries, kings claimed to rule by "Divine right," but that era died in World War I.  Countries are referred to as Christian governments, because Christianity is the chief religion taught. However (and this is the second reason), Jesus withdrew all claims to man-made governments when he said, "My kingdom is not of this world ..."— Joh 18:36.

 

The time factor.

 

The way of a Christian is not easy.  We are not to seek solutions for men’s problems through man-made organizations.  On the other hand, our fellow-men appeal to our noblest sentiments by pleading, "GET INVOLVED!"

 

The key to the dilemma is the time factor.  At the first advent of Jesus, he healed many people.  He resurrected the dead.  His Apostles healed and spoke to thousands in his name.  But the time for the setting up of the kingdom of God was not yet.  The world was not then relieved of its sin and pain and death and injustice.  The time for carrying out the solution had not yet arrived.

 

"Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time."  (1Ti 2:6)  Jesus died for the sinners of the world, yet we continue to live in a sinful world.  The Apostle Paul ties in the time feature by saying that this ransom of Jesus’ life would be made manifest in due time.  When is the due time?

 

"For the earnest expectation of the creature (the world) waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God ... For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.  And not only they, but ourselves also, which  have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body." —Ro 8:19, 22, 23.

 

Everyone is waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God, the Church, whether they are aware of it or not.  The hopes, desires and ideals of all nations are to be satisfied (after their present "shaking" experiences) when the kingdom of Christ is manifest to all.  (Hag 2:7)  But before it can be revealed, the governing body of this kingdom must be complete.

 

Who will be the governing body?  The Christ, The Anointed, Head and body.  It will be the combination of Jesus Christ and His Bride, the Church.  The Church is promised to "live and reign with Christ a thousand years."  "If we suffer with him we shall reign with him."  "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me on my Father’s throne."  And who will they govern?  All the rest of the world of mankind, for whom Jesus also died.  "He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."  (1Joh 2:2)  Also please read:  Jer 31:34; Isa 40:5; Zeph 3:9, Isa 35.

 

To attempt to reform present governments would be but a waste of effort, for they are already beginning to be removed and replaced by Christ’s government.

 

"And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed:  and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever." —Dan 2:44

 

"Looking for a hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?  Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for a new heavens and a new earth (a new heavenly rulership and a new society), wherein dwelleth righteousness." —2Pe 3:12, 13

 

Involvement.

 

What are Christians supposed to be doing now until the "due time" arrives?  There is something in which they can "get involved."  The Church of God should give its attention and effort to preaching the kingdom of God, and to the advancement of the interests of that kingdom according to the plan laid down in the Scriptures.  If this is faithfully done, there will be no time for dabbling in the politics of present governments.  The Lord had no time for it; the apostles had no time for it; nor have any of the saints who are following their example.

 

The true teacher and lightbearer (Mt 5:14), the true Church, the body of Christ, is not to be left in darkness to learn of her Lord’s dealings by the manifestations of his wrath and power, as the world will learn of it.  By the sure word of prophecy, which shines as a light in a dark place, she is clearly and definitely informed that the King of Glory and his blessed kingdom are the only remedy for the wrongs and woes of man.  She can point the groaning creation to this kingdom, rather than to the poultices of their contriving which can do no real good.  Through the prophetic word, she shall not only be shielded from discouragement, and enabled to overcome the besetments, snares, and stumbling stones so prevalent in the "evil day," but she becomes the lightbearer and instructor of the world.

 

The Church is thus enabled to point out to the world the cause of the trouble, to announce the presence of the new Ruler, to declare the object of the new dispensation, and to instruct the world as to the wisest course to pursue in view of these things.  Although many will not heed the instruction until the lesson of submission has been forced upon them by the trouble, it will greatly aid them in learning the lesson.  It is to this mission of the feet, or the last members of the Church, who will declare upon the mountains (kingdoms) the reign of Christ begun, that Isa 52:7 refers.

 

"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God Reigneth!"

 

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If this is morning, when will day break?

 

The answer of course is when the sun rises and the earth is drenched with light.  Past ages were filled with fear, superstition, slavery and the horrors of feudal and religious wars.  That was truly a long dark night.  Then, if you look at our time with its tremendous increase in knowledge, skills, and speed of doing and going, you’d say:  we must be living in the light of day.

 

But although we now have comparatively little superstition, and a much higher literacy rate, how great is everyone’s fear—not only here, but world-wide.  What about the stagnant oceans, poisoned air, deadly cancerous encroachments from our own waste—all speeded by the world’s population explosion which is hardly slowing down.  Our hearts faint, our throats parch, as the experts tell us it’s too late.

 

Our problems are still with us.  Not only do their numbers increase, but also their complexity.  We’re also finding out that many of our supposed solutions to yesterday’s problems have failed, or created others, and they’re back to haunt us today.  Wars surely have not ceased, and look ... revolution has been added—liberation in every area, in every field—social, religious and civil.  Even sin and degradation are requesting and gaining their equal share of "rights" (?).  More and more is demanded and taken.  Again, our heads throb.  What next?

 

The facts really tell us that it is still a very dark early morning hour.

 

what then will break the day?

 

Ps 30:5 reads, "Weeping endureth for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."  Certainly we can all attest to the weeping, and the night.  But the Psalmist promises a morning which is identified with joy.  Isa 2:4 speaks of a time when "nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore."  That will be a joyful day for every person on this globe.  The prophet states in Ps 72:4, 7, 12 that in that day the righteous will flourish, and the evildoer will be cut off.  Isa 65:22:  "They shall not build and another inhabit; nor shall one plant and another eat the fruit thereof."  These are thrilling prospects.  He 8:11 shows that ignorance will be completely wiped out.  "They shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord; for all shall know me, from the least of them to the greatest."  Habakkuk writes (Hab 2:14), "For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea."  "The upright shall have dominion over them in the morning."  (Ps 49:14)  "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father."  (Mt 13:43)

 

There is your answer.  The upright having dominion over the inhabitants of the earth ... brings joy ... brings light ... brings sunshine.

 

Sounds good.  But how can we be sure?

 

"And God said, Let us (God and his "only begotten son" —the Logos) make man in our image (with power to reason and with an intelligence to choose principles of conduct) after our (kingly) likeness, and let them (mankind) have dominion over the fish, foul, cattle, and over all the earth." —Ge 1:26-31

 

Of the dust of the ground he shaped a form, breathed into its nostrils and man became a living soul.  Then God said it was not good that man should be alone.  I will make a helper for him.  So male and female created he them.  God planted a garden filled with sustenance.  Opening it to them, he said, Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth.  Subdue it.  Take dominion over every living thing under the sea, in the air and on the ground.  Then he bid them live freely, but commanded them not to taste of disobedience.  For in the day that they did, they would surely die.  He then beheld and blessed them, and what he saw was good.

 

Shortly thereafter they were tempted and succumbed.  As forewarned, they did die in that same day (1,000 years is a day with the Lord—2 Peter 3:8).  Before death overcame them they started a family.  These things occurred some 6,000 years ago and the family continued.  This was all foreknown before anything came into existence.

 

From time to time down through the years certain men earnestly sought after God, developing faith so strong and so deep that they were justified to friendship with God.  God told them things pertaining to their day, as well as beyond our present day.  Much of this was recorded 3,000 years ago.  The events as spoken by God to the prophets have faultlessly come to pass.  The rise and fall of the great world empires—Babylon, Persia (they just celebrated their 2500th anniversary last month ... remember?), Greece and Rome.  The birth, life and death of Jesus.  The dispersal and regathering of the nation of Israel.  And always, the promise of the morning.

 

About 70 years ago, Bible students began noticing that current events of their day were matching the prophetic words, the visions, and the time prophecies.  Our Savior had returned (see our May "71 issue).  The image of Nebachadnezzar’s dream was about to be struck, and just as surely as the stone did strike in 1914 (see our Issue No. 2 of this volume), so shall it keep rolling around the world till it has ground to powder every government opposing God’s kingdom.

 

Great.  But what can we do except wait?

 

"Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.  The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous and his ears are open unto their cry.  The righteous cry and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.  Many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the Lord delivereth him out of them all." —Ps 34:14-19

 

Become a sincere Bible student.  Seek to know our Father.  Be condemned and redeemed by his exacting justice.  Be awed by his unmatched wisdom.  Be touched and warmed by an understanding of his unbounding love.  Be strong in a realization of his unlimited power.  Be trusting, through a complete faith in his promises.  You may develop a fellowship with God ... and be protected till the day of his wrath is past, and the morning breaks upon you.

 

  _____________________________________

 

Life’s unsealed mystery soon shall say

 

What joy hath God in this poor clay,

 

Formed by His hand with potent skill,

 

Stamped with His image—mind and will;

 

Born not to die—no, a second birth

 

Succeeds the sentence—"earth to earth."

 

For One of all the mighty host,

 

Who lived and died and suffered most,

 

Arose, and proved God’s great design—

 

That future, therefore, yours and mine.

 

His word discloses this new ray

 

Of light, for guidance on our way;

 

Based now on faith, but sure as sight,

 

Dispelling these dark clouds of night:

 

The doubt, the dread, the trembling fear,

 

The thoughts that marred our blessings here.

 

Now, Lord, these minds, whose bolder sway

 

Rejects the dogmas of today,

 

Taught by jarring sects and schools,

 

Fettering reason with their rules,

 

May seek, and know Thee as Thou art,

 

Our place with Thee, and then the part

 

We play in this stupendous plan,

 

Creator Infinite, and man.

 

Uplifts the veil, revealing quite

 

To those who walk in heaven’s light

 

The glorious mystery of His throne

 

Hidden from ages, now made known.

 

If you are interested in knowing more about the Millennial morning; about God’s plan for man in the earth; about why the early morning hours of this new day are so dark, send for the free book, The Divine Plan of the Ages.  Also discussed are the topics "Our Lord’s Return," "The Day of Judgment," and other interesting subjects.

 

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Is there no end ...?

 

A war that has no end is a burden for everyone.  A decision to end it, either by force or withdrawal, affects everyone.  The President’s speech for less than 20 minutes spurs violent dissension for days and weeks.  Demonstrations flare up across the nation.  And it may take months to see the far-reaching effects ...

 

We had not yet recovered from the riots; we were not prepared for another assassination attempt ...

 

What is happening?  What can we expect next?

 

"Regard, and wonder marvellously:  for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you." —Hab 1:5

 

This strange work begins a new age in man’s experience.  It is termed a new day—"The Day of the Lord."  It is the day in which the Lord takes the active initiative to accomplish his purpose.  That day is now dawning.  But it is early; the day is still shrouded in the "morning darkness."  (Amos 4:13)  What is to happen in this dark prelude to the full light of day?

 

  "... let all the inhabitants of the land tremble:  for the day of the Lord ... is nigh at hand ... as the morning spread upon the mountains.  A great people and a strong ... a fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth ... the earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: ... And the Lord shall utter his voice before his army." —Joel 2

 

The Lord, by his overruling providence, will take a general charge of this great army of discontents of every kind, using their hopes, fears, follies and selfishness to work out his purposes in the overthrow of present institutions, and for the preparation of man for the Kingdom of Righteousness.  For this reason only it is termed the Lord’s "Great Army."

 

"A fire burneth before them."  This is exactly what the Apostle Peter said would happen as the "day" began.  Coming "as a thief," unrecognized by most, it would be the time in which "the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and the works that are therein shall be burned up." —2Pe 3:10

 

Even now the fires of passionate dissent are ablaze.  The flames lick higher and higher as time and knowledge reveal new cause for dissatisfaction.

 

There are many wrongs to be righted.  If you want to, you can find a "cause" to join.  But attempts at reform fail too often.  Heated controversy gives way to division, despair, and finally revenge by force.

 

We are living in a wonderful day, yet most fearful.  Knowledge has never been so general as it is now.  This knowledge has brought technological advancement to a degree almost impossible to comprehend, leading, some say, to a great "future shock."  But each fresh enlightenment, revealing the mysteries of scientific order, exposes also the intrigues of social disorder.  More people are informed than ever before, and by authority of truth and half-truth, each mind sets itself in defense or protest, all the while fearing the inevitable conflict.  It is a situation unique to our time, especially in scope.

 

What is this world coming to?

 

At the decline of this world, "We look for a new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness."  (2Pt 3:13)  Not a new literal planet, nor a literal change of the firmament, but a new world order.  Just as the flood "the world that then was ... perished," the present order is being dissolved in preparation for Christ’s new order.

 

This process is prophetically illustrated in Da 2 by a rock striking the image of Gentile kingdoms, then growing as a mountain-kingdom to fill the whole earth.

 

"And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed:  it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever." —Da 2:44

 

As the Psalmist declared, "The Lord shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath." —Ps 110:5

 

Today’s trouble will prepare mankind for tomorrow’s age.  Try as hard as they may, they cannot right the world’s wrongs, because they cannot rid themselves of the universal rule of selfishness.  In the "day of the Lord" men will be convinced that the only way out will be the setting up of a universal rule of righteousness, which will subdue all classes, and enforce principles of justice and truth.  Gradually, then, the stony-heartedness of men will, under favorable influences, give place to the original image of God.  This is just what God has promised to accomplish through the Millennial reign of Christ, introduced by this day of trouble.  See Eze 11:19; 36:25, 26; Jer 31:29-34; Zeph 3:9; Ps 45:8-10.

 

When the full day breaks, when the "Sun of righteousness arise(s) with healing in his wings," man will have the opportunity to benefit from his experiences, and thankfully seize the opportunity (bought for him by the sacrifice of Jesus’ life) to walk back up to the perfection and dignity for which he was intended.

 

Then shall "many nations say come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord ... we will walk in his paths."  (Mic 4:2)  Then will the blind eyes be opened, deaf ears begin to hear, as "the ransomed of the Lord shall return" from the bondage of corruption.  (Isa 35)

 

What about NOW?

 

What position should we take now, during this period of trouble, conflict and turmoil?  All who realize the state of things to come should decide accordingly.  Peter said, "What manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness? ... Seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace ... blameless." —2Pe 3:11, 14

 

We say to all the meek:  "Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought the commandments of the Lord; seek righteousness (the right, the truth), seek meekness:  it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger."  (Zeph 2:3)  None will escape the trouble entirely, but those seeking righteousness and rejoicing in meekness will have many advantages.  Their manner of life, their habits of thought and action as well as their sympathies for the right, will enable them to grasp the situation quickly.  Appreciating the Bible account of the trouble, and its outcome, they will suffer less than others—especially from fear.

 

In this early morning hour, two classes are seen.  First, the meek.  "Gather yourselves together ... before the day of the Lord’s anger come upon you.  Seek ye the Lord ..."  These are distinguished from mankind in general in Zeph 3:8, 9.

 

"Wait ye upon me, saith the Lord, until I rise up to the prey:  for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger; for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.  For then (after the "fire" has disabled the powers of this order) will I turn to the people a pure language and they shall all call upon the name of the Lord with one consent."

 

Two gatherings:  one for favor and blessing, the other for national destruction.  Ask yourself, "To which class am I being gathered?"  Seek the right and seek it meekly.  The time is short.

 

  ___________________________________

 

The Battle of Armageddon

 

Even the tenderest of physicians must first cut and amputate before applying the proper dressing for cure.  The very tenderest physician is just now pruning away the old order, that the new, an order based strictly upon a loyalty to true righteousness, might prosper the more.

 

The old wineskins of this world are literally bursting with the doctrine of "liberty for the people."  The fabric of society will not sustain even a patch—it must be cleanly discarded in the wake of Christ’s kingdom.  (Mt 9:16, 17)  The final fall of this world is termed "Armageddon" in the Scriptures.

 

One Bible Student, at the turn of the century, noted:

 

The battle of this great day of God Almighty will be the greatest revolution the world has ever seen because it will be one in which every principle of unrighteousness will be involved; for as truly in this judgment of the nations, as in the judgment of individuals, "there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed, and hid that shall not be known."  (Matt. 10:26)  Behold, how, even now, the searchlight of general intelligence is discovering the secret springs of political intrigue, financial policies, religious claims, ... and how all are brought to the bar of judgment, and by men, as by God, declared right or wrong as judged ..."( pg. 541, THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON 208674)

 

THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON—series 4 of "Studies in the Scriptures" —examines scripture texts which speak of the present distress of nations.  Distress designed to prepare man for a new and much better order.  You will be sent a copy, if you like, for $1.00.  You may also request a copy of THE DIVINE PLAN OF THE AGES, no charge.

 

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ISRAEL

 

For 2000 years Israel has not been a nation.  Now, "suddenly," they are one again!  They even live in the same land that they used to.  Why?  Does God want them there?  Is He responsible—or not?  Jer 16:15 says, "... I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers."

 

"And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruits of them.  And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God." —Amos 9:14, 15

 

Why?  Because God has in mind for them a special purpose.  Over 3,000 years ago, God made a very special promise.  He made it to Abraham, but it is a promise which affects every member of the human race who has ever lived.  "And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed. ..." ( Gen 22:18)

 

This promise was repeated to Isaac, and to Jacob.  In fact, God "sware by himself" that this promise would be fulfilled.  (Heb 6:13)  Paul tells us that "for the fathers’ sakes," that is, because of this promise to the patriarchs of Israel, God would again favor Israel.  God calls them back to their homeland that they may be the first to receive the blessings of the earthly kingdom designed to subsequently bless all the nations.  From Israel, under their restored leaders, the blessings will flow to all mankind.  The prophet foretold, "... as ye were a curse among the heathen, ... O house of Israel, ... ye shall be a blessing ... In those days ... ten men shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you:  for we have heard that God is with you." —Zech 8:13, 23

 

How can God use a non-Christian people?

 

A good point.  Peter said of Jesus, "There is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved."  (Ac 4:12)  It would seem a little inconsistent, then, to bless the world through a non-Christian nation.  In fact, Israel was "left desolate"  (Mt 23:38) for their unbelief.  But were they cast off forever?

 

"God forbid!" is Paul’s emphatic reply in Ro 11.  He makes three basic points in his discussion.  (1) Because of unbelief, Israel was set aside from chief favor.  They lost the opportunity, as a nation, of becoming heirs with Christ in his heavenly kingdom.  They were blinded to their Messiah (Ro 11:7-10, 17, 20, 25).  (2) Because Israel was set aside, the call to the Christian way was extended to the Gentiles (Ro 11:11, 17-21, 24, 28).  (3) When the body of Christ is complete, Israel will have her blindness removed (they’ll recognize their Messiah!, and having their favor restored, God will make a "new covenant with them (Ro 11:25-27, 30-32).

 

(illustration)

 

Blindness removed?

 

Question:  After nearly 2,000 years, how will Israel’s blindness suddenly be lifted?  Answer:  a miraculous deliverance.  Joel says, "... In that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat (Israel) and will plead with them there for my people. ..." ( Joel 3:1, 2)  Zechariah continues, and tells us just what will happen when God "pleads" for His people.  "For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, the houses rifled, ... Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle." —Zech 14:2, 3

 

When Israel is all but defeated, humbled under her oppressors, then the Lord will intervene.  And Israel, recognizing their miraculous deliverance, will see with the eye of their understanding that it is their Messiah that delivered them.  "... And they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him. .." ( Zech 12:10) as they realize that the one who saved them was the one they had rejected for so long.

 

The whole work of regathering Israel is summarized by the prophet Ezekiel:  "And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered ... with fury poured out.  And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face. ... And I will cause you to pass under the rod (of trouble), and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant ... and I will purge out from among you the rebels. ... and ye shall know that I am the Lord." —Eze 20:34-38

 

For the purpose of instruction and leadership from the time of their deliverance, God promised to "restore (their) judges as at the first. ..." ( Isa 1:26; see also Mic 5:5, Ps 49:14, Da 12:13)  At that time, the arrangements of the earthly kingdom shall be set up.  Look, for instance, what that "new covenant" will mean.  "This shall be the covenant that I will make ... I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; (I) will be their God, and they shall be my people ... all shall know me ... I will remember their sin no more." —Jer 31:34

 

And those prophets who foretold Israel’s rebirth—notice what they say will happen at that time:

 

  "... in that day ... the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the Lord. ..."— Joel 3:18

 

  "... living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; ... And the Lord shall be King over all the earth." —Zech 14:8, 9

 

  "... the house of the Lord shall be established ... and people shall flow into it ... the word of the Lord (will come) from Jerusalem." —Mic 4:1, 2

 

A beautiful kingdom.  A kingdom where blind eyes shall see, the lame shall leap, and "parched ground shall become a pool."  (Isa 35:5-7)  But most of mankind are lying in graves.  A beautiful kingdom—can it only be for the few that remain?  God’s love is much more abundant.  The prison doors of death shall be opened, "and the ransomed of the Lord shall return ... sorrow and sighing shall flee away."  (Isa 35:10; 61:1)  As Paul said in speaking of Israel, "What shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?" —Ro 11:15

 

  _________________________________

 

Israel in History and Prophecy

 

Israel.  The nation with the most famous history in the world.  The nation known for leaders like Moses, David and Solomon.  The nation whose laws have been the template of decency and justice.  The nation destroyed and given to others.  The nation whose people were scattered, yet never lost their identity.  The nation whose name was changed to Palestine, but still is Israel today.  The nation who sought after God.  The nation who has become a nation again.

 

Israel.  Who would ever think that this nation of a few million would ever come back again?  The plots of her enemies have been foiled by time.  How come?  God’s plans are to revive her and rebuild her.  It will be the "come back" sensation of history.  It has already started.  While many are interested in her history, relatively few realize her future.  The Scriptures abound with information, the significance of which is unfolding before our very eyes.  Egypt, Russia, Israel.  What’s going on?  More important, what’s going to result?

 

Israel in History and Prophecy, a 37-page booklet, is an interesting treatise answering this very question.  Scriptures from both Old and New Testaments hold the answer for those who seek.  The homecoming of the Jew has been the outstanding sign that God is doing something.  Send for the free booklet, Israel in History and Prophecy.

 

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MORNING

 

The Living and True God

 

"O praise the Lord, all ye nations:  praise him all ye people.  For his merciful kindness is great toward us:  and the truth of the Lord endureth forever.  Praise ye the Lord.  Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed forever.  He appointed the moon for seasons:  the sun knoweth his going down.  O Lord, how manifold are thy works!  In wisdom hast thou made them all, the earth is full of thy riches.  I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live:  I will sing praise to my God while I have my being." —Ps 117:1, 2; 104:5, 19, 24, 33.

 

But some of the most intelligent of our most intelligent day are rapidly drifting way from the fundamental truth that there is a living and true God.

 

These intellectuals are accepting the thought of an impersonal God, which, from our standpoint, is tantamount to saying, "There is no living and true God."  This is the position taken by many scientific and professional thinkers.  Rarely is an attempt made to define this impersonal God.  Rather, the term "God" is used merely as a concession to popular sentiment.  Those who hold this view often use nature as a synonym for God.  Their thought really seems to be that there is no intelligent creator in the universe; that our sun and stars and planets are governed by what they term "natural laws," and that humanity prospers and progresses merely as it experiences the operation of these laws, and seeks to cooperate and avoid conflict with them.

 

His personality

 

How could an impersonal God have a purpose, a will, a plan and a program?  And how could he reveal that purpose in the Bible or otherwise?  "He that cometh unto God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."  (He 11:6)  He shall be found of them.  He will reveal his true character to them.  "He that seeketh findeth."  The truth is that not one word of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation declares divine omnipresence; but every utterance on the subject affirms the personality of the Father, and that our Lord Jesus is the "express image of his person." —He 1:3.

 

"God is a spirit," but he is a being, a person.  The Scriptures distinctly tell us that a spirit has not flesh and body, as we have (Lk 24:39), but just as distinctly describe the Divine personality—often using the parts and qualities of the human body to bring the Creator within the range of our comprehension.  The hand of the Lord (his divine power), and the eye of the Lord (his divine wisdom) are in every place.  The ear of the Lord is bowed down to hear the groaning of the prisoner.  And the heart of the Eternal is most wonderfully kind.  Heaven is his throne and the earth is his footstool.  True, these expressions are pictorial, figurative; but the picture is not of an impersonal Creator, but of a personal one, who feels, who thinks, who exercises his power; who is displeased with those who are sinful and loves those who try to do his will.

 

Whoever accepts this thought of a righteous, personal God, has taken the first step in establishing his own heart along lines of corresponding character.  He seeks a further knowledge of such a Creator; seeks his compassion and his protecting care, and learns to love him, as he could never appreciate nor love "nature" nor any disorganized concept of a space-pervading non-entity.  He whose mind and heart grasps the Scriptural personality of the heavenly father, experiences the significance of our Savior’s words, "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing?  And not one of them shall fall to the ground without your Father.  But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Fear not, therefore; ye are of more value than any sparrows." —Mt 10:29-31.

 

The Almighty

 

The Scriptural presentation of the Almighty is, therefore, the one most consistent to reason and most helpful to us; namely, that he is a great god, infinite in his wisdom, his justice, his love and his power.  His personality has heaven for his locality, but his influence and powers pervade the universe.  We can only imperfectly imagine his various channels of information and the innumerable ways he can exercise his power.  But in view of modern discoveries, we have at least a suggestion of it.  Cannot man communicate with a light beam, and travel at many times the speed of sound?

 

And if man, imperfect and fallen, "born in sin and shapen in iniquity and of few days and full of trouble," can thus enlarge his natural powers what limitations could he set upon the intelligence and power of his Creator?  "He that formed the eye, shall he not see?  He that formed the ear, shall he not hear?"  (Ps 94:9)  He that gave to humans our sense of justice, shall we not consider him the very embodiment of justice?  He who gave to us the power of sympathy and compassion and love, shall we not consider him, the Author of our powers, as infinitely superior to the very highest of our human ideals?

 

"Jesus said unto him, Thou salt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind." —Mt 22:37

 

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If you are God’s ...

 

  ... you have placed God above all.  Only those who do this may enjoy a vital relationship with him.  You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind—nothing less will meet with His approval.  (Mt 22:37)  This is your first and foremost duty—God above all!  This is not easy.  It never was.  Through the ages, the world, the flesh and the devil have conspired against such singular devotion.

 

They are still against the faithful.  You will be marked as an extremist if you insist on weeding out tradition, errors and human philosophies from your worship of the true and living God.  Quickly you will be told that nobody really knows what the Bible teaches and you are better off accepting what the clergy presents, since they should know best.  Many believe that it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you do good and live decently—that’s all that counts.  If you are like most people, you will succumb to these arguments and conform.

 

But you won’t if you are God’s!  They that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth."  (Joh 4:24)  Adoring worship is not enough.  You must worship in "spirit and in truth."  God is not interested in any other form of worship.  Men have said that nobody can really know God’s truth and God’s plan of the ages, but God promises to open to those who sincerely "knock."

 

"He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him." —He 11:6

 

If you are God’s you have placed God above all.

 

If you would like the free booklet, "If You Are God’s," simply send us the coupon below.

 

MILLENNIAL MORNING

 

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MILLENNIAL

 

MORNING

 

The new day dawns.

 

Good morning.

 

"At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue confess to the glory of God." —Php 2:10,11

 

For six thousand years the world of mankind has been ruled by sin and death.  Physicians, both physical and moral, have been unable to cure us.  God alone is able to roll away the curse which he himself imposed, and to give mankind his blessing instead.

 

In the past we have been so intent on following our own sectarian theories that we have neglected the proper study of the Bible.  Not until our day has such study been possible for everybody.  Only now is the Word of God in convenient form, and only now is education so universal that all can read, all can study, all can know the good things of the Bible.

 

Bible students are waking up from sleep and finding that they have been suffering from nightmares.  The true message of the word of God is spreading, and with it goes increase of faith, together with joy, peace and godliness.

 

Foregleams of the new day.

 

We know that ours is the most wonderful day of earth’s history.  Our eyes open wide as we see the contrast between the blessings which surround us and those enjoyed by our fathers.  We have been amazed at the progress of labor-saving machinery and education.  What do these things mean?  Why have they come suddenly in one century?  And give no indication of slacking, but rather of progressing.  What is the explanation of all this?

 

The Bible alone answers these questions.  It explains the meaning of the reign of sin and death which we and our fathers have shared.  It tells us that our sorrows, aches, pains and weaknesses—mental, moral and physical—are all the results of sin from father Adam, by the laws of heredity.  Then the Bible opens the door of the future and bids us look abroad and see the better day which God promises.  It explains that he has been giving us lessons about the "exceeding sinfulness of sin," but that all the while he has sympathized with and loved his creatures.  It tells us that Jesus came into the world and died for Adam and his race, "the just for the unjust," to cancel the death penalty and thus to give them an opportunity in God’s due time to return to their former estate—to all that Adam lost in his glorious estate—"Paradise."

 

That day has come.

 

Chronologically, we are already in the great seventh day, or thousand-year sabbath.  This fact explains the blessings of our day.  And they will continue throughout the great thousand-year sabbath of Messiah’s kingdom.  The Bible promises that the Messianic reign will bring blessedness to every creature—not only to the living, but also to the dead; for "all that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and shall come forth." —Joh 5:28, 29

 

The coming of these blessings is, in one sense, premature, because they have come before the establishment of the messianic kingdom.  Consequently, instead of being happier, the world is more unhappy, more discontented, than ever.  The Scriptures show that the discontent will culminate in a short, sharp period of anarchy, from which the world will be rescued by the establishment of Christ’s kingdom.  The permission of the light and blessings of our day, in advance of his rule, will teach humanity a great lesson respecting their own fallen condition and their need of the very help which God is providing in Christ.  No one will be able to say that God’s blessing, coming to unregenerate hearts, will make them thankful and happy.  The new heart is necessary to real happiness.

 

A life worth living.

 

As we gradually realize that we are living in the dawning of the time for the long-promised blessing, this sabbath day of earth, it gives us a fresh interest in the present life, as well as in those features of God’s plan which are yet future.  The knowledge makes life worth living.  Millions of people live a treadmill existence, unworthy of themselves and joyless, because they have not come into the family of God and have not been taught to understand the deep things of his gracious purposes.

 

The first step is an acknowledgment of the Creator and a consecration of life to him, and then an application of our hearts to know his will, in order that we may do it.  One day of such living is worth more than a year of the aimless meandering so common to most people.  All who have entered into this blessing should rejoice.  All who have not done so should seek the door, Christ, and be glad to walk the narrow way, following his footsteps into grace and peace.

 

Our blessings so far are not drawing people nearer to God, not making them more thankful, more reverential, more loving.  On the contrary, we have more conflict, more self-will than any previous generation—less inclined, for the most part, than ever before to worship and reverence the God of all grace—less inclined to believe that there is such a being at all.  At the present rate of growth of irreverence, it would seem as though the time might soon come when no knee would bow and no tongue confess, to the glory of God.

 

Permit not faith to let go her hold; the Word of God cannot fail.  As he is bringing the blessings promised in his Word and appropriate to this time, let us trust him for every other feature of his promised blessing.  He who has begun the good work is able to complete it.  If he has promised and sworn that all the families of the earth shall be blessed in Abraham’s seed, surely we can rely on it.  The members of Christ’s church are the spiritual "seed of Abraham."  This class, as the bride of Christ, must be completed and united to their Redeemer before they can share with him the great work of blessing the rest of the world.  (Ga 3:8, 16, 29)  The completion and glorification of the church will mark the time for the establishment of the messianic kingdom.

 

God’s glory fills the earth.

 

Rapidly the knowledge of the glory of God will fill the whole earth.  Corrections in righteousness will be given to all not doing their very best.  Rewards of perfection of mind and body will gradually come to the willing and obedient.  The infinitude of God’s love, justice, wisdom and power may then be seen by all.  The result will be glorious.

 

"There shall be no more sighing, no more curse there, nor sorrow nor pain nor any more dying; for all the things of sin and death will have passed away.  He who sits upon the throne will make all things new." —Re 21:4, 5

 

  ____________________________

 

The Times They are a Changin’.

 

"This lifetime is different from all others, because of the astonishing expansion of the scale and scope of change."  Future Shock by Elvin Hopler

 

Statesmen, writers, and religious enthusiasts have noticed something very peculiar about our times.  They are a changin’.

 

If you could imagine a map of the world showing flareups which occur, it would be in marked contrast to what it was 100 years ago.  A civil war in Viet Nam alters basic political actions in Washington, Peking and Moscow.  It touches off protest in Stockholm.  It effects financial transactions in Zurich.  It triggers secret diplomatic moves in Algiers.  The history of nations has seen many notable conflicts, but not until 1914 has any been labeled as a World War.  Trouble is so bad that nowadays it’s common to hear reference to "over kill," the wiping out of the entire population many times over.

 

People are concerned.  Prophecies are being fulfilled before our very eyes.  The whole world is in a big mess.  It’s getting worse.  If something isn’t done no one will be saved.  You know the question," What’s happening?"  The scriptures tell why.

 

Send for some informative literature on Our Lord’s Return.  It just may be what you’re looking for.

 

MILLENNIAL MORNING

 

Post Office Box 4614

 

San Diego, CA 92104

 

Please send me me a free copy of "Our Lord’s Return"

 

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MILLENNIAL

 

MORNING

 

An Open Letter to the

 

Jewish People

 

The Holy Scriptures inform us that it is now time for national favor to return to the Jewish people.  Indeed, since 1878, the secular evidences have been growing that favor has been returning.  We have seen the Zionist movement, the rebirth of Israel, and three successive Israeli victories, culminating in the recovery of the Old City of Jerusalem (a foretold event).

 

This return of favor implies, of course, that there was a period of national disfavor.  Thus, the Jews have been without a homeland since the fall of Jerusalem, 70 C.E., until quite recently.  Some rabbis feel this is described in Scripture as a period without king, prince, sacrifice, pillar, ephod, or teraphim, for "many days."  (Hos 3:4, 5)  But even during this dark period, Divine providence was over the Jews of the Diaspora, preserving them separate and distinct from all other nations. —Le 26:44

 

The mere fact that God has preserved the Jews, should be proof that He has something important for them as a people or nation in the future.  Indeed, not only shall Israel receive God’s full blessing, but they shall fulfill the prophetic vision of being a "light" to the Gentiles.  (Isa 42:6; 49:6; 60:3)  And, "Thus said the Lord of hosts:  In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, shall even take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying:  We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you." —Zec 8:23, Masoretic Text

 

A humbling experience, we may be sure!

 

Israel will also have to undergo a humbling process in order to be fit for the Kingdom arrangements.  The Israelis, proud of their military powers, must become more "God-conscious" before they can be useful to God and be in a heart condition to receive His blessings.

 

This is the most solemn part of our message, and we would that it need not be uttered; yet Scripture reveals that it must and will be.  Israel, the "Pleasant Land," and Jerusalem, the "Golden City," will fall once more to the oppressors.  This time, known as "Jacob’s Trouble" (Jer 30:7), will be the dregs of despair for Israel.  But, thank God, it will only be temporary.  Our heart goes out to her, but we comfort ourselves and Israel with the Scriptural promise that God shall actually and literally intervene on behalf of Israel before all is lost.  (Eze 38:18, 21-23)  After "Jacob’s Trouble" there will be found in Israel a "God-conscious" people who will be the nucleus of God’s kingdom on earth.

 

What of your personal responsibilities?

 

A voice is sounding from the wilderness and the Jews everywhere are hearkening to it.  It does not call them to become Christians, but to remain Jews and to realize, as Jews, the ideals set before them by the Lord in the Law and in the Prophets.  We invite our Jewish friends to believe what their Scriptures say, and to make their future in the land of Israel, for the Scriptures plainly declare that God’s favor is to be found in Israel and upon those who have enough faith to seek Him there.

 

Why go to Israel if there is to be so much trouble there?  Simply because there will be trouble and anarchy world-wide at that time, but in Israel God promises a deliverance!

 

What do we expect in Israel within the next decade or so?

 

1.A further immigration from Russia.

 

2.Probably more land gains—at the expense of Lebanon and Jordan.

 

3.Probable period of peace and prosperity followed by definitely more trouble when "Gog and Magog" invade Israel from the north.

 

4.The Old City of Jerusalem will remain in Israeli hands, despite the opposition of the entire world, until "Jacob’s Trouble."

 

What do we, as Bible Students, hope to accomplish by proclaiming this message?

 

God, our God and yours, loves Israel with an unfailing love.  Our hearts are compelled by the Scriptures, ours and yours, to:

 

1.Respond to the plea of Isaiah 40:1, 2:  "Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people" —Israel.

 

2.Identify ourselves as non-proselyting friends of Israel.  (See Herzl Yearbook, Vol. V, pp. 180-189, Herzl Press, N.Y.)

 

3.Proclaim to each individual Jew his God-given responsibility to believe and act upon the promises and prophecies of the Torah.

 

4.Urge all Jews to avoid the current ecumenical dialogues with Christian denominations, either Catholic or Protestant, for we do not wish the Jews to become entangled with the false doctrine of the Trinity (three-in-one god).

 

To further explain the Scriptures on these various features of God’s plan, we have prepared a booklet entitled, "The Time to Favor Zion is Come."  The booklet does not contain a proselyting message.

 

We appreciate the opportunity of speaking with you on matters at once personal and yet of a national interest.

 

Shalom, in the hope of God’s kingdom and Israel’s share in it.

 

"Thou wilt arise, and have compassion upon Zion; for it is time to be gracious unto her, for the appointed time is come." Ps 102:14

 

MILLENNIAL MORNING

 

Post Office Box 4614

 

San Diego, CA 92104

 

Please send me a free copy of:  ____ THE TIME TO FAVOR ZION IS COME

 

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MILLENNIAL

 

MORNING

 

The truth.  The whole truth.

 

And nothing but the truth.

 

How can you find it?

 

Well, there’s a couple of things you could do.  You could try out all the religions and keep from each one what sounds like truth.  An endless job.  The trouble with this is that while all religions agree there is a God, they disagree on almost everything else.  If two opinions conflict, somebody’s got to be wrong.  They may both be wrong, but they can’t both be right.

 

The other way to find truth is to try to get rid of whatever prejudices we may have and look for God in His Word.  If truth is to be found, it must be sought sincerely and persistently.  And if God is to be found, He will reward this kind of a search.

 

Are the character lessons in the Bible enough?  The fact that God gave prophecies about our day and about the future tells us that they are in the Bible for a reason.  Prophecy wasn’t given to satisfy curiosity, or for wild speculation.  It was given so the child of God could know what his Father is doing.  His plans are revealed so we can understand them, and view matters as He views them.  Then we can serve, not merely as a servant, but with joy as child and heir.  Careful study of the plan of God has this effect.

 

How will we know when we have found the truth?

 

We will know when we find a plan that brings all of the scriptures into harmony, when each new truth adds to, but does not conflict with that plan.  The plan of God found in the Bible is complete.  It is harmonious with itself and with God’s character of love and justice.  It has the answers to all of our questions.  It has the answers to all the world’s problems.

 

Knowing what is happening in the world—that the Lord is now present and His Kingdom beginning—should affect everybody.  But it will be especially powerful to those who have given their lives and hearts to the Lord.

 

Are you willing to give up your plans and theories and follow God’s?  Are you willing, even if you lose friends?  And are you willing to give up time from other things to search God’s Word daily?  If you work at it, and truth is received in a sincere and honest heart, it will beget in you such a love for God and His plan, and such a desire to preach the truth, that it will become the all-absorbing theme of your life.

 

Whoever comes in contact with truth and understands it has a responsibility to it from then on.  It must either be received and acted on, or rejected.  Each one receiving it gets to be a debtor to it, and must give it to others.

 

It’s morning.  It’s time to wake up.

 

  __________________________________

 

What should I do?

 

"Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be?"

 

The question is pointed.  It was raised nearly 2,000 years ago for those living today.  When it is seen that Christ has returned and His work of removing the systems has begun, what manner of persons ought we to be?  Consider the possibilities.  Work through the system?  No, the verdict has been given that the systems must go.  Their efforts to solve man’s problems have been unsuccessful.  Help destroy the establishment?  No, the Lord loves a peacemaker.  The Apostle says we should seek a new kingdom of righteousness.

 

"we ... look for a new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness."  2Pe 3:13

 

While living in the present system we can cultivate a character of peace and love, without spot and blameless.  It isn’t easy.  Nonconformists are criticized.

 

The Scriptures urge us to

 

"Seek ye the Lord, ye meek of the earth ... seek righteousness; seek meekness; it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger."  Zeph 2:3

 

None will escape the trouble entirely.  But those seeking righteousness and rejoicing in meekness will have many advantages over others.  Their manner of life and their sympathies for the right will help them.  They will appreciate the Bible account of the reason for this trouble.  They will be glad to see the incoming Kingdom.  It helps to know what is going on, doesn’t it?

 

"What manner of persons ought ye to be?"

 

MILLENNIAL MORNING

 

Post Office Box 4614

 

San Diego, CA 92104

 

____Please send me the free booklet, IF YOU ARE GOD’S

 

____Please send me a free copy of your Bible Study textbook, THE DIVINE PLAN OF THE AGES

 

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MILLENNIAL

 

MORNING

 

Where are the Dead?

 

  "... there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest."  (Ec 9:10)  "And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments ..." ( Lk 16:23)

 

Can these two scriptures possibly harmonize?  Where are the dead?  Are they really dead?  Or not?  Where are Abel, David, Samson, Moses and Abraham?  Most Christians would answer quickly, "in heaven!"  But not Peter.  "... let me freely speak unto you of the Patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. ... For David is not ascended into the heavens ..." ( Ac 2:29, 34)  Jesus said in his day, "... no man hath ascended up to heaven ..." ( Joh 3:13)  No man—not David, not Abraham, not Elijah—no man!

 

They are asleep in death, waiting for their reward.  Job said, "O that thou wouldst hide me in the grave, ... that thou wouldst appoint me a set time, and remember me!  If a man die, shall he live again?  All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come."  (Job 14:13, 14)  Daniel was told, "... thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days." —Da 12:13

 

They were faithful and merit a "better resurrection" (He 11:35), to be "princes in all the earth" (Psa. 45:16), though the heavenly call was not then open.  (He 11:39, 40; 10:20; Lk 16:16; 2Ti 1:10)  But what about the unfaithful?

 

What About Hell?

 

Is it a fiery place of torment for sinners?  Consider.  Every time you see the word HELL in the Old Testament, it is from just one Hebrew word:  sheol.  But the translators of the common version, laboring under the bias of the Dark Ages, were most inconsistent in its translation.  When Job prayed "Hide me in sheol ... until thy wrath be past," it was translated "grave" —because no one, especially faithful Job, would pray to go to a fiery hell to relieve his miseries.  (Job 14:13)  Jacob said, "I will go down into sheol ..."( Ge 37:35).  The translators thought of Jacob as a good man, so they translated it "grave."  But when it speaks of bad people, the translators always render this same word sheol as "hell."  (See Ps 9:17; 55:15; Eze 31:16, 17)

 

The true thought is that hell—sheol—is death.  All die.  That is why even Jesus was said to go into hell—sheol—death.  (Ac 2:31; Ps 16:10)  He was not to suffer torture for three days following his death, because hell is the death condition—defined in our opening scripture, where is "no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave whither thou goest."

 

This is how a whole nation may be said to go into hell.  Their nation, as a nation, dissolves; it dies.  It ceases to exist as a nation.  This was the punishment threatened for the nation of Israel’s unfaithfulness. —De 32:21, 22.

 

The Lake of Fire

 

As a fire is a consuming, annihilating force, it is used in the Bible as a symbol of the destruction of death.  This symbol was used by Jesus, likening the destruction of death to the valley of destruction—Gehenna—in which trash, bodies, and refuse were dumped for incineration in the unceasing flames—the fragments consumed by the ever-present works. —Mk 9:48; Isa 66:24

 

Re 20:10 speaks of a great lake of fire, in which were tormented a beast, a dragon, and a false prophet.  These creatures are as symbolic as the four strange beasts of Daniel’s vision of world rulership.  (Da 7)  Just as the sea which gave birth to those four beasts was symbolic (of the peoples of earth), so it is logical to conclude that the fire which consumes the symbolic creatures of Revelation is also symbolic—of their destruction.

 

Reading on to Re 20:14, the Bible gives its own interpretation of the lake of fire—"this is the second death."  This is death from which there is no returning, no resurrection.  It represents eternal destruction, not eternal pain.  "The wages of sin is death" —not eternal misery!  (Ro 6:23)

 

The "Rich Man" in Hell

 

What about the "rich man" of Lk 16:19-31 being tormented in hell?  Read the parable.  It is a story with a meaning.  It describes a rich man, clothed in purple and linen, who "fared sumptuously every day."  Meanwhile, a poor beggar named Lazarus lay at his gate full of sores, licked by the dogs.  When he died, the poor man was taken to "Abraham’s bosom."  But when the rich man died, he was buried, and awoke in "hell."  The nation of Israel was that rich man.  They were wealthy, having the exclusive favor of God for hundreds of years.  It was to them that their God promised a Messiah.  In the Old Testament passage from which Jesus drew this parable, Israel was called "Jeshurun," who "waxed fat and kicked," —then forsook God and "lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation."  (De 32:15)  So they were cast off.  They died to God’s favor.

 

"They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities; and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.  For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell ..."— De 32:21, 22

 

This prophesies what later happened.  Shortly after Israel was rejected, the Gentiles began to be favored by God.  Paul explains this in Ro 11:11.  This same truth is portrayed in the parable by the poor beggar (the Gentiles) being received into "heaven."  "Heaven" cannot be literal here because we already know that "no man hath ascended up to heaven" before Jesus.  But now the Gentiles were able to receive the favor of God.  To them was opened the heavenly call to "Abraham’s bosom" —to be heirs of the Abrahamic promise.  (Ga 3:29)

 

We have seen the nation of Israel in a "hell" condition for centuries since the time of Christ.  The prophecy of Zech 9:9-11 tells us that they return from it.  "As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water."  They have been rising from that pit in our lifetime.  They (as a nation) are being resurrected from the dead.

 

Do you know what that means for the world’s dead?  It’s thrilling to find out.  Read Ro 11:12, 15

 

  _________________________________

 

Where Are The Dead?

 

Jesus said, "The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves ... shall come forth."  (Joh 5:28, 29)  Isaiah wrote, "The ransomed of the Lord shall return ..." ( Isa 35:10  Job spoke of the time when man’s "flesh shall be fresher than a child’s:  he shall return to the days of his youth," because a ransom had been found.  (Job 33:24, 25)  And Paul taught that "there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust."  (Ac 24:15)

 

Yes, the dead shall rise.  But where are the dead meanwhile?  What actually happens to a person when he dies?  Anything?  Nothing?  Where are the dead?  Where aren’t they?  Are they anywhere?

 

We have a booklet that may help answer.  It covers every Bible text that mentions "hell."  It explains scriptures that speak of death—and of resurrection.

 

Where Are The Dead?  We’ll send it, no charge, at your request.

 

MILLENNIAL MORNING

 

Post Office Box 4614

 

San Diego, CA 92104

 

Please send Me:_____where Are The Dead?

 

_____Divine Plan of the Ages

 

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Address ___________________________________________________________

 

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MILLENNIAL

 

MORNING

 

Who Is Millennial Morning?

 

"His voice then shook the earth; but now he has promised, "Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also the heaven.’  This phrase, "yet once more’ indicates the removal of what is shaken, as of what has been made, in order that what cannot be shaken will remain."  (He 12:26, 27 —RSV)

 

"God is in the midst of her (the church), she shall not be moved; God will help her right early.  The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.  The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge."  (Ps 46:5 —RSV)

 

We are all living in a time of trouble.  Everything that can be shaken is to be shaken.  Nothing is immune to the influence of God’s plans and power.  The only group or establishment that will survive this shaking is the Church.  Which Church?  The Church.  It isn’t a reference to the building down the street.  It isn’t a reference to any denomination—Catholics, Protestants or any other group.  The Church is a spiritual organization.  Their membership is written in God’s book of life, not on the membership rolls of any earthly congregation.  It is composed of individuals who have accepted Jesus as their savior, and have consecrated their all to doing His will.  The Church uses the authority of the scriptures as a guide to daily living and sacrifice.

 

But who is Millennial Morning?  Millennial Morning is the name chosen by a group of Christians who claim no denominational affiliation, hold no creeds of men, and strive to understand what is happening in God’s plan now.  Our basis for conclusion is the Word of God, study helps (topical study aids, Bible dictionaries, concordances, etc.), and secular history.  We refer to ourselves as Bible Students.

 

Who are the Bible Students?  The term Bible Students was widely recognized at the turn of the century.  It is thought by some that after the death of Pastor Charles T. Russell in 1916, the Bible Students became Jehovah’s Witnesses.  This is not correct.  Bible Students are still the same today, and they are not Jehovah’s Witnesses.

 

Pastor Russell was not the founder of the sect called Jehovah’s Witnesses.  He was never known as one, and he never used the name.  The Jehovah’s Witnesses did not come into existence until the 1930’s, years after Pastor Russell died.

 

The Bible Student movement started in the 1800’s, emerging when the age of enlightenment challenged Christianity.  At that time, many intelligent individuals set out to prove that the Bible was unintelligent and untrustworthy.  Many Christians reacted by clinging blindly to their creeds.  Bible study classes formed spontaneously to challenge intelligent unbelief and unintelligent belief.  Charles Russell became the pastor of one of these Bible study classes, and was soon recognized as a leading Bible expositor.  His sermons appeared in over 3,000 newspapers weekly, here and overseas.  Pastor Russell advocated the sound method of harmonizing all the Bible texts on a given subject before accepting any teaching as scriptural.  He never claimed to originate new truths, but to have discovered Bible truths that were lost, or changed from the beliefs of the early church.

 

In 1879, Pastor Russell formed the Zion’s Watch Tower, later known as the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society.  This Society was merely an organ of evangelism and a stimulus to Bible Study.  It was never the central authority of the Bible Students, whose organization was, and is, congregational in character.

 

Bible Students today

 

J. F. Rutherford gained control of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society shortly after Pastor Russell’s death in 1916.  He moved rapidly to centralize authority over all Bible Student congregations.  Vital changes were made in basic doctrines, incompatible with the studied conclusions of most Bible Students.  In 1917, the Bible Students began separating from this authoritarian arrangement, and soon there were many independent and autonomous congregations cooperating together in a world-wide fellowship.  There is no connection between these Bible Students and the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

 

Is Pastor Russell’s approach

 

to Bible study beneficial?

 

We believe it is.  Literature offered by Millennial Morning is based on the study method suggested by Pastor Russell.  The Studies in the Scriptures series of Bible study textbooks were written at the turn of the century; yet they are remarkably relevant to our day.  In fact, on the basis of scripture, they predicted events such as World War I (to the year) and the re-establishment of Israel as a nation.

 

We are in a time when everyone is cautious about everyone else.  And isn’t that what we would expect?  The scriptures warn us that at the time of Christ’s return" ... there shall arise false Christs and false prophets and shall show great signs and wonders ..."— Mt 24:24

 

However, they also ask:  "Who then is the faithful and wise servant whom the master hath appointed over his household to give them food in season.  Happy that servant whom his master when he cometh shall find so doing.  Verily I say unto you, over all his substance will he appoint him."  Mt 24:45-47 (Rotherham)

 

Daniel was instructed to close up the book until the time of the end (Da 12:9).  Then, at Christ’s return, many doctrines would be understood in their "due season."  These doctrines may conflict with long-established creeds.  How will we know which is right?  The Church has one basis for her doctrine—scriptural harmony.  That is why she won’t be shaken.

 

"God is our refuge and strength ... Therefore will not we fear, though the earth (society) will be removed, and though the mountains (governments, kingdoms) be carried into the midst of the sea (anarchy, restless humanity); Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof ... God is in the midst of her (the Church); she shall not be moved:  God shall help her and that right early." —Ps 46:1-3, 5

 

  ____________________________

 

"Close your eyes for a moment to the scenes of misery and woe, degradation and sorrow that yet prevail on account of sin, and picture before your mental vision the glory of the perfect earth.  Not a stain of sin mars the harmony and peace of a perfect society; not a bitter thought, not an unkind look or word; love, welling up from every heart, meets a kindred response in every other heart, and benevolence marks every act.  There sickness shall be no more; not an ache nor a pain, nor any evidence of decay—not even the fear of such things.  Think of all the pictures of comparative health and beauty of human form and feature that you have ever seen, and know that perfect humanity will be of still surpassing loveliness.  The inward purity and mental and moral perfection will stamp and glorify every radiant countenance.  Such will earth’s society be; and weeping bereaved ones will have their tears all wiped away, when thus they realize the resurrection work complete." —Re 21:4

 

The Divine Plan of the Ages

 

MILLENNIAL MORNING

 

Post Office Box 4614

 

San Diego, CA 92104

 

Please send me a free copy of:  ____  The Divine Plan of the Ages

 

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Address ___________________________________________________________

 

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MILLENNIAL

 

MORNING

 

Why does God permit evil?

 

NEW DELHI, India (AP) —A cyclone and 16-foot tidal wave struck India’s east coast, and political leaders reported a loss of 15,000 to 20,000 lives in this latest major natural disaster on the rim of the Bay of Bengal.

 

The wave and 100-mile-an-hour winds hit Friday night, but the devastation was so complete that word of its catastrophic proportions did not reach the outside world until yesterday.

 

The Indian government radio ...

 

"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." —Ps 30:5

 

Why does God permit the reign of sin and death, injustice, sorrow, trouble, pain, headaches and heartaches?  Why doesn’t he deal with humanity kindly, as he deals with the angels?  Is it just or loving on the part of the Creator to bring forth millions of his creatures under these unfavorable conditions?  Is it just that we should be in an unequal fight, subject to weaknesses and dying and imperfect conditions on account of the sin of our first parents?

 

The inheritance of weaknesses, sorrows, pain and trouble, according to the Scriptures, are all part of death, which is the penalty for sin given to Adam right from the beginning by his Creator.

 

God anticipated that, having given him freedom of choice, man would, through lack of full appreciation of its results, choose sin.  Still, God planned to permit evil, because, having the remedy provided for man’s redemption he saw that the result would be to teach him, through experience, "the exceeding sinfulness of sin" in contrast to the matchless brilliancy of virtue.  The final result will be to teach him to love and honor his creator, who is the source of all goodness, and to forever abhor that which brought so much misery.

 

This redemption feature of God’s plan—condemning all in one representative, Adam, opened the way for the ransom and restitution of all by one Redeemer.  Evil will be extinguished forever when God’s purpose in permitting it shall have been accomplished, and when the benefits of the ransom sacrifice are made available for the whole world.

 

A specially privileged class.

 

Meantime, the merit of that sacrifice has been applied to the Church—"the household of faith" —since Pentecost.  It has brought to this class very special privileges, though very different ones from those it will bring to the rest of the world during the Millennium.  The willing and obedient of the world will then get restitution gradually (Ac 3:20), back to human perfection and a world-wide Edenic home.  The blessing for the Church is different.  The promise now made to those who can and will walk by faith and not by sight is a heavenly one.  They are to have a heavenly reward.  The conditions of the present time are severe, proportionate to the greatness and grandeur of their heavenly calling.  The terms of acceptance to the Divine nature include not only faith and love, but a self-sacrificing will.  These sacrifice their earthly restitution rights and privileges for the privilege of suffering with Christ, that they may also reign with him in his Millennial Kingdom.

 

Learning by suffering.

 

It seemed wise to our Heavenly Father that the Lord Jesus should learn obedience through sufferings and be tested as to his willingness to endure suffering for righteousness’ sake.  How appropriate it is that the same Father should make similar arrangements for all of the Church, whom he will receive from among the race of Adam to be members of the Royal Priesthood under Jesus, the High Priest.  We see a need for this, not only for our own testing and a thorough proof of our own heart-loyalty to the Lord, but also in preparation of a priesthood of the future.

 

The priest in the Bible was not merely one who offered sacrifices, although every priest was a sacrificer.  The special mission of the priests was that of instructing, helping, healing, teaching.  And so God is preparing a "Royal Priesthood" for the Millennial Age to bless, to heal, to teach and to uplift all the willing and obedient.  As priests who will have to do with judging and chastening, healing and helping humanity, how much sympathy do we think these Royal Priests should have?  Aren’t they to be "members of the body" of Messiah?  And the Apostle wrote that he must be a faithful and merciful High Priest, able to sympathize with the people.  (Please read He 4:15-5:4)  And isn’t it in harmony with this that all those accepted as "members of his body" should have such experiences in this sacrificing time that would demonstrate their loyalty to the Lord and guarantee their deep sympathetic interest in the world, then to be committed to their care?  To such will be committed the work of human restitution, uplift out of sin and death conditions—mental, moral and physical.

 

The morning of joy.

 

How glad we are that our Heavenly Father’s sympathy for us will provide "a morning of joy" to be ushered in, in his "due time."  Additionally, he sympathizes with us to the extent that he has given us in advance a message and explanation to comfort us, to sustain us in the way.  How we can rejoice as we see the length and breadth and height and depth of God’s program for the future, and the blessings which it will bring to this "groaning creation."  How we long for the time to come when the Church will be made ready through the sufferings of this present time for the glories of the future—of the Kingdom!

 

The morning of joy, the Millennial morning, of course, cannot be ushered in until the rising of the Sun of Righteousness.  Its beams of grace and truth will flood the earth with the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, and it will drive out all ignorance, superstition and sin, which have worked such havoc in our race.

 

But what is this Sun of Righteousness?  The Bible answers the question by telling us that it symbolically represents the Lord himself and the elect Church of this Gospel Age.  The mystery hidden for a time from many is the fact that the Church is to share with him Lord in every feature of his glorious work, not only in suffering, but also in reigning.  (Ro 8:17)

 

In view of the great plan of redemption, and the consequent "restitution of all things" through Christ and his Church, we can see that blessings will result from the permission of evil which probably could not otherwise have been so fully realized.

 

  _________________________________

 

"Evil is anything causing injury or harm"

 

American College Dictionary.

 

This subject not only covers human ailments, sorrows, pains, weaknesses, and death, but goes back of all these to consider their primary cause—sin—and its remedy.  Since sin is the cause of evil, its removal is the only method of permanently curing the disease.

 

No difficulty, perhaps, more frequently presents itself to the inquiring mind than the questions,

 

Why did God permit the present reign of evil?

 

Why did he permit Satan to present the temptation to our first parents,

 

after having created them perfect and upright?

 

Why did he allow the forbidden tree to have a place among the good?

 

Couldn’t God have prevented all possibility of man’s fall?

 

Space does not allow us to cover these answers in detail, so we would like you to read The Divine Plan of the Ages, chapter 7, entitled "The Permission of Evil and its Relation to God’s Plan."  If you don’t have the book, send for it.  It’s FREE.  It’s scriptural.  It’s logical.

 

MILLENNIAL MORNING

 

Post Office Box 4614

 

San Diego, CA 92104

 

Please send me a free copy of your Bible Study textbook,

 

THE DIVINE PLAN OF THE AGES

 

Name _____________________________________________________________

 

Address ___________________________________________________________

 

  _________________________________________________________________

 

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MILLENNIAL

 

MORNING

 

World Conversion—1 out of 4.

 

Would you believe 1 out of 7?

 

World conversion—from what to what?  Billy Graham works at it.  So did Billy Sunday.  And countless others.  Missionaries are still sent to foreign lands by both Catholics and Protestants.  Denominational Christiandom still claims the goal of world conversion.  They have worked at it for literally centuries.

 

So now let’s check their progress.  The following figures are taken from a 1968 United Nations world survey and a journal published in 1886 called The Watchman.

 

18861968

 

Heathen60%57.5%

 

Mohammedan12%14.6%

 

Jews.5%.4%

 

Roman Catholics13%17.2%

 

Greek Catholics6%3.7%

 

Protestants    8%   6.5%

 

Non-Christian Population72.5%72.5%

 

PROGRESS?

 

And only a very liberal estimate would admit that as many as 1/5 of those listed because of their national or social affiliations as "Christian" are in fact sincere, professing Christians of mentally mature age.

 

Denominational Christendom is faced with a problem.  They have a failure rate of 95%.

 

Well, maybe God’s concern was for only a few—ignore the others.  Ignore 95%?  God has declared his purpose in the matter—and it doesn’t fit with that conclusion.

 

He promised Abraham, "In thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed."  (Ge 22:17)  This may not mean that there will be no wilful and constant opposers—but can it possibly allow a 95% exception rate?

 

We seem led to either of two inevitable conclusions:

 

(1)god has not yet even attempted the world’s conversion, or—

 

(2)god’s Plan has been a miserable failure.

 

Man’s plans usually are miserable failures.  But before concluding the same for God, let’s suggest a real examination of the first conclusion—God has not yet even attempted the world’s conversion.

 

A Kingdom

 

First, let’s support our premise that God does intend the world’s blessing.  Remember the Lord’s prayer, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth."  (Mt 6:10)  Jesus was not praying in vain.

 

Consider just three passages which give us information on this kingdom.

 

1)  Mic 4:1-3 —"In the last days the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be     established in the top of the mountains, it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it."

 

"And many nations shall say, let us go up to the mountain of the house of the Lord, ... he will teach of us his ways, and we will walk in his paths.

 

"He shall rebuke strong nations afar off; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: ... neither shall they learn war anymore."

 

This tells us, first, that the world will not be converted before this kingdom.  Changing the minds and hearts of the people will be the purpose of the kingdom.  That won’t be done before the kingdom is established to do it.  Second, there will be a need to "rebuke strong nations afar off," indicating that all mankind will be included in God’s work.  And, third, the end is assured—PEACE.  "Neither shall there be war anymore ... for all people will walk every one in the name of his God" —the God.

 

2) Da 2:44 —"In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed ... it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever."

 

The establishment of this kingdom means that all others must pass.  This shows us that the kingdom on earth referred to in the scriptures is not fulfilled in Christians since the time of Christ.  The kingdoms of this earth have been firmly entrenched all during the intervening period, and have begun to pass away in turmoil only since the great world wars have begun to rock civilization.

 

And when fully established, the kingdom will not pass away.  Read Zeph 3:8, 9.  It gives the same message—trouble, smiting of the nations—and "then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord with one consent."

 

3) Jer 31:34 —"They shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying Know the Lord:  for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD:  for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."

 

This tells us that at that time all mankind will be brought to a knowledge of God, his true character, and his plan.  And more, they will be brought back into heart harmony with their God—"for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."  And it will be as a result of a divine arrangement for the World’s instruction, for "When thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness."  (Isa 26:9)

 

So Christ Comes

 

Notice how closely connected with this is the purpose of the return of Christ.  We quote from Peter’s sermon in Ac 3:20, 21 —"He shall send Jesus Christ, ... Whom the heaven must retain until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began."

 

It is not Christ’s purpose to incinerate the earth along with 95% of mankind.  It is his purpose to instruct the world in the ways of God.  To restore humanity to the perfection with which it began.  To restore to man the care and appreciation of man.

 

The Kingdom blessings are shown as "a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal" from the throne of God.  (Re 22:1)  The invitation will be, "Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."  (Re 22:17)

 

Man’s experience with sin and the ill it brings has been a dreary night.  It has been permitted that man might, with experience, choose intelligently in the Kingdom.  Will he turn to his old ways?  Or will he by free choice much rather choose the goodness of God by obedience?  What would you do?

 

  _______________________________

 

A suggestion.

 

Share a blessing with a friend.  What greater blessing is there than truth?  The source of truth is God, as is revealed through His Word and seen through His handiworks of creation.  In the past 100 years there have been many concepts of what is revealed in His Word.  Being imperfect as we all are, our views must change when the test of time shows a difference between what we thought was God’s plan and what is actually transpiring.  How thrilling to find something that has withstood the test of time?

 

Written in 1886, The Divine Plan of the Ages has withstood this test.  Unchanged is the style (you might notice some long sentences common with the era).  Unchanged are the references to events current in that day.  Unchanged is the approach to topical Bible study, covering 16 chapters and subjects like:  Ransom and Restitution, Object and Manner of Our Lord’s Return, Kingdoms of this World, Kingdom of God, Why God Permits Evil, and many more.

 

In our environment there are inconsistencies.  Changes occur in every field of study.  What happens when you find something that doesn’t need changing?  What happens when you find a key to understanding God’s Word?  What happens when it has not only withstood the test of time, but has become truer with each new day that dawns?  When this happens you’ve found a blessing.  Share it.

 

May we share a blessing with you?

 

Send for the free book, The Divine Plan of the Ages.

 

See for yourself what we’re talking about.

 

MILLENNIAL MORNING

 

Post Office Box 4614

 

San Diego, CA 92104

 

Please send me a free copy of your Bible Study textbook,

 

THE DIVINE PLAN OF THE AGES

 

Name _____________________________________________________________

 

Address ___________________________________________________________

 

  _________________________________________________________________

 

**********

 MILLENNIAL

 

 MORNING

 

ye were bought for a price

 

To make this statement about anyone in politics, business or the military is a grave charge indeed.  And it is a charge that is being heard more and more frequently.  Even the law enforcement agencies are not exempt.  The public is shocked when a charge is substantiated, and the accused fears that his life is ruined.

 

Yet the Scriptures bring this very charge against every member of the human family.  The charge is true.  "Ye are bought for a price."  (1Co 6:20)  But how?

 

God’s work in the creation of man was perfect.  The command was given to maintain obedience.  The sentence of death was just.  Father Adam actually sold, not only himself, but all his unborn posterity, into sin by an act of selfish personal gratification.  Because the wages of sin is death, the scales of God’s justice were balanced with the pronouncement, "dying thou shalt die."  This sentence is being carried out in each one of us from birth to the grave.  The end of the story of man would have been written were it not for the fact that we were bought for a price.

 

What was the price?

 

Who paid it?

 

It is scripturally known as the ransom, or corresponding price.  The Logos, God’s only begotten Son," a spiritual being, volunteered for the mission.  He gave up his former glory, "and the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us."  (Joh 1:14)  Jesus, born of the virgin Mary, grew to perfect manhood under the law, consecrated his life to his Father’s service, and willingly gave up that life at Calvary.  There he began the fulfillment of what was prophesied:  "I will ransom thee from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death:  O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction."  (Hos 13:14)  "For even the Son of man came ... to give his life a ransom for many."  (Mk 10:45)  "The man Christ Jesus ... gave himself a ransom for all to be testified in due time."  (1Ti 2:5, 6)  Jesus, in laying down his perfect human life in death, bought back the equally perfect human life Adam had lost.  Based on the principle of "an eye for an eye," this death was required by justice to offset the sin of disobedience at Eden.  Hence the price was paid, and the balance of justice was maintained, as Paul summed it up in Ro 2:26:  "... that God might be just, yet the justifier of him that believeth."

 

Because God’s justice is so precise, Jesus of Nazareth could in no way have been spiritual in nature.  He had to be wholly human in his being, and perfect in his character, to be the exact corresponding price for Adam.  ("... that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."  Joh 6:51)  That human life was laid down in death, and being a perfect human life, it could thus make possible the fulfillment of the scripture, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." —1Co 15:22

 

Similarly, the being of our resurrected Lord must be totally spiritual.  It could not be human.  If, in Jesus’ resurrected glory, there is any humanity, any human nature, this would mean he had not completed his sacrificial covenant to give his flesh, his human nature, for the life of the world, for Adam and Adam’s posterity:  none of mankind could be released from death in the "due time" feature of the divine plan.

 

This is also why Jesus’ birth was of a virgin.  If our Lord had been the son of Joseph, or received his life principle from any other human source, he would have been under the same condemnation as the rest of fallen humanity, and subject to the same weaknesses.  He too would have been a slave to sin.  Death would have overtaken him as a result of that inherited sin, and there would have been no perfect human life to die on the cross.  This is why the Scriptures carefully point out that his life did not come through such a channel, but was conceived in Mary through the power of the Holy Spirit of God.  In that way, Jesus could be perfect, "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners."  (Heb 7:26)

 

Cursed for us

 

Israel as a nation vowed to keep their laws, and incurred an added curse by failing to keep it.  Jesus’ death was also to "redeem" or publicly purchase the children of Israel.  "Christ hath redeemed us (Jews) from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.  For it is written, Cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree."  (Gal 3:13)  The crucifixion was a very wonderful event—the touchstone for salvation, redemption, justification, sanctification, and finally, eternal sonship—for all mankind.

 

Noel

 

We celebrate the human birth of our Lord.  It may not be the proper date, but that is of minor importance.  The real value of the season is the focal point—our "Savior," which means life-giver.  "Savior" is familiar to our ears; "life-giver" adds a greater force and beauty.  The life offered is the resurrection life, of everlasting enjoyment.  "For unto us a child is born ... the everlasting father, the prince of peace."  (Isa 9:6)  LIFE is the hope offered all the world of mankind who will be obedient in the Kingdom rule, now just beginning.  It is distinctly different from the heavenly hope of the church, whose completion is very near.  Yes, eternal peace and joy is on the way for everyone.  For this there should be rejoicing in the land.  "Glory be to God in the highest."

 

  _______________________________________

 

"eye for eye"

 

  "... then thou shalt give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe." —Ex 21:23-25

 

The basis for the Ransom is found in the Law, given by God to the nation of Israel.  It is fair, guaranteeing a payment equal to the loss.  Even the word ransom means "corresponding price."  The perfect man Adam died and the whole human race has been going down the broad way of destruction (see Mt 7:13, 14).  Who will lift them up?

 

It was the perfect "Man Christ Jesus who gave himself a ransom (corresponding price) for all, to be testified in due."  (1Ti 2:5, 6)  All?  When is the due time?

 

It was this corresponding price that guaranteed a payment equal to the loss.  What was lost?  Life.  And it is life that will be restored.  "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."  (1Co 15:22)  Does this include non-Christians?  "Restitution" —what will it really mean?

 

For a study on this subject, we recommend the topical study aid, The Divine Plan of the Ages, Study 9, "Ransom and Restitution."  If you don’t have it yet, send for a free copy.

 

MILLENNIAL MORNING

 

Post Office Box 4614

 

San Diego, CA 92104

 

PLEASE SEND ME A FREE COPY OF:  ____ The Divine Plan of the Ages

 

Name _____________________________________________________________

 

Address ___________________________________________________________

 

Comments _________________________________________________________